Hi guys! I trust that everyone is doing well. I owe you an explanation and an apology. For the last month, I haven’t published 8 to 5 ‘on time’. I didn’t finish the 7 days of Xmas series and I haven’t responded to comments in a while. Life keeps getting in the way – an exam, work commitments, a bad day, writer’s block, a post that is not long enough, all sorts of things. Juggling the many roles has been more overwhelming in recent times, more overwhelming than I expected it to be. And while one may argue that it is not by force to do so, I feel like I owe it to you to do better because you guys are the wings on which this blog has flown for so long. I am truly sorry. I promise to do better. You deserve better.
Thank you so much to every one of you who took time to respond to the poll. If you haven’t and would like to, please do so here (It is at the bottom of the post). Those of you who were disappointed about the fact that Edem didn’t ‘eat of the forbidden fruit;’ that happened because I didn’t want to break the hearts of those who are in cyber love with him. Plus of course, there is always a twist somewhere. 😉😆
Anyone planning on becoming an Uber driver anytime soon? It is a great way to make money, even if you already have a main job. You can even sign up if you don’t have a car and they will assign one to you. All you need is a smartphone and a driver’s license. Just click here to sign up, using this invite code maukenikue. This way, they will know that I sent you. 😉 Don’t worry, you can give me a free ride in return every once in a while. 🙂
Happy reading! (P.S: Do you follow the blog on IG? You should! We’ll be starting a Kenikodjo reader profile thingy called #FollowerFriday soon. Some of you think you are silent readers but I see you and I would like to honour as many random readers as possible. It will be cool, I promise!)
‘Ah why? Ibi spelling bee?’
The boys started laughing, Joseph the loudest.
It was great to be the one laughing at someone else for a change.
They all knew that the President could hold his own when it came to speech-giving but Joseph was happy to poke fun at all the NPP guys. He did not attend the inauguration – he watched it on TV and re-lived the pain via Twitter. And even though he was silently crushing on Samira Bawumia, he could not bring himself to accept the fact that Nana Addo was President. He could not bring himself to accept that all these people voted for the man. The kind of cheering that even came from his neighbours when the President finished taking the Presidential Oath was enough to make him feel sick in the stomach.
So yes, he was going to ride on this plagiarism fiasco for as long as he could. Not even discussions about residences and offices or ministerial appointments were going to change that. It sort of felt good to be able to laugh at the people who had made his party a laughingstock.
‘She is awake.’
The nurse tapped Edem, who then realised that he had fallen asleep on Maame Esi’s lap in the adjourning room. She was still asleep. As expected, she looked just as beautiful asleep as she did awake. He could not remember clearly exactly what happened but he remembered beating himself up about Grams and Maame Esi comforting him like her happiness depended on his.
Maybe it did. Stop it, Elorm. Get a grip of yourself.
He gingerly moved his body to avoid waking her up.
Maame Esi didn’t need artificial eyelashes. Hers were long, thick and curled at the end, as if she had used mascara. Her upper lip quivered and Edem panicked, thinking that she might have caught him staring at her.
False alarm- she took in a deep breath and her chest returned to its rise and fall pattern.
Edem’s phone buzzed.
It was Akwasi.
‘Ma guy, any update on Grams?’
Edem started to type, ‘She just woke up. Maame Esi spent the night here with us koraa..’
On second thought, he just sent, ‘She just woke up. Thanks for asking, bro.’
‘Oww ma guy. Grams is family, you know this.’
Edem’s chest felt heavy.
This must be what the girls call emotional cheating. I spend four hours asleep by a girl and admire her eyelashes for 10 seconds, and now I can’t even text my brother normally. What am I going to do when we are in the same room?
Feels like the week of bad decisions- first this almost scandal with Nadia, now this. Edem, what’s wrong with you?
He never got to answer that question because that man was standing by Grams, holding her hand.
The anger boiled in him and it was just the fear of Grams having another cardiac attack that kept him from pushing the man through the wall.
He just kept staring at the way the man was holding Grams’ hand, as though he knew her.
‘How may I help you?’
‘Edem or should I say, Brian’
‘What are you talking about?’
‘Brian. That is the name your mother and I gave you.’
