Welcome back, readers! (and a special welcome to everyone who subscribed or followed the IG account😉). I hope you enjoy reading the mini stories as much as I enjoyed writing them. Like I said last week, this series is meant to capture our Corona memories. Call me the Memory Hoarder 😂 (that’s really who I am in real life. You should see my Google Images folder 🤩) Happy reading!
‘Why does your voice sound muffled?’
‘Because I am in my closet, hiding from my daughter.’
Henry couldn’t stop laughing.
‘Ah, big man like you. You are running away from your 4 year old daughter. Joseph, I shock give you!’
‘Bro, it is not a joke. She is hungry every 2 hours and after 3 spoonfuls, she is tired of the food. Every 30 minutes, she asks if she can go back to school. I tried to wear her out by playing games with her and I am the one who ended up tired. If I have to watch the same old episode of Peppa Pig another time, I will lose my mind.’
‘No be small full time job. What happened to your nanny?’
‘We had to send her away. She commutes to our place via public transport and we cannot risk her exposing Zoe to the virus. I say a silent thank you to God whenever my wife comes back from work.’
‘She is still working?’
‘Yeah, her boss has not heard that the world is coming to an end so they are running shifts. I barely have time to work on my projects. Thank God I am my own boss so I can afford to shift the deadlines.’
‘Massa, massa. Show me a boss who hides from his daughter in a closet.’
‘Abeg, she is a true force to reckon with.’
Joseph turned to find his daughter looking up at him. She had already stained her dress with what looked liked chocolate spread and her hair had sprinkles of biscuit crumbs. She was also clutching on to something that could easily be anything from a stone to a cockroach. He wasn’t eager to find out.
‘Daddy, I want to play.’
Dear Lord! Not again!
Tempers were rising, and so were the voices.
Throughout the entire period of Mama’s battle with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, Uncle Horace had blue ticked all their messages to ask for help. He was always in a meeting, according to his secretary. He was never at home, even when they could see his 4×4 packed in the driveway. Today, this same man was acting as if losing Mama was the most painful experience of his life.
‘So what are we going to do?’
‘We can organize a private burial now and then have a celebration of life later.’
‘Private burial? What does that mean?’
‘It means just a few of us will be at the funeral.’
‘How will her friends and our other family members be able to pay their last respects?’
‘We can do a live stream for those who can’t make it.’
‘Internet Funeral? Over my dead body! It is against our culture!’
‘There is nothing ordinary about this time. We can’t keep waiting. Who knows when the ban will be lifted?’
Frank looked up in disbelief at Uncle Horace, who had been named chief mourner.
‘My sister deserves to be laid in state in an honourable way. After all she has been through, it is the least we can do. I still can’t believe it. Ah ah ah!’, Uncle Horace’s voice trailed off like he was too overcome with grief.
Frank rolled his eyes.
What you really want is to gather funeral donations to complete your 3 bedroom house. All I want to do is bury my mother and start picking up the pieces of my life.
Mama had actually warned him about this, that the family would completely disregard all her wishes and push for a grand burial service, complete with a brass band and an elaborate reception. The money they couldn’t raise for her treatment would miraculously appear. Even then, there was no way that she could have anticipated this. On Sunday, the President had banned public gatherings. Funerals could only have 25 people in attendance. This was the first family funeral in a while and Uncle Horace really wanted to ‘chop his post’.
Frank asked again, ‘So what are we going to do?’
‘We will wait and that’s final!’
‘Chale Bruce, just this morning, I have washed my hands like 20 times. My skin colour is even changing. The weird part is I never knew how often I touched my face until now.’
‘I tell you! If my eye is not itching, then it is my nose that is tingling. I forgot to ask how business was doing.’
‘It’s been terrible. The hotel is running at a loss as we speak. And what terrible timing! We just started picking up. All the conferences have been cancelled, all the weddings too. With flights being cancelled and the borders closed, most of our guests can’t even show up for their bookings. We have had to send some of our cooking and cleaning staff away, because nobody is eating the food or sleeping in the rooms.’
‘Yeah! Maybe the government will give you some of the Corona money.’
‘The 100 million dollars that the President said they had set aside for the virus.’
‘Isn’t that for the hospitals? They need every penny they can get. Besides, the money can only do so much. I hope they open the borders soon. That is what will bring in the clients with dollars to spend.’
‘Nowhere cool o! Business owners dey suffer. Employees too dey suffer.’
‘This virus better leave the country oo chale. Every time I feel my temperature rising or my throat starts to feel funny, I wonder if I have the virus. It is like- ’
Bruce coughed into his elbow.
‘Ei! I am my mother’s only son o! This is not the time to cough freely. You, it’s okay. Let’s continue the conversation on WhatsApp wai?’
The drivers were seated under the shed that the station master had built for them. They knew that he wasn’t giving them value for the ‘toll’ they paid everyday and yet they kept coming back because that was the quickest way to fill up the taxis.
‘Chale the taxi, ebi only 4 seats. How are we supposed to get enough money if they say we should leave the middle seat empty?’
‘Ah, who said that?’
‘Nana talk am. You no listen the speech?’
‘All I hear be Fellow Ghanaians o! The arishrish no be my level.’
‘He say make we stop dey go church sef.’
‘This President must be careful. How can you shut down the churches when we are in the middle of a crisis?’
The ‘Osofo’ of the station, Elder Kafui, was upset.
‘Ah but Osofo, think about it. If we keep the churches open, the virus will spread.’
‘Turn to your neighbour kakra, anointing kakra, praise and worship kakra, welcome 5 people to church kakra, and before you know it, half the church has the virus.’Tweet
‘The blood of Jesus speaks better things, my brother!’
‘Preach, Osofo! Man of God, flow!’, the other drivers cheered to encourage him. Most of the time, they did that to mock him, especially when he was upset.
‘These are all signs of the end time, I am telling you. Government must stop the logic- logic! As for me and my house, we will go to church on Sunday!’
‘Ah Osofo, you want to follow Apostle Paul’s footsteps eh? Don’t worry, we will come and visit you in prison.’
‘I have the freedom to worship!’
‘But who has stopped you from worshipping? What this means is that you worship from your house anaa?’
‘This is end time persecution! Before you know it, they will say ‘come for the 666 mark before we give you the vaccine.’
‘Ebei, Osofo. Your car is full now. Move it so that I can bring mine forward.’
‘Hello? Chale I dey suffer for house!’
‘No be you pɛ! I should have really stayed on campus. I just came home for stew oo and Show Boy cancelled classes. Now Mommee doesn’t even want me to go near the front door.’
‘This morning, Mommee woke me up at 3:30am for dawn prayers on Ghana’s behalf. Bro, my tongues no dey reach corona virus intercession level oo. Every five minutes, I say ‘Father Lord again.’Tweet
‘You turn prayer warrior be that!’
‘Naah chale, I am sure even the angels were frustrated. When we are not praying, we are rearranging things around the house. This woman has changed the position of the sofa 4 times in the last 3 days. Tomorrow, we are repairing the back door and clearing out the storeroom.’
‘Ah chale! Some guy owes me money but he has the peace of mind to do ‘Don’t Rush Challenge. Six different outfits. He can’t respond to my texts but he has time to edit Tiktok videos. Chale make I call you back!