A lovely Wednesday morning it was. A morning with the sun out in all its glory, surrounded by clear blue skies and very few clouds.
In the Dawson household, it was a busy morning, as this would be the last time there would be any serious activity in it.
Leticia and the children were leaving.
“Sammy! Denny! Time for us to get going now!” Leticia called.
The children walked out of their room, looking pretty sad. “I’m gonna miss this place, Mummy,” Samuel said, holding on to his mother.
Leticia sighed as she placed a hand on her little boy’s head while looking around one last time. She knew it was not going to be easy for them to leave. New surroundings. New school. New friends. She knew it would be tough for her little ones.
But staying here was tougher. She had thought about it long enough, and she was convinced. To remain in these surroundings would not help her get over the spite lodged firmly in some corner of her heart. And that wouldn’t be helpful for her or them in the long run. This had to be done.
Two more weeks had passed, and she was sure that this was the right decision to make. Her healing was not going to come by just pretending to be okay, but by dealing with it properly. Time wasn’t going to heal these wounds as far as she was concerned.
“I know, baby, I know. But it’s for the best. And I’m sure you’ll get used to our new place.”
The three of them walked out of the room and onto the porch, where Thomas’ dad and Reverend Bondzie sat, waiting for them. They rose from their seats, giving the children big smiles.
“My sweetheart Denise!” Thomas’ father said as he ushered his granddaughter into his arms, as Samuel walked to the priest. The older Mr. Dawson looked at Leticia and gave a sad nod. He had also tried to convince her not to leave, but she had insisted that it was the only way she could properly move on with life.
“So the flight is at 9 o’ clock, right?” he asked.
“Alright. Well, so as we already settled at the courts, I’m going to handle the distribution of the family property. Are you sure you don’t want to take possession of the house in Kumasi?”
Leticia shook her head. Already, staying in their house was bad enough. To take the house where Thomas and Glori had spent the entire weekend hungrily devouring each other with a passion all over was another issue altogether. “No, Daddy. I’ll hold it in trust for the kids for now. I’m sure they’ll know what to do with it by then.”
“No problem. So I’ll sell this house and let you have the proceeds, and if anything else pops up, I’ll let you know.”
Then, he sighed and bowed his head. “Hmmmm. Leticia. God knows it wasn’t meant to be like this…”
“Daddy,” Leticia intercepted gently, putting a hand on his shoulder, as Reverend Bondzie did likewise on the other shoulder, “I know too well. It wasn’t. But… I guess… choices were made, and…”
Her voice beginning to break, the two elderly men switched to comforting her. “It’s alright, Leticia. It’s alright,” Rev. Bondzie assured her. “This is your first step in moving on. We would’ve wished you could move on here, but you need to do what’s best for your mental health, and for the children too.”
“Just take good care of yourself and the children, alright?” Thomas’ father said to her, to which she nodded.
“Anything else left in the house?” Rev. Bondzie asked.
She shook her head. “Sammy and Denise went for their bags. Everything else has been packed and is in the car.”
“Alright. Good, good. Shall we take a moment to pray before you set off, then?”
Leticia, Thomas’ father and the children all duly closed their eyes and bowed their heads.
“Heavenly Father, yet again, a new day is here, and it is only by Your grace that we are standing here, and for that, we are ever grateful. Lord, I commit Your daughter Leticia and the children into your hands…”
Turning her head to the left, Leticia saw Denise fast asleep and securely buckled in her seat.
Placing her hand on the little girl’s head, she looked behind. The young man sitting behind her gave her a thumbs up as she noticed Samuel in slumber as well. She gave him a grateful smile and turned.
Twenty minutes into the flight, and they were out of Accra. She sighed as she stretched her neck to look out the window. She had seen the seas and the canoes on the shores. Such a lovely sight. And it hadn’t been the first time.
It reminded her of the last time she and Thomas sat on a plane together. She had been excited about the scene and told Thomas, who gave a weak smile and nodded and said, “Ohh, that’s nice.”
