The 9th Year…The Story of Rex and Ruth

Life is about discovery. Love is an adventure. Without friendship, there’s no love. Without like-minded hearts, there’s no love. When love is felt, it is likely shared.

On August 31, 2015, I wrote a piece titled “The Dream of my Heart” and emailed it to The Huffington Post. Click on the link to read: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nkem-denchukwu/the-dream-of-my-heart_b_8057064.html.

This here blog completes THE DREAM OF MY HEART… the wish for immeasurable happiness I was hoping this couple I call Rex and Ruth would find. They are your perfect example of what married couples ought to be. These two carried their love around. Actually, they wore their love for each other like a yarmulke. You couldn’t find anyone else in this city of a million people heavily married like these two were, and still are. It didn’t end there; their belief in God served them well too. You see, for almost nine years they stayed barren… barren in the sense that they were unable to conceive a child. Well, it is not entirely true that they couldn’t conceive a child. Halfway into their union, they actually did.

I am not sure how anyone can live his or her life without love. It’s not just about romantic kind of love… It includes all other aspects of love and her benevolent parts… especially those free-flowing nuggets on the train that carries with them, absolutely no conditions. In this utopia, your neighbors are included. After all, Love is the greatest gift of all.

With romance for example, the best part of it is when your love for the significant other is reciprocated with the same flow of harmony and kindness. But, when you are rooted firmly where love has no meaning, misery becomes the resident evil staring you in the face with each morning that you wake up to. And if it is clear that you cannot survive, nor revive that unholy situation by any tactic you may employ, you are then bound by choice to stay or run… live or die inside the shackles of despair. What do you do? You should pick up your heart-broken self, change lanes, and then, run. Run for the mountains; run to the ends of the earth. There must be solace waiting in the back roads, behind the rocks on Jurica Road and Sunrise Creek. Look into crannies; it is in these alcoves that you may find comfort. You’d most likely find coziness too, especially the brand that will rewrite the recurring aspects of hopelessness and anguish following you around. It is in these layered underbellies of life that you’ll find the cure-all to restore you, and make you new again.

For any relationship to withstand the test of time, it takes certain fortitude, beyond just believing in God, to weather the haymakers, the roundhouses, and the outbursts coming from his/her vicious diatribes. For you to remain frozen in place, in that wicked union and do nothing, you’d need more than luck, as in boatloads of common sense to keep the dirty floater above water. Then of course, you must be in possession of that desirable wit… that good-humored geniality, to be able to write them off as drifting motes of happenstance.

The year was 1995, and I was living in the Bay Area in California. Then, one spring morning, I met him; the first boy I ever loved. Life had begun to look more beautiful. Everything was pasted in this picturesque canvas of panoramic flutter. Well, he was everything to me. So, the unfolding vista was larger than life itself… At least, that was what my mind was translating for me… the vividness, the acuteness of that once barren landscapes into shades of surreal beauty.

And then, June 1996 came. Unnaturally chilly! I should have known that the gods would not find the heart within the beast. Death snuck in, hiding in the wind’s frame. And, it was callous in its bearing, inconsiderate in its timing. I will see you in a few hours. I love you. Those were his last words to me the night before. He was only 28. I lost my faith in love.

Wait a minute… How could I not love again? Well, I took another shot at it, because Rex and Ruth are living it. Their love story restored my faith in it… even as it was froth with one disaster after another.

Months after the couple was married, Ruth became pregnant. They couldn’t be happier. With each passing day, she glowed. Both lived in anticipation… for the coming birth of their child. Their love for each other grew as much as their faith in God did.

One evening, there was a loud knock on the door. It was not the knock; it was the time of day the knock came. In the wee hours of the morning, sleep was at its sweetest roll. Rex and Ruth woke almost at the same time, staring at each other with sleepy eyes.

BANG! BANG! BANG!

They knew those that had come calling: robbers! Rex told his wife to go and hide. She did. Three men broke the glass window to gain access. One robber was guarding the front door while the other two walked into the house. They found Rex in the family room, on his knees, praying. These men were armed, and they were barking louder than a trio of hounds in a cage. One caught Rex’s attention, hitting him on the head with the gun. Rex flattened out. Anyone else in the house? No! Just me, Rex moaned, pleading with them.

While Rex was still face down, the robbers were busy grabbing everything they could lay their hands on: His laptop… and believe this, a loaf of bread on the kitchen table. You get butta? (Do you have butter?) One asked. Crazy huh? As they stuffed their faces, they demanded the equivalent of $200,000.00 in naira from Rex. When he couldn’t pony up the cash, they threatened to kill him. Ruth had no choice; she came from the bedroom, pleading with them, carrying a satchel of the jewelries she bought from her last trip to Dubai… including her personal trinkets; her wedding gift from her mother. Their moods changed: Yes, they took Ruth’s offer. However, they demanded receipts for the computer, jewelries, and the smartphones, to make reselling these items easier for them. Ever heard of such? Well, it happened!

The trauma caused Ruth to miscarry on the spot, minutes after the robbers left. Rex rushed his wife to a nearby clinic. She was 9 weeks pregnant. That night, their quest and thirst for a child died a sudden death.

Just as they were beginning to get back to normal, the robbers returned… only the guard dogs Rex had bought a few days earlier stopped them.

Every year, it seemed, Ruth had miscarriages. She and Rex became distant, and consequently isolated themselves from the rest of the world. But, they stayed glued to each other for comfort and sustenance. Five years into the first miscarriage, they sought after foreign medical opinions to change their luck. They spent their entire savings and lost the businesses they had set up, from neglect. Traveling around the world seeking medical help and miracles did not work. Every effort they made to have a baby was a futile one. They stayed the course and never faltered.

On the 9th year of their union, on February 20, 2016 to be precise, the miracle they had been hoping for, the same one that I had been dreaming of, happened. Ruth gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl.

It’s only natural to love more than once, fall in love more than once. But, there’s only that one special person made for each of us, our one true love! Rex and Ruth clearly found that in each other. I hope my one true love finds me someday. I hope yours finds you too. I am ready to go on this journey till the end of time.



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