Kwame looked up at her and smiled. This woman was special in a way he couldn’t describe. She was just 21 but looked so much older inside. He took off his jacket and wrapped it around her shoulder. It seemed for colder for her than him.
She smiled broadly and looked at him, holding tightly onto the jacket.
“Thank You” she whispered.
Kwame nodded and drew her close. He loved her but she was too vulnerable to believe him. In fact, he had loved her ever since he met her outside the club a month ago. He drew her closer at that thought.
It was a dark night and he was coming back from work. He loved times like that, when his colleagues were all long gone and he had the moment all to himself. He would walk leisurely, pray sometimes, think through things or just enjoy the breeze.
He stole a glance at her, anger and compassion both rising in him.
That night, he was almost close to the club when he heard noise of struggles from bushy garden kept by the club owner. There were rumors around that he grows weed there but he’s never had any interest in that. People would say anything to justify their suspicions and besides this was Accra anyway.
On hearing the sounds, he drew closer and then saw Esi. She was being forced unto the ground by two muscular men he suspected to be some of the bouncers with her already skimpy clothes half torn.
Anger took the best of him. How could these men, no monsters want to do this? He rushed at them, pushed them down. Esi run and hid behind the only tree there.
He shivered though. How could he beat them? Everyone knows bouncers and land guards in Accra are the last you would want to enter into a fight with. He looked at them fuming but also afraid. Before he could think of how he would defend himself, they both run.
He laughed at that thought. That day for him was a clear miracle. He still wonders what they saw.
Esi pushed him slightly.
“You’re scaring me now.”
She moved to face him.
“At first you wouldn’t talk and now you’re laughing.”
“Ei Nutsuvi” she giggled.
She knew Kwame didn’t understand Ewe.
“You always say that word. I’ll learn Ewe soon you know.” He said trying to move past her.
“No sir” Esi pulled him back. “You haven’t told me why you were laughing.”
“You really want to know?” Kwame hesitated.
“Okay then. I was thinking about you.”
She smiled and pushed him away. He was more handsome here in the moonlight and she felt more attracted to him now knowing he thinks about her even when they are together. She felt something for him but she wouldn’t match up to him. He had schooled and knew more than enough. He needed a decent woman, one better than her.
Kwame took her hands and awakened her from her thoughts. He seemed to know exactly the right things to do at exactly at the right times. Her hands felt so cold. He squatted in front of her.
She said in one of those her grown up tones.
“You wouldn’t want anyone thinking you’re doing something mischievous. And it’s already 10pm oh. I need to sleep oh. For you it’s a weekend but me I’ve got work”
“Alright but we aren’t sleeping till you hear what I’ve got to say.”
He stood up and gestured to the public playground ahead.
“Kwame, it’s too late.”
Esi protested. She was not scared. She just was unsure about his reasons.
“We can’t be seen there by this time. It doesn’t speak well of you and besides it’s me you’re with and…”
Kwame cut her.
“I choose who my friends are so what others say really shouldn’t bother you. I’ll be really brief. Please.”
He begged searching her face.
“Please. I’ll be brief.”
He pleaded almost sounding desperate.
Esi gave in. Whatever he had saying should better be good. She tugged along.
Kwame cooed as they sat down. He had a lot to say. He’s been praying all week and felt this should be the time. It was Friday. She could get time to think through it – to give him the answer he prayed for. He stole a glance at her.
“Lord” he muttered. “This is it. You take over please.”
*Nustuvi ; Name for brother in native Ewe language in Ghana.