Yesterday, my husband put his head on my chest while the two of us were lying on a tiny sofa watching TV. Some minutes later he said, “Your heart is mentioning my name.” I asked, “How?” He laid his head still for a while and said, “The sound of your heartbeat goes like, Ko-jo ko-jo ko-jo…” I held his head up and pushed it off my chest; “Take your big head off my chest before you break it in.” He tried laying his head back on me so I shifted from my sitting position and his head hit the armchair of the sofa.

While he was there moaning out of pain, I got up and said, “Thank God you didn’t break the sofa. You would have bought a new one tomorrow.” He got up and started chasing after me.

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That’s basically the two of us every day.

My husband has many jokes about me. I have only one—his head. All my jokes begin and end with his head. He would say, “The way you fart when sleeping, I don’t think I can travel with you and leave you to sleep in the midst of strangers.” To get back at him, I’ll say, “When you wake up each morning, apologize to your neck. It’s a heavy load it’s carrying for you.” His sense of humor is on top of the world. I can be so angry about something and swear never to talk to him for a day but just a look on his face and I’ll start smiling.

We’ve been married for eight years and the first day he approached me, I never thought I would say yes to him. After everything he said to me, it was only his head that I remembered. I remember telling myself, “If by accident and this head falls on my at night, won’t it break my bones?” I kept saying no to him and he kept coming back. So one night, I think it was about three months after he had proposed to me, he asked me, “Why do you keep saying no to me? Don’t I have the personality of the man you want to be with? Is it about my tribe? Or you just don’t fancy the idea of me?”

I told him, “It’s not true that you love me. If you did I would have felt it. There would have been a sign—an itch in my palm or there will be this empty joy in my heart. I don’t feel anything and it doesn’t sound like you love me that much. Yeah, you’re a good person but I don’t want to say yes just because you’re a good person. I have to feel the love too so the two of us will be on the same page.” He responded, “Sometimes, love takes time to develop. Mine has developed but I’m ever ready to give you time to see if you can love me too.”

I said hastily, “Ok, that would be fine.” But in my mind, I knew nothing would change the way I feel. He was always going to be a friend.

He started coming around every night after work and we would talk for so long. One night my mom screamed from the outside, “Anima, what’s tickling you that you’ve been laughing all this while?” That was the point I realized the joy he brought in me anytime he was around. He puts my ribs on fire and I could laugh throughout. Slowly, I started witnessing a change in me— a changed in the way I looked at him. The big head had faded from view and I was seeing him for who he was—funny, considerate, and he didn’t like to leave anytime he was with me. Well, I didn’t like him to leave too, because hell sister needed some laughter.

For so many months we remained friends. He didn’t mention the proposal again. He only enjoyed coming around, taking me out sometimes, and listening to me talk about my problems when all he did was to create funny jokes and scenes for me to laugh. After a while, I was ready to say yes but he wasn’t saying anything. I started giving him clues and making it obvious that if he said he loved me, I would say yes but he kept missing the clues. I got tired of his inability to realized I was ready so I asked him, “Who are you seeing? After I said no did you find someone else?” He smiled and said, “I thought we agreed that I was going to wait for you?”

“So you’re still waiting? After all this while?” I asked. He said, “Yeah, that’s because it’s you I want in my life.” That’s it! That was all I wanted to hear. I said, “Ok if it’s me you want, I will give you a chance and see where this will take us.” He asked, “You’ve accepted my proposal?” I said, “Hmmm something like that.” He laughed, he hugged, he kept talking and talking. He didn’t actually know what to do.

From that day on we became best of buddies. When I was with him, I could be myself and not pretend. He knows I like food and I don’t hide it. When we go out to eat, I order double of whatever he orders. He would say, “Eii mama food that.” I will respond, “Big heads don’t need too much food, slim things like me do.” A year later, we had a very huge fight and we broke up. It was about his ex-girlfriend who kept coming into the picture. I trusted him but I wasn’t comfortable. He told me one of his classmate’s mom was dead and he was attending the funeral. Not knowing it was his ex-girlfriend’s mom. What killed me was the fact that he spent two days in the village where the funeral was held.

I felt disrespected and lied to so I told him to leave me alone. I later forgave him when he ran to my mom to ask her to plead on his behalf. We got back together and a year after that event we got married.

We’ve been married for eight years now, no child yet but what we have is joy beyond measure. A Child is a blessing but we’ve learned to be a blessing to each other first even before the arrival of the child, which we know will be happening very soon.

Eight years is not so long a time to be married but anytime my friends ask me about my marriage, I tell them, “I married my friend.” Yea he didn’t bring the fancy feeling of love I was expecting from the beginning but when I gave him time, he proved to me that he wasn’t going to be just my husband but also someone who will listen to my problems and make the burdens lighter through laughter.

I remember one afternoon I told him I was going to the salon to fix my hair. I had braids so I was going to have them removed, wash my hair, and do a little fixing. When I told him I was going to the salon, he asked, “Are you going to keep long?” I told him, “A little. Because of the braids. They have to remove everything.” So you mean you’re going to leave me here all alone? Come here, teach me how to remove the braids.” Several minutes later, the braids were off. He teased my dandruff, “Wow, it looks like you have a truck of sand in your hair. We wouldn’t buy sand when we want to build.” He talked about the foul smell; “Next time you go to the salon, pay the girls double. For the scent.”

I didn’t need to go to the salon again to pay double because he became my braids remover from then on. He learned to wash my hair with Shampoo and wipe it clean with a towel. The beautiful thing is, I don’t ask him to do it, he asks to do it after my hair had stayed on for a while longer. I knew I had a beautiful man in my life and a beautiful marriage but if I ever had a doubt, this lockdown would have removed all the doubts from my mind.

We didn’t step out until the lockdown was lifted. We both lived online. He would copy a recipe online and asks us to try it. Mostly, it ended badly but we didn’t have the luxury to waste food so we ate it. He was like, “That’s how all other foods were invented. We didn’t get it wrong, we ended up inventing new food. Let’s cook and sell when corona is over.” We watched dance videos and tried to learn. I was better. He was good while sitting, immediately he gets up, dance over but it was fun to watch him try and listen to the funny comments he’ll be passing.

The world was on lockdown. We were on our second honeymoon.

Recently we were traveling on a night bus from Accra to Kumasi. I was very tired and feeling sleepy but anytime I tried dozing off, my husband would tap me and ask me a question. We’ll talk for a while and I’ll begin to sleep again. He’ll tap me on the shoulder and ask me to look at something outside. He’ll say, “Oh you didn’t get up quickly enough, we just passed by what I was trying to show you.” It continued till we got to Kumasi. At some point, I was getting angry. I realized he was doing that intentionally but for what reason, I didn’t know.

When we got down I asked him, “Why did you do that?” He started giving me that teasing smile. He said, “I couldn’t trust you to sleep throughout the journey without drawing attention to us. Prevention is better than cure.” I hit his chest immediately I got what he was trying to say. He ran off and kept laughing to himself. I asked him, “Is it true I fart when I sleep?” He responded, “A lot but I’m used to it now but those on the bus aren’t. I needed to save them!”

I said, “Shut your mouth, why are you shouting?”

—Anima, Ghana

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