“So what did you tell the priest?” I asked her.
“I told him everything” She replied.
“Everything?” I asked, to verify if she actually meant everything.
“Yes, everything” she said again. “I had struggled so much and I wasn’t ready to live with the guilt anymore.”
She had been cuddled up in my arms on this particularly cold night in my bed. For the better part of the conversation, she had faced the wall, turning her back to me and I could literally sense the pain, the hurt and the disappointment in her voice.
“So what happened after the confession?” I asked in a gentle, non-judgmental voice.
“Nothing… as usual” she replied. “…you know, when you go for confession like that, the priest just hears you out, and you go home relieved. I don’t think anything disciplinary is ever done.”
I gave a deep sigh, held her closer in my arms and gave her a soft kiss on her nape, to reassure her she was completely safe and I wouldn’t hold her past against her.
“I just can’t hide anything from you anymore” she continued, tears obviously flowing from her eyes. “That’s why I’ve been trying to sell that my other phone. He gave it to me and I don’t want to keep anything that reminds me of him anymore. I’m sorry dear, I’m so sorr…” before she could finish the words, she burst into tears again and I drew her closer.
In the darkness that engulfed the room, I began to wonder why I had pushed her this far. I had gradually, carefully and affectionately led her through the process of divulging a secret that had eaten her up for more than a year and I had promised myself to keep it secret too.
She was my ideal woman: Smart, hard-working, sexy, romantic, caring, and loving. A good communicator, though sometimes very emotional, she was loved by my friends, neighbours and my family. Our friendship for the past twenty something months had been characterized by about two or three short periods of quarrels that had the usual “I-don’t-want-to-speak-with-you-right-now-cos-you-are-pissing-me-off” feeling. Sometimes for days or weeks, we wouldn’t communicate even when we missed each other deeply. After a period of such silence, one of us finally swallowed his pride and initiated a conversation. Usually that was me.
We loved each other even as friends and we knew it, although, we never officially dated until five months ago.
On this fateful night, she had confessed to me that on one of such occasions we made ourselves incommunicado to each other, she had gone out with a priest who had been stalking her for years… and they made love. It was the first time but it wasn’t the last, she had confessed. That secret had been tucked somewhere deep in her heart and had eaten her up when she finally came to her senses.
I wanted to make it easy from that moment on, I demanded to know everything that happened and everything I did hear, or so I thought. That same night I found the very expensive phone she had been frantically trying to sell was given to her by the same priest. I felt so bad and began to think I was somehow responsible, to an extent, for the pain she had gone through. “If only I hadn’t left her for a period…” I thought to myself and I determined to keep it secret while we both healed.
Three months later, things changed. She wanted a break on the grounds that I was keeping other women. She wouldn’t speak with me anymore like we used to, she stopped paying me visits, ignored my calls and pings. In short, my presence nauseated her. I felt very bad, confused and after struggling so hard to let her know I still loved her and wanted her back without success, I finally came to terms with reality. We broke up. I was devastated.
Three weeks later my closest friend got to know we had split up. He came over and we got talking. I was vexed in my soul and I had bottled up so much that I couldn’t hold it together anymore. I had wanted to bare my mind to someone but there was no one who would understand, until my friend finally gave me a listening ear. In that brief moment, I had my chance; I needed to let it all out once and for all and that exactly was what I did.
“You won’t believe we broke up man” I told him. “I loved her with all my life, my soul, my everything!” I exclaimed “I didn’t even keep any other woman… remember I told you I was hanging my boots? I was done. I really meant it bro… She just looked through my phone and that was it…” I said angrily as I disclosed every little secret she had shared with me and it felt so good at the moment.
Two hours later, my friend was gone. I sat for almost 20 minutes when it dawned on me how much I had told him. That was when I realized I spilled the beans when I should have stayed quiet and applied some restraint. I already told my friend what I promised to be a secret, how my ideal woman made love to a serving priest. I regret it now though and I have learned to not lose my ‘tongue-control’ when angry cos I might say things I’d later regret, but the damage is done already. Silly Me! One moment of outburst and I sold her out. Have I really done anything wrong?