Thick clouds hang over Accra Central, stealing away the brightness all over barely minutes ago. The sun was sheltered and people hurried in different many directions. Kate hurried towards Tahil.
She was already 30 minutes late for her lunch time with Dzidzor and if she knew anything, Dzidzor would be as calm as it’d contrast the madness on going around her. A few things upset Dzidzor. The weight gain was one. No doubt they were best friends; a few things upset her too. Kate doubled her steps across the road to get to Tahil’s side.
But for the rain, there wasn’t a need to hurry. As to be expected, traffic was huge. Horns from cars added to the confusion on the streets. When the clouds changed colour from their glorious pale blue to this dark unwelcome gray, she panicked for leaving her Toyota home but actually now she was thankful. Navigating through the traffic and get to branch off to get a decent parking space at Tahil would have been a nightmare.
She entered Tahil and spotted Dzidzor without a blink. She was smiling, almost excited, at someone standing and stretching a hand towards her.
Kate’s lips gave way to a crack, beginning to form on their edge. Today is Tuesday. Today is when Dzidzor meets Sule a second time. She told her that yesterday. Kate hurried to the table.
“An outing is settled.”
Sule flashed his teeth at Dzidzor.
“I will do my best Mr. Tafuah.”
Dzidzor took Sule’s hand and pulled away as fast as she saw Kate hold her chair. Kate wore an unassuming face. Sule looked up at her, picked up his briefcase and looked a second time. He blinked, furrowed his browns, squinted his eyes and stood up straight, studying her face.
“Kwaku Gabrah’s wife?”
“I was hoping you forget so I can tell Kwaku about how you ignored me.”
“Lucky for me then.” He put his briefcase back and took her hand with both of his. “Nice meeting you again.”
“Same here. Except my free box of pizza, mushroom and beef topped with as much green pepper as Paps can afford didn’t arrive.”
“That’s me to blame. Quite forgetful.” Sule let go off her hands and grinned at Kate. “I’ll have Kwaku pick it up for you this Friday.”
“Thank you.” Sule glanced from Kate to Dzidzor. “Kwaku will soon be finding out about the IG comment too.”
Kate laughed and passed her hands over her hair, throwing off an imaginary strand.
“He has already. We’re married.”
“Kate and Kwaku are the real definition of one.”
“Sule have you rendered a proper apology?”
“I’m attempting to.”
“I hope it’s a success.”
“You have to put in a word for me. Dzidzor here says she’ll try to show up.”
“Consider it done. Time and place?”
Dzidzor turned her face to Kate and frowned. Sule smiled.
“Eight Saturday morning at the Old friends Gym. Dzidzor knows the place. Says she drives past from Madina a few times.”
Kate stifled a laugh.
“Ow. Alright. It’s a date.”
Dzidzor shook her head at Kate.
“Okay. Sule don’t pay attention to her. It’s not a date.”
Sule picked up his briefcase.
“Thanks for all the help.” He looked at Kate. She smiled. Sule turned full face to Dzidzor, as if dallying his look. “And thanks for meeting me again Dzidzor. I’ll let my P.A. email the other documents as soon as I get to work. Have a good day.”
“Good day too Sule.”
Dzidzor nodded her head lightly and took away Kate’s grip on her seat as soon as Sule was out of ear shot. Kate burst into an amused laughter. She took Sule’s seat and turned, watching him walk to his Benz.
“He’s handsome. A bit more than an average black man. Don’t you think?”
Dzidzor fixed her gaze briefly on Sule as he climbed into his Benz. He turned quickly, met her gaze, waved casually and started his engine. Kate waved back heartily. Dzidzor maintained a short polite smile on her lips and faced away as quick. Dzidzor glared at Kate.
Kate objected, her eyes widened. She picked up the menu. Dzidzor signaled for a waiter. Kate half-dropped the menu and pored at Dzidzor.
“So my friend here means she doesn’t notice nice men?”
Dzidzor hesitated, studying the entrance to Tahil. Kate followed her eyes.
“He’s gone Miss.”
“How are you such a pest Kate?”
“Because I love you Dzidzor.”
“When the food is ordered. I’m hungry. Here please.”
The waiter almost jogged to their table. A young man in his early twenties, light-skinned, what the locals call Ewe-fair, with small dancing eyes. His joy and enthusiasm cloaked him into an amusing ball.
“Your order Miss Awoonor.”
He smiled broadly at Dzidzor as if attempting to say yes, I know you. The threat of rain pouring was over now, the sun slowly taking its rule back in the sky. Kate warmed up to him. If he wasn’t a die-hard sanguine then he’s taken his lessons in waiting seriously. Dzidzor stifled an outburst of laughter at his expense and left Kate to speak. She did every time in most places then went to together anyway.
