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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 Rangaski 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!!

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