• Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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BusinessDay

One man’s meat…

One man’s meat…

I met Inga on an international dating site, we shared common interests and she seemed so easy to talk to. I’d never been in love before so I couldn’t tell what I was feeling at the time. Well, it was such a warm feeling and it wasn’t just about butterflies in my stomach. It was something deeper. We would talk for long hours every day and whenever I didn’t hear from her, it felt like there was a hollow in my heart. Her voice was soothing and I was enthralled by her smile. I was smitten by this woman and I wanted to be with her. No doubt, this had to be love.

Within the three years we dated, we visited each other back and forth and when it became clear that we could no longer endure the stress of a long-distance relationship, we had a long talk about it and decided that I should join her. So, I left my business, my family, my friends and everything I was used to and relocated to Germany to be with the love of my life.

Six months into my stay, I began to notice how short-tempered Inga was. I could never do anything right with her. I thought we had a beautiful relationship but I was so wrong. The most frustrating aspect was her incessant nagging about how I snore. It was a huge turn-off for her. She never complained about it all the times we exchanged visits so I was shocked that it was suddenly the bone of contention.

I returned home from work one cold winter night and discovered to my chagrin and utmost disbelief that Inga had changed the locks on the apartment and had my personal belongings neatly stacked by the entrance. Inga kicked me to the curb. I never saw that coming.

I ordered a cab to take me to a hotel and was lucky to find one within a short time. As the car drove off, I brought out my phone and called Inga for the umpteenth time, and she eventually picked up. She made it clear that it was over between us because she could not put up with my snoring. This was coming from a woman that I gave up everything to be with. I was crushed. She was ending things between us without batting an eyelid; how callous could she be? If not for the fact that I’d go to jail for murder, I would have snuffed the life out of her with my bare hands.

I couldn’t hold back the tears that poured down my face. I was shattered and I couldn’t care less about crying in front of a stranger. I didn’t realise it when the car pulled up in a corner and the driver came to my side of the car. She didn’t say a word; she only beckoned for me to come into her embrace. It was sudden and unexpected and I was taken aback but I let her hold me as I bawled my eyes out. She heard the conversation between Inga and me and would not feel comfortable leaving me by myself that night. So instead of driving me to the hotel, she made a detour and drove straight to her house.

I woke up the next morning and was hit by light coming from the open blinds in an unfamiliar environment. It took a moment for me to process what happened the night before. Then a door opened in front of me and “the cab driver” walked in with a cup of coffee. She was warm, friendly and nice but I wasn’t swayed by that. She was just another heartless German woman.

She later took me to a cheap hotel and didn’t leave until I was settled in and she continued to visit me every day just to make sure I was doing alright. I was deliberately nasty and rude to her so she could go away but Hilda ignored my behaviour.

As the days went by, the hotel bills were piling up, my cash was fast depleting, and I couldn’t afford to rent a place. I cried every day and night, cursing Inga for doing this to me. Back home, I was very comfortable but I gave it all up to be with a woman who was undeserving of me.

Hilda could sense the pressure on me because one day, when she visited, she offered me a room at her home. She had inherited the four-bedroom home from her grandfather and she lived alone. Even though the rent was fair, I knew that it might still be a struggle to pay but I didn’t have a choice. And that was how I moved into Hilda’s home as her tenant.

There were times when I could not afford to pay the rent but I tried to make up for it by running errands for Hilda and helping out in the house. She never complained or talked to me in a demeaning way like Inga used to.

Two years later, I began to find my feet gradually and things were looking up for me. I must confess that Hilda was God-sent. She came into my life at the right time and I was grateful for that.

Just when I started making plans to get my own place, COVID-19 happened and the whole world was on lockdown.

Being confined in the same space from dawn to dusk brought us closer. I began to see Hilda differently; she wasn’t human at all; she was an angel. I had judged her by my experience with Inga but she was a totally different person.

I knew she liked me but I didn’t realise how much. One day, I asked her if she wasn’t bothered by the way I snore and she burst into laughter and told me that she actually finds it hilarious.

By the end of 2020, Inga and I were officially dating and by March of the following year, we were married. On our wedding night, Inga gave me an envelope which contained all the rent money I have been giving her. She confessed that she gave me the room to stay in because she loved me and not because she needed the money. She has always believed in me but she also knew that I needed time to heal from my past. So she patiently waited and hoped that I’d come around someday.

I found Hilda and I found a good thing. It’s so unbelievable how much our lives have changed in such a short time. We have a kid and another one on the way. Our little business, which was conceived during the lockdown, is thriving beyond our expectations.

My story brings to mind the saying that one man’s meat is another man’s poison. But in this case, one woman’s poison is another woman’s meat.

Please, if you see Inga, help me say thank you to her.