Jude kept calling Nana Yaa all through the night but she didn’t pick. She was probably disappointed about his inability to make it. He decided to give her some time to cool off. On the third day, he showed up at the gate. He waited to see if anyone would come out. He didn’t want her mother to see him around. Unfortunately, the mother had seen him and ordered Nana Ama to ask him to leave. Nana Ama tried to put on a straight face. Jude already sensed something was wrong and refused to leave.
“Please, tell her I would be waiting for her by the bakery” he pleaded
“I’m sorry Jude. I would have helped you but she doesn’t want to see you. You know how she gets when she makes up her mind about something” Nana Ama appeared to be telling the truth so Jude let it go. He turned around and walked away without saying another word. Jude really wanted to explain things to Nana Yaa, he wasn’t ready to give up so easily.
He waited until one evening he accosted Nana Ama. She must have gone to purchase something. He whispered something into her ear and she looked at him surprised. Then she said, “Tell me everything” Jude spoke quietly to her and she took to her feet, without waiting for Jude to finish.
Nana Ama arrived home out of breath, her parents looked at her with concern. Immediately, she thought up a lie. “Mummy, please next time if you want airtime we need to buy it in the morning ooh. I was chased by those rascals again” She dropped the scratch card on her mother’s laps and walked quickly to her room. Her parents looked at each other and shrugged. Then her father commented, “Grace, I think it’s about time we thought of relocating. This neighborhood is becoming dangerous” She pretended not to hear her husband and loaded her airtime.
After their parents had gone to bed, Nana Ama went to tell her sister everything Jude had told her. Nana Yaa sat upright, “He’s moving?”
“Yes, that’s what he told me. He’s leaving the day after tomorrow. He wants to see you before he leaves” The two sisters came up with a plan for Nana Yaa to see Jude before he left. The following evening, Nana Ama told their parents she needed to purchase airtime and she was afraid to go alone. Their father asked her to go with Nana Yaa and buy some for him too.
When they arrived at Jude’s house he was seated on the veranda, all alone. Nana Ama left them to go purchase the airtime. Nana Yaa went to sit by Jude; they sat without speaking for a while before Nana Yaa broke the silence. “Is what you told my sister true?”
“Yes, it is. I haven’t been very open with you and the other day when I was supposed to see you, I planned on telling you everything”
“Okay, tell me now” Jude breathed in deeply and looked at Nana Yaa.
“Unlike my friends, I have never asked a girl out and they always tease me about it. I have liked you since our first meeting and that is why I wanted to be closer to you. Do you remember all the questions I used to ask you whenever I helped you study?”
“Yes, I do. I found it a bit weird”
There was a wry smile on his face “That was because I was making mental notes. I wanted to find a way to get to know you without giving everything away. I was looking for the perfect moment to ask you out and check things off your relationship list”
“Wow. So what happened and why are you moving away?” Nana Yaa reached out for his hand.
“This is where things gets interesting. My parents are divorced. Dad left with my elder sister when they separated. It’s been long since we saw each other. They live in the North now. My mum had been reporting me to my dad about my changed behavior, dropping grades and me chasing girls. The day I was to meet you, my mum called me to come back home. I met my dad at the house. He says it’s about time I come and live with him and my sister. We get to visit our mum whenever we want.”
Nana Yaa was now putting two and two together. “So, does that mean the girl on your Whatsapp DP is your sister?”
“Yeah, that’s her. That’s how she stays in touch with me and Mum. She came to visit us once before we moved to this neighborhood.”
“Oh okay” Nana Yaa bowed her head. “So indirectly, your mum pushed your dad to come for you because of me?”
Jude sighed, “You can say that. But I want to be with you. Would you consider being my girlfriend?”
Nana Yaa looked away. A long distance relationship? That was not how she had imagined her relationship to start. She really liked Jude, although he was moving away. She decided to take her sister’s advice as it came to mind: “I know you have dreams of settling down someday but if you don’t open up and take a chance, how are you ever going to find a man to settle down with?” She decided she was going to say yes to Jude. Love was a risk. You had to take it or leave it.
“I would consider, I like you Jude. There’s a bond we share that goes beyond friendship”
Jude looked happy, he didn’t know whether to hug her or kiss her on the forehead or just hold her. He smiled and scratched his head. Nana Yaa reached for his hands as he spoke
“This might not be what you thought of, but we’ll find a way to make it work”
Nana Yaa nodded and called her sister. She told Jude she had to leave before her parents grew suspicious. He smiled and walked her to the gate.
As if on cue, Nana Ama was at the gate when Nana Yaa stepped out. When she saw her sister’s face she didn’t say a word. She only linked her arm through hers and they walked home silently.