“H3rh, Akwei, you fool too much!”
It had been close to two weeks since he’d spoken to Karla (Actually, it was 11 days, 4 hours, and a couple of minutes – but no, he really wasn’t counting, he just knew, somehow).
He’d told her that he needed some time, to get over the situation, and to ‘work out his schedule’. She didn’t fight it. She’d just quietly told him to take all the time he needed. He didn’t have the courage to ask what was on his mind – would she wait for him? Would she be upset if it took him months to figure everything out? He had felt like a coward. But then he didn’t want an answer he couldn’t deal with. So he left it.
“I really hope that this time, she leaves you. Because if she doesn’t, you’ll be there thinking no matter what happens she’ll be there. She naa, her tail is hot… she can replace you in a minute. You know that girl is the jackpot!!”
They hadn’t spoken at all. No calls, no messages. No random swinging by the others house – she was often the one to do that. And he hadn’t even seen her in church on Sunday – she didn’t show up!
He didn’t know what exactly he needed the break for… maybe to figure out if he would be fine if they ended it? Or to give her some space to decide if she still wanted him? Or maybe he was just too proud to accept the fact that he had a part to play in all that had happened? He really did not know.
The boys were all singing so loudly to Ackah Blay and Cabum’s song– mostly half drunk, ‘Ladies and Gents, are you ready now, we are taking the girls away…… we are taking the girls away… whatever you do, I will take you home… I will take you home tonight…’ It was quite a sight.
Prince looked him in the eye for a couple of seconds “Akwei, Somebody go take your girl away ooh!”
The past week had been different for him. He found himself checking his phone more often than usual, just in case she sent a message. He looked out for her at church on Sunday – she wasn’t there. There was nobody to remind him that he needed to call his sisters kids. He loved them dearly, but somehow, he never remembered to call them. It was always K that reminded him to. In the past week, he’d eaten so many weird meals from the cafeteria at the office. Usually, he and K would cook on the weekends, and he would pack a meal for lunch at work every day. He got back from work extra tired; yet he missed hearing her whine about colleagues or people from work. She would talk for about an hour sometimes, and to be frank, half the time he was not listening.
Just like he presently wasn’t listening to Prince. He’d passed by his place for drinks with some of the other guys – they all did that on most Friday nights at salsa dance, but he hardly ever joined them. He went today because he needed a distraction. But Prince wasn’t helping. Nothing was helping.
He didn’t want to talk about his foolhardiness or about Karla. He just wanted to be distracted.
Why do you want to be distracted? What are you waiting for? You expect that she’s waiting?
He still had a lot on his mind. He knew he loved her, and though he knew he was part to blame, it didn’t change the feeling of betrayal he still harboured. Or maybe it was just too much male ego, he couldn’t even tell. All he knew was that he missed her, and he didn’t know if after all the sacrifices she’d made for him, this was reason enough to let it all go.
Karla is an amazing woman! She’s stuck by you this long, when all you’ve done is pretty much work! You need to stop being petty!
His mind was playing games with him. How on earth does sticking by him amount to finding her way into another man’s arms?
She did not willingly sleep with him. She made silly choices, Yes. But she did not deliberately cheat on you!
He left the place even more agitated than when he’d gotten there. He’d significantly worked on his schedule over the past two weeks. He delegated the things he knew could be done, and he planned his work hours out properly. Even if he didn’t end up with Karla in the end, he knew that nobody wanted a workaholic – even his mother had recently started to complain about it!
He got to his apartment late, and decided that he would pray. It was high time he did something about this situation. This ‘break time’ needed to either be over or end in a break-up.
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Karla had decided she would be okay. Not everything lasted. Not everyone worked out. There would be other guys. Besides, being alone didn’t look bad at all. After Akwei left her house that Monday night, she’d made some decisions. She wasn’t going to be the victim of any situation. She made her bed, and she was damn prepared to lie in it!
She’d had a busy week, and that weekend, she’d decided she’d do a road trip. She needed to get it all together. She decided to visit a village in Kwahu, a city in one of the mountainous regions. Her plan was to just drive, with loud music, the wind in her hair, see some places, and maybe climb a trail. All alone of course.
And she did! She had an awesome time! She left on Friday, and returned Sunday afternoon. She met a group from one of the banks, having a retreat at the hotel she lodged in. They seemed like nice people, and one guy in particular paid her a lot more attention than normal. She knew his kind, and she definitely wasn’t ready for any more drama. So she left quietly that Sunday afternoon, avoiding them at all cost, so she wouldn’t even be asked for a phone number.
She made sure she filled up her week well. She didn’t want to have time to mope about Akwei. If he wanted a break, she was okay with it. But she knew that this was likely the end – she might as well get used to the single life. She was enjoying one of those quiet Friday nights, playing late night scrabble with Rama, when she suddenly felt an urge to call him. She missed him. She knew that well. And that was why she’d made sure she was too busy to pine. She didn’t think that he would last two weeks. If he’d lasted that long, he had probably done a good job of starting to move on. She would have called. But he was the one who asked for the break. If he wanted, he would have called.
Knowing him, he’s probably still at work! Or maybe he actually moved on?
Her sadness was gradually turning to ire. She didn’t want to think about him. Long after Rama had gone to bed, she lay in bed, thinking about the many beautiful times they’d had together, and trying hard to not cry.
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It was 3am, and he still hadn’t slept a wink. There were so many things he wanted to go back and tell Karla. But he knew he probably wouldn’t be able to. He knew that one look at her, and he might not be able to say them all. She’d always been the outspoken one, speaking her mind all the time. He wasn’t that way. Maybe he’d write a note. Or type it, and maybe email it to her? Sitting alone in his own bedroom, he felt nervous. This was not his territory. What would be appropriate to say? What would she want him to say? What did he actually want to say? Maybe it was best to end it? Or maybe he would say he’d forgiven her? And ask for forgiveness too? He really was clueless.
Eight different crumpled letters later, he settled on what he thought would be safe to send. What would communicate his feelings and explanations the best. It was 6.30 am when he finished showering and got ready to drive to hers. He knew she wouldn’t be up till about 9am, but Rama did a weekend jog, usually around 7am… she would let him into the house. If he didn’t leave before all the courage left him. He would never be able to.
He got to their house, and just as he’d expected, Rama was getting ready for her jog. He didn’t know how much she knew, but she looked very surprised to see him. She let him in and left. He wondered what Mr. Arthur was going to think if he woke up and found him in his sleeping daughter’s room – that maybe he snuck in at night? He didn’t want to think about that. And besides, Rama was the one who let him in.
As usual, Karla was curled up in a ball in one corner of the bed. She was not decent, and for about two minutes, he stood at the door, staring at her. He quickly covered her up, his mind was wandering to unsafe territories – he didn’t need that. Once again, he lay on the bed across from her, and waited for her to wake up. This time, he couldn’t sleep. He kept stealing glances at her, her face was calm, and her mouth slightly open. Most of her hair had come out of the ponytail she’d tied. She shifted slightly, and uncovered her thighs. He knew that he should cover her up again, but this time he just wanted to enjoy the view. The beautiful love of his life that he’d almost lost. And once again, he hoped that she hadn’t given up on them.
When she woke up, she saw Akwei looking at her. It was definitely a dream. How did he get in, and when? And why was he smiling?
She reached out to touch his face, causing the cloth to fall from her chest. She wasn’t exactly bothered – it was a dream anyway. Maybe she missed him so much, that her mind had resorted to dreams.
But then she touched the face, and actually felt it. He was still there. He was staring at her chest.
To be continued