Naana walked to the kitchen as she spoke to Mimi on phone. She didn’t have an option tonight. She usually would have made excuses to be left out of a girls’ night out but not today, not Beauty’s birthday. She was just making coffee for Mike when the call came through. All she had to do was serve him, wash down and get dressed for the night.

She’s been going out with Mike for seven years and they have been married for three years. Four years of courtship was enough to know and understand every single fiber on each other’s face and they sometimes had meaningful conversation without words. They’ve known each other since they were babies. Their parents were good friends. Theirs was a perfect love story; the Romeo and Juliet story, only without suicide and classism.

Mike inherited his father’s Construction Firm and he worked hard to keep it running just to prove a point. He’s the youngest of his father’s three sons but the old man would rather set fire to his multimillion investment than will them to his two other sons. There were times Naana agreed to him spending the weekend at his office when he told her he had much to do. In those instances, he called her almost every hour and suffocated her with text messages.

He wasn’t ready for children. He was a gentleman who dressed properly…almost always fashionably dressed for a man who had very little time for anything else but work. He was into brands; watches and rings, great shoes and expensive socks. He used more than three perfume to get a desired smell. He kept his beard trimmed almost every two days. He always looked like he just dropped out of a men’s fashion magazine. He had neat toe and finger nails. Naana was always proud when they went for events together.

Naana worked as a production manager of a radio station. She fell in love with radio and begun as a presenter when she was seventeen. She did host a late night show every Wednesday and Friday called; NAKED. It was one of the most listened show on radio in the capital. It was an X rated show which she spoke about relationship and sex. She gave counsel on relationship and sex. There was a segment where listeners called in to tell her their problems and she and her crew gave the best solutions. Her friends were her favorite panelists, Beauty had great contribution on relationships, even though that was more theoretical than practical. Mimi always came in when it had to do with sex and sex…and more sex!

She never saw herself as a celebrity but if being recognized at events without having to mention your name and being loved by people you don’t know made one a celebrity, then yes; she was one. She knew she had saved more marriages and relationships with her show, and she lived as an example with her marriage. Mike understood her job and never complained on Wednesdays and Fridays when she had to stay at work till as late as 1am. He was only concerned about her safety and she assured him the driver at the office always dropped her home. She was safe.

She and Mike just returned from dinner at her parents’ and he had to get his daily ritual of coffee every night to keep him up. She did just that and entered the washroom. Mike sipped on the coffee while he sat behind his laptop. A text came through his phone, he read it and smiled broadly. There was only one person that got him super excited and he’s been waiting for this text all day. He had to be out tonight too; not with the girls. He had his plans. He took his pants off and joined Naana in the bathroom. She was shocked to see him; that was an old habit. They used to bath together when they were courting and earlier in their marriage. She was surprised and excited at the same time,somehow, this brought memories; memories of their finest lovemaking.

Wrong timing. He just stood by her and they both showered without him raising his head to look at her. It broke her heart and she had to reevaluate how she looked. Was she invisible? Had she grown old and wrinkled? Was she now unattractive? Was he cheating on her? She answered NO to all questions to feel good about herself. He finished before she did and left her in there.

She came out of the washroom just at the time he was wearing his pants and wasn’t sure where he was going. He never told her he had anywhere going tonight. And going out unplanned was becoming a habit. She wasn’t scared even though this reminded her of a problem she solved on her radio show, she now had the same problem to solve. She was losing her husband and he felt like a stranger to her now. But he didn’t give her enough room for her to think he was cheating except for these unplanned outings.

She was done dressing but for the kind of shoe to wear. She stood by the closet looking through and thinking of the exact shoe to match the floral dress Mike had bought her when they last went shopping. Mike kissed her from behind and put a silver open toe heels on her feet and it matched perfectly. He knew whenever she needed something even without saying and she loved it. He was susceptible to her needs, only a few men had this trait. She was ready to go now and so was he. He still hadn’t told her where he was going and she didn’t bother to ask. He would have told her if he wanted her to know and she was sure he wouldn’t hesitate telling her if she asked but she was going to act unconcerned for now.

Her phone rang, she looked at the caller ID, it was Mimi, she was at her gate. She kissed Mike goodbye and walked out. She sat in the car and slammed the door to register her worry. Mimi understood her and said; “We’ll talk about that when we’re drunk.”

They got to the Hotel and were ushered to a reserved table in the pub and restaurant. They started with glasses of white wine. Mimi brought out a pack of cigarette and Beauty pointed a NO SMOKING signage to her before she could light one. She dropped it and called a waiter and ordered for shots of tequila. That was sure to bring her on her knees faster than this bougie white wine she just drank.

Realization struck Beauty that she was finally twenty-eight with no man. And in Ghana, that was a big deal, but in her mind and how she lived, that wasn’t a big deal but eventually it all ended with what her family, friends and society would think of her. Her friends understood her but for how long? They all had their businesses to mind. Everything had to change after tonight. She was tired of answering questions about marriage from her parents. She gulped tequila.

Naana still couldn’t take her mind off what is happening with her husband. He wasn’t going to work, and now possible things he could be doing kept running through her mind. She wasn’t a jealous and possessive wife and she wasn’t going to change. Irrespective of her assumptions, she was going to take no action, she was going to handle this in a mature way; like one of problems that came on her radio show. Just that this time she was the guest and host at the same time and she needed much time than usual. She gulped another shot of tequila.

Mimi was just thinking about this very fine waiter she had ordered vodka from, she would choose him over vodka every single day, or she could have him after the vodka. He wouldn’t be the first waiter she would be getting dirty with. She had a long list of nights with waiters and bouncers in Accra. This waiter was such a flirt, he smiled at her while he walked to the table. Mimi couldn’t resist his perfectly arranged dentition and the dimple beneath his left cheek. His trousers were perfect and his polo shirt was just right for his muscled body and his heavy chest made the Hotel’s logo stand out like a 3D image on his left breast. He served the vodka and asked if he could serve anything else. Mimi said yes, and Naana hit her and said no before she could continue with her sexual innuendos. They took some vodka and Mimi served them more, she was determined to knock the two girls out and she knew she would, in two hours or less.

Mimi knew something was wrong with both friends, she knew exactly was wrong with Beauty but couldn’t tell what bothered ‘perfect’ Naana. Whatever it was, she could swear it wasn’t about Mike. They were a union made on the seventh day of creation. The waiter brought the cake and now Mimi was convinced this waiter was there to tempt her tonight. Beauty blew out the candle and made a wish…to a man…to a perfect relationship…to a Naana and Mike kind of relationship. At least that was all they saw; perfection.

It was time to party and they walked out of the restaurant. They entered the club already hyped up and they had to shout above the music to communicate. Mimi took to the dance floor and Beauty sat watching her dance, Naana walked to the bar and ordered Vodka, she gulped it down almost immediately as the bartender dropped it. She couldn’t concentrate, she knew she was getting drunk and she liked it. It would help her forget what was going through her mind. She joined Mimi on the dance floor and danced all her thoughts to the loud music. They drank more and danced more…finally the club got crowded.

They ordered bottles of Vodka, whiskey and coke. That was the last thing they remembered. Mimi struggled to open her eyes and realized she was in her car with Beauty and Naana asleep in it too. The night had been wilder than careful and they couldn’t have drove home. Whoever’s idea it was that they slept in the car was a great one. Now they had to nurse this hangover. They were hungry with headache on an early Sunday morning. Hallelujah!

@JoewackleGh

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