On the surface, Tuesday nights in Osu were dull. There are plenty of places to eat and have a drink, but the binge happy weekend revelers that crowd Oxford Street’s excessive club scene from Friday night till dawn on Sunday spend Tuesday night in the throes of recovery.
This is why Tuesday night is the province of Ghana’s emerging hipster crowd: Poets, artists, soulful singers and fat bottomed girls clad in wax print.
Cecilia Adjei did not belong to this crowd. Kofi – whose last name she still did not know – had introduced her to it. Kofi was becoming more of a fixture in her life, even if it was just a semi-permanent one. When she wanted playful sex and a cold glass of red wine, Cecilia called Stephen. When she Cecilia wanted her pussy eaten until it was rendered a sloppy, pulsating mess and left to fall into a blissful asleep, Abeku was her to go-to-guy. But when she wanted her hair pulled, her ass smacked, perhaps a puff on a blunt and conversation about distant nebula and the existence of Nordic gods, she found herself in the steely embrace of Kofi No Name.
Cecilia now discovered that she had a profound fondness for Thor and Odin; however that did not mean she was in the least bit prone to finding more out about Kofi. This is how women get trapped. One minute you’re investigating trends and crunching numbers, and the next you’re doodling your first name with his last on every available scrap of paper. Cecilia was having none of that. Still… she enjoyed his company far more than any of her other suitors; at least for the moment.
Tonight Kofi was taking her to Froth, a bookstore cum coffee shop with a neosoul vibe and graffiti splashed walls. Cecilia made a beeline for the burgundy and gold paisley love seat in the corner and sent Kofi off for a drink at the bar.
“Sex on the beach please,” she yawned.
“How apropos,” he winked.
She countered with a throaty laugh. Yes, they would be having sex later. Their nights always ended the same way: a tussled, battered, ecstatic jumble of black skin and sweat.
Cecilia looked around the dimly lit room and thought how much Lerato would have liked it here. This was more her scene. The room was crawling with artsy types, some clutching their notes and others nodding their heads pensively to secret beats filtering through their headphones.
It was open mic night at Froth, but only a specific segment of Accra ever attended. These folks were highbrow, cerebral, contemplative revolutionaries… and Khalid?
Cecilia leapt out of her seat and sashayed toward the entrance where Khalid Haddad was standing and scanning the room.
“Kal, baby! Come to momma,” she gushed, opening her arms to welcome him into her coltish hug.
Khalid eyed Cecilia drolly and relented. He had learned long ago that there was no point in trying to rebuff her playful advances.
“You look amazing Ceci,” he said warmly, disentangling himself from her lithe arms and stepping back to get a better look at her.
“You say the most panty-wetting things, Khalid.”
Cecilia grabbed him by the hand and pulled him towards her table. The warm lights of the lounge glinted off her gold sequined skirt which lit up like a confined fire around her firm ass as she sat settled in the plush seat. She was too much for this room… like a marauding sea creature of prey trapped in a fish bowl.
Khalid chatted congenially and kept his eyes fixed firmly on Cecilia’s and away from the ample bosom begging to be let free of the lace and satin camisole which barely retrained her breasts. Nor did he dare cast his gaze downward where Cecilia’s neatly crossed legs taunted him.
“Who did you come with this evening?”
“My friend, Kofi. He’s at the bar.”
Cecilia wiggled her foot to beat of Efy’a Getaway and sighed before re-addressing him.
“Have you talked to Lerato lately?”
“Why would I talk to Lerato?”
Khalid was being evasive. Cecilia scoffed.
“C’mon man. Don’t play with me like that. I know you guys fucked. And I know it was pretty good.”
Khalid’s ears turned crimson. He looked nervous.
“I talk to her almost every day,” he admitted. “I can’t believe she’s been gone a month.”
“You miss her, don’t you?”
Cecilia grunted, keeping a flurry of thoughts coursing through her mind private.
