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Of Voices And Vermin

Of Voices and Vermin #13

Wow! It’s been 6 weeks of following the story of Sidney (on Mondays) and Nii Ajei (on Fridays), and like many good things, it’s coming to an end.

Well, what more can I say than it’s been pretty awesome, and you the readers have also made it awesome!! Time to draw the curtain on this one. Let’s get into it…

The most beautiful Saturday of my life.

The day I stood at the altar, patiently waiting as Kwabena wiped my forehead with a white handkerchief and said a few silly things to keep my tension as low as possible.

The day the most beautiful girl in the world showed up at the chapel in a gorgeous white gown, looking radiant and awesome as she walked towards me. Kwabena whispered how he’d mock me relentlessly if I shed any tears. I didn’t, but even if I did, the last person to troll me would be him. The guy had tear streaks all over his face when Ewurabena made that walk down the aisle.

The day this exquisite, amazing queen and I exchanged vows to love, cherish, honour and respect one another for as long as we live.

The day we had an amazing kiss in front of all our people. Oh yeah, they were loving it. Not as much as we enjoyed it, though!

The day Bambi Darkwah became Mrs Bambi Darkwah Allotey.

It was a glorious and simple ceremony. As we sat at the high table as the reception was in progress, my heart swelled with joy as I squeezed Bambi’s hand gently and smiled at her. She giggled excitedly.

“Sidney, my king. My boo for life. This feels so surreal.”

“Feels the same for me, baby. But it’s happening. It’s official. You are mine, and I am yours.”

We smiled at each other, then watched as the MC made some announcements. As I observed one of my workmates heartily chatting with my superior, I heard Bambi make a remark.

“Seeing Nii makes me so happy.”

I nodded and turned to look in her direction. He was laughing his head off in a conversation with the other guys.

After that attack, and that visit, things have gotten so much better. His therapy sessions have yielded a lot of good. Ewurabena sounded so happy with his progress the last time we spoke about it. He’s no longer having those silent moods and his body language has improved. I guess having Maame Becky around really improved his healing process. It’s crazy how she showed up around that time. Wasn’t expected at all. But hey, God does things that blow our mind.

As for that vile vermin. Huh. His case is currently before the courts. I hear murder in Ghana attracts the death penalty. I know the judges will probably steer from delivering such a verdict, but if he got it, it is the least he deserves. But that’s not my concern for now.

Two of my colleagues from work passed by our table to give their personal congratulations. As they left, I saw Kwabena signalling at me to get ready. It was almost time for us to do the dance thingy.

“If Steel doesn’t know and he does that mistake he did yesterday eh, what we’ll do to him the next time we meet,” I said as I prepared to get up.

Bambi gave me a side eye. “Don’t do that, lah. Leave the guy in peace, na you guys like worrying him.”

“Why not?” I replied, giving a Kanye shrug. “He is our electric pole, after all.”

Bambi rolled her eyes. “You’re such a meanie.” Then she grinned slyly at me. “But you’re my meanie. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Zero to a hundred! I dey go zero to a hundred!”

“That’s our cue, baby girl!”

Giving her a quick kiss on the forehead, I got up and moved to the middle of the dance floor, joining the rest of the clique as we prepared ourselves for the chorus to begin. Nii was part of us as well, although he had never really been part of our practice thingys. He’s an okay dancer, though, so I was cool with it. Yeah, he’s fifty times better than Steel!! And besides, after all the heartache and trouble he had had to endure, the dude is fully entitled to let loose (to an extent) at his big bro’s wedding. I lie?

The beat dropped, and as the chorus began, all five of us did the Kupe dance. And boy, it was fun!!

Steel was doing pretty good, to our delight. Kwabena, Jesse and I were definitely flowing with the move. But Nii? The boy was so into it. Adding a little bit of footwork to it. The MC even gave a comment about how he was ‘meaning the thing’.

Then suddenly, at the end of the chorus, the DJ switched to Olamide’s ‘Science Student’.

Now things got really heated on the dance floor. And in this case, I’m referring to Nii. I had no idea he had mastered the Shaku Shaku until this song dropped. Like, whoa!!

His moves were so off the hook, the four of us just surrounded him and gave him accolades. When he hit us with Gwara-gwara moves, the whole room flipped out. Roars of approval all over as I joined him with the moves at the repeat of the chorus. It was not easy, but I held my own, and the Allotey boys definitely tore up the dance floor in style.

Laughing and hugging each other as we decided the moves were enough, I whispered in his ear and asked him, “Chale, how you kill the moves like that?”

He snickered and said, “Practice oo. Practice.”

I patted him on the back, smiled at him and walked back to the high table where my bride awaited me, her face glowing with excitement.

“Ei, na was that the Nii we know?” she gushed as I took my seat. “Chale, I have never seen him tear it up like that before!”

“Me too! Kwɛɛ! The boy just spoil there!!”

“You should’ve seen me all excited and stuff over here. Hahaha!!”

“Chale, that gwara-gwara move eh, as if the boy went to borrow some elastic distins for his leg. Chai!”

We laughed for a moment. As we grew silent, I murmured, “Come here, girl,” and pulled her closer by the waist. Before she could have a chance to giggle, as she usually does, I pressed my lips against hers.

After 10 seconds of a pretty passionate kiss, we parted. My hands remained around her neck. “I love you, Bambi,” I whispered. “I couldn’t be any happier than to know that this is it. We’re a team. You and me. For life.”

“I love you too, Sidney. And I’m also happy we’re here now. I can’t wait to begin this lifelong journey with you…”

*****

Laughing and hugging each other as we decided the moves were enough, Sidney whispered in my ear, asking, “Chale, how you kill the moves like that?”

I snickered and said, “Practice ooo. Practice.”

Giving me a smile and a pat on the back, he went back to join the new Mrs. Allotey as I went to briefly see my parents and Daisy, who were definitely all wondering how I managed to slay the dance floor. I laughed and told them the same thing I told Sidney.

“We thank God ooo,” my mother said. “It’s good to see you all bubbly and excited. After all the troubles. Indeed, weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”

I nodded. “After everything that happened, from the accident to prison to the attack, it’s been so crazy. But these past few months have been so much better.”

“Thank God the boy’s mother has forgiven you. That’s so much of a reliever as well,” my dad added.

“Oh yeah, it definitely is. Ei, I need to go and see her oo. I think she’s sitting with Ewurabena. Let me go and see her and come, please.”

As they permitted me to go, I walked over to the table where they were seated. A few guests seated were giving me fans as I passed by their tables, still clearly impressed by what I had done a few minutes ago. I gave them the peace sign and smiled as I did.

Arriving at the table, Ewurabena said, “Eeiii!! Mr. Jabba Wockeez! Please, you do all!”

I grinned. “Thank you, my radically different looking therapist.”

She gave me a dirty look. “Abrantie! Don’t make me revoke your godfather privileges for Jason.”

“Please, I beg.”

Yeah, Ewurabena is pregnant. Four months in now, and they’ve already discovered it’s gonna be a boy. Maame Ama has a little brother now.

Maame Becky laughed. “Ei, Nii. Your moves were not easy kraaa, oh!”

I smiled at her. “Mommi, it’s all practice oo. I have to enjoy myself on my brother’s big day.”

“Ɛyɛ very necessary,” she agreed, putting an arm around my shoulder.

Ewurabena squeezed my left hand, which I had placed on the table. “Your annoying nature aside, I’m delighted to see you now, Nii. I still remember when you first entered my office. Looking all moody, down-hearted, tormented, slightly scruffy and all. It’s such a joy to see you totally different from the guy who first walked in. I’m so grateful to God for all that He’s done to bring you to this point. And of course, I’m so grateful He brought Mommi around. Made things even better.”

I nodded, smiling at both ladies. “Yeah. A year ago, I thought I’d never be this happy again, even after my release. All those voices telling me I didn’t deserve anything good after what had happened. Telling me I deserved misery upon misery. It was horrible. I remember thinking I was probably going to die after the attack, and these voices were all over, telling me it would be deserved. I’m just glad it was all a lie. I’ve never felt so much peace ever since Mommi came to forgive me. It’s such a relief. It’s not like the voices don’t pop up every now and then; they still do. Try to pull me back and re-establish the guilt. But it doesn’t work as much as it used to. I know I’m not totally free just yet. But it’s only a matter of time until I am. Thank you both for helping me get here.”

Planting a kiss on Maame Becky’s cheek, I said to her, “I’m grateful for your love, and I’ll always be there for you. Then I gave Ewurabena one, saying, “You’re the best therapist in the world, Mrs Afriyie. Thank you.”

Both ladies beamed with joy at my words. Brief, but heartfelt and sincere.

As I turned briefly, I noticed a waving hand from one of the tables. I looked, and here was this super cute girl waving at me. With a shy grin on her face, she mouthed, “I love your moves on the dance floor!”

I waved back, feeling rather taken aback. Or should I say, slightly mesmerized by her. A truly stunning brown-skinned beauty. I quickly turned to the pastries on the table and grabbed some of the chips. As I kept my head slightly low, focusing on chewing the chips, I could feel a hard stare on me. I looked, and it was Ewurabena.

I looked at her in surprise. “But I haven’t said anything about how radically different you’re looking in the past two minutes! What have I done?”

She shook her head. “One, I’m gonna ignore the fact that you just said I’m looking radically different. Annoying young man. Two, why are you still at this table?”

I raised my eyebrow. “Wuhhhh?”

“Ah, a beautiful young lady just waved at you. And complimented you. And she and her friends are currently whispering among themselves. My instinct tells me you’re the subject, and the major idea is that Ms Wave-At-You thinks you’re super cute and they’re hoping you come around. Unless you’re of the opinion that she’s not lovely, in which case I’d say that you’re crazy…”

“Me think she’s not fine? Goodness, Ewurabena, I need an oxygen mask right now!” I exclaimed. “That glow. That smile. That dress. Dayuuum!! Ugh, I never knew I was a sucker for off-shoulder dresses till now.”

“Then what are you waiting for? Go and talk to her, eh,” Maame Becky urged.

I looked at her shyly. “But she’s with all her friends. I’m too shy.”

As Maame Becky rolled her eyes, I heard Ewurabena. “Look here, Abrantie, if you don’t get up and go over to that table and talk to that beautiful young lady, the next time you see me and Kwabena and tell Jesus you want some of our eyi, I will grab the nearest hard thing around…”

“Alright, alright, I’m going,” I said in surrender as I rose to my feet. “Geez, you really are radically different,” I muttered to her hearing, laughing as she responded with a slap on my lower back.

Walking towards the table, I could hear excited whispers. “He’s coming, he’s coming!” “Shhh” “Act natural…”

I smirked. Hehe, ladies.

As I moved to her seat, I said with an air of confidence that startled even me, “Hello ladies!”

A collective “HIIIIIIIII!!” came back to me.

I bent towards her and asked, “So you said you love my dance moves, right?”

Looking quite shy, she looked away, nodding.

“Well, I know we barely know each other, but can I say that I’m loving your melanin glow right now?”

The ladies gasped excitedly, as their friend looked visibly flustered. Looking at her, I could see her visibly blushing, as she used her hand to fan her face.

I extended my hand. “Nii Ajei is my name. What’s yours?”

“Gracie,” she responded, face still flushed as her eyes eventually met mine.

“Gracie. Such a cute name. Appropriate for a super cutie like yourself.”

I really have no idea how I was so confidently flattering her. One thing was for sure, though: her friends were loving it! And so was she.

We smiled at each other.

The DJ put on Kidi’s Odo.

“Wanna get on the dance floor with me?”

“I’d be delighted to.”

THE END

Your MCM feels like this episode is best read while listening to ‘Can’t Let You Go’, sort of. You know, with the wedding setting and all that. Lol, never mind.

A big thanks to all the readers. Y’all definitely kept your MCM on his toes. Especially one of his newest readers. A sensational young lady. Lol.

So, this is it!! Time to work on completing the Long Journey series. That’s gonna be out soon (last week in November). And basically, I’m gonna have time for blogging every now and then. 

Peace out!!

Categories
Of Voices And Vermin

Of Voices And Vermin #12

A lovely Friday, isn’t it? Yeah, well, it’s time for #OVAV!!

So, we’re pretty much at the end of the story. Kinda. Obviously, the major question now is who that mystery person wanting to see Nii is. Well, time to discover who it is…

You’ve always made me sick. With your fancy little intelligent self…

Shut up! I’m under no obligation to accept your apologies and excuses. I can keep whatever is in me…

The past few days weren’t the most pleasant for me. All the things Razzie said that horrible night continued to replay in my mind. It still blows my mind how all along, he despised me because of that issue back in class 4. Like, I’m still stunned. He held on to it, and even feigned forgiveness when I apologized for it after we became closer. I know it was embarrassing and all, but we were kids! I had even often made references to that day every now and then and always acknowledged it was one of the acts I’d love to undo, and he had always insisted it’s in the past. How could he?

It was a rough time for me. After everything that had happened, the least I expected was that I’d be attacked like that. I really was fearing the worst at that point. I honestly thought that I was probably not too far from losing my life.

But from the moment my parents left after their visit on Friday morning, somehow, I was anticipating something positive.

It was the normal encouragement and all, with my dad reminding me not to let this weigh me down. My mother had a little something to keep me company: her Hillsong phone. Yeah, she has a phone that has Hillsong playlists on it. No SIM card. It’s specifically for Hillsong music. To say she’s a Hillsong fan would definitely be offensive to her. She stans for real. In a positive way. Hehe.

The music was definitely a soother for me. It had been a while since I had listened to them, and boy, am I glad I had their beautiful tunes at that period! It just took my mind off all the madness of the past couple of days and drew me in. Oh, the beauty of worship music!

We Glorify Your Name really had me in my feels. Man Of Sorrows really left me deep in solemn thoughts. As for Like Incense… chale. I was in tears by the end of the song. The nurse on duty came to see me sobbing on my bed, hands outstretched as the song ended. She seemed pretty taken aback at first, but then shrugged and came to administer the drugs.

4 pm, and I was sitting on the bed, waiting for the squad to come. As I took deep breaths to see how much of the pain had decreased, there was a knock on the door.

“Yeah, I’m in.”

The door opened, and Kwabena and Ewurabena walked in, holding hands.

“Herh, my heart!” I said, my hands on my cheeks. Honestly, I just can’t seem to get over how beautiful they look together. My brother and his lady followed. “Fada Lord, Your son still awaits.”

“Herh, young man, behave,” Ewurabena playfully scolded as she came to sit by me. “Let’s focus on you getting fully healed before you continue that your prayer.”

“But Nii, this one sef is small,” Sidney said, giving the Afriyies a mischievous grin as he passed by them. “If you knew what they were up to behind your door, eh…”

“Ei, what were they up to?” I asked rather too excitedly.

“Hey, hey, hey!” the two of them interjected.

Sidney, Bambi and I laughed.

