Another day, and the journey continues. Hopefully, this issue between the two young lovers should come to an end right here and now. Let’s see…
“Hey, Selasi! Good morning!”
“Good morning, baby boy! How are you? And what’s with the early call?”
“Oh, I’m good, I’m good. Just got to work and uh, a lil something came up last night that I thought you might want to know,” Edem said as he pressed the power button on his laptop. He was one of the first people in the Workshed, as usual. He shook his head as the time on his screen read 7:58 am.
As always, his colleagues were late. They really needed to get their game up if their social media marketing agency was going to grow.
“I see. Does it have to do with Diamond?”
“Yeah. Umm… so she called me late last night, and uh, she said she’d like us to meet so we can talk.”
“Oh really? Did you agree to it?”
“Ummm… I told her to let me check my schedule for the day and see if I’ll be able to. I just don’t know, though. Should I? I mean, with what you said about giving her some space and all that…”
A sigh followed in response. “Edem, I can’t speak for you. But in my opinion… I… I think you should. Maybe she wants to clear the air about saying no, since there’s been that awkwardness since the day it happened. I mean, you’re still friends, and stuff like this definitely tends to drive a wedge if not properly dealt with.”
Edem sighed himself, typing out his password as he used his shoulder to hold up the phone. “Lord knows I wish she’ll tell me it was a mistake, and that she wants to say yes instead. God, I love her, Selasi. I love her so much.”
“Awwwww, Edem! I know that’s how you feel right now. It doesn’t always happen, but chale, you never know, so just… tell her you’ll meet her and keep your fingers crossed. And listen, whatever she says, remember that you’ll be fine, alright? You’ll be fine. Just like Jackson said the last time. I know you love her, and you know I wish as much as you do that she’d have said yes, but chale, things don’t always go the way we wish they would. At the end of the day, God is good, and life goes on.”
“Yes, Queen. I hear you loud and clear. I’ll be fine.”
“Definitely. So let her know as soon as you hang up.”
“Alright, Queen. Oh, this is just an aside, by the way, but yesterday’s IG post… herhhhh!! You fine oo!! Like joke, like joke, you dey make I dey weak o, you make I weak o…”
Selasi laughed on the other side. “Efo, it’s too early for this. Please! Behave yourself!”
“Uzongithola ngiblom’emlanjeeeeeeni, uzongithola ngiblom’emlanjeni, soka lami, ” Akinyi sang softly, her eyes closed as she relaxed on the hospital bed. The chemo infusion had taken place, and she was having her rest. Auntie Grace and Kwame had been around, but the former had stepped out to make a few phone calls, so it was her bestie that was with her in the treatment room.
Kwame’s head, which was bent downwards as he read through some notes on his phone with earphones plugged in, went up. “Say what?” he asked as he took them out, having heard her.
Akinyi opened her eyes, then shook her head. “Oh, I wasn’t saying anything to you. I was singing to myself. One of my favourite songs from childhood. Emlanjeni by Mafikizolo. God, I loved that song as a kid.”
“Oh, I see. Never underestimate the oldies but goodies. They really bring the chills when they come to mind.”
Akinyi sighed. “Oh yeah, they really do. This song does that. The memories of how sad me and my people felt whenever we saw the video on Channel O.”
Kwame looked interested. “Why, was the video emo or something?”
Akinyi nodded. “Mafikizolo used to be a trio, two guys and the lady, but the other guy was killed in a road rage accident, and the video for that song had a little tribute for him. If I remember correctly, at the end of the video, the two guys were in a car, and the deceased guy got out of the car and waved at the other, suitcase in his hand, as the car moves away and he goes in another direction. Always felt so… symbolic. In a sad way. A sign that he’s no longer with them.”
Wrapped up in the sudden solemnity in the room, Kwame breathed in and out, his mind attempting to visualize what she had just described.
“Then the one in the car goes to meet the lady at a riverside, and they just sing the chorus while the screen shows the tribute to the fallen member. I mean, it was so beautiful and so moving, and so sad. I remember watching it at the age of 8, 9, and just feeling sad at the end of the video, while never losing sight of how beautiful the song is. It’s… I don’t know, I… can’t really explain it, I guess. It’s just one of those things.”
Kwame nodded. “I get it, I get it.”
