When God gives you a second chance

Kwaku had been my best friend for the past eight years since University days. Talk of that friend who woke me up to study; patiently taught me things I didn’t know; listened to me when I needed an ear; teased me when a guy got too close and most importantly knew me better than anyone, He was the one. I never had it in mind to fall in love or date him not to talk of even marrying him. He was just my best friend.

In our third year of friendship, I agreed to date Dominic, a guy Kwaku teased me with several times and jokingly prayed that we would end up together.

Dominic was a fine gentleman; we attended the same church; we looked so good together and my friends approved of him. One look at us and you could imagine the “Obroni mma” (white kids) we would make in the future. In one year, I met his family and he met mine. I was enjoying my new relationship with Dominic but something was missing: Kwaku.

Like the true friend he was, he stayed away with the excuse of not wanting to confuse me in my very first relationship. That was no excuse; he was just hurting on the other side after realizing I was completely gone from his life. The greedy me wanted him back and kept thinking of how nice it would be for him and Dominic to become friends. That would have made me the happiest and luckiest girl on earth

I never got my wish as he stayed away from me like I was some plague. I tried to live with it and eventually succeeded somehow. He wanted me to focus on my relationship and not make Dominic jealous, even then he still wanted the best for me. If there was something Kwaku taught me, it was that I deserved the best of everything.

Fast forward with Dominic and me, I was beginning to go back on my values and promises I made with myself and began doing things I knew I wasn’t ready for. I was constantly being reminded I lived in my own world because of the values I held on to so strongly.

The first night we spent together, I pretended to be asleep so I could avoid any kind of intimacy. That should have given me the clue that I wasn’t in the right place. Then, we had our first kiss which I willingly obliged because I wanted to at least compensate him for letting me sleep peacefully the night before. I wouldn’t want to talk of the guilt after and the tears I shed later that night for doing something I wasn’t ready for.

All these notwithstanding, I wanted this to work so I toughened up and every time I had to meet him or visit, I would psyche myself up the entire journey to prepare for what I knew would happen. To Dominic, the kisses and the smooching was nothing but they were a big deal for me. I thank God for long-distance relationships because they saved me. He saw no reason to visit since I was bent not on granting him sex. I knew deep within me that he was hurt by my intransigence but I didn’t care.

Then finally he dropped the bomb: “When are we having sex?” I knew I had to run but I stayed. When I found out he cheated, I tried to stay, I tried to hold on and make things go back to the way they were.

It was one of the hardest things to do. Not to second guess his every move and doubt his every word, I asked for a breakup in return when he asked me for space. The look on his face when I uttered the words of a breakup clearly showed that wasn’t what he had bargained for. He wanted to rescind his decision but my mind was already made up.

It took a year and some months to know that I deserved far better than I was getting.

All the while, Kwaku lurked in the shadows, hurting but not able to hate me or say no when I needed him. I was ashamed to go back. I had left diamonds to go stone picking and thought I had destroyed us with no way to mend it. After five months of self-reflection, I went back to my best friend.

We had no time to waste when we got back together. At our first official date, we spoke at length about the kind of future we wanted and what we both had to do. I needed a more stable job and he needed time to make more money. We needed the time ahead to see what could become of us as a couple so we gave ourselves three years to settle down. I wasn’t so sure and was a little afraid but we always knew we would make a bright future.

Just like the best friends we had always been, we discussed our future; our children; family; our sex and love life and to give codes and names to things we had not done before but talked about and imagined.

We definitely have had our moments, of course, we would, my temper is out of this world but I have been content these past three years.

Subsequently, when I initiated our first kiss that night, nothing had ever felt so right and I have loved the pace and direction which our other minor explorations had gone. Kwaku’s values and standards are even stricter than mine and those are what have protected me from my “loose” self.

Our wedding is about 2 months away and I can’t wait to see him soften up all that pent-up control he has exhibited over the past three years. I’m geared up to see what he will do on the first night and many other nights ahead.

My true love is my best friend, my sex partner, my teammate, my gossip partner, the love of my life. Yes, the love of my life; better than my first love, better than my ex and forever my love. I fall asleep with him every night though we are so far away, that is the best part of my day.

I’m humbled to have him be my one true love.

—Akua, Kumasi


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