Categories
Long Journey

Long Journey 13 – Healing Begins Now

It all comes down to this. Time to discover how it finally ends…

It was a bright and sunny Sunday morning, the rays of the sun at their ultimate hottest. The major reason the air-conditioner in the Land Cruiser was on. As the vehicle, that had been on the road for about four hours, turned into the campus of St. Mary’s Boys, Evelyn leaned on Henry’s shoulder, now feeling tense.

“Henry?” she said softly.

“Yes, Eve?”

“I’m sorry again for the way I reacted the first time. Now that I think about it, I feel pretty nasty for…”

He shushed her gently. “Babe, it’s alright. It’s OK. And besides, you’re not a nasty person. You’ve been hurt. You’re not the bad person here, alright? You just need to deal with this so you can be free. So don’t stress yourself. Let’s do our best to get this over with. You deserve to be free for real. In any case, you’re doing it for Nana, considering how he talked you into this.”

She nodded. “I’m feeling very tense, though.”

He squeezed her hand. “Don’t worry. I’m here for you. You’ll be fine.”

***

The two entered the house.

Everyone was seated. The Yeboah couple, Nana Opoku… and Chris. Who was mainly called Paa Yaw in this household. All faces were solemn.

They took their seats.

Alfred stood up, and after taking a deep breath, began. “Well, first of all, I’d like to thank you all for making it here. I know it wasn’t an easy decision to come to. I know years of intense pain and grief are behind this, and I didn’t expect this to be a quick-fix thing. But if we can at least start from here, it will go a long way to help… sooo, I guess I’ll just leave the rest of the talking to Paa Yaw, since he has a lot to say.”

He took his seat.

Paa Yaw nodded silently, then arose and moved to the middle of the living room. Head slightly bowed, he also took a deep breath, then looked up at the rest of the seated folks, and started his speech.

“Good afternoon, everyone. I’m glad you’re all here, and I’m thankful that we could get this done. These past few days, I’ve looked back on my life and I realize what a fool I’ve been. From a young age, I chose the wrong crowd to move with and had my morals corrupted. I became the type of guy that thought life is only about having fun, and of course, sex was part of it. Somehow, that mindset refused to let go, and even in my 40s, getting into the next girl’s pants was my major aim.

“Evelyn, I look back, and there’s no doubt about it. I only saw a toy that I could have fun with and move away from once I was done. Someway somehow, you were the only one I forgot to use protection with, and lo and behold, you got pregnant, and because I was all about my own interests, I disregarded you, and did whatever I could to escape having to deal with the consequences of my actions. That day I left Accra, I really wasn’t the least bit bothered about how much of an effect it would have on you that I suddenly ghosted on you. All I wanted was to be free to do whatever I wanted.

“The truth is, life took a downward turn after I left the capital. Even though I had the freedom I wanted and I still managed to sleep with all the girls I wanted, there was no stability. And instead of doing something about it, I just shrugged my shoulders and decided not to care. As long as I’d find a way of getting my body satisfied, I was cool.

A brief period of silence from him followed. Watching Henry squeeze her hand as she wiped her eyes, he swallowed hard and continued.

“I never listened to advice from anyone. It was just about me and my enjoyment. It even took me to extremes that I don’t want to mention here. Even when I arrived here, all I was seriously interested in was just continuing the same lifestyle that had gotten me nowhere. Sleeping around, getting drunk… hmm. It’s amazing how I seemed to never have any near-death experience until I got here. Nearly killed myself on excess alcohol. On an empty stomach. If it wasn’t for Nana… my son… I’d have been dead by now.”

At this rate, his voice started to shake. He took a break again to calm himself down. But when he continued, it was pretty obvious the emotions were taking hold.

“As I sat in the hospital that morning, all I could think about is how close I was to being an example of a useless life. How I cared about the useless things in life and would rather walk away from what mattered. What cut the most is that… Nana probably would’ve been justified in letting me die, because the first time we met, I was so unnecessarily nasty to him. Yet he still helped me.

Nana nodded in agreement as he said that. He sniffed.

“From that point, I started to recollect all the rubbish I had done. All the girls I had used for my personal satisfaction without regard to their feelings. I really wrecked a lot of hearts, to be honest. I just had sex with them and had no regard for them afterwards. But… the major one that kept hitting hard is Evelyn.

His eyes now fixed on her, two tears came out as he went down on both knees.

“Evelyn, I’ve been an absolute monster to you. I approached you, slid my way into you and took away your innocence, and I ripped your dignity and humanity to shreds with my attitude. If there’s anything that’s been chasing me these last sixteen years, it’s definitely what I did to you. Please, I beg you to forgive me. I’ve been a fool, a jerk, a scumbag. I should have been a man and accepted responsibility for my actions. I never should have tried to force you to abort Nana, and I never should have run away. Please, forgive me. You don’t need to have anything to do with me, but please, just forgive me for what I did…”

Words failed him as he fell to the floor, crying.

Evelyn, also quite teary-eyed, stood up and walked to him. Squatting, she patted him on the back, then indicated to Nana to come over.

Paa Yaw, still weeping, looked up to see her squatting, Nana joining her. He lifted himself up.

“Christopher Yaw Ennin Abbey,” she began. “It has not been easy. Ever since you left, I nearly went mad. I was crushed. Devastated. Confused. I just couldn’t understand how you’d do that to me. I was in love with you, and I found out the hard way that I was just your plaything. There’s been so much hate and contempt in me. At a point, I just wanted to consider you dead. Non-existent. The day I saw you on that verandah, memories just came rushing like crazy, and I’ve wanted nothing but the worst upon you. I won’t lie, I was ready to hurt you the next time I set my eyes on you, and all this forgiveness talk was actually infuriating, but… Nana said he wants to patch things up with his dad. And… I couldn’t fight that. As much as I wanted to. So, I guess I can start to let go of this flaming coal and begin the process of healing.”

Paa Yaw nodded, hands clasped together. “Anything to get this journey started, Evelyn.” Turning to Nana, he said wistfully, “Nana, I’m so sorry for not being the father I should have been. I’ve been such a failure, and when I think about the years I wasted, being a fool and just majoring in useless frivolities, I realized I would’ve been better off being close to the boy who bears my DNA. I want to make it up to you as much as I possibly can; become the father you needed in your younger years. Can I?”

Obviously taken in by the emotional mood, Nana nodded. “Yes. Let’s start this journey.”

Paa Yaw hugged him tightly, sobbing all over again. He hugged him back. Evelyn joined in the hug.

The other three stood up, expressions of relief very evident on their faces.

As father, mother and son rose up, Paa Yaw wiped his tears and said, “Thank you. Thank you all. I know it’s not a straightforward thing, but I’m glad we can begin this journey. I don’t care how long it is, I just want to be assured that my son and his mother can heal from my past mistakes.”

The Yeboahs were so relieved. As Araba went down on her knees and gave glory to God for what was clearly a successful meeting, Alfred stepped forward to meet the family and say something.

“All glory to God, Paa Yaw. Lord knows I’ve waited for the day you would finally get your act together. And with this meeting, I couldn’t be more convinced that it is so. My prayer for you all is that God helps you all as you embark on this long journey. That His grace will help you guys to replace every form of resentment and anger with love and forgiveness, and that every opposing voice that will try and convince Evelyn or Nana to go back to the dungeon of unforgiveness will be silenced, and every voice that try and convince Paa Yaw to go back to his old ways will be muted in the name of Jesus! May you all eventually develop a loving, mutual bond, and Nana, may your father and Henry become loving father figures to you. Paa Yaw, above all things, may you soon be empowered to go out there and become a testimony of how frivolous living benefits nothing, and that to live life with a God-given purpose will ultimately always be more fulfilling than living just for the moment. In Jesus’ name, amen!”

“AMEN!!”

Touching! Good to see forgiveness was granted. No doubts, it would be quite a long process, but hopefully they’ll settle everything. And if there’s anything to take home from that prayer by Mr. Alfred Yeboah, it’s that a purpose-driven life will always be more beneficial and fulfilling than living just to satisfy the next urge your body has.

THE END.

Categories
Long Journey

Long Journey 12 – Mercy Or Judgment

“Henry, forget it! The next time I see that despicable bastard and I don’t break that pathetic skull of his with the hardest object I can find, then my name is no longer Evelyn. I am not going to see him. I do not want to hear from him. And most of all, I am NOT going to forgive him! Do you know how much he wrecked my life?” Evelyn snapped.

Henry sighed. As expected, this was not easy. He had waited for about a week and a half, considering the volatile nature of this whole issue, to bring this up. He knew it would not be easy to get Evelyn to agree to having a reconciliatory talk with the man who impregnated and abandoned her. And it was proving to be such.

“Look at him. He’s still perching in someone’s house,” she continued. “Useless fool. You think you can be sticking your third leg in everyone and get away with it. Swine! He will die an unemployed, broke bitch! Foolishness!”

Henry winced. This level of vitriol was pretty acidic. Not something he had seen from her before.

“Eve, please,” he pleaded. “I understand. He hurt you really bad. Nobody is making excuses for that. No one. What he did is pathetic, and personally, it looks like he’s reaping what he’s sown. He didn’t look like someone who is very happy with life, from the little I saw. But babe, this is more about you! Forgiveness releases you!”

She shook her head. “Henry, you don’t understand it well, do you? You have no idea how much he destroyed me. You have no idea how much of a coward he is…”

Grasping both of her hands gently, he squeezed them. “Honey, it’s so obvious what a coward he is. I know the story, and it’s clear for anyone with brains to see. From insisting on the abortion to running away when you wouldn’t budge; that’s a pathetic excuse of a man. No two ways about that. But please, all I’m trying to say is that forgiving him benefits you! You have a flaming coal in your hand. Let it go. Don’t hold on to it. You don’t need to be friends with him or anything, but please, let the flaming coal go. I love you too much to see you get swallowed up by this hatred. Please!”

She yanked her hands away from him and gave him an evil glare. “If you really loved me, you’d understand why I feel what I do, and you’d probably be the first to rip that scoundrel’s head off!”

She stormed off.

***

“Still no success?”

“Nope. Now she’s angry with me for suggesting the need to forgive.”

Mr. Yeboah sighed. “Well, this is definitely not going to be an easy task. I’d suggest you don’t bring it up with her for a while. But we still need to settle this. It doesn’t even need to be an absolute agreement; just a bit of willingness from her part to begin the road to healing. I don’t know why, but I’m really concerned on her part, because the way I’ve come to know her, if she hates, she hates with everything in her. And that’s not healthy, especially considering Nana.”

“Yeah, true. By the way, how is he taking all this?”