“See how he dey come talk like we fire for the balcony,” Kwabena said, giving Sidney an evil eye.

“Oh, naaa, obviously not. But chale,” Sidney responded, a mischievous smirk on his face as he looked at Kwabena, “ibi like you gimme some ideas for the wedding oo.”

Just then, his phone rang. Looking at it, he seemed to give a brief glance at Bambi as he moved out of the room.

“But honestly, have I told you guys how much you inspire me?” I asked teasingly, prompting an unamused look from Ewurabena.

“Well….. not as a couple, but she’s definitely told me you’re one of 2,871 people who have gushed uncontrollably over how beautiful we are together,” Kwabena responded. “Would you like an autograph?”

“Only if you two sign it,” I answered with a smirk.

“Ewurabena shot me an evil look. “Abrantie, you’re pushing the limits.”

I snickered, choosing to save my recovering ribs any kind of pain with a heavier form of laughter. Worrying Ewurabena can be fun sometimes.

Just then, Sidney came back in, nodding at Bambi. She took one of the chairs and placed it right in front of me. “Yes, Nii, you have a visitor. I know you’re going to ask,” she said just as I was about to ask, as the Afriyies got up from beside me.

“Yeah, chale. You have a special visitor today. Someone you wouldn’t be expecting.”

I put on a thinking face, kinda similar to that emoji. “Could it be… Roselyn?”

Sidney rolled his eyes. Roselyn is one of his colleagues at work, who I’m constantly going gaga over because of her cute dimples. “No. It’s not Rosie. And I know all you’ll do is stare at her cheeks, so don’t even count on that happening any time soon.”

Still standing at the door, he opened it wide to reveal who it was.

My eyes widened.

I froze.

*****

“Hello, Nii Ajei. How are you?”

“I-I-I-I’m fi..fi..fine,” I stuttered uncontrollably, feeling terribly nervous and unsure of what was about to happen.

The visitor Sidney had been talking about was definitely unexpected. Totally unexpected. Because I hadn’t spoken to the person in years. Truth be told, we barely spoke. The only time we were ever face-to-face was not a pleasant one, as I faced the fullness of her fury. But when you’re facing your son’s killer, what more do you expect?

Yes. The visitor was Maame Becky. The mother of the boy I accidentally killed.

I was mad frightened at that stage. Even though I was doing good in rationalizing the whole issue and learning not to kill myself mentally with blame, having her around was not a comfortable feeling. It might take a while for me to get over it, but the scars on her heart would undoubtedly remain for as long as she lived. If there was anyone who, in my opinion, deserved to hold a lifelong grudge against me, it had to be her. Definitely not Razzie, but her.

“Hmmmm. My dear, I’m glad to hear that. Well, I am also doing fine by God’s grace. It’s not been easy for me at all, but God has been my help and my comfort.”

I nodded, looking nervously at the others, who were sitting quite a distance behind her. Sidney signalled for me to calm down.

“You know, I’ve wanted to meet with you for a while now, but I moved away from your area, and I had no idea how life is like for you, so I didn’t know how to go about it. But one of my nieces was actually among the crowd that came around when you and the lady in the red dress were attacked. When she told me, I knew it was very necessary I come to see you. So I asked around for your brother’s number and told him.”

Had I not been so tense at that moment, I might have teased Ewurabena by singing ‘Lady In Red’.

She sighed as she paused. “Nii, the truth is, life has been different. When Bobby was pronounced dead, I felt a part of me die too. To lose one of my children is one of the worst experiences ever. I know it’s been a couple of years since it happened, and things have changed, like how my beans and kɔkɔɔ business has expanded and all, but the pain still remains. There’s nothing worse than for a mother to lose her child. It’s so painful. When I remember him, so troublesome, but full of joy. So lively…” She trailed off, unable to speak, obviously reliving the pain.

Words cannot express how awful I felt. To be the source of such pain. As I bowed my head, I looked past her. Ewurabena was already taking out a handkerchief to wipe the tears running down her cheek as Bambi put an arm around her and leaned on her shoulder. Being a mother herself, I’m sure she was really empathizing with her. Sidney and Kwabena sat there, looking very somber.

She sniffed. “I miss my son. Every blessed day. I wish to God that He’d do a Lazarus miracle somehow and bring him back. But… I just have to live with this pain for the rest of my life.”

I couldn’t speak. What else could I say? Sorry? That wouldn’t be enough. It would never be enough.

As she wiped her eyes, she looked up at me. “When he was killed, I was so angry with you. I just wanted to see the worst happen to you. I wanted you to pay for taking my son out of this world so early. I must admit, I wasn’t happy with the sentencing, but I was told that was the best option. I just was so angry. And the last time we met, you saw it, obviously.”

I nodded silently. At that point, I was wondering why Sidney allowed her to come at all. At this point, I was just feeling horrible all over again. Now that worship music period seemed so distant and ineffective. So much for thinking something positive was going to happen.

She continued. “However, for a while now, you come to mind, and although I still felt so much anger towards you, I could sense God telling me to look at things differently. I didn’t want to, at first, but… after a while, I relented. And He showed me how this accident affected you as well. The reality is, I was looking at you as a deliberate murderer. But I came to realize that that’s not the truth. I didn’t understand all the court things, since I’m not good with English. And I was too emotionally charged to truly analyse everything. But, all I can say is, it wasn’t your fault.”

That definitely caught my attention. I looked her in the eye, slightly surprised at hearing this.

“I came to full terms after speaking to your brother a few days ago. He told me how badly you were affected by it. How prison was a horrible time for you. How your best friend suddenly became an enemy. That’s when I decided I have to drop all the hurt and come to see you.”

I had no idea what to say.

“I’ve now come to accept that you don’t deserve my hatred. You never intended to do anything horrid to my son. It was a mistake that just went very bad.”

Stunned, with a tiny feeling of relief, I nodded. That was the absolute truth.

She stood up. “Nii Ajei, I forgive you. I may never be able to have my baby back, but I’ll no longer hold anything against you. In fact, I’m taking you as my son now.”

If I was already stunned, that last statement definitely multiplied it. I looked at her with wide eyes. “M..mm…me?” I stuttered.

She nodded, cupping my face in her hands. “I gain nothing by staying mad at you. You are forgiven. My son.”

As she hugged me, I felt so overwhelmed. Confusion. Joy. Relief.

My whimpers turned into full-blown cries as I wrapped my arms around her.

As I cried, I just felt this inexplicable release. It’s like all the hurt, the shame, the guilt, the horror, the voices… they had all officially lost their power over me in that moment.

I felt extra hands patting me on the back as I continued to sob.

“It’s all right, Nii,” I heard Bambi say. “You’re free now.”

As we separated, she patted me on the cheek and wiped away the tear lines on my cheeks. The others stood around, their faces full of delightful relief.

“It’s over, Nii,” my beloved therapist said, taking her spot on the bed. “Now you can truly move on.”

Kwabena raised his hand. “So, uh, Mommi, now that he’s your son, we’re all your children, right?”

Maame Becky nodded. “Of course, you all are.”

“So does that mean we can get discounts on your gob3?”

We all laughed.

“I’ll see what I can do about that,” she responded heartily.

As I laughed lightly, still trying to protect my ribs, I felt this peace flood over me. A feeling of peace I hadn’t felt in years. Especially after the accident. It had felt impossible to have such a feeling, after being responsible for a person’s demise. But now that Maame Becky had not just forgiven me, but taken me as one of her own, I could feel that, in a sense, the powers that had kept me in that dark hole of despair and hopelessness had lost their grip on me.

So that earlier feeling wasn’t so wrong after all. Something positive had happened.

I was free. Finally…

Chale, my emotions were seriously invested in this episode 😭😭😭 I’m not even joking. Such a relief for Nii! Well, this is lovely. But the final episode of #OVAV comes your way this Monday. Time to see just how this story ends!!

Categories
Of Voices And Vermin

Of Voices and Vermin #11

New week, new mercies. New episodes of OVAV!!!

So last week had a pretty frightening end. Razzie did something pretty horrible. Certainly not what we expected. Let’s see if Nii and Ewurabena are OK…

I shook my head, covering my mouth in disbelief as Kessewaa started to cry softly, her husband immediately coming to her side to console her.

“I can’t believe it. Razzie actually killed him.”

This weekend has been insane. If it wasn’t for the rest of the squad, I swear, Kwabena and I would be guilty of murder by now.

I don’t like Razzie, and I’ve given that fool a hell of a beatdown before, but… this guy went to some unbelievable levels.

Nii suffered broken ribs and a concussion from that ambush sprung on them. Ewurabena only got a nasty slap, so not too much damage. Razzie thought everything he did was in the view of only he and those two useless thugs he managed to get to help him. But just as he and the thugs got into the car to bolt, a police vehicle came around. They tried to speed off, but it was futile. The police car easily overtook and blocked them and arrested them.

I promise, Kwabena and I wanted to see Razzie at the police station, but Jesse, Steel, Kessewaa and Bambi convinced us not to. If we had gone to see him, we wouldn’t have left the station without making him bleed.

Such a volatile period it’s been. Just when I’m preparing for the best day of my life, and now my little brother gets attacked? Crap.

And as we sat there, Jesse received a call. A pretty devastating one.

It was a distraught Daniel.

Apparently, Ali had gone missing about two days before the attack on Nii and Ewurabena.

And just that afternoon, after getting one of his police guys involved in a brief search for his whereabouts, his body was discovered in some abandoned corner bi not far from where Razzie lives. The guy was gagged, with a couple of stab wounds to the stomach, and two gun wounds in his head.

Sickening.

Obviously, the first suspect was Razzie, and upon confrontation, he admitted to being the killer.

“I have no idea who the Ali guy is, but chale, this is just awful,” I said in a low tone.

“It’s terrible,” Jesse agreed, his bride’s face buried in his shoulder. “Daniel is just devastated right now. He was so concerned about Ali. You could see the worry was so authentic, chale. He just felt it, that that creep was gonna do something overly drastic.”

We were sitting outside the ward in which Nii was. The door opened, and the Afriyie couple and Bambi came out. The ladies were immediately concerned by the sight of Kessewaa’s face on her husband’s shoulder, clearly in a fit of sobs as he stroked the back of her head gently and whispered into her ear.

“What’s up?” Kwabena asked.

I dropped the hand that covered my mouth. “Horrible news. The Daniel guy just call Jesse. That stupid boy go murder the Ali guy.”

Kwabena’s eyes widened in shock. “WHHAAATT!” he exclaimed.

“Chale. Them say he go missing on Wednesday. Just now, Daniel say them find the body. Razzie too confess sey ibi am.”

“Eii! So the things he talk, na inobi joke!”

“Never, chale!”

“Herh, like inobi you people, like by now, that boy go lose at least three teeth. Bastard! To lay his filthy hands on my wife! Shameless murderer like him! Condemning poor Nii for that mistake when he’s the real heartless pig! Ahhh!”

“Sssshhhh, baby, don’t raise your voice,” Ewurabena said softly, rubbing his chest, noting the rise in temper. “What matters is that he’s in police custody and will be dealt with. I know, it’s just horrible to hear this. But calm down, baby. Please.”

He drew her in for a tight hug, choosing to say nothing more as he pondered on the unfortunate news.

“Well, it’s time for us to go now. Lemme just tell Nii we’re off,” I said, grabbing Bambi’s hand as we went in to the room.

“Kessewa and I will take the lead,” said Jesse.

“Sure, sure.”

Nii remained on the bed, trying to get some sleep. As Bambi and I walked towards him, he opened his eyes.

“Chale, we have to go now. Visiting time almost up.”

“Alright. No problem. The ibuprofen is starting to work, so I’m feeling less pain now. I should be good for the rest of the evening.”

“Great, thank God,” I said, gently squeezing his hand.

“Hmmm. Guys.”

“What’s up?”

He hesitated for a moment, then stuttered. “I… I…. I don’t know if life is gonna get worse from here or what. I really don’t know. This has just been insane, guys. I don’t know…”

“Bro, bro, bro,” I gently cut in, still holding on to hi hand. “Calm down…. please, Nii, listen to me. It is not going to get worse. I can’t explain why all this is happening, but please… this is as bad as it will get. Nothing more than this. If there’s any way we can ensure it, we can.”

“We know it’s been traumatizing, Nii,” Bambi added. “But please, don’t lose hope. We love you. We need you. We need you to hold on.”

Nii sighed. I could understand his frustration and his desire to throw in the towel. I could understand his confusion. To be honest, I was confused myself. But I had to encourage him.

“What if someone comes to kill me in this hospital?”

“Please, Nii, I beg you,” Bambi pleaded, practically going on her knees, “don’t think that way. Please. It’s not gonna end like this. Don’t say that. Nobody will do that.”

Nii just shut his eyes, letting out a deep sigh. After a few seconds of silence, he said, “I’ll do my best. See you guys later.”

I nodded, helping Bambi to her feet as I said, “Take it easy, bro.”

We left the room, and slightly froze midway. We definitely weren’t expecting what we saw.

Kwabena and Ewurabena sitting on the visitors couch, in a pretty passionate liplock.

As their lips parted, Kwabena whispered, “I love you, my queen. I love you. I don’t know what I’d do without you.” I could hear so much passion, fear and relief in his voice as he leaned against her, forehead to forehead, Ewurabena also whispering, “I love you, my king, I love you,” as tears ran down her cheeks.

I guess the reality that she could have been killed really hit him with the news about Ali. I know how devastating it would’ve been to Kwabena. I’ve known him for a long time, and for the period when they weren’t together, he always made it clear that she was the only woman he wanted. If that guy had raped or killed Ewurabena… Kwabena would never, ever be the same. So I understood him, as he stared into his bride’s eyes and reaffirmed his undying love for her.

We walked away without a word as his lips found hers yet again. Nobody was near them as they continued to kiss. And frankly, they wouldn’t have cared less if there were witnesses.

*****

“Sidney, this isn’t necessary!” Bambi protested. “Let’s just go home. Please.”

I stubbornly looked forward, refusing to yield to her pleas. I looked ahead. A few kilometres away stood the police station where Razzie was currently being held on remand. She had been wondering where we were going for a while, and as soon as I turned the curve to that station, she demanded I stop the car. I hadn’t been ready to, but it only made her louder. So I had to stop.

“That slimy piece of filth has done enough. This is the last straw,” I muttered through clenched teeth. Seeing Nii in that state of despair had really snapped something in me, especially with that question about dying. Seeing him reduced to a state of pain and hopelessness led me to feel this was enough. All I wanted to do at that point was grab Razzie and turn every bone in his body into powder.

“Sidney, we’ve been through this. Beating him up will not solve any issue. At this point, you’ll simply get yourself into trouble. You think the policemen will allow you to beat him?”

“I don’t care about them. I just wanna teach that fool a lesson.”

“Sidney, he’s in the arms of the law right now… Sidney, don’t do it, please…”

I ignored her and proceeded to get out of the car.

