Eighteen Years Later, We Went Back To Pay For The Bread We Stole From Her
Two young married men go back to make up for the wrongs of their innocent past even though no one, except their conscience, holds anything against them
Copied From ThengblogMarch 03, 2023
In 2004 before I completed secondary school, I made a confession to Jaco; “I came to this school a virgin and I’m leaving a virgin while you guys have been going around having all the fun.”
He looked at me bewildered; “Are you serious? But you have a girlfriend so how can you be a virgin?”
Yes, I had a girlfriend from another class. I had her when I was in form two. For so long I wanted to propose to her but I couldn’t. It was this same Jacob who helped me. He asked me to write a letter and I did. He took the letter to the girl but before he gave her the letter, he talked to her about what was in the letter.
“This is coming from a friend. He’s very good and he likes you. If you give him a chance you’ll be happy. He’s also a dadabee so you can imagine what he can do for you.”
The girl took the letter. Her name was Eli. She took the letter and avoided me for two days. I was confused. I thought I had lost her friendship. She wrote a letter and sent it through Jacob. I read the letter to Jacob. She accepted my proposal and told me she couldn’t wait to be my girl. From there, I didn’t know what to do with her.
We would meet at the dining hall and talk. During the entertainment, we would hang out. People saw the chemistry and started calling us lovers but that was all about it. I don’t remember holding her hands or even hugging her. I had a girlfriend but didn’t know how to be a boyfriend. Jacob was a day student so he couldn’t get the opportunity to be part of our nightlife.
That was why he was surprised when I told him I was a virgin. He asked me, “So do you want to break it before you go home?” “With who?” I asked him. Eli won’t allow me so who else will give me the chance?” He responded, “Just tell me you want to break it and leave the rest to me.” I nodded my head in affirmation. He said, “On Saturday afternoon, come to town. I’ll fix a match for you.”
Early Saturday morning, I was at his house. He told me, “I’ve spoken to a certain girl who lives a few blocks away from here. She sells bread with her parents. She’s not the type of girl but she’s the only one who agreed. You’re not going to be in a relationship with her, it’s just pa shiw and off we go.”
He used ‘we’ instead of ‘you’ so I asked him, “Does that mean you’re going to do some?” He answered, “You haven’t done it before. If I leave her for you how can you do it? I will go first and you’ll watch me do it and later do the same.”
I still remember that girl’s eyes that day. Dazzling and had innocence written all over her face. When Jacob introduced us, she couldn’t look at my face. Jacob said she wasn’t the type of girl but I saw her and told myself, “Of course, she is.”
There was an uncompleted building somewhere in the vicinity. Jacob pointed at it and told the girl we would be waiting there. While there, Jacob started giving me tutorials. “Don’t be scared. Just watch me and do as I do.” The girl came in, lifted her skirt and Jacob started going. It was rough and speedy. I was watching them, the girl’s face was on the floor while Jacob kept pushing in and out and at the same time asking me to watch. When it got to my turn, the girl turned and looked at me backwards. I thought I was getting it wrong. I asked her, “It’s that it?” She nodded. When Jacob was doing it she looked away but when I was doing it, she looked at me until I was done. While dressing up, Jacob came back and went for the second round.
When we were stepping out, I asked Jacob, “Won’t we give her anything?” He answered, “Don’t worry. I’ll settle her. I will only buy bread from her and it’s settled. I dipped my hand into my pocket and tried to give her something. She looked away and walked off.
I couldn’t sleep that night. My whole night turned into dreams. I was thinking about what happened during the day. I was happy that I could finally break it. I liked the feeling of it and wanted to do it again. The girl’s face kept appearing in my thoughts. “Why did she agree to do that? Just so Jacob will buy her bread? What did Jacob tell her to make her understand?” I thought of her and thought of the event that happened all night until I later fell asleep.
I wrote the date on my chop box with a marker: “22/8/04” A few weeks later, I completed school and left campus. That single event gave me the courage to propose to other ladies. A lot of them said no to me. The ones that said yes, I dated them for years until something broke us apart.
