When I was 16, someone I trusted broke into my body and took away what I treasured most—my virginity. The experience left me wounded and terrified of men. I associated them with the fear and helplessness I felt the day of the abuse. I developed a personality that repelled men. I didn’t want to have anything to do with them and I didn’t want them to have anything to do with me. It worked perfectly. Well, it worked fine until I met a kind man a year after the incident.
He was different, a rare gem who caught my attention through his act of kindness. His kindness broke the barrier around me and made me drop my guard. There was something about him that made me feel safe whenever I was close to him. As time went on, I could tell his interest in me had grown beyond friendship. I wasn’t terrified about the idea of dating him but I was a little bit skeptical. Eventually, he proposed; “I am in love with you Adom, and I want to marry you someday.” I told myself, “He is a good guy alright but can I trust him to be to me every day?” I told him, “If you mean what you are saying then you should go and see my parents. I will be safer if my parents are aware of your intention towards me.”
He came to my house one day with his parents. They were ready to meet my parents to discuss his love intentions. I was very surprised. I didn’t think he would do it. That was when I realized that he is a man of his words. I also felt then that he meant what he said about wanting to marry me. Our folks got to know each other and by the time his parents left, my parents gave their approval for the relationship.
I was in SHS 2 whiles he was in tertiary school at that time. We were both very young and shouldn’t have anything to do with love. The cynic in me whispered, “By the time you both finish school, this relationship will be over.” I brushed the voice aside and continued loving him anyway.
He did everything to set my mind at ease. He went above and beyond to prove his love for me. My family is poor but I taught myself long ago not to expect or accept favors from men. I was always content with my lot and that kept me out of trouble. However, the moment I accepted Fiifi’s proposal, he took on some of my financial burdens. He made sure I never lacked anything. I wasn’t comfortable asking him for help but he was always able to anticipate my needs and provide for them. His thoughtfulness and dedication to my well-being made me fall deeper and deeper in love with him.
When I completed SHS in 2018, I believed either I wouldn’t be able to further my education or I would have to wait for a long time. Fiifi said, “Your results are good. Buy forms for school. I will take care of the fees.” I bought the forms but I did not allow myself to hope that he would deliver on his promise. I half expected him to change his mind but he proved me wrong. He took care of the fees when the time came.
In 2019 we got married. I was 20 years then but I was as sure as the sky above that he was the one for me. He had completed school and had gotten a job as a cashier for a wholesale shop. The shop is big and busy all the time. The money he earned was good so he saved to start a business on the side. Everything was going well for us. A year after we got married we had a beautiful baby girl. Our marriage was not perfect and we didn’t have money floating around the house but my husband made sure we didn’t lack anything. He was the only one providing for all of us and he did it without complaints.
In September last year, I found out that I was pregnant again. I started having pregnancy complications here and there but we got through it. He was there by my side. He made things easier for me. In April this year, I had a call from a strange number. There was some seriousness in the caller’s voice; “Hello madam, I am calling to inform you that your husband has been arrested.” “What did you just say?” I asked. He repeated himself. I couldn’t hear anything else after that. My heart started beating louder. I started shivering.
My husband always played by the rules. He’s calm and won’t hurt a fly. What could someone like him do to warrant his arrest? I repeated to myself “No, it must be a mistake.”
I made my way to the police station but the police won’t let me see him. I told them, “Whatever you are charging him with is false. I can stick my neck out for him every day that he won’t do anything against the law. Release him. He’s innocent.” The officer at the counter said, “Madam, we are dealing with a serious case here. Your husband’s boss has accused him of stealing GH₵400,000 from company coffers. It’s the reason he’s here”
I was shocked. “My husband? Stealing? No that can’t be true.” I started crying; “Please, believe me, my husband is innocent.” He told me there was nothing he could do about it. If I was right, the truth will come out after their investigations. A fresh batch of tears fell down my cheeks when I thought of all the innocent people who end up spending years in prison. Nothing about our lifestyle proved my husband stole such an amount of money.
I left the police station sad and dejected. I had to make a difficult phone call to Fiifi’s parents. My in-laws went to his boss armed with the powers of persuasion. They begged, cried, and did whatever they could to get him to have the police grant Fiifi bail. The police released him in the first week of May. We asked him, “Is there any truth to the charges leveled against you?”’ He answered, “I have no idea what they are talking about.” We sent in auditors to check their accounts. After a deep and thorough search, the auditors reported GH₵280,000 unaccounted for. Fiifi said he didn’t know anything about it and I believe him.
There were two cashiers working the accounts. The other guy disappeared before it was discovered that there was money missing. No one knows if he knows anything about it or if his disappearance is just a mere coincidence. The only thing I am certain of is that I married an honest man and he won’t steal such an amount from a company that puts bread on the table for his family
The condition of the bail was that he would report to the police station at specific times. The first day he went there to report they locked him up. Then they ceased our assets; two stores, a car, a Pragya, a laptop, mobile phones (including mine), and his passport. I am 8 months pregnant and I have a two-year-old baby. I’m still a student at the university. I don’t have any financial support. Though my husband was released a week after the second arrest, there’s still no money to survive on. We’ve been asked to pay an outstanding amount of GH₵90,000. I have to gather crumbs here and there to feed my daughter. I shouldn’t be starving in my condition but here I am with no money for anything. We lost everything and we are back to square one. How on earth are we going to raise that outstanding debt? I think of this and all I can say is that life is so unfair. A few days ago, we were a happy family making plans for the arrival of a new baby. It took just a phone call to take everything away from us and turn our world upside down.
My husband and I are prayerful Christians so how could this happen to us? We are so tired. We both decided the best thing to do is to end our lives and put an end to this nightmare. But the question is, what will become of our little girl and our unborn child? So, we ruled out that plan. We want to live and fight this. If we don’t pay the money my husband is likely to return to prison and I’ll be left alone to take care of two children. I need help. It could be any help at all. Even if someone is willing to adopt my children I’ll give them up. They’ll have to wait until the baby arrives so they can get that one too. It will break my heart but it will shield them from this darkness that has come over our lives.