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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 #4

Thank God it’s Friday!!! Not just because another working week is pretty much over. But because… it’s time for episode 4 of #OVAV (yep, your MCM is employing the hashtag distin for this one. lol)

So Sidney had a veeerrry short encounter with Nii’s former best friend, and we’re probably wondering what comes next. Well, the story keeps unfolding with each passing week, in different ways. Let’s see what’s up for today…

These past two weeks have not been easy.

Honestly, it feels like I’ve been trying to swerve these voices since they found a home for themselves inside my head. Whenever they pop up with their awful reminders, I just go silent and try to zone out on them. It never works, but I do it anyways.

After my third session with Mrs. Afriyie, however, things changed. I never realized how much I was stifling my emotions within. If I have to be honest, I’ve been the type who doesn’t really like showing emotion. Not that I think it’s for girls or anything, just so you know. I dunno. I’ve always been kinda stoic, to be honest. And it got worse after Eugene came to hurl abuse at me on that day. Only in panicky situations have I shown emotion. Like when that unfortunate thing happened.

The Wednesday session was intense. She’s been telling me not to hold my pain in. that I should let it out. It was difficult trying to be vulnerable. But… as I encountered them again, screaming the same old accusations and reminding me of how worthless and despicable a human being I am for what I did, something in me snapped.

I screamed. I wailed. I cried out loudly and didn’t hold back. Everything came rushing out of me.

How frustrated I am for being held down by this guilt. How Eugene’s sudden 180 on me still cuts like a knife. How I hate these voices. How I regret every single action I took in the build-up to the accident.

I found myself on the floor, crying uncontrollably. Mrs. Afriyie came to make herself a shoulder for me to cry on. I can’t begin to tell you how relieving it was to have someone around as I let it all out. No displays of pity. No ‘hard guy’ nonsense. No words at all. Just silence as I let go. I never realized how soothing it is to just have someone present in that moment.

I happen to be the last person she sees before the end of her schedule on Fridays. As we were rounding up, she calmly said, “So just keep this at the forefront of your mind, Nii. You are loved. No matter what those voices say. No matter how much Eugene’s action seems to validate their words. You are loved. You are not defined by your past. You are special, and you will prevail.”

I nodded. “I am loved. I will not be defined by my past. I will prevail.”

“Good. And of course, most of all, Jesus loves you. If there’s anyone whose opinion you should be worried about, it’s Him. And He says you are still precious and beloved in His sight. What happened does not make Him love you any less. Stay reflecting on that.”

“Yes, Mrs. Afriyie.”

“Please, Nii, no need for this strict formality. As if you’ve not known me long before I got here. Call me Ewurabena, lah.”

A little smile appeared on my face.

“You can take a seat and wait as I pack up.”

As I waited for her to put her stuff together, I noticed one of the pictures on her desk. It was facing her side of the desk a bit more, so I briefly tilted it a bit to see it in all its fullness.

A picture of her and Kwabena on their wedding day. His arms around her, with a kiss on her cheek. And the dreamy smile on her face… well, simply beautiful.

I remember that day. About six or seven months before the whole wahala happened. A simple but simply wonderful ceremony. That kinda ceremony that makes guys start daydreaming about their special day. No kidding. I remember how amazing she looked, and how Kwabena’s face had two tear lines as she approached him. They were so excited throughout the whole ceremony. It was really cute.

As I looked at the perfectly captured expression of the newlyweds in that photo, she came back to the desk and said, “Best wedding picture ever, don’t you think?”

I looked up at her. A small smile on my face, I responded, “Certainly don’t think there are many competitors for that title. Especially when it’s the two of you.”

Seriously, since the time I’ve known them, they are just the most beautiful couple you’ll ever see captured in a photo. Like, nobody really understands. They just look perfect together, without even trying. Show me a single person who sees a picture of them and doesn’t pray, “Jesus, I see what You’re doing for others and I want that for me,” and I’ll let you know that that person is definitely the devil’s offspring. After all, he is the father of lies.

She laughed. That gentle laughter of hers that always seems to come from her when her hubby is involved in some way in the statement that provokes the laughter. “I still treasure those memories, you know. But the life after it has been even better. Kwabena is the greatest gift God could have ever given me in this life. I love him so much, and he loves me too. I’d never exchange him for anything in this world.”

She looked at the photo on her desk, and I saw the same dreamy expression form on her face as she placed it back to its former state. As we left the office, I could almost swear I noticed an extra spring in her step.

