sad-african-woman
sad-african-woman

I had a huge fight with my colleagues at work some time ago. It was about missing money. A hundred dollar note. I went for lunch one afternoon and realized the dollar bill was missing from my purse. I didn’t take it lightly. I called all of them and searched their bags and purse. I reported the issue to HR. She asked, “Are you sure the money got missing at the office?” I said, “Yeah, I’m sure. I live alone and no one comes to my house. The only place I’d gone with my purse is the office and nowhere else.” Questions were asked and everybody said they had no knowledge of the money.

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One girl walked up to me and said, “Davies might have stolen your money. He’s the only guy that stays in the office when we go on a break. I suspect him.” I didn’t see that money and for a very long time, we all suspected it was Davies who stole the money. That hundred dollar bill was given to me by my boyfriend so when he came by the following day I told him about it. He said, “Don’t worry, hundred dollars wouldn’t change anything in the life of the person who stole it. We have life. We’ll make more money. “

I’d dated him for six months and he had become the backbone of my life. I didn’t see him often because of how tight his schedules were but anytime he came around to visit, it felt like the first day we fell in love. We would cook together and eat. He would help me wash my clothes and help me clean the house, that’s if he spent the weekend with me. I wasn’t whole when he wasn’t around but I learned to live with that, hoping one day, everything will work together for the good of both of us.

The last time he came to visit, he gave me GHC1,000. I asked, “What for?” He said, “Buy something for yourself. Dress, bag, shoe, wig, anything at all you think this money can buy.” I hugged him and said, “You’re way too kind to me and I appreciate it very much.” It was a Saturday so I placed the money in my office bag hoping to deposit it in my bank account the following Monday. Monday afternoon, during break time, I picked my bag and went to the bank. I filled the deposit form and joined the queue. When it was getting to my turn, I put my hand in my bag to pick the money. That was when I realized the side pocket was empty. “How?” I combed through the bag, brought everything out but the money was nowhere to be found.

“Davies! That guy again. He had stolen my money.”

I walked briskly back to the office. “Who came to my desk this morning?” Everyone was quiet. I asked again, “Who came to my desk this morning when I went out?” Annie asked, “It’s anything the matter?” I screamed, “My money is missing again!” Everyone’s eye turned to where Davies was seated. I asked, “Davies, do you know who picked my money?” He said calmly, “I’ve been on my desk all day and I haven’t seen anyone going to your bag.” I screamed, “Whoever took my money, I give him up to the close of work today. If I don’t find my money, he should be ready to face whatever comes on him. I won’t let this pass quietly like the dollar.”

We closed from work, I huffed and puffed. I threatened them with curses. I told them I was traveling to my hometown over the weekend to seek the whereabouts of my money. Nothing I said could bring my money back. Another day, another money missing. From that day on, wherever I went, I carried my purse along. Somedays, I couldn’t account for some small amount that got missing from my purse. I thought, “Maybe I’d spent it and had forgotten.”

One afternoon, I wasn’t feeling very well at work. The HR walked to me and said, “You can take the day off to see the doctor. If you’re better tomorrow, you can come around and continue with your work.” I picked my bag, got a taxi and went home. When I reached my front door, I realized my door was slightly opened. “Ah, I didn’t close my door?” I checked my bag and saw the keys inside. “So what happened? What was I thinking that I didn’t close my door?” I opened the door and entered. Guess who I found in my room…

My boyfriend!

I was very surprised. I asked, “How did you get in? What are you doing here?” I entered the bedroom and found my money box tempered with. I picked it up and shook it, it was empty. “Hey, what is happening here? Why have you emptied my money box?” He stood there looking at me without saying anything. All of a sudden my sickness had disappeared. I screamed, “Charles, what are you doing in my room?” I rushed to the door and checked the key he used to open the door. It was the spare key I left in my drawer. I opened the drawers to check the money I had locked in there. They were all gone. Charles, you’re stealing from me? You took my spare keys so you could be stealing from me?”

For some minutes, he stood quiet, running his hand through his hair and blinking his eyes as if he wasn’t seeing well. I said, “Drop everything you’ve taken from me in the chair before I scream.” One after the other, he dropped them; Money, watch, phone (an old phone I wasn’t using), necklace, and a bracelet. I said, “You still haven’t answered my question. Why are you here and why are you stealing from me?” He answered, “I’m sorry.” I asked, “You’re sorry? Is that all you can say? So you’re the one stealing from me? You give me money and steal it yourself? For what? Are you ok?”

For close to fifteen minutes, he couldn’t say a word apart from pleading with me. I pushed him out and told him never to come back again. That evening he sent me a long text seeking to offer explanations for his action. Among other things, he said, “My mother had been sick and needed money. I know I should have asked you but I was too shy to ask.” I knew he was lying. I asked him, “What about the dollar you gave me? You stole it because your mother needed money? What about the GHC1,000? You stole that one too because your mother needed money?”

He responded, “I didn’t steal the dollar and I didn’t steal the GHC1,000 but you’re right to tell me I did because you’ve seen me do it. I don’t want you to think I’m a bad person. I was in need that’s why.” I told him, “I hope you find solutions to whatever you’re going through but don’t ever come close to me again, you thief.” The next day I changed my locks and changed the locks to the drawers too. He kept trying to come back into my life. I blocked his lines. He got new lines and tried to chat with me. I told him, “If you don’t stay away from me, I will make the whole world know what you did. Thief!

That was the last time I heard from him.

—Abena

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