We fell in love when I was about to complete the university. We were in the same church and belonged to the same society in the church. We were friends at first but everyone thought we were dating because of how we did our things together. We went to church together and mostly sat together. During church meetings, we’ll sit next to each other and leave the church premises together. I didn’t know he had a thing for me so for about six years we moved up and down as friends and nothing else. When I was about to complete the university, he told me, “I’ve been a guard of this land for so many years. Now it’s time to own the land. Don’t tell me no, I beg you.”
The way he said it made me laugh. I said, “If I’m a land then where are my indentures?” He said, “If you say yes to me, we’ll start the process for the official indenture.” I said no. He asked why. I said, “Because I don’t want what they say to be true.” It didn’t stop there. His commitment towards making me his girlfriend was bigger than anything I’d seen. I kept tossing him. He kept coming. When I said “No” three times. He came back the fourth time. I thought, “Ok, I know him very well. For all these years that I’ve been friends with him, he had never had a girlfriend so why don’t I give him a chance?”
I said yes to him when he hadn’t asked. He asked me, “Yes to what?” I said, “Yes to what you’ve been asking me all this while. Soon I will start writing my exams. I want to have a clear mind to concentrate on my books. I don’t want you popping up every now and then asking the same question so yes.” He said, “Look at me now. I’m now the proud owner of the land I’ve guarded all these years. From a Land guard to a landowner. What other inspirations in life do you need again to be able to pursue your dreams?”
So it started. To other people in our lives, it was business as usual. They always knew that we were dating so it wasn’t news to them. To us, it was everything. It was a new beginning and also an end to who we used to be.
When I completed the university and came home finally, our love grew and took different dimensions. He wasn’t working then and I was also not working but luckily for me, I had parents who were well to do. They kept me grounded while I moved around looking for a job. When there was something he needed, I provided from the little that my parents gave me.
A year after school, I still had no job. He had a job in a different town so he moved to settle in that town. Nothing changed. He paid me a weekly visit and When I also had the time, I visited him.
It was my dad’s idea to start schooling again if I wasn’t getting a job. He started sniffing around for opportunities outside of the country. One day he found what he was looking for. He told me, ”Get ready. You’ll be leaving very soon for the UK. I got a link there.” Nana was the first person I discussed this with. He wasn’t happy at first. He asked, ”So you’re leaving me here all alone?” I said, “For a while, yes. I will be back immediately when I’m done.” He said, “Distance relationship scares me. You may go there and fall in love with someone else. That’s my fear.” I said, “Then you don’t have to be scared because it won’t happen.”
I remember days before leaving the country, I spent a night with him and that was the first time we got intimate. The plan was to get married before we do it but that day he asked, “What parting gift are you giving me?” I said, “Don’t make it sound worse than it already is. I’m only going for a while.” He said, “Currently there is nothing binding us together as lovers. It’s easy for us to break up because we haven’t committed anything spiritual to this relationship. Let me have it. It’s the one thing that can bind us together.”
“If that will ease his nerves and make him believe that I’m not leaving him for good, then why not?” I gave it all away and promised I will keep everything for him and him alone. He also made the same promise. The next time we spoke again, I was in the UK.
The only change that happened to our relationship was the distance that came between us. There was not a single day that we didn’t speak to each other. When talking on the phone was impossible, we texted. When making a video was possible, we did it so we get to see each other. I can even say we became closer than we used to when we were both in Ghana.
A year later, I got a job that paid well and did it alongside my studies. It was tough but I was made for tough things so I didn’t complain much. In a conversation one day, I told him, “Why don’t you do your master’s too? Who knows, it might get you to sail higher than you’re currently doing.” He said, “I’ve thought about it ooo but money issues. Currently, it will be very hard for me due to my financial situation but when I finally get the money, I will do it.” I asked, “That means if money wasn’t the issue, you would have done it now?” He answered, “I would have done it long ago.” I said, “Don’t worry about money, I will support you.”
He didn’t believe it because he didn’t expect it. “Are you sure? Hey, are you really sure? You mean I should register?” I said, “Start as soon as possible and I will do my best to give you all the necessary support.”
