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How I Married A Man Who Has A voice But Doesn’t Use it

How I Married A Man Who Has A voice But Doesn’t Use it

It was a Monday around 1pm. It was a holiday in a town I’d lived for only five months. I was home all day until I decided to go to the market to get some foodstuff. The sun was so intense I could smell the scent of my skin burning. I entered the house and saw a sizable amount of people gathered in front of Jerry’s door. They looked worried. I saw the landlord and his wife among those gathered there. He said, “Let’s break the door…” His wife said, “Maybe he’s a deep sleeper. Let’s keep knocking.” The landlord said, “Whoever sleeps like this without hearing all the heavy knocks and screams is dead. Let’s break the door.” 

When the landlord saw me he asked, “Do you have his number?” I said, “No I don’t.” He said, “He lives here but it seems no one knows him. He’s been in the room since Friday evening. He closed from work, entered the room and he has never come out or even open his door. We’ve been knocking for a while now but he doesn’t respond. I went to the door and knocked. Still no response. The carpenter arrived. The landlord said, “Just break the lock.” 

He placed his chisel to the lock and hammered. Just when he’s about to hammer the second time, the door handle turned. I screamed, “Wait, the handle just turned.” The carpenter said, “Yeah I saw it too.” It turned again and again until he opened the door and saw all of us in front of the door. The kids around screamed, “Yaaaay.” The noise they do immediately the light comes on after going off for a long while. He looked shocked to see all of us in front of his door. He said, “Why? What’s happening?” The landlord said, “Is that how you sleep? What’s wrong with you? We’ve been knocking since forever.” He said, “Sorry I didn’t hear you. I slept with my earpiece in my ears. The music was so loud I didn’t hear anyone knocking.”

“You got everyone worried,” I said. He responded, “I’m sorry about that.” The landlord said, “You’re human. There are a lot of things to see around here. How can you lock your door from Friday night until this afternoon without coming out? Is that how you live your life or you’re just bored of this town?” He didn’t answer. By this time, everyone had left except me and the landlord. I looked deep into his eyes. He looked back. We’d both come to the town to do our national service. He came from a different school in a different city. We were both working in different organizations. We lived in the same house but we’ve never spoken to each other, except for the occasional exchange of greetings when we walked past each other.

When we left his door the landlord told me, “He needs a woman to keep him lively. If you’re single, get close to him.” I smiled. I said, “Maybe it’s because no one talks to him”

One evening after work, I went to his door and knocked. I said, “Jerry, today I came to visit you. I can see you’re mostly alone.” He smiled. He asked, “Would you like to come in?” I said, “Why not?” There was only one chair in his room. I sat on it and he slept on his bed. He asked if I would watch a movie on his laptop. I said, ”Yeah, that would be splendid.” He put the movie on and never said a word again. I was also very poor in initiating a conversation so we both sat in the room without saying a word to each other until the movie ended. I said, “Wow it was nice.” He didn’t say anything. I said, “I will be going. He said, “Alright.” When I stepped out I told him, “You can come to me whenever you want to. I want to be your friend.” He only smiled. I walked away.

The next day when I saw him, he only greeted me and walked away. I said, “Or he doesn’t like to be friends with me?” I encouraged myself, “It’s the beginning. It’s always hard at the beginning.” 

I visited him often. Almost every evening I went to his place and the routine was always the same. He will smile to welcome me. Put a movie on and stay quiet until I tell him that I was leaving. One evening I knocked on his door. He smiled when he saw me. I smiled too. He was expecting me to enter his room. I said, “Today no movies. Let’s take a walk around town.” He didn’t say anything. He went back to his room, picked a shirt, and came back. I asked, “Should we go?” He nodded.” When we got to the main road, I asked him, “Has your life always been this silent? Always alone? Don’t you have friends?” He was quiet. I asked, “Or you don’t like people?” He said, “I’ve always been alone. I’m the only child. I was always alone when I was a boy. I met people only when I went to school. My parents didn’t allow me to make friends. They were always chasing after me. So I thought maybe people and friends were not good for me. It had stayed with me till today. I love being alone.”

That was the first time he had said more than a sentence in a conversation. I was glad. I thought I could keep engaging him but after that explanation, he went quiet again. He responded yes and no to my questions. I kept quiet too. We walked for over thirty minutes without saying a word to each other. When we were about to get home, he held my hand. He’s very tall so I raised up my head to look at his face. He squeezed my hand. He said, “Thank you.” I asked, “For…?” He didn’t say another word. He left me at the entrance and went into his room. For the next several months I tried all I could to get him to visit my room. I thought somewhere out of his comfort zone will do the magic. He never came to my end until one evening he knocked on my door. 

