Smile

You’re sitting at a window seat in the new coffee shop down the road. It was a good decision to come here after all; you think. It’s very quiet for a Saturday.  You turn away from the window to look around the room, glad for the unexpected solitude the lack of clientele gives you.
You look back outside and see what seems like the umpteenth couple to pass by in the 30 minutes you’ve been sitting there. They walk past hand in hand. She’s smiling. It’s such a broad smile. A real expression of happiness.
Suddenly it doesn’t seem like such a good idea to be sitting at the window.
You were happy once before.

Now your days are spent marking the hours till the day is over. You haven’t smiled in ages, sometimes you wonder if your mouth still remembers how.

Your mind drifts back to the last time. You turn your head a fraction to the left, not wanting to but unable to stop yourself from looking over at the spot where your life changed.

You can almost see yourself sitting at that table, laughing, happy. Digging into the chicken pasta Alfredo that was your usual fare whenever you came there.

Back when the coffee shop was an Italian restaurant of course.

Your favorite place to eat, the both of you.

You try to tear your eyes away, but it’s too late now.

The sequence plays out, almost like a movie.

One minute you’re laughing at some joke he’s told. You’re thinking about how good the pasta tastes, better than it’s been all week.

You look up and he’s slumped on the table.

“Get up,” you say, thinking it’s some macabre joke.

You wish it had been a joke.

Everything between then and the hospital is a blur. You can’t remember how the blanket you eventually found around your shoulders got there; or even how you got to the hospital. There’s a girl next to you, wearing the restaurant’s waitress uniform. You didn’t notice her before.

You can remember the pain though. The gut-wrenching pain. The pain that comes when the doctor comes to find you in the waiting room, somber.

You remember wondering whether it’s one of the things they get taught in school. The bad news look. The look that says it’s all gone to hell.

In your mind, you’re silently screaming.

You almost don’t hear him when he says “I’m afraid we lost him”.

You tuned him out after the first “I’m sorry”.

Those words jolt you back to reality.

They ask if there’s anyone you can call to be with you.

You take out your phone in a daze. Press 1 on your speed dial and it starts to ring. Your purse vibrates. Of course, you’ve got his phone. You must have grabbed it on your way to the hospital. That’s when it hits you. He’s never going to answer when you call. He’s gone, left you behind.

A ruptured aneurysm, the doctor says. You don’t know what that is. They’re hard to catch the doctor says. But you hardly hear him. You’re trying to remember the last thing you told him. You wish you could remember, but you can’t. You can’t even remember what the joke was. You can remember how good the pasta was, but you can’t remember his words. You start to laugh, you laugh so hard your shoulders are shaking. The doctor looks at you, alarmed. He can’t get away fast enough.

The sound of the door chime brings you back to the present.

You look up to see a large group trooping in. You sigh, your solitude is over.

You resign yourself to the thought of going back to your apartment, where your mother is waiting.

You came to the coffee shop to be away from her. You’re tired of having to explain that grieving your dead fiance a year later is only natural. Your mother’s extended visit which was a blessing in the beginning, when remembering to do normal things like eat was a hassle, has now become a pain. Still, you’re grateful. You at least had her to lean on in the worst of it. You pick up your cup of coffee with a sigh, intending to gulp it down and leave before the group settles in and the chatter becomes unbearable.

You look up and lock eyes with one of them, a guy.

He’s looking at you so intently, and he breaks into a smile.

Before you know it, your lips are moving.

Your mouth remembers after all, you smile.

You take a sip of your coffee and set your cup down.

Maybe you’ll stay a while.A_time_for_a_cup_of_coffee

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Thinking Out Loud

Thought I’d try something new 😀 I hope you like it

*****************************************

When your legs don’t work like they used to before………

and I can’t sweep you off of your feet………

Ed Sheeran’s voice filling the room had the girl look up in time to see the old couple move slowly- in what they probably thought was a waltz but was more a shuffle and stumble- and it made her smile.

