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Of Voices And Vermin

Of Voices and Vermin #6

How’s your week been? Good, I hope. Well, whatever it is, it’s time for Friday’s edition of #OVAV!

Well, for today’s episode, let’s just say it’s gonna be kinda raw. Put on your seat belt and let’s ride!!

“Come here, girl.”

I heard Sidney’s voice from inside the house. Shaking my head as I continued to read my book, I heard a giggle follow a few seconds later. Then I heard him again. Maintaining the low tone he had already used.

“Why you gotta be so fine, babe?”

The giggles started again. I could easily guess what was going on. He had his arms around her waist and was murmuring sweet distins into her ear. I couldn’t hear the rest of whatever he was murmuring, but I knew one title would be in there. One title he loves using on her.

Cute Caramel Cupcake.

Sounds extremely corny to me. But hey, I’m not Miss Bambi Darkwah, and it’s not meant for me to get ‘flushed and flustered’, as she usually says, so lemme mind my business.

“Sidney, stop that! You know how flushed and flustered I get whenever you do this.”

My point proven right there.

“Hehe, I know. Just reminding you how I can’t wait till you’re finally mine.”

“Awww, baby boy. I can’t wait, too. Won’t be too long till you’re my king for life…”

“And I’ll step up this little thing I’m doing, and oh, what an experience it’ll be.”

“Oh, you naughty man!”

Sidney and Bambi with their lovi-lovi escapades.

I cleared my throat pretty loud, just to let them know I could hear them.

Both voices rang out. “WE DON’T CARE!!”

Whenever they start getting all comfy and romantic and all, I do that as a way of telling them, “Get a room!” Yeah, they get cozy a lot. It’s pretty amazing how they’ve managed to keep away from second base.

Anyways… so the past few days have been slightly better. Sleeping used to be close to impossible, with the constant internal accusations and the overwhelming weight on my shoulders, but it’s getting lesser. Seeing all those horrible words from Razzie had me slipping back, but Ewurabena has been helping me to rationalize the whole situation. Reminding me that the whole incident was a mistake that just ended up really badly, and there’s no point in dwelling over it and letting it rule my future. She gave me this verse that she said has helped her so much: Isaiah 43:18-19. Pretty mind-blowing scripture, I must say. God saying He’ll make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert?! Sensational!

It hasn’t exactly been easy getting it through my head, though. There’s always this pulling force that tries to convince me it’s all poppycock, and I’m never getting out of this dark hole. I guess it’s not meant to be easy. Hopefully, I’ll get through it.

As I sat outside, half continuing the John Grisham book and half eavesdropping on their little lovi-lovi talk (I know I previously said I don’t like eavesdropping, but… these two are sometimes an exception), I got a buzz from my phone. I checked it. A certain group chat on Whatsapp had a message I’d been waiting for. Upon checking it, I hopped up from the chair I was on, ready to go inside and get ready to meet a few peeps at the mall.

Entering the house, I saw the two lovebirds on the couch, Bambi leaning on one side of the couch. She was shaking her head as I passed by, hearing Sidney crooning the chorus to Kojo Antwi’s ‘Bome Nkomo De’.

As soon as I stopped to listen to my big brother, a grin of approval on my face, his lady immediately said, “Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey! Issokay. Don’t come and turn this into another Mr. MusicMan for President campaign, I beg.”

Mr and Mrs Allotey successfully turned their three children (yeah, we have a younger sister. Daisy. Based in the UK at the moment) into hardcore Kojo Antwi fans, and Sid and I never cease to remind Bambi about it. In outlandish ways. And she’s pretty tired of it. Too bad we’re not. I once said the beginning of Afofanto massages my muscles, and she gave me a serious Squidward look. You know, that classic ‘you canNOT be serious’ kind of look.

squidward

“Chale, quick confirmation, Nii,”Sidney said. “Between Ed Sheeran’s ‘Perfect’ and Kojo’s ‘Medofo Pa‘, which one is a better choice for our first dance?”

“Oh, brother,” Bambi groaned, doing the facepalm as she already knew what was coming.

“Ah, Sid, this isn’t even up for debate. Kojo all the way! Most underrated love song of all time. I don’t even understand…”

*******

“Alright, I’ll be in touch then. All the best!” my old mate Nessa said as she waved and went back up the escalator.

