Like many Nairobi ‘couples’, they never discussed what they exactly were in the relationship. And it seemed okay to them. After all, it was the norm, no? If you lived together, did things together, called each other babe, hun, bae, it was automatic that you were an item.
“We didn’t get officially married. If anything, he has never seen my parents nor paid dowry. He only knows my sister and calls her semeji.”
Typical Nairobi behaviour. His friends call you mama and you think he actually told them you are it!
Anyway, one day they have an argument and he casually mentions they were not in a relationship. At least as far as he was concerned. And that they were just friends.
“I wanted to take it as a joke, but, we were just friends? With two children? And lived together? I figured that maybe he just said it because he was drunk and surprisingly, we went to bed together-the same bed.”
The next few days were thoughtful. Metrine wasn’t settled. Them just being friends kept ringing in her head and it was hurtful.
“I asked him again about it when he was sober and he brushed it off. I took it upon myself to find out. He had just had a job promotion and was travelling a lot. Maybe he was seeing someone else. Or maybe he was just having some rough days happening.”
She interrogated his friends and they kept on assuring her that she was mama-the it girl. But some hints just needed to be looked into slowly.
“I obviously wasn’t at ease. I would remember things that didn’t add up before. But we had children. Could he have feigned it to the extent of having kids with me?”
One day from a supposed work trip to Thailand, I was determined to have an honest conversation. I didn’t have any facts nor had I even the slightest of evidence but I told him I had seen photos on his phone and I couldn’t believe he was cheating. Just to try my luck and see if I get away with information.”
So she requests for a talk. Adult talk. No tantrums.
“He asked me if he had at any given point asked me to be his girlfriend or wife. He asked me if he had said living with me meant that we were married. In all instances, it was a no. Also according to him, I knew the difference between sperms and water and I’d definitely know that babies may end up as a result. In regards to the intimacy between us, he said I never gave him the impression that I didn’t like him to once in a while get intimate.”
Me I (Kenyanese) tell you! She keeps quiet for a minute and says it’s not all. I feel numb already. You stay, have babies with someone, raise them for three years and he suddenly decides that it was a joke? That we were and are still nothing?
“He was seeing someone else. He showed me pictures. Some of those ‘business trips’ weren’t business. It was him. The guy he was dating. They’d meet and midway and travel together to a destination of choice. He is called Michael, and he loves him. You can see it from his pictures.”
She takes a moment to breathe again. This time slightly deeper than before.
“He told me to either stay or leave. Either way, he’d support the kids and me. He said that if I stay, he’d now marry me. But he’ll still have Michael as his main partner.”
Eeeh Nairobi humans. You want to get a heart attack and just die but you’ll miss Nairobi memes so you choose to stay and battle things.
“I don’t know if he did it on purpose. More like he knew his orientation but chose to cover it with a woman and kids? I don’t know if it’s something that came along the way? I’m here. One week now since he left for an actual work trip this time. But he needs my stance when he gets back. I don’t know what to say or where to start. I feel like I’m on mars.”