I dated Sandra for three years. She was that kind of girl who drew attention to herself wherever you take her. You can take her to church and the pastor will stop preaching and look at her for a while before continuing preaching. I’m not exaggerating. No, it wasn’t about the way she dressed or the way she did anything. She was stunningly beautiful—a spectacle to behold, to be honest.
She was dark and slender. The first thing you notice when you speak to her was her beautiful set of teeth—white and small as though she didn’t lose any of her milk teeth. I was used to seeing the top of women’s hair but not when it came to Sandra. She was as tall as I am and anytime I tried to look at her our gazes met at the same level. It looked intimidating at first because of how her eyes dazzled anytime she looked back at me but I got used to it with time.
She didn’t struggle to be beautiful. She just was. So I wasn’t surprised whenever she came around to tell me a certain man or a guy she met recently had proposed to her. I was happy whenever she came to tell me that. It made me feel special. It made me think I had something most men do not have and would fight to have. Whenever we attended a program and she felt the piercing eyes of the guys around, she’ll reach out for my hand and hold on to it so tight as if someone was trying to pull her away. That was reassuring.
She was in my car one night when she received a call. Immediately she saw who was calling, she screamed, “This man too, doesn’t he know when to give up?” I asked, “Who is he?” She responded, “A man in our procurement department. I thought he was a gentleman until he started making advances towards me.” I asked again, “Have you told him to back off?” She responded, “I’ve told him countless times but he keeps coming.” I told her, “Tell him your boyfriend has a gun and he’s a jealous boyfriend.” She responded, “If he finds you on top of me today, tomorrow, he’ll still profess his undying love for me.”
That was funny and that was Sandra. She had this huge sense of humor that made it easier when talking about difficult things.
In our third year of dating, I decided it was about time we got married. I proposed marriage to her. I thought she would be happier. I thought she was going to jump to the moon and say, “I can’t wait for us to get married.” Instead, she gave me this gloomy look and said, “I’m only twenty-five. Marriage isn’t the plan now. Let’s do two more years and see what happens.”
Two more years of loving the same girl the way I loved her didn’t seem like a difficult thing to do. Also, marriage isn’t something you force on someone who isn’t ready so I decided to wait.
Just two months after, Sandra sent me a message; “Paa Kwesi, I feel like I’m becoming a stumbling block yo your happiness. You want to marry and I’m not ready. I don’t even think I’ll be ready in the next two years. To avoid future problems, let’s call it quit so each of us will go and pursue dreams that make us happy.”
I didn’t believe that message came from Sandra. It was so out of place and out of space I didn’t know how to feel about it. When I called her I asked, “Is your phone stolen?” She responded, “You don’t have to joke about this, I’m very serious.” I told her, “But Sandra, I’m not complaining and I’m not in a rush. I don’t care if we don’t marry in the next fifty years. All I want is for you to be with me.” She responded, “You’re a good guy. You deserve to be happy with someone who’ll make you children and a good family. At this moment, I don’t see myself as that person.”
What do women really want?
A good guy? I don’t think so. Sandra left me because to her I was a good guy. Maybe women want a man who is ready to settle down with them forever. But I was ready to settle down with Sandra, make a family together, and always be in love. So why did she leave me? Or women want someone who cares and is ready to show them off to the world that she’s the chosen one. I did that too. She was everything that tickled my fancy and care but she left.
Let’s change the question then. What do women really hate?
When a woman says she doesn’t like something, you better believe her. Women hate what they say they don’t like but guess what…Sandra ended up dating that guy from the procurement department. The guy she told me she didn’t want. The guy she said she thought was a gentleman. Wow.
I was broken when she made it very clear that it was over between us. I couldn’t eat for days. I couldn’t go out for weeks. I felt life was meaningless and thought I would never meet Sandra’s kind again—a girl who has it all. Just when I was about to heal, I got to know she was actually dating that man she proclaimed she didn’t want. My healing fell off and I plunged into a deep depression.
But what they say is true. No condition is permanent. Our joys come to an end somehow and our sorrows have a place where they come to an end. Slowly I healed. Slowly, she became history and all I had left of her were the memories we had. Even those memories didn’t hurt when they came around. If anything at all, they made me smile and be grateful for how far I’d come.
