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Of Voices And Vermin

Of Voices and Vermin #13

Wow! It’s been 6 weeks of following the story of Sidney (on Mondays) and Nii Ajei (on Fridays), and like many good things, it’s coming to an end.

Well, what more can I say than it’s been pretty awesome, and you the readers have also made it awesome!! Time to draw the curtain on this one. Let’s get into it…

The most beautiful Saturday of my life.

The day I stood at the altar, patiently waiting as Kwabena wiped my forehead with a white handkerchief and said a few silly things to keep my tension as low as possible.

The day the most beautiful girl in the world showed up at the chapel in a gorgeous white gown, looking radiant and awesome as she walked towards me. Kwabena whispered how he’d mock me relentlessly if I shed any tears. I didn’t, but even if I did, the last person to troll me would be him. The guy had tear streaks all over his face when Ewurabena made that walk down the aisle.

The day this exquisite, amazing queen and I exchanged vows to love, cherish, honour and respect one another for as long as we live.

The day we had an amazing kiss in front of all our people. Oh yeah, they were loving it. Not as much as we enjoyed it, though!

The day Bambi Darkwah became Mrs Bambi Darkwah Allotey.

It was a glorious and simple ceremony. As we sat at the high table as the reception was in progress, my heart swelled with joy as I squeezed Bambi’s hand gently and smiled at her. She giggled excitedly.

“Sidney, my king. My boo for life. This feels so surreal.”

“Feels the same for me, baby. But it’s happening. It’s official. You are mine, and I am yours.”

We smiled at each other, then watched as the MC made some announcements. As I observed one of my workmates heartily chatting with my superior, I heard Bambi make a remark.

“Seeing Nii makes me so happy.”

I nodded and turned to look in her direction. He was laughing his head off in a conversation with the other guys.

After that attack, and that visit, things have gotten so much better. His therapy sessions have yielded a lot of good. Ewurabena sounded so happy with his progress the last time we spoke about it. He’s no longer having those silent moods and his body language has improved. I guess having Maame Becky around really improved his healing process. It’s crazy how she showed up around that time. Wasn’t expected at all. But hey, God does things that blow our mind.

As for that vile vermin. Huh. His case is currently before the courts. I hear murder in Ghana attracts the death penalty. I know the judges will probably steer from delivering such a verdict, but if he got it, it is the least he deserves. But that’s not my concern for now.

Two of my colleagues from work passed by our table to give their personal congratulations. As they left, I saw Kwabena signalling at me to get ready. It was almost time for us to do the dance thingy.

“If Steel doesn’t know and he does that mistake he did yesterday eh, what we’ll do to him the next time we meet,” I said as I prepared to get up.

Bambi gave me a side eye. “Don’t do that, lah. Leave the guy in peace, na you guys like worrying him.”

“Why not?” I replied, giving a Kanye shrug. “He is our electric pole, after all.”

Bambi rolled her eyes. “You’re such a meanie.” Then she grinned slyly at me. “But you’re my meanie. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Zero to a hundred! I dey go zero to a hundred!”

“That’s our cue, baby girl!”

Giving her a quick kiss on the forehead, I got up and moved to the middle of the dance floor, joining the rest of the clique as we prepared ourselves for the chorus to begin. Nii was part of us as well, although he had never really been part of our practice thingys. He’s an okay dancer, though, so I was cool with it. Yeah, he’s fifty times better than Steel!! And besides, after all the heartache and trouble he had had to endure, the dude is fully entitled to let loose (to an extent) at his big bro’s wedding. I lie?

The beat dropped, and as the chorus began, all five of us did the Kupe dance. And boy, it was fun!!

Steel was doing pretty good, to our delight. Kwabena, Jesse and I were definitely flowing with the move. But Nii? The boy was so into it. Adding a little bit of footwork to it. The MC even gave a comment about how he was ‘meaning the thing’.

Then suddenly, at the end of the chorus, the DJ switched to Olamide’s ‘Science Student’.

Now things got really heated on the dance floor. And in this case, I’m referring to Nii. I had no idea he had mastered the Shaku Shaku until this song dropped. Like, whoa!!

His moves were so off the hook, the four of us just surrounded him and gave him accolades. When he hit us with Gwara-gwara moves, the whole room flipped out. Roars of approval all over as I joined him with the moves at the repeat of the chorus. It was not easy, but I held my own, and the Allotey boys definitely tore up the dance floor in style.

Laughing and hugging each other as we decided the moves were enough, I whispered in his ear and asked him, “Chale, how you kill the moves like that?”

He snickered and said, “Practice oo. Practice.”

