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Long Distance Relationships - Part II

The true story of dating a girl from Kenya - The Plateau.

Long Distance Relationships - Part II - The true story of dating a girl from Kenya - The Plateau.

Previously

Please check part I of this story first.

The Party at Sharon's Place

After the Slay Queen incident, our relationship had progressed somewhat nicely through Christmas and New Years and into January. We were still texting each other like madman (and -woman) and were still madly in love with each other. I remember our sexting session around the New Years was absolutely crazy. I don't think I've ever had it so intense with anyone else before.

And we continued on into January.

I have to say that throughout our relationship, especially after my first trip, Mary was constantly asking me to come back for the second trip. She kept saying that she is really missing me. And I was replying that I miss her a lot too. She started asking me that even in November, and I told her that I will plan that second trip as soon as I get some time off. Mary kept insisting, and was bringing it up almost every month.

I could also see how home-bound Mary has become after spending too much time in her mother's apartment. I never met her mother, but what I was able to gather is that she was a very hardcore Christian lady, that didn't like anyone to bend her rules and that she insisted on her daughter following them strictly to the T.

So Mary once in a while would fall into a sort of melancholy over the whole mom's apartment stay, and would ask if she can go and hang out with her girlfriends. I would always agree as there was no harm to let have fun with girlfriends.

I remember earlier in January she went to stay at one of her girlfriend's apartments that lived not far from her. She then video-called me from there and we had a really good time, being able to see each other through our smartphones.

I also need to say that I never video-called Mary when her mom was home. It was somewhat strange to me, because her mother knew about me. She learned it by accident from one of the people who we met during my trip. It happened to be that I was using the phone that Mary later gave to her mother, and the person called her and started asking for Mary. Her mother asked who he was and he revealed about my trip.

So Mary's mom learned about me in this unplanned way. But even though she knew about me, Mary only rarely video-called me from that place. And I still don't know why.

The only video calling that she ever would do with me is if she was at some friend's place that had a good WiFi.

Probably having enjoyed such a stay, I remember that in the middle of January Mary told me that she will go to a party that she was invited by her friend. For a lack of better name, let's call her Sharon because she will be a pivotal part of this story later.

Sharon actually came up in my story earlier. Incidentally, she was the one who pushed Mary to start a Tinder account.

Being somewhat concerned, I asked Mary who will be at that party. And she calmly assured me that there will be only her girlfriends, that they will buy some wine and stay at Sharon's apartment, listen to music, dance, etc.

That didn't sound like anything bad to me, so I agreed and wished her to have fun.

Who's Liam?

Party Room

While at the Sharon's party, Mary continued to text me. It sounded like they had a blast, with a lot of wine, music and other fun. Then in the morning we video-called. Mary complained about the hangover but overall we had a very good talk with her. And again she was professing her love to me, and we even had a little bit of a sex-chat with her.

The following evening I was expecting Mary to come back home but she didn't. I texted her and it turned out that she stayed a bit longer at the Sharon's party and there was more drinking involved. She told me that she will stay there for one more night and then head home.

While she was still there, she revealed to me that besides three girls, there was also Sharon's roommate, let's call him Liam, and that he was even trying to hit on her. I'm not sure if wine was the factor in Mary's revelation, or maybe she just wanted to be honest with me. But that obviously didn't go well with me.

I got quite upset and told her that I didn't expect her to be hanging out at a party with some guy that was attracted to her.

Mary quickly apologized, said that she didn't know that he'd be there and assured me that she was not interested in him.

I believed her.

After-party

When Mary came back from Sharon's party she acted like a mess. She told me that she felt tired and she thought that she had a cold. If you remember this was happening right during the COVID-19 pandemic, so I got very concerned and asked her to get a COVID test.

I'm not sure if she got the test done or not, but somehow she didn't feel the same. Let me explain. Before this time, Mary would wake up very early to chat with me. She may get up at 6 AM or even earlier. Every day! That always amazed me that she was so dedicated to our silly talks. But now something has changed ... I chalked it off as a cold.

Then the following weekend Mary texted me again, that she wants to go see Sharon's friends one more time. It kinda piqued my interest. So I asked:

Is she throwing another party?
- me

I was kinda concerned at this point, because throwing a drinking party like she had before wasn't painting Sharon in a good light.

