Love is one of the most unexpected things that can happen to a person. Take me for instance. I met the love of my life when I was in a relationship with someone else. I was in the nursing training college by then. I had gone for psychiatry affiliation in a different school. And the last thing on my mind was meeting someone. But it happened one day when I was going to fetch water from the tap. This handsome guy with chiseled muscles and a sharp jaw-line smiled at me. His smile was so charming that I couldn’t help but smile back. My heart did a flip-flop beneath my rib cage and I knew that very moment that he was the one for me.
As soon as that thought crossed my mind the thought of my boyfriend also crossed my mind. I thought about everything we had been through and the problems we were facing in our relationship. I felt somewhat guilty for thinking about another man while we were still together. So I resolved to work hard and make my relationship work at all costs.
After I finished fetching the water, the handsome stranger who did loveable things to my heart approached me with a sweet smile plastered on his face. He asked: “Is it okay if I carry your water for you?” I was yearning to get to know him. So, I eagerly said yes. “By the way my name is Mankata. What’s your name?” I smiled. “Mankata. That’s a nice name. I am Aboagyewaa.”
He carried my water as I walked beside him in comfortable silence. This was the beginning of our beautiful friendship. From that day, we started hanging out and getting to know each other. I enjoyed his company. I liked it more whenever we went out on dates. Everything we did was in the name of friendship. That was until he blurted out one day: “I want you to be my girlfriend.” I was not surprised when he said that. We always had an intense connection and I knew I wasn’t the only one who felt that way. In as much as I would have loved to accept his proposal and explore the chemistry between us, I was not willing to give up on my boyfriend yet.
That day I told Mankata: “I am sorry but the only thing I can offer you now is friendship. Give me some time to get to know you better.” He graciously accepted my response and continued to be my friend. He was always available to assist me in my academic work and personal life. It didn’t take long for him to become my best friend. After six weeks in his school, the psychiatry affiliation came to an end, and I had to return to my school.
We were always in touch, even after I told Mankata that I couldn’t be with him because I already had someone. He told me: “AJ, I am deeply in love with you so I am going to stick around and fight for your love until I win your heart.” Of course, I didn’t tell him that my heart was already his. Rather, I gave my all to my relationship hoping it would work. Instead of my boyfriend to match my efforts, he decided to cheat on me. What made it more painful was when I found out he introduced the girl to his parents. This happened in my final year. I was devastated. I cried till I thought I would lose my mind. Luckily, Mankata was there for me.
His shoulder became my handkerchief. He called me all the time until I felt better. When he saw that I was no longer in pain he asked me: “Will you consider being my girlfriend now?” I didn’t think the timing was right for us. I was not psychologically healed enough to be with him. So I turned him down again. He couldn’t be my friend any longer so we went our separate ways.
After school, I was posted to Aflao for my national service. Throughout my stay there, I tried to reach Mankata but his line was always unavailable. I thought he probably blocked me out of anger so I stopped trying to reach him. I had two failed relationships by the time I was posted to work as a general nurse. After I got posted, I started to think about him and the moments we shared. I missed him. I tried so hard but I couldn’t reach him. Then in July 2011, I sent a Facebook message to a mutual friend of ours asking about Mankata’s whereabouts. She told me he was also asking people about me. I asked her to give my number to him immediately. Two weeks later, he called me. The first question he asked me was: “AJ, are you married?” I laughed and said no. “Will you marry me then?” This time I smiled and said: “Yes, I will marry you.” He laughed, the sweet sound filling my ears as I also laughed.
We had our traditional marriage ceremony on 6 March 2012, and our church wedding was the next day. Marrying him is the best decision I ever made. He has been my confidant, big brother, and best friend. He was with me when both my parents died and assisted my family during the funeral. We always have our ups and downs but we always find our way back to each other. No matter what happens, he will always be my Mankata.
Today, I just want to share our story to celebrate him for always bringing out the best in me. I have my Master’s degree because of his encouragement, and he is currently studying for his Ph.D. We have three beautiful kids together, and I am happy they have him as their father. Every time I look at my family, I feel so happy that Mankata never gave up on our love even when I pushed him away twice.
Courtesy Beads Media