Dear Fiifi.

Some years ago my junior sister walked up to me to seek advice from me. She was having relationship issues with a guy she had dated for three years. Theirs had been a rollercoaster kind of relationship. Nothing changes. He promised to make adjustments to his behavior but he never did. My sister was suffering. Sometimes she wanted to walk away but she was scared of the future.

When she asked me I told her, “You’ve given him enough chances and nothing changes. Please walk away. It might seem very difficult at first but when you gather the courage and leave, you won’t die and soon life will welcome you back into a state of normality.” She asked, “How do I know I will meet someone better? I’m not growing any younger. Starting all over again scares me.”

Fiifi, this is where the lessons I learned while with you kicked in. Our relationship was a waste of time and did me no good but today, I can boldly tell someone that I had to go through all that so someday I can use my experience to set my sister free. That’s one positive thing time with you taught me. I used our love story to paint a picture of a better future after a breakup. She trusted me and today, she’s enjoying a stress-free life.

When I was with you, life was just like that. You will give me a reason to stay with you but tomorrow you’ll take that reason away. I couldn’t walk away. You were sweet and sour. Hard and soft. Warm and cold. I caught you cheating with the girl you told me was just a friend, but a week before I caught you, you woke up at dawn to drive from Madina to Kasoa just to help me take my sick mom to the hospital. You were sleeping but immediately I told you about my mom’s sickness, you said, “I can get there in the next twenty minutes. It’s dawn so no traffic.” The next twenty minutes you were there. You carried mom in your arms into the car and drove us to the hospital. You even paid some of the bills.

You cheated but a week ago, you were the savior. Had it not been you, mom could have died. I wanted to leave when I caught you cheating but when you came begging, I considered what you did the week before and forgave you. Warm and cold. What breaks my heart, even more, was the day you hit me because of a little argument about a boy I just met. Yes it was obvious he liked me but I didn’t. He tried several times to get me to say yes to him but I didn’t because I had you. He had my number and I couldn’t control when he should call so that night when he called me, all I could do was pick and tell him not to call again. But you made a meal out of it.  You thought I said that because you were there. You got angry. I tried to tell you not to. By the time I realized, a slap had already landed on my face. You called me a whore and said many awful things to me.

I loved you so I stayed.

If I try using this space to enumerate all the things you did against me, I will be short of space. So that day when I finally decided to walk away, it was out of conviction and not out of emotion. I was convinced I deserved better than you were giving me but emotionally, I thought, “He’s done good things for me too, why shouldn’t I give him one more chance?” I wasn’t going to allow my emotions to take over so I called and told you I was done with the relationship.

Times when you threatened to leave, I ran to you and begged. I knelt in front of you and cried like a baby. I was expecting something similar. If you did say sorry, maybe it would have been difficult for me to leave but you came with all your egos and said things that rather made me wanted to leave. You said, “I know you’re leaving because I’ve lost my job but remember I will get back on my feet again. You’ll come back and beg me but it would be too late.” That wasn’t the reason but it made no sense for me to defend myself. You told me, “You’ll never get a guy like me. Never! Which guy will wake up at dawn and drive all the way to take your mom to the hospital at dawn? No one but I did.” Yes, you did and I was grateful.

And when your anger escalated you said, “Karma will track you and strike you down for leaving your boyfriend when he had lost his job. Someone will do it to you too and you’ll know how it hurt.” It scared me but I knew my heart was pure. I was leaving because of all the sins you committed and not because you were unemployed.

A year and a half later, I met Prince, and a year after meeting him, we got married. You were right. I never got a guy like you. Warm and cold. I met Prince. Those who want you don’t waste your time. They don’t go about being sweet today and sour tomorrow. They give you the best of themselves because they know your worth. Once in a while, they’ll err just as you’ll err too. That’s human. They don’t hurt you intentionally and use being human as an excuse. I’m in a happy place now. All your threat didn’t get me down. And maybe, the karma you sent to track me down lost my address. You have my number, give it to karma to call me.

So when my sister was scared about the future and was unsure about starting all over again, I told her, “You remember me and Fiifi? We dated for five years. When I left him, I was 29 years but look at what I found after letting him go. I’m not saying that’s going to be your story. I’m telling you it can be your story too if only you’ll let what keeps you down go. Starting all over again isn’t bad at all. You get the chance to use your past experience to make the future better. Take a chance.”

She listened to me and left. Her guy said a lot of things to her out of ego but she left. Today, she’s in a happy relationship and marriage seems the next step. So I wrote you this letter to tell you how you’ve helped me helped my sister to leave a relationship that was going nowhere just like ours. I didn’t waste my time with you. I was there to learn a lesson for the future and I’m grateful. Today, I know that things don’t get worse for us just because we left. Everything is about choices. If you leave and still make bad choices, you’ll suffer. All you need is one good choice.