“And I guess it just reminds me of the good old days. Sheila and I singing along to this and every other Mafikizolo song we’d hear on the radio. Or everytime Papa played one of the many CDs of theirs we had. Lord, everything seemed perfect. My grand-aunt was as fit and healthy as could be, Sheila met Chilemba real early, and they were so in love, while little miss Akinyi was the cute, unstoppable force of nature that drove everyone crazy.” She giggled, then sighed as she looked at her arm that had the IV hooked in it. “Hmm. Some surprises life throws at you. From my grand-aunt passing, to my favourite couple in the whole world having the ugliest split, to this.”
Kwame sighed. Had he not been advised by the nurses not to come into contact with her during the infusion, he would have walked over to give her a hug. “I know, Aki, I know. I’ve had my share of nasty surprises. I’ll never stop missing Mrs. Mary Sarfo Benson for as long as I live, that’s for sure. Life really does slap us with some unpleasant stuff. But one thing I know is that as life goes on, inasmuch as some of these losses leave a vacuum that won’t ever be filled, there are gains, too. Like how I’ve come to know you. And some of these slaps aren’t meant to break us, but toughen us.
“God comes through for us in our toughest times and takes us through, and it’s even better when He gets the real ones to surround us during the process. You’ve been through stuff, doll, but I’m confident you’ll come out of this better than before.”
She gave him a weak little smile and nodded. “Thanks, Kwame. You’re right. And you know, you’re a real one.”
Kwame smiled back and bowed his head. “I’m delighted to know of such.”
“Hehehe. But honestly, thank you for being the best bestie in the world. You really are a godsend.”
“You’re welcome.” He rose to his feet. “Now lemme step out briefly and get myself some plantain chips. And please, now that I know Mafikizolo is more than that Khona song, you need to hook a brother up!”
She shook her head. “You thought Mafikizolo is popular due to just that song? Ugh, the utter disrespect you’ve just shown one of Africa’s biggest musical duos. You are so out of touch, young Mr. Benson.”
“Whatever. Just hook me up.”
“Ei, Sarknation president nono!” Maabena snickered out loud as Edem’s car moved in to the parking lot of the area the Smooth Wrapz trailer comfortably sat.
Diamond smirked. His window was down, so the sounds of ‘Saara’ could be heard loud and clear. “Stop. Passionate native kraaa. I think I ended up listening to the entire Mary album one time we were going round town preparing for the grand opening.”
“No surprise. The way he doesn’t like it when I say ‘Irish cream’ eh, as if I’ve dissed him.”
The two of them laughed.
“Are you ready, though?” Maabena asked, to which Diamond nodded lightly. “Good. Settle it and settle it well. You do not need to let fear ruin what can be a beautiful thing. Just come clean and let him know the feeling is mutual. You deserve some happiness, boo. And so does he.”
“Hi ladies!” Edem greeted as he approached them.
“Hey, Mister Irish Cream!” Maabena responded loudly, a taunting smile on her face. Diamond shook her head in amusement.
Edem, not looking the least bit amused, put his phone in his pocket. “Umm, I think before we move, I have to clear the air on that line. Now look, the fact of the matter is-“
“Gentleman, please, let’s get moving,” Diamond interjected, quickly moving to grab his hand and drag him off. “Na you, if we let you switch to explanation mode, we’re finished.”
“Thank you, baby girl!” Maabena responded, sighing with relief as her partner dragged a laughing Edem off to the car.
Twenty minutes later, after small talk, forced sing-alongs to songs on the radio and moments of uncomfortable silence, Edem and Diamond found themselves in the parking lot of the Marina Mall.
As Edem switched the engine off, he turned to Diamond. “Alright, Dee. So, uh, you wanted us to talk. I’m all ears now.”
Diamond, who had been fidgeting with her phone for the entirety of the journey, feeling a little embarrassed that she had grabbed him like that despite their awkwardness towards each other, lifted up her head and looked at him.
Her heartbeat increased a bit as she looked into his dark brown pupils.
Oh God, he’s so damn good-looking!
She shut her eyes for a moment, took in a deep breath, then started. “Umm, yeah, so… it has to do with what happened a few weeks ago at the grand opening. When you proposed to me.”
Edem nodded. “Mm-hmm.”
“So, I said no, and uh, it’s been extremely cold between us since, and I’ve not felt the least bit happy about it. It’s always so weird when this kinda thing happens, and it’s so not nice. I’ve not felt at peace at all, and I… I guess I needed to straighten things out.”
Edem continued to nod.
Her heartbeat picking up speed, she took another deep breath before continuing.
“Edem. The truth is… I… I feel the same way.”
She watched as the solemn look on Edem’s face suddenly changed into a stunned one.
She nodded. “Yes, Edem. I… fell in love with you too.” Not knowing what else to add, she went silent.
