So, this is the last chapter of #whenlovefindsyou. Really. I’ve enjoyed writing this story for you and I believe in many ways I’ve become a better writer, getting to see my weaknesses and strengths more vividly because of it. I think this story has a rather straightforward storyline and I hope you like it. I’m not certain what I’ll be writing next. But I’ll be writing so do look out for me. Thanks to all who read me and were patient through the many weeks I missed and dropped so many precious comments. Felix Writes, Eedbansah, Beaton, Somebody, Love What You Do, Loretta and any name I missed, special thanks to you, for staying through to read and dropping those precious comments.
“Go ahead.” Jonathan stopped the car right after entering Choice Events Park. He looked back at his wife and daughter. “I’ll get a good spot and see the manager briefly.”
Dzidzor fitted on her shoes and got down. She stood by her dad’s door, waiting for her mum. Jonathan took her hand and kissed them.
“You’re pretty.” He smiled broadly, his eyes lit up and tears of how differently things will be after tonight snuck up on them. He looked away quickly and blinked them off. “I’m a happy father to have you.”
“Daddy!” Dzidzor squeezed Jonathan’s hand. “I’m not going anywhere.” The surprise of how surreal the moment had suddenly become stood on her face. “Mum.” She moved so she faced the trunk of the car, where her Senam was walking from.
“Dzi.” Senam raised her head from her purse. “I’m ready to go.” She said with yet another broad smile. Dzidzor frowned, her demeanour playful.
“No. We aren’t going yet. Dad is being emotional. About what, I don’t know.” Dzidzor sounded almost helpless.
“He’ll be fine.” Senam joined Dzidzor at the door and kissed Jonathan. She stepped back and grinned at her husband. “Joe, better hurry to the manager’s office. He may not attend the dinner.”
“I totally forgot about the time. Go ahead.”
Jonathan drove on, looking back again at Dzidzor. When his eyes met hers, he smiled.
“He’s not himself.”
Dzidzor walked by Senam.
Senam dug into her purse for her phone.
“Dad.” Dzidzor studied her mum. “No. In fact, both of you. You’re too excited and he is behaving like he’s going to lose me.”
“You think so?”
“I can see all right mum. I’m suspecting something. I hope it’s not a plot to talk me into chasing after a PhD or anything.”
Senam stopped and found her daughter’s eyes, taking her hands as she did.
“We’re parents, your parents and we’re bound to be emotional some days. Especially when your only child is growing so fast.”
Dzidzor doubted her mum and she wasn’t about hiding that. Senam shrugged.
“I don’t know. Why today? I don’t know.” She squinted. “Oh there… Freda… Sefa…. I see Fiona too.” She squealed. “We better get to the red carpet and be done with the pictures.”
“I think so.”
Dzidzor followed her mum, fearing to search through the building crowd for Sule. Guests were already in and she could hear more cars come in.
Remember you’ll be happy.
She prepped herself and waited as her mum took her pictures. She took a few shots with her, a few by herself and followed her into the crowd. She wouldn’t have imagined this space anywhere in Ghana: not that she’s travelled Ghana that much herself. But right in the heart of East Legon, she didn’t think such a park was available. She loved the bold bright yellows and pinks and blues and reds that covered the whole place. No wonder she wasn’t on the committee. She wouldn’t have dreamt of or agreed to such a grandeur occasion. She was beginning to wonder how much was spent.
“Who looks so good in fifty. Everyone is staring.”
Someone whispered from behind her. Dzidzor turned and there was Kate.
“I don’t see any eyes.”
“Mmm… Really… I see at least one, walking up to us.”
Dzidzor turned again.
“I love how fifty kilos look on you and I like this black.” Sule had a serious intent look on his face. Dzidzor’s wore a gown, flowing from her waist to her feet, with a lower slit cut at the back and the gown ending in a beautifully intricate lace from the end of her shin.
“I’m sure you do. Thanks.”
“Always. You look amazing.” He swallowed, put both hands in his pocket and stepped back. “Bye.”
“Bye.” Dzidzor grinned at Kate. “He doesn’t look bad in that suit.”
“Like he looks like a man you’re helplessly in love with?”
The two walked to an empty table.
Dzidzor sat and pulled Kate’s chair back for her.
“He went to see Matey. He should be here very soon. He’s even late.”
Kate laughed, getting up to hug her husband, Kwaku.