“Sure thing. Later!” I replied as I walked out of the Marina Mall. I managed to meet an old friend who works with Jobberman. A pretty fruitful meeting, and hopefully, I can get out of the unemployment phase. It’s not been easy since I got out of prison.

As I walked to the car, I noticed a moderately tall guy walking in my direction. I looked at his face.

It looked like the Ali guy I had heard in the Papaye restaurant.

As I opened the car door, I heard someone shout “HEY! HEY!”, but my attention wasn’t on that. I got into the car and slammed the door shut. As I turned the key in the ignition, however, I got a pretty scary surprise.

I was startled by a pounding on the other window.

Frightened, I looked to see an angry face staring at me.

It was Razzie!!

“Hey you, you good-for-nothing murderer, what the hell are you doing here?”

I was not just frightened, but seriously confused. Why in the world was he so hung up on turning me into a heartless monster?

I just stared at him, totally befuddled, unsure of what to do or say. He screamed a few more obscenities.

Just then, I heard another “Hey!” and within a few seconds, the dude who looked like the Ali guy came up and shoved Razzie away from the car.

As I opened the door, I heard him say, “Massa, what be your problem? Hoh! Why, the kiddie e die be your son or what? Shun this your foolish life then lef am!”

“Oh wow, Ali,” Razzie said, looking genuinely surprised at the interruption. “So you too dey defend this killer?”

“Commot for there! This no be defense matter. Ibi sense matter. This madness no dey hia.”

WMT no dey hia! Aboa taa!”

I was taken aback by that. Razzie hated that expression back then. Now here he was, using it so freely.

The look on Ali’s face made it pretty clear he was not happy with the use of that expression at all.

And you know what solidified it? The subsequent punch he delivered to Razzie’s face that, if I should be honest, reminded me of the Mayweather v Ortiz fight.

mayweatherortiz

I quickly rushed to stop the fight. Which, in reality, was actually a pummeling. Razzie was already dazzled by that first punch, and couldn’t do anything about the three or four other shots to his face. As I struggled to keep Ali from delivering further damage to his face, two security guards also came around, and helped to separate the two.

As one of them dragged Ali away from the scene, he yelled, “Kwasia boy! Grow up, Razzie! Stop being jealous of the guy and magnifying his errors! Get a life!”

Razzie, who was also being escorted out of the parking area by the other guard, drowsily responded, “Fuck you and fuck that murderer.”

As I walked away from the scene, I took a few deep breaths and reminded myself not to let his words take me down.

But as I sat back in the car, I was in a state of confusion. Why did Ali say he should stop being jealous of me? Why in the world would Razzie be jealous of me?

I shook my head as I moved out of the parking lot, the little crowd that had witnessed the fight starting to disperse. All I could wonder as I drove away…

Why would Razzie be jealous of me?

Chale! Things got pretty ugly. Looks like the Ali dude and Razzie are really on bad terms with each other now. But… is jealousy really the reason for all this outlandish behaviour? Indeed, why would he be jealous of Nii? And do you agree with the Allotey boys on their love for Kojo Antwi? Loooool. Well, have a blessed weekend, and remember you’ll know more to the story on Monday

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Of Voices And Vermin

Of Voices and Vermin #5

Hey y’all!! Hope your weekend was good. I trust it was. And now, to lighten up your Monday morning is the continuation of #OVAV!!!

No time to waste, let’s get into the story… oh, by the way, you’ve probably noticed how the trend goes for Mondays and Fridays, right? Of course you have. Now let’s get into it…

The look of absolute surprise on my face as the song being played on Citi FM faded out had Jesse laughing as he drove me home that Friday night.

“Herh! When you started laughing and saying, ‘this song eh’, I thought you were referring to how it was such a jam back then. But after telling me to listen… ei, how did this thing pass over our heads like that?”

“Chale, like, two weeks ago, I was on my way home, and the song was on. Suddenly, the second verse just stuck out to me, and I was like, ah, wait. Ibi like them dey pass some corner bi. I listen critically, wey I check the lyrics. That be when my brain bost.”

“Nahhh, see. After discovering this, any lingering fragments of innocence in me have been extinguished.”

