“Can I ask you something?” I said to Derek one day while we were hanging at his place; he took a moment, and then took a long drag from the shisha we were both smoking and nodded his head in the act of letting the smoke out of his mouth.
I tried to ask him the question that I have been longing to ask him all week but the words wouldn’t come out of my mouth. “I’m listening he said” but I couldn’t bring myself to ask him “never mind… it’s a silly question” I said waiving my hand like it was nothing.
What is the question that I wanted to ask him? I wanted to ask him if what we were doing was leading anywhere; I wanted to ask him if marriage was something that he saw for us. But I couldn’t bring myself to ask him that question because I felt that it was going to make me look like I was desperate for marriage.
Do I want to get married? Yes. Am I desperate? No but it’s something I want in the next year. I have always told myself that I would have a kid by the time I am thirty years old and now that I am in a serious relationship that is going well; I don’t think it is wrong for me to know where we are headed.
“Are you sure it is a silly question? You looked pretty serious just now” Derek is very good at reading people’s expressions especially mine but I did my best to throw him off with a wide smile “I swear it is silly” I replied “okay, if you say so” he said, letting me be.
One of the reasons why I have grown to love Derek is that he knows when to let things go and when not to. If he knew that I was truly upset about something, he would have pestered me until I told him about it and he would have tried to do everything in his power to make it right again. Even if it involves him dancing like a monkey to make me laugh. He is amazing.
But this time, I think he sensed that I was chickening out of asking something and this was not the end; I believed that would one day muster the courage to ask him. I thought about letting it go… yeah… I thought about not asking him anything about our future but the more I tried to forget it, the more my mother’s words rang in my head “Then why are you dating someone who you aren’t sure will marry you?”.
I decided that I was going to ask him the question another day but not that night; that night, we would hang out, smoke shisha, Netflix and chill. And that was exactly what we did until we were half way through the boring movie that we were watching. “Where are we going to?” I heard myself say.
It was as if my mouth developed a life of its own. I guess I had thought about the question so much that it was bound it come out of my mouth without my permission.
“We are not going anywhere tonight… you want to go somewhere?” he replied innocently “no. that’s not what I mean” I snapped a bit. He sat up “what do you mean then?” “I mean us… where are we headed with this relationship. Do you see marriage for us?” I finally asked the ultimate and partially desperate question.
He looked at me earnestly “I was afraid that this day would come faster than I wanted it” my heart skipped two beats “what do you mean?… what day?” “I have to tell you something” he started with a dead serious look on his face so I knew that the next words out of his mouth could break our relationship.
“Three years ago, I was married. It wasn’t for long… six months and it ended terribly. It was the worst six months of my life and it scared me deeply” “I am sorry that you had to go through all that” I said and he continued “I love you. I love you so much… I don’t think I have ever loved anyone as much as I love you but I am never ever going to get married again”.
If words could be bullets, they would be in form of the following words from a man whom you love “I am never ever going to get married”.