Mary replied that no, they won't be drinking. It's that Sharon's friends were going out and they invited her.

As you can imagine, the story of Liam being there last time didn't go well with me, so I really insisted on Mary telling me about who's going and what are they going to be doing there?

She replied that yes, Liam will be there.

This really pissed me off. I started thinking, "Doesn't she realize that going to some hangout with a guy that was hitting on her prior to that will not go well with her current boyfriend?" I expressed it that way to Mary. And I insisted on her telling me more about Liam.

But Mary again assured me that she is not interested in Liam, as he is very young, just 21 years old, a student, visiting Nairobi from Western Europe as an intern.

I don't know why, but I asked her to show me his picture. (Obviously thinking that she didn't have any, since she just met him once during that party.)

Instead, to my surprise, Mary posted a picture of the guy to the WhatsApp feed and before I was even able to actually look him up, she delete it. I asked why she did it and she brushed it off as me being silly. She repeated that she is not interested in him and that she posted it only because I insisted.

We had a few more exchanged with her, and Mary assured me that going to that second meeting with Sharon's friends was a bad idea and she will tell them that she won't go. I believed her and we changed the subject.

Helping Mary's Family

SendWave App

During the first phase of our relationship, Mary had never asked me for money. The only time she did ask was right before my first trip. She needed to make her hair and to do other beauty-related stuff in preparation for my visit.

But after our fateful apartment talk, or its conclusion (that Mary will stay with her mother), I started to get indications that if we were to go on with our relationship Mary was expecting me to help her financially with occasional beautify routines. I didn't know what to think about it at the time, so I tacitly agreed.

There were also times when Mary would approach me with a question of helping her family. She confided to me that they had her niece and nephew living with them, which were teenagers, and that it was putting some strain on her mother and on their family.

So at times she would just say:

We need to buy some food for the family.
- Mary
or:
We're low on -fill-in-the-blanks-.
- Mary

This wasn't happening too often, and to be honest I would rather send money to help people in need to buy food, rather than pay for expensive hair style and nails. Mary hated it though and constantly reminded me that if I were to live with her I had to expect her to be keeping herself in a top physical shape appearance-wise. So I didn't argue with her.

But soon enough, transferring money via Western Union had become a drag. Like I described earlier, that service was very antiquated and difficult to use. It required me to physically go to my bank to get cash, then to go to their location to do the transfer, which included dictating to a store cashier all the details of the recipient. Which wasn't easy with Mary's full Kenyan name. Additionally, after that Mary had to go to the Western Union location in Nairobi to receive the cash. This took some time and effort on both sides.

But then, I decided to make a research and found a new service (called SendWave) that allowed to make money transfers to Kenya directly from my US bank account. Moreover I could do it right from my smartphone, without the need to go anywhere. In that case Mary would also receive money directly to her M-Pesa account literally in seconds. It was such a step-up from the Western Union, that at first I really liked it.

The downside of this speedy money transfer came pretty quickly. Because it was easy for both of us, Mary knew that I can transfer her funds in seconds.

The Beginning of a Downfall

At around the time of that party at Sharon's, it felt like Mary had changed. Most obviously she stopped waking up at a crack of dawn to text me and started to get up later and later with each day. It would be 7 AM, then 8 AM and eventually 9 AM, or even later.

I got obviously concerned, and asked her why. She was first saying that she felt tired, and I kinda understood. But then when it continued way longer than the normal cold or flu would last, I insisted to know what changed, and why she wasn't getting up as early as she was doing before.

She replied in the tune of:

I don't feel like doing it anymore.
- Mary

I kinda understood it too, as I wouldn't want to get up at 6 AM every day myself. So I let it go, as I was still deeply in love with her.

I liked that Mary wasn't getting up very early too, since by this time we exchanged and talked about pretty much anything two people can talk about, and most of our time texting was either rehashing some old stuff, watching Netflix together, or worse, it would be now causing arguments.

The Silly Arguments

They seem to start out of nowhere. We would be talking about something and then all of a sudden I may ask Mary something and her tune would flip. She'd snap at me:

Didn't I tell you that before?
- Mary

And then angrily follow up with:

I hate when you make me repeat things!
- Mary

I tried to tell her that we've been talking for several months straight and certain things could slip out of my memory. And that I'm sorry if I'm doing it.

