When Dede and I were coming to an end, I saw it but couldn’t prevent it. We were so destined to fall apart that nothing could have been done to save us. We were Humpty Dumpty sitting on the wall, waiting for that great fall that breaks us into pieces. We dated for two years.
I caught her cheating with a lecturer. She told me she didn’t love him but she was scared the lecturer would fail her if she didn’t say yes to his proposal. Judging from the messages they had exchanged and the places they had been, you could see her explanation was a lie but I loved her too much to let go so I accepted her explanation and kept her as a girlfriend.
She didn’t stop cheating with the lecturer. I came to realize at some point that the lecturer was giving her a life, a treat I couldn’t give her as a national service personnel, though I was trying my best. I decided to let go but slowly because if I called her and broke up with her, I would be the one hurting. I loved her that much. So from 2009 to 2010, I held on to a relationship that wasn’t working just to allow the love I had inside of me for her to fade away.
She called at dawn. I don’t know what was pursuing her at that dawn when she was supposed to be sleeping. I picked up the phone, and with a hoarse voice I asked, “Dede, is everything OK?”
She breathed heavily into the phone before saying, “I don’t want to do this anymore. You’re a good guy but I keep hurting you. I feel bad the way I’m treating you. Let’s just end this so I don’t hurt you anymore.”
I asked her just two questions; “Are you alone?” And “Will that make you happy?”
She said yes to both.
I answered, “That’s alright. See you on the other side.”
I put the phone down and had the best sleep of my life. It was like a burden had been lifted over my shoulder. I woke up to see her missed call. She called consistently for three weeks. I didn’t answer. She gave up until I met her six years later.
A year later Suzzy came along. I was working. I could give my woman bread and butter if it came down to it. Suzzy was just twenty and I was her first ever serious boyfriend. The first boy she had broke her virginity and left her a week later. I was the one, according to her, who dated her seriously and made her feel like she belonged to a man.
Her young age and inexperience should have been an advantage but they became a disadvantage to me. This girl was so bent on exploring her age that nothing was off-limits. She would go to the club with guys and come back drunk and smelling like a bar. She wouldn’t pick up my calls all day and later tell me she was busy at school or something.
I suspected she was cheating but she was so good at covering her tracks that even if I hired a private investigator, he wouldn’t have found anything on her.
Her mother was sick and needed care. I didn’t have much but I sent money for her drugs and even paid the lady who was taking care of her mom. Suzzy told me her mom wanted to see me so I travelled to Akosombo to meet her mom. I didn’t like her living conditions so I tried to better it. I bought a fridge and sent it to her. I bought a blender, microwave and other home appliances and sent them to her so her life would be easier.
This woman called every day, thanking me and blessing God that I came her daughter’s way but her daughter didn’t do much to oil the wheels of the relationship we were in. I loved her but I couldn’t beat the suspicion out of me so I baited her.
I created a fake Facebook account and sent her a friend request. That was 2012. A day later we were chatting. My name was Julius, a young graduate who had returned from abroad to begin life in Ghana. She fell for it. I bought a new sim card and put it in a different phone I used to text her. I didn’t even change my voice that much when we talked but this girl was so blind in love with Julius that she didn’t notice it was me.
We talked for one month. I was then in Koforidua but Julius, the fake me was living in Accra. We planned to spend the weekend together and she said yes. That weekend, Suzzy called to tell me she was visiting her mom in Akosombo and would be gone all weekend. I nodded and wished her a safe journey.
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In the evening around 9 p.m., she called the phone of Julius and said, “I’m in town. Now trying to get a car to East Legon.” I laughed but my heart was breaking. I said, “Suzzy, so you’re in Accra to see a man you met on Facebook?” This time I was using my real voice. She was confused. She mentioned my name and I responded. She said, “I knew it was you all along but I intentionally played along. You think I traveled to Accra? I was testing you because I knew it was you.”
I laughed at her counter attempt to be clever. I told her, “Enjoy your weekend with Julius. When you come back call me.” She never called. When I narrated the story to her mom, she broke down and cried, “What’s she looking for? Aren’t you enough for her? This girl will kill me oooo”
She wasn’t going to be the last woman who left. After her, I met Erica. She loved me but she already had a boyfriend before she met me. I was unknowingly the side guy for ten months. Alberta too left me to marry a soldier. She said she didn’t sense any readiness in me. Heartbreak after heartbreak, I became so numb I decided to give a relationship a break.
But guess what, all these ladies I’ve mentioned somehow became friends years later. When I met Dede six years later, she told me she had been going around looking for someone like me but the men she had dated all ended up disappointing her. I asked what about me he wanted in them and she mentioned my kindness and willingness to be there all the time. At some point, I realized she wanted a chance but I had no love for her.
Suzzy too. She’s married now. We talk. She asks for help and if I could, I do it for her. She’s obviously not happy. She tells me, “If only I wasn’t silly…look at what I ended up with. He was just like you when we met. Very kind and considerate. I thought it was going to be like that forever but… Don’t you think it’s my punishment for the way I treated you?”
She has regrets. She’s mature now and sees life in a more mature way. I told her it wasn’t a punishment for anything but life happens.
Erica said she should have chosen me over her boyfriend when push came to shove but she was too scared to do it. Alberta married a soldier and now soldiering through marriage. She calls and talks about when things were good for us. She wishes we could go back to what we used to be but time has flown.
I’m here nurturing a relationship I started four months ago. It’s going well but I’m scared bad things will happen very soon. Maybe it’s a curse. If they leave me and still go out there looking for me in others, then what’s the point? Or it’s my face they don’t want. Or it’s my cross to bear?
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I don’t have answers but I can’t stop thinking about these things these days. If I have to lose everyone to someone who’s not me when in fact, these women are looking for me then what’s happening? Am I even making sense?
I’m thirty-four and ready to marry next year. I’m only praying this one works. If not, I’ll give up on love and concentrate on what works. Maybe I’m not made for love. Maybe I’m the problem. Just maybe, things don’t work because I don’t deserve love.
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