From her perch on the roof of the restaurant, Anna could hear the girl’s heart hammering away. She talked a good game, but Anna could tell the thought of the blind date had her running scared. Doing a quick scan, she found the prospective Romeo’s location and cleared his path, thinking she had best get him there before the girl’s cold feet got the better of her. She nudged his junk of a car along faster than it had ever gone in the 5 years the boy had owned it, making sure to keep the speed on the speedometer the same. In record time, he had arrived and was parking. Thanking his stars for the amazing lack of traffic, he hopped out of the car and run towards his date…

In that moment Anna’s first arrow found its target and where a dork run before, a suave gentleman run in his place. The second arrow found its target as he was sitting…so the girl saw someone she could fall for rather than the dork that would have turned her off a mere 5 minutes before.

So that each time he made her laugh, she could imagine loving him till they were 70 and all he could think about was how that laugh was going to last forever in his mind. And when at the end of the night, he asked for a walk……….all she could think of was the light of the 1000 stars waiting on their first kiss.

Maybe it was the arrows that had them falling or perhaps the old couple’s shuffle made 70 easy to imagine or maybe it was Ed’s voice singing quietly in the background……….

people fall in love in mysterious ways

Maybe it’s all part of a plan………..

Whatever it was, as Anna flew to the train station to complete her next assignment, she thanked Ed wherever he was for making a girl’s job easier every time.

P.S. I Love You - cupid

***********************************

If you haven’t guessed, this was inspired by Ed Sheeran’s ‘Thinking Out Loud’ and the parts in Italics are actually from that song. In my defense this was written after midnight and that’s when my mushy side tends to appear 😀

#TimeNoDey

So! I know I promised 3 posts this month (yes yes stop nodding so much, calm down) and it looks like December is almost over and yet nada. Worry not though, I promise that I am working on that sequel I have spoken about in my last few posts and hopefully, you should be reading it soon. In the meantime, this whole #timeNoDey thing that was happening on twitter reminded me of something that happened to me earlier this year and I thought I should share. Trust me I didn’t always find it hilarious but in retrospect and in view of kpakpakpa and #TimeNoDey I kind of see it in a new light.

It was a bright and sunny no rainy. It was a Thursday!  I remember that much! Anyway I had just got to the gate at work, windows rolled down, wind in my hair, music blaring loud, feeling all bosschick. I turned off my engine to let myself in when my car decided to show me who was boss. The car wouldn’t start and because the windows were electronic i couldnt roll them up either. By this point all nonsense thoughts of bosschickness had left me and all I could think about was how I was going to get the car into the compound and roll the windows up.

Then this saloon car drove by and stopped a little ahead. I was delighted,  knight in shining armour! In spite of the fact that I would ordinarily never walk over when a guy calls me over to his car, you should have seen the alacrity with which i sped over and the smiles decorating my face. Imagine my shock when I got to the car and rather than get out of his car this guy said to me:
“I saw you buying something at the shop down the road but I couldn’t talk to you cos I was in a hurry”
*insert whatsapp shocked smiley*
Clearly my knight had not noticed my distress, perhaps if I were to explain the situation…so I tried…telling him
“Look my car is messed up, I need to sort it out”
Surely, this is where my knight turns superman, zooms to my rescue but noo I nearly dropped dead with shock when the next thing he said was:
“Yeah give me the number then you can go sort it out”
😶 😶 😶
So cold!

Here I was thinking the calvary had arrived, when clearly in this guy’s mind -waaay before I got the memo off of twitter- he had decided that time really no dey to be a gentleman. Needless to say he didn’t get the number 😆😆. I did get some gentlemen who helped me move it in though.

But yeah, apparently #timeNoDey….and it makes me really wonder, is chivalry on it’s way out?

Ps: one last post before the year ends right? Fingers crossed, it just might happen.

of moms and boyfriends

Of mums and boyfriends….and why single girls over 21 should join the kpa kpa kpa movement.

clock

Rather than write the paper which is due in 2 days that I’m nowhere near through with, I decided to write this post which I promised on twitter on the 29th of November. Why? Well inspiration for me to write is often hard to come by although when I do I enjoy it tremendously. I often find myself writing elaborate stories in my head and never actually putting them down on paper.

