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Journey To Da Bar

Journey To Da Bar #7 – 17th December 2020

“Chale, that was not an easy time. The way Smooth Wrapz suffered, eh, if it wasn’t for having a support system in Daddy and Maa, things would’ve gone bad for us,” Diamond recounted as she shook her head.

“Yeah, it was tough. March, April and May really went by fast. Coz chale, you wake up, and there’s no work or school. It was a challenge. And for me, the worst part was that it totally drained my ‘student battery’…”

“Oh, Lawyer Kwamina, you’ve said it ooo! Ei! Me that I’m always learning between 8 to 10. During that period, I didn’t even remember where my books where. No motivation to study,” Toby added.

“None whatsoever oo, Toby! I’ll pick a book and say I’m going to learn. Hoh, notin! If I wasn’t watching HITC Sport and letting the Irish Guy entertain me or playing Bitcoin games, forgetti! Nothing academic whatsoever, chale. And at a point, it was annoying mpo. One half of me just wanted this to continue for as long as possible coz the lazy life dey bee. But I also wanted us to go back and just finish this course and go our way.

“So the school started some Zoom classes. They secured some student Vodafone SIM cards for us, and we got a little active. It was okay aaaa, but there was still some tints of laziness. My study group gave each person questions to work on and stuff, so that also pushed me to get into the books. And in the midst of waiting, the results from the resit arrived.

“And they went well, right?” Serwaah asked.

“Ummmm… not as I had hoped. I saw the Civil Procedure results and realized I had failed it again.”

“Oh!”

“Yeah, I was not happy at all. But at least Evidence went well. The little I did managed to get me over the line for that one. But now I had to get serious about studying once again. Thankfully, I had someone to study with, so that kept me motivated. It wasn’t too long before it was announced that we were returning to campus. In June.”

“Oh finally!” Oscar breathed.

“Yeah, finally. I felt relieved that we could finally complete the thing, because at that point, we should have written the exams. But the thing I wasn’t so happy about was how the final years for Tech were not coming back, since they were doing theirs online. So basically, Senyo and I would be returning to a virtually empty hostel.

“Yeah, I can imagine. It’s not always the nicest to be all alone in your hostel, chale. Sometimes the knowledge that people are present is nice,” Today said. Then with a sly grin, he added, “plus, catching word of the naughty things going on in the hostel…”

I laughed out loud. “There was a lot of that, chale. And even when we went back, there were some distins here and there. Anyways, lemme not go there, na this is PG-18 stuff. Eventually, we returned to Kumasi, and of course, all the COVID protocols were in place. Social distancing, wearing of masks… all that stuff. We went for a few lectures, Senyo and I, but ultimately, once July began, we did our own thing. Studying on our own and going for group studies.

“The whole of July was solely for getting ready to climb that final mountain ahead of us. Eventually, it passed, and August was upon us. We started the exams in the middle of the month.

“First paper was Conveyancing. Chale, I had been drafting the entire 2 days before the paper. I went in, and everything was set for me. That paper was as smooth as could be. Two days later, Advocacy and Legal Ethics. It was a little bit of a shaker for me, but not so much. I had total control over what I was doing.

“Then my next paper was on the next Friday. Civil Procedure. Very nice timing, especially considering how they initially put it in between the first two papers.”

“AH! So like, you would have written Conveyancing, Civil Procedure and Advocacy within three days?” Anasah exclaimed. “That’s torture!”

“Absolute torture. But they changed it, so chale, I was glad. That week too was my birthday week. Definitely one of my best birthdays ever.”

“Awwwwww!” they all cooed, a hint of mischief tinged in their unanimous reaction.

“Herh, behave yourselves! So yeah, I took a break on Wednesday, and went straight back to work on Thursday. Friday came, and I went to write it, and my goodness, was it a smooth ride! That one was duly dealt with.

“Nice!”

“So the final weekend came, and we started packing small small. Chale, we were tired of the place ooo. When we went back, there were a few people around. By the time August began, it was proper empty. Aside the guy opposite us, nobody else was around. So we were in a serious hurry to finish and get out of there. So the last week started, and Tuesday brought Interpretation. I definitely had enough to make it through there, even though I was often wondering if it was enough.

“And then Friday! Family law was written, which I had little problems with, and we immediately met in one of the exam halls and thanked God for taking us through the exam period.

“Saturday! By 5 am, Senyo had packed everything, and was on his way back to Ho. Around 1:30, my people came for me, and I was out.

“The end of your time in Kumasi,” Diamond remarked.

“Yep. So after that, I spent about a week resting. Then internship called. I did it where I currently am, and it was okay. Coz of how COVID messed up our regular timetables, we were doing it for 6 weeks, coz the call was scheduled for the end of November. So as we went on with it, we got our logbooks and stuff ready for the upcoming interview. After the internship, I went and got my senior and my magistrate to sign my stuff, and by the last day of submission, I was done.

“Friday was the day of the interview, and even though we moved at a ridiculously slow pace, it was eventually done, and for my batch, the panel was pretty nice. There was no tension. I remember the judge pointing out to me how crucial it is to be diligent as a lawyer, since it’s the difference between a client being in trouble and being free.”

“True, true. That’s one thing Daddy always says about Maa. That she was one helluva diligent lawyer before she got called to the Bench,” Serwaah commented.

“Yeah, so chale, I’m gonna make that a prime feature of my work. So yeah, around this time, early November, we thought that the results would be out by then. But nope, we kept waiting. Mid-November came, and we were still waiting. Last week of November came, and the Call was officially postponed. So 17th December was the new date.

“Ughh, the torment!” Oscar grimaced.

“Nasty torment, chale. Man just wanted to know wossop, so we can work towards our how far. And of course, the rumour mill was always working. They say this, they say that… hmmm. It wasn’t easy.

“So December arrived, and during that period too, elections was the major thing on the mind of the nation. Some of us weren’t that bothered about it, chale. What we wanted was to know what IEC had done.

“4th December was the date of release, according to our Co-ordinator. I remember that day, we were just anxiously waiting to see what would come up. Herh, stresssssss! I didn’t go out the whole day; I was just too tense, waiting to see what the results were. Somewhere around 5 or so, then we got a message: it wasn’t gonna be released that day.”

“Ahh! But these people paaa! What kind of hypertension were they trying to inflict upon y’all?” Diamond questioned. “Or they thought waiting for results is a sweet experience?”

“I wonder mpo. Once that came out, I just switched my mind off the results coming any time soon. I went to do some gaming on my laptop, na chale, this life, I can’t kill myself. So I was doing that naaa, then on our class page, a message was sent. The Registrar said our results were in, and she was sending them.”

“Kaaishhh! Somebody’s stomach!” Toby remarked.

“Chale, I couldn’t play the game anymore. I just started watching my phone screen, waiting for the goods to drop. Like 10 or 15 minutes passed, man is still waiting. Then one of my colleagues sent pictures of the results on the notice board, and chale, heartbeat increase. Intense ayɛmshishiɛ. But of course, this is what I had been waiting for, so chale, I opened it.

“And right there on the first page of the pass list, I saw my index number. Bold and clear.”

“Awwww, the battle was finally over!” Diamond gushed as she and the others clapped their hands.

“Yes, the battle was over, and I was victorious. I still remember how happy the atmosphere was when my dad came home. We celebrated ankasa. Even before that, I was just so excited, I ran around the house for like 30 minutes, just high on excitement. It was such a grand feeling. After my multiple resits in University of London, the stress of my first few months in GSL… I had finally made it. Damn, it was a great feeling!”

“Of course, there were some casualties who will have to wait a bit before joining us at the Bar, and that dampened the excitement a bit. I know without a doubt that those who were referred were pretty devastated by it, and I feel for them. But chale, they will soon join us, and in the long run, at the Bar, nobody really cares if you were called at the main call or mini call. What matters is that you’re at the Bar. So they’ll join us soon, no doubt.

“As for the days that followed, a whole lot of excitement and stuff. As well as doing all the necessary stuff to complete our transition from the school. So we had forms to fill and get sponsors to fill. We had to buy our attire. Prepare for the dinner. All that. And we did it all, chale. After all the hard work, it’s not some forms that will cause us to be eliminated.

“And the days finally arrived! Wednesday evening, I had a few of my mates join me as we made our way to the Conference Center for the Call Dinner. A couple of speeches, mainly words of advice to us on how we should comport ourselves as members of the Bar. Plenty toasts. And even more pictures. Of course, we were never gonna spare the pictures. Especially when some of us were just killing it. Like yours truly!”

“I know right!” Oscar agreed. “Your pics in the blue suit were just all kinds of fire. It was lit! Ogya nkwaa!”

“Thanks! So we had a good time, and then I went to drop my people off, and went home. And chale, I couldn’t sleep the entire night. All the excitement just wouldn’t let me. Chale, after saying I want to become a lawyer somewhere in 2013, and starting the journey in 2014, it was just hitting me that yo, Kwamina, in a couple of hours, you are going to become a lawyer for real!”

“I can only imagine, Lawyer,” Serwaah responded. “All the years of hard work and determination coming up to that glorious day. It was definitely gonna be exciting.”

“Oh, it was. The day of reckoning finally arrived. 17th December 2020.

“So by 4 am, I was ironing my stuff and getting ready to dress up. By 5:30, I was ready and dressed up. By 6 thereabout, I was out of the house to go pick up my colleagues. I got to Legon and they were all ready and waiting. We went to the fountain and took some plenty pics, then made our way to the Conference Center. Seeing my mates all robed up, putting out their pictures… such a surreal experience.

“But you know when it really hit me? When I got my brochure and looked at the section for us new lawyers. Seeing my picture in there. Seeing the pictures of all the people I sat in class with. It really struck me at that point. I had made it. My colleagues had made it. We were now lawyers! I honestly felt like tears should’ve been streaming down my cheek. They weren’t, though.

“As a whole, the ceremony was as its supposed to be. Solemn, and straightforward. It felt good to hear the Judicial Secretary call my name as I went to get my certificate. It didn’t take long, and we were through, and we were done. So yeah, some other things went on, but ultimately, by the end of 17th December 2020, I officially became Mr. Sean Isaac Kwamina Addo-Mensah, Esq. Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Ghana!”

Before I finished that, the Dolphynes were already on their feet, applauding and cheering loudly.

“Awesome story, Mr. Addo-Mensah! Lord, you’ve had one heck of a journey!” Diamond exclaimed. “But thanks be to God, you finally made it!”

“Yeah. Congratulations once again, Lawyer Kwamina!” Serwaah congratulated me.

“Yeah, yeah, congrats! You made it, chale! More grease to your elbow, sir!” Toby added.

I rose from my seat and clasped my hands together. “Thanks so much for the love, guys. It’s been pretty overwhelming, the love that has come from all angles. Facebook, IG, WhatsApp… people have shown love for this achievement, and I’m grateful. Chale, it still hasn’t fully sunk in, but with time, it obviously will.”

“Speaking of social media, any comments on the special love you got on Facebook?” Toby grinned.

I rolled my eyes. “No, no comment on that. I don’t like stress.”

They all laughed at that.

“That aside, I really appreciate the love. Honestly. I know for a fact that a new journey begins. Now that I’m at the Bar diɛɛ, there’s a lot I aim to achieve. I definitely intend to leave my mark and have a legacy in Ghana’s legal history. It’ll take time, but of course, I already knew that. All I need to do for now is build myself, keep learning and depend on God to guide me, and I’ll surely make it and make my wife, kids and family and friends happy and proud of me.

“So yeah, by the grace of God, and with the hard work I put in, after six years of hustling, falling and rising, I made it. And that is my journey to the Bar.”

Applause and cheers.

Yes, dear reader, that is my story. It was not an easy journey, but at the end, I finally arrived at my destination. This was a story I always intended to share with y’all, and I’m glad I managed to do it like this. Thanks for reading!! And now that 2021’s business has kicked off, expect a busy year, y’all!

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Journey To Da Bar

Journey To Da Bar #6 – Part 1 & 2

“So, 2019 came about. It was time for man to start preparing, because June wasn’t too far away, and with the way the system is, the last thing I wanted was to become a victim. Six subjects for Part 1, and if you fail more than two, you have to begin the entire course all over again.”

They shook their heads. “That thing is just so unreasonable, chale,” Diamond said. “Maa doesn’t like it one bit.”

“Yeah, she’s complained about it a few times. She’s like, why make the students do an entire course all over again when you can simply make them rewrite the subjects they failed? It makes way more sense,” Anasah added.

“It’s crazy, chale. But well, I’m just hoping the change comes, coz it’s just too much of an unnecessary punishment. So anyways, as we prepared, we had some interesting times. The countless breakfasts and lunches, which wouldn’t have been possible without the amazing Auntie Aisha. We visited the courts twice, one for Criminal Assizes and another was just to observe proceedings at the Court of Appeal. Then there was the SRC elections, with different campaigns and all. Ultimately, the presidency was won by Jonathan Alua…”

“Mmmmm, Mr. Jonathan Alua. He’s so cute, with that dimple and all,” Diamond sighed, a dreamy but mischievous smirk on her face.

“I’m telling Edem!”

We laughed as Diamond threw a pillow at Toby for that statement.

“Yeah, he is. And his girl is cute too. Cute lawyer recognize cute lawyer, chale. So yeah, the months went by, and it was studies, church, studies, church… that same old combo. Then May arrived, the Tech students wrote their exams, vacated and went home, and campus became mad empty. We were still preparing. Then the main month arrived, and within that period too, I went to apply for membership of SRC Congress. I got it, along with four others in the class, and at some point, we went to Accra for the handing over, and returned to Kumasi the next day. A brief interruption during the revision period, but we went on with it.

“Exam time arrived, and good Lord, what a stressful period it was. Two weeks, Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Chale! Senyo and I barely had time for sleep during the night; learning hard throughout the night. It was only after a paper that we’ll sleep, then we’re back to work in the evening. It wasn’t easy kraaaa.

“So the first paper was Civil Procedure. Honestly, that paper rocked me. When I left the exam hall, I knew that chale, it would be a miracle if I passed it. A major miracle. Wednesday was Criminal Procedure. As for that one, with the kind of effort His Lordship Justice Osei-Hwere put into teaching us, there was no way I was failing that paper. As smooth as could be, chale. Then ADR was on Friday. That one was another cool breeze. So by Friday evening, I knew that at least, two papers have been defeated.

“The next week came, and Monday was Accounting and Legal Practice Management. Chale, the way the Accounting was a thorn in my flesh throughout the academic year, eh! I remember lying down for a bit from about 3:30 to 4, then I got up and told Senyo, “Senyo, I don’t think I’m ready for this paper.” He felt the same way. The tension as we went to write that paper diɛɛ, something else. But eventually, it turned out to be fine. I had done some classes with an Accounting tutor we called Wofa Atta, and the first thing he taught me that I understood was what came in the exam.”

“Alaaa, that thing is sweet ooo!” Toby gushed, rubbing his hands together. “When you target a particular topic and it comes. Chale, you want to dance in the exam hall mpo!”

“No be small! So that one went okay. For Accounting, I was cool. For LPM, I was just hoping I had done enough. Then Wednesday came. Company & Commercial Procedure. That went very well for me too. Thanks to one of my seniors, Ernest, I had a very good idea of what to prepare for, and true to form, my preparations were on point. The last day was for Evidence, and honestly, I think if I had read Mensah and others v The Republic beforehand, I would have been fully prepared. But I was taken off guard, to an extent. I did my best, regardless.”

“So that was it for the year?” Serwaah asked.

“Yeah, so the next day norrr, I was back in Accra. Rested for about two weeks, then I started my internship. At the Amasaman District Court.”

“Ei! But don’t you live at Spintex?” Oscar asked.

“Yeah. From Spintex to Amasaman every day. Chale, without a car, I would have suffered papa. But it was a great experience. That’s where I saw a lot. Plenty of action in the court. My major memories are that of the Family Tribunal. Especially the first one I attended. Herh! After that Friday, relationships suddenly looked very scary to me, I won’t lie.”

“Hehehe, Maa says in her younger years, those matrimonial cases actually used to make her wonder if she and Daddy would be able to last. She said it used to scare her,” Anasah commented.

“Sherlock, it’s not a joke ooo! You hear some cases, and you start wondering if doing this marriage thing is worth it. You’ll find couples at each other’s throats. Two people who were once always sitting together doing lovi-lovi now sitting at opposite sides of the court room. And some of the comments made in chambers… chale, if you don’t fortify yourself, you’ll end up deciding never to get married. It’s something else.

“So anyways, the internship was great. I learned a lot from the two magistrates I was under for that period of time. I appreciated the experience I got. And the best part was how I closed early. Sometimes, by 12 mpo, we’re done for the day. Gave me a lot of time to go home, do my needed assignments and watch ‘The Wire’ afterwards.”

“Oh yes, The Wire. Best series ever!” Oscar said in approval, nodding his head.

“Imagine if Kwame was here. He’d immediately come and start arguing with you that The Sopranos is better!” Toby laughed.

“Hoh, na are you minding him? Unless he doesn’t see that I’ve taken right. He’ll take left and be ready to die on that hill,” Oscar scoffed in amusement. “Imagine him telling me the end of How I Met Your Mother is a brilliant ending.”

“Ah, are you serious?” Diamond gasped, looking at her brother. “That rubbish ending where they killed Tracy off and got Ted and Robin back together is brilliant?”

“Dee, it’s because it is me ooo. If it is you that asks him, no be small dissing he go diss the writers.”

“Ahhh, better. Like the way I’ll give it to him. The way they spoilt the whole show for me. I still bore sef. Ah, after making me root for Ted and Tracy like that, only to kill her off at the end. Mtcheww… oh, Counsel, sorry for that little diversion. Back to your story, please.”

I laughed at her clear disdain for the writers of that show.”Oh, no problem. So, we did it up until October, and our results came out not too long after. As you can imagine, ayɛmshishiɛ and tins. As the thing was posted, I checked the pass list. A list I knew I wouldn’t find myself on. I didn’t. I moved to the referred list. I took my time and went down aaaaaaa…

“Then I saw my index number, with Civil Procedure and Evidence as the referred papers. I literally jumped and punched the air. Jurgen Klopp style!”

“I can imagine what a relief it was! So Part 2 it was?” Anasah asked.

“Yep. While I prepared to resit those two papers, I got myself ready for the new academic year. Now we had four subjects to do, so a little more time for us to study and all. Mondays to Wednesdays were our lecture days, so I made Thursdays the day I’d go to the library and prepare for the referred papers.

“So the academic year started, and chale, man had enough time to himself. Wednesdays were the busy days. From morning to evening. But no biggie. After all, we had a loooong weekend ahead. So it was normal stuff. Studies. For church, I was asked to help with the drama team, so Leslie and I worked on some plays for the church. The first one didn’t go very well. Second one was a hit. Third one was good. So everything was cool.

“For the new academic year, we had mock exams put in place to prepare us for the main exam. So we wrote our first one in December. For me, I left quite a lot of gaping holes in my answer sheets, to be honest, but I wasn’t too moved coz it was a non-scoring exam. Adonkerism things, chale. Right afterwards, we went on our Christmas break.

“And with that, rolled in the year 2020. For this year, the aim was one. To finish this course and get to the Bar. So serious work had to be done, but first, those resits needed to be done.

“So at the end of January, we got to work. For about a week or so, I didn’t go to class; I just focused on Civil Procedure and Evidence. The days of reckoning came eventually. Senyo was also referred in it, so we were studying together, and we wrote it on a Friday. That paper could have gone a lot better for me, but I felt like I had done just about enough. Evidence was on a Tuesday, I think. That one too, quite a number of swerves, but I knew just about enough to write something good. So then, it was back to the regular thing.

“One of my favourite experiences soon followed: SRC Week. Lit times, chale. It was at the end of February. I wasn’t around for the first few days, but Thursday was my target. The excursion to Lake Bosomtwe was just awesome! And the cocktail that followed in the evening? Even better. Asayy, we enjoyed ourselves well well! It was a great evening. And then the dinner followed, where I was given the award for Gentleman of the Year for Kumasi campus.”

“Eiiissshhhhh! You’re not a small man ooo!” Diamond cheered.

“Not at all. Another sweet evening, chale. So of course, back to the grind. But then, something came up. And I’m sure you know what it is.”

“Ahh, yes. That bloody little thing called coronavirus. Chale, that thing worried us ooo,” Toby sighed.

“It really did. So about a week or two passed. Then when the first two or so cases were discovered in Ghana, the President immediately gave the order for the schools to be closed down. For some reason, I thought it wouldn’t be any long thing. Maybe a maximum of two weeks. But as the campus started to get empty, I started thinking twice about staying. Senyo too decided he had to return to Ho, so by Friday, he was on his way. So I hung around for the weekend. Went to visit a friend…”

“Is it the friend I’m thinking of?” Toby slyly butted in, a mischievous smirk on his face.

I put my finger over my lips. “Please. Not in the open.”

Toby snickered.

“… and by Monday, I was back in Accra. Not long after is when the lockdown was announced, and we were to be stuck in our houses for a long time. So the journey was still on course, but thanks to COVID-19, I’d have to wait a few more months for it to be completed.”

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Journey To Da Bar

Journey To Da Bar #5 – Early GSL Days

“So that was the end of September, right? What was next?” Anasah asked curiously.

I smiled and shook my head. “A lot. For one, the school was getting quite serious about us having our certificates and transcripts, although there was still some leeway. The University of London would usually have ours ready around that period, but for some reason, they weren’t ready, so I just had to wait and see. In the meantime, we waited for our campus allocations. I was hoping for Greenhill, so I’d be closer to home. But when they came in the next week, it was that which I didn’t want which was given to me.”

“Mmmmm, the Kumasi campus,” Oscar completed for me.

“Yeah. That was the option I did NOT want at all. So as soon as it came, I was immediately looking to change it. Coz chale, I did not want to be that far from home, and getting accommodation around Tech would be one helluva headache, since it was October and Tech students were already in school. So yeah, I tried some connections to get it changed. I waited anxiously for a good response.

“And at the end of the day, I didn’t get. The authorities said they could not change mine, so chale, Kumasi it was. I was not happy at all, but it didn’t take long for me to just embrace it. The most important thing was that I was in, and if I had to go outside the capital to complete the journey, so be it.

“So we found some connections to a room on campus and duly paid for it. It was a room for 2, though, so I needed a roommate. And obviously, I preferred to have a fellow GSL student with me, so I put it up in the new class page. And I remember receiving a call from one gentleman called Senyo one evening regarding the room. I gave him the details, and that was it. So by the end of October, I made my way out of Accra and landed in Kumasi, ready to start life as a ‘Kejetia’ student.”

They snickered at the reference. “Hmmm, Makola vs Kejetia tins. I remember when we watched that show one evening,” Diamond murmured. “Daddy was laughing his head off within the first ten minutes, but by the end, he seemed quite unimpressed. As for Maa, forget!”

“Oh, she did not enjoy it one bit!” Serwaah added. “By the middle of the second episode Daddy put on, she was like, turn it off. Nobody argued. It was a bit funny, mohm, but… I got lost, to be honest.”

“It was the way the jokes were far too many for me,” Toby said. “Chale, it was like concentrated Vimto. Way too much comedy. At least some small dilution would make it nicer. But anyways, to each their own. Some will probably love it like somtin.”

“That’s true, mohm. So anyways, life in Oseikrom was… pretty good. The month of November was a generally okay one. Getting used to my roommate, my colleagues in class, the lecturers, the people around the hostel… it was a slow but gradual process. Church too was there, as I joined the Tech branch of Firm Foundation and got used to the people there. Another great bunch of peeps.

“But as time went on, there was a little issue. Like I said, the University of London usually dispatches our graduation documents to us before the end of the year. By November di33, it’s in. But the month was going by, and there was no word. I was sending e-mails, enquiring about what was happening. No response. It wasn’t something I was exactly losing sleep over, but I really just wanted it to be complete, so I’d have my piece of mind.

“Then December came, and that’s where the stress began to hit. The first week, I was sitting in class, waiting for ADR to start, then suddenly, I received a call. It was from the Registry of the school back in Accra, and they said the authorities were demanding we submit our certificates and transcripts. The kind of pressure I had heaped on me after that call was crazy! I explained that the school had not made them ready yet, but chale, they were acting on orders from above, and my deadline was the end of the week. Come and see stress!”

“Wow! What did you do?” Toby asked.

“I left the class and went to a place to browse, so I could apply for a letter confirming my completion of the course, since the certificates weren’t ready. After that, I returned to the hostel, coz I was stressed. Since I didn’t have those docs, I didn’t have my admission letter, and so my stay was starting to look a lil shaky. I was calling the University of London, explaining myself to them. They’ll say this and that and submit the letter. I did that, but as I saw the next day, that wasn’t sufficient. They needed the actual certificate.”

“Ah, but how?” Oscar asked, looking confused. “Abi the letter was coming directly from the University of London?”

I nodded. “Yeah, it was. With the explanation that the certificates would be ready in January.”

“So what more did they want, lah? It’s not like you were withholding it intentionally.”

“Hmmmm, Oscar, that period wasn’t easy for me ooo. In hindsight, I don’t wanna be nasty to the women, coz they were working under authority, but they seemed soooo unreasonable at that time. Nobody wanted to have the documents as eagerly as me, but my hands were tied. And the London people too, when you call, same old same old. It was pretty frustrating.”

“Chale, stresssss!” the twins said. Then Anasah asked, “So what happened next?”

