Of course, I am not asking you to start wearing it now. I would like you to take it, and when we eventually do the traditional and official ceremonies, you can start wearing it’. I tried to hide my surprise and thought of something to say.

Stanley, I am really surprised. Thank you very much. What shall I say? Yes, we have known each other for a while. I am certainly interested in your proposal. I will only make a humble request, that you let me know your plans for the future. If I am going to be your wife, then I would like to know what plans you have for us. I hope you understand what I am saying’.

‘Yes, certainly. I understand you perfectly well. I think it’s in order. I just wanted you to know what my intentions are. In the coming days and weeks I will discuss my plans with you, then we can go forward. So will you accept the ring?’                                                                                  ‘Yes’, I said. Certainly. ‘You have already said that you will discuss your plans with me, so on that basis I accept it’.

I did not say anything to my parents about Stanley’s proposal. I spent some days wondering what exactly lay behind it. Although I always hoped to enter into a relationship, I had not thought about how it could affect my life. I was a Teaching Assistant at the Biochemistry Department, and I was considering two options. I could start a three year Masters Degree programme at the Department whilst still a teaching assistant, or I could apply for a scholarship to do further studies, preferably in Europe. If I was going to marry Stanley, then I had to review all these plans. I had not thought about thesm because they had not come up in the times I spent with him.

We had spent some time together, but we had not discussed anything that indicated an interest in a future relationship. I had visited his home once, and never been to his workplace, even though I knew where he worked. I had no objection to a relationship with him, but I would wish to know more about him. So I decided that whilst waiting to open up regarding his plans, I would also start making some moves. I decided to wait for a week or two, and visit him at his workplace. He came to the house on two occasions, but we carried on as usual, although I noticed that he spent a few minutes chatting with my parents each time.

A couple of weeks later, I left home later than usual, and stopped by his service centre on my way to work. He smiled with surprise, but, I noted that he was not exactly thrilled to see me.           ‘I thought you would be at work by now’, he said.                                                                              ‘Yes, normally I would. But I decided to wait so that I could stop by and see you’.                           ‘Thanks a lot. I appreciate that. Do come in’. We walked past the several cars with their bonnets open, young men busy at work, and they responded to my greeting. We entered into his office, a medium sized air-conditioned room with a laptop computer on the desk, a fridge, and a shelf behind his desk with files and manuals. There was also a big open cupboard with what I guessed were spare parts.                                                                                                                   ‘So, you are welcome. Would you like some tea?’                                                                            ‘No thanks. I already had breakfast. Actually, I won’t be more than a few minutes’.                       ‘Okay. So, now you know where I work. You already know that I service German cars. Most of my customers are owners of Mercedes, BMW and Golf. I get several others but these three are the main ones. I’ve been here two years, and I’m getting busier every week’.                                ‘Glad to hear that. Good to know that you are finding your work productive’.                                ‘Well, yes, except that sometimes Ghanaian customers are a little difficult. I’m used to working with time and precision. Everything I do here is IT oriented, but our people are a little slow when it comes to technology. And when it comes to the staff, that’s a whole big issue. It’s often difficult to get them to understand simple processes. You have to keep saying the same thing over and over again, until they get it. And I think Ghanaians are lazy. You have to virtually push them to work. Sorry, I shouldn’t be complaining like this to you, certainly not on your first visit’.

To be continued.

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