There is a girl that defines the way I relate to potential girlfriends and what I avoid. She was a girl I didn’t find attractive that I shouldn’t have gone out with, who after a grueling year of trying to love, I broke up with and we both promptly failed our exams back when I was in uni at Wits. This was my first girlfriend. As a consequence, there are two things I have been trying to rectify since. One, to only date girls I absolutely find attractive who have nothing about their appearance I have trouble accepting. Two, to be thoughtful about when and possibly how you break up with someone. I should also add that there is a third theme that is recurring in all my relationships, how much truth you should tell your girlfriend. I tend to be too honest and share more truth than I should I have been told.
When I broke up with Elube in November 2018, it was impulsive like a cry for help. It was a relief, but Lord it was painful. My arrogance and naivety to think I could just walk away and start over with little to no emotional scars was enormous. Worst of all, I never could have factored in what knowing you have let down or hurt someone you care deeply about can do to you. Bonds are dangerous chemical reactions, and they are almost always explosive when they break. Being the awesome boyfriend I always try to be meant that I was in good books with all her peoples. They each got a personal briefing as to what I was struggling with and why I broke up with their person (except the parents of course). So there was no animosity, and I would get word trickled back to me from the grape vine that Elube was sad, drinking and had stopped attending her classes or going for attachment at Malawi Institute of Tourism (MIT) where she was training to be a Chef. No! This was my first girlfriend all over again I thought and Elube had until January to finish her attachments. Why would I do this to her now? I knew what she was like with disappointment, she wasn’t going to survive those two months of hard labour. The guilt was enormous. Her mom, who lived with her step dad in the UK, had been sending money for her to do this course. Which she only took up because, everyone in my family is educated and I told her that without some sort of a dream or qualification I would never be able to bring her to the family. She had finished her high school at Kalibu Academy, but had gotten knocked up by someone and was unable to progress in life thereafter. She had a falling out with the guy and her family before she and her mother eventually patched things up. I couldn’t let it end this way, I should have waited and broken up with her in January at least I thought. How selfish. Every day I went to the place she was doing her attachments to make sure her car was there. If it wasn’t I would go check at her house and mobilize her friends to wake her up and take turns pushing her to finish the course. Just because I had broken up with her didn’t mean I had stopped caring about her.
I wanted her to know I didn’t leave her because, I didn’t care about her or to be with another girl. I left her because I was just tired and overwhelmed and I felt I couldn’t manage work and a relationship anymore.
So she eventually completed her course at MIT, passed her attachments and got her accreditation. I was so proud and relieved. She did it without me. I thought that maybe I was wrong, maybe she did want to improve her life and that maybe if I had given her more time and had not given up on her we could have been the relationship I always believed we could be. So I went to get her back. This was uncharacteristic, I am generally not an indecisive person who goes back and forth, but there it was.
So she deletes Mr. Side Guy’s number, not sure what she told him was happening. We were back on track to rebuilding our relationship. I was still busy and dealing with all the issues that were there before I left, but I was back in my rightful place in her life and if we could surmount our issues this would prove to me that we could be something deeper, stronger, that this relationship was indeed worth investing in. Of course everything was not back to normal, I knew I was going to have to be patient and win her back slowly. I was not sure how she was spending her time, but she seemed not to have taken the catering job she was offered the way you would expect after passing Chef School. Her WhatsApp no longer showed last logged in, her profile had cryptic descriptions. My girl was different; she did not feel entirely mine. There was an impeding sense of invasion from an outside threat I did not know. The relationship wasn’t the same and it was my fault, but I was confident in what we had and that we could build something stronger.
So when we were supposed to meet at 10:00PM Saturday to talk about the relationship and how to deal with her mom being upset that I was back in her life a few weeks later, and she was stuck at a drink up with her cousin, Priska, it was a bad omen. However, not to be the controlling boyfriend and simultaneously not to be easily swayed I suggested I could pick them up or we could just meet up at Blues. It was 10:30PM and I had made my peace with the fact that the talk would not happen, but I missed my baby and I wanted her company. She agreed to meeting at Blues and would be coming with her friend Marcia and her cousin Priska since her car had broken down and she needed to pool with someone. 10:45PM comes around and I get a text, “Marcia doesn’t wanna leave, need to convince her or someone else so I can come.” I respond, “tell her I’ll buy her drinks if she comes lol, no stress.” 11:00PM, “Eish babe there’s been a situation, there was a fight, girl stuff. Now Marcia is crying and there is no way I am going to be able to come there. Need to handle this then will head home and let you know when I get there safe.” I replied, “It’s alright, we will talk tomorrow.” Sad, but a little suspicious. I let the issue go and off I went to blues where I chilled with some friends.
11:00AM Sunday, “Babe sorry couldn’t text, just got home this morning. Couldn’t leave Marcia last night. She was in hysterics so stayed with her at her house with Priska consoling her all night. Barely slept. I know you are mad. I am sorry.” I called to make sure she was alright and told her I would be at her house shortly. I was mad, I had been essentially stood up by my own girlfriend, but I am not the type to just lose my s#@! and start shouting over everything. I wanted to get an explanation.
