My first State of Dabar post as a tricenarian!! Hehehe. I learned this word on Monday, as God gifted me with a grand entry into the 30s. All praise to Him for that!
And it seems quite appropriate that this week has my personal favourite chapter of this season. We’re taking a brief break from all the ongoing wahala and seeing the Dolphyne family as they are. A loving, tight-knit clan. Enjoy this one, y’all!
“My one and only twinnie!” Diamond cheered as she entered the hospital room, closely followed by Serwaah who also enthusiastically called out, “Maaaaaa!!”
Already sitting up on her bed, Larissa’s face brightened as she saw her girls enter. “My babies!” she gushed, hugging them both tightly. “Awwww, my beautiful babies!”
Oscar, Toby, Anasah and Kwame entered.
Upon seeing the way his mother had her hands on the girls’ cheeks, Toby said, “Here comes another episode of D.A.K.”
Kwame, looking confused, asked, “What’s that?”
Larissa, Diamond and Serwaah all blew a flurry of air kisses at each other.
Toby gestured towards them. “That is D.A.K. Dolphyne Air Kiss. Special love language of the Dolphyne ladies. Exclusive to them alone.”
“Oh, OK. Got it.”
The past three days had not been very good for the Dolphyne matriarch. She had been feeling pretty dull and lethargic when she woke up on Wednesday, but insisted she’d be OK and went to work. By midday, however, her temperature was high and the active Mrs. Dolphyne her colleagues was in total inactive mode. Her immediate junior, Mrs Gracie Allotey, immediately sent her to the hospital and informed the family.
It had been two days of visits to Barton Hospital, where she had been admitted, the children and Daniel taking turns to check on her during visiting hours. For Friday evening, however, everyone was around.
As she embraced the boys one by one, Daniel entered, on the phone.
“Yes, yes… she’s looking better now… I knoww. She rarely ever falls sick. Gotten us all ruffled and stuff. But she’s doing better now… alright, alright, I’ll let her know. OK. OK then, bye bye.”
Ending the call, he walked over to his wife, who welcomed him with a peck on the cheek.
“Feeling better, Lari?”
“Yeah. At least the metal feeling in my mouth is gone, along with the chills. I’m getting better.”
“Thank God.” He sat on the bed, putting his arm around her shoulder as she put both arms around his waist, hugging him real tight.
The children giggled among themselves as she clearly tightened her grip around him. They knew exactly what that action meant.
Daniel shook his head. “Always stealing my warmth, you this big girl. After all these years, you never get satisfied. The day I turn into an ice block, just know it’s all your fault.”
“Quiet, boy. Lemme take what’s mine,” Larissa gently retorted, attaching herself firmly to her husband’s body.
“… so at this point, taking your absence into account, I should say I’m in a pretty comfortable lead,” Diamond said tauntingly, her arms around Anasah and Serwaah as she gave her mother a teasing look. “Or what do you think?”
Larissa stared at her blankly. “I think you’re very lucky I don’t have an open sardine tin to throw at you. Nonsense girl!”
The children all laughed, as did Daniel.
“Awwww, my love!” Diamond responded, smiling sweetly at her. Then she added, “My only banana cake!”
Everybody burst into laughter.
Except Kwame, of course. Who didn’t get the joke.
“Oh, Kwame, sorry oo,” Larissa apologized, still wiping the tears from her eyes as she noticed him looking at sea. “I think we need to update you on that running gag in the Dolphyne household.”
“Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s connected to how your auntie and I met,” Daniel added.
Kwame sat up. “Ooooh, this should be interesting.”
“It most certainly is,” Toby assured him. “Need some popcorn?”
Daniel gave him a hard look. “Toby, eh.” His son snickered as he shook his head, then he started.
