I was a young graduate who like many others struggled to find work. For so many years I was jobless so I decided to learn bead making so I could at least have a source of income. I had someone in my life when I decided to learn the trade. He was someone I met at church. When you usually meet someone in the house of God, you can safely assume that they are good people or they are people who have their heads screwed properly on their necks.
How did we meet?
It was an evening service and the church closed quite late so my pastor asked him to walk me home since he lived in the same neighborhood like mine. He was a gentleman. On the way to my house, we had a good talk. The vibe was on point so when he asked for my number, I didn’t hesitate to give it to him.
We kept the conversation going and became friends. One day he sent me an image on WhatsApp. It was a flyer for Val’s day event. He asked, “Would you like to go?” I responded “Yes. I don’t have plans on that day so why not?” We went to the event and it was great. It brought us closer in a way we weren’t before. The closer we got the more I trusted him. He became my confidant.
Things were difficult at home in those days. My stepdad was making life unbearable for me but my friend turned confidant made things manageable. I always ran to him. He listened and gave me a shoulder to cry on. Proximity breeds attachment so the more I spent time with him the more I got attached to him. He felt the same way about me so we moved from being just friends to lovers. I didn’t know his age then. I had assumed based on his looks that he was as young as me. One day I asked his age and he smiled. He said, “I’m forty-three years old.” I screamed, “Eiii! So, you mean you are sixteen years older than me? I thought you were around my age ooo.”
It was never my idea to date someone with such a gap between our ages but I’d already said yes to his proposal. There was no going back. Instead, I tried to hide his age from everyone, especially my mother. I knew she would freak out if she gets to know that the boy I’m dating is almost her age mate. Everyone who knew us knew we were together because he made it a point to show me off at any given opportunity. It felt nice to be the object of his pride and the open display of affection got me swooning.
One day I took a taxi with him. My mother was also in the taxi with us. We had closed from church and were going home. When we got home and it was time to pay the fare, he sat there scratching his head until my mom paid for the three of us. He didn’t even pretend to try. Usually, it will turn to “Oh mom, let me pay.” Then my mom will also say, “Oh don’t worry, I’ve already settled him.” That didn’t happen. He just sat there and looked on as if it was the responsibility of my mother to pay our fare. I thought about it but then my mind said, “Maybe he doesn’t have the money today. It happens.” I didn’t hold it against him.
Then the signs kept unfolding. Anytime we went out together, he watched me as I settled the bills. This is someone who is gainfully employed. I was still unemployed.
One day I was craving biscuits so I asked him to get me some and he did. When he gave me the biscuit he said, “It’s GH¢8.” He looked at me and I looked at him. He was expecting me to pay for it so I gave him GH¢10 and he gave me a change of GH¢2. I was shocked! What kind of man will buy his girlfriend a biscuit and ask her to pay for it?”
I was not earning any consistent income but I tried in my own small way to give. When I invited him home and I cooked, I didn’t expect him to pay for it. That aside, my mother also got involved. We cooked every Sunday and sent him his portion. My mother wanted it to work and she was doing her bit to see us succeed but this gentleman didn’t pick up the clues and reciprocate. While I was busy spending the little money I had on him, he was busy trying to keep his from me. I wasn’t expecting him to pluck the sun from the skies for me or send the sea to the desert so I can swim there. All I wanted him to do was to prove that he would provide for me when we get married.
When I fall sick, he’ll come to the hospital and touch my forehead and say, “Don’t worry, you’ll be fine. How I will pay for my medication and hospital bills didn’t cross his mind. When I fall, he’ll pick me up and watch me bleed. The most he’ll do is tell me, “Everything will be fine. You won’t bleed forever.” This is a man my pastor had a vision about him and told me, “Your boyfriend has a bright future so be patient and stay with him.” The present was gloomy but I was determined to keep going with him and see if he’ll change at some point.
One day, I had a gig I had to do with a makeup artist. We found someone who was willing to do it free of charge for us. We only had to pay for her lory fare. I told him and he gave me GH¢20 to pay for the lady’s fare. The lady came for the gig with her own car and told me to keep the fare. After the event, I called my boyfriend and told him, “Oh the lady was too kind she didn’t even collect the fare we initially agreed to pay her.” He said, “Then send me my money.” I thought he was joking. A few minutes later, he called. He asked, “Don’t they have mobile money vendors where you are? I’ll appreciate it if you can send my GH¢20 to me through MoMo.”
I said “Ah, aren’t we in the same neighborhood? You can just wait for me till I get home or better still, you can come home this evening and collect it. Why are you behaving as if I’m running away with your money?” He didn’t come home for it so I went to his office and put the money on his table. He picked it up and put it in his wallet. That was the last straw that broke the camel’s back. If the future would be bright, we should see a glimpse of it today. What I was seeing didn’t look like signs of a better future for us so I started withdrawing from him. Just around that time, Covid hit the country and gave me the perfect excuse to avoid him. When he asked me to see him, I told him I was having signs of Covid so I’d rather keep to myself.
One day I went to his place with a dossier of his deeds since we started dating. I told him, “I will suffer if I continue staying with you. My burden would be my burden and my troubles my own troubles. What’s the need to have someone in your life when you can’t share your burden with him? It’s not worth it. Your love isn’t worth a dime so I will take a walk. From today, we are no longer together. It’s the end of the road for us.”
I don’t know how he took it but he might have thought I was joking or maybe, I was only angry and would come back to my senses later. A few days after that conversation, my phone beeped. I checked and it was a mobile money alert. He sent me GH¢100. Momo sound usually thaws my heart but that one brought questions into my head; “What for? Why is he sending me money when I’d told him it’s over?” I told my mom about it and told her I was sending it back to him. She said, “Don’t do it. If it’s a gift then you ought to keep it. It’s not right to return a gift back to the sender.”
To date, I think of that amount and ask myself why he sent it. Did he send it because I complained? Did he send it to prove that he’s capable of sending money to the one he loves? Or he did it so I can change my mind and run back to him? GH¢100? Is that the worth of all the troubles I went through? Thank God I left. I’m in a better place now and I can always look forward to a brighter light for myself instead of waiting for someone’s light to shine on me.