Anyways, in this coming month – being my birth month and all- (yes, I turn 21 again!) I will be putting out more than my usual 1 post every 3 or so months. Which means I will post no less than 3 posts this month. I know people tend to do the whole 1 post a day thing and I would have loved to. However, I know myself, and I know how laziness aka writer’s block can catch me for long stretches of time. Which is why in order not set you (my lovely readers) up for disappointment I am making the modest estimate of 3. If it is more, glory hallelujah. If not, well I only promised 3… 😀

On to today’s post!

Before I go into all of that though, I just thought I should mention this. Just so you know, there is no grand sale of guys where I can just look through a great selection of boys at a discount and pick the one I fancy, with the option of returning him to the store within 30 days if I find he’s not to my satisfaction. Believe me I would know. So to all my loving friends out there, there’s no one. I’ll tell you when there is.

You know how they tell you when you are growing up all the pressure that comes with growing up? Well they weren’t lying. In the past few months, conversations with my friends back home have been nothing short of hilarious with all the mounting pressure for them to ‘produce’ a boyfriend. Not like they have a gun to their head……yet…but I believe it’s getting there.

Thankfully I have the greatest-mum-ever™ who will never give me pressure be it direct or indirect (yes this is a directed message to my mum who’s going to read this at some point) but some of my friends have already started to feel the heat.

Imagine my friend’s surprise when she told her mum she was going for a wedding and her mum’s response was “you’re always going for weddings when will you do yours?” You see what had happened was…she doesn’t even have a boyfriend!! Oh and best part is the question was NOT rhetorical, she had to give an estimate.

Another friend got sent the picture of a huge cooker. When she ventured to mention how huge the cooker was, the straight faced reply was “yes, big enough to cook for my in-laws and grandchildren”. In-laws and grandchildren who are merely theoretical at this point because my friend really does not have a boyfriend at this point.

Did I mention that there are boxes full of magic mugs in my garage? Imported by my mom (who I love with all my heart)? And did I also mention that the mugs are apparently for my engagement and my sisters’ engagements regardless of the fact that none of us at this point have a boyfriend (unless my sisters do and I don’t know)? Let’s just say my mum could probably host an engagement party for any of us tomorrow if we told her about it tonight.

Also, a friend of mine recently came into possession of a book titled “How to prepare for the wedding”, kindly gifted to her by her mother. I would think step 1 would be to find the groom and then buy the book but what do I know?

These are merely a handful of the things that are going on behind the scenes in the homes of those single girls that have turned 21 a few too many times. Weirdly though, the pressure doesn’t only come from the mums. If I were prone to feeling pressured, all the times my friends have asked me if I’ve found someone yet in the two short months I’ve been here would surely have done me in by now.

In closing, I would like to leave you with this totally random but hilarious conversation.

 

1

2

A.T.N.A = All Talk No Action

PS: Apart from the magic mugs scenario, one other is mine but I won’t say which. Take a shot at guessing why don’t you? Oh and if I’ve told you this story before you’re out of the race please, no telling!

Have a great month everyone!

 

 

 

One Month In!


Disclaimer: This is not a sequel to Tracy yes there’s a sequel or there will be….one day…when I get around to it :D.

apple crumble

sponge cake

So, it’s been a mighty fun month! To be honest when I boarded my flight a month ago, I was more excited than scared but there was Still some fear. Fear of the unknown I guess. Since I got here though, I’ve had more than enough reason to let go of that fear.

For one thing everyone here is so friendly it’s incredible. Part of my anxiety when I was leaving home was from all the things I had read or heard about how unfriendly people are in the UK. Not like I was expecting a rolled out welcome mat at Heathrow but I wasn’t exactly looking forward to having my head chewed off for asking directions some place.

And then there’s the free food! There was so much of it in the first two weeks I literally felt myself packing on the pounds and not in any of the good places if you know what I mean ;). Since I prefer my pounds in cash and not body mass I promptly joined the gym and although I wake up most days with aches in all sorts of places I figure it’s a fair price to pay for all the delicious food I’ve been consuming. So it’s been zumba three times a week and aerobics once a week just so I can eat all those glorious desserts without having to see visions of myself having to be rolled off the plane when I eventually return.

