A quarter of my mind: The Glitter of False Gold (III)

A Quarter of Mind: The Night Niko Turned (Part III)
Winifred hMensa

Part III

The conversation in the car was rather scanty during the drive to Addison’s office; an awkward silence interrupted only by Luna’s intermittent yells at trotro drivers who cut in front of her in traffic. Addison found it amusing how shrill her voice sounded when stirred up.

“You know they can’t hear you, right?” He asked teasingly

“I know, but it makes me feel better,” came her reply, eyes glued to the road.

Addison laughed and took the opportunity to steal glances at this damsel, who had in such a short time, exposed the many distresses of his life. Seated, her short skirt had pulled half-way up her thighs; a smooth light skin tone like that of a new-born baby, Addison thought. Her profile view reminded him of Halle Berry, his favourite Hollywood actress. It was doubtful that she grew up in Ghana because she was a little different, even odd in some ways.

That aside, it was obvious that she was from money. If that wasn’t already evident with the display of fancy cars, a thick wad of fresh GH¢200 notes lay carelessly in her Hermès handbag that rested open on the centre console, along with the usual content of a ladies’ purse: lipstick, press powder, and a few other assorted items.

When she pulled up at the car park of his office, she asked, “What time do you get off work?”

“Well, it depends on how much work I have to do, but usually by 6:00 pm. Why?”

“Mm…okay,” she replied. “I’ll send my driver to get you.”

“Your driver? To come and get me? Why? What for?”

“To take you home, of course. Unless you’re planning on walking?” she asked with a hint of sarcasm.

“Walking? Oh no. I’m all the way in Teshie Nungua.”

“Mm, that’s quite a distance. That settles it. The driver will be here by 5:30 pm. Okay? Just in case you decide to leave early.”

“There’s no need for that, Ms. Luna. You’ve done a lot for me today and I couldn’t ask for more,” he protested weakly.

She pulled down her shades with her middle finger and peered at him over the rim.

“You’re not asking. I’m offering. And it’s rude to refuse a lady’s offer. I’ll give him your number. Expect his call around five.”

“Umm…okay madam. Thank you,” he said as he picked up his stuff from the back seat and got out of the car.

“Mm, it’s nothing. And please, I’m not your ‘madam’. Call me Lulu,” she said, chuckling.

“Okay Lulu,” he said smiling as he closed the door.

But she was already on another call and simply waved him goodbye and drove off. As the dust from the wake of the car tyres settled, Addison wondered if he’d been scammed. Unlikely. His car was a second-hand 2004 Nissan Primera, held together by faith and epoxy. It ran like a tractor on a farm, and quite frankly, they would be doing him a great service if they stole it.

For the rest of the afternoon, Addison was in a very absent-minded state. It hit him hard that Amerley had broken up with him, throwing all the plans he’d made for their future out the window. He decided to step out onto the balcony for some fresh air, possibly return Kumi’s call and fill him in on the happenings of the last 24 hours. On his way out the door, Kumi called.

“My guy, I call you since yesterday. You no dey pick up. Why?

“Chalé, the broken heart, some catch me o,” Addison answered.

“Oh how?”

“Hmm…my woman dog me o. She say things no dey go on give am.”

“Wey tins?” Kumi enquired.

“Me, I no know. She no wedge make I bizz am wey she lef. The way the thing dey bash me, eh? Only God! I tink about am ah, den my heart.”

“Abi me I tell you longest say dat chick no correct but you no listen. Love catch your eye so you no dey hear. You dey kae the time wey I tell you say I see am for some hotel like dat plus some big man? You tell me say sometime, e be ein uncle. Next time if I talk ah, you go listen.

“Hmm…The way I suffer give am wey she just dog me like that? E be God go punish am,” Addison said.

“So what happen the ring?” Kumi enquired.

“I carry am come house like dat. What I go fit do?”

“Make I sell am give you? You know me, I fit get good price give you,” Kumi teased.

