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Opinions of Thursday, 15 October 2015

Columnist: Darkwa, Rachael Abena

Rachael for real: Love has not been fair to me

- my true life story

I have heard of, read about and personally witnessed loads of very wonderful love stories of how people found love and how they enjoined their relationships to the max, but my own experiences with love make my own life seem like a movie to me.

Growing up was so tough because I had to stay with different people at various stages of my life to get the kind of education I had always wanted. I went through that phase until I got to secondary school, where I got a male friend called Bright. He was from another school but he was my best friend. How he became my friend is another sorry all together. But we became so close that my other friends thought we were dating, but we were not.

Anytime there was inter-school sports competition, my heart always got filled with joy with just the thought of seeing Bright. He would always buy me drinks and some provisions, and even come to my school and escort me to competition venue. We did not have mobile phones then, so we used to communicate through letters. I was always alert and expectant when letters were being shared in school. Bright was my best friend and he wrote to me very often, and I always replied. The details of the letters are for me to know and for you to find out.

I know you are wondering why I keep saying Bright was my best friend. He always knew how to turn my sorrow into joy, and make me laugh even when I had a million reasons to be moody. It was as if he was living his name “Bright” for me. He just brightened my day when I am with him. I remember how he would always tell me jokes and even when I don’t find his jokes funny, he will laugh so much that his laughter alone made me laugh my head off. Sometimes, he will laugh even before telling the joke and getting me laughing too. I found his laughter funnier than his jokes.

At a point in time, I wished Bright was always with me, but I was also scared of being with him all the time, because it made me shiver inside; I felt the butterflies in my tummy when I am with him. I did not fully grasp what that feeling meant but I knew I liked to be with Bright always. Several guys would often tell me how fair, beautiful, cute, pretty and fashionable I was, but I only had one guy on my mind, Bright, who I only considered to be my best friend and nothing more, in spite of the butterflies in my tummy.

A lot of my male school mates passed advances at me but I turned them down and will sometimes talk to Bright about their intentions towards me. He always told me to concentrate on my studies and I did just that. I sometimes saw Bright in my dreams, but I kept it to myself and giggled over it sometimes. I didn’t know if it was love but I knew I liked him a lot, and I mean, a lot!

Bu I was so shy of my own body that I found it difficult even to bath with my fellow female students in the same bath house at school. So for me to go naked before a guy was a hell of problem I was never ready to face. So I did not see myself doing the boyfriend-girlfriend thing with anyone, and definitely not my best friend, Bright.

After secondary school we could not meet as often as we did, but communication was so tight between us. Bright got admission to Ho Polytechnic and was one of the best students there. This time, we both has mobile phones so he called me very often and talked about how girls in his class wanted to befriend him. Truthfully, he was so handsome and very brilliant and I knew most ladies were attracted to guys like him. And that was when I became sure I was in love with him because anytime he told me that I got jealous and uncomfortable.

Bright did a lot of things which indicated me that he loved me but what surprised me was that he never told me he loved me. I loved him too but I was a lady, brought up to wait for a man's proposal, not to tell a man I loved him. So I always looked forward to that day when he would be bold to tell me he loved me. I fantasized about it so much it sometimes made me lose concentration until it finally came.

I was at home and I got a call in the afternoon; as usual, it was Bright. He told me he wanted to discuss something with me in the evening and stressed it was serious because its something he had wanted to tell me a long time ago. I was so convinced he was going to propose love to me, but the tone of his voice sounded as if he was sick. I asked if he was okay and he told me he was not feeling too well. After further interrogation, he told me he was preparing for class when he felt a sharp pain in his knees and suddenly fell to the ground and could not walk; but he was taken to the hospital and was on admission briefly. There and then I felt sick myself so I told him I was coming to see him but he insisted I shouldn't. He promised to call me that evening and I reluctantly agreed.

I was never myself throughout the day just waiting for night to fall to hear what he had to say. At about 8pm that evening, his call came through. Believe me, it did not ring for the second time and I was already saying hello. We started chatting about his health. He assured me he was fine and had been brought back to school. I felt relieved and we talked at lengh. To cut the long story short, Bright told me a proverb in a story form and this is how he went about it.

"I have a lot of trees in the forest waiting for them to grow so I can bring one home to work with but there is one which stands so tall among them; one which has grown so beautifully and I have finally decided to bring it home".

So I asked who that tall and beautiful tree was and he said romantically "that tree is you. I love you Rachael and I wish to spend the rest of my life with you."

Tears immediately started rolling down my cheeks but they were tears of joy. We were both silent for a while, the I broke the silence and asked why he had kept his feeling from me till now. He replied soothingly "this is the right time for me to make my intentions known to you". He then told me how he had decided to love me even more because I was able to cure his bad temper. Bright was very hot tempered but I remember telling sometime back that anytime he was angry he should imagine I made him angry and just think about me. That advice worked. I just knew we were compatible in every way. I was convinced I was going to marry him no matter what.

That night, we talked till it was 5am the next morning. I really enjoyed the conversation. But little did I know that was the last time I was ever hearing from Bright. We agreed that he should rest and I was to call him during the day to find out how he was doing but that was the beginning of my sorrows.

I called, as I promised, but Bright's phone was off. I thought his phone battery was down then. But for two days he was not picking my calls and there was no other means to reach him. I called everybody I knew who could give me information about him but nobody could tell me what was the problem or where he was. In fact, I did all I could but to no avail. I was worried sick always thinking about him.

One week passed, then one Thursday I got a call from one of my old secondary school mates. We talked for a while then she asked of Bright; I was not surprised because she knew we were best of friends back in school. She was surprised to hear I had not heard from Bright for more than a week. It was then she told me to take what she was about to tell me with a calm heart. My heart skipped a beat because I did not know what she was about to tell me. But I took in a deep breath and braced myself for what was coming next.

All I heard was "Bright is dead". I did not know what happened again from that moment, but I found myself on a hospital bed with my parents and siblings around me. My mum said I woke up with Bright's name on my lips, and tears rolling down my cheeks. My love dream was shuttered there and then. Later I was told that Bright died the morning after proposing love to me. It was if he knew he was about to die so he had to make his intentions known to me before he did. Bright might have died feeling fulfilled for expressing his love for me. But he definitely left me a sad and devastated young woman.

As if that was not enough, I was told that Bright's parents went for his body, so I waited to hear when he would be laid I state for the burial so I could, at least, go and bid the love of my life a final goodbye. But believe you me, after so many years maybe I am yet to see Bright's dead body. I was told Bright's dad demand to know the cause of his son's death but refused to make the corpse available for that investigations. And I never got to see the body of my sweetheart. Years have passed but I do not live a day without the thought of Bright.

After many years of staying without a boyfriend, I finally fell in love again but this time it was something else.

Wait till you hear the full story on that.