“Friday night isn’t one of my favorites anymore.”
Tara laughed at Sule.
Sule straightened the closed sign at Paps inn. He opened the door for Tara and stepped out quickly. For a guy, he was rather not a fan of staying late in the cold June breeze. He locked the security door and put both hands in his jeans to warm, zipping up his jacket first.
“Should I walk you?”
Sule stood still beside his childhood closest friend, now his personal assistant. Tara smirked.
“Please drive me.”
“Alright. I was hoping you’ll say I should throw the keys.”
Tara put her hands on her hips and rolled her eyes.
“I’m also cold sweetheart. Besides you’re the man.”
Sule moved to the driver’s door of his Benz, pulling his keys out of his breast pocket.
“Hey. You have to get the door too.”
Tara said pointing to the passenger front seat. Sule shook his head and opened the door for her.
“I’m pampering you too much.”
“You can’t help it.”
Tara laughed and fitted on her seat belt. Her cream eyes looked more beautiful in the dim moonlight. She turned on the radio and watched Sule come from the car boot. He got into the driver’s seat, strapped on his seat belt and drove out of the parking space – a tree some few steps away from Paps. It was designated for their parking lot anyway, when he’s able to make enough. He was hoping with every hope he had left in him that meeting that top marketer will make a difference. He feared he was riding too hard getting Target to put them in the public but he’s done all the math and thinking and that seemed the only choice left – that and shutting down.
Tara turned and shot Sule a stare. He slammed on the brake and came to a sudden halt.
“Thinking isn’t good for driving. You almost knocked the cat.”
She rolled her eyes and got down from the car, oblivious of the honking from the cars behind them. She picked up the terrified cat out of their way and walked back into her seat.
“I’m sorry.” Sule sped on. “Was way deep into my mind.”
“I’m glad that cat didn’t get hit. Did you see her brown fur? Absolutely precious.”
“I did. And the way you picked it up too, absolutely precious.”
“Don’t flatter me Mr. Just drop me home.”
“I will do both anytime I choose.”
“I won’t stop you.”
Tara looked out the window and stared at the moon. It was a quarter. The gray sky was closing in and gliding off it so gracefully. The moon always draws her in – the way it’s faithful to appear right after the sun, how it gives itself to a people today and another tomorrow, how it’s such a good support and makes the stars and skies more beautiful. She just loved the moon – if her parents could be like it, a little more supportive, more forceful, more faithful.
“We’re here now.”
Sule announced. Tara stared absently at the narrow path that led down to her home, sixth house in no particular order. There were times she couldn’t help but tell new friends she lives in the slum, playfully. And there were days it looked real. That she actually lived in the slums. Her neighbourhood could not be compared to the previously cluttered Sodom and Gomorrah but it hard a look of its own – refuse heaped to the sides of several houses, water from bathrooms running down the sandy street. Top up with two beer bars with noisy drunk men walking behind the windows of your bedroom at night.
“Glad to be moving?”
Sule gripped the steering wheel loosely.
“Sule you know I’ll miss Old Town terribly but my hood isn’t the thing.”
Tara unstrapped the seat belt and pecked Sule quick on the cheek.
“Transfer that to mum for me. It’s not yours.”
“You always say that.”
Sule chuckled, got down to get the door for her.
He pecked her and handed her her handbag from the backseat.
“Transfer to mum for me too. It’s not yours.”
Sule run to his seat and buckled up. He had to hit gym before ten. Plus today was the only day left to finish reviewing the documents he needed for the meeting with Target. Sule looked at Tara and grinned.
“And finish that bible study and give me heads up tomorrow.”
Tara rolled her eyes and took two strides back, watching Sule drive away. She waved and then took to the route home. Most nights like this one, she couldn’t help but think Sule probably was in love with her. They’ve been best friends since class five, liked the same things, knew both parents, looked so good together in pictures and now they work together. On few occasions, she was tempted to ask Sule what he thought rather than their usual discussions about what their friends think. But it always ended there. And she was glad she never fell for the temptation. She could be a good wife to him but she knew too much about him, his past to be fully submissive. This was the only thing she hated about the friendship – that she knew probably too much.
©M’afua Awo Twumwaah 2016.