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Where's My Little Boy

Where’s My Little Boy? Pt 1

So in a few days, season 2 of Meet The Dolphynes will arrive. And it is going to be pretty dramatic this time around. Definitely looking forward to 6th December to see what’s gonna be happening with Dabar’s favourite family for the next few months.

In the meantime, though, here’s a mini-series from the Original M & D library, set to run for the next 7 days. The title says a lot, I’m sure, but stick around and enjoy the ride…

Robert lay prostrate on the floor, absolutely stressed out.

Sixty hours now. Nothing good had come through.

His brain was an absolute mess of confusion and bewilderment. Terrifying thoughts. Scary thoughts. Nightmarish thoughts. Hopeful thoughts. All these thoughts muddled up his brain, and as he lay there on the floor of his living room, thinking straight was a straight impossibility.

Where is he? Has somebody cut his head off? Has he been shipped off to another country? Has he been used for rituals? How do I live without him? What am I going to do? How do I swallow yet another loss?

Even with the madness going on in his brain, his ears remained alert as he remained prostrate, somehow hoping to hear the excited, ever-enthusiastic shouts of a little six year old boy who resembled him so much.

Not a sound.

Thursday morning had been the last time the walls had heard anything close to such a sound. Little Benjamin was following his father out the door as another day of school beckoned. Robert had done the usual: bought the newspapers from the vendor right around their junction, bought the usual Kalyppo and Jack & Jill biscuits from the shop just a few metres away from the school, given his son the usual hug as he let him out of the car and reminded him, “Study hard and don’t get into any trouble!” before driving off.

It was one-thirty when the receptionist at the BUSAQ office in which he worked informed him of an urgent call from the school authorities.

After second break, Benjamin had not returned to his class, and he was nowhere to be found.

Upon arrival at the school’s premises, it took every ounce of self-control in him to not break out into a rage and verbally assault the teaching staff for their negligence. His calm countenance as the headmistress and other teachers walked and talked with him was an absolute betrayal of the boiling cauldron within.

Eventually, the police were called, and they sent out a search party to begin rigorously seeking the whereabouts of the young child. Night came, and there was no clue of where he was.

The next day was an absolute nightmare for Robert. If there was a word stronger than ‘distracted’, it would definitely be a good word to describe his state of mind. Try as he might, he just could not concentrate on the tasks handed out to him for the day. At eleven-thirty, he decided enough was enough. Walking to his boss’ office, he informed him of the unfortunate happenings of the previous day. His boss was not the soft type, but being a father of five children, his skin definitely crawled at the idea of having one of his children missing. Granting him permission to leave, he grabbed Robert’s hands and prayed with him and encouraged him before letting him out of the office.

By evening, most of his friends and other relatives had caught wind of the news, and a plethora of calls came flooding. Some came through with words of encouragement. Some annoying relatives were practically enacting the boy’s ‘funeral’ as they wailed uncontrollably. Robert was obviously ticked off by that, and either told them to shut up or just made use of the reject button.

Nothing got him angrier, though, than the call that came from an acquaintance, whom was known to the guys as T.K. This guy was a rather carefree spirit, loving the life of no responsibility, and that attitude somehow didn’t regard this occurrence as a big deal. Not that it was mandatory for him to feel that way, but calling to say ‘it’s not that big a deal’ and playing the ‘hard guy’ card was nowhere near wise. And Robert did not hesitate in offloading a barrel of fury upon T.K’s ears.

“It’s not a big deal??!! We be tough guys?? My friend, what kind of stupid drivel is this?” he snapped. “You expect me to just behave like nothing is wrong when my only child is nowhere to be found? You want me to pretend as if I don’t care that my little boy is out there, confused and scared? You think I’m more concerned about looking like a hard guy than my baby boy? Such rubbish! Listen, I’m so freaking scared right now! This is my son we’re talking about. I lost the love of my life three years ago, and the last thing I need is this! If you can’t say anything that has a hint of sense in it, then don’t even bother touching your phone with the intent of calling me! Keep your fragile, myopic, dim-witted crap to yourself!”

He tossed the phone aside. He’d delete the guy’s number later. No time for such clowns in his life.

Saturday morning, and there was no desire to take up his usual seating position in the living room while listening to the political discussions of Joy FM. He remained sprawled out on the floor, praying, hoping, despairing and panicking all at the same time.

He was yet to make an absolutely full recovery from the tragic, evocative memories of that tipper truck smashing into the black and yellow Kia taxi that had his wife, Samira, sitting in it right before his eyes. Despite numerous attempts, getting out there and dating was too difficult a task for him. He had given up at a point and decided he would just stay single for the time being. As to whether that would change with time, he didn’t know.

