NOT QUITE THE HONEYMOON

Yaaba:😭😭😭

Maame: Ayiforo!Why the tears? Sup?

Yaaba:🍆

Maame: Why? Is he not a man?

Yaaba: Maame that is not it, he is too much of a man!

Maame: What do you mean?

Yaaba: It cannot fit!

Maame:

Ah.. wait… 🤣🠊

But Kobby is so short and skinny, Sanaa he’s packed his height and weight somewhere!

Wait- are you for real?

Yaaba: 🙄I am going to pretend that you didn’t say that. Do I look like I’m Kalybos’ing right now?

Maame:

Wait- but – Ah it’s been it been almost a week!!!

Yaaba: I know!! Why do you think I am texting you?

Maame: but what are you using your phone for? Have you not asked brother google yet?

Yaaba: 😔Google is even more discouraging, I read the story of a couple who had issues for six months!

Maame: Eiiiiii! Eniɛ wear your seatbelt eh looool! How can you be virgining yourselves in marriage. Lol

Yaaba: This is not funny Maame, I think Kobby is very worried. I think there’s something wrong with me.

Maame: I am sorry. This is sensitive. Ok I am serious now. So, did brother google offer any solutions?

Yaaba: Well, there are recommended lubes to use.

Maame: And….?

Yaaba: We haven’t tried any yet.

Maame: Herh what do you mean by that? Or you naa you don’t want to do the do ehn?

Yaaba: I forgot to buy one!

Maame is typing

Yaaba: I know I messed up, stop writing the thesis!

Maame: Hold on, I need a second to process this. You mean to tell me that you, a virgin, who married another virgin forgot to take lube on your honeymoon. What were you hoping to happen exactly? Deliverance? It’s not as if both of you are criff too! I want to insult you but my fingers won’t be fast enough. Let me send a voice note.

Yaaba: Look who is insulting me, it’s not as if you would have done any better than I did. Mtcheew. The real question here is, how are we going to get the lube now?

Maame: Ah! But how is that my problem?

Yaaba: we went to the pharmacy to get some, but they have this weird type that I am afraid to use. I read about this XLube brand I think that would be best. I liked the reviews

Maame: Oh yeah I have heard about that brand

Yaaba: Ei are you not a virgin?!

Maame: Sister, Virgin does not mean my eyes and head, and my research faculties are virgin too. My eye red for my honeymoon wai. No child’s play there! I aspire to be too busy to know where my phone is koraa.

Yaaba: It’s ok, you don’t need to throw shades. I am already in the forest.

Maame: Lol ekutia biara nyim ne wura. So what’s the plan?

Yaaba: I want you to buy it in Accra, go to the cantonment pharmacy.

Maame: Herh you are a joke! Lmao! This has to make it to my blog! Lool “Girl sends bestfriend Sex Lube on her honeymoon! Rotflmao

Yaaba: What are friends for lol. This is May day, May day, Titanic Style🤣🤣🤣

Maame: lol let me rephrase: Girl saves virgin-bestfriend’s marriage by sending her emergency sex lube during honeymoon! Imagine the clicks, the views! I will hit roofffffff!

Yaaba: Maame be serious. Will you do this or nah?

Maame: Do I have a choice? Me I can’t look your kupe husband in the eye when I get there. We will all know what I am there for. Too awkward charle. I feel like I will never be welcome in your home after this.

Yaaba: Simple koraa. Send a delivery guy.

Maame: Waa look! She has answers for everything too! Sharp girl, sharp girl, you didn’t buy lube for your own honeymoon

Yaaba: lol,😘😘😘 I love you too! So you will send it in the early in the morning ehn?

Maame: Ei will they be open by 6am? I have to be at the Peace Awards meeting at 8.

Yaaba: Wo ni hao. They are a 24hr Pharmacy.

Maame: Boi, I can now tell that you are really desperate lol

Yaaba: I really am!!
We didn’t wait 4 years for this!!!

Maame: Of course you didnt! 100k wedding and the 16 Bridesmaids and groomsmen!

Nyinaa ekyere no show! You people shock fans herh!

Yaaba: Madam! I know I owe you for life, Issokay don’t play my apawa here.

Maame: you really do! I don’t know what can beat this! Breathtaking photos breaking the gram but you struggling to break the important tin🤣🤣🤣😭🤣😭🤣

Yaaba:🤦🏾‍♀️ I’m dead!

