When we met, he told me it had been his childhood dreams to marry a nurse so I should give him a chance. I thought that wasn’t enough reason to want to date someone so I asked him to give us some time to build a proper connection. He was persistent. He will call me at dawn and tell me that he dreamt about us. He dreamt about our marriage and dreamt about our future. He was a great guy so I decided to finally give him a chance.
We were only a couple of months old when I visited his house. He lived with his ailing mother in a very big house his father built—only the two of them. His mother was very happy to see me and for some reason, the two of us got connected immediately. I will be sneaking into his room and his mother will catch me. She’ll be like, “Adwoa, this one that you’re sneaking in, I hope you’re not trying to dodge me?” I will tell her, “Mommy nooo, I was going in so I will come and see you later.” She will drag me to the hall and we’ll talk for so long I will forget about the reason I came around in the first place.
Her mother was very interesting. A retired military woman who enjoys telling stories of her days in the military. She was full of energy though her consistent sickness had taken a toll on her body. Sometimes she walks with aid. Other times, she can get so well that she could walk all by herself. As time went on, the bond between me and her mother grew larger. She called me Adwoa and I called her Mama Old Soldier. If she doesn’t see me in the house for three days, she’ll call and ask if I and her son were fighting. She loved me like the daughter she never had.
Alex was working with an NGO so he was always traveling around. He could vanish today and reappear in weeks’ time. Whenever he traveled, I visited his mother consistently to keep her company and also assist her in doing certain things her health wouldn’t allow her to do.
Early this year, I spotted a certain change in our relationship. Alex travels a lot but wherever he goes, he makes sure that we communicate each passing day. It started changing. He’ll travel for days and I wouldn’t get to hear from him. When I complained, he talked about bad networks in the villages he traveled to and also tight job schedules. I told him, “You know your mother is not well. If nothing at all, call me and ask how’s your mother doing because I’m always with her. She often asks if you’ve called. I often lie so she’ll be at ease. You were once calling so keep it that way.” He promised to make a change but the change never happened.
He could travel for three weeks and I will hear from him only once. He will wake up one day and send a lousy message; “Good morning. How was your night?” I will respond to the message and I will not hear from him again. It kept getting worse. It was like I was in a relationship with his mom and not him. If I see a call on my phone, it was his mom. If I see a text in the night, it was his mom wishing me good night. One day his mom’s condition got worse. She called me when I was at the hospital. After my shift, I went to see her. She could barely talk so I called a taxi and I took her to the hospital. All evening we tried calling him but he didn’t pick. I called with my phone and I called with his mother’s phone but he didn’t answer.
The next morning too he didn’t call until I called. He said, “I was sleeping.” I said, “How about this morning? You still haven’t woke up?” He said, “I was about to call you.” I said, “I wasn’t calling for anything. Your mother’s condition got worse and I sent her to the hospital. She had been admitted so I was calling to tell you.” The next day, he returned from his trip to see his mother. Three days later, her mother was discharged. That evening, I sent him a message; “I can’t continue like this any longer. I can’t be in a relationship and still struggle to get the attention of my man. You’re busy I understand. I’m walking out of the relationship so you can have all the time you want for yourself and your work.”
He came to me immediately after he read the message. He said he was sorry. He said he’ll make time for us. He said he needed me more than anything. I told him, “When there’s something you need, you work for it. You don’t let the thing work for itself. If you need me, then prove it.” I put the relationship on probation. I told him, “I will only come back to you if I see the change that I need.” He changed. He called often. He reduced the number of times he traveled. Life was good between us so I opened up the locked doors of my heart to him again. We were back and good.
In March this year, I found out that he was going around with a certain white lady. He introduced her to his friends as his girlfriend. It was one of his friends who called to tell me. I asked Alex and he said, “She’s someone who is helping the NGO that I’m working with. How can I date someone who came purposely to help the NGO?” He sounded genuine so I believed him but the rumor never stopped. His friend called me dumb for believing the explanation Alex gave me. He said, “He’s trying to get the white lady to marry him so he can be a citizen of the USA.”
I found a way through his phone and read the messages. Everything the friend said was true but the messages I read sounded like the white lady wasn’t interested in him. It was rather Alex who was pushing himself on her, trying everything to make the lady fall in love with him. They’ve had sex. The lady said it didn’t mean anything. Alex said it meant the world to him and wants to make it permanent.
I asked him questions. “Alex why?” He said, “I’m doing all that because of you and my mother. When I marry her, I’ll become a citizen. That way, I can take you and mom to the USA.” I asked, “Take me to the USA as what?” He said, “I’ll leave her and marry you.” He spoke like a child who is ready to do anything just because of candy. I told him, “Say that to the birds of the skies and they’ll believe you but not me. You want her. You’re pushing yourself to her each day. Go ahead. Make her yours because I’m out and I mean it.” He said, “Suit yourself.” That was in May. He didn’t call me and I didn’t call him. I was still taking care of his mom because the woman never stopped calling me. She was sick and I didn’t want to burden her with my relationship issues so I kept her out of it.
He told his mom that he’s no longer with me so she should not entertain me. Her mother called and I explained everything to her. She got broken. She said, “So Alex didn’t see all the things you’ve been doing for me? Because of Obroni he’s leaving you?” I told her, “He has left me but I’m not leaving you. Call me whenever you need me.”
But she stopped calling. I was checking up on her through the phone and she always told me that she was fine. One day after work I decided to go there and see her. All the time she said she was well, she was lying. That day, I bundled her up into a taxi and took her to the hospital myself. I called Alex and told him about it and he came around the next day. She spent four days in the hospital and was doing very well. On the fifth day, I went to the hospital early in the morning to see her before going to work only to be told that she died.
I cried my lungs out. Everyone around thought she was my mother. I regretted a whole lot of things. I felt guilty for abandoning her for so long. Even today, I still feel if I was there for her, she wouldn’t have died.
Two weeks after she was buried, Alex came to my house. He said, “You know it’s my mother’s wish for us to be together, right? Why don’t you forgive me and allow us to make her wish come through.” I asked him, “Since when did you realize that? Your mother’s wish was for me to be happy. Being with you will go against everything I’m happy about and that will destroy your mother’s wish. Just leave me alone. I’m mourning.” He persisted for weeks I didn’t give him any chance. His friend told me, “The white woman is gone. He couldn’t win. She didn’t accept him.” I said to myself, “I’m no one’s second option.” If he’s trying to call me, someone should tell him that I’ve blocked his line because I don’t want to hear his lies any longer.