Chapter Five

“Yesterday was heavy, but necessary,” Noelle texted in the family chat, still grappling with the experience of the day before. The sisters checked in with their parents regularly throughout the trip to report their experiences. Her mother always wanted them to travel to Africa as a family. Now that their parents were recently divorced, Noelle and Ryan were fulfilling the dream on their own.

The sisters met up for complimentary breakfast at the hotel to plan their free day. “I was thinking we could go by the W.E.B. DuBois Centre. I hear they have some Clark Atlanta paraphernalia on display given his contributions as a professor at Atlanta University,” Noelle said of her beloved alma mater. “I need to do more shopping,” replied Ryan, the fashionista of the two. “Makola Market was overwhelming, but Art Centre shouldn’t be as bad, especially since Alvin will be with us.” Noelle agreed. Alvin, KLA’s Chief of Staff, had been named “The Mayor of Accra” by the travel group. He could stop traffic, get you the best currency exchange rate and negotiate the best deals. Later that afternoon, the girls returned to their hotel with artwork, jewelry, Ankara-print clothing, headwraps and beautiful strands of waist beads. Because it was New Year’s Eve, it was imperative they each take a nap after their shopping spree if they were going to last another night until the sun came up. 

A few hours later, a well-rested Noelle laid out a black, deep-v jumpsuit to wear for a night out at Bloom Bar. According to Mimi, this was another hot spot in Accra and the place to see and be seen. She was excited to get dolled up because if there’s one thing Ghana was not short of it was fine men. And, unlike in the States, these men actually approached women. It felt good to be noticed and not expected to make the first move. At that moment, Noelle thought about Tristan. She shot him a quick text before heading down to the lobby: Happy New Year from the Motherland! Tris, I truly hope 2020 brings you much success in every area of your life! As much as she wanted their relationship to work out, she trusted God’s plan and was at complete peace. 

Bloom Bar had an amazing vibe, even as early as 10 pm. The group headed to their reserved section full of food samplings and bottles of the house champagne. The DJ played hit after hit and Noelle relished in the fact that music really did bring the world together. After her second fishbowl drink with smoke coming out of it, Noelle knew she was the right amount of tipsy to celebrate the end of one year and the start of a new one. That’s when he approached her.

Song: Toast, Koffee

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