I wasn’t doing it for him. I was doing it for our future. He’ll finish his master’s, get a good job, and come home with good money. Guess who will be there with him to enjoy that money? Me. It looked like I was helping him but in an actual sense, I was helping me—us. When he started, I sent him money to pay his fees. When he needed something extra and asked for it from me, I provided it.
A year later, I was done with my master’s degree. I planned to come home as soon as possible but something came up. My dad was of the view that I shouldn’t rush home but instead stay there for a while and get something doing. He said, “There’s nothing here to run home to. Stay for a while. Work for a while and later decide properly if you’ll do your third degree or come home.” I told Nana about it and he agreed with what my dad said. He said, “Oh yeah it’s true. Stay for a while. You can even come during my graduation so I can show you off and say, “This is the girl who made it all possible.”
I decided to stay.
But I got homesick. I wanted to see my dad and siblings. I wanted to see Nana too. I miss my church and missed all those friends I used to move around with. One morning I called my dad and told him, “I want to come home. Just coming for a while.” He gave me the green light so one day, I picked my bag and started off. I called Nana. I asked, “What if we had dinner tonight?” He asked, “How?” I said, “Is it not possible? You can come over for dinner, can’t you?” He laughed. He said, “You know it’s not possible.” I said, “It’s a new world we live in. Everything is possible.”
The idea was to get to Ghana in the evening, call and tell him, “If Mahomet does not go to the mountain…” You know the rest of the proverb, right?” I came to Ghana and the first person I looked for was Nana. I knocked on his door and immediately he came out I said, “You won’t come for diner so here I am.” He was dead shock. The shock I saw on his face wasn’t the kind of shock people go through when their girlfriends surprise them. He said, “What are you doing here? When did you come? Why didn’t you tell me?” I said, “You see me with my bags and you’re asking me when I came? Is everything alright? He wasn’t even laughing.
Someone spoke from the inside. The voice of a lady. She came out. She saw me and smiled. I got the message. I said, “Oh you have a visitor?” I will go home then.” The girl gave me a certain look that suggested I was making a mistake. Nana was standing still. Frozen. The lady asked, “Who is she?” He wasn’t talking so I thought I will answer it for him. I said, “I’m the one in the UK. His girlfriend.” The girl laughed as if I’ve said the funniest thing. I started walking away. He followed. The girl asked, ”How is that possible? Nana, How is that possible?” He didn’t answer.
It was a Wednesday.
I went home thinking he will come around to explain things to me. He never came. He didn’t call too. On Friday, I called him and he didn’t pick. I was lost. “What’s happening? Who is supposed to call who and explain things.” On Sunday, I went to church and met the family. They were all happy to see me. When the dust settled, Veronica asked, “You came because of Nana’s Wedding?” I asked, “Which Nana?” She said, “Your own Nana. He got married yesterday.”
I saw him on Wednesday. On Saturday he got married to the girl I met him with.
Stories of this nature happen in movies. You’ll watch it on the screen and say, “It’s just a movie. This can’t happen to me.” But stories are closer to us than we can imagine. We only have to meet the right antagonist and our life will become a rolling blockbuster. I was shattered. My pieces were all over the place if I tried picking them up, I would have lost quite a few pieces. I decided not to call and ask why. I planned to stay for a month but ten days later, I told my dad that I was going back.
He lied about the master’s degree. He lied about everything. Indirectly, I funded his wedding without knowing. I was in the UK when he called. He said, “I thought you were never going to come back. I was scared I will wait in vain. Even this marriage wasn’t planned. My parents found her for me. They were giving me pressure and you were also not coming so I succumbed to their pressure.” I said, “Enjoy your life. I will live mine the best way that I can.
That was about four years ago. I’ve gone on to do greater things for myself. I came home recently. In church, I saw Veronica. She said, “Have you heard about what happened to Nana?” I said, “No, what happened?” She said, “They are divorced ooo, you didn’t hear? I said, “No I didn’t.” She said, “It looks like God created you two to be together that’s why this one didn’t work out.” I said, “The God I know wouldn’t create me for a fool. He’s a better God than that.”