Hi guys!!! So much hatred for Prosper! Wow! I really don’t want to be him right now! A special welcome to all our hoarders who were swayed by the ‘Let’s poison Prosper’s food and other stories’ and have finally caught up with us. I admire your determination- really remarkable! 😆😆 I absolutely love the #KnowThyMan feedback by the way! 💜💃🏽Keep it coming!
I have got word that some of you want to read the old stories (as in pre-Capital High and Know Thy Man stories). At the very bottom of each post, there is the archives column that lists all the stories since October 2014-you are welcome😉. In the mean time, I will work on redesigning parts of the website so that you can easily access old posts. Birthday shoutouts to Miz Sabie! Stay beautiful! On to this week’s story!
‘Klenam, I have told you several times to stop asking me to be your girlfriend. There is nothing you can do to change my mind. It just won’t work between us, don’t you get it?’
Grace sighed as she listened to his response. It wasn’t that she didn’t like him too. She just didn’t like the fact that he stammered. She could already hear her friends laughing at her if it took him two minutes to pronounce his name. However Klenam never gave up. He would show up at her office with Auntie Miriam’s bofrot because he knew she liked it.
‘F-f-food is the way to your heart, my darling Grace.’
And just like that, the smile would disappear from her face because he was stammering. She would always make up an excuse and ask him to leave. There were days when he would bring enough for all the other girls. Sometimes he would also call in and keep her company when she had a night shift.
‘Your boyfriend is really nice.’
‘He is not my boyfriend’, she would snap back. Sometimes she wished she could overlook that one trait. Sometimes she wished she could call him her boyfriend and bask in the admiration of all the other nurses.
Her eyes caught the movement at the entrance and she knew that there was an emergency.
‘Klenam, lemme call you back.’
37. On the days you want to rest, there is an emergency. On the days when you have energy to work, not a single soul will come in here.
‘Ato, bring a stretcher.’
There were three people struggling to carry a woman who looked like she was unconscious inside. From the look of things, it was a man and his wife and their security man. She wrinkled her nose as the security man’s body odour wafted towards her nostrils.
Ah! Lime is not expensive oo. What is this?
When she got closer, she realised that the woman’s wrists had been slashed. She quickly checked for her pulse. It was faint but she was alive. She went into action mode.
‘Please have a seat. I will come and fill in the woman’s details shortly. She needs to be attended to.’
She saw that the other woman had been crying. She was visibly shaken and her husband was trying to calm her down. The security man was idling around at the entrance. She wanted to tell him to move from the entrance but she didn’t want to risk getting close to him and getting a wiff of the ‘flavour’.
Dr. Quarcoo said what she thought when she saw the woman.
‘Looks like a suicide attempt. Do you have her details?’
‘Not yet. I am going back for the information.’
She walked up to them and asked for the woman’s details.
‘I am not sure. We will have to call her husband.’
‘Does she have any allergies? Or other medical conditions we should know about?’
‘Not that I know of. I am sorry we don’t have much information.’
‘What state did you find her in?’
‘Her nanny came to call her to breastfeed her son and found her in the bathtub, covered in her blood. She ran over to our house to call us to help. That’s all we know.’
‘Is she going to be okay?’
Grace looked up to see two other women. She would later discover that their names were Tonia and Zainab.
Tonia repeated her question.
‘Is she going to be okay?’
‘It is too early to tell. She lost a lot of blood before she was found. We are working on getting some blood.’
Zainab spoke up. ‘I can donate. I am O+’
‘Please give a minute. I will be back. I need to speak with the doctor.’
‘Where is he? That good for nothing, selfish bastard!’
‘Tonia, please calm-‘
‘I won’t even allow you to finish that sentence. It is keeping calm that has gotten us in this situation. How did we get here? 37 Hospital at 2 am! For goodness’ sake, don’t tell me to calm down.’
‘Tonia, he didn’t do this to her. She tried to kill herself.’
‘She did what?’
‘Prosper didn’t go home after the barbecue. Chances are he doesn’t even know what has happened. Her nanny found her in the bathtub with the blade and the pool of blood. You should have seen her-‘
Peter interrupted and rubbed his wife’s back. The tears had taken over and she buried her face in his shirt.
‘Ewuraefua, it is okay. Please try to calm down.’
Tonia tried to stop the world from spinning around her.
She held her head in her hands, rocking herself back and forth on the hospital bench that had carried many a sick person and their worrying family members. She was oblivious to the fact that her red acrylic nails were digging into her fro, oblivious to the fact that Zainab was walking away with the nurse to donate blood, oblivious to the fact that Ewuraefua was praying under her breath, oblivious to the fact that Peter was trying to reach Prosper and Paa Kow. Her mind was flying through her memories of Kafui- the exasperation in her voice when she first heard her story, the hurt in Kafui’s eyes at her bluntness, the way she took to baby Sewoenam, the many days she had stopped over at Kafui’s place to catch up on life and to spend some time with Sewoenam, the days they went diaper and formula shopping, the day she gave Kafui the spa treat, the cheat days when they had fried yam and turkey tail for dinner instead of brown rice and cabbage stew.
She remembered the day Kafui lost her first two pounds. It was after a workout at the gym and Tonia had convinced her to check her weight.
‘I don’t want to check. If I haven’t lost any, it would be demoralizing.’
‘Just check. It has been one month of continuous exercise. The improvement will motivate you.’