“Well, he’s also quite hurt and angry at his father. I’ve spoken to him; didn’t get much of a response, whether negative or positive.”

“Hmmmm. This is quite a sticky issue. I know expecting a breezy passage to healing is impossible. How I wish it were, though. The guy really, really messed up, though.”

“Well, as for Paa Yaw, he’s made many foolish decisions over the years, and I’ve had my fights with him. But this isn’t about him, it’s about her. And Nana. I don’t want the bitterness and resentment to remain within; it’ll destroy them before they know it.”

“Hmmmm, Mr. Yeboah. That’s what I tried to tell Eve, but… hmmm… it’s tough.”

“No worries. We’ll just take this one day at a time. Something good has to come out of this eventually.”

***

I knew this boy was lying. He claimed you knew and that you were okay with it. I tried talking him out of it, because it’s just too out of the blue, but he was not going to listen. For whatever reason, he’s left Accra. And according to him, he’s not coming back…

The shopkeeper’s words reverberated around her brain as she tucked herself into bed. The memories had relentless come rushing ever since she had seen that scumbag, and each flashback made her angrier and angrier. The heartless and unconcerned manner in which he demanded she get an abortion. The way he trivialized the pregnancy. The cold shoulder he had given her even before the news, indicating that all he had ever wanted was to hit and run. All these memories inflamed her the more.

Her phone vibrated on the bedside table. She checked to see the caller ID.

It was Henry.

She immediately pressed the reject button. Nonsense. After this guy treated me like a rag, you are telling me to be nice! He should get away kraaaa.

Turning herself over in her bed, she closed her eyes and started to conjure imaginations of the worst happening to Chris.

Ten minutes later, as she was smiling while picturing him getting hit by an articulator truck after being fired and embarrassed by his employers, she was interrupted by the vibration of her phone yet again.

Thinking it was Henry again, she got up, irritated, saying to herself, “Can he just leave me the hell alone?”

Looking at the screen, however, it was a different number.

She wasn’t the type to be hesitant about picking calls from numbers she didn’t know, so she answered, ready to give a good blasting if it was Henry using another number to call.

“Hello, Ma.”

She was surprised. “Nana?”

“Yes. Umm, one of my friends has a phone here, and I asked if I could make an urgent call.”

“Why? What’s wrong? Have you lost something?”

“Uhh, no. It’s something else.”

“Talk to me, baby. What is it?”

A sigh came over the line. “I… uh, I’ve been thinking… and, uhhh… I want us to meet with my father…”

“Nana. I don’t want to talk about this…”

“I know. I know you’re angry with him. I know all too well. I’m angry too. But, I’ve just had this inkling within me that we should give this whole forgiveness thing a chance. Tried to shake it off, but it’s too strong to ignore…”

Well… that’s interesting. I guess it’s about time to let the curtains down on this journey. Next episode is the last. Let’s see how this story ends!!!

Categories
Long Journey

Long Journey 11 – Bitterness Is Alive

The story nears its impending end. But what is Chris going to do about this new issue he finds himself in? Let’s find out…

Paa Yaw sighed as he watched his son walk away with a very stern expression on his face.

It had been a week, and Nana absolutely refused to communicate with him in any way. Every time he tried to get close to the boy, he immediately had the boy briskly walking away, obviously very intent on staying as far away from him as possible. It was a Friday morning, and he had stepped out to at least give him a friendly wave.

A cold glare is what he received in return.

Watching him as he trudged away, he shook his head. God help me, I messed this up. And I don’t know how it’s gonna get better. Honestly. I don’t…

If only there was a way he could turn back the hands of time. Whatever he would do to reverse this regrettable turn of events, he’d do it in a flash.

***

The boys returned to their various dormitories, relieved that yet another week was complete. As they moved to and fro, changing out of their uniforms, the various rooms all over campus were buzzing with excitement. Of course, who doesn’t love Fridays?

Nana and Elikem went to the trunk room, laughing at some of their teachers. Particularly the English teacher.

“Ei, so that man! He no go stop that ein clown lifestyle?” Elikem asked, laughing hard.

“I dey shock. Every day, small question he go ask, wey you give correct answer, then he go behave like you answer some complex actuarial science question bi.”

“See, the way he sheda take time whack the table after Jones give that answer eh, like something dey do me for my seat. Eeeeiii!”

Still laughing at this teacher’s clear disposition to over-celebrating his student’s simple victories, the two walked to their various beds, Nana easily jumping onto his bed at the lower bunk. Still smirking at the memory Elikem had recounted a minute or two ago, he closed his eyes, ready to take full advantage of siesta after a long day of classes…

“NANA PO!”

His eyes popped open. Sitting up on his bed, he looked quite annoyed. It was the house prefect’s voice. I hope he’s not coming to disturb me about something I didn’t do. He likes that.

He got up and saw him standing at the door of the dorm.

“Mr. Yeboah is calling you.”

***

Alfred sighed as Nana took his seat.

The look on the boy’s face changed dramatically the moment he entered the living room and saw his father sitting there. This was not going to be an easy task at all.

He looked to his side. Paa Yaw was silent, looking down at his hands on his laps.

He looked back at Nana, took a deep breath, then began.

“Nana, I wasn’t around when all this happened, but I found out about it later. I must confess, I probably should have had this talk with you earlier. Negligence on my part, I’m sorry. Ummm… this… has been quite a shock. Ever since you came here, I’ve gotten to know your mother on a pretty personal level, and I knew about all this. But I never thought that… well, I… I’m just still shocked.”

Nana shifted himself in his seat, maintaining a stone cold expression.

“I know you’re angry with him. And I understand. It will always hurt knowing your father chose his own selfish desires over being a father to you. This has been something I’m fully convinced he’s been running away from his whole life without any success. Now it’s caught up to him. But at this point, I believe he’s learned his lesson. He said he’s confessed some of the foolish things he did before landing here, including that disgusting episode with Mariam. The only thing I can ask at this point is that, you seek to find a place in your heart to forgive him.

“I know it’s easier said than done. I know you’ve felt a whole lot of resentment and anger at not having your real father around. I’m not asking that you immediately discard it all. I’m not looking to bombard you with a plethora of clichés about forgiving. I just ask that from this moment onward, as hurt and wounded as you may be, you’ll pray and ask God to help you forgive this man. Because, no matter what you do or feel, he’s still your father. And you’ll be doing yourself no favours holding grudges against him. And I should caution you on this: if you choose to keep the anger within, you may well end up destroying yourself in ways you can’t imagine. I know what I’m talking about.

“So please, this is why I called you. It’s very sensitive. Very delicate. But this is my advice. Please. I’ve had constant issues with your father over the years because of his lackadaisical attitude to life, but I see a change in him ever since you saved his life. Please, you can hold on to the rage you’ve felt for years, or you can start afresh. I’m pleading with you, choose the latter.”

He nodded to indicate he was done. Nana nodded curtly, sprung up from his seat and quickly exited.

Alfred looked at Paa Yaw. “Well, there’s one major thing we need to work on now. The boy might be devastated, but if there’s anyone whose forgiveness you need, it’s Evelyn. You need to meet with her. As soon as you can.”

Well, judging by the last episode, will a meeting between the two go down well? I wonder if she’ll be willing to meet with him at all. Gotta wait to find out…

Categories
Long Journey

Long Journey 10 – Ripples Of An Unpleasant Reunion

Now that the truth is out, the only question is how things will pan out. Only one way to find out!

As boys got ready for lights out, James looked down from his bed and saw Nana laying on his bed, with a facial expression that made it clear that he was not in the mood to talk or be disturbed in any way.

He chose to leave him in his current position.

What a day it had been for Nana Opoku! What he had expected would be a good day, seeing his mother and her new man, and getting the stuff he needed, turned out to be quite a huge stunner. After having to grow up with stories of how his father had no desire to be a father to him and had walked out, he came to discover that the man he had been chatting with for a while whilst he worked was his own flesh and blood!

He had not been able to go for entertainment after the family left; he was too stunned to do anything else or chat with anyone.

As he lay there, that indwelling bitterness that had always lain at the bottom of his heart towards the man he was supposed to love and admire and respect the most had risen to the very top. If there was anything he was feeling at that point for sure, it was resentment. Especially as he considered all the foolish frivolities his dad had chosen. At that point, the thought of Paa Yaw hungrily hammering his cousin came to mind, and he felt physically sick. He shook his head and turned on his side, his mind a buzzing highway with angry thoughts racing up and down.

I hope your wasteful activities were worth more than being a father to a son who needed you, you jerk!

***

As the Land Cruiser moved into the house, Henry looked at Evelyn one more time. He felt sad inside as he noted the expression on her face.

Broken.

You didn’t need to have prophetic powers to know that seeing him for the first time since he had run away had resurrected a lot of emotions. All the hurt, all the grief, all the pain. All visible on her face.

As the car came to a stop, Henry gently said to Mack, “I’m taking her inside.”

Mack nodded. He had already seen enough. No need to say anything.

Ben was sitting in the living room, watching the highlights of the day’s football matches as they walked in. he turned to see them enter, and looked alarmed as he noted Henry holding Evelyn as if he was helping her to walk, with a stricken expression on her face. “What’s wrong? Did something happen on the way?” he asked worriedly.

“I…I-I… I saw him,” Evelyn stuttered.

Ben looked confused. “What?”

Henry sighed. “Um, so we had quite a shock when we went to visit Nana. Sooo… it turned out there’s some guy staying there… and we met him there… and, well, turns out it’s the guy who got her pregnant and ran away.”

Ben’s eyes grew wide. “WHAATT!!”

“he… he messed me up,” Evelyn muttered to herself. She looked at Henry, a rather accusatory expression on her face. “Why didn’t you let me teach him a lesson?”

“Evelyn, there was no…”

“You’ve should’ve let me deal with the piece of trash,” she continued, totally disregarding any attempt of his to respond, and beginning to scuffle with him.

“Baby, please…”

“YOU SHOULD’VE LET ME TEACH THAT SON OF A BITCH A LESSON, DAMMIT!!”

In full voice, it was obvious the rage was still very much present. Practically pounding Henry with her fists, she continued screaming, oblivious to the attempts of the men to calm her down.

“I SHOULD HAVE KILLED THAT STUPID BASTARD! I SHOULD HAVE SHED HIS BLOOD! HE RUINED MY LIFE! HE RUINED MY LIFE…”

The last two statements seemed to bring a sudden switch in her temperament. Red-hot rage suddenly turned into heart-wrenching grief. Lowering her voice, she whimpered those words again, and then started wailing painfully, slamming her face into Henry’s shoulder as she cried her heart out.