His thoughts were interrupted by the sound of his phone ringing. In a crazied frenzy, he rushed to the table where it was, and upon seeing the number of the Chief Superintendent, he answered quickly, “Hello? Have you found him? Any good news yet?”

Considering the state of mind he was in, keeping a calm front was not an option. He needed answers ASAP.

The superintendent seemingly wasn’t too surprised by the onslaught of questions. Taking a deep breath, though, was already a signal to the distraught father that whatever was going to be said was not of an affirmative nature.

“Mr. Bart-Plange… not yet. We’re still searching…”

“Still searching??! Then why did you call me? What do you have to tell me?”

“Sir, please, I know you’re anxious and all, but please, calm down,” the superintendent calmly pleaded. “We’re working around the clock to find him. We haven’t given up and there’s absolutely no way we’re doing so. I wanted to assure you that there’s no bad news, and keep praying. We’re moving out of town to the other regions, because at this rate, the abductor may well have moved out of Accra…”

Robert was ready to vent, but the calmness and empathy in the officer’s voice convinced him to hold back the ether on his tongue. He didn’t hear the rest of the statement, but just placed his hand over his forehead and murmured, more to himself than to the superintendent.

“Oh God, please, please, don’t let my son die. I’ve already lost Samira, I don’t know what I would do if I lost Benjy. Please, please bring him home safe.”

The officer sighed over the line. This was no new case to him. He had handled so many of these missing children cases, and each case brought with it the emotions of panic, anxiety and thin hope. He had seen parents reunited with their lost children and felt that beautiful rush of relief pour over him like a pail full of cold water after hard work in the sun. He had seen mothers and fathers inconsolable as they discovered the bodies of their little ones, and the anvil of despondency dropping deep into his bowels. Thirty-two years into the job, and desensitization was not even an option. He still felt the pain when the lost child was found dead, and the joy when they were found alive.

“Sir, there’s not much I can do at the moment, but I think you should get yourself in good company right now. Family and friends that can hold your hand and pray with you through this.”

Silence.

“We’re still working. Rest assured of that. His picture is on social media as well, so that should help our cause even more. I’m confident there will be good news. I’ll talk to you later, Mr. Bart-Plange.” The line went dead.

He placed the phone back on the table. The superintendent was right.

And he knew where to go…

***

“All is well, Robert,” Nana Kyereme said soothingly as he patted him on the back. “I am confident that the God we serve will help the police find Benjamin and bring him back home. This won’t be a negative end.”

He nodded. The tension hadn’t totally subsided, but the superintendent had spoken absolute wisdom when he told him to find himself among people who would hold him up. None could do that better than Nana and Godfred.

He had known them for a short period of time, not long after Samira’s passing, but they had already proven to be friends that stuck closer than brothers. Massive encouragers who knew how to get him to laugh, awesome uncles to the little one… they were God-sent friends. What he loved the most about them was the clear lack of haughtiness and stoic attitude in their character. It was rather unfortunate that most believers he knew tended to be so ‘highly spiritual’, being transparent was Lucifer-esque in their sight. These guys, though, were clearly so heavenly-minded that they were of earthly good. He knew that in meeting up with these brothers, they wouldn’t just leave the situation at some short, religious prayer, but would seek to lift his spirits as much as possible. They had done just that.

“Chale, thank God for the way the police make wild on this case,” Godfred said as he emerged from the kitchen with a steaming mug of coffee for Robert. “If I go be very honest, I no dey trust GH police. After some trend bi I see for Twitter, the stories make I lose vim in them. But I go give them plaudits this time round.”

Robert cracked a slight smile and nodded as he took the mug. He had seen that trend, and some of the stories had been startling.

“Aside that, Benjy’s picture is pretty viral right now,” Nana Kyereme remarked as he looked at his phone. After a little bit of screen-touching, he announced, “1,786 retweets so far. And it looks like people are really talking about it. The news has gone far, ma guy. I’m confident. Wherever he is, he’ll be found.”

“I really pray so. Because it’s bad enough that the memory of my queen Samira’s demise is permanently engraved in my brain. If I lost Benjy too, I’d…” Robert drifted off, too pained at the thought of such an occurrence.

Placing the mug in front of him, Godfred rubbed his shoulders comfortingly. “Easy, Rob. It won’t happen that way. You’ve been afflicted enough; it’s not gonna happen a second time. You’re not gonna lose Benjamin. He will be found. I’m confident about that.”

Part 2 tomorrow!

© Qwamenah 2019

Categories
Of Voices And Vermin

Of Voices and Vermin #7

Issa new week! Which means, it’s time for your bi-weekly dose of #OVAV!!

