We deny the truth only because our illusions must stay real to us… unaltered, unscathed.
Naadu: …he knew
Korkor: Oh-my-God! How?
Naadu: I can’t discuss this now. It’s crushing
Korkor: How do you do this?
Naadu: Do what?
Korkor: How do you get to react so calmly to all this ruthless sentiments from these… from these recent events?
Naadu: Do I know?
Korkor: You know, you inspire me.
Korkor: Yeah, for real, you do.
[Naadu smiles modestly]
Korkor: You deal well. Sometimes, I wish I could let things slide and overlook my emotions and reactions till I make time to deal with them. But the miserable part about this is, it will suppress my passions. That isn’t who I am. That isn’t who you are either. The circumstances, they changed you, they altered your very soul… the way you think, the way you react. I’m sorry, but this isn’t the best way to deal.
Naadu: Everyone is happy, not so?
Korkor: Are you?
Naadu: Don’t I look it?
Korkor: You want the truth?
Naadu: I want what you’ve got for me
Korkor: You appear like the best lady who’s got it all together. Healthy, smart, intelligent, friendly, the list is endless, but tell me you sleep sound every night since you lost him, and I’ll believe you. Tell me you wish things were different so you didn’t have to terminate your unborn child, and see if I won’t believe you. I want you to share your fears and cries with me because I’m more than a friend, darling girl. I’m a sister. We’ve been through so much together and you’ve been there for me more times than I’ve been for you. Why do you deny me this spot in your life? Why?
Naadu: Don’t talk like that, please. You don’t understand. Just don’t…
Korkor: What, Naadu, what??
Naadu: See, I can’t do this.
Korkor: You can’t do this?!
[Naadu rises from her seat and walks towards the door]
Korkor: You’re going to just walk out on me?
Naadu: [Raises her voice and turns back looking at Korkor] What?! What?! !
Korkor: [Raises her voice] What do you mean by what?! Why can’t you just talk to me?!! Who are you, really? [Calms down in loud whispers] I don’t know who you are anymore. Did I mean anything to you at all? All this while, did I mean anything?
Naadu: See, Korkor, stop it.
Korkor: Perhaps you kept me all these years because you’re one miserable girl who didn’t want to lose everyone around her, shutting out all others who loved you the moment you lost your family.
Naadu: Don’t call him dead
Korkor: He’s dead, Naadu, he’s gone!!
Naadu: [gazing at Korkor sternly with tears rushing down her face] He-is-not-dead!
Korkor: What’s happening to you? [moves closely to touch her as in expressing sympathy] You’re standing in the right room, yet in a misplaced position. Girl, you need to get help. You cannot live like this.
Naadu: I am fine, totally fine.
Korkor: No you’re not, but that’s fine. That’s all I’m getting from you, I guess.
Naadu: [clears her throat]
Korkor: Ok now this is getting awkward. I see you won’t talk so uhm… you need to get home and freshen up, right?
Korkor: Afriyie, you’re date…??
Naadu: Well, I don’t…
Korkor: You don’t what? Girl, it’s good, and it’s right in front of you. Is it Joel? What has he got on you? What is it you’re not telling me? Right, you’re not telling me. Go on this date, if it doesn’t work out, do whatever makes you happy.
Naadu: You wouldn’t understand.
Korkor: Try me.
[For several minutes, Naadu talks and Korkor listens nodding severally]
[Korkor starts pacing in the room with her hand covering her mouth in what seems to be a concentrated shockwave]
[Just then, the silence breaks with a phone call which seemed to come from the other side of the entrace door]
Naadu: [panics] someone’s here?
Korkor: I’ll check it out.
[She walks towards the door and opens it]
Korkor: Ms. Dillis!! Hi.
Ms. Dillis: Korkor, hi.
Korkor: And you too… have you been he-her-here long? I-I-I was just having a chitchat with… uhm come in, come in.
[Naadu sees them and is unreservedly shocked]
Naadu: Ms. Dillis, hi.
