Back in 2008, she was the girl I believed life would be beautiful with. One day she will inflate your heart with air of happiness. The next day, she will just wake up, pick a needle and pierce the heart she inflated just a night ago. She did it so well if you don’t take care you’ll be addicted to the switch of pain and happiness she brings each passing day. Actually, I was addicted! And she was my obsession.
You see, we spoke a lot when we were just friends. we would usually drown so deep in conversation that she would forget her fears and tell me the deepest secret she’d kept within her heart for a long time. At a point she told me; “I find myself again whenever I’m with you, my fears disappear as if I didn’t have them at all.” To me that was the greatest compliment. I swore I would do everything for her to make her forget her once held believe that men are nightmares. She believed me and gave me the permission to be naked next to her, how awesome. That was the beginning of our story, that would end so badly that I was left with nothing but a tattered heart. She was a rose without thorns. She grew up and lost her petals. She found sweetness in the prickles of thorns.
After five years of not hearing so much from each other, we finally met at friend’s wedding. She came to the wedding because of the bride and I was there to cheer up the bride’s groom who was getting married to escape from the shackles of loneliness. Here we are, after 5 years. Sitting next to each other. Looking at her, I said to myself; “ow God, she’s doing so well without me. she’s justified to have left me.” She had her own car (I don’t even own a bicycle yet), lives in beautiful community in Accra and had a job I was proud of. We sat through the wedding without catching a word of what happened. It was 2008 all over again. we chat, giggled and laughed at ourselves as we always use to do. After the wedding, we exchanged contact (actually I never lost her number) and planned to meet later someday where we can have silence to talk about ourselves and what went wrong.
Last night I was with her. We’d met in a restaurant where I couldn’t afford to pay the bill so she did. Yeah, after all she was the one who invited me there, I didn’t. Our meeting lasted for two hours. As we sat, her phone never stopped ringing. We never spoke for ten clear minutes without being interrupted by WhatsApp messages from her phone. I wasn’t angry, I’d expected that to happen. When we were lovers, her phone never slept. She had a world as big as china living in her phone and citizens there never slept. Our conversation last night centered on life after us and how well we are doing as individuals. At a point I had to be honest and tell her I wasn’t doing so well. It was obvious, I had no reason to say anything different. She’d always known me to be the guy with the bigger dreams. She believed in my ideas and always thought I was the clever one but last night she got to know my kind of clever couldn’t have bought her the car she was using and my kind of dreams couldn’t afford to pay for the night’s meal.
At a point in our conversation it became obvious that my host isn’t a happy person; “Nesta, these are the things I’d really wanted. In the house where I grew up, they didn’t think I will end up to be anybody. They didn’t think of me as someone who could make it like I’ve done in this short spell. I lived my life to prove them wrong. Now, anytime I go back to my old home, I go with this aura of pride knowing I’ve beaten their expectation. When I return back to my home and reflect on all the things I had to do to get to where I am now, I lose my sense of pride. The old me got worse and the sad thing is, now I don’t have you to try to direct my steps, to remind me of who I really am and beat me to tow the line.” What she said made me reconsider my worth but I wasn’t sorry for her. Deep inside of my once upon tattered heart, there’s this lingering pain. She caused it and I haven’t forgiven her. But last night, I had to pretend everything is butter and bread between us.
I felt a pulse of victory in my blood when she said she’d never had the chance to date a single man after me. Everything she’s ever made came from sleeping around with a man she doesn’t own; “A married man bought me this car after three years of sleeping around and being his escort. He is a politician and he makes me do worse things during sex. I hate him but his money keeps me comfortable. That house that I live in, a business man rented it for me. Actually, I’m listed as his employee and receive salaries every month. He never makes time for me except he wants sex. We hardly talk for a minute and he’s bad at sex. I wonder why he pays so much for something he’s bad at. The work I do now, The managing Director there got it for me. It’s a government work. The MD is one dirty person I know. Anytime he’s stressed, I’m his play toy. He would make me play with his small dangling man at every opportunity in his office so after work he would make me play with some money. This isn’t good life, don’t congratulate me.”
I sat and listened. She owned the night. Rightly so because she paid for it. Her stories could be told on silver screens and people would enjoy every bit of it. She was once a woman life thrown at me and I was grateful. Even last night I was grateful to life, for throwing her my way so I could enjoy a gourmet meal without paying a penny. Later we wrapped up the night. She had to go because one of the men might be coming to see her. She dropped me around a taxi station and said “you could pick a dropping from here”. Immediately she sped off, I hopped into a trotro and off I went. Life is beautiful, even to people like us.