“Kwadjo, nobody loves me. Why don’t they love me? This is my 17th relationship. And they all leave me before even asking me to the altar.” Shiela squeaked amidst the flowing tears.
“Am I that ugly? Am I that stupid? Do I love foolishly? Are there things I do that make me unlikeable? Kwadjo please tell me! Say something”
Kwadjo looked at his friend of fifteen years. Having loved her for over sixteen years, he had watched her go through all the relationships. It all start with her swearing the man is the “most awesome man on the planet”. Then she will talk about their romantic moves to woo her, show him their gifts and giggle while receiving their calls, all in his presence. Then it will get to the time when she struggles to get hold of them without success and the depressing breakups and his dirty job as the wiper of her tears. She will cry in his arms and treat him as though he is nothing but a jobless feminine friend.
“What do you want me to say Akosua Korantemma” Shiela stopped crying and looked at him.
“This is the first time you have called me by my maiden name. What is happening? Am I boring you with my tears and whining?”
Kwadjo nodded. “You really are grinding my heart into sand.”
It was Shiela’s turn to act surprised. “What did I do? It must have been bad. I have never seen you act this way”
Kwadjo sat down and was amazed at the concern on her face. “Are you that concerned for me? Then look into my ears, feel my heartbeat and form your conclusion”
Shiela did and felt weird. It seems Kwadjo wants her as a woman but it is something she could not see herself doing. She regarded her as a big brother. She felt bad immediately. She had never seen him with any woman before. Her mother had always called him “Adwoa the Dog” for following her and supporting her without anything in return. And he had seen all her relationships. How can a man endure so much? She felt ashamed of herself and felt like a horrible friend who never saw his tears but always made him clean his. Seventeen boyfriends and he had been there all through. Not that he is good for nothing, not that he lacked money, not that he is stupid. She knows so many girls and ladies who are dying to be with him but can she be one of them? If she goes out with him, there is a probability that their relationship will also be ruined and she will lose his friendship and regret forever. And now that she thinks about it, if she does not go out with him, their relationship can never be the same again. Then again she could use this to her advantage. Going out with her best friend will make her know what she does wrong to ruin her relationships.
“Say something Shee Baby. You are making me nervous. This is the first time I have seen you speechless. And it is shaking my grounds of nervousness” Kwadjo pleaded.
“Promise me one thing Kwadjo” He readily agreed. “That no matter what happens between us, you will never cease to be my friend” Kwadjo promised whole heartedly but Shiela made him sign a bond of agreement. He signed that amidst laughter.
“Your first mistake is to make me sign this bond. It is telling me that you have a vision of a failing end. But I will show you that love is selfless. And knowing you as I do, I know I am ably aided” Kwadjo said. Shiela felt caught. Could it be that he knew he was using him? She shrugged and forgot about it.
So started a relationship that Kwadjo treasured but Shiela dreaded but after their first kiss, it was obvious it could be one of the fairytale stories. It was all smooth until Kwadjo was transferred to the neighbouring town; Kome to take over their company there. Back in Krapa, he had lunch with Shiela who was his colleague. He went to work with her and came back home with her. Having a car, he dropped her at her house before heading home. That had been their ritual for almost seven years.
Shiela cried secretly when news of his transfer broke. The co-workers looked on. Some sorry for both of them, others relieved because of their annoying love taunts. Kome was a boring place after work but the work schedule was too much being the regional capital. There was hardly time to breathe at the bank. Being the manager, there were always meetings and supervising and also solving one drama after another. He had never been as busy as he is in recent times. He spoke to Shiela first thing in the morning, called her at lunch and called her when he goes home. But Shiela kept calling him even in meetings. He tried explaining what was happening but she was too angry to listen. Before Kwadjo knew what was happening, Shiela had turned into an abusive lady, always suspecting him of cheating and or neglecting. So he arranged for her leave and brought her to Kome to spend time studying his schedules. Each morning he left with her for work. He created a room for her in his office and made sure she saw everything he did. From skipping meals to attending meetings, Shiela felt sorry for him.
