Kristen came into my life during one of my lowest moments. That’s my daughter’s name; the one I just found one isn’t really mine. Her mother and I had been in a relationship for two years when things started going wrong. She lost her job and became a stay at home girlfriend. Whenever she went for job interviews, the results were always negative. Eventually, she decided to stop looking and was permanently chatting on her phone.
I put up with her because I loved her but things were also getting tough on my end. My younger brother had just finished his secondary school and wanted to come live in the city. It didn’t seem like much of a problem until he got here. He barely helped around the house and was constantly getting into fights with my girlfriend.
Within a short span of time, I received news that my father had passed away after a short illness. Everything seems bleak. My home was a permanent war-zone and I didn’t know how to deal with it. That was until I received news from my girlfriend that she was pregnant and was keeping the child.
It came via text as she had briefly moved to a friend’s house as I sorted out my brother’s situation. It became apparent that I had put my brother out.
“She’s pregnant. There’s nothing I can do now.” I tried to explain to him.
“I don’t buy it. She’s just using it as an excuse to come back to the house.”
“I have to take her word for it and you have to move out.”
“Fine, bro. Just know that she’s playing you. That woman isn’t good.” He said.
Those words never left my mind. Even after all these years, I still remember my brother’s warning. However, love and excitement clouded my judgment to think twice about it. Her belly began to show and I couldn’t wait to rub it in the naysayers’ faces. She posted her pregnancy journey all over social media and I was the supportive father of the child.
However, the pregnancy was not short of drama. My girlfriend would always pick fights over trivial matters. She demanded a lifestyle I couldn’t afford at the moment and even ask me to hire a house help to help her with house chores while she and her sister lounged all day. I recruited a lady who would come to clean the house and wash the clothes weekly. As for food, they didn’t have any problems preparing their own.
The arrival of my child motivated me to put in extra effort at work and I applied for a higher, better-paying position which I got.
I noticed suspicious behaviour after my child turned 2 years old. Her mother barely slept at home during the weekends and she always had the same reason.
“My sister needs some help.” She said.
To avoid unnecessary confrontation, I’d let her go and the nanny would take care of the child. I understood my girlfriend, to some extent. It would take a lot of patience and understanding to get along with her. She was a firecracker that very few knew how to handle.
I also knew that she had been in contact with her ex after I answered a phone call from him one time. However, she swore she didn’t have anything to do with him. Like the non-confrontational person I am, I believed her.
After months of numerous speculation and people coming to me “as a man”, the cat and mouse game with my child’s mother came to an end. The story escalated to the point that my child got roped into it. People said how she barely looked like me or her mother. Others even say they have evidence of my girlfriend with the said ex a month before she claimed she was pregnant.
I was ready to face the truth even if it meant finding out what people had been speculating. I knew that she wouldn’t tell me anything that I really needed to know. So, with some help from my brother and a few friends, I managed to make her sister disclose what she knew about the whole situation.
At the time, my child’s mother was no longer living with me. I hadn’t seen or heard from her from almost 2 months. She had also not contacted her sister and nobody knew where she was. Her sister was struggling with the little pocket money she had left.
In exchange of her information, I promised to send her pocket money until her sister returned which, spoiler alert, she didn’t until today. She quickly jumped on the offer and told me everything.
“I was with her the day she called you to tell you she was pregnant.” She started. “I also didn’t know about this other guy until that day. She first called him and they got into an argument. I tried to ask what was going on but she didn’t tell me. She then called you and let you know she was pregnant.”
I also breathed a sigh of relief. I had somehow convinced myself that it could mean the opposite – that I was the father and she was letting the other man know.
“That could mean anything,” I said confidently.
“Yes. But when she was 7 months pregnant, she went to the doctor with that man and she told me he was the father.”
Those words hit harder than any punch I had ever received. It nearly crushed my spirit knowing that the child I raised and nurtured wasn’t my own. My biggest worry was that her parents would try and take her away. So, I got a lawyer who advised me to stay put until her parents came for her since she was likely to end up in foster care if I went to court.
One month later, the two haven’t shown up yet but my daughter and I are doing just fine.
The singlehood series is a collection of real-life stories and opinions from different people. It looks at the current world of dating in Kenya and experiences that people have gone through. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Potentash.com.