“SIDNEY, WILL YOU STOP THIS!! JUST STOP IT!”

Bambi rarely has outbursts like this. But when she does, they’re pretty scary. I froze for a second, and just sat in the car.

“What is wrong with you, Sidney? This thing you’re so hung up on isn’t worth it! Going to beat him doesn’t restore Nii’s ribs or take him out of the current state he’s in. Beating him only satisfies your temporary bout of anger. And it’s understandable that you’re angry; you have every right to be. But goodness, Sidney, are you thinking about the consequences? Do you think you can just waltz in there, grab the keys, pull him out and starting punching away? Of course not! You can’t! It won’t be allowed! For goodness sake, Sidney, stop letting your anger be your master. This isn’t you!”

This strong rebuke from my queen slapped me back to my senses. I bowed my head in shame. “I’m sorry, baby. I’m sorry. I just… feel so frustrated right now. It’s so hard… my brother’s been through so much. The accident… prison… this whole dark period… now this.” I placed my face in my hands. I was just too tired and confused at that point.

I felt a rub on my back. “Babyyyy, I know you’re hurting. I know. I’ve been with you all this time. I know how low it’s brought you. And it hurts me too. I love Nii too, he’s an amazing guy. I can never forget how he saved me from that creep. And I can’t imagine life without you two disturbing me about Kojo Antwi stuff. I understand you, my love. Please, take it easy.”

She leaned on my shoulder. “I don’t know how or where, but I promise you, Nii’s gonna get through this. I promise you, he will.”

Just then, my phone rang.

I looked at the number. Not familiar with it.

I hesitated for a moment, wondering whether it was one of these Mobile Money scammers. Then I answered. “Hello?”

I heard a thick Fante accent on the other end of the line, speaking the language. “Fine evening ooo. Please, is this Nii’s brother?”

I took a deep breath. “Yes. This is Nii’s brother.”

“Thank God. Please, I heard about him recently, and it’s important that I see him…”

Hmmmmm…. I wonder who this person might be, and what he/she wants with Nii. Well, we’re pretty much at the end of this lovely series, y’all. Let’s wait till Friday to see what possible surprises will spring up!

Categories
Of Voices And Vermin

Of Voices and Vermin #10

What a busy week it’s been for your MCM! But it’s Friday now, and of course, that means we continue with the riveting story of #OVAV!!

So Monday was a pretty cool episode, as we got to see the clique all together. Today’s episode is gonna be a sensationally crucial one. We’re almost at the end, so it’s time to see stuff going down.

Now let’s get into the story…

“Wait, what?” I asked in surprise. As Ewurabena and I walked out of the office, I had a rather stunned look on my face. I mean, I know there’s no perfect couple in the world, but… geez, I had always put Kwabena and Ewurabena up there as the closest to perfect, the way they always seem to treat each other.

The look she gave me, followed by the shaking of her head as she locked the door, made it pretty obvious my assumption that they never had any kind of disagreement was absolutely wrong.

“Really, Nii? You think we never have any kind of problem? Please! We’ve been married for about 4 years, and we love each other just as deeply as we first did when he and Sidney were roomies. I wouldn’t exchange my man for anything in the world. But please, we’re nowhere near perfect. We do have arguments every now and then.”

“Wow. I would’ve sworn you two have never had any kind of disagreement.”

“Oh naaaa! We do. We’re two different human beings, and by all means we’ll have differing opinions on certain things. The thing is, problems only remain problems when you don’t try to solve them. And especially when you keep the anger against your partner. If there’s anything that is a rule in our marriage, it’s Ephesians 4:26. Kwabena may piss me off, or vice versa, but we always do our best to clear things up before we go back to bed. Otherwise, the animosity will only get stronger with time.”

“Interesting.”

“Yes. One of the worst things in life is to hold a grudge against a person. If you’re a regular grudge bearer, then this thing called marriage definitely isn’t for you. Because your spouse will do things that annoy you every now and then, and you have to be a forgiving person if you’re gonna make it work.”

“Oooh, work!” I said teasingly as she pressed the unlock button on her car key. She gave me the side eye as she shook her head. “I know you wanna do the Rihanna thing. But no, you’re not allowed. So yes, it’s work. You’ve got to be determined to make it work. But as long as you’re convinced that your partner is the one you wanna be with. There’s this friend of mine…”

*****

“What!! He actually said that? That she was his worst case scenario he chose to settle for?” I exclaimed, hand over my mouth.

Ewurabena nodded, stepping on the accelerator as the traffic light turned green. “It was terrible. The statement just messed her up. And of course, the marriage was doomed from that point. But I won’t lie, I found something off about him from the beginning. Like he wasn’t as excited as your regular gentleman would be. The smiles seemed forced and all. I thought something was off, but hey, who am I to come and rain on someone’s parade?”

“True, true. Ei, but… it’s serious oo. Worst case scenario. Nahhh, this is too harsh. Anka let her down gently eh!”

“Well, he said it in the heat of the moment. In the midst of an argument. But it certainly revealed how he felt. And it was just awful. I think their divorce may be sealed in the next few weeks. So it’s so important that you’re convinced and determined to make your marriage work.”

I nodded. “Taking notes.”

Another side eye from her as she continued to move. “You had better. Issa highly important distin to note.” Her tone softened as she continued. “But that aside, I must confess, I’m proud of you, the way you’re handling this. There’s still so much work to be done, but your progress is definitely laudable.”

I had that small smile. I’ve certainly had no regrets about these therapy sessions. Ewurabena is a wonderful therapist. “Thanks. You’re an amazing therapist.”

“Awwww, that’s so sweet to hear. I’ll let you carry Maame Ama one of these days, OK?”

“Ummmmm… OK, I guess? I thought I’m always allowed to carry her whenever Sid and I come…. ah, who’s that guy on the road?”

There was this guy standing aloof on the road. The stretch of road we were on had no street lights and there was a pretty weedy patch of land on the right.

As Ewurabena noticed him, I noticed her grip tighten on the steering wheel. She looked quite apprehensive. It was obvious she was worried that this was potentially an armed robber. She started to shake and quickly said, “Let’s go past him,” stepping on the accelerator and swerving the guy as she moved.

I was taken aback, literally and figuratively, as she moved quickly. My heart was pounding in my chest, suddenly worried what was potentially happening.

Then I heard a voice, presumably that of the guy, shouting, “Hey! Hey! Stop!”

About two seconds later, something terrifying happened.

A guy in a hooded mask suddenly popped out from the weedy area, holding what looked like a golf club. He started wildly waving it, clearly threatening to hit the car.

Already in full panic mode at this point, Ewurabena tried to swerve this guy again. The problem was, she reacted so quickly, the car went into skid mode and she lost control.

The car turned and hit a tree on the other side.

Both of us were unhurt, as it was the back of the car that really made impact with the tree. But at this rate, we were terrified. Encountering these kinds of people was nothing pleasant.

“GET THEM OUT OF THE CAR!”

That voice. That harsh, wild voice that has been hounding me for a while now.

Wait, Razzie??

*****

I simply could not believe what was happening.

We were now inside the weedy area, obviously to prevent people from seeing what was going on. Hands tied between our backs, we were both kneeling in front of Razzie and two other guys. He had this evil look of triumph that sent shivers down my spine. He looked like he was ready to do the very worst to us. The only ‘right’ thing he was doing was keeping a leash on one of the guys who had his sights on Ewurabena. In a very lustful way.

“Chale, big man, wossop, eh? I dey hong ooo. Make I just give am one round,” he pleaded, ready to unbuckle his belt. Ewurabena stared at him in horror as she furiously shook her head, unable to speak because of the gag placed on her mouth.

Razzie gave him a hard look. “Nigga, don’t be stupid! We didn’t come here for this. Don’t touch her!”

The level of terror that had gripped my heart reduced a tiny bit as the guy reluctantly fastened his belt and stood with his hands behind his back.

Razzie, still standing before us, nodded. “So you thought you could get away with it, didn’t you? Not only did you murder an innocent child for nothing, you also had to put me in a position to get beaten by that foolish boy Ali. Hm. Astounding. As for that Ali, he knows by now it’s better to not cross me like that. But as for you… time to do what the useless judiciary crapbox refused to do.”

At this point, I was starting to feel tired. I mean, what at all was all this?

“Razzie, I really don’t know what your problem is,” I said calmly but firmly. “I served time in jail. I just happened to get a presidential pardon. You keep acting like I was charged with murder and found a way out – “

“You’re a murderer! You should be locked up for life, never to taste freedom ever again!” he hissed furiously.

“I am not a murderer!” I shot back.

One of the guys stepped forward, ready to slap me for my response, but Razzie brashly said to him, “Massa, where are you going? Get back and stand there! Nonsense! Did I tell you I need you to do anything?”

The guy stepped back.

I continued. “What is your problem? We were supposed to be friends. The best of friends. Brothers with the tightest of bonds. How did it become like this?”

Razzie sneered, “You really think I was in all this just to be your friend? Idiot! If you think I haven’t forgotten what you did to me back in school?”

I was puzzled. What was it that I had done that had him so mad at me? “What, Razzmatazz? I don’t know what it is you’re talking about. I’ve not…”

“Massa, stop your foolishness!” he snapped. “So you’ve forgotten how you humiliated me with that juice issue?”

Juice issue… juice issue… 

It was one day in school. A young me. Who liked pulling pranks on people every now and then. And that day, I was in a pretty mean mood. Eugene was a victim of my cruelty that day.

The boy had bought Refresh. The mango flavour. For reasons only my infantile mind will be able to explain, I saw the boy drinking his thing with happiness. And what did I do? I marched to the back of the class, where he sat, snatched the drink from him, marched to the front of the class, where he followed me, protesting and demanding I give him back his drink, and I squirted the rest of the drink all over his uniform.

Particularly on his shorts. To make it look as if he had wet himself. The rest of the class joined me as we laughed hard at Eugene and made him real embarrassed.

Definitely not one of the nicest things I’ve ever done. No need to remind me.

But wait…

“Ah, but Razzie, not to discard your feelings or trivialize the issue, but that was in class 4!” I said. “And besides, since we became close, I apologized for that. Didn’t I tell you that I wasn’t proud of what I did to you?”

“That’s not my concern!” he retorted. “Fact is, you made me look like a fool that day, and I’ve never liked you since.”

“But guy, I apologized! And you accepted it! I know I was an immature kid. Naturally, I’d do stupid things…”

“Shut up!” he roared. “I’m under no obligation to accept your apologies and excuses. I can keep whatever is in me, and I can seek revenge whenever I want. I’m not required to forgive you for anything if it’s not in me. You just have no idea how much I waited for your downfall. I came close only to see if you’d go down.”

That statement made me sick to my stomach. I turned to look at Ewurabena, who looked terribly confused by all this.

“You’ve always made me sick. With your fancy little intelligent self. Acting like a nice little gentleman and having everyone treat you as such. I just wanted to see you suffer. Hurt. Dwell in pain. And nothing pisses me off more than the fact that they let you off the hook so easily. Stupid justice system.”

I shook my head. This was just crazy. Now that statement about bearing grudges earlier made a whole lot of sense at that moment. Because what was going on honestly made no sense. None of it.

“Razzie, it was an act of a child. I already showed remorse when we became friends. I can’t believe you held on to this…”

“I DON’T CARE IF IT WAS YEARS AGO! I DON’T CARE IF YOU APOLOGIZED! I DON’T CARE, I DON’T CARE, I DON’T FUCKING CARE!!”

With that enraged outburst, he took the golf club and swung it straight at my ribs.

The exquisiteness of the pain! I keeled over, groaning in agony.

Ewurabena screamed and rushed over to try to help me, but in my state of pain, I heard a “Hey!” and a slap, which sounded quite hefty, followed by a thud to the ground.

I was too overwhelmed by the intense searing pain to see what was going on.

Then I heard Razzie’s voice.

“TAKE HIM OUT!”

Those were the last words I heard before somebody’s boot connected with my head.

And sent me into a state of unconsciousness.

😱😱😱 oh my God! So Razzie really went that far to attack Nii? Goodness!! This don’t look good. Well, the only way we’ll know what happens next is to wait for Monday. Let’s hope for the best…

Categories
Of Voices And Vermin

Of Voices And Vermin #9

Brand new week, y’all!! Thank God for His mercies. On to the next chapter in this #OVAV story!

So it seems like Nii is being pretty wishful at the moment. As to whether his next meeting with Razzie will be a pleasant one is something we can only imagine. In the meantime, though, let’s get back to the story…

“Huh? Are you serious?” Jesse asked incredulously, looking at the long, Ivorian guy sitting across him who used to be his roommate. “Steel, you sure sey inobi joke?”

Steel shook his head. “I’m telling you guys the truth. After we spoke, and she said all the nice and sweet stuff, she had some brief interruption bi, and I held on for a little while. I think she forgot she hadn’t ended the call, and whoever she was speaking with asked who it was, and that’s when I started hearing things.”

So Steel, as I’ve already pointed out by now, is the fourth member of the clique. Tallest among the four of us, and for some reason, Kwabena has influenced us all to rather call him long. He’s in town for a few months. Specifically for the wedding.

And as we sat around the living room in Kwabena’s house, we listened as he told us about a recent relationship which had gone pretty bad.

“So she said what?” Kwabena asked.

Steel sighed. “That she’s never had anything for me. That in all reality, she finds me quite annoying. That she’s just tolerating me for the meantime, and she’ll know what to do with me later. It was about thirty seconds after she said all that, that she realized she never hung up, and that I heard everything.”

The three of us looked at each other, stunned.

Jesse shook his head. “So lemme guess, she start dey beg or something?”

Steel nodded. “Just saying she’s sorry, she’s sorry. But chale, I don’t wanna hear it. All I heard is enough. I can’t continue with a relationship where I’m being tolerated. Never.”

“But the question be sey, what she dey beg for?” I asked. “She doesn’t even want you. This should be a relief for her mpo!”

“Maybe she’s feeling bad or something,” Jesse suggested, shrugging.

“Not good enough,” Kwabena said. “If she know sey she no dey like the guy, why she accept the proposal to begin with? Ino dey make sense. Coz if this relationship gets into marriage, one day one day, e go pop up. Some argument will come up, then you go hear naaa, ‘you kraaa, I was never interested in you. I just considered you out of pity’. Chale, at that point, things go make messy pass.”

“Indeed. Keeping you in the dark never be acceptable,” I added. “Chale, this sucks.”

Steel sighed. “I no go lie you guys, since I got back here, there’s only one person that’s been on my mind.”

We all know who that is. Mawuena.

“Unfortunately, she got married about eight months ago,” he added, shrugging his shoulders in obvious defeat.

“OHHH!!” the three of us exclaimed.

“Yeah. Saw the pictures on Facebook. Any wish that we might come back together officially dashed.”