And then she would just brush it off ... until the same argument repeats the next time. And the next time she will cite the previous argument as me not remembering what I did wrong the last time.

But I was honestly lost! I didn't know. For me it was like if one of her gripes pointed to another one that she had before, which was the exact same gripe about a previous one, and so on. I was totally lost in what I was doing wrong.

To give you an example of the arguments that we were having. One day she pointed out about the online business that her friend Sharon had. I liked it and asked her to give me her webpage so that I could check it.

This set Mary off. She accused me of asking too many things about her friend. I was kinda shocked, because I had no intentions about her friend other than just looking up her online business. I explained that this is what I do for a living, and I was interested to compare what she had built. But that didn't sit well with Mary and it caused a later argument with her shutting me up with her usual:

I hate when you make me repeat things!
- Mary

At first these arguments would happen rarely. Then, they started happening every other week. Then, more often than not ...

Planning Trip Two

In despite of our visibly increasing frequency of arguments (over nothing) Mary was still asking me about my second trip. I was able to get some time off at the end of February 2021 and this time, I got two weeks off. So we started planning it.

I was especially excited to tell Mary when I actually got this time off, as I remembered how excited she became when I told her about my first trip. This time though I did not elicit the same reaction. It was just a normal day.

So this time, Mary and I decided to make this trip even bigger. Last time we stayed most of the time in a hotel in Nairobi, so now Mary suggested flying to a coastal area of Kenya, near the Mombasa city.

For those that don't know, Mombasa is a beach party town in Kenya, full of resorts and vacation places.

Mary suggested a few resorts in the area and we dedicated several days to looking them over. To be honest, for a person that has never been to a coastal town in Kenya, all those resorts looked very appealing . The difference to me was only in the price that they charged.

Then we also needed a place to stay after my flight to Nairobi, before we headed out to Mombasa, and also after we return, before my flight back. We settled on getting two AirBnbs for a few days.

Mary also insisted on us flying to Mombasa, as she said that she will refuse to ride a train there. I had to agree.

After having weighed in the costs of several AirBnbs, two local flights to Mombasa, plus our stay at the resort for a week, we agreed with Mary that we will pick places to stay according to our mutual satisfaction. She agreed.

So I picked the first AirBnb and she picked the second one. Both were in two nice neighborhoods, close to the city center, or Westlands.

But as time came to picking the resort, I chose the "Sandies Malindi Dream Garden" and at first Mary seemed to have agreed. (Or at least she didn't voice too much of an opposition.) I don't know why I chose it, as I obviously wasn't there before. I was just going by the pictures on the booking.com website and by people's reviews ... and a relative price. (Which wasn't cheap, by the way, even during the COVID time.)

Luckily for this trip, I didn't have to do any vaccinations so I ordered my tickets right away and got ready for the flight. I knew what to do and it was easy. I then started the count-down of days before I can see Mary. I was very excited again!

More Arguments

Even though the date of my second trip was approaching fast, even a few days before it, we were still having arguments. And very silly ones. Now they will almost always start from Mary accusing me of making her repeat something, or for asking stupid stuff.

I didn't know what to reply as I wasn't doing anything that I hadn't done before. And I would tell her that. I would also apologize and ask her to tell me what did I do wrong, as I wanted to know that myself, so that I wouldn't repeat it again.

But instead of explaining it, it would just make her angrier. And it was like a vicious cycle.

For instance, I will say or ask something. And she will pick on it. I will sense the tension and ask her what's wrong? In turn she will snap at me:

I hate when you make me repeat things! I swear you do this on purpose!
- Mary

But I wasn't. I didn't know what I was doing to cause all this.

The Accusations

Then Mary started accusing me of different things. For instance, she will say, something like:

You are so negative. I can't stand negative people!
- Mary

And I would be totally taken aback by that remark, because I would have been in a totally good mood before she said it. And now, just hearing it made me negative, indeed. I would ask her, why does she say so, and she will again refrain to her usual:

I hate it when you make me repeat things!
- Mary

And then she would either shut me up or change the subject.

This literally repeated almost until the day of my flight to see her for the second time. But even in despite of that, Mary would also close our daily chats with:

I love you babe ❤
Sleep well.
- Mary

And I would reply with a similar love note.

