I woke up to a lengthy message from her one dawn. The long and short of it all was that she was breaking up with me. I read the message over and over again trying to figure out what I did to deserve that message and whether or not that message was for me. She said somewhere in the message; “I’ve thought of it over and over again and I’ve come to the conclusion that you’re not good for me. I better stay away from a guy like you before things go worse. I’ve seen your red flags waving. You’re not a good person for a lady like me. Let’s break up.”
That portion made me laugh and also made me wonder. Do you know the amazing thing about the breakup message? We were not dating. She wrote a letter to break up with someone she was not dating. Yes, we were very close and yes I had fallen in love with her and was warming up to propose to her. Maybe she had picked some signals that I was about to propose but writing a breakup message to someone who hadn’t proposed yet was a little bit weird. I called her phone in the morning and she didn’t pick up. I called again and she cut the line. I sent her a voice note asking why she was doing that. She responded; “I’m not in a good shape to talk right now. My abdomen is breaking in.”
I went to her house to see her. She was lying in bed looking very miserable, like someone experiencing a hangover. Her hair was messy, her face was ashy and her demeanour was off-colour. “Are you sick? Should I take you to the hospital? I can call a taxi right now,” I said. She looked away. “Just leave me alone,” she answered. We argued. She screamed out of pain. She grabbed a water bottle and started putting it on her abdomen. She told me, “It’s just a menstrual cramp, I’ll be fine.” It was hard looking at her go through the pain she was going through. I asked if she had taken medicine. I asked if there was something else we could do to make the pain go away. Her answer was, “Don’t worry, I’ll be fine.”
I couldn’t discuss her message looking at the situation she was in. When she got well, she told me, “Don’t think too hard about the message. I needed a distraction from my pain that’s why I wrote that long message.” I didn’t believe her but it sounded believable. “Why a breakup message when it could have been anything?” I asked. She answered, “I was in pain, so I took it as a way of writing my pain away.” I looked at her intensely and she smiled. She was looking very beautiful. I proposed to her that day; “If we are not breaking up then we should make up. By this time you know my feelings toward you. I’ve loved you for a very long time. Would you be my girlfriend?”
She said yes and for the past eight months, this affair had been sweet and sour. Sweet for a whole month, sour at the tip of the month’s end when she’s in her menses. It’s hard to love her when she’s on her period. She doesn’t listen, she becomes easily irritated and sometimes very physical.
She called me one dawn and I didn’t pick up. I saw fifty-seven missed calls when I woke up. I’m not exaggerating. Fifty-seven was exactly the number. I called her back asap and she didn’t pick up any of my calls. I was on duty on that Saturday so I bathed and went to work. Later that day, she sent a ten-minute voice note insulting me, my family and my ancestors for raising an irresponsible human being like me. She queried, “Why didn’t you come here when I didn’t pick up your calls? I may be dead but my death doesn’t matter to you because you don’t love me that much.”
I explained that I was at work. She said, “There he goes again. Choosing everything else over me. You chose your sleep over me. You saw my numerous missed calls and ignored me. The only time that I needed you, you chose your work over me. Dear God, why did you bring this enemy into my life as a boyfriend.” I tried explaining myself but she wouldn’t listen to me. She blocked me on Whatsapp and blacklisted my line. When I went to her house, she told me to leave her alone because it was over between us. I asked, “Are you in your menses?” She answered, “I’m in my menses so I’m a mad person, right?”
She was experiencing cramps at that dawn and needed me to be her distraction. Unfortunately, I didn’t pick up her calls because my phone was on silent. She broke up with me because of that and we only came back together when her period was over. I had to start marking the days and know when she was in her menses so I don’t let what she does get to me but it’s hard. It’s hard to pretend it doesn’t hurt. It’s hard to build excuses for her bad behaviour. It’s hard to take insults at the end of the month just because your girlfriend is in her menses. Good things happen to me at the end of every month. My salary comes and I’m happy but when I remember that my girlfriend’s menses will also come, all the happiness in me goes away. The other time she told me if I needed a break I should get her pregnant. “Get me pregnant and get nine months’ break,” she told me.
She was here a week ago. I stopped everything I was doing just to pay attention to her. She said there was a good movie on Netflix so we should watch it. She took the remote and put the movie on. The movie was good so my attention swayed a little. She said she was talking to me and I was ignoring her so she got up and left. She left with my phone and the TV remote. I chased after her but she pushed me away. She was getting physical so I let her take them away. “Your phone and the TV can’t be more important than I am. I’ve taken them, go and burn the sea for all I care.” I got them three days later when her menses was over. I had to rely on my yam phone during those periods.
I’m tired. It’s love I came for but these extras are breaking my spirit. She’s the sweetest when she’s not on her period. She can go to the moon and back for me. She’ll go the extra mile for my happiness and those little things make me feel she’s the one until the month ends. I’m not thinking of a breakup. I’m thinking about solutions. I’m looking for a way to help her. She blames it on her bad hormones but unfortunately, there’s no way I can affect her hormones positively. Sometimes I believe she waits until the end of the month to punish me for the wrongs I do during the month. It’s not easy. It even affects my work delivery during those days. What can I do to help her? What can I do to make her stop abusing me during her menses?