I was in level 100 when I first saw this guy at my residence hall. He was moving from room to room trying to get people who would volunteer to report early in school after vacation, to receive the freshers the next academic year. Our campus Church does that every year so we can get a significant number of people for the church. He asked if I would like to volunteer and I said no. Ever since then, I started seeing him at prayer meetings. He led prayers sometimes so it was hard to miss him. Every member of the church was supposed to join one of the church wings, so I joined the music and drama wing and they added me to their WhatsApp group.
I was a silent member of the group until one fateful day. The school was on vacation, and there was a discussion on the group page so I joined in. While we were all trying to type in our points, a guy on the platform sent me a private message. I engaged him and realized he was the same guy who came to my hall looking for volunteers. He said his name is Edgar. I liked his vibe so we started texting regularly.
The more we spoke the closer we got, and before I realized it, we were dating. When school reopened, we stood face to face teasing each other about the professions we made to each other on the phone. That was in 2016, and I was his first-ever girlfriend. I was with someone before him so he wasn’t my first. This made Edgar angry. He even picked fights with me over the issue; “Why am I not your first boyfriend? Why did you kiss that guy? Why did you sleep with him? Why didn’t keep yourself for me?” I didn’t owe him any explanations or apologies for my past but sometimes I explained myself to him and apologized to him just to shut him up. “I am sorry I did all those things before I met you. I was young and naïve and thought my ex was the one. If I knew we wouldn’t have ended up together, I would have kept myself.”
At some point, he stopped demanding explanations for my past. What he did was use it against me every time we got into a fight. He would say things like, “You are not even a virgin and you have this horrible attitude.” That should have told me everything I needed to know about him but I suppose love truly is blind. After the hell this guy gave me about my past, he started asking that I do those things with him. So, we made out and even had shuperu, all upon his request. His reason was, “It’s not fair that we are together and you have done it while I haven’t done it yet.”
I did everything he wanted, out of love, but it became my sin. Every time we closed from church my boyfriend would tell me, “The Holy Spirit is warning me against premarital sex. Because of this, the anointing on my head is depreciating so I think it’s best we break up.” I am not one to challenge the Spirit of God so I would say okay, and then go to my room and cry myself to sleep. Then the next minute he would come back and plead for us to get back together. And every time I took him back, we would do the same things the Holy Spirit warned him against.
I went to his room one day and saw a dating book on his table. One of the girls in the drama group gave it to him. There were also exercise books branded with the lady’s hall on the table. This made me suspect something was cooking between them. When I asked him about her, he said they were just friends. I didn’t believe him but I didn’t have any other proof so I decided to keep quiet and observe them. I noticed that he spent a lot of time with her after church. He would walk her to pick up a taxi, and leave me behind. He bought her stuff he never bought for me; sanitary pad included.
One Friday after we returned from church, he received another prophecy to break up with me, so he did. The morning after that I went to our WhatsApp group and saw a photo of him holding hands with the lady he denied having anything to do with. They were jogging together. You can imagine my pain. Everywhere I passed, they were there; Facebook, campus, and church. They even had matching bracelets with their names embossed on them. I tried really hard to figure out where I went wrong. Our friends also kept asking me what was going on, but each time they did my heart broke all over again.
I was nursing my pain when I received a message from Edgar. He asked if I hadn’t missed him. I did but I said no. He said, “Okay but can we meet? There is something I want to tell you.” I really missed him so I quickly went to see him. He told me, “I know you think I am dating Charity but I am not. She is just my daughter in the Lord. I missed you so much when we were apart. Would you consider having me back?” I loved him so I believed him, and I gave him another chance. Then the next Sunday after church I saw him with Charity. They were holding hands again. I got so angry that I decided to end things with him. But then he came to me afterwards and soothed my anger with sweet words and I forgave him.
He did it again the next Sunday, and I forgave him again after he came to whisper sweet nothings into my ears. This became the norm in our relationship until he completed school and left campus. We spoke deeply about the unhealthy nature of our relationship. He apologized for all the tears he made me cry. I accepted the apologies and we experienced some peace going forward. Then he started his national service and started receiving his allowance. I hoped he would buy me a gift or give me a token to prove his love for me but he didn’t. He was always giving me excuses for what he used his money for. Today he would say, “I used the money to pay my rent.” Then tomorrow he would say, “I spent everything on lorry fare.” He even went ahead to ask me for money. And although I was a student then, I supported him whenever he came calling for help.
