Sunday, 30 December 2012
John sat at the restaurant of the DutcHotel, sipping Hunters cider. He was tired. Very tired as he tried to organise his thoughts which were wandering in a race track. He queried himself on why he had accepted to go on this trip. Nothing new came up since the obvious ones had permanently clouded his mind. He had missed home. He had missed walking the streets of Accra and blending with his own kind. Not intimidated by his colour or awkward by his native tongue. Here he can speak his native language without the fear of being seen as an alien or a barbarian.
The sweet African rhythm oozed out of the speakers in the restaurant, giving him a welcoming ambience. This was home. This was Ghana.
The Dutchotel overlooked the ocean with its 67 air-conditioned rooms and conference facilities, it was one of the best hotels in Accra. John had chosen this hotel because of its local cuisine. He wanted the students to have a real taste of Ghanaian meals and not just the waffles and muffins they were addicted to in the States. He had ordered continental dish for dinner since they hadn't really had a good meal. He had watched in amusement as they ate the local dish of his country.
It had been one hell of a problem getting them to pick a room. Jimmy and Jessica had given him a heart attack. They wanted a room to themselves alone. The trip was meant to last for ten days and John could not afford any luxury at the moment so he wouldn't have to dip into his financial savings. He knew he would spend a lot in his hometown. There's no argument there. His kinsmen would surely come to ask for their own share. He gets irritated by their demands but he has no choice. It is more of a customary thing for anyone who had left the shores of Ghana to the white man's land.
He sat up, rubbing his neck with his right hand. A massage would do him some good no doubt, he made a mental note to ask for one in the morning. If he was in the States, one of his girls would have easily given him one, or even Mary Ann.
His mind drifted to her. He had caught his friend Kofi looking at her lustfully on their way to the hotel. He had been jealous when Mary Ann had chatted with Kofi in the fifteen minutes drive to the hotel, leaving him in the company of the students who assaulted him with unimaginable questions about his country. Why he felt that jealous sting, he can't really say. It's not like they were in a committed relationship. He hadn't offered her more and she hadn't demanded for more either. But he couldn't deny the fact that he had a tender spot for her. Unlike most aristocratic young ladies in the States, Mary Ann was a woman filled with dreams and will. Despite her wealthy background as the daughter of a Mayor in California, she had left all that to pursue her dreams in teaching. Her dream to impart knowledge to others. While her parents had been disappointed in her choice of career, Mary Ann had pushed on, even when her father threatened to cut her off from his inheritance. Single-handedly, she had pursued her career, and had succeeded so far. Nothing thrills John more than a determined and adventurous woman. He really can't remember how their affair had started but he had known from the very day she was introduced to him that he would have her in his bed someday. And he had.
"Ah charley, you are still up" Kofi's voice brought his wandering thoughts to a halt.
"Man gotta a lot of things on his mind" he replied with a wry grin as he watched his childhood friend slump on the chair opposite him.
Kofi couldn't agree more. Yaw had changed. He is now a man. Not the reckless boy he grew up with. He is matured now, so quiet and reserved. Known for his witty remarks and authoritative tone, Kofi had no doubt that the streak was still somewhere in his personality. He may look calm and controlled now but he will explode soon.
"Charley, your obroni be fine paa." Kofi said suggestively. All evening, he's been monitoring his friend's demeanour towards Mary Ann. He would stick to his guts that the pair had something going. Maybe not a brightly coloured flame, but there was a spark somewhere definitely. He is yet to place a finger on it but he will be damned if he was proved wrong.
John, picking up Kofi's curiosity, smiled and said "Yeah, she be fine but there are prettier ones."
"Ah, why you sample all?" Kofi urged on.
"Ei, charley, me I no be Bill Clinton" he laughed wholeheartedly at his friend's remark. What a silly thing to say.
" But me no go I mind sampling her, that's if you don't mind either."
This was a tricky question and John tried to manoeuvre his way out of it.
"You like her eh?" he asked Kofi, watching him intensely.
"She ain't bad, but I wouldn't mind tasting the real pudding. I just need the green light from you."
John laughed as he stood up, dropping a 20 dollar bill on the table, he looked at his friend with a deft smile. " I wish you luck on that" with that, he walked away.
Kofi smiled as he stared at the dollar bill. This wasn't the answer or reaction he expected from him. He knew John was trying to outsmart him, not giving in to his bait. It confirmed his thoughts in a way that he had a thing for Mary Ann. Maybe trying to use a bluff to hide his feelings. He would crack soon. Kofi chuckled. He promised to do all he can to unravel the chemistry between John and Mary Ann. Calling the waiter, he ordered for a drink, enjoying the serenity of the evening.
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