I Didn’t Know He Was A Muslim Until Our Relationship Was Eleven Days Old

I Didn’t Know He Was A Muslim Until Our Relationship Was Eleven Days Old

He told me his name was Bash. I told him my name too and later became friends. Anytime I passed by his office, I went in and said hello to him. He would stop whatever he was doing and attend to me. He would walk me to the roadside and get me a taxi. Most often, he paid the driver to take me home.

In a conversation with him one night he proposed to me and I said yes. Yes because he was a good man. We were only friends but he treated me in a way no boyfriend had ever done. He came to my house with his hands full all the time. When he wanted me to cook for him, he would send me the money to prepare the food. When he was visiting me and I told him I was with my friend, he came home with gifts for my friend too. He loved to give so I surrendered totally to the relationship dreaming of marriage when we were only a week old.

Eleven days into the relationship, I discovered he was a Muslim. I asked why he didn’t tell me from the beginning and he said he thought I knew. “I mean how could I know something you didn’t tell me?” I asked. He answered, “My name is Bash. Everyone knows Bash is a short form of Bashiru so I thought you knew.”

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He told me not to worry because he wasn’t a practising Muslim. I asked, “You’re not a practicing Muslim but you’re not a practicing Christian too, right? It’s always easy to fall back on the religion of your fathers. You’ll one day return so it doesn’t make any difference.”

He promised religion wasn’t going to be our problem since we loved each other but love alone isn’t enough. Love needs a conducive environment to grow. And love, no matter how true it is, needs the right soil to sprout from. What we had didn’t look like it would thrive. It sprouted from ignorance and anything born by ignorance doesn’t have a long life. I told him we should call it quits before it got complicated. He told me everything would be alright.

I gave him some time to see things from my perspective but it looked like he was too blinded by love and its newness. I begged him to let us go. I didn’t want to hurt him because he had been a good man to me. I wanted the breakup to be amicable, without malice and without hatred. I proposed friendship after the breakup but he said it wasn’t possible from his end. “Just believe we’ll be fine and we’ll be fine.” He told me.

We hadn’t gotten intimate all that while so I offered sex for closure. “I don’t mind if that’s what you want. I’ll give it to you. If you want it twice, thrice or more, I don’t mind. I’ll avail myself for it but it will serve as the end of the road to us.”

I was doing all that to avoid future problems. I loved him but my parents would never listen to me twice if I told them I was dating a Muslim. Even if his parents agreed for us to be together, I knew my parents wouldn’t so there was no need to continue.

At first, he said no to my offer. As the days went by he changed his mind. He wanted it but didn’t want us to end. I told him I couldn’t offer him the two options.

He invited me over to his place and it happened. I spent the night there. I offered only my body but my soul wasn’t in it. I wasn’t there to enjoy it. To me, it was a transaction. A way to an end. He had fun, looking at all the requests he was making. In the morning when I was leaving, I said thank you and left. Thinking it was the end of us.

He’s still here trying all other means to bring us back together again. He wants to become a Christian because of me. He came to my church unannounced. After service, he asked me, “How do I become a full member of your church.” He took me home to meet his family. The reception was lukewarm but he said it would get better the second time. He wants me to take him home. I said no. I know my parents. They won’t change their stand and I don’t want them to start calling a family meeting because of me.

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Bash is still in my life. To me, he’s a friend. To him, I’m a girlfriend. It’s kind of weird but I don’t think I will be able to enter a new relationship with him still in the picture. He’s trying. His effort looks genuine but I don’t believe it will stay this way forever. That he’ll forever be a Christian because of me and my parents won’t also buy that.  That’s the rock I’m in now. I don’t even know if I need advice because I already know what I want but my problem currently is how to get him off my back, without hurt and without a fight.

—Maame Rose

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