“Well, at some point, there was a bit of respite. I think the Deputy Registrar gave some assurance that there would be no sacking or anything. So for Thursday and Friday, I had some relief. But then, the voices came back. They started saying ‘you see? If you hadn’t disobeyed God, you wouldn’t be going through this’. So now I started wondering, ei, was this really the right choice? It lingered for a little while, but eventually, I fought and pushed it somewhere.

“Then the next week came, and that was honestly the scariest.

“I was in class again on Tuesday, I think, and right after a lecture, I got a call again from the school. At that point, I’m already shaking when I see the name on my Truecaller. The lady speaking to me pointed out that my certificate and transcript were missing from my file, and that I needed to get them to the school by Friday, or else I’d have to forfeit my admission and try again next year. Guys, by the time that call was over, I felt deflated.”

“Forfeit the admission and start all over again! Eiiii! Chale, like it would be disgraceful ooo!” Diamond exclaimed. “After leaving Accra coz of law school, then less than 2 months later, you’re returning because you’ve been sacked, so to speak. Eii! Like I wouldn’t know how to face my friends ooo.”

“Dee, it was not a joke. Herh, after everyone at church, most of my relatives and all knows I’m in law school. It frightened the crap out of me. I was mad disturbed. So chale, back to disturbing the people at the University of London. I made calls, hit brick walls… it was so frustrating. At that point, the voices suddenly seemed to have been telling the truth. Now it really felt like I had been disobedient, and this disgrace would be my due punishment. It was one hell of a low feeling.

“Wednesday came, and I was still… nah, wait. The call actually came on Wednesday oooo, with Friday as the deadline.”

“AH!” the Dolphynes gasped, looking amazed.

“But how can you get those in just two days? Especially when it’s from London?” Toby asked, looking quite bewildered by the experience.

“Chale, that was exactly my thoughts. I was continuing to make calls, coz at that point, it was serious. Then I got to one of the heads in charge of the Diploma Production Office. I told him everything. He didn’t understand why the school wanted the certificate at all costs. I remember him calling their actions ‘strange’…”

“Hm! Strange is an understatement!” Diamond said, shaking her head.

“Hmmm, well. He repeated the same old thing; that it was only gonna be ready in January. At that point, I didn’t know what to do again. GSL says bring those docs. UoL says they are not ready. Chale, I was at my wit’s end. I didn’t know what else to do, coz I had done everything else I could do.

“So later on in the day, I was walking to the office of our Campus Co-Ordinator, just to see if I could explain the situation to him and see if there was any way by which he could help. As I walked there, I hadn’t checked my phone in a while. When I did, I saw an e-mail from the man I had spoken to. Mr. Gordon Dewar. In fact, lemme check, it should still be there…”

I stopped to take out my phone and check my Gmail inbox. Within a couple of minutes, I had found the email in question.

“Aha, so this is what my eyes saw: Dear Sean, thank you for your call earlier. I am pleased to be able to say we can have your certificate ready for production and despatch tomorrow. Can you just re-confirm the full address you would like it sent to, and also provide a contact telephone number for our courier service to contact you if needed? Kind regards, Gordon.

“Woooooowwwww!” Everyone clapped their hands by the time I was done reading the life-saving e-mail.

“Herh, God is good papa!” Diamond exclaimed.

“I tell you ooo,” Oscar agreed. “This one diɛɛ, ibi like God told him to do it. Straight.”

“That’s the only logical conclusion, chale. So quickly, I sent him the details, I did a 180 degree turn and went to the hostel. The package left London around 6 and was scheduled to arrive in Ghana by Friday morning. See eh, the way I followed the tracking! Not a joke. As I’m waiting, then I’m thanking God and feeling relieved that the voices were indeed liars. We didn’t have a lecture on Thursday, so that was all I did for the day: keep track of the package.

“Friday morning came, and around 9 o’clock or so, the DHL guy called. I had given the school address as the place to go, so I spoke to the lady had been disturbing me. I told her those were the documents needed. So she acknowledged receipt and said she’d do the photocopies and keep the original docs for my mother to pick up. And that was the end of my worries.”

Once again, there was a round of applause from them, clearly impressed by what God did for me.

“That was my Made A Way moment. Coz chale, my back truly was against the wall, and until the e-mail came, it really looked like it was over. I would have to go and struggle and write that entrance exam all over again. Herh! Just think about it. You passed it ooo, but coz of your documents, you were kicked out and made to sit for it again. I mean, chale chale chale…”

“So demoralizing,” Serwaah sighed. “And the way those exams are too, you can’t be assured that you’ll pass again.”

“Exactly! Especially in light of how tiny the numbers after us were. 128 out of 1,820. So all those things really roughed me up. But once God has a plan for your life, it doesn’t matter what comes your way. He will make it come to pass and you’ll be amazed at how He ties things up together for your good and for His glory.”

“AMEN!”

“So it was at our Carols Service and Dinner that I really felt that sense of victory and accomplishment. Chale, we made it! All of us had been hoping and praying that we make it into the Ghana School of Law, and by the grace of God, we did. That was it! The journey was well on its way to that beautiful conclusion we had been dreaming about. Just a matter of hard work and depending on His grace to take us through…”

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Journey To Da Bar

Journey To Da Bar #4 – Most Important Year

“This was the year where the major aspiration was to try and get into the Ghana School of Law and advance the dream of becoming a lawyer. So everything was set. Do the Intellectual Property top-up course at Mountcrest University. Do the course GSL provides. Finish the University of London course. Then get ready for the ultimate: the entrance exam to the Ghana School of Law and hope to God that I’d get in.

“The year got off to a really bad start, though. Right in the month of January, my very close friend, Paul Folivi, suddenly passed away, and I was an absolute mess for that period. It was devastating, to say the least.”

“Awww, that’s horrible to hear,” Serwaah sympathized.

“Hmmm, chale. If there’s any other person who would’ve been at the call ceremony, definitely him. It really messed all of us up. It really did. But, life had to go on. We did the funeral within a month, and life went on, as crushing as it was.

“So within that period, I actually ended up going back to the insurance company I was at…”

I stopped, smiling as I noted the looks of confusion on their faces.

“Yeah, I know. I didn’t like the place. But at that point, chale, I was tired of not earning money. I wasn’t getting anything at my previous place, despite plenty promises, and at least, if I could get something to put in my pocket while I prepared for the entrance exam, it would be helpful. So I spoke to the MD, and she was understanding, so I went ahead with it.

“So now diɛɛ, you were okay with the schooling and working together?” Serwaah questioned, her eyebrows raised.

I shrugged. “I needed the money at that point. And of course, it was temporary, so that also kept me a little satisfied.”

“well… I guess the money is essential. Extremely essential, I might add,” Oscar agreed. “So you managed to stay on till the time for the exams?”

“Ummm, nope. Things didn’t go as I had planned. So here’s what happened: as I started, I registered for the Mountcrest course. That was every Wednesday after work, so it was cool. And Mr. Anyimadu-Antwi was a pretty good lecturer. I still dunno why he saw me as a potential ‘playboy’, but chale, we locomote…”

I paused for a moment as my audience burst into laughter. “But why? Were you chasing one of your colleagues or something?” Diamond laughed.

“As if I’d even try! All of them were married women. I was pretty much the only single person in that class. But anyways, that’s just by the way. So that was going well. Then I started preparing for the GSL course. And it was around April that we went for our interview. We got through alright, but then the timetable came, and basically, we’d be attending class 4 times a week. I informed the company about this, and they didn’t like it. So I had to give up the job, unfortunately.”

“Oh chale! Just when some small money was coming in,” Toby sighed.

“Yeah, it really sucked. But well, the job was already a short-term thing, and I might as well focus on the main aim. So I just let it go and concentrated on this course. It was a great experience, I must say. And I have no doubt about it, our current Chief Justice is an excellent lecturer. He helped a lot with Ghana Legal Systems. And Mr. Agyeman too was very helpful with Constitutional Law. So even though I lost the job, the preparation was well underway. Although, there was something wrong…”

“What was that?” Anasah asked.

“I was barely studying for my Commercial Law paper, and I had a dumbass reasoning behind it. Since on my first attempt, I had scored about 36, I was lazily assuming no matter what happened, I’d still get my compensated pass.

“Then one day, I truly believe it was God who moved me to look at the school regulations. When I checked, I was shocked. Apparently, that compensated pass applied to only one subject.”

“Oh wow. So technically, since you had already spent that on the land law, it wouldn’t apply to this one?” he further enquired.

I nodded. “Yep. It was at this time I really felt God telling me that I had not pulled my weight enough over the past few years, and that if I was gonna make it to Makola, I’d have to get really serious. It was definitely the ‘electric shock’ I needed. So from then onwards, man became extra serious, returning to the midnight studies and all.”

“Burning the midnight candle. Hehe, nobody here does it better than Toby and Maa,” Diamond commented. “Ei, Counsel! The two of them can study throughout the night, eh. It’s serious.”

“Ei, saa? Then chale, I need you and Her Ladyship to give me tips ooo! Coz the way I’ve been sleeping of late,” I laughed as Toby shot his older sister a dirty look.

“But you know, in the midst of all the late studies, one sweet memory I have is one night as I was watching this Denzel Prempeh video. The one that starts with Becky Bonney and Uncle Ato. It was this song Uncle Ato raised that really gave me vim. ‘My God who began it, He will accomplish it’. I just remember feeling so encouraged and confident that chale, God started this journey, and once I did what was necessary, He’d definitely see me through.”

“So, July was the main month. The month of exams. In time, the entrance exam forms came out, and even though I was yet to complete the course, there was still an opportunity to apply, provided you completed by the time the results arrived. I bought them, completed them and did the necessary, finished the IP course, went and wrote the Commercial Law exam and the GSL exam, and battled with this small voice causing me some crazy torment.”

“Why? What was it?” Oscar asked.

“This voice kept telling me NOT to go ahead with writing the exam, and that I should wait till the next year. Believe me, it was torment. Absolute torment. Every move I made towards preparation left me feeling whether I was being disobedient to God. Yet, chale, this is what I had prepared for, so wassup?”

“Hmmmm, the devil can be so sneaky,” Oscar murmured.

“Extremely. But I held my ground and continued to press on. Preparing for the main deal. Chale, vigorous preparations nkwaaa. The week of the exam, my study group spent the evenings on Zenith campus, just going hard. Me, Ebenezer, Crystal, Faustina and Stephen. It wasn’t easy kraaaa.

“Then the day came. 27th July 2018. After all the group studies, sleepless nights, solving of past questions, hard work… the day finally arrived. I remember as we got seated for the paper. We had to wait for some time before the papers got to some of us. I remember looking around my hall. The number of people who had dozed off while we waited, eh… it was crazy. Man taya!!”

“So after a while, things finally kicked off. The objective questions were pretty good. The second part, though? Chale, the least said about it, the better. The first question I answered was like a social studies question. The other one really messed me up. So when it was time to stop work, I was already quite crestfallen. As far as I knew, I had already failed the exam. Straight. Maybe the voice had been right after all.”

“But it wasn’t, was it?” Serwaah asked.

“Nope! By the next day, it was revealed that the question I struggled with had been leaked. So there was a whole uproar, and everyone was wondering what was next. In a couple of days, IEC came out to announce that that question had been cancelled, and we were all to come and write a supplementary exam on the 17th of August.”

“Oh wow! Awesome! That must have been great news for you!” she excitedly said.

I snickered. “Actually, I was slightly pissed.”

“Ah! But how can you be pissed when you’ve got a second chance?” Anasah asked, looking stunned.

“It wasn’t about the second chance per se, but the fact that we had to go through all those 10 subjects just for one bloody question. So chale, the learning kraaa wasn’t as intense as before, but man had to do something. Within that period, the results for the IP course came, and it was a pass. The GSL one too came, and it was a pass. It was the week of the exam that the most important result came. The Commercial Law one.

“That must have been a nerve-wrecking moment,” Anasah said.

“Chale! Before then, I literally had moments of panic where I’d have to go outside, walk around and calm myself down. I dunno if they were panic attacks, but they were deep. I didn’t say much about the exam earlier, but… it was actually a lot better than the last ones, so I kept telling myself that I had done enough. Yet that fear, chale…

The day the results dropped… tension overload! I remember how terrified I was as I put in my details. I literally covered the top of my phone so I wouldn’t see the score. Then as the results screen loaded, I saw it at the bottom. I had finally gained my LLB!”

“Whoooooo!” My audience clapped.

“Wow, thank God! After all those little setbacks, you finally bagged the degree!” Toby enthusiastically cheered.

“Finally ooo! I was now done with University of London. And I also had the vim needed to go and write that supplementary paper.”

“Great! So I guess that one went much better for you,” Diamond said. 

“Oh yeah! So the 17th came, and much to my pleasant surprise, it was a question based on Ghana legal systems. Had to do with fundamental human rights and which court has jurisdiction to hear such cases. It was pretty straightforward for me. Within an hour, we were done, and it was time for the painful part… waiting.”

“Ughhhhh, waiting for results is the worst!” Toby moaned.

“It bites, chale. It really does. Small small whispers from somewhere will have you in panic mode. It’s always a little nice to just forget about it to an extent. And truthfully, that was the case on the 28th September. I was busy on my laptop, when the pics came on one of the WhatsApp groups. Chale, the heartburn!

“I was almost too scared to check it out, but then I said to myself that no matter what, man should just check. If I made it, wonderful. If not, chale, too bad. So I went through it. Started from the first page, looking to see if IEC/EE/18/0101 will be there. First page completed. So I went to the second one…

“Then I saw the number. 0101. Herh!”

“You couldn’t believe it, could you?” Oscar smirked.

“Chale! You know, the school sent us our index numbers for the exam via text. When I saw my index number there, I grabbed my phone to check if I was seeing right. Like, ‘is this really my index number?’. I looked at the text message, then at the laptop screen. Text message. Laptop screen. Text message. Laptop screen. Herhh! Chale!”

“It was no dream! You made it into the Ghana School of Law!”

“Oh yes. It was no dream at all. The dream was to get there that year, and as I sat there, overwhelmed with joy and disbelief, it had come to pass. What many had worked hard for and failed to achieve for years, God helped me to get there on my first attempt.”

Categories
Journey To Da Bar

Journey To Da Bar #3 – Divine Helper

“That’s the spirit! Giving up should never be an option!” Toby cheered. “So, what was the next move?”

“Simple. Do what I had totally neglected to do for a long time. Seek help.”

“Mmmmmm,” was the response from the offspring of Daniel and Larissa.

“And with that, I’m sure you probably already know this, but, remember one thing. In this life, one of the easiest ways to shoot yourself in the foot is to not seek help when you need it. Nobody is an island ooo, we all need someone to help us in various ways. As Archbishop Duncan-Williams always says, everybody needs somebody. So yeah, I met up with this lady in church who was also doing the same course. Dorcas Obodai, as she then was.”

“As she then was… isn’t that what you legal people use for judges who’ve moved to higher positions or something?” Serwaah enquired.

“Yeah, that’s it. I’m saying that coz now she’s a married woman. Mrs. Dorcas Kane. You should see her and her husband together. Chale, proper Coca-Cola and Fanta!”

Everyone laughed a bit.

“So yeah, I met with her, we agreed on extra classes, and basically, that was how I improved. By that time, the school allowed for you to do resits, so I decided to go for the papers I had a little more confidence in. Tort and Company Law. So while I prepared for those, we started the extra classes. We’d meet about 3 times a week. And guys, it made such an improvement in my life! Like, at that point, I really began to understand what was in front of me.

“Then October came, and I went to do those resits. Tort was so flippin’ smooth, I couldn’t believe it. Company… not so much. I had like two good questions, but fell flat on my face with the others. The way I wanted to cry in the exam room, eh. Chale, man has really suffered.”

“Awww, I can only imagine. Thank God it’s all over now!”

“Yes ooo. I made it through all that. So yeah, I went back to the lectures. At that point, I went for intellectual property once, but I couldn’t go again. There was jurisprudence, which I really enjoyed, coz of the lecturer. Patrice Caesar-Sowah. The man who doesn’t like titles and first made me know how the ‘I wanna help people’ distin new law students like saying is nonsense. Lord knows I can’t wait to run into him eventually.

“Then December came, and the results dropped. I got my highest score in Tort, but Company went bad yet again, as expected. And it was pretty worrying, because the rule University of London had was that if you fail one subject three times, your studentship is officially revoked.”

“Kwɛɛ! Chale, that’s serious!” Oscar gasped.

“Very serious ooo. I think one lady fell victim to it, so she had to start all over again somewhere else. It was that scary. And of course, I’ll bring it up a lil later on as we move. But that was the main thing on my mind, that I have to pass this time. Because toiling in vain diɛɛ, absolute nightmare. I doubt I’d be motivated to start all over. But that was part of the subjects Dorcas was teaching me, so it was going pretty well.

“The part that sucked was having to drop jurisprudence to an extent. For the course, I needed to complete nine subjects. I had successfully cleared four. Five were left, and as far as the requirements for the Ghana School of Law were concerned, I needed to have commercial in there with the rest. So I didn’t register it. I really like Patrice and his way of lecturing, but chale, man had to do what’s necessary to complete the course.

“So 2017 came, and for some reason, I wanted to rush into writing the entrance exam. That was my mindset for a couple of weeks. But at a point, I realized I had way too much on my plate. And adding Intellectual Property from Mountcrest and the Ghana Legal Systems/Constitutional Law on top would only work against me. So I decided to just complete what was ahead of me.

“So June came, and you wrote the four papers?” Anasah asked.

“Yes. June came around, and it was Trust, Company, Property and Commercial. And that was the most enjoyable exam period for a major reason: every paper was on a Friday.”

“Oh wow! A full week for each paper! Ɛniɛ it was nicely set for you paaa!” Toby commented.

“It was. But this is how it went. Trust was quite good. Everything Dorcas taught me came, so I managed to make it through. Company was the absolute best! I solved some past questions with her the night before, and they came. Man just killed that paper. But then Property came, and although it was a million times better than what I did in 2016, the areas I learned swerved me. Big time. And then commercial, the most painful of the lot.

“Commercial law knocked you down? But Maa always says it’s one of the easier subjects in law,” Anasah wondered out loud.

“It is! But what happened is that, there were some two topics which we knew would always drop. Either one would always appear in the exam. I ended up mastering the wrong one. So I answered 3 questions nicely, but was stuck with the last one. And that’s where I lost out on a pass by about 4 marks or so. Herh! That thing pained me ooo!”

“Chale, chale, chale, that thing is painful papa!” Oscar agreed. “I remember losing out on an A by 2 marks last year. Herh, I wanted to cry!”

“Hmmm, chale. So around that time, I was working with Addison’s firm, and of course, once the results came, I saw that there were more deficits. Trust and Company were conquered, but Property and Commercial were still hovering around my head. The good thing was how close the firm was to the WAEC office, so I could easily get stuff done without leaving the office for a long time.

“So I did the usual. Registered for those two. And I started another internship at another firm. That of Mr. Philip Addison. Unlike the first one, though, I was pretty much the only intern there.”

“Ugh, must have been mad boring,” Oscar yawned.

“It was, chale. I was the only one in that particular office. And unless there was court, there was nothing to do. I remember using one of those days to just watch the entire first season of 13 Reasons Why, it was that dry.”

“Mmmm, I see. By the way, is that series nice? Coz Diamond and Oscar watch it, but for me, it doesn’t seem that appealing,” Toby asked.

I shrugged. “Eh, it’s okay. Anyways… in the midst of that, our year group held a dinner on the campus. It was pretty crazy how few of us were left from the initial number. I think we were over 50 when we first started. Now we were less than 15 who were completing.”

“Wow! Then what they said about the school was real,” Diamond commented. “The numbers really fell.”

“They did. But at least, for those of us who made it, it was a good feeling. Some breezed through, others like me too were limping to the finish line. But at the end, it was a completion of a tough course, and that deserved some celebration.”

“Oh yeah. Pressing on was definitely the best. Thank God you weren’t part of the other statistics,” Oscar said. “But, was that the end of the course for you?”

I shook my head. “Nope. Unfortunately not. I went to resit those papers, and they were both really tough. Property, obviously, was the scarier. Commercial also still gave me quite an uppercut. I remember being so worried and so scared as I waited for those results. Eventually, December came, and the dreaded day came.

“The email link came my way. My heart. My stomach. My head. Chale, my everything was in a mess. I entered the needed details. I clicked the button…

“The next thing I saw… I passed Property by the skin of my teeth. 40.”

The Dolphynes, who had been captured by the tension I added to those words, breathed sighs of relief. “Wow, what a relief!” Diamond sighed.

“I tell you! And I know this is what helped me. You see, with the 3 time attempt, the school gives you a compensated pass if on one of your attempts, you managed to score 34 or upwards, if I’m right. I’m pretty convinced that my third attempt may well have been another fail, but at least it was in the 30s, so I got that pass.”

“Wow, Lawyer Kwamina, this has been one hell of a journey!”

“It really has, Diamond. I remember as I was thanking God for giving me that pass. I was extremely relieved. And chale, had it not been for Dorcas, my divine helper, I most likely would have started all over again, or probably even given up. But listen, when God has a plan for your life, He brings the right people your way to ensure that plan comes to fruition. As far as I’m concerned, I will always be indebted to Dorcas for availing herself to help me to where I am now. No doubt about that.”

“Beautiful. God will definitely bless you for not forgetting her impact,” Oscar said. “So, 2018 followed…”

I sat back and nodded. “Ahhh, yes. 2018. undoubtedly the most important year in this journey…”

Categories
Journey To Da Bar

Journey To Da Bar #2 – First Two Years

“Nice! So that’s when you officially became a law student!” Oscar said.

I nodded. “Indeed. Back to the classroom as a student, chale. Abi I had been a teacher, or tutor, whatever, for national service, so yeah, it was quite a return.”

“So what subjects did you do for the first year?” Anasah asked.

“Umm… criminal law, contract law, public law and common law. The last one is pretty much like Ghana legal system. And public law… I dunno, maybe I’ll equate it to constitutional law. Something like that.”

The Dolphynes nodded their heads, amidst okays and I-sees.

“So yeah, the first year was pretty slow. Over the years, I’ve come to realize that as far as law is concerned, I tend to be a bit of a slow learner. Like, I take quite some time to really imbibe what has been taught. So it wasn’t always easy for me. And our lecture times were from Thursday evenings to Saturday mornings, so sometimes, man is tired already before going.”

“Hmmm, that work and school stress is something else, I can tell,” Diamond sighed.

“Yeah. It’s not for everyone. Some people manage to handle both pretty well. Others just can’t. But for the first year, I had to put up with it. Chale, the money was good mohm, but you know… that feeling in the morning. Or even let’s say, Sunday evening. After enjoying my time as a tutor with Ghana Institute of Languages, it really sucked to have that sinking pit feeling in my belly whenever it came around. But well, it’s over.

“So yeah, that was my reality for the next couple of months. Go to work, go and study at the Balme Library afterwards from Monday to Tuesday, Wednesday was for midweek service, lectures for the rest of the week. It wasn’t easy ooo. I remember one time I went to the library after work. When I left after about 8 or so, my car had been broken into.”

“Oww!” the Dolphynes gasped.

I nodded. “Chale. They took my bag, some money and a power bank. If I had slacked and left my laptop in the car…”

“Herrhhh! Anka no be small la wu!” Toby exclaimed.

“Major la wu oo, Toby, major la wu!” I agreed. “Chale, they broke the windows kraa and made off with the stuff. But I later got a call from one of the security guys at one of the halls that my bag had been spotted around. So I went for it later. Chale, life happens to us all, doesn’t it?”

“Hmmm, yeah,” Oscar nodded in agreement. “Still remember when Addy and I ran into some kwashey boys. Chale, losing the phones and the money wasn’t nice kraaa, but at least they didn’t hurt any of us.”

“Yeah, chale, that’s all. Between losing possessions and getting bodily injury in those robbery situations, the former is always a better option to take. It’s not nice to have your phone taken from you, but I’d pick that over getting my face slit with a blade or knife. Only God knows what kind of infections you may end up getting from that!”

“Same thing Maa said afterwards,” Diamond agreed.

“Simple. So anyways, that’s how it went. Obviously, with time, I made friends. From Mimi to Abena and Nii to Faustina. Helen, Ebenezer, Nana Antwi… all of them became friends, pretty much. And the lecturers too were good. The contract law and public law lecturers, in my opinion, were really good. Criminal law too, he did his best…”

“Whenever I hear of criminal law lecturers, then I think of how Maa is always showering praise on her criminal law lecturer,” Oscar commented.

“Chale! Since we were babies ooo!” Diamond chipped in. “She always talks of how she is one of the greatest ever.”

“Hehehe, no surprise. Virtually every old student of the Legon Law faculty has a lot to say about her. So yeah, 2015 came about, and it was time to prepare for the first exam. That’s when my regular visits to the WAEC office started, with some long online process bi included. I did all that, got my leave just in time for the exam period, and… June came around.

“The exam period overall was okay. Criminal law was the first paper, and I did just about enough to make it through. Public law was a painful one, though. I answered three questions nicely, but the last question totally confused me, so I couldn’t answer well. Common law diɛɛ, I was badly prepared for that, me naaa, I knew it was gonna end in tears. Contract law ended the period nicely for me, so that was it.”

“Cool, so what was next?” Serwaah asked.

“Next thing? Leave the company. I had already given them one month’s notice, so right after the exams, I went and spent the final days there. Oh, and I almost forgot, during all that time too, one major person that kept me happy there was Nii Tei. Another Santaclausian, who was also looking to do law, and also didn’t really enjoy being there. At least, for him, it was national service, so nothing spoil.”

“Okayyy, so after July is when you became a full-time student?” she further asked.

