I was a girl when I fell in love with Ben. A girl of seventeen years old. I had my innocence intact and I had my fears bubbling. I don’t know why I said yes to him. Maybe it was because he was an athlete. You know what they say about girls that young—they easily fall for guys who are popular because of their talent. But I can bet on my last pesewa that it wasn’t only because of his talent. There was more to Ben.
I like my guys tall and he was tall. I like my guys dark but if he’s tall but fair, I’ll consider because being tall trumps everything on my list. Ben was fair and sweet—sweet talker I mean.
It was some kind of senior high school love. We couldn’t do so much apart from writing letters to each other and professing our undying love for each other every day. At that time, every girl I knew around me was sleeping with some guy I knew or didn’t know. It was like something automatic. They fall in love today, the next thing was s€x.
I was a scared girl. I didn’t want to go that way because I thought it could get me pregnant. Again, I was so bent on saving my all for my future husband. It was something my parents drummed in my ears every day and I fell for it. So while all the people around us were falling into the trap of their hormonal urgings, we stood still—I resisted his advances and even fought him sometimes.
At some point, he came to accept the fact that all he could get from me was a hug, holding hands and caressing the palm and when our adrenaline gets so high, then maybe a kiss. It was an unwritten law. We got ourselves in so many dark places and lonely rooms but he could never get me to do it and that did not affect our love in any way.
We completed senior high school and got admission to different universities. That was when we started dying off slowly. We tried to hold on to what we had. We could go two or three days without calling each other but when finally we get on the phone to talk, we spent hours unend trying to revive the dimming light of our relationship. Distance has a way of eroding the footprints in the sand and hid the path to the ones we love so even when we try to go back, we miss our way.
We tried to hold on but our grips started loosing up until our hands could barely touch each other’s. At this moment, you grasp a finger and hold on to it with all your might until it starts slipping off, and then you grudgingly let go so you can part your back and say, “I tried.”
Nothing killed what we had. He did me no wrong and I did him no wrong. Life got busy. We lost our ways to each other. Calls to each other became scanty until one day, no call came through. Some times life happens.
At level two hundred, I found Joshua.
No, it was Joshua who found me because it was he who walked up to me and said, “Hello.” It was he who said he was in love with me. The only thing I said was, “Give me some time.” Boy meets girl. Boy says I love you. Girl says let’s give it try. Boy and girl fall in love. That’s the summary of our story.
The first thing I noticed about Joshua was his impatience. He wanted what he wanted and he had to get it. That was the first red flag for me to have escaped but curiosity said to me, “Hold on little girl, there’s more to him than being impatient. Wait a while and remember he’s tall and dark.”
Tall and dark did the trick.
I stayed even when it was clear that he wasn’t good for me. I stayed even when he was emotionally unavailable. I stayed even when he tried to force his way through me on many occasions. I guess I was still a little girl.
One afternoon at his hostel, I watched him while he took away the most precious thing in my life—my virginity. I was too tired to fight him. I had fought him for several minutes. There’s a point a girl stops fighting because there’s no strength left in her.
And I was too embarrassed to scream.
He had his way. I cried. I got angry. But there’s one thing I couldn’t do; walk away. I still stayed, thinking now that he had had what he wanted, he would be a good man and be sweet to me. Boy, I was wrong. I was only a trophy for him. Boys watch football and are passionate about their football teams because deep down in their hearts, their football teams remind them of who they themselves are. They play all season fighting different oppositions in different weather only to win a tiny trophy. And what do they do after winning the trophy? They jubilate a little. The next day they begin chasing another trophy.
Now tell me that’s not how boys are. I’m waiting.
Joshua had his trophy for the season. He put me in his trophy cabin and started chasing after another trophy. To him, every girl had their seasons just like his favorite Arsenal football club. The only difference was, he won some trophies.
I did my time in school and left. I wasted no time in any other relationship. Joshua was all I could take. Girls have a season they say no to all relationships. We rest.
I did national service and later found me a job. I was doing well. That was when I started thinking about a relationship. I needed a man to treat me well emotionally. I needed my day in a good relationship. I was getting rusty. I remember one afternoon I put on a new dress and some new shoes. I did my make-up like a queen, picked my clutch and stood in the mirror and told myself; “Girl you are beautiful. You’ll light wherever you go up with this beauty. Imaging the right man on your side—you two will rule the world.”
