By Bosede Olusola-Obasa
A female reader, who once indicated her need for a life partner in Saturday PUNCH of
, narrates her encounter with one of those who responded to her request In January 2010, here is the story! Nigeria
I indicated through Saturday PUNCH that I was seeking a marriageable man with certain qualities for a serious relationship. I wanted a man who was God-fearing, comfortable, a Christian, and single.
Later, I received several calls from different men. After a month of interviewing some of the men (I couldn't meet them all because they were quite many), I decided to give one of them a chance.
What struck me most about this particular man, (let me call him Michael), was that he appeared to be God-fearing, hardworking and ambitious. There were times when he phoned me at midnight, just for us to pray together. And being a Christian, I obliged him.
As time went on, I always looked forward to receiving his midnight calls and I was very happy that I had found a good Christian future partner.
We started a relationship in March. In May, he requested to meet my parents and I took him to them. As a young woman, I grew up believing that when a man requested to meet a lady's parents, it meant that he was serious-minded and that he really desired to settle down with her.
My parents were impressed with his behaviour. Before then, I had accompanied him to his house and I noticed there were no signs that a woman lived there. Subsequently, I made unannounced visits to his house, just to be sure of what I was getting into. The results were the same. I never met any woman there.
Convinced that he was honest, I decided to commit my heart and finances into the relationship. But I had to make him understand that there wasn't going to be sex, since we were committed Christians. He agreed with me and even said that he abhorred premarital sex.
In July, he introduced me to his parents in
and I was given a befitting welcome as a daughter-in-law to be. I was very happy and grateful to God and also to Saturday PUNCH for making my dream come true. Ondo State
We started making plans for our wedding, which we scheduled to take place in October, my month of birth. We fixed the introduction ceremony for September. My friends and colleagues envied me and in fact, a friend who is also single, vowed to copy my example by placing a notice in a newspaper for a life partner. Things were moving very fast and I began to thank God for smiling on me. After meeting his parents, however, I noticed that he started touching me in sensitive places. Apart from that, he was always kissing me and trying to get me into his bed. When I questioned his motives, he told me that since we would be getting married in October, there was no reason for me to be worried. I refused and we began to have disagreements.
He became irritable and always complained of one thing or the other; imaginary and real. He became distant and always claimed he was sick and couldn't see me. I knew something was wrong, but I couldn't tell what.
On July 20, 2010, I called him on the telephone. He said he was very sick and couldn't see me. He told me that some members of the church where he worshipped had decided to organise a special prayer for him since the sickness couldn't be diagnosed. As a result of this, he was asked to remain within the church premises and not receive any visitor. His purported sickness continued for over two weeks and we only spoke on the telephone.
In August, I couldn't stand it any longer and I decided to pay an unscheduled visit to his house. I got to his house and met the shocker of my life.
The security men at his residence (whom I had always known) told me that my man was a fraudster. They told me that the house did not belong to him, but his cousin who lived abroad. According to them, the owner of the house handed the keys to Michael, who then turned it into a mini-hotel, where he regularly hosted women of different sizes and shapes.
I was so shocked that I could not move for a while. I felt as if I was in a dream.
When I asked the guards where Michael lived, they told me that they did not know. But after leaving the house, one of the security men ran after me and gave me the address I requested. He said he did this because he always liked my amiable personality. He confessed that he had been looking for a way to reveal Michael's true identity to me.
Also, I learnt from him that Michael was not the owner of the cars that he often drove to my house. Emotionally shattered, I asked the man to let me leave my car in the estate with a promise to send my sister to pick it as soon as I got home. I was too devastated to drive.
Immediately, I boarded a cab and headed for the address. The house turned out to be squalid. I wondered if the guards didn't make a mistake. I knocked on the door of the house and a pregnant woman opened the door. When I enquired if the house was where Michael lived, she told me that she didn't know any Michael.
As I was about to leave, I saw a boy of about 10 years carrying a pail of water on his head. He looked so much like Michael and so I knew that I was at the right place. The way the woman welcomed the boy made me realise the boy was her son. To be doubly sure, I asked if the boy was her son and she answered in the affirmative. I asked if his dad was at home and she replied yes. Then I told her that I wanted to see him.
The woman obliged me, but at the same time, she appeared to be apprehensive. I assured her that I had come to make their lives better. I think the way I dressed convinced her because she took me into their room and I was shocked to see my beloved Michael lying on a tattered mattress placed on the floor in their single-room apartment. I coughed and he looked at me. He reeked of local alcohol (aka paraga); and he was also smoking a stick of cigarette.
When Michael saw me, he acted unperturbed and went on smoking his cigarette.
Convinced that I had seen enough, I gave the woman (his wife) the sum of N5,000 and took my leave. She knelt down and thanked me. Before leaving, I asked the woman where her parents-in-law were because I wanted to see them. The money I gave her must have surprised her and she told me her parents-in-law were dead. She told me that they had been dead for over 10 years. Asked what her husband did for a living, she answered that he was a commercial bus driver (Danfo driver.) All through my journey home, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. It was a rude shock that the man I thought was God-sent was none other than the devil.
I asked a lot of questions and things began to fall into place. I realised he was only out to sleep with me and swindle me of my hard-earned money because he was always asking me to finance his numerous contracts. He definitely must have hired that couple who posed as his parents, just to convince me he was for real.
I am really grateful to God I didn't sleep with Michael because my heart would have been filled with greater pains and regrets enough to last a lifetime.
This is my story and I would implore single ladies not to be carried away by glitz and glamour. They should double check a man's word; don't believe everything you are told. Don't trust any human being but God only.