One day I saw him in front of my house. He said, “I’m coming to make part payment.” I stretched my hand and he gave me the money. It was GHC500. I asked, “When are you bringing the rest?” He said, “Very soon. I’m working hard to pay everything.” I said my thanks and turned to walk away. He said, “You won’t say anything to me?” I asked, “What do you want me to tell you?” He said, “Have you forgiven me?” I said, “Finish paying what you owe me then we’ll start talking about forgiveness.”
Not too long afterward, he came around again. He brought GHC500 again. After collecting the money, he said, “I want us to talk.” I said, “We have nothing to talk about. Just finish paying then we can talk.” He said, “I don’t know what I should do again for you to know that I’ve regretted my actions. I haven’t seen that girl again since that day and I’ve never seen any other person. Even that day you saw us was our first time together, it happened only once. Why don’t you give me another chance?” I said, “Dear, you haven’t said anything new. I heard it the first time you explained it to me. Now, you have a simple task to fulfill. Finish paying up before we talk.”
When he left, I called him. I realized he was using the payment as an excuse to see me. I told him, “If you have any money to give me, please don’t come around. You know my number, pay through mobile money. You don’t even have to call me. When I receive the notification, I will call and tell you.” He asked, “How then do I see you?” I said, “Don’t see me. Just pay my money.”
I didn’t hear from him for a while. One day I had a MoMo notification. It was GHC300 from him. I called, “You paid GHC300? Why?” He said, “Because things haven’t been good and I’ve been sick recently. I said, “Then make sure you pay more the next time you sent money.” He said, “I told you I was sick and all you can think about is money? We came to meet money ooo and we’ll die and leave it behind.” I said, “I’m sorry about that. I pray you get well—well enough to work harder and pay my money in full.”
I was acting strong anytime he came around or anytime I spoke to him on phone but truth be told, I was still thinking about him—thinking whether or not I should forgive him. I saw a change in him. After the incident, he got back to being that sweet guy I met and fell in love with. Whenever he came to my house and I looked through his eyes, something struck a chord in me. What he did to me was burning like fire but beneath that fire was this welcoming warmth and assurance that said everything would be alright. I was confused. I thought about our good days together and dreamed about the beautiful moment we shared
One day I told myself, “I will forgive him and start all over again with him. He has learned his lessons and that earns him another chance.” A day later, the little voice in my head said, “Once a cheater, always a cheater. Don’t fall for his demeanor and tricks. Once you get back together, he’ll return to the filth again.” It was a battle between the heart and the head. I told myself, “We’ll see what happens when he finishes paying my money.
In March, he came around. He was dressed like someone in a corporate institution. He stretched his hands and gave me an envelope. He said, “This is my first pay. You can have it.” I asked, “Have you started working again?” He said, “Yeah, last month.” I said, “Congratulations. Now you can relax and live your normal life again.” For the first time, he didn’t try to say anything. He just turned and walked away.”
The whole of April I didn’t hear from him and I didn’t call to ask why. In May he called. He said, “Sorry I haven’t called. There were some issues I was dealing with so I didn’t have enough to make payment.” I said, “That’s alright. Just pay whenever you want to.” In May I didn’t hear from him. In June, the same. Early July I called him. I called not because of the money but the last time we spoke, he was talking about having problems so I wanted to know if he was alright. When I called he said, “Sorry but these few weeks haven’t been easy. I will definitely pay when things get back to normal.” I told him, “I didn’t call because of the money. I called because I haven’t heard from you since you said you had a problem.” He said, “I’m ok. I’ve been managing.”
In August he called. He said he wanted to see me. I said he could come around. When he came he said, “I want to have this final conversation with you so I know which way to go. After paying your money, what next?” I said, “I don’t know what next. I don’t even know what may happen tomorrow so how would I know.” He asked, “Be frank with me. You and I, do we have a chance? I messed up I know but will you give us a second chance?” I said, “No, there’s no second chance. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no longer angry. I’ve forgiven you long ago but I don’t think I will be able to continue living with you.”
He begged me. He said he was a changed person. He said he has realized his mistakes and will never repeat them. He said, “See the way you helped me. I don’t think I will find someone like you who will help me when I’m in trouble. Kindly give me another chance.” I said, “I know myself. If I try another chance with you, both of us will suffer so it’s better we don’t try. You might be a changed person for real but I will always suspect you and that’s not healthy.”
He left that day and I never heard from him again until early this month I called him. I was tired of expecting his call. I was always waiting for him to call and tell me something about the money. At some point, I asked myself, “Is it the money I want or I’m only using the money as an excuse to hear from him?” I knew the answer so I decided to give myself the needed closure. I was sticking around the barbering shop for far too long and I was scared I may get my hair cut. I called him early this month and told him, “You owe me a little over GHC4,000. I no longer expect you to pay. Keep it. And no, I’m not angry. I genuinely want to move away from this phase and concentrate on what’s next. So, you can keep it. From now onwards, you don’t owe me anything. You’re free and I’m also free. Thank you for trying.”
He insisted he wanted to pay. I said I didn’t want it. He said, “I know you are serious but trust me, someday I will pay everything in full.” I said, “You don’t need to pay.” When the call ended, I sighed. I knew it was the end, at least for me. I haven’t heard from him since. I’d moved on from it all and I know he has moved on too.