Maame: You’re no where close to death. You haven’t even closed your eyes to sleep. I’m going to dedicate a whole blog post to you! I’ll send you a text when I send the delivery guy.

Yaaba: You know this is why I love you right?

Maame: Oh gerrout!

My name Bi Bra Mate, Respect My Office

Mate no be easy job at all my paddy. You dey shout make passengers come tap your troski inside, you dey fight station masters den help your master dodge koti. You dey add plus minus, den times plus divide money all the time wey you san dey watch passengers we dey giddown, or enter di bus, or even change demma place so say dem no go pay lorryfare.

E hard waa, dat bi why  I no dey get pipo wey dey get angry if I ask where dem go giddown again. Sometimes them go biz me say dem tok nu I no hear? Anaa I dey bed for the job top? You bore too a them go tok say the customer always right, that matter diε one day we go talk am well. Riddee I no get plenty time, my boss go chop finish ridee, so I wan tell you  some tins we customers dey do wey dey funny me or bore me sometimes.

  1. Pipo wey no dey pεt

Last time some small boy bi come tap wana troski inside, some nyatinyati boy bi o. If I born early a, like my kiddie sef grow pass am. Guy, the boy tap for back seat o, wey e shout,

“Mate! My change!”

Herh the tin go me waa. I tell am say e do a, e for respect people wey grow pass am. I tok am say e for call me ‘Bra Mate’ san add ‘please’ to what e tok. “Charle, commotion pae! the troski inside turn butubutu. The old pipo all dey gree plus me, e lef one woman bi pε o.Ein pε collect the matter for ein eye under. E say e gree say the kiddie for add please but e nor for add Bra biaa sake of Mate bi title. Wey e san ask me say if I go hospital a, I dey call the Doctor ‘Bra Doctor’ anaa?

Herh I conf! The woman use format bab me one time. That gbεkεtee I go the Café we dey for my junction top wey I ask Akoto, the guy wey dey run the place say make e print something give me. I tok say make ein print

MY NAME BI BRA MATE

RESPECT MY OFFICE

 No be ein norr dat? People dey tink say them be quick, dem nor kno  say I bi hurry up.

  1. Pipo wey dey wan teach you blε

E do a, dem wan tell you how you for do your work sef. Like di oda day this chick tell me say e go drop for Jah Love. Bet the way ein tok di tin I no fi hear sef. Ein mention am some kain way be lidat. Ebi the guy wey dey tap by am who mention am make I hear well. I tell am say e do dem for open demma mouth tok well. There norr shoddy turn professor. She say we mmom we no dey tok am well. E do a these chicks dem dey tink say we no tap class before eh, so dem wan rush us. I take am go school one time.

“when you be kiddie, when your teacher tok  s + o what you say?”

“so”

“correct! Then l+ o too bi what”

“lo”

“Ehenn! Ok Lo + ve bi what? No be love?”

Charle the shoddy start dey laugh me o. She say make I mention the o in love like a, so say sound like Jah lav.  Then I start dey bore come so I tell am say dat bi what my teacher teach me. If she no go gree a when we catch the junction make e no giddown. Aloo gyee nakain?

  1. People wey dey use earphones for troski inside

No bro dey bore me pass menners wey dey block demma ears for troski inside. Wey kain life dat? When you tok “yeiiis” dem no dey hear. When you shout demma junction, dem no go hear. When you call demma change sef dem no go biz.

Later later dem go tok say you carry demma money comot! Sia lidat, nanka wat dem dey wan make I do plus am? Post am or momo am? If dem lef demma change a dey way my eye  e get! Sometimes dem go see you like three days later come kai you say demma money dey you. Hmph play dey demma eye top.

Infact I for make Akoto print another sign give me. I go tell am say make e write “IF YOU DON’T COLLECT YOUR CHANGE BEFORE YOU GET DOWN IT EXPIE” Akoto be sharp guy,  e go do am jεjε. The Accra we dey no, we all dey hustle, if you wan dash me cash a, why my eye no for get? Me koraa I wan sell credit for the troski inside, if you make yawa I go use your money make capital.

E check like my Boss finish ein fufu, I for go riddee. Abi you know dada, when you tap wana troski inside a  make you call me Bra Mate. Charle we go crush.

