I was young—a little over seventeen when he proposed to me. He was eight years older than me and was already doing well in life. He was a manager in a company owned by his father. He had the money to buy me what I needed and was very kind to me so the day he proposed to me, I didn’t think twice about it. I just said, “Yes, I would be your girlfriend but you have to promise me one thing. That you’ll never touch me until I’m twenty.”
He asked, “Have I ever hurt you?” I answered, “No you’ve never hurt me.” He said, “So why don’t you believe me?” I said, “I believe you but I’m only putting that across so you know what I require from you.” The relationship was good. He did everything to let me know that he cared. That was why I let my guard down. One afternoon, I went to visit him in the house. Just when I was about to leave, it started raining. I sat down waiting for the rain to stop. He started making moves at me. I told him to stop. I kicked his hand off me each time he tried to go deeper.
When the sound of the rain got louder, he forcibly had his way with me. The sound of the rain was loud enough to drown my screams for help. He didn’t think twice about it. He did it even while I pleaded. When I left his place that day, I never looked back and he never came after me. We were over. Done.
I became paranoid with men. No matter what anyone told me, I didn’t trust them. I had a boyfriend again when I was twenty-one. The day he playfully held me tightly in his embrace, our relationship came to an end. He asked me why. I told him, “I don’t know why you would hold me that tight when I’d asked you to release me.” He said, “So you’re leaving me because of that?” I said, “I’m leaving you because I know what you can do to me when you’re alone with me.”
I spoke to people about my fears and the reason for the fear. They said a whole lot of things to put my mind at ease but just a touch from a guy and everything would come crumbling down. It wasn’t my fault. It was the fault of that boy who took everything away from me on that rainy day.
And then I met Frimpong. Frimps for short. He saw my fears and did everything not to trigger them. When he wanted to hold my hand, he asked, “Will you be ok if I held your hand?” If he wanted to sit next to me, he would ask, “Do you mind if I sit next to you?” He asked permission for everything that had to do with my body. Slowly I warmed up to him. I could go to his house and not enter his room. He didn’t mind. He would bring chairs outside and come along with his laptop. We would sit outside, chat, watch movies till I would leave. One day I entered his room without being invited. He said, “You were pushed here or you came here by yourself?” I laughed. I sat on his sofa and he sat on the next sofa far from me.
One day he was lying in bed. I got up and went to lie next to him. I said, “You’re different. I trust you.” We had our first kiss when our relationship was almost a year old. There were no fears. He took his time with me. I was fully ready when he asked, “Can I have a kiss?” I didn’t say a word. I only leaned forward for him to take over. For the first time in a long while, my body didn’t revolt. It was calm as it was pleasurable. I’d come to trust him so much that I loved him with everything in me.
After University, I applied for a scholarship to study abroad. I won the scholarship and had to prepare and leave for school. I remember our last night together. We made a lot of promises and vowed to wait for each other. I told him, “If everything goes according to plan, I will return and marry you so I can take you along.” He said, “I trust you.” I traveled to the USA in 2017. At first, we could talk on the phone for so many hours. Even the four-hour time difference didn’t bother us. I only had to call and he’ll pick. Later, life got busy. Work and schooling came between us. I didn’t have time to call so we could go like a week without talking to each other.
He complained. I said it wasn’t my fault. I realized he was hurting. One time we went the whole month without talking to each other. When we did talk, I said, “It looks like this long-distance relationship thing is going to be difficult. Do you think we can survive this?” He said, “I doubt. You don’t even respond to my text messages. How can we survive this?” So we agreed to go our separate ways and see what the seasons may bring. When I saw him on social media I said hi. Sometimes he responded and sometimes he simply ignored me.
Three years later, I came back to Ghana.
Guess who was the first person I called…Frimps. I said, “Guess what?” He said, “You’re in Ghana?” I said, “Yes, I’m back home.” He said, “Tell me where you are right now and I would come there.” Hours later, we were together. I never thought his presence could bring such happiness into my life. I hugged him for so long I didn’t want to let go. I said, “Good to see you.” He said, “Finally, you’re back home.” I went to so many places with him, talking about life in the US and what I’d been up to and what happened when he left my life. In my mind, I was thinking we could pick it up again from where we left off but I realized he wasn’t saying a lot. One day I asked him, “Is everything alright?” He answered, “Yeah, I’m cool.” I said, “Be frank with me, what’s our chances of coming back together again?”
For so several seconds he didn’t answer. I asked, “You have someone in your life?” He said, “Kind of.” I asked, “How serious?” He said, “Very serious.” I asked, “So that leaves us with no chances, right?” I thought he was going to say something to suggest that the two of us could be together while he tries to free himself from the other girl. He said, “We are far gone. We are getting married in January.” “Just next month?” I screamed. He nodded his head.
In January, I was at the wedding. I went there with a clean heart and mind wishing them nothing but the best. I thought I’d gotten over him but watching him say “I do” to someone else brought my emotions down to an all-time low. I wanted to cry but I held back the tears. I wished something would happen for him to stop going on with the marriage. At some point, I couldn’t stand it. I left the place and went back home. The next day, I sent him my congratulatory message. He said, “Can we meet tomorrow? I said, “I wouldn’t be around tomorrow.” He asked, “How about the next day?” I said, “No I wouldn’t be around.” “Are you trying to avoid me?” He asked. I answered, “I’m trying to let you enjoy your marriage.”
He tried on several occasions to meet me. I wasn’t interested. I felt he had crossed the line where he could make no return back into my life so there was no need to stick around him. The only sad thing was, I started getting scared again—I started having the feeling that the next guy I find may hurt me as the first guy did. So Somedays I coiled up. Some other days too I put my confidence on believing I may find someone like Frimps who wouldn’t hurt me.