The Second Trip

Lufthansa Airliner

My second flight to Nairobi was somewhat uneventful. It was long as before, but this time I knew what to expect. On top of that I was still in love with Mary, and I couldn't wait to see her again!

My flight was landing late at the JKIA airport, so by the time I came out from the same doorway as I did last time (remember where Mary met me with balloons) this time she was also there. There was no party or love balloons though. And Mary looked tired.

We took a late Uber to our AirBnb, while still holding hands. But things weren't the same. That same night at the AirBnb we just dropped off our suitcases and Mary went to bed. Yes, just crawled up into bed after not having seen me for all this time.

I thought that maybe she had a long day and was indeed tired, so I joined her in bed and we went straight to sleep.

Arguments, Live

AirBnr, Nairobi, Kenya
View from the AirBnb apartment, Nairobi, Kenya

After having seen Mary in person once again I kinda forgot about all the arguments that we had just a week before. I was truly excited to see her.

But soon I realized that things weren't the way they used to be when we tried to be intimate the next morning. Even though Mary was not pushing me away, it felt like she wasn't there. Like she didn't want to do it at all. So I stopped.

Later that day, our previous arguments about nothing that we had over texting had resumed. This time, in person, live.

They were so silly that I don't even remember what they were about. I would say or do something, and she will just blow up. I will try to ask, what did I do? And she will shut me up with her now customary, "Don't make me repeat it! You know what you're doing wrong!"

Thus we started our second day together at the AirBnb with a heated argument. It was very unpleasant and scary. I didn't know what I was doing wrong to even try to change it.

Trip to Hell

Sandies Malindi Dream Garden, Reception Area, Malindi, Kenya
"Sandies Malindi Dream Garden" resort, Reception Area, Malindi, Kenya

In despite of our morning argument, we still had things to do. So we were able to patch things up and go do some prep work for our flight to Malindi, the city not far from Mombasa, where I booked our stay at the "Sandies Malindi Dream Garden" resort.

The next day we got to the airport and flew to Malindi. It was a nice domestic flight which was very short.

But when we got to the actual resort, things started to go south.

Right at the check-in, I could feel that the reception and the service was far from being a five-star. Then when we got to the room, it was clearly not what we expected. Mary didn't say it, but I could see it in her look. There were things missing in the drawers, the floor in the bathroom wasn't really clean, there were little ants in some places on the counters, and when Mary tried to take a shower the water wasn't on.

All that didn't make the situation better, and even though Mary didn't say anything, I could feel that she was frustrated.

Then on top of that, she tried to iron her clothes, but it turned out that there was no ironing board in the room, and we had to order it from the hotel for which they charged us.

I remember she had to call the front desk and had a heated conversation with them. I knew she was on edge. I couldn't recognize my Mary from the first trip! And worse yet, I didn't know what was causing it.

Arguments Continue

Sandies Malindi Dream Garden, Malindi, Kenya
Beach area, "Sandies Malindi Dream Garden" resort, Malindi, Kenya

I don't know how long it took before we had another argument. I don't remember over what either. All I can tell you is that it was about something silly.

I remember Mary started accusing me of being negative again. She would say:

You don't like anything. I know you hate this hotel. But still you don't say it. You have to realize that it's my country. It's not your America!
- Mary

At the time I was literally saying nothing about that hotel or anything disparaging about Kenya. All I could tell is that she is the one that disliked this place. I could tell it by the way she yelled at the room service that worked there, which made me very uncomfortable.

At that point, all I could think was, "Will we make it to the end of my stay?" And I was terrified by that thought because I still loved and cared about Mary. But I didn't know what to do? Things were spiraling out of my control.

The Break-up

We probably had a dinner, or two after we came to Malindi, and by the end of the day Mary and I had two or three of those arguments about nothing. So when we came back to our room, pretty much everything I did was pissing her off. From the way I put my clothes, to the A/C setting.

When we went to bed, we stayed on our sides. There was no love making, let alone hand holding. Things were going really bad.

Then after a few hours of laying in the dark and mulling over this depressing dilemma, Mary spoke up to me:

What are you thinking about?
- Mary

I replied that I don't know what's going on, and that I want to fix things. That I cared about her and loved her.

