“I called Kojo to order breakfast for you. Fresh milk and a pastry and fruits.”
Dzidzor planted a kiss on her mum’s cheek and hurried down the stairs. She slept straight from after church yesterday and only woke up when her mum splashed water over her face this morning. She didn’t think she was that tired but apparently, her body said another story.
“And” Senam called after Dzidzor. She made an abrupt stop and looked up at her mum. “I finished that work for Kusi Cement for you.”
“Mummy.” Dzidzor hurried back up the stairs, juggling her work hand bags. She hugged a beaming Senam. “Thank you.” She looked intently into her mum’s eyes. For about fifteen years, Senam served as the Target’s marketing and brands manager. She trained Dzidzor all of her university days and in her level 400, handed her the position for an early retirement. As a kid, there were days she was convinced her mum hated her much like every other kid maybe. But on days like this, she can’t get over how silly those thoughts were.
“Better rush off.”
Dzidzor giggled, raced into her car and sped off.
When she got onto the Adenta-Madina road, she was convinced God was doing her a huge favor. Of course, traffic doesn’t build around 9am usually on the route but there wasn’t even cars to keep her a minute later on the road. Commercial drivers are either on a strike or a bad prank has been pulled on users to prevent them from taking the route. She put on her radio and tuned into a random morning talk show. Politics, as usual, was the subject matter. Discussions surrounding politics is her least favorite radio segment but Kojo is gradually convincing her to become a patron. In her opinion, they were filled hugely with propaganda. But Kojo can make a good case for anything so she’s buying into the idea that it won’t hurt to hear the issues and dig deeper into the stories later herself. In any case, she was tired of being in the stands during an election. Next year, she was planning to go and allow her thumb make a decision. The stolen mantra case was being discussed. She drove past the ridge hospital and joined the now building traffic. Working inside Accra Central is unpleasant only because of commuting difficulties – today’s didn’t irk her much, however.
The host on the radio was saying the case may linger in court possible a month more than planned. New evidence of an insider in the opposition selling the mantra to the party in power to apparently raise funds for their campaign has been found. Dzidzor exhaled. Politics is one crazy business. She wonders who made it such a lucrative venture. More of a multi-billion industry on its own.
She thought of Kate. She’s not heard much from her the past week. After they discussed her dad’s heart condition, they’ve not met up for their usual lunch times. Kate said she wanted to be indoors a while. They’ve stuck to calls and texts and Skype. This week though, she’s been consumed by thoughts of her own. She hardly sat to consider how her friend may be doing. On their last Skype, she looked plain, no emotions. She barely mentioned what’s happening with her marriage when she asked. Actually, it had seemed to her that Kate avoided the subject altogether. She will call her today and pray for her heart as well. That’s what she’ll do.
Dzidzor pulled into the grand parking space in front of Target’s towering building that served as their head office. Kusi Cement’s representative, their pastor’s nephew should be already seated in the client’s conference room waiting. She checked her wristwatch for the time. Fifteen minutes past 10am. She got here in an hour and fifteen minutes.
Thank You Lord.
She mouthed to herself. This should be recorded a miracle. She packed up her bags and run through the door into the large reception hall. She loved the vibrant blue walls and dull brown tiled floor. The contrast makes her feel alive and ready every time she steps here. She dashed to the reception desk and signed for her office keys.
“Nice day Miss Awoonor.”
Naki grinned at her and handed her the keys. She made to go.
“Miss Awoonor…” Naki called after her. “The elevator isn’t working, please. I’m afraid you’ll have to use the stairs. Efie services are on their way to take a look.”
She gasped and made for the stairs. Nothing better than panting and looking sweaty for a start on a Monday morning. Nothing better. She frowned and then began to laugh, sweeping her palms across her brows. Sule on their last lunch had said the same thing. Miss Awoonor, he said, his face glowing from the excitement from teasing her as he did few times, I’m afraid you’ll have to use the stairs. He was trying to get her to start the plan for her weight loss program. She felt her heart fall flat. He’s also perhaps walked away and on like the rest.
Junior wore an amused face as she accidentally bumped into him. He was on the same floor with her, few offices away. She stopped.
“Junior, hi.” She hung the laptop bag and held onto her handbag. She forced a smile, her heart growing anxious to leave. “I wasn’t watching my way. Sorry, I bumped into you.”
“That’s fine. My body at least got a feel of yours.”
He leered, his intentions hanging in the air. Dzidzor nodded and tried to move past him. She remembered this is why she said no to his interests in her. He was flirty. She hated men who drop flirty words in any given opportunity, even if they never act on it. He was also bossy; flirty and bossy.
Junior whispered into her ears.
“Have a nice day.”
Dzidzor hurried past him and walked into her office. The nerve of him.
Go to hell Mr. six feet, dark and hairy every girl’s dream. You aren’t mine. You think every girl you want should just fall for you. And why shouldn’t I because you’ve got dad’s five-star rating approval.
She sat down seething. As much as it is up to you be at peace with all men. I’ll give you rest. Fragments of scripture she’s dared memorized started floating in the waters of her soul.
“Alright Lord.” She blinked slow and hard. “I’m going to let him go.”
“You are saying?”
Kojo came out from her washroom.
“I was saying to myself. And how did you get in?” Dzidzor realized she had just stormed into her office, didn’t use her keys.
“The spare on my keys.” He sat and plopped sanitizer into his palms.
“Oh” Dzidzor touched te edge of her hair nodding.
“Junior and myself met with Kusi Cement. They loved the proposals for marketing the plus size range.”
Kojo eased into the chair, almost laying his head on the arm.