Ms. Dillis: Hi, it’s been long. The office still looks refreshing, just like I left it.
Naadu: Just like you left it. I was about leaving. You surprised us.
Ms. Dillis: That was the plan. Ok, we’ll talk first thing tomorrow then, when you get here.
[Naadu and Korkor walk towards the door]
Ms. Dillis: Korkor stays, for a few minutes.
Korkor: [sighs and turns with a pretentious smile at Ms. Dillis] Yes, of course.
Joel: Have a fun date, Naadu.
Naadu: I never mentioned… thanks anyway
Joel: Excuse me, Dillis, can I walk her out?
Ms. Dillis: Sure… sure.
[Joel and Naadu walk out of the room to the parking lot]
Joel: You should at least say something
Naadu: You first
Joel: I just did
Naadu: Fine with me
Joel: Stop this [pulls her closer and looks down at her. She deliberately looks away]
Naadu: Let go, Joel, please let me go.
Joel: [whispers into her face] I can’t.
[She looks up at him, with vulnerable eyes, and he could tell]
Joel: I won’t.
[Her face rested in his palms as if he owned it… it fit in, seamlessly]
[He draws his breath closer to hers… she consciously redirects her breath away from his, but not for long]
[His breath is closer now, on her lips… her heart skips beats, and her eyebrows unstable… shyly… coyly]
[His breath is in now, but lost in hers]
[Eyes closed… in the moment]
[Deeper… a bit firmer… each taking each other’s breath away]
[They part… their breaths]
Joel: I’m sorry, and I can’t stress it enough, but this, what just happened, doesn’t get any realer. I… [She interrupts]
Naadu: I need to go, Joel.
[Naadu’s phone rings]
Naadu: Oh my! It’s him.
Naadu: Heeeeyyyyy… Yeah on the parking lot… huh?! Really? Yeah… yeah… I’m so sorry… I… I… Ok, bye.
Joel: He’s here?
Joel: So he saw?
Naadu: What do you think?
Joel: Oh! I’m so sorry, it wasn’t planned. I didn’t know he was going to show.
Naadu: I know. Apparently he wanted to surprise me.
Joel: This is messed up.
Naadu: Messed up? This is not messed up. I’ll tell you what is ‘messed up’
Joel: Naadu please, let’s not do this now.
Naadu: You staging us falling for each other and betting on it with my boss is messed up.
Joel: Are you saying you are?
Naadu: When you hit my husband on the N1 road and run off, making him bleed to death, that is messed up.
Joel: Please stop it, it was only an accident.
Naadu: It was only an accident?! Killing my man and coming back to place some stupid bet on her wife to make her fall head over hills in love with you was only an accident?
Joel: Are you?
Naadu: And ruining what could’ve brought light into my world again, now that’s messed up. Do you hate me that much? What did I do to you?
Joel: Your husband. There’s something else you need to know. It was an accident but there’s more. Will you please hear me out? Please.
Naadu: If you ever… ever talk about him again, I promise to let the authorities in on this.
Joel: Listen, stop doing this. You need to [she interrupts]
Naadu: No No No No, you listen! Joel Tachie, I can contain a lot of things, but touching my guarded heart and messing it up the way you’ve done, that I can’t forgive. I don’t care about the full story, I don’t know what it’ll change, all I know is, I’m tired of containing this… this… all this… it’s choking.
Naadu: You’re going back inside, right? Tell Korkor that I’m sorry.
Joel: Where are you going?
Naadu: Just tell her I’m sorry, cos honestly she’s been so good to me and I want to stop hurting her. Hmph! Who ever thought the therapist needed help? This fake therapist.
Joel: Don’t you think this will rather hurt her?
Naadu: It’s better this way.
Joel: At least let me know where you’re going, please?
Naadu: You, you could’ve been a good thing. I know your heart, but your actions and your past… it’s just untimely, Joel.
Joel: [nodding in agreement with tears in his eyes] I’m sorry
Naadu: I know. I know.
[Starts the engine and speeds off]
Photography: Adrian McDonald