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Yesterday I had lunch with ‘The Group’ at a restaurant near my work place. We are a bunch of four women all professionals in our own right who had been to either Secondary School or attended University together. We had been meeting once every month at a chosen venue for lunch since 2007. We shelved this all girl affair in 2009 when one of us, Doris, a High Court Judge had her left leg amputated due to diabetes. Now, we are back again.

It was fun all along as we chatted and giggled like silly girls. We traded info and gave updates on what was going on in our lives and in the country.

“ei, so Celestine, when are you going to invite us to your new place?” Chris, Head of Human Resource with a big advertising company asked in her usual direct way, a slight grin on her pretty face.

“Oh, but do you gals need an invitation? You can all come anytime you feel like it” I said, laughing. I had been expecting this question.

“Oh, don’t mind Cele. She wants us to beg her before. We won’t oo! We are coming in full force this Saturday so make sure you cook for us.” Susan said, her mouth full of food. She is the Country Director of an NGO.

“This lazy girl! Is she the one going to cook or her mother?” Doris teased. I was well noted for my lack of cooking skills. “Ah but this food is horrible. I might have to complain to the waiter or whoever is in charge.Β  Look Cele, next time we’re going to a better place to eat.” Doris said with some annoyance, pushing the plate of waakye away.

“Well, I noted that my jollof rice tasted awful, but decided to keep my mouth shut.” I sad rather lamely.

“Ei, what is this I’m hearing about a possible water shortage?” Chris popped in, washing her hands in the bowl of water by her side. “And it is not only water. The light too is going to be rationed oo.”

“Hmm, what else is new in this country? And they say it is a better Ghana Agenda.” I quipped.

“Hei, don’t start, Cele. They are your people so don’t come and bad mouth them here…….” The peel of the phone interrupted Doris’ words. Picking it up she mouthed, love reflected in her voice. “it’s Seth.” The three of us fell silent as she talked to her husband. He was like that, He always checked up on her at short intervals to make sure she was fine. After what seemed like a million hours, she hung up with a sigh. Then she was all smiles and grins and ‘ohs’ and ‘ahs’

“Ei my sister what is this? You love him too much.” I teased her.

“Of course. If you get Doo, play Jackpot with him.” She shot back in the same tone, referring to my hubby. He was ‘Doo’ to all our friends and his mates, a nickname he had acquired from secondary school days. Some called him ‘Do the Doo!’

We all laughed loud and ignored the curious looks from the other eaters. They should mind their own business.

“Doris, is that your latest phone?It’s so cute.”

“Yes oo, it was my Valentine gift from hubby. You know these days everybody is going high-tech and going online for all goods and services. With his busy schedule it was so convenient for him to use the free classified web.”

As the waiter came to clear away the remains of the tasteless food, I marveled at the closeness of The Group. Through thick and thin, we have stuck together all these years. We share each other’s problems, sorrows, joys and triumphs. We are like family. And forever will remain so.