Shortly after Kofi and I started dating, he enlisted into the military. I was at my grandma’s funeral when he called to tell me the news. Although we were both happy about the development, he also sounded concerned. He didn’t have money to buy the items he was supposed to send. I had GHC10, 000 I had saved for the rainy day. And I assured him I would help.
I lied to my family that my boss needed me at work, just so I could go and help Kofi buy the items he needed. When we got to the market, he didn’t spend a pesewa. I was the one who paid for everything. He was full of gratitude and promises about our future. He even asked me: “Should I perform your knocking-on-the-door rites before I leave for training tomorrow?” I shook my head and told him: “What’s the rush? You are not even ready. Just go to your training and come back to me.”
All the time he was at training, he would call me and ask: “Babe, I am broke. Can you send me something to sustain myself?” And I’d send him GHC400 or GHC500. This continued until I ended up spending all my savings on him.
A month after he went for training, I got another job and was posted to the Oti region. So when he finished his training, I was not in Accra. I asked the guy to visit me and he said he was broke. I had to send him money before he made the trip. After he left my place, he would call me with a sob story about being broke. I wasn’t receiving salary yet. So I depended on my family’s support. This guy would act so broke that I would sometimes lie to my relatives and take money from them so I could send it to him.
All this while, he sang the same song, “Yaa, as soon as I get posted we will get married.” I didn’t have any reason to doubt him so I did my best to support him.
The cracks in our relationship started appearing when I visited him in Accra one day. A certain woman saw me walking with him and called me aside. She asked me: “Is that your boyfriend?” “Yes,” I answered. “Oh, then you have to be strong.” “Why?” “I used to separate fights between girls in his room. He changes women like the way we change sanitary pads. So be careful.”
When I walked away from the woman, I asked him if everything she told me about him was true. He got defensive: “Don’t listen to that busybody. All the things she said about me were things that happened before I met you. I am no longer that person.” I had doubts but I accepted his answer peacefully.
The next thing that raised my eyebrows was when he was finally posted to his station. This guy would send me GHC100 when he gets paid, only to come to me later asking for money. In a way, he was taking back whatever he gave me. I understood that he was under a lot of pressure to provide for his family so I didn’t mind helping him out every once in a while.
He asked me to visit him at his station in Kumasi but wasn’t willing to pay for my transportation. I also insisted he had to pay for it before I go. We went back and forth until he gave me the money. When I arrived at their barracks, we ran into one of his colleagues. The guy looked at me and said, “Kofi, I don’t know this particular wife of yours.” Kofi smiled uncomfortably as he answered, “This is Yaa.” The guy automatically lit up and said, “Oh, it’s nice to finally meet you. I have heard so much about you.”
Later I asked Kofi what the guy meant by, “I don’t know this particular wife of yours?” I asked if there was someone else they knew. And he brushed me off saying, “He didn’t mean it that way. He just meant I should introduce you to him. You know how meanings of things get lost in semantics.” His explanation didn’t sit well with me but I didn’t say anything.
He shared a room with some other guys so we had to lodge at a guesthouse for my entire stay there. I noticed when we got to the guesthouse that all the girls who worked there knew him. They were too friendly with him. One of them was about to say something when he interrupted her with an unnecessary introduction, “Meet my wife, Yaa.” The lady gave me a plastic smile and walked away.
While we lay in bed that night, I couldn’t shake off the feeling that Kofi was playing games with me. Luckily, he fell asleep before I did. I knew his password so I took his phone and went looking for answers. To my utter shock, I discovered that my boyfriend was in a relationship with eight other women besides me. I am not talking about casual arrangements. These were relationships he was nurturing. One of the girls was in training with him. So all those times he called to tell me he was broke, it was because his girlfriend needed money. I couldn’t believe it. I had planned to stay with him for one week but I was too broken to share the same space with him without falling apart. I took a sheet of paper and wrote down the names and numbers of all the girls and tucked it into my bag.
The next morning I told him there was an emergency at work so my leave was cut short. My plan was to play dumb until I got back all the money I spent on him. Prior to my visit, we had agreed that he would buy me a phone. So before I left, I took GHC2000 from him for the phone. I didn’t actually need a new phone but I insisted on taking the money.
I shared my findings with my best friend and she advised: “The quickest way to get money out of a man and also know if he is serious about you is to pretend that you are pregnant.”
So I waited for a month after my visit. Then I sent Kofi a text, “I am pregnant.” He called and asked me to explain how it happened. “When I visited you, we didn’t use protection. And I also didn’t take the post pill,” I answered.
He said he wasn’t ready to be a father so I should get rid of it. When I refused, he ghosted me. For about two months, he didn’t call or text me. So I sent him a message that I was bleeding. The moment he saw the text he called me, “What’s happening? Are you trying to get rid of my baby? Please don’t do anything crazy.” I only asked him, “What baby are you talking about?” He sounded as if he was going to cry.
The next person that called me was his sister. She said, “My brother said you guys are having a baby. He said he has been shopping for baby stuff and now you say there’s no baby? He is very sad.” I asked his sister if it was normal for a man to shop for baby stuff when he hadn’t spoken to the woman carrying the baby in two months. Then I let her understand that I was never pregnant to start with. And that I was just testing Kofi. Kofi’s sister assured me that, there’s no way their family would let him marry someone else after everything I have done for him.
Honestly, I wasn’t interested in any future with him. I just wanted a subtle way to get back whatever I spent on him. One evening, his family was trying to reach him but he was on a call. They assumed he was talking to me so his sister called me. I told her I would make sure he called them. Then I took out the contacts of the girls I wrote down, and started calling them. The first one wasn’t on a call, so I concluded he wasn’t talking to her. The second person was on a call. I called Kofi and he was also on a call so I figured she was the one he was talking to.
After their call ended, the girl called me back. She was the one he started dating when he went to training. When I introduced myself as Yaa, the girl said; “Oh, you are Kofi’s best friend. I have heard so much about you.” I was shocked that he told the girl I was his best friend, but I didn’t say anything. The girl told me details of their relationship and how he promised to marry her. He was the one who even broke her virginity. She even got pregnant for him and they got rid of it. At that point I started crying. She asked what was going on. It was then I told her, “I am not his best friend. I am his girlfriend. We were together before he was enlisted in the military.”
The girl cried as I shared our story with her. When I finished I told her: “You know who he is now. Do with this knowledge as you please. I was sticking around for a reason but I have decided that he is not worth it. As soon as this call ends, I will break up with him.”
Truly, I broke up with him. He tried to play the victim but I blocked him. For months, I was in pieces. I swore I would never love again. If a man tried to talk to me, I would get angry. Healing was a slow process but eventually, I did it. I got better. I have even found love as I am sharing this story.
My new man is the universe’s rainbow to me after the storm Kofi put me through. He has spent money on me that is more than I ever spent on Kofi. He treats me so gently that sometimes I pinch myself to be sure I am not dreaming. I am not here to brag about how happy I am, no. I just want to tell my fellow women that there are good men out there. You don’t have to stay in a toxic relationship because you struggled with your man. Take it from me. When you realize you deserve better, the entire universe will make it happen for you.