I was twenty-five when I found her. She loved me and loved everything about me. She’s the only woman I’d dated who never stopped giving me compliments. If I wore a shirt and it was nice, she’ll say it and later find a similar shirt and buy it for me. Again, she’s the only woman I’d dated who had given me gifts. When I told her that she said, “No woman had ever given you a gift?” I said, “It’s the other way round. I give them the gift while they ignore me.” She said, “I will apologize on their behalf then advise you not to date a woman who can’t give. Which woman will continue to date you if you didn’t give them anything? So why would you date someone who gives you nothing?”
I never thought about it that way but she brought it to my mind. I’ve loved her so much since we met because she brought something new to the table all the time. We’ve dated for five years and within these years, a lot had been happening to my hair. My hairline keeps receding by the day. I never gave it a thought from the beginning. I never thought it will get to a point where my hairline would be where it is now. I look in the mirror and I get scared. To make matters worse, my girlfriend noticed it and started making a joke out of the situation.
She sees me and the first thing she talks about is my hair, “Eii, you’re getting old oo. See your head getting bald.” It was a joke at first so I didn’t take it in though I was concerned about my hair loss. It got to a point where I had to accept that no matter what I do I would end up with a bald head. The surprising thing is, my dad had his full hair before he died at age 57. His family doesn’t have baldness. Same with my mother’s side. No one in my mother’s family has baldness so I didn’t understand why I was losing hair at my age.
My hair got worse. The hair at the back of my head got so thin it felt like they were not there. I told her, “It looks like I have to cut all my hair so the bald spot would even out.” She said, “You’ll look terrible if you do that.” I didn’t listen. I went to the barbershop one day and got the hair off. I looked into the mirror. I wasn’t the guy I used to be but I felt it was ok. When she saw me she didn’t smile. She said, “You too what is that? Have you seen yourself in the mirror after cutting your hair?” I asked, “You don’t like it?” She said, “You look so different it looks like I’m dating a stranger.”
I thought it was a good time to talk about my situation. I asked her, “You have issues with the way I look without my hair? She said, “Love is not about looks. It’s the person behind the looks that matter. I know you too well to let your looks affect anything.” I was relieved. Knowing she loved me just as I am brought my confidence back but then, she didn’t act out what she said. My hair became the center of her jokes. I laughed at it until I couldn’t anymore. I told her, “Stop it. Just stop talking about my hair so I can take my attention off it for a while. Stop reminding me.” She said, “Can’t I play with you any longer?” I said, “Not with my hair, beg you.”
From there she went cold. She didn’t say a lot and she wasn’t her bubbly self. I would have to push and push before I could squeeze a smile off her lips. It became a chore to get her to smile. I even apologized for telling her to stop teasing my hair. Nothing I did made her happy. You know that feeling you get when you’re losing the one you love? Yeah, I had that feeling for weeks until I couldn’t again so I confronted her. She said, “The truth is, you’re a great person and I love to be with you for the rest of my life but for me to do that, there should be some form of attraction. What’s lost on my side now is the attraction.” I asked, “Is it about my hair?” She said, “Far from it. I don’t know what happened but the attraction just vanished like that.”
I knew I had lost but it was hard for me to let go. I asked her, “So what do we do? Is there something I’m not doing? I will do anything, just be frank with me.” She said, “It’s not about what you’re not doing. It’s more about what’s not there currently. Something is gone but I will try my best to get it back.”
Two to three months later, everything was still the same. The only thing that changed was my hair. It kept getting thinner. Holding on for too long in such situations does nothing apart from prolonging the suffering, so I decided to cut the cord and save both of us. I stopped calling. She didn’t call for a week. When she called she asked me, “Why have you stopped calling me?” I said, “Why did you not call when you realized I wasn’t calling.” She said, “I was waiting to see how long it would take you to call me.” I said, “All this while I’d been the one calling. I stopped and the grass also stopped growing.” She said, “Anyway, I called to check up on you.” I said, “I’m good. Good to hear from you.”
That was two months ago. The two of us are technically not together but none of us is ready to pull the plug. I’m not going to tell her it’s over. It looks like she also lacks the courage to tell me we are no longer together. So the two of us are just there. I post my status, she’ll come and watch and say nothing. When she posts status, I also go and watch. That’s how far we’ve come—lovers turned to status watchers.