“Yep. Went back to the full-time student life. Quite a few of my mates did the same. Those who could handle the stress, I mean, good they could, but already I didn’t really enjoy being there, and I was stressed on top. So yeah, that was it.”

“Anyways, the results arrived, and I passed Contract and Criminal. Public and Common had to be done again. At that time too, the school rules allowed us to only resit for one. So I went with Common Law. While we prepared for it, the new academic year began. Property law, Trust & equity, Company law and Torts. So lectures were underway. October arrived, and me and some of my mates went to write. It was as smooth as could be, chale. So when the results dropped somewhere in December, it was a straight pass.”

“Nice, nice. Man could finally locomote,” Toby said.

“Oh yeah. We locomote. But 2016 came about… and chale, at a point, I think I was stuck in mental quicksand, to be honest. I mean, the learning materials were at my disposal. Notes, study manuals, the books the University of London sent… I had them all. But it felt like I never really went far with what I was studying. And for some reason too, I totally neglected to study with others.”

“Wow! But isn’t that dangerous?” Toby asked, looking very much surprised. “It’s group studies that has been a little saviour of sorts for me in school.”

“Yeah, eventually, I realized how important it was as well. But I dunno, I really didn’t help myself with that. So June came about, and I had five papers to write. Tort, Public, Trust, Company and Property Law. It was not an easy exam period at all, but I did what I had to do.

“After that, I managed to get an internship at a firm. Fugar and Company. It was about a month there, and it was a pretty good one, with the other law students from other faculties I met, and a brief intro to how Ghanaian law is. Started in June, ended in July. And it was back to waiting for the results.”

At this point, I had to stop for a moment and shake my head before continuing. “The wait was not easy, because that exam period had not been a pleasant one at all. But eventually, August came about.

“And when the day of release came, it was one of the lowest days of this journey. I was so embarrassed when I saw my results.

“Out of 5 papers I wrote, it was only Public Law I passed, and even with that, I got exactly 40, which was the past mark.”

The Dolphynes at this point had slightly cringing looks on their faces. “Ouch,” Oscar whimpered. “That must have been sooo unpleasant.”

“Hmmm. You know what made it worse? The results came on a Wednesday. Already feeling downhearted, I still went for midweek service. Before the preacher for the evening came to speak, we had testimony period. And listen, virtually everyone who came forward was a student, talking about how they had not had an easy exam period, but by God’s grace, they managed to pass very well. Guys, terrible is an understatement to describe my feeling.

“At that point, I really questioned whether I was meant to do this law thing. Coz see how slow I am with the learning. And while squad are there saying they didn’t do anything proper yet passed, I can’t say the same about myself. As for me, I failed miserably. It was definitely a major low.”

“Wow. Hmmmm. Well, journeys like these will be that easy, will they?” Diamond said.

“Oh, no, not at all. That was a tough moment for me. But ultimately, I knew giving up could not afford to be an option. Already, I had heard a lot about how many people drop out of the course after a while, and even after first year, quite a number of my mates stopped. I mean, falling along the way is not the sweetest feeling, but to give up? Never. Too many people gave up on this course, and I absolutely refused to be one of them. Sure, I failed all my papers, but I couldn’t stay down there. I had to get up and make things right.”

Categories
Journey To Da Bar

Journey To Da Bar #1 – Sept. 2014

It’s been a long while, hasn’t it, people! Happy New Year to you all!!

Well, the State has returned, and it’s time for some good storytelling. This year, we’re starting off with one story which is of a different caliber.

So, 17th December 2020 will forever be one of the best days of my life, as after 6 years of hard work, I finally became a lawyer!

Presenting Mr. Sean Isaac Kwamina Addo-Mensah, Esq.

Yes, people, your dear writer is a certified legal practitioner now. All praise and glory to God.

I certainly had the intention to tell my story of how I finally got called to the Bar, but I was initially gonna do it in article form. Then on the day after the enrolment ceremony, an idea came into my head. And that idea is what you have right now.

So get yourself comfy and join the Dolphyne kids (yes, they’re back!) as you get to know just how the boss of Dabar made his way to the Bar.

Of course, the pun was totally worth it. I had to, didn’t I? Haha!

“So guys, it’s a great honour to share my story with y’all. It’s been six years, chale. Six years of hoping and praying I’ll find myself where I finally am today. So many highs and lows in the story, but ultimately, it’s ended in praise. Not in tears!”

“Awesome!”

“We thank God ooo!”

“God is good!”

“Congratulations!”

The Dolphyne offspring erupted with cheers as I sat before them in the living room of their house, a big smile on my face. It definitely feels good to finally be in that position as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Ghana. Dreams definitely come true.

“It’s really been quite a journey. Well done once again! Great to see it’s finally paid off. So, it all started in 2014, right?” Toby asked.

I nodded. “Yeah. 2014 is when it all began. But there’s a… for lack of a better word, lemme say prologue, to it. So technically, I made up my mind to study law in the year of 2013. At that point, I was doing my national service at Ghana Institute of Languages. The little problem for me was that, I was looking at Legon only. And on top of that, I actually decided on going there too late. I think it was around the end of February or so. So by the time I had made the decision, the deadline for applications had passed. So I decided I’d try next year.”

“Interesting. So what happened after that?” Diamond asks.

“Oh, I finished the national service, then my dad secured a job for me at an insurance company. Ghana Union Assurance. I started that one in September.”

“And how did that go? Was it interesting?” Anasah asks.

I shrug. “Eeh. It was okay. The money I was getting was pretty good, to be honest. As for that place, I’m not gonna lie, they pay pretty well. But… chale, after a while, I started to see that the insurance thing just wasn’t for me. Somewhere in 2014, it really began to sink that insurance industry really wasn’t where I want to spend the rest of my life. So that’s where the desire for the law began to grow.”

“Anyways, so as 2014 came about, this time around, I wasn’t going to slack. I bought the application forms, did all the necessary stuff, then submitted them before the deadline passed. So before February ended, I was done. It was back to the work. Then somewhere in late April or so, I got a text from them, confirming my selection for the entrance exam. Chale, the way I was happy, eh! The door to getting out was closer than I expected.”

Serwaah looked thoughtful. “Ummm, so at that point, was it like… you just wanted to get into law to escape from the insurance place? Was it that bad?”

I shook my head. “Don’t get me wrong, insurance isn’t the worst thing in the world, and I’d be the last person to slag off the profession, given how my dad is a big man there and all. But chale, I remember seeing one of the senior workers at his desk one morning, and I immediately felt like naaaaa, this is not how I want to be spending the rest of my life. So… even though I really wanted to get outta there and that sorta pushed me… nah. I was already interested in it. And my lack of enthusiasm for where I was just heightened it.”

“So the entrance exam day came around. A nice Saturday afternoon bi like that. I honestly can’t remember what the questions were, but chale, I struggled small.”

“Were they related to legal things?” Anasah asked.

I shook my head. “Nahh, some current affairs kinda questions ooo. I remember signing up for some class bi, where they spoke about some different issues altogether. Chale, cool swerve kraa. If I had known, I wouldn’t have wasted my time mpo.”

“Oh chale! Those things can pain roff!” Oscar sympathized.

“Serious oo! The most annoying thing is how an announcement from the school asked us to disregard those classes. If only I had followed that advice… so yeah, I did the little I could do and just hoped for the best. But chale, when the list for the interview came out a few months later, my name was nowhere to be found. I was really disappointed.”

“Hmmm, I can imagine. The way Maa speaks so highly of the Legon faculty is not a joke,” Diamond said. “She always brags that the killer lawyers all came from there.”

I snickered. “I’m sure she gets into trouble with those from Tech. They too, them dey oo!”

“Hahaha! They are the ones who receive the brunt of her trolling mpo! So, was Zenith your straightforward choice?” Diamond asked. “Or you had other options?”

“I had options. If I can remember correctly, it was between Zenith, Lancaster and Wisconsin. The truth is, I wanted Lancaster. But the fees! Herh! Mad tings oo! And initially, I wanted to force my way, but chale, my dad can’t be pushed around by me like that.”

“Huh. Just like Mr. Daniel Kwadwo Dolphyne,” Toby murmured. “You do not dare try that on him.”

“I know right!” Diamond and Serwaah agreed.

I smiled. “Chale, our old men diɛɛ, saa. But it was good. I couldn’t be unreasonable and force him to pay huge fees like that. So yeah, it was dropped. As for the Wisconsin one, I don’t exactly remember what it was, but that one too was dropped. So we went for Zenith, which as we know, was actually a University of London course. So we bought the forms, paid the fees, all that stuff… then chale, somewhere around September, the acceptance of my application was received, I got the details to the student portal, all those necessary things. And that was it.”

“So it all truly started in September 2014?” Toby asked.

“Yep. That’s when it all started. September 2014 marked the beginning of my journey to the Bar.”

Categories
Options n Upshots

Options n’ Upshots – UE #10

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.

Leticia nodded.

“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.

“Hello, Leticia?”

“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.”

***

“Lll…ll..Leticia?”

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?”

THE END

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!!

Categories
Options n Upshots

Options n’ Upshots – UE #9

“Hmmm. Leticia, are you sure about this?”

“Yes, Rev Bondzie. I’ve thought about it long enough, and I know it’s what I need. Look, I’ve tried my best, but it just isn’t working. Every time I wake up in this bed, every time I sit on the porch… look, thoughts of him have just refused to leave me. And it does nothing but fill me with bitterness. Father, remaining here just keeps me in this perpetual state of rancour, and I hate it. I need to change my surroundings if I’m gonna get through this.”

Rev. Bondzie sighed, rubbing his eyes.

It had been a few weeks since the funeral had taken place. Of course, knowing that moving on after that would most definitely be the hardest part, he had taken it upon himself to remain in touch with Leticia and note how she was adapting.

So far, though, the grief had seemed to subside, but not the anger. And as far as she was concerned, it was slowly sliding into the area of bitterness.

Which was why she had now told him about her new plan.

She wanted to leave Accra with the children and settle in Sunyani.

“Umm, Leticia, I appreciate that you don’t want bitterness to dwell in you. That’s extremely important. But… wouldn’t you want to wait a bit before taking such a decision? I know Barnabas is there and all, but your life is based here. Isn’t it gonna be a bother to now find a new place of work, a new school for the children, a totally new environment?”

“Reverend, I’ve thought about all that. I’ve thought of all the inconveniences and stuff, and honestly, they can be worked on. Rev, the fact is, it would’ve been easier if I never knew about the affair. But it’s not, and believe me, I’ve tried. I don’t want it to drown me. But it is. I can’t get him out of my head. I can’t get those words in the diary out of my head. Having sex with my housekeeper while telling her I’m now a nuisance to him. It cuts a fresh wound every single time it comes to mind.

“Look, Rev, I can’t take it anymore. Even when I do my best, they’re chasing me, and all it does is enrage me over and over again. It doesn’t help that every part of this house reminds me of him. Please understand me, Rev, this is a battle that’s just impossible to win with where I find myself. I’ll get into bed and all I remember is that the one I shared it with brought her and broke her virginity on this bed. Reverend, it’s too much, honestly. It’s too much.”

Rev. Bondzie simply nodded. That last part did leave quite a scar, when he thought about it. To know that your spouse was cheating was bad enough, but to desecrate the matrimonial bed would definitely leave a lasting impression.

“Well, I get that. And uh, well… I guess I can’t force you to just get over it, because this is not an easy situation you find yourself in. let’s just give this another week, and then you know what to do from there.”

“Alright, Rev, no problem. Oh, and by the way, I’ve decided to get in touch with Glori’s mother.”

“Oh wonderful!! I’m glad you’re finally going to get through to her.”

“Yeah. My mother raised the topic again before she left, and I decided she was right. So hopefully, I’ll settle the issue. I’ll speak to you later.”

“No problem, Leticia. Bye.”

***

“Madam, I’m so sorry, I really am. If I knew my daughter had been involved in that thing, God knows I would’ve knocked some sense into her…”

“It’s alright, Mrs. Vanderpuye. No need for you to apologize. I mean, you’re not your daughter, and truthfully, it was wrong of me to take out my anger on you. So I’m sorry for refusing to pick the calls of you and your husband. I’ll have to come and visit you and make my official apology.”

“Hmmm, not a problem, madam. We’ll be most grateful. It’s just been so hard…”

“I can only imagine. That’s why I need to come over. I may have been angry and all, but at the end of the day, I can’t turn my back on parents who’ve lost a child, no matter what the child did to me. So I will definitely see you and give my condolences in person. But I’m really sorry about this loss. Forget everything that happened, I’m genuinely sorry about what happened.”

A sniff came as a reply. “I’m grateful. I really am.”

“Mmmmm. Well, I’ll speak to you later, so we decide on the best time to come.”

“No problem, Madam. Thank you so much. God bless you.”

“Oh, Aseda y3 Nyame dea. Later, Ma’am.”

***

Rawda sat on the balcony, earphones plugged in as she spent time with Bob Marley’s wisdom in song form.

As she hummed along to “Could You Be Loved”, a vibration alerted her to a WhatsApp message arriving. She paused the song and switched to her messaging platform to find that Glori’s mother had sent her a voice note. She went ahead and pressed play.

Rawda, how are you doing? I hope all is well. So guess who I got a call from?… Mrs. Dawson. Yes ooo, looks like she finally let go of the hurt. She apologized, said she’ll come over to give her proper condolences and all that. I mean, she’s very late, since it’s been almost a month since Glori was buried, but… better late than never. So I’m happy. But it somehow got me wondering, what’s happened with you and Boahemaa? Why don’t you patch things up with her? Invite her so we can let go of all the grudges and stuff and just move on. What happened has already happened, and we might as well look to the future. Please get back to me once you’ve heard this. Thanks.”

The audio having come to an end, Rawda took the earphones off and sighed. She was glad to hear that Glori’s mother had finally settled matters with the wife of the man; it was a long overdue relief. But that last part of the voice note wasn’t exactly something she wanted to hear.

Reconciliation with Boahemaa.

Like she had decided earlier, the words spoken to her at that one-week celebration was a revelation of how Boahemaa truly felt about her, and she was convinced that with such, nothing good would come out of rekindling their bond. It was better left broken.

Shaking her head, she muttered to herself.

“What do I tell this woman? She’ll probably disturb and beg me to let her back in. hmmm… I’ll have to find a way around this. Because Boahemaa… forget it. I don’t want to have anything to do with that girl. Ever again.”

***

Walking through the gates to the cemetery, a small bouquet of flowers in her hand, Boahemaa’s face was a grim, crestfallen one.

As expected, she was not present at the funeral. So she had gone to ask one of their mutual friends where she had been buried, and had been given the directions. Since she couldn’t be there to say goodbye, now was the time.

Tears streaming down her face as she walked briskly past the various tombstones, it still felt so unreal. The last place she’d expect to have to visit Glori was this place. Where so much potential and talent lay waste. Never in any lifetime would she have expected that Glori would end up there so early.

After about ten minutes of walking, she saw the site. Just as her friend had told her, a little grey sign had been erected on top of the grave with the initials G.V. and her years of birth and death.

Rushing to the grave, words failed Boahemaa as she fell to her knees and began weeping uncontrollably. For the next five minutes, no words were spoken. Just the cries of a broken-hearted young lady mourning her best friend.

As the bitter tears ran out, she sniffed and sobbed as she held the dirt that covered Glori’s grave in her hands. She shook her head, and began to whisper.

“Glori. My one and only Glori. I’m so sorry. I wasn’t as good a friend as I should have been… I know we both loved those sexy, well-built men, but… if only I had done my part and told you that sneaking around with a married man was not good. Maybe you might have listened to me. But whatever the case is, I failed you. And I’m so sorry.”

Wiping the remaining tears from her eyes, she placed the flowers on the grave. As she rose to her feet, she swallowed the urge to burst into another session of loud cries. It’s alright, Boahemaa, it’s alright, she thought to herself as she continue to observe the patch of ground under which lay her friend, and continued.

“Glori, it wasn’t supposed to end like this. I was supposed to see you at your wedding, with your future hubby, all beaming with smiles and excitement. I should’ve seen you become a mother. Baby showers, trips to mother care shops, all those things. But… look at what’s happened. Now everything has changed. You’re here, and, and… chale, our lives are never gonna be the same again.

“I don’t know what’s next, but… I dunno, I guess I’ll have to move on. Learn my lessons and make sure something this crazy never ever happens again.”

Taking a look around her as she finished her little speech, she sighed and knelt down and touched the ground. “I’ll always miss you, Glori Vanderpuye. I always will. You were an awesome friend, baby girl. Made my life a joyful one for sure. God knows I’d do anything to have you back, but… it just isn’t possible. All I can say is that I love you, and… you’ll forever be in my heart. Sleep well, babe. Sleep well,” she whispered.

Rising to her feet, she turned and began to walk out of the cemetery.

Hmmmm, Boahemaa bids her friend adieu. And it doesn’t look like Rawda is ready to forgive her. Well, we’re almost at the end of this dark journey. Tomorrow lets us know what happens with Leticia.

Categories
Options n Upshots

Options n’ Upshots – UE #8

“Thomas was a loving father. An amazing husband. Someone I believed with all my heart that I’d spend the rest of my days with. From the day he asked me to be his wife, I was convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that this was the man I’d grow grey hairs with, and it couldn’t be more devastating that our time together is over so soon. Thomas, when I said until death do us part, I didn’t sign up for it happening after just seven years together!”

Her voice calm and composed, Leticia stood before the solemn congregation, reading out her tribute to her departed husband.

At the end, she had decided to go with a pleasant tribute. She had not enjoyed writing it, but freeing her mind wouldn’t have gone down too well with the congregation. And the children had had it hard adjusting to their daddy’s demise; surely a nasty tribute from their mother to him would affect them negatively. So she settled for the good one.

“That week was one of the most unforgettable weeks I had. From discovering my brother had been struck down by stroke, to losing my husband suddenly. Thomas, this was far too soon, and my heart aches like crazy. What wouldn’t I give to have you around, hubby? Our bed feels so empty, your laundry basket untouched. I can’t even bring myself to look at your favourite Arsenal mug, because I’m expecting it to be filled with the black coffee you’d always make before work.”

Looking up briefly, she noted a number of people wiping their eyes and sniffing. That last part of the tribute must have touched them hard. She was living the nightmare many prayed against: losing the love of their life too early.

“But what more can I say?” she continued, as she lowered her eyes and carried on. “This is my new reality. Living without you being the first person to wake up to. Raising our two beautiful little ones without you around. There couldn’t be anything more devastating than this. It’s a nightmare I wish I could wake up from so badly. All I know is that you’ve made your way to one end of the divide, and I’m stuck here, and a vacuum is gonna exist for a long time to come. Nonetheless, I thank God for the times we had, the joy you brought to my life, and how you made me feel as wife, woman and a person. We surely shall meet again one special day, that is my confidence. Sleep well, Thomas, sleep well.”

Concluding her speech, she took her sheet of paper and walked away from the podium to take her seat.

As her father put his arm around her and consoled her, she knew the different thoughts that would be going around the minds of people. With the way she had kept her composure, it was likely some people would see her as a strong woman in control of her emotions. Some silly ones would assume her failure to shed tears made her complicit in his death. As far as both thoughts were concerned, she couldn’t be bothered. The funeral was going according to plan, and that was her only concern.

The church was packed with family, friends and sympathizers, and all the plans for the service had come off without any hitches. From the body being carried to the church auditorium to the laying in state, it had all been done alright. No problems whatsoever. She had often heard of serious fights in the build up to funerals, but there had been very little conflict, and she was grateful for that.

Of course, the laying in state was extremely difficult for her. The last time she saw him alive was when he dropped her off at the station earlier that day she went to attend to Thomas. To see him lying there in a white suit, stiff and still… more than a slap in the face.

As the next group of people made their way to the podium to share their tribute, she sniffed and held tightly to her father.

No doubt about it, for that day, the grief and sadness of losing her spouse had truly taken over.

***

“O God, whose mercies cannot be numbered: Accept our prayers on behalf of thy servant Thomas Dawson, and grant him an entrance into the land of light and joy, in the fellowship of thy saints; through Jesus Christ thy son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.”

“Amen.”

As the coffin was lowered into the grave, once Reverend Bondzie was done with the prayers, the few mourners who were present at Thomas’ final resting place sobbed and cried, saying their final farewells to Thomas as his body found its way down into the ground.

Leticia, surrounded by her parents who had Samuel and Denise in their arms, simply had more tears spilling from her cheeks as she watched her husband go down.

It was real. It truly was real.

He was gone.

It didn’t just hurt on her part. The sight of his father and uncles and aunties all wailing as they wondered why the one meant to bury them had rather preceded them. It was really painful.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. On a Saturday morning like this, the family should have been chilling. Samuel and Denise should have been having fun with their daddy. Not seeing him lowered into the grave so early.

The mourners cried out to the descending casket, bidding its inhabitant to hear their questions and pleas. Even though her lips were not open, Leticia too wished her husband could hear what was in her heart at that point in time.

How I wish it didn’t end this way. I loved you, Thomas. From the moment you made your way into my heart almost a decade ago, I knew it was my destiny to spend the rest of my life with you. Thomas, we didn’t have a perfect life, but at least we tried. I did what I could. Was I a perfect wife? Of course not. But you can’t deny that I did the necessary as a wife. As to why you did what you did…

She sniffed, squeezing her eyes shut as she gave herself a few seconds to pull herself together. The sounds of digging shovels and dirt hitting the casket filled her ears as she opened her eyes to see the grave diggers already at work.

“It’s time to go, my dear.”

Her mother’s gentle words were followed by a leading away, as she continued to speak to him in her heart.

Why did you give up on us? Why? How could you hate me and hold a grudge after that night? After all the apologies? God, Thomas! I thought we committed to make it through all the tough times. I thought you said it was okay. When it wasn’t. How long were you gonna keep up appearances? Huh? How long were you gonna keep it up? Now look!

Looking back at the grave side, as the diggers busily undertook their duty of covering up, she shook her head as she knew all the words in her heart were nothing more than tennis balls thrown against the wall. They did nothing but return to her. The reasons for giving up on the marriage would never be discovered. And that was that.

All she could possibly do was move on.

The pang of sadness hit her once again, and the tears on her face were suddenly joined by bitter cries.

Crying that the man she thought she’d grow old with had left her too young. Crying that she’d never understand why he threw in the towel the way he did.

“Ssshhhh, shhh, it’s alright, my child, it’s alright,” Mrs. Adjei said calmly as she took her distraught daughter into her arms.

Sigh. Poor Leticia. It’s never easy to deal with the loss of a spouse.

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Options n’ Upshots – UE #7

Safe in the arms of Jesus, safe on His gentle breast,

There, by His love o’ershaded, sweetly my soul shall rest…

Those were the words of the solemn hymn sung by those present in the church as the service began in Holy Ghost Temple.

The casket in which Glori’s body lay was at the side of the altar, with a number of wreaths around it. The parents had decided against a laying in state. The thought of having to continually witness people file past their daughter’s corpse was too much for them. They just wanted to have a quick send-off and be done with it.

Relatives, friends and sympathizers had filed past the casket, and tears had been shed. Silently and loudly.

None, however, pierced the soul as deeply as the wails of Mrs. Vanderpuye, whose wails forced the manliest of men to wipe away tears from their eyes as she rushed to the front of the altar, somehow hoping against hope that she could wake up the young lady in the coffin. Somehow wishing that just like the numerous times she had shaken her daughter and she stirred… maybe, just maybe, this would do the trick.

A futile wish, unfortunately. It wouldn’t work this time; Glori was never gonna wake up again.

Rawda had entered about a minute or two before the bereaved mother’s grief boiled over. She had tried her best to stay strong on her way to the church, but seeing Mrs. Vanderpuye scream with agony as she attempted to wake her late daughter broke any attempt at that. It was in the arms of her brother Samed that she bawled uncontrollably into as they took their seats. At that moment, the will to file past the open coffin was gone; the pain of knowing her dear friend lay lifeless there fell on her like a ton of bricks and shattered her totally.

It took about ten minutes for composure to be restored in the church before the casket was finally closed and the service began, although obviously, there were many who still shed tears, albeit silently.

A place of mourning. A place everyone will find themselves someday, but never a comfortable place to find yourself.

***

“Glori was an ambitious young woman. A young lady who undoubtedly had big dreams,” the priest spoke as he gave the solemn homily for the occasion. “I spoke with her many times, and if there’s anything I know, it’s that she wanted to make a major impact in this world and make her family proud.”

He took a moment to shut his eyes and let out a big sigh of sadness, then continued.

“My honest expectation was always that if I had to do something major with Glori at the center of it, it would be about a celebration of her first play, or first book. Her wedding. Dedication of her children. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever expect that I’d have to conduct a funeral service for her, at this point in time. My constant prayer for her was that God would give her the strength to fulfill all those ambitions and desires within. But… somehow, that didn’t happen.”

His eyes on the people before him, clad in black and white, he could see hurt in its most tangible form. From the morose parents to the heartbroken siblings. Uncles, aunties and cousins with tear-stained faces. Friends and loved ones still finding it hard to believe. Life had really thrown them the nastiest of curveballs, no doubt.

“We’re all hurting as we sit here. Every one of us has lost a special person. Someone who brought joy and happiness to our lives in various ways, and this is difficult to take in. But in painful times like these, even though we don’t have the answers, we can lean on the God of all comfort, who comforts us in our afflictions. We have a Comforter who is always by our side, and is ready to help us in this dark period. We have the assurance of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, who promised that He will be with us always, even unto the end of the age…”

***

A few hours had passed. The service was over, and those who had the strength to do so, were at the cemetery, where Glori was to be laid to rest.

