That single, hollow sound ended all discourse and completed their argument. It sobered her, centering her senses completely. Akoto had locked the door behind him and left Pomaa staring at the empty gulf that stood between them. He took three swift steps and closed it.
“I don’t want to fight with you, Agyapomaa,” he groaned. “God knows that’s the last thing I want to do.”
She was astonished by the power of his penetration. It was urgent and commanding, each stroke deeper than the one before, until he’d joined her soul with his. How had they gotten to this point?
There had been a flush of kisses, she recalled. Akoto had parted her lips with care, separating them like the petals of a delicate rose at dawn. His hands revisited the sacred places of her temple, until he found the sites that he held most dear: nipples that sat erect on breasts that rose and fell with her ragged breath, the small of her arched back that gave way to that cloven, dewy delight between her legs. He drank of her wells, nibbling, suckling, flicking her clitoris and taking her to the precipice of an orgasm thrice until she begged for release.
And that’s when he finally entered her, satisfied with her contentment he could now seek his own pleasure. Akoto scooped up the delicate square foil that had fallen from her waist band as he’d undressed. Had she planned on making love? It was always a possibility, was the reply. Now that her possibility had become his reality and he was completely sheathed, he took her in ways he had rehearsed in his wildest fantasies.
Pomaa submitted herself to his edicts, bending on her knees so that he could glide in from behind, or straddling and engulfing his rigid erection so that they could lock eyes. Ewurade, what beautiful eyes he had…dark irises that held her reflection, framed by tantalizing lashes that brushed her breasts as she leaned forward to force him in deeper.
She had not said his name all night, but in calling for him she had consequently summoned an orgasm that shook him to his core. Akoto, growled through his liberation, repining over an orgasm that he’d held onto so desperately for the last hour.
They fell asleep like that, entwined in each other’s arms, waking to make love through a thunderstorm that arrived with the suddenness and ferocity of their combined passions. It was twilight before they succumbed to weariness and gave in to sleep.
“Baby, you’re snoring again,” Akoto teased.
“Shut up and go to sleep…”
It was almost noon when Pomaa woke up. Akoto was gone.
She made her way to the veranda and stared out over the view of the valley beneath her until a black bird with a horned bill flew clumsily from tree to tree, capturing her attention. Familiar footsteps approached her from behind. A cup of hot tea meant for her rattled on the concrete balcony railing.
“You look like a woman who’s been holding her breath,” Akoto said pensively, “like you’re waiting for something to end or begin…I can’t tell which.”
“Akoto, last night was –“
“Last night was magic,” he said curtly. “Don’t dare say anything bad about last night!”
Pomaa snorted softly and agreed with a half-smile. “Yes; last night was pretty special.”
He wanted her to sit down with him and talk for a bit. There was something he had to give her. There was a felt box in his right hand and a question on his lips. The ring was once his mother’s he explained. She loved it to distraction, and he loved her the same way. He’d been saving it in the mad hopes of giving it to her one day, but he never imagined his boyhood dreams would come true. Every two years, when he had the money, he added a new diamond to it. Gazing at the ring, she noted that there were seven smaller diamonds surrounding a modest emerald cut in the center. Fourteen years of work… He was still talking, asking would she please take it?
“Agyapomaa Agyemang, would you be my wife?”
Ei. His wife? No…
No. She couldn’t. Everything the Nhyiaeso Council had said to her weeks before sat on her head like a weight. The pressure of being his wife – and all that their union would require of her – was too much to bear. Making love and having fun was one thing…but being his wife? That would just be irresponsible. Surely he could understand that?
“No, actually, I can’t,” he said stonily. “That doesn’t make any sense to me, especially coming from you.”
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” she shot back, sitting up stiffly in her chair.
“How is what you’re doing to me any different than what Femi did to you? It’s the same prejudice, the same weakness,” he spat. “You’re no better than he is!”
The bitter truth of his words stung her like a frenzied hornet, coming back again and again for revenge. She scrambled to her feet and recoiled in pain. Of course he was right, but there was no way she could marry a shoe repair man. How?
“I can already see what you’re thinking, even if you’re not saying it, Pomaa,” Akoto said quietly. “But whether I make shoes, or whether I was a CEO, I would still be me…who I am doesn’t change. And I loved you because I thought you could see that.”
It was the tightness – the pain in her throat that kept her replying. Her silence was suffocating them both, until Akoto could bear it no longer. He gathered his things and locked the door behind him, leaving for real this time.
The ride back to Kumasi was excruciating. There was no music loud enough to drown out her thoughts, no scene serene enough to block the image of the hurt in Akoto’s face. As she descended the mountain from Koforidua, she instinctively looked at the passenger seat, expecting to see the agony in Akoto’s eyes and ready to offer him a comforting hand. All that was in that seat now was his phantom, haunting and distracting her. Argh! She wished it would just disappear with its master!
She said a silent prayer, sending up a supplication for God and Heaven to send her something that would help her forget the horrible exchange she had suffered through. No sooner had the words left her lips, her phone rang. It was unlawful to drive and talk, but she needed to hear another human being’s voice. The ones in her head were driving her mad. It was Ayo.
“Ayo!” Pomaa chirped. “Sweetie, how is it? It’s been so long!”
“Oh sister, by God’s grace I am fine ooo,” Ayo trilled. “Are you busy?”
“No. I’m just driving back home. I can talk.”
“Oh, then I’ll be quick. Have you been online this weekend? If you get time, go to Bella Naija Weddings. Femi got married.”
Pomaa’s mouth turned to sand.
“Married? T-to who?”
“Hmmm! To Lucinda! And she was wearing YOUR dress…the one Madame Okoye made for you. That beautiful one, remember? Can you imagine the cheek of it? I always knew that girl was a snake; a snake with a medical bag! They didn’t even invite me to the wedding. I would have thrown gari at her, foolish girl…”
Femi. Married. To Lucinda?
“Pomaa, Pomaa are you still there?”
Yes, she replied. She was still there. She just needed to focus on the road. Would Ayo mind if she called her back when she was parked?
“Oh, sweetie, call me back whenever you can, okay? I just wanted you to hear the news from me first,” Ayo said solemnly.
“Thank you, dear. I’ll call you later.”
What was that noise in her head? There was no noise…there was only silence. There was nothing left for her to think or feel for the rest of that day. There was nothing before her to concern herself except for the road back home.