A Disreputable Love

“I never intended to hurt my husband. I loved this man in my own way, but I loved him nonetheless. Of all the women I met, none were ever able to love me the way he did. For that I was very grateful to him, but I couldn’t help it that my love for women was stronger than anything.

My husband was becoming increasingly affectionate. One evening, I came home and was amazed to find that my husband had cooked, set the table, and only his little family was missing for it to form the perfect dinner picture. Adele, I have wished to love my husband. He deserved it more than anyone. I have hated Kenar. I have hated God. I have hated the devil. I would look at my husband, and behind his smile I would see fear. Fear that one day I would
leave him for a woman. He would stroke my wedding ring, take my hand, kiss me and remind me how much he loved me. Some days, I would tell myself that I could at least have done Edoukou that favor: remain married to him. But I chose to follow my heart, to follow my desire to wake up by my wife’s side, to have a real family life. That’s what I have preferred to the happiness my husband never ceased to give me. Adele, battling with all this was not easy.”

Auntie Dohoun was gardening when I arrived. I helped her plant and get rid of a few weeds. We then went to the kitchen, where she brought out some yoghurt for Merveille, who she then settled in the living room.

  • Keisha, thank you for marrying Edoukou and for making him a happy man. I honestly did not believe you could do it. You are a strong person and no matter what one might say, no one in the family has as much courage and guts as you do.
  • Why are you telling me all these things, Auntie?
  • Please, don’t interrupt me. You made different choices when you thought you were displaying your attraction for people of the same sex too openly. I will tell you something that no one, beside my spiritual father, knows.

She remained silent for a minute. Tears rolled down her cheeks, then she continued:

  • She was beautiful. I met her during a mission in Italy. We called her Maria because of her astonishing beauty, but her real name was Anne. Between this girl and I was born a friendship that nobody could explain. We grew closer and became inseparable. One evening, she offered her lips and I did not turn them down. That day marked the beginning of something unique. We had fallen deeply in love with each other to the point where it was practically impossible to keep us apart. I stayed in Italy for three years, and during all that time she and I maintained our passionate romance. Everything ended when I returned home. She also went back to her country. I came
    back sad and deeply pained by our separation. I wanted to stop everything, leave religious life, and go find Anne, so we could live our love. But I knew what the consequences would be if I were to disclose our affair. Me, usually so happy, I had become withdrawn. I had become another person. I knew I could not reveal what Anne and I had. I started sinking into a depression. I knew I needed to talk. Your grandfather would never have allowed me to leave religious life, so I turned to a priest I knew to be very discreet. He helped me a lot, and little by little I came out of that depression. I severed all ties with Anne. I never stopped loving her, but out of principle I stopped talking to her.