Rawda was one of those, holding tightly to her brother as they had walked through the place that held many resting places for the departed. She had chills running down her spine as she noted different tombstones, with different ages on each of them.

Some of them, like her great-grandmother, had lived to a ripe old age and peacefully made their way out of earth into eternity. Others had checked out a little too early.

And a number of them were as young as her and Glori.

It really brought into perspective how fragile and temporary life is.

Indeed, as she and Samed walked though to where Glori’s coffin would be lowered, her brother murmured out loud words she knew would never get out of her head.

“How pitiful is the man whose purpose revolves around the planet of self, and how wretched is the fool who thinks storing up material goods is ultimate wealth.”

As they arrived at the spot where the coffin was to be laid, many of the mourners were already weeping before the priest could begin the final prayers. Doing his best to maintain his own composure, he stayed silent as others shushed and told the weeping ones to hold their tears as he offered the final prayers over her casket.

“God of the spirits and of all flesh, who have trampled death and annihilated the devil and given life to your world, may You Yourself, O Lord, grant to the soul of your deceased servant Glori Vanderpuye, rest in a place of light, a verdant place, a place of freshness, from where suffering, pain and cries are far removed…”

As the prayer ended and the pallbearers began to lower the coffin into the grave, the cries resumed, and they were a lot more hysterical than before. Seeing Glori finally being lowered into the grave was pretty much that horrid arrow striking their hearts to confirm that this was not a dream.

Glori Vanderpuye was dead.

Samed had not had it easy calming Rawda down the first time, but this was a whole other issue. Reality had hit her just as hard as the others, and she had not broken down seriously until now, so this was a major outpouring of grief.

“GLORIIII! GLORIIIIII!! NOOOO!!! OH GODDDDDD!!!! WHY? WHY DID YOU HAVE TO LEAVE US THIS WAY?? WHAT WILL I DO WITHOUT YOU? GLLLOOOOORRRRIIIIIIII!!!!!”

Overwhelmed with grief, she screamed and wailed loudly, oblivious to the attempts of her brother to calm her down. Not even the efforts of other mourners could help. This was a hard moment, but no one else at that grave side was as inconsolable as her. Even Mrs. Vanderpuye tried unsuccessfully to calm her down; a testament to how broken she was at that point.

This was Rawda’s valley moment. The moment she truly came face to face with the terrible reality that she was never ever gonna see her friend again.

***

Seated at the dining table, in front of Leticia sat a blank foolscap sheet and a pen.

She simply sat there, her hands not even remotely motivated to rise and pick the pen to do the needful.

Thomas’ funeral was a few days away, and as expected, the tributes were needed for the publication of the brochure. According to the senior Mr. Dawson, aside her and his secondary school year group, everyone else had submitted theirs. She had promised to get to work on it as soon as possible.

So that evening, she said to herself it was time to get to work on it.

However, as she sat before the paper, that push needed to get to work just wasn’t there. Because she knew what was to appear on that paper was either going to be something that would be inappropriate for a funeral brochure, or something that would make her sick to her stomach to read.

How could she now lavish her late husband with the words of adoration she had planned to give him when he finally passed at the ripe old age of 89, when it was much earlier, and especially in the light of his scorn for her?

The thought of writing down what a wonderful and amazing husband he was now seemed repulsive. Why should she shower him with such accolades when it was nothing but a façade? Did he deserve such lovely praises when his deepest thoughts about her were darker than she would have expected?

She sighed, looking at the paper. She would have loved nothing more than to vomit out her new feelings about him.

But would that be appropriate for a funeral?

Even as she flirted with the idea, she knew the answer was a no. It most certainly would not.

She sighed again as she picked up the pen and tapped it against the table.

“Well, I guess I gotta get it done…”

That’s one funeral down. Time to witness Thomas’ own…

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Options n’ Upshots – UE #6

Getting down from the trotro, Boahemaa blinked back the tears that threatened to force their way out, as she made her way to the church right in front of her.

Mission Anglican Church.

Following the events of the past week, she was no longer allowed to set foot in the Vanderpuye house. Glori’s parents were still quite mad at her for the misbehaviour at the one-week celebration. But they had also gotten to know a bit. The fact that she had cheered her friend on while she and the man of the Dawson household engaged in steamy flings. That obviously made her even more unpopular. It didn’t look like she, or Rawda possibly, would be permitted to attend the funeral.

So as she walked toward the church, her heart was filled with grief and guilt.

Inasmuch as she was convinced Rawda’s confrontation was unwise, ill-timed and very inappropriate, she couldn’t deny the fact that she did feel bad about not calling Glori to order. They both knew it was wrong for her to find herself in such a situation, yet their love for able-bodied men somehow became an excuse.

In hindsight, Boahemaa could see how foolish they had been. A six-pack and bulging biceps was never an excuse to do the wrong thing. Never.

If only she had told Glori not to do it. If only she had advised her to spurn the advances of that Dawson man. Maybe she might have listened. Obviously, Glori hadn’t wanted the kind of verbal lashing Rawda would deliver. But maybe if her fellow macho-loving friend had told her creeping about with the husband of your boss was a terrible idea, she’d have listened.

Or would she?

This question would never be answered, obviously. But that wasn’t why she was there.

As she entered the church, her aim was for the altar. Walking briskly towards it, her restraint on her emotions grew weaker as her face scrunched up. Throwing herself on it, the tears began to flow.

“God, I’m sorry! I’m so sorry! Forgive me for everything that I’ve done, Lord!” she pleaded, face down. “I’ve messed up so badly, and I regret it. I’ve failed as a friend, and now I’ve lost a sister so dear. Please, Lord, forgive me. Please!”

For the next fifteen minutes, she remained sprawled on the floor, her tears sinking into the carpet as she cried out to God for mercy. With time, words turned to nothing but cries.

As her strength wound down and her loud cries reduced in intensity, she heard footsteps move toward her.

Then a hand gently touched her on the shoulder.

She lifted her head to see a priest, crouched to her level, a kind, gentle look on his face.

“My daughter, what’s wrong?”

***

“And now it’s just… every time I remember how I was happily cheering her while she was telling me how they were having sex that Saturday, I just feel so… terrible. I feel like the worst friend on earth. I feel like the biggest disappointment on the planet…” Boahemaa confessed, looking down as she told the story.

Father Bondzie, who was seated next to her on the altar, had listened silently. He certainly had not expected to meet somebody else directly affected by the accident. Such a tiny world we live in, he had thought to himself as she had narrated the events to him.

“I wish to God I had a time travel machine or something. I swear, the first thing I’ll do is go back to the day she first told me about that fling and warn her like crazy. Even if I’ll have to slap her, I’ll do it. I’d do anything to have my friend back, I really would,” she continued, sniffing and wiping her eyes as she spoke. “I made a terrible mistake, Father, and I dunno if I’ll ever get over this. I really don’t.”

Father Bondzie laid a hand on her shoulder. “Listen, Miss Boahemaa,” he began gently, “I can only imagine how terrible you feel. Considering what this led to, I know there’s a heavy load of guilt on you. But listen to me, punishing yourself won’t accomplish anything. Yes, you erred by urging your friend on, and you might feel bad about it now, but you can’t let that rule your life. Don’t allow it.”

Boahemaa continued to wipe her eyes as she listened to him.

“You’ve sought for forgiveness from God, and I want you to know that He has forgiven you. This is not a sin that He deems unpardonable. And if God has forgiven you, why continue to hold it against yourself? I know at this point, the wounds are still fresh and the memories will continue to replay in your mind’s eye. By all means, go through the grieving process; it’s natural and necessary. But don’t let your heart remain in bondage to guilt. You’ll never be free if you do.”

Boahemaa sniffed. “But Father, will I ever be free? All I ever think about is how I could have saved her from this fate. I just can’t shake it off, it’s just…”

Father Bondzie’s gentle grip tightened a bit on her shoulder. “Boahemaa, take it easy. The wounds are still fresh, so that’s how it feels. You just need to go through the grieving process for now. And please, you need a support system that will help you through this tough period. You cannot go through this on your own; it’s too heavy a load.”

Wiping her eyes, she nodded. “Yeah, that’s true.”

“Don’t you have any friends you can seek help from at this point in time?”

She began to think.

Well, there’s Beatrice. There’s Jean. There’s Ama Serwaa. Rawda… no, forget her. I don’t need that judgmental girl around me. After calling me an ashawo. Idiot.

She then nodded. “Yeah, I have some friends I can lean on.”

“Good, good. Look to them for support. With what you’re going through, it’s only appropriate they hold you up. Now listen to me. Once again, don’t continue to hold this against yourself. Refusing to forgive yourself will not get you anywhere beneficial; all that assures is you remaining in a cell for the rest of your life. Weep, cry, mourn your friend, as you should. But afterwards, heal and move on. The Apostle Paul told us in the book of Philippians that one thing he did was to forget the things that are behind him, and forging ahead to the things before him.

“You’re still a young woman, and there’s still a great future ahead of you. Don’t let this one error bring your life to a grinding halt. Please. When your time of sorrow is over, move on.”

***

“Please, the service starts at 9 am, right?”

“Yes, my dear. 9 am.”

“No problem. I’ll try and come much earlier than that. Umm, so… have you heard from Mrs. Dawson?”

The sigh from Mrs. Vanderpuye over the line already informed Rawda that the answer was unlikely to be a positive one.

“No ooo. Hmmm. The woman has blatantly refused to pick any of our calls. We’ve tried over and over again, but no response. I don’t understand why. It’s not like we were the ones encouraging Glori to sleep with her husband, so why this behaviour?”

“Hmmmm. Looks like the anger has really overwhelmed her.”

“I can understand. And I know she’s going through serious pain. I mean, none of us expected this. But the way she’s treating us, it’s not fair. It’s as if we told her to come and snatch her husband or something. God knows if I knew Glori was doing such a thing, I’d go to the house myself and drag her out and beat that foolishness out of her. We just wanted to apologize, see the way forward, that thing some. But no, the woman won’t hear it. My husband tried going there twice, and nobody answered. So, I dunno…”

Rawda sighed and shook her head. “Hmm. Well, if she doesn’t want to talk, I guess you can’t force it.”

“Hmmm, no ooo. I can’t force it. I know she’s angry, but… well, let’s just move on…”

So Boahemaa too holds a grudge against Rawda? Doesn’t look like that friendship’s gonna be mended any time soon…

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Options n Upshots

Options n’ Upshots – UE #5

“So we’re looking at the middle of next month. That’s about three or so weeks away. I personally don’t believe there’s the need for us to keep him for so long in the fridge. Let’s just get things in order quickly, and give him a proper send-off.”

The senior Mr. Dawson looked at Mr. Adjei, who nodded in agreement.

“Not a problem. The earlier we do it, the better. So I believe my daughter will get in touch with the reverend father about it. Right?”

Leticia immediately nodded. “Yes, Da. I’ll contact him as soon as we’re done with this meeting.”

“Alright. So, you can work on the cemetery and where he should be laid…”

About two weeks had passed, and a meeting concerning the funeral arrangements for Thomas were finally being held, with the family of Thomas and Leticia in attendance. This time around, the focus was solely on giving their son and their in-law a worth send-off, so no questions about what happened between them were asked.

This time around, the uncle of Thomas who had been chased out previously by Mrs. Adjei was not present. Apparently, Thomas’ father had been very unhappy with his conduct and decided he could not be present in this meeting. In any case, Leticia’s mother would be around as well, and the last thing needed was any form of hostility; work had to begin towards getting the funeral arrangements sorted out.

“Okay, so I will take care of the obituaries and stuff. I have a friend who owns a printing press not far from my workplace…”

“No problem, I’ll take care of the wreaths…”

“Ummm… their names are Marcus, Yaw and Quayefio. So that’s half of the pallbearers. The Marcus gentleman said he’ll revert to me about the other three who will help…”

Leticia silently listened as the delegation of tasks went on. She couldn’t help but feel bemused.

Funeral arrangements, as far as she knew, were always going to be a part of life. But her expectation was that if it had to happen at any time, it would be one of her parents. She had thought these kind of discussions would happen with her husband by her side, being her strong tower as he helped to make all the necessary decisions.

Not that he would be the one around whom all these arrangements were being made.

It felt like she had been in a trance when after about twenty minutes, the meeting came to an end. She barely heard anything else that was said after the mention of Thomas’ friends serving as pallbearers. Nothing but couldas and wouldas and shouldas circled around and filled her brain.

As the elderly ones rose to their feet, she joined them as the Abusuapanyin of Thomas’ family gave the closing prayer. She sighed as she shook her bowed head with her eyes closed.

“Okay, so, my dear, please stay strong,” the Abusuapanyin said to her as he ended the prayer and the solemn assembly began to disperse. “These are very difficult times, and I know it’s not easy. It can never be easy, obviously. But please, be strong.”

She sighed and curtsied as she responded positively.

It was funny how carefully the Dawson family treated her now. After that previous encounter with his uncle, nobody wanted to make much allusion to Thomas’ actions before his death. The head of family had probably advised them not to do anything to drive the knife in her wounds even deeper, and she was grateful for that.

Because the knives Thomas himself had stuck in by his actions were deep enough.

***

“Ma, Daddy, I’m very sorry for what happened last week. Please forgive me,” Rawda pleaded, on her knees as she faced the parents of Glori. She had finally gotten up and made her way to the residence, knowing it was imperative she apologize to them.

The young men around had not been very pleased to see her. They hadn’t forgotten her misbehaviour, and were ready to walk her out. But the mother of Glori had stepped out in time to see her and ask the boys to let her past. She didn’t understand Ga, but she knew the guy who aggressively protested was reminding Mrs. Vanderpuye of what she and Boahemaa had done a while back. The elderly woman calmly insisted she be allowed in, despite that.

Begrudgingly, they left her alone and allowed her to enter the house.

Now she knelt before them, her eyes filled with tears as she pleaded for clemency. Facing them, she realised just how foolish her actions were. Boahemaa undoubtedly played a huge role in the whole thing, but that attack was really out of line.

Looking at these two elderly people before her, it was so clear that this untimely death had rocked them to the core. They needed support at this fragile chapter of life. Not an embarrassing episode at a solemn occasion.

“I never should have done what I did. It was all my fault. I never should have done that in public. That was the last thing I should have done in front of you. I beg you, please forgive me.”

At this point, she moved forward and lay prostrate in the floor.

“Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, don’t lie on the floor, my dear,” Mrs. Vanderpuye gently protested as she lifted herself from her seat to lift Rawda up. “You don’t need to do this to yourself.”

Looking very remorseful as she was raised to her feet, she wiped her eyes and mumbled a few more sorrys.

“It’s okay, my dear, it’s okay. We’ve forgiven you,” Mrs. Vanderpuye assured her as she turned to her husband, who nodded in agreement.

“Take a seat,” he said, gesturing to a chair nearby.

Rawda duly obliged, walking over to take a seat. The elderly man sighed, looking up to the sky before returning his gaze to her as his wife sat down.

“Rawda, it has not been easy. Ever since the policeman entered this compound to inform us of our daughter’s passing, life has just been an absolute mess for us. Glori. Our very own Glori. Gone. Just like that. Hmmm. The thing that I feared the most has come upon me, and I don’t know how to take it. I saw my father’s agony when my younger brother died at the age of 20, and nothing terrified me more than experiencing a similar loss. And now, look. Look.”

Rawda shook her head as her tear glands began to function yet again. This man was really going through a hard time.

“I don’t know what to say, I don’t know what to do, I’ve been asking God for a Lazarus miracle… I’m at my wits end, honestly. I just don’t know what to do with myself. But I’m glad you came to apologize for your actions, because I was really angry that day. It only generated a whole lot of gossip, and the occasion lost a lot of solemnity. All the same, we have heard your apology, and we forgive you. This pain is enough; we need not add anger and bitterness to it.”

Rawda clasped her hands together. “Thank you, Da. Thank you, Mummy. I’m so, so grateful. And please, I’m here for you. We’re all in this together and we’ll walk through this torrid time together. I promise you that.”

“We are very grateful, my dear. Very, very grateful.”

***

“Oh, Leticia, won’t you answer the Vanderpuye woman?” Mrs. Adjei asked as she noticed her daughter’s phone screen alight with the name on the Truecaller notification. She had noticed he had called two times already, and Leticia was sitting in her chair while the phone sat on the living room table.

Shooting the phone a scornful glare, Leticia’s lips curled in disgust. “Leave him, Ma. I don’t have any business with them. After their daughter came and opened up her legs for Thomas to dive in. they can burn the sea for all I care. Nonsense!”

Mrs. Adjei didn’t seem too enthused by that. “Leticia, don’t do that. The parents are not their child. I understand you are angry with the girl, but don’t take it out on them. They were just sitting their somewhere. If they were complicit, I’m sure she would have mentioned it in her diary, but they didn’t know. So please…”

Leticia shook her head vigorously. “Ma, I don’t want to talk to them. Me and them don’t have any business. Whatever they want to do with their daughter is not my concern. Please, just leave me alone. I beg you.”

“Leticia…”

“Mama, please! I beg you. I’m not ready to be forced into anything. Please, I don’t want to talk to any of them. I don’t. just let me be. Please.”

Mrs. Adjei opened her mouth, ready to persuade her daughter, but in a split second, decided to hold back.

The reality was, Leticia was quite a mess of emotions, and with the disdain she spoke of anything related to Glori in the past couple of weeks, it was possible she might just unleash all the fury she had against her housekeeper on the poor, grieving parents. Which was the last thing they needed. In that little moment of wisdom, Mrs. Adjei held her tongue and decided not to push it further. Surely, they’d return to this issue, but when she was in a more emotionally stable frame of mind.

“Fine, no problem.”

That was her simple response, as she left the living room.

Leticia stared at the phone, and scowled again.

After taking you as my own. After doing you good and being ready to help you become more than just a housekeeper. Tweakai! Helping people. Never again…

Well, good to see Rawda patched things up with Glori’s parents. Leticia, though. Shouldn’t she at least pick their call once? Hmmm…

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Options n’ Upshots – UE #4

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.

Never. 

This widow is really going through it, isn’t she? And isn’t Rawda being a little too harsh at the moment? Oh well…

Categories
Options n Upshots

Options n’ Upshots – UE #3

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!”

Boahemaa.

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?

Categories
Options n Upshots

Options n’ Upshots – UE #2

Seated on the balcony, Leticia sat in her usual chair, clad in black, her facial expression void of any emotion. Looking at the flowers being blown by the breeze, she took a deep sigh as she continued to wait patiently.

She was expecting certain visitors. Thomas’ father and uncle.

Was she looking forward to their arrival? Not in the slightest. She had a lot of respect for them, but she really did not want these kind of visits right now. In any case, she had a particularly sneaky feeling they were going to try and defend the honour of their late son.

Mrs. Adjei stepped out of the house and watched her daughter sitting there with that bland disposition. She shook her head and looked to the skies.

Leticia saw her mother’s reaction and smirked. She had the same feeling, and had not hidden it. “Mama, don’t worry yourself, I beg you. I know you’ve already charged up, but there’s no need. I’m sure the meeting will be smooth. Relax, I’ll handle it.”

Mrs. Adjei looked at her, an unsure “Hm” emanating from her before she shrugged and stepped back into the house.

Just as she did, there was a knock on the gate. Leticia rose and walked to the gate to open it up.

As expected, the father and uncle of her late husband were at the gate, also clad in black mourning attire. They followed her to the porch and took their seats as she went in to get them some water to drink.

Once they were served, she took her seat and waited for them to finish drinking before they began to speak.

“Hmm, my dear, to say that these are easy times would be a lie,” Thomas’ father began. “What has happened is just horrible, and as a father, my heart couldn’t be heavier. The way I expected Thomas and the rest of his siblings to be the ones to bury me, and this has happened! Leticia, I’m devastated. Extremely devastated.”

Leticia’s heart ached at those words. He’s right. It’s children supposed to bury their parents. Not the other way round.

“As far as the funeral arrangements are concerned, we will have to get to work on that soon enough. But, ummm… that’s not the reason why we came. That will be done in due time. We wanted to talk you about, uh… the state of affairs between you two before all this came to pass.”

The look on Leticia’s face turned from showing hints of sympathy to a blank canvas. Huh, just as I thought! I wonder what they have to say to me…

“Yes, we decided that coming over immediately would be in bad taste, given how very fresh the wounds were,” the uncle chipped in. “Of course, we were also in a state of shock as well. And obviously, it’s not like you’re totally over it; I know it’s going to take you a long time to fully recover. But at least, a few days have passed, so there’s some discussion we can have.”

Yeah, it’s gonna take me a really long time to recover. Why not, when my husband had fallen out of love with me and was finding his way into our housekeeper’s panties!

“Yes, indeed, so umm, this is just a harmless question, but, were things between you and Thomas okay before he left for Kumasi?”

Leticia sighed and shook her head. She knew they meant well, but this question almost made it feel as if she had driven him into the arms of another woman with some insane conduct.

“Yes, everything was fine. As far as I’m concerned, he wasn’t even supposed to go to Kumasi,” she started gently. “My brother suffered a stroke, and I had to rush for Sunyani. We communicated the whole time. No fights, no nothing. If anything at all, just those normal squabbles every couple has.”

The two elderly men sat back.

“But apparently, after one really nasty fight,” she continued, “he started to dislike me. Even though he denied holding anything against me. After I apologized numerous times.”

She took her time in laying those sentences out.

“Hmmmm. My daughter, can I be honest? I know the boy did the wrong thing, but personally, I think you ought to take the blame for all this as well,” the uncle stated bluntly.

Leticia sat up in her chair, a stunned expression on her face. “What?” she gasped.

“I mean, if not for that fight, who knows, maybe he never would have been motivated to go after the househelp. I’m not excusing his actions ooo, that’s not what I’m trying to do. But in my opinion…”

“Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey!”

An irritated snap came from the front door. They all turned to see Leticia’s mother step out, with a very irritated look.

“Mr. Man, you can’t come here and be throwing useless allegations at my daughter for wrongs she never did! It’s her fault for the where? Nonsense! Or you don’t know that she apologized? Ah! Why is it not the fault of that son of yours who couldn’t honour his wedding vows?”

Leticia shut her eyes. Oh no.

Her mother had been listening to the brief conversation, despite her earlier pleas that she be allowed to deal with these in-laws alone. Now that she had heard this uncle blatantly and ridiculously accuse Leticia of being complicit in Thomas’ passing, it was about to get ugly. Especially considering how livid the elderly lady was with Thomas’ ways, and fully blamed him for leading himself to an early grave.

“Isn’t marriage about forgiveness and compromise? Yet that gentleman you call a son decided to hold on to a stupid grudge and disgraced himself by going for that silly small girl. How is this Leticia’s fault? Don’t be silly over there!”

The men bristled at this attack. “Look here, woman,” Thomas’ uncle started, rising to his feet, “we did not come here to be insulted by you. We came for a simple, logical discussion…”

“Logical my foot! Where is the logic? They fought. She said sorry. He said he accepts, when he was lying. He went to cheat. Now he’s dead. How is she responsible? Logical discussion indeed. Listen, you can’t come here and shift any blame on my daughter when you didn’t teach your son not to be chasing any aimless fool in a skirt!”

“Hey, don’t you insult my son like that!” Thomas’ father snapped, also on his feet. “You better watch your mouth over there!”

“Or what? Is he a saint? If he had sense, wouldn’t he still be here? Nobody asked him to take some small girl to Kumasi just for sex!”

Things had officially become ugly.

For the next few minutes, Leticia stared on, mortified as her mother engaged these two visitors in a verbal war. A relentless, ferocious exchange of words. Exactly what she had been hoping would not happen.

But then, this uncle, who seemed a little too trigger happy with his words, started it, didn’t he? Where from the blame shifting?

“… and I am saying that he is a stupid man regardless! Instead of forgiving, you are holding grudges and chasing after girls that aren’t as educated and respectable as the woman you are married to. Isn’t he a pitiful excuse of a man?”

“He is still a man! And the fact remains that we men don’t like having our pride toyed with. If our wives fail to see that, then they only have themselves to blame when we get upset and hold on to certain things.”

“Hahahaha! Do you know how soaked in stupidity this statement is? So he has a right to not forgive? She must be perfect? Herh, you are even stupider than I thought. Idiot man!”

“You too, you are a foolish woman!”

“Useless dog!”

“Bloated pig!”

“Ugly rat!”

Now the insults were being tossed back and forth in table tennis fashion, with Leticia’s mother and Thomas’ uncle trying to outdo each other with the most offensive description they could conjure. It was beginning to get embarrassing, with Thomas’ father looking humiliated at his brother’s passionate attacks.

“Please, everybody, please!” Leticia pleaded loudly, now fully upset. “Please, this isn’t going to help anyone. We’re all affected in one way or another, and all this won’t solve anything. Please!”

The uncle shot her a dirty look, still incensed. He had been set off, and it hardly looked like this appeal for calm had touched his heart in any way. “I don’t blame him. I don’t blame him at all,” he barked. “With a terrible woman like this for a mother, I’m very sure this is what you were doing to Thomas. No wonder he hated you so much!”

As Thomas’ father rebuked him, Leticia narrowed her eyes. Just as she was trying to calm things down, this uncle just wanted to carry on with his ludicrous fault-finding propaganda. His earlier suggestion had touched a raw nerve, and he clearly wasn’t ready to let it go.

“Daddy,” she said to Thomas’ father, “respectfully, I think we’ll have to have this discussion another time. Because I’m not ready to sit here and be made to feel lower than I already am. Please.”

