Post number 100! Wooohooooo!!!!
So initially, this story wasn’t meant to have a part 2 to it. But after some requests, devil emoticons, threatened curses which were revoked with cooking oil and repetitive playback of “Break Every Chain”, I had it done. Some of y’all wanted to know what happens after Abrefa’s ‘bouncing’. Let’s see…
“Chale, Abby, did I show you the Instagram video of that guy talking about the hotel that sells fufu for hundred Ghana cedis?” Joey asked, as they walked to the car. “Herh, the guy fool oo! He was asking if they cut the plantain and yams from the garden of Eden! Squad dey talk papa!”
Abrefa managed a weak laugh as he acknowledged his friend’s enthusiastic reaction to the 15 second video. “Yeah, I see already.”
Joey’s excited demeanour reduced, looking at his friend. He had hoped that would lighten his mood a bit. The smile flattered to deceive, though. It didn’t.
It had been three months since Abrefa had told him one Thursday morning, that the girl he was crazy about had declined his proposal, saying she saw him as just a friend. He had taken it really hard then, and had tried a few times afterward to try and persuade her. She had taken a harder stance, though, and at a point unequivocally told him to stop disturbing her.
So he did.
It had been massive work, keeping his feelings on a leash and still maintaining a serious attitude to working with her in the same department at church, but he had managed to pull it off, although they didn’t talk as much as they used to.
Last month, though, their head pastor had done a little shuffle within the departments, and Abrefa was made to join Joey and a few others in their department. At least the emotional torment of having to be around her at certain times was over.
What they had seen that afternoon, though, was not quite what would have been expected. In Abrefa’s case, at least.
They had passed by the West Hills Mall to check it out; Joey had never been there before. As they toured the place and took notice of the different outlets around, Abrefa decided they buy a few drinks from Shoprite.
As they took out the drinks from the fridge, Abrefa turned to place some of them in the shopping basket when he noticed a familiar shape at the corner of his eye. He turned slightly. That familiar female frame was leaning against a larger, more muscular frame. Both were laughing.
His stomach did a sharp burn, so sharp he thought he’d throw up. It was Adobea! With another guy!
Before Joey could turn and see them, they walked away. Abrefa whispered furiously to him, “Chale, Joey, I just saw Adobea with some guy. Some macho guy bi.”
Joey’s eyes shot wide open. “Are you serious? So it’s true?”
Joey placed his hand over his forehead. That shouldn’t have come out. “Gimme a minute,” he said, clearly looking for a quick plan of some sort. He dragged Abrefa into the next lane. At the check-out point at the end of the lane stood Adobea and the guy, holding two big bags of Doritos.
“Yieeee, Steve dey like sweet things!” Joey exclaimed, more to himself than to Abrefa.
“Who is he?” Abrefa demanded impatiently.
“I beg you, Abby, just pass another place and pay for the stuff. Let me meet up with the guy. I know him, and I was hearing some stuff bi. Gimme a moment to clarify this.”
Ten minutes later, and the clarification had been delivered to Abrefa. And it wasn’t sweet at all.
Steve was Adobea’s new boyfriend.
Not from the same church, but he knew her from the same neighbourhood. He had taken a longer period of time to make his feelings known, but once he had, he clearly had had less resistance. Adobea had had a crush on him for a short while – about a month – and didn’t take too long to say yes.
As Abrefa opened the doors and they took their seats, Joey knew the news had hit him hard. Watching his friend put on his seat belt and just lean back with a sigh, he gently said, “Abby, I know you’re not okay. I won’t ask if you are.”
Abrefa shook his head, putting up his hand as if to defend himself. “No, no, no, Joey. Don’t worry. I’m not angry or bitter. After all, Adobea is a free human being. If she decided she didn’t want me and chose the Steve guy, who am I to vilify her? It’s not like he’s some demon and I’m an angel. You said he’s a good guy who loves the Lord. That’s wonderful.”
“At the end of the day, the problem isn’t with her. It’s with me.”
Joey shook his head. “Abrefa, Abrefa, Abrefa. Listen, I understand what you’re going through-“
“Do you?” Abrefa cut in. “Do you, really? Look, I know you wanna comfort me, but really, I don’t think you really understand. I mean, you’ve told me Nana Yaa has been your girl for close to 5 years now, and she’s the first girl you fell for. See, you haven’t had the experience I’ve had.
“From primary school, I don’t know why, but girls never really liked me. They’d rather hang out with the other boys. As for me, I was like a second-rate version of the male species. They’d take more delight in teasing, mocking… sometimes, they’d hit me! Yeah, I know I’d lose man points for that, but it’s the truth. Left a deep-rooted impression on me. Convinced me that I was not the type of guy that girls would ever really like. That they’d rather go for the next guy.
“This ain’t new. I’ve fallen for so many girls at different times in life. When I was young, dumb and so immature, it was off the roof. When I developed a better understanding of what love is about. Throughout all these times, the result remains the same. Rejection. They tell me they’re not interested, that I’m only good enough to be their friend… ugh! Some of them practically forgot that I even proposed to them in the first place when I jokingly bring it up!!”
Joey was readying himself to cut in, but that last statement left him silent. Ouch! That was quite a stinger.
“It hurts, Joey, it hurts. I often resign myself to the fact that there’s no girl on the face of this planet who would ever want to date me. I know it’s stupid, but… it just sticks.
“Sometimes, I even imagine if I had actually been with Adobea, and as stupid as this may seem, I can’t help but feel that if she had told the likes of Naa Ajele, Naana and Angela that I’m her guy, they’d think ‘Uh, couldn’t you do better than him?’ And yeah, I know they appreciate me and all, but… I can’t help that feeling. And it’s not a good thing, coz at the end of the day, I don’t even trust that they really care about me in the first place!
“If you knew just how many times I wish to just give up totally. Every time I feel that way, I pray and pray and pray, yet it always ends up the same way. I’m tired of feeling like I’m inferior to every other guy. I’m tired of thinking the worst of everyone around me and of myself. I’m tired of feeling substandard. I’m tired of it. I’m tired! I’m tired!”
The last two statements were accompanied by a pounding of the steering wheel, then he laid his head against it, a huge sigh of frustration following.
Joey remained quiet, just watching his friend let out his steam of frustration.
After a minute, Abrefa raised his head. The pain in his heart was evident on his face. His eyes were closed, seemingly looking to prevent tears from flowing. “Look, Joey, I’m sorry. I probably shouldn’t have vented like that… I just… I never let this out… scared people will dismiss me and…” He drifted off.
“Abby, you’re hurting. It’s so obvious. You know, let me drive. Just take the passenger seat and breathe for a moment,” Joey responded, opening the door and moving over to the driver’s seat. Abrefa didn’t resist. He went over and took the passenger seat.
As Joey started the engine, Abrefa said, “I’m sorry. Shouldn’t have been that immature.”
“It’s alright, Abby. It’s good you let it out. Just take a moment and relax. I’ll take you home.” He set the car in reverse as he moved out of the parking lot. He gently laid a hand on Abrefa, who had closed his eyes again and had adjusted his seat downwards. The stains of leaked tears on his face was apparent. Lord, this friend of mine is hurting. His soul is troubled, and his heart is a raging storm of unhappiness. Breathe peace upon him. Still his beating heart. Calm the winds that blow upon his heart. Silence the lies the enemy is telling him. In Jesus name. Amen.
The car moved out of the parking lot and unto the road as they headed towards home.