There was the dinner for international students the first night we got in aand the breakfast the next morning then the buffet dinner that evening buffet breakfast the morning after and then the International Student ball that night which was really marvelous. I did nearly go blind from some of the outfits but that’s par for the course really with these types of events isn’t it?

There was also a BBQ organized by one of the chaplains and where there’s chicken….. 😀 Anyways I literally attended so many events with free food in this first month I had friends from home asking me if I was sure I was away at school and not on holiday. Although the flow of food has since trickled down to the barest minimum now there’s of course the cottage lunch organized every Sunday which I wouldn’t miss for the world. Imagine that for a donation of £2 you get to eat a very filling home cooked meal and have the most amazing of desserts like chocolate mudpies, chocolate sponge cakes covered in chocolate sauce and ice cream, apple crumbles etc and best of all seconds are available! Best believe I’m in there every single Sunday rain or shine, £2 in hand.

With all that’s been going on I haven’t even had the time to be homesick. I do miss being able to just drive anywhere I want and being able to have dinner with friends (you know yourselves :*) whenever I wanted to see them and Starbites! Oh how I miss that spicy avocado chicken wrap and the jerk chicken. Other than that though it’s been a good month. I also miss my gentleman of a brother opening doors for me and holding my bag (when there was something in the bag for him of course).

I have made tons of friends of various nationalities and there’s been nights at the KPA (the Postgraduates bar), lunch in town, a few shopping trips, etc. I’m certainly looking forward to seeing the fireworks and hopefully a trip with some of my course mates if that does work out. If this month is anything to go by though, I can’t wait to see what the other months hold!

PS: If this post didn’t tell you anything at all, the morale of the story is FOOD, FOOD, and more FOOD please and thank you 😀

Lots of love,

AJ :*

Tracy

Hello people! I know it’s been a while but I hope this more than makes up for my long silence 🙂 enjoy!

*************

Tracy looked at the filthy probably smelly guy that had suddenly appeared at her car window, wondering where he had appeared from since he hadn’t been there a mere 5 seconds before. Just as she was rolling down she was jolted with the realization that under all the filth, she knew that face. At first she thought it was because she often saw him on that same stretch of road smoking cigarettes, the cigarette stick being the only clean thing about him. Until it hit her how she really knew him. Joojo? She said furtively. The look of shock on his face was enough confirmation for her. It was him. Thankfully the light turned green at that precise moment and she used the opportunity to speed off, so overwhelmed by different emotions the thought of stopping at the nearby bus stop so she could talk to him never occurring to her.

 “I swear it was him!” she said to her friend Enyo some 45 minutes later. After seeing Joojo she couldn’t bring herself to continue her journey and 30 minutes later she found herself parked outside her bestfriend’s gate, now calling to find out if she was actually in. Enyo had barely opened the door when Tracy asked her if she remembered Joojo.

 “Joojo as in Joojo Quansah?” Enyo asked, understandably surprised her friend was dredging up memories from a chapter of their lives both of them had tried hard to forget over the last decade.

“Yes” Tracy replied. “The almighty Joojo Quansah, now clothed in rags and filth.”

“I just can’t wrap my mind around the idea” Enyo said, “who’d have ever imagined”.

Tracy sighed heavily, her mind drawn to the time 10 years ago when she had told Joojo she was ending things with him. Remembering the scorn in his eyes still gave her chills. The way his entourage had laughed with him at her expense when he called her boring.

“Plenty more where you came from” he had said, gesturing towards the scantily clad girls strewn all over the room, most of them hoping to catch his eye.

Of everything he said that day; Tracy remembered that statement had hit the hardest, seeing as he was the one that had relentlessly pursued her, refusing to accept no for an answer.

She felt a tug on her arm that brought her back to the present,

“Earth to Tracy” Enyo said, “don’t tell me you’re imagining what your babies would have looked like”.