We all sighed. Damn. We were honestly wishing there would’ve been a reunion.

“Well, chale, nothing you can do at this point,” Kwabena spoke up. “Mawuena move on. You for do same. As for that girl, massa, dawg am!! We, we no go tolerate woman she dey come play plus wana electric pole.”

I’d have insulted Kwabena for that, but to be honest, about a week before we officially became friends in uni, the two of us were mocking him and calling him that. So yeah, I have no moral right to do that.

“See all of us,” Kwabena said as he gestured around our circle. Pointing to himself, he continued, “Kwabena and Ewurabena. Love brewed in a Tuesday pot.”

I shook my head. This idiot and his nonfa things.

Pointing at Jesse, he continued, “Jess and Kess. E-S-S. Edinaman Secondary School.”

Idiot!” Jesse responded, laughing.

Then, finally, at me. “And Sidney and Bambi. Disneyland in Australia.”

“Herh, you are a fool, OK?” I said, also in stitches.

“We’re all happy. And once you’re one of us, you’ll by all means be happy as well in your future relationship. I promise you.”

Steel nodded. “Chale, you guys be my support system. I’m so glad I’m here. I know I’ll make it through this season…  oh, by the way, this guy too marry oo. Kuuku.”

The look on Kwabena’s face slowly turned from friendly to scornful. “That guy?” he asked. “I see. If he no change, then by now, he buy leash give the wifey.”

“Ahhhh, Kwabena!”

“Ah, but I dey lie? See them times he then Hazel dey. Small hug, the guy go watch you with some evil eye, like you dey finger am. Meanwhile too, he go go hide some corner smooching that hypodermic needle called Aliya.”

“Herh, Kwabena!” I keeled over in laughter. “You are a mad man, wati?”

*****

“Okay, okay, the best part of the song dey come,” I said excitedly as the final chorus of Mary J. Blige’s classic “Be Without You” started.

“Chale, my voice no make ready ooo,” Jesse said teasingly.

“My friend, behave yourself,” I warned him.

“Okayyy, here it comes,” Steel said. The four of us took deep breaths, and in unison with Mary, belted out.

CALL THE RADIO IF YOUU JUST CAN’T BE WITHOUT YOUR BAAAABY!

HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEYYYYY-EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!

Listen, none of us ever stay silent when that song is on. The sweeping sound you hear when it begins is like a caffeine kick to us. Even in our individual places, we don’t stay silent. So our ladies are always super annoyed when the song comes on.

If Ewurabena had been around, she’d definitely pop in with a rather irritated face. But she was out with Jemima.

“Alright, that was fun,” Steel commented as we took a moment to give your overstretched voice boxes a rest.

“Oh yeah!” Jesse agreed. “It’s unfortunate we forgot totally about it at my wedding. But no worries.”

“Yeah, chale. Good old times,” Kwabena added, a stupid smirk on his face.

“Yeah. OK, now time to see how well prepared we are for the Kupe formation,” I announced. We all had smirks on our faces as Steel stood up to try out. Truth is, Steel is a pretty bad dancer, so he needed the most attention.

“See, make you no slack ooo. Ibi simple dance, wey ibi your French boys naaa them make the dance popular,” Kwabena instructed him as he scrolled through his phone to get the song. “We no go spend more than 15 minutes for your top, you dey hear?”

“See some hard instructor things he dey do for there,” I scoffed, shoving him on the shoulder.

The beat came on. Steel straightened himself.

“OK, now. It’s all about the movement of the hands. And some waist flexibility…”

*****

Ewurabena stepped out of the car, grabbing the polythene bags by her side. As Kwabena took Jemima out of the car, the rest of us stepped off the veranda and burst out loud, singing, “Welcome to the Hotel California!!”

A totally nonfa welcome. We just felt like being crazy.

Of course, Ewurabena is used to our moments of craziness as a group. She’d have to, anyway. The love of her life is the craziest among us. “The clique is back, isn’t it? Hello guys!” she said with a little laugh, giving us all hugs before mentioning how tired she was. As Kwabena came with the baby, she seemed rather happy to see Jesse, and reached out to him.

“Heyyyyyy, baby girrrrllll!!” Jesse gushed as he took her from her father’s arms. “Maame Ama ooo, dende! Do you know your best friend will be coming in a couple of months?”

A baby scream was her response.

“I knooowwwwwww!! Me and Auntie Kessewaa are excited too, you know…”

“Sidney! Can I see you for a minute?” Ewurabena called as she entered. I turned and followed her.

As she placed the polythene bags on the dining table, she said, “Yeah, so Sidney, I just wanted to personally give you an update on how Nii is doing. So we’ve been going through the rationalization process, and there’s still a lot of room for improvement. Inasmuch as he’s coming to terms with the accident, it’s like he still apportions some blame to himself concerning the fallout with Razzie. Has he said anything like that?”

“Nope, but he’s thinking that a meeting with Razzie would be good. The problem is, this guy goes berserk whenever he sees Nii. Begins his foolishness and all. And after the last time they met each other, this guy got beaten up because the other guy wasn’t happy with his misbehaviour. So to ask for a cordial meeting is not realistic, if you think about it.”

Ewurabena nodded. “Yeah, that’s true. We still need to work through it. It still looks like he feels responsible for how Razzie has become. We’ve been through the whole offending him stuff and all. But there’s still that lingering belief…”

I shook my head and sighed. “Well, it’s still a process, right?”

“Oh yeah, of course. We’re still working through it. Just wanted to update you on it. There’s still a lot of room for improvement, but he’s getting through it. I’m praying we really make headway within the next 3 months. So just keep praying for him and helping him out at home. At least, he said the sleepless nights are decreasing. That’s a relief. So just keep the support up, alright?”

“Alright,” I said, nodding as she took one of the polythene bags into the kitchen.

OK, so that was basically a boyz-boyz moment we had for today’s episode. But we had a little update on what’s up with Nii. Stay tuned for Friday’s episode. What an episode it will be! 😏😏

Categories
Of Voices And Vermin

Of Voices And Vermin #8

It’s Friday!!! Y’all know what that means… it’s time for part 8 of #OVAV!!

So we’re getting into a pretty dark period of the story. Anybody feel like there are some dark clouds over this thing? Well… let’s see if it’s gonna rain or something…

“… so this guy just started shouting from the back of the trotro about how this government is useless, and how he regrets voting them into power. Then some lady responded, saying what he was shouting is just foolishness. Then, before I knew it, about half of the people in the car jumped into the dispute and it became a full-blown argument. Eii, these NDC and NPP issues. What Daddy watches on UTV every evening has already made me tired of politics.”

“Na who isn’t tired of Ghana politics?” Sidney said. “We’re all tired of them. If only some third party could step into the picture. Like we’ll get rid of these two annoying parties, and let them stay in opposition till Jesus comes.”

I nodded.

That was Bambi’s brother, Jerome, by the way. Every time we meet with him or speak to him, we have to gear up for a new episode of Trotro Diaries. His experiences of the daily trotro hustle. He had already filled us in on the experience of passengers talking aloud on the phone and China phones with ringtones louder than ghetto speakers. Side-splitting, for sure.

All four of us – Sidney, Bambi, Jerome and myself – were spending the day at Aburi Gardens. We had had quite a great time. The long walk, me engaging in little banter while we watched our siblings hold hands and smile at each other. The plenty selfies we took. Or should we call them groupies, since it was all four of us?

Eh, don’t know. Don’t care.

giphy

Anyways, after the long walk around, Jerome’s stories were the dessert for what had been a very relaxing and enjoyable day. And of course, the one about the politics argument definitely hit home. Encountered quite a lot of them myself.

“If Mummy heard this, eh, you’ll be in big trouble,” Bambi said to Sidney.

He laughed. “That’s why whenever she starts up, I’m just silent and nodding plenty. Ei, you want me to tell her I’m tired of her party and all their concert tactics? Babe, those schnapps drinks aren’t cheap oo. I don’t want her to come and tell me to take my thing, so she keeps her distin. I beg.”

******

With Jerome fast asleep in the back seat with me, obviously worn out from the day’s activities, I was checking out the latest stuff on social media, not paying too much attention to the match between Everton and Tottenham on the radio.

I typed out Razzie’s name in the search box on Twitter.

His profile did not show up, as expected.

So the suspension was real. His account truly had been taken off by Twitter. Can’t say it wasn’t deserved, though. All the horrid stuff he tweeted was definitely unacceptable. It might have been in a fit of rage, but Ali did the right thing.

I pressed the Latest button on the site, and quite a few tweets about him were on display. The overarching theme in the tweets I saw was that of disgust for the guy. A few people had created threads, outlining his toxic attitude and how beneficial to GH Twitter his suspension is. It was just one guy who was scornfully mocking how ‘soft’ people on Twitter are, and how ‘he wouldn’t have been the victim of this nonsensical witch-hunt 8 years ago, when Twitter was actually fun’. Smh. The responses he got showed just how lowly thought of his opinion was.

I switched over to Instagram.

To be honest, I’ve never been that much of a social media person, but after the prison stint, I’m starting to get the hang of all the apps. Instagram in particular.

The first picture to appear on my screen as it loaded up was a picture of my favourite couple.

Kwabena and Ewurabena were on a little weekend getaway at Sogakope Beach Resort, and the 10 pictures she had uploaded made it clear they were having a serious blast. And of course, the intense lover she is – honestly, in the little time I’ve gotten to really know Ewurabena, she’s way beyond the hopeless romantic title – Ewurabena had one sappy, love-soaked caption that will have any gnasher wailing “God, where is mine ooooo?”

Every day spent with you is a reminder of how precious and cherished I am by God. I wouldn’t trade you for anything, my king. Not even for all the Auntie Muni waakye. I love you, Sugar Cake,” I read silently before swiping through the various pictures. “Ei! Jesus, I see what you’re doing for others, and I want that for me.”

Yeah, that new meme has definitely caught my attention in recent times.

Sidney heard my statement. “Lemme guess, Kwabena and Ewura have uploaded a picture on IG, right?”

“Picture? Pictures!! They’re not playing with that Sogakope trip.”

“Lemme see, lemme see!” Bambi cut in excitedly, reaching for the phone. As I handed it to her, she looked at the pictures with so much delight on her face. “Awwwww, God, they’re so beautiful… just look at those comments… 6, 7, 8! Eight people have already put up the hashtag Relationship Goals.”

“That’s no surprise. I’m sure the heart-eyed emojis are in abundance.”

“Of course, jor!”

She continued to swipe and observe. “Awwwww, look at the way she’s gazing at him… baby, look. Isn’t it just splendid and glorious?”

Having stopped at a traffic light, Sidney turned his eyes toward the screen. “Herh, Sugar Cake!! Ei, this girl wants to destroy her teeth, eh?”

“Herh, behave yourself! Focus on the pictures.”

“Oh yeah, it’s lovely… hoh, see some stupid eyebrow eyi Kwabena is trying to do. He’s lucky we’ll all focus on the puppy eyes Ewurabena gave him. Jon move!”

Bambi gave him that Squidward look. “Sidney Allotey, really?”

“See, it is a jon move. Remind me, when we get you and Romie home, I’m calling them to blast them both. Kwabena for that silly eyebrow thing, and Ewurabena for letting the world know she doesn’t care about her dentition.”

Bambi did the facepalm as he moved, snickering and stealing glances at her. “You’re not correct,” she said.

*****

“So, Sid,” I said as I opened the door to the house, “I was thinking of something.”

“Wossop?”

I hesitated a bit, already guessing what his response would be.

“So… I was wondering… like, maybe… possibly… we could – I mean, it doesn’t have to be me alone, we can go with a couple of other people. Maybe Kwabena and…”

Sidney eyed me suspiciously. “Owula! You are not the stammering, stretching type. Especially with me. What’s up?”

I took a deep breath. “I was thinking we could possibly sort this out by meeting Razzie and talking with him.”

As I expected, Sidney shook his head right away. “No, bro. That ain’t it. The way things are right now…”

“But I’ve been thinking. Wouldn’t it be the best? I mean, you never know. If we all go, and seek to meet with him, it’s possible we can have a level-headed conversation with him, and we can find out where all this started from and how we can solve it. Especially with the whole jealousy angle.”

Sidney’s look made it obvious he was not having it. “My brother, I think the past few encounters you’ve had with him make it clear that an attempt to have a logical dispute resolution meeting with him would not go well. Listen, after that scuffle with the Ali guy, I don’t think he’s going to want to play nice the next time he sets those perverted eyeballs on you. You already know you should be careful now.”

I sighed. “I get it, I get it. It’s just that… with the warnings and all, I still somehow doubt if he would really cause that much harm. I mean, he’s not the strongest of guys… actually, he’s not strong at all. Easily gets beaten.”

Sidney laughed at that. “Oh, I know. Such a weak nigga.” Then his face turned serious. “But on a serious note, I don’t think it’s the best for now. He might not be strong, but such guys can find other means to be dangerous. I don’t think it’s wise for us to meet with him now. He’s apparently still mad with this Ali guy. Bring yourself into the picture, and he might do something drastic. So please, not now. If the heat dies down and we can find a way, we’ll try. I’d also want to understand the jealousy angle, and if it’s real. But not now.”

I felt slightly disappointed. But I guess he was right. I was the reason they fought, anyways, and it was possible he might do something crazy. So I just said, “OK, no problem. Later, then,” and went to the kitchen.

As I lay in bed later on that night, all I could think about was the possibility of meeting with Razzie. From insane outbursts of hatred to calm, peaceful talks. All those scenarios played themselves in my mind’s eye.

I shook my head vigorously after the last scenario had Razzie wildly throwing a chair at me. Rolling over to lie on my back, I put my hands behind my head. As I looked up at the ceiling, I had one prayer.

“Dear Lord, let it be that the next time Razzie and I meet, it’ll be peaceful, and we can straighten things out.”

Mmmmmm, well!! Is this some genuine hope, or is Nii being naive? What do you think is gonna happen the next time he meets with his former best friend? Well, the story is nearing its end, so we’re definitely gonna find out soon. Enjoy your weekend! Your MCM will be back on Monday!

Categories
Of Voices And Vermin

Of Voices and Vermin #7

Issa new week! Which means, it’s time for your bi-weekly dose of #OVAV!!

So last week had a slightly ugly twist to it. That fight was not really expected. Looks like things are set to take a pretty dark turn. Let’s find out…

“Oh, damn it!” Kwabena groaned, pressing the buttons on the controller frantically as he tried to get his defenders to catch up.

Too late, though. I had Griezmann well in the clear, and Ter Stegen was totally at my mercy. I could either chip the ball over him, lash that ball into the back of the net or round the keeper and end with a simple tap-in.

I went for option number 3. The satisfaction of a late, late winner cannot be over or underestimated. Sweetest feeling everrr!

“Aaaargh!” Kwabena huffed, throwing himself back into the sofa. “Diego Simeone frustrates the Blaugrana yet again. Ahh!”

