By Comfort A Amagyei
I sat staring and smiled back at the image before me. It was none other than my own self, with my mum behind me teary eyed. It had been a long journey, and we were both happy it had come to an end when we least expected. A long journey! Hmm.
‘Lets get you going, the guests are waiting’, she said.
She gently lifted me up, like an egg. The wedding gown I was wearing made it hard for me to move about as I wished, but soon I learnt to survive walking in it without falling as had happened weeks earlier when I was trying it on and learning to walk in it. As I walked towards the SUV that would carry me to the premise where my status and entire life would change, I could not help but look back at all the events that had happened early on.
Back in tertiary school, I was determined to top my class just as in secondary school. I read business administration at Baptist University’s city campus and looked forward to a fulfilling life in the corporate world. Life was good then. With parents who made sure that neither my junior sister nor I lacked nothing, what more could I ask for? I commuted to school from home but I had no problem with that. The only problem I had was with my childhood friends who ensured that they have their ’freedom’ away from home. They never failed to make me realize how much fun I was not having because I was not dating anyone nor partying like they did. I always told them what my mum always told me when I told her of my fear of ending up lonely in the future.” The right person will come into your life when you least expect him to”.
Well, I had no problem taking that in and holding onto it tightly. I had seen in the movies and read in the books of such things happening. I had heard real life experiences of people finding that special one too after not searching so hard, like the ‘one’ would be thrown unto them. Ha, all I had to do was to live my life and hope. Maybe wait.
In the second semester of my first year in school, my family and I moved Afrancho, a fast growing community quite far from school. Unlike Asokwa where I had grown to love, Afrancho was much quieter and less populated. The streets were not tarred and most houses were not completed. The worse thing was that I had left all my friends behind. How I missed them! But moving away also meant that I had to wake up extra early so I wouldn’t be late for school. Most mornings had to be spent by the roadside waiting for a cab or trotro. Sometimes I trekked for minutes along the main road before getting a car.
One fine morning, when I was waiting for a means of transport to school, a car stopped by. Though I had seen that car drive by most days, I had no idea of its occupant. The driver honked on the horn several times but I presumed he was calling out to some other person standing by. After all, it was a busy junction where people came and went as they pleased. And all my thoughts were diffused with the sweet aroma of the porridge seller’s ‘kose’. How I yearned for them! I was amazed, though, when the driver stepped out of the car and walked in my direction. He was a dark handsome young man, in his late twenties. I admired his rich sense of style.
‘Excuse me Miss, don’t you school at Baptist University?’ the he asked. I was startled.
‘Yes I do’, I replied.’ But I do not know you’. He smiled.
‘Please hop in the car before you get late for school’, he said.
I recalled the number of times my parents had warned me not to take lifts from strangers. But this man looked genuine. At least his smile was. I looked at my watch and realized I was running late. Throwing caution to the wind, and forgetting my craving for ‘koose’, I followed the young man into his red VW Passat.
He must have realized I was feeling uneasy so he lowered the volume of the car’s radio. He was listening to the morning news on one of the city’s best radio stations. But I was feeling uneasy because I had forgotten to note his car registration number. What if he drove me somewhere and did something bad to me?