Happy Wednesday, guys! Time seems to be flying by- Wednesdays come by too often these days. Welcome to all our new readers- I see you! Nothing gives me new energy like a crop of new readers who are also binge readers <3. For those of you wondering where the titles comes from, I will be honest- I don’t know. Just like the stories, they seep through my fingers when I start to type. Too many of my beloved ‘public’ readers are born in the month of November- this week’s episode is dedicated to Dorinda, Elorm, Elizabeth, Ama Quame, Sylvia, Efe, Ewura Adjwoa and my beloved Caleb!
‘He’s going to Takoradi. Per diem, nice hotel, good food, I would not mind trading places with him. Plus I hear the girls there are pretty generous with you know what I mean.’
‘I hear that guy in Audit is getting promoted to Junior Partner soon.’
‘So Kwakyewaa and Vincent have decided to go their separate ways. Who should leave the firm for who to stay? Everyone wants to live the good life.’
‘Did you see Austin’s new ride? The wheels are sick mehn!’
‘The Jessica girl lef him oo. After the Kempinski private dinners, 6 ft cakes, flowers and perfume. She left him. I weak give am sef!’
One thing boys did flawlessly but didn’t get enough credit for.
Edem tilted his head to the right and tried to drown them out. He was more preoccupied with other things- like why he had dreamt about Nadia three nights in a row.
It was always the same dream.
They were eating banku together in one bowl. She was teasing him as usual and he was enjoying the attention, particularly because the other boys were giving him the side eye. Just before he took his last morsel of banku, he noticed that she had an engagement ring on her finger.
With shock boldly drawn all over his face, he asked, ‘Are you getting married?’
But for the fact that they were sitting down, she would have probably fallen face down from the shock.
‘Listen, I can explain-‘
That was always where he woke up.
Funny enough, the dream didn’t faze him as much as he would have expected it to. It was probably because he wasn’t supposed to be with her in the first place. Or perhaps it was because he got the sense that there was no way that Nadia didn’t have other men hovering around her. She was too hot. Or perhaps it was the fact that she really wasn’t his type.
He liked the Dr Maame Esi kinda girl.
Pretty. fashionable but not full of herself, intelligent, Christian, the kind of girl Grams would approve of.
So it was funny that Akwasi was the one who had ended up with her. From the look of things, Akwasi really liked the girl. He had stopped cussing or sagging his trousers. He kept the fade haircut because she liked it and most importantly, he followed her to church.
Maku had a migraine.
Her worst nightmare was back from her annual leave.
Not only would she have a lot of fresh energy to be petty with, she would also be cranky about having to come back to work.
Akosua Dracula. That’s what she called her.
56 or so years old. Short. Mother of 4 boys. Wore too much gold- rings, bracelet, anklet, chain, lockets. Over critical. Perfectionist. Haughty. Impossible.
God, I don’t need this kind of drama. Not after what happened last night.
She had told Robert about the pregnancy test.
‘I did a pregnancy test two nights ago. It was positive. We are going to have another baby.’
She looked at him. He was fidgeting with his car keys, his eyes avoiding hers.
‘Aren’t you going to say anything?’
‘Say something. You are making me feel silly.’
His voice was cold, distant and void of emotion.
‘Congratulations? That’s all you have to say?’
‘What do you want me to say, Maku? I am happy for you? Great news? I am excited? Yaaayy? What is the point of lying to you? You can see right through it anyway.’
‘I am happy for you? Seriously? Why are you making it sound as if I made this baby all by myself? It is your child too. Why can’t you be a little happy?’
‘I see you judging me. And yet you didn’t exactly waltz in here with a spring in your step. Happy? I am not happy. I am not happy that I have to endure another 9 month + 1 year cycle of whatever this is. Would you be happy if you had to resort to pornography and masturbation to satisfy your needs, because you can’t sleep with your wife?’
‘Porn? Masturbation? Has it come to this?’