“But… but then, why did you say no? Did you hear something about me? Did someone tell you something?” he enquired, looking genuinely confused, although there was a hint of excitement in his voice.
Diamond shook her head. “No, none of that. It’s because… I was afraid.”
“Yeah. These past few weeks, or maybe months, a lot has happened that’s left me a little less willing to really trust peeps. The Shormeh issue, Maabena’s boyfriend… they just really played on my mind, and… I just got scared that we’ll get into a relationship and things will go bad between us and… I don’t want a broken heart, chale! I’m scared, and I-I just thought it was better we not do this at all.”
Edem nodded, an understanding look on his face. Even though his heart was doing backflips and somersaults of joy at knowing the feeling was actually mutual. He reached over and took both hands of hers, forcing her to adjust herself to look directly at him.
“Diamond, baby girl, I totally understand. When it comes to love, there’s always that fear, especially in this age. It’s a major risk putting your heart in the hands of another person. But… more often than not, it’s totally worth it. Look, I feel nervous too; it’s a tricky thing, this love eyi. I feel tensed up, but I feel excited too. Coz inasmuch as there’s that risk of things going bad, there’s way more beauty staring us in the face.”
Watching her calmed expression, her hands in his, he squeezed her hands gently.
“Listen,” he continued gently, “I know this world is full of wicked people. Like that witch and that f**king guy. And chale, my mother always says we should pray that we should be delivered from such people. Wicked and unreasonable people, as she says. But Dee, we can’t let fear keep us from connecting with those who aren’t. And believe me when I say this: I love you, and I want to make you happy.”
“Awwww, Edem,” Diamond cooed, at a loss for words.
Letting go of her left hand, he reached out and stroked her chin. “Diamond, every time I think about you, all I wanna do is make you happy. I know you’re scared, but trust me, my heart has nothing but good intentions for you. I know you’re good on your own, but with me, there’s so much happiness in store.”
She let out the softest of laughs. The atmosphere in the car had switched. From a stiff and awkward one to one soaked with the sweetest of emotions.
“Edem, I’m… I’m lost for words, honestly,” she murmured. “All I know is that… this… this feels like where I wanna be. With you.”
Edem smiled gently. “Me too, Dee. Me too. So, shall we try this again?”
Diamond cocked her head sideways gently. “Try what?”
She giggled. “Sure.”
Edem put a finger on the side of his forehead. “Ummmmm… I’m trying to remember the exact wording I used at the grand opening… uhh, did I say most incredible before most beautiful…”
Diamond rolled her eyes. “Nyɛbro, just pop the question, lah!”
Edem snickered, then turned to her. “Alright, I’ll be serious now. Diamond, I’m in love with you, and I want you to be my lady. Will you be my lady?”
“Yes, Edem. My answer is yes.”
Oh, the outburst of joy within those two young hearts as they officially made it official!
A sweet smile on his face, Edem reached over, his face heading towards her. She closed her eyes in anticipation.
The next second, their lips met in a sweet, passionate first kiss.
As they separated after a few seconds, Diamond had the most excited and flushed expression on her face. Giggling slightly, she murmured, “Now I know why my mother’s always so giddy after she and my dad make out.”
Edem laughed softly, then reached over and kissed her again.
Words would fail to describe the inexplicable bliss both of them felt within their bodies at that moment. The best word you’d probably find for it: glorious.
As they parted once again, he kept his eyes on her, his hand stroking her cheek. “I love you, Diamond,” he whispered, “and I promise to make you happy from this day forward.”
“Me too, Edem. Me too,” Diamond responded. “That was such a sweet kiss.”
“Hehe, I know right? Lord knows how long I’ve dreamt of this moment. To have the beautiful Diamond Dolphyne all to myself.”
Taking his hand in hers, she whispered softly, “Well, now you do. And I also have the amazing Edem Sedudzi all to myself.”
“Yes, you do.”
For the next few moments, they just stared into each others eyes, their pupils doing all the talking and affirming of their desire for each other. After so long, this moment had finally come to fruition.
Edem and Diamond were finally a couple.
“Right. So, can we talk about pet names? Coz I’m planning on calling you baby girl, but it kinda demands that you call me baby boy, and given that Selasi already calls me by that, I dunno…”
Diamond shook her head. “Massa, no talking. Just shut up and hold my hand. And lemme enjoy the presence of my boyfriend in silence. Na you like talking too much.”
“Hehe, yes please, my love. Your wish is my command.”
Finally ooooo! Edem and Diamond are together now! No more lalasulala stuff between them. Another one of the young Dolphynes is having a nice ending in the works…