Aside the new building that had sprang up in place of the mud house that housed his family, the old neighborhood had not experienced any significant changes. The road was still as dusty as always and Castle du Assiam as they called back in the days still sat on top of the hill casting a menacing shadow on the other houses at the foot of the hill. The new paint work made it stand out like the clean shaven head of a big headed child. Memories began to trickle down Kuuku’s mind and all he could let out was a chuckle. As the taxi wiggled itself up the hill like a pepper worm, it’s body began to vibrate due to the bass from the music blurring out of the house. He remembered how he and his seven other siblings in their old but new dresses will line up at the gate of the Assiams during festive seasons to receive gifts of sweets, biscuits and squash from Mrs. Assiam. He had always admired that woman and it was going to be great seeing her again. He just was not sure if she was going to make him out. As kids he remembered always being the bone of contention between Sika and her friends. There were times he even got ganged up on and beaten by her elder brother Jones and his friends just for being around her. One time it got so bad that, his Mother made him promise to stay away from any of the Assiams after he got home with a torn uniform and had two missing front teeth. Up till date he still remembered what she said that night as she nursed his wounds. ‘Kuu, when the lizard and its cousin the gecko decided to have a party a butterfly must avoid attending it no matter how enticing the invite is.’ Secretly he still maintained the friendship with Sika till she left for the UK after primary six and that was eighteen years ago. When he received a friend request from her two years ago on Facebook, he was not sure whether it was actually her. Even after accepting her friend request it would take him another two months to respond to messages she had sent and that was when their friendship rekindled. Over the next year they skyped almost every day with each other, and exchanged tons of messages via whatsapp. It was as though they were trying to cover lost grounds. Gradually his emotions began to gravitate towards love and so he told her how he felt about her. When she told him she couldn’t be with him, he felt sad but grateful that they were still very good friends. Deep in his heart he wished that things would change between them and was willing to be patient for this to happen. Two days ago, he received a phone call from an unknown local number and it was Sika. She said she had just arrived in Ghana and was inviting him for a party at her father’s house that weekend.
Truth be told Kuuku was not sure whether he was doing the right thing or not. Going to this party meant opening closets he was not ready to open yet but as fate would have it Sika had insisted that he come at all cost because she had something important to tell him. Just as he got out of the taxi a saloon car speed towards him and nearly rammed him into the gate. Then a head pops out from the driver’s side and hauls cusses at him ‘idiot do you think this is your bedroom’. As the car drove past him into the house, Kuuku realized it was Max, the guy who was madly in love with Sika when they were kids. Indeed nothing had changed about his attitude. Smiling coyly to himself Kuuku entered the house and after scanning through the crowd walked to an empty table and sat down. A waiter walked up to him and asked what he cared for. Then a sweet voice gave a response from behind him
‘A mixture of Orange juice and pineapple juice spiced with a shot of vodka will do’ replied Sika to the waiter who was taking Kuuku’s order.
Smiling, Kuuku got up from his chair and hugged her knocking a few glasses off the table. He pulls away from the hug, looks at her from head to toe, signals her to do a three sixty turn and hugs her passionately again
‘God you look so stunning girl. Now I’ve realize how much I have missed you’ he whispered into her ears
Sika was lost in her own world in his arms. He smelled really nice and looked more handsome than she had imagined. Indeed this was the right time to be in his arms. Just then the music went off cutting and blurring out of the speakers was Max’s voice.
‘Ladies and gentlemen, Can we now have a speech from the lady of the moment my lovely wife Sika. Sika where are you? We are waiting.’
Wife? Wow! Reality has a way of handing rude awakening to the dreamy ones Kuuku thought to himself. Now everything was making sense. Embarrassed by Max’s attitude, Sika wished the ground would open its mouth and swallow her. What would Kuuku think of her now? As the crowd turned towards her and started clapping, Max rushed to her side and virtually dragged her to the microphone stand. With the microphone now in her hand she looked towards where Kuuku was standing, but he was no longer there. Her heart sunk and her feet began to wobble.
‘Errrm, Ladies and Gentlemen thanks for honoring my invitation. To set the records straight Max is my ex-husband who I think has had a little too much to drink. With that out of the way, Let’s have fun. DJ let the music play.’
Sika dropped the microphone and dashed towards the gate screaming
‘Kuuku! Kuu! Kuuku! Wait! Don’t goooooo…’
Just as she got to the gate she saw a taxi speed off. Overwhelmed by what had happened she broke down in tears. Now she has lost the one true love of her life thanks to Max. Just then she felt a tap on her shoulder she turned and it was Max. She felt like tearing him into pieces and scattering it at the four corners of the earth so that no one could piece him together. There are indeed some devils in one’s life that stick like a shadow.
‘Gosh, please get out of my life. Dear Lord, let this divine representative of stupidity vanish’ she yelled tearfully.
As she walked past him, Max grabbed her arm violently and she flinched in pain, then out of nowhere appeared Kuuku.
‘Charley, let go of her, you are creating a scene’ Kuuku retorted
Sika broke free from Max’s grip and rushed into Kuuku’s arms. Her tears rolled off her beautiful cheeks and hit his chest like pellets from a gun. He could feel a mixture of contradicting emotions emanating from them and somehow felt glad that she indeed had feelings for him that she was no longer willing to hide. Then from nowhere a punch landed squarely on his face from Max. Instinctively he Kuuku also threw a punch in Max’s direction but with Sika stuck in between them, he could not hit the target the way he wanted to. He rushed to Sika’s rescue and virtually picked her from the floor. A small crowd had gathered in front of the house during the scuffle and among them was Mr. Assiam. He signaled Kuuku to bring Sika into the home. As the two love birds walked past him, he smiled. Just then Max made a move towards the house but was stopped by Mr. Assiam.
‘Max, go home! You’ve caused enough mayhem for a night.’ With this said he turned and entered his house.