Somewhere in 2017, I received a phone call from an unknown number. The person at the other end was a man, “Hello my name is Amos. I am calling to let you know that you have won an American Visa Lottery.” If it weren’t for the serious tone of the caller, I would have laughed. It sounded like a prank or a bad fraudulent attempt. I responded, “You must have gotten the wrong person. I didn’t apply for any American Visa Lottery.”
The man mentioned some of my personal details and told me he got them from the forms I filled out. I almost believed him but what kind of amnesia will make me forget that I applied for the Visa lottery? It was certainly a lie. In order not to drag the issue out I told him that I was no longer interested in following through with the process.
I was in Level 400 at the University at the time this phone call happened. After I hung up I told my roommate about the suspicious phone conversation I just had. She said, “What if it’s not a scam? You should have followed through to see where it leads.” My instincts told me something was not right so I blocked Amos and deleted his number.
A few weeks later I received a phone call from another unknown number. This time too the caller was a man. He said, “Hello my name is Alex. Someone called Amos contacted me from a travelling agency. He said I won an American Visa lottery and you are listed as my wife.”
That was the most ridiculous thing anyone had ever said to me. “I am not sure that’s how the Visa lottery works. “If you didn’t list me as your wife during your application process, I won’t be listed as such.” He went on to tell me that he actually listed me as his wife when he was applying for the lottery. I told him, “Then there must be a mix-up somewhere. I don’t know anyone called Alex.” He replied, “Just because you don’t know me doesn’t mean I don’t know you.”
This Alex guy goes on to mention the name of my school, my class and even the hostel I lived in. He said, “I go to your school too but I am in my third year so it explains why you don’t know me. As for me, I know you well enough. I fell in love with you the first time I saw you, and I have been watching you since that time.” My mind screamed, “This guy is a stalker, hang up and block his number.” I didn’t listen to my mind. I ended up talking to him and trying to know how he knew so much about me.
Some foolish part of me found his keen interest in my life romantic, especially the fact that he listed me as his wife on Visa lottery forms. I spoke to him from that time on. He often joked, “Since you are my wife on paper, I need to know you inside out. So I shared intimate details of my life with him and he also did the same. After a while, I suggested that we meet in person so that I could put a face to the voice on my phone. He agreed and we fixed a date.
The first time I met him, I couldn’t believe my eyes. He was no doubt the most handsome guy I had ever seen. He looked too perfect to be human. He was tall, dark, and hairy, just the way I like my men. I couldn’t stop staring at his handsome features and he looked at me like I was the only woman in the world. I fell in love with him that very moment. I remember thinking to myself, “This guy is too beautiful for a girl like me. He is way out of my league.”
Somehow, Alex didn’t share my sentiments. He gave me all his attention and I could tell that he desired me. During our meeting, he told me that the travelling agency asked that we visit their office in Accra, so we could start processing our travel documents. I was reluctant to go because I didn’t buy into the whole lottery deal. But I wanted to spend more time with the beautiful man Alex so I agreed to take the trip.
When we returned from Accra he started calling me his wife. He took me out on dates and we took pictures. He said, “We need to make beautiful memories to sell a convincing story that we are married and in love.” Alex had a lot of plans for us and he seemed determined to see every one of them through. In order for our deal to go through, we had to pay the agency an amount of money for their services. My dad was going to help me pay the money but he lost his job.
My alternative was to raise the money on my own. After I completed school, I moved back home and started searching for a job. All my job hunts came up with nothing and it made me frustrated. Alex started putting pressure on me to pay the agency their money so that we can go ahead with our travel plans. He added to my frustration. I recall telling him, “What’s the worst that could happen if I don’t get the money? I won’t be able to travel with you. I am fine with that.” Alex said, “You don’t understand, I planned my whole future around you. I don’t want to leave the country without you by my side. Try and raise the money so we can go together.”
Alarm bells started going off in my head.
How can you plan your future around someone who started talking to you only recently? Why is he so hell-bent on me paying the money to the travelling agency?” I decided that there was something sinister going on and I wasn’t interested in finding out. I started avoiding his calls. “Luckily, I didn’t show him my house so he won’t be able to find me.” I thought. When his calls became incessant, I blocked his number and deleted it from my phone. I was home one day when a stranger came to my house looking for me. He said Alex sent him to find me. I became very confused and terrified. How did he know where I lived? I sent the person away with threats of contacting the police if he ever came near me again.
A few days later he sent someone else after me and I drove that person too away. I started feeling unsafe in my own home. I knew then that I was being stalked by Alex, and for whatever reason, I don’t know. After all his attempts to reach me failed, he gave up and left me alone.
My problem now is how I think of him from time to time. He was a complete gentleman and girls always gave me jealous stares wherever I was with him. Sometimes I wonder if maybe I overreacted. I wonder if he truly had good intentions for me but I drove him away out of fear. I need to know that my decision to stay away from him was rational. Share your thoughts with me.