In January 2020 I started receiving messages from someone I didn’t know on Facebook messenger. It was one of those situations where he was chatting with himself in my inbox. Sometimes I opened the messages and closed the chat just to send across a message. My attitude did not deter him. One day he sent another message asking me about my church. That caught my interest.
I looked up his profile and I realized all of our mutual friends were my church members. “Maybe I know this guy,” I thought.
I responded to his message and engaged him in a conversation. I was hoping he’d reveal something about himself that would trigger my memory of him. The conversation flowed for a long time before I learned that his younger sister was my friend and we attended the same church. That was the only connection we had. It was okay with me. I liked chatting with him so we kept talking. He lives outside the country so I’ve never met him.
We spoke on the phone and texted regularly. During one of the conversations, he said, “You know I like you, right? I want you to be my girlfriend. How do you feel about me?” I answered, “Umm… I am not interested in having a romantic relationship with you. Let’s just be friends.” He asked, “Why? I can feel you like me too. Am I wrong?” I responded, “No you’re not. It’s just that I don’t know you in person and you live outside the country. That means I will be dating you virtually. I am not okay with that.”
That didn’t stop him. He kept asking and hoping that one day I would accept his proposal.
Nothing changed between us. He kept calling and texting me. Not a day went by that we didn’t talk to each other. It became part of my routine. I texted him during the day and talked to him before I went to sleep. One day, I had a sinking feeling in my stomach that something was off. My day didn’t feel the same. I couldn’t shake off the feeling that something important was missing. I thought about it for a while and then it struck me, “I haven’t spoken to ‘Borga’ all day.” I texted him. He was then offline. I tried to call him but I couldn’t reach him. By the close of the day, I didn’t hear from him.
The next day, I called him again and I still couldn’t reach him. I got worried but I tried my best to keep my composure. After failing to reach him for two weeks, I sent him a message on Facebook messenger. He replied to my message the next day, “I am in a bit of trouble right now that’s why you haven’t been able to reach me. I’ll text you tomorrow with my new number so we talk about it.”
I was concerned but relieved to hear from him.
He texted me the next day with his new number as promised. “I don’t want to reveal details about what happened but it had to do with the law,” he said. I prayed with him and encouraged him to have faith that everything would be okay. All of this happened in March 2020. It was in April 2020 that I thought of saying yes to his proposal. We had spoken for four months and I’d grown fond of him.
When I accepted his proposal, he said, “Finally. If not for COVID and the lockdown around the world, I would have come down to Ghana to meet you in person.” We hoped and prayed that the pandemic would pass quickly so our dreams could come through. By the time the travel restrictions were lifted, he couldn’t travel because of his trouble with the law. That didn’t stop him from sending me gifts whenever he could.
At some point, he was put behind bars so I no longer heard from him. Fortunately, he lived with his elder sister who he told me a lot about. When I couldn’t reach him, I contacted her. She gave me constant updates on his case and his welfare. Eventually, he was released. We still talked but communication was no longer the same. He was a different person.
He started acting strangely. His sister was telling me what was happening. His sister sent him to the hospital for medical care. He was on admission for a whole week. His sister was kind enough to update me on everything going on in his life. When he came back from the hospital, he had some kind of amnesia. Sometimes he would call me and say, “You are not the one I am looking for. Give the phone to the owner.” Sometimes he would call me on video. When he sees my face he would go like, “Where’s my girlfriend? Can you give the phone to her?” I would say, “Here I am. Don’t you see me well?” He’ll scream, “No, you’re not her. Give the phone to the owner.”
It was really sad but I couldn’t do anything about it. On his good days, he remembers me. On a very bad day, he doesn’t recall anything about us. We were on and off. I would wake up and ask myself, “Who am I going to talk to today? The real Borga or the new Borga who doesn’t even know me?” One day we would chat nicely. The next day he wouldn’t know who I am and would ask me to give the phone back to the owner. it’s been like this since.
He has been in and out of the hospital recently. The doctors diagnosed him with bipolar disorder. His sister told me about it. Everything we’ve had started going down the drain because of this mental illness. Communication has become very difficult. Today, he’s calm. Tomorrow he’s hyper. I applaud his sister for how well she takes care of him.
One day, she told me, “Your man is spending money on unnecessary things. The other day, he went out and bought kids’ toys and clothes. What are we supposed to do with that?”
During his episodes, I am able to get through to him and calm him down. Recently, his sister told me something that has been weighing on me. She said, “You are able to tame him when he is overstimulated and acting out. What if I send him to Ghana so that you marry him? I trust he will be in good hands with you, looking at the way you’re able to calm him down even from a distance.” I responded, “Give me some time to think about it.
I love him very much but I don’t know if I want to take on that kind of responsibility. I want to wait for him to get better before we talk about marriage. Sometimes I remain very hopeful that everything would be alright eventually. Some days too I don’t feel so good about waiting for him. I want to move on and live my life but such thought makes me feel like a bad person. I’m leaving him because I found something wrong with him. What then is the strength of my love?