We were chatting openly among each other, basically about London. Betty didn’t hesitate to tell them about her childhood experiences since she was born here. Darren and Kenny were pretty interesting and Darren was extremely funny. It was obvious we were from different worlds by just listening to our Ghanaian accent and their British accent. We ordered a pizza and sodas and the joking got even crazier after the food. Time flew like Road Runner and we had to catch our bus back to Betty’s mum’s apartment. We all got up but Darren was still in his seat on the phone. “You guys go; I’ll be with you in a bit.” He said. So we took the lead to the bus stop. We were just on time. I gave ma date a hug and Betty gave him a hug too then we rushed off into the bus
“I think they are fun. It’s sad I didn’t get to hug Darren though. He’s so cute!” Betty went on and on as we went home. The next day the boys wanted to hang out again. Betty was so excited. I wonder why? I guess it was the whole summer dating thing. The whole ‘no strings attached’ idea. “This time I’m taking my camera and getting some pics.” Betty went on and on. When the day came she left her camera at home but her lip gloss was in her purse! My cousin. We met at the movies this time. As usual we were ‘slightly late’. Kenny came to get us at the gate. “Where is Darren?” Betty asked. “Oh he’s inside. He wanted to get the best seats.” Kenny answered with a weird grin. We both smiled and went in
The movie was hilarious. Summer movies are always the best. When the movie was over we got up to leave. Kenny whispered something to Darren and he got a little mad. Then it all started to make sense. Kenny helped Darren up and he grabbed a crutch. Betty looked shocked. “Bet, do you have any lip gloss?” I asked to keep her from staring like that. She snapped back and turned to me. “What?” she asked. “Never mind.” I said. “I see you staring at my third leg.” Darren teased. Betty’s laughter was so superficial it was bad. “I guess that makes you a cyborg.” I said to try and break the awkwardness. Betty wouldn’t even try to be having a good time. I really felt bad because I could see it wasn’t too easy for Darren. His jokes had all faded. She was more or less directing all conversation to Kenny now. I walked closer to Darren and decided to talk to him alone too. His mood picked up just a little. When we got to the bus stop Betty looked very keen on going home. Darren was even more uncomfortable but I tried to blind him from what she was doing. Kenny on the other hand didn’t have a problem ‘chatting Betty up."
“Bet, what you did back there wasn’t cool.” I said to my cousin when we got home. “Huh? The guy is a cripple Alima, a cripple!” She shot at me. “Listen maybe he just had an accident and it’s not serious, whatever it is you still didn’t have to act like that. It was just rude.” I explained. “Ali, there’s no way I’m gonna have fun with a cripple ahh, so slow.” She said. I realized this wasn’t helping. That night I sent Darren a text. “Hey, we had fun today. Have a goodnight.” I fell asleep almost immediately. The next morning I noticed he had replied and it read. “Thanks for the sympathy. I would really understand if you guys don’t want me to come to the next date. I shouldn’t be doing much movement anyways.” I couldn’t believe this. I felt so bad. I walked to the hall where Bet was and showed her the text. “Oh cool at least he understands.” She said. I felt like smacking her.
Kenny invited us to his little brother’s skate boarding competition that weekend. He said Darren couldn’t come because he was ‘busy’. I told him I couldn’t make it but Betty was more than excited to go. That day I was home alone and all I could think about was what happened at the movies. I picked up my phone and called Darren. He sounded surprised when I told him I didn’t go out with the rest. We spoke till I run out of minutes and then he called me back. He mentioned going for physio the next day and I asked if I could come. He froze for a while and said. “Yea, sure I mean if you like.” I smiled because I realized he was feeling more comfortable now.
To be continued
To be continued