The quiet twilight was still trembling on the topmost ridges of the coconut trees and the view of the beach ahead of Essien had sunk into the black gulf in the shadow of the cloudy night. It seemed to Essien that he was gradually moving from all the noise of the party that was in full swing. Or were the sounds at the party rather moving away from him?
He was clearly lost in thoughts and expressions. “What at all have I done to Emelia’s roommate for her to have disrupted our silent night here?”, he asked solemnly with no intentions of expecting an answer. ‘is her roommate really hospitalized or this is just a prank?” he probe further.
The evening was still and cloudy and the air at the beach was at its heaviest. The distant hum of the of the cars on the highway right behind was at its faintest. The small pulse of the life within and the air around him in the silence of the night seemed to be sinking in confusion and solitude.
He sat absent –minded on the chair with his bottle of Alvaro and Kebab on the table. He had hardly finished walking in his own pool of thoughts before he felt a gentled touch on both shoulders. Startled by the touch, he rose to his feet only to see his three friends – Chupa, Captain and Wicked-zero standing next to him.
His facial expression clearly showed that it wasn’t his three friends that he was dying to see at that hour. Yet there they were and staring at him with all their 32 teeth. With a face of grimace, he said abruptly and in an undignified manner, “hey guys, you scared the hell out of me!” ‘Where have you been? , he asked quietly. Without asking Essien what had happened between him and Emelia, they set right away to the hostel because it was getting dark. On the way, he recounted his adventure to his friends which attracted minutes of continuous laughter from his friends.
Finally, It was the last day of June; exactly two weeks after Essien’s abrupt encounter with Emelia and all final year students were set to leave campus to their various cities, towns, and villages. The long hot afternoon was paving way for the evening and Essien, the weary pilgrim of love was beginning to think of pursuing Emelia again after their sad episode at the beach. Not only was this the best day for Essien, but it was also the birthday of Emelia. This day was one of the two evenings which were accustomed to being spent with people for the last time and tie the loose ends of friendships.
Soon after he had struck out from his room in his ghetto hostel, he stopped at a nearby shop and purchased ‘mentos’ to spice up the air around him. He made sure he looked dead glam in his blue shirt which was complemented by black trousers and his well-polished Italian shoes. With the counsel of Chupa, Wicked-Zero, and Captain, Essien resolved on buying champagne and some few presentable stuff as birthday gifts for Emelia.
Essien has been half mad with impatience and half-mad with curiosity as to what will happen with her encounter with Emelia this evening. ‘Boy, today is your last chance ooo, just don’t mess up today’, Captain’s words to him re-echoed in his mind.
A few minutes later, Essien was standing next to the door of Emelia at “Dee- Bee Hostel” . Emelia has always overwhelmed Essien with the wildest expressions of affection. With mixed feelings of fear, shyness and impatience, Essien gently and confidently knocked on the door of Emelia as he bowed his head. The door creaked on its hinges as it was opened in response to the knock.
With his hands full of the birthday presents at his back, he slowly raised his head in excitement and freely allowed the birthday message to flow from his lips like pips falling from cherries… ‘ ha….ppy birthday dearest Eme.. lia”. He slowly raised his head to look at Emelia in the eyes and to his horror and amazement, there stood a tall brawny, sturdily built and a tough-chested man at the door of Emelia. In a clear voice, he retorted, “she is resting and wouldn’t want to be disturbed”.
© ELVIS EFFAH, 2019.