I also started my national service after school in 2018, he was done with his but he hadn’t gotten a job. We kept having our problems alongside the challenges of adulthood. We would break up and get back together as and when it pleased him. In November 2019, our campus Church organized a program. He was invited to be the MC, so I told him I would show up to support him. That day the event ended at midnight, and I asked him to walk me to where I was lodging but he chose to busy himself talking to people. I had to walk alone in the middle of the night to his sister’s hostel, where I lodged.
I cried myself to sleep that night and regretted ever dating this guy. The next day we had to attend a dinner together. He made me buy tickets for both of us so I declined all the men who asked me to be their dates. When it was time for the dinner, Edgar didn’t show up. I sat at our dinner table alone while everyone had a date. The next day, I left for Accra and told him that it was over. I was finally tired of never being a priority in my boyfriend’s life.
He didn’t get back in touch with me till January 2020. As foolish as I was, the moment he apologized for his behaviour, I ran back into his arms. I had men who were begging for my attention but I never bothered with any of them. Edgar was the only one I wanted. Soon after we reconciled, I got a job in another town so I had to relocate. On Valentine’s day, we were talking and laughing and all of a sudden, he got angry. I asked him why and he said; “I just had a flashback of all the insults you rained on me when I was dating Charity.” I was surprised so I asked him, “Is this how our relationship is going to be? We will be having a good time and then you will get angry over something I did three years ago?” There and then, he hung up on me.
When it was time for my graduation this guy didn’t show up. He said he didn’t have money. When my grandma died, he didn’t come to the funeral. That one too, he said he didn’t have money. We had another misunderstanding in February, and he called my mum and my sister. He screamed all sorts of things against me; “Warn your daughter o. I can disgrace her if I want. Do you know that she was not a virgin when I met her? What kind of woman does that make her? Tell her that if she continues with her bad behaviour, any man who marries her will bring her back.” After his rants, they called me and talked to me, “Ewura, what at all are you seeing in this man? Please, walk away from him and preserve your sanity.” I didn’t listen to them. Because I still had hope that our three-year-old relationship would survive the test of time.
In May I visited him and we had shuperu. He didn’t ask if I was safe before he poured it inside me. After he finished he asked, “When are you supposed to get your period?” I answered, “Today, but it hasn’t come yet.” So he asked me to get the post-pill but I said, “No, it messes up my cycle.” This guy got angry and started insulting me. He said I was trying to get pregnant and trap him into marriage. He told me, “I regret ever getting involved with you.” I became sad and started crying because he was pushing me while insulting me. He took one look at my crying face and said, “Madam, stop this comedy show and go and get the pill.” At that moment something snapped inside me. I wiped my face and stood tall, walked out of his room, and never looked back.
When I got home I looked at myself in the mirror and said, “Ewura, you don’t deserve to be pushed around and treated like a flashlight. You are a beautiful young woman, and thousands of men are out there wishing you were theirs. Chin up, and break out of this toxic relationship you keep going back to.” I called him and told him I was done with him. He thought it was one of our usual breakups so he didn’t take me seriously. After three months, he called me with a mouthful of apologies. I just told him, “I now understand what it means to have peace of mind, and I will not trade that for anything.”
This guy thought I would change my mind so he continued to bombard me with different forms of apologies. In December, he asked me to meet him at one of the malls in Accra for a heart-to-heart talk. I went and listened to him try desperately to persuade me to give him another chance, but I still stood my ground. From January through to June, he wouldn’t let me sleep. Everything he said to try and get back into my pants fell on deaf ears. One Friday, a friend from school called to ask if I heard Edgar was getting married. I replied, “Oh, that is nice. I wish him well.” I was surprised because he had sent me a text on Monday begging me to take him back.
When I told my mum about the marriage she said, “We thank God, but his bride’s mum should preserve a bucket of cold water for her daughter’s heart.” Whatever hold he had over me, I am just glad it’s broken.
— Ewura Ama