“Ha! This one be small. Me, I lose my innocence the day I watch some film bi. GH film. Man of the house no dey fit plant seed, wey he travel, so wifey target the innocent houseboy. She call am come the bedroom inside. The boy see sey she dey want the tin, wey he start dey shake gidigidi. The woman talk very calmly. ‘I want you to tear me apart’.”

“Sosket!!” I gasped. “Herh, this be devastatingly raw.”

“Sensationally raw, chale. The scene just ruin me. She be big lady like Kessewaa too, so imagine.”

Kessewaa is Jesse’s wife, and she’s pretty voluptuous, so that must have been quite a scene.

“But chale, wouldn’t be bad if Bambi said that to me after we get married…”

“My guy, easy with the imaginations, lah! You’re still not at the table yet. Put a ring on it for real.”

I rolled my eyes. Among the four of us, Steel and I are the unmarried guys, and Kwabena and Jesse like lording it over us. Jesse got married last year, and Kessewaa is already carrying their first child at the moment. Steel… well, as far as we know, he’s still searching. It’s likely the pain of not being able to go the whole mile with Mawuena hasn’t really worn off. Chale. That couple was the most envied back in school; we were all so convinced that they’d be one of the first couples from our year group to get married. Ah well, things don’t always go the way we expect them to…

“Goweyu! I’m allowed to dream.”

“Ayoooooo! By the way, how far with the plans?”

“Yeah, we dey work on them low key. The official date go come out soon.”

“Nice, nice. Abi you know sey we dey do Kupe formation at the reception?”

“Gidigidi kraaa!”

“You know the deal, right? When the groom and his guys step on the dance floor…”

The two of us exclaimed, “Mooore mbɛlɛde!”

*******

As I opened the door and entered the house, I saw Nii seated on the couch, silent.

“You good, bro?”

He remained silent, seemingly oblivious to my greeting.

I decided to get closer to him to see if he was OK. I noticed his Huawei P20 lying by his side as he seemed to deliberate on something.

“Nii?”

He slowly looked up at me. A familiar tortured look on his face. Those voices must have been at it again.

I sat down beside him. “Talk to me, bro. I’m listening.”

He sighed. “I overheard something concerning me and Razzie. At Papaye.”

My first instinct was to stiffen up.

He noticed it and quickly added, “Not that the person was talking about me per se. The main topic was Eugene.

“So I somehow overhead these two guys at their table talking about him. One guy was complaining about him, that he has become aimless and is doing nothing with his life. All he does is play games and do silly stuff on Twitter.”

I shook my head. I knew that boy quite well, and although I wouldn’t say he was the most ambitious young man on the planet, he certainly never showed any traits of being an aimless fool.

“I also heard he discovered I’m out of prison, and he went on a Twitter rant. Insulting the whole judiciary. Still calling me a murderer. The like. So I just got myself an account, and searched for him. And…”

The way he drifted off made it obvious. He was crushed.

I reached for his phone and pressed the home button. The screen revealed Razzie’s Twitter profile.

Scrolling through it, I was filled with rage, disgust and bewilderment.

How the hell did this guy become such a horrible human being?

It wasn’t just the fact that he was unfairly targeting Nii yet again, it was the unapologetic and uncouth manner in which he spewed abuse at so many people. It was just unbelievable.

“Ah, but how do you live like this? All I see is savagery…. how come nobody has reported him…. herh, herh, herh, what’s the meaning of this? Ei, how do you say such things about the Attorney General? What is the meaning of all this? Nahhhh, I’m horrified. This is pathetic… and there we go. He says it’s just Twitter. See, I dislike when people say this sort of nonsense. You act like a goat on social media and you expect us to believe you’re a dove in person? Hoh!”

“It’s my fault, isn’t it?” Nii quietly asked.

My attention immediately switched to his statement. “What?”

“I can’t help but feel like all this is down to that awful day. That my actions sparked this whole change in attitude, and aside our friendship, I’m responsible for the person he’s become now.” He shook his head and stared into oblivion. “Boy. Some life wrecker I’ve turned out to be.”

I looked at him, feeling sad. Man, it’s nothing short of awful what he’s enduring. The voices constantly fighting to keep him stuck in the quicksand of guilt and shame.

