Building Relationships We Can All Be Proud Of

Monday, 3 March 2014


Jessica sat listlessly staring into the Sony Bravia HD LCD 40 something inch TV. She couldn’t be bothered about size. She was wondering if the world could ever get serious; there was nothing interesting on any of the channels. She was freaked out bored.

Ah, Viasat 1; what could be on there she wondered, still nursing a frown on her immaculate face. 'Storm over paradise.' It was 3pm exactly.

Just before she could hit a button on the remote control, the door bell rang. Uurggh! Who is this?! It is 3 in the afternoon people and the owners of this house are not home. She felt like yelling and made to go and attend to the door. But then she felt like calling out to the person, whoever it was, from where she was sitting. She opted for the latter.

“Who is it?!” She yelled out.  Then it occurred to her the bell was rang from outside the gate and chances were that only a megaphone could get whoever it was to hear her. So she decided to go out and see who it was.

She didn’t care that she was partly naked. If it was cool to look hot on campus, what makes it wrong in the house? Not that she was thinking about it, she was too busy getting upset with the interruption to care about how she looked.  She was in a Diesel hip hugger with a thin sleeved blouse, designed intentionally to push her frontal merchandise to prominence displaying a sumptuous chest area.

 This outfit could make a tongue speaking prayer warrior change the direction of his prayer. That was the thought that ran through Justin’s head when Jessica opened the squeaking gate to him. In a fleeting moment he was not sure where he was staring, the pretty face or the over-exposed cleavage.  

“Hey” the 23 year old 5.9ft tall lady weighing 55kg said shyly trying to hide from the impact of the sun in the shade created by the towering shadow of Justin.
“Hey sweetheart... you are on vacation?” Justin asked after he finally pulled himself together.
“Yup, you wanna come in?”  Jessica asked doing very little to shift positions and being very much aware of the the young man's confusion.

Yeassss. She loved the effect. Another helpless victim of her charm. The quality of hair on her head, the beauty of her face, her graceful chest area and her flat tummy supported by some train-stopping hips and a solid well chiselled out legs; she was looking ravishing.

“Sure... sure. Love to come in.” Justin stuttered in response eliciting a subtle chuckle from Jessica. “is Kwame home yet?”
“Nope, not yet but he told me to make you feel at home when you come; which is exactly what I am going to do.” Jessica said and laughed it off as she led the way choosing her steps very carefully and very deliberately. She was aware of herself.

“Where is Aba?” Justin asked trying hard to sound detached.
“Haa. That sister of mine? She is roaming the streets of Accra with a list the length of a skyscraper; Exotic trend to fix her hair, pick up some clothes from somewhere in Cantonments, pick up her girls for lunch blah blah blah unending.” Jessica answered without looking at him.
“So you could have gone with her.” Justin said not really knowing what he was saying. He was still being visually abused by what was leading the way. How weak I am. He thought pathetically to himself.
“Huh?” Jessica made up a shocked face and took a wild swing to face him, “look at me, baby, I value my life. Those girls are crazy. I move with that crowd and I’ll go nuts.” She spoke fluidly throwing her long arms about without care.

“But seriously sometimes I think Aba is living my age while I live hers. Seriously; she is totally a fun loving animal. I wonder how her husband is able to cope. Kwame has the biggest heart the world has ever seen since the days of John the Baptist...or so I think.” She then paused to think about what she had said. “John the Baptist? Where is that one coming from? Ah the guy who baptised Jesus. Bless his soul!” She said with an attitude.
“Haahh!” She sighed thankfully throwing both arms in the air in a dramatic way after entering the porch. “Gracious me, I love the shade. What? Is there ever anything in Africa like cool weather? This is killing. It’s like 125 degrees Celsius out there. Seriously! It is totally unacceptable. God needs to do something about this heat”

They entered the all too familiar living room with Justin heading for a seat and Jessica heading for the kitchen. “What can I get you?" She asked walking towards the fridge.”
“Water would be good I guess.” He responded with a smile trying not to look at her as she walked away. Gosh I need a woman in my life. He thought suddenly feeling hungry for love and companionship. Only few guys could go two years without any relationship when nothing prevents them from having one.
“Are you sure that is what you want?” Jessica asked just for courtesy sake.
“Positive” Justin confirmed.