I patted him on the back, smiled at him and walked back to the high table where my bride awaited me, her face glowing with excitement.

“Ei, na was that the Nii we know?” she gushed as I took my seat. “Chale, I have never seen him tear it up like that before!”

“Me too! Kwɛɛ! The boy just spoil there!!”

“You should’ve seen me all excited and stuff over here. Hahaha!!”

“Chale, that gwara-gwara move eh, as if the boy went to borrow some elastic distins for his leg. Chai!”

We laughed for a moment. As we grew silent, I murmured, “Come here, girl,” and pulled her closer by the waist. Before she could have a chance to giggle, as she usually does, I pressed my lips against hers.

After 10 seconds of a pretty passionate kiss, we parted. My hands remained around her neck. “I love you, Bambi,” I whispered. “I couldn’t be any happier than to know that this is it. We’re a team. You and me. For life.”

“I love you too, Sidney. And I’m also happy we’re here now. I can’t wait to begin this lifelong journey with you…”

*****

Laughing and hugging each other as we decided the moves were enough, Sidney whispered in my ear, asking, “Chale, how you kill the moves like that?”

I snickered and said, “Practice ooo. Practice.”

Giving me a smile and a pat on the back, he went back to join the new Mrs. Allotey as I went to briefly see my parents and Daisy, who were definitely all wondering how I managed to slay the dance floor. I laughed and told them the same thing I told Sidney.

“We thank God ooo,” my mother said. “It’s good to see you all bubbly and excited. After all the troubles. Indeed, weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”

I nodded. “After everything that happened, from the accident to prison to the attack, it’s been so crazy. But these past few months have been so much better.”

“Thank God the boy’s mother has forgiven you. That’s so much of a reliever as well,” my dad added.

“Oh yeah, it definitely is. Ei, I need to go and see her oo. I think she’s sitting with Ewurabena. Let me go and see her and come, please.”

As they permitted me to go, I walked over to the table where they were seated. A few guests seated were giving me fans as I passed by their tables, still clearly impressed by what I had done a few minutes ago. I gave them the peace sign and smiled as I did.

Arriving at the table, Ewurabena said, “Eeiii!! Mr. Jabba Wockeez! Please, you do all!”

I grinned. “Thank you, my radically different looking therapist.”

She gave me a dirty look. “Abrantie! Don’t make me revoke your godfather privileges for Jason.”

“Please, I beg.”

Yeah, Ewurabena is pregnant. Four months in now, and they’ve already discovered it’s gonna be a boy. Maame Ama has a little brother now.

Maame Becky laughed. “Ei, Nii. Your moves were not easy kraaa, oh!”

I smiled at her. “Mommi, it’s all practice oo. I have to enjoy myself on my brother’s big day.”

“Ɛyɛ very necessary,” she agreed, putting an arm around my shoulder.

Ewurabena squeezed my left hand, which I had placed on the table. “Your annoying nature aside, I’m delighted to see you now, Nii. I still remember when you first entered my office. Looking all moody, down-hearted, tormented, slightly scruffy and all. It’s such a joy to see you totally different from the guy who first walked in. I’m so grateful to God for all that He’s done to bring you to this point. And of course, I’m so grateful He brought Mommi around. Made things even better.”

I nodded, smiling at both ladies. “Yeah. A year ago, I thought I’d never be this happy again, even after my release. All those voices telling me I didn’t deserve anything good after what had happened. Telling me I deserved misery upon misery. It was horrible. I remember thinking I was probably going to die after the attack, and these voices were all over, telling me it would be deserved. I’m just glad it was all a lie. I’ve never felt so much peace ever since Mommi came to forgive me. It’s such a relief. It’s not like the voices don’t pop up every now and then; they still do. Try to pull me back and re-establish the guilt. But it doesn’t work as much as it used to. I know I’m not totally free just yet. But it’s only a matter of time until I am. Thank you both for helping me get here.”

Planting a kiss on Maame Becky’s cheek, I said to her, “I’m grateful for your love, and I’ll always be there for you. Then I gave Ewurabena one, saying, “You’re the best therapist in the world, Mrs Afriyie. Thank you.”

Both ladies beamed with joy at my words. Brief, but heartfelt and sincere.

As I turned briefly, I noticed a waving hand from one of the tables. I looked, and here was this super cute girl waving at me. With a shy grin on her face, she mouthed, “I love your moves on the dance floor!”

I waved back, feeling rather taken aback. Or should I say, slightly mesmerized by her. A truly stunning brown-skinned beauty. I quickly turned to the pastries on the table and grabbed some of the chips. As I kept my head slightly low, focusing on chewing the chips, I could feel a hard stare on me. I looked, and it was Ewurabena.

