Ada patted the sweat on her forehead and exhaled loudly. Lola’s phone was still busy! That girl could talk for the whole of Nigeria if given the chance. She was probably on the phone with one of her numerous boyfriends, fixing a dinner date or something. After a few more tries, she gave up and decided to unpack her small suitcase.
She didn’t bring a lot with her. Her camera, journal and a few clothes were all she carried. She felt if she needed anything she could always buy it. She was a hardworking, independent lady who could afford almost anything she wanted – except the perfect man. How could she be so successful in other aspects of her life and yet she couldn’t keep a relationship? She left town because she was more ashamed than hurt. She actually thought Femi was the one and now that he wasn’t, she had to forget the fantasies she was already weaving about their future together. She was angry at herself for not seeing the signs and doing something about it. Well, it was too late for that now.
Ada was in a cabin on some beach resort 3 hours away from the city of Lagos, the most populous city in Africa. If you wanted to get lost for good, Lagos was the best option. Known for its high commercial activities and fast life, it was home to some of the most scheming people on the planet. It was the first place she could think of once she got into the airport, and the flyer of the resort she saw at the help desk was inviting. She never really liked this place. Femi had also told her that there was no chance he could ever raise his family in a city such as this, and so his statement had strengthened her resolve. Now that she was in a state of sorts it was ironic to think that this was where she felt drawn to.
She drifted off to sleep and replayed the whole event again, only this time she was chasing Femi around on roller skates and with her favourite kitchen knives – while he ran around pleading for mercy. She was getting closer and was just about to give him a good stabbing in the back when the sound of screaming children woke her up. Shoot!
Peeping outside her window she noticed that the sun was setting. The screaming children were in a pool playing water games. A couple walked hand in hand, laughing at something one of them said. Far off she heard the sound of music setting the tone for the evening. The aroma of grilled meat wafted into her cabin and as her stomach grumbled, she realized she hadn’t eaten since she left home.
Freshening up, Ada took a stroll round the resort. It was larger than she expected, and very beautiful too. There were African themes everywhere, from the Ankara-dressed staff who curtsied as you walked past them to the calabash lanterns lighting the paths leading to various spots. She picked one of the restaurants with a deck facing the ocean, and ordered for her meal.
“Great view, isn’t it?” The voice came from behind her. She slowly turned around to see who spoke. A young man with a chubby face and earnest looking eyes behind a pair of glasses was smiling at her. She smiled back. “Yes, it’s an awesome view. I totally love it”. The man took a sip of the drink he was having and set it down slowly. “I take it you’re a new guest to the resort. Welcome.” “I am, actually” Ada replied, a little surprised. “How did you know that?” “I always do. People always come here with the aura of their past, and it lingers around them for a while until they are cleansed. “Oh really? What do you know about their aura?” She was a little intrigued, but not too much – maybe this was one of the many scammers the city held. She had to be very careful, she told herself. She came here with a broken heart and was determined not to leave here with a broken credit card as well.
“I know enough to know that many people harbor burdens birthed from pain, regrets, mistakes, broken dreams, and broken hearts, just like yours.”
“Excuse me?” Ada almost choked on the “asun” she was nibbling on. The chubby man smiled again. His look reminded her of the picture of cherubim she had in her room as a child. “Yes. That’s how I knew you are new to the resort. Your aura tells a lot about you, you know, but that’s not for me to tell. I hope you find what you search for during your retreat here. Your dinner has arrived. Eat.”