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It was her twenty-seventh birthday when she asked me; “Do you know what I want for my birthday?” I said, “You tell me.” She said, “I want us to abstain from sɛx until we get married.” I laughed. I said, “People want iPhones and Momo on their birthdays. You want abstinence?” She said, “Yeah, that’s all I want but if you add Momo or iPhone to it, I will take it.”
Honestly, I didn’t take her seriously. We were in the second year of our relationship and everything was pointing to the fact that we were going to get married. We had discussed it extensively. We knew where we were going to live and even knew the number of kids we were going to have. She was sure about me and I was so sure about her so what will make her suggest that?”
On her birthday, I took her out on a date. We had a lot to eat and a lot to drink. After the date, she said she was going home. I asked, “I thought you were going to spend the night with me?” She said, “I would love to but I don’t think it’s a good idea considering what we talked about the other time.” I asked, “What did we talk about?” She said, “Abstinence until we marry. Have you forgotten so soon?” I asked, “Ah, so you were serious?” She said, “Yeah I’m serious. Why would I tell you to give that to me as a birthday gift if I wasn’t serious about it?”
I looked at her critically. I’ve dated her for two years but I’d known her for over five years. I know how she looks when she’s serious about something. Her posture that night indicated that she was very serious about it. I asked again, “Are you serious?” She said, “Yeah I am. I want our wedding day to be special. I want the night of our honey to be special too. If we continue doing it till we get married, what else would we enjoy on that night?” I said, “Come off it. I don’t want to enjoy anything on that day. Just stop playing jokes with me.”
I tried to coerce her. I said all there’s to say. I put up my best show with words. I used all the tricks you can find in the books just to get her to go home with me. She said, “Kwame, let’s not push this. It’s for the best. You’ll thank me on that day I know. Just understand me.”
When her taxi came and she hopped in and left me there, it felt like I was dreaming. I asked myself questions; “For how long has she been thinking about this? How come I didn’t know about it and why is she so serious about it? Or she wants me to quicken up my steps to get married to her as soon as possible? Anyway…”
She ran away but I knew she’ll live to fight another day because I wasn’t going to fold my arms and accept defeat just like that. But the days following that day were tougher. She will call me day and night but refused to visit me. She was living with her parents and slept in the same room with her sister so there was no way I could go there and conquer. I begged her to change her mind. I brought in statistical data to support the agenda but this girl said no. One day I told her, “I’m not going to ask you again. Do as you please.” She said, “Thank you for understanding me.” I was angry but she pretended she hasn’t seen my anger.
Since she was not visiting me in my house, whenever we had to meet, we met in town, or I went to visit her. It continued for a year. During the lockdown, we planned on doing the knocking but it didn’t happen because of the Covid. November last year, I went with my family members to perform the knocking rite. After the knocking, I thought she would soften up but the best she could offer was just a kiss. When things started getting intense, she pulled away and left me.
When I went home and I saw the list, I called her and told her to come over so we discuss how to get them. A week later she came to my place. It was the first time in a year I’d been in my room with her. Immediately she entered I started getting busy with her. She fought it but I knew where to touch and where to hold to make her mellow. She gave in and we did it. Something didn’t feel right. I wish I know how to explain it but it didn’t feel like she had been abstaining. Every driver knows when his car is overheating. She was overheating throughout.
At some point, I pulled the breaks. She asked me, “What? Why have you stopped?” I said, “Nothing. I’m resting a bit.” I continued later but the whole thing didn’t feel right.
I started monitoring her. I went to her house unannounced often and I often didn’t meet her. I was in her house one day and her mother told me she wasn’t around. I stood there and called. I asked, “Where are you?” She said, “I’m in the house.” I said, “So your mother is lying?” She asked me, “What did she tell you?” I said, “I’m right in front of your house. Your mother says you’re not in.” She said, “Oh saaa? I visited my friend bi at the hospital. I’m now coming home. I’m almost there, that’s why I said I’m in the house.”
I stood there and waited for her until she got there fifteen minutes later. We were talking when she took her phone and started pressing it. I snatched the phone from her and said good night. She screamed, “Why have you taken my phone? Where are you going with my phone?” I didn’t want the screen to go off because I didn’t have the password. She started chasing after me. I kept running whiles scrolling the phone so the screen doesn’t go off. Had it not been that day, I didn’t know my girlfriend was an Olympic sprinter. She gave me the chase of my life but I outrun her and disappeared with her phone.
I sat on a wall somewhere and read all I could read. After everything, I said, “Wow! When I got home, she was sitting in front of my gate waiting for me. I handed the phone to her without saying a word. She collected the phone and left without saying a word. The next day, I called my father; “Dad, I want to go back for the drink I sent to the lady’s family.” He asked, “Why? You’ve had a fight with her?” I explained everything to him. My dad screamed, “Wow!” He asked, “So when should we go for it?” I said, “As soon as possible.”
I called her mother. I told her I’ve changed my mind about the marriage. She screamed, “My son, why would you do that? If anything at all, please come let’s talk about it and settle it. Don’t go that far I’m pleading with you.” I took my time and explained everything to her. She said, “Wow, are you sure you’re talking about my daughter?”
The day we went for the drink, she wasn’t even around to witness what happened. Her mother said with tears in her eyes, “I’m sorry about everything that has happened. It’s embarrassing but forgive us. I don’t know what has come over our daughters of this generation. They don’t listen so they end up doing things that always put their lives in jeopardy.”
My girlfriend didn’t have the courage to call me to apologize or even attempt to explain herself. I also didn’t bother. I read everything so there was no need for me to bother. The day she took her phone from me was the last day we saw each other. It was also the last day we talked to each other.
“What did you read on her?” I know you’re asking me as you read this.
That night she was returning from the house of her boss—a married man with four kids but his family had traveled. She has dated her boss for over a year and had gotten pregnant twice. The first one, they got rid of it peacefully but the second one turned into a fight because her boss said he wasn’t responsible so he wouldn’t pay her a dim to get rid of it. It turned into an argument. That day when I met her, she was returning from the boss’s house, still pregnant and fighting her boss over it.
That same pregnancy, she had given it to another man known on her phone as Ben. He too denied it because he had done the maths and things didn’t tally. That same pregnancy was also for Kelvin. Kelvin accepted and promised to send her money. Later, she was telling her friend Matilda; “I don’t want to get rid of this one. It’s been too many and I’m scared it will affect me later in my marriage. I will push Kwame for us to get married as soon as possible. After all, he could as well be the one responsible for this one because he also slept with me within that month.”