I had never been to Kokrobite. Rumors had it that was where the pot-heads hung out. It was where Rasta and beach-bums and their “cool” wannabes went. Where the local women went to snag white men and vice-versa. Where locals knew to leave well enough alone. My respectable-catholic-school-girl-gig didn’t go such places even when I was rocking locs and wearing African sun-dresses and charlewotes.
You texted. You said some friends of yours were hanging out there for the day. Pretty please, wouldn’t I consider joining you, just for a little while. It was Sunday. I hadn’t “made” it to church again, yet there I was hopping a combination of taxis and trotros to get to you. I hadn’t known what to wear because much as I was denying the effect you had on me, I was unconsciously giving in to it and all that came with it.
You met me at the gate to Big Milly’s Backyard, a wide grin on your face.
“You made it!”
“Mhuh.” I said shyly.
“Here, let’s walk to where the others are.”
You reached for my hand briefly, then as though scared of my sister, you dropped it. Etornam had been having lunch with me when your text came. She was adamant that I not go to Kokrobite alone. The crowd could be rough. They would smell the newbie on me. She was sure of it. I was glad she had come along. Much as I felt confident navigating Accra, some areas were just cumbersome to get to by public transit. Plus all the stereotypes were in full play at Big Milly’s when we arrived.
We walked across the beach, me trying with futility to keep sand out of my flats, you visibly excited and curling your bare toes in the sand. When we reached the bar where the rest of your posse was chilling, you introduced us. It was the usual expat American crowd, except this time they were all Black. This was new for me; I was polite but nervous. My own baggage eating at me. They were all probably judging me for being the local girl snagging the American. But wait, I too was American. Well…not really when I was home. Was I competition? Argh!