So last week had a slightly ugly twist to it. That fight was not really expected. Looks like things are set to take a pretty dark turn. Let’s find out…

“Oh, damn it!” Kwabena groaned, pressing the buttons on the controller frantically as he tried to get his defenders to catch up.

Too late, though. I had Griezmann well in the clear, and Ter Stegen was totally at my mercy. I could either chip the ball over him, lash that ball into the back of the net or round the keeper and end with a simple tap-in.

I went for option number 3. The satisfaction of a late, late winner cannot be over or underestimated. Sweetest feeling everrr!

“Aaaargh!” Kwabena huffed, throwing himself back into the sofa. “Diego Simeone frustrates the Blaugrana yet again. Ahh!”

“Haha! Antoine, wati!!” I boasted, one finger in the air as I triumphantly watched the replay.

I think I must be the only Atletico Madrid fan in Ghana. Not the ASU thing squad likes doing if they’re facing Real or Barca oo. Like, real, real fan. Been supporting them long before the days of Kun Aguero and Diego Forlan were leading the pack. You can imagine how hyper I was when we won the La Liga in 2014. Kwabena actually avoided me for a week; he knew I was gonna troll him mercilessly.

“This your style be annoying pass,” Kwabena grumbled.

“Massa, this be wana style. We no dey play plus defense things,” I shot back. “Why else Oblak get crazy clean sheet levels?”

Kwabena let out a Mtcheww. “You make lucky sey the R1 and L2 buttons be mixed up give me. Like your China Wall go collapse.”

Jesse let out a laugh. “Ha! Vintage FIFA excuse.”

Kwabena gave him the side eye. “Massa, you, your case dey disqualify you from commentary oo.”

Kwabena had given him a 6-0 whopping. With the little Argentine scoring all the goals. No guessing who he’d choose between Leo and Cristiano.

I got up to get a bottle of Smirnoff Ice from the fridge for Kwabena. As I shut the fridge door and returned to the living room, Jesse’s phone rang. It was wifey. He picked up and spoke to her.

“So yesterday, Bambi and I finally met with the folks, and we’ve decided on a date,” I announced proudly.

“Oh, finally!” Kwabena said, choosing to use his teeth as an opener. Tossing the bottle cap on the table, he continued, “You know the way I dey prepare my Kupe moves for house? Ewurabena dey there dey laugh laugh me sey my moves be wack…”

“Guys,” Jesse interjected. He had just hung up and had a serious look on his face. “Kessewaa just told me about some important meeting. Some emergency meeting bi like that.”

Kwabena and I looked at him with curiousity. “Ei, wossop? Some FBI lie bi anaa?” Kwabena asked.

“She say some gentleman bi call am. E dey concern Nii.”

I stiffened up.

Ever since the ugly incident at the Marina Mall which Nii told me about, I’ve been super apprehensive concerning his safety. What bothers me the most is how that deranged fool is allegedly jealous of him. I mean, that makes no sense. Why in the world should that Razzie toke be jealous of Nii?

“This guy happens to know the guy who  got into that fight with Razzie last week. So he figured out that by me knowing you, he could get through Kessewaa to speak to you. She said it’s really urgent. He wants us to meet him at the Accra Mall in the next hour.”

“Well, at least, it’s a Sunday, so we don’t have to worry about traffic. Chale, let’s go.”

******

Kessewaa stood outside the gate as we arrived at Jesse’s house.

“Hey, guys,” she greeted as she waited for Jesse to get down from the car and assist her in.

“Eish, Abena Kessewaa! Asayy, the pregnancy glow is real!” I teased as she took her seat.

She laughed gently.

I looked to my side, saw a silly smirk on Kwabena’s face, and in the mirror, I saw a similar one form on Jesse’s face. I immediately said, “Hey, hey, hey, hey, make you niggas no start that….”

“RICHOCOOOOOOOOO!!!” the two of them gleefully cheered.

SMH.

So, Kessewaa has this interesting kind of laughter. Deep throated and hearty, if I have to describe it. One day, while she and Jesse were still in the dating phase, she was laughing, and guess what?

Kwabena suddenly says her laughter reminds him of a rich hot cup of Milo.

The wheels in that guy’s head, eh. They need oiling.

Jesse too added his own, and even said Richoco is more appropriate, because of the use of the word ‘rich’. And now, whenever both of them are around her, and she laughs, they break out into ridiclous Richoco chants.

There was only one thing on my mind as I shook my head and moved the car as they continued with the chants.

Scar and I are definitely in the same boat right now.

scar

****

The four of us arrived at the Second Cup shop. In the corner of the shop sat a gentleman, who waved at us once we entered.

“Lemme get us some cappucinos. The rest of you can go and sit down,” Kwabena said.

So we went to the table where he was and took our seats.