We started talking a little bit more, and the conversation inevitably lead to our usual impasse:

You know what you are doing wrong. You are making me repeat it on purpose. I hate when you are doing it!
- Mary

Again, I was totally taken aback by her accusations because I indeed had no idea what I was doing wrong. I also knew that we went through this, what seemed like a million times, and I knew where it would end. Still I had no choice but to beg for clarification:

Mary, I honestly don't know what I do wrong. Please, please tell me. Can you do it once and for all? I swear I'll remember.
- me

This had a totally opposite effect. Instead of explaining, she literally blew up and started yelling at me. I don't remember her exact words, but she started saying something like:

That's it. I'm seriously done with you! I can't believe that I even came here with you.
You are such an awful person. How did your ex could even live with you?
- Mary

I probably tried to defend myself. I don't remember. What matters is that she eventually yelled out:

I made such a mistake. I don't want to be with you anymore. I don't want to be your girlfriend anymore!
- Mary

These words literally cut through me like a knife. I had no idea what I did wrong, I wanted to fix things, but I was pissed because she was accusing me of something that I couldn't understand and thus I couldn't fix.

So we ended this fight by rolling to our sides and by trying to fall asleep. All I can remember at the time was that I was thinking to myself that my such an anticipated trip had started to turn into a living hell.

The Food Poisoning

View from the room at Sandies Malindi Dream Garden, Malindi, Kenya
View from the bed in our room at the "Sandies Malindi Dream Garden" resort.

After hearing those spiteful words that Mary threw at me, accusing me of something that seemed like I had no control over, I spent half the night wide awake thinking about what shall I do and how can I fix it in the morning. I still didn't believe that she was breaking up with me. I couldn't let her go so easily over some silly argument, especially when I knew that I had done thing wrong. I didn't even know what set her off?

But then at about 5 AM or so, my stomach started to feel weird. You know that sudden pain, a spasm, that comes in and then recedes. But then comes back with more vengeance? At first I decided to brush it off, as my mind was still preoccupied with the stuff that Mary told me.

But then when the sun came up, I couldn't ignore it anymore, and soon the thoughts of a breakup were replaced with a realization that my stomach was truly hurting, and I was nauseous. I soon realized that I had a food poisoning. And it was getting worse and worse with time.

Suddenly I remembered that, as a Westerner, I probably shouldn't have been drinking the local water, or eaten raw fruits. It's hard to tell where I got it from, but the fact that I got it from somewhere wasn't making my detective guesswork any more relevant. By the time Mary woke up I was seriously in pain. And I knew I was in trouble.

Even in the morning, I could feel that I had a slight fever. And that alone scare me quite a bit.

I have to make a small pause here and explain why having a high fever was so unnerving to me. At the time of my trip, we were in the middle of the global Coronavirus pandemic. And the way Kenyan government was handling it, they installed portable temperature readers pretty much everywhere. Whether you go to a shopping mall, to a restaurant, to a hotel, or even to the resort we were in now, before they let you in, a security guard at the entrance would measure your temperature with a portable infrared thermometer. I guess the thinking was that if you had high fever, then you had COVID. I never thought about it, as I had never had fever in Kenya prior to that moment.

Right now though as I had it, I realized that if I left this resort, the security guard at the gate will measure my temperature and then what? I was afraid that they won't let me back in. And if so, what would I do? I had this food poisoning. It wasn't COVID. But how would I explain this to a security guard? I didn't know. And it was a very scary thought.

When Mary woke up, I was hoping that she would be in a better mood. But she wasn't. She literally continued to yell at me, saying things like:

Oh my God! How did I not see it? Thank God for opening my eyes now.
I can't believe I started dating you!
I'm so breaking up with you!
Thank you, God, for opening my eyes on to this guy!
- Mary

You can probably imagine how that felt, hearing all this stuff from her, having that stomach poisoning and the fever.

I then told her that I don't feel well and that I had a stomach poisoning. At first she didn't want to believe me, but I guess my pale complexion, or inability to get out of bed calmed her down.

At some point I convinced her to go get the breakfast without me and also asked her to buy me some bottled water, some plain bread, and also to get me a thermometer. I was still concerned about my high fever and being able to return to this resort if I left. But I needed to know my exact temperature. And for that I needed a thermometer.

Luckily, Mary agreed to do that and left the room.

Can't Hold Any Food

When Mary left, I threw up. Almost immediately. By obvious reasons I didn't want to do it when I was with her, as I still cared and didn't want her to see me in such condition.

