In 2015 a girl sent me a friend request on Facebook and I accepted it. A few minutes later, she came into my DM to say thank you. I responded, “Thank you too for being a friend. I hope we interact more often.” She sent another message, “I’m only a ghost here. I don’t write anything and I won’t comment on anything. I only pass through to read what others have written.” I went through her profile to check the photos she had posted. She had only a few of them. She had this natural beauty and her smile was flowery. She looked like someone I would like to know on a personal level so I responded, “Don’t be a ghost when it comes to me. Just comment. Respond when I send you a message. It’s good to be friends with you.”
Three days later, I saw her first comment on my post. I skipped all other comments just to respond to hers. From then on she came around very often to comment, to chat, and to react to my posts. One day, we were in the DM chatting when she said something like, “I don’t like being on Facebook but because of you, these days I spend all my time here.” I felt wanted. Being a reason for someone’s change is indeed a good feeling. It makes you feel like you’ve changed the world—changing the world one girl at a time. I said, “You can give me your number. I can call you often so you don’t have to spend all day on Facebook.”
That day, I had her number, and the next moment I called her; “Hello. This is Awuah your Facebook friend.” When she spoke back to me, I thought I was talking to an eight-year-old girl. Her voice, very silvery and childlike. She said, “Hey I knew it was you.” Our friendship, which started from Facebook with just a thank you note had now grown into something we both didn’t think of the very day we said hello to each other. I was the one calling initially until she took over. When we didn’t hear from each other in say an hour, you could bet the other was going to call in the next minute and you would be right.
“When are we meeting? I asked one day. She responded, “Meeting me will destroy everything we have now. Let’s keep it this way. For a while. Pleeeeeease.” Several months later and we still hadn’t met. We plan to meet. Something comes up, almost always from her end. We abandon the plans. Whenever I insisted on seeing her, she would say something like, “I’m not the person you think I am. You’ll see me one day and wouldn’t like to see me again.” I swore I wouldn’t do that to her. I gave her my word; “I cross my heart and hope to die if I ever leave you.” She only laughed out loud and said, “Don’t worry, we’ll meet very soon. No need to be desperate about it.”
I couldn’t wait any longer so one day on a video call with her, I proposed to her. I told her how her presence in my life has changed everything; “You’ve succeeded in taking over everything in my life. I wake up and you’re the first thing that comes to mind. I think about you every day. If this isn’t love, what else can it be?” She responded, “You haven’t seen me. You don’t know who I am. How could you love what you haven’t seen?” If Stevie Wonder can fall in love with someone and marry that someone, then it’s possible to love who you haven’t seen. Love is like that. It pushes us to do the unthinkable—the crazier things. Loving who you haven’t seen is the least of the silliest things love can make us do.
We went back and forth with the meeting. It was getting to a year and we still hadn’t met. One day she told me, “I’m ready. I’m ready to meet you. Let’s do it and set each other free. Where should I meet you?” I responded, “Where should I meet you? It’s your call. Just tell me and I’ll come running.” She mentioned a place where she said was closer to her house. The next two or three hours later, I was there. After going left, turning right, and walking past a big house painted yellow, I saw her seated on a chair out of the restaurant. I looked at her from head to toe. No, I didn’t see her toes because her legs were under the table. Immediately I took my seat she said, “So here we are at last. Tell me, do you still like me?” I said, “What’s there not to like? You’re beautiful just the way you are.”
She smiled; “You don’t get it or maybe you don’t see me well. My crutches are under the table. I didn’t want you to assume the worse, that’s why I didn’t come in my wheelchair. I can’t walk. Polio. The left leg was affected. I’ve been this way since I was seven.” I tried not to look shocked. I did management in school and I can tell you for a fact that the greatest thing I’ve had to manage was my demeanor that day. I didn’t want to give anything away that would create the impression that I was disappointed but honestly I was. “Why didn’t she tell me the day I proposed to her or even the day that we had a video call. Yes, she kept telling me that she wasn’t who I thought she was but I didn’t think it has anything to do with crutches and not being able to walk.”
As I said, I tried not to give anything away. I acted normal—unboarded. I told her, “I’m sorry to hear about your experience and situation but you still look beautiful. It changes nothing.” She said, “No need to be sorry because I don’t feel sorry for myself. I got my degrees climbing stairs just like everybody else. I’ve never wanted to be treated differently just because of my situation. I’m cool—very cool with it. We ordered some drinks. At some point, we drunk in silence. I was thinking. I was asking myself questions. Honestly, I couldn’t wait to leave but I didn’t want to leave making bad impressions. She said, “You’ve gone quiet. Is everything ok?” I answered, “Yeah everything is OK. I’m only happy to see you.”
No matter how hard I tried to hide my emotions, she might have sensed my uneasiness around her. After that day, things slowed between us. Conversations slowed. We weren’t calling each other like we used to. I needed time to process the whole thing and see if I could get used to dating someone like her. The good thing was, she never complained about the change. She didn’t ask why. When we talked once in a while, she was happy. When I called her, she told me how happy my calls made her. She never asked me why the sudden change.
About five or so months later, everything came to a halt. Almost. We could go for a week and not call each other. She stopped interacting with my Facebook posts and instead started being active on Facebook. One day, I made a comment on her post and she responded with an emoji. Later that day, she sent me a message; “I liked the way things went between us. It was slow but I knew we’ll get to this point where we wouldn’t talk again. I expected it so I’m not surprised at all.”
It took me hours to think about a response. When I responded, I said, “I needed space to process the whole thing. I was shocked, yes. But I had to ask myself questions. I needed to be sure if I was ready to be in such a relationship and if I had the mental capacity to carry on when things get tough.” She asked me, “So after thinking about everything, what was the conclusion? That you couldn’t date someone in a wheelchair? How come I didn’t hear the conclusion?” I told her, “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you anything but is it too late to tell you now? That I’m ready to go on with you?”
We’ve been together for over two years now. She’s been an amazing woman. We both have our flaws. Sometimes our flaws come between us and we decide to call it quit but in the end, we keep going. We keep giving ourselves another chance just like every relationship deserves chances and time to thrive. We’ll get there. I know that and she believes that but for now, all we do is to love each other and enjoy being each other’s love.