Before I got into a really bad accident and got a permanent disability, my love life was fairly active. Getting a date came naturally to me, it was almost like going grocery shopping. Every weekend I’d be with a different girl and it was the most amazing time of my life.
The accident left me paralyzed from the waist down and despite going for physiotherapy, I came to terms with my permanent disabilities. My movement and manhood were now robbed of me. This sent me into a deep depression for years. I was still the vibrant, charming man but I lost confidence in myself. How could I even pretend like things were the same? I couldn’t go out for late nights with my friends. Even when I went out, people looked at me with sympathy unlike before. I stopped going out altogether.
Long days turned to long years. The thought of having a woman seemed strange now. The last date I went to with disabilities ended with her giving me a number to a therapist. I may have changed a little but I always tried to be a pleasant date. It got harder to meet women in person as all they saw were my disabilities. Then, my close friend, Mike, suggested I join a dating app.
“It will be easier to meet a girl there.” He said
“You know when we meet in person she’ll notice I’m in a wheelchair.”
“Then tell her before you meet.”
I took his advice and indeed, it was easier meeting women there. I got numerous matches since all I had were my old pictures where I could do abled people activities. Then, they all unmatched when I told them about my disabilities. This went on for weeks until I retired the app. It was bad enough to be rejected by one or two girls. When it turned to double digits in less than a month, it took a serious chunk of my self-esteem.
One day, I got a call for one of the girls I matched with some time back.
“I’d like to meet you.” She said in the sweetest voice I’d heard in a while.
“Great. Have you been to Radisson Blu?” I asked which she said no.
As much as I was disabled, I still kept my job. At least, I had that going on for me. It was a good paying job working for a bank and they had a disabled-friendly building. Therefore, there was no reason why I’d quit. However, I had to get rid of my car. If I needed to move around, I either hitched a ride with a friend or called an Uber.
This time, my friend offered to take me to my date. He was just as excited about it as I was and he wouldn’t stop talking about it.
“She’s a banker? Bro, this is fate.” He said as we drove.
“Calm down. She might not know what she’s signing up for.”
“Have a little optimism. And have fun. Don’t bombard her with all the things she’s signing up for. I think she knows what people with disabilities can and can’t do. Just be you.”
This little pep talk got me ready to conquer the world in a wheelchair. I was glad Mike drove me to the date. Otherwise, it would be awkward silence between me and the Uber driver who’d ask for an extra tip to help me get in the car.
The night was going really well. I got to the hotel, picked a table and waited for my date. She got there on time looking stunning in a white blouse and fitted black skirt. Her figure drew the entire room’s attention. I really wished I could get up and hug her. I simply smiled as she walked towards me and sat from me.
“You look beautiful.” I complimented her still admiring her beauty.
“Thank you. You look good as well.”
That sweet voice sounded even better in person. I couldn’t believe at my grown age, I still got butterflies. I followed Mike’s advice and kept the conversation light-hearted. She also didn’t ask anything about my disabilities. In fact, I got to feel somehow normal for one night. It didn’t seem to bother her that much.
“So, were you born with disabilities?” she finally asked.
I was glad that the question came from her instead.
“No, I got into an accident three years ago. It left me paralyzed from the waist down.” I said then watched her reaction.
She gave me a confused stare and I could tell she wanted to ask the obvious question so I went ahead and got it out of the way.
“Yes. I can’t have sex anymore.”
She nearly choked on her food. Then, I realized she probably wasn’t wondering about that. After a pin drop silence, she burst out laughing.
“I’m sorry. I can’t,” she said gathering her things. “I might be desperate but not this desperate. You’re a really nice guy and you looked like you were a lady killer back on the day but this can’t work for me.”
I sat there in disbelief hoping she was joking. But she stood up and left without as much as a goodbye. The whole room that stared at her walking in now looked at me with sympathy. Even our waiter offered me a complimentary drink for my troubles which I declined.
I finished my dinner in silence then called Mike to pick me up. I didn’t tell him what had happened until he got there.
“You win some, you lose some.” He said.
I hadn’t won anything for years. All I get is rejection due to my disabilities. Not even my charm or money can make any of the girls look past it. I am hoping that this will not be my fate for the rest of my life.
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.