“Talk of a person and he appears.”
“Especially of a person you love with all your makeup.”
“Especially that person.”
Kate kissed her husband. Dzidzor laughed.
“I won’t want a weird inside joke like this one.”
“Because you’re not romantic.”
Kate teased her friend and took Kwaku’s hands.
“How is he doing?”
She swept a look Dzidzor’s way. She didn’t want to make her uncomfortable.
Dzidzor mouthed so Kate could read on her lips and listened to their conversation. She wanted to know how he is too. She’s not gathered enough guts to go visit the other two times her mum did at his home.
“So, he’s going to have to stay put for two more months?”
Kate asked a question from what Kwaku had answered. Matey had been advised to stay put in bed awhile. He would have weekly physiotherapy sessions and nurse visits. That’s as much movement as he could make.
“Perhaps. He said it depends heavily on his progress reports from the physiotherapy.” Kwaku searched around him. “Have you spotted Freda anywhere?” He wasn’t keen on the conversation at a place like this. There were some details he’d only share with Kate. And especially now with Dzidzor seated here.
“Freda is catering. I doubt she’ll be walking anywhere around here.” Kate glanced around them. “Not now anyway. They’d be looking at serving drinks soon.”
“I’ll go find her. She’s supposed to turn in the last of the signed documents today. She told me she’ll meet me up with it. It’s better to get it before the evening carries us away.”
Kwaku stood and left their side.
“He’s always working.”
Kate stared till he was talking with one of the waiters, who had just begun walking in.
“Hardworking men are hard to find.”
“Have you met Tara?”
Dzidzor was glancing at Sule’s table. She could see Tara’s afro. Her back was facing her direction.
“She came over to say hi earlier. They were here before I arrived.”
“He doesn’t like her.” Kate said matter-of-factly. Dzidzor gave her a look. Kate dropped her phone. “Sweetheart, I’m serious. The guy has been looking our way for forever. When your butt touched this chair till now.”
“I haven’t seen that.”
“I’ve been telling you you have to order for yourself a pair of romantic glasses. You see nothing till it happens. Bam.”
Kate clasped her hands. Dzidzor chortled.
“I’m calling the waiter for drinks.”
“Keep running away from the subject.”
“I’ll do my best…here, please.” Dzidzor waved the waiter. “Freda’s last catering…”
Dzidzor studied all around her.
“We’ll all miss her.”
Kate bit on one groundnut she picked from the chips and groundnut on their table.
“She’s following her heart.” Dzidzor sighed. “What do I hear about someone going back to medicine?”
“I thought it’s time. The babies haven’t chosen my womb yet.”
She picked up the program brochure.
“Opening Prayer and welcome speech in two minutes.” She looked around. “Who’s the MC? And where’s dad?”
“You don’t know?”
Kate stared at her wide-eyed.
“They kept me clear off the committee and its activities. Even dad didn’t feel me in.”
Kate passed her fingers across her lip, twisting it.
“Even you know. Great!”
Dzidzor drew on her drink.
“Oh, there’s dad.” She got up. Kate pulled her back. “I won’t be left alone. Besides I see an MC.”
“Of course.” Dzidzor dropped into her seat. “If not Matey’s accomplice.”
Kate choked. She covered her mouth with a handkerchief.
“You made me choke.”
“No one told you to laugh.” Dzidzor watched Junior taking his place by the crowd. “I should go and say hi to your Papa and Maa before moving about gets too awkward.”
“Be back soon.”
Kate helped put Dzidzor’s chair back in as she walked away. She surveyed the place for Kwaku and without the hope of him coming any moment soon, she opened her WhatsApp and sent her dad a message. It read *proud of you*. She knew he’ll understand. He had picked Fiona, her mother who had left both of them when she was too young to know who she was and came back into their lives in some of the most bizarre circumstances, up and was seated with her at the same table. Glancing there once other twice, she saw him introducing her to one or more people. They had discussed this, he said he’ll introduce her as a friend. No need for people knowing yet. She was fine with it. What matters most is that his heart has healed, emotionally. They were praying for the physical one still. She looked over at their table and saw Dzidzor smiling broadly at them. She looked up. Junior, the MC was beginning to welcome and call for attention. The place settled and one of the staff at Target she didn’t know gave the opening prayer. Dzidzor’s dad gave the welcome message and gave a brief outline of what today’s dinner is and the live band took over. Dzidzor joined her.
