Different Strokes

It’s been a week since I touched down and not much has happened. It took me some time to adjust to Canadian time, ‘almost’. There are still those nights when my eye lids pop open at midnight with no instructions on how to get them to shut again. Luckily for me, those nights were far from lonely because it was around that same time Ghana was waking up. And that meant Imani and I got to talk. And not to my surprise, talk very long. The twist to having those long talks is that it meant I sleep late and wake up late and Imani wakes up early and sleeps early. That way, we got to cheat the time difference.


Jim told me everything about his day and I loved it. I got to relive the whole day with him anytime we talked. I laugh at the things he laughed at when they happened to him, and when things got ‘awful’ with interacting with his dad, I consoled him. That’s all I could ask for, the truth about how he feels, when he feels it and why he feels it. Those are the only times I can get my mind off this whole long distance thing. I won’t lie, my mind drifts off a lot. This time is no different. Since Jim left, my mind has created scenarios ranging from Jim finding love there in Canada and never coming back, his dad loving his company and so wants him to stay forever, to Jim dying in some terrorist attack on his way back home. But hearing his voice coming from the other side of the computer screen soothes me and suppresses my worries. And I’m sure he knows it.


“… yes babe, I haven’t been around the neighbourhood much since I came so I’ll go take a stroll down the road and see where it leads me.” Jim suggested. I agreed with him. What will be the use of visiting another country if you stay indoors always. We talked some more about how we wanted the day to be like before mum called me from her bedroom. “I have to go, I love you so much Jim and I still miss you.” I said quickly. I pressed my index and middle finger against my lips and planted the kiss on my webcam. Jim did same then smiled as he shut the lid of his laptop.

“Mummm, I was talking to Jim,” I nagged as I walked into her room. I immediately regretted not knocking first. I walked in quick enough to catch a glimpse of Enoch climbing off mum and pulling the duvet over himself. They were both in nothing but their underwear. Well I saw mum’s boyfriend in his boxer shorts but I couldn’t tell what mum had on. If even she had on something on that is. Enoch looked scared; probably because he knew I wasn’t a big fan of him or any man for that matter and didn’t know what me seeing him on my mum meant for him. Mum on the other hand had on the naughtiest smile I have ever seen drawn on her face. Underneath all the ‘ewws’ there was that slight ‘aww’ and wishes that Jim was closer. I really missed that boy.

“You called me mum,” I said in between clearing my throat. She looked like she couldn’t remember why she even called me. It was normal and I grew familiar with that look. “Urgh!” I exclaimed under my breath before turning round to head towards the door. “Wait I think I remember,” mum called out again just when I turned the door knob. I let the knob go and bowed my head waiting to listen to whatever it was she had to tell me. After all I don’t have to listen with my eyes. “I want us to have some time together Dear,” mum started. “Like with Enoch too. It will be fun and a step forward for you and I.” I still kept my head down. “We’ll leave at 6 tonight so get your clothes ready, yh” I nodded my head okay and walked out of the room.


I woke up later that day feeling worse than I felt before sleeping off. Still determined to make the best out of the day I climbed out of bed and went to freshen up. I was ready by midday so I decided to skip eating altogether. Maybe there’ll be restaurants or fast foods nearby. It would be around 6 pm back in Ghana and Imani might be unavailable so I made a mental note to call her when I returned. I checked to make sure the door was properly locked before pocketing my hands and going on this walk. The people didn’t stare much, so I figured that I wasn’t the only black person in the hood. That made me feel better. Soon I came across this huge café. Bigger than anyone I had seen back home. I slowly walked in and the little bell at the top corner of door rang. It followed a welcome call from behind the counter. “Hello Sir, welcome to Second Cup,” a soft voice said. I looked up and saw a young black lass, around my age, standing behind the counter with a napkin resting on her left shoulder. “What are the odds?” I said to myself as I approached the bar.


Ever since Jim left, my phone has not stopped buzzing. I knew a lot of people knew me but this was ridiculous. A lot of them were guys too. Asking to hang out and catch up for old times sake. I don’t know if it had always been this way or not. If yes, then the only difference was that I was too busy and happy with Jim’s presence to realise the other relationships it might have hurt. Now that there’s a reduction of Jim’s aura, the rate of boredom has increased and the urge to kill the idea of being alone all day was ridiculously itchy. Of course, I would not put myself through any tests so I’ll stick to being with my girlfriends. I’m not in the mood to fight flings and feelings that being around old guy friends may erupt. It’s better to prevent than to go too far and have to think of a cure.


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