Leonard Fong Roka
It was mid-2013, my third year at Divine Word University (DWU), and I had 3 Bougainvillean girlfriends; two of them were in Kieta eagerly awaiting my holiday home comings, whilst one was based in Madang where I was.
Then I met Delphine Piruke, a shy second and final year student at Madang Teachers College (MTC), from Nakorei Village in Buin and added her into my list of concubines; I revolved around them, exploiting their finances.
This was my promiscuous culture I had mushroomed since 2004 after walking out of the University of PNG. I was known far and wide with women and alcohol in Panguna and the Kupe area in the hinterland of Arawa Town.
I spent more weekends out with Delphine employing the other 3 women’s finances at times beside her funds. The news of her going outs with me spilled over to Bougainville and her relatives began ordering her to cut it off. To me this was the ticket out of her.
Then one October 2013 day Delphine sent me a text message reading ‘my monthly periods have ceased for two weeks now’ from the North Coast of Madang where she was doing her teaching practical.
This was no surprise for me. This was one of the many ‘I am pregnant’ texts I had received from my former women since 2004. In 2013 the two women from Bougainville sent me ‘I am pregnant’ and ‘my monthly period is over’ regularly and both would later joke about it. About a week or so before Delphine’s text the Madang based girl also sent me that and later laughed over it.
So I was not bothered much but at the back of my mind a bell was always ringing ‘You are a father’. The mystery call always infiltrated me; made me uncomfortable, so I slowly began asking Delphine ‘how is your period?’ and ‘how is the baby?’ text regularly.
From the start I saw confidence in Delphine that I was the father of the child she was carrying. But my promiscuous heart was lost and confused and slowly hunted for escape routes.
From Madang I cultivated a relationship with a primary school student and was ready to get the ball rolling.
Emotionally burdened I left Madang in October 2013 for my holidays. I reached home in Arawa with the news of my pregnant Buin girlfriend Delphine already in the ears of the many. One of my two home based girlfriends also left me after hearing that I was a father. But for the primary school student my news was unknown so I kept communicating with her by phone.
Delphine arrived at my home in Arawa in December and I was in full acceptance that the child was my child but her relatives ordered her out from me back to Buin with a price of K20 000.00 that she should pay them for all their care and support in her education in order to marry me so I was knocked off guard.
Such a malicious threat to me with my heart so deeply happy about my child pummelled me to the ground unconscious. I was sad and regularly in tears thinking about my unborn baby and that K20 000.00 and the stream of negative words thrown at my daughter by Delphine’s relatives in resistance of me.
To me Delphine was not my wife without the K20 000.00 fixed as they had stated and a bride price of K10 000.00 revealed to me by Delphine.
When Delphine left Arawa I lost my phone and all the contact details of potential new girls who knew not I was a father so I was darkened for the holiday and returned back to school in Madang in February 2014.
‘I am a father and why can’t the Buin people respect me and my child and leave us alone’ was a knock that even made me cry watching Delphine leaving that day. I was infuriated but what can I do! I had not the money to shut their mouths.
My fellow students knew I was a father and respected me. My Madang and the last home based girlfriends also deserted me thus I lived my life occupied with my writings spending days in the DWU library.
Seeing these changes I decided to halt my promiscuity and cut down my boozing culture. I was a father and thus I need to change for my child and young nieces and uncles from my brother and three sisters who need a better home to nurture into positive citizens of Bougainville.
In June 2014 my daughter was born and my mother who was at her birth told me ‘Hi mummy, she is your photocopy’. I was happy out there and began begging Delphine to send me her pictures so I can display them in my Facebook walls and so on.
Delphine did not have the means to send me the pictures thus remained silent but for me, mentally unsettled by the K20 000.00 and the high probability of losing her, kept bombarding her. I demanded the little girl’s pictures in order to accept her calls or answer her texts.
In this period that our current nightmares mushroomed; my ignorance of her calls or texts, when the K20 000.00 ticket to marry her haunted me got her to give her own reasons for my ignorance. Her emphasize was that I was seeing other girls and began to distant myself from her and our baby.
And from recent gleaning, a wave of gossipers from DWU and MTC, kept bombing Delphine that I was seeing this and that girl in Madang while she was busy teaching her first year in Buin.
Thus my reactions to Delphine’s relatives demands on her and me; followed by the inducements from a handful of gossipers, alongside Delphine’s personality paved the way into the kind of life we are going through; and that is of tears and sorrow for Delphine will never trust a man like me so she has to bark at me always.
Delphine began telling me she will never trust me for I was a sex maniac; a liar and a cheat whenever we brawled. Our unborn child was facing all our upheavals as they sprout between Bougainville and Madang.
(to be continued)