That Saturday Night
Bitter Honey is a Ghana-based series, centered around the Quartey family. Kojo Quartey; a taxi driver, his wife Aba; who runs a bank’s canteen, and their three children; Kuku, Abena and Maama live through a series of fortunate and unfortunate events. The Bitter Honey series tells the story of different bittersweet experiences that build their characters and teach them life lessons. Enjoy.
Kuku felt out of place at the beach party. The party’s vibe was great – there was always new drinks to pick off the trays waitresses brought around, the waitresses were skimpily dressed enough to pass as eye candy, but he felt alone. Coming to this Jazz party felt like a good idea earlier – now, he just wanted to go home. He was used to spending Saturday nights with his parents and family – this was a little too far out of his comfort zone.
Someone sat next to him and he snapped out of his thoughts.
“Hi!” She was beautiful. Her eyes glistened in the night light and her smile shook him and he smiled back,
“I’m Caroline! What’s your name?” Kuku reached out to shake her outstretched hand,
“I’m Kuku. Nice to meet you.”
She started making conversation: “I came with my uncle – who did you come with?”
“I was invited by a friend,” Kuku responded. The music was loud, so he had to lean forward and shout.
“I like your smile!” The Music went off just when she blurted the compliment. So everyone within earshot heard what she said. Caroline threw hear head back in laughter. She was obviously a very confident young lady. He liked that.
Kuku tried to skip past the awkward silence and asked, “Whose party is this?” Caroline shrugged,
“I don’t even know. I like to think this is a party for the rich and famous. They do it often to stay in touch, network and get more people oriented on how to run the city.”
Kuku thought he heard wrong; “Run the city?” Caroline nodded and took a long sip of the drink she had in her hand. “Yeap. There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes-big-people here. Those with the real money. Those who influence the influential.”
Kuku was amazed. He looked around at the drunken groups of elderly men and women and couldn’t reconcile what Caroline was saying with what he was seeing. Before Kuku could have a further discussion with her, a grey-haired man came towards them and whispered in Caroline’s ear.
She stiffened a bit and laughed. This laugh was different – it was more controlled… or burdened. “I have to go,” She said quickly and left with the man. Kuku watched as they walked into the beach house. A waitress soon walked toward him with a piece of paper.
On it, was a telephone number and a message. It read: ‘Let’s talk more’. The note was hastily written and some of the numbers were not legible. Kuku was happy – he would try all the various options until he got through to Caroline.
Kojo was listening to a heated argument on radio. He wasn’t really following the topic, but the arguments made him laugh.
It was 9:45pm and he was ascending the Aburi hill once more. He was certain that the girls he was to pick up would probably keep him waiting for at least an hour, but he didn’t want to pay attention to that.
When he got there, he knocked on the gate. The same police officer he had seen in the morning opened the gate. “Eheh?” the police man did not look welcoming. Kojo said; “I am coming to pick up the girls I dropped off,”
“Them no finish oo. If you go wait, aaah,” The policeman shrugged and gestured into the compound. There were several huge V8 vehicles parked on the compound. Some of them had drivers seated in the drivers’ seats, waiting.
Kojo went in and sat next to the police officer on a bench near the gate. “Wey meeting that?” Kojo started the conversation.
The police officer laughed “ino be meeting oo- ibi tins!”
He elaborated on how he saw all sorts of girls walk in and out of the house on weekends, not knowing for sure what goes on inside. He described the kinds of sounds he hears when he goes to the back of the house to fetch water before his prayers.
Kojo was appalled. The police officer did not have to go into details for him to understand what was going on here. “Who in house this?” he asked.
The police officer shrugged, “ibi Ministers and MPs that dey come here waaa, but I no knor who in house this.” Before long, two of the waiting drivers joined in the conversation, giving more insight and background information to what goes on there and at other places like it.
Kojo dreaded the fact that he brought the girls there. About forty-five minutes later, he saw the girls walking out of the building and towards the gate. He got up and headed to the car ahead of them.
To be continued.
Up Next on bitter honey…
It had been a week after the beach party and Kuku was in very high spirits. His family were sitting together behind the television screen, laughing their hearts out. They were watching a classic ‘Kumawood’ movie and Agya Koo wouldn’t give them the chance to breathe!
Just when everyone burst out laughing the umpteenth time, his phone vibrated in his pocket. He felt a flattering in his stomach – ‘Caroline! She’s finally replied my text!’ He thought to himself. The vibrations continued – it wasn’t a text; it was a call. He checked the caller ID: it was Ma Dee.