To say he was shocked would be making an understatement. He looked into my eyes for several seconds, unflinching. I met his gaze. It was hard and hostile. But I stood my ground. I was no longer the little girl he swept off her feet years ago. I was now a mature lady, one who now knows that no matter how many times a man tells you he loves you, the best way to prove it is for him to secure your future!
MD smiled wryly, the pain in his eyes very visible. ”I asked you a question sometime ago, Anita, who has been putting all sorts of ideas into your head? Who has been instigating you against me, Anita?”
I returned his smile. “Nobody has been putting any idea into my head and neither has anybody been instigating me against you, MD, all I am doing is taking the right steps that will at least guarantee that I am not put to shame at the end of the day,” I told him.
“So, you think there is a conspiracy to shame you, right?” he asked, his voice harsh and bitter.
“No, I have not implied so in anyway but I need to take steps to ensure nobody puts me to shame, not even you!” I retorted. I felt that hurt him bad.
“How could you even think of such nonsense, Anita? So, you think I could hurt you or put you to shame?”
I shook my head. “Deliberately? No,” I returned. “But your actions or inactions could put me to shame. ”
There was dead silence. I used the opportunity to speak further. “Let me ask you something, MD, in your heart of hearts, do you actually believe what I am asking for does not make any sense? If I were your younger sister, would you not advise me to do same? Would you watch me become a used and dumped person in another man’s home?”
MD gave a heavy sigh. He knew I was right. He knew I made sense. He knew putting a ring on my finger was the right thing to do. “So, a wedding ring is what you want, right? You want us to have a court wedding?”
“Yes, MD, that is what I want,” I answered almost immediately.
“Is that what you want?”
“That’s what I deserve,” I returned.
“Okay, fine, I will give you what you want but it will be a secret between both of us, for now….!”
I felt like a winner. I felt like I had achieved the most difficult task in the world. A huge surge of excitement rushed through me. A big smile appeared to my face. Then, almost immediately, it disappeared fast. I remembered something MD said but which didn’t quite sink into my head at first. I heard word, secret’. What did he mean by that?
“Secret? Why secret? What do you mean by that, MD?” I asked him, a palpable tone of disappointment in my voice.
“Please, understand me, darling, you must listen to me,” MD began to explain.
“I am listening, please, tell me why you would want to hide me away from your wife and family? Why would you not want them to know I’m your second wife and the mother of your only child? Why?”
MD sighed heavily. He knew he had a lot of explaining to do. My voice was trembling with pain as I talked. I was battling to keep the tears behind my eyes from falling down. But they still came running down anyway.
“Listen, Anita, I’m sorry if this is really hurting you but you must brace up and be willing to open your heart so you can understand me very well. You need to know where I am coming from,” the man began to say things I didn’t think made any sense to me.
“There is no doubt that you mean the world to me, Anita, I won’t deny that…” he began. “You’re young, you’re beautiful, you’re smart, you’re everything a man would want in a woman. And to top it all, you are the mother of my son, Anita…my only child for that matter,” he held my hand and looked deeply into my eyes.
“So, tell me, why would I not want to make you my woman for life? Why would I not want to have you by my side twenty-four-seven? Do you think I like the fact that all of these is happening between us?” He shook his head in response to his own question. “No, my darling, I don’t like it.”
I want us to be constantly together,” he continued. “And it’s not just for us to be together but for us to be man and wife. Without you asking me, I have also been looking at the appropriate time to make our union legalised. I want to put a ring on your finger so that I can confidently call you my wife. Or do you think that, sometimes I do not have the fear you could wake up one morning and decide you no longer want to be with a much older man like me but with a man much younger? Do you think I don’t have such fears of losing you to a younger man someday if I do not put a ring on your finger?”
“But, look, my sweetheart, there is time for everything. As human beings, we must be able to choose the perfect time for some of the very critical decisions we take in life. The decision to make you my wife officially is one that requires the most perfect timing, otherwise it will backfire and fall flat on our faces!”
I was just staring at him, listening to him. And trying to make sense of all he was saying to me. I was also searching through his face to see if I could see signs that he wasn’t being sincere to me with what he was saying. But I saw nothing. Yet, I was not one hundred percent certain he was speaking to me from the depth of his heart.
“The truth is that, if I do not choose the perfect time and we go to the Registry and it gets to my wife, all hell will be let loose. And this is why I said, it must be a secret between us for now, until that appropriate time will come when I will officially announce you as my second wife to my entire family….This is the best I can do for now!”

…To Be Continued