I was panting very hard and breathing heavily. My mum saw me and asked who was after me, but before she could say another word, I had run passed her, locked my door, switched off the lights and hid under my bed. Mum kept knocking on my door, asking me lots of questions, but I only responded, “A dog was chasing after my friends and I”. But I lied, truth was, I was really scared. My only prayer was that Talata won’t come knocking on my door.
The time was 6pm, and I was still hiding beneath my bed, scared and so confused. Some part of me felt really bad. Deep inside, I felt I should have faced her, but deeper inside I felt it was a very bad idea, because, my friends were there, and she would have caused a scene:
- If indeed, that was my letter she was holding,
- If she didn’t have any feeling for me.
The next day, I stayed indoors all day because I was scared I might see her. And from the way I reacted, I didn’t think she’d want to see me. But even if I decided to meet her, my tongue would still get tied and I doubted I’d be in the right sense to give her a legit explanation. I felt miserable, oh my God! “I am a coward”, the thought of that killed me. The rest of my vacation didn’t go as planned as I spent most of my time indoors reading my school notes. Then it was time to leave for school.
I met her in front of Dr. Hilla Limann hall. Just at the entrance of the hall I met Talata, walking with someone who seemed to be her friend. She smiled at me when she saw me, and I smiled back. She came closer and asked how I was doing. I replied, “fine and you?” She responded, “I’m also fine”. Then she asked me if I was ‘here’, by ‘here’, she meant if I was at Legon and I told her “yhup”. I was about to ask her the same thing, but her friend pointed to her watch, signaling that they were probably late to where ever they were going.
She was looking as beautiful as the morning dew, exotic and beautiful, and anytime I looked into her eyes, I got lost in innumerable memories and forgot the world behind me. I consider myself lucky to have experienced her warmth. Her eyes, how I love those twinkling eyes. Her eyes are like sapphires that shine brightly when everything is dark. As they glow, I drown in it’s intensity. My heart and mind are where she lives, oh my God! I was in love!
The last time I saw her, it ended with me hiding under my bed. But seeing her again made me realize I was never going to be happy if I didn’t make her my Bae. It was time to be a man and stop being a girl. So I decided to go look for her the next week, man-up, be bold, and tell her how I really felt for her. At this stage I didn’t really know if she also had feelings for me or not, or even if she already had a boyfriend.
Next week came, but I postponed it. The following week also came, and again I postponed it. The next week after, I postponed it yet again, for no apparent reason. The truth is, I really wanted to go see her, but I was scared at the same time. I feared my tongue would be tied if I tried talking to her. I’m a coward, I already know that, no need reminding me. But if you were in my shoes, maybe you’d understand me.
I called my mum and told her I was coming home so she should prepare my favorite Banku and Okro stew for me. She was excited to hear from me because it had been a while since she saw or heard from me. When I got home, mum was in the kitchen preparing supper. I walked in, gave her a warm kiss on her cheeks and said to her, “Please excuse me, there’s some business I need to take care of.”
I washed my face, brushed my teeth again, changed clothes and combed my hair. Mum saw me and asked where I was going, but I told her not to worry, I’d be back shortly. I got out of the house, took a deep breath and started walking to Talata’s house. I was really nervous, I wasn’t sure what would happen. A few meters to her house, my heart started pounding, I was shaking all over with sweat dripping down my face, it was as if I was experiencing a nervous breakdown. I wanted to go back home.
I peeped through her house. There I saw her mother drying some washed clothes on the drying line, and a little girl, Talata’s youngest sister, Adiza, busily knitting something that looked like a bag. But no sign of Talata outside. So I told myself, I came, I tried, I didn’t see her. Maybe she’s not home, maybe I’ll come some other day. Just when I was about to leave, I heard someone in the house shout, “Who is that at the door?”. I knew the person had seen me, and I had to respond.