Rather than tell her what she had actually been thinking, Tracy laughed off her accusation and discretely steered the issue towards other matters

 

Two days later she was driving down that same stretch beside the 37 military hospital when she spotted him from afar. Without consciously realizing what she was doing she parked at the nearest bus stop, and only when she got out and was locking the car did she acknowledge what she was about to do, her courage nearly deserting her. She stood rooted to the spot for a minute, talking herself into walking towards him.

“What’s the worse that can happen?” she rationalized to herself as she walked towards him.

She waited till she was right behind him and then tapped him. He turned almost aggressively and then stopped short when he saw her. For a fleeting moment she thought he had recognized her and started to smile but her smile immediately dropped when the next thing out of his mouth was “money for cigarette madam, me I no go lie you, ibe cigarette I want buy” he continued in the pidgin English people of his caliber often resorted to.

“Joojo it’s me” she said, “Tracy, don’t you remember me?”

“Tracy who?” was his arrogant reply as he stormed off, muttering about people who wasted time with talk rather than giving the money they were meant to.

Undaunted, she followed him, “we were in university together” she tried to remind him. “We dated in level 100”.

All she got was a “leave me alone” before he crossed to the other side of the road and left her looking at him, mouth agape.

 

********

Tracy got out of her brand new Kia Optima. If any of her achievements in the past 6 years filled her with pride, this was it. It had almost cleaned out her account but it was totally worth it. She loved the sleek lines of the car and the silver colour she had chosen. She checked her reflection one last time, making sure every hair was in place and her lipstick was still sharp. This was her first meeting with these people and she’d be damned if she didn’t leave them with a good first impression. She considered it a great compliment that they had requested her specifically to be the primary consultant on this case. Her boss had been very mysterious about who she was meeting and the nature of the job. Once her boss had agreed however, she had no fears about the meeting as he was fiercely protective of her. She walked briskly to the entrance, checking her reflection once again when she got to the glass door. With a flip of her hair, she pushed the door open- using as it turned out much more force than required so that rather than the elegant walk she had intended entering the room with, she found herself stumbling into the room. As if that wasn’t enough, she righted herself and lifted her head only to find herself face to face with Joojo Quansah.

Happy New Year!

I know I’m late, 19 days into the year and all of that but still, HAPPY NEW YEAR! How’s 2014 treating you so far? How many resolutions have you broken? 50%, 100%? Don’t feel bad, it’s par for the course. lol. It’s whyI don’t make any to be honest. I ended 2013/ entered 2014 with every intention of doing a post on gratitude, gratitude to God and to the people around us. To God because He is all round awesome as is to be expected 🙂 and the people around us because when people are with you all the time it’s so easy to take for granted the little sacrifices they make for you.

2013 was a great year for me although to be honest I didn’t realize it from the start. It was a year when a lot of my worries were sorted before I could properly worry about them -(and if you know me at all, then you know I’m a complete worry wart, constantly worrying about any and everything)- sometimes even before I could pray about them. So when I listened to a sermon on gratitude and all of that at the end of the year, I realized how ungrateful I had been, being quick to say thank you when the going was good and then going back whining when things got a little tough. Needless to say I was immediately filled with vim (and any other soap name that also means energy) fully determined to adopt an attitude of gratitude, show people more how much their actions meant to me etc. etc. I had it all figured out, 2014 was going to be all about gratitude and what not.

Then 2014 came. Laughing in my face. Let’s just say it hasn’t been a bed of roses. Suddenly I had forgotten all those plans I made, and often rather than thank you, I caught myself asking why? And it’s only been 19 days, well 20 but today hasn’t exactly ended has it? Almost lost a friendship (one that means a lot to me by the way) in the first few days but thankfully that didn’t happen, etc. etc. etc. and it was tough to stay thankful those times.

Basically, in less than a month, 2014 has taught me, that it’s not as simple as saying I’m going to be thankful, I need to actually work at it. So for the rest of this year, I’m going to work on staying thankful, no matter the curveballs life throws my way and learn to trust that God will work it all out for my good- I’ll let you know how that goes. In the meanwhile, here’s to hoping 2014 turns out to be everything you expected it to be and even more.

Cheers!

Oh and you should check out Hebrews 11 sometime 🙂