On the eve of every closing, it was always Kay’s ritual to escape the austerity of the office. She paid herself a treat. That usually meant time with her husband, doing something special. The last time, which was…six months ago… heavens.. She thought, bewildered. The last time, she got home early and fixed dinner. It was fufu. Her husband could eat fufu at 3am in the morning if he was up to it. Kay also knew it somehow, it almost always put him in a cheery mood. They passed the rest of the evening watching the Lord of the Rings again. It was a favorite time, when she bore his full attention. Sometimes they forgot the movie; Kwame told the funniest stories with outrageous impersonations of his work mates. Kay would laugh until they were both tired. They had fallen asleep along the couch many times.
But Kwame was not going to be able to make it. He called saying he would be working late. Was she overtaken it in assuming he was beginning to sound repetitive? If I didn’t know better I’d think he was avoiding me… Why? What’s wrong with him? With us?
It made her angry. Kay needed her husband. This was a big break for her. For the first time she was getting senior partners to see more than just the pretty face they thought she was. Although she knew she had covered everything that was required for tomorrow, she was desperately fighting back the anxiety that was engulfing her.
She sat back at her desk, unsure of what to do next. It was still noon, but she knew she had to get out of the office. Now what.
Without thinking, she called the first number that came to mind.
“Hey BB, you home?”…
In about forty-five minutes, Kay was pulling up in front of Babs gate. She could find her way to this house, even with her eyes closed. With the dark thoughts of Kwame in the recesses of her mind, Kay found herself flooded with childhood memories. She had spent so many weekends here. At the time, She and Barbara were inseparable. She loved how close knitted the Kusis seemed; eating together at the dinner table, the colonel would always bellow with military stories. He doted on Babs, he would always say, beaming “Barbara, my darling, you would have made a fine soldier of you were a boy…” Babs would always reply in a singsong voice, “then who would listen to you talk Daddy!”
It was hard to be envious of the warmth that Babs was surrounded with because she had been welcomed as though she was one of their own. She had lived, eaten and slept in that home more times than she had slept in hers. Like sisters, they went to secondary school together, shared nighttime stories of teenage love and heartbreak and just about everything else.
She missed that part of her life. She was part of a real family.
She heard the gate unlock, after she honked twice. It Seemed like Babs was waiting for her.
“Hiiii”, Kay mouthed excitedly at Babs, as she drove in. She looks tired. Kay thought. Babs smiled back forcibly or so it seemed. Babs’ subconsciously assumed a very tired look every time she was upset. It always gave her an older look.
“Ei Madame Lawyer! How long has it been?”, Babs managed to say as she hugged Kay. She looks good, she thought. It was not supposed to feel resentful but it did.
” You’re looking good, as always,” the latter said smiling, taking Kay In. “Come in, come in, it’s been too long”
Kay could not help but look around.
Babs had made some heavy changes. The walls were all different colors with huge abstract paintings. The curtains were cream and light. It created a sunny glow from the sunny rays that cascaded into the room. It felt warm and Kay felt right at home.
“Babs you have really outdone yourself with the place,it’s only been what, three years since you moved here?”she commended, looking around the sitting area and then collapsed into the soft brown cushions.
“Ah well, how we go do am, it hasn’t been easy but I think it’s coming together.” Babs replied.
“What will you have?”
“Kwame must be paying you well,”
They both had spoken at the same time.
They both looked at each other. One was smiling wistfully. The other was not.
….i promise it continues…
SHE is a collection of short fictional narratives that represent different (love) experiences of Ghanaian women