By Kofi Konadu Berko

I loved pictures. I liked the clicks and the flashes with the poses and smiles. The flashes reminded me of lightening and lightening brought the smell of rain, and the smell of rain reminded me of love. Her. The clicks reminded me of time and sights that are captured in a stream of seconds, turning the keys in a lock and locking memories, for years on a glossy sheet.

I loved her the way I loved rain. The way her mind worked, the way she moved, slanted, like sheets of rain, like there was a rain goddess trapped in her soul. That fierceness in her eyes when she launched into detailed accounts of animal behaviour. Like the turbulent strikes of cold hard whips of rain. Except unlike rain, her fierceness was sweet and warm and it sort of tickled. Every time she stepped on stage, I felt the cool flow move from her lips and tickle my sweaty skin. I was in love with her. I was in love with my Lecturer.

Pictures are like something…something I have a hard time defining…a thing that holds so much yet weighs so little. You find a picture in an album. A picture. Just a glossy piece of paper that contains so much more. Like the one with the parents you hate, or the one where you smile that smile that got you a life partner, or the one of a lover whose death broke you, or the twins you resemble so much. These pictures, though flimsy, glossy and weak, are solid, thick, strong with memories of You. Your whole being. Your existence.

During lectures today, she spoke of Bees. Her spectacles in place, hair glinting. I imagined my hands in her hair, trying to touch the scalp that covers the intelligent brain beneath. She wore a blouse with a lot of blue akomason it. She stood behind the podium and talked about the waggle dance: how bees communicated directions and locations of the sweetest nectar filled-flowers. Her blouse told me all: she loves me too. There and then in the lecture hall I decide to dance the waggle dance to show my love to her. To show her where our sweet love was.

The picture, that particular picture had all the features of pictures, holding so many little big things. That picture captured everything. Me. Her. My face, and Hers. Our love. Our dance. Even though dances and pictures rarely go together: pictures offer stiff, composed, predictable interpretations, whereas dance speaks movement, energy, fluidity, spontaneity. A picture of a dance creates a blur. And blur is a useless piece of memory. Something that holds value, but no real value.

I hardly dance except when my G.P.A.s are above 3.5, but that day in the lecture hall I danced my heart out. I moved through the rows of seat towards her and spoke to her with my azonto andamandaand tchewn gum. I was mad in love: I raised my hand, brought it down, moved my waist, forced my feet up and down. I forgot about my mates and their surprised faces, their laughs and applause and phones and cameras. My love, she was stunned. Her shampoo licked my nose as I drew closer and closer, sweating. Dancing. Then it came from nowhere.

“What are you doing?!”

Her hand landed on my face. Her palms. It was brutal. It hurt, like a million bee stings. The clicks sounded, and phone lights flashed, and my humiliation was solidified. A memory was created, sealing my rejection in a future fine glossy picture.

  • Kofi Konadu Berko is a University of Ghana student and an aspiring writer who loves TV series and big books. He polishes his writing on his blog


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