Hugging her tightly, Henry could feel his tear glands getting to work. It was just so painful hearing her weep. There could be no doubt about how awful an effect Chris’ actions had on her, and seeing him was the trigger she didn’t need.

As she continued crying, he signalled to Ben that he’d take care of her, while wiping away the tears that were forming in his eyes. Ben nodded, and left.

Taking their place on the couch, Evelyn seemed content with just crying bitterly while leaning on Henry. Sighing as he tried to imagine the kind of pain she was experiencing, he took out his phone, and dialled a number.

“Yeah, Mack. Chale, you can go home, okay? The way things are, I can’t leave her tonight…”

***

The Yeboah household was a quiet one.

Alfred sat in his chair, clearly at a loss of words. Araba, who had witnessed everything, also sat in her chair, a glum expression on her face.

Paa Yaw was in his chair, his face buried in his hands, sobbing as he recounted the day’s events.

After a long silence, Alfred leaned forward and said, “Hmmmm… I just don’t know what to say. This is like a movie to me. I mean, never in a million years would I have suspected anything like this.”

“Hmmm, Alfred,” Araba added. “I still can’t believe it. I’m still in shock.”

He shook his head. “Crazy how things happen. It’s just crazy.” Looking at Paa Yaw, he called out, “Paa Yaw!”

The weeping man looked up at him, his eyes puffy and red.

“Hmmm, Paa Yaw. This is not a time where I’d be blasting you over your life choices. Your tears alone are enough to show how this thing has been a nasty slap for you. I don’t know if this is what you’ve been running away from, but… that’s another topic. All I know is, you have to set things right.”

Paa Yaw rubbed his eyes and sniffed as he looked at the older man before him.

“This won’t be easy. From what Araba said, Evelyn would probably have hacked you to death on my verandah and have no regrets; she’s still hurt by what it turns out you did to her. And the boy by now is probably feeling bitter. If I tell you it’ll be as simple as a quick “I’m sorry”, that’s a lie. They more than likely hate every cell of yours right now. But listen to me, at some point, you need to set things right. You can’t leave it as it is; that will only complicate matters. I don’t know how you’re going to do it. But you have to resolve this issue. You must!”

As to how he’s going to fix this is gonna be a whole other issue, though…

Categories
Long Journey

Long Journey 9 – That Saturday Visit

No need to waste too much time with an intro. Something’s coming up, and we’ve gotta find out!!

Saturday morning had arrived, and after morning devotion, it was time for the boys to get to work as usual. Nana trudged to the residence of Mr. Yeboah, broom in hand, having mixed reactions as he walked.

Of course, there was the excitement of having his mother come for a visit; that was always welcome. After all, it meant he’d get a restock on his provisions. He’d been craving ‘Hye me ma’ for quite a while, and it looked like most of the boys who had had the coveted Piccadilly biscuits were all out. Besides, he was getting tired of having to ask Robbie for Nido sachets; the boy was starting to get rather tight-fisted with the little yellow packets.

But he was thinking of the sudden disdain he felt towards Paa Yaw. Inasmuch as the man was clearly remorseful for his actions, Nana naturally felt some kind of anger towards men who abandoned their children. Of course, the stories of his father walking out on him was a major reason. He had tried to convince himself that Paa Yaw deserved grace for this one the whole of the previous night. But… somehow it was sorta hard. He just found it hard.

As he walked in, he shook his head.

Come on, Nana. You saw the tears yesterday. The man regrets his attitude. Don’t come and be giving him any cold shoulders biaa. It’s not like it’s your father, in any case.

Moving to the usual spot where he usually began sweeping, he saw Paa Yaw come out of the house and wave to him.

Rebuking the inner urge to ignore his greeting, he waved back.

“I’m going out today. Not gonna be back till late afternoon,” Paa Yaw called out.

“Sure, no problem. See you later,” Nana responded.

***

“So, Nana, this is Henry Fosuhene. My new man,” Evelyn proudly introduced to Nana.

He smiled as he shook Henry’s hand. Good-looking guy on all fronts. And he definitely looks like someone who’s comfortable in life.

“Nana Opoku. Great to finally meet you. Your mother talks about you a lot.”

“Well, duh, obviously,” Evelyn interjected, rolling her eyes. “Why wouldn’t I bring him up a lot? Sheesh.”

Henry gave her the side eye, then set his gaze upon Nana again, shaking his head. “I was going to mention that she stresses me out a lot, but as you can already tell, she’s completed that part of the story for me.”

Nana grinned. Typical of his mother, but definitely a good thing. If she playfully retorted at your statements and picked on little opportunities to make fun of you, then she definitely held you in high esteem. And her tone alone at that point revealed more than enough for Nana to know.

“Oh yeah, she does that to my uncles a lot,” Nana affirmed, the grin still on his face.

“Herh, young man, you want to side with him, eh? I’m taking my provisions back with me ooo.”

“Don’t mind her. She can’t do that biaa.”

Mr. Yeboah walked out onto the verandah where the three were having their meeting. “Well, the madam is in,” he said, smiling as Evelyn got up to embrace him. “How are you doing?”

“Fantastic by God’s grace, Mr. Yeboah,” she responded enthusiastically. “Please, this is Henry, my boothang,” she added, gesturing at Henry.

“Ei, boothang? Me, I’m not up to date with these your expression things oo,” Mr Yeboah said, shaking his head in amusement as Evelyn giggled. He shook hands with Henry, who had risen to greet him.

“Good to meet you, Mr. Henry. I hope you’re able to handle this lady and her occasional feisty streaks.”

Giving her a side eye, he nodded. “I do my best.”

Mr. Yeboah laughed. “Good, good. So, you guys are gonna be here for a while?”

“Uh, no. We were thinking of taking Nana out to one of those restaurants not too far from here. Spend about an hour or two, then bring him back. If that’s okay with you.”

Mr. Yeboah shrugged. “That’s absolutely fine with me. Evelyn knows I have no problems with that. Visiting hours ends at 4, anyways, so you’re good to go.”

“Alright, then. We’ll be setting off in about a moment…”

***

Paa Yaw walked back to the house, feeling rather satisfied with himself. Upon arrival in the city much earlier on, he had gone to meet one of Alfred’s contacts about securing some employment. It was unfortunate that he had been in one of his apathetic moods when going; his attitude and body language did not impress the gentleman at all, who asked him to leave and return when he actually wanted a job. Following his new-found desire to clean himself up and get serious with life, he had called the man and asked for a second chance. Of course, there was a lot of hesitance, but he somehow agreed, and the subsequent meeting had been very good.

Hopefully, we can look at things and come to a good deal by the middle of the coming week, he thought triumphantly to himself as he stepped onto the verandah and dropped himself onto one of the chairs, letting out a sigh of relief. He could sense that his life, for the first time in many years, was actually starting to come together.

A white Land Cruiser moved on to the parking lot in front of the house. His eyes closed as he tried to imagine how good the rest of his life was going to be, he opened them, wondering who these visitors could be.

Looking at the two people in front, he noted a familiar face and Nana.

Ei, chale! I didn’t know this boy was dosted like that! Must be his father’s driver…

As the car came to a stop, the back door opened.

Out stepped a woman.

Paa Yaw’s eyes widened in shock.

***

It had been a pretty good time at the Let’s Chill restaurant. As they had been there, that was the major thing that happened: Nana really chilled with his people.

His first time with Henry, and so far, he liked him. He seemed to genuinely have affections for his mother, and of course, as he had already indicated, she had taken to him deeply. He was a pretty funny guy as well, in spite of his very weak attempts at playing at ‘talking nonfa’ game. His mother preferred to call it wordplay game. Whatever. It was a game.

The driver too was a nice guy. Mack is what he preferred to be called. Clearly a pretty smart guy who bonded well with his boss. Another reason to like Henry; despite his big position, he had no qualms with having good relationships with those over whom he was superior. He had told them of how his father had instilled that attitude in him from an early age – demanding that he show respect to all in the household, whether maid, gardener or security man. It had helped him to appreciate that status doesn’t change the fact that people ought to be treated as people: with respect, no matter their place in life.

A great time, no doubt. So as he sat in the front seat with Mack, telling him about some of the experiences he had had since coming to school, the sudden “Oh my God” that came from the backseat startled him.

As the car came to a stop, Evelyn opened the door, looking absolutely amazed. Following her gaze, he realized it was Paa Yaw she was looking at.

“Wow, he’s in much earlier than I thought,” Nana said to himself.

Paa Yaw himself was on his feet, looking petrified and stunned. He was shaking his head, clearly repeating some words to himself as he stared at Evelyn.

Nana was confused. “What’s going on here?” he said aloud. Opening the door, he saw his mother, still in a state of shock.

“Uh, Ma?” he gently prodded.

Then shock suddenly turned into rage.

With a look of fury on her face, she walked briskly towards Paa Yaw.

“Evelyn, I’m so sorry…”

The three males, all standing by the car, were all stunned by the resounding slap that Evelyn delivered to his face.

“YOU BLOODY BASTARD!! YOU SON OF A BITCH!! YOU MONSTER!!” Evelyn bellowed. Henry and Mack rushed to restrain her from doing any further damage, as Paa Yaw lay on the floor, too dazed and in tears to even say anything.

Mrs. Yeboah came out from inside, obviously hearing the noise. Upon seeing an enraged Evelyn being held by Henry, she asked worriedly, “Ei, my goodness! What is going on?”

Noticing Paa Yaw on the floor, she asked, “AH, did he try anything funny?”

Evelyn shook her head, her breathing heavy with the fury that had suddenly found its way into her body. “This man… this man… he didn’t try anything funny. He did something funny.”

“Babe, what are you talking about?” Henry asked.

She laughed out loud. “Oh Lord, shouldn’t it be obvious? Don’t you know my story?”

Suddenly, a tight knot formed in Nana’s stomach. Oh my God…

Aside Mack, who obviously didn’t know the story, everyone else had a look of disbelief on their faces. “Wait, you mean Paa Yaw…” Mrs. Yeboah started.

Evelyn nodded her head, still breathing heavily. “Ohh yes! This was the same bastard who chased after me 16 years ago. Slept with me at the back of his car. Made me pregnant. Tried to get me to abort it. And when I refused to do so, decided to suddenly run away and cut me off totally and leave me to raise my son all by myself.”

At this point, Nana’s head was spinning. As everyone turned to look at him, he looked disoriented. “You mean… I… what….”

“Yes, Nana. I’m sorry it had to come out this way, but… this man. Is your father…”

Oooooooooookay!! The truth is out! What’s gonna happen now? Well, we gotta stay tuned and find out…

Categories
Long Journey

Long Journey 8 – Reflections

K.I hear you.

