Author’s note: So I attempted a story to the poem I Loved You Too Late. Enjoy your bed time story and let me definitely hear from you. I would want to know if you enjoyed this new attempt.
Kenyah stood akimbo by the roadside, hands in his pocket, his mind in Kukua’s world. His huge body was towering over the pillar he tried to lean on.
“Spintex…Yes! Spintex… Wol3 …Wol3…”
The loud calls from the bus attendant went unheard.
She’ll be getting married in a month’s time and he’d have forever to forgive his foolishness. She literally jumped unto him in his hall to give him the bad news.
Her excitement filled shouts did a good job of waking him. She jumped unto him and pulled him up.
“You realize you just destroyed my beauty sleep.”
He said and sat back.
“You’ll be glad I did when you hear what I have to say.”
“Kuks, you’ve been saying this for how long now. You always end up pulling Sobolo from your oversize handbag.”
“Okay. See for yourself.”
Then she waved her middle finger right in his face. His gaze followed it through till she put her hand away and sat smiling, biting part of her lip like a small girl who’s won a candy for a prize. She had a ring.
“But you were to be breaking up?”
He said without paying much attention to giving away his feelings.
Kukua didn’t seem to notice.
The hurt cut deeper. She was so engrossed in this studded metal around her finger.
“Well” She started slowly and calmly, behaving shy. “It was just a trick to make tonight better.”
Kenyah cleared his throat and tried looking serious, at least to shield away the pain he felt.
“Do you believe him?”
She nodded and that sealed it for him. He hugged her.
He said and cleaned away the silent tears that stung his eyes.
“Masa, twie wo ho kakra 3h”.
An impatient request from a passerby woke him. He looked at his watch. It was almost 4pm. He’d soon be with the guys. He stopped the next Spintex car.
Kenyah tapped the bus conductor.
He handed the mate a crisp one cedi note and relaxed in the car seat.
How could he love someone for over years and yet say nothing.
“Manager, Mmrantie down.”
The mate shook him quite vigorously. He must have kept the whole trotro waiting. He got down and took the turn on the right along the dusty road with the most ridiculous sign board he believes he’s ever seen in his life.
It had the picture of a huge fat man behind a big asanka worth of fufu with meat covering every space. It was a bill board of a supposed appetizer and the embarrassing thing about this sign board is how the pot belly of the man is exposed from the T-shirt he is wearing.
He shook his head as he walked along.
The sign board has been here since they were kids.
He and Kukua would pass under it after class while they were in JHS to measure who was taller. He was of course but she’d never accept that and she would in her piercing voice demand a re-match.
“Kenyahs, you haven’t won oh. Aaah, we’ll have a rematch tomorrow”.
And he was sure to hear the same thing till the week was successfully over.
Everyone had thought he would marry her, even he did, and everyone would be disappointed he isn’t going to. They probably are already.
He wiped the sweat off his brow and stood awhile. He was almost home. He didn’t know what was about Sunday afternoons now in Accra. The sun seemed to reserve its best for them.
His cousin, brothers and best friend should be seated under the summer hut, helping themselves to whatever each preferred and waiting on him.
He should have just told Kukua – even if she didn’t reciprocate, it would have been fine. Now there was no way he could.
Too much is at stake now – her heart, Jonathan’s, the two families, his, friends, a wedding a month away and God’s say. Everyone would think him a low-life.
“How come you had the girl for almost all your life and you said nothing till now?”
That would be the trending question and he wasn’t ready to explain to anyone what he couldn’t fully explain to himself.
He turned towards the gate to his home and was about ringing the bell when he realized it had been left open. He is thoroughly late. Kwansa would have a scowl waiting for him.
He pushed the gate and stepped inside. Adamu, his best friend stood by. He shoved him a bit.
“Charlie. You mess up oh. We commot come here pass 30 minutes dat.”
“I know. I know. Ibi some small things wey i delay me.”
He let him in front and touched his shoulders gently.
“The boys dey wedge you. Kwansa go finish you with i stares.”
“You for know.”
They both laughed.
Kenya hugged his eldest brother, Nana Yaw, hit the chest of AB, their youngest and poked Kwansa, his cousin on the cheek. He knew he hated it.
“Eeeii watch am”.
Kwansa warned him. They all burst out laughing.
They were the best accountability group he’s ever been part of. In his opinion, there wasn’t any real dudes for him like these four.
He sat by Kwansa and almost pushed him off the bench.