Tsewww. This man was obviously in love. How boring. Why was he whispering his emotions like a secondary school boy? Was tonight going to be unbearably boring? And better still, where was Kofi with her drink!
“Sex on the beach, just like you asked,” said a familiar voice.
“Thank God,” Cecilia groused, grabbing the drink with both hands. “I thought I was going to die of thirst.”
Kofi sat on the arm of the loveseat and sneered at Cecilia.
“You know I wouldn’t let that happen. How hurt would I be if you died?”
Oh. These deft raps. When was the show going to start?
“Are you going to introduce me to your friend?”
“Kofi, Khalid. Khalid, Kofi,” she said flippantly. “Khalid is banging my best friend who lives in London. Khalid, I’m sleeping with Kofi, so there’s no hope of you and I hooking up later tonight. I’m sorry.”
The two men shared stunned looks before bursting into loud, masculine laughter. Cecilia hushed them both.
“They are introducing the artists and I want to hear!” She pulled Kofi down from the armrest and forced him into her lap.
From the corner of his eye, Khalid could see Cecilia’s hand working its way up the length of the other man’s back. He’d been a month without sex, and did not need any reminders of it. Khalid excused himself and stood.
“I’ll be right back. I’m going to get a drink.”
“I’ll keep your seat warm, baby,” said Cecilia.
As Khalid strode towards the bar, he heard Cecilia suck her teeth and grumble something at Kofi.
Don’t be silly. He’s just a friend…
Khalid took his time getting his beer. He had been looking forward to an uneventful evening, and that was unlikely to happen with Cecilia Adjei in the room. He was sure she wasn’t intentionally brash. It was just her nature. Cecilia was like the opera: she was great fun to experience every once in a while, but not suited for every day consumption.
The poets that night were particularly good. One kente swathed girl with flaming red hair and a neck tattoo growled and slid her body seductively across the stage floor as she warbled several verses about how she lost her virginity. She was obviously a returnee from the Americas. Commando Rasta, a Froth fixture, half-rapped about fuel prices and the ever increasing price of kenkey.
How come komi k3 kena dey commot the system?
How common man for consume conveniently?
You feel ma riddem? You dey feel ma riddem?!?
Khalid cast a glance at Cecilia and Kofi. The heat between the pair of them had finally dissipated and they were engrossed in the spoken word. Khalid reclaimed his spot at Cecilia’s side and sipped his drink.
“Are you enjoying your first experience at Froth,” he asked warmly.
Cecilia cast him a side glance. Khalid raised his eyebrows expectantly.
“Yes. It’s not bad at all.”
“I like coming here,” he said reflectively. “You really get a handle on the pulse of the city. You get to hear what the people who you pass every day without a second thought are thinking.”
“Uh huh. I guess you’re right.”
Cecilia was about to ask Khalid how often he came to open mic night but noticed he had a stricken look on his face.
“Khalid? Kal! What’s wrong??”
His answer came in the form of an icy glare at the center of the lounge where the stage sat. What the hell was Ivy doing here?
A shadowy figure draped in a light cotton nightgown sat on the floor and picked up the microphone. A mournful whimper escalated into a full throated wail through the speakers. A big, brown eye peeked through a side swept fringe and bore into Khalid’s soul.
I followed you here tonight baby
I thought we could talk, maybe
I knew you would be here
In this very room, my dear
This is what I was wearing you took my virginity
What I was wearing when your penis went inside of me…
It was Cecilia that broke the silence.
“Chale, Khalid. Your girl looks absolutely insane.”
“You have absolutely no idea,” he mumbled.
Khalid leapt to his feet and left a ?20 tip on the table and quickly left the room. Ivy’s haunting voice called after him.
No baby! Don’t leave me, don’t leave me!
Thunderous applause drowned out the demented pleas of the woman he’d once loved completely. He wanted to go back and save her, but Khalid Haddad was not equipped to rescue Ivy.