We Were In The Act And The Pain Was Too Much, I Told Him To Stop, But He Couldn’t Until

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I received a phone call from Steve. He had been trying to get me to notice him for a long time, but I wasn’t really paying attention. We had hung out together a few times before. Then, one day, he asked me if I wanted to be his girlfriend. I told him, “No, I don’t think we should date.” Steve responded, “I understand if you’re not sure about me yet and need some time to get to know me better.

But when you say you don’t want to be with me, it feels like you’re closing the door on any possibility of us falling in love, and that hurts.” I felt bad and said sorry. I tried to explain, “Taking more time won’t change how I feel, so I have to be honest with you. You’re a really nice person, and I appreciate how much you care about me, but I just can’t say yes to your proposal.”

I had just come out of a relationship that really hurt me. It made me close my heart to love completely. That’s why I didn’t even consider taking time to think about Steve’s proposal. Despite this, he kept persisting. He continued calling and urging me to judge him based on who he is as a person, not just because of his gender. But I didn’t listen. I was adamant. After what I had experienced, I didn’t want to date anyone.

Then, the day before the lockdown, when Steve called again, he said something that struck a chord with me. He said, “Annie, even if the world is ending, you still won’t let yourself love who you want? What if we don’t get another chance? What will we tell God about the love He put in our hearts?” His words touched me. I asked him, “What do you want me to do?” Steve replied, “You already know. Just say yes to my proposal. That’s all I’m asking for.” I responded, “I’ll think about it again.”

I stayed with my longtime friend Alice. She knew everything about my love life. I confided in her about Steve, who had been pursuing me since I broke up with Fiifi. I expressed my reluctance to give my heart to another man, fearing that another breakup would devastate me completely. I felt it was safer to keep my feelings guarded.

Alice listened to me and then asked, “Does that mean you’re not interested in getting married? Remember, relationships have stages. You can’t just skip ahead to marriage. You need to develop feelings for someone before marriage can be considered.” I shared more about Steve with her, and in the end, she said, “He seems like a good guy. Give him a chance. Nowadays, men don’t usually stick around for this long pursuing a woman. If you keep turning him down, he might move on. Please, give him a fair chance and say yes.”

The next evening when Steve called, I finally said yes to him. His reaction was pure joy, with him shouting and jumping around on the phone. “This is the best news I’ve had since this pandemic started,” he exclaimed. “Can you believe it? While people are in hospitals fighting for their lives, here I am falling in love. How lucky am I? Who am I that the universe would bless me like this?”

Unfortunately, we couldn’t meet right away. Steve works at the hospital, and with the pandemic, he was always busy. We tried several times to arrange a meeting during the lockdown, but it never worked out. When the lockdown was extended for another week, Steve called and said, “I’ll come to your place and take you home with me. Let your friend know you won’t be back until the lockdown is lifted.” I told Alice about his plan, and she gave me her blessing. So the next day, I left with him to his house. He lives in one of the fancy neighborhoods in Accra, in a house that seemed too big for just one person. I asked him, “Do you live here all by yourself?” He replied, “Yeah, until a few days ago, it was just me. But now you’re here, and everything’s changed.”

When Steve went to work, I stayed behind and took care of things at his house. I cooked meals and made sure the house was tidy so that when he returned, he’d see the difference. He always praised me for doing such a good job. Eventually, he suggested, “Why don’t you move in with me and bring all your things? The house is big enough for both of us.” I replied, “If that’s what you want, then please marry me. If we get married tomorrow, I’ll move in with you tomorrow.” Steve responded, “That’s not a problem at all. After all, that’s the direction our relationship is heading.”

Not long after, I introduced Steve to my parents. He immediately hit it off with my mom, and they could talk about anything for hours. One day, my dad asked when Steve would come over with a drink to discuss marriage. Steve replied, “Very soon, dad. It won’t be long.” Because of the strong bond he formed with my parents, Steve felt comfortable coming to my house, spending the night, and even helping out with tasks you wouldn’t typically expect a boyfriend to do in his future in-laws’ house. We had a great relationship that flowed smoothly, just like a gentle brook.