I put my arm around his shoulder, pulled him closer to me, and wrapped him in a hug. I felt his stiff shoulders relax as I embraced him.

“Listen, Nii,” I began, “you’re my little man, and I love you. You mean a lot to me. Never forget that, ok?”

“Yes, Sid.”

“Good. Now listen to me: don’t beat yourself up over Eugene’s life choices. As far as this issue is concerned, he has no reason to switch up on you the way he did. Besides, his behaviour alone shows it has to be deeper than just the accident. The family was upset, but nobody was cursing you as brutally as he was. We just don’t know why. But if he’s chosen to become an aimless twat who just abuses everyone without remorse, that’s his choice. You don’t have to account for that in any way.”

“You know, the Ali guy was saying he suspects I did something to turn him against me. That’s all I’ve been thinking about since I got home. Couldn’t even eat well. Yet… I just can’t find that thing…”

“It’s alright, Nii Ajei. We’ve been through this. We thought through everything, and we’re still yet to find any reason why he’d be upset with you. In any case, even if there was a reason to be mad at you, there’s no justification whatsoever for acting like you’re the GH version of George Zimmerman. You never meant it. So please, don’t let this be a new burden on your shoulders.”

Nii silently nodded. “Alright.”

As I let him go, I reminded him, “And no, you are not a life wrecker. Remember how you saved your future sister-in-law that day at the mall?”

So while she was doing her national service, Bambi encountered this catcalling creep at the mall. One of those idiots who think there’s an 11th commandment for women that states: Thou shalt respond and quickly run to a guy when he calls you. She wasn’t interested in stopping for him, and he quickly followed her and got a little nasty. Just as he was about grabbing her, Nii saw it and fiercely stepped in to tell the guy to back off. The guy was not amused and even threatened to beat Nii up, but chale, when Ga blood boils over, you better respect yourself. He walked away.

About three months later, we discovered that he had been arrested for rape.

Nii stopped to think about that for a moment, then cracked a little smile. “Yeah, I remember.”

“Exactly. If you were, only God knows what would have happened to Bambi that day.”

As I stood up, I made him look up at me. “Nii, you will get through this. It definitely will not be easy. But you will win this. And always remember I’m here for you, alright? Your big brother loves you.”

That little smile returned, and he got up to hug me. “I love you too, Sid.”

As we separated, he said, “You know a lot of guys would have a lot of problems with this, right?”

A quick, short Mtcheww departed from my lips in response. “Please, they can go to hell with their fragile masculinity! Chale, if you didn’t finish the food, I’m taking some of the chicken. And put the PS4 on. Time for me to use Mbappe to teach you one or two lessons.”

Lol, Sidney certainly has no issues with showing affection to his brother. How sweet! But then again, there’s still that little question of why this Razzie guy hates Nii so much. We’re gonna find out, aren’t we? And whether Nii will make it through this period of depression. In due time, we will. Episode 6 on Friday!!

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Of Voices And Vermin

Of Voices And Vermin #1

The day has arrived!!! After soooo long, your MCM is back with the series thing. It shall be an interesting one. Captivating, riveting, all the brofo you can think of that applies to this.

Shout out to all my Naija people, by the way. Henson, Chiderah, Angel, Sylvia, Helen… God bless your country!! I wanted to raise the jollof issue, but never mind. Hehe… it’s your day.

Okayyyy, time to dig in!!!

“So the people were insulting him after he jumped the red light?” I asked.

“Yes oo! Especially the guys at the back. It was so heated, eh! Never experienced anything like it before. Especially when the mate was cutting in and telling people to stop talking plenty. Oh, the insults they rained on him… I’m sure if a policeman had caught him mpo, he’ll prefer it.”

I grinned, shaking my head as I looked at Nii Ajei in the passenger seat, who had a slightly smaller smirk on his face. The phone was connected to the car’s Bluetooth, so of course it was on speaker. I whispered to him, “When dadabees experience the normal trotro life.”

He covered his mouth as he burst into laughter.

Oh, sorry. Man hasn’t introduced himself yet. My name is Sidney Allotey. And Nii Ajei is my younger brother. We’re separated by 3 years, but the bond we share? Tight. Extremely tight. So tight that he’s like the unofficial fifth member of my clique from university. But you’ll find out about that later.

