Happy Wednesday, guys! Our guest blogger Naa Awula is back again!! Looks like all those prayers you were pouring over her have worked. If you missed the first part of the Legacy story, this is where you can find it. Don’t forget to subscribe/follow the blog to make sure you don’t miss a thing! Happy reading!
Sefakor tossed in her bed for the umpteenth time. Somewhere on the second floor, Alicia Keys’ Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart had been playing on repeat. Whoever the culprit was, he or she was not being very helpful right now.
Many weeks had passed since Elorm had broken the news to her, but his words still rang in her head.
Of all the things that could go wrong?!
She had a tonne of questions racing through her mind. How could he have been so heartless? How could she be his sister? Why did he keep such important information from her for so long? Why didn’t he just tell her as soon as he found out? Why had he waited? She was so angry that she had started to feel sick in her belly. She rubbed her tummy tenderly.
Please Lord, please, she prayed silently.
She fought back the tears.
Stay strong Faa’kor. He’s not worth your tears.
Sefakor pulled up the duvet to her chin. It was summer but she still found it generally chilly. She was visiting her mother in Chelmsford, Essex. Online therapy had suggested that a change of environment would be good for her. It had been almost a week since she arrived but she didn’t feel any better yet. So far, Auntie Gina her mother, had tried to get her to go sightseeing or window-shopping but she had refused. Auntie Gina had even once asked a friend’s son to show her around London but Sefakor had made up a flimsy excuse not to go.
To Sefakor, all these efforts felt more like her mother was trying to find ways to make up for missing out on seeing her grow up. Which mother wouldn’t feel guilty for leaving her six-year-old to be raised by someone else whilst she (the mother) relocated to another country? Yes, Auntie Gina would visit occasionally but she never stayed for more than two or three weeks. The result? She and her mother did not build a strong mother-daughter bond; evident in Sefakor being more comfortable with calling her mother ‘Auntie Gina’ and not ‘Ma’ or ‘Mummy’, like most of her friends did with their mothers.
Sefakor thought deeply of a plan on how to ask Auntie Gina the truth about who her father was. Was Elorm right about his father being Sefakor’s as well? Why had Sefakor been told as a child that her father had died before her birth?
For Sefakor being in Essex was no holiday at all; she was here for answers and Auntie Gina was going to have to provide them.
She could hear footsteps in the corridor, approaching her room. They seemed to pause at Sefakor’s door.
“Sefakor! Sefakor are you asleep?” Auntie Gina called out.
Sefakor could see the silhouette of Auntie Gina’s feet through the little gap between the door and the floor but Sefakor ignored her. She pulled her duvet further up and squeezed her eyes tightly shut, causing her to lose the battle against her tears. A lone line of clear salty liquid ran playfully across the bridge of her nose and, joining another tear, ran down the left side of her face. The bedspread, like a dutiful lady-in-waiting, soaked up the tears so quickly that there was almost no evidence that they had ever been shed. Sefakor threw the pillow over her head, making it difficult for her to breathe.
Deep sleep or death by suffocation, whichever came first was fine with her.
On the other side of Sefakor’s door, Auntie Gina’s hand was raised, ready to knock but she hesitated. She knew her daughter was very much awake yet when she had called Sefakor, the latter had not responded.
She probably doesn’t want to be bothered.
Auntie Gina turned and headed to the kitchen. She opened the fridge, grabbed a handful of grapes and went to the couch. Out of habit, she grabbed the remote and turned on the TV. Her favourite show, The Good Wife, was on but she barely noticed. She started to eat the grapes in a slow mechanical movement, like one in a trance. She was deep in thought. Her only daughter was hurting and it was all his fault. She considered him the devil’s advocate.
Gideon Agbenyega Doh.
Auntie Gina had met Gideon whilst on an entrepreneural course back when she lived in Ghana. The two worked in the same study group and had unwisely started to ‘mix business with pleasure’. Auntie Gina was excited to finally be in a relationship. All the pressure from society about how she wasn’t getting any younger had started to get to her. She was constantly reminded about this fact any time one of her younger cousins got married.