“Haha! Antoine, wati!!” I boasted, one finger in the air as I triumphantly watched the replay.

I think I must be the only Atletico Madrid fan in Ghana. Not the ASU thing squad likes doing if they’re facing Real or Barca oo. Like, real, real fan. Been supporting them long before the days of Kun Aguero and Diego Forlan were leading the pack. You can imagine how hyper I was when we won the La Liga in 2014. Kwabena actually avoided me for a week; he knew I was gonna troll him mercilessly.

“This your style be annoying pass,” Kwabena grumbled.

“Massa, this be wana style. We no dey play plus defense things,” I shot back. “Why else Oblak get crazy clean sheet levels?”

Kwabena let out a Mtcheww. “You make lucky sey the R1 and L2 buttons be mixed up give me. Like your China Wall go collapse.”

Jesse let out a laugh. “Ha! Vintage FIFA excuse.”

Kwabena gave him the side eye. “Massa, you, your case dey disqualify you from commentary oo.”

Kwabena had given him a 6-0 whopping. With the little Argentine scoring all the goals. No guessing who he’d choose between Leo and Cristiano.

I got up to get a bottle of Smirnoff Ice from the fridge for Kwabena. As I shut the fridge door and returned to the living room, Jesse’s phone rang. It was wifey. He picked up and spoke to her.

“So yesterday, Bambi and I finally met with the folks, and we’ve decided on a date,” I announced proudly.

“Oh, finally!” Kwabena said, choosing to use his teeth as an opener. Tossing the bottle cap on the table, he continued, “You know the way I dey prepare my Kupe moves for house? Ewurabena dey there dey laugh laugh me sey my moves be wack…”

“Guys,” Jesse interjected. He had just hung up and had a serious look on his face. “Kessewaa just told me about some important meeting. Some emergency meeting bi like that.”

Kwabena and I looked at him with curiousity. “Ei, wossop? Some FBI lie bi anaa?” Kwabena asked.

“She say some gentleman bi call am. E dey concern Nii.”

I stiffened up.

Ever since the ugly incident at the Marina Mall which Nii told me about, I’ve been super apprehensive concerning his safety. What bothers me the most is how that deranged fool is allegedly jealous of him. I mean, that makes no sense. Why in the world should that Razzie toke be jealous of Nii?

“This guy happens to know the guy who  got into that fight with Razzie last week. So he figured out that by me knowing you, he could get through Kessewaa to speak to you. She said it’s really urgent. He wants us to meet him at the Accra Mall in the next hour.”

“Well, at least, it’s a Sunday, so we don’t have to worry about traffic. Chale, let’s go.”

******

Kessewaa stood outside the gate as we arrived at Jesse’s house.

“Hey, guys,” she greeted as she waited for Jesse to get down from the car and assist her in.

“Eish, Abena Kessewaa! Asayy, the pregnancy glow is real!” I teased as she took her seat.

She laughed gently.

I looked to my side, saw a silly smirk on Kwabena’s face, and in the mirror, I saw a similar one form on Jesse’s face. I immediately said, “Hey, hey, hey, hey, make you niggas no start that….”

“RICHOCOOOOOOOOO!!!” the two of them gleefully cheered.

SMH.

So, Kessewaa has this interesting kind of laughter. Deep throated and hearty, if I have to describe it. One day, while she and Jesse were still in the dating phase, she was laughing, and guess what?

Kwabena suddenly says her laughter reminds him of a rich hot cup of Milo.

The wheels in that guy’s head, eh. They need oiling.

Jesse too added his own, and even said Richoco is more appropriate, because of the use of the word ‘rich’. And now, whenever both of them are around her, and she laughs, they break out into ridiclous Richoco chants.

There was only one thing on my mind as I shook my head and moved the car as they continued with the chants.

Scar and I are definitely in the same boat right now.

scar

****

The four of us arrived at the Second Cup shop. In the corner of the shop sat a gentleman, who waved at us once we entered.

“Lemme get us some cappucinos. The rest of you can go and sit down,” Kwabena said.

So we went to the table where he was and took our seats.

“Hey guys. I’m glad you could come. I know this was rather impromptu and all, but I’ve had this really uncomfortable feeling that I just can’t ignore, so I had to call Abena and ask her to inform you about it ASAP,” the gentleman began.

“So, my name is Daniel, as Abena has hopefully told you by now. I’m good friends with this guy named Ali, who used to be really cool with Razzie…”

“Isn’t that the guy who got into a fight with Razzie not too long ago?” I asked.

Daniel nodded. “That’s the one. They had a pretty acrimonious split, because of Razzie’s lifestyle. Refuses to get a job, just plays games all day, sometimes just goes to roam about at the malls, insults people recklessly on social media… all those things. Tried to advise him, but the guy was just too dismissive. And it was the whole issue about your brother that really caused the friendship to end, because like everyone else, Ali thought he was just being illogical and silly.”

“Well, he is, isn’t he?” Kessewaa said. “Acting like Nii is some dangerous killer bi that holds a knife in one hand and a gun on the other. It’s just ridiculous.”

“Of course! Ali and I were talking about it some time ago at Papaye. Everyone knows it was an accident. It’s just unfortunate he fell foul of the law and had to go to prison. Because chale, the guilt alone is too much to deal with. I’m sure he’s going through therapy, because that situation can haunt you for life.”

“He is. Things are getting better,” I responded, moving my chair as Kwabena arrived with the drinks.

“Thank God for that. Well, that was just a little by the way. The reason I called you here is that I have this really disturbing feeling deep down in my gut. Keeps telling me to warn you guys to be extra watchful over Nii… that’s his name, right?”

“Yeah, Nii Ajei. But why?” I asked, a little wave of fear starting to wash over me.

The others leaned forward, also visibly worried. “Has that Razzie guy said he plans to hurt him or something?” Kwabena asked.

“No, there’s nothing to that extent that I know of. And if there’s anyone he may be planning to hurt, he hasn’t mentioned Nii’s name. The truth is, he’s really, really mad at Ali, as far as I know. After the fight, I found out from Ali that he did what everyone else has been pretty lax at doing. He reported Razzie’s Twitter account, and the account has been suspended.”

“Well, that’s a blessing to humanity,” I remarked. “It’s absolutely horrible how vile and acidic that account of his is.”

“So I heard from Ali,” Daniel replied. “I actually saw a few of the tweets about Nii. Senseless and horrible, to say the least. But, I’m worried about Ali. He mainly did it to hit back at him. Although he did all of us a favour at the end of the day. I’m worried Razzie might go an extra mile to hurt him back, especially when you factor in how he got pummeled at the Mall. “

Kessewaa looked worried. “You think he might try to stab him or something?”

“I wouldn’t put it past him.”

“Then that would make him one hell of a hypocrite,” Jesse said, shaking his head. “Constantly condemning Nii for what happened, yet you’re willing to hurt someone like that?”

Daniel shrugged. “The guy’s insane, chale. It’s quite obvious. He’s the only one in this “NII IS GUILTY” parade because we all know this was an accident that just played out real bad. If he’s that insane, then he can definitely practice the same thing he’s ‘preaching’ against.”

“But, there’s one question I really want to ask. Nii said Ali told Razzie to stop being jealous of him. As in Nii. Where the hell did that come from?”

Daniel sighed. “Nobody but Razzie can confirm that. But, Ali was skeptical about it, and I was like, jealousy has to play a factor in this whole illogicality. I mean, when you’re jealous of a person, you’ll go to the lowest of depths to try and downplay them and their person, and woe betides them if something bad happens. The jealous one will magnify them to unbelievable heights.”

“But what at all is there to be jealous about? They were tight friends, for goodness sake! Where from the jealousy?”

“Hmmmmm. Well, I’m not saying that it is most definitely jealousy that is the major reason, it’s an assumption. But I believe it has a role of some sort. Only Razzie will know. And… some people you think are your biggest supporters can be those praying for your downfall. They’ll smile with you and all, but chale, behind your back, they’re just itching for you to fail.”

“Hmmmm. Chale, that one too be true oo,” Kwabena said. “All this is pretty much proof.”

“But guys, all I can say is that for now, just be careful. This Razzie guy is sick. It’s almost certain he’ll want revenge on Ali, but he might want to do something to Nii as well. I’m really sorry I’ve had to get you all worried. I’m super worried myself about Ali since it’s more likely in his case, but I don’t want anything bad to happen to your bro. He’s had enough torment since the accident. The last thing he needs is for someone to try and hurt him.”

Well, well, well, things are getting someway. What comes next? Your MCM ain’t too sure yet. But stay tuned, do what you gotta do for the week, and come back on Friday for the next episode!

 

Categories
Of Voices And Vermin

Of Voices and Vermin #6

How’s your week been? Good, I hope. Well, whatever it is, it’s time for Friday’s edition of #OVAV!

Well, for today’s episode, let’s just say it’s gonna be kinda raw. Put on your seat belt and let’s ride!!

“Come here, girl.”

I heard Sidney’s voice from inside the house. Shaking my head as I continued to read my book, I heard a giggle follow a few seconds later. Then I heard him again. Maintaining the low tone he had already used.

“Why you gotta be so fine, babe?”

The giggles started again. I could easily guess what was going on. He had his arms around her waist and was murmuring sweet distins into her ear. I couldn’t hear the rest of whatever he was murmuring, but I knew one title would be in there. One title he loves using on her.

Cute Caramel Cupcake.

Sounds extremely corny to me. But hey, I’m not Miss Bambi Darkwah, and it’s not meant for me to get ‘flushed and flustered’, as she usually says, so lemme mind my business.

“Sidney, stop that! You know how flushed and flustered I get whenever you do this.”

My point proven right there.

“Hehe, I know. Just reminding you how I can’t wait till you’re finally mine.”

“Awww, baby boy. I can’t wait, too. Won’t be too long till you’re my king for life…”

“And I’ll step up this little thing I’m doing, and oh, what an experience it’ll be.”

“Oh, you naughty man!”

Sidney and Bambi with their lovi-lovi escapades.

I cleared my throat pretty loud, just to let them know I could hear them.

Both voices rang out. “WE DON’T CARE!!”

Whenever they start getting all comfy and romantic and all, I do that as a way of telling them, “Get a room!” Yeah, they get cozy a lot. It’s pretty amazing how they’ve managed to keep away from second base.

Anyways… so the past few days have been slightly better. Sleeping used to be close to impossible, with the constant internal accusations and the overwhelming weight on my shoulders, but it’s getting lesser. Seeing all those horrible words from Razzie had me slipping back, but Ewurabena has been helping me to rationalize the whole situation. Reminding me that the whole incident was a mistake that just ended up really badly, and there’s no point in dwelling over it and letting it rule my future. She gave me this verse that she said has helped her so much: Isaiah 43:18-19. Pretty mind-blowing scripture, I must say. God saying He’ll make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert?! Sensational!

It hasn’t exactly been easy getting it through my head, though. There’s always this pulling force that tries to convince me it’s all poppycock, and I’m never getting out of this dark hole. I guess it’s not meant to be easy. Hopefully, I’ll get through it.

As I sat outside, half continuing the John Grisham book and half eavesdropping on their little lovi-lovi talk (I know I previously said I don’t like eavesdropping, but… these two are sometimes an exception), I got a buzz from my phone. I checked it. A certain group chat on Whatsapp had a message I’d been waiting for. Upon checking it, I hopped up from the chair I was on, ready to go inside and get ready to meet a few peeps at the mall.

Entering the house, I saw the two lovebirds on the couch, Bambi leaning on one side of the couch. She was shaking her head as I passed by, hearing Sidney crooning the chorus to Kojo Antwi’s ‘Bome Nkomo De’.

As soon as I stopped to listen to my big brother, a grin of approval on my face, his lady immediately said, “Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey! Issokay. Don’t come and turn this into another Mr. MusicMan for President campaign, I beg.”

Mr and Mrs Allotey successfully turned their three children (yeah, we have a younger sister. Daisy. Based in the UK at the moment) into hardcore Kojo Antwi fans, and Sid and I never cease to remind Bambi about it. In outlandish ways. And she’s pretty tired of it. Too bad we’re not. I once said the beginning of Afofanto massages my muscles, and she gave me a serious Squidward look. You know, that classic ‘you canNOT be serious’ kind of look.

squidward

“Chale, quick confirmation, Nii,”Sidney said. “Between Ed Sheeran’s ‘Perfect’ and Kojo’s ‘Medofo Pa‘, which one is a better choice for our first dance?”

“Oh, brother,” Bambi groaned, doing the facepalm as she already knew what was coming.

“Ah, Sid, this isn’t even up for debate. Kojo all the way! Most underrated love song of all time. I don’t even understand…”

*******

“Alright, I’ll be in touch then. All the best!” my old mate Nessa said as she waved and went back up the escalator.

“Sure thing. Later!” I replied as I walked out of the Marina Mall. I managed to meet an old friend who works with Jobberman. A pretty fruitful meeting, and hopefully, I can get out of the unemployment phase. It’s not been easy since I got out of prison.

As I walked to the car, I noticed a moderately tall guy walking in my direction. I looked at his face.

It looked like the Ali guy I had heard in the Papaye restaurant.

As I opened the car door, I heard someone shout “HEY! HEY!”, but my attention wasn’t on that. I got into the car and slammed the door shut. As I turned the key in the ignition, however, I got a pretty scary surprise.

I was startled by a pounding on the other window.

Frightened, I looked to see an angry face staring at me.

It was Razzie!!

“Hey you, you good-for-nothing murderer, what the hell are you doing here?”

I was not just frightened, but seriously confused. Why in the world was he so hung up on turning me into a heartless monster?

I just stared at him, totally befuddled, unsure of what to do or say. He screamed a few more obscenities.

Just then, I heard another “Hey!” and within a few seconds, the dude who looked like the Ali guy came up and shoved Razzie away from the car.

As I opened the door, I heard him say, “Massa, what be your problem? Hoh! Why, the kiddie e die be your son or what? Shun this your foolish life then lef am!”

“Oh wow, Ali,” Razzie said, looking genuinely surprised at the interruption. “So you too dey defend this killer?”

“Commot for there! This no be defense matter. Ibi sense matter. This madness no dey hia.”

WMT no dey hia! Aboa taa!”

I was taken aback by that. Razzie hated that expression back then. Now here he was, using it so freely.

The look on Ali’s face made it pretty clear he was not happy with the use of that expression at all.

And you know what solidified it? The subsequent punch he delivered to Razzie’s face that, if I should be honest, reminded me of the Mayweather v Ortiz fight.

mayweatherortiz

I quickly rushed to stop the fight. Which, in reality, was actually a pummeling. Razzie was already dazzled by that first punch, and couldn’t do anything about the three or four other shots to his face. As I struggled to keep Ali from delivering further damage to his face, two security guards also came around, and helped to separate the two.

