He smiled and put a hand out for me to take. I thanked God at once for my five-inch pencil heels. But for them, I would have jumped up and down like an overexcited preschooler who'd been gifted a box of candy. So would any other girl in Living Oceans International School, if they'd just been asked to dance with him at prom, by him. He hardly spoke (his friends mostly did his talking for him) and rarely asked anyone for anything. Now he wanted a dance! A whole dance with me, Ekua Clarkson! Hell, yes, please! I folded my lips tightly to stop myself from screaming. Nodding way more vigorously than I should have, I grasped his hand and allowed him to lead me to the dance floor, answering people's puzzled looks and surprised murmurs with an accomplished smile. Once on the floor, his hands came around my waist, and I pulled him close —a little too roughly— until we were close. Perfect. He cleared his throat, lifting that brow again, to which I apologized with my practiced million-dollarsmile. He chuckled. He chuckled! I mentally squealed in Fanti, giddy with excitement. Taking in a deep breath of his cologne, I sighed, swooning. Rodney Butsormekpor was the dream. He was too good to be true: tall, light-skinned, curly brown hair (obviously resulting from a rather interesting mix of black American and Ewe genes); a slim, muscled build, and a stunning smile I'd seen only once. He was also always top of his class, the basketball champ, a bass guitarist, and a pianist. Could he be any more perfect? Rodney's family was moneyed. Having come from a rich home myself, I knew what it was like to be able to afford everything I wanted, save a few. But there was no few to save when it came to the Butsormekpor's. They were stinking rich, so much that they could even buy all of us in the school along with our possessions — from the principal and his Benz car to students like myself, to the poorest janitor and his old mop — and not even bat an eyelash. Rodney buying me wasn't such a bad idea, though. Hell, he could even have me for free. I stared into his eyes, and he smirked, his hands tightening around my waist and pulling me even closer. Birds sang in my head as a delightful shudder ran through my seventeen-year old body. I smiled, eliciting another of his deep chuckles, but neither of us said anything. We swayed slowly to the music. Normally, I wouldn't allow anyone hold me the way he was, but this was Rodney Butsormekpor. To every rule there was an exception: to ‘anyone’ there was a Rodney. Plus, I told myself, it was prom, and everyone saved any stupid stuff they'd wanted to do since the year began for this occasion. This embrace we were in was but a handshake at prom. Rodney kept pulling me closer and closer into him until 'the two shall be one' was a joke. I was surprised at his being this bold given he was always quiet, but excited all the same. Was this how he showed interest? His eyes remained on mine, and before I knew it, he had stooped in to kiss me. Not missing a beat, I kissed him back with all the emotion I could muster. I saw the flash of a camera and heard more than a few loud gasps: the perfect confidence booster that silenced the warning bells in my head. Chuckling and whispering 'bathroom' when he pulled back, Rodney planted a last kiss on my lips before he sauntered off, hands in his pocket. The student paparazzi captured every second of the scene, so I made sure to wear that proud look and my famous smile. He's mine, my face said. Isn't this too fast? my mind asked. I sat, finishing a glass of wine as I waited for him to return from the bathroom, naive as I was. When he hadn't returned after thirty minutes, I went looking for him, worried like the girlfriend I was hopeful I would eventually become. I got to the door of the bathroom for boys and called for him, knocking. Suddenly, the door opened so quickly and I was pulled. A pillow came over my face, smothering me. My breathing picked up a wild pace as I felt my hands being painfully tied above me. I writhed and whimpered. I prayed this was some kind of nasty prank and Rodney would some how come to my rescue. I heard footsteps and began to cry. I was pushed to sit on the ground. Please be Rodney, I cried into the pillow. My captor swiftly lifted the pillow before I could even think of biting his fingers, and untied the pillow. There were people in front of me, but my vision was fuzzy. I blinked several times until I could recognize him. Rodney! I did a futile combination of a gasp and a scream. Four of his friends stood beside him, and he chuckled as he had in the auditorium. This time I did not swoon. I cried harder. I had been lured into a trap. But how could such a beautiful boy join others to do this? What were they going to do with me now? 'I’ll eat first,' he announced. Oh no. I realized, as he began to strip, that that was the first time I'd heard him speak, and his voice did sound good— except with such bad news. His trousers dropped to the ground. No one would know. It would be over soon, I told myself. Then I saw the camera in the corner.
Abena Serwah-Akoto Darkwah reads Medicine (BSc. Human Biology) at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana. She is passionate about influencing the life of the average African through creative writing, and thus putting together her first novel.