7 comments

Adventure Creative Nonfiction Funny

What have I done? I am to share a room with a woman I don't know? Reservation is possible online without credit card. I did act on that before I left my country to come to this one. Is this a cultural shock of a sort? Do I want to stick together with my own? Geb and I did meet at the airport but I felt the tense aura she exuded. That's why I didn't try to get to know her. She was with two men. True, coming close to professional athletes is my first time. Are they not supposed to relax? Why weren't they chatting? There was buzz going around as other passengers talked at each other! Was she afraid of flight? How about me? It wasn't like the air is my space, you know. The writing must have prevented me from bonding. Total immersion was evident trying to put thoughts down on paper. We flew from Addis to Accra in the same plane. The legend whom I met for the first time after we landed didn't seem to like my saying, 'I am a fun runner,' well, that's what I am. I intend to make good use of it too. What to do about this sharing a room now? I value my privacy. I like the room. Let's hope I grow to like this woman who outrageously forbade me to stop laughing and bonding. This happened inside the van which is assigned to collect us from the airport and deliver us to the hotel. The Great Run team, the four athletes and four Ghanaians. The fourth athlete, well, that would be me. An athlete runs so do I. The designated Ghanaians, I literally interrogated them about the city! Was I bored? I throw myself at people whenever I am. Geb must have hated my voice. I know I do. Making noise was better than the tiring flight, the long hours wait at the airport reception room and I was famished! Like I said, I liked the room. I let Geb shower first. She was not feeling good she had confided. I wondered what I wanted to do all by myself afterwards. Mother is the only human I can be with at all times. Excuses for solitary sessions are at my command if I am with company for long hours. We left our room when we were good and ready. Did I just say our room? Four days stay makes it ours? The men were vacating the dining hall when we finally showed up. One of them informed the staff we were with them. He made sure we were included in the list. Would we have been asked to pay if they were not in sight? They left. We feasted on the dishes to our hearts content! The waiters were friendly. We expressed gratitude for the treatment. I was ready to check out the premises not Geb. She went back to the room to nap. I couldn't believe it. In the yard, I run into a waiter who stopped to ask what I was looking for. He knew I was a stranger. It didn't take me much to throw tons of requests: the gym, massage parlor, hair saloon, currency exchange bureau, place where I could buy sim card for my phone. Abe is gracious or he is well trained I thought. He catered to my needs and more. As we walked towards the gym, I told him it was my first time setting foot in his country. He figured as much. The reason was to participate in the Millennium Marathon. The hotel was chosen to accommodate the guest of honor, Haile Gebre Selassie, his team and international participants. Abe showed me the massage parlor past the gym. I was asked to wait for my turn. It was tempting but I declined promising to come back with my friend after the race. Convenient to say friend, right? Abe volunteered to show me around the city after work. I was ecstatic. He went back to his work leaving me by the pool. I sat under a tree. The waiter served me margarita at my request. Was it me who initiated conversation? He told me I could swim. For a split second, does he know something I don't? I could swim? Non-swimmer settled for pictures by the pool. Next best thing was, having pictures taken kneeling down, scooping water playfully. Was it the sun, the water, the excitement which bubbled inside of me or the place in general which made me want to talk to the customers at their tables? I curbed myself sat back resumed sipping my margarita after thanking the waiter. Day's work was over for Abe. He came to take me out of the hotel. We roamed around the city. I was grateful. Would you believe it was hard to get back to the room? I knocked. No answer. I was in distress. At the reception, I learned I had my own card key. It's bad enough not using real key which served well all my life, and now this. I carefully placed the card key to open the door. Geb was sound asleep. There was this huge luggage I was to deliver. I was anxious to leave. What if she freaked out when she woke, failed to see the big object in the room? I shook her awake to tell her. She didn't ask how I was in the room. Did she know about card keys then? I doubt it. Was she even fully awake to grasp what I was saying to her? I left. We had a peaceful night as all nights anywhere on this planet earth at different time zones should up to four at least. The normal trend am accustomed to doing in my own world, start my day two hours before six in the morning. It is like clock work. I can not sleep the whole night! My body must have been clueless it was in a strange city. How restless I were! I forced myself to turn on the light. Geb woke. I was sorry. We began chatting. Then I stopped. I suggested I would go out to the reception hall and write. She protested. It wasn't fair on her I thought. I insisted. Pen, notebook, mobile phone, socks, scarf were what I put in a bag before I left. Lighted but deserted hallway on the floor we were at seemed to say go back. Didn't dare use elevator at that hour! Bated breath, I walked up to the reception wondering how many people were staying in this international hotel. Journaling for sometime and texting with one of my sisters eased me towards morning. At the stadium, Geb, the men and I enjoyed exercising, bonding, and exploring expectations about the race. We had a good day considering. I went on an excursion all by myself. Eight thirty, back to the hotel greeting security, past reception smiling at those behind the counter and in to the elevator. The card key didn't agree with me for some reason. It wouldn't open the door when I tried it! Served me right for breaking away from the group. Bewildered, I knocked. No answer. Back at reception. The thing was checked at the computer as I dishearteningly chatted to the staff. I was told the problem was fixed. If it were a good old key, this fixing or such thing wouldn't have happened. Technology and I are like oil and water. I find most accessories hard to accept. They are supposed to make life easier. I find ways to make myself miserable misusing in some way. Success! I let myself in. Geb was sound asleep. I tiptoed around before I went to sleep. Rest over, inner work must have communicated, for alarm inside of me went off. Woke up, resisted the urge to turn on the light. Collected my things in the dark and headed to the reception hall to settle for the rest of the night once again. Race Day. Geb won a car! Fun runner had her heart's desire visiting Accra bit by bit following the route of the race at her own pace. The Atlantic Ocean at close range after the first kilometer! Lucky for me, a fifteen year old befriended me after I covered five kilometers jogging and walking. She must have been following me. Her advice was intentional. Better to walk fast instead of jogging and resorting back to walking every now and then. We applied her way at our leisure the fifteen kilometers out of the twenty one. The teen engaged me with her versions of life. Transformational experience. Independence Square was the place where we learned about the winners. Geb and one of the men won cars! New insight was created between Geb and I because of the result. A winner! I share a room with an athlete who won in Accra! Would you believe we behaved like children in the afternoon dancing, giggling chattering! The official lunch was not entertaining. Speeches by sponsors and officials. Two women from different countries fought to be heard. That should have been the cue for us to rise and herald: look at us! We won! Was it the food that brought out the delightful childish behavior in both of us? I did wonder. We took pictures of ourselves. No not selfie. It wasn't the in thing five years ago I can tell you that. Night life of the city beckoned. I responded. Geb and the others were invited out to dinner. My plan was hampered by the ache I felt all over my body. I called it nights. No the card key didn't give me trouble. It knew I was in trouble. Alone in the room, found it hard to fall asleep. Baffled, I tried to soothe myself reliving the morning race. The winner woke me! I wasn't feeling good but I didn't mind. She was bubbly! I tried to listen to what she was telling me. She was eventually spent. When she fell asleep, I was wide awake. I dragged myself out of bed, collected my things, left the room to settle at the reception hall. Sending hundreds of pictures to my sister as we texted made all the difference. I was able to feel better. She persuaded me to try and get some sleep. Easy for her to say, I grumbled as I made my way back to that room.

