“Honey we are too skint for that” is what she will always say.
Anytime I wanted to make a purchase, my wife will want us to go for a cheaper version. She will always insist that we do not have enough for the better or we do not even need it at all. I always felt uncomfortable but I will just chill into her idea like a kid who knows exactly what to do the vegetables shoved into his lunch box against his will, except for me I didn’t know what to do. If by mistake I end up buying, they will be a fight and I might end up sleeping on the couch for the night.
I was in my final year, an engineering student and I working on my project at the moment. Things were so tight, my budget was always crumbling. My part time jobs were not just enough.
If you wander why I was not having any support system here it is; I am a product of a brief marriage of my parents. My mum I didn’t know where she was at the moment and my dad could not do more than allowing me to bear his name which I am grateful for. Which is why I barely had any support in school, I did it all on my own
The afternoon was not usual, the clouds where heavy and the breeze a little more of a wind. I sat under an umbrella at the school park which was almost empty except for me and a lady. I could easily tell she was a fresher, judging be the loads of books she was carrying and the way she was sorting through them.
That is where I met my wife.
My professor had just rejected my work for the third time and all I wanted at that moment was seclusion. After five minutes of sitting it started drizzling. I didn’t care if it were going to drench me, my skin was numb from my frustration. I saw this lady struggling to protect her books and her hair at the same time. The scene was funny, it looked like she was been chased by bees as one hand battled to protect her books and her hair at the same time.
I didn’t know when a smile escaped my lips and I felt a sense of guilt run through my mind immediately. To show remorse, I decided to offer her my leather jacket, hoping maybe she could use it for her books. Guess what? She used it to cover her hair instead (from that moment I believed everything about women and their hair).
I ran in a different direction while she ran in hers. My jacket is gone forever.
I saw someone in the cafeteria, serving, in my jacket.
“Do you work here?”
“Oh! You! I have been wearing your jacket as bait since the other day”
So I smiled as I told her “your bait has actually caught”
“Thank you very much” she said.
“Do you work here? I asked again.
“My mum does, and anytime am free I come to help”.
We started seeing each other. I wasn’t sure I need a girlfriend at the moment; the fact I was broke and had no family was enough reason not to. Maybe that is why I needed one maybe that is why I needed Camellia. That’s her name.
The following semester things got so bad for me. I needed more money to finish up my project and graduate. Camellia offered me her tuition fee for the semester. I was scared she was going to put back a semester and we were going to screen it from her mum.
I kept wondering how I will pay back but it became a reason for me to push harder in order not to let her down.
I finally graduated , I got a job that was just ok and she agreed to marry me.
I want to give her everything she deserved but she will always say ‘honey it’s better to save’. I will get provoked sometimes. We saved and I didn’t know when she wanted to spend.
Sometimes I will understand her. Coming from backgrounds where we have both suffered financially, she is always scared of the worse to come.
If I buy any expensive gift for “why are you wasting money” is what I will get for a thank you. What never stops me is she used it any ways.
Here we are today, I have a better job. A job that will pay all our bills and allow us all the luxury holidays I have always fantasized.
When we had our first baby, I decided to do a house upgrade to please her. I got us a bigger flat, a higher capacity washing machine, dishwasher and vacuum cleaner. I came home; I wanted her to be happy but guess what?
“Honey, are you sure we are up for this upgrade?” It’s still what I heard.
I knew I needed to do something to save her from this mentality. We could afford three folds of what we had yet she was scared.
The following month I got us the latest TV system and three tickets for the Christmas holiday to Europe. I was ready for all her drama. When I got home from the office that day, I called her.
“Sweetheart, you can’t believe this”. And I went ahead to tell her our staff have started a new tradition where they bring items for sale at a very cheap rate. And the company has decided to give their senior staff a holiday package where they will cover all other expenses if you can buy two tickets through them. and are quite cheaper.
I could not believe the joy she expressed. And am in my thoughts; so she wants this but she just wants to be safe.
I came out of the bath room and there she is: on the bed, crossed-legged, unaware she is been watched as she spoke to her mum on the phone. “Mum you can’t believe how cheap my husband gets all this things”
It’s annoying but funny at the same time. The smile I see on her face is why I will keep telling this lie.