SAMUEL COBBY GRANT
KL had been helping Pat adjust to life in Takoradi. He had been showing her places of interest in and around the Metropolis. He had already taken her to Harbour View, Vienna Beach, KQ Spot and other places. He had also been helping with menial jobs at her allotted official residence. He really had no amorous interest in her. He had sworn off women for the time being. He had aims he wanted to achieve first before taking that step. Even though he was from a rich background, he wanted to make it without anyone’s help. He wanted to make his own money as it were.
He cleaned his face and sipped orange juice as he took a break from what he was doing.
Pat, meanwhile, was crouched under the kitchen sink trying to remove dried paint from the tiled floor. KL tried not to stare at her as she scrapped. She was wearing a pair of jeans shorts with a top that left her midriff bare. KL could clearly see her tits straining against the fabric. He shook the arousing image out of his head and was about to continue with his job when he had a call. He saw that it was his Mom.
“Sweet Mother no ara ankasa,” he greeted.
“Stop that, Kuuku. So if I don’t call, you won’t call?” she chided him.
“Aww Sweet Mother, don’t be like that now; you know how time-consuming my job is,” he cooed trying to pacify her. He knew calling her would end with her asking him when he was going to bring a girl home.
“I don’t understand why you have to work in a factory when you have a Degree in Mechanical Engineering,” she said with a sad voice.
“I love working there. I have missed you, my love,” he said, trying to get her to lay off him.
“I heard you took a girl to church last Sunday.”
Pat screamed shrilly, having injured her index finger while scrapping.
“Who’s that?” her Mom asked, having heard the scream.
“Don’t worry, I’ll visit you next week.”
Don’t be silly. Let me talk to her,” she shouted at him.
Pat heard her and with a mischievous look on her face, snatched the phone from his hand.
“Hello Ma,” she greeted.
“My daughter, why are you allowing him to hide you from me?”
“Hahaha, Ma, we are just colleagues from work o,” she said, leering at Kuuku. He left her side, pissed. He went to look for a First Aid kit, found one and came out to attend to the injured finger. He saw that they were done with the call. He cleaned the wound with mentholated spirit and that got her screaming more than she screamed when she got injured. It wasn’t even a big injury. It was just a scraping of the skin. He applied penicillin ointment, added gauze and bandaged it neatly. He then banished her to the Hall and did the whole scraping all by himself. He mopped and left after ensuring that she was OK
Manza had found herself in a relationship she hadn’t planned on. It had just happened. Her obsession with Kuuku had led her into the arm of Ayi, his friend. Nevertheless, she still had hopes of having a relationship with him, so when the opportunity presented itself, she had searched through Ayi’s phone and had copied his number onto hers.
She later called the number when she got home. Though the voice at the other end of the line didn’t seem like it was Kuuku’s, she went ahead to arrange a rendezvous with him.
They met, and she saw that it was a different Kuuku. But with drinks and numerous numbers of fried yam and pork, she loosened up and allowed herself to be taken to a Guest House to spend the night. Though she was tipsy, she knew exactly what she was doing and gave in wholeheartedly to the moment.
She later found out that his name was Kuuku Koomson, a businessman who lived in Sekondi.
“I don’t know what came over me. I am not a cheap girl,” she told him when they were leaving the Guest House in the morning.
“Don’t say that. We just couldn’t resist each other. You are very beautiful,” he implored her and drove on to drop her at the junction before her house. He gave her five 20 Ghana cedis notes and zoomed off after telling her he will be going to Accra and return on Friday and will call her when he returned.
She entered the house, ignored her Mother and went straight to bed. She was still in bed four hours later when she got a call from her friend Dinah.
“Hello D,” she greeted sleepily.
“Eeii, dangerous cargo. Yesterday diɛ I caught you red-handed,” Dinah said, laughing her head off.
“What do you mean?” she asked, perplexed.
“I caught you entering Corner Guest House with a man.”
“Ohh. So what were you doing there?”
“I was also entering with a man, hahaha.”
Manza kept quiet, not knowing what else to say.
“Anyway, the main reason I called was to let you know that I have seen where your crush works,” Dinah said.
“My crush?” Manza asked, not getting it.
“Yes, your crush, Kuuku. He works at ATC,” Dinah informed her
“Wow! Are you sure?”
“Of course I am sure. I went there with Ackah this morning.”
The two friends then decided to visit him the following day. As to what they were going to do there, they hadn’t thought about that and they hadn’t even thought about the fact that Manza was in a sort of relationship with Ayi, a bosom friend of Kuuku.
