This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
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Carefully she turned the pages of the lifestyle magazine, the glossy pages reflected some light from her study lamp. Jennifer had spent the entire day looking through magazines, trying to find the right style for her sis’ wedding gown. It was four O’clock. She was still where she started at 9 am that morning. – square one.
She wanted it to be special but simple. So far, all the magazines showed extravagant styles.
Either they had sweeping gowns with long trains or very short skirts; low necks or low backs or both; and finally very loud colors for the bold.
Her mood was turning sour. Her back and shoulders were aching from a bad sitting posture. An impatient sigh escaped her lips.
Just then the doorbell rang filling the one bedroom apartment with a melodious tune.
“Surprise!” Edem chuckled letting himself in. Jenny smiled. The dark clouds lifted. He could always be counted on to come in just when she least expected him.
“What brings you here to this end of town?
“ Just came to see how you were doing. When you called me two weeks ago, I knew I had to pay a visit before you made a second call to accuse me of neglect.”
Jenny laughed. It was highly likely that he had come on business and nothing more.
“so when did you get to Accra?”
“Just yesterday, and as usual I am perching with my brother. Say what’s this?” His eyes settled on the magazines strewn on the coffee table. “I have never known you to lack creativity. what’s up? Some difficult client?
“something like that, my sis”
“she just said, she’ll wear anything that I designed”
“I would ‘ve thought that was simple enough- not like your clients”
“at least with my clients they say what they want and I design. After that, they go their way and I go mine. but this is my Sis. If I mess up, it means It will forever be engraved in family history” she rolled her eyes for emphasis.
“my, you’re dramatic. I don’t believe it’s that bad.”
“you don’t know”
“you’re right. I don’t. Got anything to eat in the house? I ‘m hungry.”
“see what you can get”
Edem did a thorough inspection of the kitchenette in ten seconds, “Jenny?”
“you have nothing.”
“who said? I have rice, yams, plantain and some stews in the fridge.”
“seriously, you expect me to cook myself?
“why not? I’m busy as you can see”
“you make a lousy hostess, I am going to grab a bite at Pizza Inn. Want to come? You need a break from yourself. You just might get some inspiration”
“Yeah, I dare say, a pizza dress”
Jenny was glad to get out of the house at the expense of another.
Edem and Jenny sat on the terrace and shared a large family sized pizza and a 1500ml Coke.
The breeze was pleasantly cool .
Jenny absent mindedly stared at a moth going in circles around a florescent tube. All this while, Edem was going on and on about his trip, his business and what he was going to do next. Edem rarely needed a conversation partner. He could hold his own and this evening was no exception until there was a lull.
It got Jenny’s attention, Edem never let up in a conversation. The silence was deafening.
She fixed her eyes on him and noticed that he was uneasy. “what’s wrong?”
“I have something to tell you. I’ve been trying to avoid it but this is the only time that I can tell you”
“You’re a great designer”
“I know that”
“Your sister will love whatever dress you do for her”
“stop buying time”
“Really, do you have to make it that hard for a guy to speak to you?”
“just spit it out”
“now it’s difficult”
“Why? are you asking me to marry you?” Jenny asked sarcastically taking a bite from her pizza.
Immediately, Jenny’s pizza went down the wrong way causing her to cough violently. Other diners looked in concern.
Edem wished the ground would swallow him .
It did not take long for Jenny to recover but to Edem it was like forever. Jenny still had tears in her eyes when she regained her composure.
“Edem, are you serious?”, She knew he was full of surprises but this took the cake.
“yeah, what do you think?”
She took a sip of her coke and let it swish in her mouth a bit while thinking of an answer. Slowly, and thoughtfully, she let out her words, “Well…., you know we are friends ….and I ‘ll like to keep it that way.”
A moment of awkward silence prevailed but Jenny didn’t mind. She took another pizza slice.
Suddenly, she narrowed her eyes in suspicion, “Don’t tell me your brother put you up to this”
“no he didn’t, I just wanted to make sure before I made a final decision.” This was an outright lie.
Jenny smiled, “You got a girlfriend?” It was more of a statement than a question.
“I haven’t asked her yet. I want to know if you are interested first. I don’t want you to get jealous.” Edem knew that if he were Pinocchio, his nose would have been two inches longer.
Jenny laughed till tears rolled down her face. “ooh Edem. You know, I probably would have asked you out a long time ago if I were interested”
He was relieved but sad. Relieved that she had swallowed the lie- hook, line and sinker. But sad, she didn’t think him worth the time.
“that’s true. You don’t seem to play by the rules. Anyway, I had to make sure”
“yeah, thanks for considering me. You made my day”
“you ‘re welcome”. He smiled, hoping she didn’t see the hurt in his eyes.
As they strolled out of the eatery, Edem knew he had to try again. The Kumasi – Accra Plane ticket could not go to waste like that.