Paa Yaw sighed as the notification lit up his phone screen. Shrugging, he thought to himself, At least she finally responded. Better than nothing, I guess.

He lay on his bed, silently thankful that Mariam had finally answered his WhatsApp apology. She still refused to answer his calls, so he had to get the thumbs to work.

As he tried to get some sleep, though, his mind drifted to the earlier event in the afternoon, where he had confessed what he had been hiding and running away from for years.

Nana seemed very emotionless after he had admitted to impregnating a lady and running away to avoid responsibility. He was probably disgusted at what he had heard, and Paa Yaw wouldn’t blame him at all for feeling that way; he had every right to. He had barely spoken after that. It hadn’t been long till the school siren went off, indicating it was time for prep.

He sighed. Ever since he had really been thinking about his life, the young lady he had impregnated came to mind.

Evelyn.

Back then, he was just too selfish and focused on his own happiness to be bothered about the effect of his sudden departure. He shook his head as images of him ignoring that shopkeeper lady as she continued to probe why he was leaving and tried to convince him not to go. He just hadn’t cared. He was already angry with Evelyn for refusing to kowtow to his demands, and all he wanted was to punish her ruthlessly while having the time of his life.

Not like I actually did have the time of my life, though. Issues here and there. Job losses. Women issues. Family estrangements.

He shook his head. Indeed, his quest for freedom had brought more trouble his way. And unfortunately, he had plainly refused to learn his lessons.

The Mariam issue shouldn’t have even popped up, considering what happened when he was staying in Koforidua. He had been staying in the house of the gentleman who had graciously offered him a job, only to pay him back by secretly having an affair with his daughter. It was during one of their steamy sessions in his room that the man of the house, tipped off by a lingering sense of suspicion, came around his room and upon hearing his daughter’s loud ecstatic moans, kicked the door open.

The fact that he was quite lazy and never really showed much effort to complete his work, coupled with the shocking revelation that he had also been going out for ‘special appointments’ with one fried yam seller on the side, worsened the case, and he was immediately thrown out of the house and fired from the job.

He had also been caught in the middle of the act with Mariam. It just so happened that the beatings he received there were worse than what had occurred in the Eastern Region.

At this point now, though, he had replayed all these memories and regretted them enough. Now he was wondering about one person.

Evelyn.

Of all the women I’ve slept with, I don’t think I’ve hurt any of them as badly as I did her. I just hope nothing happened which caused her to lose the baby. I wish I could tell her that I’m sorry for what I did. It’s possible she hates my guts by now…

***

“So Henry’s going with you tomorrow?”

Evelyn nodded.

“Nice. Remember to tell Mr. Yeboah about the graduation ceremony. After party at my place!”

“But how can I forget to tell him, lah? It’s one of the major things I’ll be telling him once I arrive there. By all means, he’ll want to be there. Besides, you are saying it as if it’s next week. Relax, lah!”

Ben laughed. “Yes please, madam. I’m keeping calm.”

“Better!” she responded, a smirk on her face. Her phone then lit up, Henry’s name on the screen.

Ben saw it, and with a sly grin, said, “Let me go and check if you’ve put all Nana’s things together.” He got up and went into the kitchen.

Shaking her head as she watched him go, she answered the phone.

“Hey Henry!”

“Hey baby love! Hope your Friday was a good one.”

“Well…. Yeah, it was good. I’m just really tired right now. So much to tell you about, but I’ll probably sleep in the middle of it. Tomorrow is there, though, so I’m comforting myself in that.”

“Haha! Anyways, from Accra to Apowa, according to Google Maps, is about 5 hours away. So are we leaving at 5 or 6?”

“Oh, 5 is too early! Aaba!! Let’s reach there at six-thirty, eh. It’s not like we need to see him very early. I usually go to see him around midday. So relax.”

“Alright, alright.”

“Why are all the important men in my life rushing like that this evening, lah?”

“Ei, please, am I missing something?”

She snickered. “Oh, nothing. I was thinking out loud.”

She heard a sigh over the phone. “So you had to take shots at all of me?”

She shook her head. “Not impressive, Henry. Not impressive. If you wanna play the wordplay thing with yours truly, you need to bring your A-game. Not this F-game. Tweeaaaa!!”

“Oh wow, so it’s like that, eh? No problem. I’m spending all night perfecting my craft. We shall see!”

“No problem, handsome. I await your challenge.”

“By the way, I’ve spoken to one of my drivers, so he’ll be the one to take us tomorrow.”

“Awww, that’s so sweet of you, Henry.”

“Hey, anything for my baby love. We can sit at the back and talk. More incentive for me to really get wild with the wordplay challenge, since I’ll not have to focus on the road.”

“Oh, how I’m gonna enjoy beating you so easily.”

“We’ll just see about that, won’t we?” She began yawning. “That’s my cue to get some rest, honey. So tell your man that we can set off at six-thirty, alright?”

“Sure thing, Eve. Go sleep, alright. See you tomorrow. Love you.”

She giggled. “So sentimental, aren’t you?”

Silence over the phone. She laughed out loud. “I know you’re rolling your eyes right now.”

“Good thing you know. You dey worry papa.”

“That’s how you know I love you too, darling. Good night.”

“Good night, Evelyn.”

Looks like an unpleasant reunion might be coming up pretty soon. I wonder what will happen… 

🤔
Categories
Long Journey

Long Journey 7 – The Biggest Regret

 So, now that Nana and Paa Yaw seem to be forming a friendship, let’s see what’s gonna be happening…

“Are you serious? You think waakye in a leaf is overrated? My guy, you dey hia deliverance!”

“Hoh, massa, this hype be OTT. Waakye be correct chow, nobody go disagree, but this leaf matter you people dey hype be too much. Ahiaa?”

“Such uncircumcised talk!” Elikem scoffed. “Do you even understand the eternality of what we’re talking about? Massa, waakye in a leaf is an otherworldly distin oo.”

Saturday afternoons were usually an interesting time in the house, as the boys in the dorm would basically bring up all sorts of topics to talk about. Fierce arguments, heated debates, trolling sessions… they all took place there, and were usually a highlight for Nana. Before the issue of food wrapped in leaves, they had been sharing stories about one subject guys usually love.

Girls.

Nana had been pretty vocal about it, letting the guys know about the girls that had expressed their interest in him and how he had had no interest in any of them. The boys were obviously surprised that he was quite a ‘bouncer’, but he insisted that he was not one to tolerate being pursued. His ego wouldn’t permit it.

He wasn’t too loud about this food issue, though. He didn’t really like having his waakye in a leaf, but with the way the others were heavily descending on George, he decided not to add his voice and come under the firing squad.

Staying silent as the others continued to push forth their case for the amazing nature of the delicacy in question, one guy sitting by the window announced loudly, “Ei, chale, the Paa Yaw nigga dey outside dey talk plus Robbie. Sensational!”

Perfect subject changer.

“Chale, the past week, he change oo,” one of the guys mentioned. “He shun the foolish life. Now he dey do boyz-boyz ankasa.”

“Chale, we dey thank God,” Elikem commented. “If he dey make peace plus Robbie diԑԑ, then ibi real thing. The way the guy mean am eh! Ibi like after Nana save am wey he see sense.”

Nana nodded. “Yeah. Last week, I go sweep the compound, he come join me, help me, then tell me stories. The near-death experience show am some things, chale.”

“Why, he tell you some things?” one of the boys asked.

“Nah, but… he mention something about how life be full of regrets and things. The way he talk am too, chale, ibi like he do plenty of things wey the near-death experience slap am proper make he see sense. I still dey wonder what he dey talk about.”

“Sometimes, he fire some ladies bi,” Elikem said, shrugging.

George nodded. “Eno nso wᴐ hᴐ.”

“Nana Po!” the voice of one of the juniors rang out from the entrance of the dorm. The boys all looked in the boy’s direction.

“Mr. Yeboah is calling you. He says your mother will be calling in a few minutes.”

***

“Nana, you don’t sound as excited as I thought you’d be,” Evelyn said, feeling slightly disappointed with his reaction to the news of Henry. He had always wondered when she would find someone, and he expected him to sound a little more ecstatic.

“Oh no, ma. I’m sorry. It’s just… there was some serious conversation bi we were having in the dorm that had me thinking deep, so my brain eyi is divided. But I’m very happy to hear this. So when am I meeting him?”

“Next week Saturday, God willing. He made it clear he wants to meet you proper. Start a connection now, you know?”

Nana smiled. “I’m more than ready for that. I’ll be expecting you two then. How is everyone at home, by the way?”

“Fine ooo. Your grandfather was down with malaria last week, but he’s fine now. And your uncle Ben is almost done with his Masters. Hopefully, you should be around for the graduation.”

“Wonderful! Wonderful kraaa!”

“Yep. Well, I just wanted to let you know we’ll be coming, so make sure you give your housemaster the list of provisions you need by Wednesday so I can take care of those things. Continue to study hard and be a good boy, okay?”

“Yes, ma.”

“Alright, then. Love you, sweetheart.”

“Love you too, mum.”

***

“… and now that I’ve had time to think about it, it’s really hit hard how wrong I was with Mariam. I mean, we’re related. But all that mattered to me was her body. As to how I managed to convince her to sleep with me, I should be honest, I now don’t know. But… I wish I hadn’t had sex with her. I tried calling her during the week, and she refused to answer my calls. Whatsapp messages all on blue ticks. I’m still hoping she’ll accept it soon.”

It was evening, and after choosing to swerve entertainment night, Nana was at the back of Mr. Yeboah’s house with Paa Yaw, who was feeling the need to be very vulnerable and was opening up about many of his discrepancies.

Even though he initially felt uncomfortable, Nana started to relax as time went on. Way more better than the movie being shown at the entertainment hall, as far as he was concerned. And seeing some of the pictures, he could see why Paa Yaw fell so hard, especially in the just-mentioned case of his cousin, even though he didn’t approve.

“Mmmm,” he murmured, not knowing what to say at that point. “Now I understand why you mentioned that regret issue.”

Paa Yaw shook his head. “All I’ve said honestly pales in comparison to one major thing I’ve done.”

Nana looked at him in surprise. “Seriously? These things are serious issues oo!”

Paa Yaw nodded sadly. “Yes. Yes, I know. But there’s one thing I did many years back. A really foolish act, that in all honesty has been chasing me for a long time. Probably what has pushed me to constantly drown myself in alcohol and sex, which of course, has hardly worked. It’s the reason I haven’t set foot in Accra for a very long time, and…”

He shook his head and placed a hand over his face, clearly overwhelmed by the regret he was feeling.