Thomas’ father sighed. He had not anticipated his brother taking this route. Now the plans for a fruitful talk had been flushed down the drain. He glared at him as he nodded. “You’re right. This wasn’t the right time, after all.”

“My friend, it’s the perfect time! Isn’t it obvious what this boy was going through? Only God knows the kind of abusive behaviour poor Thomas suffered at the hands of this woman,” the uncle butted in, unwilling to give up.

“Herh, so you won’t leave? Wait for me, I’m coming!”

Anyone used to Nigerian movies would know that statement from Mrs. Adjei was a dangerous one, as she rushed back into the house. The senior Mr. Dawson saw this, and started to move, unsuccessfully trying to pull his brother away. He told Leticia he would call her as he walked away.

His brother, unperturbed, continued to stand before Leticia, pointing his finger at her. “You better understand this: you are not the innocent little widow you claim to be. Our son didn’t deserve to have his life tormented, however it was done, and I won’t lie, I’m more convinced than ever that whatever you did to him…”

The front door flung open, and there stood Mrs. Adjei, with a butcher’s knife in her hand. “You are still standing here, abi?”

That was his cue to flee.

It was embarrassing, yet slightly comical, how Mrs. Adjei chased him from the compound to the gate, waving the knife wildly as he fled for dear life. As he sped out of the gate, she stood at the entrance, spitting out the last bits of venom she could find beneath her tongue.

“Fool! Useless toke! Go on, run away! After your foolish son has destroyed my daughter’s life, you are coming to make things worse for her! Step here again, and I swear, I’ll use this to chop your tongue off! Try me and see!”

***

“Mummy, I miss Daddy. When is he coming back? And Sister Glori too.”

Days had passed since the fatal accident, and the children were yet to find out the truth. Another major headache for Leticia.

Having to tell Denise that her beloved daddy was never going to come back was a task too heart-rending for Leticia to carry out at that moment. She just couldn’t do it.

So she blinked back the tears as she lied, claiming that Thomas had been caught up in some big work and would be staying longer than usual.

As she kissed her daughter good night and left the room, she sighed, shaking her head.

An absolutely draining day.

So much anger and grief within her. And the events of the afternoon had not helped, either. She had had a bit of an exchange with her mother afterwards, registering her displeasure at the interruption and subsequent insults.

Taking a seat in the living room, she looked all around her, as she had done consistently for the past two weeks. Observing the empty seat where Thomas once occupied, then the numerous pictures around.

Then she sat back, allowing the tears to run down her cheeks as she sobbed and wondered whether it was grief of his death or grief at his now-revealed contempt of her that was the cause of her breakdown.

As she wiped her left eye, mind barely focused on the blaring television, her phone rang.

Picking it up, she expected it was the senior Mr. Dawson. But it was an unfamiliar number.

Waiting for Truecaller to reveal the person’s identity, her lips turned up in disgust as it did. The name of the caller was Francis Vanderpuye.

Glori’s father.

She immediately pressed the reject button, a loud ‘mtcheww’ from her lips as she tossed it aside.

The phone rang again, and she decided to ignore it. In all truthfulness, the last thing she wanted was to deal with the family of that girl.

“Rubbish,” she muttered. “After all I was ready to do for you, you jumped into bed with my husband. Ungrateful little bitch. They had better leave me alone. I don’t want anything to do with her. They can toss her body into the sea for all I care. I don’t give a damn.”

A lot of ugliness ongoing in the light of these passings. Hmmmm, this would be a very unpleasant place to find yourself. It really would…

Categories
Options n Upshots

Options n’ Upshots – UE #1

Welcome to the second and final season of Options n’ Upshots!

The finale of season 1 really threw us off track, didn’t it? I doubt anyone saw that coming. It was all kinds of brutal. And clearly, what we’re all wondering is… what happens with those left behind? Leticia, Boahemaa, Rawda… they’re all gonna be deeply affected by what happened.

Well, it’s time to find out.

Imagine a junction with no traffic lights and mad lines of cars filled with angry drivers, all on a ‘every man for himself’ kind of vibe as each person seeks to reach their destination with no regard whatsoever for the other person’s well-being. Nothing but chaos is imminent.

That was as close a description as possible of the kind of mental mayhem going on in Leticia’s mind.

As she sat on the bed, thoughts of all kinds just sped through her brain, refusing to stop so they could be properly dissected and thought upon. From one idea and question to another, with no room for contemplation.

From the moment Inspector Seidu Moro showed up at her doorstep to deliver the news, things had never been the same. And of course, they were not going to be.

Receiving the news that her husband and housekeeper had perished in a ghastly accident was the stuff of nightmares. The kind of experience you wouldn’t wish upon your worst enemy. That had to be the worst moment of her life, without a doubt, and the memories of her falling to the ground and screaming her lungs out was not likely to depart any time soon.

If that was not bad enough, a diary had been retrieved, apparently from the accident scene, and brought to her, containing information that instantly made her stomach churn when digesting same.

The question of how Glori was in the car with Thomas when the accident occurred was answered more intimately by those jotted journals than she would have wanted.

And up to that point, it just didn’t seem to really register. The fact that a lie had apparently been lived out, and she had absolutely no idea.

The thoughts were in motion…

“What the hell is wrong with you, Tom? Why can’t you be considerate for once?”

“And why can’t you cut me some f**king slack every now and then? Ah! Every time, emo outbursts nkwaa. Can’t you use your brain for once?”

“Are you implying I’m stupid or something?”

“Well, who the cap fits, let them put it on their f**king head. Geez!”

“Ah, all I want is a little assistance, and it’s come to this. Why are you like this?”

“Massa, I can’t. I can’t sacrifice a little bit. If you don’t like, go and drink sea water. Hoh! Mtcheww!”

“You know what? F**k you, Thomas Dawson! F**k you! You insensitive bastard!”

“Whatever, chale. I’m tired of this s**t. I’m out of here!”

That was the night of their infamous fight. Thomas had claimed to feel too tired from work to help out with a little task in the kitchen. Leticia had pleaded for him to ‘sacrifice just a little bit’, which somehow didn’t go down well with him. What followed was about 10 minutes of yelling and an exchange of angry words that culminated in Thomas walking out and spending the night elsewhere.

Definitely the lowest moment in their marriage…

“Honey, I’m really sorry about all that happened. I shouldn’t have said those things, I know. Please forgive me…”

“Don’t worry, Leticia. What’s in the past is in the past. We were… both angry. Never mind. Let’s just move on.”

She remembered those words after they left the counsellor’s office, a couple of weeks after that fight. How assuring his voice was. How calm his demeanor was as they drove away. That comforting feeling she had in her underbelly that all was well…

“Leticia, I knew you were the one from the moment I laid my eyes on you. Your sweetness, your calmness, your seriousness… you know, all the positive nesses, hehehe. I’ve been waiting a long time for this, but finally, this is the time. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Have a family with you. Grow old with you. Have eyes for no one else but you. That’s all I dream of, and it’s time to make it a reality. So, Miss Leticia Akua Adjei, will you marry me?”

“Oh, God, yes, Tommy boo, yes! Yes, I will marry you!”

A brief flashback to that memorable day he proposed to her, after about nineteen months of dating. The shots of joy that coursed through every vein as he went down on his knees. The sweet feeling of giddiness that wrapped her up as she was wrapped up in the arms of her now-fiancé. The assurance that her life was just getting a lot better…

So I guess I know why Mr. Thomas despises Madam Lit so much. They apparently had a pretty big fight, and she said some awful things to him. He stormed out, spent the night at a hotel, and that was it. Hmmmm. Chale, I still kinda wonder why he’s held on to the bitterness like that, with the way he claims she apologized and they went for counselling and all that. Ah well, not my business. I’m just enjoying what he’s been doing to me since we got here. God, his touch is so sweet…

Those words sprung to mind immediately. Contents of Glori’s diary.

“Ei, so all this time we were living together, this man disliked me? So I was nothing but some contemptible mosquito to my own husband? To the extent that he was fooling about with this… this small girl? Right under my nose?” she wondered out loud.

She looked around her.

The bedside table had a picture of the two of them, with Thomas’ arms around his wife’s waist, both faces beaming with radiant smiles.

A picture they took at his father’s retirement party. Only about a year ago.

Looking straight ahead, a framed photo of them and the kids at a birthday party.

They looked so happy. Like a family that had forged past their struggles and problems and had chosen to love in spite of the flaws.

The smiles on the face of Thomas in both pictures. They looked so genuine. They looked like the smile of a man content with life and what he had been gifted with.

Now as she observed them, they looked so… plastic.

Fake.

“So all the mornings I helped him dress up, it was scorn he had for me?” she continued to wonder aloud, her voice beginning to crack with a bit of hysteria. “All the respect and admiration I had for him was not reciprocated? This man didn’t even want me as a wife?!”

Rising to her feet, a woozy feeling washed over her as her mind began to bend under the weight of oncoming mental pictures rushing to the forefront of her brain.

The most aggressive being pictures of different quotes from Glori’s diary.

Quotes of Glori and her husband’s moments.

Goodness, Diary! Mr. Thomas had me blinded with delirium this morning. He totally blew my mind! He really is a man’s man! Fire emojis, Diary. Fire emojis…

… oh God, Diary, the sparks that fly off my skin when Mr. Thomas kisses me on the neck! It’s just insane…

… chale, the way he jams his hands into my panties is something else…

… I swear, I was seeing stars when he dug his head in between my thighs. Herh, I’m literally getting all tingly just remembering about it…

Leticia squeezed her eyes shut, hoping against hope that the thoughts would let up and leave her be.

But they just kept coming. Reminding her of the unpleasantries.

Reminding her that her husband had been faking all this time and actually detested her very existence…

Reminding her that he set his sights on the housekeeper and relentlessly chased her until she agreed to let him have her…

Reminding her that while she rushed off to Sunyani to look after her brother, her husband went back home to passionately bang this housekeeper…

Reminding her that all those talks about a meeting in Kumasi and Glori saying she was at home with her family for the weekend were nothing but lies to cover up an illicit weekend-long fling…

Reminding her that they were dead, and she’d never get the answers she deserved…

That was it.

The elastic band in her snapped.

She let out a blood-curdling scream, grabbing the picture on the side table and chucking it at the wall. The glass smashed into a thousand pieces upon impact.

If anyone had looked into her eyes at that moment, they would probably find two glowing flames where her pupils ought to be.

She lunged for the curtains, ripping them off their hinges as she switched into a full-blown state of rage. Scattering all the expensive perfumes of his from the dressing table to the floor, she then took one of her high heels on her shoe rack and threw it at the photo hanging on the wall.

The impact knocked the photo off the nail it hung on and fell to the ground.

Grabbing the frame as it landed, she slammed it against the wall, its glass protection splitting under the blazing ire of a deeply wounded woman.

A blazing ire that wouldn’t permit a single thrust against the wall to be sufficient.

Each hit accompanied with a rabid, “I HATE YOU!”, she was totally oblivious to hurried footsteps outside her room. The opening of her door, didn’t phase her, either.

“Leticia! Leticia! Ei, Awurade, what is this! Leticia, stop, please!”

The cries of a concerned mother were the next thing that followed. And that caught her attention.

The frame now smashed to broken pieces of wood and bits of glass, her mother’s words brought her rage-driven frenzy to a halt.

Her head already bowed to the ground, another ear-piercing cry burst out of her.

This time, it was out of pain.

Breaking down in the mess of shattered shards and tiny splinters as her mother’s arms wrapped themselves around her, there was no need for words.

The widowed Leticia Dawson was broken. Devastated. Hurt beyond words.

She had lost the man she had vowed before God and man to spend the rest of her life with. She had lost a young lady she had grown fond of and wanted to see rise to the top. And in losing them, she had learned that they were actually involved in a steamy liaison.

Nothing could cut deeper than that.

As she wailed on, the elderly Mrs. Adjei held her daughter tight, tears running down her cheeks as she asked God what wrong she had done to deserve this. A son struck down by stroke to a daughter widowed in tragic circumstances.

Heart-rending. Absolutely heart-rending.

Wow! Intense is not even enough to describe what a beginning that was. This is going to be a tough period for Leticia, that’s for sure!

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Jay Ayima

Jay Ayima Pt. 10 – Me Dixx

So chale, me dixx.

This be the end product of what I do that night.

Papafio then Semua no survive. Squad take them go hospital wey them say them quench long time.

As them barb me knock me out, them take me go police station go report me sey I quench two people. As you go expect, social media make noise over the matter aaa, the news come turn big issue for the country inside.

Now come see all the stupid self-appointed judges. Everybody dey condemn me sey I be evil nigga, na I get wicked heart, bla bla bla. Even when them hear sey them dey cheat, the chorus go like: na even if she dey cheat on me, how I figa sey I get right to kill am?

People talk saaa, but at this point, you know. I really no dey give a fuck about anybody like that.

So them charge me with murder, them take me go High Court, them go find some lawyer bi give me… massa, some plenty bullshit bi like that.

If you biz me the details sef, I no dey kae. All I know be sey at the end of the trial, them sentence me to death by hanging.

I sure sey you dey biz how that one happen. Inobi Ghana wey them say the death penalty no dey work for here like that?

Me diɛɛ, I no know how ooo. Ibi like the judge say the way I no show any regret, wey I do my body adonkerr no, ibi disgusting and reprehensible. Or some big brofo bi like that. That be why he give me that sentence. Apparently, the lawyer dey try sey he go make them change the sentence or whatever. Chale, I no dey biz again. Make them just lef me for here.

So chale, me dixx. The death nibbies I talk plenty, ibi sakeof I dey death row.

I dey wedge make the day come. I sure sey you go talk sey oo, maybe them go change am go life imprisonment, but chale, I no dey look there. What I know be sey them give me death sentence. If them go do aa, make them do, na man taya.

By now, I sure sey you dey wonder if I get any regrets.

Well, I no get any answer give you. That no be your matter.

All I go talk be sey I really wish some nibbies bi no happen.

For example, I really wish sey Renita no change. Chale, like she still be the low-key freak, by now I still dey eat dey enjoy am kraaaa. Sometimes sef, like I go make am my woman. Ridee, as I dey here, the memory of how na she dey take ein nice, hard nipples rub rub my face dey spark me roff. E better pass all the Semua memories I get by far.

I really dey wish sey the first day Semua no make I eat, I just lef the room go find another chic e go give me what I dey hia. Instead, I do make my body turn lemm give some world-class deceptionist. Just dey drag drag me along with azaa promises.

And most of all, I really wish sey I no tell am my history. That be one of the biggest mistakes I do. For me, e big pass the shooting sef. The way I figure sey she go hold me down for life, especially after the way she gimme them assurances after I gbele my heart. Saana ibi joke give am, to the extent sey she twist am dey mock me in front of that idiot.

Massa, vulnerability be shit for the birds. To hell with it.

Okay, as I dey think about am now, yeah, that be my major regret: sey I lose guard play that vulnerability card. Like I for maintain that closed front naaa.

Like I won add the Renita part, but that one be beyond my control, so chale…

This life diɛɛ, ibi like them just set me up sey I for be one miserable bastard for this earth top. At this point, I just go take am so. Them do dema job finish. Them make I watch as my Popee quench my Momee for my front. Them make I turn some dark ass nigga. Them make I go fall give some snake. Chale, them do dema job waaa.

That be my story. My life spoil finish, chale, so make death come grab me make I lef here already. Like I talk from the beginning, I really no dey biz about whether ibi heaven or hell or purgatory or paradise or whatever supernatural shit I dey go.

I just won lef. It’s all over for me, chale. It’s all over…

Well, that was the story of Jay Ayima. A potentially bright future now rotting away in prison. Do you think he deserves pity, or he’s just one dangerous guy placed where he belongs?

Thanks for reading!

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Jay Ayima

Jay Ayima Pt. 9 – Somebody Go Smell Pepper!!

E knack like 11:20 pm as I go the Viva Hostel there. I take the money give the Uber driver, wey I commot the car inside then walk go the hostel.

As I enter, wey some of the girls greet me, I nod, wey I just dey go my way.

Two weeks catch since I see the video wey the Papafio nigga dey fuck Semua. Ibi like them give dema body time, but finally, Yao gimme the heads-up sey he dey go ein room.

I shake my head as I kae the way the boy beg me sey make I no do anything crazy for there. Hwɛ, this buffoon dey eat my girl, make I no do anything crazy for the where? Massa, somebody for smell pepper! I no dey do solemn shit like that. You fuck plus me, display go pae for your top!

The whole two weeks, I just make basaa. I go Semua ein there, wey I no talk anything. I just dey observe am. As she dey do ein IG nibbies for my front, I just dey kae the way she make Papafio lick am for the down there. The way she give am blowjob. The way she make e give am doggy. The way she moan then scream…

Herh! I really no know how I manage maintain myself for the few times I go ein there. If she dey kiss me sef, e just be someway. These same lips wey Papafio dey chew gidigidi. Ah! Then times, I dey fit neck am make she sigh then giggle. At that point, I no fit do. That same neck then chest wey the nigga dey lick make you squeal like some horny hyena? Massa, what you dey talk?

She biz me sey problem dey as I no dey devour am like usual. I tell am sey everything be cool.

At that point, I swear, the love all commot my inside. The way na I dey see am sey she be the one I go live sweet life with then tins, everytin lef. At that point, chale, like I go go search that Jacquine girl eat. The girl make I waste my time kwa. Bitch ass traitor. After the way I tell you my painful history, you go tell this fool sey I be mama’s boy, so I be some weak cry baby. Bullshit!

And as for Papafio… I no see that kwasia toke in the last two weeks. He diɛɛɛ, like I see am sef, I go break ein jaw. Aboa! You get nerve dey go eat my girl behind my back? Ibi good kraaa sey I no see am. Like e go turn ugly fight, I no dey lie you.

So I climb the stairs go the second floor. That be where she dey.

I turn left follow the long corridor, wey I san turn left at another end.

I come catch the lane where ein room dey.

Room 225.

I go dey the window ein body, wey I briefly peep.

Just like the last time Yao go cot the video, she no close that side of the curtain. Sia geh!

As expected, na he dey there.

She dey wear just bra then panties, wey she dey sit ein top, arms around ein neck, as she dey give am serious sexy eyes.

Sexy eyes she tell me sey she go give me for wana wedding night.

I start peep naa, wey he just start dey chew ein mouth.

I stand back, wey I breathe in and out.

At that point, eh, my old people come to mind.

I just start dey kae all dema fights. The way Momee go dey complain about the way Popee always dey chase women den tins. Popee too go dey dismiss am. Every day, then Momee make mɔbɔ-mɔbɔ. Every day, depression catch am.

I kae the way Popee kill am long before he take the car pass ein top. Killing diɛɛ, he kill the woman before the main act.

As I kae all these things wey my heart really start dey come. E make I really understand my momee ein actions.

If you dey love somebody wey them dey do dirty shit behind your back, e dey pain pass. The worst part be if them dey use your vulnerability against you. That be some real low-level shit paa.

So as I san go spy wey I see sey he jie the bra take put some place, wey he dey mia the boobs make she gasp, I snap.

I just snap.

The time catch sey a madafaka go see ein morda for there.

I step back, then with every iota of strength e dey my body, I kick in the door. E gbele wide open.

Make you never underestimate the strength of an angry person.

She commot for ein lap top, wey she watch me. She shock as she dey take ein arms cover ein boobs.

Papafio giddup from the bed, wey he start dey kneel for ground dey beg me.

“Jesus! Chale, Jay Ayima, Jay Ayima, I dey beg, I dey beg. It’s not what it looks like…” he start dey plead.

Siasem kwa! You dey my woman ein room 11:30 gbɛkɛ time. She dey sit your lap top wey she no dey wear bra sef. It’s not what it looks like sɛ sen? Ofui!

I no listen am sef. There norr, I jie the thing e dey the left side of my trousers.

The result of the business transaction I go tear the day I hear that extra ‘mama’s boy’ info.

A locally manufactured pistol.

Oh yeah, I go buy gun that night. You dey biz how or where I go find the dealer for? Massa, that no be your wahala. All you for know be sey I go buy gun. Finish.

Papafio see the tin wey ein voice come make high-pitched.

“Jay, please, please! I beg of you, don’t do this! I’ll do anything-“

Chale, chale, na ein noise be annoying. E no be that nyama-nyama begging e go change anything.

POW! POW!

Two bullets to the forehead, straight.

As ein body drop, Semua start dey scream. At that point, she forget sey she go cover ein boobs. She just dey stand there dey scream as ein hands dey ein head top.

I dey watch ein nakedness wey the anger san rush through my veins.

Stupid waste of time. After all those months she lie me sey she dey preserve herself for marriage. She waste my time kɛkɛ. Like I go search another sexy girl for IG or campus top, like I just dey enjoy by now. But she trick me, take me sey I be jon.

Just like how Popee take Momee sey ebi jon.

I aim the pistol for ein face top.

I pull the trigger.

Two seconds later, she too she dey ground. Bullet hole for ein nose top.

What e happen after that? Honestly, I no sheda dey kae too well. All I dey remember be sey as the gun make noise, e no kyɛɛ before squad rush come the room inside. Squad grab me knock me out before I even realize.

That be the only thing I dey kae…

Wow! So he actually killed them. Crazy, chale. Just crazy…

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Jay Ayima

Jay Ayima Pt. 8 – Ei! Herh!

Like one week since them give me that info, I make tense pass. Na I just dey hope sey ibi mistaken identity or some shit like that, coz chale, na I just no dey won believe.

My Semua? My Sexy Semzy? Cheating on me?

Ah, naaa. E no fit to be true. This girl wey she dey make I dey wedge am? How she fit turn around make another nigga bang?

Chale, no be small denying wey I dey deny for my head inside.

She come my there during the week wey we make out as usual. As I dey kiss ein neck then mia ein thighs, I just dey whisper, “You’re all mine, aren’t you, baby?”

As she dey giggle dey make some small sexy sounds, she respond, “Yes, baby. All of me is all yours.”

That evening eh, hot make out paaa. Ibi me sef wey I shun at a point, so sey we no go overstep the boundaries. You see how she make I change?

So that Thursday evening, my mind just dey the make out top wey I dey take assure my body sey ibi mistake. Coz chale, if anybody go cheat, e never be Semua. Ah, somebody wey e dey show me all the thirsty comments for ein IG DMs make we laugh?

As I kae them tins, somebody come knock.

“Who that?” I call.

“Yo Jay, ibi me.” Yao.

“Yeah, yeah, Yao. Enter, enter.”

He gbele the door enter. I see ein face naa wey my heart cot, coz na he get some… mɔbɔ-mɔbɔ style bi for ein face top. Like some bad news bi hit am.

“Chale, you go do the investigation finish? Abi inobi Semzy them dey talk about, anaa?” I biz am, with some small hope for my heart inside.

He come tap the bed top wey he give some big sigh.

That be when my heart sink.

He jie ein phone for ein pocket, wey he dey press press top. “Chale, last night wey I go get this. Video evidence. I make sorry waa. I know sey this really go pain you. Me sef, e dey pain me as I do the recording, but… chale, your woman dey open give the Papafio nigga.”

As he talk that tin, I feel sey something snap for my in.

Ei! What?

I start dey shiver as I take the phone wey I see the video. Herh! So for real, Semua dey cheat? I press the play button.

See, I dey watch pono, but I never watch pono make my heart break like this.

Chale, I no know how I manage go through the video sef. So so jabs for my heart top. I just dey sit there speechless.

I watch as them dey the room inside, wey Papafio grab Semua ein waist wey them start dey kiss gidigidi.

I watch as them jie dema clothes.

I watch as she sit ein top for the bed wey he jie the girl ein bra then mia then suck the boobs. Herh, the pain! Ei! As I dey wan mia them the times we dey my room, she dey tell me sey I for wait till we marry. Now see how she dey make this madafacka enjoy.

I watch as she move down give am blow.

I watch as he too go down on am. The ‘Oh God’ she moan eh… like them take needle chook my liver. Fuck!

Ibi the part he turn am over wey he start dey give am the real action wey I stop. At that point, I no dey fit again.

Honestly, I no know how I manage hold the phone watch the tin. The strength I take watch as this Papafio nigga eat my girl diɛ, I no get any idea. But the tin pain me. The way I make my mind sey I go wedge this girl coz she dey convince me sey we for wait. Meanwhile she dey make this fool have free access.

Ei! Herh!

I no dey fit talk anything again oo. Just those words.

As Yao take ein phone, he tap my back wey he just dey murmur, “Chale, sorry… sorry…”

My heart break ankasa.

They naa, them know sey I go fit to die give my woman. Them know sey I no dey joke plus am one bit. So this revelation… chale, chale, chale…

“You diɛ, you go fit lef. Thanks,” I respond. Notin again I fit say.

A few minutes after he lef the room inside wey I really vex.

Kwasia guy! This Papafio motherfucker paaa! So he go snatch my woman dey eat, eh? Aboa like that!

And Semua… herh, I never know sey she be snake like that. Fucking snake ass bitch! So all the times she dey tell me sey ein body be mine and mine alone, na ibi lies? So as she put me on hold, she dey make this fool play plus ein body?

“FUCK! FUCK! FUCK! FUCK! FUCK! FUUUUUUUUCCCCCCKKKK!” I scream for the room. I catch that last part wey I throw some pen bi for the wall top. The tin break, but obviously, na I really no dey give a fuck about it like that.

Chale, na my mind torch roff! I just dey stand there dey breathe in and out.

All e dey go through my head be sey Semua cheat on me.

This girl, after all the promises and shit, she cheat on me.

Fuck.

***

The phone ring like three times before he pick.

“Hello, Jay.”

