I was at a place in life where I lived from hand to mouth. I had a job but it was something I got with my SHS certificate. So the money wasn’t much. Everything I earned went into rent, transportation, food, and bills. Sometimes it didn’t even cover all my expenses. I couldn’t count on my family for help because things were hard for them as well. I was basically on my own.
I didn’t want to keep living from paycheck to paycheck. So I decided to further my studies and get a degree that would help me get a better job. But where would I get the money to fund my studies? I couldn’t earn enough to cover all my expenses, not to talk of saving money for school. This became my headache.
While I was thinking about what to do, my best friend who is a male reached out to me. We were catching up on our lives when he casually said, “Girl, one of my big men is looking for a young woman to catch cruise with. You don’t have a man so what do you think? He will make it worth your while.” I told him point blank, “Oh, I am not interested in canoodling with any man right now. I am just focused on how I can earn extra money to further my studies.” The moment I said this, Elorm laughed.
He said, “The answer to your problems is staring you right in the face. This man is a big person. Whenever I run errands for him he gives me money in dollars. Don’t you think he can sponsor your education if you get involved with him? You just have to play your cards well.” All my life, I had never considered the thought of dating any man for money. My mother always advised me, “If you don’t love a man, don’t spend his money.” This is why I always work for my money rather than depend on a man for it.
However, I found myself in a place where I questioned my mother’s advice. “I have been working hard my entire life? Where has it gotten me? Maybe if I agree to spend time with this big man I will get the help I need,” I thought. I told Elorm to give me some time to think about it and get back to him.
After our conversation, I weighed all my options and decided that I would be daring and date a man for money for once. The next day I sent him a text, “I am in. You can give him my number.” Later that evening I got a call from a man. His voice was deep and old but he had a way about him that made him sound young. I couldn’t put a finger on his age just from talking to him. He introduced himself as Nana.
That night Nana told me, “Elorm showed me your photos, and I am looking forward to seeing all your beauty in person. I am currently packing my bags to attend a business conference outside the country. When I get back, I would like to meet you.” He sounded so exotic that I actually enjoyed talking to him. After the call ended, I lay on my bed smiling and imagining what he looked like. Elorm didn’t send me his photo so I couldn’t tell.
The entire time he was away at the conference he called me. He would tell me what he ate, where he went, and whom he met with. I felt special. The very day he returned from the conference he called, “Steph, I am back in the country. I want to see you first before I go home and drop my bags. Can we arrange that?” It was impromptu, and I don’t like doing things in the spur of the moment so I told him, “How about tomorrow? I am a little tied at the moment.”
So we planned and met for our first date the next day. He looked older than he sounded. Judging from his grey hair and the wrinkles on his hand, I concluded that he was in his late fifties. I didn’t mind. He was, after all, supposed to be a sugar daddy. The only thing I desperately wanted to know was if he was married. Elorm didn’t say anything about that. So I watched his ring finger keenly but there was no ring. There was no sign that he had been wearing one either. This made me comfortable, knowing that I wasn’t on a date with another woman’s husband.
All the mystery about him unravelled when we sat down to order. Before the waiter came to take our order, he ignored me for about five minutes. He chose to press his phone and chew gum loudly. He had airpods in his ears so after a while, he started talking on the phone. He asked someone to remove the battery from his Benz and put it in another car. At that point, I realized he was trying to establish self-importance with me. Which I didn’t think was necessary. I already found him fascinating before we met. All he had to do was hold a thought-provoking conversation with me, and I would be sold.
When we finally had to order, I made sure I ordered what I could pay for in case he didn’t pay. Everything I ordered that day amounted to GHC68. It was fufu with goat soup. He ordered just goat soup for himself. After the waitress brought the food, she asked if she should bring water and we said yes. She brought two small bottles of water. And this man asked the waitress to send one back. He said we would share just one bottle. I didn’t agree with him so I asked the waitress to leave the water. And he seemed displeased with my action.
After we ate, we talked about ourselves. Mostly, he was the one who spoke about himself. “I am married with two kids,” he said. I was surprised but I kept my cool. His son was in the UK studying for his master’s degree, while his daughter was in one of the universities in Ghana. I thought he would end it there but he went on to talk about the places abroad his children liked to go for vacation. He described his house to me. He spoke in detail about his wife; her hobbies, and the places she liked to shop.
After he finished talking I told him, “You could have just said, you are married with kids. I didn’t need all the details you gave me about your family. It made me uncomfortable.” This man got offended and said he thought it was necessary information. I didn’t want the date to end badly so I let it go.
When he was going to drop me off, he asked when I would be available for us to have intimacy. I lived alone but I didn’t want him at my place so I told him I lived with my brother who doesn’t take kindly to me receiving visitors. This man then suggested we go to his godson’s apartment to do it. That was the last straw for me. I realized that he wasn’t a rich man. At least, not the kind who would sponsor my education.
What kind of rich man insists on sharing a small bottle of water with his date? What kind of sugar daddy tries so hard to appear rich, but suggests we go have shuperu at his godson’s apartment instead of a hotel? I decided there and then that he wasn’t worth my time and effort. I would just waste my body and wouldn’t get the sponsorship I needed for my education.
Days later, he reached out asking for us to hang out. And I politely told him that I was no longer interested in spending time with him. He asked why and I responded, “If you were comfortable giving me so much information about your family, then I don’t think whatever happens between us will remain private.” Unprovoked he said, “Don’t go about telling people that I am the most useless man you’ve met.” I was surprised he said that, because I never said anything about him being useless. He insisted that was the picture I was painting of him.
I didn’t want his drama so I just cut him off after the phone call. After my encounter with him, I haven’t attempted to date a sugar daddy again. I haven’t furthered my education either but I’m doing better financially. I quit my job and started a business that’s doing well. Things are not the way I want them but I have hope they will get better.
I am just happy that I didn’t allow my desperation to blind me to the red flags when I met Nana. If not I would have ended up in a toxic situationship with Nana, and wouldn’t have known that I had the power to turn things around for myself. I am sharing this story to remind myself to keep going even when things get hard.