This week’s episode, as you can tell by the title, has a lot to do with the ‘cousin from Canada’. Let’s see what’s going on with him, and the name in particular…
“Hello, Madam Dolphyne.”
“Yes, Mr. Adamtey.”
“Ummmm, so, uh, thanks for putting me in order back there. I, uh, I guess I got a little lost in my emotions when he attacked me…”
“No need to thank me, Mr. Adamtey. I was just doing what had to be done.”
“Yeah, yeah, true. So, uh, what do you…”
“Excuse me for a minute, Emma. Lari! Mr. Adedeme needs to see you outside, ASAP!”
“Oh yeah! Chale, lemme go see him before he chews me up. Good day, Mr. Adamtey!”
He smiled as the boys followed eagerly behind him, showering adulations on him. The clean-up exercise he had organized that day certainly had had the effect he wanted – a connection with the grassroot supporters. For all those who had come to help out, he had handed out some GHc 20 notes as gratitude for showing up. Certainly the major reason he had the young boys shouting his praises.
Giving them a few words of encouragement, as well as an assurance that his party would return to power to set things right, he drove off, satisfied with how things had gone that afternoon. From the look of things, the switch to full-time politics was going to be flawless and successful. And the takeover was bound to be completed sooner than later.
But of course, he also had that lovely lawyer in mind. It was hard to erase that voluptuous beauty from his brain. Not to mention that tough side of hers, which excited him too much for his own liking.
He had tried being friendly with her after the previous meeting, where she called him and that other idiot to order. She had maintained a pretty formal front, however, choosing to keep her business boundaries. Mr. Agbettoh did mention that she tended to be the kind who always preferred to keep it professional where necessary.
Not that he was bothered, though. Seeing her twice, he already knew what he wanted from her, and no ‘business boundary’ or ‘formal front’ was going to stop him from getting his newly found desire.
“Let’s see how formal she acts when I’m making her scream from behind while I spank that fat ass of hers,” he murmured to himself, a wicked smirk on his face as he drifted off into visualizing the last words to come out of his mouth.
His phone rang, with the name of a well-known journalist appearing on Truecaller. Adamtey shook his head, his filthy little imagination interrupted. An interview was in order, and he could already tell he was going to be irritated by the line of questioning. “Time to give these fools the Adamtey treatment.”
“Yeah, so as far as the children are concerned, Toby was the major headache for Daddy and Maa. Super troublesome. A lot of the time, he knew what he was doing was not good, but chale, some adoknerism spirit bi. That kind of ‘body no be firewood’ mindset some,” Oscar was saying as he, Adelaide, Kwame and Akinyi walked back to the car after a night out together at the A&C Shopping Mall. A ‘double date’, so to speak.
No doubt, the four of them had had fun. From Akinyi freestyles to her trolling the boys over her success in the fantasy league that week, to the girls groaning and rolling their eyes as Kwame and Oscar fiercely debated different aspects of Game of Thrones. A pretty enjoyable night out.
Kwame laughed. “I can only picture him driving Auntie Lari crazy in those days.”
“Oh yeah. We were young, so my memory’s not too sharp on most things, but I remember he got her pretty pissed on a couple of occasions. He has a streak of stubbornness in him, and to be honest, I have it too. Shows in how we sometimes don’t really take advice.”
Kwame gave him a side eye as he said that. “Oh, I know that side. I definitely know that side.”
Oscar laughed sheepishly. “Don’t remind me, Kwame. I know I best trust your instincts now.”
“Well, I certainly was a handful,” Akinyi announced, an unapologetic smirk on her face. “My two sisters and brother said I used to be this little terror in my toddler stage. Always doing what I was told explicitly not to do. And I loved to target the quiet ones. Always disturbing the calm ones. Like Adelaide.”
Adelaide rolled her eyes. “Oh, of course. Nobody is surprised. If you told us you were the shy, quiet, reserved type, I’d never believe it. This little lady is just an strange bundle of infuriating mischief and adorable innocence. How does Auntie Grace keep up with you at all?”
Akinyi giggled mischievously, refusing to speak.
Shaking her head as the rest continued to talk, Adelaide took out her phone as a notification came through. Taking the opportunity to go through WhatsApp statuses, she opened Kwame’s own.
There was a seemingly old picture of a lady, with the caption, “Always and forever, Mama…”
“Kwame, is that your mother in the status? Such a lovely lady?” she asked as they arrived at the place where the car was parked.
