I’ve always had fears. Growing up wasn’t easy for me because I didn’t know who I was. I had a female name, female features so I was called a female but something wasn’t right. I didn’t feel feminine. There was a huge disconnect from who I felt and who people thought I was. It was a sacred battle for me because I didn’t know who to talk to concerning how I felt.
It was a battle I thought would go away as I grew up but nothing changed. It became more intense as I age. Back in SHS, I found a boy. He was all over me though I never reciprocated his gestures. Somehow I thought I should give him a chance. I thought just maybe if he kissed me all my confusions will melt away and find my feminine touch. That never happened. We kissed and got touchy but the spark I was expecting never happened.
That relationship ended and left no mark on my psyche.
After SHS, I tried other guys but each one felt like I was in a relationship with someone who is just like me. I prayed about it and even fasted about it. Somehow, I wanted to wake up one day and it was all gone.
My first day at the university I met Pamela, one sweet girl who liked to tease me about my height. We ended up in the same hall but in different rooms. She became my friend and my getaway. She listened to me without judging eyes when I told her about my struggles. She only said; “I’ve been there before. I didn’t fight it, I let it all be because what will be will be.”
One thing led to a kiss. A fondle. Later, a question; “Would you be my girlfriend?” She answered; “You are already my girlfriend.” Felt awkward but I felt free. For the first time in my life, I found love that actually felt like love, and right.
The only problem we had was trying to hide it from people. We had to learn not to make it obvious when people were around. That aside, we had to fight with guys who came around seeking to make either me or Pamela their girlfriend. It was an uphill battle but we proved equally strong. Rumors swirled around us but we fought not to give too much away.
One day, we were approached by some ladies who claimed to know a community of our kind and urged us to join so they could offer us protection and care. We declined. Pamela told them: “We are safe being who we are and don’t need to join groups for protection. We are not a couple. The rumours around us are vain.”
They were not stupid. They knew we were lying. They kept pestering us to be among them but our kind of love needed no other. We wanted to be with only each other and nothing else. They didn’t leave us but we left them.
We completed University and left campus with gladdened hearts. Our dream was to work hard, get enough money and travel to a country where we won’t feel threatened to express love for each other. We had dreams of staying together in a small house with a child, living modestly and enjoying what we had.
Having dreams wasn’t our problems. Working towards achieving the dream brought everything we both never hoped for. Pamela found a man at her workplace. At first, it looked like the usual man chasing a woman and a woman saying no sort of thing. You know, Pamela’s problem had always been her unusual beauty. Men can’t take their eyes off her. Every day there was a man trying to woo her.
That night when she spoke about this man, she did it with a surreal tone of voice that was like a child’s adoration. She spoke about him fondly and went into details describing how caring and relentless that man was. I knew immediately the foundations of what held our relationship had been shaken. I asked her: “Does he look like someone you’ll love to be with?” She answered; “Oh nooo. He’s different. That’s all I’m saying.”
I knew Pamela. She could lie with words but her actions gave away too much. The change in her was obvious; she was hardly calling. She started giving excuses for not meeting me. She stopped talking about our dreams. Then one day she said what I dreaded to hear: “I think I like this one. I mean he’s different. You’ll like him if you allow yourself to know him better.”
I said nothing but I knew I’ve lost the Pamela I once knew.
One day she said goodbye to everything we were and said yes to that man. It broke my heart. I got drunk for the first time that day and somehow wished to die than go through the pain of seeing the woman I loved go. When I saw their pre-wedding photos, a piece of me died. I knew Pamela was beautiful but the Pamela I saw in the photos was indescribable.
A week before their wedding I went to see her. We spoke about a lot of things. I wanted to be sure she wasn’t making the wrong choice but she looked happy and ready. She apologised to me. She said sorry for everything and asked me to forgive her. I left her and didn’t attend their wedding.
Is she still happy with her husband after all these years? I don’t know. Sometimes she calls me with longing in her voice. She sounds like someone who misses home. I don’t ask her a lot of questions because I don’t want to know the answers. I moved on. I worked towards my own dreams and left Ghana some years ago. I do miss her sometimes but I’m in a place that I don’t regret anything.
I live with someone new, adopted a girl child and living in a country where I can love who I love. I couldn’t have asked for more. All I pray for is a better life for Pamela and her husband. They deserve it.