She's been dating two guys who know each other, but she still says yes to me.

 



You don’t choose who sits next to on a bus. One day you get lucky and you sit next to a nice person who won’t bother you. They usually have their own problems they are running from. They sit quietly next to you, pressing their phones and minding their business so you can also mind your own business. Somedays you sit next to a woman who has three children and yet buys only one ticket. She pleadingly asks you to allow one of her kids to sit on your lap. She tells you, “Help your nephew. Kindly allow him space on your lap. He’s a good nephew. He would behave, I promise.” That day you won’t have peace. They will step on your shirt and play with your beard and because you’re an adopted uncle, you can’t talk. So each morning when I wake up and I’m traveling on a bus, I pray to God, “Let today be a good day. I don’t want to be an adopted uncle. I don’t want kids who will play with my beards. Let your will be done because I know your will is usually a nice and safe trip.”


That day on the bus, I had the window seat. It was a bus from Kumasi to Accra. When I sat down I said to myself, “May today be my lucky day. A beautiful girl next to me won’t be a bad idea at all.” Then a lady walked into the bus. She looked at her ticket, probably checking the seat number. She looked up and started walking through the aisle. I prayed, “May she be the one.” She got to my seat and asked, “Sixteen right?” I nodded my head. She sat next to me and greeted me. I said in my head, “You’re indeed a prayer answer God. Now let’s have a great trip.” Minutes after the lady sat down, I saw a woman with three kids walking the aisle. I laughed in my head. I swerved a bullet.


When the bus moved, I reclined the seat and lay flat in it. She said, “You’ve started early. Good night.” I laughed. “But it’s afternoon?” She said, “The way you’ve reclined your seat when you sleep, you’ll wake up again tomorrow morning so it’s right for me to wish you a good night.” I sat up. “I’m no longer going to sleep. I’ll stay awake until we get there.” 


That was the beginning of our friendship—a bus friendship. A friendship like that ends when the trip ends but I wanted more than just a bus friend. She was too good-looking to have her for only just a few hours. Everything we talked about was a foundation for a longer friendship. We talked about her work and the reason she was traveling to Accra. “I came to a workshop here in Kumasi. It lasted for three days but I decided to spend the rest of the week here before traveling back to Accra.” She told me. I went to visit relatives in Kumasi. I told her that. Before the bus touched the soil of Accra, we had gone over everything strangers could go over. She alighted at St. John’s. Before she did, I asked her, “Can I have your contact?” 

 

Getting the number is one thing. Knowing the perfect time to call is another thing. “Should I call her this evening? Naa it’s too soon. She might think I’m doing ahoshishÉ›. Let me wait for a while.” I couldn’t. That same evening I called her. She was receptive. She made me laugh and she made me feel like I’d known her from Adam. When I hang up the call I told myself, “She would be my girlfriend. I would keep her around until courage descends on me to say what’s on my heart. She’s open-minded. I know she would say yes when the time is right.”


A week later, we met in town. We didn’t have a plan to go anywhere or do anything. I told her, “Why don’t we meet one of these days?” She answered, “Saturday. 3pm. Anywhere in town.” The connection was right and the conversation was good as always. I haven’t ever met a lady who made it her work to make me laugh. Most ladies sit back and watch you do all the work but not Efe. She doesn’t sit back. She brings the conversation to you and makes it a point to make her presence felt. She could talk about anything including relationships. I thought our friendship was too young to go into such areas but when I gave a hint that I wanted to talk about relationships she picked it up.


She asked, “Why do you want to know if I’m dating?” I answered, “Nothing. I just want to know so I can…” “So you can back off, right?” She took the words out of my mouth. “Not really. It’s good to know the person you’re with. That way you can determine how to relate with her.” She said, “If your plan is to make me your girlfriend, go ahead. You have every right to. My relationship status shouldn’t be a barrier. You go ahead and sweep me off my feet so I can decide whether or not I have a boyfriend.” She said it while laughing at me. I could have proposed right there but I didn’t want her to be right. I took my time to know her better. We went on several dates and spent hours on end on the phone until it became the natural step for me to propose. I said it on the phone one day. 