So, we were on our way back from Cape Coast. My boss just had to throw a spanner in the works for Saturday when he gave me this assignment on Friday evening to go meet one of our major clients. I had plans of spending it with Nii, Bambi and Jerome! Arrgh! Well, Nii had nothing to do, so he was happy to tag along.

By the way, Bambi is my fiancé. And Jerome is her younger brother. He’s the one I was talking to. The boy is a typical dadaba; always been moved around by his parent’s drivers. It was somewhere last year when they decided he should be moving around by himself. He’s fourteen years old, by the way. And as you can tell by the conversation we were having, the boy seems quite enchanted by the experiences he’s having. He already told me about the time this huge lady took the seat next to the mate, and the mate complained about her taking up too much space, and the third time, the lady didn’t take kindly to his plenty talk, and blasted the daylight out of him.

According to him, she’s from my tribe. So… if you know, you know. Haha! 😆😆 I love my people.

Anyways, he continued rattling off all the experiences he had had the past week, which took another five minutes and fifty-two seconds. He clearly is yet to get used to the shortcuts and the annoying driving skills of these trotro drivers. But of course, small boys are young. He’ll get used to it.

He handed the phone to his sister.

“Bra Jerome is done with this week’s edition of Trotro Diaries, eh?” Bambi laughed.

“Yep! All juicy details downloaded into my ears,” I responded.

Sigh, Bambi Darkwah. 😘😘😘 The cutest girl I’ve ever set my eyes upon. Chanced upon her at a chibom joint not too far from her hostel, got smitten hard, chased her relentlessly, wrestled past all the “Gimme some time”, “I need to think about it” and “I’m not sure what I want” and won her heart. Even then, it was sweet all right, but a lot of stuff threatened to keep us away from each other. I don’t need to bore you with all the details of that. What matters for the meantime is that I finally get to put a ring on it in a few months time!! Sigh, Bambi. My caramel blessing!

“Hahaha! He’s getting the experience. I’ve told him there’s more in store kraaa. Like when he’ll one day have some kokonsa passenger watching his phone as he’s chatting on Whatsapp…”

“Herh, that thing is so annoying!” Nii Ajei blurted out. “Then they’ll be reading your conversation. Like, warris dat?”

“Shocks me kraa,” I added. “That thing is witchcraft pɛɛɛ!”

“Tell me about it. There was one time I was chatting with Mabel, and this guy sitting next to me suddenly started leaning in my direction…”

I noticed Nii Ajei’s grimace as Bambi started her own story. He mouthed, “We’re missing the game on Citi!”

Hand on my forehead, I mouthed back, “I knowwwwww!!!”

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

Two hours later, we had safely arrived at our Regimanuel Gray estate home, after all that intense traffic. Ugh! Thank God for automatic cars, honestly. I like the good old manual and all, but let’s be serious. Half-clutch in that insane pile-up? Chale, chale, stop. I do enough exercise.

So we were ready to get in and take out the stuff and relax. Until…

“Oh crap! You didn’t remind me to get the Ideal milk?” I groaned out loud, just as I stopped.

Nii placed his right hand over his face. “Arrrrrrrgghhhh! Escaped my mind from the moment that Mr. Music Man hour began, honestly.”

I gave him a side eye. “Blame it on Kojo Antwi, abi?”

He gave me a silly grin in return. “Our old folks taught us well.”

I shook my head. Yep, all those family journeys in the past, with Kojo Antwi on heavy rotation, has definitely made a mark on us. “You diɛɛ, no worries. Let me go to the supermarket down the road. You can take the Fante kenkey inside and check if the Premier League highlights is on, na the way these commentators were screaming over that Dele Alli goal diɛɛ, man has to see it.”

“Mm-hmm,” Nii Ajei said as he reached over to the back to take the two bags of Fante kenkey.

Yamoransa Fante kenkey!! ❤❤ That junction is a legendary one. Dotted with all those Fante kenkey sellers, ever ready to rush upon any car that stops so they can make some sales. Anyone who’s schooled in the Central Region knows that place too well. The way three of them rushed to the car when we stopped. The plenty “ebei, bra” and things. If we didn’t exercise a good level of firmness and gentleness, we’d probably have the back seat filled up with those blue rubber bags filled with the Fante kenkey. No kidding. Those ladies can give pressure!!