‘Respectfully Sir, you are going to have to be a little more specific than that. I don’t know you. You are holding my grandmother’s hand and telling me I have other names. You need to start from the beginning and please don’t upset my grandmother while you are telling your story. Otherwise I will not hesitate to punch you in the face- with no apologies. She is all I have and I will protect her fiercely until the day I die.’
The man smiled.
‘They brought you up well – passionate, loyal and respectful. Have a seat, Son.’
Edem looked up to make sure Grams was okay. She smiled softly at him.
‘About 30 years ago, I met your mother. It was the storybook version of a whirlwind romance. I fell deeply and quickly in love, so did she. She got pregnant with you before we could get to tying the knot. Her father was a retired army commander and he was determined that she would marry well. He forbade me from seeing her and you the day he met me. I could not be there when you were born. Her dad made her give you up for adoption as soon as you came out of her womb.’
Edem’s heart was pounding, the adrenaline rushing through his veins. He was vaguely aware that Maame Esi was awake now. The beeps from Gram’s heart monitor and his own heartbeat were forming a rhythm that Amanzeba Nat Brew could turn into a masterpiece. His palms were sweating like they did, anytime he was nervous. And boy was he nervous! This always happened when he felt out of control. These days, that happened more often than not.
‘Your mum died when you were about 5 years old. Bad case of typhoid. I promised her at the graveyard that I will find you.’
‘Wait, what kind of movie script are you reading this from? Way too much emotion. Is this supposed to win my sympathy or explain why it took you 23 years to find me after she died? I wonder why you didn’t try to find me sooner. This daddy story sounds awfully convenient.’
‘Leth him finish’
As soft as it was, Edem caught Grams’ comment. Her slurred speech made it difficult to hear her well but he heard this alright.
‘Your grandfather was a very wealthy and powerful man. He made sure that you were almost untraceable. But my search brought me to a nurse who was there the day your other parents took you home. She was the one who gave me your parents’ home address. Thankfully you still lived in that house and that was the day I met your grandmother. I told her my story and she listened kindly. She assured me that you were being raised well and even showed me pictures of you. I decided to leave you in their care and to just keep an eye out for you so that I would not disturb the life you had come to know.’
Edem bit his tongue to keep him from retorting something heartless.
‘I have a family now. I have been out of the country for about 15 years. I went to your house to ask about your grandmother and someone directed me to the hospital. That was when I saw you. As soon as I set my sights on you, I knew. I just knew.’
Edem rolled his eyes.
‘I am sorry I wasn’t there for you. I am sorry it took so long to meet you. I am so proud of the man you have become and I can’t wait to start the future with you. I want you to meet your siblings and your cousins. I want you to-‘
‘I’ll stop you right there. Isn’t it a little presumptuous to assume that all is well and we are all going to be one happy family? I have gone through so many emotions just listening to you right now- from anger to shock to surprise to hurt to indifference. I have always known that I didn’t particularly look like my family members but they loved me. Today I can see that I have your toe nails and your nose. How can you claim to love me and not look for me for so long? What if I had died? Or had gotten into bad company? Or fallen sick? How can you claim to love me?’
Maame Esi’s hand on his shoulder made him realise that he was raising his voice.
‘I am sorry, Edem. I really am, but what matters is that you are my son and I am here now.’
Edem remained silent, his eyes fixed on the space above Grams’ head. He didn’t say anything but his silence was louder than a thousand vuvuzelas on full blast during a Ghana-Naija football match.
Maku shut her eyes.
God, please forgive me.
She was waiting for the nurse to come in and begin the procedure.
In the room next door, she could hear a young girl screaming in the room adjacent to them.
God, I am sorry. I just need to do this.
She could hear her mother’s disapproval in her mind’s ear. ‘Children are a gift from God. How can you kill someone that God has created for you?’
Her mind was playing tricks on her. It had chosen the day when she was sprawled on the operation table to have doubts.
What if you die? What if Robert doesn’t come back? What if you regret this for the rest of your life? What if you go to hell?
She opened her eyes and whimpered.
The nurse was putting on gloves.
It was time.
She shut her eyes and started to recite the one Scripture her mother had taught her to recite whenever she was afraid.
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He maketh me lie down in green pastures, he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul.
He leadeth me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Ye though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil for Thou art with me..
See you next week!