Feeling awkward at this point, Nana hesitantly patted him on the back. “Ummmm,” he started, clearly unsure of what to say, “you can take it easy. You don’t need to bring it out now if you don’t want to.”

Paa Yaw shook his head. “No, I’ve kept it to myself for years now, and I think it’s time to let it out.”

Nana sat back, curious to know what it was that could be worse than hammering his own cousin.

“Nana, I’ve been a coward. And my cowardice is most likely that which has caused me so many problems. I’m waiting till my financial position is better, then I’ll do my possible best to rectify it as much as I can.

“You see, there was a time I found a lovely young lady, and I wanted her so bad. I got her. Right where I wanted her. Moaning in my car. Yeah, I had a car back then. Not long after that, she got back to me with some news.”

“She was pregnant?” Nana asked.

Paa Yaw nodded.

“I wasn’t happy about it, because all I wanted was the fun. So I told her to get an abortion. It caused so many fights between us. And one day, after one of those arguments, I decided that was it. I packed some stuff. And… I ran away.”

Nana was motionless at that point, as Paa Yaw wiped the tears from his eyes.

“I ran away. From my child.”

Well, we all knew at some point that Paa Yaw was Chris, and it’s out! What’s gonna happen next? The next episode will definitely let us know!

Categories
Long Journey

Long Journey 6 – Regrets & Forgiveness

“So how is your boy doing?” Henry asked as he took a sip of his Orijin Zero. Six-thirty on a Friday, and he and his new lady, Evelyn, were having a relaxing time at the Pizza Inn section of the Airport Shell, just catching up on how busy a week it had been for them both. The relationship was slowly but surely gaining momentum, and they were loving each other’s presence.

“Oh, he’s good. Spoke to him last week. The usual things you guys go through in boarding school and all, but he’s doing just fine,” Evelyn replied. “I’ll be going to visit him next week, hopefully.”

Henry stroked his chin as she mentioned that last part. “Interesting. I see.”

Evelyn raised an eyebrow. “Something you want to say?”

Rubbing his chin now, he started. “Weeelllll… I’ve seen him just once, and that was a brief one. You know, when I waved at you guys in traffic a few months ago. And I guess it would be a great idea to meet him and get a little acquainted with him, you know, now that I’m in a relationship with his mother and all…”

He trailed off, giggling as he noted the look on Evelyn’s face. She was clearly bored by the attempt to explain himself. Her next words proved it.

“Blԑda, you dey explain too much. Just say that you want to come with me kԑkԑ.”

Henry, still having a grin on his face, nodded. “Yes, darling. I want to come along to see Nana Opoku.”

“Ah! This simple thing and you were now doing some plenty explanations bi. Do I look like a physics lecturer to you?”

The question made him burst out in laughter, as he shook his head. “Ei, Evelyn! Wo nono!”

She also shook her head, laughing along with him.

As the waitress assigned to them brought the pizza they had ordered, he then asked, “So, I know it’s a little sensitive to ask about this, but…” he waited till the waitress was out of reach, then continued. “His father has never even bothered to get back in touch with you? Nothing at all?”

A wistful smile came on her face. “My brothers asked me the same question a few days ago. Henry, trust me, from the day I made it clear I wouldn’t abort Nana, he ran away. He told me he’ll see me the next day after I rejected the abortion money, and that was it. No phone call, no text, nothing. He threw his chip away. Got rid of any means by which I’ll contact him, and left.”

Stroking his chin, Henry said, “But chale, Evelyn, you should’ve taken the money ooo.”

She shot him an evil look. “Abrantie, don’t angry me this evening.”

Henry snickered for a moment, then put on a serious expression. “But on a serious note, that’s horrible. I can’t imagine the pain you’ve been through.”

“Oh, it’s been a painful process, but I thank God my family stood by me. They didn’t throw me under the bus and put me to shame like some families in this country. Helped me get through it, and now I’m fine. I’m not labelled a walking disgrace, I have an amazing young man as my son, and… you.”

Henry smiled at that last word. “I’m honoured at that, love. And I’m happy you’ve moved on and not held down by the past. It’s never easy to let go of such things, especially when the person never really apologizes. But forgiving is such a reliever.”

Taking a bite of her first slice, she raised an eyebrow at him.

“Forgive? Huh. What’s the use of forgiveness to a dead man?”

***

Paa Yaw sat at the side of his bed, his head in his hands.

The past few days had been quite an eye-opening experience. The reality of his near-death experience was starting to hit him hard with each passing day. Suddenly, all the frivolities he had been immersing himself in were beginning to look just like that: frivolities.

The girl whose number he had gotten on the day he nearly died had called the previous night, and now his plans of stripping off her clothes and banging her seemed slightly less appealing than it had at the point he got the number. He didn’t totally brush her off, but told her he’d get back to her later.

Now Alfred’s complaints were really beginning to sink in. Last night, he had wondered to himself, So if I had been dead by now, I’d be remembered as just some aimless fool? That I did nothing better with my life, but just sticking it in all the ladies I sweet-talked?

As he arose from his bed, he felt there was the need to make a change of some sort. But he didn’t know where to start from.

Grabbing a bucket and heading out the back door to fetch water as always, he stopped at the door as he heard the sound of sweeping.

That Nana Opoku… or Oware… I’m not too sure… he’s around!

He felt that same tinge of silliness he had felt back in the hospital when Araba told him he was the one who saved his life. Knowing he’d see the young man face to face in the next couple of seconds made him feel even sillier for behaving so foolishly the first time he had seen him.

For a moment, he felt hesitant to step out. But then, he shook it off and opened the door.

Nana was sweeping as usual. He looked up, gave a passive hand raise as a greeting and continued to sweep.

Paa Yaw took in a deep breath, exhaled and walked over to the young man. “Boss man,” he said in a friendly tone.

Nana looked up in surprise.

“Is there any way I can help out with your work this morning?”

“Uh… yes, please.”

“Alright, let me put my bucket down at the Polytank, then I’ll come and help out however I can.

***

Nana’s jaw dropped as Paa Yaw told him the story of his days. “Seriously? Wooden plank paaa? Herh!”

“Inobi joke oo! Inobi joke kraaa!” Paa Yaw responded. “I messed up by laughing. Those days, if you laugh by heart, they’ll not spare you. The guy heard me naaa, he said, ‘hey, why you dey laugh?’ I regretted eh. Goro with wooden plank! My whole life changed!”

“Yehowa!” Nana exclaimed, his hands on his head. “Even with the hand kraaa, goro is painful. Ei, then you’ve experienced crazy things paaa!”

“Oh yeah, chale. Those days when SHS was SSS. We went through hell. Seniors tormenting us like nobody’s business. It was extra painful leaving home to come to school, because you know they’ll torture you. As for your time, things are smoother. It’s easier to let the authorities be aware and for them to take swift action.”

Nana nodded.

“By the way, I’m sorry for acting like a bush man the first time we met. I owe quite a number of apologies. I shouldn’t have behaved like that. Not proper for a grown man like me.”

It had been an hour of work and conversation, and each minute brought more surprise to Nana.

He nodded and said, “Apology accepted.” He wondered if Robbie would willingly accept, though.

“Great. You know, life is full of regrets for some of us. It’s good if we can deal with some of them whenever we can… ei, time dey go. I have to go bath and get some stuff done in town.

Well, it was good getting to know you properly. I’ll see you later.” He patted Nana on the back and walked over to the Polytank, taking his full bucket, which had been sitting there for an hour, and moving into the house.

Nana shook his head, still not fully out of his state of disbelief. He’s actually a really nice man. Well, thank God he’s now doing boyz-boyz. That be what we dey hia. Elikem will definitely hear of this!

That statement about regrets, though…hmmm… sounds slightly deeper than just the trash talk…

Sooo, Evelyn seems to have NOT forgiven Chris. And now a cordial relationship seems to be forming… and wait. Ain’t it possible there might be an unpleasant reunion in the works? Well, stick around and let’s see!!!

Categories
Long Journey

Long Journey 5 – A Brush With Death

So last time round, Paa Yaw had a sudden attack and passed out on the floor. Is he gonna die or nah? Let’s find out!

Nana Opoku whistled to himself as he walked towards Mr. Yeboah’s house. The housemaster had earlier instructed him to take some items from one of the other housemasters and take it to the house as soon as possible, during the prep period.

An intermission he was pretty grateful for, considering how tough the elective maths questions he was trying to answer were turning out to be. Even though Elikem was doing his best to help out, it was still proving quite difficult, so the break was well appreciated.

As the crickets were in full voice all around, with not a soul around the house, he walked leisurely, fully intending to take his time. His whistling came to an abrupt end, however, as he noticed the lights in the house.

Looked like the unfriendly guy was at home.

He let out a loud groan of exasperation. “How did I forget that there was a possibility I’d see that stupid bastard again? For all you know, he’s going to tell me some serious trash bi just to increase my heart rate.”

Standing there for a few seconds, with the items in hand, he sighed. “Ah well, if he tells me trash this time round, I’ll give it to him.”

Filled with a sense of confidence, he marched up to the front door and knocked hard.

No response.

He knocked again.

Still no response.

He shook his head. “Must be asleep or something… wait, he’s not locked the door? Ei!”

Opening the door, he came to meet a very unpleasant sight.

There lay Paa Yaw on the floor, clearly unconscious, in a pool of vomit.

In spite of the nasty pile before him, he rushed over to the unconscious man, turning him over. Things were not looking good at all. He quickly grabbed his hand and held his wrist to check for a pulse.

It was faint, and quite irregular, but it was still there.

Heart pounding, he said to himself, “Oh, thank God he’s still alive! Now I need help. There has to be someone around who can help me get him to the hospital ASAP.”

Straightening the unresponsive body on the floor, whilst grimacing at the puke on the floor, he moved out quickly, running to the nearest house. Knocking loudly on the door, he was gasping as the lady of the house opened the door, seemingly startled at the loudness of his knocking. “Madam, good evening. Sorry to disturb you, but there’s a problem at Mr. Yeboah’s house. There’s a man who needs to be taken to the hospital as soon as possible.”

***

“Alcohol poisoning??” Araba said in disbelief.

Alfred nodded. “He took too much alcohol, and with it being on an empty stomach, it worsened the situation. He’s currently in a pretty critical situation at the moment. Hopefully, he should be out of danger soon.”

“Oh, Ewurade Nyankupon,” she lamented silently. “Why? Why won’t this man get his life in order? Now he wants to kill himself?”