As one of them dragged Ali away from the scene, he yelled, “Kwasia boy! Grow up, Razzie! Stop being jealous of the guy and magnifying his errors! Get a life!”

Razzie, who was also being escorted out of the parking area by the other guard, drowsily responded, “Fuck you and fuck that murderer.”

As I walked away from the scene, I took a few deep breaths and reminded myself not to let his words take me down.

But as I sat back in the car, I was in a state of confusion. Why did Ali say he should stop being jealous of me? Why in the world would Razzie be jealous of me?

I shook my head as I moved out of the parking lot, the little crowd that had witnessed the fight starting to disperse. All I could wonder as I drove away…

Why would Razzie be jealous of me?

Chale! Things got pretty ugly. Looks like the Ali dude and Razzie are really on bad terms with each other now. But… is jealousy really the reason for all this outlandish behaviour? Indeed, why would he be jealous of Nii? And do you agree with the Allotey boys on their love for Kojo Antwi? Loooool. Well, have a blessed weekend, and remember you’ll know more to the story on Monday

Categories
Of Voices And Vermin

Of Voices and Vermin #5

Hey y’all!! Hope your weekend was good. I trust it was. And now, to lighten up your Monday morning is the continuation of #OVAV!!!

No time to waste, let’s get into the story… oh, by the way, you’ve probably noticed how the trend goes for Mondays and Fridays, right? Of course you have. Now let’s get into it…

The look of absolute surprise on my face as the song being played on Citi FM faded out had Jesse laughing as he drove me home that Friday night.

“Herh! When you started laughing and saying, ‘this song eh’, I thought you were referring to how it was such a jam back then. But after telling me to listen… ei, how did this thing pass over our heads like that?”

“Chale, like, two weeks ago, I was on my way home, and the song was on. Suddenly, the second verse just stuck out to me, and I was like, ah, wait. Ibi like them dey pass some corner bi. I listen critically, wey I check the lyrics. That be when my brain bost.”

“Nahhh, see. After discovering this, any lingering fragments of innocence in me have been extinguished.”

“Ha! This one be small. Me, I lose my innocence the day I watch some film bi. GH film. Man of the house no dey fit plant seed, wey he travel, so wifey target the innocent houseboy. She call am come the bedroom inside. The boy see sey she dey want the tin, wey he start dey shake gidigidi. The woman talk very calmly. ‘I want you to tear me apart’.”

“Sosket!!” I gasped. “Herh, this be devastatingly raw.”

“Sensationally raw, chale. The scene just ruin me. She be big lady like Kessewaa too, so imagine.”

Kessewaa is Jesse’s wife, and she’s pretty voluptuous, so that must have been quite a scene.

“But chale, wouldn’t be bad if Bambi said that to me after we get married…”

“My guy, easy with the imaginations, lah! You’re still not at the table yet. Put a ring on it for real.”

I rolled my eyes. Among the four of us, Steel and I are the unmarried guys, and Kwabena and Jesse like lording it over us. Jesse got married last year, and Kessewaa is already carrying their first child at the moment. Steel… well, as far as we know, he’s still searching. It’s likely the pain of not being able to go the whole mile with Mawuena hasn’t really worn off. Chale. That couple was the most envied back in school; we were all so convinced that they’d be one of the first couples from our year group to get married. Ah well, things don’t always go the way we expect them to…

“Goweyu! I’m allowed to dream.”

“Ayoooooo! By the way, how far with the plans?”

“Yeah, we dey work on them low key. The official date go come out soon.”

“Nice, nice. Abi you know sey we dey do Kupe formation at the reception?”

“Gidigidi kraaa!”

“You know the deal, right? When the groom and his guys step on the dance floor…”

The two of us exclaimed, “Mooore mbɛlɛde!”

*******

As I opened the door and entered the house, I saw Nii seated on the couch, silent.

“You good, bro?”

He remained silent, seemingly oblivious to my greeting.

I decided to get closer to him to see if he was OK. I noticed his Huawei P20 lying by his side as he seemed to deliberate on something.

“Nii?”

He slowly looked up at me. A familiar tortured look on his face. Those voices must have been at it again.

I sat down beside him. “Talk to me, bro. I’m listening.”

He sighed. “I overheard something concerning me and Razzie. At Papaye.”

My first instinct was to stiffen up.

He noticed it and quickly added, “Not that the person was talking about me per se. The main topic was Eugene.

“So I somehow overhead these two guys at their table talking about him. One guy was complaining about him, that he has become aimless and is doing nothing with his life. All he does is play games and do silly stuff on Twitter.”

I shook my head. I knew that boy quite well, and although I wouldn’t say he was the most ambitious young man on the planet, he certainly never showed any traits of being an aimless fool.

“I also heard he discovered I’m out of prison, and he went on a Twitter rant. Insulting the whole judiciary. Still calling me a murderer. The like. So I just got myself an account, and searched for him. And…”

The way he drifted off made it obvious. He was crushed.

I reached for his phone and pressed the home button. The screen revealed Razzie’s Twitter profile.

Scrolling through it, I was filled with rage, disgust and bewilderment.

How the hell did this guy become such a horrible human being?

It wasn’t just the fact that he was unfairly targeting Nii yet again, it was the unapologetic and uncouth manner in which he spewed abuse at so many people. It was just unbelievable.

“Ah, but how do you live like this? All I see is savagery…. how come nobody has reported him…. herh, herh, herh, what’s the meaning of this? Ei, how do you say such things about the Attorney General? What is the meaning of all this? Nahhhh, I’m horrified. This is pathetic… and there we go. He says it’s just Twitter. See, I dislike when people say this sort of nonsense. You act like a goat on social media and you expect us to believe you’re a dove in person? Hoh!”

“It’s my fault, isn’t it?” Nii quietly asked.

My attention immediately switched to his statement. “What?”

“I can’t help but feel like all this is down to that awful day. That my actions sparked this whole change in attitude, and aside our friendship, I’m responsible for the person he’s become now.” He shook his head and stared into oblivion. “Boy. Some life wrecker I’ve turned out to be.”

I looked at him, feeling sad. Man, it’s nothing short of awful what he’s enduring. The voices constantly fighting to keep him stuck in the quicksand of guilt and shame.

I put my arm around his shoulder, pulled him closer to me, and wrapped him in a hug. I felt his stiff shoulders relax as I embraced him.

“Listen, Nii,” I began, “you’re my little man, and I love you. You mean a lot to me. Never forget that, ok?”

“Yes, Sid.”

“Good. Now listen to me: don’t beat yourself up over Eugene’s life choices. As far as this issue is concerned, he has no reason to switch up on you the way he did. Besides, his behaviour alone shows it has to be deeper than just the accident. The family was upset, but nobody was cursing you as brutally as he was. We just don’t know why. But if he’s chosen to become an aimless twat who just abuses everyone without remorse, that’s his choice. You don’t have to account for that in any way.”

“You know, the Ali guy was saying he suspects I did something to turn him against me. That’s all I’ve been thinking about since I got home. Couldn’t even eat well. Yet… I just can’t find that thing…”

“It’s alright, Nii Ajei. We’ve been through this. We thought through everything, and we’re still yet to find any reason why he’d be upset with you. In any case, even if there was a reason to be mad at you, there’s no justification whatsoever for acting like you’re the GH version of George Zimmerman. You never meant it. So please, don’t let this be a new burden on your shoulders.”

Nii silently nodded. “Alright.”

As I let him go, I reminded him, “And no, you are not a life wrecker. Remember how you saved your future sister-in-law that day at the mall?”

So while she was doing her national service, Bambi encountered this catcalling creep at the mall. One of those idiots who think there’s an 11th commandment for women that states: Thou shalt respond and quickly run to a guy when he calls you. She wasn’t interested in stopping for him, and he quickly followed her and got a little nasty. Just as he was about grabbing her, Nii saw it and fiercely stepped in to tell the guy to back off. The guy was not amused and even threatened to beat Nii up, but chale, when Ga blood boils over, you better respect yourself. He walked away.

About three months later, we discovered that he had been arrested for rape.

Nii stopped to think about that for a moment, then cracked a little smile. “Yeah, I remember.”

“Exactly. If you were, only God knows what would have happened to Bambi that day.”

As I stood up, I made him look up at me. “Nii, you will get through this. It definitely will not be easy. But you will win this. And always remember I’m here for you, alright? Your big brother loves you.”

That little smile returned, and he got up to hug me. “I love you too, Sid.”

As we separated, he said, “You know a lot of guys would have a lot of problems with this, right?”

A quick, short Mtcheww departed from my lips in response. “Please, they can go to hell with their fragile masculinity! Chale, if you didn’t finish the food, I’m taking some of the chicken. And put the PS4 on. Time for me to use Mbappe to teach you one or two lessons.”

Lol, Sidney certainly has no issues with showing affection to his brother. How sweet! But then again, there’s still that little question of why this Razzie guy hates Nii so much. We’re gonna find out, aren’t we? And whether Nii will make it through this period of depression. In due time, we will. Episode 6 on Friday!!

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Of Voices And Vermin

Of Voices and Vermin #4

Thank God it’s Friday!!! Not just because another working week is pretty much over. But because… it’s time for episode 4 of #OVAV (yep, your MCM is employing the hashtag distin for this one. lol)

So Sidney had a veeerrry short encounter with Nii’s former best friend, and we’re probably wondering what comes next. Well, the story keeps unfolding with each passing week, in different ways. Let’s see what’s up for today…

These past two weeks have not been easy.

Honestly, it feels like I’ve been trying to swerve these voices since they found a home for themselves inside my head. Whenever they pop up with their awful reminders, I just go silent and try to zone out on them. It never works, but I do it anyways.

After my third session with Mrs. Afriyie, however, things changed. I never realized how much I was stifling my emotions within. If I have to be honest, I’ve been the type who doesn’t really like showing emotion. Not that I think it’s for girls or anything, just so you know. I dunno. I’ve always been kinda stoic, to be honest. And it got worse after Eugene came to hurl abuse at me on that day. Only in panicky situations have I shown emotion. Like when that unfortunate thing happened.

The Wednesday session was intense. She’s been telling me not to hold my pain in. that I should let it out. It was difficult trying to be vulnerable. But… as I encountered them again, screaming the same old accusations and reminding me of how worthless and despicable a human being I am for what I did, something in me snapped.

I screamed. I wailed. I cried out loudly and didn’t hold back. Everything came rushing out of me.

How frustrated I am for being held down by this guilt. How Eugene’s sudden 180 on me still cuts like a knife. How I hate these voices. How I regret every single action I took in the build-up to the accident.

I found myself on the floor, crying uncontrollably. Mrs. Afriyie came to make herself a shoulder for me to cry on. I can’t begin to tell you how relieving it was to have someone around as I let it all out. No displays of pity. No ‘hard guy’ nonsense. No words at all. Just silence as I let go. I never realized how soothing it is to just have someone present in that moment.

I happen to be the last person she sees before the end of her schedule on Fridays. As we were rounding up, she calmly said, “So just keep this at the forefront of your mind, Nii. You are loved. No matter what those voices say. No matter how much Eugene’s action seems to validate their words. You are loved. You are not defined by your past. You are special, and you will prevail.”

I nodded. “I am loved. I will not be defined by my past. I will prevail.”

“Good. And of course, most of all, Jesus loves you. If there’s anyone whose opinion you should be worried about, it’s Him. And He says you are still precious and beloved in His sight. What happened does not make Him love you any less. Stay reflecting on that.”

“Yes, Mrs. Afriyie.”

“Please, Nii, no need for this strict formality. As if you’ve not known me long before I got here. Call me Ewurabena, lah.”

A little smile appeared on my face.

“You can take a seat and wait as I pack up.”

As I waited for her to put her stuff together, I noticed one of the pictures on her desk. It was facing her side of the desk a bit more, so I briefly tilted it a bit to see it in all its fullness.

A picture of her and Kwabena on their wedding day. His arms around her, with a kiss on her cheek. And the dreamy smile on her face… well, simply beautiful.

I remember that day. About six or seven months before the whole wahala happened. A simple but simply wonderful ceremony. That kinda ceremony that makes guys start daydreaming about their special day. No kidding. I remember how amazing she looked, and how Kwabena’s face had two tear lines as she approached him. They were so excited throughout the whole ceremony. It was really cute.

As I looked at the perfectly captured expression of the newlyweds in that photo, she came back to the desk and said, “Best wedding picture ever, don’t you think?”

I looked up at her. A small smile on my face, I responded, “Certainly don’t think there are many competitors for that title. Especially when it’s the two of you.”

Seriously, since the time I’ve known them, they are just the most beautiful couple you’ll ever see captured in a photo. Like, nobody really understands. They just look perfect together, without even trying. Show me a single person who sees a picture of them and doesn’t pray, “Jesus, I see what You’re doing for others and I want that for me,” and I’ll let you know that that person is definitely the devil’s offspring. After all, he is the father of lies.

She laughed. That gentle laughter of hers that always seems to come from her when her hubby is involved in some way in the statement that provokes the laughter. “I still treasure those memories, you know. But the life after it has been even better. Kwabena is the greatest gift God could have ever given me in this life. I love him so much, and he loves me too. I’d never exchange him for anything in this world.”

She looked at the photo on her desk, and I saw the same dreamy expression form on her face as she placed it back to its former state. As we left the office, I could almost swear I noticed an extra spring in her step.

Guys. Believe me, if you don’t marry a lady that loves you as much as Ewurabena loves Kwabena, then you’re definitely doing this marriage thing wrong. Honestly.

And of course, if you don’t love her, then you’re a pretty pitiful specimen of homo sapiens. I’m not even playing.

************

I decided to give myself a bit of a treat after these past two weeks. So I went to Papaye to get myself some broasted chicken with fried rice. The family thinks Marwako food is way better, but my taste buds definitely disagree with that.

I made my order and went to take my seat at the usual waiting area. I happened to be close to some of the customers who were eating right there in the restaurant. As I busily replied some WhatsApp messages, I pretty much overheard two customers engaged in some hearty chat about some nursing institutions.

Obviously not something that interests me so much, and besides, I’m not exactly the type who likes to actively eavesdrop on conversations. So I continued with my chats.

Then I heard…

“But Ali, the way you did Razzmatazz, don’t you think it was too harsh?”

I don’t eavesdrop, like I just said, but that definitely caught my attention. I lowered my phone and switched my attention to the conversation. Of course, not that I turned to look at them; one of those artificial palm trees separated us from seeing each other. But I listened.

“Oh naaa, chale. Look, I’m tired of that nigga. I don’t know what is wrong with him. So-so foolish life he dey lead, and he never listens when you talk to him. How do you choose to live a life of aimlessness and find peace with yourself? Hoh. All he knows is play Pro Evo, type nonsense and insult people all over Twitter, eat and sleep. Wey life too that?”

