Chapter Six

“Hi,” he said casually, as if they’d met before. “Hey,” she said, accompanied by her well-known smile. “Who is this short nigga walking up on me?” Noelle thought to herself. He was cute though. “I’m Kofi and you are?” he asked, ever so sure of himself. Noelle, in her drunken glory, was not immediately interested, but decided to indulge this confident stranger who appeared out of nowhere. “You don’t recognize me?” she teased. The entire trip, her friends in the travel group referred to her as Kelly, because she resembled Kelly Rowland, so she took a chance and went with it. Kofi, with a confused look, turned to his friend who happened to be walking by. “Chale, do you know her?” “Umm, should I?” said the friend, just as puzzled as Kofi. Noelle laughed loudly. “It’s okay, it’s a nice feeling when I can go unrecognized. You can call me Ama.” “You’re beautiful, Ama. I just had to let you know,” Kofi said, still confused on who she could be. “Where are you visiting from? Are you enjoying Ghana?” Noelle couldn’t believe this man was trying to have a full-fledged conversation in the middle of the club on New Year’s Eve, but, thanks to the glass of champagne that was nearly empty, she was fully drunk at this point so what was the harm?

They talked a bit about her trip, where she’d been and how long she’d be staying when they were interrupted by a woman who ran up to hug Kofi, nearly knocking him over. “I knew it!” Noelle thought. “Here comes his girlfriend.” “Kofi!” the woman exclaimed as she hung from his shoulders. “It’s so good to see you! It’s been time,” she said, confirming she wasn’t his girlfriend, but still someone very familiar. “Frannie, this is Ama,” Kofi said as he redirected his attention towards Noelle. Noelle took full advantage of this introduction. “Hi!” Noelle said, just a bit too excited. “Real quick, how many kids does he have? Is he married? What’s his deal?” Frannie had a good laugh at Noelle’s line of questioning. “Oh no, he’s a great guy, truly! Not married, no kids that I know of. Really just a great guy!” Noelle felt silly for asking, but again, these are just some of the questions she had to ask men back home and even then she couldn’t be sure she was getting honest answers. “You’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto,” Noelle thought. 

Kofi was quite popular and a few people stopped by to say hello while he talked with Noelle. “I better get back to my friends before midnight,” he said as he looked at his watch. There were five minutes to spare before the start of 2020. “What were you drinking?” he asked while eyeing Noelle’s empty glass. “Oh, some kind of champagne.” Kofi got the attention of the waitress nearby and mentioned something inaudible. “It was lovely to meet you, Ama. Have a happy new year.” Kofi gave Noelle a small hug before disappearing into the crowd. Shortly thereafter, the DJ stopped the music and everyone joined in on the countdown. “Ten..nine…eight…” Noelle said a silent prayer of thanksgiving. “Three…two…one! Happy New Year!” The beat dropped again as everyone cheered and looked up into the sky to admire the fireworks. Hugs and high fives were in abundance and the dancing commenced. The waitress returned to Noelle with a bottle of Moet Chandon Rosé. Both surprised by and grateful for the gesture, she poured everyone around her a glass as they toasted to an amazing year ahead. 

Before calling it a night, Noelle did a lap around the venue to find Kofi. She expected a glass of champagne, not a bottle from the top shelf. She couldn’t believe he left without even asking for her number. “Maybe he really is just a nice guy,” she thought. She spotted him among friends and tapped him on the shoulder. “Ama!” he seemed shocked to see her. “I just wanted to thank you for the bottle of champagne. That was very nice of you.” she said sincerely. “Wow! You’re very welcome,” replied Kofi. “Would you want to hang out before you leave Accra?” he said while pulling out his phone. “Sure!” Noelle said as she typed her number into his WhatsApp. She thought this would be just the energy she needed to get back on the dating scene. “Twenty-twenty is looking good!” she thought. 

Song: Full Moon x Brandy

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