 

She answered, “It would have been better if you said it while I’m with you but it’s ok. I like you too but there are others. If you don’t mind then I’m ready. I will be your girlfriend.” It took me some seconds to process what she said. I didn’t know if I heard what I thought I heard. “There are others? What does that mean? As in there are other men in her life?” I needed answers so I asked, “There are others? You mean you have a boyfriend?” She responded, “Yes. There are two men in my life now. If you agree to be with me, you’ll be the third.” I still didn’t get it. I asked, “Is that one of your jokes?” She responded gleefully, “Nooo, I’m not joking. Martin came first. I dated him for six months before Eric came along. I’ve dated Eric for a year now.” 


I asked, “So does Eric know about Martin?” “Yes. Eric knows about Martin. Martin knows bout Eric. If you agree to be with me, they’ll know about you too and I know they’ll welcome you with open arms.” I kept quiet for a while. Words left me. She asked, “Are you there?” I responded, “Yeah I’m here.” She said, “You don’t have to worry about anything. I know it sounds strange to you but you can have all the time to think about it. When you’re settled in your mind, we can talk about it again. I’m always here for you.”



For days, I thought about what she told me. “A girl dating two men at the same time? The men know about each other and they are still ok? Naaa, not me. Then they don’t actually like her. If they do, they would be jealous enough not to allow such a thing.” 


I spoke to myself about it each day but I spoke to her often. Anytime I wanted to meet her she was ready. I went to visit her In Haatso. The first time I was there, I was filled with so many questions. I kept throwing the questions here and there. She was calm and graceful with her answers. She went into details on how the relationship works and how she got them to understand such an agreement. I said, “Naaa, they don’t like you. If they do, they would be jealous enough not to allow anyone to get close to you. If you become my girlfriend, I won’t allow them anywhere near you.” She said, “Then I can’t be your girlfriend. Relationships are not possession. I don’t own you and you don’t own me. You can do whatever you want while I do mine.” I said, “You’re not scared of diseases? I mean STIs. These men can go around sleeping with anyone they want and later come and sleep with you.” 



She laughed. She said, “That’s where you got it wrong. I don’t sleep with them. Martin had a kiss a long time ago. Eric too but none of them have been able to invade my body. That’s not the arrangement. If that’s what they want, then they have to marry me first. Whoever marries me gets the deal. The other one will go ahead and find someone else. I’m leaving it open. If I like someone, I say yes to them because those in my life haven’t married me yet.”


I’ve known Efe for over seven months now. I know she’s the kind of woman I would love to have but the arrangement sounds so weird in my ears. I’ve never heard of such a thing anywhere. I’ve spoken to friends about it and they laughed. “Is she God?” One asked me. One friend also said, “Anaaa her distin is gold that men have to compete for.” I haven’t said yes to the arrangement. Currently, we are just friends. I’ve met Eric and I’ve met Martin too. They looked happy. They didn’t look like guys in love. They looked like guys who are friends with her. Everything looked strange to me. It’s their life and I couldn’t judge the way they should live it. My question now is, is that normal? What Efe is doing.


I want her as a girlfriend in a traditional sense. She becomes exclusively mine and we forge ahead looking into the future. I can’t share her attention with other men. I can’t rest still knowing that there are other men vying for what I want. The last time we spoke about it she told me, “Very soon, I will cut you off because I don’t know who you are in my life.” I told her, “You know what I want. It’s the terms and conditions that are worrying me.” She said, “We’ve known each other for months. If you still think I’m worthy to be a girlfriend then what stops you from proposing marriage? One day, you’ll call me and I won’t pick and that would be the end of it.”


She’s a good-looking girl. She has a great job and is very good at her job. I know she can make a home looking at the way she runs her home but there’s this little voice in my head that keeps warning me not to go into that arrangement with her. I won’t but I also can’t go ahead and propose marriage. Everything starts from being a girlfriend before it graduates into something else. Is it normal? Normal for a girl to have many boyfriends at the same time? Have you ever encountered such a woman before?