Strange! I knew he wasn’t too decided on what he wanted to do with himself even after we completed university, but why would he choose to do nothing at all? He did have a bit of a sharp tongue, but why would he be playing Mr Diss Everybody on Twitter? And why the hell would he choose PES over FIFA?

Hehe, sorry, PES fans. It is what it is.

“Oh really?” Ali’s partner said, sounding skeptical. I obviously wasn’t the only one doubting what Ali was saying.

“My guy, I know what I’m talking about. Haven’t I been to his place? Always there, playing games on his laptop. No interest in finding anything to do, so at least he can earn some money. And haven’t I seen his tweets? If it’s not this musician, it’s this actress. If it’s not this MP, it’s this communications guy from one of the political parties. I mean, if you want to fool about on Twitter, yawa no dey, we all like a good dosage of humour on the regular. But this guy is just plain horrible. It’s not harmless trolling, he’s straight up insulting you. And he keeps his identity well hidden.”

“Hmmm.”

“Seriously. I’ve told him time and time again that there’s a limit to these things. You can’t be saying nasty things all the time and then claim ‘it’s just Twitter’. There’s a limit.”

“That’s true, mohm.”

“Me, what made me bore him kraaa and pushed me to cut him off is how he’s suddenly talking trash about that Nii guy.”

I froze in my seat.

“Ah, his former best friend?”

“Yeah. You aaa, you showed the boy serious hatred when he was sent to prison. Now, apparently, the guy is out, and you’re tweeting about how the Chief Justice is a senseless baboon, the courts should be used as pit latrines, and all sorts of filthy things. Just because you’re angry that a ‘pathetic murderer’ been released from prison.”

“Ah, but that makes no sense. The guy accidentally knocked down the boy. It’s not like he meant to kill the kid. Why is he blowing it out of proportion like this Nii guy is the GH version of George Zimmerman?”

“Hmmmm, me, I honestly think Razzie has some deep-seated beef against him.”

“But why?”

“No idea, chale. I have a sneaky feeling the Nii guy did something that hurt him, and he’s just returning stones with boulders. Coz you can’t be showing that much hatred just for the sake of it. It’s just illogical.”

“Do you think it might be jealousy?”

“Oh, jealousy for what?”

“Order 112!”

The loud voice calling out my order number took my attention. I immediately sprung to my feet and went for my food.

The only question fiercely speeding to and fro my brain as I left the restaurant.

What did I do to Eugene that would make him hate me that much?

Soooo… looks like this dude isn’t happy about Nii’s release. What is his problem, though? Why does he seem to have such animosity towards Nii? And is Pro Evolution Soccer as lame as Nii claims it to be? Lol, your MCM leaves that last question to the gamers. Anyways, enjoy the weekend, and remember that there’s one thing to look forward to on Monday… the next #OVAV episode!!

Categories
Of Voices And Vermin

Of Voices and Vermin #3

So the weekend is over, and by now, you’ve already experienced the regular hustle and bustle of Monday. You also know it’s time for episode number 3!!!

Alright, so last week, we were introduced to the brothers Sidney and Nii Ajei. Quite a dark past Nii has. Chale, wouldn’t be easy at all. Well, let’s see what’s up next, now that he’s gonna seek help…

Issa Monday morning! A day where you wake up, thinking, Here we go again! Either in a positive mood or a negative one.

Two years ago, it was the negative mood that had me saying that whenever I woke up. Honestly, I so did not like where I was. But it’s pretty much the opposite now. The atmosphere at Tairut Insurance Company is just so liberating! There’s the respect and all, of course, but there’s such an undeniable aura of camaraderie and genuine concern for one’s well-being. Keeps me motivated each and every day.

So after a 15-minute meeting on the week’s activities with my immediate superior, I returned to my table, ready to arrange the papers my colleague across the workspace had placed on my desk as I had requested. Then my phone rang.

I picked it up. Answered.

“Yeah, Nii, are you on your way to Ewurabena’s place?”

“Yeah, chale. Just dressed up. I’ve called her to inform her I’m on my way.”

“Good, good, chale. I promise, you won’t regret it. You’ll come out of this stronger.”

The ‘Mmmmm’ that followed indicated his skepticism.

I knew that would come, but of course, I knew better than to force the issue. I just said quietly, “See you later in the evening.”

“Sure. Bye-bye.”

I placed the phone back on the table and sighed as I started to arrange the papers.

When your little brother accidentally kills a little boy in an accident, gets jailed for it and loses his ‘best friend’, you just know he’s gonna be a total wreck. That’s why I’m glad he’s agreed to seek professional help. The accidental killing is more than enough depression to deal with. I just thank God he got that presidential pardon. Served three out of the original five years. It’s been three months since he was released, and it’s so obvious this chapter of life has taken a terribly rough toll on him.

Thankfully, that’s where Ewurabena steps in. So my good friend’s wife is a stellar therapist, already holding a top position in one of the mental health centers in Ghana. She’s been pushing for this since he got out of prison. Insisted that he needed to get some professional help in order to be able to put that dark chapter behind him and move on.

But Nii was initially so resistant to the idea. Saying that he was fine and he’d be able to get over the whole thing by himself. But chale, everything about him makes it so clear that the ‘getting over it’ job, 1% kraaa has not been achieved. His posture, the constant distracted looks, negative remarks about himself… he’s been fighting a battle he’s nowhere near equipped for. I have no idea whether he had a nightmare yesterday morning or God told him to do it. Whatever it is, I am just thankful he’s let his guard down.

I’m sure his resistance has to do with the whole misconception thing surrounding mental health in GH. You know, how people think mental health issues are solely abodam cases.

Well, like I already just said, I’m grateful he’s finally ready to do this. The last thing I want is for him to let this dark cloud consume him.

I guess watching that Kalief Browder documentary last year really has me extra concerned. Yeah, I know the prison systems are totally different, but still…

*********

“Alright, love. Good to hear… yeah, I’m here with Sidney and Jesse… yeah, the Vida e Caffe at the Shell Station opposite the Marina Mall… oh, naaa. We’ll probably leave in the next 30 minutes. Don’t wanna keep Maame Ama out too long… alright, alright. Drive safely, ayt?… I love you too, my honey-filled applesauce.”

As Kwabena hung up, he raised up Jemima, who was on one of her excited screaming moods. Obviously enjoying her daddy’s little play time, she giggled excitedly.

You know, it’s so cute watching Kwabena in daddy mode. You just wanna go, “AWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!” when you see him playing with her.

“But Kwabena, you know sey you for thank God sey you no lose that El-Classico bet? Like by now, Jemimah just dey suffer,” Jesse said with a smirk on his face.

Kwabena looked at him, confused for a moment, then rolled his eyes and said, “Commot for there!”

So Kwabena is a rigid Barcelona fan, and back in university, in the build-up to one of the usual passionately awaited El Classicos, he entered into a bet with Real Madrid fans in our hostel. And of all things to say, this boy said that if Real Madrid won, he’d name his first two daughters Delilah and Jezebel.

S-M-H.

Barcelona won, so he was safe. But this guy, eh. I’ve already told you; he’s a bundle of inexplicable madness. Why would you even think of that? Ah well…

Oh yeah, and Jesse is the third member of our clique. This guy too… back in school, he liked kokonsa roff! He can enter our room with this triumphant look on his face, as if he’s been informed he’s the valedictorian of our year group, and you know he’s found out about some side chick, sugar daddy or crooked lecturer issue. That side of him pretty much fell into hibernation mode since we left, though. His roommate from university is the fourth member. Olivier, aka Steel. Ivorian dude who’s gone back to his homeland since we completed. He had this real stunning cutie called Mawuena back in school, but differences in life choices and direction split them up. We all still keep in touch. Of course, we got our own Whatsapp group, so we’re always chatting.

Kwabena stood up, his baby girl still in his arms. “Chale, wifey say make I buy the coconut water them dey sell for here give am. I dey come.”

“Eiii, you make I kai sef, I for get some for Nii. And some Nescafe too,” I said as I got up to join him.

He shook his head. “Gentleman, I don’t think you’re very serious in this life. So you mean to tell me unless the love of my life had called me, you would have forgotten…”

“Chale, Jesse, I dey go get the goodies, na this mad man diɛɛ,” I said to Jesse, giving Kwabena the side eye as I walked towards the other side of the station. Kwabena laughed as he followed me.

As we took what we needed and went to the counter, I said, “So chale, I know Ewurabena no go fit give me details on how the sessions dey go. Confidentiality things, of course. But I dey hope sey I go get some good news from her.”

“Sometimes, she go contact you then give you some ideas on how you go fit help am through the process, I believe…”

We didn’t notice the young man who came to stand by us as we waited for the customer in front of us to be done with his purchase.

“… but the most important thing be sey he start the therapy. Ego take time, but Nii definitely go get over the whole kiddie ihn matter. No two ways about it.”

“Huh?!”

We were both startled by that. We looked in the direction of the young man standing next to us, who had been the one to do that.

He had a look of shock on his face.

And my face turned from surprise to absolute disgust.

It was Eugene. Nii’s former best friend. Razzie or whatever his nickname is supposed to be.

Pathetic, despicable, deplorable vermin.

Trust me, that’s me being very polite right now. I’d have rained more acidic words here, and I can’t imagine it being more than he deserves. I mean, what a terrible, disloyal backstabber! What he did to Nii after the sentencing was just horrible. How do you come and scream all sorts of terrible things at the guy at the lowest points of his life? What did he do to deserve you yelling all that nonsense at him? Huh?

I narrowed my eyes and faced him, moving menacingly towards him. “Do you have a problem or something?”

He looked like he did, but the look on his face made it clear that he would rather keep it in than say whatever it is he wanted to say. Obviously, that beatdown I gave him after the policeman slapped him that fateful day was still fresh in his mind. Yeah, one of the policemen taking Nii away that day gave him a dirty slap, and I was massively boiling at his foolishness, so I grabbed the little bastard on the floor and gave him some serious blows. It’s still baffling how I didn’t get arrested myself that day; the policemen just took me off him, warned my parents to get us out of there and proceeded to take Nii to the prisons. Good thing they did just that.

I kept that evil glare on my face as I faced him. He glared back, but it was obvious who was the more intimidating party.

Before we knew it, he quickly walked away from the counter, placed the big bag of Doritos he took back on the counter, and exited the shop altogether.

I was slightly stunned by that sudden exit. Snapped out of my brief reverie by a tap on the shoulder from Kwabena, I shook my head briskly. “Wow,” I said in amazement as he handed me my items in the polythene bag, slightly nodding apologetically at the attendant who was giving me quite a look.

“You no see that idiot in a long time, eh?” Kwabena asked.

I shook my head. “Ever since the day he go scream that trash at Nii as them dey take am go the prison, I no see am. I no dey fit stand the sight of him. Ah, how could you treat Nii like trash like that? How?”

Kwabena shook his head, taking out a napkin from his pocket and wiping Jemima’s mouth. “Terrible, chale. And we still no know why the sudden change in attitude. Them no fight?”

“No fight ooo. No argument. Nothing. Almost as if he naaa, na he no dey like Nii, wey this issue just give am the opportunity to display the animosity he get against am. But why?”

“Well, only God and he himself knows,” Kwabena said as we returned to the table and took our seats. “But chale, your Jordan Henderson levels be killer ooo! Ɛno na Germany fuo bɛ ka ‘shaizey’!”

I looked at him, puzzled. “Ah. Where from this Henderson eyi?”

“The way you watch am. You no see that gif image of the way he watch Diego Costa make he mellow?”

giphy

“Ahhhhhhh! Herh, you this guy! Jemmy, have you seen how your father is?”

She gave one of her excited screams.

“Ahhh, you see? Jemima sef see sey you no be serious guy.”

Well, interesting turn of events there. Are we gonna see this Razzie guy any time soon again? And why exactly did he turn his back on Nii and do him like that? Ah well, you should know how to find out. Stay tuned! Episode 4 on Friday!!

Categories
Of Voices And Vermin

Of Voices and Vermin #2

Hey y’all! It’s Friday, and obviously that means it’s time for part 2 of your MCM’s original series! 😋😋

So you must be wondering what is wrong with Nii Ajei. Well, let’s find out…

Sleeping at night is definitely the worst part of the day for me. It’s so hard to shut my eyelids for more than five minutes without all the memories rushing in in avalanche mode.

And then those voices…

I tried it again last night. Left the TV on in my room as I lay down and tried to get some sleep for tomorrow’s church service.

At first, it felt like my mind was clear, and I might actually have a good night’s rest after such a loooooonnng time.

But before I could say ‘Kwɛmorr’, I found myself on the way to the office all over again…

“What the hell is wrong with you! I put up these reminders about the meeting this evening, and you’re still at home?” Mr. De-graft Johnson whispered furiously over the phone, clearly seething with rage at my absence.

Stuttering as my tie hung around my neck, I silently said, “I-I-I-I’m sorry, sir. I’m on my way right now.”

You had better be! Goodness gracious, I can’t believe this! Of all the people to be slacking at such an important time, it’s you! God have mercy!” he continued to angrily whisper. Seemed like he was in a corner of the conference room and didn’t want the others to hear him spazz out.

He hung up.

I quickly adjusted my tie, grabbed the folder on the living room and rushed out of the house.

Chale, Mr. De-graft Johnson was usually a calm person, but when you messed up badly, there was this lion that would show up, and it could be really scary. Memories of how he practically roasted Hanna to tears for treating one of our customers rather rudely flashed in my brain. Maybe I shouldn’t have taken advantage of that rare half-day he gave us and gone home to rest. Smh. Stupid alarm on my phone can be such a disappointment…

Anyways, I opened the gate, drove out of the compound, went back to close the gate, and sped off.

It was 5:40. The meeting was due to begin at 6 pm. Given how traffic-laden Accra tends to be, it was quite likely Mr. De-graft Johnson was going to rip me to shreds.

As I move up to one junction, I looked at the left side. A new road had recently been cleared there. Rough road, of course. Super dusty, but at that point, it seemed quicker to pass there. Doing a quick calculation in my head, I noted that I’d cut off about 6-7 minutes if I passed there instead of the usual right turn.

So I did it.

Moving at top speed, my little plan was on course. I nodded as I thought of the queue I was successfully avoiding.

Then I got to the area where there were a few kiosks and sellers around. The kenkey sellers. The gɔbɛ sellers. The fried yam sellers. You know, all those sellers. I knew they’d complain loudly if I maintained my speed, but I had to stay on schedule. So I dropped it sliiiiiiightly. By about 10km or so.

This boy, probably about seven years, was playing with some other kids ahead of me.

Suddenly, he jumped right onto the path on which I was. Must have been part of the game they were playing or something. I dunno.

My eyes widened in horror as I saw him, clearly in my path.

“JESUSSSS!!!” I screamed, slamming my right foot on the brake, desperately trying to stop before I got to him.
Within a matter of seconds…

The loud impact his body made with the car made it clear I stepped on it too late.

