It was 7:50 am on a Wednesday morning.
And it was a knock on the door that woke Leticia up.
Stirring as she lifted herself to sit up on the bed, she looked at the two little human beings on each side of her. Denise to the left, Samuel to the right. They were still soundly asleep, their cute little faces as peaceful as could be.
Shutting her eyes, she sucked her lips in and shook her head. The previous day had been awful to deal with.
Imagine having to tell your four year-old daughter and six year-old little boy that the man they looked up to and adored with a passion would never be coming back home. The reaction would never be pleasant.
And that was exactly what Leticia had had to deal with. A crying Samuel and Denise who did not want to accept those harsh words and kept calling for their daddy. They wailed and demanded she call him to show it was a falsehood. The latter, which she painfully did, yielded no results, as one would expect: the automated voice message stating that the number was switched off was as close as the little Dawsons would ever get.
They could not regain their composure for the rest of the day, so Leticia decided to let them join her in her room. As they cried themselves to sleep, calling for a daddy that would never come back home to kiss them and play with them and buy them chocolate, the knife in Leticia’s heart dug itself a few more centimeters in.
She hated to see her babies this upset and not be able to do anything about it.
Look at what you’ve done to our children! She inwardly cursed at him as she had dozed off herself. Now they’re fatherless. Wounded for life. Left with vacuums that can never be filled. All because of you and your selfishness. Damn you, Thomas!
“Yes, Ma,” she called. The door opened, and her mother’s head popped in, a look of sympathy already imprinted on her face
“Hmmm, yesterday was difficult papa,” Mrs. Adjei commented. “The poor children took it really hard, didn’t they?”
Leticia simply nodded.
“Hmmm. So still no work, no school?”
Leticia shook her head. “Nahh. The MD has given me quite some time. And the headmistress was quite understanding when I explained. So that’s that.”
“Mmmm, alright. So, what are you doing for the day?”
“I’m going to see Father Bondzie.”
Sitting in her room, Rawda scrolled mindlessly through the Twitter timeline displayed on her phone. The sound of light showers was the company that drove away any feeling of absolute empty loneliness.
As she just went through tweets without stopping to really read any, the events of the one week celebration circled around her brain.
“Ah, but why would you do that? Don’t you know there’s a time and place for everything?” her older brother, Samed, had sternly reprimanded her after she admitted to blowing up at the event. “A solemn occasion and you go and misbehave like that? What is wrong with you?”
In hindsight, she realized that it was indeed a major brain fart to attack Boahemaa at such an event. Glori’s parents had been deeply disrespected by her actions, and she definitely owed them an apology.
But was she sorry about attacking Boahemaa? Not a chance.
Marcus Aurelius once said, “Anger cannot be dishonest”, and she was convinced that the words from Boahemaa were but a revelation of how she actually felt about her. To have it thrown in her face that the two of them considered her as a self-righteous person hurt a lot, and she still smarted over it, particularly that ‘religious witch’ jab.
Was it about the fact that whenever they joked about their love for hot guys, she always jokingly scolded them? Did they think she disapproved of their personal tastes or something? Why would they think that? She always made it clear she had no issues with them, it was just how they were always going gaga over any man with a divinely chiseled chest that she found amusing.
Well, she was still upset over Glori’s death, no doubt. And going to apologize to the Vanderpuyes was an essential. But as far as Boahemaa was concerned, she was not the least bit pleased.
As she replayed the nasty hoots and insults she had received from her friend, an idea came to mind.
Heading to her list of Twitter followers, she scrolled down, looking for the username b_a_p_piah.
Boahemaa’s Twitter handle.
Once she found it, she tapped on the handle, and upon opening the profile, swiftly tapped the unfollow button.
Closing the app, she went straight for the contacts list, moving to Boahemaa’s number. Without a second thought, the number was deleted from the phone in a matter of seconds.
Looking outside her window, she sighed.
I’ll go and apologize to the Vanderpuyes tomorrow morning. It’s the best I can do, and they deserve better than what I did. As for that stupid girl, forget her. I don’t want to have anything to do with her…
“Just let it out, Leticia. Just let it out,” Reverend Bondzie said calmly.
Leticia continued to cry loudly into the couch in his office, feeling the pent up pain and grief break free from her soul with each mournful wail.
That, in all truthfulness, was the reason why she had left the house and come to see the priest: to find a safe haven to let out her feelings. She didn’t want to break down in front of the kids; they were already now coming to terms with the terrible news, and she needed to be strong for them. So she came to the place she could vent, and vent she did.