‘What would you rather have me do? Sleep with another woman? Apart from defiling our marital bed, I would have to worry about diseases and spiritual ties. So don’t play the victim here. I am the one trying to make this situation work.’
There it was again- that migraine.
These days it was a lot more frequent.
Anytime they fought, her head would pound and her eyes would water up. All she wanted to do now was to go back in time and be a little girl again, sitting outside with her family, eating kontomire stew with koobi and cocoyam from an earthenware bowl. With rhe air musked with the smell of smoke from the kerosine lamp, they would eat, chat and drive away mosquitoes until everyone felt sleepy. She remembered looking at her mother and marvelling at how she was able to take care of all 6 of them.
Now here she was with an unwanted baby on the way, a husband who planned to masturbate a whole year away and of course, a job that drained the life that was left out of her.
She looked up at Dracula again. Lost in thought, she had missed whatever the woman had asked her to do. Instead of going off on a trajectory, she looked concerned.
‘What’s eating you up?’
The tears that rolled down her cheeks made it impossible to stick to the ‘I will be just fine’ rhetoric. For the first time ever, she let someone into the private sanctuary she had created of her life.
‘I am pregnant and I am not even happy about that because I am still getting my life and marriage back on track from the first one. My husband is tired of the whole cycle. Masturbation and porn are the other woman. I may have to defer my course for another year. Basically, my life is a wreck.’
Dracula rubbed her back with her gold ring laden hands.
‘I have been where you are. It is easy to freak out because life is not going according to the schedule you had laid out for it. I hated being pregnant too. By the second pregnancy, I was ready to tie my ovaries. My children are strong boys and I had them at a time when most women stayed at home and cooked hot meals for their children. I was in high heels, working at a bank with two children under the age of 4. I doubted myself. I wept. I was ridden with guilt. It was crazy-‘
‘- but it was worth it. So here is what you will do. Wash your face and reapply your makeup. Raise your head high and slay at work. Go home and nurse your son. Exercise. Eat. Drink a glass of wine or sobolo, whichever one you prefer. Things may not be perfect but you are doing okay. Heck, you are doing a great job. It might not seem like it now but you are- trust me.’
Maame Esi shifted the little boy to her right. She could feel Pastor Michael’s eyes on her.
This was the downside about being young, single and active in church. Everyone was either trying to hit on her or engage in matchmaking. The head pastor’s wife was on a mission to get her to marry one of the youth pastors.
Her phone vibrated.
Without looking at it, she knew it was Akwasi.
He had grown on her, surprisingly. She found herself looking forward to his texts and phone calls. He came with her to church whenever he could. When he could not, he would call her to ask her what he missed. He was sweet, sensitive and easy to fall for. He could show up with lunch at her work place or wait for her to finish a late night shift. The other day, she was too tired to drive home so he drove her home in his car and returned for her car as well. Her mother of course wanted her to be with someone who had a full time job.
‘How can you end up with a ‘business man’? What exactly is business man? This Jack of all trades thing is not working for me. He needs a regular 8 to 5 in a known establishment with a decent salary. What happens when doctors are on strike? How are you going to live? Kpakpakpa? Melt whatever he is selling at the time into cash? Not on my watch.’
She wanted to tell her mother that it was not her call to make, and that regular jobs didn’t guarantee happiness, and that other things mattered to her more than a salary, and that she should stop trying to live life through her daughter and other things but instead she smiled politely.
After all, God says we should honour our parents.
Edem was waiting for the elevator doors to open so that he could go to his car. They opened to reveal Nadia bidding a gentleman farewell with a kiss. He waited until the person had driven off before he walked towards her. She was wearing a peach bodycon dress with open toe heels. The waves in her Brazilian weave were so thick and full that he wanted to run his fingers through them.
‘Edem! Have you been out here for long?’
‘No, I just got here.’
‘Oh okay. Done for the day?’
‘Yep, my grandmother needs company. Nadia, be honest with me. Are you getting married?’
‘Edem, I can explain-‘
See you next week, amigos! ❤️