What they don’t tell You about Love

Vivian why? Aswear this life will never be better for you.

Yesterday, if you asked Vivian to describe how a man looked after he peeled off his clothes, you would be surprised to hear her words. In her own room, she has never even looked at her naked body for more than 3 seconds. An awkward, plain girl who spent her jhs and secondary school sidestepping ‘ashawo’ life. The little saint went to church armed with ‘end of the world’ books ‘hell is real’ books to warn the Sunday school boys and girls who explored their bodies in corners. Vivian joined prayer camps with her long skirts and every single cedi saved. Nyame som nkoaaa nso w’any3 nu yie; Worshipping God but you did it wrong. If that wasn’t it Vivian then what went wrong? You were going to be a doctor who saved lives from both death and hell.

Vivian was 27 when she met King. By that time the Christian books had changed to ‘How to be a real woman,’ What a man needs from a woman‘, ‘24 ways to achieve true independence’. The long skirts have become customized sheer dresses ordered from Instagram. You had built you body and used to find a part of yourself. King knows the story from old friends. Your Sunday School friends; it haunts you Vivian but they still spoke about how strange you are. He thinks you outgrew that phase but it is still a shadow following you. Something you cannot entirely shake of. So you go to the extremes to forget about this old self. Something that really shouldn’t bother you but you have nightmares about it.

King came in at the perfect time, as if he and the universe had been plotting. You did not get the master’s scholarship, your mother’s kidney had failed her and we were going through a rough patch but still Vivian, I was always there. Was it his swagger? Or his age? That he was younger? Maybe you just wanted something new, a breath of fresh air? Yes, I knew about it and I let you. But I did not see it coming this far. What did you whisper to him at night to make it all like this? You gave him some of our love.

I didn’t even know you were on a dating site. With a picture I took of you on our date as a the profile and a bunch of lies written under it. You hate pets and cooking. Why did you feel the need to lie to the internet. I was enough for you. I gave you everything. Who are you Vivian? You don’t even like sneakers but it is there as ‘total sneakerhead’.

It started when you got scared about how unstable he and I were becoming. You said Ghanaian men are mad. Yes, Ghanaian men are mad. But I wasn’t the one who secretly saved nude videos and pictures on Snapchat using other apps. I was not the one who followed you everywhere hopping on motors and alighting taxis to track your every move. I called to warn you, to beg you to return to me and that is when you called me possessive and toxic. Me? After he hit you night and day and night again when you did the least thing. Vivian, why? Why didn’t we run?

Now we are standing here in the middle of trees burying King’s body. Why Vivian? You have made this thing you promised me, you gave me, called love; that we said was full of joy and free of pain. This is what it has done. For you Vivian. You did not tell me about this side of love.

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