‘Okay fine. If there is no improvement, I am eating ice cream today. One whole tub and you are paying.’
She could still hear her squeal of delight in her mind’s ear when she discovered that she had lost two pounds.
‘Two pounds!!! We did it!’
She actually did a little dance in the middle of the room and then ran to embrace her friend.
‘Thank you Tonia. Thank you!’
She remembered the day Kafui told her about the anal sex and how depressing her life was. She remembered the day Kafui had laughingly told her that the swollen lip was as a result of a kiss Prosper gave her when they both knew it was because he had given her a beating. The tears were rolling down her cheeks and she didn’t even know it.
Why did you give up, Kafui? We were almost there. Why did you allow him to put you in this position again? What went wrong? What happened?
Paa Kow was here. She sat there, as unresponsive as a rock that had been in the same spot for the last 15 years, while her mind travelled through all the times she had spoken to Kafui, to see if there was a clue. Anything to explain how she did not see this coming.
‘Paa Kow, how did I miss it? How did I not see that she wanted to kill herself?’
‘Please don’t be hard on yourself. I know you feel responsible for her but you can’t blame yourself for this. Like you said, there was no way of knowing. We can only hope for the best now.’
Peter stood up and went outside. When he returned, Prosper was with him.
Along with his side chick from the barbecue.
Tonia rose to her feet and shouted from where she was standing, ‘Young lady, if you take one more step, I will beat what is left of that measly body of yours to a pulp.Look at the glint in my eyes. This is not a random threat. Don’t give me a reason to get you admitted to the emergency ward. In fact on second thought, give me a reason. Do it so that I can have an excuse to tear you apart with my bare fingers. Useless idiot. Who brought you up? No sense of shame.’
Prosper spoke up.
‘Tonia, that’s enough.’
‘Lord, help me. If you don’t shut up, I will release the venom that I have been bottling inside me ever since I first heard of you. After everything that has happened, you have the nerve to bring this thing here. This thing that looks like dried up chewing gum that has been chewed and stuck under a Syto primary 5 chair. You have no shame. No sense of remorse. I hope you rot in hell, Prosper. I hope you get a stroke and die a slow, miserable and lonely man. You don’t deserve love. You definitely do not deserve Sewoenam and Kafui.’
Prosper opened his mouth to respond in like manner but he caught his tongue when his eyes fell on Paa Kow, more specifically Paa Kow’s biceps which were bursting out of the short sleeved maroon shirt he was wearing. His girlfriend had long run away after Tonia’s threat, especially since she could see that nobody was objecting to the aggression that was coming from Tonia’s mouth. Prosper stayed at one side of the room, close to the door and as far away from Tonia as possible.
Zainab came back and Ewuraefua quietly filled her in on what had happened.
‘Thank you for donating your blood.’
‘I am just glad I could help. Any friend of Tonia is a friend of mine.’
About five minutes later, Kafui’s mother also arrived. Paa Kow held Tonia to prevent another outburst. Tonia saw a doctor approaching them and rushed to meet him.
‘Doctor, what is the update? Is she going to be okay?’
‘I am so sorry. We lost her.’
The doctor was still talking, probably explaining how they did everything they could and that she had lost too much blood and her immunity was low and all the other things that doctors say to try to explain to people that someone they love was not coming back; but Tonia could not hear anything. The room was spinning again. She wanted to scream but her chest felt tight. Her throat was dry. Her fingers were numb. She was staring at an invisible spot in the doctor’s white coat.
She is gone.
She heard Paa Kow’s voice. ‘Tonia, breathe.’
She finally gasped and started shaking. The sounds were overwhelming- the siren from the ambulance in the distance, Ewuraefua’s sniffling, Kafui’s mother’s wailing, the sound of her own heart pounding. She could feel Paa Kow lifting her from in front of the doctor and sitting her down on one of the benches.
‘Tonia, can you hear me?’
‘Everything is going to be okay. I am right here.’
She nodded again and flung her hands around his neck. He pulled her to himself and whispered, ‘It is okay’ over and over again. Today, it was okay to be weak. Her eyes followed Prosper and Kafui’s mum as they went to sign out and do all the formalities that come with ‘we have killed our loved one-ness’.
‘We have to go now.’
In that moment, she loved Paa Kow even more. He was the perfect person to grieve with. He didn’t ask any questions or try to make her feel better. He was just there- silent but present.
‘We have to go and get Sewoenam. He can’t stay there alone tonight.’
He drove her to the house. Sewoenam was wailing, almost as if he could tell that his mother was gone. He took them to her house and waited until she had put Sewoenam to sleep. Then he held her in his arms, comforting her with his presence.
When Tonia woke up, it was 8am. She had slept on the couch in Paa Kow’s arms. She could hear him cooing to the baby in the other room. She could also smell the waakye he had gone to buy for her.
But today she knew the waakye would be tasteless.
Her friend was gone.
Nearer and nearer to the climax! Anyways, I have a proposal. You know how we always mark the end of a series with something special? A number of you have asked about a #KnowThyMan photoshoot. If you know anyone who fits into any of the roles, please send me a message on Facebook or Twitter or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org). The second thing is someone has proposed that we have a meetup after the series to talk about it. I like the idea- think of a book reading but something way cooler than that. It would probably be in August. Should be fun! Lemme know what you think by voting in the poll below…