I replied, “It’s me”. It was her mother asking. Then I heard her say, “Adiza, go see who’s at the gate”. I saw Adiza running towards the gate, she opened the gate, and I said, “Hello, how are you doing?”. She responded, “I’m fine thank you”, then I continued, “I’m looking for Talata, is she there?”. She replied, “NO”, then I asked her, “what time will she be back?”. She replied, “me I don’t know ooh”. I smiled at her and said, “When she comes back, please tell her, CleDre came looking for her, she knows me”. Adiza frowned and said, “She’s not coming back ooh”, I asked why, and she said, “last week she went to ‘abrokyire’”. Dumbfounded, I just had the shock of my life.
Then I asked her if she could give me her phone number, she said she didn’t have it. That was when I saw her mum walking towards us, then she asked Adiza why she had kept me in front of the gate without inviting me in. I smiled at her mum, and immediately she recognized me. I told her I was in the neighborhood and I decided to drop by and say hello to Talata. But she said she had left for USA the previous week for school. If I had come the previous week, I would have met her. I expressed my disappointment and asked her if she could give me her phone number, but she said, “ooh I’m really sorry, I can’t help you with that, she’s only been there a week, she hasn’t settled in yet, so she has no phone now, but I’ll tell her you dropped by the next time she calls us.” I thanked her and left.
I went home and started crying, I wept the whole night, I couldn’t even eat my Banku. I told my mum, there’s been an emergency at school, so I needed to go back to school that night. She was really disappointed but I assured her, next time I’d eat. I spent about a month feeling miserable, knowing that I had messed up and it was all my fault.
It had been three months since she left, and I hadn’t heard anything from her, and it killed me inside, knowing that I could have told her how I felt for her all these years. The funny thing was, I could talk to any girl and relate freely with them, my tongue only got tied when I was around Talata, I knew she was the one, the love of my life.
On my way out of campus to go get lunch, I saw her, the same girl who was with Talata when we met just in front of Limann Hall. I approached her and asked her if she remembered me. She wasn’t sure, but I told her not to worry, I was a friend of Talata, and I was just wondering if she kept in touch with her. She said a couple of times, and then I asked her if she could give me her contact details, I’d really love to talk to her. She said no, I asked her why, and she said she didn’t know me, and if she was to give out her contacts details, she’d have to ask Talata first. But I asked her to consider giving me her email address so that I could reach her and she agreed. The way I was happy eeh!
I emailed her, she replied. We started talking, I was really excited. I told her how I felt about her and to my surprise she also felt the same way for me. Due to the time difference I stayed up very late just to talk to her, but it was all worth it. In one of our conversations, I asked her what was on the paper she had with her the day she approached me, when I was playing football with my friends and she said it was a list of items she was going to buy from the market. She laughed at me. She said it was funny the way i run home when I saw her. I felt dumb, but the icing on the cake was, I asked her to be my girlfriend and she agreed, I couldn’t contain my excitement. I asked her when she was coming to Ghana, she said ‘this’ summer.
Spring ended quickly, summer was here. She was coming home July the 17th and she called me before take off, saying I should come meet her at the airport. Her arrival time was 8:30am. I told all my friends that my ‘abrokyire’ girlfriend was coming to Ghana and I was going to meet her at the airport.
7am I was already at the airport. I was waiting at the arrival hall. The time was 9:45am and still no sign of her, and to my surprise I didn’t see her family at the airport. Time was 1:00 pm and still no sign of her. I was getting worried, so I stayed another one hour but still no sign of her. I was tired and hungry so I decided to go home. But on my way out of the airport, I asked myself what if said 8:30 pm instead of 8:30 am? Maybe I got the time mixed up, so I returned to my seat to wait till 8:30pm. Time was 9:30pm, and still no sign of her. I gave up and retired home.
The next day, I decided to pass by her house to check on her, I was optimistic that her flight was delayed thinking she must have arrived very late. Later in the day I decided to walk to her house and upon reaching there, I could hear people crying, I didn’t understand. Upon inquiring, I found out Talata’s flight couldn’t make it, the plane she was in had crushed into the Mediterranean sea, according to BBC and CNN.