Happy New Week, and a very hearty welcome to all the amazing people who have joined the family ever since we started Akosua Rona. I hope you enjoy your stay 😊. Today is exactly 4 years since we won the Best Blog Award at the Ghana Blogging Awards. I always say I could never have seen that coming, and it is really all thanks to you guys! Boy, time flies! I hope you are doing well and staying safe! Happy reading! ❤️
‘What’s going on? You have been very hard to reach. Talk to me.’
‘Reginald….Promise you won’t get upset. I don’t really know how to say this.’
‘Fati, just say it.’
‘I think I’m falling back in love with my husband.’
Reginald couldn’t believe his ears.
‘Regi, are you there?’
‘What did you say?’
‘I knew you would be upset.’
‘Upset? More like confused. Fati, you were going to leave him at the end of March. We have bought a house together. We booked a trip away. We have investments together. We were 2 weeks away from starting our lives together, and now you are suddenly in love with your husband?’
‘Regi, I can explain. Actually I don’t know if I can. The lockdown imprisoned both of us in the same house. I was so sure that it would be a disaster but- ’
‘Jesus Christ, Fati. What do you want from me?’
‘Regi, don’t use the name of God in vain.’
‘Fati, my list of sins is long enough, with adultery on top of the list. I doubt He would mind me mentioning His name in frustration.’
‘I know this sounds crazy. I really don’t know how to explain it. I guess with a lot more time on our hands, we started talking again. I- I think it sort of rekindled our feelings for each other. He started being romantic again and I don’t know. I guess it softened me up. Last night, we made love. It was- ’
‘Sure, go right ahead. Don’t spare any detail. Tell your boyfriend how delightful it is to be back in your husband’s arms. Go on!’
‘I am sorry. I didn’t mean to-’
‘You didn’t mean to what? Tell me, Fati. You didn’t mean to sleep with your husband? You didn’t mean to fall back in love with him after three years of a failed marriage? You didn’t mean to what exactly?’
‘Regi, I know you are upset and I am sorry. I wish I had a better explanation, but we promised not to keep things from each other which is why I am telling you.’
‘Stop saying I am upset. I am not upset. Frustrated, yes. Shocked, yes. I can’t be upset with a man for winning his wife back. I should be upset with myself for falling in love with someone’s wife. My boss, to be precise.’
The office romance started exactly like they usually depicted it in the movies. They were working late one day on a proposal that needed to get to Canada before the next day, or else they would lose the contract. He remarked about her working late and how her husband would be probably be worried sick about her. She retorted that her husband could care less what happened to her. They ordered in food because he was hungry and after sending in the proposal, spent the night chatting about their lives.
Before he realized what was happening, he began making up excuses to go into her office whenever she was alone. She started looking forward to seeing him. They started sharing meals together and before long, a bed as well. After a year, they started talking about moving in together and that was when they bought the 2 bedroom semi-detached house in Abokobi. She was always talking about how she had never felt as loved as she did when she was with Regi. He was her listening ear anytime she fought with her husband. He was her escape, her hope, her knight in shining armor.
Interestingly, after spending 11 days under the same roof with her husband, she was back in love with him. It took her forever to respond to text messages and when she did, she rarely stayed online long enough for them to chat and catch up on their ‘independence’ plans.
‘Regi, are you there? Are you okay?’
‘Me? I am very okay. Everything is perfect.’
What a mistake.
Every day, Boatemaa said the same thing at least 10 times before nightfall. She had come home to wash her clothes just one day before Addo D closed down the schools. That is what sealed her doom.
Poor Boatemaa had chopped enough onions to feed all the soldiers in World War II. She was always cooking and her brothers just kept overeating. She was tired of doing dishes. She couldn’t spend more than one hour in her room without her mother barging in to ask what she was doing. Mama had her sorting through old clothes to give to some of the children in the neighborhood. At morning devotion two days ago, Mama announced a ‘screens’ fast and seized everyone’s phone.
‘You people are spending too much time in your rooms. If it isn’t FIFA or that violent killing game, it is the bird app or the picture one. Come out of your rooms and talk to each other! We are a family.’
Thankfully, it was just Twitter and IG that Mama knew about. This wasn’t the time to tell her about Houseparty, Snapchat and the Zoom drink ups her friends had been organizing. Boatemaa used online classes as an excuse to keep her laptop and simply logged on to each of the sites to stay in touch with everyone.
Unfortunately for her, she dozed off with her laptop beside her. Mama walked in to find notifications popping up on her screen.
‘Boatemaa, wake up. Which house are they talking about? Who is throwing a party?’
‘Oh Mama, the Houseparty app is for group assignments.’Tweet
‘You think I was born yesterday eh? Open the group assignment and let me see.’
