At last Part 7
But she virtually became her chief manager, issuing instructions and talking down to the workers at the least excuse, often in front of customers. Very often, Ida and her mother would receive visitors who would spend long periods and, of course, eat free meals. I heard complaints from some workers and a few customers, but she spoke to her mother, and they concluded that I was jealous of her success. So she stopped discussing the business with me. They were getting some patronage and making a little money, and they thought they were doing well. But the truth was that for such a central location, the rents were very high. I paid the rent advance for eighteen months. Normally they should pay me back from the profits, but I forgot about that. But they need to put some money aside for when the rent expires next year. And I believe they are unable to put enough money aside to cover supplies, for example. So things have been going downhill since then. Her mother is her best friend now. So that’s where we are’. ‘So the marriage didn’t come on?’. ‘There was some disagreement between her parents over how the traditional ceremony was to be organised, so she came to Accra to start the business, in the hope that we would go and do the traditional and civil ceremonies when everything was agreed. Then her mother came here to live with us, and things have just not gone well’. ‘But I don’t understand why Madam has gone completely over to her mother’s side, and doesn’t show you any respect or loyalty. I find it really surprising’. ‘You see, when you spend long periods everyday criticising someone, you get to dislike and even hate him, no matter how close your relationship with him was. She actually thinks she will be better off when I leave. Of course, I’m very comfortable with that’. ‘Forgive me for asking a selfish question. What happens to my job, the way things are going?’. ‘I believe they will find money to pay you for the next few months. I will suggest that you stay with them another couple of months, in order not to give the impression that I took you away. But don’t worry about getting a job, at all’.
‘Sorry I’ve been asking so many questions. We are supposed to be chatting’. ‘We are chatting, aren’t we? Anyway, why don’t you tell me just a little about yourself. Your family, your experience at school, your boyfriend, and girlfriends’.
‘I don’t have a boyfriend, so I will answer the other questions’. ‘Isn’t that surprising, for a girl with your looks?’. ‘Thank you very much. I have just avoided getting into relationships. In the last few years my main concern has been getting a decent job and supporting my parents. My dad is a retired teacher, and my mother is a retired factory worker. I have a sister who has just left senior high school. I have many interesting school experiences to share.
Maybe, if I’m lucky to get a chance to go out with you again, I will tell you about them’. ‘I would be glad to go out with you again’. She looked at him, very surprised, and he nodded. ‘Let me get you home before your parents call the police’.
The two ladies came out of the room, dressed as usual, and sat at the table for breakfast. ‘So the idiot is finally gone’, the elder woman started. ‘Has he cleared his stuff?’ Ida nodded. ‘But why are you so quiet? Listen, he wasn’t doing anything for you while he was here. He claims he is moving to his own home. You know that’s a lie. You are better off without him. You now have the opportunity to meet a much better person. What we need to do now is to work hard and make the business successful, okay?’. ‘Okay mom. I hear you’. The elderly lady called Ida and stretched out her hand. ‘Here’s half of your money. We will give you the other half by the end of the week. Clear the table. We’re going’.
Assor finished cleaning up, sat down for a moment and called Kobina. ‘I called to see how you are, and to thank you for the wonderful treat. I had a great time’. ‘Madam, you said that yesterday. Are you not worried it will get boring?’.
‘I don’t mind if it does.
You have been very good to me, and the least I can do is to show my gratitude.