“Hmmm, I don’t know what to say now, Araba. I don’t know what to say. I’ve complained enough. Besides, what matters now is that he makes it out, and is safe from any kind of danger.”

***

By the time the boys were getting ready for lights out, the whole house had heard of what Nana had witnessed when he went to the house. Although Paa Yaw hadn’t really made any attempts at annoying any of the boys after the stern warning from the housemaster, quite a few of the boys were not so forgiving. Take the Robbie guy, for instance.

“Nana Po dey force oo. Ibi like the man no do am anything before. Like ibi me wey I see am for ground top, like some kicks paa he go receive,” the boy said out loud as he moved through the dorm, his voice displaying a bit of contempt for Nana’s ‘Good Samaritan’ actions.

“Ah, so like you go kill am for there?” one of the other boys asked.

“Hoh, I go finish am for there norr!” Robbie responded rather fiercely.

“Massa, you naa, you know sey you no go do. What Nana Po do be the right thing.”

“My guy, I no dey talk sey Nana Po no do the right thing ooo! I just dey talk sey like ibi me wey I go see am for there, like that be where I go show am sey he no go fit fool plus me. Idiot like him…”

As Robbie descended into another bout of savage profane attacks on the man, with those in his corner heatedly disagreeing with him, James, who slept at the top of the bunk bed he and Nana shared, came and jumped up onto his bed. Looking down at Nana, who was clearly oblivious to what was going on, he said, “Chale, Nana, forget Robbie. I never see nigga wey he dey like hold grudge so.”

Nana shook his head. “I no dey think about am sef. We all no dey like the guy, but in such a situation diԑԑ, help be necessary.”

“So you clean the place finish?”

“Yeah, chale. Nasty job paaa. The way the guy vomit put the floor…” he shuddered as he thought of how he had to clean up all that mess.

“Chale. Sudden sickness anaa?”

“No idea. I just catch there wey I see am for floor top. Passed out. Whatever the case be, I dey hope sey he go survive. I still no dey like am, but chale, human life be precious commodity. You no fit put your emotions first then do make somebody die.”

***

It was morning. Paa Yaw opened his eyes as he awoke from a rather uncomfortable sleep, riddled with weird dreams that he couldn’t understand or even fully remember.

He had regained consciousness the previous night, but had been too confused to really understand what was going on. Now as he lay there on the hospital bed, only one question went through his mind.

What happened to me?

He didn’t have to wait too long for the answer. Twenty minutes later, his cousin came into the ward with a basket, obviously filled with his breakfast.

“Good morning, Paa. I hope you’re feeling better this morning,” she said as she took the chair by the bed and sat.

“I’m feeling weird, but it’s not bad. But Sister Araba, I don’t fully recall what happened. How did I get here?” he asked.

Araba sighed. Shaking her head as she began to speak, Paa Yaw could already sense the “I’ve-given-up-on-you” vibe that had engulfed her and Alfred since that day the complaint by the boys was brought forth.

“You went drinking, didn’t you?”

He put his hand on his chin, as if to try and remember, then nodded. “Uh, yeah.”

“Well, that’s what happened. You drank too much alcohol. On an empty stomach. What happened to you was a case of alcohol poisoning. You know, that thing that killed Amy Winehouse? You nearly drank yourself to death. I should have unloaded my frustrations on you at this point, but… what’s the use? At least, you’re alive. I thank God for that, because I’m not ready for any funeral. I don’t need the spirit of premature death hovering around my home when it has no place there.”

It looked like she had more to say, but then decided not to. She got up and gave him the basket, and stated that Alfred would be coming to pick him later in the evening, when he was to be discharged.

As she moved to exit the room, she briefly turned to him.

“By the way, you should be thanking God that one of the boys happened to find you in time. Alfred asked him to take some items from one of the other housemasters and bring it home. From what the doctors said, had there been a delay, you probably would have brought a funeral to my doorstep. So if you pray, you can thank God for that.” She turned to leave.

“Wait!” Paa Yaw called. She turned to him. “Which boy was that?”

She eyed him in surprise. “Why would that be your concern? Don’t you enjoy being nasty to them?”

“Please, Sister Araba, I beg, I just want to know.”

“Fine. Nana Opoku. The boy who sweeps the compound. He found you passed out cold and managed to get Mrs. Gyampoh to bring you over here. So you can thank God for his life. I’ll see you later in the evening.” She left.

The boy who sweeps the compound…

The memory came back to him. That early morning he saw the young man busily sweeping. The crude and uncouth manner in which he asked him those unnecessary questions. The truth is, Paa Yaw just found pleasure in being a jerk to others at times. He just liked being rude sometimes. The reality that this victim of his, however, had helped him when he needed it the most, cut him deep as he thought about it.

That young man saved my life…

Hmmm… you think there might be a change of heart in there somewhere? Well, let’s find out in the next episode!

Categories
Long Journey

Long Journey 4 – Mr Hostile

So in the last episode, it looks like we had an unexpected reunion, which didn’t go down too well. Paa Yaw certainly isn’t a friendly guy, is he? What happens next? Let’s find out…

“Chale, I hear Robbie just a few moments ago, sey that guy for the house show am some stupid attitude bi. I no know what dey wrong am,” Elikem said as he took a seat on Nana’s bed.

Polishing his shoes, Nana shook his head. “He be some unreasonable idiot. Like one week this, I still no dey understand the reason he tell me that trash.”

Clearly, Paa Yaw was proving to fast become unpopular with the students. For reasons best known to him, instead of forming a camaraderie with them, he took the opportunity to be as savage as possible to the few he encountered.

The Robbie guy burst into the dormitory, still in a fit of anger at the nasty way he had been treated. He was quite a feisty character, and a hot-headed boy, so it had gotten to him pretty hard, and the words tumbling from his mouth were anything but friendly. As to how his encounter with Paa Yaw did not denigrate into a fight was a wonder.

As he loudly ranted about how the offender was a pathetic piece of garbage – which of course was put in a more profane manner – his mates came around to calm him down, as the assistant house prefect stepped in to assure him that he’d speak to the housemaster concerning the issue.

“You, you just come from nowhere. Sometimes, some good-for-nothing village bi. You get privilege come dey nice house wey you dey fool your body!” Robbie barked one last time before taking heed to the numerous pleas to calm down.

Elikem shook his head. “I dey hope sey Gordon dey go see Mr. Yeboah right now, coz this nonsense be too much.”

“Ashock,” Nana agreed. “Boys school wey you for do boys-boys make we all get along, you dey do bitchy things. Them for talk to am.”

***

“Paa Yaw,” Alfred started slowly as the two of them and Araba sat at the table, having just finished their dinner. “I received a complaint this afternoon, and I’m not happy about it.”

Leaning back in his chair, Paa Yaw looked at him, that ‘I-couldn’t-care-less’ expression so obviously chiseled all over his face. “What crime have I committed this time?”

Alfred sighed. “Paa Yaw, I’ve received complaints that you act nastily to the boys whenever you encounter any of them. That you’re acting unfriendly and hostile towards them. Just this afternoon, I heard you were so horrible to one of the final year boys, and almost provoked him to attack you. Paa Yaw, what is the meaning of that?”

“Alfred, Alfred, Alfred, hol’ it!” Paa Yaw interjected. “It’s tough love, that’s all. I don’t need to be all cuddly and sweet and flowery with them. We’re men, for crying out loud. They have it so freaking easy these days…” He shook his head, as if he had no idea what again to say.

“So your idea of showing them love is to be as nasty as possible from the onset without even building any sort of connection? Paa Yaw, I’m not a man, but I don’t think trash talk and contemptuous remarks are the way to start,” Araba said, looking at him disapprovingly.

“In any case, the whole ‘being nasty’ thing is always done in a joking manner, and considering all that I’ve heard, it doesn’t sound like you were merely pulling their legs. Sounds like you just wanted to be nasty towards them for the sake of it,” Alfred added.

Paa Yaw shook his head again. “Pandering to all the whining of these softies,” he muttered. “Hoh, aren’t there more pressing issues to think about?”

“I am the housemaster, and I have an obligation to all those boys,” Alfred interrupted, his voice clearly rising. “And if your attitude is causing problems to them, I have every right to listen to their complaints and do something about it once I know it’s a real issue. And it is, because you have no reason whatsoever to be doing what you’re doing. And you have the nerve to sit here and try and justify your foolishness with tough love claims?! Really?”

Paa Yaw kept quiet. This was one of those moments when Alfred got aggressive, and he couldn’t really go head to head with him.

“What kraaa is wrong with you? Every single time you get a chance to make something of your life, you blow it with some infantile rubbish. From disrespecting superiors at work to sleeping with younger girls. And the worst part is, you never have any problem with those actions. It’s always ‘oh, the boss was annoying’, ‘oh, she was too sexy to resist’. Every time, you have an excuse! And you don’t want to buckle down and get your life in order. What is wrong with you???!!!”

Silence after that.

Alfred shook his head. “You know what? Do whatever you want with your life. You’re old enough at this point to know what you want. If it’s just gallivanting about and doing nothing fruitful that makes you happy, that’s up to you. It’s between you and God. As for me, I’ve spent more than a decade telling you to get yourself together; me and Araba. But it’s clear we’re wasting time.”

As he arose from the table, he continued. “So it’s simple. We’re keeping you here till you get a job, and get yourself a place to stay. Whatever happens afterwards is not our business. Just one thing: leave my boys alone. If I hear one more complaint about you being a jerk to them, you’ll have to find another place to stay.”

Paa Yaw’s eyes widened. He started to blurt out, “Wait, so you’re willing to…”

A raised index finger, pointing at him, cut him short. “One more complaint from them, and you’re out of this house. I allowed you here to get yourself together, not to become a school bully.”

Alfred walked off. His wife followed him, shaking her head as she passed by Paa Yaw.

***

Friday evening. It was 7:25 pm. The Yeboahs had gone out, and prep was in session, so the atmosphere was quiet.

Paa Yaw stood at the front door, feeling satisfied as the click indicating the completion of the unlocking process was heard loud and clear. He barged in, swaying slightly as he made his way to the kitchen.

It had been an evening where he had been his vintage self. Downing quite a number of bottles of Stone Strong Lager after managing to get the number of a young lady he had already hammered in his mind, he was in quite an inebriated mood as he moved through the house, totally unconcerned about anything else. The only thing worth thinking about at that point in time was how he was going to ensure he’d be taking off that woman’s clothes before the end of the next week. She seems easy enough, shouldn’t be a problem at all!!

Obviously, he was taking Alfred’s words in all their stride. Never mind the fact that the two job applications he had made were not successful.

