Short Fiction

Drama in the Hall Again


Zzzzzii, zzzzzii, zzzzzii, her alarm beeped the third time. Then she woke up momentarily. It was fifteen minutes after seven. She rushed out of her bed and removed her nightgown. Then she quickly wrapped a big white towel around her chest and took the metal bucket in order to fetch some water when she suddenly remembered that it was a Saturday. She had forgotten to turn off her alarm the previous night. She screamed and chuckled so loud, dropping the metal bucket amidst that. She retired to bed, but she couldn’t sleep. So she took her telephone from under her pillow and turned on her mobile data. Then she opened her WhatsApp to check what messages she had received. Indeed, she had received quite a number of messages: eleven from Nii, eight from Nhyira and from Asantewaa, Angela and Kofi; six, five and four respectively. The group page for her colleagues at work was always flooded with unnecessary information. She didn’t bother to tap to read. She scrolled up to read what Asantewaa had for her. Asantewaa was one friend who had the latest gist she’s never heard; from the current girl whom their boss was after to the quarrels that takes place at the work place, which she wasn’t aware of, to who had been saying what about her. Their relationship had even strengthened more after she suffered the heart-break. She didn’t think twice about reading Asantewaa’s message first. Indeed, it was the latest girl their boss was after.
“Nyamekyeeee!! 10:52 pm”
“Where are you? 10:54 pm”
“Guess who just texted me 10:54 pm”
“Hmmm! Wonders shall never end! 10:55 pm”
“Eeeiii, where are you? 11:00 pm”
“Won’t you mind me? 11:05 pm”
Nyamekye smiled as she read the urgency between her lines. She knew she had to reply in time, as soon as possible; otherwise she was doomed.
“Baby girl, xup 7:30 am”
“I was asleep 7:30 am”
“No, tell me, who texted? 7:31 am”
She went back and read Kofi’s message. He was a pain in the neck. He wouldn’t stop bothering her, no matter how smartly she tried to ignore him. He had begun this attitude of unnecessary conversations and lunch invites as soon as she was promoted to the position of the Human Resource Personnel at her workplace. He had tried to buy her lunch a couple of times but she rejected the offer all the times he did.
“My sweet HR, please how are you doing? 10:40 pm”
“I can’t stop thinking about you. 10:41 pm”
“Please I can’t sleep. I miss you so much 10:50 pm”
“Good night sweetheart. 11:00 pm”
Nyamekye chuckled and tapped the back option. She scrolled down, skipping Nhyira’s message to read Nii’s own. Nii was a neighbourhood friend. They had been friends since her childhood. Although he was ten years other than her, their friendship had blossomed overtime until Nii began to show romantic interest in her; which changed their relationship from friendship to a one-sided love on the part of Nii. Unlike with Kofi, because Nii was quite older, and for the sake of their friendship, she couldn’t express her disapproval openly. She had always tried to be nice to him despite her disinterest. Another reason was that his messages made her laugh anytime she felt bored,n because he said funny things but the way he presented his statements. The funniest ones were those that were meant to flatter her.
“Ma beuriful waif. 9:45 pm”
“Pls hawa u? 9:47 pm”
“U aa veri beuriful. 9:48 pm”
“I tell u always always. 9:50 pm”
“I luv you veri mash. 9:52 pm”
“Ber you don’t mai me 9:54 pm”
“Nawadeis, you don visit me. 9:55 pm”
“Hav I do samtin? 9:57 pm”
“If av dan samtin tell me. 10:00 pm”
“Pls am veri sorry. 10:02 pm”
“Pls cam n visit me. 10:05 pm”
Nyamekye kept laughing and laughing as she read those hilarious messages. His messages had always made her laugh.
“Please I’m sorry. 7:50 am”
“I will pay you a visit next week Saturday. 7:50 am.”
Nhyira Nana Kwesi Frimpong was the most annoying one. Although they had reconciled and were back again, he felt like a stranger to her. She was however fascinated about how quickly WhatsApp had replaced their long hours on phone call; those midnight calls that stole her sleep and those silly jokes he had always told that made her laugh heartily, awakening Auntie Efua from her fitful sleeps. Those moments, had so quickly been replaced with texting and whatsapping.
“My sugar plum, please good evening. 9:28 pm”
“Please how was your day? 9:30 pm”
“I’m sorry I couldnt check up on you early this morning. 9:31 pm”
“Hope work didnt stress you too much. 9:31 pm”
“Hi dear 9:40 pm”
“Please is everything okay? 9:42 pm”
“Dear 9:42 pm”
“Please have a goodnight. 9:43 pm”

She raised her head up to watch the ceiling, in attempt to prevent the tear that stood in her eye from falling; but it did anyway. This new mixed feeling of love intertwined with resentment that she felt for her one and only was a war she was battling. Amidst her pain, she still had lingering desire for him. She thought it was best to avoid him completely; Auntie Efua however thought otherwise, insisting that she forgave him. She wiped the teardrop with her elbow and got back to her phone.

