Before I got married to my wife, I had an old bed that had faced the bitter side of life. The bed was as flat as a carpet but looked like the elder brother of a mat. The bedsheet covering the bed was not left out. As what affected the bed, affected it also. It was worn out, faded, but it was clean.
My room had no carpet. My walls had black stains of dark smoke on them. When I told my girlfriend that I had moved out of my old apartment into my new one.
I don’t know what she imagined my apartment would look like. Maybe it was because I used the word “Apartment”.
She was very excited. She said she wanted to come see my new house. I told her no. She asked me why.
At that point, we had just started dating and I was still ashamed of her and what she will think about me. She had never visited me. Not even for once.
When she kept putting pressure on me and threatening to break up with me, I agreed. I told her she could come. But I took her to my friend’s room instead and made her believe the house was mine.
That day, she kept looking around the house. She walked to my wardrobe and peeped. She smelt my clothes. Touched this and touched that. Picked this and dropped that. Then she returned to me.
“Praises, take me to your house.”
“This is my house, babe.”
“No, I mean your real house. If you don’t, I am leaving.”
She stood up and picked her bags. My heart skipped. I wondered how she had known it was not my house. I held her hands. I tried to lie again but I couldn’t.
“Okay, I don’t really have a good place for now. That was why I chose here for us. I just want you to be comfortable.”
“I will be more comfortable at your house. Let’s go.”
When I took her to my house, I folded my hands behind her and leaned on the wall. I was certain that our relationship was over.
But she smiled and sat on the bed.
Then she said.
I didn’t know why I did. I could not say thank you. There was nothing to thank. I just laughed.
“Nice place? No na. This cannot be nice. Like, look at my wall, my bed, my floor. This is the cheapest I can afford. It is not nice.”
She stood up and looked at me.
“Praises, this place does not define who you are. This is only your present condition and it will always get better than this. You have a nice place. It is neat and smells good too.”
She pulled her shoes and laid on the bed. The same bed I was ashamed of. When I saw that, I felt a little confident and became free to move around and talk freely.
A week later, she bought me my first birthday gift. When she announced she was bringing it in a kekenapep and needed me to be outside so I could carry it in. I began to wonder.
To my greatest surprise, It was a bed. It was a very big bed. She gave me money in cash to paint my room. I had a little money, so I bought a rubber carpet.
I am still thankful because of her words to me. A man’s present condition does not determine his future.
Look ahead of the man you see today.
My name is Praises Chidera Obiora and I am the best at what I do.