“I am sorry Kwadjo for all the insults and troubles. I did not know. Maybe it was because of my failed relationships” She said in a shameful tone one evening after work.
Kwadjo took her into his arms and stroked her hair. “A man is a man and seeks to be a man to his better half always Shiela. Once you insult a man, his ego becomes bruised and most men run off after that. Some men cannot stand needy women. A woman who calls her man all the time is deemed needy because most men refuse to think of the possibility that they are lonely. There are opposing fears here. The man might decide to terminate the relationship or the woman might stop complaining and calling when she gets the attention she seeks somewhere. Relationships are huge examinations which require practical answers in historic happenings”
Shiela felt ashamed of herself. She instantly recognised that she had been the cause of most of her breakups. She loved calling to complain, calling to accuse, calling to insult. She held on to Kwadjo tightly without saying a word.
“The worst of troubles in relationships is when the woman calls out for a breakup. The man becomes afraid at first but the seed of jilting is planted firmly and so he begins to look for a replacement instead of trying to solve the issue at hand. Immature men do this. Promise me you will always think of things before saying them to me. I love you Shiela and my love is above all our problems.”
Shiela knelt down with tears streaming down her face.
“I cannot promise you this. I just have to apologise first. No man has ever taken me through his mind, into his heart to show me what goes on there. You are the first. I am so sorry for all I put you through, my harsh words. I don’t deserve you Kwadjo.”
Kwadjo took her into his arms again. “Don’t say that. We live and learn. There is no kneeling apology between people who love each other. Just the usual “sorry love, I now see my mistake” will do. I love you and loving you means taking all your faults and trying to make the bad better. When I wrong you, tell me lovingly in secret. That is what love is about”
With that, they made up. Shiela became content with her three calls. Time hardly flew by when news reached Kwadjo that one of their colleagues was dating his Shiela. He took his leave and went to see things for himself. He went everywhere with her. He was in Krapa for three days without Shiela knowing. He felt jealous because Shiela did not tell him about Dan, her colleague. He followed them into a bar and saw them drinking. Something he used to do with her a lot. He realised that he had been the cause of some of her breakups. He approached them and looked at their faces. Shiela was pleased and jumped to embrace him while Dan sat with traces of jealousy on his face. Kwadjo knew then what was happening. He was beginning to love his Shiela. He saw himself in him and pleaded after one drink to take her home but Shiela said
“Why plead? He and I were just having a drink. If my boyfriend is here, my friend can understand. Let’s go Kwadjo dear.”
That statement absolved all his doubts but he took her to his apartment and gave her his little present. Then decided to talk it out with her.
“Dan? You never mentioned him.”
Shiela laughed. “I never discuss my male friends with my boyfriends. It is just not right. I feel some way about it”
Kwadjo laughed. “Telling your boyfriend about your male friend puts him at ease. Trying to make them friends actually works better. I could have the misconception that you are lovers. And that can make any man withdraw. I must say sorry. I actually came here to see things for myself after I was told by over three people that you were going out with Dan. Jealousy is a bad feeling Shee Baby. Promise to tell me things and to at least put some limit between Dan and yourself.”
Shiela was amazed at the man who sat before her. Why on earth did she go out with all those jerks? Well, maybe she acted like a bitch to turn them into jerks. “Sorry honey. I never thought about that and I promise to watch out and put some distance between us.”
Kwadjo asked her to open her parcel and it was a car key. He had taught her how to drive and had forced her to get a driver’s license. Shiela was thrilled. “It is a car! A car for crying out loud Kwadjo”
She hugged him “I am so lucky to have you. I carry the bond we signed everywhere. Here, I am tearing it up. I know we can overcome all our problems no matter how intense. You have shown me with every hurdle we’ve bridged so far. You are the best part of me. God bless you.”
Many are the problems they faced in their relationship but none was able to shake their foundation. Kwadjo had ears to listen, Shiela had a mind to think rationally and they both had the maturity to admit their faults and make up in every bad situation they encountered. Love is friendship of respect and a mind of maturity to dissect all that the heart processes. So Shiela and Kwadjo tied the knot and lived as happy as any human couple could live.
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2016