“It looks like everything is going quick.”
She sat and passed her empty glass to a waitress.
“It’s almost 5 pm.” Kate glanced towards where Kwaku has vanished to again. “I wonder what’s keeping him.” She was clearly becoming impatient.
“He’s maybe speaking the legal language.”
Kate laughed and gently shoved her friend.
The waiters came around taking orders for the starter after Junior announced. Soups, salads and spring rolls and the quiche family. Kate went for a bowl of soup. Dzidzor would have nothing.
“He’s doing a good job.”
Kate nodded towards Junior. She saw Kwaku walking briskly towards them.
He sat down and set down a glass of mango juice.
“They needed help to move a few of those heavy duty cylinders around.”
“I see. They’re cooking everything hot and fresh?”
“Some I think. I didn’t ask. Junior is the MC?”
He downed half of the glass and sat back.
“When are we hearing the reports and how rich my children are going to be?” Kwaku played with Dzidzor. “You’re their godmother.” He grinned.
Dzidzor flipped through the brochure.
“Soon. It says here, after the starters.”
She smiled and turned in her chair. Her eyes met Sule’s and she looked away. Whether or not he saw her. He was helping Tara back into her seat, holding her purse for her and sharing with her a joke that seemed to make her laugh till she topples over. She buried her eyes into the brochure. But the whole time the starters were being served, she was sure they were engrossed in some conversation. Was she jealous? The thought crossed her mind and made her want to cry. She closed the brochure and walked out of the place. The huge park had terrazzo and tile clippings floor with the lawns lining and circling in between beautifully. She had seen a few persons from popular news channels hanging around. She did her best to avoid them and walked to the parking space. She sat on the short wall. Her face almost lost in her lap.
Lord. I love him. I do. But please help me live. I want to still breathe and be free no matter what. I want to be happy without Sule or with him. I don’t know. Just please help me.
She said her words with all the passion inside of her heart.
She wouldn’t have lifted her head if the voice wasn’t so familiar. She locked eyes with Sule and looked away. She was glad she wasn’t crying.
“I… Yes… I’m alright. Just taking fresh air.”
Sule sat by her.
“I don’t believe you. Should we pretend though?”
Dzidzor sat still. She had no words.
“Is it me?” Sule asked. “I saw the way you received the compliments earlier. I thought I’d done something.”
Dzidzor shook her head.
“It’s me. I’ve been thinking a lot lately.”
“You want to share?”
“I…” Dzidzor heard her name over the microphone. “I need to go. The report is my take on our chairman’s behalf…Thanks.”
She hurried off. Her heart pounding.
*Thanks for showing up.*
She prayed again. Exactly what was she going to say when she opened her mouth to speak. She hurried to the microphone, introduced herself and spent the next twenty minutes talking about Target’s growth over the years, their twenty-fifth anniversary next year, their plans to go public in ten years time, their success projects, their CSR focus for the next five years, which is rural girls empowerment and how they couldn’t have succeeded without the current supportive government policies, Ghanaian’s mentality for supporting Ghanaian companies and God. She smiled and walked off to her table. The claps went on for another minute and then Junior took over and the chairman and the board took a round of question from the media and guests for thirty more minutes. When the session was ended, she realised Kwaku had left the table and returning and Kate wasn’t there.
“Where did you both go to? Where’s Kate?”
“Washroom.” Kwaku gulped down his soup. “Kate felt a bit nauseated. She’ll be here soon.”
The main course menu was announced and orders were being taken when Kate walked back.
“I’m tired.” She sat back. “The soup smelt of garlic.”
“Really.” Dzidzor smelt a bowl. “Can’t smell it.”
“I told her it may be just hers or she tasted it wrong.”
Kwaku lent his voice to the conversation.
“I’ll take just vegetables and fish if there’s enough.”
“Banku and Tilapia and vegetables, please.” Kwaku said. “Kate?”
The waiter strode off.
Dzidzor looked with concern at Kate.
Dzidzor turned to Sule.
Kwaku shook hands with him.
“Can I steal Dzidzor away?”
Kwaku winked at Sule. He laughed. Sule glanced Kate’s way.
“Are you alright?”
“Sure will be. Take her away.”
Sule and Dzidzor laughed as they left. They walked to the parking lot and sat.
