My friend, Berlinda’s mother was also a mother to me when she was alive. The day she died everything stopped for me. I felt like a piece of me was missing. It felt like I lost someone who was more than just a mother to a friend. She was a mother to me too and I was going to miss her presence in my life. I cried with Berlinda and stayed with her throughout the funeral and burial. On Sunday during the thanksgiving church service, I sat beside a guy I was seeing for the first time. I didn’t belong to that church so most faces there were new to me. He called me by name. He said, “Anas, you can share my hymn book with me.” The church was singing hymnals. I didn’t have one so I was just humming along. He might have seen my suffering with the lyrics of the hymn. He was considerate but how did he know my name? That was the question on my mind as we sang together from the same hymn book.
I whispered, ”How did you know my name? Are we friends on Facebook?” He laughed. He said, “Your friend mentioned your name when she came to you and I heard it.” I said, “Oh really? I didn’t hear her mention my name.” He said, “She did. But she didn’t mention your surname and I will be glad if you will add it.” We kept talking intermittently during the service. After the service, he asked, “Can I have your number? I know your name. I will like to know more.” I took his phone and tapped my number on it for him. He called my line. He said, “That’s my number. Please save it. You didn’t ask for my name. I’m Kenneth.”
I didn’t save his number on my phone so that evening when he called I asked, “Please who is this?” He said, “This is Kenneth.” I asked, “Kenneth from where?” He said, “So you didn’t save my number? I’m the guy you met at church this morning. The guy who shared his hymn book with you.” I remembered him instantly. I said, “Sorry I forgot to save the number. It got hectic right after the service. I will save it this time.”
He wanted to meet again. He said he wanted us to be friends. He liked my presence and wanted to see more of me. I told him, “We just buried our mother. The dust is yet to settle. Kindly give me some time to find my bearing. I will get back to you and we’ll be friends.” He texted. He called every now and then. He kept asking when I would be ready to meet him. “Just for a drink. I just want to know you.” I asked, ”Just that?” He answered, “Just that.”
One evening after work we met over a drink as he promised. He asked questions and I answered. He kept telling me, “I like a woman like you.” Every sentence of his had that statement. On our second outing, I told him, “Please go straight to the point. What do you want from me?” He said, “I thought you knew. I want you to be my friend but more than anything, I want you to be more than a friend.” I asked, “You want a girlfriend in me?” He said, “Something of that sort.” I said, ”We just buried a mother. My heart is not in the right place. It’s still mourning. It’s still hurt. Give it some time and let’s see what happens”
Three months later, we were head over heels in love. He was a charmer. He was persistent. He didn’t take no for an answer. I loved his persistence and I loved the care he showed. The first day he said he was taking me to his house, I imagined a single room self-contained at some obscured place in Accra. You know, guys his type have a way of living. I knew his work and I guessed his income so I placed him at where guys his age and work should be placed. We entered his place and it was bigger than I anticipated. Looking at the house and the room arrangement, it wasn’t something he could rent a piece of it. I asked him, “You live here alone?” He said, “Technically, I don’t live here alone. When my parents come around, this is where they stay.” He took me around, showing me his parents’ room and his sister’s room. I said, “It looks like you have rich parents. They gave you the car you drive. They gave you the house you live in. You’re one lucky guy.”
He told me his parents and his sister have decided to live their lives abroad, leaving only him in Ghana. He said, “I’ve been there with them. I didn’t like it there. It’s lonely. Quiet neighborhood. People hardly look at you. I can’t survive there. I decided to live my life here whiles they live theirs there.” And then he said, “Hurry up and let’s get married. This place needs a mother.” I asked, “It means you’re ready to marry?” He said, “Say yes to marriage today and we’ll marry tomorrow.” Whatever he meant by that, I didn’t take him seriously.”
I spent my first night with him. I woke up at dawn and he wasn’t sleeping next to me. I thought he was in the washroom or somewhere around. Those who wake up at dawn to visit the washroom don’t usually spend forever there but I waited with my eyes opened, thinking he would come back soon. He didn’t. I called his name. No answer. I went to the washroom, turned on the light, and called his name again. No answer. “Where could this guy be? Or he went back to the hall?” The house is a storey building. The hall is on the ground floor. I started descending to the hall. I got to the hall and he wasn’t there. I called out his name and he came out right from one of the rooms downstairs. He asked, “What are you doing here? You should be sleeping.”
