Welcome. We’re on XXIII!! Thanks so much for reading and commenting and staying with us this far. Read XXII here.
“How long is the wait?” Sule asked pulling his car into a tiny space between two Trotros already packed and fighting over passengers. He gave a long sigh and adjusted the seat so he was nearly lying. He looked at Tara, busy on her phone.
“She’s who I’m texting.” She gazed at the phone’s screen awhile and put the phone on her lap. “She says ten minutes.”
Sule looked at his watch and nodded.
“Forgive me for making you late for your date.” She blew Sule a kiss and quickly changed her expression. “So, when are you having the straight talk with your dad?”
“I have no idea. The Lord will bring the right time.”
“Amen.” Tara closed her eyes and threw her hands up. Sule chuckled. “But Sule, you’re fortunate. My dad is worse. The man has succeeded in allowing no one use the truck.”
“How? I thought you were with the truck on Sunday.”
“Yes, I was. He took it out yesterday and returned with both headlights smashed and the engine not working.”
“He’s still your dad.”
“And so is yours.”
They both laughed. Sule looked at his watch again. He hoped Kukua’s ten minutes will end with the clock’s ten minutes. If he’s not on the Madina road before five, he will be stuck in heavy traffic.
“What’s the movie you girls are going to watch?” Sule asked and yawned, from exhaustion.
“I don’t know the title. A new James bond I think.”
“Thank you.” Tara rolled her eyes, whispering. “You’re amazing too.”
“No, I’m serious.” Sule supported his head with both hands. “First, you weren’t close to Kukua beyond good morning and not even half a year after she’s married, you two are best friends. So close you’ll watch a movie with her without bothering to know the title.”
“Oh. You’re jealous.”
Tara propped her chin, wriggling her nose.
“Jealous is wrong for no points. She’s female.” Sule said that, saw Tara’s eyes pop out and smiled, for regret. “Every male comes through me.” He said, high fiving himself in his head for how smart he was. “So, which male kept you from work yesterday?”
“Oh. Yes. Yesterday. I was worn out, too worn out. My legs won’t move from the bed and my eyes were barely opening.”
“I can imagine that. So, you didn’t get enough sleep because a male kept you up.”
“Precisely.” Tara said, clearly reveling in the moment. “I drove home from Kukua’s late Sunday after our youth group’s meeting. She’s in our church now…the husband…errm but I was upset by my dad when I got home so I drove off and packed few blocks away from Boy’s pub.”
Sule nodded. How many years has he prayed Boy’s pub will be out of business. They had the noisiest branch at Botwe. And then talk of the prostitution they cover up. But men love the darkness. Jesus is always right.
“I sat on my bonnet. Suddenly, a car was sloping in my direction. I jumped down, saw him, the guy, behind the wheels and drunk. I rushed toward the car, got him to press down hard on the brakes. His car was at the time few inches away from touching mine. I was relieved and climbing into my car when he started coming on me. Quite a struggle. Then a friend of his came out, saw us, apologised and took him away.”
“Funny though, he looked so much like the guy we met with Dzidzor at Tahil. But then you mentioned he churches with you and I know your church guys are…”
“Plus we all have people who look so strikingly like us.”
“Like how we look alike?”
“Yeah like that.”
They shared a brief laugh and went quiet. Sule loosed his eyes to roam. He scanned the bus stop and the hawkers crowding the place and the fancy Accra Mall opposite them. He smiled. The stark difference was glaring now that he pondered it. And thoughts of his parents’ conversation stole into his heart, threatening his peace. He shoved it into recall and focused on his session with Dzidzor. He was too certain this journey is bound to change him, his life, his being and should it, he’ll soon have to come clear with Tara and stop making silly comments. So help me Lord. He prayed silently and looked Tara’s way, wondering what she must be thinking on – his words that he wasn’t jealous because Kukua is not a male, her truck or her parents. Tara looked at him, her eyes pleading.
“I’ve texted her again. She’ll be here soon.”
Kukua grinned at them through Sule’s side, startling him.
Tara said, picked her bag and got down.