Twum, Pat’s driver picked them the following morning to work, and Pat had insisted that Kuuku sat at the back with her: and her reason was that she wanted him to point out landmarks to her though there weren’t enough landmarks to show in the short route to work.
The only notable landmark being the Chinese Restaurant at Tanokrom.
“Tell me,” she asked, holding his hand in hers. “Why do they refer to you as Killer?”
“Ohh that?” He grinned ” It’s because it rhymes with my initials KL”
“I see,” she smiled, still holding on to his hand.
They soon got to the Factory and as soon as he alighted, someone hailed him from the sidewalk. He turned around and saw two ladies waving at him. He excused himself from Pat and went over to them. He saw that it was the lady from the beach, Manza.
“I have been looking for you saa. Abi you have refused to visit me again,” she said pouting her mouth at him.”
“Work o. I am always too tired to go out.”
” Yoo, I’ve heard you.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll visit you on Friday,” he told her.
“Promise?” she asked.
“Yeah, I promise. I must go otherwise I’ll be late for work.”
He left hurriedly and saw that Pat was waiting to walk with him to the yard. They went through Security with him responding to shouts of ‘Killer o Killer’ from both senior and junior staff members. Some even referred to him as ‘Last Killer’.
He waved Pat off when they got to the Administration Block and he veered off to the locker room to change.
It was only when he got to his work station that he was met with a bombshell: that the workforce was to embark on a sit-down strike as the Union was of the view that Management was dragging its feet on the Conditions of Service negotiations. Hitherto, he would have been privy to the secret meetings leading to the decision to embark on the strike action but his recent association with the new Human Relations Manageress had made most of the workforce suspicious of him and his motives.
Despite this, he, as a unionized worker, was obliged to be part of it. He joined in without any hesitation.
The Management pleaded for restraint but to no avail. The workers did not budge. Not even when they were told of the fact that the tobacco in the silos could go bad if they were not processed early enough.
That day, no machine was switched on, though some administrative staff did some work, there was a total shutdown on the Factory floor and they were united in their actions. When the Production Manager tried to coerce some of the workers to start some of the machines, it was met with swift resistance and the leadership of the union demanded his sack as an additional condition for the resumption of work.
Alontey, a notorious pilferer of the company’s products attempted to use the situation to divert some cigarettes out of the factory and was caught. Summary dismissal was handed over to him as that was the normal practice.
Tension reigned. The workers remained unperturbed. The Management, together with the Directors held an emergency meeting that went deep into the night.
The Union announced the following day that Management had accepted the workers’ demand for a 50℅ pay increment with retrospective effect from November; the date the negotiations commenced, and that meant they had about 5 months back pay to look out for. Work began in earnest and they worked hard and fast to make up for the lost time.
As for Alontey and the Production Manager, they were later pardoned but were made to apologize for their behaviours. Management learnt its lessons and took better care of the workers going forward. They also put in a plan to train all the Operators to make sure they could handle all the machines and equipment.
KL hardly went home with Pat these days as she attended a lot of meetings that went well into the night. She had also been busy working on the training modules for the Operators. Her absence pleased KL as news was rife in the grapevine that he was dating her, which irritated him. Some even went as far as to insinuate that he had been telling on some of them, but those who really knew him knew better. Soon, it was Friday and right after the close of work, he went to Glory House near AD Motors to visit Manza as he had promised. He met her absence and after waiting for a while, left to visit his mother at the Store.
“Hello my sweet KL,” his mother, Madam Lawrencia greeted and engulfed him in a massive hug.
“Hiii, my ever-young LL,” he said and kissed her on the cheek. Some of the adjoining shop owners, mostly women, smiled and waved at him. Most of them had made attempts to trap him into their bed but he had repelled their advances.
“How are you doing? Why have you made me miss you so?” she said, being emotional.
“Awww, I have missed you too, that is why I decided to visit you today,” he told her, his arm around her waist.
“How’s Patricia?” she asked.
“Patricia?” he asked, confused.
“The lady I spoke to the other day. You said he was your colleague at work.”
“Ohh, Pat you mean. She’s fine. She’s our H. R o,” he explained, not liking the direction of the conversation.
“Well, aren’t you also an Engineer?” she said, forcefully.
“Yes, I am. Engineer Baako pɛ,” he said jovially, and gave her a military-style salute, to turn her away from the line she was on.
They spoke, catching up on things. She knew which topics were no go areas for him so she strayed from them, and that made him relax more in her presence. He helped with attending to customers till it was time for her to lock up.
