All Eps

Long Journey 3

The story continues! By now, I’m sure most of you have barbed the connection, so less talk. Let’s see what occurs next…

Saturday morning had the boys in Nana Opoku’s house in a lively mood. Right after morning devotion, one of the seniors had told his mates about a recent news item involving a new mother’s plea for help, as she had recently given birth to triplets, and upon hearing the news, her husband had run away. Now the dormitories were buzzing with intense discussion.

“He be stupid idiot!” one boy said furiously. “Ah, how you fit lef your wife at such a time?”

“Ibi shocking kraaa, Aramis,” the boy sitting next to him on the bed agreed. “He never force. If money no dey, e never be excuse sey you for lef am just like that. Ibi like he lef the hospital naa wey he boot lef them. Ibi serious bitch move he do.”

“Chale, you never know oo. It probably wasn’t what he bargained for,” one other guy across the two put in, shrugging.

The two immediately turned on him. “Ah, but Lexi too, what you dey talk?” Aramis snapped. “You eat the tin finish, now you dey come do bargain for the what and for the where? Why, the woman get power choose the number of kiddies e go dey the stomach inside? Ah, nigga wei paa! Make you no dey talk that thing!”

As the heat in that debate started to escalate, Nana Opoku and his close friend Elikem moved out of the dorm to get to their work places. For Elikem, that was the main compound of the house, and for Nana, the housemaster’s bungalow.

“Chale, that thing the guys dey talk about diԑԑ, ibi yawa paa. The guy be some serious coward,” Elikem commented as they descended the stairs.

“Hmmm, yeah,” Nana agreed. “If the guy no return, e go affect the kiddies… I dey hope sey he go return. Those babies no dey deserve such heartlessness. They deserve a father who will actually stick around and raise them and not place his selfish desires over their needs.”

Elikem stopped. He could sense a tint of bitterness in Nana’s voice with that last statement. Having known him for the past one year – their friendship beginning the moment they met on the first day of their schooling journey here – he knew that sensitive aspect of Nana’s life that most boys didn’t. He knew that there were times Nana still felt anger towards his father for walking out on him, and that the mask he often put up was nothing but that: a mask.

As he stared at his friend, who now had a pretty stony expression on his face, he knew there was nothing he could really say. The second of four children, he had a more fortunate background, as his father was the caring and responsible type.

“Chale,” he mumbled, putting his hand on Nana’s shoulder.

That touch had Nana snapping out of what seemed to be a bitter reverie. He shook his head. “Eli, sorry, chale. My mind just go some place. These kiddies dema case be bad pass my own, though. I mean, inobi sey some fling bi wey the guy boot. Marriage ankasa, wey the man dey run.”

“Yeah. The guy be jon pass,” Elikem agreed. “This trash attitude sey niggas go eat chics preg them, then boot never dey help. That cowardly mindset for change.”

***

“Wow, that’s wonderful! I’m excited for you!” Ben said gleefully as he and Joseph embraced their big sister upon hearing the news of her finally getting involved with a man.

Ever since Chris had impregnated her and ran away, she had absolutely sworn off relationships, choosing to focus all that attention on her son. The pain had been too much to bear, and so she chose the single-for-life route. It wasn’t long, however, until she felt that that was not the path for her. Other ladies may have been successful with that, but she wanted a relationship. So ever since Nana entered his teens, she had been hoping to find a good man. Unfortunately, many of those who would have been interested seemed put off by the knowledge of her being a single mother.

This new guy, however, was the answer to her prayers. Henry Fosuhene, a top official at one of the leading banks in the country, had noticed Evelyn a few months ago, and being a single man for such a long time, he made his move. Clearly unperturbed by the knowledge of Nana, after about four months of constant communication, he made it clear what he wanted. The charming, God-fearing man he was, she gleefully accepted.

“Thanks, guys,” she said as they let her go. “Henry’s a wonderful guy. These past few months have been great, getting to know him better. We’ve got a pretty amazing connection. I’m sure nothing but goodness will come out of this.”

“Definitely, definitely. We pray so,” Joseph said, nodding as he and Ben took their seats.

“Indeed. Now I’m well over the whole Chris episode,” she said with an air of triumph as the two nodded in agreement.

“So that fool never even bothered to find out what happened with you?” Ben asked, more rhetorically than anything else.

As expected, Evelyn shook her head. “Nothing oo, Ben. Nothing. Kyԑrԑsԑ, once I refused to abort Nana, that was it. He decided to go his own way and never have anything to do with me.”

Ben sighed as he shook his head. “As for some guys, you just don’t understand them. Selfishness in warm flesh. As long as they get their desires, whatever follows is not their business or their concern. Makes me sick to the stomach just thinking about it.”

“Ben, don’t stress yourself about it,” Evelyn assured him. “I’m over it now. He hurt me really bad, but at the end of the day, it’s his loss. If he wants to go and sleep with all the girls wherever he is, that’s not my problem. Chris is dead to me. Six feet down the dirt. Dead.”

***

As Paa Yaw took a bucket from the bathroom, ready to go and fetch water from the Polytank outside, he thought back to his recent escapades. All those secret sessions with the Mariam girl. He smiled for a brief second as the thoughts brought him a few pleasuring tingles, but they instantly died out as he remembered what his in-law had mentioned last night.

Shaking his head as he remembered how much time he had wasted, he remembered something brief from his past…

I have my whole life ahead of me, and the last thing I need at this stage is fatherhood.

“Uh, I didn’t need to remember that,” he snapped to himself. “That aspect of my life is over. That’s why I’ve never returned to Accra since, and I don’t want to. No need to remember that girl and all the trouble that came with her. All I need now is to get a good job and make sure I keep it. And try to avoid the small girls… hehe, Lord knows that’ll be a problem,” smirking to himself as he moved towards the back door.

Stepping outside, he saw a young man in the school lacoste and brown shorts, busily sweeping. His first guess was that this boy must be working for the house as part of his duties.

“Hey!” he called out in a harsh, unfriendly voice.

The young man looked up from his position, looking straight at him.

“Who are you?” Paa Yaw asked, still in an unfriendly tone of voice.

The boy looked puzzled, obviously aware that this must be some new guy in the house. He then responded, “I’m Nana Opoku Addo.”

Giving him a painfully disdainful look, Paa Yaw moved a few steps forward, then asked, “Where do you come from?”

“My hometown or where I stay during vacation?”

Paa Yaw immediately wanted to say something nasty, but knew he’d make himself look stupid if he did, so he rephrased the question. “Where do you stay?”

“Accra.”

The look on his face turned to scornful. “Why, ibi the whole Accra you dey stay for?”

“Dansoman in Accra.”

“Ah, why, you dey own all the houses for Dansoman or something?”

“I live around Exhibition, near the Ecobank side,” Nana responded, starting to sound irritated by the unnecessary and weak sarcasm being portrayed.

Paa Yaw gave him an up-and-down look, which was punctuated with a loud ‘Mtcchheewwww’. He walked on to the Polytank without another word to fetch his water, too busy on his little mission to hear what Nana, in annoyance, said.

“Stupid buffoon.”

Well, that certainly wasn’t a pleasant first meeting. I wonder what’s going to happen in the next couple of episodes. Only one way to find out… stay tuned!

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