Pearl – Non Italics
To be very honest, it is a strange concept to me because in our situation, I don’t even know when that started or ended. We didn’t have to define anything in that manner because we started off as friends just getting to know each other as exactly that and nothing more (well maybe subconsciously I knew there was the possibility). This is our story we’re sharing, we don’t know how it would impact but we hope it does.
Before l begin, this is just to let you know that l thought l would marry Theo Walcott (Ex-Arsenal player) when l was in upper primary through to Junior High School. I had cut a picture of him on a 90 minute newspaper and glued in my RME notebook, because l brilliantly figured if it is about God so God will know how serious l am. Then in senior high school, lt truly hit me Walcott was a closed deal so l had to change my prayer topic. I went to an all girls school, so it had to take events or visiting days for us to see boys our age. So l changed from Walcott to marrying a botwe boy because they were so decently dressed when they came for events in our school. All suited up, walking in a procession to their school bus, no misbehavior, l thought God if Walcott didn’t happen you could throw another Red somewhere in my future. Clearly, my prayers were entertaining to God’s ears.
If you are a Botwe boy having any funny ideas at the moment, please forget it. It won’t work now. I have pressed her mumu button. She’s gone.
So this is a topic both our friends have asked us to address. When l look back at the stage it amuses me because it doesn’t exactly have the usual romantic story line. I would give you an insight to why l think so. We met at a conference and if we ever worked together or from anyone that knows me, you would know l have really solid work ethics. It is one thing about me l can confidently speak on. So love or any semblance to it was not why l was there.
I actually liked working with her even though we did not always have the same plan for carrying out tasks. We both obviously did not have any idea it would lead to this. We probably may have finished working without even getting to know each other as friends if I hadn’t asked for her contact. Looking back, I think we both may not have been bothered if we went our separate ways after working on the project.
We were introduced to each other by a mutual friend, subsequently, anytime l needed something l was asked to reach out to Abei. As someone who is shy (something most people don’t believe) and doesn’t want to worry people with her stuff, asking for help was a weight but l eventually did and he really went out of his way so the work gets done.
I am unsure of the conversation that transpired between himself and his friends, but one evening after the days event, l was told one of the team leads at the conference was looking for me and she was in Abei’s room. I assume it had to do with work and l quickly get there, only to find the room filled with Abei lying on a bed, facing the people in the room. The conference lead then lightheartedly asks what is going on between us (Abei &I), l am confused and l tell her nothing. She asks if l am sure and that lf l can tell Abeiku to his face, l didn’t like him. Easy Peezy, l called Abei and said l don’t like you and then mentioned l wanted to leave cos l was worn out.
Trust me, it was the right answer for me because I didn’t see what people saw that made them think anything was going on. That was actually the last thing on my mind at that moment. It was in 2015 and I was thinking about my GPA and other matters. Everyone else saw something. It seemed the two people involved where the only ones who didn’t see what everything was about.
The conference took 3 days. My then BLU phone decided to embarass me so l had to use Abei’s phone for most of the conference social media posts. On the last day, as l hand the phone over to him, he says something along the lines of, you’re not giving the phone without putting your number on it. I sincerely thought it was bold because l was used to the whole someone gave your number to me and l can’t mention who or some of those weird things some people say if you simply ask how they got the number.
I said she shouldn’t give me back the phone without her number saved on it. I’m not one for pick up lines or anything. I don’t even know why I asked but I’m glad I did. Would have been better than getting it from someone later and throwing the “I saw your number in a dream” line.
So l did, but honestly l didn’t see the conversation going past a day or two or we being friends. I have already gone to shout to a room of people l didn’t like him in that vain. So l just envisioned a “hello, how are you, we thank God vibe. ”Interestingly a conference staff, took a picture of us in hopes of teasing us but l knew we were just colleagues so l wasn’t bothered.
Chale I wasn’t even friend zone. I was colleague zone. Tears. We started talking and she was actually interesting. During the conference, she gave me the “we’re here for business vibe” but I was talking to a different person here and this person was really great to talk to. Didn’t talk much but every time we did, it was a great conversation.
So few days after, we began to talk. We didn’t speak everyday but on days we did we had really good conversations. Sports was actually one of the things we used to talk about a lot. Often, people who meet us now assume we bonded over the fact that he does spoken word and l like poetry and other forms of art or books etc. Bursting your bubble today, he actually had not even began his spoken word journey then, we bonded over sports. Arsenal definitely made me take a lot of bants. Then moved on to various social issues. One thing , l believed that kept the conversations going was Abei was bold. Things that others would not ordinarily ask me because they felt l was intimidating, he was asking.