“Erm…Georgina, what is that course you said you’re studying again?” One aunt would ask.
“She’s done with school now.” Another would reply.
“Is Georgina ever done with school?” Yet another would ask. Then they would laugh.
“I’m done but I take short courses from time to time.” Auntie Gina would volunteer in an effort to save her image.
“Don’t tease the girl. She’s got big dreams. Schooling is important.”
“Certainly, but at this rate, when will she ever settle down and have kids? As an only child, she should at least give her mother grandkids to keep the woman company.”
They would give her a brief look of disapproval and move on to gossip about other relatives.
So yes, Auntie Gina was beyond herself with joy when she met Gideon. Her joy was short-lived though, as she soon found out from one of her course-mates, towards the end of the course, that Gideon was in fact married and had a four-month-old son.
Auntie Gina was devastated. It didn’t help that her mother had already told her nosy aunts that Auntie Gina was dating a perfect gentleman whom they would soon have the pleasure of meeting. What would her aunts say now if they found out about this new development? No one would listen to her side of the story. Society would call her a home-wrecker, without finding out the whole truth. Her aunts would call her wicked for keeping her mother waiting for a grandchild. They would never understand her.
So, having had enough of the taunting, Auntie Gina decided to have a child on her own, regardless of what society would say. After all, all this ‘biological clock talk’ was just about having kids so she might as well get on with it. It may be frowned upon in Ghana but it was not uncommon in other countries, she thought. With this in mind, Auntie Gina left the country to see an IVF specialist. The procedure, though stressful, was successful. Nine months later, Gina had a beautiful bundle of joy, named her Sefakor Adade, and then returned to Ghana so her mother who initially hadn’t approved of the IVF idea, could meet her baby.
Whilst waiting at the K.I.A Arrival Hall for her ride home, Auntie Gina made a new friend, Emmanuella. Emmanuella’s ride home was late too and her son was getting restless. The only thing that seemed to excite the toddler was the sight of a plane flying overhead. Baby Sefakor was fast asleep though, oblivious to her surroundings.
Emmanuella was trying to teach her toddler to say his name right and each time, he got it wrong.
“Elorm.” Emmanuella would say, emphasising the second letter.
“Eyorm”, the toddler would reply.
Auntie Gina laughed and introduced herself and Baby Sefakor to Emmanuella. The two mothers started to chat about motherhood and the experiences they’d each had. It wasn’t until Emmanuella’s husband came to pick her that Gina realised who she had been talking to; Gideon Doh’s wife herself.
Gina swallowed hard at the sight of the man who had deceived her. Emmanuella, unaware of the relationship between the two, introduced Gina and Gideon to each other.
“Is that your daughter?” Gideon had asked almost immediately, looking at the sleeping baby in the stroller.
“Yes.” Auntie Gina answered smugly, knowing very well the question Gideon really wanted to ask.
Their eyes locked briefly; Gideon’s was asking: Is she mine? and Gina’s : “What do you care, you slimy deceitful demon?”
Auntie Gina said goodbye to Emmanuella and little Elorm, and walked away. She could feel Gideon’s eyes following her every movement. She didn’t care what he thought. She would never meet the Dohs again…or so she thought.
The phone rang, jolting Auntie Gina out of her thoughts and back into reality. Strange for anyone to call her house phone and not her cell. She looked at the time. Probably a telemarketer. Auntie Gina placed the receiver against her ear.
She recognised the voice instantly.
“Hello?” Auntie Gina repeated, just to be sure.
“Hello Auntie Gina. It’s Elorm.”
At the other end of the hallway, Sefakor’s bedspread was soaked in her tears. A puffy-eyed Sefakor was now sobbing and had buried her face in the sheets so she wouldn’t be heard on the other side of her bedroom door. The music had stopped but the lyrics were still ringing in her head:
“…….and even at the bottom of the sea, I could still hear inside my head……………..and all the time you were telling me lies. So tonight, I’m gonna find a way to make it without you…..”*
See you soon and have a great week! ☺
*Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart – Alicia Keys, (The Element of Freedom)