The Jones Quartey Building is barely a five minute walk from the Political Science Department for someone with the strides of a 6 feet 2 basketball player so Mo never bothered to pick the shuttle on this commute. On days he was running late to class however, he made sure to squeeze a cedi out of his daily stipend for that purpose. Sometimes the buses were overcrowded with paying customers either sitting on the laps of friends who are already seated or leaning against the edges of the seats. Sunny September afternoons usually had people scrambling for spaces on these buses. Just as Mo and Maame headed off to JQB, one of such buses pulled up but Mo who had a few minutes to get to class did not bother jumping onto the bus. He had Maame with him.
Small talks are frustrating conversations that do not head anywhere exciting. They tend to take the shape of “The way this sun is hot eh” “hmm yes oo”. “The SRC really no dey force koraa. Like them for make shuttles free for students” “Hmm yes oo”. Usually, one person starts all the conversations with the other hmm-ing their way through it. With Mo and Maame, there was no dull moment in the 15 minutes it took them walking to JQB.
Maame was a former student of Wesley Girls Senior High School. Reputed for its prim and proper students, her views on issues betrayed what Gey Hey girls were known for. Or maybe it was all a veneer curtain shielding the girls whose only jama song at the intercollegiate games (interco) was said to be “we clap we clap”. Mo first brought up the weather. How hot it was but instead of a hmm yes oo, she joked about God opening up his oven. It was probably clichéd but they shared a laugh over it. And then it was about Trump denying climate change. To which she mentioned how silly it was that the President of the USA spent all his time tweeting. Mo’s long game was to eventually take her number but the minute she mentioned Trump’s twitter, he knew he had just gotten a better way to stay in touch with her. So he asked for her handle. Oh my mother said I should not give my twitter handle to strangers. They both laughed really hard at this. Mo could not help but feel a twinge in his stomach. It was not a gastronomical roar for food. It was his sixth sense finding its way into his torso telling him this was a cool girl.
Being a cool girl meant different things to different boys. To some it was all perfunctory. The body curvature and visage was what made you cool. To others, it was a mix of that with a good sense of humor and wit. But not the type of humor that got you “airing” people’s DMs and taking screenshots of it to mock the person on the timeline. Or the other type of rudeness misconstrued as sarcasm. It was the sense of humor that could get you in 2018 to recycle a trite excuse used to not give out your contact information.
Its @maame, she said.
They were a few feet away from the iconic law faculty with the JQB looming out not too far away. Of course Maame already knew where the building was so when Mo pointed out in the distance, she just smirked and said “I know. I was just looking for an excuse to walk with you”. “Eii so me too somebody’s daughter just wants to walk with me. Go me! Go me!” They both laughed again.
A Toyota Corolla was slowing down just at the intersection that led to the International House. It was Mo’s friend, Kofi. Charley we make late ooo. I hear say the lecturer already enter. Make we hurry. But Mo was in no hurry. Getting Maame’s twitter handle was not enough. He had to know her hall of residence, room number and phone number too! I am in Pent but don’t worry, I’ll follow back on twitter and DM you my number. Bye. She slowly paced away before Mo could lurch forward for his hug. Oh she brown you hug, Kofi teased as Mo sat in the car. But she dey pap ooo. Herh, where you meet am. Charley link me eh, abi you dierr you be dull guy!
But Mo was neither about to link Kofi nor be the dull guy!