I don’t know how we became friends on Facebook. I don’t remember sending her a friend’s request or responding to her friend’s request. I woke up one day and we were friends on Facebook. “Or maybe she was already planted on my app the day I installed it,” I said to myself. She posted something and I liked it. It became often. Whenever she posted an update, I was one of the few people who reacted to it. And then one day she posted a photo. I nearly scrolled past it but something about it drew my attention. “Is she the daughter of Madonna? What a striking resemblance.”
To see more of her, I tapped on her profile for the first time and went through her photos. She didn’t resemble Madonna in all her photos but she still looked more beautiful than all the women in my circle. So that day I said, “Hello,” and she responded. I said, “I’ve been responding to your posts every time but today I thought of saying hi.”
She was receptive. She answered every question I asked and even tried to ask questions of her own. I asked, “Are we friends now?” She responded, “Yes we are. We’ve been friends since the day we found each other here.” I took her words seriously so I woke up each day and sent her a message. She became part of my daily routine. If I drew a plan for the day, she would be somewhere in the middle; “I will send a message to Asieduwa in the afternoon.” The sun won’t shine until I say hello to her.
“I’m in Sefwi, doing my national service. It’s my first time here but I love the place already.” She told me one day. I was then in Winneba working on a project. The day I thought I was in love with her, I also thought about the distance and said, “What a love. What a distance.” But because true love knows no boundaries I allowed myself to fall freely in love with her. We had spoken on the phone for about one and a half weeks when I told her that I was in love with her. She said, “But you haven’t even seen me before.” I said, “Stevie Wonder is married. Did he see his wife before marrying her?”
She stretched it but she finally said yes.
We planned to meet. She agreed to travel all the way from Sefwi to come and see me. She said, “You have to send me money. It’s the longest journey I’ve ever traveled and I would need money before I can do that. You know national service pays us a pittance. That can’t take me to you and back. If you need me to be there with you, then send something. I sent her I think GHC200. When the day arrived for her to come she sent me a message, “I learned the area director would be on inspection this week and the next. He has to find all of us here so it would be impossible for me to travel. Can we do it next time?”
What is love without patience? I said, “Don’t worry dear. Don’t risk your job for this. There’s always another time.” Two weeks later she said, “I’m ready. The road is clear so I can see you this weekend. That’s if you’re ready.” I answered, “Dear, you can even come today and I will be ready.” Two days before she makes the trip she said, “You know what? The money you sent me the other time, hmmm, I’m even embarrassed to say this. The money you sent me, I’ve used it ooo. You know it’s hard for service personnel. Can you send me something for the fare?”
Again, I pushed GHC200 to her. The following morning, she called to tell me she was at the station ready to board a car. We were talking but the place was too loud so she said, “Let me get a car and call you.” She never called until hours later. She sent me a message, “Do you know where I am?” I gleefully responded, “On your way?” She said, “Hmmm, I wish.” She sent me a photo of a lorry ticket. She continued, “Just when I bought my ticket and was about to enter the bus, I had a call that my mom had been involved in an accident and her situation is critical. Hmmm, so I had to come and see her. I’m on my way to see her.”
What’s love without sympathy so I did awwww and hmms and told her I was praying for her mom to be alright. She said, “It hurts so much the way I keep disappointing you. It looks like anytime we plan something, something bad comes up to destroy our plans or God doesn’t want us to be together?” I answered, “He’s a jealous God, he said it in the Bible so maybe he is jealous of our love. We’ll make it happen no matter what.”
I ended up sending money for drugs and other miscellaneous needs. The next time when we planned again I said, “Dear hold it. This time I’m the one coming around. I don’t know why I haven’t thought of this all this while. I have some days off work. I will use it to travel to Sefwi, what do you think?” She said, “Awesome. That would be great.”
So one early morning, I set off from Winneba to Sefwi, on a journey to meet my love. I didn’t care that it made God jealous. I didn’t care that it was a whole day’s journey. You’ll sit in a car and it will take hours to get full. From Winneba to Mankessim, Mankessim to Kumasi, Kumasi to Sefwi. I reached Sefwi around 6pm. We were texting all along. I got there and I called her phone but it was off. My phone was going off too so I texted her, “I’m here at the station but your phone is off. Mine is going off too. Just in case you call and it’s off, please come to the station I would be there.” I kept calling her until my phone went off.
That was August 5th, 2016. It was a Friday, pay week so my wallet was bulging. I sat at the station until after 7pm, but this lady didn’t show up. I looked for a store and pleaded with them to charge my phone for me. Around 8pm, I went for my phone and there was no missed call on it. I called her, and it was off. I called and called and called, it didn’t go through. I saw a group of people gathered along the street, watching TV. The TV was in someone’s shop and they were watching from the outside. I joined them, still hoping Asieduwa would call. At 10pm, I started getting scared. I started asking myself questions, “What silly thing have I done? What if she doesn’t come?”
I asked the guys around there where I could get a hotel and they showed me. My heart skipped a beat before I tapped on my back pocket. My wallet was gone. “What?” I screamed. The jealous God was on my side, I would have collapsed that day. I started tracking back the events that happened that night to see where and when my wallet got stolen. “Those two guys who bumped on me at the TV station and said sorry, they might have picked my wallet.” Out of fear of the unknown, I started crying. I walked straight on the road until I found a woman selling Indomie along the street. I sat next to her and bought some with the last money remaining in my pocket.
It was around 12am when she started packing. I had nowhere to go so I told her my story. “You traveled all the way here to get your wallet stolen? Because of a woman?” She didn’t believe me. I had nothing to prove my story to her. when my story sunk in her head that it could be true, she laughed at me. “Because of a woman? Don’t you have women where you come from? Ah embɛma awo ɛya ooo!”
I told her, “If you give me money to go back home, I promise I would pay you in triple.” She looked at me and said, “It’s not about the money, it’s your safety I’m thinking of.” She had three kids, seven, five, and three-year-olds. She carried them home and came back. She said, “I didn’t make enough sales today so I had to go home and take what’s there for you. Take this and go back home. Next time, don’t do such a silly thing. You even look like someone who has a girlfriend already. You wanted to come and use this one too, me boa? Nyame na etua wo ka!” And then she burst out laughing
She sat with me until around 3am when cars started loading. I took her number, she took me to the station and bade me goodbye. I cried in the car until I got home. Anytime I remember the girl and the trick she pulled on me I cried. I’m a tough guy but it took a woman to make me look like my life doesn’t matter.
I got home, sent the woman her money, called her, and thanked her profusely. She said, “If I knew your mother, I would have told her what you just did. Obaa nti.” She was such a tease and very lovely. I called her every now and then and ask about her kids. She was struggling. Business was bad and the kids’ father had abandoned her. Kids were not going to school because she had no money to pay fees. I told her, “I will pay their fees, just send them to school tomorrow.”
I continued paying their fees until I think 2020 when calls to her phone started failing. Every time I called her, they said the user cannot be reached. Maybe she lost her phone or something. That is the only explanation I can give. I still think of her, because when darkness met me on the street of Sefwi, she was the one who threw a light my way and watched my steps until I walked into the light. Wherever she is, I hope she’s happy.