Read Part II of the story here

In his room, standing before his mirror, he shaves under his arms after he had shaved the pubic area, feels the soft glabrous skin in both regions. Why shave? Just the first date. A gentleman looks and feels good all the damn time. Tis the law. Surrre, that’s why. He regards the pimple rising on his forehead. Just great! Nah, it’s fine. You have my attention. I intend to keep it that way, Sol.

His mother’s voice is heard:

Cooking jolof is the index of patience and skill. It burns before being cooked without the skill.

But I like the burnt part.

 No, you are not listening, Kweku.

It’s the ultimate test of character. She is right.

Always cook that special girl jolof.

 Didn’t even plan it. Just came right out.

 I’ll cook you jolof, I swear. Never said that before.  

 The hours from Thursday to Saturday dissolve into lavic delirium; potent reveries float through the liquid of his thawed being; reveries of a fevered heart; indeed, love’s fever; when he saw her that morning, he anticipated the ailment of the soul, a sickness with a love he had not yet tasted; and then he would see her again, ever more refashioned and perfected, in his memory, a love he had not yet had, then in his fantasy; the dreamt date, a love he had not yet fed. Already, he is lonely in this. 

It is happening this Saturday, Kweku. You show her what a man’s jolof is! Text in the morning to remind her. Maybe she forgot.

‘Hey, Solace,’ he sends.

Ticks singly.

Last seen yesterday 23:59 sliding under Sol Bae.

Nice dp. Monochrome. No filter. Well, she doesn’t need one. You are beautiful, Solace. That rare moment inner beauty harmonises with outer beauty.  

Ticks double.

Online.

She is here.

 Double ticks turn blue.

She has entered. She has seen.

Typing…

Quick reply. She is beautiful in and out.

 ‘Chef lol’ appears.

O, my heart! She laughs out loud. Perhaps a chuckle but I’ll take it.

‘It’s today.’

‘I know. About that…’

Typing… under Sol Bae

Get ready for the bouncing. Brace your heart, incoming ‘I’m busy, can we make it another time?’ Because the universe must complicate love. And date never happens, of course.

‘I am free from 1 to 3. Will that be okay?’ … All is well. Alizwel.

‘Yeah, I’ll be there at 1. Send me the location.’  

‘I have all you need in my kitchen, so you don’t have to buy any ingredients. Just saying lol’

‘Ok lol’

‘This should be fun.’

‘You bet!’

Then watching her go offline, pores over the text: Chef lol. 

She calls me chef already, why can’t I call her Sol? I’ll call her Sol. Yeah, but ease it in, watch her reaction.

Vibrating phone. 

He opens the notification and there is her location, shared. Hitting it, app options slip up, and tapping the Uber app, touches Just once. He reads the price of the trip. In my range. 

In three hours you see her. Take the camera. No, leave the camera but get some chocolates. Didn’t ask which flavour she liked. It’s the gesture that counts, remember? Okay. Get chocolate on your way.

To be continued……..


Writer: Andrew Aidoo
Photo by Anthony Chinweuba from Pexels

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