Amu’s chamber, dirty drapes hanging loosely down the windows, and partly covering the peeling paint of his walls. Clothes lay flung across the floor and on the single, mahogany bed with brown sheets and spreads. A smiling picture of a striking Esenam used to hang up there somewhere, and he used to worship it every sunrise. It was his single photo gallery, and all his friends were forced to see it upon entry. But something happened; he cannot exactly tell what, except to battle with his left and right conscience.
“My love for Esenam had drained faster than food in a colander
Yes I adored her hips and curvy contours, Yehowah!
Her lips tasted like fire
Burning with the slightest touch…Liar!
Keep mute, right conscience! Do not call me a liar
I loved Esenam with a desire
Not for curvy contours and luscious lips…never!
I speak of bells, gowns, and a priest at the altar”
“O laka l3”….daabi, mi laka ko l3, you know
I like fair women with tall legs and long hair, although
Esenam’s skin should glow
Have blue eyes and lashes that show
Whiter teeth and fuller lips or so
Maybe I was carried away, tonight will tell…”
Esenam’s mirror; with her reflection staring at her, wanting to burst forth and slit her throat with a broken piece. She admired the nakedness of that young, dark woman in the mirror, who had grown slender for her lover, Amu. Esenam envied her curves…maybe her freedom, for she was stuck in the mirror and away from the work love burdens its captives with.
“How such brawny arms turned so old
And the red hot flame, go cold
Is best left a story untold
I loved him…Liar! You loved his apartment and the cars he sold
Even a gold ring does corrode
But first cut was deepest; I feel it in my node
Or maybe I should hold
Tonight will tell…
Tonight, somewhere around Osu
Amu threw on a crumpled polo shirt over faded jeans, paying little attention to the Nike sneakers caked in layers of mud and filth. He chuckled and shrugged as he took his seat at the table of the eat-out where he first took Esenam. He remembered how he had ironed hi shirt back then, and traced his trousers with the tip of the iron to avoid double-lines. Now he cared less, and as Esenam appeared, he realized she too could not be bothered
There was no hug, no greeting…
“How long have you been waiting?” Esenam asked perhaps innocently, while hanging her bag on the seat and straightening her messed-up hair. Two months ago, she had braided the latest, most complex rasta with expensive Brazilian wig.
“What time did we agree on?” Amu retorted.
“Let us make this short,” Esenam advised.
“Don’t worry,” Amu cut in sharply. “I have better things doing with my time as well”
Esenam rolled her eyes in disgust at Amu’s sarcasm. She hated him for that.
“Oh, like milking cows?” she wanted to hit back at him, but realized it was not working, for he just blew his nose and feigned indifference.
“I realized that we are no longer compatible. Fine, we like the same food, the same music, can carry on a conversation for hours…” Esenam started. “But that connection is lost”
“Guess we were all attracted by the wrong elements,” Amu shrugged, and that was it. They hugged and locked each other in a passionless embrace for a second or two and parted.
As Esenam left the venue, she had Braa Kwami on her mind, and yes, his brawny arms, accent, the sleek Chrysler PT Cruiser he drives and his tall stature charmed her most. Amu was on his way to Odornaa, and then head on to Nima to meet Aisha, who had fascinated him three weeks earlier with her fair complexion, near-green eyes and a curvy frame crowned with well-greased lips, as though they had just been dipped in frytol.
‘Such vain cycle; this love businesses’, the wind sighed, but they both were ear-clogged!
*Michael Nii Moi Thompson is a US-based Ghanaian poet/ writer of fiction. His debut book of short stories Tooli Bibii, is scheduled for release soon.