Joymanda requested for more and I’m giving in so here’s the second encounter of #taleofwhys. Did you invite that Nigerian guy?
As you may have guessed and so very right, the second encounter was on the said Wednesday Oge was to go back for his Fixed deposit certificate. What you haven’t guessed and if you did, I’m dead sure you did wrong is that Oge was disappointed that Wednesday and carried it through till Sunday.
The thing is poor Oge couldn’t get Ama’s face off his mind that monday, all night. At a point, you might think he was haunted by it. He laid in bed with his TV on, for the company, most people do that when they are thinking, and played the whole first encounter back in his mind.
He revisited how it actually went, how it could have gone if Ama was nice, how it would have turned up if he tuned his ego off, how maybe nothing at all would have come out of it.
Being told, I hold Oge was love smitten, or rather bitten. He was attracted and was working out all the logic of why. Married myself, I know how men can be.
On the chilly Tuesday night before the fateful Wednesday, Oge drove himself out for a walk. He determined to stroll the somewhat lonely dusty streets of Weija and have a man to man talk with God. I can’t blame him. Attraction can take its toll on us and leave us looking air-sucked. So you can picture it all right, a 28 year old man, walking with hands in his pocket, ear-piece in ears, talking with God about a 29 year old woman (Oge wouldn’t have even drifted a second in his thoughts if he knew she was a year older) he chanced upon in a bank he’s been visiting all, say most of his life.
And Oge did the funniest thing. He asked God for a sign. The story will unfold to reveal why it’s the funniest thing. First, Ama should be a good cook and for him, Ghanaian jollof will be the only proof. Did i mention Oge is a foodie? Also, he wanted to find Ama without any ring whatsoever, not even a purity ring like one his mentor once gave me and he wanted to find her a virgin. How he was intending to know she was a virgin that Wednesday I can’t tell.
By now you know why he was so disappointed.
On his first visit, Oge didn’t pay attention to Ama’s growing 12 weeks old bump on her tummy. He couldn’t have seen it, not with how well hidden it was under her gathered dress.
He had a good time strolling nonetheless. It showed on him on Wednesday, though nervous, he wore his favorite blue and baby pink stripped shirt and walked in jauntily with a smile he was sure nothing could fade, not even rudeness.
Another face on the counter met him. That was his first shock.
“That’s fine. How may I help you?”
The smiling red lip looked straight at him with such joy. Like how it’s advertised with air hostesses in planes. I’ve always been wondering if all air hostesses wear that smile for all airlines. Oge was however not interested in the smile or the face. He wanted to be over and done with it so he could scan around for Ama. Well, at that time, he didn’t know her name.
“You can get me my fixed deposit certificate. Paul Ogechukwu Layeni.”
He said the exact same words he spoke to Ama, just in a hurried and desperate tone.
“Please take a seat at the waiting area. I’ll be back.”
She made to go and then as if remembering something important in a split second, she came back to the counter and called for Oge’s attention. Oge of course was not seated. He was looking all around for a dark, very dark , pretty face to start a relationship on a good foot with.
“Excuse me please Mr. Layeni.”
Oge stepped closer to the counter.
“Have you been here before?”
“Yes. On monday.”
“May I ask who attended to you please.”
Oge has such a sarcastic sense of humor sometimes. It is most so evident when he was in a tight place like this.
“Sorry.” She, oh she is Susan Briadnt and we’ll meet her soon, simpered. “Who attended to you please.”
“I didn’t get her name.”
“Okay. I’ll talk to the manager and be back.”
Susan smiled the broadest, in Oge’s opinion – this opinion came much later, you see, on the Wednesday, he could see nothing but that he wasn’t seeing Ama – the flirtious smile he’s gotten from a banker. Minutes later, Susan came with Oge’s certificate. His spirit was getting crushed but it was soon revived, Susan called out Ama from the back office to attend a customer asking after his new account number. Ama had served him before the literate who wouldn’t read and Oge. That is when Oge saw it, a little bump sticking out from a fitting pencilled dress. If Nigerian men, all African men, were not so brianwashed not to cry (what they say is weak and feminine) Oge would have wept tears bitter than rains from a storm.
When I think about it, I don’t know which is better; that he saw Ama finally or that he shouldn’t have seen her.
Oge half-smiled at Ama and walked away from the bank, heart-torn. Talk of a virgin, talk of not having a ring. You see, though he was a doctor and was very much given to not missing details, the little bump he obviously saw for pregnancy and not a big tummy occupied him and so he didn’t look out for the ring. He concluded Ama was married. Taken.