Just as she picked the bottled water and was closing the fridge, her phone started ringing.
“Hold on baby.” She yelled across, “mummy comin’na getchya!”
She slammed the fridge door, hurriedly and literally thrusting the bottle into Justin’s hands and grabbed her Sony Ericsson Xperia 10
“www.myboyfriendonline. com” she told Justin with exuberance in her voice. “Allo papita! Missing mamasita?” She said and waited for response. A bit of the sunshine on her face disappeared, but she had enough to keep her going.
“No I went out to attend to the door...I mean the gate; I just came in.” She tried to keep her smile on while she explained herself to the caller. “I am very sorry ok. Won’t let you cry again. I promise on my life.”

She was quiet as the voice on the line, this entity talked for a while.

Justin watched from the corner of his eye as Jessica’s face underwent rapid metamorphosis; from the look of please-am-sorry thru are-you-kidding-me-where-is-this-one-coming-from to whatever-mister-cry-baby-my-girlfriend-didn’t-pick-my-call-nggrrr-nnggrr-nggrrr.
“Can we settle this later Joe?” She asked Mr. Cry-Baby, displaying gross evidence of shock-induced depression.

Justin knew from the look in her eyes she was badly hurt by whatever the caller was saying. She was staring at him and through him into oblivion. A rebel tear could not be restrained as it broke its bounds and crept boldly down her fair cheek down by her nose and right pass her fully developed lips. What is the problem Jessie...what could be the problem? Justin thought feeling sad for the final year Pharmacy student who is yet to see her end of semester results and realize she had made a lot of Bs and Cs. What is wrong?

She hanged up and buried her face 6ft deep in the belly of her delicate palms. When she raised her head, her eyes were bruised and red; stained with hurt and disappointment.
“Hmmm.” It was all she could say.

“Man problem?” Justin asked casually trying not to sound too interested.

“What is wrong with wanting true love? Why am I always being used and dumped? Why am I GIVING MY ALL AND GETTING NOTHING IN RETURN. What is my worth as a woman? Am I good for nothing? I am a bitch if I hold on too long. I am a slut if I give in too quickly. I thought they say true love is when you close your eyes and just fall in love holding nothing back. Apparently that is called suicide.” She spoke with so much emotion staring hard at the tiled floor in front of her and hoping it would open up and swallow her shame and heartbreak.

Justin felt pity for her. Who would do this to a sweet girl like this? He wondered but kept his thoughts to himself and left a look on his face that said, ‘talk to me Jessie; let us talk about it.’

She caught the telepathic communication and obliged. “I met this guy at a hall week food fair on campus; he is currently doing his housemanship at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital. I straight up fell in love with his brute intelligence. I can probably say he is the most intelligent young man I have met. His arguments are sound. I have never been with a guy like that before. I fell for his power of clarity. His perception of life is as if life itself is in slow motion. Nothing is too fast. He catches everything once and he acts on it without a pause. He walks with an eidetic memory; capable of total recall. Every promise he makes, he honours it.

Not a guy with a great sense of humour but he still makes me laugh. Usually science students are a bit crude but this one is a different guy altogether. His taste is impeccable; he always gave me gifts that were more like my innermost desires. And on top of me, it was proper Kama Sutra; sex with him is so meaningful.

Sex? It hit Justin with the force of a thunderbolt. He quickly dismissed any impressions he was forming about Jessica; she was not as innocent as she appeared.

“Oh and this conversation never happened...or at least the sex thingy yea.” She quickly noticed she had gone beyond acceptable boundaries with such revelations; yet she was so hurt she was talking more than thinking.

“Sure my dear. You are safe. We don’t want Aba throwing tantrums” Justin assured her, wearing an induced leathery smile.

“Trust me, I don’t want my mum hearing it the second Aba hears it. Jessica appeared to have gotten over the heat of whatever the caller had taken her through. “But my dad will tell her to shove it down her bra if she ever mentions it. Gosh I love that old gangster! Do you know I could have this conversation with him?”
“Of course!” She said unconsciously lighting up. “I met this guy at the Accra mall somewhere in February, before I met Joe, this doctor guy; he was called Martin. He was too fine and I genuinely wished he would be my friend. Apparently the Jessilizer had got him thinking.
Jessilizer? Justin laughed at the word.
“Sure... this whole thing.” She said running her index finger down her body indicating what she was referring to at the whole thing called Jessilizer.
“He approached, we picked up a conversation and I knew I had met my match. We had lunch that same day, did a movie that evening. Two days later we were kissing yea”
“Wow that was fast” Justin said trying to keep his cool and making it sound as if he was ok with her unraveling sex adventures.
“Yup... And guess what the shocker was; my word, this guy was a straight up 25 seconds guy.” She said and made a sad face recalling that afternoon in his house. “Aaawww, I felt so sorry for him. He was so embarrassed after it happened the third time, he disappeared without a trace. I am sure he jumped off the Adomi Bridge or something.”

