People disrespected us every day due to our work. We served people at a drinking bar. One had to enter the bar and for all the time he/she would spend there, we would be at their beck and call.
Some people, usually men, took advantage to make sexual advances towards us. We were trained to be polite and treat customers with care or else lose our jobs. So we remained polite, even to those who invaded our privacy and tried to touch us where we didn’t want them to.
That aside, I loved my job as a waitress. I loved the bar and the little dramas. The music never stopped and people always had something to celebrate there. Once in a while, people would have a lot to drink and cause a scuffle. Once in a long while, good people would come my way. One of such people was Ben.
He came at the point in my life where I desperately wanted to settle down. When he asked for my number at the bar, I initially declined but he insisted. So I mumbled it out for him while he typed it on his phone. I left immediately after that.
I thought he was going to call that night but he didn’t. Two days after, he’d still not called. I asked myself, “Why would he take my number when he knew he wasn’t going to call?” That was the point I realized that I needed him around to be around.
Three days later, he came to the bar again. He walked over to the counter and said; “I think I missed one of the numbers that day. I couldn’t call because it kept saying wrong number.”
I felt relieved, knowing he made some sort of effort. I wrote my number down on a sheet of paper and gave it to him. He called that night and we were on the phone till forever. He told me how he created his business out of nothing. He encouraged me not to be afraid to move from one place to another. And then he told me how he lost his girlfriend when he had nothing. He opened up to me and that automatically gave me the confidence to open up to him too.
Ben and I ended up talking a lot over the next few days. Just when I was opening up to like him more, he proposed. I said yes.
I was in love with his ways. He never rushed things and never pushed his ways on me. Then one night he picked me up after work and asked me, “Can I take you home? I mean my home?” Before I could say anything, he said, “Don’t worry you’ll be fine.”
I trusted him because, for the past five months that we’ve been dating, I’d been nothing but fine. He had a beautiful home. A home that said, “A rich guy lives here.” We spent the night talking in a room he took me. Just when I was about to dream of how our first night was going to be, he said good night and rushed out of the room.
He slept in a different room and left me thinking about why a man would bring his girlfriend home and decide to sleep elsewhere. Again, his explanation was, “let’s take it slowly.
Things progressed slowly between us. In between, he introduced me to some friends, some colleagues and some people he called ‘family members.’
He was doing everything right and treated me very well but I wasn’t sure about us. He called me girlfriend but he did very little to prove I was. On our way to his house one night, he stopped midway, pulled me closer to his chest and kissed me. He drove on speedily to the house and that night, it happened. It was special and it was fulfilling. After six months of seeing each other every day, finally, things went down.
Life was normal between us. I thought to myself that I might have finally found someone who could be my person. I prayed every day that things work out between us.
Things started going south. I wasn’t seeing him like I used to. He told me business was tight. He wasn’t calling. He told me business meetings took a lot of his time. He was always traveling. That made it very difficult to see him. I could go a whole month without seeing him. That was difficult for me to take.
I begged him to see me one day. All I wanted was to see him and ask him questions. I wanted to know if he’d gotten over me. He agreed to meet me only for him to call at the eleventh hour to tell me he couldn’t make it.
I got desperate. I wanted to know the reasons so after work that night, I picked a cab and went straight to his house. I saw his car outside. I knew he was there. I went to the door and knocked. I heard voices. I knocked again and this time a voice asked who was there.
It wasn’t his voice. It was a female voice. I knocked harder. The voice got louder and stern; “Who is that?” I mentioned my name and finally, the door flung opened.
“You’re looking for someone?
“Who are you looking for?”
I looked at her finger. She was wearing a ring. I told her; “The Ben I’m looking for is not married and he lives here.”
She left me and went inside. Some few minutes later, she came back with Ben. He freaked out when he saw me. I was almost in tears. I told him, “At least, you should have told me the truth,” and then I started walking away. I heard the woman calling me to stop but I didn’t look back. I just went away.
I cried myself to sleep that night and my mind never stopped judging me; “You can’t keep a man that falls from nowhere. They usually belong to other women,” I kept repeating that to myself.
At What Point Do I Tell My “Little Brother” That I’m Actually His Mom?
I didn’t have the strength to go to work the next day or even the next. I wanted to quit everything and leave all the memories behind but somehow deep inside I wanted to hear from Ben. I felt he owed me an apology or an explanation for everything. I wanted him to say sorry but it never happened.
I still don’t know how the two of them handled the situation that night but I believe they are fine now. It would be one of those struggles they had to go through as a couple but I’m here today, going through my own struggle of trying to find closure for myself. It’s hard but this to shall pass. Someday.
—Lucy, Accra, Ghana
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