I was seventeen years when I had a car accident. The accident got my left leg broken and after spending three months in the hospital, I started walking again. Things were not as they used to before the accident. Yes, I could walk again but not without a limp.
It got me devastated and made me develop an inferiority complex. I didn’t like myself again because I felt no one would want me. But when I grew up I realized it didn’t matter a lot. Some days I forgot about the limp but life always had a way of making me remember that my left leg wasn’t normal.
One such moment was when my boyfriend left me. We were both in university. He left without a reason until one day he told me; “My friends always made fun of me that my girlfriend was a cripple.” “I’m not a cripple,” I screamed at him but that didn’t change anything.
After school, I had a job that took all my time. It was a very demanding job to the extent that I had no social life. But it dawned on me somehow that I hadn’t had anyone proposed to me for several years. Maybe I wasn’t giving much attention to love issues because of the job. I decided to put myself on the love market again.
The first guy that came along was from Facebook. He was very popular on facebook but he always had the time to comment on the stuff I wrote on Facebook and even shared some of my posts.
One day he slid into my DM and we started talking. He expressed interest in me on countless occasions. He was smart and I loved it so when he suggested that we should go on a date, I agreed.
We set the time and venue and finally met at one of the top restaurants in Accra. It was a beautiful night for me. We talked a lot. We laughed a lot and even got a little bit drunk. We took a walk and at some point, we nearly kissed. It was he who stopped himself midway before our lips could touch. He said, “That’s too fast…” And I agreed with him.
I came home thinking about him throughout the night and even fantasized on how our next date was going to be. In my heart, he was my boyfriend and I was his girlfriend but that night became the last time I set my eyes on him. He never picked my calls and neither did he return them. I saw very little of him on Facebook until one day I realized he had blocked me.
“What did I do wrong? Or what did I say wrong?” I kept asking myself these questions but he wasn’t there to answer me.
Not very long afterwards another guy came along. We met on Facebook. Again! He was the life of the party. There was always something interesting going on on his timeline and had this great sense of humor. I liked him when he showed interest in me but I acted carefully not to give myself away on the cheap.
He suggested a meeting on several occasions but I declined. I always told him; “It’s a big world and we have a lot of time. We ain’t going anywhere so we can meet at some time but not now.” He understood me and kept chatting me up.
We made video calls often and exchanged a lot of photos. I was doing everything I could for him to see me very well, from all angles and dimensions before we meet physically. I didn’t want to take him by surprise. Even at certain points, I dropped hints about my limp just to ensure he knew enough about me.
After a year of talking on the phone and doing video calls, I decided to meet him.
He was then working in Obuasi, over five hours journey from Accra. I was scared to travel that far to meet a man but I thought it was going to be fun so one Saturday morning, I took my little bag and boarded the bus to Obuasi.
He was with me on the phone throughout the journey, chatting. I got to Obuasi around 3pm and he told me to wait at the station for him.
Around 3:15pm, he called me to come to the roadside because he was almost there. He called again fifteen minutes letter to tell me to cross to the other side of the road to make it easy for him to pick me up.
I crossed to the other side hoping he was almost there to meet me. I stood there for close to twenty minutes but he wasn’t showing up. I sent him a message that there was no chair around for me to sit on so he should speed up a little. That message got read but wasn’t responded to.
It had been 45 minutes since I got to Obuasi and still, he wasn’t there. Soon it was an hour since I got there. I called his phone. He didn’t respond. I called again, he didn’t pick. I waited for another ten minutes and called again. He didn’t pick. “What’s happening to this guy?” I asked myself.
I found a shop and asked the owner if I could sit with her and she agreed. Immediately I sat down, I called his line again; “The number you’re trying to reach is on another call…” I waited, hoping he would call me after he’d ended his conversation. He never did. I called back again and his phone was off.
I checked my time and it was 5:21 PM. It had been over two hours since I got to Obuasi but no sign of him. I started getting scared. That was when I started thinking about the possibility of being stood up.
The woman I was seated with sensed the distress in my demeanor and asked if something was the problem. I told her; “I’m waiting for someone so we travel to Accra together but it looks like the person isn’t coming.” She responded, “She better be here before this bus moves. That’s the last bus for the day.”
I called his phone for the last time and it was still off. My eyes started welling up. I looked up the skies so the woman wouldn’t know I was about to cry. Tears have a way of speeding out of your eyes when all you want is to hide them. The woman saw me crying but she didn’t ask any more questions. She only said, “if HE is not coming, go alone. It’s not the end of life.”
“He? How did she know it was a He?” I took my little bag, thanked her and rushed to the bus. When I sat on the bus, I called his number again and again and again. It was switched off. When the bus moved, I sent him a message; “Thank you.”
I coiled into my seat and cried and cried and cried. “Am I so worthless that someone I traveled over five hours to see wouldn’t like to see me? Am I so hideous and despicable just because I walk with a limp?”
I couldn’t hold the tears back. It was too painful not to cry. Somewhere in the middle of the journey, I fell asleep until we got to Accra at midnight.
It took him over a week to get back to me with his excuses; “I’m sorry about what happened. My phone went off just when I was about to get there. I had no other means to reach you and I didn’t see you when I got to the roadside where I asked you to stand.”
I had nothing to say so I said nothing.