The days seem to be racing by these days! I can’t believe it is already Wednesday! I am sorry that I haven’t replied to comments for the last 3 weeks. I hope to respond to all of them before the end of the week. I appreciate you taking time to leave a comment anytime you read. Like someone I met two weeks ago said, sometimes the comments are just as interesting as the story.
New Milestone: We went past 150,000 views on Thursday. Looks like 200K is in reach now. This episode is dedicated to Frank and Ama Tetsewaa who got married one and half weeks ago. I am so sorry I could not make it.May God Himself preserve your union and keep you happy! Ich wünsche Euch eine glückliche Ehe! Soooooo the Kenikodjo meetup is drawing nearer. Just 39 days till I see you guys! The conversation has already started on Twitter-too exciting! Lemme know what you are expecting and looking forward to. My inbox awaits 😉
-Hey. Lemme know when you see this. We need to talk.
Tonia clicked send and stared at the phone, willing it to light up.
Come on. Reply. Please.
When the phone finally lit up, she jumped to her feet and grabbed it. Her face immediately returned to its sullen state.
Who needs a Vodafone text message at this time of the night? Mtchew!
It had been a long day. Selikem was restless. He kept crying. The doctors said it could be colic. She had still not resolved things with Paa Kow and after 48 hours, she was now uneasy. That was why she sent the text message. She was sad, worn out and in need of a friend. When she heard the knock on her door, she hoped and prayed that it was Paa Kow, but as fate would have it, it was Tim.
‘You know you could sound a little more enthusiastic, right?’
‘I just wasn’t expecting to see you.’
‘Well, I know you and I know you would have trouble sleeping, especially with a new baby and Kafui’s passing, so I came with Rich Tea and Horlicks. That used to do the trick back in the day.’
‘Okay, lemme wear some trousers and get mugs. We could sit on the porch.’
Are you out of your mind? He is the reason why you are in this trouble in the first place. Say good night to him and go back to bed.
Drowning out the voice of reason, she put some water in the kettle and pulled out two mugs from the kitchen cabinet. Sitting on the stairs with her former boyfriend at 11pm broke all her rules, but today she was too tired to fight. Too tired to think through it. After sipping and nibbling for a while, there was silence.
‘Tim, I am scared.’
‘Everything is changing so fast. Kafui is dead. She killed herself. And of all people, she left her son in my care. You know me, I hate the idea of being tied down- either by a man or by kids. I am the butterfly who has discovered her wings and is figuring out how high she can fly. The strange thing is, as soon as Selikem cries, something within me switches. I become this emotional person. Kafui called it a motherly instinct. I used to think God left that out when he created me.’
‘Tonia, her death isn’t your fault. Her letter is proof of it.’
‘But why did she give up? I don’t get that part. Why did she allow him to win? That measly, good for nothing prick! Where was God? ‘
‘You and I will probably never know for sure.’
‘Wait, aren’t you supposed to know these things? Isn’t that what pastors do? Explain the things that don’t make sense?’
‘On the contrary, we don’t know everything. All I know is that God is good and his wisdom transcends ours. He always had a plan. It is easy to ask ‘Where is our God?’. It is also easy to miss Him in our daily routines. I believe He is everywhere- sometimes in a subtle way, sometimes in a loud roaring dominant way. He also doesn’t interfere with our lives until we give Him permission to- He was there when Jesus and his disciples were caught in the storm. He was there when the Israelites needed to cross the Red Sea, but both times he did not act until he was called upon. He gives us the room to choose which way to go.’
‘Well, I’d like to see that plan materialize soon.’
‘Maybe it already has. Look at you, all motherly instinct and stuff.’
‘Ha! So why did you really come here? I don’t buy the I know you story.’
‘Well, I came because I miss you. I miss talking to you. Don’t get me wrong, I understand I burnt the love bridge when I left. I just want to be friends.’
‘You burnt that bridge when you wore that priestly robe. At some point, I wanted to pour acid on you and watch you burn, but that is all in the past now.’
‘I’ll take that as a joke. About Paa Kow, don’t worry I will keep a respectable distance. You should marry him, especially since I am off the market now.’
‘With comments like this, I should probably get a gallon of acid and keep it close by.’
‘I haven’t laughed this much in a while.’
‘Nuns don’t have a sense of humour, do they?’
‘They do-actually. With a biblical bias. It is getting late, you should probably head inside.’
Tim got up and helped her up to her feet. She lost her balance and he held her. For a few seconds, everything froze. Only for a few seconds.
‘I should probably head inside and check on Selikem.’
When he spoke, it was a quiet whisper.
‘Yeah, you should.’
‘Thanks for coming.’
She locked the door and thanked her stars that Tim didn’t have the ears of an owl. He would have heard her heart racing for dear life.
‘No, Kuuku, stop.’
Ewuraefua finally caught up with him and carried him, legs sprawling, screaming at the top of his voice, into the bathtub.
‘We will sing your favourite songs once you are all nice and clean, okay?’
Kuuku looked at her like she had betrayed him as she touched him with the foamy sponge. She could not help but laugh. The doorbell rang downstairs and she heard Esowba speaking with someone.
‘Mummy, Auntie Adjeley is here to see you.’