Death by Fright

“Annie… Annie. Wake up, I want to pee, please walk me to the bathroom” Ayele whispered

“hmm” mumbled Annie in her sleep as she tossed to the other side of her student bed.

Ayele lay awake on her bunk bed in Dorm 7, trying hard to suppress the urge to visit the bathroom. She looked at her little alarm clock, the tiny glow in the dark hands of the clock read 12:15 am. There was no way she was going down the stairs to the bathroom alone at this ungodly time.

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Ayele tried to distract herself. She clenched her fists and her toes and started adding doubles in her head. “1+1=2, 2+2=4, 4+4=8…” She tried to hold the pee in by holding her breath. Bad idea. Soon she was so close to wetting herself that it brought tears to her eyes.

She got out of her bed and went to the bedside of her friend.

“Annie,” Ayele whispered and nudged her friend again in a final desperate attempt to wake her.

Annie pulled away in discomfort, muttered something incomprehensible and tossed again. Ayele was certain she could not hold it any longer, and hell would freeze over before a proud *Ganyobi like her would be sneered at for being one of those secondary school girls with loose bladders who wet their beds.

She reached for her rosary which she had hung on the side of her bed for protection, traced the sign of the cross over herself with it, and wore it around her neck.

She slowly crept her way through the winding maze of multicolored buckets, yellow gallons, and the shiny and rusty metal trunks that had been arranged in the middle of the dormitory to make way for scrubbing in the morning, and opened the door.

She stared down the long corridor that led to the staircase. “Lord it’s going to take a miracle to make it to that staircase, not to talk of getting downstairs before I pee on myself,” she thought. She wrapped her arms around herself in a bid to stop herself from shivering but the cold harmattan air only made things worse.

That damn harmattan is the cause of this situation anyway. It’s almost like the weather can’t make up its mind. It’s so cold in the morning that some girls skip their morning shower then it gets hellishly hot during the day, almost like the sun is pressing its lips to the face of the earth in some sort of heated love affair, and the rest of the world is trapped in the heat of their passion.

I had to drink a dam of water today otherwise they would have parceled my shriveled remains home! This is what I get for refusing to die with thirst – death by fright!

Slowly she started down the corridor, each step she took brought ten thousand pictures of what could go wrong to her mind. I should think more positively, she thought, let me sing a song. The only song that quickly came to mind was a jama song she and the rest of the form one girls had been taught by the Sports Prefect. They had been made to sing it every siesta all week, ahead of next week’s inter-house sports competitions.

If you want to killi me….Kill me make I die…I forever loyal to shamisha-

Really? Ayele thought, Of all the songs in the world? She was almost at the staircase now. I could pray instead. So she started muttering Psalm 23

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…”

Oh no!

The fluorescent light at the staircase which led downstairs was off! Poor Ayele was panic-stricken, a few drops of pee hit her panties. She felt herself beginning to get wet. Ye though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death. She repeated louder in her head, as though that would chase the fear away, and more importantly hold herself together while she descended the dark creepy staircase. Step by Step, we will make it. She willed herself, held on to the handrail and took one step down the stairs.

The first step, the second step, good good.

The third step, fourth step… What was that sound!

Fifth step… Cockroach?! mouse?! snake?!

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Sixth step… Oh no no ….no…not now… please…

Warm fluid run down her legs and pooled at her feet. Ayele stood in chilling defeat for a moment, and then, as though being chased by the devil himself she ran back to her dorm.


The next morning was full of chaos. Asabea, the form two girl in charge of scrubbing the stairs was livid about having to scrub urine off her workspace. She held all the form one girls hostage on the balcony, refusing to let them go downstairs to take their baths or do their chores until the culprit confessed.

“But who would commit such a cowardly act?” Annie questioned no one in particular. She was standing with Aso, Tina, Owusua and a girl from Big Dorm whose name Ayele didn’t know. They were all holding their buckets in one hand and soap dishes and towels in the other and had tied their sponges loosely around their necks.

“Mtchew…As if the person who did it would own up” Aso replied. I just want Sister Asabea’s tantrum to end so I can go and bath.

“Could happen to any one of us you know” Tina said, “That staircase is really dark at night now that there are no bulbs. I wonder what they use our house dues for.”