“Eii, Mr. General Merchant! You, it’s okay. I go keep am give another woman.”

“Why, you get some already? My man dat!”

“Chalé, e no be so. I just for keep hope alive.”

“Yoh, if you say so.

“Anyway, I tell you about the chick wey I crash ein car?

“You too? When? Make you drop the filla,” Kumi said excitedly.

Addison spent the next 5 minutes giving his cousin the rundown about Luna, the car, and the workshop.

“So you go move to am?” Kumi asked.

“I beg, I no be ein class. I dey fear am sef.”

“If you no like, make you give me backpass, eh?”

They both laughed. Just then another call came through. Addison put his cousin on hold and answered. It was the driver, calling to inform him that he was at the car park. Addison signed off quickly with his cousin, shoved his laptop and other papers into his bag, and headed out. Just as he walked out, a Mercedes AMG C63 sedan with customised number plates that read M0 437-22 pulled up in front of him and the passenger window rolled down. MONEY, Addison said under his breath.

“Mr. Addison Donkor?” the driver asked.

“Yes, that’s me,” Addison answered, surprised.

“Please, I’m the one Madam Luna asked to pick you up.”

“Umm…okay,” Addison said, admiring the car.

The driver got out, ran to Addison, and opened the back passenger door, gesturing him inside the fully air-conditioned car. He obliged and slipped into the backseat. After shutting the door gently, the driver ran back to his seat, turned to Addison, and pulled out a piece of paper from his breast pocket.

“Please Sir, she said I should bring you to La Lumière restaurant.”

“I…I thought you were supposed to take me home?” Addison asked.

“Yes, but she said we should come here first.”

Without waiting for Addison’s say-so, he put the car into gear and drove in the direction of the restaurant. Addison knew all about that restaurant. It wasn’t a place he would’ve dreamt of hanging out casually on a Monday night. It was one of those expensive restaurants tailored to a specific market. And Addison wasn’t on that list. Although he dreamt of bringing Amerley there someday in the future after they were married.

As he got out of the car and stepped onto the pavement, the welcoming atmosphere of the restaurant distracted Addison from the nagging feeling of discomfort in his gut. The place was even more fancy than he’d seen on Instagram: It was a 2 storey-building with a glass interface framed by a combination of steel and wooden trusses. A well-manicured garden, bordered by shrubs led to a wide staircase. At the landing, several seats had been positioned in 2s and 3s under lamp-lit bamboo umbrellas. Along the boundary of the staircase, bollard lights lined up all the way to the entrance where two automated glass doors opened to let guests in. Through the clear glass windows, Addison could see Luna seated elegantly at a table for two, sipping a lavish-looking cocktail, and as usual on her phone.

She turned to look at him through the window and waved, beckoning him to join her at the table. As he walked through the glass doors, he was ushered to her table, and a menu handed to him. Not wanting to interrupt her phone call, he decided to study the menu. Nothing on there was within his budget. He suddenly felt uncomfortable. He looked up from the menu and his eyes met hers. He smiled sheepishly and quickly shifted his gaze back to the menu.

Moments before she ended the call, another waiter walked over, pen and notepad in hand, ready to take his order. She looked up from her phone directly into Addison’s face. It made him a little uncomfortable.

“What are you having?” She asked.

He looked up slowly from the menu and declared, “Just a bottle of water”. It was the cheapest drink on the menu.

“Is that all?” Luna asked.

“Yes. I had a heavy lunch,” he lied, not wanting to pay those prices for a single meal.

“Oh? Then what am I going to do with all the food I’ve ordered?

“You…you’ve already ordered?” Addison coughed, loosening his tie.

“Yes. I didn’t want to keep you out for very long so I asked the chef for the day’s special. I also took the liberty of ordering 3 extra dishes in case you didn’t like that one,” she sniggered.

“Three extra dishes? Umm…” Addison choked, taking a second look at the prices on the menu.

“You can take it home if it’s too much.”

She was insistent, it seemed pointless to resist, so he surrendered.

To be continued…

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