“Sandra, I could hardly believe it was you when you walked into the arrival hall. See how you resemble one big aunty,” said Tunde surprisingly.
“Uncle MenTu, girls are now ladies o, I’m not that small girl you once knew,” replied Sandra jokingly.
“You’re right, Tunde. I can hardly believe those pictures you showed me are pictures of Sandra. Truly, for some, beauty goes beyond mere social media pictures,” Esther concurred.
Esther and Tunde had just picked up Sandra from the Kotoka International Airport after a one hour flight from Lagos to Accra via Arik Air. Comfortably seated at the back of the Honda Accord 2013 model, the dry air emerging from the Air Conditioner mixed with pleasant floral fragrance made her feel relaxed from the nitty gritty back at the airport. The streets lights added much beauty to the city of Accra and Sandra, without an iota of doubt, knew she would have a wonderful stay throughout the period of her study.
Tunde had proposed a dinner date at the Barcelos Restaurant, Accra mall to celebrate Sandra’s arrival and the new journey she was about to begin.
He suggested the date as a way of passing out time while patiently waiting for Sandra’s aunt’s arrival from Kumasi. Sandra was to stay with her throughout her four year study at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science And Technology located in the urban setting of the large city of Kumasi. Her aunt was to attend a one week conference organised by her work place in Accra. Fortunately, it coincided with Sandra’s arrival date and both decided it would be best they left together after the conference. This would make Sandra’s journey to Kumasi less stressful and fun filled.
“Oh wow, uncle MenTu, I can finally cross this off my checklist for I have seen the famous Accra Mall bill board I usually see in the movies,” said Sandra enthusiastically.
“I’m pretty sure your friends are already getting updates about your new findings as you seem so excited”
“Of course, yes. You know how we roll, uncle MenTu,” Sandra replied hysterically as she kept tapping her phone screen.
Tunde had met Sandra while he was a serving corper at one of the secondary schools in Lagos, Nigeria where Sandra schooled. Sandra’s family and Tunde attended the same church and Sandra’s mum had employed him as her home lesson teacher. She was 15 and smallish at that time. She had grown fond of him and would later nickname him ‘Mentu’ – short form of Mentor, as he wasn’t only her lesson teacher but doubled as her youth instructor in church. After her Secondary School Education, getting admission into the University had seemed impossible. Finally there came a ray of hope when she was offered admission into one of Nigeria’s prestigious Universities, but it was quickly dashed as the School went on a one year strike. Sandra’s mum had petitioned Tunde who now worked at one of the Telco companies in Ghana to help her apply to schools. The process seemed easier as two schools granted her admission to study her dream course-Computer Science. Sandra acted on Tunde’s advice and opted for Kwame Nkrumah University Of Science and Technology (KNUST).
They finally reached their destination after experiencing a little bit of traffic along the Spintex road. Highlighting from the car, Tunde’s hands locked with Esther’s and all three walked pass the Woodin and Shop Rite stores to get to where the eateries were situated. They walked into the ever busy Barcelos Restaurant which had people troop in and out. Luckily for them, a family had just taken their leave, giving them a comfortable space to sit down.
While Tunde headed for the front desk to order for fresh juices to start with, Esther and Sandra secured the seats in his absence and got talking.
“Once again, Akwaaba, Sandra. I bet you’ll have a great time here in Accra. You might even decide to settle here after your studies,” said Esther.
“Hopefully, ma’am. I don’t think I want to go back to that Lagos life. The hustle and bustle can be overwhelming but over here, things seem to be a lot calmer.”
“Well, you just arrived. With time, you’ll get to know more about this place. I can be your tour guide anytime I’m less busy with work. We should plan a girls hangout soon, yeah?” suggested Esther as she gave Sandra a wink.
“Sure, ma’am. Yourself and Uncle MenTu…”
As she was speaking, Tunde arrived with the waiter carrying the cups of juice in a tray as he placed each one in front of them.
“Looks like these pretty ladies have been talking about me. I only hope this is not a coup d’etat,” teased Tunde
“Hahaha! Well, Uncle MenTu, maybe it is. Looks like the ladies are about to take over power,” replied Sandra hysterically.
“Love, don’t mind Sandra. She’s only pulling your legs,” Esther chipped in almost immediately.
A few minutes later, the waiter brought their main course, Tunde’s favourite- Chicken and Chips. They had ordered the same too. They chatted over their meal and everyone was excited.
“Oh my! Seems like we lost track of time. It’s 8pm already and I have to be home before 9pm when the gates are usually closed.” said Esther, worriedly.
“That’s true, sweetheart. You see why I have been saying we should get married as soon as possible? So that somebody can finally have you to himself at any ungodly hour.” Tunde teased.
Esther pinched him hard while Sandra let out a fake cough to announce her presence.
“Ouch honey. That hurts. How can you be pinching your love like that? Is that what they teach you at your ladies fellowship?”
“Mr Man, you’re not serious kraa. Don’t let me pour this pineapple juice on your face.” replied Esther jokingly
“Hehehe Miss Woman, you’re free o. After all, if pineapple starts growing on it, your tender hands will always nurture it.”
“Nawa o, lovers and crew. So you people just want to pretend that I don’t exist ehnn? Nobody even said sorry when I coughed. It’s not fair o” Said Sandra as she chipped into their conversation
“My Friend, turn your face away and start thinking about your books….Is it that yeye sound that you call cough? ” replied Tunde playfully.
“Uncle MenTu, well done o. Please lend me your phone so I can call my aunt to see where she is so we can all leave together”
“Sure! Your aunt must have arrived Accra from Kumasi already. It’s just a 4hr 30mins drive from there. Oh I forgot! She sent the name of the Hotel where she would be lodging. It’s close to Esther’s apartment. I’ll drop you off first, and then, my darling fiancee.