“I wake my school mother up every time I want to go to the bathroom at night. She walks me there” the girl from big dorm said.

“Nonsense,” retorted Annie “I would never do that if I was your school mum… mtchew…as though our bladders are attached. If the place is dark. carry a torch eh? Why disturb someone else’s sleep? So selfish! She tossed her towel over her left shoulder and leaned on the balustrade.

“You must have a great school mum,” Ayele said hoping that contributing to the conversation would make her look less guilty of the crime being discussed.

“I don’t blame you though, your school mother lives off your provisions so she has to be at your beck and call. Annie said again, clearly not satisfied with her previous statement. “The silly girl who did this will surely be punished. This is *Deebee foolishness” She was about to speak again when Martinette’s angry voice tore through the corridor.

tenor (2).gif

“Form one fuɔ! Gymi nii bεn na ayε saa gyimi diε wei?” Asabea bellowed.

“Asabea, you will speak English and remember your manners in this house, understood?” Gianni, the House Compound prefect scolded calmly.

“Sorry Sister.” Asabea replied and shouted again “Sisters in the Upstairs Dormitories, whose stupid daughter, brought to this school by the stupid computer system of the GES, thought it wise to turn the staircase into a urinal?”

“What did I say about manners?” Gianni chided again.

“I am sorry sister, but how can I scrub this smelly place with my usual portion of water when inspection is only 30 minutes away eh?” Asabea whined cunningly slipping in a request for more water.

With the frequent shortage of water in the school, students had to make long trips to the taps at the school field, popularly referred to as Batman, for bathing water. The House Polytanks were supplied with water weekly but that was usually reserved for scrubbing and only distributed to students in extreme shortage cases.

Water was an unofficial currency in the school, and as with every economy, there were power brokers: prefects, sports girls, students with kitchen mothers or fathers etc. There were also house workers, like Asabea, who took every opportunity to demand and hoard water for their own use, while using as little as possible for their designated workplaces.

“I will ask a form one girl to help you. Now go to the prefects’ dorm and tell Radiatu to give you 2 Gallons of water, an extra portion of Parazone and gloves” Gianni ordered, but Asabea was already halfway down the stairs at the sound of water. More water is always welcome news, even if it takes such unpleasant tasks to be rewarded the precious resource.

Turning to the form one girls, Gianni ordered. “You all have 10 minutes to take your bath and 15 minutes to do your chores”

“Yes Sister” the girls cried in unison and hurriedly walked past her down the stairs!

“Girl with the red bucket” Gianni called out.

Please don’t let it be me. Ayele prayed. As she rushed down.

“Victoria, call me that girl in the blue morning coat, with the red bucket.

Definitely me. Ayele cried inwards. “Sister Gianni, is it me please?” she surrendered knowingly.

“Yes. Gianni said firmly. “Where do you work?”

“Prefects’ Dorm please”

“The Prefects’ Dorm is not dirty this morning. You will help Asabea scrub the stairs today”

“Yes Sister,” Ayele muttered. It’s either this ‘Karma is a bitch’ thing is really true, she thought or Annie is a witch!

_____________________

*Ganyobi: of Ga descent

*Deebee: Spoilt rich kid

1,280. 

The radio in the Trotro was loud. Very loud. The passengers complained but the driver, probably deafened by constant exposure to such unpleasant loudness or at least pretending to be, ignored their complaints.

Perhaps he had cause to, the man who was talking on the radio program sounded very angry over the recent increase in petrol, after listening for a few minutes I get to know that he is the Head a Drivers Union branch that had increased fares against the prerogative of the GPRTU because they felt they were being cheated.

The presenter of the radio show was trying to explain to him that the government had little control in the regulation of fuel prices, but the man would not have it. “Massa, they told us that they would reduce prices so we campaigned, and voted for them. We would not understand why they cannot reduce the prices and will not allow us to increase fares as well!”

As if on cue the passengers in the Trotro burst into arguments. As always, there are those for the government, who explain the government’s peculiar challenges and encourage, rather impatiently, patience on the part of citizens especially the drivers.

Then there are those against the government. They see no good in what the government hopes to achieve and condemn them for deceiving the people.