Self-love is always free!
And then I met a man. He ticked only two of my boxes but it was alright. He was no tall and no dark but hey we can’t get everything we want in life. The first tall and dark guy I had stole everything from me. What’s tall got to do with it? It was time to try something different. I said yes to him and we started kicking. We didn’t rule the world but we were king and queen in our own world. He treated me like a guy who loves his woman. He even gave me a pet name; Lindie from Linda.
I changed my Facebook name from Linda to Lindie Dzorling. When love finds you!
One day I walked into Ben. You remember that Ben? That guy from twenty-three paragraphs ago, yeah. I met him at a Christmas carol. He too was doing well working for one of the telcos in Ghana. We got talking throughout the carol session. We spoke of old days and we asked ourselves, “What happened?” We both didn’t have answers.
I had his number all along but nothing clicked that I should contact him. He too had my number and never called but from the day that we met, we started talking every day and every night. I told him of Joshua and what he did to me. He was very angry and even suggested; “It’s never too late to make a case against him. That’s what the #MeToo movement is for.” He also told me about his failed relationships.
And the important question of the day came up…
“So what now? Are you dating?”
I said, “Yeah, I have someone now. He’s cute and hitting all the right notes in my life. I pray it stays the same.” He also said, “Yeah, there is someone for me. We are mostly on and off due to one of two things lacking in our lives but we are ok.” That settled it but we kept talking and even met some times. Then the issue of old flames started brining its face. It started as a thought, then it became a feeling. Anytime I spoke with him there seemed to be something missing. There seemed to be unsettled scores.
So one night he said, “We just allowed ourselves to be drifted. What I have for you never died. It was buried alive and now that I’ve found you, everything is alive, like we never left.” I asked him, “So what do you want us to do?” He said jokingly, “Leave that guy and come for me.” We both laughed at how callous that sounded. I said, “If I met you earlier than I did, things would have been different. Now, it’s unlikely because this one treats me like I want to be treated.”
Then he dropped the bomb; “Ok, we don’t actually have to be together but please let’s have a proper closure to this so my heart can rest. Just one night together, that’s all I ask for.” “One night together for what?” I asked. “What are we going to do all night?” He responded, “Closure. We do what we never did so each of us can go in peace.”
I thought he was being stupid but he kept pushing for that closure until I started giving it some thought; “Truly I love him. The only thing standing in between us is my cute boyfriend but what one does not know can not hurt, right? I can do it and he’ll not know. Just one night together and I will never pick his calls again.”
Let’s accept it. A girl can be very stupid when it comes to matters of the heart. How did I even accept that?
It was a Friday night. I put on my new dress and wore new shoes and picked my clutch. I stood in the mirror, gave a huge sigh and said, “Little girl, learn to stay calm. It’s only one night and nothing more.” I was at his door around 9pm. I knocked and he took me in. It was a night to remember. When I woke up on Saturday morning, I wanted one more day so I stayed until Sunday morning when I took the walk of shame back home.
READ ALSO: When You Can’t Forgive And Forget
I found myself crying all day. It was a great night but I was regretting everything I did. I felt very cheap and undeserving. I felt I deserved everything Joshua did to me if I could do that to my cute boyfriend. He had been loving and nothing short of amazing but I let it all go just so I can have two nights and a day affair with an old flame. Ben called me a thousand times but I never picked. He wanted more of me but I despised myself because of him. I thought of forgetting everything and forging ahead with my cute boyfriend.
But something was missing. Nothing was the same again between me and my cute boyfriend. His touch became ordinary, his kisses never moved me and I compared him to Ben every step of the way. He was giving me his all but I was frigid and unmoved. We started dying out little by little until the last flicker fizzled out.
and up until now, I haven’t had a relationship that lasted more than six months. My last relationship before I wrote this story lasted for only twenty-eight days. That’s how bad things have become with me.
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Susana Afrakoma is a Qualified Producer and a Senior Consultant at Herbalife Nutrition, and has also worked for companies including Amazon, Avon and Mary Kay. She enjoys the company of her 3 handsome boys. Shes on the journey of becoming a Philanthropist and an Entrepreneur.