It was exactly a week since the tragic accident, and at the entrance of a compound house, there hung a big banner with Glori’s face on it. As one would expect, at the top, in clear capital letters, read the words ‘WHAT A SHOCK!’
As per the usual tradition, a one-week celebration was being held at the home of Glori’s parents, and one wouldn’t need to be a genius to know how thick the atmosphere was with grief, woe and heartbreak.
In the compound, the necessities had been set up, and people were already around. Canopies and chairs had been set up, facing the front of the house, where a table had been placed, with a full-blown picture of the fallen Vanderpuye member.
Glori’s mother was inconsolable. Refusing to be comforted in any way, she wailed uncontrollably about how her ‘shining light’ had been quenched. How the one she believed was going to make it big in life and support them was now gone forever.
The cry of a mother for her departed child is never a pleasant sound to the ears.
Her father, though not as dramatic as his wife, was also in tears as well, sitting among his siblings as he asked God why this had to happen to his beloved little girl. Just when she seemed to be lifting herself slowly, death had sped by and snatched her from the land of the living.
Too many questions, with no chance of receiving any answer whatsoever.
Many a relative, friend and sympathizer were in attendance as well. Everyone was as aghast as the other at this horrible turn of events. How could the lovely, bright, cheerful and enthusiastic Glori, who had just obtained a job as a housekeeper and was trusting and believing God that it was a stepping stone to a brighter and fulfilling, have passed away like this? How could life be so cruel to a young woman who just wanted a better life for herself and her family?
Some of her friends were seated away from the elders, crying bitterly as they reminisced the good times they had with her.
Among them, was Boahemaa.
Being the closest to Glori, it was no surprise that her lamentations were the loudest. As she cried, however, none of them knew how much of those cries were fuelled by a niggling feeling of guilt. They simply patted her on the back and consoled her as they wept themselves.
The gate opened, and in stepped Rawda, in black leggings and the black T-shirt made for the event. Her eyes were red and puffy, showing how much she had been crying herself. Greeting the people who were standing by the gate, she moved to where the family members were. Upon seeing the despondent state of Glori’s mother in particular, though, she decided she might hold on a bit. Mrs. Vanderpuye looked way too shattered to receive greetings at that moment. She did move to Mr. Vanderpuye and shook hands with him, giving him her heartfelt condolences.
Moving away from the canopies, she looked around.
Too many memories of her time with the one being mourned.
She had visited this house on countless occasions. Always been greeted by a giddy Glori, ready to receive her and engage in hours of chit-chat with her. Now, the only sightings of her friend were on the T-shirts people wore, as well as the photo at the table. The person herself was no more.
Rawda rubbed her eyes as tears threatened to leak out. Why, Glori, why? Why did you have to fall into that trap? Oh! Now look at this! It shouldn’t have been like this!
Her head turned in the direction of the friends mourning. And she saw the one sitting on the floor in their midst, belting out her sorrow as loud as she could.
“HEI, GLORI! WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITHOUT YOU OOOOO! MY ONLY SISTER! MY GOSSIP PARTNER! EEEII! DEATH, SEE WHAT YOU HAVE DONE TO ME! BUEI! BUEI! BUEI!”
Upon seeing her in that state, Rawda’s expression changed.
From a sorrowful one to an angry one.
Such nerve this girl had to be wailing like that! Wasn’t she the one who cheered Glori on while she slept with a married man? How dare she? They hadn’t spoken since the news broke, but there was no doubt about it, Rawda was not the least bit pleased with her friend.
And seeing her like that only made her more annoyed.
Go and give it to her! Such nonsense! If she had been a real friend, she wouldn’t have been accommodating Glori’s foolishness!
No, this is not the right time. Don’t do it…
DO IT! GO AND TELL HER OFF! SHE’S NOT FIT TO BE DOING WHAT SHE’S DOING!
The louder, dominant voice in Rawda’s head prevailed.
She stormed over to them, the cauldron within increasing in heated rage as she got closer. “Hey, hey, hey, hey, what is the meaning of all this?” she snapped at Boahemaa as she came to stand before them.
Boahemaa and the other ladies around looked shocked. “Ah, but Rawda-” one of them began.