It’s getting louder. Much louder. The driver seems to be smiling because the gentleman in the white shirt sitting next to him at the front agrees with the man on the radio. He sympathizes with the drivers. He argues that the unions are not strong enough to fight for themselves because they have been corroded with the politicization of everything.

I am just tired and want the frenzy to end. The evening clouds brought no breeze to subside the heat, and as always, traffic is at a standstill.

Everyone is talking, the radio is still loud but no one is listening. The woman sitting next to me is making me uncomfortable. She has three children; a baby and a set of twins- about four years old, three school bags, a large lunch box and herself squeezing into the space meant for one person. Of course, it won’t work out so I am sitting on one butt cheek, I can’t shift to my right because that’s the mate’s seat and I don’t want him to rub off his sweaty masculine smell all over my work clothes.

I try to take my phone out of my bag, one of the twins is throwing a tantrum. She hits me on the head with the toy she’s holding. Her mother scolds her but does not apologize to me. Typical.

I wear my earphones and turn on the radio on my phone. There is another discussion on another radio station. Although morbidly related to the discussion on the bus. They were talking about road accidents. The presenter said nineteen people had died over the weekend in three separate accidents. Four of the dead were female nursing trainees who had attended a program in town. They talked and talked about the state of the roads, the vehicles that plied them and the competency of the drivers. Then they spoke of government policies and government agencies in charge of the roads.

Then they called the PRO of the Road Safety Commission to ask how they were ensuring that accidents were reduced to the minimum. The PRO, you could tell she was concerned about the spate of the accidents, but then she is a government agency worker and I have learned not to trust those people. She said they educated people through public service ads and collaboration with media houses and Drivers Unions.

She said almost three thousand people died last year by road accidents alone. She said their target this year was to reduce that number by almost half; One thousand two hundred and eighty.

One Thousand Two Hundred and Eighty.

I looked at the woman on my right. she was dozing off. The toddler on her lap was already asleep, and the twins were playing with each other’s hair. Could they be in the target number? Could I?

One Thousand Two Hundred and Eighty.

I didn’t know what to think. How could lives just be sacrificed on the table of indiscipline, corruption, recklessness and sheer disregard for life?

One Thousand Two Hundred and Eighty.

Husbands, Wives, Sisters, Brothers, Children.

I panicked.

One Thousand Two Hundred and Eighty.

The number made my head reel with nausea. I was about to get sick. There was a sudden fear that canceled out the noise and politics in the Trotro.

One Thousand Two Hundred and Eighty.

These people or more would die this year. I looked around at the people in the Trotro with me. There were probably invisible tags of doom on the foreheads of some of them.

One Thousand Two Hundred and Eighty.

It’s suddenly too hot. I need some air.

“Mate, bus stop. I will alight here.”


Writer’s note: This post was inspired by a discussion on an Accra based radio station Citi Fm, the setting and characters are all fictional.

Sister Sister:

“What do you have against that man? He’s been nothing but kind to you Mensima. He’s handsome, probably rich or will soon be rich, and he’s a Doctor!”

Karley paused and turned to look at Mensima, who was in the driving seat, waiting for a reaction but Mensima’s eyes were fixed the road, her hands firmly gripping the steering wheel. When it was clear to Karley that she wasn’t going to get any response, she continued her argument.

“He’s a doctor o? Doctor! Do you know how difficult it is to find good men these days?”

Mensima who couldn’t resist a chuckle retorted, “Karley, how many times do I have to tell you that the profession of a man or his appearance is not an indicator of his true character?”

She immediately regretted speaking because she knew she had just fuelled Karley’s argument. Karley just doesn’t know when to stop Mensima thought to herself; Actually, she does, only when she’s convinced herself that the other party is also convinced that she is right.

As Mensima’s old Nissan Pickup screeched slowly to a stop at the Kwashieman traffic light she turned to eye her friend, wondering for the umpteenth time why her friend was a pediatric nurse instead of a lawyer.

“Madam, when I say “good” I don’t mean character only. I mean He’s an Adam- He has all you need for you to comfortably slip into the position of Eve. He can take care of you. You don’t have to worry too much.” Karley defended and begun fidgeting with the window roller of the front seat, trying to get some air in.

Mensima had gone to pick up Karley from the 37 Military Hospital where she worked. She was already regretting the act of kindness because she could tell Karley would not stop talking till they got to Tetegu, which was still over an hour away thanks to Friday traffic in Accra, so she threw in something she knew Karley liked talking about more than other people’s issues- Herself.