“Chale, Yao, I dey beg, the next time that stupid ass nigga go go Semua ein there, make I know.”

Silence for the other line top. “Jay, what you dey plan?”

“Nigga, I say the next time he dey go there, make I know. Simple.”

Yao sigh for the line top. “Jay, I know sey you bore. Ibi normal. But I know you. The way you dey talk diɛ, I dey fear…”

“Chale, chale, chale, Yao. I dey beg, I no dey like what you dey do. You know sey me, my heart no good. If I bore you, ibi nasty matter. Wey what you dey do right dey start dey make I bore. So abeg, just follow what I dey talk. The next time Papafio go go Semua ein there, make I know. Simple. You go do or you no go do?”

Yao just sigh for the phone top. He naa, na he know sey he no get choice. Coz the way shit go go down if he no gbele ein mof between me then am, he know. Wey he dey fear.

“Cool, cool. I go make you know.”

“Good.”

I cut the line, wey I drop the phone for bed top.

Some days pass since them break the news to me, wey chale, I go get more info e make my mind really melt.

So one guy too for the hostel hit me up. Apparently, ein room dey the Papafio guy ein room top. So ibi like the morning after wey he hear sey Papafio then ein roommate dey talk about Semua. What he hear be how Papafio dey brag how he dey make Semua reach orgasm, how he manage persuade am make he eat like two months earlier… serious things.

Chale, na my heart already dey ache as he dey gimme this filla. But ibi the last part wey e really go me.

Apparently, after dema last session, Papafio joke sey them for ensure sey I no go know anything. Wey Semua laugh talk sey ibi true, na if I find out, I go cry like some mamaba, na she sef, she see me sey I dey cry, wey that be the day she see sey I be serious mama’s boy.

Herh!

So inobi enough sey you dey gbele your legs give another nigga, but you sanso dey use my past against me. The day I shed that tear sakeof the memory of my momee wey you twist am make e check like I be some weakling?

Chale, at that point, the anger. The rage.

I make my mind sey I no go confront them right away. Nahhh. Other ideas dey my mind top. I go do some transactions and things, wey chale, the only thing e left be the day I go catch them.

Walahi, a madafacka go smell pepper…

At this point, we can probably tell what’s coming up, right? Well, the next episode will reveal all…

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Jay Ayima

Jay Ayima Pt. 7 – I No Dey Like Foolish Tins!

So from level 200 second sem to level 400 wey me then Semua dey commot. Life make perfect give me kraaa. At that point, somehow I dey fit manage restrain my body for ein top. Even though the make out diɛɛɛ, I never dey spare am. Crazy ass kisses and tins, chale!

After that date wey we really come get proper bond. She get aa, like at some point, she dey won show me off for ein IG top, but I tell am sey e chill. Make we just focus on wana relationship off social media.

Chale, na the relationship dey bee me. Na man make satisfied with life. Notin else but that.

Then, sometin happen…

So one evening, me then my sweet toffee Semua dey chat for WhatsApp. She send me the pics she go take put IG. As usual, hot pics, chale. Some off-shoulder blouse then short shorts. The girl know how them dey market body, I swear!

I respond: Damn, my baby boo is sexy!

Her response: 🙈🙈🙈😘😘😘

I san send: I really can’t wait to have you to myself on our wedding night

Her response: Hihihihi. Me neither. I’ma be all yours 😉😉

Me: Anyways, how far with Aliu?

Her: massa, dawg him. He’ll continue saying hi to himself till thy kingdom come

Me: herh, you be wicked girl pass. He begs, wai 😆😆😆

Her: Waleva. Let him chat with himself. I got you

Me: I know. And I love you, my super sexy Semzy

Her: I love you too, Jozi bae😍♥️

We chat finish wey somebody knock my door top.

“Yo, Jay, wossop?”

“Yeah, Peter, I dey come.”

So as I go dey campus, I no sheda get too many friends. For me, if plenty people dey your body, drama go fit catch you easy. So e just be two niggaz wey them be my guys. Peter then Yao. More times them dey pass by make we play games.

Abi you know. The usual FIFA, or in some certain circumstances, Pro Evo. Ibi Yao e dey like the second one, wey I never dey understand. Shit game like that? Ah!

But chale, we dey accommodate am so norr.

He come around come claim some items bi. As he tap the bed top wey chale, we start dey talk about different nibbies for campus top. From some lecturer bi e dey chase the girlies he dey teach to some idiot cliques bi Peter encounter. Them mini-squads dey bore me pass. You go see, then some boys go dey join forces then do like them be some superstars or some bullshit. Ibi annoying pass.

We talk like 30 minutes, wey we play some Call of Duty as we dey suck some Smirnoff I buy earlier that day.

As we dey game, man ein bladder make full. Just as I pause the game, Peter ein phone ring.

Na ibi Yao.

As I go the bathroom go piss, I dey hear Peter as he dey talk normal normal. But as I comot from the bathroom, ein face change as Yao dey tell am somtin.

“Ah, Yao, you make serious?” he biz.

Naturally, I go wonder what dey go on. “Wossop? Some yawa bi pae anaa?”

He raise ein hand tell me sey make I chok. He dey listen aaa, wey he talk, “Hmmmm.”

I still dey wonder what be the issue.

He watch my face for a moment, wey he shake ein head. “Chale, we for tell am. He dey here right now, so…”

He lower the phone, end the call, wey he watch my face. “Chale, Jay, Yao say he dey hear some rumours bi for the Viva Hostel.”

Viva Hostel. That be where Semua dey.

“Why? Wey kind rumours?”

Peter sigh wey e shake ein head. Whatever Yao tell am, e worry am waa.

“Chale… rumours dey go around sey… that Papafio boy no. you see the one he dey the Land Economy class?”

I nod. I know that guy. We no be paddies, just be them hi-wassup levels.

“Yao say some allegation dey rise sey he then Semua dey fool around.”

There norr, my mood switch.

My Semua? Fooling with some other nigga? How?

“Fooling around in what sense?” I biz am.

He watch my face plus some nervous expression bi, wey he shrug. “Umm… as in…”

I narrow my eyes watch am. “Peter. Peter. See, I no dey like foolish jokes. Wey nonsense too this? Ah, wey shit you dey try tell me?”

Peter start dey shake. If I bore, ibi scary thing give am. “Boss, I dey beg, that be what he tell me. You know sey I no go joke over some issues.”

“Call am make he explain ein body!”

The way I issue that order, eh, he no wedge two microseconds sef.

As Yao answer, I no waste time. “Massa, wey bullshit rumour that? My Semua dey cheat on me sey what? Where you go hear that rubbish for? I no dey like silly things, you dey hear me?”

Chale, the way me then Semua dey chat dey do wana flirting things earlier that evening, na e dey bore me sey somebody go suggest anything like that. Abi you see the convo; some jon nigga bi try sey he dey move to am wey she no dey mind am sef. She show me the texts wey we dey laugh am kraa. How she go turn around then gbele ein legs give another guy, especially when she no dey allow make I eat sef?

Yao sigh for the phone top. He, he no dey fear me like Peter. “Jay, relax make I talk. See, my niggas som for the Viva there wey them gimme the info. Listen. According to them, eh, Papafio time your woman longest. As he move go there this sem, allegedly, them say them spot am sey he then Semz dey chat here and there. Rich B tell me sey he notice at some point sey e do aa, this guy dey lef the room at odd hours. He biz the roommate, but the roommate no talk anything. Ibi this evening wey he say more smoke dey comot. Abi you know of Jodel?”

Jodel. I no know why people dey like that social media app sef. Anonymous things sorrr, wey lame ass crap that?

“Yeah, I know of Jodel,” I respond.

“Chale. So he say he dey go thru Jodel, wey he see some post bi: Chale, them dey eat somebody ein girl for Room 225 ooo! Nbs ‘Oh God yes’ she dey shout for here’.”

That be when my heart cot.

Room 225. Semua ein room number that.

“Ah. But, but…”

“Chale, relax. Relax. Ibi better investigation I go do. Them tell me this thing long time, but na I no won make you spazz. As this one drop, wey I say I for inform Peter. As he dey your there, I no sey I no go fit to hide am forever, so chale, the matter this. But I dey beg, make you no confront anybody. Just take am easy. For all you know, ibi lie. Just… make you no confront anybody.”

What he talk diɛ, na e no dey make sense to me. Relax. No confrontation. For the where?

But like after a second or so, I see sey he get point. By now, you know sey if I torch, I go mess shit up. Wey sometimes too, inobi true. So I go go hurt somebody kwa.

So I take deep breath wey I respond. “Cool, chale. I go calm down.”

“Good, good. Just go normal. I sure sey ibi mix up then tins. Sometimes, them dey eat some other person for some other room wey them figure sey ibi Semua ein room. Coz e no dey add up sef.”

“Exactly. The girl no dey make me sef, I chop. How much more some strange nigga? You, I hear, chale. Just do your BNI shit then make I know wassup.”

“No yawa. Later, chale.”

As me then Peter continue the game, my mind all make someway. Peter dey assure me sey e no go be true, na if Papafio dey try anything sef, he then Yao go shake am.

Still aaa, e dey go through my mind. Ah, e no go fit be true. Semua be sexy pass, wey more niggas get aa, them go pap, but she make am clear sey I be ein man. Wey the eating diɛɛ, out of the question. She make am clear from the beginning sey ein ozzband pɛ she go gbele ein legs give.

But then, she dey tell me about all the niggas them dey try move to am. But I never hear of this Papafio guy sey he dey try move to am. Or she mention, wey e slip my mind or something?

Hmmm…

Uh-oh. Ibi like this be where the trouble dey start from ooo…

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Jay Ayima

Jay Ayima Pt. 6 – I Gbele My Heart

I no dey won talk plenty about wana dates, coz we go plenty. But one date bi dey wey chale, ibi very pivotal date, so I for tell you about that one.

So na we dey level 300 by that time. Like one year pass since we start dey date. As she come take top spot diɛ, obviously, I no dey see any girl. I see the queen e dey hold me down, so chale, everybody else be off limits.

Besides, me naa, I get firsthand experience of the effects of cheating, wey chale, paaa sey I go follow that fucking man ein footsteps, like I go drink gutter water. Apuu!

This date happen around the Christmas break. So we crosh for the Junction Mall, wey we go sit for the Chicken Inn side.

I see am as she comot from the vehicle wey my heart. Damn! Hot girl dot com ampa! Some mad sexy short red dress. Na that girl ein sauce just dey bost my mind. Whaaaaattt!

Anyways, so as we go sit the inn there, wey we order wana chow, just be normal vibing then flirting we dey do.

“Hm, but you eh, you are lucky we’ll be going in separate directions,” I talk as I dey suck my Smirnoff Ice. “If I had a car, eh, no be small moving my hand to the gearbox I go do.”

She giggle. “Naughty boy. And you think I’ll allow, eh?”

“As if you already don’t allow me to feel those sweet legs,” I murmur, wey I give am wink.

Shw3! If I dey caress am, e dey be am pass. Like I no do sef, she go bore.

She smile, wey she touch my arm. “Hehehe. I really like how this Burberry shirt fits you, though.”

“Thanks boo. My uncle bought it for me.”

As I talk my uncle, ein face change. She move ein hand to my own. “Umm, babe, you know, in all this time we’ve been together, you’ve never really said anything about your parents. And I, uh, I wanted to ask if they’re still around or something. If it’s too dicey for you to talk about, that’s fine. But I… I was just wondering.”

Hmm. Very sensitive distin she biz me. As she mention parents naaa, my face change.

As I dey sit there at that moment, I dey biz my body sey make I tell am or not. Coz obviously, you for know sey ibi very touchy topic. I never open up to anyone like that.

But chale, my woman that. Wey chale, if we dey go all the way, eventually, she for know.

So I watch am, wey I take some deep breath, wey I start.

“Umm, so… this is a really touchy issue for me. And if I’ll be honest, you’re most likely gonna be the first person to hear of this. But ummm… it’s a long story.”

“I’m listening, honey. Talk to me.”

Chale, the calming effect na she get for my top eh. She talk that thing wey somehow, I just make relaxed small.

“You see, Semua… I’m the only child of my parents. I don’t have any siblings. And for a while, it was just me and them, living life, doing the usual stuff, them nibbies some. The reason why I don’t talk about them is because… so-something really horrible happened.

Chale, at that point, the pain just rush through my system. The memories…

Semua squeeze my hand. The way I shut my eyes, ibi like e worry am small. “Jozi, are you sure you wanna do this? Coz I don’t need to hear it if it’ll worry you…”

I shake my head. “Nahh, lemme get it off my chest. Listen, babe, the truth is this: my mother is dead. And it’s my dad that killed her.”

As you for expect, the thing shock am. She take ein hand put ein mouth top. “Jesus! Oh my God, Jozi, I’m so sorry. Oh God, I’m so sorry.”

“Hmmmm. Till date, I just can’t get it out of my head. I don’t think about it every single time, but chale…”

At that point, I give am the full gist of what e happen that horrible Sunday.

After I finish, I see sey tears dey form for ein eyes. Of course, the thing go shake am. Who wey e no go shake am?

“Oh God, Jozi, this is… this is… so horrible! I’m so sorry, my love. You didn’t deserve to experience this. I’m so sorry,” she talk as she continue dey squeeze my hands.

At that point, me sef, tears come dey my eyes. I cry over the matter kyɛɛ, but as I gbele my heart give my lady, the pain start all over again. Memories like that, eh, you no dey overcome them ooo. Them go go dey some corner of your brain, but paaa sey you go forget totally, na lie.

“Awww, baby boo,” as she wipe one tear e comot, “I know it hurts. I’m so so sorry.”

I sniff wey I shrug. “Chale, it happened a long time ago. Man has to move on.”

She no talk for a while. She just watch my face as I try put myself together. Public place like that diɛ, letting your feelings out be yawa pass, so I wipe my eyes sharp sharp.

She sip ein drink, wey she still dey watch me. After a moment…

“Jozi, you may have had a terrible childhood experience, but… at least, the future is still bright. And I promise you right now, that I will be the light that brightens it.”

Eish, vibes! She make I smile small. “Ei, Semua. Are you vibing me right now?”

She giggle. “Something like that. But I’m serious. Now that I know this, I’m gonna make sure our future together makes up for your past. I promise you. We will have a lovely family, a lovely marriage… nothing like what you experienced in your younger years.”

That thing she talk really make my heart get that warm feeling bi. Chale, the promise really make my eye get. “You serious, Semua?”

She nod ein head. “Yeah. Man cannot come into this world and suffer like that throughout. You’ve endured enough, babe, and now that I’m around, I’m bringing the good times your way.”

I smile wey I sigh then shake my head. “Well, you certainly have brought good times my way. I’ve not been loved like this before, and I swear to God, ibi the sweetest feeling ever. If this is what you’re promising me, then I’m all for it. I need happiness in my life, anyways.”

“Yes you do, honey. All the good vibes in life, you deserve it. And with me in the picture, you’re gonna get them. I’m gonna give you all the love and happiness you deserve, Joseph. Believe that.”

I shake my head. “Babe, you got it wrong.”

“Oh, sorry. Beleeeee that!”

We laugh. Ibi one of wana special distins we dey share.

“But seriously, thank you Semua. You’ve made me happy already. Thank you so much.”

“Awww, you’re welcome, baby boy.”

“I love you.”

“I love you too, Jozi.”

“And you are the sexiest chic in the world.”

“Hihihihi, all for you, my honey bun.”

As we finish wana date later that night wey I go house, my heart all make full. My mind all do me sey chale, this be the one for me. My miserable life dey come do 180 that…

A pretty romantic moment between Jay and his girlfriend. Vulnerability in full display. I wonder what comes up next…

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Jay Ayima

Jay Ayima Pt. 5 – Ibi Like Love Catch Me

As I go uni, I no go lie you, I use ma freedom papa! Herh!

After all the rules then tins, now I go dey campus wey them no dey enforce rules for your top like SHS. Chale, sweet freedom!

This be where the real story dey begin from.

So still, I dey keep to myself, but as I go dey hostel, wey I start dey see the hot chics for there, then campus generally, chale, my body start dey come. I start dey use IG too wey the matter spoil. Plenty sexy babes for there, wey them all dey the uni inside! Chale, I start dey make moves, coz body no be firewood.

In the first two years, two girlies wey I manage eat.

The first one be Jacquine. Level 100 second semester. Some IG chic bi like that. I no go lie you, na she no dey bee me lydat, but chale, na the ass be crazy. So one day, I DM am, wey we vibe small, wey she invite me come ein there. That day naa wey I fire the tin.

Chale, dull tins nkwaa. After that day, I just jie am for my contact list block am for all the social media. She naa, na she dey ug give me, wey she nanso be wack for the bed inside. Tweakai!

Then the second one be Renita. Level 200 first semester. Some very cute girl bi. Innocent face, but she be them thick-tall girls. Wey the assets… Herh! The hips then the boobs all be sweet. She diɛ, I meet am for one of the shuttle stops. We exchange numbers, we vibe small, I go over… abi you dey understand by now.

Chale, na she be the exact opposite of the Jacquine girl. Herh, I eat make I feel! Fire tins papa paa! Sosket!

Underneath the innocent face be some bad bitch nibbies. The way she grind for my lap top as we start, aboa! The way she squeal dey beg for more as I dey suck ein oranges, stop! I suck finish wey she take them slap slap my face before the main action. Gademmit, na that late afternoon chopment be sweet forkin!

I blaze inside like two more times after that day. More grinding, more slapping… more good banging. Na I dey feel ein body bad, wey she too, she dey love the wonders for my boxers inside. The messages she dey send me, no be small craving she dey crave me. From “hey, womb shifter” to “I miss your sweet needle, sweetie”, chale, the girl fall give my skills kraaa.

Then some yawa pae for that end.

One day, the girl suddenly call me dey tell me sey she go church, wey the things all we dey do, she see sey ibi wrong, so she give ein life to Christ wey she won advise me make I do the same.

She talk that tin naa, I just bore. She start dey preach me wey I just stop am. “Massa, massa, massa, shun the plenty talk you dey talk. So now, you no go make I eat again? That be what you dey talk?”

She sigh before she talk. “Yes, Joseph. I know, those times felt good and all, but… I’m a new creation now, and I can’t keep doing the things God hates…”

“Then ibi simple. As you no go make I eat, then lef my life. Make you no come disturb me with those things. I dey beg.”

“Oh, Joseph-“

I cut the call wey I block am. Straight.

I dey like peace wey I dey hate shit. That be my mantra.

But chale, ibi the third girl I meet for level 200 first sem, wey things really change give me.

Akua Semua.

Hmm. Chale.

So, na she too be IG model. She be sexy forkin. No jokes. If you see the comments for ein pics top, you go see sey she dey trigger niggaz pass. She no be as juicy as the other girls, but she get some sexy aura for ein top. Ahuofe papa paa! Wey the hotpants and miniskirts and nibbies she dey kick… demmit!

She too, I follow, wey I DM am, wey we vibe.

You dey wonder how I manage catch ein attention, eh? Abi me diɛ, I no go do them thirsty tins. That tin be wack pass. I dey won eat, but chale, you for do the vibe well.

Anyway… chale, na something dey ein top wey I still no dey get. Like, some warmth bi as I meet am. Some very sweet feeling bi like that. Like a month in, I see sey chale, I really dey care about this girl.

So unlike the first girl wey I fire am the same day we crosh, this one, we just dey spend hours for ein room wey we dey talk about different tins.

I shock. I just shock. Coz me, Jay Ayima, like I blaze inside longest. But…

Hmmm. I still no dey understand till date.

Like two or three months pass, wey chale, the girl ein matter dey my head inside 24/7. One of the few days I decide sey I go go lectures, I dey dress up, then chale, I just dey imagine how she go dey check my dressing then tins all. The imagination too dey sweet me pass. There norr, I talk for my head inside, chale, ibi like love catch me ooo.

E no kyɛɛ wey I go ein there, wey I tell am sey chale, man fall give am bad. She tell me sey make I give am a few days. The few days be like two pɛ; there norr, she call me tell me sey she too she dey like me.

That evening eh… herh. That be when I see sey this really go fit to be love.

As I go ein there, wana first kiss turn to serious make out. The girl too dey wear some hot crochet crop top then hot pants, so chale, already, my body come. As I dey touch then kiss am wey I say make we do the tin.

The girl shun the tin wey she say, “Umm… can we rather reserve having sex for marriage?”

I watch ein face wey I biz, “Ah, really? You want us to wait? But I wanna have you now!”

She shake ein head wey she hold the hand e dey mia ein thigh. “Joseph, not yet.”

See eh, I dey hate that thing pass. Wait for marriage sɛ sen? But as she talk, I no know. Man just mellow.

Me, a whole Jay Ayima, understanding that tin. Ei! I still no dey get. Still. Coz at that point, I make hard. So chale, naturally, I for bore. Yet, I never bore.

Okay, I bore small, but not to the extent sey I go walk out then lef am for the room inside.

So just plenty kissing then mia-ing. The mia-ing, sef, she no make I mia her boobs. Just her thighs.

Chale, how this love take over wey I no push as she dey do restriction things dey bost my brain to this day.

As the days dey go, e make clear sey I fall in love bi that. Chale, I never feel for chic like that before. I fall give am kraaaa. The body dey drive me crazy, chale, but na I dey feel sey ibi more than that.

Na I dey feel sey this be girlie she go hold me down, chale. My ride-or-die this. So anything she dey want biaa, I go do.

I still dey remember one evening she dey my room. She dey sit my lap top, we just dey hold each other. As we dey enjoy the moment, I just biz am, “So baby, can’t we at least have, like, one night together? I know you want us to wait, but… goddamn it, Semua, you’re so sexy. I wanna get in between these thighs so bad.”

She giggle as I dey mia ein thighs. She just hug my head wey she whisper, “I know, Jay. I know you want me bad. But just think of the future. When I become Mrs. Ayima, we have kids, travel the world, all that stuff. Just relax for me, baby boo. I promise it’ll be worth the wait. Let’s just focus on the other things. Trust me, babe, I’m yours and yours only. When it’s time, you can make love to me all you want.”

She talk naaa, I mellow. Just like that. I no argue, I no protest. I just understand. Coz the picture too dey bee for my head inside.

Hmmm, I no go lie you, if you underestimate love eh, you dey fool your body big time. You go see sey your hardness all be notin.

Love really catch me. Through this chic called Semua.

Hmmmm, matters of the heart! Super dicey stuff. Let’s see where this is heading…

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Jay Ayima

Jay Ayima Pt. 4 – Make Nobody Vex Me For Here!

As time catch sey I for go secondary school, my mind all be dark pass. Like really, I no dey like sey somebody go disturb me. Coz me, I never go spare you. I go make sure sey you go bleed. One way or another. Like, honestly, don’t try me.

So as I dey hear about those stories how seniors go beat you then fool around plus you just coz them be seniors, the way I bore, eh. As people dey talk then laugh about am, I just dey tell ma body sey that one never go happen. Me, Jay Ayima, go do gyimi-gyimi make some stupid guy come take plank whack me just coz I be junior for school? Anka call me Zalamatu! Apuuu!

As I dey there, paa sey I go dey do rebellious shit, forget. That no be ma agenda. If I for respect authorities, I go do. Simple. But ibi simple matter: if you fuck with me, I go fuck you up bad. With no regrets.

Time catch, wey I get the school I choose. So abi you know, the usual purchase of the trunk, chopbox, plenty provisions and all the necessary accoutrements. My uncle then ein wife do all the necessary tins them for do. Them dey advise me on all the things I for do.

No yawa.

I finally arrive for my new school on a hot Monday morning. Them take me go the admin block, I go do all those necessary tins, wey them take me go the house them give me.

As my uncle then aunt wave me goodbye, that be when I see sey now diɛɛ, me p3 I dey.

That really be when my bullshit intolerance level go high. Chale, I come school sey I for learn, then I go comot. All forms of bullshit no be welcome in the least.

The first week diɛ, surprisingly, na ibi cool. Just be sey the seniors go round claim claim squad dema provisions.

Honestly, I just make leeway for that one. Even though I go hia the sardine, the tuna, the Cowbell sachet, I no see am sey ibi something I for hurt somebody over. So them biz me aa, I release. No questions asked.

Ibi like the third week or so wey chale, somebody test me.

As I dey go my bed for siesta, I pass by one form 3 nigga ein bed. Na he dey sit the edge wey I pass am.

He see me naa, he shout, “Hey, get outta my face! Batty-boi!”

Some smelly ass nigga bi too oo. Them dey call am Skanty.

Proper name too, coz na he be some dirty, wretched monkey bi kraaa. Kwasia! I sure sey he never wear white shirt before. Idiot.

He talk the tin, wey I stop. I watch ein face wey I biz am, “Ah, but you, wossop? What I do you wey you dey call me batty-boi?”

“Hey, hey, hey, comot for my face before I sound you!” he respond.

Chale, you aa, you diss me without a cause. I dey biz you what I do you aa, you dey tell me sey you go sound me. Wey foolishness too be that?

“Ah, sound me sey wetin?”

At that point, ein mates start dey join am. “Hey, form 1 boy, shut up then obey!” one guy shout my top.

“Herh, in fact, go on your knees! You no dey respect your seniors, eh?” one other guy talk.

Chale, there norr, I start dey vex. Kwasiafuo! Them figure sey them go pull that shit for my top wey I go do dolu-dolu tins, eh? Them dey mad!

I stand there wey I cross my arms. “Massa, fuck your senior bullshit!” I snap.

I talk that tin wey Skanty jump down from the bed come grab me by the shirt. “Hey, you fool, eh? Me, you dey talk to me like that?”