It’s quite surprising but we became friends because we talked about sports a lot. It wasn’t anything fancy or intellectual conversations on philosophy or something. Sports. Can you imagine? After a while though, our conversations went beyond the Chelsea-Arsenal trolls. We got to talk about our past and individual experiences in various aspects of our lives. Our beliefs and opinions on certain topics, as well as our likes and dislikes.
Most people of the opposite sex have mistaken my reservedness for a lot of things. I had someone who simply could not ask me on a date but wanted to make a bet with me on a football game, depending on which team won, we would go on a date. Although the team I predicted would win did, and it meant that we could not go, I had already resigned myself to declining because l felt, if you simply could not ask me that, l don’t know what else we would be betting on or for. I prefer open, straight forward conversations.
I’m a playful person and I think I could have pulled a similar stunt to what she just talked about. Thank God I didn’t though because it means I would have blown it.
As our conversations progressed, and our friendship grew, it was evident we were heading out of the zone together. Yet l wasn’t sure if l was too ready. If Abei dropped hints, l dismissed it. One instance in a conversation, he mentioned he wanted a girl like Pearl Afua Acheampong. I panicked, l went on Facebook, typed Pearl Afua Acheampong in the search bar and sent screenshots of all the ones l found and told him i will be his matchmaker. In another instance , we were both volunteering for an organization, after we met at the mall, he mentioned if l would come visit him in his hostel after we were done. Before l could process it l said, Yes. Then as we were getting ready to leave, l began to get nervous about it again. Was I really ready for a relationship because that was where it was heading to. Thankfully my friend who l had come with mentioned she was nervous about meeting someone , so if l was willing to go with her. So I mentioned to Abei, l could not go with him as my friend and l had to do something together. I noticed he was crushed , but he said that was okay.
Okay so at this point it was almost a year since we had met and we could both see that it was definitely not going to stop at just friendship. She was in denial though and that was funny because no matter how much she tried to hide it, it was becoming more and more obvious. We didn’t even know if we were ready.
Our conversations progressed, we began to run into each other more often because we were volunteering for different organizations. You know that one friend who asks you to pray about everything to the tiniest details , l am that person, so regardless of what it was telling God about it, if he knew about Theo Walcott, he is going to know about this gentleman too. So one time after volunteering for the organisation, Abei asks that l come to chalewote, I think which was the following week with him. If you have read our previous posts or know me , you would know that although l loves art, large crowds was me getting way out of my comfort zone but guess who said yes cooly.
As I said earlier, I have pressed her mumu button already. I mean who takes someone out on a first date to chalewote but here she is saying yes.
My girls had also mentioned they wanted to go as well but we agreed on nothing definite so l knew l was going with Abei. So Chalewote day is here and we have been volunteering in the morning. We did that , and it was time to go. We go get something to eat first with his friend and cousin. Absolutely loved the event, but social battery was drained as well and overwhelmed with the crowd. We rounded off the day with some Tampico and cool breeze coming through from the backseat of a troski.
The walking was a lot of work but we weren’t bothered because we actually had fun.
Fast forward, he asked me out (we will share how that happened in a subsequent post). Now l had to meet the friends when I visited. Me who struggles to make conversations past how are you (which l am not proud of , working on it ). So the days l am visiting and Abei mentions he is in a room close by, so l should knock, his roommates would come open the door, l would classically knock softly, in hopes they won’t hear because l don’t want to say past how are you. So when Abei comes and still finds me by the door, l would just say: “oh l wanted to wait for you.”
I’m actually eager to share the story of how I asked her out but we’ll keep that for a later post. I’ll talk about her friends in that post. She wants to talk about mine now though so the floor is hers.
So for the purpose of this post, I would call them Oldman, Abode3, and Randy. Randy was definitely the first person l warmed up to. He was funny, an arsenal fan and made jokes, so it was easier to respond and build on a conversation. Oldman was definitely the tease. I was already nervous but trying to shield it. He would occasionally drop, “so you’re in love eiiii.” I would buy my way out with my sarcasm sometimes. Abode3 liked to keep to himself, he was the one who I would call the observer. He makes mental notes about stuff and he would talk about later. As our relationship progressed, l would not exactly say Abei’s friends and l are best friends but we have a really respectful cordial relationship.
I have never tried to get in the way of the bond they share and try and distort it any form, because healthy friendships besides your relationships are great for you as a person and l have seen them come through solidly for him on a number of occasions. These 3 are a fraction of a larger squad. But they are ones l met initially.
We will continue in our next post.