An integral part of any relationship is when it comes to an end…and yes, every relationship will end. Be it a one night shag-fest or the departure of souls after a long “ ‘til death do us part”, you’ll have to say good-bye to your partner in one way or another.
The other day, I was sitting around gabbing with a friend of mine who had just returned from Ghana. As usual, she was moaning about her lack of a man, and I was consoling her with information on the problems that the very presence of a man can bring. (She had just recently been dumped via Facebook). In the midst of our conversation, she recounted a story that left me grateful to every man (or boy) who’s ever broken up with me.
A friend of her house girl, (we’ll call her ‘Ama’) had moved in with her boyfriend (and we’ll name him ‘Kofi’) after a brief courtship. The couple was in “love” and wanted to be together in what my friend called a “Ghana-style” marriage. Kofi was unemployed, and did little odds and ends to make money. Ama was a trader and they lived together in his rented room for a few months. Life together was typical of any young struggling African couple. She cooked, and washed and went off to trade her wares…and he did whatever Ghana boys with no job do day-to-day. In between that, I’m sure that had sex. (What else was the point of her moving in?)
One night, around midnight as the story goes, Ama woke up with Kofi kneeling over her, with a knife to her throat.
“Get out,” he said. “I don’t want you anymore.”
Poor Ama tried to reason with him, but he said if she didn’t leave instantly, he would cut her throat.
So what’s a girl to do? She grabbed a cloth and made her way back to her parents’ house. Ama later discovered that Kofi had met someone else and didn’t want her presence to interfere with his new relationship. A few weeks later, Kofi showed up at her door, saying he was sorry, and would she please come back. The shouting that ensued summoned her brothers and they chased Kofi away with insults and promises to kill him if he ever showed up back their house.
After hearing the story, I thought back to my worst break-up, which happened when I was about 16. The chap went back to New York after two years of dating without so much of a good-bye, or even letting me know he was leaving in the first place. Suddenly, I was very grateful to Earl Myers. Somehow, a broken heart does not compare to a potentially slit throat.