Justin laughed hard; laughing his frustration away and wondering, ‘why am I listening to this? Eii, Is this what the world has turned into? A 23 year old talking about sex like it is the latest fashion bag in town.
“I am sure he did.” He remarked, concealing his sadness.

“That was a three week relationship, but I loved him. He was cute.” Jessica observed with a bout of nostalgia. “He had his own apartment and was very kind to me. Wow. Maybe if he had not disappeared I might have overlooked his sexual I want to label it... much as Winston had opened a sexual portal that only hellhounds could satisfy.”

Jesus! There is a Winston. Justin unconsciously frowned. Then in an epiphany it occurred to him that, maybe Jessica was being blunt. He know there were a lot more ladies who shared similar stories; Ladies in the choir, in corporate environments, ordinary looking ladies...ladies every where. Yet because they would never tell their stories, we will all think them angels. Some go through such experience for the sake of adventure others through series of unfortunate relationships which leave them with these experiences. But a lot more people are going through more than it meets the eye.

“Oh yea so we were talking about my gangster father,” Jessica retraced the topic, “I remember going home one day after another 25 seconds disaster. My dad asked me what was eating me up. He was tipsy and as usual he went vulgar. So I spilled the beans. You know what the old boy told me? Damn! You shouldda cut the damn thing off, what is its use if it can’t do 45minutes non-stop! Baby, go get the bastard and cut it off. I got your back!
By this time Justin was beside himself with shoulder heaving laughter, really amazed at the profanity of a father to a 23 year old.

“You can’t believe it, I know; well some father I got. But he is a good person. That I know.” Jessica sounded reminiscent as if her dad was dead. Nope he was so much alive.

“But do you know why I went down with Martin so fast aside the fact that I liked him and all that?”
“Nope, tell me. I guess I am in for a good day of good stories.”

So in the beginning there was Winston. Let me save you the description and say he was an angel. I met him when I went in as a fresher. I was 19 and he was 30years and doing his postgraduate. He hunted me for the entire first semester trying to date me.

I was scared; he was way too old for me, besides, I have never been attracted to older men. I was cautious and careful as he showered me with all the goodies a first year student could dream of. I had not been in any relationship before and so eventually I caved in and we dated for the entire period he was doing his Master’s programme.

“Did you ever tell him you were worried about his age? And did you ever consider the fact that it was possible he might want to marry you the time you were not ready for which reason he might want to move on? Did you ever ask him why he had been single till then?” Justin  a thousand question asked trying to establish if Jessica had done a little bit of due diligence. He felt that will place the story in the right context.

“Well I couldn’t bring myself to tell him he was old, and yes he kept talking about the fact that he would want to marry me when I get to my third year.” She said and laughed at the thought of it. “And he would not take a No for an answer. He also said his relationship was complicated because the lady was disrespectful.”

“So you knew he was not your ideal type of guy age-wise, but you couldn’t be honest to him about it.” Justin remarked flatly.
“Well it was not about honesty,” She protested, “Maybe I was not bold enough or matured enough to tell him. I felt that would hurt him.”
“Why would he be hurt?” Justin asked amused at the thinking, “wasn’t he aware he was 30years? Then again you knew from his talk he wanted to marry in two year from the time you guys started dating, so chances were that if you would not be ready by then, regardless of the level of intimacy between you two, your relationship would end somehow; yet you overlooked that too. And finally when he said his relationship was complicated, you believed.”

“Yea, I had no way of verifying.” She responded mildly irritated as Justin’s observations and blatant interrogation made her feel more stupid.
“So you did not know any of his friends or any sibling or where he stayed?
I didn't know his house because he was constantly on campus. He had just one good friend on campus, but the rest of them he claimed were just discussion group members. I knew a cousin of his as well; some crazy dude.

“Ok, please continue.”

“On his graduation day,” Jessica resumed her story, “after much pleading, I gave in and he deflowered me.” She said quietly avoiding eye contact with Justin.

That was how it started. That weekend was me paying for the whole time I had played hard. And I say it to my shame; it was fun and he was good; I never waned in my craving for more. I was deeply into him and he appeared deeply into me; and the deeper I fell for him, the more I gave in unrestrained. To a 21 year old girl, that was the fulfillment of life; sex, goodies and love.

 Then one day I went to his office – he had become a lecturer - and met a lady there. He introduced the lady to me and I excused them. He later called me back and explained to me that was the lady he was going to marry in 2 months time since I claim I was not ready to settle down in marriage.

“What? “Justin could only mutter his shock.

