Africa · Anecdotes · Ghana · Nigeria · Prose

The Appointment

Fiction is something I love doing. It’s also something I’m increasingly taking my time over. This piece has been revised so many times since I wrote it months ago. Hope you enjoy reading.

Adu paced back and forth in front of the store. He had been waiting a while for the store to empty but it seemed the universe was conspiring against him. As soon as one customer looked set to leave, another entered and they all took inordinately long periods to make their purchases.

Adu had an appointment to keep. He had used all his powers of persuasion, cajoled and begged, bribed and blackmailed, in order to get this opportunity and all that he needed to be completely ready for the appointment was the purchase he was waiting to make. He was fast running out of time however and he was scared the opportunity would pass him by if he arrived late.

The latest customer soon left and Adu dashed in, desperate to make his purchase before someone else walked in. The salesperson wasn’t a young person as he had envisaged but an older woman, old enough to be his mother, and with a severe look on her face that was clearly the result of a lifetime of disapproval. He could already feel those waves of disapproval emanating from her being as he uttered the item he needed. She didn’t seem to hear him the first time however and Adu was forced to mention his purchase again, in a much louder tone than he had intended. Adu was the most embarrassed he had ever been and he wished the ground would swallow him up or he could wake himself up and realise that this was just a bad dream. Most of all however, he just needed to get out of the store as fast as possible.

The salesperson had other ideas however as she asked what type of product he wanted. Type? What type? There were types? This wasn’t how this conversation was supposed to pan out. He had imagined a scenario where the salesperson would have instinctively known what he needed to purchase and he would have been in and out of the store in seconds. Now he had to choose a type!, all the while cognizant of the fact that he was running late for his appointment and he was fast losing what was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The salesperson must have taken note of his conundrum and not unkindly, began to state the prices of the different types of the product he needed. Thrown this lifeline, Adu quickly chose the cheapest, paid for it thankfully and rushed out of the store. It was not a moment too soon because he saw his least favorite aunt walking towards the store and he was certain she would have held him back for even longer had she met him.

Adu literally flew to the rendezvous point excited at the opportunity to finally accomplish one of his dreams but also desperate not to be late for the appointment. He needn’t have worried however. Maame was waiting, in all the glory of her beauty, a tinge of worry on her face which changed to excitement when she saw him. With no hint of the worries that had plagued him a few minutes earlier, Adu calmly reached into his pocket and withdrew the pack of condoms he had just purchased. He had initially intended to buy only one but the trouble he had gone through and the excitement coursing through his body gave him a feeling he they would probably need the whole pack. Adu smiled back at Maame, closed the door through which he had just entered and moved towards the bed on which she lay. This appointment would last a while.


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