“Eii borga! Is this the state of affairs in your refrigerator? I didn’t think things were this bad for you.” Kojo could not hide his surprise when he opened Nana’s fridge and found it completely empty.

Kojo had known Nana for almost a year since they met at one of the writers and readers grotto; a program held for writers and readers to help them sharpen their writing skills and get them to learn from other renowned writers. Kojo was there by the invitation a friend to see how it was done while Nana was there to read one of his write-ups and learn from others. They linked up after the program and discovered that they went to the same senior high school – Presbyterian Boys Secondary School, Legon. Nana was in the General Arts programme while Kojo did Visual Arts. Their friendship grew ever since.

“Boy, you have no idea what the state of the economy is. A Daddy’s boys like you wouldn’t feel the heat of the economy when you have everything planned out of you.” Nana replied from behind his laptop where he was trying to finish a story for the week.

“My guy, stop what you’re saying. What do you mean I’m a Daddy’s boy? If you knew the fire in which I find myself at this point you won’t sit there and tell me that bosh.” Kojo replied.

“You, in fire? Hahahahahaha. Wait, wait, wait, let me guess. You and Rosemary fought again?” Nana teased.

Kojo shifted his attention from his phone and gave his friend a stern look. His eyes were cold and dark, his face had the expression that said, “I could kill you right now”. He pressed his lips together to stop himself from saying what was about to come out. Nana didn’t realize all these as he was focused on his laptop. For all he knew Kojo was just upset because he most likely had a quarrel with his girlfriend – Rosemary. It wouldn’t be the first time and probably wouldn’t be the last time. Kojo was too sensitive and couldn’t just let some things go. He always took everything personal.

“Why at all are you like that, Nana? Must everything be about a lady? I’m in serious trouble brother and it has nothing to do with Rosemary. We’re cool.” Kojo said finally, trying very hard to remain calm.

Nana slowly turned around the chair he sat on and faced his friend. What could possibly be bothering Kojo to get him so worked up? – he thought.

“Indulge me, my brother; what is getting you so worked up?” Nana enquired.

“Nana, I think Ashorkor has bewitched my Dad.” Kojo said with a sad look on his face.

Nana’s jaw dropped. Did he hear his friend right? Nana could not believe his ears nor his friend. In this day and age, people still believed in this archaic and primitive practise we grew up seeing in African movies? He almost burst into laughter but the look on Kojo’s face constrained him. “Who still believed in these things?” Nana thought.

“Did you hear what I said?” Kojo prompted Nana when he did not get any response from Nana.

“Mhat? Yes. Yeah, of course, I heard you. I’m sorry I was thinking about something. Could you repeat that again, you were saying your dad was what?” Nana managed to say.

Kojo gave him a piercing look that showed his displeasure about Nana’s lack of interest in the conversation.

“You know what, never mind. It’s nothing really, I’m just tired. I should be on my way now man, I need to get some groceries from the store.” Kojo lied to avoid the conversation and got up to leave.

It did not matter how many times Nana apologized, Kojo would not stay. If he (Nana) was not interested in what he (Kojo) had to say, he might as well just leave and give him chance to focus on whatever he was doing on his laptop. Nana felt bad as Kojo left, he realized he had been insensitive. His friend needed him and he did not avail himself. The guilt he felt was so much he could not focus on his story when he tried to continue. He tried calling Kojo to apologize again but Kojo’s phone was off. “Hey probably turned it off to avoid me” Nana muttered to himself when the call did not go through.

On his way home Kojo decided to get something to eat. He entered the restaurant just about some few kilometers away from Nana’s house. He couldn’t believe the number of people at the restaurant at that time of the day. On one corner was one who looked like he was late for a meeting but had to finish with the food in front him. Then he turned and saw another young man who would probably be in his early forties, “Shouldn’t you be married and be enjoying some homemade food at your age?” Kojo asked in his head and smiled to himself. Kojo was contemplating on what to order when the waiter came to take his order. Without looking at the menu he asked to be served with fufu with groundnut soup and goat meat. The man he saw earlier devouring his food in a hurry sort of aroused his appetite to order for that food.

After mumbling something he called praying, Kojo began to delve deep into his food. He was so focused he wouldn’t even turn to look at the ladies laughing their hearts out at the next table. Kojo removed his handkerchief to wipe the sweat that had gathered over his face and almost dripping into his soup. As he moved his hand with the handkerchief in it, to the left side of his face exposing his right eye something caught his eye. He quickly removed his hand from his face to see clearly what he thought he had seen. And there it was – Ashorkor was seated in the left corner close to the bar of the restaurant. “that’s her, the back of her trimmed hair, those were the same shoes she wore the first time she was at the house; and who was that he was sitting there with looking so cozy?”– Kojo thought. He almost got up to go over that table to confront her but he thought against it. He secretly took a photo of them with his phone and kept his cool.

Kojo did not finish his food. He signaled the waiter to bring the bill; he paid the money and gave him a tip for his warm service, and left. He made sure Ashorkor did not see him leave the restaurant; she would meet him at home and he would see what creative lie she would come up with.

Kojo got to the house and met his father in the parlor. Esi was sitting at his feet playing with her doll while his father was buried in the book he was reading. The television was on but it was on mute. The two did not seem to notice his presence as he walked in.

“Daddy. You’re home. I didn’t expect to see you at home by this time.” Kojo announced his presence.

“Yeah, Kojo, I’ve been home all day, I just decided to stay at home with my princess and spend some time with her.” Mr. Appiah replied and smiled at his son.

“That’s good, daddy, it’s good to spend time with family.” Kojo said thinking his father was referring to Esi.

Mr. Appiah just smiled still buried in the book he was reading.

“Daddy, can I speak with you for a minute. I realize you’re reading but this is very important and I think you should know.” Kojo ignored all the red lights his father was showing him not to disturb him.

Mr. Appiah slowly raised his head to look at his son. He did not look very pleased with Kojo disrupting his reading. The look he saw on Kojo’s face made him decide to indulge him.

“What is it, Kojo?” Mr. Appiah enquired with his left eyebrow raised.

“I know I promised to mind my own business and not bother you and Ashorkor again; but I think you should know this. I went to Nana’s place this afternoon and on my way back I decided to get something to eat at the restaurant just after his house. As I sat there eating my food you won’t believe…”

“Darling, food is ready, please. Hey baby girl; Esi, are you hungry?” Ashorkor voice was heard before she surfaced from the kitchen with an apron and a napkin on her shoulder.

Kojo froze.

To be continued…