“Tara doesn’t mind?”
Dzidzor avoided his eyes.
“I came because of you.” Sule’s voice was firm and clear. “She knows. She’s okay with it.”
They sat quiet for a whole minute. The sun was setting and casting its yellow light around.
“Dzidzor…” Sule slipped his hand onto hers on the bare wall. “I think…no…I’m too certain that I love you.” Dzidzor raised her eyes to Sule’s. He went on. “I carry you with me wherever I go. This month, I’ve not been sure I can’t live wholly without another human like I have thought of you.”
Dzidzor was lost for words. There was too much she wanted to ask, to say, to be sure of.
“I’m sure. I love you. Every waking day reminds me of you. Every night on my bed reminds you of losing you, living without you. I want you to please give me a chance.”
“Gym partners for life?”
Sule’s eyes were a determined pair that bore into Dzidzor’s soul, saying all the words in between lines he couldn’t. Dzidzor nodded and hugged him then she pulled away.
“My dad? And mum?”
“I’ve asked them.”
Sule winked. Dzidzor rushed back into his arms.
“Don’t cry.” He rubbed her back. “I like the makeup.”
Dzidzor pulled away, let her heart lose to believe this moment and then she hugged her again.
“They should have brought our foods now.”
“And can we not tell anyone yet? I’d announce it myself soon.”
Sule asked. Dzidzor nodded, wondering why the announcement. He took her hand and walked her back to her seat.
The main course flew by for Dzidzor. Her heart wasn’t still settled right in her chest. Her mind was off making up a million proposal scenes. She wondered how long before she bursts containing the excitement alone. That is when Sule’s name was mentioned over the speaker by her dad. It was a client testimonial they said.
Dzidzor watched him with pride. Even though he wasn’t really hers yet. She smiled to herself, her heart warming in places she hasn’t felt before. Sule took the microphone but she was distracted by Kate. She was rushing yet again to the bathroom. She watched Kate and Kwaku go again. Kwaku rushed back to their table and packed his keys.
“I’m afraid I have to take Kate to the hospital.” Kwaku picked her purse. “She says no but I’m insisting. You know how stubborn she can be. She says she needs her purse too. We’ll be back here before we go.”
He ran off.
*Please protect her Lord.*
She prayed again, for the third time this night. She loved the way prayer comes easy to her now. It was a story only half a year ago.
*My love life too.*
The thought came to her. That’s when she remembered Kwaku had been talking. But he was gone and another client was talking. She listened to him. He was man David had stepped in for him. She looked at David and waved. She’s barely spoken to him tonight.
The announced, wearing large smiles on their faces.
“What?” Dzidzor looked from one to the other. Kate rubbed her tummy. “What!!” Dzidzor covered her mouth. “No kidding?”
Kate shook her head. I suspected last week so I bought the test kit and left it in my purse. That’s why I needed it. She explained as Kwaku held on, squeezing her hands.
Dzidzor’s teared up. She went into it with her handkerchief. She was doing her best not to get them into her mascara when her name came over the microphone again and she saw Sule with it again.
Was it the announcement?
She asked herself as she walked up to him.
“We have something to tell you…” Sule smiled at Dzidzor and then looked towards Tara. Her smile was sure even in the growing darkness. “…but before that…” Sule pulled out of his pocket a ring. “I’ve said all my lips can…” Sule knelt. He didn’t lose contact with Dzidzor. He cherished every muscle move of her face. “Please marry me…” He pushed the ring towards Dzidzor “… It’s sudden but I’ll wait for how long till you want the wedding date…”
Laughter and cheers run through the audience.
“I’ll marry you, Sule.”
Dzidzor said still awestruck. After the ring was slid on her left middle finger, she fell into Sule’s arms and pulled away only to hug her parents and Kate and Freda and receive the congratulatory messages from the guests. As the live band took over and Dzidzor looked up at the stars, hand-in-hand with the man she’s sure to spend every morning of her life with, she laughed hard. Perhaps the cameras caught it and she may trend. Whatever happens, she was too elated to care.
Your way Lord.
Dzidzor laid her head on Kwaku’s shoulder. She closed her eyes, soaking in this moment, this dreamy moment that will be framed forever in her hearts no matter how perfect a picture is captured of today. What’s to care about the comments section now.
~ THE END ~
©M’afua Awo Twumwaah 2017.