“So, it all began one Wednesday morning, after my mother dropped me off at the STC station. I was on my way back to boarding school. Final year in Augusco at the time. I was waiting for my boys to come, so we could hang around and talk about boyz-boyz things. I waited for about fifteen minutes, but none of them came around, so, I went to buy myself a drink. After buying it, I was just looking around that area where the bar was, and what did I see? This extremely beautiful young girl in Holy Child attire sitting down, reading ‘The Firm’. Lord have mercy, Kwame, I was blown away. I looked at her about 5 or 6 times, then she noticed me watching and started acting all shy, putting her hand over her mouth. Like she’s doing now.”
Larissa laughed, putting her hand down.
“I went back to my seat. I thought I was just checking her out, but… damn, I was awestruck. I knew I had to talk to her. But guess what? Just as I decided to do so, my boys came. So I had to see them, help one of them in carrying his luggage and all that. And by the time I was a little free, the glorious beauty I had seen was gone.”
“Ohhhhhhhhhh!” the children all gasped.
Daniel did the facepalm. “Do you guys always have to do that when I reach that part of the story?”
“It gives the story a dramatic effect, Daddy,” Anasah replied, giving his little boy smile as the others co-signed his statement.
Daniel shook his head. “Whatever. So I was pretty disappointed. I mean, when you see an absolute babe and miss out on the chance to really move to her, it sucks. But chale, man had to move on. So I went back to school and the normal way of life. Then one day…”
“ONE DAY!!” Oscar and Toby repeated dramatically.
“I’ll just act like they didn’t do that. Hehe, yeah, so, one day, the boys had this magazine from her school, and chale, they were going gaga over the girls in the pictures. But the major focus was on page 8. Crazy hype about some three prefects bi. Sally Hayford, Khadijah Hausa and Larissa Darteh. Took a little while, but I managed to get the magazine. I decided to take my time and go through.
“Then, when I got to page 8, I saw Sally. Lovely girl, no doubt. I saw Khadijah. Oh Lord, that girl was fine!”
“Too fine,” Larissa agreed. “Way too fine. I think she’s married now. Working in Abu Dhabi, the last time I checked.”
“Oh nice, nice. So yeah, I saw those two and I certainly saw why so much hype. Then I saw Ms. Darteh. And to my utter shock, I realized: that’s the bombshell I saw at the STC station!”
“Indeed, we serve a God of second chances!” Oscar exclaimed, on his feet with his hands up in the sky.
Daniel rolled his eyes. “Drama prince,” he muttered. Oscar laughed and sat down.
“So straight away, I noted the name and house, and I went to write a letter. By the way, this was a low-key movement. The way some five guys had targeted her eh. My whole dorm was teasing them with her. As for me, I kept quiet and wrote to her. Little did I know I wasn’t the only one writing to her. Babe, how many letters did you receive within that week again?”
“27!” Larissa laughed.
Kwame’s eyes grew wide. “Wait, what? 27 letters?! Ei!”
“It wasn’t easy oo, Kwame. I became an instant hot cake. And I was so busy, I had to stash them somewhere in my cubicle. It was one night, after lights out, that I decided to take them all out and go through one by one. Some of them, bland and boring. I didn’t even finish reading; I just tossed them somewhere kraaa.
“Then there were those with the compliments. One guy, I think his name was Edmond, was like ‘girl, you are a goddess’. Somehow, that’s stuck with Bra Toby and he likes using it.”
“But Maa, it’s no lie, though. You are a goddess. It’s just who you are,” Toby responded, shrugging.
She shook her head and smiled at him. “Hmm. Thank you, my love. Then there were the cliché ones that had me rolling my eyes. About me being an angel that fell from heaven and all that nonsense. Then the classic one. What he did say?”
“OHEMAA! YOU ARE THE BANANA IN MY BANANA CAKE!” the whole family chanted, bursting into laughter and cheers after that. Kwame keeled over in laughter.
“Honestly, Maa, that man deserves a reward wherever he is. Whaaatttt!” Oscar said, clapping his hands. “Ohhhh, I stay impressed at his ingenious line.”
Larissa shook her head, still laughing. “You eh. You better not go and use that line on any girl oo. Yoo! So yeah, Kwame. That’s how the banana cake thing came about. But of course, I’m not done.