Guys. Believe me, if you don’t marry a lady that loves you as much as Ewurabena loves Kwabena, then you’re definitely doing this marriage thing wrong. Honestly.

And of course, if you don’t love her, then you’re a pretty pitiful specimen of homo sapiens. I’m not even playing.

************

I decided to give myself a bit of a treat after these past two weeks. So I went to Papaye to get myself some broasted chicken with fried rice. The family thinks Marwako food is way better, but my taste buds definitely disagree with that.

I made my order and went to take my seat at the usual waiting area. I happened to be close to some of the customers who were eating right there in the restaurant. As I busily replied some WhatsApp messages, I pretty much overheard two customers engaged in some hearty chat about some nursing institutions.

Obviously not something that interests me so much, and besides, I’m not exactly the type who likes to actively eavesdrop on conversations. So I continued with my chats.

Then I heard…

“But Ali, the way you did Razzmatazz, don’t you think it was too harsh?”

I don’t eavesdrop, like I just said, but that definitely caught my attention. I lowered my phone and switched my attention to the conversation. Of course, not that I turned to look at them; one of those artificial palm trees separated us from seeing each other. But I listened.

“Oh naaa, chale. Look, I’m tired of that nigga. I don’t know what is wrong with him. So-so foolish life he dey lead, and he never listens when you talk to him. How do you choose to live a life of aimlessness and find peace with yourself? Hoh. All he knows is play Pro Evo, type nonsense and insult people all over Twitter, eat and sleep. Wey life too that?”

Strange! I knew he wasn’t too decided on what he wanted to do with himself even after we completed university, but why would he choose to do nothing at all? He did have a bit of a sharp tongue, but why would he be playing Mr Diss Everybody on Twitter? And why the hell would he choose PES over FIFA?

Hehe, sorry, PES fans. It is what it is.

“Oh really?” Ali’s partner said, sounding skeptical. I obviously wasn’t the only one doubting what Ali was saying.

“My guy, I know what I’m talking about. Haven’t I been to his place? Always there, playing games on his laptop. No interest in finding anything to do, so at least he can earn some money. And haven’t I seen his tweets? If it’s not this musician, it’s this actress. If it’s not this MP, it’s this communications guy from one of the political parties. I mean, if you want to fool about on Twitter, yawa no dey, we all like a good dosage of humour on the regular. But this guy is just plain horrible. It’s not harmless trolling, he’s straight up insulting you. And he keeps his identity well hidden.”

“Hmmm.”

“Seriously. I’ve told him time and time again that there’s a limit to these things. You can’t be saying nasty things all the time and then claim ‘it’s just Twitter’. There’s a limit.”

“That’s true, mohm.”

“Me, what made me bore him kraaa and pushed me to cut him off is how he’s suddenly talking trash about that Nii guy.”

I froze in my seat.

“Ah, his former best friend?”

“Yeah. You aaa, you showed the boy serious hatred when he was sent to prison. Now, apparently, the guy is out, and you’re tweeting about how the Chief Justice is a senseless baboon, the courts should be used as pit latrines, and all sorts of filthy things. Just because you’re angry that a ‘pathetic murderer’ been released from prison.”

“Ah, but that makes no sense. The guy accidentally knocked down the boy. It’s not like he meant to kill the kid. Why is he blowing it out of proportion like this Nii guy is the GH version of George Zimmerman?”

“Hmmmm, me, I honestly think Razzie has some deep-seated beef against him.”

“But why?”

“No idea, chale. I have a sneaky feeling the Nii guy did something that hurt him, and he’s just returning stones with boulders. Coz you can’t be showing that much hatred just for the sake of it. It’s just illogical.”

“Do you think it might be jealousy?”

“Oh, jealousy for what?”

“Order 112!”

The loud voice calling out my order number took my attention. I immediately sprung to my feet and went for my food.

The only question fiercely speeding to and fro my brain as I left the restaurant.

What did I do to Eugene that would make him hate me that much?

Soooo… looks like this dude isn’t happy about Nii’s release. What is his problem, though? Why does he seem to have such animosity towards Nii? And is Pro Evolution Soccer as lame as Nii claims it to be? Lol, your MCM leaves that last question to the gamers. Anyways, enjoy the weekend, and remember that there’s one thing to look forward to on Monday… the next #OVAV episode!!