When we were young and learning the ways of love, I took Rachel to the Saltpond beach. We were 13 or 14 or 15 I don't really remember. I was so in love and was looking for ways to express it. I went to her house, held her hand and said, "Follow me." She asked, "where are we going?" I said, "Just trust and obey."
I stood at the Mankessim zongo Junction, stopped a taxi and it was when the driver asked where we were going that Rachel got to know I was taking her to Saltpond. She said, "Hey that's far, my father will look for me." I said, "We'll be back before he knows it."
She trusted me and took the risk with me.
Now, from Mankessim to Saltpond is just ten minutes drive. I figured if we got there and spent say thirty minutes, we could be back in the next hour without anyone noticing that we traveled to the beach.
We got to the beach, paid the driver, held the hand of my sweetheart and started walking down the sands of the beach. She was scared of the waves so anytime the waves rolled down our feet, she would hold my hands tighter, or jump to hug me. That was all love was about. Hold the hands of your love when the billows roll and the storm rages on.
We sat at the edge of the beach throwing stones into the water and argued whose stone went farther. We walked through the sands admiring the traces of our footprints. And when the waves ran over our footprints and washed them off, we walked over the shores again, determined to leave footprints where the oceans can't reach. We didn’t own a camera phone and we didn't have Instagram. If we did, I would have uploaded our photos with a hashtag relationship goals.
And then she said, "Let's go home, my dad might be looking for me." I said, "Just one more minute. Your dad can't kill you?" Ten minutes later she said, "Seriously we have to go so we can have another chance to do it again." I said, "You mean you'll come with me again if I ask?" She said, "If only you'll agree to leave with me right at this moment."
So again, I held her by the waist as we walked down the shore, creating footprints the sea waves would be busy wiping away when we were gone. We got to a coconut seller and she said, "Buy some for me." I was that guy who buys so I put my hand inside my pocket to get money to buy her coconut. My hand hit the bottom of my pocket. My heart ceased.
I checked the left pocket. No money. I checked the back pocket too no money. "I've lost my money." I went over my pockets again, believing it should be in one of the pockets. There was nothing. She asked, "You can't find the money?" I said, "Yes, it might have fallen off where we sat." So we went back, digging sands and asking crabs if they've seen my money while they strolled. Another thirty minutes or so was wasted looking for the money but we couldn't find it.
That was when she started crying. She kept asking what we were going to do. I had no answers. She cried and cried until I had an idea. From the beach to the catholic mission house wasn't far. I told her, "Let's go to the mission house. I know the father there. He would help."
Father saw me and he asked, "Hey what are you doing here at this time." I said, "Father, Christ asomdwe nka wo." So he decided to drive us to Mankessim when it was around 7pm. We got to Mankessim and instead of allowing us to solve our own problems, this man drove my girl right into her house and narrated the whole story to the girl's father. And sent me too home to my mother. I knew I was cooked.
My mom screamed, "You stole my money to go spend on your girl?" To date, when the billows roll and the waves make those chilling sound, I remember the beatings I receive that day. The next Monday, I met Rachel and couldn't look her in the eyes. I asked, "What did they do to you?" She showed me the cane markes on her thighs.
I captured these young lovers at the beach the other day. They brought chilling memories of my ordeal that day. The guy asked me, "Can the drone see us." The girl smile and said, "By the time we know, we will be on TV." I said, "Don't worry. Keep building footprints in the sand. However this ends, you'll someday have memories of today. I only hope it's a good one."
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