I asked, ”What are you doing downstairs? You should be sleeping next to me.” He said, “My parents called. You know the time difference so they usually call at these hours. I didn’t want to disturb your sleep, that’s why I came downstairs to talk to them.” I asked, “Have you finished talking with them?” He said, ”Yeah, you came right when I was hanging up.” He walked with me upstairs. We continued sleeping. The following day, I left his house and went to mine.
One evening, he called. He asked, “I thought we planned for you to be here this evening?” I said, “Yeah I’m getting ready to come. Just that I had my menses so I’m a little bit clumsy right now but don’t worry, I will be there soon.” He said almost immediately, “Don’t come.” I asked, “Why?” He said, “No you don’t have to come. Just stay home and take care of yourself.” I said, “I’m not sick. I’m fine. I’m clumsy doesn’t mean I’m sick.” He said, “Just don’t come here until you’re done. I won’t feel good knowing that you’re on your period.” We argued it out for several minutes. He didn’t want me to go there so I didn’t. Truly, he didn’t see me until I was done. We were not having sex so I wondered why he wouldn’t see me.
I asked him, “So what if I didn’t tell you?” He said, “Now I know your time. I will be calculating with you. Please don’t come here when you’re in red. It gives me a certain feeling I don’t like.” I said, “And you want to marry?” He said, “There are many rooms in here. You’ll use one of them whenever you’re in red. I just don’t want that.” That conversation made me a little bit uncomfortable with him but I said in my head, “We’ll work around it. He’ll get used to it and be fine.”
Another night I was was with him. Again I woke up and he wasn’t there. “His parents called I guess.” I didn’t check anywhere, I just walked down the stairs and started knocking on that particular door. I knocked for over three minutes before he came out. He was angry. He said, “Why would you be knocking to disturb our conversation? Can’t you sleep? When you wake up and I’m not there, just sleep. I will definitely join when I’m done.” I walked upstairs and his phone was in the bedroom. “So what was he talking on?” I started getting ideas. I started getting scared. Questions.
“What does he actually do in that room when he wakes up at dawn?”
That question bugged my mind for days. I didn’t want to ask him. I wasn’t ready for the answers. I told him, “We’ve been dating for months now. You said you want to marry me so why are you hiding me from your parents? Don’t you think I deserve to meet them?” He said, “I don’t want to do that on phone. They’ll be home in December. I will do a proper introduction when they come.” I said, “I understand your nuclear family lives abroad. How about your extended family? Cousins, aunties, uncles, in-laws. Don’t you have any of them around here?” He said, “I have a lot of them. They are all in the village. I only go to them when my parents visit.” I asked, “How about friends? Ever since I’d known you, you’ve only introduced me to your colleagues at work. Don’t you have friends outside work?” He asked, “Why all these questions? Are you feeling insecure?” I said, “I’m feeling inadequate. The relationship is not full yet. Something is missing and that something is what I’m looking for.”
He said, “Everything would be alright. Wait till December. My parents will come. I’ll introduce you to them. We’ll follow them around to meet whoever you want to meet. As for friends, I told you. All I know is my work. I don’t do friends. I have you and that’s all I need. If you want me to make friends, no problem. We’ll go out there and make friends together or you can introduce me to your friends so we take it from there.”
Honestly, I’m scared, confused, conflicted, and have been thinking crazy thoughts since that day he got angry and I later found his phone in the bedroom. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? I’ve been putting one and one together and the answer scares me. He has two cars. He lives in a big house—bigger than his age and wage, looking at the job he does. He has a room he goes to at dawn to talk to his ‘parents.’ Are you getting the picture? Maybe it’s my mind that’s playing tricks on me but if you get the picture I’m creating, does it mean that your mind is also playing tricks on you? One mind can be wrong. Many minds going in the same direction can hardly be wrong. If your mind and mine are on the same wavelength then there’s a reason to be worried.
Should I run away? Or I should stay until December to see if he’ll let me meet his parents?
It’s urgent. Please give me your best shot of advice before I die so young.
Source: Silent Beads