“Yes, the one you emailed me late last night.”
She shared a quick look with her window. Mum did send the mail. She squatted and emerged with two bottles of water from the fridge. She thrust one to Kojo’s chest.
He took it, rolled off the cap and took a long gulp.
“Good news. I can catch my breath then.”
“For fifteen minutes and we’re on for the CSR meeting with the CEO.”
Dzidzor set her laptop on her desk.
“You’ll be welcome after lunch on you.”
Dzidzor winked at Kojo and turned to her notice board. Nothing new or emergent. Of course,on except notice of the quarterly worker’s night out. She stayed on the blue small sheet awhile.
Matey’s arm was finding her waist. He was laughing and turning her in no proper dance motion on the dance floor. Then they started jumping and shouting “yeah, yeah” and laughed until they fell into a hug and he pecked her on her hairline.
Tears stung her eyes. She inhaled once and sat down. No need reminiscing. She wasn’t going to allow him hurt her a second time. She isn’t going to allow anyone. She sat and got her breakfast pack to the left of her table. She looked back at the meal, her appetite dissipating. She pulled out the cold yoghurt and put the lunch pack back. She put the straw in her mouth, closed her eyes and drew in mouthfuls of the yoghurt.
She saw Matey again. He was on the porch, seated facing her in her dad’s favorite screaming blue straw settee. The clouds were turning dark, casting gloom over the moment appropriately. She’s been sick – cold and wrapped in a thick leafy green blanket. Matey’s head was bowed and saying words she hated to bring herself to understand.
“I…Dzidzor I love you…” He said them like one would recite an obituary. Her skin refused to be warmed by the words. She knew he was going on to bad news. He continued. “I love you…” He had lifted his face to hers. His eyes were filled with regret, already. “I will continue loving you Dzidzor but we can’t work.”
All this while, she was silent, sniffing to stop any tears from falling before she could make sense of Matey’s speech. Matey stopped speaking and stared at his feet, sticking out from his slippers. Dzidzor followed his gaze, studying his feet with him. She’s always teased about his big toes. She’s dreamt a million nights when she’ll have these feet across her lap. She’s dreamt when she’ll be the wife of the only man she loved and will ever love. She found her voice.
“We can’t work?”
Her voice cracked an unbelieving smile creeping from the sides of her mouth. He may be kidding. But her gut told her he isn’t. And her mind told her today isn’t first April. He must be serious.
“Yes.” Matey responded and was on his feet the next second. “I am sorry I dragged you this far but we can’t work.”
“Don’t say that again. We can’t work…We can’t work…We can’t work…”
Dzidzor was shivering, she clung to the blanket, willing to block her ears to stop hearing the statement.
“We can’t…” Matey was near tears. He turned to leave, the footsteps too heavy to take.
“Why?” Dzidzor was on her feet. “Why can’t we work?”
“We can’t…We just can’t.”
And Matey was gone. He walked away from their flourishing love story and left her dead inside.
Dzidzor had shouted after him as he navigated his car out of their parking space at their home at Dansoman. The tears run down her cheeks as she mouthed why to herself. She sat there praying the twenty minutes of conversation a bad dream or a prank God was pulling on her – you know like how people talk about God bringing tests.
She started coughing. She had drawn too much yoghurt into her mouth. Kojo stared at her from her door.
“We’ve been waiting for five minutes now.”
“Oh. Yeah. The meeting.” She grinned, popping out her eyes. She picked a small notepad, a pen and her cup of yoghurt.
Dzidzor shut her door and walked side by side with Kojo.
“Two things you should know before the meeting. First flowers arrived for you at the reception. Reads from Matey. I told them to hold on to it. Second news has it that Tahil is shutting down.”
Dzidzor stopped walking.
Tahil is what matters out of the two. She already had her suspicions Matey won’t settle for no response to his text. What surprises her is why he seems to want her now. Now with her weight.
“I’m afraid yes. You haven’t been at Tahil a while.”
Dzidzor nodded. Almost a month. She couldn’t have heard. But they were getting more customers just a month ago than all the years she’s been there. What could have gone wrong?
“I’m mentioning so you can suggest Tahil to the CSR team. We can always investigate later.” Kojo finished.
“Sure.” Dzidzor smiled at Kojo. “Hey, thank you.” Kojo winked.
They took the stairs to the next floor and hurried into the large conference room. Rumour has it that if chairs aren’t so spaced out, and the large overbearing air conditions are replaced by ones fixed inside the walls, the room should be able to seat a thousand people.
“Almost ten minutes late.”
Jonathan Awoonor gave his usual welcome for meetings and grinned at his daughter.
Dzidzor sat and smiled at the CSR team. There was Hope, the CSR manager, James, her deputy and Boafo the secretary – the toughest ones to convince in taking any case not any wave within direct corporate interest. She told herself to relax. She could see Freda’s smile, meeting her and making fresh milk feel like cake, her servant heart, her extreme thankfulness to her long dead grandmother. Should Tahil close she’ll miss her so bad. She owes her this.
She could be to Freda her grandmum; give them back their livelihood. She’ll make sure of it in the meeting.
No matter how heated the argument gets.
Author’s note: We’ve missed a week but I’ll make up with another post on Friday. I believe you’ve been doing great over last week. As usual, I’m glad you’ll spend time to read #whenlovefindsyou. Have a blast in the mid-week;););). And oh a lil update from me, I’m finally back to Accra now and I’m also working on a special I’ll release probably on PDF for Christmas. Yes! Yes! Be expectant.
©M’afua Awo Twumwaah 2016