I loved her for her colors and the way she dressed. I never missed an opportunity to compliment her on her looks; “Baaba, you’re looking prettier today.” “Oh, I like your dress. Black looks good on you.” She was always grateful and told me how I’m the only person who sees what she wears and notice the slightest change in her appearance. I told her, “Yeah, that’s because I look at you. I look at you and see you for who you are.” When the opportunity came, I shot my shot. When the time was right, she said, “Let’s see where the road may lead us.” 

So I graduated from the guy who offered compliments to the guy who owns the subject of the compliment. I loved her so much I couldn’t wait to show her off. We attended every event together and in every event, she dazzled. She knew the right type of dress to wear and the right type of colors to combine to achieve a particular look. Her sense of fashion and style began to rub on me. I started paying attention to my own fashion sense(if I even had one) and started buying clothes that would make me stand out as a deserved boyfriend.

We didn’t have problems. She lived and I lived. After work each day, we would plan on where to meet or where to go before we go home late in the night. We’ve been happy. We’ve been loving each other the best way we could. We hardly had a reason to fight or argue or even disagree. Maybe we were just playing it safe to ensure we had a smooth beginning. Five months later, she started talking about a change of wardrobe; “Most of my dresses don’t fit and those that fit look old.” In my mind, if clothes don’t fit, you get new ones. If what you have looks old, you change it. I didn’t see why she kept telling me until it later started sounding like complaints in my ears.

Then one day, she came very clear; “I need money to change my clothes.” I gave her what I could give and she was happy. Another time she sent me a photo of a shoe she saw on Instagram and said, “It’s only GHC350.” I replied. “It looks good.” She said, “Then send me MoMo to get it before someone buys it.” I did send her. After all, that’s what loving boyfriends do. They try their best to make their women happy. They invest in them to ensure their women are always happy. I got that and I tried to do just that.

Then the request kept coming. Mondays, shoes. Tuesdays, dresses. Wednesday, accessories. Thursdays, something something. Fridays, human hair. Saturdays, nails. Sundays, money for collection. There wasn’t a single day that didn’t come with a request. Indeed, it’s what we love that kills us but I wasn’t going to sit there and die just like that. I told her one day, “You’re right to need things. Everyone needs something but at this point, I think we have to start thinking beyond the usual stuff. This is the time to start talking about the future and saving towards it. Should we spend all we have on clothes, how do we get money to marry?”

She said, “When we get there, we’ll cross. After all, people borrow money for weddings all the time? Bible even says we should not think about tomorrow because tomorrow will think about itself.”

Eii saa?

Red flags don’t come this larger and glaring but a man in love sometimes loses his head so we kept going, hoping at some point she will see reason and change her ways. I tried all I could to cause a change in her attitude and the way she demands things. We spoke about it. We fought about it. We even went on a break because of that but very little changed. She started buying those things on credit which later resulted in a fight between her and those she owed. Those who knew me started calling. One early dawn, I was asleep when a call came through. I didn’t pick the first time until the person called about five different times. When I picked she said, “Please if Baaba is there kindly give the phone to her.” I asked, “Who is this please, and why are you calling my phone looking for Baaba at this time?”

Her voice went up a pitch, “I’ve been calling her for the past three days and she doesn’t pick my calls. She had even blocked my line. She owes me money. It’s been long overdue but she always gives me excuses. I got your number from a friend and decided to call.” I asked her to hold on. I tapped Baaba to wake up and take the call. Immediately she heard the lady’s voice, she cut the call.” I wasn’t ready to pay debts so I turned the other way and continued sleeping.

The next morning was a very good opportunity to talk to her about it. Immediately I raised the topic she said, “We are in a very good mood this morning. Don’t come and spoil the mood with your lectures. Who in this world doesn’t owe or haven’t ever owed someone something? If you can’t help me pay, don’t come and disturb my ears.”

That ended the discussion but it didn’t end the doubts in my head concerning the future with her. Honestly, she was good in many ways. In a relationship, we take the good of our partners and compromise on certain things we can compromise. A woman who runs the partnership into debt just because she wants to look good is hard to ignore and from all indications, she wasn’t going to change. It was a take-me-as-I-am or leave me kind of situation.

We had dated for a year and a half. I loved her and was willing to have a future with her but she wasn’t ready to compromise on the way she spends on herself. She said, “I’m trying to look good for you but all you do is complain about me overspending.” I told her, “You’re already good looking. You don’t need to add anything to look any good. I like you the way you are.” She retorted, “Poverty talk!”

One day, someone she owes went to her office and made a scene there. I heard it but ignored it. Not too long afterward, I saw her photo on my timeline with her name tagged in the photo. Someone she owed had decided to take the issue to social media. I saw over 300 comments and 120 Shares, all of them insulting her and calling her a shame to womanhood. Not long afterward, some friends of mine started calling me; “I saw your girl on Facebook ooo. She’s trending.” “What your woman do diɛɛ yawa ooo” “Chalie, you girl disgrace you paa ooo. Go and read the comments.” Some of them even sent me screenshots of comments and memes.

I called her phone and it was off. In the evening she came around. I asked her, “Have you seen what’s going on on Facebook?” She said, “That’s why I turned off my phone.” She bragged, “After everything, that girl would meet me in court for defaming me. Who in this world doesn’t owe? Even she herself, doesn’t she owe some people she buys from?” I shook my head. It was a lost battle. Nothing can change her. The next day she issued a long ‘press statement’ seeking to undo the damage. The first comment I saw on that post was, “Madam, go and pay what you owe and stop doing long talk. Is it by force to own what you can’t pay?”

When the time was right, I left the relationship. She called me stingy. She said I wasn’t a man enough for her. She said she thought I was at her level when she accepted my proposal. She said so many things but I had nothing to prove to a woman who wants it all but can’t pay for even one.    

—Harry

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