Ms. Alberta was glowing with a kind of radiance I have never seen. Her eyes blazed with pure passion and love as she recounted about the guy in the picture.

“His name was Bernard, and he was of Hawaiian-Ghanaian heritage. I was shy telling him of how I felt at first, because it seemed as if I would be diverting the subject. I felt carnal, hehehe. But I never knew he felt the same way. We got along well as friends, and were study partners. Then he had to transfer to the Bahamas to pursue his call while we were in final year. A few months before he was supposed to go, we took a stroll along the beach. It was a clear evening and we were both brimming with excitement after the just concluded Bible study, which had dealt with grace and the law. I rattled on proudly about my newfound understanding for two minutes, then I noticed he had gone quiet and was staring at me. His eyes held a kind of emotion I had never seen, and I felt drawn instantly. He held my hands, and looking straight at me, he said ‘Albie, I want to spend life with you’. I was shocked into speechlessness and suddenly the world did not exist anymore around us. I looked back at him, and simply said ‘Okay’, and from that moment our hearts grew together in a kind of love I had not experienced with any guy I have dated before.

“However, our relationship did not sit well with my father. He was enraged I was dating a “man of God” due to the fact that back at home, they were controversial people and the fake ones had so increased in number that they stained the remaining true ones, and my father looked at them with disdain, no matter where they were from. My mother begged, I begged him to reconsider, but my father is a very adamant man. Bernard finally left, but not before we decided that I would come over when I was done. But my father had other plans. The moment I graduated, he sent me off to a 2 year Finance course, despite my pleadings on wanting to further in Reproductive Health. He cut off all ties I had with Bernard, seized my phone and replaced my SIM until I had finished the program. Then he connected me with one of his friends and I ended up here”.Ms Alberta’s voice sounded so broken and she suddenly looked older than 29. She leaned against her working table, and the unthinkable happened.

She began to weep. By now my ankle was no longer smarting with pin so I stood up, and hobbled to where she was, cleaning her face with a serviette that had come with the pizza. I felt confused, and so sorry for her, and for the first time in my life, the fact that I had Ryan close to me made more sense than ever.

-to be continued.

Efunnuga Henrietta Adedayo.


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