Happy Wednesday, guys! Thank you for all the feedback and the #knowthyman reactions. I knew I could count on you! Been an interesting week. I was at BlogCamp16 over the weekend and it was humbling to share my experiences with the blog over the last one and half years. In other news, Unorthodox Review did a flattering review of the blog. Anytime I discover something like this, I always think of you guys- especially those who read the very first few stories. Without you, we would not be here! Happy birthday to my darling Joan- thank you for reading the stories and assuring me that your kids will read them too!
Pedro was running late. Adjeley didn’t particularly like waiting but she knew better than to complain. It was impossible to win an argument with him. It was one of the things that appealed to her about him- he was witty and always had a card that he had not yet played. The mystery and the excitement that came from anticipating his next move made him even more attractive than he actually was. He had laugh lines, probably because he was the life of the party wherever he went to. His teeth were a dull shade of yelllow- resultant from the excessive smoking. His dimples were deep enough to carry 10ml of water and they seemed to deepen when he was happy or amused. Pedro was smart- both book-smart and street-smart. He had one of those laughs- commanding, authentic and unapologetically loud. When they first met, it was over drinks at the Republic Bar.He was fascinated about how much she knew about Ghanaian culture.
‘You know more about the country than the tour guides I have met in Ghana do’
‘I had an interesting History teacher. It was impossible to sit in his class and not leave spilling over with information. He made it easy to remember facts.’
‘I wouldn’t give him all the credit though. I see you also put in an effort to stay abreast with events.’
‘I like to know things. There is this book I read…..’
And that is how their relationship started. Purely sapiosexual. They spent their dates discussing the evolution of man, the brain drain problem of Africa and other topics that would bore a normal 20 something year old to death. But not Adjeley. Pedro was fascinated by her- she was beautiful, confident and effortlessly intelligent. He knew this because they had spent a week in Takoradi sight seeing one time and she had returned on the morning of her first paper. She walked into the exam room and walked out with an A. He liked that he could have intellectually stimulating conversations with her one moment and do something crazy like sing at the top of his voice with her while driving to Aburi the next. The sex wasn’t really part of the plan initially. He had planned to keep it platonic while nursing his covetous desires but as it turned out one Saturday dawn, his libido had other plans.
Horrified that he may have ruined things between the two of them, he tried to joke about it.
‘You didn’t tell me you were unchartered waters.’
‘You didn’t tell me you were such a good sailor either.’
Just like that, with sailor-sea euphemisms, the ice was broken. If she regretted it, she never showed it. Things went back to normal- Pedro and Adjeley painting the town in whatever colour pleased them.
Tonia was having a headache.
‘Tonia, it is not about full disclosure. I just need to understand how you failed to mention the fact that your ex boyfriend was my carbon copy.’
‘What difference would it have made? Other than make you feel as if I was only with you because of the resemblance, nothing else comes to mind! It may not make sense to you but I was trying to forget him. It was easier to pretend that he didn’t exist.’
‘How can you say you are trying to forget someone and fall in love with someone that is the spitting image of him? Doesn’t exactly sound right to me.’
‘Don’t use his name in vain. You got us here on your own. Leave him out of it.’
‘Paa Kow, look at me. I am with you because I want to be with you; because I choose to be with you. You are not a spare tyre. You are not a backup plan. I need you to believe that.’
‘So what happens now?’
‘Nothing. We eat waakye, watch movies, babysit our friends’ kids and have pillow fights until we get married.’
‘On a normal day, I would gloat about how open you are to the idea of getting married.’
‘Today, I saw his eyes when he saw you. He still has feelings for you.’
‘And this concerns me how? I am not the one who went missing for so long. I am not the one who is covered in a white cassock, clutching a rosary. I don’t give two biscuits about the look in his eyes.’
‘Easy…let’s eat. The waakye is getting cold.’
‘I thought you would never ask.’
He knew that this day would come. He just assumed that he would be better poised to meet her again. One of the demons that tormented him throughout his time at the seminary was his relationship with Tonia and how he had left things. He knew he should have told her before he ‘vanished’. He would have done things differently if he had been courageous enough. He knew that Tonia was too stubborn to take a ‘let’s go our separate ways’ especially when nothing was going wrong. He also knew that she would not believe that he was going to be a priest. So he ran..like a dog with its tail between its legs. Once in the seminary, he told himself that it was for the best.
Until that day.
Seeing the hurt in her eyes and her rather feeble attempt to mask it left him rather unstable. It made him realise how selfish he has been. It also made him realise that he had missed her and what they had shared. He still had the urge to protect her and be there for her. He still wanted to know what made her stay up at night. What hurt him was the fact that he had lost the right to do those things for her. He wondered whether or not her ending up with Paa Kow had anything to do with him.
If it can’t be me, then I am glad it’s him.
‘Father, it is almost time for evening mass.’
‘I’ll be there shortly.’
Prosper looked at Kafui. It was obvious that she was waiting for him to say something. She had put a lot of effort in trying to lose some weight over the last few months- dieting, going on a cleanse, waking up to exercise and drinking all sorts of concoctions in mason jars. At first he had ignored it, seeing it as a phase that would pass. But it didn’t. He saw her lose weight and gain self confidence. It scared him- the fact that she was becoming less dependent on him. Today she had gotten a pixie cut. It fit the frame of her face nicely, bringing out her eyes.
She was looking at him, waiting for him to compliment the new look. It was Tonia’s idea to do something different with her hair.
‘It would make him look at you in a new light, trust me.’
And she liked it. She just hoped he would like it too. After looking at her briefly, he smirked.
‘Feeling pretty, are we? Don’t look at me expecting compliments. A pig can be transformed into sausages, ham or bacon, but it is still pig meat. I am heading out. Don’t wait up.’
As his car veered off, Kafui couldn’t decide which was more pitiful- her son who was screaming at the top of his lungs and refusing to suckle at her breasts despite his hunger or her own tears, each one ripping through her body with sadness and hopelessness, shedding all the self confidence she had amassed over the past few weeks into a billion micro pieces. The clouds were gathering- it was going to rain. It made her feel better to think that the skies were weeping with her.
See you next week! Don’t forget to let me know what you think with the #knowthyman hashtag! -💜Keni