She waved at him affectionately as she drove away, knowing it was going to be an exercise in futility for her to attempt giving him a lift. He waved back at her, happy with the fact that he had been able to visit and part with no acrimonious feeling for each other.
He made his way back to Manza’s place of abode but met her absence once again.
His enquiries revealed that she went out in the afternoon and hadn’t returned since. So he left. What he wasn’t told was that a man had arrived in a car and had driven away with her.
He soon got home. He had his bath and had a meal of rice and beef stew with cabbage and green pepper in it.
As usual, he had his meal while watching TV.
He was thinking of going to bed early when he heard someone knocking at the door. He got up thinking it was either Ayi or Ackah. And so wearing just a gym short with his chest bare, he opened the door to be met by an exquisitely dressed Pat, wearing striped slacks with a top of the same material and her hair was pulled back in a ponytail, revealing her long neck that was enhanced by dangling earrings. Her lightly applied glossy lipstick emphasized her full lips.
“Why don’t you ask me in instead of ravaging me with your eyes,” she said, her eyes on his hairy chest.
He laughed, and opened the door wider for her, got her seated and looked around for a T-shirt.
“To what honour do I owe this visit?” he asked, trying to get himself to relax in her presence.
She looked around, saw the neat and pleasant room he lived and said.
“Since you are reneging on your promise to make my stay in Takoradi a happy one, I have decided to take you out in my new ‘tear rubber’ BMW,” she said, dangling the car keys on her little finger.
He laughed at the funny way she portrayed the keys. He picked up a pair of jeans and a T-shirt and went into the bathroom to change, came out and spoke to her in a grave voice.
“It will be my pleasure to drive you around town.”
“Lead on then, my Knight in shining armour.”
“It will be my pleasure, my Lady.”
She told him of a place she had heard was very nice, ‘Champs.’ And as he happened to know the place, though he had never been there before, he drove, no, cruised to the location.
They were soon there and he had a hell of a time finding a spot to park as the place was strewn with luxury cars of all sorts. After going back and forth, he was able to park at a place that could make him drive away easily.
Champs was hidden in a secluded area near Hasaacas Park and it was mostly patronized by Europeans and Americans.
It was well lighted, had a long Bar, a game of snooker, a barbecue stand, fast food areas and a dancing area.
Pat smiled happily when they entered and she pulled KL along to sit beside her on a comfortable couch that had an uninterrupted view of the whole place. She snapped her fingers at a passing waitress and asked for a bottle of Bailey’s and KL, in order not to be outdone, went to the eatery area to buy some potato chips and fish.
“How did you know this is my favourite,” she asked him, smiling widely.
“Hahaha That is my ‘Killer Instinct’,” he said.
They laughed about that.
They sipped and watched dancing couples and tapped their feet to the music blaring from the tiny but powerful overhead speakers.
“Tell me,” she said suddenly, “Are you an only child?”
He took a sip of the creamy drink and looked at her for a while.
“Yes I am, now,” he answered.
“Now? What do you mean by that?”
“We were two but my elder sister died in labour,” he told her
“Oops, sorry. And your Dad?”
“He’s dead too.”
She gasped, took a long pull of the drink and muttered her apologies for bringing all that up.
“Don’t be. I have gotten over that,” he told her to make her feel less bad for bringing that up.
Pat, in order to exorcise the spirit of sadness that was creeping in on them, pulled him to the dance floor to dance to ‘Get Down On It’ by Kool And The Gang. That was when KL came to life. His dancing was a delight to watch and Pat really couldn’t match him step for step. They danced to a few more songs before going back to their seats to catch their breaths.
Pat was getting quite tipsy and as soon as she heard Whitney Houston’s ‘I will Always Love You’ being played, she pulled the protesting KL back to the dance floor and wrapped her arms around his neck, put her head on his chest and wriggled her body against him to the tune of the song. KL wrapped his arms around her waist and danced with her.
She still clung to him even when the song ended, and he had a Herculean task trying to extricate himself from her.
“Let’s go home,” she said huskily.
“Yes, let’s go. I can see that you are drunk,” he said, laughing.
“I am not drunk,” she said and kissed him before he could turn his face away.
He guided her to the car and drove away. She passed out as soon as the night’s cool breeze hit her. He soon got to her home and opened the door with the key he had taken from her purse. He took her to her bedroom and put her on the bed and then removed her shoes. She opened her eyes squinted at him and said
“Please be gentle with me.”
To be continued…[insert-comment-form]
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