This pig grab my shirt threaten me! Herh!

Chale, that be where I really snap.

I grab ein neck wey I push am against ein locker. He naaa, na he be some skinny ass fool, wey he dey try fool plus muscular nigga like me.

The two other seniors too descend for my top, try grab my shirt. I push them back kraaa. By this time, the commotion start dey resound for the dorm inside. Squad rush come wana side as Skanty jump my top dey try punch me. The way I zook ein neck dey choke am, he naa he see sey ibi stupid move he make.

Them separate we, wey them dey try hold me. I jie my arm for dema grasp wey I stand back. As everybody dey watch my face, wey I take give them.

“MAKE YOU PEOPLE LISTEN! ME, I NO DEY LIKE STUPID TINS FOR HERE. FUCK ALL YOUR SENIORITY BULLSHIT AND TINS. MAKE I TELL YOU ALL, IF YOU FUCK WITH ME, I GO FUCK YOU UP, ONE TIME! I NO DEY JOKE!”

The house prefect come forward attempt sey he go silence me. But chale, na I torch at that point. Inobi your title e go make I mellow. He try drag me from the front wey I shove am go some side.

“SEE, I COME HERE SEY I DEY COME LEARN THEN LEF! I JUST WON DO AM IN PEACE! MASSA, MAKE YOU ALL DEY YOUR LANE MAKE I DEY MINE! MAKE NOBODY COME VEX ME FOR HERE, COZ ME, I GO HURT YOU! IF YOU TRY ME, YOU GO GO DEY EMERGENCY ROOM FOR HOSPITAL, WALAHI! I REALLY NO DEY GIVE A FUCK ABOUT ANY OF YOU LIKE THAT! INOBI EVERYBODY YOU FOR TOUCH!”

Chale, the way na I make charged, eh! Already, I make my mind long time sey them try that shit for my top, I go make them know.

The seniors all just dey stand there dey watch my face. I see sey the way some get aa, them go beat me hurt me. But the way I shout those threats, wey them watch the muscles I go gain before I come there, them see sey inobi empty threats I dey shout.

As for the Skanty guy, the look he give me, like nobody dey there, those ein fucking legs go break. Like I go make sure sey that nigga never go fit walk again. Aboa like that.

That gbeke, the form 3 go have some meeting bi. I hear sey the house prefect tell them sey make them lef me, na the way I talk diɛ, he get feeling sey somebody really go hurt if them try me.

So chale, them all lef me. The way them treat me after that, na ibi obvious sey them no dey like my matter. But by now, you for know: na I really no dey give a fuck about them like that.

I come make popular plus my mates, coz them dey see me sey I be dema saviour.

Chale, na I no get time for any Superman bullshit.

At the end, them just dey use my name scare the form 3 boys. Na ibi funny mohm.

Seniors for the other houses come hear of me, wey some try sey them go do hostile nibbies. Make I no bore you plus the details, but I deal with them as appropriate.

So chale, aside the constant work for the bathhouse (I no sey the house prefects sheda put me for there. Fuck them!) and the evil stares and tins, I claim some small peace for form 1.

Form 2 too, no be plenty trouble I get for there. Just be one particular occasion wey them see my fire.

So light out catch, wey the dorm overseer dey try restore some order. I dey lie my bed top wey some junior dey walk about aimlessly. I tell am, “Herh, you won make the DO catch you? Go dey your bed top, eh!”

As he dey rush go, wey the DO, Knezzy, call out for my direction, “Herh, make you shut up for there!”

“Oh, Knezzy, ibi me you dey talk to?” I biz innocently. This one, na I no bore. Na ibi genuine question. Coz as I tell the form 1 boy sey make he hurry, he dey do long dey talk some ‘senior, I’m sorry’ distins. So na I dey wonder if ibi the form 1 boy or me.

“I dey talk to your morda! Shut up then bed!”

Chale, he hit raw nerve. Abi you know why.

“Chale, make you no dey talk my momee ein matter like that, wai?” I warn am as he dey pass the bed top.

“Why, your momee dey shit gold? Or she dey piss Muscatella or something? Onye gbemi kraaa!”

Herh! The guy slack big time.

I comot  from my bed, grab am by the neck, wey I slam ein head into the locker for my bed ein body. “Talk am one more time make I hear! Talk am one more time!” I bark put ein top as I slam like two more times. The swine fall the floor top, he no dey kai ein name sef.

“You try me again, I go break your legs make you sit wheelchair for life! Ofui!” I shout before them come restrain me.

Them report me, wey the housemaster give me some 6 lashes san make I weed as punishment.

Honestly, e no move me. Na that Knezzy guy naa, niggas no like am. Arrogant motherfucker. Foolish goat. He figure sey he be athletic star for the school inside, so he get free reign dey talk to anybody anyhow. Like I really go hurt am make he retire from athletics. Stupid idiot.

After that day, he see me sef, he go swerve pass another place. Just like the Skanty piece of shit.

Those be the major clashes I go fit tell you about. Generally, I just make sure sey I go live a quiet life for campus top. Some people try sey them go fool plus me, wey I give to them proper. Simple as that.

More people come see sey them just for respect dema body then dey dema own lane. Those people get common sense pass.

If you dey biz about friends, activities… them tins some, chale, those ones diɛ, na them be few. At least, na me then some niggas be cool. Bane, Jackson, Lolomi… na I dey vibe plus them. But only at surface level. Paaa sey I get tight paddy from school diɛ, nahhh.

Activities… na I no dey do activities. Period. I just try concentrate on studies so sey I go pass. Coz chale, I never like boarding school. Na I just won exit that shitty system quick then get my freedom.

So chale, the day I finish my last WASSCE paper, na I make relieved pass. A day later wey my uncle then aunt come pick me take me go house.

SHS diɛ, ibi one aspect of life, I just go brush top fast fast then move on. Besides, now we dey come to the real heart of the matter…

Okay, so… that little part of his story was quick. And clearly, he’s got a short fuse. Oh well. Time to see the real deal now…

Categories
Jay Ayima

Jay Ayima Pt. 3 – My Life Make Basaa

I really no dey like sey I go kae that horrible day. Still dey pain me pass.

What I go fit talk for now be sey, Momee ein kiddie bro come take me from the house. Obviously, them make police go arrest Popee, so I no fit dey the house alone.

Obviously, my uncle thems no make I see am again. Already them bore am waaaa, coz inobi small complaining Momee complain give them. Them dey try talk things out, but Popee just no give a semblance of a shit about anything. The only thing na e dey hia am be sey he go get some new chic eat.

I hear sey he beg them sey he won see me then talk to me, wey still them no gree.

I never bore. Me naa, I start dey hate am longest. Stupid man.

He kill momee finish, now he dey come do father-and-son nibbies? Kwasia like that!

See, from the day I hear sey he tell that mechanic ein kiddie sey me then momee no be relevant, that be when my heart start dey turn from am. Ah, ibi you wey I dey look up to. I dey see you sey you be the greatest popee in the world. Meanwhile, sakeof some small girl bi, you talk sey I be irrelevant to you? Really?

The day after I come beg sey make them shun the fighting, come see some scary threats he issue put my top. Ei! He dey do like I bost the car tire. He never give me warning like that before too oo. Even one time I break ein favourite wine glass by mistake, he no shout put my top like that. The naughty periods, he no give me warning. But begging I go beg sey make them shun the fight, na that one be serious offense give am. Buulu.

See eh, the man really show sey me then Momee be irrelevant homo sapiens give am. Imagine this: sakeof he go some university girl ein hostel go fuck am, I go some program for National Theatre wedge am for three hours after the tin end, coz we agree sey he go come pick me. Eventually my uncle wey e pass by come pick me. The man clearly make ein mind sey he no dey care about me.

On top of all that, you kill am for my front. E no come ein mind sey if he do that, major consequences go dey. He no think about that. He just do. He finish aa, now he won do ‘I want to see my son’. Make he go see ein nyash. Foolish donkey.

I hear sey them eventually give am life sentence for murder. I no blink sef. Make he go dey there.

But chale, from that point, my life come make basaaaa.

The funeral eh, chale. Hardest memory ever. For obvious reasons, them no do laying-in-state, as the way ein head pae be too graphic. I dey there throughout the service, crying I no dey fit, smiling I no go fit… nothing. My heart just make blank with pain.

Ei, I no catch my teenage years sef wey I witness nasty scene I for see only in the movies? What the fuck, man! The tin really wound me mentally. I dream about the tin like one year. Nightmares sorrr. E kyɛɛ before I shun dey dream about them tins.

But my uncle then aunt too, them no sheda help me with proper help throughout the next few years. Them just see am sey ‘time heals all wounds’, so as time dey go, man go forget everything.

Hoh, massa. The memory no go anywhere. Inobi sey them always dey my head inside, but… 10 year old boy wey he see such a nasty distin, the wounds never go lef.

Eventually, I just come create my shell wey I dey inside. Already, from kiddie time, I dey like my peace. So make I dey my corner. If inobi my hardcore hip-hop, then I dey do exercise. Around like 12-13 wey I start dey do gyming tins. I meet some guy bi wey he help me make I build my body. By the time I catch like 15 there, na the muscles and tins dey. My uncle then aunt figure sey as I come make macho diɛɛ, I recover be that. So just weak vim them dey give me.

But chale, nothing like that. Na the wounds still dey.  Still, flashbacks of that horrible Wednesday gbɛkɛ dey fly by. Nasty things.

I never really recover, that one diɛɛ, ibi kayyy…

Those wounds never really heal, do they? Heartbreaking…

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Jay Ayima

Jay Ayima Pt. 2 – One Horrible Sunday Gbɛkɛ

The day I see my people dey fight be the day my life change. Till then, I go fit talk sey na life be normal. The moment I realize sey things no cool between them, things change.

You be kiddie aa, your expectation be sey your parents get good relationship. So as I see that thing, wey my mind dey come top sey my parents get issues, e really worry me.

Like ibi just one fight, maybe like e no go wound me plenty. Abi fights diɛɛ, ibi normal tin. Them say marriage wey fight no dey inside be weird tin. But after that night, I come see sey the fights be constant, wey e dey affect dema relationship.

Honestly, whether ibi veil them jie for my eye top or what, I no know. Coz really, that be when I start dey see the ugliness for the house inside.

I realize sey Popee no dey talk plus Momee more times before he go take me go school. If I dey the car, I realize sey if he dey talk plus other women – maybe ein workmates or paddies or somtin – ein mood be very bright. He call Momee naa, ein voice go drop. He dey sound like he go fit vex at any moment.

Momee too, I start dey see sey she make mɔbɔ every day. She dey use nasty language around the house, dey curse curse the old man. Sometimes too, she dey fit dey the bedroom inside dey cry.

Wey the arguments come make plenty.

After the way Popee sack me from the room that first time, wey he sanso add some serious warning bi the next morning, I make my mind sey I no go interfere again, na I dey like peace. The way the man tell me sey he go take belt shrip me make marks come my body diɛɛ, na I dey fear.

So if them start, I just go go hide my room dey do like I no dey hear what dey go on.

With time, I come see why them dey fight all the time.

Ibi sakeof women.

Yeah, na my Popee still dey chase women. Young girls included.

Ibi through some phone convo Momee then ein close paddy bi do wey I come discover this.

You dey kae the mechanic matter I mention previously? Yeah, na the owner get some fine daughter. Apparently, Popee try chase am wey she say no. She tell am sey he get wife get kiddie, make he go home to them. He reply sey them no be relevant, so chale, make she reason up then give am chance.

He disturb am saaaa, wey she go chook give ein Popee, wey the man come fight my Popee gidigidi.

She be just one out of a few, tho. Wey he too, na he get some dismissive nature bi e dey show sey he really no dey give a fuck about we like that.

So chale, na so e dey for the house inside. Tension from morning-T to gbɛkɛ-T. At some point sef, Momee lef the master bedroom go bed the guest room coz chale, the man dey disgust am pass.

Things no change for a long time. Like one and a half years, so norrr nibbies dey. Popee by that time show sey e no dey give a fuck, so chale, more outside fooling. Momee too just dey make depression over am. If inobi cursing she dey curse am, then crying nkwaaa.

Na inobi pleasant thing I dey watch between them.

But things change for the worst one gbɛkɛ.

One horrible Sunday gbɛkɛ.

So that weekend, me then Momee go ein hometown for some funeral bi. We lef Friday gbeke wey we return Sunday afternoon-T. As we come, Popee no dey house. We no mind, coz chale, we come sef, he no go biz we. Or at least, he no go biz am. Me diɛɛ, he go biz some one or two questions bi.

She go the master bedroom go get some nibbies. Like five minutes later, the woman comot the room no, the curses e dey comot from ein mof, me naa, I see sey something happen.

That gbɛkɛ, the way shit go down eh…

So the time she enter the room, she go see open condom wrapper for the floor top.

Popee take some woman come the house come eat am for the matrimonial bed top. He come house too, he no deny.

Chale, na I annoy my Momee every now and then, but I never see sey she vex like that. Ibi like the fact set he take woman come the house come eat for dema bed top really make e torch. She really scream put ein top. He too, he still dey do ein body ‘I-don’t-care’. So she start dey turn violent dey pick pick wana glasses dey throw am for ein top. She do that wey he too, he bore. He too start dey shout, wey he say he no go stay the house inside again.

So he comot the house dey go sit ein car. Momee too, at that point, she just torch. So as he comot, she too comot, wey she go stand the gate ein body.

I comot come the outside, wey I dey watch them. As I talk, if them dey fight, I just go go hide for some place. With time sef, the shouting come turn normal give me. But the level at which this fight go diɛɛ, na edey scare me. So I comot go dey the porch top dey watch them then try beg them.

Hoh, massa, like I still dey my room, like e good. Them no mind me sef.

“You think you are going to leave, eh?” Momee scream. “You are mad! Stupid man! You had better kill me before you get out of this house!”

“Get out of my way and stop being a fucking idiot!” Popee respond.

Them just dey go back and forth. Nobody dey watch me.

Then momee lie the floor top for the gate in body, wey she repeat the same thing. “Unless you kill me before you move out of this place!”

I figure sey Popee go calm down.

But nah. At that point, he bore.

I see norr, the man spark the car. Ein right hand dey move move, so na he dey shift gears.

I hear naaa, he step the accelerator top.

The car suddenly move, with some speed.

“Nooooooooooooooooo!!” I scream.

BAMMM!!!

In seconds, it was all over.

Popee take the car whack the gate, wey in the process, he take the car pass momee ein head top.

Yeah. He quench am. Just like that.

Chale, I no fit describe the scene give you. Too nasty.

My heart, chale. My heart…

Wow, that was a horrible end to this part. Jay’s issue is deeper than you thought…

Categories
Jay Ayima

Jay Ayima Pt. 1 – Ma Kiddie Time

As I mention earlier, I dey start from the beginning, so chale, make we move…

Ma kiddie time diɛɛ, I no sheda dey kai many things. Abi those young years, the memories be someway. But some major ones dey stick.

To begin with, I be the only kiddie of ma parents. Apparently, them attempt sey them go have more, but for some reason, so-so miscarriages. That be what I hear later on in life.

So me pɛ wey I be the child of Mr and Mrs Ayima.

The early days diɛ, cool stuff. Na we dey stay some corner bi for Lapaz. Small neighbourhood bi. I still dey kai the lane e dey lead to wana house. If you turn right for road ein end, some mechanics bi dey there. Then times, I dey fit biz popee sey why he no dey take the car go there if e spoil. He say dema level no be the car he dey use, so chale, he for take go proper fitters.

Na ibi lie. Dema signboard show sey them dey fix Opel cars, wey na popee dey use Opel Kadett. Na some other reason dey. I go make you know in time.

Na some seamstress bi too dey the area. Like two houses away from wana own. Na the woman get extra space for the house inside, so that be what she take do ein business.

Ibi like twice pɛ wey we go ein there go sew some shada. Some Christmas dresses bi. After that, we no sheda go ein there.

That be the queer tin I dey remember about the old hood.

Na some bad boys too dey the hood inside. So my momee talk me oo, no be say I dey see my body. Like me, I no get problem plus dem.

Oh, one day bi wey them pass by the house biz me sey I dey like football, wey I say yes. So them gimme invite sey make we all go play for one boy ein house. Nii Kwete or so. We go play small poles like one and a half hours, wey them score me pɔtɔɔ.

I no go lie you, them times, na I shaa for football roff.

I go house wey Momee beat me ankasa, tell me sey them boys be very bad boys, na make I never play plus them again.

Chale, I never understand. But the way she shrip me diɛɛ, I see sey chale, I just for obey. So me then them never talk again. I know sey na them dey laugh me sakeof them figure sey the scoring them score me go me waa.

So if I no dey school, then just me for the house. The lone kiddie.

Chale, na e dey bore roff. Ibi the cartoons and tins wey e hold me down. Na my favourites be Johnny Quest then Swat Kats. T-Bone and Razor for life, chale!

Anyway, these all be minor minor nibbies na I won put out. If I really dey talk about memories, the main one be my eighth birthday party.

So Momee then Popee say we for celebrate this one proper, coz the past few birthdays, low key tins sɔɔ. So this one, them make I invite my paddies for school, go buy food and drinks, bring out the speakers… them nibbies some.

I still dey kae the people I invite. Richard, Naadu, Bonsu, Jade, Ben, Mawutor, Dennis, Keziah, Yvonne, James Sarfo… yeah, chale. Them all come, wey we jam.

Kiddies jam! Hahaha!

Them play tunes, chale, wey we all boogie pass. I still dey kai the moves I show. Herh, no be small display I display for there. Momee then the other kiddies give me fans saaaaa, chale!

We start the tin like 2. By 6:30 there, we finish, wey my paddies dema parents come pick them. That day diɛɛ, I really enjoy my body. No two ways about it.

But that day get second memory. Wey that one, chale…

No be as pleasant as the party.

So e knack like 11 gbɛkɛ-T, wey chale, I giddup coz my bladder make full, so I go bathroom go piss wey I san dey go bed.

But as I dey go my room, I start dey hear some muffled noise for my parents dema room. I no hear that kind noise before, coz usually, 11 diɛɛ, I bed kraaa. So I go dey the door ein body dey listen see what dey cause.

That be when I hear the real noise.

Momee then popee dey argue gidigidi. No be small matter.

Momee just scream ein head off sey popee no be considerate man, he no dey give a fuck about we, them tins some. Wey popee too say she no know anything. So-so noise she dey make.

I see sey them have arguments before. But na ibi them small small disagreements some. The normal kind. So as I hear this one wey chale, so-so nasty words them dey use for dema body, e really worry me. Na I just won make them shun the fight make peace prevail.

So I gbele the door wey I no wedge small sef, I start dey beg them.

“Mommy, Daddy, please, stop fighting!”

Them dey stand there dey shout shout for the bed ein body. Popee see me naa, ein angry face no change. Ibi like the begging I beg them only make he vex the more.

“Herh, Joseph, what are you still doing up at this time? Go back to bed!”

He shout put my top wey he rush my there come push me out of the room.

As I go back to my room, no be small crying I cry. Coz chale, na the fight be nasty. Na I just dey pray sey them go shun, then maybe by morning, everything go make fresh from nature God.

But chale, na that be just the beginning. I no see notin yet.

And that be where things really go downhill…

Not the most pleasant thing for a child to experience. Poor Jay…

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Jay Ayima

Jay Ayima Intro: Ma Story This

Welcome to State of Dabar’s very first pidgin English series!!

For the next few minutes, you’re gonna be following the story of a young man who’s not exactly had the happiest life. If you wanna know what that is, then let’s move!

A lil caution, though. If you’re not very familiar with pidgin, you’re not gonna have a smooth time reading this. And moreover, this young man is not exactly a clean mouth, and he’s gonna let you know, so… proceed at thy own risk.

Okay, let’s move!

Them say everybody go die one day. That one be fact nobody go deny.

But chale, this my situation be torture. Clear and simple torture.

As I dey here, I know sey one day I go die. Ibi kayy. One day, I go lef this earth then go someplace else. Whether ibi heaven, hell, purgatory or whatever, chale, I no know. Coz I really no dey give a fuck about all that shit.

But the fact be sey, my dying day go fit happen any particular day. At any moment, somebody go fit to enter this place then tell me sey my time catch. Just like that. Then I for go then receive my due payment.

Chale, I dey wake up every morning with some expectancy sey this be the final day. As each second dey go, then I dey wedge make the official news come. The whole day go pass- morning ti, afternoon ti, then gbɛkɛ time all go pass.

Notin.

All the turmoil for my belly inside make waste. As I dey sit here waiting for death, e no dey come. Day after day after day, the same damn thing.

Chale, chale, wey kind torture too be this?

Life never play me fair. From kiddie time up to now, life never play me fair. So-so fucking e dey fuck me up. I mean, why? What aaaa I do wey me pɛ, all this shit dey happen to me? Ah, ibi sey I go diss some god for the heavens in some past life wey he dey make ein mind sey he san go bring me come earth again then show me levels or what? Coz aswear, I dey fit think about it saaa, but still, I no dey understand shele.

I sure sey you dey wonder what dey go on. You dey wonder, who be this crazy ass nigga he dey ramble on about waiting for death like that?

You diɛ, relax. You go find out eventually. Abi I dey come give you my full story, so just relax.

As to where I dey, how I come dey there, them nibbies all, you hear in time.

I go start from the beginning, tho, so you for relax give me. Not beginning like the hospital them born me for ooo… you, just wedge me. You go barb in time.

I just for give you one disclaimer, though.

Please, you for understand sey I be raw nigga. Me, I no dey mince words. I be plain pass A4 sheet. So if you know sey you be them kind peoples wey them harsh words dey offend you, then shun dey follow this story, I dey beg. Lef here then go listen some hymns or whatever. I make serious.

Coz honestly, I really no dey give a fuck about your feelings like that. I no dey care about the prim and proper people them dey do dema body like you pour phlegm for dema mouth inside if you use the word fuck. Them dey bore me pass. So if you know sey you be them kind jons, then chale, walk pass.

We cool? Cool.

At this point, I sure sey the prim and proper jons then the chrifes all lef. No problem kraaa.

So, make we start.

My name is Joseph Kwesi Ayima, also known as Jay Ayima.

And chale, this be ma story…

Ready to follow his story? If you are, let’s go on and begin!!

Categories
Meet The Dolphynes

Meet The Dolphynes S4 E14 – Abusua Pa

Well, ladies and gentlemen, here it is: the series finale. It’s been quite a journey over the past year. We’ve seen the characters go through a whole lot, and have eagerly followed them throughout. Now it’s time to say goodbye. Chale. Goodbyes are not nice kraaa. But I guess they’re needed.

Not too much to say over here, though. Let’s just get into the story one last time…

It was a sunny Friday morning in August. 

The day of Larissa’s official appointment had arrived.

A few unforeseen circumstances had pushed back the date a bit, but the event was officially set to take place that day. By the close of day, Mrs. Dolphyne would return to her home as a Justice of the High Court of Ghana.

She had taken the lead to the Jubilee House early, so the rest of the family were busily preparing to join the ceremony which was scheduled to commence at 10 am. Everyone was busy getting ready while doing other things…

***

“So chale, how is the new place?” Oscar asked, his shoulder propping up the phone to his ear as he tied his shoelaces, speaking to Kwame, who had left the Dolphyne house a few months back to join his father. They had been renting an apartment for a while, but had finally settled into a comfortable bungalow in one new estate on the outskirts of town.

“Oh, so far so good. You know these estates. Mostly quiet all around. Not too many homes have been occupied yet, so it’s a little empty, but it’s not bad. Our next door neighbours passed by recently to give us a big and proper welcome. Some nice man and his wife, with three daughters.”

“Eish. Are they grown up? And more importantly, are they fine?”

“Ahhh!” Kwame laughed. “Please, please, I didn’t look at that. And I don’t intend to. Allow me to settle first. But if I should be honest, the eldest daughter looks like she may be Diamond’s age. And yeah, she’s kinda cute.”

“That’s all I need to hear. Look sharp and make that move, lah!”

“Mtchew. Please, please, please, don’t give me any pressure. That’s why I’m not letting Aki know about it; she’ll disturb me too much to make moves.”

“But mustn’t she? That’s the job of a bestie, lah. Ei, by the way, do you know who else is coming for the party later tonight?”

“Who?”

“Hehehe. The lucky sperm that enters the egg. The bird with the coveted worm in its beak.”

“Uhhh… I don’t really get it.”

“You’ve forgotten? The king who is a chief…”

“Chief… ah, wait. You mean Chief Tay?!”

“Yep. Dennis Fafanyo Tay, aka Chief Tay, will be around.”

“Ei! But how? Are you guys friends now?”

“Oh, for about a month now, we’ve been vibing ooo. Chatting and things. Crazy guy, but he’s fun to be with. So when I told him about the celebration of Maa’s appointment, he asked if he can come with a date, and I said sure. He’s always been a cool guy, to be fair.”

“Well, that’s true, when you think about it. See how he didn’t tolerate the way those stupid girls disrespected you and all. No problem, chale, he’s welcome. Then hopefully, we too, we can connect at the party.”

“Oh, most definitely. He should remember you, so chale…”

“Kwame! Time to get moving!” 

Clayton’s voice could be heard over the line.

“Oscar, man has to move. We’ll meet at the venue, right?”

“Yeah, yeah. I’m going to pick Addy and her mother. Abi Aki and her aunt will come later. So we’ll meet, then.”

“Okay, bro. Later.”

“Yeah, later.”

***

“So you managed to blend it the way I usually do?” Diamond asked over the phone.