When my stomach was almost empty, I started to feel better. Almost to the point of being normal again.

So when Mary came back with some food, bottled water and a thermometer, I was really happy to see her.

I measured my temperature, and yes, I had a slight fever. It was 37.3 C.

Mary then saw the reading and it calmed her down a little bit. She then insisted that I eat some food, since she got me some medication from the pharmacy that required me to take food first.

As a side note, I can't pass on pointing out that that was one very silly medication. Why would an anti-nausea medication require me to take food if taking food caused me to throw up? Just saying.

So I ate some very basic pastry and had some coffee. I had to pretty much force myself to eat it. And then took the medication that Mary brought me.

When I ate that food though, it almost immediately made me feel worse, so I had to crawl back into bed. This didn't please Mary. And I think we had another argument. This time I remember what it was about.

The thermometer that she bought had this beeping sound that it would start playing after about a minute of you holding it in your armpit. Well, for some reason when I had that fever I couldn't hear the high pitched beeping that thermometer was emitting.

Mary didn't believe me. But how do you prove to someone that you indeed don't hear something? So the more I tried to prove it to her, the more she was blowing up at me. And I could see that she was getting more and more vicious in her accusations. She now started parroting my voice, by repeating what I said in a child-like manner, pretending that I was trying to play on her pity. (Which I obviously wasn't.)

So I gave up arguing and crawled into bed and tried to fall asleep. She retreated to the balcony.

While she was still at the balcony, I got even sicker, and had to get up and throw up again. This time all the coffee, pastry and her medication went straight into the toilet. Undigested. And again, Mary didn't see me puke.

Visit to the Hospital

As the day progressed, I decided to see if I can at least hold some soda. There was a Fanta drink in the fridge, which I drank. It was nice and refreshing. But in about an hour I could clearly feel my mistake. Even that soda drink was enough to make me very sick. My stomach started to hurt even more, my nausea increased and as I was measuring my temperature I could see it climbing to 37.5 C, to 37.8 C, and the last reading I made, it was 38.1 C.

I was clearly in trouble. I could not hold any food, and even the sugar water made me want to throw up.

When Mary saw me in this condition, with an ever increasing fever, she started to freak out even more. This obviously didn't help with my state either.

She started saying:

If you're sick, let's go to the hospital!
- Mary

I would reply that I can't leave this hotel as they won't let me back in because of my high fever. She didn't hear me and would just repeat:

If you're sick, let's go to the hospital!!
- Mary

With ever increasing pitch of her voice.

Eventually it came to such a point that she started with these threats:

If you don't go to the hospital right now, I'm gonna leave you here.
And you will be dealing with your bullshit yourself.
- Mary

By obvious reasons I didn't want her to leave.

I should admit that I made a big mistake by relying on Mary to do most of the Kenyan arrangements with transportation, COVID tests and payments during this trip. So without her I would be really in trouble, especially in this far-away resort town, not even knowing how to get a local Uber (a tuk-tuk) or even how pay for such service. (Again, remember they used their own payment system, called M-Pesa that is conducted through text messages.)

So I realized that I was not in the position to argue and had no choice but to follow Mary's demands.

I dressed up and we took a tuk-tuk ride to the local hospital. It was about 7 PM in the evening.

Blood Bacteria

While at the hospital, I was very sick and don't remember much. I should really give props to Mary though for doing all the heavy-lifting. She took me to the right doctors and directed me to the right procedures. I would be really lost without her!

So after a while they made my blood test and the doctor told me that I had a "blood bacteria" in my system. I wasn't in the condition to ask for further clarification. He then prescribed several medications, and told me that I will feel better after I take them. All I remember now is that one of the medications was some kind of antibiotic that I needed to take twice a day for two days.

This was a really scary experience. But I have to say that I really appreciate Mary's efforts to take me to that hospital. And that local doctor's knowledge too. He clearly knew what was wrong with me and prescribed the right treatment. As I think about it now, if Mary hadn't done it back then, I don't know where I would be now. And for that I will always owe her!

After that fateful night, my stomach started to improve and slowly, after a day or two, I was back in the saddle and was able to hold my food.