‘Tell her I will be down shortly.’
Thirty minutes later, Kuuku was all nice and clean- and asleep. The energy he had put into fighting the bath had been all the energy he had left. Ewuraefua headed downstairs to Adjeley.
‘Hey! Is there a problem? Is Tonia okay? Selikem too?’
‘They are fine. I am here for me.’
‘Oh I see. Let’s sit here.’
Adjeley took a deep breath.
‘I have been postponing this visit since the day Kafui died. I was greedy and now I have lost both Pedro and Nii. The problem is I can’t afford to lose Nii. I know he doesn’t want to see me right now because I cheated on him and I broke my virginity too, but I also know he still loves me. I don’t know what to do. I feel helpless.’
‘Well, first of all, you need to let him know you are sorry- that it is not just because you got caught. You also need to give him space to process it. It is a lot to take in-it makes the person question everything. You also need to prove to the person that it will never happen again.’
‘Do you think he will ever forgive me?’
‘I hope he does. Life is too short to live without the people you love. Love is messy. It is hard work. It is also beautiful. I will tell you something I have not told many people. My husband has cheated on me before. My world fell apart but I had to learn to choose my battles because I know my husband. I know that man more than I know anyone else on this earth. I know what he looks like when he is fighting sleep. I know that he can’t think straight when he hasn’t eaten. I know he doesn’t like wearing socks but he wears them to endulge me. I know that he wants to have a better home than the one he grew up. I know things about him he doesn’t know about himself. I also know he didn’t think about hurting me when he did it so I forgave him.’
Adjeley wiped her tears and smiled.
‘I should probably call him.’
‘You should. Give it a shot. Don’t worry about what to say. You know this man. You have been in love with him almost all your life. You will know what to do.’
Ewuraefua fidgeted with her wedding ring as Adjeley called Nii.
‘Nii, it’s me. Please don’t hang up.’
‘Tonia, can I speak to you?’
Prosper shifted his weight from one leg to the other, his eyes pleading with Tonia not to make a scene. Not at Kafui’s funeral. They had just arrived in Adidome. It had been a long drive and they all wanted to get some rest before the funeral began. Paa Kow squeezed her hand as if to say ‘Hear him out.’
She complied and started walking, compelling him to catch up with her. She didn’t have to turn to know that all eyes were on them, waiting to see if she would pull out a knife and stab him to death.
‘First off, if this is your big apology, your way of making peace with Kafui before she is buried, save it. You are a jerk, a measly, pathetic leech who drained the life out of her. Your apology is way too late. It won’t bring back my friend.’
‘It is not an apology. I just wanted to speak to someone and you are the only one who can listen and tell me what she thinks- the unedited version.’
‘So what, I am your bestie now? You have some nerve!’
She looked up to the skies in exasperation and looked back at him. Silence followed.
Prosper tried again.
‘I know you probably think I am a monster. You are probably right. I wasn’t there for Kafui- ‘
‘You know what, lemme just save you the trouble. You killed Kafui. Yes I know you were not home, but you killed her. Every time you made fun of her, isolated her, cheated on her, humiliated her and raped her, something in her died. Then one day, there was nothing left. You are the one who killed her, make no mistake. The blood is on your hands. I don’t think you are a monster- I know you are. You are the devil’s best student and guess what, you scored an A! Don’t come and confess your sins, expecting to feel better. Her blood is on your hands, live with that!’
She turned on her heels, stomping her way back to her friends. She stopped when she saw the hearse drive up. Her friend’s body had arrived. None of them was ready for this day and sub-consciously they all knew it, so they reached for each other’s hands. The men carried the casket into the cathedral-Prosper walking behind them with his head bowed down. When the casket was opened, Tonia gasped. The dress she had sewn for Kafui fit her better than she had expected it to. It was a blue off shoulder gown that clung to her body as if it was part of her skin. Her weight loss made it easier to see her curves.
Even in death, you slayed, girl!
The tailor had made it a long sleeved dress to cover the slashes on her wrists. She was still wearing her wedding ring. Tonia tucked in one of Selikem’s bibs and stepped back to bury her face in Paa Kow’s shoulder. Tim joined the priests to go through a solemn service in her honour. Prosper soon stood up to read his tribute.
‘Kafui- you were a good wife…’
He stopped, looked at Tonia, closed the funeral brochure and sighed.
‘My plan was to stand here and read a tribute that I wrote two days after you died, but your best friend made me see that the least I owed you was the truth. I did not deserve you Kafui. No matter what I did to you, you stayed with me- not complaining, not retaliating. I broke your spirit every day and you still looked at me with love in your eyes. Sometimes, love mixed with pain, but always love. I am not here to explain or to make peace with the world. I am here to apologize. I made you feel like you were not woman enough for me, when in fact I was the one who was not man enough for you. Forgive me Kafui.’
Tonia only made it past the first line of her tribute before breaking down in tears. Everything else was a blur for the rest of the service. It hurt her that things had to end this way, that she would have to leave her friend alone in the cemetery in Adidome, that she could not bring her back to life.
When the dust finally covered Kafui’s body and all the people had left for the reception, her friends stood there, embracing one another, basking in the silence, communicating without words, crying because it was over.
It was all over…