After a few moments, she lifted her head up, eyes red and nose runny. “Rev, what did I do to deserve this?” she asked. “I did my best. I know I wasn’t a good wife all the time, but I tried. After that fight. I put my all into the marriage. Did what I had to do. Yet all this time, he didn’t like me. Thought the worst of me. Ran off to have an affair with my freaking housekeeper! Reverend, what did I do wrong? What?!”
Reverend Bondzie sighed. This was obviously a question he could not answer. Just when he thought all was well, this had to happen. “Leticia, if I had answers to this, you know I’d happily give them to you. But I don’t. It’s just as baffling to me. So they actually were having a fling?”
Leticia let out a slightly impatient sigh. “Yes, Rev, yes. They were. The diary made it all clear. And according to the tests carried out, there was some semen found in Glori’s body, and that semen came from my husband. Yes, they were sleeping with each other behind my back. And all I wanna know is why. Was I that bad a wife or something? I just… I don’t get it.”
“Leticia, Leticia, don’t put this on yourself. Please,” the priest pleaded, his hand on her shoulder. “Whatever the reason for the choices made, do not place it upon yourself. You do not have to take responsibility for this. Don’t do that to yourself. Please.”
Sniffing as she took out a tissue to wipe her nose, she shook her head as more tears continued to flow. “I loved him, Rev. I loved Thomas so much. He was my favourite man. From the day he wooed me, I knew I wanted nobody else but him to spend the rest of my days with. I thought ’till death do us part’ would be when we’re old and ready to leave this earth, still treasuring each other so deeply. Not like this. Not with him giving up on us like this. Walking out on me when I didn’t even know it…”
Reverend Bondzie stayed silent, taking out a tissue and handing it to her to wipe away the tears. “If I might ask, Leticia,” he asked gently, “how exactly do you feel right now?”
“Angry. Heartbroken. Upset. Furious,” she immediately replied. “Losing the man I love is the worst feeling on the planet. This is everything I used to pray against, yet it’s my reality right now. And the fact that I lost him in a different way before this even happened makes it worse. I almost wish to God I hadn’t read that cursed diary, yet I still would’ve wondered what she was doing in the car with him once the news arrived. I’m angry, Reverend. So angry. And so hurt. Why would they do this to me?
“And Glori. I took her in, gave her a job, decided to treat her like a niece because I don’t believe in treating those below me some way. I even went as far as to try and help her to improve her talents, just so she can become somebody. Always telling me she wanted to become a playwright and a motivational speaker. I did all this for her, not out of obligation, but just coz I love to help people reach the top just like me, and this is how she repaid me? By having sex with my husband on my matrimonial bed? Running away with him to Kumasi to have an affair in a house I never knew he owned? God have mercy, if that girl isn’t burning in hell right now…”
“No, no, no, no. Leticia, I know you’re upset, but please, don’t be saying such things.”
“Why shouldn’t I? isn’t it a sin to be doing what she did? Don’t people go to hell for doing such things? Don’t they?”
Reverend Bondzie sighed again. The anger was real, for a gentle soul like Leticia to be declaring eternal damnation upon the deceased housekeeper. “Leticia, please. Let’s not tow that line. Judgment ultimately belongs to God. Please, drop it.”
Leticia’s face did not convey an intent to do so, but she didn’t come there to bicker with her priest. So she sighed and muttered, “Fine, I’ll drop it. But I’m still so hurt. Her parents have been calling, and honestly, I don’t want to have anything to do with them. Whatever they want to do with her, they can do. They should just leave me alone.”
“Hmmmm,” Reverend Bondzie murmured. Leticia was an absolute mess of emotions, and obviously, he couldn’t blame her. To try and straighten her out at that point, though, was not the most ideal, in his opinion. Still coming to terms with the secret betrayal, she would be better off letting out all the pent up rage before coming to certain decisions. “Listen, it’s still early days. Give yourself some time to process what you’re feeling, okay? There’s so much hurt inside. Just let it out, and then we’ll know where to move from there.”
Leticia simply sat there, eyes fixed on the crucifix by the door. A few moments later, her gaze switched to her priest. “Reverend, I just wish I had answers,” she said sorrowfully. “Why he gave up on us. Why I became a pariah to him. If only I had answers. If only…”
Once again, the priest sighed as she broke down. Indeed, answers to those questions would be so appreciated.
Unfortunately, the one who could give those answers was lying in a fridge in the mortuary.
The wish was a futile one. They would probably never find the answers to those questions.
This widow is really going through it, isn’t she? And isn’t Rawda being a little too harsh at the moment? Oh well…