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The first time I saw him, I was seventeen and studying at the local high school. He would frequent the snooker joint, where I used to spend my evenings helping my aunt. She owned that joint.
I guess it wasn't ‘love’ at first sight. We were just acquaintances; I was a helper, he just a customer. Soon we got to talking and I found out that he was working at the local Customs office. He was always nice to me, complimenting and lightly teasing me. He was all smiles when he was around me. I liked his company, a respite from the daily monotony of school life and a cold home. Here was a guy who made me laugh, and who seemed to genuinely care for me.
Then he got me into bed. By then I had already failed my class ten board exams, and was working full time at my aunt’s bar as I had no one willing to finance my further education (parents’ dead, sister naive). We started our physical relationship but outside we were ‘just friends’. I enjoyed his company, and used to wait for him every evening (after his office closed).
Then I missed my period. And I knew I was pregnant. But still the desire to marry him didn't surface, as much as the fear of being left alone. I was young, naive, in need of a friend, and he was there for me. But I didn't want him to marry me just because I was pregnant. I guess I was a bit arrogant.
I was mad too. I was young. He was educated. He was supposed to know about precaution. If we ever got married, it should be because he wants to, not because it’s necessarily right. So I didn't pester him, even hiding my pregnancy from him for weeks.
Later he found out, but I gave him a choice (he could opt out of his fatherly responsibilities). I guess at that time, he was two-timing with an out-of-town girlfriend. I found out about this, but didn't raise any questions. I was adamant that if the need rose, I would take care of my baby on my own.
Reflecting back on those days, I think he also had a hard choice to make. Maybe he was naive too. Maybe he too was young. But I was sure that I won’t blame him for his choice.
At the end he made the right choice. He chose and married me.
Now we are happily married with two young beautiful children.
Author’s Note: My friend’s story, as told to me…