The Indian Man Who Loves Me Has Abandoned Me: A Nigerian Nurse Cries Out
The life of a nurse is always rich with being busy attending to other people’s needs that she hardly has time to attend to her own needs. That has been my burden, coupled with fate’s hands which took my parents away from me in a ghastly motor accident when I was five while they were going about in search of a sibling for me.
My mother had stopped menstruating two years after bearing me at the age of twenty-five. According to my maternal grandmother who raised me after my father’s relations had inherited all of my father’s earthly wealth, my mother’s procreative ill health was orchestrated by my father’s brothers through diabolical means when their envy of the fact that my father had become rich enough to raise the first upstairs building in our village and capped it with becoming the first man to have bought and driven a car in the late seventies got the better part of their souls which she always prayed would rot in hell someday.
I am now forty years and that means that I am yet to visit my parents’ graves in over thirty-five years. That is the height of my paternal uncles’ wickedness. Being a girl, nobody worried about how I would grow up tomorrow to come and fight them over my father’s earthly possessions. Well, I never wanted to be caught up in such a fight with such evil-minded uncles. Let them do whatever they can with the one-storey house my father built, I know that when I get married, I’ll do my best to support my future husband so that we build more befitting home for our children and all of us. It is going to be a structure that will become more befitting than the old-fashioned one by my late parents.
Unfortunately for me, my maternal people are not rich enough to afford sending a girl-child to a proper secondary school. After my primary school education, I was sent to a vocational school of commerce where my flair for accounts and book keeping turned me into a star of some sort to my fellow students and teachers.
Not minding that people look down on commerce-based schools’ graduates of my type, I pushed my grandmother into allowing me move down to Onitsha in search of job while staying with her youngest son and his young family. At the age of eighteen, I was ripe enough to become someone’s wife, so I went for the type of job that would allow me give my husband the financial support he wouldn’t expect from a wife of my stature.
I got a job in a private hospital set up by Indian doctors and nurses to help provide the best medical care for a people still groaning under the import of the civil war. I became an accounts assistant. My dexterity in handling the hospital’s accounts and helping in the book-keeping made me the talk of every Indian in my place of work. Within time, one of the Indian opticians in the hospital started showing more than a passing interest in me. He was four years older than me and always came around during office hours and break time to look into my development at work.
Soon, our colleagues started calling us husband and wife. Then, Chandra advised me to register with our hospital to be trained to become an auxiliary nurse. When I complained that I couldn’t afford the fees, he promised to help me out. That was when I started telling my uncle about him. He had his reservations but chose to have them muted.
Because of the distance between my Uncle’s house and the hospital where I was working and schooling, Chandra helped me secure a room on the busy Awka Road and I started enjoying my freedom. Soon, we ended up becoming lovers. On the completion of my auxiliary training as a nurse, Chandra insisted that I would have more to contribute as a trained nurse to humanity. That was how I left my job and ended up at Iyienu Hospital in their Nursing School. Chandra was paying my school fees for the three years I spent learning General Nursing and Midwifery. Many Nigerian men were coming for my hand in marriage but I kept on giving them excuses believing that one day Chandra would pop out the magic question on me. As a proper Nigerian girl, I had it at the back of my mind to accept his proposal anytime he made up his mind.
But he never did. With his help, I secured a job in a private Eye Clinic in Asaba and he talked me into securing an apartment for myself so that we would always have some privacy. My life became better with the better pay package I am receiving. I was getting older with the passage of time and Chandra kept looking younger. One day, I told him I have a rich man bothering me to accept his marriage proposal. He started crying and said that I didn’t love him enough to wait for him to convince his parents to allow him marry a Nigerian girl.
That night, he promised to sponsor my birthday party. I was beside myself very happy as I have never had my birthday celebrated. At the age of twenty-seven, my family had given up on convincing me to let the Indian man go as Indians are known not to marry outside their ethnicity. The Onitsha-based rich man coming for my hand in marriage got tired of my shenanigans and moved on with his life.
On the night of my birthday party, we made passionate love to one another and for the first time, we did it without protection. Two days later, he left for India for a showdown talk with his parents. That was the last time I set eyes on him. This is four years without Chandra. The twin sons I had for him are now four years old and asking me why they are different from other Nigerian children on our street and in their school. I am now more ostracized by my maternal people. Though it is not easy raising my boys alone, I know that one day they would hit my father’s brothers below the belt and inherit all that is rightfully theirs.
But at the back of my mind, I also know that God has no interest in helping me achieve this single wish of mine. There is no God anyway, so, let me nwayoly keep him out of my hairs and life biko!