Swaibou hails from a middle-class family. Both parents are prominent members of the community. His father, a renowned senior technocrat and his mother, a celebrated lawyer are graduates from Oxford University in the United Kingdom. They are the perfect family that easily commands respect and influence. Perhaps that explains why Swaibou embodies excellence, tediousness and resilience. Albeit they are affluent, they comport humbly at all times. Reluctantly, Amadou dressed up casually and left with Karamo to Swaibou’s house. The house was spacious, modern and immaculately furnished. Swaibou was watering the flowers as his mates arrived. “What a pleasant surprise!” exclaimed Swaibou when he saw Amadou. “To what do I owe this honour”, he continued teasing him. Unlike Karamo, Amadou had never visited Swaibou before. Swaibou welcomed his mates at the living room. It was rectangular and cosy. Upholstery sofas of light brownish colour dotted the living room. A three, two and single seaters were artistically positioned around to face a sizeable colour-TV carefully seated on a glass table. On either side of the TV were two detachable Philips radio cassette player speakers connected to the TV. Left of the TV was a Formica cupboard housing enchanting artefacts. At the centre stood a golden trophy. The curtains on the windows are made of silky cotton from Asia.
After welcoming his friends and putting on the TV, Swaibou asked his visitors what drinks they prefer. “Musukoi…Musukoi”, he called out to his younger sister, “Can you please get me some soft drinks from the shop for my guests?” Youssou N’Dour was singing ‘Banana’ on the TV. Ala Seck was dancing skilfully to the mbalax rhythm blending it with refreshing tassues. Amadou unconsciously swung with the musical waves of the song. “Assaalamu alaikum”, a melodious voice greeted them. “Wa alaikumma saalam”, they chorus turning to see the owner of the soft sweet voice. There she was, smiling and offering them the soft drinks she bought from the shop. “Who want bitter lemon?” she asked. Like a jolted deer, Amadou sprang up as the saw Sasaboro. “Sasaboro”, he whispered. “Excuse me?” Musukoi said “Is everything ok?” looking a bit surprised by Amadou’s unexplained reaction to seeing her. “She is the one. The one I was telling you the other day. Why didn’t you tell me you know her?” he demanded of Karamo who was now looking from one to the other equally surprised. Before he could say anything, Swaibou walked in to join his friends. “Amadou, this is Musukoi, my younger sister”. “Ah…yeah…ah. Nice to meet you Sasaboro. Excuse my bad, Musukoi”, he managed to stammer. “Your friend is very funny. “He calls me Sasaboro”, she told her brother. Swaibou’s face lightened up with a smile as he faces her before remarking “He is referring to your fair skin”. Swaibou is very fond and protective of his sister who happened to be one of the most dashing girl in town. Despite been every boy’s dream girl, she is polite and sociable.
The moment she left the living room, Amadou grabbed Karamo’s arm, “Boy you must help me. Please tell her that she is the one for me”. Karamo just nodded without a word. “Oh, no. Please…please. Don’t tell me that you also fancy her”, he challenged Karamo who looked startled. Now Amadou has put him in a very funny position. How could he tell her that Amadou loves her when she considers him as an elder brother? How will Swaibou take it if he finds out he has hooked Musukoi with Amadou he thought. If he also fails to help, Amadou will think perhaps he also loves her. What should he do? “Karamo”, Amadou halted his thoughts, “why are you so pensive?” “Honestly”, Karamo began, “this is a precarious situation. Now you have not only seen her again but knows where she lives, please give me time to figure out how to tell her”. “I knew it. I knew you are jealous and wants her for yourself”, alleged Amadou. “Are you out of your mind? Me, Karamo of all people wanting Musukoi for myself? No. You don’t mean it”, he countered. Before Amadou could say anything, she popped up again. Bro Amz, are you ok? Please feel at home. Karamo is not stranger here. He is part of the family”, she endeared Amadou. Did she just call me bro Amz? That is not a good start. However, he managed a smile and muttered, “Sure we are all one but …” he could not complete his sentence. “But what bro Amz she demanded. “Oh, nothing. I was just thinking how come I only saw you once. That is the other day at the market. How often do you go there?” he heard himself asking her. “I do go now and again when mum wants a thing or another. Do you have a shop at the market?” she enquired. “Not yet but I am planning to open one soon”, he replied. “Wow that is great. I am also planning to own a business someday. Lunch is almost ready. I hope you like domoda”, she politely asked. Amadou was elated that she was trying to entertain him. What actually deflated his hope of ever been with her was her calling him bro Amz. Lunch was delicious. Full of big lamb chunks, jahatoo and kaanoo with a bit of lemuno. Lunch was followed by another round of soft drinks and attaya. As the day goes by, Amadou fantasises his wedding with Musukoi. His heart sank at the thought of her parents not blessing their union. He comes from a humble background while she is of a middle-class family. Just look at their house. Modern and well furnished with electricity and water. The thought raffled his ego and self-confidence. Part is him began telling him it was an unrealistic dream while the other encouraged him to pursue his heart. “There is nothing wrong in trying. Have you forgotten how you failed to approached her when you saw her the other day? You became miserable and blamed yourself for not been man enough. You neither knew her name nor anyone who knew her”, it reminded him. “Don’t mind him”, the other part began, “Her parents will never agree let their daughter marry you. What happened to cut your coat according to your clothes?” it charged. Again, Amadou became conflicted with his feelings. His mood changed. From bubbly to desolation. Maybe if she loves me, her parents might consent to us marrying. Her father isn’t a conservative man. And her mother seems reasonable and liberal too. “Dream on”, the negative part of him mocked. “Shut up and mind your business”, he muttered. “What?” asked Musukoi. “Huh. Oh, sorry I was just thinking out loud. “Oh, really. Whatever it may be, you don’t seem to like it”, she postulated. He was ashamed for been caught out by her talking to himself. “No. It is nothing important beside I don’t often talk to myself”, he tried explaining.