I looked at her in surprise. “But I haven’t said anything about how radically different you’re looking in the past two minutes! What have I done?”

She shook her head. “One, I’m gonna ignore the fact that you just said I’m looking radically different. Annoying young man. Two, why are you still at this table?”

I raised my eyebrow. “Wuhhhh?”

“Ah, a beautiful young lady just waved at you. And complimented you. And she and her friends are currently whispering among themselves. My instinct tells me you’re the subject, and the major idea is that Ms Wave-At-You thinks you’re super cute and they’re hoping you come around. Unless you’re of the opinion that she’s not lovely, in which case I’d say that you’re crazy…”

“Me think she’s not fine? Goodness, Ewurabena, I need an oxygen mask right now!” I exclaimed. “That glow. That smile. That dress. Dayuuum!! Ugh, I never knew I was a sucker for off-shoulder dresses till now.”

“Then what are you waiting for? Go and talk to her, eh,” Maame Becky urged.

I looked at her shyly. “But she’s with all her friends. I’m too shy.”

As Maame Becky rolled her eyes, I heard Ewurabena. “Look here, Abrantie, if you don’t get up and go over to that table and talk to that beautiful young lady, the next time you see me and Kwabena and tell Jesus you want some of our eyi, I will grab the nearest hard thing around…”

“Alright, alright, I’m going,” I said in surrender as I rose to my feet. “Geez, you really are radically different,” I muttered to her hearing, laughing as she responded with a slap on my lower back.

Walking towards the table, I could hear excited whispers. “He’s coming, he’s coming!” “Shhh” “Act natural…”

I smirked. Hehe, ladies.

As I moved to her seat, I said with an air of confidence that startled even me, “Hello ladies!”

A collective “HIIIIIIIII!!” came back to me.

I bent towards her and asked, “So you said you love my dance moves, right?”

Looking quite shy, she looked away, nodding.

“Well, I know we barely know each other, but can I say that I’m loving your melanin glow right now?”

The ladies gasped excitedly, as their friend looked visibly flustered. Looking at her, I could see her visibly blushing, as she used her hand to fan her face.

I extended my hand. “Nii Ajei is my name. What’s yours?”

“Gracie,” she responded, face still flushed as her eyes eventually met mine.

“Gracie. Such a cute name. Appropriate for a super cutie like yourself.”

I really have no idea how I was so confidently flattering her. One thing was for sure, though: her friends were loving it! And so was she.

We smiled at each other.

The DJ put on Kidi’s Odo.

“Wanna get on the dance floor with me?”

“I’d be delighted to.”

THE END

Your MCM feels like this episode is best read while listening to ‘Can’t Let You Go’, sort of. You know, with the wedding setting and all that. Lol, never mind.

A big thanks to all the readers. Y’all definitely kept your MCM on his toes. Especially one of his newest readers. A sensational young lady. Lol.

So, this is it!! Time to work on completing the Long Journey series. That’s gonna be out soon (last week in November). And basically, I’m gonna have time for blogging every now and then. 

Peace out!!

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Of Voices And Vermin

Of Voices And Vermin #12

A lovely Friday, isn’t it? Yeah, well, it’s time for #OVAV!!

So, we’re pretty much at the end of the story. Kinda. Obviously, the major question now is who that mystery person wanting to see Nii is. Well, time to discover who it is…

You’ve always made me sick. With your fancy little intelligent self…

Shut up! I’m under no obligation to accept your apologies and excuses. I can keep whatever is in me…

The past few days weren’t the most pleasant for me. All the things Razzie said that horrible night continued to replay in my mind. It still blows my mind how all along, he despised me because of that issue back in class 4. Like, I’m still stunned. He held on to it, and even feigned forgiveness when I apologized for it after we became closer. I know it was embarrassing and all, but we were kids! I had even often made references to that day every now and then and always acknowledged it was one of the acts I’d love to undo, and he had always insisted it’s in the past. How could he?

It was a rough time for me. After everything that had happened, the least I expected was that I’d be attacked like that. I really was fearing the worst at that point. I honestly thought that I was probably not too far from losing my life.

But from the moment my parents left after their visit on Friday morning, somehow, I was anticipating something positive.

It was the normal encouragement and all, with my dad reminding me not to let this weigh me down. My mother had a little something to keep me company: her Hillsong phone. Yeah, she has a phone that has Hillsong playlists on it. No SIM card. It’s specifically for Hillsong music. To say she’s a Hillsong fan would definitely be offensive to her. She stans for real. In a positive way. Hehe.