“How the wedding plans coming along?”

“You don’t get to be smart with me young lady; I know what you’re doing.” Karley had caught Mensima’s move, but she answered anyway “Hmm.. at this rate, I don’t know if I will get to be Mrs. Nutsukpui by June!” Do you know that Fui’s parents insist that I attend their EP church for the marriage counseling? I mean how? I am already sacrificing so much, I am trading my beautiful surname Arden- Clarke for their Nutsukpui, I am wearing Ewe Kente for the traditional marriage, I am even agreeing to only three bridesmaids instead of six, and a simple trumpet gown instead of my intended dreamy princess ball gown. As if all these aren’t enough, they want me to do six months of counseling, when we have already done three months at my church! Why, do they want us to get PhDs in marriage counseling before we marry? I can’t deal with their pettiness!

Mensima tried to hide the smile that was beginning to form at the corners of her mouth; it was just like Karley to see the pettiness in everyone but herself. “That must be really frustrating. What does Fui think of all this?” she asked again, determined to let her friend go on about her wedding plans for the rest of their journey home.

“Oh! that one! He doesn’t seem to care about anything o- very typical.” Karley stressed her words in a way only she knew how. “I am planning this wedding by myself; I may as well marry myself for all he cares!” she added throwing her hands up in irritation. This time Mensima laughed, her friend could be such a drama queen when she wanted to.

“I’d love to see you marry yourself. Oh boy, what a spectacle it would be!” Mensima said, between fits of laughter.

“Maame Efua Mensima Dadson!” Karley playfully scolded. “You’re supposed to be on my side here. What sort of Maid of Honour are you?”

“Sorry Ma’am” Mensima managed to say between giggles.

“But people have done worse you know?” I recently read of a woman who married a train station! A freaking train station!” Karley exclaimed

“No oo- wait. So how did she- I mean they- consummate the marriage?”

“ooooh, that’s the best part. She said she has mind sex with it!”

“Ei! Asem o.  I am still puzzled my sister. Doesn’t the state have to pay her? They are using her husband for profit right? And how will they have kids? New train stations maybe? Did she change her surname? Ah but what if she divorces the train station- oh well maybe she signed a prenup with it!”

Karley was by this time convulsing with laughter on the reclined front seat and had tears rolling down her cheeks. “Miss Analyst! Abeg marry Kaneshie Station as research and let me know your findings!”

“Tweaa, why Kaneshie station? I will marry Dubai, That’s the coolest dude in town at the moment!

“Aaah at least I know why you’re not interested in the doctor. What’s his name again?”

Trust Karley to circle back to the issue she really wants to discuss. “This conversation is not about me Madam, let’s think of how to handle your in-laws tactfully.”

“As for them, I don’t know what to say or do about them. They really don’t like the fact that I am Ga. That’s the root cause of everything. And since I can’t do anything about that, I guess we will have to manage this sweet and sour relationship for a while.”

“You really think it’s about that? Come on Karley, I mean reducing the number of bridesmaids sounds more like economics than tribalism to me.”

“They are not the ones paying for the wedding, Fui and I are. And we are fine with what I want.”

“Of course he is. He is marrying you. I think his parents, and yours to be fair, are just not used to this kind of pageantry where a wedding is concerned. I can understand their logic”

“Sometimes I wonder if you’re on my side or theirs. I am seriously reconsidering my choice of Maid of Honour. Candace would do a better job.”

“I am sorry love. You should have added a JD or at least given me some orientation when you offered me the position, you know this my first time. I have no idea what my job is besides trying to keep your overpriced makeup from melting off your face on the day.”

“Oh Goodness! It’s bad enough that I may be marrying myself come June, now I have to be my own Maid of Honour as well!” Karley exclaimed, faking exasperation.

Don’t worry. You’ll survive, if you don’t you should be assured that I can at least write a bad ass tribute.”

“God forbid! Stupid girl!”

Little Matters

“He’s only a friend!” screamed Enam, “How many times will I have to explain this to you Judah? I can’t suddenly stop seeing my friends just because I am getting married to you!”