“Ei! This boy dey wan sob oh”.
“And who go fit beat am?”
“Ok so we’re all here.”
Nana Yaw brought them to the purpose for their coming.
“And Kenyah you owe us big time apologies. My wifey go call saa. You for apologise proper”.
“Sure bosses. I’m very sorry oh”.
The guys nodded.
“So who is praying?”
Kenyah landed a stare on AB. He knew what it meant.
AB said with his eyes already closed and head bowed. The rest followed.
“Lord we’re here for our monthly meetings and we’re very thankful that we have all five of us here unlike the previous month. As always, you lead us through these talks. Let our views only be because they represent yours. Most importantly let us all find healing and your heart for us as we share. With the love of all five of us to you, in Jesus’ name I pray.”
All four said amen in unison.
Kenyah exhaled. One of the core things for him is the prayer times they shared together during meetings like these. It always seemed to carry this deep concern for each other.
It was one thing that kept himself and his brothers going after their parents and only sister passed in a robbery attack four years ago. It was the first time his love was challenged. He thought he’d lose it, that he would feel nothing after that. But he didn’t. The prayers and support of Kwansa and Adamu proved one of the main reasons his faith was still here and sure. They even allowed him burst out in sobs while they stood hugging him several times.
“Kukua is getting married?”
Kwansa was the first to express his shock. He turned at Kenyah.
“She’s getting married?”
He nodded. He lost out on exactly how the conversation led here but Kukua’s name was enough to tell him exactly what was happening.
He stood, pacing.
“I thought they were contemplating a break off.”
Nana Yaw questioned Kenyah.
“I thought so too.”
Adamu gripped Kenyah’s shoulders. He knew it is difficult on him.
“Perhaps Kenyah should tell us exactly what has been happening since the last time we met. We knew he was going to tell Kukua how he’s felt towards her.”
Adamu looked at Kenyah and blinked.
Kenyah took in a deep breath. He wish he spoke without waiting to be questioned. He cleared his throat.
“I wasn’t able to tell her anything.”
He said, looked down at his feet in his favorite slippers.
“Wow! And she’s getting married in a month?”
AB dug his fingers into his bushy hair, pulling on his roots.
“I know it’s unbelievable and I’m a jerk.”
Everyone went silent. They knew how it was when Kenyah wanted to talk. They waited on him. He swept his hand under his nose.
“I mean I’ve been with her since class one. We shared desks, our lunch, our pocket money, everything.”
His eyes gathered more tears now but he wouldn’t let them free. He sat back in the chair and heaved.
“I was scared she’ll say no and I’ll ruin everything we had”.
“Have you thought if you really are even to have her?”
Adamu said as a matter of fact. He’s always been the one to make them face the hard facts.
“We prayed severally, remember?”
Kenyah started chewing on his lips.
“Yes and He said nothing about it.”
Kwansah was getting impatient. He gulped down the rest of his favorite ginger beer with the boldest 0% alcohol label he proudly showed to however dared accuse him of taking alcohol.
“Adamu, are you trying to say hearing nothing means it couldn’t be her?”
“No Kwansah. Of course not.”
“But you seem to for me”.
AB abandoned his seat for the short wall.
“I’m saying Kenyah should heal and move on. She might have been her but he missed it. And that’s the reality now”.
Kenyah stood up.
“It’s all my fault. I didn’t even want to know if it was her. I don’t want you stressing yourself about it.”
“But you can now.”
Kwansah looked around if he’ll have any approval. No one seemed to have an opinion.
“So you’ll just let her go?”
“She’s already gone!”
Kenyah screamed and walked to the far edge of the hut.
“I understand.” Kwansah murmured to himself. “Love sometimes is about letting go.”
Adamu went to him and just stood by. The other three joined in. Soon, they had their hands on his shoulders, their heads bowed, praying.
“We pray Lord that you’ll bring comfort.”
AB said and held onto Kenyah firmer. They both knew too well the Lord’s comfort was sometimes everything to hold on to.
“We pray that Kenyah will move on from this with a heart bolder and a love more courageous.”
Adamu rubbed his shoulder as he prayed. He’s always feared his best friend’s heart will be broken and it has.
“And we pray that you will heal this heart, teach him how you love and bring the woman made for him.”
Nana Yaw left Kenyah’s shoulders and interlocked fingers with him. Finding the right woman was a struggle for most now. It feels worse to know you just lost one.