Opinion

Short Story: My love!

He stared intently at her face quietly not knowing what to say when she related to him how the incident punned out that day. The love-birds continued staring at each other and one thing led to the other in the Gardens.

At about 8:15 P.M. one Thursday evening, Anane entered his room and found his mobile phone recorded two missed calls. He quickly pushed the select button and saw the number of the calls he’s missed. It was an unfamiliar number that called twice. “Who might be trying to reach me at this time,” he asked himself. He checked his credit balance and it was not enough to make any meaningful call.

Being very curious about the missed call and eager to know who possesses the number, Anane dashed out to do some credit transfer. He found a vendor and asked him to transfer some for him but he replied that the network isn’t that good and so will take a long time to receive the credit. Still bent on knowing who called him, he had to make do with the alternative and more expensive one. He purchased the credit voucher worth double the amount of the transfer price. The phone was loaded. Anane without hesitation dialled the number and the call went through. Three call tunes and the call was picked. “Hello” Anane greeted.

A soft but rather sleepy voice from a lady answered, “Hi”.

“Good evening, I missed your calls and I’m calling to find out who this is,” he enquired.

“You mean I called your phone, no. This number is not familiar to me at all,” the lady answered.

“Well I also don’t know why but I came to meet it on my phone; anyway, I’m Anane, what about you?”

“I am err, err Ann,” she replied as if stuttering

“Wow! That’s strange, are you sure,” Anane quizzed.

“Yeah”

“Well, thanks, let’s talk sometime later.”

The call ended but Anane looked confused. “Ah! What’s this, is this value for money,” he mumbled to himself, “let me forget about it.” Anane laid on his bed and tried to appreciate how intelligent the lady was. It seems she had memorized the entire male corresponding female names. How could she in seconds find a name that perfectly matches his name? A mystery he decided to unravel in the days to come.

The next day at about 7 A.M., on his way to the University of Ghana campus, Anane had a call. The mystery number has bounced back on his screen. He picked the call and the same voice greeted.

“I am sorry, it’s my younger sister who was using my phone to call a friend but mistakenly changed one of the digits and that clearly was yours,” she said rather apologetically stressing her vowels in such appealing way.

“Oh, it’s okay,”

“I am Cynthia but I mentioned Ann because I didn’t know you”

“That’s brilliant of you,” Anane flattered. “I’m almost in the lecture hall, I’ll call you later and thanks for the call”.
“I’m also glad talking to you”

The call ended and Anane went through the lectures thinking about that voice and perfect diction of lady who seems to be interested in him. “I’ve to play this game well so that it wouldn’t backfire,” he thought. Images of a lady with round face, sparkling pair of eyes and flowing hair, tall with perfect shape to match flashed his minds-eye.

Occasional calls and text messages flew in and out and a date was fixed for the duo to meet. After all, the lady had said in one of the text messages that she wished they meet one day. The venue was the University Botanical Gardens at Legon at 3 P.M.

Anane wore a blue jeans and a fitting white long sleeve shirt and folded the cuffs up to almost the elbow level. His blue and white snickers gave him a perfect combination. He got to the location 15 minutes before the time trying not to miss this rare opportunity of dating a ‘beautiful girl’. His patience though grew like that of the vulture waiting to feed on the dying animal that is refusing to die, he couldn’t bear the 30 minutes late of his “angel”. “Is that a hoax?” Anane contemplated. He dialled her number and the network service replied, “the phone is either switched off or out of coverage area.” He called a thousand and one time but the reply was the same occasionally moving to and fro the front of the Gardens. “How could she switch her phone off at this crucial moment?” he muttered, “or … or she is out of coverage area, no, I don’t think so”. An hour and a half passed but no trace of the lady Anane has talked to, both in print and verbal for about a month.

The patience ran out and the “love-saturated” gentleman, disappointed though, began to leave the place to his house. Just when Anane entered his room and sat on the bed, the Cynthia’s number called.

“Hello! Are you Love-Anns?” A male voice greeted and enquired.

“Yeah, Anane’s actually the name, any problem, Sir.”

“Well, I am Dr. Attuquayefio at the University Hospital, Legon,” he introduced. “The owner of this mobile phone has just been rushed to this hospital and is in a serious condition.”

The breaking news seemed to have caused fear, panic and alarm. He was literally gripped by this sad news and was lost for words. “Please, in which ward is she,” he asked.

“Please, he is in ward B16 at the accident centre.”

“Thank you, I’ll be there in a jiffy.” Anane hurriedly came out of the house and as if planned, an empty taxi headed his direction and he flagged it. It pulled up and he ordered him to drive to the University Hospital. The driver sped off to the hospital. Anane alighted at the car park, paid the driver and turned to purchase a “Get Well Soon” Card for his “baby girl”. He carefully selected a befitting card that read in the prelim:
“I share your suffering and pain,
Knowing that your love for health has not wane
I know you’ll get well soon
Your health for me is a boon”

He went straight to ward B16 but to his chagrin it was a male ward. Anane asked one of the nurses for Dr. Attuquayefio’s office. He knocked and entered the Doctor’s office. “Good evening, Doc I am Anane.”
“Yeah, Anane have you gone to visit your friend?”
“No, I couldn’t locate the ward”
“Go straight through the corridor, room B16 on the left,” Dr. Attuquayefio directed raising his arm and sticking out his forefinger.
“I’ve been there, Doc, but that is a male ward”
“Yes”
“No, that cannot be …,” Anane said with a shaky voice
“Why is the owner a female?”
“Yes, that is what I know”
“I’m sorry but this is the one who was rushed here about an hour and a half ago”

“Thank you, Doc, but I think there some misunderstanding here. Anyway, I have to leave,” Anane intimated to confirm his disappointment of the situation. With that he jumped from the chair and left the office

“Could this ‘bastard’ be the one who was playing a prank on me all this while?” he asked himself when he stepped out of the office. He decided not to go and even see the face of the one who’s lured him over the period. “I’m sure that man is a gay.”

Anane kept the scenario to himself and tried not to tell anyone about it. Thoughts of been ‘fooled’ by that ‘man’ troubled him so much. He made conscious effort to delete this rather unfortunate event from his memory. He deleted the number from his phone.
Three days later, the number sprung up on his phone. He received the call and a lady’s voice greeted, “Good evening Anns”.
Anane recognized the voice and so cut the call. He preferred not to be fooled again. The call kept coming through but he refused to receive. After the fourth call, a message came and it read: “Please forgive me for not showing up for the date. My phone was stolen on my way to the place. I didn’t know how to locate you without it. I’m sorry Love-Anns.”

The message sounded appealing but could not suffice for an excuse. Anane replied that: “Thank you! But I know absence makes the heart grow fonder and I want it that way. I’m sorry, are you not a man?”

The call came again and Anane received it.

“Please, this is Cynthia. I am sure the one who stole the phone was the one who called you to make a mockery of you. I am real,” the voice said sorrowfully.
“Well, let’s meet at the same place, same time”
“Okay, I’ll explain everything to you when I get there”

The time was due and Anane as usual was already there. In just five minutes past the time, a Nissan urvan trotro pulled up. A lady, fairly dark in complexion and slim with pronounced curves – slim from neck with a sharp curve at the chest area and another well-defined curve at the hips – alighted.

Anane picked his phone and dialled the number as he watched, and the lady answered.

“I can see you. Turn right and look straight”
The two were astonished to see themselves. Anane spread his arm as the two moved towards each other and a warm hug effected.

Appah Joseph
australopithy_b@yahoo.com

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