Would his wife be willing to meet me? Find a baby-sitter for the kids and join us for dinner? The two bigger issues that remained undiscussed were the fact that 1) I could go out and stay out late because I was single and had no children and 2) our Ghanaian society makes it pretty darn clear on who stays home. It’s lenient such that married men can stay out late if they like and rarely have to answer to anyone. And no one thinks ill of them for socializing with other women while their wives stay home. My “going-dutch on everything” feminist self went out the door as I graciously accepted the spread before me and ate my way through a 150 cedi meal with my ex and his best friend, a fellow classmate, also married I should add. Throughout the meal, I wondered whether he splurge like this on his wife? Whether he would he still ask to hang out with me if I was married? Was it easy because I had no one to answer to? Would this change if I did?
We moved the shopping cart through Meijer grocery store, the three of us hanging on to a corner while Ma walked ahead and picked out what we needed. Every so often one of us would squeal and then proceed to beg for something not on the original grocery list: Rice Krispie treats, fruit roll-ups, beef jerky. Ma obliged us more often than not. When she couldn’t do it, she promised to do it with the second paycheck that came on the 15th.
I feel her crawl over and slowly start pushing the comforter away from my face. Discovering my shut eyes and limp arms she proceeds to poke at first my eyes, then my nose, and finally my fingers. She settles on my ring finger and grabs it firmly. She finally lowers her body next to my pillow still holding on to my ring finger. I watch her clementine-sized hand clasp my finger for dear life. She begins to make soft chewing sounds until her breathing evens out and her body goes completely still.