As he opened the fridge, eyes glazed as he looked for something to fill his stomach with, he suddenly felt a sharp jolt of discomfort. A sudden wave of nausea had fallen over him.

He tried rushing out to the bathroom, but in passing through the living room, he was already in quite a stupor, unsure of his movements. An attempt to run had him crashing into a nearby table with some of Alfred’s books. As he and the books went tumbling down, his senses became even blurrier.

Then he let loose all over the floor.

A nasty sight to behold.

Gasping for breath, he tried to get back up, but he was definitely in a poor coordination mode.

Head dropping back to the floor, another sharp jolt struck his gradually weak body, and he let out another disgusting stream to complement the first one.

Crap! I knew I should have eaten before going to the bar…, he thought in his mind as he started to lose consciousness.

Uh-oh, doesn’t look good for our guy. That booze session ending up in a rather nasty way. What’s going to happen to him? Y’all think he’s gonna die or something? Well… the next episode will tell! Stay tuned!

Categories
Long Journey

Long Journey 3 – Stupid Buffoon

The story continues! By now, I’m sure most of you have barbed the connection, so less talk. Let’s see what occurs next…

Saturday morning had the boys in Nana Opoku’s house in a lively mood. Right after morning devotion, one of the seniors had told his mates about a recent news item involving a new mother’s plea for help, as she had recently given birth to triplets, and upon hearing the news, her husband had run away. Now the dormitories were buzzing with intense discussion.

“He be stupid idiot!” one boy said furiously. “Ah, how you fit lef your wife at such a time?”

“Ibi shocking kraaa, Aramis,” the boy sitting next to him on the bed agreed. “He never force. If money no dey, e never be excuse sey you for lef am just like that. Ibi like he lef the hospital naa wey he boot lef them. Ibi serious bitch move he do.”

“Chale, you never know oo. It probably wasn’t what he bargained for,” one other guy across the two put in, shrugging.

The two immediately turned on him. “Ah, but Lexi too, what you dey talk?” Aramis snapped. “You eat the tin finish, now you dey come do bargain for the what and for the where? Why, the woman get power choose the number of kiddies e go dey the stomach inside? Ah, nigga wei paa! Make you no dey talk that thing!”

As the heat in that debate started to escalate, Nana Opoku and his close friend Elikem moved out of the dorm to get to their work places. For Elikem, that was the main compound of the house, and for Nana, the housemaster’s bungalow.

“Chale, that thing the guys dey talk about diԑԑ, ibi yawa paa. The guy be some serious coward,” Elikem commented as they descended the stairs.

“Hmmm, yeah,” Nana agreed. “If the guy no return, e go affect the kiddies… I dey hope sey he go return. Those babies no dey deserve such heartlessness. They deserve a father who will actually stick around and raise them and not place his selfish desires over their needs.”

Elikem stopped. He could sense a tint of bitterness in Nana’s voice with that last statement. Having known him for the past one year – their friendship beginning the moment they met on the first day of their schooling journey here – he knew that sensitive aspect of Nana’s life that most boys didn’t. He knew that there were times Nana still felt anger towards his father for walking out on him, and that the mask he often put up was nothing but that: a mask.

As he stared at his friend, who now had a pretty stony expression on his face, he knew there was nothing he could really say. The second of four children, he had a more fortunate background, as his father was the caring and responsible type.

“Chale,” he mumbled, putting his hand on Nana’s shoulder.

That touch had Nana snapping out of what seemed to be a bitter reverie. He shook his head. “Eli, sorry, chale. My mind just go some place. These kiddies dema case be bad pass my own, though. I mean, inobi sey some fling bi wey the guy boot. Marriage ankasa, wey the man dey run.”

“Yeah. The guy be jon pass,” Elikem agreed. “This trash attitude sey niggas go eat chics preg them, then boot never dey help. That cowardly mindset for change.”

***

“Wow, that’s wonderful! I’m excited for you!” Ben said gleefully as he and Joseph embraced their big sister upon hearing the news of her finally getting involved with a man.

Ever since Chris had impregnated her and ran away, she had absolutely sworn off relationships, choosing to focus all that attention on her son. The pain had been too much to bear, and so she chose the single-for-life route. It wasn’t long, however, until she felt that that was not the path for her. Other ladies may have been successful with that, but she wanted a relationship. So ever since Nana entered his teens, she had been hoping to find a good man. Unfortunately, many of those who would have been interested seemed put off by the knowledge of her being a single mother.

This new guy, however, was the answer to her prayers. Henry Fosuhene, a top official at one of the leading banks in the country, had noticed Evelyn a few months ago, and being a single man for such a long time, he made his move. Clearly unperturbed by the knowledge of Nana, after about four months of constant communication, he made it clear what he wanted. The charming, God-fearing man he was, she gleefully accepted.

“Thanks, guys,” she said as they let her go. “Henry’s a wonderful guy. These past few months have been great, getting to know him better. We’ve got a pretty amazing connection. I’m sure nothing but goodness will come out of this.”

“Definitely, definitely. We pray so,” Joseph said, nodding as he and Ben took their seats.

“Indeed. Now I’m well over the whole Chris episode,” she said with an air of triumph as the two nodded in agreement.

“So that fool never even bothered to find out what happened with you?” Ben asked, more rhetorically than anything else.

As expected, Evelyn shook her head. “Nothing oo, Ben. Nothing. Kyԑrԑsԑ, once I refused to abort Nana, that was it. He decided to go his own way and never have anything to do with me.”

Ben sighed as he shook his head. “As for some guys, you just don’t understand them. Selfishness in warm flesh. As long as they get their desires, whatever follows is not their business or their concern. Makes me sick to the stomach just thinking about it.”

“Ben, don’t stress yourself about it,” Evelyn assured him. “I’m over it now. He hurt me really bad, but at the end of the day, it’s his loss. If he wants to go and sleep with all the girls wherever he is, that’s not my problem. Chris is dead to me. Six feet down the dirt. Dead.”

***

As Paa Yaw took a bucket from the bathroom, ready to go and fetch water from the Polytank outside, he thought back to his recent escapades. All those secret sessions with the Mariam girl. He smiled for a brief second as the thoughts brought him a few pleasuring tingles, but they instantly died out as he remembered what his in-law had mentioned last night.

Shaking his head as he remembered how much time he had wasted, he remembered something brief from his past…

I have my whole life ahead of me, and the last thing I need at this stage is fatherhood.

“Uh, I didn’t need to remember that,” he snapped to himself. “That aspect of my life is over. That’s why I’ve never returned to Accra since, and I don’t want to. No need to remember that girl and all the trouble that came with her. All I need now is to get a good job and make sure I keep it. And try to avoid the small girls… hehe, Lord knows that’ll be a problem,” smirking to himself as he moved towards the back door.

Stepping outside, he saw a young man in the school lacoste and brown shorts, busily sweeping. His first guess was that this boy must be working for the house as part of his duties.

“Hey!” he called out in a harsh, unfriendly voice.

The young man looked up from his position, looking straight at him.

“Who are you?” Paa Yaw asked, still in an unfriendly tone of voice.

The boy looked puzzled, obviously aware that this must be some new guy in the house. He then responded, “I’m Nana Opoku Addo.”

Giving him a painfully disdainful look, Paa Yaw moved a few steps forward, then asked, “Where do you come from?”

“My hometown or where I stay during vacation?”

Paa Yaw immediately wanted to say something nasty, but knew he’d make himself look stupid if he did, so he rephrased the question. “Where do you stay?”

“Accra.”

The look on his face turned to scornful. “Why, ibi the whole Accra you dey stay for?”

“Dansoman in Accra.”

“Ah, why, you dey own all the houses for Dansoman or something?”

“I live around Exhibition, near the Ecobank side,” Nana responded, starting to sound irritated by the unnecessary and weak sarcasm being portrayed.

Paa Yaw gave him an up-and-down look, which was punctuated with a loud ‘Mtcchheewwww’. He walked on to the Polytank without another word to fetch his water, too busy on his little mission to hear what Nana, in annoyance, said.

“Stupid buffoon.”

Well, that certainly wasn’t a pleasant first meeting. I wonder what’s going to happen in the next couple of episodes. Only one way to find out… stay tuned!

Categories
Long Journey

Long Journey 2 – Devil-May-Care

“Yeah, that’s what Maame told me. Hopefully, the courts will spare her since she did her best to get a qualified midwife before going ahead to attempt the duties herself. If not, she’d probably be held liable or something like that. You know Maame already; the girl doesn’t joke with her legal things,” Mr. Alfred Yeboah said to Evelyn.

“Not at all,” she agreed. “Well, it’s time for me to get back to Accra. Great meeting you again. I’ll definitely be keeping in touch to know how Nana is doing.”

“Sure. He had a good first year. No problems, no issues. Just the occasional bullying complaints here and there which I took care of swiftly. Some boys tend to misbehave when they get some seniority, but I’m keenly keeping my eyes on him. Nothing to worry about.”

“I trust you, Mr. Yeboah.” She smiled as she rose from her seat and walked to the front door.

“Greetings to Maame and her husband. And tell her to relax with all of the ‘I put it to you’ things.”

“Haha! I surely will. Goodbye and safe journey, Evelyn!”

“Goodbye, Mr. Yeboah!”

As she walked from the bungalow of her son’s housemaster to the car, she waved to one of the boys standing around the nearby building, asking him to call her boy.

The boy quickly moved to one open door and yelled, “Hey, Nana Po! Your momi dey search you!”

Half a minute later, and he emerged.

Nana Opoku Addo.

A sixteen year old boy of average height, with a pretty muscular frame. With piercing eyes and a round jawline, he was quite a unique kind of young man. He tended to look a lot like his mother, and he also had her strong-willed demeanour, which sometimes made for a couple of unpleasant clashes between the two. Those were far and few in between, however. The bond between Evelyn and her son was one of a kind; there was practically nothing the two kept from each other.

Well, except the full story behind the issue of his fatherlessness.

All Nana knew was that his father had bailed out on them long before he was born, and wanted nothing to do with them. His mother didn’t deem it worthwhile letting him know anything beyond that fact. Besides, her father and two brothers were enough father figures for the boy, she had always reasoned to herself. He had initially not liked the idea, but with time had warmed up to it, seemingly convinced by his mother’s firm assertion that the man who helped bring him into this world had zero intentions of seeing him.

Now a second year student at St. Mary’s Boys SHS, Nana seemed quite satisfied with the state of affairs. Fully supported by his grandfather and Uncles Henry and Ben, he had a lot to be happy about. And as his mother had entrusted him into the hands of his housemaster, who had him work at his home, life was good.

