February 5, 2021


There was a time when she couldn’t
sleep without seeing him
They were so very much in love
He would ensure he came home every
night, no matter how far away he was
when the night came
She was always pinning for him,
waiting for him, longing for him
They were best friends, intimate and deep
He would show her the things she didn’t
know about him and about life
She would teach him things, things only
someone who is living in another’s
person’s heart should know
She talked to him all the time
In her sleep and when she was awake
She knew where all his skeletons were
He knew everything in her closet
They were knitted souls, one in one
Then the idea of living abroad came up
The idea had been dancing in her mind
for many years
She mentioned it to him when they were
getting married
But on their wedding day they were given
a house by his father for their wedding
The House thing made it impossible for
her to push through the idea
It made life very easy for them
She had her daughters in quick succession
After six years of marital bliss, he lost
his job
He was stockbroker
The market crashed and he lost a lot
of money
They were not in debt but things got a
little rough
The children’s school fees became an
Their summer travels and all was gone
He was young and well connected
She knew he would bounce back strong
but she felt they could do that abroad
Set the children on a golden path to
success by giving them the citizenship
of the strongest and most successful
nation on the face of the earth
It was a dream she had always nursed
and that was the right time
When she pitched the idea to him
He took it well and before she could
raise it a second time, he had started
the process
They were advised to travel to the USA
with their visas and then commence the
process of relocation from there
The family had two years visa
They traveled
When they got to the USA they settled
in quickly
He got a job at the Community center
close to their apartment
She enrolled in nursing school
She couldn’t tell when and how they
started drifting apart
He was naturally not a complainer
He dealt with whatever was placed
before him squarely
She had come to understand that he
might not buy an idea at the beginning
but he was very adaptable
He was a compromiser
He would move the heaven and the
earth to make her happy
Living abroad made her happy
She couldn’t explain why but she
felt very much at home in Chicago
It felt like she belonged there
It felt like home
Perhaps if he had complained or raised
some sort of objections about the move
she would have adjusted
He didn’t
Six months after they moved he fell
into depression
He started seeing a shrink
After the eighth meeting with the shrink
she got a phone call from the shrink’s
office that her attention was needed
The shrink sat her down and told her
her husband wanted to return to his
home country
It caught her unawares
It was the last thing she wanted
It was the last thing she expected or
prepared for
Their children had been pre-enrolled
for the school year starting that
She told the shrink they would work
it out
When he got home, she asked him
about it and he admitted it
She was disappointed that he chose to
talk to the shrink rather than talk to her
He apologized
He told her he loved her but the whole
abroad thing was not working for him
He asked her when they could return
All she could do was cry
How could any sane person not thrive
in such an advanced country
A country that had everything
Her parents had given birth to her and
her siblings in Germany
Her father used to work for an engineering
firm that had a very strong presence in her
home country
She was ten years old when her father
suddenly left Germany to return to
her home country
She was excited at the time but after
they got to their home country and settled
down, she realized she had been
She hated everything but she didn’t
have the power to do anything about it
She was determined to give her
daughters the opportunities she missed
She was determined to raise them
where they would get the best
opportunities to fulfill their destiny
She felt they would regret returning
home just as her parents regretted
returning home
She didn’t understand why he was
being so selfish
A good parent should consider not
only himself or herself but the also
put the interest of their family at
She tried her best to explain to him
that returning home was not an option
He told her he wouldn’t stay in America
even if he was offered a million dollars
to stay
She was so sure he could cope if he tried
She called her parents and told them
what was going on
They both told her returning home would
be a mistake
Her father asked to speak with her
They spoke for almost two hours
She prayed while they spoke
She knew her husband respected her
father and gave him the utmost regard
After the discussion, she expected her
husband to buckle up and lead the
family to greater heights in Chicago
but it was not to be so
Her husband told her father a lot
of “Yes sirs” and “Okay sirs” but he had
made up his mind
As soon as he dropped the call, he said
we will be leaving for their home country
in two weeks
Just like that
Like a captain barking an order at a
She didn’t say a word
He started packing his stuff that day
As far as everybody knew they were
on holidays
She called her older sister
She was based in Atlanta with her
Her older sister sent her the contact
details of an immigration lawyer
The lawyer sat her down and gave her
the tough choices
Return home with him or seek asylum
with the United States Government
