My Wife Said No To Me When We Were In Senior High School
I was seventeen when I told her that I loved her. She was sixteen getting to seventeen, I guess. We were both in our second year of senior high school. When I told her that I loved her she asked, “How about Ella? You two have been there since first year so why not her?” I said, “Ella has a boyfriend in another school. I’m only friends with her because we came from the same Junior high school. Nothing more.” She said, “I don’t want a fight. I don’t want someone to think I’m taking you away from her. You know I don’t like troubles.” I said, “No trouble will come your way, trust me.”
She took her time to accept my proposal. I was young but the kind of connection I felt when I was with her was different. I didn’t want to leave when we were together. Soon the whole school got to know that we were dating. Ella didn’t like it. She felt betrayed because everyone in the school thought she was my girlfriend. She started asking questions. She started picking quarrels with Suzy. One day Suzy told me, “No I can’t continue. The way your girl is treating me, I don’t like it. Let’s leave it here before things escalate.”
No matter what I said she wouldn’t listen. That’s how come I pursued her for the rest of my time in school but she kept saying no to me. I remember the night before we both left campus, I begged her to say yes to me but she wouldn’t. I told her, “We are going home. Ella wouldn’t be there to trouble you.” She said, “I told you I can’t do this again and I mean it. Just let’s forget and move on. We can always be friends.”
Five years later in 2007, I met her again in Kumasi. She was a nurse. I was still in the university learning for my first degree. The excitement on her face when she saw me was something to die for. She asked, “Where have you been?” I said, “I should ask you the same question.” She turned to the colleague she was walking with and said, “The way this guy has worried me in school errn. He chased me left-right-center asking me to be his girlfriend when he had another girlfriend.” I laughed and said, “That was a lie! Ella was nothing to me but you simply refused to understand.” The other friend came in, “So you guys were in school doing lovey-lovey instead of learning, right?”
We exchanged contacts and started talking from that day. A week later, she came to visit me on campus. I looked at her very well. She was more beautiful than the last time we were both in school. I asked her, “So who is on the line now?” She laughed. “What do you mean who is on the line?” I said, “You understood me, don’t swerve.” She said, “When I was in the nursing school, I met a guy who was two years my senior. I fell for his promises thinking he was the way forward. But the way things are going, I don’t think it would end well. We are barely hanging on, always patching things up.”
She asked about me and I told her all the girls I’d dated that didn’t work out. She said, “Eish, you’re really having fun.” I said, “Most of these ended right at the spot where it began so nothing serious was built.”
We kept talking and I kept giving her a hint that I still loved her. One day I visited her place of work. We couldn’t talk as much as we wanted to but it was alright. We laughed and we reminisced. On phone that night, I said, “You know I still want you right?” She said, “I would have said yes to you in a heartbeat but…” “But there’s someone there,” I ended her statement for her. She responded, “Oh not that at all. Left with that boy alone, I would have walked straight to you without looking back but we are no longer kids. It’s more about my life and my work than it’s about him.”
I don’t remember the exact point where we lost touch but at some point, we talked less and less and less until all we had left was silence. In 2010 or so, we found each other on Facebook. We talked passively and I remember when our year group organized a reunion, around that same year, we met again. We continued talking passively without talking about the feelings between us. Around 2012, she posted on Facebook that she was in Tarkwa. I called her line, “What are you doing in Tarkwa?” She said, “We came for an outreach program.” I said, “Do you know I’m also in Tarkwa?” She asked, “What are you doing here?” I said, “I’ve been here since last year. I’m working.”
That same evening, we met. I got the same throwback vibe I had when I was with her in SHS. I said, “How far with you and that guy—your two-year senior.” She laughed. “You don’t forget, do you? As I told you the other time, we didn’t work out. Even the time I told you we were together, we were on our way out.” I asked, “And you’ve been alone since?” She said, “Naa I haven’t been alone since. I’ve met guys but I lost them because I didn’t want to give them sex before marriage. It’s the policy now and it looks like most guys can’t stand it.” I retorted, “Try me. Just give me a try and I will prove to you that there’s a guy who can stand it.”
She laughed. I said, “I’m not joking.” She said, “Stop joking. I know you.” I said, “Just put me to the test, I’m not lying.” Her gaze fell on the floor. Her smiles turned from bold to subtle. That was when I knew I was making progress. Back in the days when she said yes to me, she said it with her eyes on the floor. When I asked her to look at me she said, “I can’t.” So that evening I said, “Look at me and tell me what you’re thinking.” She kept looking at the floor, smiling subtly. I said no word because I knew what that meant.
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I woke up the next morning to see a long text message on my phone. She said, “I can trust you because of how long you’ve pursued this. And the fact that I keep meeting you at every bend means something to me. It’s not a coincidence. I will give us a chance but don’t make me regret it.”
In April 2014, when she was saying “I do” to me in the church, she kept her face down. The pastor said, “Suzy, we are not playing here. This is the most important part of the ceremony and you can’t do it with your face down. Lift your head up, look into his eyes and say repeat after me.” She slowly lifted her face up. She smiled while she said her lines. I smiled too. Right there and there, I started having flashbacks of our journey—where we started from, the nos and the maybes, and finally the yes. I said to myself, “It was meant to be and it did.”
Seven years down the line, nothing has changed. I still pursue her the way I pursued her right from the beginning. We have two sets of twins who try to compete with me for her attention but I let them know that I’m the man. I was here long before they came so they can’t swipe me off my spot.