Kwame gave a small, sad smile. “Yeah. Mrs Mary Sarfo Benson. It’s 15 years since it happened.”
The three nodded silently, understanding what he meant. An awkward silence followed, the ladies particularly feeling unsure of whether to ask what would be a touchy and sensitive question.
Kwame sighed as he sat himself on the bonnet of the car, obviously willing to answer the unasked question for them. “Still remember it like it was yesterday…”
“Good morning, Mama!”
“Good morning, sweetheart!” Mary greeted, giving her only son a hug as he came out of his bedroom. “Had a good sleep?”
“Yah, yah. I dreamt about her again.”
Mary grinned. If there was anything she was regularly updated on concerning her only child, it was his love life. A hopeless romantic who was happily married to the love of her life, she always made her desire to see her only baby experience a love story as beautiful as hers.
So when he told her about his latest crush, she was super invested, even to the point of living out their glorious wedding in her head. “I see. So, today be today, eh? My dear Kwame gets together with The One?”
Kwame nodded, grinning. “Hopefully. I’m hoping for the best.”
“Eiiiissshhhhh! My boy is a big man ampa. All the best then. Go get ready for school!”
“Kwame, the bus is ready!” Mary called out as he washed his bowl in the kitchen. “Hurry up and get moving!”
“OK, Mama! I’m done now!” he called back as he ran out of the kitchen and grabbed his bag on the chair at the dining table. “So, I’ll see you both later in the evening.”
He patted his father on the back and gave his mother a kiss on the cheek before rushing out the door to ensure the bus would not leave him behind.
“Remember, you owe me a detailed account of how it went when I come back home!” she yelled as he went out.
“Of course, Mama! No doubt about that!”
“Alright! I’ll see you guys later!” Kwame said, waving as he left his friends at the entrance of the Upper Canada Mall. It was 3:30 pm, and after class, there was nothing more enjoyable than breezing through the mall, just window shopping.
He had a little agenda for not joining his friends as they headed home, though. He was going to wait around the parking lot for Renata.
The girl of his dreams.
He took out his phone and checked out the text message that had come through while he had left the mall. It was from her. “I’m almost there.”
A Caucasian girl of average height, flowing long hair, piercing blue eyes and lips that easily rivalled that of Angelina Jolie, she had joined his school not too long ago, and he had been smitten by her from day one. He had successfully struck up a friendship with her, and now it was time to tell her how he felt.
As would be expected, he was feeling slightly nervous, wondering if she’d say yes, decide to think about it, or reject him. He took a few deep breaths as the third option came to mind, almost sending him into a panic. “Calm down, boy. Don’t let your mind wander into unnecessary territory. It’s gonna work out. Besides, Mama will blast you for chickening out at this stage…”
His phone rang. Excitedly, he held it up, checking who it was.
It was his father.
Slightly irritated, he rolled his eyes as he answered. “Hello, Dad?”
“Kwame, you need to get here. Quickly!”
The tone in which his father said that left him feeling quite concerned. It did not sound like all was well. “Where, Dad? What’s wrong?”
“Southlake Regional Health Centre. Your mother’s got a bad case of food poisoning.“
Kwame arrived at the hospital, already a bundle of panic, fear and anxiety. He stood before the reception, flustered and frightened, wondering which ward his mother was in.
His father’s voice came from the right side of the reception. He rushed to him, the questions immediately tumbling out of his mouth.
“Oh my God, Daddy, what happened? How did she get poisoned? Is it serious? Is she gonna be alright?”
Clayton grabbed his hands. “Let’s stay calm, son. I don’t know how it happened. I got a call from her workplace about her throwing up, getting weak and passing out. I really don’t know how; she must have bought something expired on the way to work or so. Let’s just pray, because she apparently has a slightly weaker immune system or so.”
Trembling with fear, he took a couple of deep breaths to get his heartbeat calm. “Alright, Daddy. I’m gonna be calm. She’ll make it.”
“Indeed. She’s in the emergency room right now. Let’s just pray.”
For the next two hours, Clayton and Kwame remained in their seats near the reception, passing few comments, mainly praying in their heads for Mary’s swift recovery. It was agonizing two hours, as both Benson men alternated between despair, hope, trepidation and confidence multiple times at a go.
By 5:45, Kwame was dozing off. Beginning to alternate between staying awake and falling asleep, his head began to fall forward, only to twitch as he moved too low. He snapped out of his half-slumber upon hearing an unfamiliar voice.