So Oge mopped through the week thinking he’s lost one actual love at first sight. With no desire whatsoever, he dragged himself to church after talks with his camarilla. The guys decided to take him for a talk after the service and that was how he got the actual chance to talk with Ama.
Ama had decided to meet with Reginald, her fiance, ex now, to talk about the way forward with the baby. It was three months and she wasn’t willing to go through the abortion position Reginald held. Reginald didn’t show up. She sat, her hand lying gently on her bump, eyes teary and peering into a distance she only could imagine, all alone. It was at Pizza hut at the Accra Mall.
Oge pointed her out to his six friends. He looked like my son pointing out his favorite candy to his father from a moving van. The excitement was that real.
“She dey preg?*1“
Dan asked surprised.
“Yeah. You know kai s3 I speak say the girl dey preg day two ah e see am?*2”
King sipped on his coke, with a slice of beef filled pizza in his right hand.
Dan’s eye was fixed on Ama. It was a good thing her thoughts were touring the Disney World in the USA. She’s imagined her baby will one day be in a proper home unlike her with a present father who really cared. She’s imagined they’ll take a vacation and trip the whole of the Disney World no matter how many days it takes.
“I’m going to speak to her.”
Oge stood determined. Whatever it was, she looked a bit distraught and lonely. And chances are she’s having problem with the baby. He was a doctor right? He is called to help people with health concerns right? Ama to him appeared like a mother would who’s having first time pregnancy stresses. If she was in week 12 as he guessed, it must be tough.
So like a spiderman going to the rescue he took hesitant bold strides towards Ama’s table. The guys didn’t stop him. There’s an unwritten rule that except dude can’t be so trusted in a circumstance and will take an extremely foolish action, let him take the jump. And Oge hadn’t mentioned to them he thought her married from how she came accross the first time.
Oge had learnt so he changed his approach.
“Would you mind the company?”
His deep voice woke Ama. She smiled. He was taken aback. She smiles?
He sat down, a bit shaken. Oge had in those two minutes it took to Ama’s table prepped himself for the hard way. His approach was to be the Ghana-Brazil comeback style. Her sudden welcoming attitude, yes he saw it as sudden, alarmed him.
“You remember me right?”
Man wanted to be sure before halfway through conversation she pounches on him.
“I do. Paul Ogechukwu Layeni.”
He bit his lips shyly. Girl is impressive. He must make sure she wasn’t taken. He didn’t want a used woman – that’s how he used to think before allowing himself realize grace changes everything – but this one, this one, he can’t let go. He stole a glance at her ring finger and heaved a rather loud sigh.
“There’s a problem?”
Ama whose mood was beginning to lift because of the conversation asked curiously. She thought she might have missed a detail.
“You aren’t married.”
Oge said it before he realized. Ama smiled. She did. Instead of feeling insulted, as she normally did when the bump started showing, she saw a sort of relief written all over him. Her worth somewhat started to build. She noticed his heave was saying ‘I love you and I’m so glad you’re not taken’. Even if she just made it up, she stayed in it. It helped her cope with Reginalds distant act of punishment for a decision she won’t make. For her, an abortion after fornication to cover it all up is like stealing meat from the pot and drinking all the soup out so it seems the soup didn’t exist in the first place. We all know, it just makes your canes from your mother worse.
Ama dimpled up. Awestruck Oge sat for hours of ows and ahs and yhups and nopes and you’re kidding and yes I’m a doctor and your baby I’m sure will be prettier and that’s my number and sorry about the bank and I can pass for lunch and I’m glad you aren’t aborting and you cook Jollof? and that’s right and some guys out here are good and you live at DC? and oh a beige dress and honoured to meet you and I’ll drop you and all in and all those words that make us so light-headed when we see love embracing us like a warm sheet on a cold June night till his chamber was gone and it was so late when he got home that he couldn’t find his bed and ended up on the couch dreaming of a wedding with Ama in her beige slightly gathered wedding dress.
And there’s more to discover. Oge finds out about Ama’s age, about Susan and makes the choice with jollof and whose heart beats for God. Oh, he also learns God gives us who’s best not who we’ve dreamed most times.
*1 – She’s pregnant?
*2 – Don’t you remember that he said that on the day 2 or second day he saw her, she was pregnant.
©M’afua Awo Twumwaah 2016.