Men are cheats and ladies are not loyal.
The anthem everyone seems to be chanting. Since the trust is already compromised at the onset, both parties sleep with one eye opened. Snooping through each other’s phone, second guessing every response given and deliberately setting traps for each other to see if they would fall into or jump over them.
Meet George. After his last breakup which left sour impression of women in his heart, he became skeptical about true love. He decided to love with his mind instead and subject his next relationship to every fidelity test he could think of before placing his heart in her hands.
And meet Michelle. An amateur in the dating game, she falls on her friends for guidance. Her friends seem to be enjoying their relationships and she wants the same for herself.
Imagine what happens when their paths cross and after passing the attraction test, decide to see each other.
The beginning was blissful like a honeymoon should be. But when the butterflies stopped fluttering in the tummy, the heartbeat reduced in its pounding rate and ‘blind’ eyes began to see the light, it was the cue to get back to business.
Michelle’s friends told her it was important to find out if George was capable of taking care of her needs. And by needs, they meant money for her mobile credit, hairdo, wardrobe and general upkeep.
“But I can take care of myself. I don’t need his money,” Michelle countered.
“That is not the point, Michy. You have to know if he’s generous or stingy. Finding that out should be a priority.”
“So how do I find that out?”
“Make certain requests…ask for money for your mobile credit.”
“Ah! That’s demeaning. I don’t want to be the type who feeds out of her guy’s pocket.”
“Well, have you heard the saying that a woman’s money is for herself but a man’s money is for both him and his wife?”
“I’m not his wife.”
“Yet; which is a good thing. But in case that’s the end goal of this relationship, you need to know if your money would be safe.”
“Who have been you listening to, Counsellor Lutterodt? He gives some crazy advice sometimes,” Michelle said.
“It kind of makes sense to me,” another friend added.
“Just try with the little things and then slowly chip in the big ones.”
“Big ones, like what?”
“Start with food, credit, hairdo…” “Okay…that is going overboard. He’d think I’m materialistic and that I’m not.” “We are not either. It’s just necessary to check that out of the list.”
“I’ll think about it.”
And that she did. In the beginning, she was a bit anxious about it but after a while, she got used to it and began to enjoy it. There is nothing like living out of someone else’s pocket, right?
Then George decided to play her game. He feigned having his money stolen from his room and so needed a loan which he promised to refund when his allowance came in. Michelle gave him the money because she knew George would do the same if she was in his shoes. But the reaction from her friends after she told them was unexpected.
“Come on girls, he’s been buying me food from the fast food joint for weeks now. He does so without my even asking. What’s wrong with helping him out in his time of need?”
“Doesn’t he have guy friends he can lend money from?”
“Well, he didn’t have to buy me credit for my phone. I hardly call him.”
“It’s not the same thing, Michelle! When a guy takes care of a lady, he is a gentleman; when he turns around to ask you to take care of him, he’s a loser!” “That is not true. What does that make me then?”
“Listen, if he can’t play husband now, how sure are you he can ever be it for real?”
“Wives help their hubbies out in times of need.”
“And you’re not supposed to play wife when it comes to finances. You only play wife when you’re actually the wife. Shine your eyes, Michy.”
“Well, I’ve already given it to him. So that’s that.”
“Don’t let it happen again.” It was more of an order than an advice.
So when George made another subtle request about two weeks later, Michelle made up a story about how she couldn’t be able to help him this time around. George recorded that in his evaluation memory.
Out of guilt, Michelle stop asking for the money she didn’t even need in the first place. Next came the fidelity test. This came about after Michelle told her friends they only met at his convenience.
“Why is that? Is he double dating?”
“You know his course is a hectic one and…”
“Listen, no one is too busy to have time for someone he claims he cares about. You should be his priority not an option to hang out with.”
“He must be seeing someone else and you must find out.”
“Test him. Send a girl his way and find out how he’ll react.”
“Ugh ugh…that will be a terrible mistake. It will surely backfire. I watched a movie about that and it almost didn’t end well.” “Well I think I know the movie you’re talking about and in this case, he doesn’t have to know you’re testing him.”
“And who will I ask to do such a ‘selfless’ job?”
“Who else? Me?” Michelle gaped at her friend.
“What, you?” She chuckled.
“Do you want to snatch away my boyfriend?” Anne snorted.
“Why would I? I have a great boyfriend. I just want to help you out. I could find you someone willing but you know me and you can trust me.” Michelle thought about it for a while. Considering the fact that he doesn’t answer her calls promptly and only replies her messages hours later and with straight answers. Perhaps Anne was right after all. There must be another girl in the picture. And with that concluding thought, Michelle gave Anne the go-ahead to play Potiphar’s wife.
George was intentionally ignoring Michelle. Why, to check her nagging status. If she’d nag me now, she’ll nag me more if we get more serious, he thought. So far, she had scored fairly well on the caring part but she was lacking at the money side but he could work with that. So far, she hadn’t confronted him about his late response to her calls and texts yet. Was she piling up the agitation?
He had reduced their meeting times to twice a week. If she could get used to it now, then if we were to get married and I travel a lot, it wouldn’t be a problem. It is always better to be prepared, he thought.
When he called her up to come over to his room, Michelle declined. That was the first time. What was wrong? Was he losing her already?
Being given his own medicine, he felt Michelle distancing herself. Maybe he had pushed it too far. He shouldn’t have done that. But he had good intentions. But who cared about that if it wasn’t properly communicated?
Out of blue, a lady came into his life and she was as sweet as an angel. Anne, she called herself. Maybe Michelle wasn’t the one after all. She seemed to check out almost every criteria on is list. Anne was the one! He had to pray about it and if he still felt like it in the morning, he’d break up with her. Via text. It was easier that way. Cowardly he knew that but hey, everything was done the social way now, right?
Meanwhile, Anne had advised Michelle to get close with George’s closest friend to see if he was the jealous type. The problem was, he didn’t even seem to notice because Anne was doing a great job keeping him occupied. Maybe it was a mistake making way for Anne into her guy’s life. But George’s friend was cool too. What was she doing? She’s not that type of girl. She really loved George and she wanted it to work. She was tired of the games already. She had to tell George the whole truth so they could move on.
Michelle entered George’s room without knocking (as was her habit) and found her dear friend on top of her boyfriend.
“Oh seriously? Is this what you had in mind when you suggested you wanted to test his fidelity? You actually wanted to test his manhood!”
“What? You sent her to test me?’ George said, hoping to cover up his caught act.
“Oh please, don’t act all innocent. Didn’t you tell me you were testing her by ignoring her phone calls?” Anne shot back at him.
“You were testing me?!” Michelle asked her boyfriend. She was furious.
“I think I’ll leave the both of you to sort it out. And trust me, Michy, this was all according to the plan. I was going to stop before it got too far.” “Well from what I saw…you two went far enough.” Anne took her bag and left them alone.
They stared at each other; both feeling hurt and betrayed. Who was guiltier and did they both deserve forgiveness and move on or should just call it quits?
© Josephine Amoako 2016