I had heard much more than I bargained for. As I bid Obaa goodnight, I put all she had said about Joe in mind and to heart.

Joe and I started on quite a good note, but I was still very careful. Like all the men I had met, there was mutual respect and no need for intimacy like was done by the youth in our era. This made me respect them more. But truth was that, I never stopped thinking about Mike. Sometimes, I unconsciously compared all the guys I had met later to Mike. I never figured out why he left without communicating, but I had hope that someday I would get the answers I so earnestly sought. But finding these answers, as well as the whereabouts of Mike got harder by the day and Ralph was not in the country to help me out either. As was typical of him, Ralph barely called home. Yet still, I held on to what was left of Mike in memory and prayed to meet him again.

I was blessed to do my national service at United Bank of Africa, in Kumasi, the Adum branch to be specific. Not only would I get a free means of transportation, (my dad works at the regional medical stores also located in Adum) but also get the opportunity to enjoy nice healthy meals at lunchtime. My mouth always watered when I thought of the many fine places I could eat nice meals like fufu, beans with gari and fried plantain, and jollof rice, just to mention a few. All jokes aside, I never imagined that working in the corporate world was so demanding. My duties at work was to assist………. Sometimes when meetings were held at the workplace which included my boss, I could go home as late as 9pm. I finally understood why my dad was not in a good mood sometimes when he came home from work. Whenever it was time to go for my allowance, I was elated! The feeling that comes with earning money you have worked for is just amazing. But words cannot describe how you poor feel when you spend all the money before the month ends too.

Due to my hardwork and diligence, my boss, Mr Darkwa offered a beautiful opportunity: that of being mentored. He made me understand that the experience I would gain would make me an asset wherever I would go. What he said sounded reasonable so I took that opportunity. For starters, the salary would not be as huge as that of the other workers, but it would be enough to get by. I was glad I took that chance. After a year, I was sent to one of the branches in Sunyani. That was the first time I was moving away from home. It hurt, but I knew it was for my own good. Moving away also meant I missed one less, because Joe and I were over. He had displayed traits of a Christian who wanted to stay chaste but his actions were a blatant betrayal of all the values he professed to uphold. He had no love or respect for God and his word too. That was a big NO for me. We split up amicably.

Life was good in Sunyani! The city was neat and had less traffic than Kumasi. I loved the clean air and easy access I had to fresh fruits and vegetables. I rented a small apartment in Berlin, one of the city’s suburbs. It was a quiet place, just like Asokwa, how I missed that place and all I had back there – my family, pets and Mike. It was amazing why I still remembered him. I remembered his smile, how he would be nervous while I was around him and how he would try to pretend to be busy at nothing.