I was single for two years. At some point, I thought that was the end of me. I thought the curse my ex pronounced on me when I left him was working. He said, “You’ll never find a man like me, mark it on the wall and see.” I got scared a little. when no man was coming my way, I asked myself, “Does that mean all men are like him? That’s why I’m not finding anyone after I’d left him?” But I consoled myself every day by telling myself, “If all men were like him, then I’d rather die single. What’s the point of dating another man just like the one I ran away from?” But not too long afterward, Frank came into the picture.

If all men were like him, then I’d rather die single.

His demeanor and actions whenever he was with me pointed to the fact that he loved me but it took him so long before he proposed. The very day I accepted his proposal, I met another man in church who took my number. He told me he was called Ryan. The following day, Ryan asked if I had a boyfriend. I responded, “Yeah I do. We started dating only yesterday.” He said, “Wow, I was late for a day.” I laughed. He asked me, “If I came a day before yesterday, would I have had a chance with you?” I said, “I don’t know because we just met. Plus, you didn’t come a day before yesterday so I can’t tell.” He said, “Too bad but I hope we can be friends?” I said, “Why not? We all need friends.”

When I met Frank the other day I told him about Ryan’s proposal. He made jokes about it. He said, “Give him my condolence.” I said, “Did he tell you that his relative is dead?” He answered, ”This is more than the death of a relative.” For over two years no man approached me. In two days I found two men who both wanted to make me their girlfriend. Unfortunately, I could only say yes to only one of them and be a friend to the other.

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I went to church the next Sunday and I met Ryan. He looked at me like no other man had ever looked at me. He said, “You’re looking gorgeous. I said, “Thank you.” After collection, we stood outside of the church and talked until the church said the last grace. I got to know him better. His mother was one of the church leaders. He had been outside of the country for years and had come to visit his family. When I got to know he didn’t live in the county, I told myself, “Even if you came before Frank, I wouldn’t have said yes to you. You outside guys are full of miracles. You leave your girlfriends there, come downtown to look for quick fixes, and later leave us here.”

But he was different. He called me every day. Before he talked to me he asked if my boyfriend was around and if I was comfortable talking to him. He was funny and clever. He didn’t hold anything back when we talked. Through conversations, I got to know a lot about him. I wanted to be very transparent with Frank concerning my relationship with Ryan so every conversation I had with him, I told Frank about it. He made jokes about everything but I was happy that he was comfortable with my friendship with Ryan.

One day after church, Ryan told me he would be traveling back to the UK in the next four days. I wished him safe travel. He asked, “Won’t you have a send-off party for me? Or he will be angry?” I said, “If you organize a party, invite me, I will come.” So a day before he left, he asked for a date and I granted it. The following day, he sent me a message and said, “Thanks for everything. Thanks for being a friend.”

A year together with Frank was the most difficult time I’ve ever had in every relationship that I’d gone into. He was emotionally absent most of the time. He didn’t share how much he felt about me and if there was something wrong, he didn’t talk about it. He rather harbored the feeling of hurt and resentment until our next fight. He would explode and tell me a lot of hurtful things. He was the man for me so I tried my best to manage him. When he’s angry, he wouldn’t talk to you for days. He wouldn’t pick your calls and wouldn’t mind sacking you from his house. He did it to me twice.

The second time he sacked me from his house, I broke up with him. The relationship was only nine months old. It took him a whole month for him to come and apologize to me. Before I accepted him, I told him to give me certain assurances. He accepted all my conditions so we got back together. Two weeks later, we were back fighting again. There was a girl he was getting closer to. I questioned him and he said she was just a friend. Another time, she came up in our conversations again. He flared up and left me there. Every relationship has some troubles, so leaving him wasn’t the first option for me. I thought we could stay and solve things together.

One day, a number called and I picked. It was Ryan. I screamed, “Hey, you never called when you got back to the UK.” He said, “Yeah, I’m sorry about that. I thought of giving you some space.” I said, “And you gave me a space for over a year? Who does that?” Frank was there when I was talking to Ryan. I even mentioned it to Ryan that I was with him. After talking to Ryan, I realized Frank’s mood had changed. I asked him questions and he didn’t mind me. I said I was leaving and he only nodded. Three days he didn’t pick my calls. I went to his house to ask what the issue was. After several hours of persuasion, he said, “See the way you were happy while talking to him. You love him so accept his proposal and be with him. Stop pretending around me.”

You love him so accept his proposal and be with him. Stop pretending around me.”

I started boiling on the inside. This is someone I hadn’t spoken to for over a year so where was that coming from?” I told him, “Do your worse. You’re not worth the love I’ve invested in you.” He said, “Then give your love to whoever you think is worth it.” After that, we went another week without talking to each other. One day, out of nowhere, Frank asked me, “Why don’t you give Ryan a chance? Who knows, he’ll be a better man than I am.” We were not fighting or even quarreling so I was surprised he was telling me that. He said, “I’m serious ooo. if you date him, I won’t mind at all because he may be the one.” I asked, “Frank, are you alright? What are you talking about?” He said, “You women when we tell you the truth you don’t want to understand us.”

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I took his words seriously. If he said it when he was angry I would have said he was just being jealous. He said it when everything was good between us so I took it as he was trying to push me away. I didn’t call him for days and he didn’t bother to call. One day, A friend of mine sent me a screenshot of Frank’s Whatsapp status and asked me, “Are you not bothered the way Frank is always hyping this girl on his status?” It was the same girl we fought about. He blocked me whenever he wanted to post her. I got the message so I decided to sneak out of the relationship.

That day, I picked my phone and called Ryan for the first time. He said, “Bless God, today di3 I’m the one answering your call.” I laughed. I asked, “Can’t I call you in peace again? What’s this violence for?” We talked until my credit got finished. He called back and we continued talking. Weeks later Frank called asking if we were still together. I told him, “No we are not.” He asked, “So if I didn’t ask, you were not going to tell me?” I said, “So it’s good that you asked. We are no longer together.” He didn’t even ask why. He just hung up the call as though nothing happened.

Three months later, I said yes to Ryan when he asked if there was a space for him in my life. He came to Ghana a few months later because of me. He said, “Let me see your parents. I want to do the ‘knocking’ before I go back. My next return will be our wedding.” The knocking was done before he left. Nine months later, he was back for the wedding. We had a simple one and later had a beautiful honeymoon. He went back to the UK and six months later, he came for me. He said, “I didn’t travel this far to marry you so I leave you there.”

The first baby is on the way coming. I look back every day and thank God for how quickly he turned things around for me.

–Kwansema, Silent Beads!