Saturday has always been Sule’s me time. Besides attending Bible teacher’s meeting, he does nothing with another human. He doesn’t pick calls, puts his data off and even when there’s a football league he tries not to watch. Most nights, the me time actually involves a time with God. The two of them talking. Nothing intense. Serious of course but laid-back. Tonight was same except he couldn’t concentrate on one single activity but thinking about Dzidzor.
The whole night, Sule sat by his window wondering what will be tomorrow. He had his curtains folded up. He gazed ahead. Beautiful lights shone across the Adenta and Oyarifa environs. July was running too fast. Everything was going out of his control.
He’s been texting Dzidzor too much, happily. He’s already had two lunch dates with her though they both aren’t calling the outings dates. He is glad most days he’s wanting to contact her badly Dzidzor is not a WhatsApp person. She’s there alright but she isn’t there. He smiled and sighed. Almost immediately, a frown started to slowly form on his face. There’s some weird situation with Tara, a lapse in his relationship with her. She is becoming distant. She has turned more of an employee than his trusted childhood best friend. A conversation they had, the last real one before she coiled up took centre stage in his heart, somewhat dimming his growing thoughts about Dzidzor.
They, himself and Tara, were seated at their favorite eating spot, Wo bedidi. The name of the place besides the food is why they got stuck. Their local dishes taste amazing. Their international dishes are better than most at Atomic. Their name is however the most fun for them. Plus it was really a walking distance from the office – ten minutes worth maximum. Tara had taken to the local buffet. He ordered fries and fish. The sun was almost dimming and for a Friday, the restaurant was slowly getting filled up. They had sat at their usual spot by the aquarium and were already laughing when Sule’s fries arrived and Tara brought his uncle’s party on.
“Fun and family as every year. Francis asked after you.”
Sule answered to Tara clearly excited to talk. He had forgotten to fill her in the whole week. He had to interview for two new waiters and another cashier.
“That naughty cousin of yours”
Tara bit on her ripe plantain and fetched half a spoonful of beans unto her spoon.
“He said to tell you he has missed your palms.”
“He wants to get another squeeze of them under the pretense of dancing ha.”
“You said that last year.”
“Oh. He did through you so technically you did.”
Tara rolled her eyes and they both nibbed at their foods in silence. They weren’t in a hurry. Friday at Paps rewards with two hours of break time. They hadn’t used close to half an hour. Tara pushed back her plate and stared at Sule amused.
He had fish caught in between his teeth.
“You’ve caught fish.”
Tara had giggled and helped him see what she meant. He pulled it out and shook his head. They finished up the meal, ate the fruit desert signature of Wo bedidi, paid up and strolled back to the office. They laughed about an old couple who came by on what they suspected was a date at Paps yesterday. They will fight about every order and at the end burst out laughing. Like the joke was on the waiters and the waiters weren’t having any good time. Sule had called Tara for a meeting to discuss Paps Christmas party. They liked to sit down at one of their tables and buy themselves pizza for such discussions.
Then Tara wanted to talk about Dzidzor.
“She enjoyed herself?”
“A lot. I thought she’d hate it so I tried warning her not to drive me all the way to uncle’s. But she did.”
“So did the family like her.”
“Besides dad, I guess everyone did. Mum suddenly got all talkative around her. Apparently they read this magazine online.”
She had said it with a little crack in her voice. As if she shouldn’t ask perhaps. Then her eyes lit up like when she’s teasing and she smirked.
“You liked hovering around her. Meboa?”
Tara poked Sule on the arm and halted.
“She’s a nice person.”
He said and kept moving.
Tara caught up with him.
“You like her Sule.”
“Sule, you do.”
They were at Paps entrance by now. Sule decided to give in. He had smiled broadly at her, intending to get at her. He pored into her eyes and spoke.
“What if I did?”
Tara said that, pushed the door open, went straight to the office and that was the last real chat. And that was June. The last Friday in June. Today is July, the middle.
He yawned and checked his phone’s clock. Ten pm will be in a few minutes. He should perhaps retire for the day. He walked to his bed and put his phone’s data on. He was going to sleep anyway. Notifications started reading. A message from Tara rushed in with the rest. He hurried to his WhatsApp and read the message. She sent it just now. It said can we talk. Sule stared and after two minutes of indecision he pressed a side button and put the phone to sleep. The idea just struck him. Say Tara became distant because he said what if I did? about he liking Dzidzor, what will she do should it slip while talking he thinks he’s beginning maybe to love her? He crept from his bed unto his knees and clapsed his hands. He wasn’t going to lie and pray and maybe sleep. He needs to pray and sort this out soon.
And he was going to pray now. Doesn’t matter he doesn’t know the words to speak.
Dzidzor flushed inside and stirred the Garden egg stew a second time.
“Sweetheart, I’m saying the obvious. You admire a guy so much because of him you’re starting out a consistent time with God is a big deal.”
Dzidzor dropped the wooden ladle into the sink and returned her attention to her mum. It was almost ten pm. Maybe already ten pm and they were discussing Sule. Their kitchen was almost the size of a master bedroom, thanks to her mum. And her dad who’ll go to the moon and back if that’s what her mum wanted. Those two look helplessly in love everyday. She’s never even heard them have an argument.
“Mum. You are saying I can’t admire a friend?”
“That drastic? No. I think you like him.”
“Mummy.” Dzidzor coyed. “End of conversation.”
“I’m just saying the truth.”
“Then mummy you’re forgetting who your daughter is.”
“Precisely why I’m saying you’re crushing.”
Senam paused to allow Dzidzor laugh. She always did when her mum uses language she believes belongs in young people’s conversation.
“You never talked about Junior. Not even after one of your many dates. You met Sule for two lunch dates…”
Dzidzor poured herself a full glass of fresh milk and set it by her on the marbled kitchen counter.
“Okay. You met for two outings and I know his parents from your talk already.”
“Ok. Because you asked me why I wasn’t home for lunch and I explained. And I never hide any new friend from you.”
“Sule is a new friend?”
Dzidzor grinned and took the glass of milk.
“Church is at eight tomorrow morning.”
“We have you as a regular now then.”
Senam grinned at Dzidzor and got up from her seat.
“Your dad called.”
“I heard him.” Dzidzor frowned, pretending to sulk. “The baby wasn’t me.”
“You are my forever baby.”
She planted a kiss on Dzidzor’s cheeks and took her hands.
“l love you darling. I want the best for you. Don’t think I’m in a hurry to give you away to any man. I’m in no hurry.”
Senam smiled, her words resonating across Dzidzor’s soul. Dzidzor squeezed her mum’s hands and followed her out the kitchen. She kissed her mum goodnight on her cheeks and walked to her room, all her fears and insecurities waking.
Her mum’s words should have buried them but no. She set the milk on her study table and dropped on her bed.
She should pray. She’s afraid she’ll never match up to her mum’s womanhood, her dad’s business success and get back in shape to attract or keep a man. And now she couldn’t stop herself from forcing meals out of her however long she’s eaten them. Her mum may not be in a hurry but she is. She’s in a hurry to be the best her mum wants for her. Currently she isn’t that but soon she’d be. She’s going to get help on her knees.
©M’afua Awo Twumwaah 2016.