I was also truly hoping that this experience would bond us with Mary. Especially after our heated fights earlier. And it kinda did for a little while. During the ride back from the hospital, she grabbed my hand and held it in hers, just like we used to do during my first trip. And it felt so good, that I was melting in my seat! I was thinking that we can still save this relationship.

Nothing Changed. More Fights

But I was wrong. As soon as we arrived to the hotel, Mary was not done fighting with me. Almost immediately she started accusing me of lying. And again, I tried to ask her what exactly I was lying about and she went into her now usual mental wall of saying:

Don't make me repeat myself! I hate it!
- Mary

This time though I was able to elicit from her that she still remembered the incident with me not hearing the high pitch beeps from the thermometer. And now, she had a new "lie of mine" in her arsenal.

While at the hospital, the doctor asked me if I was taking any medications. I said, no. This is what I usually say, as I don't take any prescription medications. This is what I always thought that question meant - "do you take any medications on a regular basis?" And that's what I answered ... or so I thought.

Mary was sitting right next to me at the time and could hear the entire conversation. And I remember when she heard me saying no to the medication question, she interjected and said something to the effect, "stop lying!"

Back then I immediately understood what she was picking on. She remembered that nausea pill that I took earlier that day that she brought from the pharmacy. I immediately corrected myself and explained that it was just a one-time over-the-counter medication that I took earlier that day. And that I threw up almost immediately after that, so I wasn't even sure that it stayed in my system.

But that was not enough for Mary. Now when we were back in that same fateful hotel room, Mary was ready to go to war with me. Again. She kept repeating and eventually yelling that all my lies are too much for her to handle. And no matter how I tried to prove it to her, that what she was pointing to were not deliberate lies (maybe misunderstanding with the medication question) and that I was not doing it intentionally, nothing worked. With every effort that I was putting into explaining myself, I was driving her even more mad.

The Ultimatum

At this point, while in the hotel room, I could see that I was losing a grip on the situation. Mary was livid. But then the situation turned. She did so by saying the following in her then-expected reverse-psychology mode:

I know that you hate this place. I can see it from what you're saying and from how negative you are.
We need to go to another resort.
- Mary

I was kinda surprised by this twist, and answered:

Now as I feel a little better as I have my medication, I will be careful, and I think we will be fine here.
Sorry that it happened like this, but I didn't get poisoned on purpose.
Whatever I'm doing to come off as negative, I will try to change and make our stay enjoyable.
- me

But that explanation didn't sit well with her. She started to get more aggravated and launched a couple more accusations into me, now calling me with more nasty names. Then, she said the following:

I'm not staying at this place. You either book a different hotel, or I will leave your ass in the morning!
- Mary

At this point, I realized that the tactic of threatening to "leave me", that she used to get me into the hospital, was something that Mary learned had worked. Thus she was continuing to use it. And in my situation, I knew that I had no choice but to comply.

I asked her to name the hotel that she wanted to go to, and she quickly replied:

The one I was suggesting all along. Sands at Nomad.
- Mary

Re-planning the Trip

Luckily I had my laptop with me and the internet connection to be able to do all the reservations. Mary went to sleep, and I proceeded booking the new resort. It also required booking two additional airline tickets for our flight back to Nairobi. (And no, obviously there was no refund for the current resort we were in and for the other flight back from Malindi that we wouldn't take.)

I need to explain that "Sands at Nomad" was another coastal resort that was located about 100 miles south of Malindi, where we were staying. It was in a small coastal town called Ukunda, or the Diani area. Not far from Mombasa. That resort was evidently well known among locals, and was frequently visited by Kenyan celebrities.

I don't need to point out that the cost of such stay, even for 4 days that we had left, was more than our entire booked stay at the first resort.

I booked our stay for two adults at the "Sands at Nomad" for the next day, for 4 consecutive days, and also booked the flights from Ukunda to Nairobi, for two. Then told Mary, and we fell asleep. Each on our own bed-side, not talking.

Drive to Diani

Drive through Mombasa, Kenya
Drive through Mombasa, Kenya

When we woke up, Mary was in a much more amenable mood. We were even able to have a civil conversation. At that point we needed to find out how we can get from Malindi, or the town we were in, to Diani, which was about 100 miles south.

Mary originally suggested booking a flight. I checked, and everything we could find involved taking a flight back to Nairobi and then back to Diani. It didn't make too much sense, so we started looking for alternatives.