He and Clayton looked up to see the doctor looking down on them. They immediately sprung up, looks of hope and anticipation of good news on their faces.
“Doctor! How is she? Is she alright? Can we see her?” Clayton asked anxiously.
The doctor looked quite uneasy at the barrage of questions aimed at him. “Umm, Mr. Benson. Your wife… it was one crazy case. Never seen anything like it. Looked like it was something really toxic in the last food your wife ate that caused this.”
“Doc, I get all that. But please, is she OK now? Can we go see her?” Clayton asked impatiently.
The doctor sighed. First sign of bad news.
“I’m sorry, Mr. Benson, but…”
The rest of the words were irrelevant to Kwame’s ears. The first two were enough to make his stomach sink in horror.
Mary Sarfo Benson, according to the doctor, did not survive. Whatever it was that poisoned her spread too quickly, and her immune system was badly destroyed.
Clayton grabbed the doctor by the cuff of his shirt. “Doc, don’t lie to me. Don’t lie to me! Where is my wife? I want to see my wife!”
The doctor had a look on his face that conveyed absolute regret and heartbreak at having to issue this bad news. He whimpered, “I’m sorry, Mr. Benson, I’m sorry. We did our very best…”
Having shaken the doctor a few times, in utter denial of the news, Clayton stopped. “No,” he whispered. “No. no. My Mary. My sweet Mary. Please, tell me it’s a lie. Please. Tell me my wife is still alive! Please! PLEASE!!” He grew hysterical with each syllable, the doctor putting his arm around him.
Kwame fell to the floor, struck hard by the crushing reality that suddenly came down on him. “NOOO! GOD, NOOOOO! GOD NOOOOOOO!!!” he screamed uncontrollably as nurses rushed to him.
How could this be?He had seen her that morning. Had breakfast with her. Been told to hurry up for the school bus. Given her a kiss on the cheek. Promised her he’d see her that evening and give her the full account of how his proposal went. And suddenly, she was gone? Dead? Just like that?
This was too much to take. Just too much…
“Kwame?” asked Akinyi in concern, noticing her bestie’s expression changing.
Tears filled his eyes as his lower lip twitched, clearly shaken by the memory of that fateful day.
“It was the worst day of my life,” he whispered, his voice breaking. “My beautiful mother. She just left. Suddenly. No warning. God, my life came crashing down that day so hard…”
“Oh, Kwame,” Akinyi said, drawing close to hug him.
A tear from each eye ran down both cheeks as he whispered, “I still miss her so much. I miss her so much! If only I’d known that morning was the last time I’d see her…”
With those words, his breaking voice gave way to bitter sobs, as his reliving the pain of losing her was too much for him to keep a straight face.
Oscar and Adelaide, moved by his sudden breakdown, moved to join Akinyi in embracing him. For about a minute, the four of them just stood in a big huddle as the three comforted Kwame, clearly traumatized by his painful memory. There were no words from any of them; the only sound was that of Kwame crying, as he mourned his mother.
Oscar was the first to break away, rubbing Kwame’s back and whispering, “We’re here for you, Kwame. It’s OK,” before moving to open the car doors.
Adelaide, who couldn’t help but leak a tear herself, whispered to him, “It’s OK, Kwame. God is your strength.” She patted him on the head, which was buried in Akinyi’s shoulder, and stood back.
The little lady kept her free arm around his neck as he began to sniff. As he raised his head, Akinyi held his face. “Kwame, I can only imagine the pain you feel, and I know it’s irrelevant how long it’s been; it’ll always hurt. Losing a parent that way will always hurt. Just know this: nobody can ever fill that void, but if anything at all, we’re always here for you. You have your dad still here. You have the Dolphynes here. And you have me. You’re my best friend, Kwame, and I love you so much.”
Wiping his eyes, Kwame nodded slightly. She gave him another long hug, shushing him as he sniffed.
“Come on, sweetie,” she said as she bade him get up from the bonnet of the car and hooked her arm in his, “let’s get you home.”
Sad story for Kwame. Hmmmmm. The pain of losing some that dear so suddenly never goes away. No doubt about that…
Well, that’s it for this week. The story continues the following Friday. Continue to stay tuned! We wanna see how things will go with Diamond’s business, Toby and that “Delilah geh”, and of course, Adamtey and Aniyah. Continue enjoying the distin!!