“Chale, then blend about three of them in the meantime, so when I come, we just add the milk and have our mashke for the evening,” I told him.

“Okay, no problem,” he responded.

He stepped out of the car and entered through the gate as I turned the car to move to the supermarket.

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

As I took my change from the shop attendant, my phone started to ring. I looked at the caller ID.

It was Kwabena.

So Kwabena is my unofficial ‘brother’. My roommate from university. He’s the first… no, wait. Second member of the university clique I mentioned. I’m the first one, after all. And among the four (five-ish) of us, he is the loudest and most unpredictable. If I were to be given 1 cedi for every single time that guy said stuff that left my mouth hanging… chale, I’d build a sensational mansion for myself.

I’ll give one example. Back in school, I was a huge Grey’s Anatomy fan. He wasn’t. One day, I’m watching my thing, and this boy passes by my laptop, sees Cristina Yang and says, “Ah, wey lady too this, wey ihn face check like confused duck?”

S-M-H. 🤦🏾‍♂🤦🏾‍♂🤦🏾‍♂🤦🏾‍♂🤦🏾‍♂🤦🏾‍♂🤦🏾‍♂🤦🏾‍♂🤦🏾‍♂🤦🏾‍♂🤦🏾‍♂🤦🏾‍♂

To this day, I still can’t understand how that nonsensical statement entered his brain. Like, how????

Ah well, I thank God for Ewurabena. His wife. She knows how to somehow neutralize that foolishness in him. They’ve been together for so long (although there was a break-up in there at some point), and they complement each other so well (if only you could see their pictures! Goodness, they’ll make you melt, I promise!) even though they’re so different (Ewurabena is so quiet and gentle, and Kwabena… well, I already mentioned it).

He’s a handful, alright, but I wouldn’t exchange him for any other ‘well-behaved’ guy. He’s a wonderful friend. And a very loyal one, too.

“Chale, wassup?” I asked.

“I dey oo, Sid. You return from Cape?”

“Yeah, I dey Accra now. We return not too long ago. I just go buy some Ideal milk for the supermarket. Nii dey house.”

“Oh, cool. So chale, he be OK now?”

I hesitated, not too sure what answer to give. “Chaleeee, ibi difficult to tell. He dey act happy and all, but I no know whether ibi mask or he’s really getting over it.”

“Hmmm… dicey issue… Ewurabena won talk plus you.”

“Sure, sure.”

As I sat in the car, I held on, listening to the couple as Kwabena gave the phone and, from the sounds of it, took Jemima from her.

Yeah, I’m sure you can tell. Jemima is their daughter. Their one year old daughter. It still amuses me sometimes to know this cannonball friend of mine is a husband and a father. He’s a great one, though.

“Ei, Daddy Kwabena on duty!” I said teasingly.

Ewurabena’s gentle laughter was the next thing I heard. “Most amazing daddy in the world. Jemmy couldn’t have had a better man to call Daddy. How are you, by the way?”

Vintage Mrs. Afriyie. The way this girl loves him so deeply eh, it’s not a joking distin. Always got something sweet to say about her king.

“I’m good oo. Just still unsure what to do about Nii. The last time we spoke about it, he fiercely insisted he was fine. Since then, I’m just treating him normally. But the sagging shoulders and the quiet periods still persist.”

“Hmmmm. I think we should give him a bit of time. There’s a lot I’d want to ask, but I’m thinking it’ll be better if we meet you and get more info. So do we meet after church tomorrow?”

“As long as Kwabena is staying home, taking care of Jemmy. I’m fine.”

She laughed. “Don’t do that to him.”

“Tomorrow is fine by me.”

“Great,” she responded. “Have a good night, then, and send my regards to Nii.”

“Yes, Mrs. Afriyie. Good night to you too, and your husband and daughter.”

I hung up, started the engine and moved back home.

Sigh. Nii Ajei Allotey. My younger brother.

He means a lot to me.

That’s why I’m so worried about him.

Hmmm… 🤔🤔🧐🧐 I wonder what it could be that has Sidney worried for his brother. He seemed pretty fine throughout this episode to me. Well, things aren’t always as they seem, so let’s see what comes on Friday!!