5. In The Car

Another sweetly written one by yours truly. I think an experience of similar proportions is what inspired this one…

“Where are you?…. I said where are you? Stop telling me you’re coming, I want to know exactly where you are. Where are you?”

As Abrefa watched the obviously annoyed man through the rearview mirror, he shook his head and grinned. Too obvious, wasn’t it? The person on the other end was lying. The good old tactic of avoiding a direct answer. He’d done that a couple of times himself, and more often than not, the person he was talking to accepted that answer. It was pretty clear, though, that the man behind his car in the parking lot beside the Accra Mall was nowhere near ready to do likewise.

“Tell me exactly where you are…. Massa, for the last time, where are you? Ah! Stop wasting my time…. Huh?…..still in a line at Tema Station? And you were saying you’re almost here? Ah!…. Relax for what? After spending 30 minutes in traffic from Flowerpot to the mall and waiting 3 solid hours for my money, you are there telling me to relax? Nonsense! What do you mean?

Abrefa perked up. “Ahhhh! I should’ve known. Money matters. No wonder the guy is trying to swerve like that. Ei, chale, Pastor Modupe was talking about this on Sunday oooo. Being a debtor diƐƐ, chale, terrible thing-”

The sound of the passenger door opening cut him off. He turned to see Adobea enter the car and take her seat. “Hello, Abby.”

Adobea. What a girl.

For the past seven months, she had been the object of his affections. Since they had been pitched together in the same department in church, he had gone from simply knowing her as ‘one of the girls in church’ to being intrigued by her sheer intelligence, sweet heart and passion for God. There was this aura of sweetness that enveloped her, and it was something that kept Abrefa awake at night. In all honesty, Adobea was that kind of girl that’s hard to forget.

He had prayed about it, weighed the options and confided in his mentor about it. Now, after those past few months, he had made the decision to take the relationship to the next level. So two weeks earlier, right after the midweek service, he had pulled her aside, and despite his nerves slightly betraying him, he admitted to falling for her.

Her response? A hesitant ‘lemme think about it’.

The past fortnight had been mental torment for him, as night after night, he tossed and turned in his bed, considering all the probabilities. As one week passed, hope became a fading shadow. Voices of old started creeping in. Telling him to give up, and that nothing new would spring up.

‘She’s not interested. Just let it go.’ ‘Massa, stop wasting your time, it’s obviously no.’ ‘It’s gonna be the same old story, chale…’

But now, at her request, they had met here. She had an answer. Time to see if the voices were right, or a beautiful thing was about to be conceived in his Hyundai Elantra.

She took a deep breath, then started.

“Um, so, Abrefa, we’ve come to know and really appreciate each other over these last few months. You, are a really nice guy. I mean, you’ve done some really sweet things for me. Ummm…. I just remembered, I still owe you an umbrella. Don’t worry, I’ll replace it ASAP.”

“Oh, don’t worry about that. Forget kraaa. It’s not a problem,” Abrefa replied. Actually, he did need a new one quite urgently, but scratch that. He’d handle it later.

Adobea laughed softly, causing a little spark in his gut. Then she looked him in the face.

“The thing is, I see you as a friend. Nothing more than that…”

He barely heard what followed as his heart sank. The voices were right.

What the hell was I thinking? What at all made me take this step? Crap! He thought as Adobea ‘apologized’.

His attention to her returned as he heard her say, “I hope you don’t hate me for this.”

No response. Still swallowing the bitter pill she had just given him.

A minute passed, and after having his head bowed, he looked up at her, pain in his eyes. “Adobea, I am in love with you. I can’t just settle for friendship at this stage.” A brief pause. “Seriously. Where it has gotten to diƐƐ, I can’t downgrade.”

Adobea giggled a bit. The look of frustration on his face made her stop.

“Sorry. I just couldn’t help myself, with the ‘downgrade’,” she said, her head leaning against the headrest. Shaking her head as she looked up, she stressed, “No, Abby, no. I just don’t see it working. I don’t feel it. I’m sorry. I know it hurts, but…”

Once again, her words became a mere humming in his ears as his mind drifted. Her words of ‘comfort’ only a dagger inflicting fresh wounds and opening up old ones. Another rejection to add to his collection.

His eyes now fixated on the windscreen, those voices came around yet again, telling him the ‘unpleasant truth’.

Abrefa, this is a lost battle you’re fighting. Stop trying to date. No matter what, they’ll always say no. Give it up, bro, give it up. It won’t work. That’s just how it is…

Her talk ceased when she realized his oblivious countenance.

“Abrefa?” she called gently.

He snapped out of his misery-saturated reverie and looked at the rear view mirror. The man he had been watching was walking towards the mall, still looking quite angry.

He laughed to himself very quietly. I hope he gets his money back, he thought as he started to adjust his seat.

Adobea had looked behind to see the man too, but she hadn’t paid him any attention. “Abby, is everything OK? Is something wrong?”

Of course something’s wrong, he retorted to himself. But really, he knew there was no need to be nasty to her. It was her decision after all. He just felt so hurt inside, a little bit of church might do him some good.

Without looking at her, he shook his head, smiled weakly, and turned the key in the ignition. “Let’s get going. Almost six o’ clock. Midweek service will be starting soon.”

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