The cafeteria bustled with the usual chaos during chow time. “Maame meret) nkonkonte 4 cedis,” Nsiah made his order.
The “3ne de3n?” asked by the seller of the said dish was met with a repetition of “Maame meret) nkonkonte 4 cedis.” The seller needed no further clarification. She heaped an Everest of nkonkonte in the earthenware and splashed it with piping hot “sauce aux arachides”.
Nsiah’s eyes followed the back and forth of the ladle hoping an “amane”(pronounced uh-ma-ni) or some keta-school boys might defy the meticulous scooping of the soup by the woman, and then trespass into his food, but his hope proved futile. Ask everyone and they’ll tell you Auntie Esi had been selling the dish for twenty-five years. She had her ways of securing herself against needless loss. When Nsiah commandeered the earthenware and moved to an empty seat a few centimeters away, he set it down ,and dutifully flung his left hand this way and that to keep any silly “invaders” at bay.
It was really funny how he’d come to enter this chopbar. Nsowaa’s “God no!” reply to his proposal had brought him under immense mental sabotage. Over the years he’d known her, he had somehow “Pavloved” himself into thinking he loved her. When he’d finally gathered enough courage and made his profession, she’d shot him down like a world-war two fighter jet: hanging momentarily in space , and then tumbling nose-down to the mundane below. The next thing he knew, he was standing in a queue at “Kill me Kwik” , ordering 4 cedis-worth of the dish dubbed “Chris Brown” by his fellow Ghanaians.
“A man does not dive into a river before holding his breath,”so he proceeded to vanquish the meal he had bought. Then it happened all at once, the epiphany: there were too many fish in the ocean, and if Nsowaa had rejected him, he was sure anyone _ perhaps the other daughters of Eve here_ might like him.
Consequently, he felt his limbs climb the table he had dined on just a while ago, and with a loud voice, he bellowed : ” Mo mu hwan na af))li ama me3?!” (Who amongst you here has fallen in love with me?)