“Please, please, please! You this Boahemaa girl, you are a big hypocrite!” she charged on, pointing a finger at her. “You are sitting here wailing your head off. Are you not at fault in some way?”
The sorrow shoved to another side, Boahemaa rose to her feet, not the least bit amused, while the confusion among the others remained etched on their faces. “Ah, my friend, what is the meaning of this?” she demanded. “Was she not my friend as well? Did I know what happened would happen?”
“Oh, get away!” Rawda shot back. “If you were a real friend, wouldn’t you have told her to stop creeping around with that man? Instead, you were giving her fans. Encouraging her. Giving her vim. Now that she’s gone, you are coming to form chief mourner! Hypocrite! Big, shameless hypocrite!”
At this point, the confrontation was starting to get the attention of the other mourners. Attention suddenly turned from dwelling on the painful departure to the two young ladies going at each other.
Boahemaa folded her arms as she narrowed her eyes at Rawda. “So you diɛɛ, you are the real friend, eh? You are the only one who should do the proper mourning, eh? Oya, then roll on the floor and scream, now! Nobody is stopping you. Arrant nonsense! This is what Glori and I never liked about you. Judgmental, self righteous little prude. Always acting like you’re better than us…”
“That’s never true! Did I ever judge you girls? Huh? Was it not just jokes and fooling around? Did I expect that any of you would actually stoop that low?”
“Oya, you see that? Stoop so low! Kyerɛsɛ we were some immoral little tramps and you diɛɛ, immaculate Virgin Mary. Shame on you! You see you’ve exposed yourself? Pharisee papa paa! Religious witch!”
“Don’t you dare call me a witch!” Rawda warned.
“Hoooooooooo! Judgmental witch! Shameless Pharisee!” Boahemaa hooted, clapping her hands in her friend’s face.
She knew her friend to have quite a feisty and irritating edge at times, but that action really incensed Rawda. Nothing ground her gears more than being hooted at.
“You know, I’d rather be a Pharisee than an immoral whore like you!”
That clapback was not what Boahemaa had expected, and it definitely struck a nerve. Stopping for a moment, her next response was swift.
Basically, her left hand flying through the air and landing forcefully on Rawda’s cheek.
At this point, hell began to break loose.
The surrounding friends, who had tried their best to placate the two, now had a bigger task of restraining them from ripping into each other. As they held Rawda and Boahemaa back from lunging at each other and exchanging blows, the Vanderpuye parents had risen from their seats and were walking towards the scene of the fight. “Herh, herh, what is the meaning of all this?” Glori’s mother demanded angrily.
They were too busy trying to break free from the holds of the others to hear her.
“F*** you, Boahemaa!” Rawda yelled. “It’s your fault Glori is gone. You’re a pathetic excuse of a friend.”
“Go to hell, you judgmental witch!” Boahemaa spat back.
Glori’s father, very displeased with this turn of events, stepped before them. “Hey! Listen here!” he bellowed.
Everyone, including the bickering friends, grew silent.
“This is a serious occasion. I just lost my beloved ray of sunshine, and the last thing I need is for you to come and spoil the occasion with whatever nonsense you have. If that’s why you are here, then you better leave… in fact, please, just get out of here. I’m not accepting this foolishness. Leave! Go! Away with you both!”
What an embarrassment. To be sacked from your late friend’s one-week celebration.
As he directed some of the young men around to show them out, they were still being restrained by their friends as they threw some more nasty comments at each other. Including language that would make the elderly cringe in utter disgust.
“Hey, shut up and get out of my house! Stupid girls!” Mr. Vanderpuye snapped after hearing them snidely insult each other’s flowers, with Rawda insinuating Boahemaa had a loose one, and the latter calling the former’s a “stale, rotting hole”.
The young men successfully pushed them to the gate and showed them the way out. One or two of them decided to follow them outside to ensure they didn’t descend upon each other.
But as the gate closed behind them, it was obvious that the grave atmosphere had been sorely interrupted. Family, friends and sympathizers were shaken up by that fight. A solemn occasion had been roughed up by an ugly clash, and tongues would be set wagging in no time.
Well, that was an ugly and pretty much unnecessary clash between the two friends. We probably had a feeling such would happen, but at the one-week celebration. Too disrespectful. What happens next?