“So I opened this letter. The name on it was Daniel K. Dolphyne. I found the name a little funny, at first. This guy, he seemed quite down-to-earth and less interested in being all flowery with his praise and stuff. But there was one thing that got me fluttery. He mentioned being the tall, handsome boy that saw me in the STC yard reading ‘The Firm’. Truth be told, I had been stealing glances at him after he left, and I was captivated. So that very evening, I wrote a reply, giving him my details out of school. On any normal day, I never would’ve done that. But, there was something about this fine, amazing, sensational man that just had everything in me throwing caution to the wind.”
“And dear Lord, throwing caution to the wind has been the theme of our time together,” Daniel said. “After meeting and falling in love, the decision to make her my wife was another crazy risk. I mean, I had the funds and all, but we were 20 years old, still in university. Everyone thought we were being stupid. Chale, even I thought sometimes I was just being ridiculous. But there was this urgent feeling in me that told me to do it. And she felt the same way. So we managed to do it.
“It was nowhere near easy, though,” Larissa added. “It took a long time for my parents to adjust to it, even after they permitted me. My dad thought being a wife so early would derail my ambitions of becoming a lawyer, and that we were rushing.”
“Oh yeah,” Daniel agreed. “Kwame, I’m sure your dad has told you how strongly he disapproved of our marriage.”
“Yeah, he’s told me a number of times,” Kwame said. He grinned as he added, “He’s told me about your fight one particular evening. How he called you ‘a hungry dog trying to legitimize satisfying his libido’.”
“Ouch! That’s a nasty shot,” Diamond winced.
Daniel laughed. “Yeah, that night was pretty ugly. But he came to apologize. About a week or two after your mother’s burial. The first five years were tough, and not because Lari and I had issues. It was those outside making things tough, and of course, it sometimes caused friction between us. After Lari got called to the Bar, though, the families seemed to cool down.”
“A bit. Even to date, some of my relatives think our early marriage was an error. Murmuring behind our backs and all. But guess what, honey? I’m not bothered one bit. I’ve loved every bit of this God-ordained path of my life.”
Daniel nodded. “So Kwame, it’s been a beautiful journey with this woman. We’ve been through so much. Enduring criticism over our early marriage, seeing Lari balance pregnancy and school work, watching her get called to the Bar, building our careers and this beautiful family, travelling the world, learning to adjust to each other’s changes. It’s been amazing. We took a crazy risk, and it’s worked out perfectly. God’s plan, no doubt.”
“Exactly! That’s what I tell a lot of young ladies who hear my story and think they can jump to the same thing. Not so, honey. No guarantee that marrying when you’re just stepping out of your teens will last this long. You’ve got to know what God’s plan is.”
“Indeed. In all, I doubt we’d have attained the levels we’re at if we weren’t together,” he said, looking lovingly at Larissa. “We’ve done a pretty good job, haven’t we?”
“We have, boo. And I thank God every day that I got to spend my days with you. I’m so blessed to be loved by you, and to be the mother of your wonderful children. This evening just reminds me of that blessing. I’ll happily do forever with you, my king. I love you, Daniel Kwadwo Dolphyne. I love you so much.”
“I love you too, Larissa.”
“Awwwwwwwww,” was the chorus from the children as their parents stared into each other’s eyes and smiled, reaffirming their intense love for each other.
“Alright now, I think it’s time for some more heat extraction,” Larissa announced, then attached herself tightly to Daniel once again. The young ones laughed as Daniel let out a sigh. “Ugh! Here we go again.”
Then he smirked, and put his arm around her. “But hey, I wouldn’t have any other person stealing my warmth. Only you, my love.”
See why this is my favourite? Danny and Lari are the definition of #relationshipgoals in this State, aren’t they? And they have a beautiful family too!!
Now that we’ve had a lil family time with them, it’ll be back to finding out what happens with Diamond, Oscar and Toby thems next week. Stay tuned!!