“Nana, it’s time for me to go,” Evelyn started. “Now remember, use your money wisely, and this term, make sure you do better with the Elective Maths. I know it’s difficult, but some extra effort will definitely help.”

“Yes ma. I’ll get some help from Elikem this time round.”

“Good. So your money is with Mr. Yeboah. You already know what to do. Let me leave you to join your boys. God bless, sweetie! Love you!” Evelyn said, punctuating her last statement with a kiss on the forehead. As she entered the passenger seat, the driver waved at him. “Have a good term, Nana!”

“Thank you!” Nana responded, giving a quick wave before turning to rush back to the room he had come from.

The car sped off.

***

Mr. Yeboah sat in the couch, watching the evening news as his wife completed her mission in the kitchen to make banku with okro stew the way only she knew how to.

“Hmm. These politicians and their blame games,” he murmured to himself as he watched the guest speakers begin the kind of squabble that was nothing strange to any Ghanaian.

“Are they arguing over those unused state vehicles?” his wife asked as she came out of the kitchen with the bowl of food in her hand.

“Hm, Araba. The usual oo. One party trying to pin the blame on the other. The way issues are politicized here diԑԑ…”

“It’s annoying. This issue too, what use is there trying to paint the other party black? It’s already happened. The cars are wasting away. They should just look to get the government to recoup the money wasted. That’s the problem with politics in this nation. No time for solving problems, but all the time in the world for pointing fingers at the source.”

“As well as making fancy promises that are never kept,” he added as he joined Araba at the table. Just then, there was a knock at the door.

The two looked at each other. “He’s in,” said Alfred.

***

“You were sleeping with Mariam?!” Araba exclaimed incredulously. “Paa Yaw, what the hell is wrong with you? She’s a cousin, for God’s sake! Distant, maybe, but she’s still a cousin! And she’s about 26. You’re 41! What the hell were you thinking?”

Paa Yaw, seemingly doing his best to be oblivious to his cousin’s outburst, shrugged nonchalantly. Since he left Juaben to arrive in Apowa, he knew that was the reaction that would come from her. “I’m sorry, Araba. I know it was wrong. But… it was just too hard to resist. I would’ve said it was the devil that made me do it, but… with that body of hers, no red, horned creature needed to push me…”

“Abrantie, don’t make me come and slap some sense into that stupid coconut of yours!” Araba snapped, already springing to her feet. She certainly didn’t need a high IQ to know that there was absolutely no remorse whatsoever in him, and was ready to deliver a few dirty ones to his face.

“Sweetheart, easy,” Alfred pleaded, rising up to calm his wife. He glared at Paa Yaw as he managed to get them back on the couch. “Paa Yaw, this is a serious issue. This ‘I-don-care’ attitude is not helpful. Doesn’t the fact that you were kicked out once it was discovered mean anything to you? Don’t you care?”

Paa Yaw stayed silent.

“For as long as I’ve known you, it’s been nothing but trouble wherever you go. Problems with keeping a job. Problems with women. Problems with money. Why? What’s wrong with you? Is this the life you want? I remember a few years ago, you were saying you have a whole lot to do with your life. Is this the ‘whole lot’ you were talking about? Moving around the country aimlessly whilst satisfying every flimsy urge of yours? You’re in your 40s, Paa Yaw! Those days of fooling around ended a long time ago!”

Paa Yaw had his head down.

“Listen,” Araba said after a few moments of silence. “You’re here now. In spite of your foolishness, we’ve opened our home to you. What we need from you now is to get yourself together and put your life in order. At least, get a proper job and actually keep it.”

“That’s why I’m here, Araba,” Paa Yaw responded. “Hopefully, I can get something good. I’d like to rest in my room now, if you don’t mind.”

“Fine. You can go.”

He jumped up and quickly went to his room.

Alfred shook his head. “This guy…”

“I just don’t know what to do with him anymore,” Araba complained, her face in her palm as she shook her head. “I just don’t understand him.”

“I dunno, but… sometimes, it feels like he’s running from something. That’s the vibe I get about him sometimes. Like there’s something he has to face, but he continues to choose the flight option… ah well, I don’t know… let’s check CNN and see if Amanpour has started.”

Ooooooh… could it be that Paa Yaw is… hmmm, it could be. Is there a probable reunion in the works? And how is it going to be like? And ugh, isn’t he some nasty dude? All the answers will slowly be unraveled in the coming episodes. Stay tuned!

Categories
Long Journey

Long Journey 1 – The Last Fight

 A tale of adventure, drama, betrayal…

“Here’s the money I spoke about,” Chris said flatly, tossing the wad of cash onto the center table.

Evelyn eyed him evilly. “What are you talking about?”

“Look, I’m not in the mood for games right now. We already spoke about this. That’s about enough for you to go and get the abortion I’ve consistently ordered you to get.”

Evelyn shook her head. “Mr. Man, I have said it consistently: I will NOT get an abortion. I will not get rid of this child. I don’t care what you say, this child is not going anywhere.”

“Oh, will you stop this!” Chris shot back, the acrimony in the room already rising. This line of argument had been going on for weeks, without either party coming to any compromise of any sort. “I’m honestly getting sick and tired of all this nonsense. I don’t want that child. I don’t! I have my whole life ahead of me, and the last thing I need at this stage is fatherhood.”

Evelyn shook her head. “You’re so full of yourself. So selfish. After walking into my life and into my panties with all those false statements of love and all, you now have the audacity to say you have your life to live, after messing mine up…”

“Massa, massa, stop this emotional talk,” he responded dismissively. “I don’t know why you women attach so much emotion to your arguments. Hoh! How has your life been messed up? Didn’t you enjoy it when we made love in the car? Did I point a gun to your head and force you to scream and call me daddy as things got heated? Please, please, please, spare me that sentimental trash. It’s just a foetus. You can have another one in the future.”

“Excuse me, Mr. Man, this foetus you’re talking about is my child, and your child, and our child,” Evelyn retorted, springing to her feet. “I’m no happier about this announcement than you are, but as long as this child is in my womb, I’m having him. I’m not risking a lifetime of guilt for your silly desires. And for your information, this is not some object I can throw away just like that. Have some respect. This is human life inside me.”

Chris sighed. This was getting tiring. “What’s the big deal about an abortion? I know it’s not exactly the smoothest of medical procedures, but… there are so many chics like you walking about who have had abortions before. And they’re as happy as can be. So I really don’t get your beef with this.”

“Christopher Yaw Ennin Abbey, read my lips,” Evelyn said slowly and gravely, looking him in the eyeball. “I do not give a coin’s toss about which girl has done it and whether she feels good about it or not. I do not care what excuse or justification you have up your sleeve. I will not abort this child. I will not take that money and do with it what you want me to. I will not let you have your way with me a second time, since this is the result of you having your way with me the first time. I. Will. Not. Do. It. Period.”

The two, who were once caught up in an intense whirlwind of passion, now stood face-to-face, boiling with animosity for each other.

Chris, after a few lip twitches, finally nodded, the look on his face seemingly that of a person who had given up. He moved to the center table and picked up the money.

“Ok. Alright. I hear you. No problem. I’ll see you tomorrow,” he said bluntly as he turned and walked out the door.

***

The next morning, as Evelyn rose from her bed, she remembered that statement as she went on her knees. Among her many prayers, the most prominent of which was the daily plea for forgiveness for letting Chris break her virginity, included a request to make Chris susceptible to actually being a father.

Immediately she was done, she sprung to her feet and grabbed her phone which lay by the bedside. Searching for Chris’ number, she pressed the call button as soon as she found it.

“Sorry, the number you are dialing is switched off,” the automated voice informed her.

She looked strangely at the screen. Switched off? Ei, what’s happening?…… ok, calm down. His battery is probably dead, she reasoned to herself as she placed the phone back down. In the course of their arguments, Chris would always walk out in a fit of rage, never really interested in contacting her for a long time. The way he had promised he’d see her that day, though, was interesting. Despite the flat tone he had said it in.

Who knows? Maybe my hardened stance against the abortion has shaken him up so bad, he knows he has to compromise. He’s so used to having his way with women and making them some uber-submissive doormats. Well, it’s definitely not happening with me!

She went about her regular duties, making up her mind to call again around 11 o’ clock. Hopefully, his phone would be on by then.

***

4 o’ clock in the afternoon, and the phone was still off.

Evelyn was now beginning to panic. Had he been involved in an accident or something?

She tried calling two of his closest friends. One also had his phone switched off. The other claimed he hadn’t seen Chris for almost a week.

Now she was really getting worried.

Let me go to his place and see what at all is happening. I don’t like what’s going on….

***

Walking through the Akweteyman neighborhood, she waved at the kenkey seller as she always did when she came to visit.  She knew that woman made her the subject of many gossip sessions with the ladies in her compound house, as Chris had mentioned some time ago, but that was the least of her concerns as she briskly made her way to his house.

Two houses away was a shop from where the residents bought their provisions. As Evelyn passed by the shop, she heard a little girl’s voice ring out, “Sister Evelyn!”

It was Adoley, the shopkeeper’s 9 year old daughter.

Evelyn smiled as she saw the cute girl move towards her, but upon seeing the look upon her face, which was one of concern, had her slightly more worried than she already was. Keeping the smile on her face, she asked, “Adoley, how are you?”

“I’m fine, thank you,” the young one replied.  “Please, are you coming for the rest of Bra Chris’ things?”

Terror gripped Evelyn as she heard that question. Oh my God! Eyes wide, she stuttered, “Err… N..n..no. Why? W-w-why do you ask? Accident? ”

Adoley scratched her head. “No. I heard him talking to Mummy this morning. It sounded like he’s traveling or something. And it sounded like he’s not coming back. So I thought you were coming for the rest of his things.”

Evelyn grew pale upon hearing that middle statement. Leaning forward with a nauseous look on her face, she whispered, “What?”

Just as Adoley worriedly asked what was wrong, her mother walked in. Seeing the sudden deathly expression on Evelyn’s face, she rushed over. “Evelyn!”

“Ma, is it true? Has Chris left?”

The mother looked surprised for a moment, then shook her head, hands on her waist. “I knew this boy was lying. He claimed you knew and that you were okay with it. I tried talking him out of it, because it’s just too out of the blue, but he was not going to listen. For whatever reason, he’s left Accra. And according to him, he’s not coming back.”

Evelyn could do nothing more than shake her head as she was helped by Adoley and her mother to a seat. “I can’t believe he did this to me,” she whispered tearfully. “I just can’t believe this…”

Well, that’s quite a start to this story. Wondering what’s gonna happen to Evelyn now that baby daddy has run away? Just stay tuned for the next episode!