“Yea...”Jessica said pensively, “hmmm, listen to this, Jessie you know I cannot wait forever; lemme move on but you will always have a special place in my heart. You know you can even be my adopted kid sister.”

“Are you kidding me?” Justin said almost jumping out of his seat. “Are you serious?”

Yeah, I am going to be his adopted kid sister. Can you imagine? So what has he been doing under my skirt for the past one and half years? What happened to incest? Maybe it is not a taboo where he comes from. I gave him my all. I am sure I would probably have been a virgin but for him.

Yeah, am his kid sister! What was his nasty yucky looking tongue doing in my mouth! The many things I overlooked so to make him happy; apparently I was his sexual escape. The so called girlfriend of his was apparently saying no to premarital sex, so I was his God-sent relief. Sex when I had to be at lectures; Lies told my family in order to go on wild tours with him. What did I keep from him? Which ugly sexual act did he not commit on me? Now I am his kid sister. Hmmm.

I am sure there is an official story; and as far as my sister, her husband and my parents are concerned - I had an asthmatic attack and I was hospitalised for 2 weeks early last year; the unofficial story is, I passed out when he told me that.

Justin sat down petrified. The revelation was too shocking for him to stomach.

That was when I met martin and started dating him. I loved him but of course, after Winston, it was like toying with a baby, I always made him feel bad; the difference was almost unending.

With time, I grew weak in heart and in spirit and lost interest in all this relationship thing after Martin went AWOL. I moved with people and went to place. Hell, I mounted every pole that was willing to stand. I met some girls who nearly got me to cross over. But Lesbianism was not for me. The whole thought of holding another lady for whatever reason was not exciting for me. Again after Winston, a woman would be a joke. So for 6 months I turned inward, not giving a damn what was happening in the world.

Then Joe, the student doctor, came around with all the bliss and sunshine including a stark resemblance with Winston. I called him Dr. W, and as far as he was concerned, it was Dr. Wilberforce – His surname. But between the two of us, it was Winston.

What he was, that was not a part of Winston was his insecurity and his mistrust; I don’t know why. I have given him every reason to trust me and to feel secured but he simply can’t get around it.

“But have you given him any reason not to trust you or to feel insecure?  Maybe you lied to him, pulled a fast one on him; told him to look up when he was actually supposed to look down?” Justin asked probing further.
“Well what can I say; a sister sometimes needs to run things abi?” She said and chuckled at it.
“Well I guess, but that is the price you pay for ‘running things’ get distrusted and you put your man on the path of being insecure; that breeds doubt, apathy, or straight up possessiveness in them.”
“Whatever. Justin I am tired of this nonsense, seriously; Joe can take the fast-lane to hell. He is on his own.”
“So what is he saying?” Justin wanted the conclusion of the story.
“He was making tentative statements to the effect that if I cannot give him the chance to trust me and feel secured I should find my own path. I must choose between him and my shady life. Well I choose to shove him out of my bed and kick him in the butt to get out of my life. I am done pleading and begging, I am done with this stress and sleepless nights. Doctor so what? I sleep on a bed full of roses and bootlicking Doctors. Damnit!”  

“You cannot trust me because of my past; I did not create my past Joe, I am a victim of my innocence and naivety!!!” She was yelling by now, “fu...” she refrained from cursing, breathing heavily and suddenly feeling enraged.

She sat still, weaving her fingers and then buried her face in her palm once again. A position she maintained for almost 2 minutes. Justin could only sit quietly digesting the tonnes of secrets he had been fed with, at the same time trying very hard to resist passing judgement. He had no idea there was question coming up for him.

“So tell me Justin, ‘how can I find a genuine man?’. Give me foolproof steps to finding or identifying a good and honest man in the midst of a world of sick, perverted and unrestrained men.
“Ouch,” Justin said, feigning hurt. “I am a guy the last time I checked.”
“Look man, I don’t know your story, but I am sure even if you are as good as an angel you might not do a lot differently if you got the opportunity. Do you know I noticed you were struggling to keep an eye contact when I opened the gates? Hmm? Tell me am lying? But I don’t blame you, blame it on the Je je je Jessilizer lizer” she said teasingly imitating the rhyme in Jamie Foxx’s hit track ‘Blame it.’

Justin went from dark to blue to pink and then back again. He could have fainted. That was the most embarrassing moment of his life. Jesus. But before he could react...
But no worries; that makes you a man right? I would have rather been disappointed if you had not looked.
“What are you talking about?” Justin tried to salvage the last bit of his sinking face.

“Oh stop pretending and tell me something. How can I sift out the good from the chaff because after this Joe student doctor, I am so taking the oath of celibacy; I swear it."

PG Sebastian

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