The end of anything is the beginning of something else. Sandra ended so Kuukua will begin. I learned to love her slowly until it got to a point that I had to give it my all. From the beginning of things, she made it quite clear what she expected from our relationship. The most important thing on her table of wants was for us to not have s€x before marriage. She was very serious about it. She kept hammering it and kept asking me if I agree. I told her, “If that’s what you want, I don’t have a problem with it. We can have a lot of s€x after marriage.”
Kuukua walked around with the history book of her various failed relationships in her armpit. You’ll like to believe those failed relationships made her stronger and better but if you look deeply into her eyes, you’ll see those failures made her scared too and as such built a wall to protect what was left. Her decision not to have s€x until marriage was also a kind of wall she built to protect her from further heartbreak. It was obvious so I also made it a point not to break that wall so she could be safe until she gets what she wanted.
We survived a year without s€x. Love was love and happiness was still happiness. We moved from strength to strength and finally started working towards marriage. We didn’t fix any date but in our minds, our steps going forward were geared toward marriage. I didn’t know what happened but somewhere, she started loosening up. She could kiss freely and touch me where she didn’t touch from the beginning. It was a good thing because I felt she was feeling very sure about me.
Then one night our romance went very far. At some point, I realized she was craving for sex and she was ready to break her own defenses. I stood my grounds and denied her. Lovers are like that. Where one is weak, one has to be strong enough to keep both afloat. It happened on several different occasions. I had to be the one to say no because I didn’t know what will become of us if that happened. One morning she asked me, “What are you hiding from me?”
That question threw me off balance. I didn’t know the kind of response she wanted so I said, “I’m not hiding anything from you. I’m making sure we keep the promise we made from the beginning.” She said nothing again but she didn’t stop trying to get me to have s€x with her and I didn’t relent. Honestly, at some point I got scared of her sudden change; “Is this girl trying to test my resolve or she’s pregnant for someone and she’s trying to get me to have sex with her so she could make me responsible?”
Not that I didn’t trust her but everything is possible in love and in war.
We started having relationship troubles. She started accusing me of things I wasn’t even aware of. “Are you having an affair with someone else? Or you don’t find me attractive.” When I continued putting s€x between us off, she concluded, “You’re impotent. You’re only trying to get married to me so on our honeymoon you tell me the truth. You think I don’t know that trick you impotent men play on women.”
It was funny so I laughed hysterically.
She said, “If you’re not impotent, prove it!”
I asked her, “When you put your hands down my boxers, do you touch a dead lion or you touch a roaring one? Stop being a girl who nags about things that don’t exist.”
She said I’ve accused her of being a nagging girlfriend. She said I don’t find her attractive and I’m using abstinence as an excuse. She said, “No sex before marriage is my own idea so why are you the one trying to enforce it?” Things started falling apart until one day she listened to the advice of her best friend and left the relationship.
What do women really want?
The guy who listens to them and is ready to do what they ask of them? Sex before marriage—trouble. No sex before marriage too—trouble. What can a guy really do to win the heart of a woman? Not much they say until you meet a woman who wants everything and nothing at the same time.
Kuukua listened to a lot of crap advice from her best friend. It was her best friend who suggested I might be impotent so she should try it before I surprise her after on our honeymoon. I tried all I could to save what we had but some broken pieces are hard to put together. Three months after she had left the relationship, she came crying for a comeback but I’d already patched things up with Sandra.
Stupid me, I believed I could keep Sandra for good now that I’ve had her. Little did I know that some birds don’t belong in the cage. Their wings are bright and their voice soothing. You’ll love to keep them around so their feathers decorate your life and their voice sing you a good melody when you’re a down. But birds of such nature only belongs to the sky. They always want to fly around and receive compliments from the whole universe instead of only a few people.
Soon Sandra was gone. Soon, I realized I was only chasing a mirage.
Yesterday I met a new girl. She doesn’t come with rules and regulations. She said, “Let’s take it a day at a time, if we are meant to be together, we will be.” One day at a time. Never in a rush. Only hoping this will end well. I wish me good luck because that’s all one needs to get the woman of his dreams.
—Paa Kwesi, Ghana #SilentBeads