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.
6 comments On Anatomy of a Break-up
Oh Abena, I do not know who to sympathise with more…you or ‘Ama’. I think no relationship is definitely better than a bad relationship
I agree that a bad relationship is definitely worse than no relationship at all!
I’ve always been the initator of break ups so I have just about 2 expereinces with bad break ups. Just like Abena’s story, they just disappeared. I tried to contact them each about 3 times and I said oh ahiaa..forget you.
I strongly believe in ending relationships before you can’t stand the sight of each other, or can’t ever be friends again.
As such I am friends/ friendly with all the exes I am in touch with. I’ve been known to hang out with them and even go partying with them. Yea one big happy family!
I have seen some terrible break ups in my time though, thanks to friends: the car window smashing, the slashing of car tires, the self mutilation, the depression .. .too much effort if you ask me.
Ladies, great blog BTW! Break-ups can be bad. Just yesterday I was unluckily enough to witness a marital break-up that involved the distraught woman drinking brake fluid. The annoying thing is that her husband has been a bit of an a**h*** to her for years.
I have one amusing story which is not so dramatic… Some years ago, I was dating some guy I used to work with…we were dating for just under a year. We did not have much in common, he was extremely secretive and I was losing interest fast. We basically went a whole month without being in touch when we randomly bumped into each other and he tells me there is something he perhaps should tell me but could not at that moment. He said he was in serious trouble but was trying hard to sort out this ‘problem’.
I tried to get details out of him but he insisted he would tell me later when he has sorted out this calamity. So a few weeks later, he comes over to say he had sorted out the problem and that he was leaving for the UK indefinitely in under 5 hours. I was in complete shock for some minutes. I could not believe he beat me to the break-up and got me so good. Needless to say I’m still ticked with him.
Man Abena! That sucks! I wish you’d had the chance to break up with him first. I’m actually speechless…
*Alas* Abena, that experience had to filed under ‘life’s lessons learned’. I almost forgot that your worst break-up story about the guy leaving without a word is EXACTLY what happened to one of my best friend in her teens! The guy left Ghana for the US (or UK?) and his previously warm family turned suddenly hostile when she showed up at his house to find out why she had not heard from him in 2 weeks.