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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!!

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