The music was definitely a soother for me. It had been a while since I had listened to them, and boy, am I glad I had their beautiful tunes at that period! It just took my mind off all the madness of the past couple of days and drew me in. Oh, the beauty of worship music!

We Glorify Your Name really had me in my feels. Man Of Sorrows really left me deep in solemn thoughts. As for Like Incense… chale. I was in tears by the end of the song. The nurse on duty came to see me sobbing on my bed, hands outstretched as the song ended. She seemed pretty taken aback at first, but then shrugged and came to administer the drugs.

4 pm, and I was sitting on the bed, waiting for the squad to come. As I took deep breaths to see how much of the pain had decreased, there was a knock on the door.

“Yeah, I’m in.”

The door opened, and Kwabena and Ewurabena walked in, holding hands.

“Herh, my heart!” I said, my hands on my cheeks. Honestly, I just can’t seem to get over how beautiful they look together. My brother and his lady followed. “Fada Lord, Your son still awaits.”

“Herh, young man, behave,” Ewurabena playfully scolded as she came to sit by me. “Let’s focus on you getting fully healed before you continue that your prayer.”

“But Nii, this one sef is small,” Sidney said, giving the Afriyies a mischievous grin as he passed by them. “If you knew what they were up to behind your door, eh…”

“Ei, what were they up to?” I asked rather too excitedly.

“Hey, hey, hey!” the two of them interjected.

Sidney, Bambi and I laughed.

“See how he dey come talk like we fire for the balcony,” Kwabena said, giving Sidney an evil eye.

“Oh, naaa, obviously not. But chale,” Sidney responded, a mischievous smirk on his face as he looked at Kwabena, “ibi like you gimme some ideas for the wedding oo.”

Just then, his phone rang. Looking at it, he seemed to give a brief glance at Bambi as he moved out of the room.

“But honestly, have I told you guys how much you inspire me?” I asked teasingly, prompting an unamused look from Ewurabena.

“Well….. not as a couple, but she’s definitely told me you’re one of 2,871 people who have gushed uncontrollably over how beautiful we are together,” Kwabena responded. “Would you like an autograph?”

“Only if you two sign it,” I answered with a smirk.

“Ewurabena shot me an evil look. “Abrantie, you’re pushing the limits.”

I snickered, choosing to save my recovering ribs any kind of pain with a heavier form of laughter. Worrying Ewurabena can be fun sometimes.

Just then, Sidney came back in, nodding at Bambi. She took one of the chairs and placed it right in front of me. “Yes, Nii, you have a visitor. I know you’re going to ask,” she said just as I was about to ask, as the Afriyies got up from beside me.

“Yeah, chale. You have a special visitor today. Someone you wouldn’t be expecting.”

I put on a thinking face, kinda similar to that emoji. “Could it be… Roselyn?”

Sidney rolled his eyes. Roselyn is one of his colleagues at work, who I’m constantly going gaga over because of her cute dimples. “No. It’s not Rosie. And I know all you’ll do is stare at her cheeks, so don’t even count on that happening any time soon.”

Still standing at the door, he opened it wide to reveal who it was.

My eyes widened.

I froze.

*****

“Hello, Nii Ajei. How are you?”

“I-I-I-I’m fi..fi..fine,” I stuttered uncontrollably, feeling terribly nervous and unsure of what was about to happen.

The visitor Sidney had been talking about was definitely unexpected. Totally unexpected. Because I hadn’t spoken to the person in years. Truth be told, we barely spoke. The only time we were ever face-to-face was not a pleasant one, as I faced the fullness of her fury. But when you’re facing your son’s killer, what more do you expect?

Yes. The visitor was Maame Becky. The mother of the boy I accidentally killed.

I was mad frightened at that stage. Even though I was doing good in rationalizing the whole issue and learning not to kill myself mentally with blame, having her around was not a comfortable feeling. It might take a while for me to get over it, but the scars on her heart would undoubtedly remain for as long as she lived. If there was anyone who, in my opinion, deserved to hold a lifelong grudge against me, it had to be her. Definitely not Razzie, but her.

“Hmmmm. My dear, I’m glad to hear that. Well, I am also doing fine by God’s grace. It’s not been easy for me at all, but God has been my help and my comfort.”

I nodded, looking nervously at the others, who were sitting quite a distance behind her. Sidney signalled for me to calm down.

“You know, I’ve wanted to meet with you for a while now, but I moved away from your area, and I had no idea how life is like for you, so I didn’t know how to go about it. But one of my nieces was actually among the crowd that came around when you and the lady in the red dress were attacked. When she told me, I knew it was very necessary I come to see you. So I asked around for your brother’s number and told him.”

Had I not been so tense at that moment, I might have teased Ewurabena by singing ‘Lady In Red’.

