For Kelvin Agyapong, Thank you.
The whole drive to his place, she had rehearsed what she was going to say. Over and over again. Every pause, every gesticulation, anticipated every response – except this one.
He sunk deeper into the couch, his eyes completely focused on the T.V. screen. Occasionally he would stick out a tongue right before he slammed a thumb on the controller. Even in his most mundane state, he was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen. She cleared her throat loudly, hoping to catch his attention. To remind him she was still there. He turned to her a half second and returned to the screen, a smile playing around his lips.
“Why? What’s up?”
“Uhm, I’ve been watching you play since I came here?”
She hated when he did this. When he made her feelings feel unwarranted. Stupid.
“So how about you give me some attention?”
He still had the half smile on his stupid face.
“But I told you what I was doing before you came. YOU decided to come over regardless.”
His words stung more than she would have liked them to. She felt a warm sensation rush to her face. In a quick second, she played through the appropriate reactions in her head. She could do the dramatic thing and turn off the TV switch; or scream; or she could just walk out. It annoyed her how much she knew walking out would not solve anything. He would not follow her to the door even. Just completely ignore her, then text her some 3 days later like nothing had happened.
She was about going with option number one when he beat her to it. She hated it when he did that. When he “read” her. He turned off the T.V and turned to her, the smile replaced by a more nonchalant expression now. He threw a hand around the couch and placed his leg on the arm rest.
“So, what’s up?”
She had prepared for this one. She took a deep breath and straightened her shoulders – ready to confront him firmly. Confidently.
“I spoke to Nana Ama yesterday.”
He didn’t so much as squirm. She continued, her voice going a pitch higher than before.
“She told me you’ve been moving weird on her. Moving weird in her DMs.”
He threw his head back so she couldn’t see his face anymore. His demeanour infuriated her. Drove her mad. She threw her well-rehearsed script out the window.
“Like, what the fuck is wrong with you Kwame? You know she’s my best friend right!? You knew she would tell me. Why would you disrespect me like that? What the fuck?”
He dropped his head back down, his eyes glaring into hers. She hated that she was on the verge of tears. She had told herself no matter what, she was not going to cry.
“I don’t know what to tell you to be honest. On one part I could be the asshole you think I am and remind you, you are not my girlfriend –”
“Bullshit. Bullshit Kwame. Girlfriend or not I would not fuck with any of your friends like that. It’s disrespectful and you fucking know it.”
“But … who said I would care? Ah ..”
The smile was back on his face now. She wanted to slap him. Badly. He got up, all 6 ft 3 inches of him, and walked towards the fridge in front of where she was sat.
“Do you want anything to drink?”
“We are not done talking.”
He bent down and dug through the fridge, ignoring her last statement.
“I don’t want you talking to her anymore. She’s my best friend. I shouldn’t even have to tell you this.”
He emerged with two bottles of Smirnoff, casually opening one up and handing it to her before he sat back down.
“Okay. She’s out of bounds. Got it.” He put the TV back on and scrolled to NETFLIX.
The conversation was over. She sat there, the Smirnoff she had not asked for inside her hands, feeling completely stunned. Defeated. Drained. Stupefied. She had lost another one. Just like that.
He turned to her quizzically. His beautiful eyes inquiring as they always did when he pulled stunts like this, if she had anything more to add.
She unbuckled her jeans and put the Smirnoff to her lips. Yeah, she would probably be sleeping over.
Image Credit: Casey Hasan, Gas Lighting