“Hi Kukua, congratulations too.”
“Hi and thanks.”
She smiled, broadly, and instantly Sule didn’t need to be told why Tara was with her.
Sule called and started navigating to join the opposite lane.
“Bye.” Tara responded and got close to the car. “Are we going back tomorrow to check the three spaces we found?”
Sule shook his head. “Too expensive.” Tara stepped back. He gazed ahead, saw a driver signalling him a pass and joined in. “And we’ll pass the blisters from their sharp gravels.” Sule waved. Tara laughed. Sule is not one for getting used to celebrity’s noblesse oblige.
The grey clouds quickly covering the Aburi skies bothered Dzidzor. She hoped Sule won’t change his mind. And she hoped he won’t have to be caught here with rains. She sighed and sat by her mum on the swing attached to their large front porch. The swing is her dad’s way of creating a romantic backdrop as he called it for conversations. Whatever it was, he was glad the blue straw chair wasn’t here to remind her of Matey.
“Dad said to tell you he’ll be home late. He’s checking the audit report with the finance team. You know we’ve cancelled this quarter’s dinner to hold a bigger end of year one in December. ”
“Mmm.” Senam put her hand on her lap, exhaled and closed her eyes. She loved the rocking from the swing. She opened her eyes and took Dzidzor’s hand. “Your dad and I aren’t in a hurry to give you away.”
“I know.” Dzidzor looked into her mum’s eyes. She let the tenderness soothe her. “I am not in a hurry either.”
“So tell me about Sule.”
“Mum” Dzidzor giggled. “I’ve told you everything I know about Sule.”
“Alright. What do you want to know?”
“What’s going on.”
“Nothing is going on mum. After the church incident, he apologized I think. We started texting again and I need a trainer at home so I contacted his gym and he’s coming.”
“That is because nothing is happening. I’m not in love mum. He’s not in love. In fact, he has a friend called Tara and they look good together.”
“Oh. You’ve found the time to analyze his friend.”
“Girls do that.”
“Girls who like the boy.”
Senam kept her daughter’s gaze and shrugged.
“Kate said the same thing when I hardly knew him. So, I’m thinking this is the status quo when figuring out if a girl is into a guy but that’s not really true. Not for me.”
“I’ll look for the other signs.”
Senam giggled. The gate opened and Sule drove into the house. Senam giggled again, hopped off the swing and left Dzidzor there.
“Here he comes. I’m going to get the smoothie I prepared for the welcoming.”
Sule got down from the car and waved Dzidzor. He got to the car booth for his training bag. He hung it on his shoulders and started walked towards Dzidzor.
“I made it.”
Sule pointed to his phone’s GPS. Dzidzor laughed.
Sule joined her on the porch. He looked at the swing curiously and then looked at her. Dzidzor knew what was happening. The whole house is a shock to him as to most people. She remembered the first day Matey came here.
“Lovely gym clothes.”
Sule caught her off guard. Dzidzor smiled, her face heating up.
“Thanks.” She stuttered. “Okay, so, let me take you inside and show you the gym.”
She opened the door. Senam stood there with a glass of banana and fresh yoghurt smoothie. Her broad smile made Sule laugh.
“Welcome honey. I’m Senam, her mum.”
Sule took the glass and clasped her for the handshake. He was firmer than appropriate but he was too surprised not to be. The mistress of the whole Target fortune he imagined was to make him squirm on their weird introduction.
Sule entered the grand living room. He immediately fell in love with the interior – vibrant and yet calm, rich and not extravagant. He stood assessing the space and then he saw the two Bulldogs lying lazily on their mats by the stairs. They looked up at him and dropped their heads without a blink. Senam tapped her daughter.
“Your dad’s inviting Sefa here for Sunday. Invite Sule too. I have already phoned in Freda and Kwaku.”
Senam smiled and left. Dzidzor showed Sule out of the hall, towards the back door. She walked beside him, her heart beating to unspoken desires. She wondered what life will be like forever walking by his side.
©M’afua Awo Twumwaah 2017.