Gambling has always been a ‘guy thing,’ everyone knows that. A harmless pastime to keep the bond between the buddies-especially in sports. But it seems when the times changed, so did the categories under which this hobby fell. I thought it outrageously ridiculous when I first heard that guys bet on girls too. Like seriously? Had the premier and champions leagues become so boring now that they had to play a girl’s heart on a chess board?
Ah well, I’m sure the girls who fell victim to that had it coming, I figured dismissively. But how would one know if she is a viable candidate for such a game? Little did I know…
I wouldn’t say I carry myself about in a high and all mighty fashion. I have my standards, yes; maybe an inch or two higher than the average uptown girl but that doesn’t make me proud, right? I just know what I want and let’s just say compromise isn’t one of my favorite terms.
And one of them is dating someone at my workplace. Aside it being a virtual universal office rule, I just imagine the awkward torture I’d have to subject myself to when we were in the middle of a fight or worse still, an ugly breakup. And since I’m a boss (yes, I order guys around), I’d be tempted to subject the poor guy to the whims of my fluctuating moods especially when it looks like he was having a good day and I wasn’t. You see, I’m the considerate, selfless one here, right? But the fact that one has good intentions doesn’t mean everyone knows of them and respects them.
It all started when my mother started preaching the “it’s your time to get settled” sermon. I tried playing hide-and-seek for a while which got me a little break time but when I had exhausted all my excuses, I knew I had to find someone so she could back off me for a while. So looking at my circle, most of them were already taken and the others, clearly not my type.
So I let down my guard a little; brought down the walls a little so the guys struggling to scale them could do so. Soon, out of the lot, my eyes on Q. Q for Quentin. He wasn’t at my office; he worked for one of the companies I normally consulted for. He seemed very sincere in his affectionate expressions which I appreciated; not like the asphyxiating sycophants who would literally kiss my bum if I asked them to.
At the beginning, it felt strange having one person constantly in mind; making me smile and even giggle at myself. I used to think only silly young girls did that. I later learnt that love causes one to lose herself no matter how old you get. Yes, I said love. I fell in love with Q.
It felt dangerous having to let myself go and become vulnerable to someone. I had grown up always looking out for myself, making my happiness my sole business as well as my troubles. But having to share a part of me with someone else had its perks and I enjoyed it.
So Easter came along and there was a long weekend ahead of us (with Good Friday and Easter Monday as holidays). Q suggested that we went to the Kwahu Mountains. Of course, I replied. I get to have a change of scenery for one and also get to breathe in the unadulterated fresh air of nature. Did I mention he had been a gentleman all this while? He never rushed me into anything which made me sometimes wonder if he was a warm-blooded male after all.
But one can never tell the thoughts that linger behind a charming smile.
The Kwahu experience was beyond my wildest imagination. I enjoyed every ticking second of it. And the night breeze was perfectly cozy. After making me feel like the college version of me again, I considered waiving one of my strongest absolutes: making myself unknown under the sheets to any man.
His phone rang whiles he was in the shower. I chose to ignore it till he called out of the shower telling me to answer it. After informing the male voice on the other end of the line that Q was occupied, something caught my eye just as I was putting the phone down. A WhatsApp message from Josh in a group called “Bad Boyz, Good Men.” That didn’t sound so good. Was it the same Josh in my office?
“Have you won the conquest yet? Your $1,000 is still waiting for you. It expires at midnight. Good luck, man.”
Did I just discover that I’ve been a pawn on someone’s twisted chessboard? How stupid of me! How could I not have known? The next half hour went by without any clear recollection of its events because I found myself driving out of Kwahu by the other half hour.
One thousand dollars? At least those jerks had the decency to price me in US dollars and not in the pathetic depreciating Cedi currency. But seriously? My Mercedes was actually worth more than that. My phone began ringing. I put it off.
I went to work on Tuesday and when Josh met me in the hallway, he gave me a look which I couldn’t interpret but I also gave him one of my own plainly letting him know that I’m onto him.
So let’s skip to the time when he came to my office demanding why I was ignoring his calls and texts.
“I’m surprised you’re still here. I thought your claim to the $1,000 bid expired on Sunday night.” It was downright priceless seeing the color drain from Q’s face. He didn’t waste time trying to talk his way out of it. He immediately apologized and he did so profusely. But my guard was back up and my wall so high up that his seemingly honest pleas seemed like Arabic tongues.
I asked for space and he granted it. That gave me time to think. I loved him. I really did. But I was just a game. A game which would have ended if I had opened my legs to him that fateful night. But since I didn’t, did it mean the game was still on? Perhaps the other guys that he had a chance to still win the ‘conquest’ and thus decided to give him an extension?
He swore he really liked me and that it was rather an unfortunate incident but if it weren’t for that, he wouldn’t have come to know and love me for who I really was. I didn’t want to believe him but my heart was fighting my resolve.
I didn’t think it could happen to me. But it did. He says the game is over and he is for real. My clock is ticking pretty loud these days and as much as I hate to admit it, I may be out of options. Do I forgive him and give this player a second chance who could just be playing round two? Or do I forget him and hope not to fall prey to another emotional scam like that?
Any advice for your poor sister? Sad face.