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Will the age factor end the love between Penda and Malick? Maze (15), by N47

12 April 2021, N47

One day when I was chatting with my mother when Penda called me. Being lost in my thoughts then, because I was still analyzing Mom's words, Penda screamed on the phone telling me to speak with her or hang up. I replied “please remind me I'm busy.” She abruptly hung up the phone.

I didn't care about it. It must be said that at that time, all my thinking and concentration was directed towards her and our famous marriage. In fact, she got angry with it. I waited for her phone call for hours but she didn't call. I called her then and she told me that she was mad at me; I didn't understand any of this and we got into a fight. We then remained three days without speaking to each other. I then decided to take the first step and called her on a Sunday evening.

Me: Good evening, how are you?
Penda (cold): fine thank you.
Me: Good, then. Tell me, don't you think I've had enough? That we have made our heads enough? And can you tell me how that made you feel, better? In any case on my side, I see nothing glorifying in it. So, let's pull ourselves together!
Penda (making her disdain): Why are you saying that? Is there a problem?
Me: Isn't there a problem? And you snub me for days. I really don't have the strength or the head to argue with you. You're pissed off I think stopping the discussion here until tomorrow while we calm down is wiser. I wish you good night then and see you tomorrow Incha Allah.
Penda: Ok good night to you too.

I knew her better than anyone and knew she was charging me something. If I had listened to my masculine nature, I would have cleared everything out of hand but there is a point of no return in the relationship, when you reach it, it is wiser to forgive, to act as if nothing had happened, to seek dialogue rather than confrontation. One day, Old LAYE from France, in a discussion, told me “don't always be quick to criticize or reproach your wife.” You have to forgive and make a clean sweep of certain things. Sometimes she can make a really big mistake and think you're going to kill her, well pretend it's nothing serious, trivialize it and be loving to her that day. This act, if she is worthy, she will never do it again.”

The next day I called her again but the discussion was cold despite my efforts to restore the conviviality that characterized our exchanges. But she didn't count on her refusal, and for almost two weeks she didn't change her new behavior. In my head I always told myself that things were going to get better that we just shouldn't give up. One evening during one of our discussions she said:

Penda: The problem is that I still cannot digest this age factor between us, because in our culture it is a very important thing and I don't want to be the exception, my family is very conservative.
Me: You know me, with this subject I'm done, I told you what I thought about it and I prefer that we do not talk about it anymore and move forward if you agree.
Penda: Nevertheless, it weighs too much on me.
Me: Han, han? And what do you suggest then?
Penda: I'd rather leave it there with you and me because it won't work.

Whoa what a shock? I didn't realize what was going on at the time, I who usually had two steps ahead of the game didn't see any of it coming. Of all the possible answers and against all expectations I chose this one, the one that characterized the weak: surrender.

Me: Yes, as you want. But have you measured the magnitude of such a decision and all that it implies?
Penda: I've been thinking about this for weeks and I think it's best for both of us. You know you are and will be the only person I have ever loved. Between what one wants and what reality imposes, the skew is enormous. Understand me and forgive me because it's over.
Me: Don't worry, I won't remember but you should be careful with the use of the word “never,” many times you have used it and in many different circumstances. You know things become possible when we make them go the right way. You are a good person and I wish you from the bottom of my heart to find happiness and a man who will appreciate your worth.

“NEVER!” Here is a very treacherous word, made treacherous by the man himself. People use it anywhere without realizing that it is an oath, a promise and that its use should not be associated with trivialities or lies.

After I hung up, I lay on my back with my eyes fixed on the ceiling and envisioned my new life without her. What I saw was terrifying to me, even in my dark moments I never thought that one day one of us would want to end the relationship. Not out of excess confidence but through this experience so loaded with feelings. My naivety made me think that we had freed ourselves from these trivialities and reached the supreme stage of knowing love and its worth. Alas all this was only an illusion such as this morning breeze which gives the impression that the long summer days are now behind us and which disappears as soon as the beautiful sun appears.

I remained like this then, thoughtful until the first rays of the sun which left me from the soft and peaceful envelope of the night and from my deep torpor. I couldn't sleep all night, not once. Like an automaton, I got up, took my shower, said my prayers and went to work. I had no taste for anything, and everything I did that day was not conscious until the descent or at least until I realized that I had no right to let her make a mistake too monumental, that I had to do my best to make her listen to reason. I took my phone to call her.

Me: Hello, is Miss Beauty okay?
Penda: I've seen better days but, I am fine.
Me: Anyway, I wanted to tell you, I don't know if you are aware of it, but so many people are watching us. Some just wait for our downfall, others idealize us. Regarding all these elements, so many years of work and sacrifices and this boundless love that binds us together, I have no right to let you do it, to let you kill us in the soul. Let's do as we've always done, manage everything hand in hand. Without you my dear I have no reason to fight, you give me the strength to move forward. The road has been long, the journey perilous, but we are still here. What other proof do you want? Have you lived, you savored the rhythm of love and now you want to throw it all out the window for banalities? I knew you wiser than that, I knew you smarter than that. Pull yourself together let's make our dream come true, let's get married.

She was silent, I heard on the end of the line that she was crying and I thought to myself I hope she understood and with anxiety and hope I awaited her sentence.
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