“Don’t worry, I’m faring well. 7:50 am”

“Good morning 7:51 am”

“You’re a decent young man. You have the job.”

“Thank you sir. I’m grateful.”

“It’s a pleasure. Since the week has already ended, you may resume work next week Monday.”

Okay sir. Thanks once again.”

Nhyira couldn’t hide his excitement as he walked out of the company. He kept screaming Yes! Yes! He even kicked his foot against a stump. However, he was too overwhelmed to focus on the small pain.


She arrived late as usual, but magnificently dressed. She wore a dark mustard fitting dress, which was two inches below her knee, with a four-inched turquoise stiletto, about the same colour as her clutch. She held her chemically processed hair in a ponytail, giving her a rather innocent and younger look of a sixteen year old. Gorgeously, she took her steps, each at a time until she got to the entrance of the restaurant. The automatic door flanged open and she carried herself across. She smiled at the mischievous man who fixated his eyes on her without pausing a moment to blink, and quickly changed her gaze to scan for Nhyira among the couples just adjacent to the mini bar. Alas, she located him at the far end, his face buried in the menu book. Then she walked towards him. This was their second date after their reconciliation; the first didn’t go well and she hoped to be better this time around. She knew she was the one who always ruined their dates, but wasn’t her fault, he deserved it.
He raised his head upon hearing the sound of the top piece of a heel on the hard surface. It was familiar; not the sound specifically, but the pace–one at a time. He was right, it was her. He helped her with her seat and they both exchanged pleasantries. He passed the menu book to her to request for whatever she wanted. She ordered a glass of pineapple juice with an open faced sandwich. He urged her to have a full course instead.
“But that is what I want to have.” She answered him blantly.
“I’m sorry.” He turned and looked at the waiter. “Please give us two glasses of pineapple juice and two open faced sandwiches.”
In no time, the waiter brought with him their requests and served them. He bit into the sandwich and swallowed a portion. After the second bite, he broke the silence. “I called Auntie Efua yesterday, and …”

She told me."


He resumed back to eating his food. The awkward silence filled the atmosphere again except for the crushing of salad and bread in the depth of their oral cavity.

“Nyamekye,” he chipped in, “it’s been four weeks since I professed my love for you; however you’ve remained adamant. I need your response.”

She lifted her head slowly and looked at him. “I told you I needed some time.”

“Ithought four weeks was enough. We're not strangers Nyamekye; I admit I made a mistake and I hurt you a lot. But I have apologized; I promise never to do that again. Why do you keep punishing me this way?"

"Punishing you? I'm sorry if you think I'm punishing you; that's not my intention." She picked a particle from her lip carefully, avoiding her fingers to be stained by her red lipstick. Then she sipped her juice one more time. “I only need some time to digest this and think things through." She added finally.

“Alright. If that’s what you say, then it's fine by me. Thanks for showing up anyway."

“It’s a pleasure." She said, rising from her seat.

Nhyira called the waiter and paid off the debt. He then walked Nyamekye over to the bus stop and chartered a taxi for her. The driver conveyed her to her residence in no time, safely. She was rather amazed about how responsible her Nhyira had turned out to be. In the car, she pondered over how their date went and thought she was rather harsh with him. Auntie Efua’s words came back in mind, rhyming repeatedly.Those you love will continue to hurt you. And you must learn to forgive them. Those you love will continue to hurt you. And you must learn to forgive them.

That was true. It was high time she accepted that fact and psyched her mind for any outcome. She remembered a quote by Alfred Lord Tennyson from a book she had read: It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. She was glad however that he was being patient with her. Upon her arrival, Auntie Efua had prepared her favourite dish of rice balls with groundnut and had already started the game. Without changing her clothes, she joined her and they narrated how each had spent her day. Nyamekye recounted to Auntie Efua what changed man her Nhyira had become; the fact that he was beginning to act more matured and responsible. She told her she might give him a second chance if he kept up with the good work.

She began to enjoy his company again. Every Friday evening, he called and spoke to her from 8:00 pm until the night became tired of their creepy whispers. Things were getting back to normal; to those times when their love was in its primal stage. They rescheduled their romantic dates and went out often. They began to take those brisk walks again, telling each other silly jokes and those weird funny midnight stories.

“I want to meet you. I’ve finally decided;” his heart skipped a beat.

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