His name is John. Let’s call him John. We didn’t start out as lovers. I don’t remember him proposing to me and I don’t remember myself saying yes to his love proposal. Sometimes I tell my friends; “We woke up one day and we were lovers.” That seems the only logical explanation I could give to our situation.
But that took nothing away from us. We loved each other deeply. Well, that’s how I thought until it all came down. These days, one could hardly know the difference between when a man loves you and when he does not truly love you. Both behave the same way until a lot of times are wasted before the truth finally comes out.
I thought John was loving me because I loved him so much. The day I introduced him to my parent as my love object, my mom said; “My daughter, you truly know how to choose a man. He’s a hunk!” My dad liked him too. He saw him as well behaved and had a career that could support a family.
After introducing him to my family, he came to my house every now and then and sometimes spent the night with me. My parent had no issue with that though they asked me occasionally to be careful. Who didn’t know me and John? We were always together and our feelings towards each other were very obvious. You meet us for a second and you know who the two of us are.
One thing was missing. After two years of being together, John never introduced me to his parent. Yeah, I knew his other two siblings, a boy, and a girl. But beyond that, I didn’t know anything of note of his family. At first, I didn’t ask him about that. I thought time would make him do the right thing. Also, I knew guys usually see women as pushy if you ask them to introduce you to their parent. I didn’t want to push our story. I wanted everything to play out naturally.
After two years, I thought I deserve to know more than just two siblings. Even that, I got to know them just because they came around a lot of times. Two years is enough time to know each other better. Two years is enough to make a decision about the future of a relationship.
So, one night I asked him; “When are we going to see your parent? I don’t want them to feel I’ve kidnapped you.” We both laughed and he told me; “I’ve been thinking about that lately. I didn’t know how to tell you to travel over 700 kilometers with me to the North to see my parent.” I told him; “Distance isn’t the problem. It’s important that we do it so let’s do it.”
He kept postponing the dates of the travel. I got restless. I started thinking he was developing cold feet towards the relationship. “Maybe he doesn’t take us seriously like I do,” I thought to myself. Then one Wednesday night he called to tell me, “Get ready we are going on Friday.” I didn’t need to get ready. I was already ready.
On the said Friday, we set off to meet the parent. I didn’t know what to expect. So many questions kept flooding my thoughts; “What if they say no?” “What if they don’t like me?” What if they tell him they’ve already found him a wife?” A lot of these thoughts kept me company until we got there.
I can’t understand their native language. They could speak next to nothing of mine but their demeanor was a happy one. The mum was all laugh and grin when she shook my hands. The dad was also very enthused about me. My heart finally rested from all the negative thoughts. We spent two days with the parent and traveled back to Accra.
It’s been four years into our relationship. Two years after we met his parent and three years after we had met my parent, still no decision on what to do next with our relationship. I knew what next we should do and I tried to remind him of it. He always found a way of sidelining the marriage topic. It’s either “we don’t have to rush into marriage,” or “The time is not right,” or “I’m trying to put things in order so we don’t suffer in marriage.”
I was getting tired of the excuses and the frustrating part of the whole thing was, he was the right man. He did everything right in the relationship. Well, except the excuses. He was there when I needed him. He showed I was his priority and would leave everything else just to be with me. That kept me going and hoping that maybe, just maybe he was trying to pull a surprise on me. A girl can only dream but can’t dream forever. I had hopes but for how long was I supposed to live on hope?
I had a hearty chat with him one night. I told him; “John, I’ve loved you from day one and I believe you do too. It’s almost five years since we’ve been together. Nothing is wrong with us. We hardly fight or do anything wrong against each other so I’m surprised you refuse to let us get married. We don’t have forever. Especially me, I don’t have forever so let’s do this thing once and for all. We have one year to get married. A year from today, if nothing happens, I’ll walk out, and I mean it.”
I saw a change in his attitude afterward. He became contemplative and very calculative in his dealings with me and I enjoyed it. He promised me he was going to do everything not to lose me and even brought up a plan to follow to achieve marriage in a year. I didn’t fall for those because I knew his changing attitude. Six months later, nothing happened. I stopped reminding him I was counting the time.
Nine months later, still nothing happened. He kept telling me he was running out of time but I shouldn’t worry, everything would turn out ok.
Eleven months later, he came asking me for two more months to get her parents to agree to the date of the marriage. I told him; “John, I love you but we have only one month. After I’ll walk away and nothing would stop me.”
Twelve months later, nothing happened. I called him in the morning and told him; “Our time is up. I’m moving on and I mean it.”
I cried myself up to sleep most times. My heart was breaking especially when I have to force myself not to pick his calls or see him. He came around most times but I didn’t see him. I resolved not to give him an inch closer to my life. He had wasted my life enough. I couldn’t give him more space.
It was August when I asked him not to see me again. August, September, October, November. Just four months after our breakup, John had a wedding with a lady who came from abroad. I heard from people close to him that John and the lady had been dating for five years. Did you read that? They have been dating for five years! Exactly the number of years I dated him.
I got played!
Friends advised me to cause commotion at the wedding, which I wanted to but a woman has to have some dignity no matter the shame she walks through. If I obeyed friends (who were even ready to cause the commotion with me) and actually cause the commotion, I wouldn’t have only caused John pains. I would have caused pain to another innocent woman who had no role to play in this whole transaction. And I would forever remain the woman who went to cause commotion at the wedding of her ex. That tag was too much to carry.
I let it all go. The pain didn’t go away. Three years after the event, I still cry when I remember. I hope sharing this will help me bury the pains once and for all. I doubt but I can only hope.
-Story by Lucy Manso, Accra, Ghana.(Silentbeads.com)