I said, ”Come in.” He said, “This is going to be very quick. Service ended today. I will leave this dawn.” I said, “You couldn’t wait for another day before leaving? He smiled. I said, “What if I asked you to wait for a day more?” He smiled. I said talk. Will you?” He asked, “Is there something you want me to do for you?” I said, “Yes. I want you to do something for me tomorrow so please wait.” He didn’t ask any questions. He didn’t ask what it is that I want him to do. He nodded and left. The following day I cooked for us. I asked him to show me his favorite movie and he put a movie on. The title never came so I asked him, “What’s the title? He said, “Do I even know?” I said, “Your favorite movie and you don’t know the title?” He didn’t say a word. 

There was a huge rabbit in the movie. I told him, “Someday I will like to keep a rabbit too. I love how calm they are and how fluffy they feel.” He asked me, “Have you ever had one?” I told him, “A neighbor reared some. He kept them for consumption.” Back to silence again. The conversation was patchy. I told him, “Wake me up when you’re leaving. I would like to see you off when you’re leaving. He nodded. 

It was the sun that woke me up the next morning. I looked at the time and it was almost 8am. I stepped out to check if he was still there. The key was in front of the door. I knocked but no response. I opened the door and he was gone. He left with only his bag. Everything else was still there. I called his phone. “Are you gone?” 

“Yes. I didn’t want to wake you up.”

“You’ll come back again?”

“What for?” 

“But your things are in the room.”

“I don’t need them.”

I stayed a year more in the town. He never called until I called. I got tired of always being the one to call so I stopped calling. I never heard from him again. 

Four years later in July 2019, I was at the passport office in Accra trying to renew my passport when I heard someone calling me from behind. I turned and it was him. I screamed, “Herrh! Jerry, where have you been?” He smiled that his silly smile. I said, “You still don’t talk?” He laughed. He said, “I’ve been around.” We talked. He said he works at the passport office. I said I was renewing my passport. He asked me to leave everything to him and I did. I will send him a message asking him how far but he’ll not respond. He’ll call only when I had to do something to aid the progress of the passport procedure. When the passport was ready and I went for it he asked me, “So when can we meet again?” I said call me when you need me. Obviously, you wouldn’t pick my calls if I call you.”

He called a day later. We talked. He called another day. We talked. He messaged. I responded. We met on a date. Whiles departing that night, he held my hand for a few seconds and squeezed it. I looked up at his face. I said, “You did this to me the first time you held my hand. What does it mean?” He smiled. I said in my head, ”This guy is really annoying.” The following morning he sent me a text proposing to me. I responded, ”You? What do you need a girlfriend for?” He texted back, “I don’t need a girlfriend. I need a wife.” I asked, “A wife you can ignore?” He sent me a smiling emoji. I could imagine him smiling that silly smile. He said, “A wife who understands.” I asked, “Who understands what?” He didn’t respond. But I said yes. I also said, “When I’m your girlfriend, you’ll never know peace because you can’t keep quiet on me.”

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We spent a lot of time together, mostly in silence. Gradually I was drawn into his world. I didn’t say much until there was something important to say. He was always there to listen and do exactly what I say. In March 2020 we got married. The night before our wedding I texted him, “I can forgive your silence but tomorrow when the pastor asks you ‘will you take her to be your lovely wife until death do you part’ and you go silent, I will never forgive you.” He sent me laughing emojis. We had a beautiful wedding. We were on our honeymoon when the lockdown was announced. We came home to lockdown. 

I can count the number of words we exchanged during the lockdown. He was always quiet but his love for me was so loud. What he couldn’t put in words, he acted it. He was always by my side doing things with me; in the kitchen. Whiles cleaning. Whiles washing. He kept me in his embrace whiles we slept. We were almost quiet but I never felt alone. I learned to pardon his silence. I learned to take him for who he is. “Every man has a voice but not all of them use it,” I tell myself. We’ve done over one year and his silence has never been a problem. We’ve never fought because there was something he didn’t say. The few times we had fought, it was rather about something he said. 

He came home some months ago with two rabbits in a beautiful cage. I asked what are they for? He said, “For you. You said you wanted rabbits. I saw them on sale so I got them for you.” I asked, “Me? I told you I want a rabbit? When?” He smiled and walked away. 

When he told me he wanted a wife who understands, I asked, “Who understands what?” He didn’t answer but I think I’ve found the answer now. He wanted a wife who understands his silence. I understand his silence because his actions are so loud.

–Ruth

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Source: CelebritiesbuzzGh | How I Married A Man Who Has A voice But Doesn’t Use it