In hindsight, since that had happened after the infamous row, she was sure he probably cursed her in his head.
But that was immaterial now.
It was nothing but green vegetation she could see now. And if she was going to get through this, reliving memories wouldn’t be the most helpful.
Just think of the future ahead of you, girl, she encouraged herself as she leaned back in her seat and closed her eyes. The past is the past. It’s time to focus on what’s ahead of me…
Midday had arrived. Leticia and the kids were now at their new home.
Kwesi had met them at the airport and duly taken them to their new neighbourhood. A comfortable little bungalow in a rather comfy neighbourhood. Upon arriving, she was pleased she had delegated the task of a new home to him; he had secured a good place for them.
As he helped the children get their room in order, Leticia stepped out of the house to make a call. She had spoken to Thomas’ father and her parents on the way to the new home. Now she had to contact her now former priest.
“Yeah, Reverend Bondzie. We’re in Sunyani now.”
“Oh, thank God for travelling mercies. Good to hear. Have you arrived at your new home yet?”
“Yeah, we’re already working on setting it up as I speak. Kwesi is helping the kids set up their bedroom. Sammy seems pretty excited about it, so that’s a positive.”
“That’s great to hear. So please, Leticia, let me be hearing from you often. We might be miles away from each other now, but I still wanna know how you’re doing.”
“Oh, don’t worry at all, Father. I’m definitely gonna be keeping in touch. Don’t be in doubt about that.”
“Great, great. So you start work tomorrow?”
“No, I’ll start on Monday. So I’m going to the hospital to check up on my brother and see how far with his rehabilitation. Then I’ll go and meet the therapist for the first time.”
“Alright, alright. Well, all the best in that. We’re praying God helps you through that period.”
“Thank you, Rev. I’m most grateful.”
Barnabas looked surprised but delighted to see his sister as she walked into the room. Her name had come out of his mouth in a slurred way, indicating how the stroke had affected his speech. He attempted a smile as she came to land a kiss on his forehead.
“Hey, Barnie, you doing good?”
He nodded, his eyes looking up at her with joy.
“Great. The nurses told me you’re doing fine, and that’s great to hear. So far, I hear your speech therapy is coming along nicely. Petite a petite, right?”
“Yeahhhh. I’m okayy,” he drawled slowly, nodding his head in similar fashion as she sat down, placing a basket by his side.
“Good. Well, like I said, I’m now settling here in Sunyani. Going to make sure I do everything I can to help you get back to the Barnabas we know you to be. I know it’ll take a while, but I’ll be here through it all.”
Barnabas looked confused. “Buutt… th-the children? Thommmassss? Wherrree is heeeee?”
A wistful smile appeared on her lips upon the mention of that name. She had anticipated this.
“Don’t worry about all that. I’ll let you know what’s happened in time. For now, I brought you some of your favourite yam balls. Just the way Maame used to make them back in the day…”
Standing in front of the door, Leticia heaved a big sigh.
This was it. The final major task for the day.
After letting Kwesi take the children to a nearby playground so they could make new friends, and visiting her brother, it was now time to see the therapist.
Time to truly begin the journey of healing from the pain of loss. The pain of betrayal. The burning urge to hold on to that flaming coal of anger.
Quickly doing the sign of the cross, she knocked on the door, opening it after she heard an order to come in.
The middle-aged lady sitting at her desk put down her papers and flashed Leticia a wide smile as she approached. “Please take a seat,” she said warmly, to which Leticia obliged.
Picking up a sheet of paper, she looked at it. “Okay, so… Miss Adjei, right?”
Leticia smiled, then nodded. “Yes. Miss Leticia Adjei.”
“Alright, so my name is Abigail Ofori, as you already know, and you’re welcome to the first day of therapy. Let’s begin, shall we?”
So Leticia begins the path to healing. That in itself is an entirely different story altogether. Well, like she said, choices were made, and the consequences are what we witnessed in this really dark season. I guess that’s a lesson we might just take from this. Choices have consequences. We might as well know what to do.
Thanks for reading, everyone!!