#taleofwhys is a three part story I wrote for our weekend Facebook Exclusive for my reader friends via Awo Writes, my facebook page and blog link to Awo Writes here on WordPress. As I wait to launch into another series of stories or short stories, enjoy this and we’ll follow up with the two other parts for the next two weeks. From my heart to yours exclusively…here is #taleofwhys. And I went cross-African small. Invite a Nigerian guy friend over this read and definitely have a say in the comments.
His name is Oge, actually Paul Ogechukwu Layeni.
Ghana is his second home, currently it’s first in practice to Nigeria but how can a fine Yoruba, mixed with blood from Igbo descent, man like himself abandon Nigeria as the first. So yes Ghana is his second home. He lived in the busy neighborhoods of Lagos as a boy, yes the busy Lagos with the scary and funny stories of theft, blood money, deaths and hard-core robbers, till when he was fourteen.
On the eve to his completion of his junior secondary school education as said in Nigeria and junior high school education as preferred now in Ghana, his dad took a job as a lecturer at University of Ghana. That is how Oge found himself in Ghana to complete both his secondary school and tertiary education and fell in love with Ama Armah and married her last two years.
I sound like I’m telling a tale because particularly I am. I am telling a tale of my two close friends and how they fell in love. And it seems my language is a bit queer. Pardon me. There is an excitement about this story that gives me jitters and makes me feel like I’m telling a love story purer than that of the Titanic to children gathered around a fire in the middle of the open on a moonlit night.
But I know you are all adults, well most of you, born in modern Ghana, speaking such fluent English, you’ll find this quite amusing to read so I’d behave in the modern way. This story is the Tale of whys; why Oge married Ama Armah on 25th of May, 2014 instead of Susan Briandt and why Ghanaian Jollof plays such a big role (even before it started trending on social medias and making Ghanaian women feel like such heroines and the men like supermen who have just conquered Nigerian Jollof and killed it in a great World War III never to be told). So now to the actual Tale of whys.
Ama Armah stood behind the counter of adb (ADB but why bother) besides herself. It wasn’t a good thing for her when salary workers aka civil servants aka monthly paid government workers trooped in for their monies. It was awfully hectic than serving the illiterate Ghanaian who’d walk in less pompous, with a ready smile and so much appreciation.
“Please write the amount here rather Sir.”
A man in his early forties pointed to the blank cheque as if he was new to it. That’s particularly what ticks her off, when they, literate, behave as if they know what to do and yet don’t seem to understand why they should do it. She looked away and rolled her eyes in hiding and forced to smile. Her face didn’t light up anyway.
“Yes please. And then join the queue again.”
“Why should I?”
The man retorted, putting his glasses back in their case.
Because you are literate but wouldn’t read first.
Ama fought the urge to just say it and hand in her resignation letter but she didn’t. Because she is a christian and this will be against everything she believed as loving and because she didn’t stand a chance of quick employment with such a record of bad customer service trailing behind her if she gave in to herself.
“Because you had to comeback to correct your mistakes and others in the queue may not allow you just joining again. Sit however. I’ll check with the tellers.”
Ama dashed with the cheque to behind the Tellers cages and in three minutes came back and handed cash to the man’s delight. She was allowing herself get annoyed about he not even taking the time to say thank you when she realized someone’s gaze on her. Oge had been staring at her flying relaxed hair and her lip gloss unknown to her for about 30 minutes before she noticed.
He walked up to her with a grin, having realized he’s been seen.
He stretched his hands for a handshake. Ama ignored it. Her mood wasn’t one for handshakes. Tearing papers, dashing glasses against a wall, yelling, laughing sarcastically, that’ll do.
“How may I help?”
She said bluntly. It came to her naturally. You know when you’re expecting for a guy who doesn’t want the responsibility and your mum says I told you so morning, afternoon, evening, night, dawn. Plus customers childish behaviors of wanting to be waited on. They bulk up, attack your cheeks and warn them not to part. I told you it comes naturally.
And oh I didn’t add she’s a church usher. Yeah.
Oge’s ego came forefront. Usually he’d keep talking and the ladies come around. They Laugh shyly and render an apology for not being friendly from start. But not today.
“You can get me my fixed deposit certificate. Paul Ogechukwu Layeni.”.
He said, the initial smile on his face gone. Ama hurried away.
Oge hissed to his hearing only.
Weren’t counter girls just extra staff kept in banks because of their beauty (Ama was. Black skinned. We’re talking deep black, fine hair, already tweeted brows and the balance of slim Ga and curvy Ga) to lure customers, whatever lure meant?
Oge don’t fume. She’d win.
Oge stood, his palms fixed firmly on the smooth counter made from black and white chipped stones.
What was so special about her?
Yet Oge saw she was special. Her frowned face draws him in. It doesn’t say go away. It’s inviting like saying come and stay.
Was he getting attracted?
No way he’d let himself go. Not to such an unfriendly banker.
“The manager says please check back on Wednesday,two days from today.” Ama avoided his face. “Next please.”
The first encounter ended here.
©M’afua Awo Twumwaah 2016.