Then Mary suggested hiring her friend, an Uber driver from Diani. She said that it would cost around $100 USD for that. This was still less than paying for the airline tickets, so I agreed. She called him, and the guy picked us up at the hotel where we were staying.

The checkout from the "Sandies Malindi Dream Garden" was very awkward, as they couldn't figure out why we were leaving early. I had to come up with something as not to offend them. We had to settle our bill and leave.

The Uber driver, Mary's friend, was a very good person and a safe driver too. He was so polite that he ran air-conditioning in his car for us, which you could rarely see from other Uber drivers in Kenya. I think that was the first time when someone ran A/C in their car in Kenya, for my memory.

The drive itself to Diani, was quite uneventful and somewhat interesting. I could see the sights of real Kenya, without any glamor and chic of what I saw previously. I could clearly see the hard struggle that everyday Kenyans were going through and at times it was even hard to watch, realizing that you're driving in this air- conditioned car when some poor soul had to literally use his physical strength to pull a huge cart full of something resembling banana crops.

Eventually we drove through Mombasa and arrived to Diani, to the "Sands at Nomad" resort.

Sands at Nomad

Sands at Nomad resort, Diani, Kenya

The "Sands at Nomad" resort was definitely a step up from the previous place that we stayed at. So I totally understand why Mary picked it. There was no comparison. The staff were also very kind and comped us to a larger room (probably because they were very low on guests due to the COVID pandemic.)

The place was gorgeous. It had an amazing emerald pool right outside of our windows, with awesome views and a nice sandy beach at the Indian Ocean just a short walk away. The room we had was literally a king suit. It was spacious and had all kinds of amenities possible. This place overall would have been a true paradise ... had I been there with a person who was in love with me.

Mary though immediately grabbed her iPhone and, while in a FaceTime mode with someone, started showing off our room, while avoiding pointing the camera at me at the same time. So even in despite of that, I knew that she was also excited.

Trip to Hell Continues

At first Mary seemed to be very pleased with our move. But it didn't take long for the accusations and arguments to resume.

I honestly don't remember all of them, or what had started it. But things were slowly spiraling out of control for me. And no matter what I did, it just pissed Mary even more.

At some point she was walking around our room and loudly talking, almost yelling at someone on the phone. She spoke Swahili, that I don't understand. But just from the conversation tone alone and by how animated she was, I could tell that she was talking to her mom. And I could also surmise that the subject of their conversation was me.

After she was done, I asked her what was that about, and that I knew that she was talking to her mom. And Mary replied:

Yes, I was talking to my mother. She is my mother and listens to me.
And I told her about you. How much of a liar you are!
Liar and a hypocrite that you are!
- Mary

By then I heard the liar argument quite a lot. But the hypocrite was something new. It totally took me by surprise, as I couldn't put two-and-two together and figure out what did I do to be called a hypocrite?

Obviously asking for clarification just pissed her off even more, and she left to go talk to someone else on the balcony on her smartphone.

Alone In Paradise

Sands at Nomad, beach, Diani, Kenya
Beach view at the "Sands at Nomad" resort, Diani, Kenya

The arguments and accusations continued throughout the first and the second days of our stay at the "Sands at Nomad". Pretty much nothing I said and did could please Mary. Moreover, she had enough time to tell me that I was doing something wrong, she was repeating it over and over again. But what was really torturing me was that I didn't know what was it? And attempting to find it out meant worsening our relationship even more. I was in a catch-22 trap.

Eventually I gave up and ended up leaving the room during the day. Mostly to sit by the pool, or walk by the beach. All alone. It was very painful to think that here I was, in this beautiful place, with the girl that I loved so much just a week ago, that also professed her love to me, and then I had done something so wrong that totally screwed this up so royally.

While walking on this gorgeous white sandy beach, I was agonizing over it. What! What did I do? I tried to play back in memory all of our previous conversations. And the only thing I could remember was her telling me that she hates it when I ask her to repeat herself. Sure, I don't like it either. But what was the root cause of it? I couldn't figure it out. There was just nothing. Just a repeating chain of events, of Mary saying that she told me before, referring to the same event, of referring to a previous argument. It was kinda like a vicious cycle that I couldn't get out of.

To Be Continued

Please check the final part III of this story.

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