My husband top the list of men I have abused and turned down.
His resilience was what made him got my attention. Normally, when men come to my boutique for shopping, I let my girls attend to them. The ones that insist on seeing me get the abuse of their life. If I don’t tell them how they will leave their wives at home and go around looking for girls to make useless, I will curse and rain abuses on them that get my neighbours stealing all the male customers coming my way.
I didn’t bother even though it was affecting my business, after all I deal on female wears not the other way round.
Normally, my male customers buy more than the female ones. Most of them coming in with that girlfriend who if their wardrobe could take it, will buy the whole shop. Uche was different.
He will come in alone, talk to my girls politely and made sure he walk round the shop viewing displayed clothing’s until he gets to where I normally sit and made sure my eyes meet his. When he get his wish, he would pick a few cloths, pay and leave the shop. I was forced to ask my girls to stop him from coming to that end of the shop, but his politeness and persistence kept making them give him that customers attention no other get even though he buys less.
One day while shopping as usual, after our eyes met, he asked if I don’t mind helping him select the cloths for his wife. I smiled which I rarely do and obliged. Outside my dad, he was the other man I have seen shopping for his wife. While picking the items, I asked if he was really shopping for his wife or girlfriend. His answer shocked me. He told me his wife was standing before him, and to my surprise brought out a diamond ring and proposed to me.
I was angry, I gave him the slap of his life that sent him falling to the tiled floor. His opening the ring to propose reminded me of Stephen. Instead of reacting harshly, he picked up his ring, put it back on the pack, dropped an apology note with my girls, and walked out of the boutique.
The next day, he returned and was told I wasn’t around. He kept coming until he got an audience with me and formally apologised.
Surprised, I traced him to his spare part shop in the market making enquiries about him. The information I got was that he was gay and that he had been avoiding women and turning their advances down. Coming from a similar background, I paid him a surprise visit in his shop pretending to buy a part for my Camry. He laughed and informed me he doesn’t retail but sell in bulks. He broke his terms for me and gave me the wiper I requested for.
On our first date, I asked why he wanted to use me as a cover girl for I know gay men are not normally attracted to the opposite sex, if they do, they use her as a flaunt and I don’t want to be his flaunt lady. Instead of taking it as an insult, he smiled and told me his story dropping tears. How he grew up as an abominable son.
Uchechis father is his grand father. In other words his mother is his fathers daughter.
His grand mum a fufu seller as Uche was told, eloped with another man whom she had been secretly seeing when Uches dad was no longer able to foot the bills of the family, after losing his pension as a secondary school teacher to fraudulent money doublers. Uches mum, sixteen, a fresh secondary school leaver and the eldest Of the children was now left to take care of his dad who had taken to drinking and playing draft With older men at the village square. On one occasion, he returned home late and drunk calling Ugomma Uchechis mum by his runaway wife’s name. It led to his pouncing on her forcing his way into her.
Realising what had happened when it dawned, he committed suicide and left Uchechis mum alone in the world at the expense of relatives who advised she left the pregnancy since she was too young to engage in abortion.
As Uchechi grew, the secret surrounding his birth was spread by relatives. It became a stigma himself and his mum learnt to live with until she could no longer take it and drown herself in the village stream.
While in secondary school, Uche had no female friends as none Of them wanted to be associated with the abominable son. His blame for the story of his birth on the weakness of the opposite sex and his hate for them helped him survived.
After secondary school, his uncle a spare parts dealer in the city, took him along on one of his visits to the village. His hate for the opposite sex increased experiencing the reckless life of Girls in the city, until a friend of his told him about the successful lady who would have nothing to do with men. It was this hate that made him stay away from ladies and got people gossiping that he was gay.
Hearing his story, I was forced to tell him mine.
Later, he proposed with thesame ring I had rejected earlier. This time, I accepted it with a big kiss which he returned.
My first wedding gift were the clothes he bought from my boutique earlier.
Who say you can’t LOVE AGAIN and find your LOST PRIDE.
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