Alice had a job when I wasn’t working. We’ve been friends since high school. We were in the same dormitory together in high school. Went to the same University together, stayed in the same hall and did the same course. She’s the friend that grew to become a sister. After national service, it became very hard for me to find a job. One day, I followed Alice to her workplace. I was in her office when a man walked in looking for her.
I told him, “She just stepped out.” He asked, “Do you know where she went?” I said, “She didn’t tell me where exactly she was going.” He asked, “Who are you?” I responded, “I came to see Alice.” He said, “Oh that means we are both looking for the same person.” He sat on the visitor’s chair and started talking to me. He asked my name and I told him. He said, “Wow, then you’re my mother because my other is also Agnes.”
I didn’t know who he was but he was asking so many questions. I paused and later threw the questions to him, “I’ve been saying a lot about me but I don’t know who you are. Who are you? You work here too?” He said, “I’m Obeng. I work here too. Your friend Alice is my colleague.” For the next thirty minutes or so, we talked until he said, “It seems Alice isn’t coming anytime soon but when she comes, tell her Obeng came to look for her.”
When Alice came I told her, “Obeng came to look for you.” Her face went from indifferent to worried just within a second. She asked, “Obeng?” I said, “Yeah, he waited for about thirty minutes.” She screamed, “You don’t mean it! So why didn’t you call me?” I said, “He didn’t sound urgent. He sat here and talked with me all the while.” “Talk with you? About what?” She asked. I answered, “You sound worried. Is anything the matter?”
“Obeng is my boss. You see why I’m worried?”
She went to his office and came back. I asked her, “Was he angry?” She said, “He wasn’t. He needed information. So what did you guys talk about that excites him this much? He was asking about you when I went there.” I jokingly answered, “If he’s excited about me, then he better employ me ooo na M’ay3 shi.” We both laughed out loud.
The next day Alice called to tell me Obeng asked about me and asked when I was going to visit again. Three days later she called to tell me Obeng wanted my number. I asked, “Do you think he’s a good person?” Alice said, “I don’t know that side of him. He’s only my boss.” I told her, “Give it to him but tell him I need a job and see if he could help.” She said, “Why don’t you tell him when he calls?”
One afternoon Obeng called. He said, “I took your number from Alice. Haven’t seen you again and thought I should check up on you.” We spoke for about ten minutes. Nothing serious. Another time he called. Days after, he called again. He said, “Why don’t you call me sometimes. I’m the one who’s always calling.” I lied, “Oh I haven’t called because I don’t know when you’re free.” He said, “If it’s your call, then I’m always free.” One day I called. One day we met at an eatery. Everything was going well until one day Alice called to tell me, “Be careful about that man so he doesn’t take advantage of your vulnerability. He’s a married man. He doesn’t wear a ring because he has chosen not to so be careful.”
I was shocked to the marrow to know he was married. All along, I assumed he wasn’t married because he wasn’t wearing a ring. I decided to cut him off or relate to him as I related to all my married male friends. I stopped calling him until he did. I said no to all outing invitations he extended to me. He said he was going to visit me. I said no it wouldn’t appropriate. He might have picked the change in my attitude so he started asking if everything was alright. I said, “Yeah, I’m fine.” He thought it was because he hadn’t been able to help me get a job so he started speeding things up. One day he called to give me a number to call. I called that number and just a week later, I was employed.
I was so grateful to him for being able to pull that off. To show my gratitude, he asked for a date and I obliged. On the date that day he proposed to me. I said, “I’m a woman. I won’t be happy if someone said yes to my husband.” He asked, “What do you mean?” I said, “But you’re married.” He laughed. He said, “What gave you the impression that I’m married? If I’m married, where’s my ring?” I said, “Ring isn’t the marriage. Many married men walk around without the ring these days.” He said, “Ask your friend. She knows that I’m a bachelor. Ask anyone who knows me. they’ll tell you.” I laughed at his lies but I was grateful for what he did for me, at least for not asking for sex before such a favor.
I called Alice and told her about the proposal. She said, “Men!” I told her, “Do you know he had the gut to tell me to ask you if he was married?” We both laughed. She said, “Stop picking his calls. He’s a liar. Don’t entertain him, after all, you’ve gotten what you wanted.” So I stopped picking his calls until one day he called his friend at the office to give me his phone to talk to me. He asked, “Why are you doing this? At least pick my calls and say something.” I said, “I’m sorry but let’s talk after work.” After work, I met him at the same eatery. He asked, “So you still believe I’m married. You didn’t ask Alice?” I said, I spoke to Alice. She confirmed that you’re married.”
He said, “She confirmed what? That girl is a liar. Why don’t you find things out yourself?
I followed him to his house one day. He made me speak to his mother and his mother was so excited she said she couldn’t wait to see me. I spoke to quite a number of people and they all confirmed that he wasn’t married. So why would Alice tell me he was married? I went ahead and accepted his proposal. The love Obeng showed me within a couple of months, I’d not experienced it in all my life. Then one day Alice called to tell me, “So you didn’t listen to my advice? You’re proudly moving around with someone’s husband?” I asked her, “Do you know his wife? Can you tell me where she lives that for the past six months I haven’t seen her?”
She said, “It’s your own cup of tea. When it stank, we’ll definitely know the smell.”
This is how I lost a long-time friend—someone who had become my sister. Our relationship deteriorated to the point where she saw my calls and didn’t pick. On our wedding day, I sent her an invitation. She didn’t come but she went around telling people that I married her boss just to spite her. She told others too that she introduced her boss to me and I pushed myself on him to marry me. The funniest one was that I took her boss to a juju man and she even knows the man who did the juju for me. To date, I don’t know what I did wrong or said wrong for her to treat me this way. She had done a lot of good things for me and this would have been the greatest good she ever did for me but unfortunately, she isn’t here to claim the praise. She rather prefers going around spreading false rumors.