I met George again ten or eleven years after school. We both attended Junior high school together and didn’t ever meet again after we completed. I don’t have a lot of memories of him back when we were in school but I remember we once shared a desk. I remember we fought sometimes because he loved to teased my plagued teeth. And I remember one of our fights got us into trouble when a teacher lashed us and gave us a portion of land to weed.
All these memories came back to me when I met George in a certain banking hall in Accra. I had relocated to Accra from Cape Coast and had gone to the bank to make some withdrawals. Immediately he saw me he mentioned my name and I mentioned his too. We came out and had a lengthy conversation, most of which centered on our days in school and what had brought me to Accra.
I learned he worked for one of the real estate companies and coincidentally didn’t live far away from where I had rented my new apartment. We exchanged contacts and got talking. He visited my place on weekends to help me put the place in order. He even painted my room for me.
He became the first friend I had in Accra and helped me settled and even took me out to meet friends. He made life easier and I must admit, he made me settle faster than I thought I could.
I attended a program with him once and he introduced me to one of his friends, Christian. He said; “Chris, meet Michelle, an old schoolmate I met recently.” And he teasingly added; “She’s single but I won’t give her to you because you are not a good man.” We all laughed, shook hands and settled for the program.
Christian sat next to me and throughout the programme dished out one funny line after another. He ensured we had something to laugh about all night till we parted ways after the program.
I had a call the next morning. It was Christian. He said; “I got your number from George this morning to call and check if you had a beautiful night.” “That’s thoughtful of you Chris,” I said. “My night was good and I had a wonderful evening with you guys.”
One thing led to another. Eventually, Chris proposed and I said yes. That was about six months after we had first met. George had stopped seeing me for all that while. He was busy, he told me. He was busy organizing his impending wedding. I understood him.
He didn’t know I was dating Chris. It wasn’t as if I tried to hide it from him but I didn’t see the need to tell him. I knew someday somehow, he’ll get to know. And he did get to know. Chris told him. Then he called me to verify and I told him it was true. Then he asked me, “Does Chris know that…” “He doesn’t need to know.” I cut him off mid-sentence.
There’s a secret I haven’t told Chris. I didn’t think he should know but since George brought it up, I had to reconsider. Somehow George didn’t like the fact I was dating Chris. That’s why he brought that up.
Chris proposed that we got married and we started preparation towards that. Every night George would call me asking if I had told Chris the secret. He’ll say; “I know Chris and how he behaves sometimes. It’s better you tell him now before it gets too late.” I would get angry and ask him why he was so interested in that. But somehow, he had a point.
Chris and George were very good friends before I came in. When I met George, somehow, we got carried away and had sex a couple of times. I knew George had a girlfriend and I didn’t have dating intentions. Shit happens sometimes. Now I’m the one in to tell or not to tell situation.
I feared if I don’t tell him myself, George will someday tell him and it would be a different ball game altogether. After all, it happened before I met Chris so I believed Chris would be considerate and not take it so hard. Again, I believed if I said it in a confessional manner and appealed to his sense of forgiveness, he would forgive and make us forge ahead.
I met Chris at his house and told him everything. I explained how and why it happened. I said everything and explained everything I had to explain. He yelled; “Why are you telling me now?” “because I don’t want you to hear it from anywhere but from me.”
He got livid. He stood up and started screaming and shouting across the room; “How could you do that? I didn’t know you were so cheap. How could you sleep with someone who is not your boyfriend, someone you knew had a girlfriend? How could you? I can’t live my life with a slut. Come to think of it, you did it with my friend. How do I face George now, knowing that he had slept with my soon to be wife? Never! Never! Never!”
He kept pacing to and fro so livid that I thought he was going to hit me. I kept mute and scared. But his words kept piercing me. He called me a slut. He called me cheap. That really got to me but I prevented myself from crying. After some minutes, he seemed to have calmed down so I told him; “I didn’t say I was proud of what I did. I’m only telling you because I thought I should…”
Before I could finish my statement, he screamed at me; “Get out, get out!” I picked my purse and left his room. I didn’t call him and he didn’t call me. Three days later, he sent a message telling me he doesn’t want me anywhere close to his life. I’m a slut and he couldn’t live with me. I didn’t respond immediately, thinking he would change his mind.
He didn’t. He delivered my stuff I kept in his house to me later and that was the last day I saw him.
I moved on and learned to live life on my own terms. A year later he started being nice to me on Facebook. We started talking again and decided to hang out for old time sake. That was when he decided to open up and apologize for his actions that day. He said he was overtaken by events and also for the fact that George was involved. He knew George’s promiscuous ways and couldn’t imagine him having something to do with the woman he loved. I only nodded.
He suggested we come back together but I was very frank with him; “It won’t work out for us even if we try. I’ve learned not to tell you the truth knowing how you treated me the first time I did. What is a relationship if I can’t open up to my man? I’ve moved on. Kindly move on too.”
That was it. The end of us.
-Story by Baaba Ennin, Accra-Ghana.