When I completed SHS, I worked in my sister’s boutique as a salesgirl. One afternoon, a man in his early forties parked in front of the boutique and walked in to do some shopping. After combing through the shop, he didn’t buy anything. When he got to the counter, he asked…
What’s your name?”
“My name is Efe.”
“Efe, would you be my friend?”
“Why not? As far as you buy from me, we are friends.”
“I will come around often because of you.”
“I will be here whenever you come.”
I didn’t see him again for about three months until one afternoon he walked in. He said, “Hey, long time.” I said, “Yeah it’s been a very long time. Where have you been?” He told me he traveled to the UK for some job assignment. He went into his bag and brought out a parcel. He said, “This is for you. I thought I should get you something on my way to Ghana.” I opened it and it was perfume, and two pairs of shoes. I didn’t know how he got to know my size but when I wore them, they fit perfectly. I was so happy I wanted to even kneel and say thank you. He saw the joy in my eyes and said, “I didn’t know what you wanted that’s why I got you these few things.” I said, “It means a lot to me and I’m grateful.”
I didn’t even know his name so that day I asked and he said, “My name is Tom. Tom for Thomas but I prefer to be called Tom.” He took my number and I also took his number. He called me often and I called him often too. Somedays, he’ll drive by the boutique and deliver lunch. Sometimes, he would call to know if my sister was around so he could come and pick me for lunch. He was a kind guy and I appreciated the effort he made to ensure I was happy. One day, I had a MOMO alert from him. I checked and it was GHC1000. I called and asked, “What for?” He said, “A girl like you might need something she’s not getting. Buy something for yourself.”
Indeed I had a problem the GHC1000 could solve and it came at the right time. Again, I was very happy and poured out all my gratitude under his feet. One day my senior sister asked me, “You think this man is doing all these things for you because he only admires you?” I said, “It’s been six months already and he hasn’t said anything. We talk every day. We chat till late in the night but he hasn’t given any indication that he likes me in a romantic way.” My sister said, “You should ask him why he’s doing all that for you. There might be a reason behind it.”
I thought I would ask him but again, I thought it was rude to ask since he hadn’t said anything. I was only eighteen then so I thought he saw me as his junior sister or something. One day he told me, “I’m going back to the UK and this time, I would spend some time there. Just be a good girl until I come back.” He asked what I wanted and I told him, “Anything from your heart.” While he was away, I got admission into the university. I told him about it and he sent money for my fees. Two months after that he came back to Ghana. He came to see me on campus and again came with a parcel. I opened it and it was an iPhone. I screamed. I hugged him. I said to him, “I don’t know what I would have done without you. You’re way too kind.” He said, “You’re in the university now and this is the kind of phone a university girl should use.
Some days later, he came to visit. While in his car, he said, “I’ve known you for a while now. You’re a good girl and you’re the kind of woman every man should have in their lives. I want you to be my girlfriend and if you say yes to me today, I will marry you soon so we go and settle in the UK.” I didn’t know what to say. He was forty-two years and I was only nineteen years. How could that be? Yeah, he was kind but kindness isn’t the only factor when it comes to marriage so I told him, “Why didn’t you say it earlier? If you did, I wouldn’t have agreed to another person’s proposal.” He asked, “You mean you have someone in your life?” I said, “Yeah, We started dating only a few months ago. He’s a good guy and I can’t break up with him for no reason.”
He said, “You mean everything I’ve ever done for you is in vain?” You’re seeing someone else after everything I’ve done for you?” I said, “But you didn’t tell me you were doing all that because you wanted to date me? I thought you liked me as a junior sister of something.” This man got angry and started ranting. “How could you say that? How can you be my sister? Is that how ungrateful you can be?” I told him, “I want to go to the hostel. I have lectures very soon.” He said, “You’re not going anywhere until we settle this.” I said, “There’s nothing more to settle. You’ve been kind to me and I like you for that but I can’t date you.”
He got out of the car, came to stand at the front door, and said, “Give me my phone.” I thought he was joking. Before I could say a word, he snatched the phone from me. He looked at my feet and said, “The shoes. Take them off.” I looked around and realized we were drawing the attention of other people. I took off the shoes. He collected my purse and took the money in my purse and threw the purse away. I asked him, “Can I go now?” He said, “When am I going to receive the rest of my things?” I told him, “They are in the house, go to the shop tomorrow and my sister would give them to you.” He said, “She better bring them or else, you’ll hear from me again.”
I got out of his car, walked barefoot to the hostel while onlookers kept looking at me, judging and forming stories based on what they saw. I called my sister and told her what had happened and she said, “He dare not come to the shop tomorrow or else, he’ll have a showdown of his life. He better not.” And just like my sister said, he couldn’t go to the shop and I never heard from him again. Nothing could make me forget the embarrassment I went through that day. For days, I couldn’t step out of the hostel but today I count it as one of life’s experiences. I’ve learned to ask people what they want from me and I’ve made it point to know what others expect from me before I could build a relationship with them.