“Yeah, yeah. Done it that way. The taste is just about the same.”

“Good, good. So that should be settled. You’ll do just fine.”

“Of course, babe. I got this. And Gyamfua too is taking over the wraps quite nicely.”

“Good, good. She too, she’s learnt fast papa! At this rate, we’ll probably have to make her a deputy CEO or something.”

“No jokes ooo. But I really like the way she’s taken to the business. Filling in for you the time you and the family went away for the weekend and all. She’s just too good.”

“Yes ooo, Maabena. She naaa, Smooth Wrapz owes her a lot. Abi she’s the one who exposed that witch to begin with.”

“Oh yeah, true true. Ei, so you never heard from her again, eh?”

“Never. And I don’t need to. Not when I have my Oseikrom Empress by my side.”

“Of course, jor! No space for fake friends, when you have the likes of me, and of course, Efo Explanation Master aka Sarknation Presido.”

Diamond laughed out loud. “I tell you ooo! Two God-given partners, chale.”

“Is he gonna be at the ceremony?”

“Nahhhh. He wanted to, but some errands bi he has to do for Mawuli didn’t allow, so he’ll have to settle for coming for the party.”

“Hehehe, see how happy you are. I really dunno what made you spit out that thing about him proposing and you rejecting, but thank God for that. See all the happiness you would have denied yourself of.”

Diamond just smiled. No lies were told there. The lovely dates, frequent encouragement and affirmations, spine-tingling kisses and the time they spent together… so much happiness…

“Mmm-hmmm. Soooo much happiness I would’ve denied myself…”

“Guys! It’s almost 9:15! Let’s move before the traffic makes us late!”

Almost drifting into a dreamy state, Daniel’s voice brought her back to earth.

“Maabena, my dad’s calling, so I gotta move. At least, since you’ve got the blending under control, that’s all. So Ed and I will pick you up later on.”

“Sure, dear. Sure. We’ll meet later.”

“Alright, bye, babe.”

“Bye, boo.”

***

“Ahhhh, just as I expected. The John Cena video is getting some crazy views at the moment!” Toby announced, eyes fixed on the laptop screen as the twins sat on either side of him, watching the analytics on the Dolph-Skwad Youtube page. 

Along with Serwaah and the cousins Ethan and Afrakuma, Toby had successfully formed the dance group, and over the past couple of months had gained a lot of views and fans. Focusing all his energies on becoming a world-class dancer, he and his younger siblings were catching the attention of the world, and he couldn’t have been happier.

“I knew it. Especially with the way Afrakuma kicked things off. She’s improved paa!” Serwaah commented. “She really killed it!”

“I promise,” Anasah agreed. “That was perfect arrangement by you, Toby. How you got her to begin, and Serwaah to end it. Chale, the video was mad captivating from start to finish, and you all did it!”

Toby smirked, pleased with the compliment. “Chale. Give the people what they want. Moves that will make them wish they had the skills like us. But this guy too has really come through for us, K-Kwan. Can’t forget the support he’s given us since we decided to come out. Those videos in the studio have honestly been our breakthrough. From Serwaah killing it on ‘Naami’ to Ethan destroying ‘Gweta’, Afrakuma slaying ‘Bossu Kena’…”

“And the major, major one: Toby living up to the ‘Killin Dem’ song!” Serwaah cheered. “That’s honestly my favourite among them all. The intro alone…”

“Serious!” Anasah agreed enthusiastically. “The way you tossed your cap aside and did the throat-slitting distin… too epic! There’s a reason why it’s the most viewed video on the channel!”

Toby grinned. “Yeah, well, man’s just decided to put his all in this for now. And I’m finding so much fulfillment in it.”

“Yeah, that’s the best. I’m loving this journey too,” Serwaah agreed enthusiastically. Looking around, she noticed the well-ironed kaftan on a hanger on on the front of Toby’s wardrobe. The kaftan everyone in the house had had designed for the party later that night. A kaftan that bore an Adinkra symbol she wasn’t very familiar with.

“You know, I still don’t know what this symbol represents,” she commented as she pointed at the kaftan. “I know it’s supposed to be one of the Adinkra symbols, but I don’t think it’s very common.”

“Yeah, it isn’t. I’ve forgotten. I remember seeing some site bi where they provide all that info,” Toby mentioned. “Anas, check on my phone for me. Should be adinkra.net or something.”

As Anasah picked up the phone to check, Daniel’s voice rang out.

“Guys! It’s almost 9:15! Let’s move before the traffic makes us late!”

“Chale, let’s move before Daddy gets impatient,” Toby said as he closed the laptop. He and the twins rose to their feet. “Let’s check the symbol thingy as we go.”

***

“Kindly repeat after me. I…”

“I, Larissa Darteh Dolphyne…”

The calm look on her face certainly betrayed the level of excitement in Larissa’s heart. Among twelve other lawyers, she faced the Chief Justice of the Republic, clad in the attire of a judge, her right hand up, ready to take that huge step into a new phase of her career in the legal field.

Repeating each phrase after the head of the judiciary, her heart pounded with euphoria. Her dreams of becoming a major force in Ghana’s legal system were beginning to materialize! Making the step up from the Bar to the Bench was no small feat, but she was ready for it. She had dreamed of moments like these, and to finally live them out… sheer bliss.

Nothing but sheer bliss.

“… and that I will at all times…”

“… and that I will at all times…”

“…uphold, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and laws of the Republic of Ghana…”

“…uphold, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and laws of the Republic of Ghana…”

“So help me God.”

“So help me God.”

***

“Indeed, considering the conscientious nature of the processes we went through on our journey to the Bench, we cannot be said to be ignorant of how demanding this new position is,” Larissa spoke as she stood at the podium. As the representative for the new High Court judges, she had been tasked with the responsibility of giving the response to the President’s speech on their behalf. 

“It is a position that requires the highest levels of diligent industry and a fearless devotion to carrying out the administration of justice without favour for any person. It goes without saying that this is more than a profession; it is a calling. And on behalf of the newly sworn High Court justices, I would like to assure His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Ghana, and all and sundry, that we shall not let you all down. Just as the statue of Lady Justice, a well-known symbol of justice systems worldwide, is seen to be blindfolded, with a beam balance in one hand and a sword in the other, we shall exhibit the virtues of impartiality, proper application of the law and swift and effective justice, as we discharge our duties before God and man.”

***

“Congratulations, my love!” Daniel gushed, hugging her tight as the family met her outside. The ceremony was over, the necessary photos with the other distinguished personalities had been taken, and it was time for them to have their own photos taken.

Wrapping her arms around him, she murmured, “Thank you, hubby.” Letting go of him, she added, “And by the way, that’s Your Ladyship now. Watch the way you address me, gentleman.”

Daniel shook his head. “Whatever.”

“That was an amazing speech, Maa! I’m so proud of you,” Diamond gushed as she hugged her mother.

“Thanks, love. Now can we get these pictures taken? This wig is hot!” Larissa responded.

In moments, the nuclear family, Jayla, their mother and the Bensons had taken their pictures with the new judge.

As the last photograph was taken and the photographer gave a thumbs up, Larissa said, “Wait. Take one of me and my girls.”

Daniel smirked as he and the boys stepped aside. “Is this one of your…”

“Yes, Kwadwo Dolphyne, it is,” she replied smugly. “Got a problem with that?”

“No please ooo, do your tin, wai.”

Standing aside, Oscar and Toby had whipped out their phones, eagerly recording the three ladies as they prepared to pose for the picture, already aware of what was coming up next.

“Any moment nowwwww….”

“KISSES!”

The result: an almost perfect shot of Larissa, Diamond and Serwaah in their favourite Dolphyne Air Kiss mood. 

***

7:45 pm, and the Adlon Ballroom in the Kempinski Hotel was abuzz with activity. The celebration party for Larissa’s appointment to the Bench was in full swing, with family, friends, acquaintances and fans all in attendance. 

With a visibly expecting Selasi as the MC, the Dolphyne couple and some others at the high table, and other tables occupied by people happily chatting and laughing and teasing and whatnot, the party was the place to be. A special cake had been cut for the new High Court justice, homage had been paid to her by family members and partners at the firm, and praises had been offered to God for His faithfulness throughout the journey.

Now dinner was being served, and as people went for their food and returned to their seats, it was all vibes and joyfulness.

“Oh Lord, this is my favourite song!” Edem exclaimed, one hand in the air as ‘Brighter Day’ by his favourite artist began in the background. 

Diamond, who as you’d expect, was seated next to him at their table, shook her head. “You said that for Saara, CCTV, Mary and Lay Away. Mr. Man, you better make up your mind, na this your tossing thing, e dey bore.”

“Tell him, boo! You can’t be changing favourite songs just like that. Please, you must make up your mind and stick to just one,” Maabena added.

Edem shook his head. “Listen, listen, it’s not that straightforward. I’d have to explain…”

Fake snoring sounds were the response at that last word. Obviously, the last thing they wanted was for him to switch to explanation mode.

A few tables away, Oscar, Adelaide, Kwame and Akinyi were seated with Chief Tay and his date, laughing over a recorded conversation Chief Tay had with a Mobile Money scammer.

“Herhhh! Chale, this your style di33, I’ll do some one of these days paaaa,” Oscar said as he wiped the tears of laughter from his eyes. 

“Chale! The way you told him point blank you’re not sending him his money, and he was trying to do ‘that’s not fair, that’s not fair’. As if his scamming nonsense is fair. You really had time for him, eh?” Adelaide asked.

“Oh yeah. I get time give am paaa. If you figure sey you smart, I go make you stretch that smartness make we see. I started giving it to him naaa, nobody told him to hang up. Those nonsense things they like doing di33…”

“Oh, say it again. I remember when they first tried it on my father. The way he was scared and called me to help out. He told me naaa, I said that’s just some idiot trying to trick him into sending his money. From then onwards, Mr. Clayton will just end the call when any of them try,” Kwame narrated, shaking his head.

Just a snapshot of how everyone was enjoying themselves.

About twenty minutes after the last person had been served, Selasi made her way to the High Table.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I’m sure at this point, we’re all feeling good and satisfied. At this point, there is a special toast the patriarch himself has for us. Please give a hand for Mr. Daniel Dolphyne.”

A round of applause as she gracefully handed the microphone to Daniel, who rose to his feet and cleared his throat before proceeding to speak.

“Thank you, Mrs. Amenu. I’m believing everyone is feeling good with the food. Especially those who went for the jollof. The eternal delicacy that is jollof rice!”

He laughed as some jollof enthusiasts cheered in approval.

“I have a toast to make, but… before I do that, I’d just like to share something with you all.

“So I’m sure you may have noticed the design on the kaftans some of us are wearing. There’s a little story behind it. As we were making preparations for this wonderful party a few weeks ago, Her Ladyship and I were discussing certain things, and we happened to decide on having kaftans with these Adinkra symbols designed for the party. If you’re familiar with them, you’ll know this symbol is called ‘Abusua Pa’. For the benefit of those not conversant with Twi, it simply means ‘a good family’, and it represents family unity.

“So why did Larissa and I settle on this? Well, we’ve been thinking about all that’s transpired in the past couple of months, and there’s one thing we noted through it all: that family is so important. I think we can all agree that life is tough. Nowhere is cool in this life. You’ll look at someone and think they have no problems, but trust me, you have no idea what others are going through. And at the end of each day, one thing that we can trust is that after all the pressures and stress the outside world hits us with, there’s a group of people we can turn to, who love us and want the best for us and help to keep us going.

“That is family.

“And in the midst of it, Lari and I also noted something else. That family isn’t necessarily limited to blood relations. As far as we’re concerned, we’ve all found family in so many other spheres of life. And that is why we’re all here. Celebrating this victory. From church to work to neighbourhood, we’ve encountered all of you, and we couldn’t be more thankful to God for your lives. We’ve had the good and the bad sprinkled within these past few months, but the love we shared kept us all going. And that’s what makes us family. That’s what Her Ladyship and I are celebrating.”

As he signalled to Larissa to rise to her feet, he took up his glass, as she did same. “This is a toast,” he announced. “To many years of camaraderie between us all. Supporting each other in the good and bad times. Celebrating each other’s wins, and commiserating with each other in the hard times. To Abusua Pa, everybody!”

“TO ABUSUA PA!” everyone responded enthusiastically, with clinking of glasses following.

“At this point, I think the dance floor should be opened. Or what say ye, my lady?” Daniel asked, smirking at his wife.

She smiled back at him, just as the DJ for the evening put Sarkodie’s ‘Mary’ on. “Absolutely, honey. Let’s go.”

As they moved to the front of the room to groove to the song, a few tables away, who else would be excited but Edem?

“Babe, you know I ain’t sitting down for this song,” he said to Diamond, giving her a wink. “Wanna dance?”

Diamond smiled and shook her head before nodding. “Of course, my boobae. As long as you keep silent through it all.”

“Thy wish is my command, madam.”

They got up and proceeded to move to the dance floor as well.

A few moments passed, and Oscar and Adelaide and two other couples decided to make their way to the front of the ballroom as well.

Then Kwame and Akinyi, and Selasi and Jackson followed.

Before the end of the song, the dance floor was occupied, with couples and singles alike dancing their hearts out and thoroughly enjoying themselves with the smooth sounds.

And it continued right into the late hours of the night.

Just one big happy family having a good time together.

THE END

Yes, folks. Meet The Dolphynes has officially come to an end.

But what more can I say but thank you for making all the work worth it! It’s been an absolute honour bringing you 4 seasons of this family. Keep following the State, coz there’s a whole lot more in store for y’all (and who knows, maybe the Dolphynes might pop up again in the future. You never know. Hehehe).

Thanks so much for reading, y’all!!

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Meet The Dolphynes

Meet The Dolphynes S4 EP13 – It’s Never Too Late

Wow! The penultimate episode of this awesome series. I’m honestly amazed at how this journey is truly coming to an end so soon. Well, lemme not get too emo, let’s get into it.

Remember the whole Adamtey-Aniyah saga? Of course y’all do! Who can forget that bloody end to Season 2? Anyways, the curtains come down on that little saga once and for all in this episode…

“So the trial comes to an end tomorrow. Wow,” Oscar gasped as he watched the newscaster on the evening news announce that judgment for the trial between the Republic and Aniyah Johnson was set to be delivered the next day. Months had passed since the beginning of the trial, and things had gone rather quickly. It was time for the fate of Adamtey’s killer to be revealed.

Daniel nodded. “Time has really gone fast, hasn’t it? Seems like just yesterday when it happened,” Daniel commented as he leaned back in his regular seat in the living room, in the presence of his oldest son and wife. “And it’s really slapped us with a lot of surprises. Who would’ve thought that Adamtey was such a monster behind the scenes?”

“I know right? I honestly used to think he’s just really loud and obnoxious when political matters are concerned. But after that rape issue, I was shocked. Of course, a lot of his people were claiming it was nothing but lies. One of my lecturers was so vocal eh. Fiercely defending the man, saying the government had him killed because he was exposing them, saying the lady is a demon, plenty things bi. The man literally said he sees Adamtey as greater than Dr. Kwame Nkrumah! I mean, how?”

Larissa rolled her eyes and shook her head. “What politics does to us in this country. Makes a supposed intellectual speak like a brainless fool. Ah, what has he done for Ghana that makes him greater than Nkrumah? All that foolishness he portrayed is what he’s great for? Ei, has the standard of intelligent lecturers dropped that low?”

“I’m even shocked. Is it insulting people and always going belligerent that makes him great or what? That’s what he thinks is greater than the man who helped gain independence for the country? Such rubbish! That lecturer of yours is a very stupid man!” Daniel added, his face full of disapproval.

“Hmm. The way some of my mates were dissing him among themselves after the lecture. I still have no idea where that came from. So Maa, will you be going?”

Larissa sighed. “I wish I could, but I have a case at the Nsawam High Court just around that time. Trying to clear some of the major cases on my plate before I join the Bench. But I’ll try and see if I can make it back in time to see what happens.”

“But what do you think is gonna be the end result? Could she be freed?” Oscar asked.

Larissa shook her head. “I really wish that would happen. But it’s not likely. This isn’t exactly in the mold of Ahluwalia, and that doesn’t even apply to our jurisdiction. So what will be the best is a manslaughter charge.”

“But can’t they spare her or something? With the issue of the rape and all?”

She shrugged. “It might be a mitigating factor to give her a lower sentence than usual, but to let her off the hook… nahhh. I really don’t see that happening. She killed a man.  The evidence is undeniable that she did it. And there was no hint of self-defence. So she has to do the time. I wish to God she didn’t have to, but, the law is the law. I feel no pity for Adamtey, but she fell foul of the law, and she’s not gonna get away with it.”

“Mmm… well, let’s see what happens tomorrow.”

***

“Ugh, move your bloody car, damnit!” Larissa growled, beeping furiously as the car before her remained still despite the moving traffic. Already quite miffed at her opposing counsel for failing to show up without any proper excuse whatsoever, she was now stuck in traffic, having to deal with lax drivers.

As the car ahead of her began to move, the driver clearly distracted before the horn had sounded behind him, she checked the time.

10:47 am.

Per the info Barnie had given her the day before, it was possible the judgment was being or had been given. The likelihood that she would get to the heart of the city in time was extremely low. Even more of a reason to be pissed at the lawyer who didn’t show up. She was definitely gonna mark him for that and deal with him accordingly if he tried that kind of nonsense in her court.

Shaking her head, she turned the dial on her radio, hoping one of the stations would have some info once the judgment was given. The trial had generated a lot of discussions concerning sexual abuse, false accusations, PTSD, among others, so the outcome was quite important to the media. At least one or two media houses would be in there, ready to break the news to the public.

Another ten minutes spent in Amasaman traffic before she could speed her way back to the main side of Accra.

Within three minutes, she was at the Achimota traffic light. As she waited patiently for the red light to turn green, her phone vibrated.

She looked down briefly at it to see a message from Barnie.

13 years.

A sharp burn in her stomach ripped through.

Aniyah had been sentenced to sixteen years imprisonment. It looked like the judge had really considered the mitigating factors and handed Aniyah a smaller number of years than the offence of manslaughter actually deserved. Barnie had succeeded in using those mitigating circumstances to her advantage, for sure. No surprises there, considering he won the award for criminal procedure in his time at the law school.

Yet, where there should have been a feeling of joy, there was… sadness.

We have some breaking news, and it has just emerged from the High Court Complex that Aniyah Johnson, the lady behind the killing of famous politician Emmanuel Adamtey, has been sentenced to thirteen years imprisonment…”

The news finally making its way onto the mainstream media, Larissa felt a deep grief.

She had known that the girl was not likely to be let off the hook, and this was what she and Barnie had been hoping for since the case began against her. But it was now really hitting her: this poor, abandoned, traumatized young lady had really been dealt unfairly in this life. Upon all the misfortune she had suffered, this had to add itself to the list.

Jail time.

Aniyah just couldn’t catch a break.

Larissa shook her head as a tear began to form in her left eye.

Oh, oh, oh, poor girl…

***

The look in Aniyah’s eyes… bland.

Dry.

Emotionless.

Seated in the back of the police car as it made its way into the Nsawam Female Prison, there was really no particular emotion she was feeling at that moment.

Maybe a little bit of relief or something. But ever since the judgment had been handed down a few days ago, there was that same old emptiness within. That emptiness that had reigned in her soul ever since the day the police arrived at Adamtey’s house and found her next to the badly mangled body of that monster. So much had been said, family and friends had shunned her… so much. The support from her lawyer and Mrs. Dolphyne had done a bit to make her feel better, but it didn’t change the fact that she was still a killer and was destined for a life behind bars.

She just wanted to get on with it. Mr. Barnie and Madam Larissa had done all they could, but ultimately, the justice system had dealt with her accordingly, and it was time to face the music.

The car came to a stop at the area where she was to be led into the prison. The door was opened for her, and she stepped out to meet the wardens who were to prepare her.

Voices in a jumble as they began rattling some stuff to her that she was barely paying attention to, her attention span was non-existent. She couldn’t give a semblance of a crap about what they were saying. Whatever, she thought to herself as they droned on, just take me to my f**king cell, for goodness sake!

“Officers! Wait!”

A familiar voice broke through her apathetic reverie. She and the wardens looked in the direction from where it came from.

Clad in her lawyer attire, it was Mrs. Dolphyne, walking briskly towards them. Is she here to try and stop them or something? Coz if she is, she’s wasting her time, Aniyah briefly thought to herself.

As she caught up with them, Larissa gestured towards her. “Please, can I have a word with her before she’s taken in?”

The wardens looked at each other. The senior one then shrugged, put up his hand to indicate she had five minutes, then stepped back as the junior gestured to Aniyah to meet with the lawyer before them.

As she led her aside, Larissa placed a hand on Aniyah’s shoulder and sighed. “I’m so sorry, Aniyah. I’m so sorry life has dealt you this hand. I’m so sorry…”

Aniyah looked up at her, the blank look still on her face. Sighing, she shrugged and said, “You thought I was joking when I said my life is messed up, didn’t you? This is it right here. From being taken advantage of to raped to spending years behind bars. This, Mrs. Dolphyne, is my life.”

Larissa shook her head, choosing not to say anything, but rather pulling her in for a hug.

“I know, Aniyah. I know,” she whispered. “And God knows I wish I had been of help much earlier. If only I had known what was in front of you that night, I would’ve dealt with you differently. Maybe I’d have saved you from that beast.”

For the first time in a while, Aniyah let out a little laugh. “Oh, don’t bother yourself about that one,” she murmured. “You’ve done what you could, Mrs. Dolphyne. What happened has happened, and this is what I deserve. So it’s all good.”

Larissa remained silent as she held her close. 

Aniyah felt the icebox that had replaced her heart begin to melt as she found herself wrapped up in those arms.

It was in Larissa’s arms that she had experienced a love she had been deprived of for way too long, that fateful day she revealed all. And these arms had come to show that love once again, just before she kissed her freedom goodbye. In a time where those she could have depended on all chose not to associate with her, this woman was the only one who stuck around. And she did all this in spite of the fact that their first meeting was not the friendliest. What a woman!

“Mrs. Dolphyne?” she called softly.

“Yes, Ani?”

“Thank you so much. Thank you for being there for me. For showing so much concern for me. For coming. I… I couldn’t be more grateful…”

Trailing off, she began to sob as the embrace grew tighter.

That emptiness within just couldn’t override the way she felt about Larissa’s treatment of her. Love in its purest form. Love that she really didn’t deserve. Love that broke through a steel wall and melted all defences.

Unconditional love.

“It’s alright, honey, it’s alright. Like you said, I did what I could. And I’ll continue to do what I can. I’m not leaving you alone, Aniyah. Believe me when I say that.”

Pulling away, Aniyah looked up at her, a little surprised.

“Yes, Ani. I’m not leaving you alone. I’ll try and visit whenever possible. And I dunno how, but after a few years, I’ll see if you can be granted pardon. I can’t make any promises, but I will do my best. All I need you to do is be a good girl, alright? As you go in there, just be on your best behaviour and seek to better yourself.”

More tears filled her eyes. This was not what she expected. “But-but Mrs. Dolphyne, you-you-“

Larissa put a finger upon her lips as she shook her head. “Nope, don’t say anything. Just accept that I’m not letting you loose to the system. I dunno what it is, but I just have every intention of making sure that you can get your life back in order. Listen to me, Ani, it’s never too late to get your life together and become a better person. Even in this situation. There’s still hope, and that’s why I’m not letting you go. So please, promise me you’ll be of good behaviour.”

The tears rolling down her cheeks now, she hugged Larissa tightly, her sobs a little louder. How in the world was this stranger refusing to give up on her becoming better when she had long thrown in the towel?

“Thank you, Mrs. Dolphyne, thank you! I promise I’ll be a good girl! Thank you! For refusing to give up on me, thank you!” she whispered in between sobs. “I…I… I love you, Ma’am.”

“I love you too, Aniyah. Don’t ask me why, I just do. And I promise you, I will do what is possible to help you manage to get yourself together.”

As they separated, Larissa wiped the tears off the face of the younger lady and held her hands. “You do not have to be bound and held back by the past, honey. There’s a brighter day ahead of you, and I just wanna do the necessary to help you get there. So please, take care of yourself. And whatever you can busy yourself with, focus on that.”

Aniyah nodded.

Larissa looked in the direction of the warden. The five minutes were almost up.

“It’s time for me to go. So remember everything I said, alright? Take care of yourself and be a good girl. I will keep in touch.”

“Alright, alright, I will. Goodbye.”

“Bye, Aniyah.”

As Aniyah turned to approach the wardens, that emptiness no longer remained. In its place was a feeling of warmth. Sure, she was now a convict, about to spend a substantial part of her life behind bars. But something was different; the idea that she was just an uncared for loner who would probably wither and become a nonentity in the system had lost its grip on her. Now she knew that indeed, there was someone who actually had her at heart. Someone who truly cared about her.

And at that point, she could feel it within her; there was now a reason to keep her head up and face forward.

Make Larissa Dolphyne proud.

I’m gonna do my best, Mrs. Dolphyne. I promise you. I won’t let you down.

The unspoken but heartfelt words from Aniyah’s heart to Larissa’s as she was ushered into the prisons to begin a new phase of life.

Touching. Just touching. At least, there’s a ray of light at the end of the tunnel for Aniyah. God bless Larissa!

Well, people, tomorrow is the final episode.

Yeah, I’m heartbroken. I wish this didn’t have to end. But chale, so many other goodies lie in store, so… yeah, I gotta do this.

So, “Abusua Pa”, the Meet The Dolphynes series finale, will be released tomorrow at 1800 GMT. Anticipate!!