Sometime in 2021, he sent me a message saying, “Come home. There’s something we need to discuss.” I hurried to his place, feeling nervous about what he wanted to talk about. When I arrived, he said, “Promise me you won’t get angry when I tell you.” I assured him I wouldn’t, but he seemed skeptical, saying, “You’re just saying that, but I know you’ll be mad.” I insisted he should tell me anyway. However, he backed out, saying, “Maybe not today.” I persisted, even nagging him throughout the day to share what was on his mind. But he kept brushing it off, saying, “Forget it. Maybe another time.”

Later that night, when he saw I was getting upset, he confessed, “It’s about what happened three days ago. I feel guilty, thinking you didn’t like it.” Three days prior, during an intimate moment, he accidentally caused me pain, and despite my cries, he didn’t stop until he was done. I was angry and told him we wouldn’t engage in such activities until marriage. But I sensed there was more to his reluctance to talk.

He began avoiding me, not answering my calls and making excuses about being busy with patients. He even misplaced a key he gave me and didn’t replace it. When I confronted him, he denied taking it. His behavior escalated, making excuses why I couldn’t visit him. Fed up, I went to his workplace and refused to leave until he spoke to me. That’s when he dropped a bombshell: “I can’t take you home because my family is visiting. They came from abroad recently. I haven’t properly introduced you to them.” This game of hide-and-seek continued for months until I confronted him again, refusing to leave until he confessed: “I’m married. We have three children. My wife and kids are staying with me now, which is why I can’t take you home.”

His confession hit me like a bolt of lightning, leaving me stunned and unable to process the betrayal. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. “Steve, you must be joking, right?” I protested, hoping it was all a cruel prank. “You can’t be serious. Are you saying this just to push me away?” But his soft apology shattered any hope of denial. “I’m sorry I lied,” he whispered, pleading for forgiveness. Anguish surged through me, and I couldn’t contain my rage. “Steve, you’re out of your mind!” I cried out. “You expect me to forgive you after all this? So you can go back to your family while I suffer alone? You’ll regret ever deceiving me! Expect me at your doorstep tomorrow. Your wife will know the truth about what you did to me. No wonder you pressured me to get rid of the baby when I was pregnant. How could I have been so blind to trust you? I gave you everything, and this is how you repay me? I swear, Steve, I will make you pay for what you’ve done!”

Despite Steve’s pleading, I walked away, unable to face him. But when I returned home, I found him waiting for me, having spoken to my mom behind my back. As I tearfully recounted the betrayal to her, she was devastated, feeling betrayed by someone she had trusted deeply. She couldn’t understand why Steve would go to such lengths to deceive me, especially when honesty could have salvaged the situation.

That night, Steve refused to leave until I forgave him, but I knew his intentions were driven more by self-preservation than genuine remorse. It was my dad who intervened, instructing Steve to leave and return the next day. After Steve departed, my dad called a family meeting, acknowledging the pain caused by Steve’s actions. Despite the hurt, he emphasized the need to move forward, but not before ensuring that Steve compensated me fairly for the harm inflicted. Aware of the influence his position held, my dad vowed to ensure that justice was served.

Overwhelmed with emotion, I couldn’t find the strength to object to my dad’s decision. The wounds were too fresh, and the betrayal too deep to process fully.

After Steve agreed to compensate me for his deceit, we settled on a monthly allowance of GHC1,200, which he faithfully paid since July 2021 without fail. Despite his consistent apologies and calls, I made it clear that I only tolerated his communication because of the financial arrangement. However, his continued interference hindered me from moving on and opening up to a potential new relationship.

When another man entered my life and spent time with me, Steve’s jealousy and interference escalated. He demanded to know if I had a boyfriend, threatening to stop the allowance if I did. His intrusive questions left me feeling violated and frustrated. I suspected he had someone spying on me, possibly even within our shared compound.

His revelation to my dad about the man’s visit only deepened my suspicions. My dad, concerned about fairness and potential deception, suggested we reevaluate the arrangement if there was indeed another man in the picture.

Feeling trapped between financial dependence on Steve and the desire for emotional freedom, I faced a difficult decision. The uncertainty surrounding Steve’s motives and his invasive behavior compounded my dilemma, leaving me torn between loyalty to the arrangement and the possibility of a new beginning with someone else.

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