I completed Senior High School with good grades but I didn’t have money to further my education so I worked as a hotel receptionist. Everyone who met me said the same thing; “You seem very intelligent. Why are you working here and not in school?” The answer was always the same for anyone who asked; “I don’t have money to go to school.” I relied heavily on my salary to get by so saving money for school wasn’t feasible. My boyfriend, Kweku was of no help as he was unemployed.
Then a pastor came along. I met him last year at the hotel where I worked. He was a regular customer at the hotel. He was a pastor in a church closer to the hotel but he lived in Accra. Whenever he came around, he asked questions about my life. I didn’t know why he was so interested in my life but I always made sure to let him know that I had a boyfriend. I didn’t want him to get any funny ideas.
In our conversations one day, he asked the same question everyone asked me, “A clever girl like you should be in school. Why are you here?” That day we talked about my school issues and the lack of financial muscle to pursue further education. He said, “I will help you. I will do whatever it takes to send you back to school.” The zeal with which he said it made me wonder why he was so willing to help. I know of that famous adage that goes, “There is no such thing as a free lunch” so I wanted to know what his interest was. I asked him, “Why do you want to help me? What are your intentions?” He answered, “That’s what I do. It’s a call. I’m called to help people and put them in a place God has intended for them. I am touched by your story and it’s the reason I want to send you back to school. Or you don’t need my help?”
I accepted his offer. It was coming from a pastor so something from within told me it might be coming from a good place.
I told my boyfriend about the offer. He was not enthused about it and it showed in the way he reacted. I asked him, “Are you not happy? At long last someone is here to help.” He answered, “I don’t feel good about the whole thing. Who is he and what’s his motive? Why you and not anyone else? What if he has an ulterior motive? We don’t know him well enough to trust his words.”
I felt his reaction was coming from a place of ego. Someone was going to do the work he should have done long ago and it was pricking his conscience. “You are just saying this because you cannot afford to do what he wants to do for me,” I said. “Relax. He’s a pastor. A man of God for that matter. It’s his call to help. He means no malice.”
It didn’t take so long for the pastor to reveal his true intentions. I stood my ground. When he went up, I went down. He kept pursuing me in an amorous way so I told him, “I can’t give you what you want. I already told you that I have a boyfriend. Besides, you said you just want to help me and you don’t want anything from me so what changed?”
He isn’t a man who stands and listens to the pleas of his potential victim. He goes for the kill and that’s it. What I said didn’t slow him down, let alone stop him. It got to a point I started getting scared. “What if he withdraws his offer to pay my fees? He’s a man. He would either get what he wants or walk out on me.” I wasn’t ready to miss the chance of going to school. I had come too far to let things slip away so I gave in to him. I let him do whatever he wanted to do so I could continue benefitting from his support.
I was filled with so much shame and regret afterward. I couldn’t face my boyfriend in honesty again. He sought to warn me but I didn’t listen. I started giving my boyfriend a cold attitude. Anything to keep me away from the sin I’d committed against him. I knew I had to break up with him so I wouldn’t keep hurting him.
He’ll often ask me, “What are you not telling me? You look like something is wrong with you. Is it about your school? If I wasn’t unemployed I would have taken that responsibility upon myself.” I felt so guilty about the way things were going. I couldn’t take it anymore at some point so I broke up with him. He didn’t take it well but it was the right thing to do. I felt it was better to let him go than to be with him and continue sleeping with the pastor.
I got into school this year with the pastor’s help. I tried as much as possible not to see him. He calls and I give him excuses. He disgusts me. Why couldn’t he help without expecting something in return? After all, that’s what he said so what changed?”
I couldn’t stop thinking about Kweku and his love for me. I don’t deserve him but after I severed ties with him he kept coming hard at me. He wouldn’t take a no from me and he wouldn’t listen to my reasons so I opened up about what has happened between me and the pastor; “What you feared happened. The pastor, he didn’t help just for help’s sake. He wanted more than that so I gave in to his demands.” I thought that would push him away. It didn’t. If anything, it rather urged him to push harder. I said yes to him so we are back together.
The fact that he can’t take care of me weighs him down every day. He’s jobless. I don’t expect more from him than he’s already doing. I want to do something about the situation between me and the pastor. I wish I had a wand that will make him disappear from my life and still keep the help he gives me. I don’t own such a magic wand so I’m still keeping him around.
My hands are tied. My education is in his pocket. If I try to pull the plugs, I would be the one to go off. I’ve been avoiding him but I know I can’t do that forever. He will definitely get me one day and that one day is very soon. I will need something. I will call on him. He’ll ask me to see him. I will go to him but he won’t let me go scot-free. I think about these things every day and it has affected my mental health.
Is there no way around a problem like this pastor? I’m asking again, why can’t some men help ladies without demanding carnal favors? God gave you wealth to spread around yet you take from the weak before you help. Why?