Got to her house, parked outside didn’t get in. She came into the car, and started with, “I know you are mad, but let me explain.” She explained her movements and how she ended up at Marcia’s house eventually from another party initially. How Marcia and some girl who is a friend of hers got into a very heated argument because, her friend was apparently responsible for ending Marcia’s marriage. She highlighted a chaotic scene. Her phone and Priska’s phone simultaneously being off till this morning and not being able to find a micro USB charger till she got back home otherwise she would have let me know earlier in the night. I nodded, the story seemed rock solid. Then I asked her a rather simple question, “So you said you guys spend the whole night at Marcia’s house. She really didn’t wanna go anywhere?” She responds emphatically, “Talumba I am telling you she was hysterical, crying the whole night we couldn’t even sleep. We were stuck there we couldn’t leave.” I paused and said, “Alright cool, but your story has a problem.” She said, “Huh, what’s that?” I said, “Well, last night after I said it’s alright just let me know when you get home. I went to Blues, and I was with my friends, P.dot, C.dot, your friend Fhumulani and her boyfriend and I was also with Marcia. The whole night.” At this point her face turns pale, “So where the F@#$ were you last night babe!” She fumbles, and then confesses that she was somewhere else with some married guys I don’t know, but she slept at a friend’s. The problem is that her demeanor had no remorse. She almost seemed impressed with the fact that I had it in me to lay a trap for her and actually catch her. I simply tell her no one would ever believe her story and tell her the reason I came myself to ask is because, I wanted to see if she would come clean. Most importantly I wanted to see what she looks like when she lies. To my utter dismay she is very natural as a liar, this story she concocted to cover her tracks was so needlessly elaborate and juicy that a lesser lie made more sense. Her ability to look me straight in the eyes and spew such nonsense over and over showed lack of a conscious and confirmed to me that actually she is used to lying to me and must be doing it all the time. I let her know I could never trust her again said, “Thank you for wasting my time” then pointed outside and said, “You may go!”
I was in shock and felt like I had accidentally walked into a witches dressing room whilst she was unmasked and naked walking around in an old, wrinkly body. I wasn’t supposed to see her true form and now it was too late. She couldn’t put her innocent young body back on because, I had already taken a peek into the leviathan and seen her slithery snake like appearance.
Ms. Caramel interrupts, “no, no TC. That’s not it! She did this coz she loved you, you must take her back.” She struggles to find the words and says, “You wouldn’t understand, but I am a girl I have been in this very same situation. I did the same thing and only lied coz I didn’t want to hurt the guy I loved.” I ask how. She explains, “So the night I was out with Elube at her other guy’s place, my boyfriend calls and asks where I am whilst I am with my side guy and Elube there. I panicked and lied that I was in Zomba (about an hour’s drive). He said cool he wanted to see me so he will drive there first thing in the morning. I told him I had an errand at 8:00AM so he best come get me around 9:00AM. He agreed and hung up. Next day I rushed to Limbe at 7:00AM and caught a bus to Zomba. Arrived there just before my bae, then pretended I had been there the whole time as he picked me up and dropped me back in Blantyre.”
I was taken back, my naïve church going ass was unaccustomed to these levels of deception. My God! I had to be frank with her though so I said, “actually the issue isn’t even that. When I found out she had been lying and the way she lied I immediately followed my instincts and confronted several of her friends with the story. Faced with the question has she been cheating on me throughout this entire relationship? Several people broke and revealed that actually Elube amayenda ndi mzungu wina wake dzina lake David (Elube’s been seeing some white guy named David). And that just blew up in my face. They explained this white gentleman had been there long before I was even in the picture and the hatch back she got in 2018 was bought by him and her mum together. He is a regular fixture in the family, everyone knows him.” Eh, how we had escalated from a simple possible infidelity, to this Telenovela with extensive collateral damage is astounding. I continued, “So now I am just trying to survive the aftermath because, when I told her a few days after we needed to talk to straighten things out. She told me she couldn’t make our meeting coz she had to go watch a soccer match. Can you believe that? Her boyfriend of three years. I just knew. Her mask had been undone. She was caught. She had made her choice, rather keep her secrets and lose me than tell them and risk losing me either way.” Of course I was confident I would eventually unravel the whole story. I just had to bide my time, all would be revealed and I knew it was going to be a can of alien life forms.
Ms. Caramel’s only response was, “That chick! The way her and her side guy were judging me when I was busy telling my lies to avoid getting caught. Telling him in my face that she never does things like that… with such reassurance and conviction. I felt so small and dirty. But turns out she is worse! Jesus, wow.” I am like, “Yep.” She glances at me with pity and says, “Eish, sorry man. Koma ayi forgive her.” We both go quiet, she looks at me, I look back at her. The car has ice cold silence, all you can hear are the crickets in the bushes outside. She leans in, I pull her close by the waist and we continue where we left off with more passion and intensity.
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