” Look, I know he is your friend. But how many of your friends call and text you at least ten times in a day?” Judah enquired, calmly. She wasn’t even looking at him. Her anger had driven her small eyes into a near squint as she stared at the cream ceramic floor tiles, and tiny beads of sweat had begun to form on her light-skinned pimpled forehead. She wasn’t listening. It annoyed him when she didn’t pay attention to him and she knew it.

“I call you up at lunch and you are on the phone. An hour after lunch, you’re still on the phone! Judah continued, his calmness quickly dissipating, revealing his pent-up frustration.  “Two hours after lunch, you’re still on the phone! Tell me what you want me to think!” He bellowed.

Enam’s anger sent violent spasms through her little body, the tiny beads of sweat that formed on her forehead were now drawing little stream paths down her face. Her lips were tightly pressed together as though she was trying to prevent her words from pouring out.  But Judah would not stop talking and that sent her brain reeling and her senses out the door.

” You really want me to tell you what to think? Ehnn?  Think about this Twum, think about the facts that you practically blackmailed me into accepting your proposal, that you were not man enough to ask me in private because you were scared of rejection, and so you chose your family as the audience! And how could I say no at such a performance? Think Twum, think about the fact that your ego and jealousy will end this marriage even before it begins!”

Enam knew her words would hurt Judah deeply, but she couldn’t stop herself from getting her pain off her chest. It was selfish, she knew that, but she could not help it. And now a giant wave of painful relief washed over her forcing tears to her eyes. She stopped pacing around Judah’s plush Villagio living room and muttered her apology. “I am sorry Twum,” she said.

Judah was not listening, or was he? He wasn’t sure he had heard Enam. Did she just say he blackmailed her? He saw her tears. He could never think straight when she cried. Her tears just broke something in him so that he could not think right.  He walked to her and held her hands. Enam tried to get away from him but he held her more tightly and pulled her to his chest.  And they just stood in a silent embrace, Enam quietly sobbing and Judah trying to make sense of what had just happened.

Enam was the first to hear her phone ring, she could tell who it was even without getting to the phone because she had assigned special ringtones to some of her contacts. Actually, only two of her contacts, Judah and Percy- the cause of this argument.

“Well, aren’t you going to pick up?” Judah said, pulling away from their embrace. “It’s him again, isn’t it?

“How does that concern you?,”  retorted Enam, “You always have to ruin everything!”

Judah’s eyes widened at her accusation, but he said nothing. He simply folded his arms across his chest and leaned on the door frame to the dining area and watched her.

Enam fidgeted a little, as she rummaged through charger cables, the case for her glasses, her glasses, key holders and ID cards while looking for the phone, which was still ringing, in her bag. Just when she reached it, it stopped ringing. Enam almost breathed a sigh of relief. She could feel Judah’s stare burning through the back of her head. He was watching her every move. She was glad she didn’t have to answer the call or give him the satisfaction that his suspicion had any credibility.

But the phone rang again.

“Enam won’t you answer your call?”

“ Leave me alone Judah.”

“I know it’s him again, you’ve been here for two hours and that’s the fifth time your phone is ringing.”

Enam threw him an angry glance.

“Yes, I’ve been counting Enam, if that means I am jealous and overprotective, then so be it!” Judah walked to the couch where Enam sat. He had left his jacket there earlier. He picked it up and turned to head towards his bedroom.

“Hello?” Enam answered the call. “Hello”

“Oh so now it’s poor network?” Judah scorned. “At least be original dear!”

“Judah, do you mind? I am trying to have a conversation here.”

Judah just sighed exasperatedly and headed for the bedroom. He could still hear what she was saying on the phone. Single worded responses to whatever he was saying at the other end of the line.

“Yes… I understand… Ok… Bye”

Judah picked his car keys from the bedside table and came back to the living room.
“ Are you ready to leave now?”

It wasn’t a question. Enam knew that he was asking her to leave. She deserved it.

“Yes,” she mumbled and headed out to the car ahead of him.

They drove in absolute silence to Enam’s Hostel, The Green Leaf.  Even the radio was off, the only sound in the car was the soft hum of Judah’s Audi A4 engine and their inhale and exhale of breath. Judah would periodically let out a loud sigh. Enam knew what his sighs meant. He was hurting.  She fought the tears that were stinging her eyes willing them not to fall as she stared out at the streets of Osu.

***

Don’t go yet, read Little Matters 2