“Good. We’ll both have veggies sprinkled with chicken flakes.”
“A glass of fresh yoghurt?”
He tipped his head at Dzidzor.
“Fresh orange juice with lemon slices for us both will do. Thank you.”
Dzidzor pursed her lips, her face lit up. As the waiter skipped away, Kate exhaled.
“I can’t live with one.”
Dzidzor grinned. Kate brought out her purse and checked the time on her phone. Dzidzor looked on.
“Kwaku will be home soon?”
Kate shook her head.
“Oh no. I’m just checking how far spent the day is gone. Time seems to be racing nowadays.”
“June is almost over. Perhaps September just can’t wait.”
“Or he can’t to see you.”
Kate teased. Dzidzor tilted, her profile to the back door of the restaurant. The waiter was coming their way happily juggling two trays, one with their veggies and the other with their orange juice. He arrived in no time and went about setting their meal before them. Kate fished out a twenty cedi note and dropped it on the tray. He smiled.
“Enjoy your meal.”
“We can’t do otherwise.”
And with that, he turned round the corner and attended the next customers who had just seated. A family of four, husband wife and two young kids, the oldest five and the youngest two probably. Their deeply dark skin and the woman’s high scarfed hair made them look anything but Ghanaian.
Kate dug her fork into the veggies and emerged with slices of lettuce, tomato and green pepper. She raised them to her lips and stopped.
“Dzidzor please spill it now. The food is here. What do you really think about Sule?”
“I think he is okay and right now is looking to building his business rather than wooing a woman into love.”
Dzidzor sucked in more juice from the straw and stared at Kate. Kate chewed on the food, shaking her head as she did. She swallowed and picked up her glass.
“So you’ve already analyzed him to know he won’t want a woman now. That says a lot Dzidzor Awoonor and we both know it.”
“I’m just stating the fact. It’s obvious you’re pairing us up already.”
“Fine. Don’t admit he’s handsome. You’ll fall for him anyways.”
“Are you a prophet now?”
Dzidzor chewed on the only slice of chicken she had put in her mouth since the food arrived. However hard she tried, Veggies always looks like a punishment.
“You’ve forgotten so soon. I’m a prayer warrior too. I’ll be interceding you two together.”
“So unchaste and unashamed about it too.”
“What’s unchaste about love sweetheart? Love is a beautiful thing.”
“And as strong as death too sweetheart. That’s why love shouldn’t be awakened until it so desires.”
Dzidzor threw one tomato into her mouth and tossed her head at Kate.
“Shouldn’t be awakened? Madam, aren’t you tired of being single already?”
Kate took some more of the vegetables, looking into her plate, her face dulling.
And aren’t you tired of being married already?
The words plagued her; a part of the truth about her only two year old marriage with Kwaku she’s never allowed out of the cupboard. She was tired. She let the feeling go and looked at Dzidzor, somewhat lost in thoughts. She’s never gathered the courage to tell her about Kwaku’s affairs because she was scared of what it might do to her. Dzidzor already visibly seems to be struggling with a man wanting her for not more than her father’s wealth and now who would even want to flout her weight in public. She was scared Dzidzor will be run out by fear of failure if she ever dared share the affair. If she and Kwaku have problems, what couple then will not fall apart?
“Enough thinking already.”
Kate wore her bubbly exterior and smiled at Dzidzor.
“Answer the question your highness. Aren’t you tired of being single?
Dzidzor sat back, her shoulders slumping a bit.
She stared at Kate for a bail out. Kate stared back adamant. Dzidzor lifted her fork, punching it into the air as she spoke.
“There are days I am tired. I wish a man will come out of nowhere and sweep me off my feet and profess love like in the Disney’s and we’ll live happily ever after…like you and Kwaku…”
She made eye contact with Kate, smiling and then looked away, back into space.
“…there are days too that I’m scared not to be single. You know like singleness has its arms all over me in an embrace that will span into eternity…” She lightened up. “…of course till I die or Christ comes back.”
Kate laughed, taking away the momentary heaviness that took over their lunch time.
She stuck her tongue at Dzidzor and reached for her hand across the table, squeezing them reassuringly. Dzidzor smiled, her eyes slightly wet with emotion. Kate’s face fell into a solemn retreat.
“He’ll come. Twenty eight is not too old.” She rolled her eyes and wrinkled her nose.
“Maybe he’s Sule.”
Dzidzor laughed and pushed Kate’s hand away. She put her lips on the pink straw and drew into her mouth, the last of her juice. The words of Kate fighting into the untouched part of her heart.
Maybe he’s Sule.