She sighed as she paused. “Nii, the truth is, life has been different. When Bobby was pronounced dead, I felt a part of me die too. To lose one of my children is one of the worst experiences ever. I know it’s been a couple of years since it happened, and things have changed, like how my beans and kɔkɔɔ business has expanded and all, but the pain still remains. There’s nothing worse than for a mother to lose her child. It’s so painful. When I remember him, so troublesome, but full of joy. So lively…” She trailed off, unable to speak, obviously reliving the pain.

Words cannot express how awful I felt. To be the source of such pain. As I bowed my head, I looked past her. Ewurabena was already taking out a handkerchief to wipe the tears running down her cheek as Bambi put an arm around her and leaned on her shoulder. Being a mother herself, I’m sure she was really empathizing with her. Sidney and Kwabena sat there, looking very somber.

She sniffed. “I miss my son. Every blessed day. I wish to God that He’d do a Lazarus miracle somehow and bring him back. But… I just have to live with this pain for the rest of my life.”

I couldn’t speak. What else could I say? Sorry? That wouldn’t be enough. It would never be enough.

As she wiped her eyes, she looked up at me. “When he was killed, I was so angry with you. I just wanted to see the worst happen to you. I wanted you to pay for taking my son out of this world so early. I must admit, I wasn’t happy with the sentencing, but I was told that was the best option. I just was so angry. And the last time we met, you saw it, obviously.”

I nodded silently. At that point, I was wondering why Sidney allowed her to come at all. At this point, I was just feeling horrible all over again. Now that worship music period seemed so distant and ineffective. So much for thinking something positive was going to happen.

She continued. “However, for a while now, you come to mind, and although I still felt so much anger towards you, I could sense God telling me to look at things differently. I didn’t want to, at first, but… after a while, I relented. And He showed me how this accident affected you as well. The reality is, I was looking at you as a deliberate murderer. But I came to realize that that’s not the truth. I didn’t understand all the court things, since I’m not good with English. And I was too emotionally charged to truly analyse everything. But, all I can say is, it wasn’t your fault.”

That definitely caught my attention. I looked her in the eye, slightly surprised at hearing this.

“I came to full terms after speaking to your brother a few days ago. He told me how badly you were affected by it. How prison was a horrible time for you. How your best friend suddenly became an enemy. That’s when I decided I have to drop all the hurt and come to see you.”

I had no idea what to say.

“I’ve now come to accept that you don’t deserve my hatred. You never intended to do anything horrid to my son. It was a mistake that just went very bad.”

Stunned, with a tiny feeling of relief, I nodded. That was the absolute truth.

She stood up. “Nii Ajei, I forgive you. I may never be able to have my baby back, but I’ll no longer hold anything against you. In fact, I’m taking you as my son now.”

If I was already stunned, that last statement definitely multiplied it. I looked at her with wide eyes. “M..mm…me?” I stuttered.

She nodded, cupping my face in her hands. “I gain nothing by staying mad at you. You are forgiven. My son.”

As she hugged me, I felt so overwhelmed. Confusion. Joy. Relief.

My whimpers turned into full-blown cries as I wrapped my arms around her.

As I cried, I just felt this inexplicable release. It’s like all the hurt, the shame, the guilt, the horror, the voices… they had all officially lost their power over me in that moment.

I felt extra hands patting me on the back as I continued to sob.

“It’s all right, Nii,” I heard Bambi say. “You’re free now.”

As we separated, she patted me on the cheek and wiped away the tear lines on my cheeks. The others stood around, their faces full of delightful relief.

“It’s over, Nii,” my beloved therapist said, taking her spot on the bed. “Now you can truly move on.”

Kwabena raised his hand. “So, uh, Mommi, now that he’s your son, we’re all your children, right?”

Maame Becky nodded. “Of course, you all are.”

“So does that mean we can get discounts on your gob3?”

We all laughed.

“I’ll see what I can do about that,” she responded heartily.

As I laughed lightly, still trying to protect my ribs, I felt this peace flood over me. A feeling of peace I hadn’t felt in years. Especially after the accident. It had felt impossible to have such a feeling, after being responsible for a person’s demise. But now that Maame Becky had not just forgiven me, but taken me as one of her own, I could feel that, in a sense, the powers that had kept me in that dark hole of despair and hopelessness had lost their grip on me.

So that earlier feeling wasn’t so wrong after all. Something positive had happened.

I was free. Finally…

Chale, my emotions were seriously invested in this episode 😭😭😭 I’m not even joking. Such a relief for Nii! Well, this is lovely. But the final episode of #OVAV comes your way this Monday. Time to see just how this story ends!!