Hi guys! I have never had a case of writer’s block like this one before. I had no idea what to write this week- none whatsoever, but thanks to awesome bosses like Charlene who never run out of great ideas, we have a story to tell! Happy birthday to Rebecca Zutah (and apologies for delaying the delivery of your birthday present).
‘The atmosphere be onaaaporific!’
‘Chale guys, you need to be more supportive of our brother. The guy has fought a good fight. Yes, his party lost but at least they lost honourably.’
‘Oh no, they have not lost. They are in a comfortable lead-‘
‘-cruising towards victory!’, the rest of the boys chorused.
Except Joseph, of course.
He should have known better. Coming to hang out with the boys on Saturday was such a terrible idea. The loss was too fresh to be ignored but he needed to get his mind off the widening pit in his stomach. The group admin for their Twitter Army whatsapp group had stopped picking his calls. Nobody spoke on the group chat any longer. As for the man in the V8 who came to recruit him, his number was perpetually switched off.
Friday still felt like a dream for him. A dream he was waiting to wake up from.
How did the NDC lose this election?
‘You know what dey kill me? Asiedu Nketia in shada! How can you wear this and stand beside the President? CNN and BBC will show that interview oo!’
‘Naah, General Mosquito be shatta!’
‘You see the No Abaaaba sɛ video challenge? I laugh enter pink sheet!’
‘I am just happy that we have retired Mahama.’
‘Ah retire him sen? Mahama for President 2020 mehn!’
‘Ah so Mahama retire, wey we still no find the guy who said the Tweaa? That is why we voted him out of power. Incompetence galore!’
‘John 3: 16!!! John 3:16! Chale by now, Mahama lose weight one time!’
‘1 million votes! Never forget!’
Joseph was getting a migraine. The banter was never ending. He walked out of the room for some fresh air and quiet. He kept looking at his phone, as if he was half-expecting a miraculous phone call from the Social Media Coordinator.
He knew better than to expect a Christmas bonus. All the promises they had made the social media team were nothing but that- promises. Empty ones.
Fuel coupons. KIA Picantos. Allowances. Job offers.
He laughed at the irony of it all. The laughter was replaced with anger.
You had one job- to convince the Ghanaian people to vote for you. Now look at the mess we are both in.
His eyes turned in the direction the voice came from to see Akwesi’s little sister.
She was one of those caterpillars that had blossomed into a butterfly.
One heck of a butterfly, to be exact.
She was no longer the shy, awkward-looking girl she was at age 13. Her flat chest had morphed into that of a woman. Her waist was still small but her hips had popped out as though God wanted to prove a point. She was wearing a short skirt so her thighs were on display. Her top had the perfect caption, ‘Yes, I am a flirt.’ On most days, she stayed in her room when the cavalry was around, most probably because her brother had warned her to stay away from his ‘up to no good’ friends.
He cleared his throat.
‘Yeah, I am fine.’
She sat on the sofa and hit the space beside her, as if to say ‘sit beside me.’
‘I am sorry your party lost. I hear you put in a lot of work. This must suck.’
‘It does. Thanks for being empathetic.’
He was trying hard not to stare at her thighs. They were the perfect shade of caramel. She even had two beauty spots – one just above her knee and the other right where the skirt ended.
‘Wanna hang out some other time? Preferably a day when the boys are not around?’
He could not believe that those words had tumbled out of his mouth. Even more shocking were the words that came out of hers: ‘I thought you would never ask.’
He gaped at her.
She laughed. It was a rich, confident and teasing laugh.
‘Why do you look so shocked? I have always liked you. You might not remember, but when I was 12, I fell and hurt my knee. My brother was laughing at me but you helped me get up and wash the blood off. I have never forgotten.’
‘Yep. Do me a favour though. Don’t tell him. He will tear you apart.’
She grabbed his phone, typed her number and proceeded to save it as ‘Kay <3’
‘Call me!’, she said over her shoulder as she strolled to pour herself a glass of water.
He could not stop grinning. This was perfect. He didn’t need to woo her, a simple kind gesture from 5 years ago had already done that for him. She didn’t care if he had a fancy job or not. She was fiiiine. He already knew everything about her. Things could not be more perfect.
When he walked back into the ‘Gaming Centre’, the boys started singing, flapping their hands as if they were hailing him.
Mahama eeee eee!
This time, it didn’t sting that much, Infact, it didn’t sting at all.
He smiled to himself. He could hardly wait to see the look on Akwesi’s face when he eventually found out that he was ‘tapping that ass’.
When Akwesi drove up to pick Maame Esi, he already knew what he wanted to ask her but he bid his time.
He waited until they had had something to eat. He waited until she had her favourite ice cream, until she was in a really good mood. He waited until she was snuggled up against him in the back seat of the car, listening to John Legend. He didn’t want it to come out the wrong way.
‘So how is work?’
‘Same old. You know the drill- patients, nurses, injections, the smell of medicine, too little sleep, but my heart is content.’
‘Ei Dr Osam! Everyone’s answer is either ‘Fine’ or ‘Stressful’. See long essay.’
‘Leave me alone!’
She attempted to get up but he held her back with his left hand.
‘You don’t mean that. Thankfully I am a great boyfriend so I know how to read in between the lines.’
She laughed and he kissed her forehead.
‘So, am I a good boyfriend?’
That wasn’t the question he wanted to ask. He wanted to ask her if she had feelings for Edem, if she still wanted to be with him now that she was spending time with Edem. But he didn’t have the nerve to. He could not handle an honest answer.
She lifted her head to look at him, a quizzical look on her face.
‘Who has entered my boyfriend’s body? When did we start having evaluation sessions?’
‘You haven’t answered my question.’
‘Yes Akwesi Sarpong. You are an amazing boyfriend. Better than I expected you to be, I must admit.’
‘What is that supposed to mean?’
‘Well, I didn’t have high hopes when I met you but you always find a way to make me feel like a pampered princess. I am serious- you are amazing. Now can we go back to quietly enjoying John Legend?’
He smiled and rubbed her back, his insecurities momentarily forgotten.
‘As you wish, madam.’
Edem was panicking.
‘What do you mean by my blood doesn’t match hers? She is my grandmother.’
‘I am sorry, Sir, but the records show that you don’t have her genes or her blood type.’
‘So what are we going to do?’
‘We will find someone else to donate the blood. She should be fine by tomorrow morning.’
‘Your grandmother is the only one who can answer your questions.’
Grams was anaemic. Earlier that day, the doctors had come to say that she needed a blood transfusion. Edem had quickly offered to donate the blood and had discovered that not only could he not donate blood to her, he was also not related to her.
‘How can we not be related? She is the only real family I have.’, he thought to himself.
Looking at Grams, he silently willed her to wake up so that he could ask her all his questions.
If you are not my grandmother, who is?
Why don’t we have the same genes?
Is there something you are not telling me?
Why do I have this pit in my stomach?
After staring at her for a few minutes, he decided to take a walk in the hallway to clear his thoughts.
‘You must be Edem.’
‘And you are?’
It was a tall, dark gentle man with kind eyes. He was greying at the temples and he has a slight limp in his left foot.
‘I am your dad.’
‘My dad is dead.’
See you next week!