She told the lawyer she had no basis
to seek an asylum
The lawyer told her she could come up
with a reason or return to her home
country with her husband
After 4 hours she came up with a reason
She claimed she was a lesbian fleeing
a homophobic country
She claimed her husband had no knowledge
of her true sexual orientation and she
didn’t want to return to the indignity of
pretending to be heterosexual with her
She also filed that she feared her life would
be in danger if the knowledge of her
sexual orienrtation became known to her
husband because he had often indicated
that he hated gays and lesbians
She didn’t come up with the story herself
There was a community that picked an
interest in her story and they added a
lot of details to make her case sellable
It was not what she wanted at all but
what option did he leave her?
He was being unreasonable and nobody
should be dragged into the pit with him
simply because he was determined to
head in that direction.
What she did, she did, to protect herself
and her children
She was moved to a new location
a week later
She watched him daily as returned home
from a bakery owned by someone from
their home country where he worked
(Without a work permit) for 20 dollars
an hour for eight hours every day
The day she was to move with her
children, she left him a note
She just couldn’t walk away without
explaining herself
It was not an act of wickedness or
a frivolous decision
She had to make a hard decision
She said she was sorry.
She also said she would be willing
to reunite with him if he changed
his mind about returning home
She was convinced her future
and that of her children was
in America
It was the last thing he expected
He called his father immeditately
after reading his wife’s letter to
explain what had happened
His father used to work for the American
Embassy on some very sensitive and
highly classified cases
It was forbidden for him and any of
his siblings to mention this to anyone
To the world, his father was an international
business tycoon who dealt mostly in the
importation of carpets and rugs from
Turkey, Belgium, India, China and
other parts of the world
His father told him to stay at his current
His father made some calls
Four hours later, his wife and children
were returned to him with apologies
The asylum case and migration file
were closed
Two days later, a diplomatic vehicle
was sent to pick them up and take them
to the airport
They arrived at their home country four
days after she pulled the stunt
She was distraught
He didn’t look at her or talk to her
He didn’t even seem like he cared
to listen to her
He had frozen her out of his life
As soon as they got to their new
house, he made arrangements for
their children to spend some time
with his parents
The vehicle came to pick them on
a Saturday morning
She felt he did that so that they
could talk
Once the children were gone, he
picked his shirt and left too
She waited for hours for him to
She practiced her speech, her apology,
she was not so sorry but for the sake
of peace, she was willing to fall on her
knees and cry her eyes out
He never came back, neither did the
By the dawn of the next day, she
realized he had paid her back in kind
She started making calls to his friends
and relatives
His parents had blocked her
So had his siblings
She ran to the pastor of his parent’s
She knew they respected the elderly
clergy very much
She explained everything
The Reverend Doctor told her she chose
the wrong family to pull such a stunt
He said “Your husband’s father was a
trained spy, a CIA spook, didn’t you
notice how guarded the family is around
She went on her knees and begged him
to intervene
All she wanted was for him to try
He took pity on her and drove her to
their house
They met his parents at home
She went on her knees immediately
She was sorry
Her husband’s father told her that
they cannot trust her with the
children anymore
She had shown them her intentions
He advised her to move on
“You’re still young, go and get another
husband and build another home, as
far as this family is concerned, you
are no longer welcome as a wife or
as the mother of my grandchildren”
The Reverend Doctor took over at
that point
His words were soft and disarming
He spoke divinely ordained words
Within 30 minutes, her father-in-law
had told her to get up from her knees
and stop crying
An hour later, her husband and
children were brought to the house
her father-in-law said “Out of respect
for Baba, I have brought them back
but it is up to you to convince your
husband that you are still his wife”
They talked and cried
She told him she couldn’t sleep
the day she and the children were
taken away
She told him she missed him and
would have found a way to return
to his embrace
She told him she was misguided
He told her he was restless in
America because he knew his
father had many enemies in the
USA who might use him or his
family to get back at his father
He told her he couldn’t tell her
everything but he expected her
to trust him
He told her he was sorry
She told him she was sorry too
They were both convinced the
marriage was worth fighting for
They returned home together as
a family that evening.

PS: It’s been four years
I wrote a story titled Forgive
Forgive –
This lady read it and reached out to
me asking me to find a very creative
way to tell her story
She wanted the whole world
to know that there was nothing a
husband and wife can do to offend
each other that cannot be forgiven
I agree with her







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