“Hey guys. I’m glad you could come. I know this was rather impromptu and all, but I’ve had this really uncomfortable feeling that I just can’t ignore, so I had to call Abena and ask her to inform you about it ASAP,” the gentleman began.

“So, my name is Daniel, as Abena has hopefully told you by now. I’m good friends with this guy named Ali, who used to be really cool with Razzie…”

“Isn’t that the guy who got into a fight with Razzie not too long ago?” I asked.

Daniel nodded. “That’s the one. They had a pretty acrimonious split, because of Razzie’s lifestyle. Refuses to get a job, just plays games all day, sometimes just goes to roam about at the malls, insults people recklessly on social media… all those things. Tried to advise him, but the guy was just too dismissive. And it was the whole issue about your brother that really caused the friendship to end, because like everyone else, Ali thought he was just being illogical and silly.”

“Well, he is, isn’t he?” Kessewaa said. “Acting like Nii is some dangerous killer bi that holds a knife in one hand and a gun on the other. It’s just ridiculous.”

“Of course! Ali and I were talking about it some time ago at Papaye. Everyone knows it was an accident. It’s just unfortunate he fell foul of the law and had to go to prison. Because chale, the guilt alone is too much to deal with. I’m sure he’s going through therapy, because that situation can haunt you for life.”

“He is. Things are getting better,” I responded, moving my chair as Kwabena arrived with the drinks.

“Thank God for that. Well, that was just a little by the way. The reason I called you here is that I have this really disturbing feeling deep down in my gut. Keeps telling me to warn you guys to be extra watchful over Nii… that’s his name, right?”

“Yeah, Nii Ajei. But why?” I asked, a little wave of fear starting to wash over me.

The others leaned forward, also visibly worried. “Has that Razzie guy said he plans to hurt him or something?” Kwabena asked.

“No, there’s nothing to that extent that I know of. And if there’s anyone he may be planning to hurt, he hasn’t mentioned Nii’s name. The truth is, he’s really, really mad at Ali, as far as I know. After the fight, I found out from Ali that he did what everyone else has been pretty lax at doing. He reported Razzie’s Twitter account, and the account has been suspended.”

“Well, that’s a blessing to humanity,” I remarked. “It’s absolutely horrible how vile and acidic that account of his is.”

“So I heard from Ali,” Daniel replied. “I actually saw a few of the tweets about Nii. Senseless and horrible, to say the least. But, I’m worried about Ali. He mainly did it to hit back at him. Although he did all of us a favour at the end of the day. I’m worried Razzie might go an extra mile to hurt him back, especially when you factor in how he got pummeled at the Mall. “

Kessewaa looked worried. “You think he might try to stab him or something?”

“I wouldn’t put it past him.”

“Then that would make him one hell of a hypocrite,” Jesse said, shaking his head. “Constantly condemning Nii for what happened, yet you’re willing to hurt someone like that?”

Daniel shrugged. “The guy’s insane, chale. It’s quite obvious. He’s the only one in this “NII IS GUILTY” parade because we all know this was an accident that just played out real bad. If he’s that insane, then he can definitely practice the same thing he’s ‘preaching’ against.”

“But, there’s one question I really want to ask. Nii said Ali told Razzie to stop being jealous of him. As in Nii. Where the hell did that come from?”

Daniel sighed. “Nobody but Razzie can confirm that. But, Ali was skeptical about it, and I was like, jealousy has to play a factor in this whole illogicality. I mean, when you’re jealous of a person, you’ll go to the lowest of depths to try and downplay them and their person, and woe betides them if something bad happens. The jealous one will magnify them to unbelievable heights.”

“But what at all is there to be jealous about? They were tight friends, for goodness sake! Where from the jealousy?”

“Hmmmmm. Well, I’m not saying that it is most definitely jealousy that is the major reason, it’s an assumption. But I believe it has a role of some sort. Only Razzie will know. And… some people you think are your biggest supporters can be those praying for your downfall. They’ll smile with you and all, but chale, behind your back, they’re just itching for you to fail.”

“Hmmmm. Chale, that one too be true oo,” Kwabena said. “All this is pretty much proof.”

“But guys, all I can say is that for now, just be careful. This Razzie guy is sick. It’s almost certain he’ll want revenge on Ali, but he might want to do something to Nii as well. I’m really sorry I’ve had to get you all worried. I’m super worried myself about Ali since it’s more likely in his case, but I don’t want anything bad to happen to your bro. He’s had enough torment since the accident. The last thing he needs is for someone to try and hurt him.”

Well, well, well, things are getting someway. What comes next? Your MCM ain’t too sure yet. But stay tuned, do what you gotta do for the week, and come back on Friday for the next episode!