Eighteen years down the line, I’m married and have two kids. I have a job that pays enough to be able to give my family a good life. I’m not rich but I’m not poor. I don’t know what happened but one night I had a dream of Jacob and that girl. The three of us were walking on a large empty field. I was ahead with Jacob while the girl was behind us, sobbing. I was laughing and joking with Jacob while the girl was behind us biting her fingernails and sobbing. When I woke up from the dream I started thinking about what happened that day; the day I broke my virginity.
Within that same week, I had a dream again. Jacob was there and the girl was there too. That day I texted Jacob. He is in the US working with an IT firm. He is also doing very well for himself. He has married a white woman and has three half-cast children. Our past no longer mattered to us because we had moved on.
When I texted him he called. We hadn’t spoken for over two years though we see each other on Facebook. I told him my dreams and he was like; “You didn’t move on? Of course, you’ll dream about it because it was your first time. We laughed about that day and I even asked him what he told her before the match. He couldn’t remember. I told him, “Let’s look for her. I don’t know but I have a feeling she’s not doing well. Let’s look for her and do whatever we can to help.”
He didn’t buy the idea because it felt like visiting our past when our past doesn’t need us. He was coming to Ghana in December so I asked him to add it to his plans and he grudgingly agreed.
December he was here and he called. One morning we found ourselves sitting in my car and driving to Assin Manso to visit our past. We got there and not a lot has changed. The grasses were still where grasses used to be. We went to where the girl and her parents lived and we were told they Moved seven years ago. “They left this place when the woman’s husband died,” the woman we met told us. We asked if she knew where they moved to and she said Mankessim. We asked if she had a number and she directed us to a cousin of the woman’s late husband. It was that man who gave us the woman’s number.
Jacob called. Indeed the woman was in Mankessim. He asked about her daughter and she said, “Maadjoa? She’s in Accra ooo. She’s been in Accra for over five years taking care of her grandma.” We looked at each other. I said, “Our work has been made easier if she’s in Accra.” Her mother gave us her number and we said thank you and drove back to Accra. On our way, we didn’t know who was going to call and what we were going to say. Finally, Jacob called. He didn’t introduce himself. He said he had something for her. He’s coming from Assin Manso and someone gave him something for her. The mention of Assin Manso got her excited. “I’m in Santa Maria. If you can’t come here, just call when you get here, and I’ll meet you.”
Two days later we came face to face with her. She still has those eyes, dazzling and innocent. She didn’t remember any of us and we didn’t try to make her recall. Jacob told her they used to live together in Assin Manso. He said, “You gave us bread while we were students and that bread saved our lives. We would have starved for days had it not been for the bread you gave us. It’s the reason we came looking for you. We had come to pay back. What do you need?”
She started scanning our faces, trying to remember. I was ashamed so I didn’t look her in the eye. I was praying she doesn’t remember and she didn’t. “I don’t remember doing that so it’s hard to recall,” she said. We asked what she needed and she said, “Anything from your heart.” You could see she had needs yet was shy to name them.” I asked, “What will change your life?” She looked up for seconds and said, “I have two kids. Their fathers don’t help. I want to take them to a good school. I want something to do. Something I can earn from.” We asked what and she said a shop.
We started building her a shop. Jacob went back but he sent money to complete it. We stocked the shop for her. She has my number and Jacob’s number too. Jacob pays her kids’ fees. They are in a good school now. She lives with her grandma and doesn’t want to leave because she takes care of her. I’ve asked her to call whenever she’s in need but the last time she called she asked, “Be truthful to me. Who are you? Are you doing all these for me because of bread? A piece of bread I don’t remember I gave you?”
She had asked Jacob the same question too. She believes we are lying to her. She thinks there’s more to it than just bread. We won’t change the lie. What she gave us that day was bread to me. It’s the bread of sins and it’s the reason we are back paying for our sins. Now that she’s OK, we can rest our conscience, knowing we are the reason she’s doing Ok.