***
As soon as the doctor stepped out of the room, I noticed the stooped shoulders and the look of disappointment on his face, and my heart began to sink.

This had to be a dream. It just had to.
“Doc?” I called weakly, already anticipating he had nothing but the worst to say.

He sadly shook his head. “We tried our very best. But it wasn’t enough.”

I sank to the floor, face in my hands, stupefied by the doctor’s announcement.

“His body could not handle the resulting trauma. I’m very sorry, but he didn’t survive. He couldn’t make it. I’m sorry.”

Do you have any idea how it feels to have to live with the knowledge that you killed someone? Do you know how difficult it is to sleep at night, knowing a mother has to go to bed knowing that her little boy’s life was cruelly snatched from her, and you are the cause of it? Do you?

His mother flipped out on me when she heard the news, as you can expect. Her only son, third of six children. And she’s not very well-to-do. And I just came along and killed him because I was in a hurry for a stupid meeting.

Do you know how it feels to constantly deal with these voices reminding you of what you’ve done? Constantly reminding you that you’re a murderer and a terrible person?

That’s my plight. Every freaking day.

Oh, by the way, that wasn’t the end of it. Of course, it became a criminal issue. I was charged with gross negligence manslaughter. I know my family did everything they could to, at the very least, get me a minimum sentence or something.

Well, to an extent, they succeeded. My offence is a first degree felony, and I was supposed to get a sentence of not less than five years.

I got five years.

I still remember how devastated my parents and siblings were as the sentence was read out. They kinda knew it was coming, but I guess it still really hurt them to know their son and brother had fallen foul of the law.

Already, the thought that I’m the reason a young one will never be able to achieve his dreams and aspirations is enough torment.

But that day, what really broke my spirit was not the judge handing out what was a deserved sentence. It was what happened outside.

Something that I’ll never be able to fully understand…

As the policemen led me out of the Circuit Court complex, I had my head bowed down, feelings of shame and guilt engulfing my mind. It was time to pay for my utter negligence.

Stepping out onto the car park, I heard a familiar voice. Loud and clear.
It was Eugene. A.K.A. Razzmatazz. Or Razzie, for short.

If there’s any guy who knows me inside out, it’s him. Known him since class 2. We were cool with each other as kids then. It was when we both made it to Ghana National College that we really became close friends. We went to different universities, but the bond remained as tight as ever. I mean, we were the best of friends. We knew each other’s deepest secrets. Vulnerability with each other was never an issue. If not for something, I’d probably bet my life on it that our friendship was miles ahead of David and Jonathan.

A bit of a heretical stretch, I know. Forgive me.

Ever since the drama started, he had seemed rather distant. Unwilling to talk to me. He sometimes claimed he was distracted by serious issues at home, so I figured it would be really stressful having to deal with this issue in addition to whatever was going on at home.

He was virtually absent during the entirety of the trial. Practically never called, never texted.

But as I was being taken away, it was his voice I could hear. A pretty piercing moderate voice. One I’d never mistake.

And what were the words that were adorned with this familiar voice?

“You deserve what you’re getting, you shameless killer!”

I was shocked to hear that. What??!! How?! Razzie and I may have grown distant during this period, but there was no fight between us. I hadn’t said anything offensive to him, didn’t have any memory of us having any squabble. Surely this had to be a different voice or something like that?

I looked behind me.

It was him, all right. Razzie was behind me. Looking all wild and stuff.

“Shame on you! Useless murderer! I hope you rot in those prisons! I hope someone stabs you in the intestines…”
“Hey, hey, hey,” the policeman on my right interrupted, clearly unamused by this public rant. “Move away from this area.”

He continued hollering his head off, clearly aiming to muddy my already-damaged reputation even more.

“Because of you, Maame Becky doesn’t have her little Bobby anymore. Are you not a pathetic piece of sh…”

The policeman, quite incensed by his downright disregard for his orders, delivered quite a devastating slap which silenced him and put him on the ground.

That was nothing in comparison to the slap Razzie had just delivered to my very soul and spirit. Left me totally oblivious to the subsequent scuffle that ensued behind me.

My best friend. In a time when I needed his support the most. In my most vulnerable hour. He just spat on me and made me feel like the most worthless thing on the planet.

Unbelievable…

All those horrid moments spent in that awful prison. Getting pushed about by bigger inmates. The terrible food. The voices. The voices…

“You’re a terrible person… you killed a young boy, how could you… how do you even live with yourself… what kind of sick human being are you… you’re a monster…”

THE VOICES JUST WON’T LET ME BE!!!!!

I opened my eyes. And sat up on my bed.

“Alright, that’s it. I’ve had enough,” I said to myself.

Enough trying to be strong on my own.

I grabbed my phone, scrolled down the contacts list a bit, and dialed.

First ring. Second ring. Third ring.

Then he answered. “Ah, chale, you no bed yet? Wossop?”

I was silent for a second or two, then I sighed and muttered the words.

“Tell Ewurabena I’ll do it.”

Hi, my name is Nii Ajei Allotey. I knocked down and killed a young boy by mistake. I’m an ex-convict. My best friend turned his back on me when I needed him the most. I’ve tried to ignore my demons, thinking they’ll just leave. I’ve tried dealing with them myself. But it’s all to no avail.

I’m a mess. I need help.

Wow, chale! That was pretty intense. So dark, and we’re just getting started! Well, let’s discover what’s next for him on Monday!!

Categories
Of Voices And Vermin

Of Voices And Vermin #1

The day has arrived!!! After soooo long, your MCM is back with the series thing. It shall be an interesting one. Captivating, riveting, all the brofo you can think of that applies to this.

Shout out to all my Naija people, by the way. Henson, Chiderah, Angel, Sylvia, Helen… God bless your country!! I wanted to raise the jollof issue, but never mind. Hehe… it’s your day.

Okayyyy, time to dig in!!!

“So the people were insulting him after he jumped the red light?” I asked.

“Yes oo! Especially the guys at the back. It was so heated, eh! Never experienced anything like it before. Especially when the mate was cutting in and telling people to stop talking plenty. Oh, the insults they rained on him… I’m sure if a policeman had caught him mpo, he’ll prefer it.”

I grinned, shaking my head as I looked at Nii Ajei in the passenger seat, who had a slightly smaller smirk on his face. The phone was connected to the car’s Bluetooth, so of course it was on speaker. I whispered to him, “When dadabees experience the normal trotro life.”

He covered his mouth as he burst into laughter.

Oh, sorry. Man hasn’t introduced himself yet. My name is Sidney Allotey. And Nii Ajei is my younger brother. We’re separated by 3 years, but the bond we share? Tight. Extremely tight. So tight that he’s like the unofficial fifth member of my clique from university. But you’ll find out about that later.

So, we were on our way back from Cape Coast. My boss just had to throw a spanner in the works for Saturday when he gave me this assignment on Friday evening to go meet one of our major clients. I had plans of spending it with Nii, Bambi and Jerome! Arrgh! Well, Nii had nothing to do, so he was happy to tag along.

By the way, Bambi is my fiancé. And Jerome is her younger brother. He’s the one I was talking to. The boy is a typical dadaba; always been moved around by his parent’s drivers. It was somewhere last year when they decided he should be moving around by himself. He’s fourteen years old, by the way. And as you can tell by the conversation we were having, the boy seems quite enchanted by the experiences he’s having. He already told me about the time this huge lady took the seat next to the mate, and the mate complained about her taking up too much space, and the third time, the lady didn’t take kindly to his plenty talk, and blasted the daylight out of him.

According to him, she’s from my tribe. So… if you know, you know. Haha! 😆😆 I love my people.

Anyways, he continued rattling off all the experiences he had had the past week, which took another five minutes and fifty-two seconds. He clearly is yet to get used to the shortcuts and the annoying driving skills of these trotro drivers. But of course, small boys are young. He’ll get used to it.

He handed the phone to his sister.

“Bra Jerome is done with this week’s edition of Trotro Diaries, eh?” Bambi laughed.

“Yep! All juicy details downloaded into my ears,” I responded.

Sigh, Bambi Darkwah. 😘😘😘 The cutest girl I’ve ever set my eyes upon. Chanced upon her at a chibom joint not too far from her hostel, got smitten hard, chased her relentlessly, wrestled past all the “Gimme some time”, “I need to think about it” and “I’m not sure what I want” and won her heart. Even then, it was sweet all right, but a lot of stuff threatened to keep us away from each other. I don’t need to bore you with all the details of that. What matters for the meantime is that I finally get to put a ring on it in a few months time!! Sigh, Bambi. My caramel blessing!

“Hahaha! He’s getting the experience. I’ve told him there’s more in store kraaa. Like when he’ll one day have some kokonsa passenger watching his phone as he’s chatting on Whatsapp…”

“Herh, that thing is so annoying!” Nii Ajei blurted out. “Then they’ll be reading your conversation. Like, warris dat?”

“Shocks me kraa,” I added. “That thing is witchcraft pɛɛɛ!”

“Tell me about it. There was one time I was chatting with Mabel, and this guy sitting next to me suddenly started leaning in my direction…”

I noticed Nii Ajei’s grimace as Bambi started her own story. He mouthed, “We’re missing the game on Citi!”

Hand on my forehead, I mouthed back, “I knowwwwww!!!”

*****************

Two hours later, we had safely arrived at our Regimanuel Gray estate home, after all that intense traffic. Ugh! Thank God for automatic cars, honestly. I like the good old manual and all, but let’s be serious. Half-clutch in that insane pile-up? Chale, chale, stop. I do enough exercise.

So we were ready to get in and take out the stuff and relax. Until…

“Oh crap! You didn’t remind me to get the Ideal milk?” I groaned out loud, just as I stopped.

Nii placed his right hand over his face. “Arrrrrrrgghhhh! Escaped my mind from the moment that Mr. Music Man hour began, honestly.”

I gave him a side eye. “Blame it on Kojo Antwi, abi?”

He gave me a silly grin in return. “Our old folks taught us well.”

I shook my head. Yep, all those family journeys in the past, with Kojo Antwi on heavy rotation, has definitely made a mark on us. “You diɛɛ, no worries. Let me go to the supermarket down the road. You can take the Fante kenkey inside and check if the Premier League highlights is on, na the way these commentators were screaming over that Dele Alli goal diɛɛ, man has to see it.”

“Mm-hmm,” Nii Ajei said as he reached over to the back to take the two bags of Fante kenkey.

Yamoransa Fante kenkey!! ❤❤ That junction is a legendary one. Dotted with all those Fante kenkey sellers, ever ready to rush upon any car that stops so they can make some sales. Anyone who’s schooled in the Central Region knows that place too well. The way three of them rushed to the car when we stopped. The plenty “ebei, bra” and things. If we didn’t exercise a good level of firmness and gentleness, we’d probably have the back seat filled up with those blue rubber bags filled with the Fante kenkey. No kidding. Those ladies can give pressure!!

“Chale, then blend about three of them in the meantime, so when I come, we just add the milk and have our mashke for the evening,” I told him.

“Okay, no problem,” he responded.

He stepped out of the car and entered through the gate as I turned the car to move to the supermarket.

**********************

As I took my change from the shop attendant, my phone started to ring. I looked at the caller ID.

It was Kwabena.

So Kwabena is my unofficial ‘brother’. My roommate from university. He’s the first… no, wait. Second member of the university clique I mentioned. I’m the first one, after all. And among the four (five-ish) of us, he is the loudest and most unpredictable. If I were to be given 1 cedi for every single time that guy said stuff that left my mouth hanging… chale, I’d build a sensational mansion for myself.

I’ll give one example. Back in school, I was a huge Grey’s Anatomy fan. He wasn’t. One day, I’m watching my thing, and this boy passes by my laptop, sees Cristina Yang and says, “Ah, wey lady too this, wey ihn face check like confused duck?”

S-M-H. 🤦🏾‍♂🤦🏾‍♂🤦🏾‍♂🤦🏾‍♂🤦🏾‍♂🤦🏾‍♂🤦🏾‍♂🤦🏾‍♂🤦🏾‍♂🤦🏾‍♂🤦🏾‍♂🤦🏾‍♂

To this day, I still can’t understand how that nonsensical statement entered his brain. Like, how????

Ah well, I thank God for Ewurabena. His wife. She knows how to somehow neutralize that foolishness in him. They’ve been together for so long (although there was a break-up in there at some point), and they complement each other so well (if only you could see their pictures! Goodness, they’ll make you melt, I promise!) even though they’re so different (Ewurabena is so quiet and gentle, and Kwabena… well, I already mentioned it).

He’s a handful, alright, but I wouldn’t exchange him for any other ‘well-behaved’ guy. He’s a wonderful friend. And a very loyal one, too.

“Chale, wassup?” I asked.

“I dey oo, Sid. You return from Cape?”

“Yeah, I dey Accra now. We return not too long ago. I just go buy some Ideal milk for the supermarket. Nii dey house.”

“Oh, cool. So chale, he be OK now?”

I hesitated, not too sure what answer to give. “Chaleeee, ibi difficult to tell. He dey act happy and all, but I no know whether ibi mask or he’s really getting over it.”

“Hmmm… dicey issue… Ewurabena won talk plus you.”

“Sure, sure.”

As I sat in the car, I held on, listening to the couple as Kwabena gave the phone and, from the sounds of it, took Jemima from her.

Yeah, I’m sure you can tell. Jemima is their daughter. Their one year old daughter. It still amuses me sometimes to know this cannonball friend of mine is a husband and a father. He’s a great one, though.

“Ei, Daddy Kwabena on duty!” I said teasingly.

Ewurabena’s gentle laughter was the next thing I heard. “Most amazing daddy in the world. Jemmy couldn’t have had a better man to call Daddy. How are you, by the way?”

Vintage Mrs. Afriyie. The way this girl loves him so deeply eh, it’s not a joking distin. Always got something sweet to say about her king.

“I’m good oo. Just still unsure what to do about Nii. The last time we spoke about it, he fiercely insisted he was fine. Since then, I’m just treating him normally. But the sagging shoulders and the quiet periods still persist.”

“Hmmmm. I think we should give him a bit of time. There’s a lot I’d want to ask, but I’m thinking it’ll be better if we meet you and get more info. So do we meet after church tomorrow?”

“As long as Kwabena is staying home, taking care of Jemmy. I’m fine.”

She laughed. “Don’t do that to him.”

“Tomorrow is fine by me.”

“Great,” she responded. “Have a good night, then, and send my regards to Nii.”

“Yes, Mrs. Afriyie. Good night to you too, and your husband and daughter.”

I hung up, started the engine and moved back home.

Sigh. Nii Ajei Allotey. My younger brother.

He means a lot to me.

That’s why I’m so worried about him.

Hmmm… 🤔🤔🧐🧐 I wonder what it could be that has Sidney worried for his brother. He seemed pretty fine throughout this episode to me. Well, things aren’t always as they seem, so let’s see what comes on Friday!!