March 05, 2021 19:14

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

7 comments

04:16 Mar 13, 2021

Beautiful story. Easy flow and very interesting. Would love to read more from you. 👍

Reply

Kutee Tilbe
18:03 Mar 13, 2021

Anu dear, thank you for liking my story! ❤

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
07:46 Mar 11, 2021

As non-fiction story telling go, it's a very good story. The story probably is centered on the girl sharing the room with you and you reactions to her. The room card metaphor "It knew …" is a typical satiric nature of the writing. Work some on the artistic side of your literary work. I like it though. The language is so simple it could have been written for children irrespective of its subject. When will be the next one? Am already waiting.

Reply

Kutee Tilbe
10:28 Mar 11, 2021

Berhanegenet Mikre! Thank you for the insight. The girl, is the athlete who won saloon Peugeot! How disciplined and serious she is! My carefree nature annoyed her for some reason. Before we departed though, we had the most entertaining time two girls could have. While you wait for the next story, won't you browse through and read tons of stories by other writers. Reedsy prompts make you explore your dimensions!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Asha Pillay
00:14 Mar 11, 2021

Nice story, I enjoyed reading it. Keep writing.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Hiwot Mesfin
19:10 Mar 10, 2021

We won!!!! Great job sis

Reply

Kutee Tilbe
04:24 Mar 11, 2021

Eni, we did! I am so grateful for your help. By the way, I will keep nagging you till you make time to find the pictures I forwarded to you to keep at the time. Love

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply

Bring your short stories to life

Fuse character, story, and conflict with tools in the Reedsy Book Editor. 100% free.