The girl needed to think and think fast. Everyone on her Houseparty was capable of saying something scandalous at any point. She couldn’t count on them to not disgrace her. Just then the doorbell rang and Mama jumped up. She had announced to everyone that nobody was allowed to open the door, except her. Somehow she was the one invincible to the virus.
‘I am going to see who is at the door. The president said stay home. Why are you ringing our doorbell? Simple instruction, mtchew!’
On her way out, she turned back.
‘Go and drink some of the cleansing juice and pour some for your brothers.’
That cleansing juice was another one of the things she hated about being home. It was one of those concoctions that Mama had found on WhatsApp- pineapple peels, lemon grass, ginger, lemon and beetroot. It smelt like a potion from a fetish priest in those Nollywood movies Mama liked. They drank it every morning and evening- without sugar. The smell alone was depressing. Mama could find the cure for anything from her WhatsApp contacts. Only God would know when WhatsApp got a medical degree. Papa had banned her from forwarding her ‘discoveries’ to the family group chat, so now she just sent them directly to Boatemaa.
Mama called out from the hallway, ‘Boatemaa, you haven’t poured the drink. The level is the same as I left it. If you don’t drink it now, you will drink double the dosage this evening. Come and put yam on fire.’
‘My friends are inventing new cocktails and having virtual parties. I am here drinking Corona tea and playing modern day Cinderella.’
‘Maa, I am coming!’
The elders were ready. Reverend Deji motioned at his wife to shut the door so that he could begin the meeting.
‘Good evening. I have called this virtual meeting for us to discuss what direction our church is going to take, given the times we are in. We will take suggestions and then do a short brainstorm session. First, let us pray…..’
He knew that his elders were divided on the shutdown of churches. Some of them thought it needed to be done, others saw it as persecution. He was hoping to use the meeting to get everyone on the same page.
‘One of you has suggested that we start Facebook Live services.’
‘Osofo, my challenge with this is that not everybody has Facebook. Some of them don’t even have enough data to stay online for an hour’s service.’
‘Your concern is valid. What about recording the sermon to share via WhatsApp? That might be the best data friendly option.’
Some of them mumbled their approval.
‘I can hardly get the members under me to participate in regular services. How do we know that they will even listen in?’
‘How do we know that when they sit in church, they are not tuned out and scrolling through their phones? We don’t, but it is our job to preach anyway. I share your concerns but it is important that we provide some leadership. The people will be looking for some form of hope, some form of assurance and it is only Jesus who can give them that. Not you, not me.’, Rev Deji responded with a smile that none of them could see.
‘Reverend, I want to start a weekly prayer meeting in my house. We will follow the safety protocols.’
‘Absolutely not. I appreciate your enthusiasm, Kossi, but part of being a Christian includes obeying your leaders. Let’s obey the President’s directive. There will be no gathering under the name of this church. Pray in your individual homes.’
‘Osofo, what about tithes and offerings?’
‘What about them, Elder John?’
‘Well, given the current situation, how will we collect those?’
‘To be very honest, that isn’t my focus at the moment. If people want to give tithes and offerings, they are welcome to do so by MoMo, but I won’t make it a must. They need the money now more than ever. People have lost jobs, people have to feed and care for family. It is tough for everyone.’
‘Pastor, I was wondering if we could do some donations to the squatters who live around the church.’
‘That is an excellent idea, Sister Adei. Let’s discuss the specifics after today’s meeting.’
‘Osofo, what about the children?’
‘My daughter has volunteered to record a voice note every Sunday to teach the kids something, but this is a great time for the parents, particularly the fathers, to play the role of leading the family spiritually. Any other questions or contributions?’
There was silence.
Rev Deji seized the opportunity to comfort and encourage them.
‘I know that these are very strange times, but there is no time like the present for the true believers to rise up. As elders, comfort your flock. Reach out to them, remind them of God’s promises. They need to hear it now more than ever. We will get through this. This too shall pass.’
‘Boss, so because of small Netflix password, you have aired me for one week? Small lockdown wey I want spy small too? Issokay wai, I will watch the DSTV like that!’Tweet
Vincent sighed. His eyes fell on the crumbled balls of paper that used to have his plans for 2020.
How could he begin to explain that airing messages was one of the ways with which he coped with anxiety? It had all started when all of his contracts were renegotiated. In one phone call that barely lasted 30 minutes, he had lost GHS 25,000 in estimated revenue. He could not even begin to process it.
He had never really done well with not being in control. He tried online classes, working out, binge watching movies, learning how to code. Nothing could take his mind off the fact that there was nothing he could do to stop the world from changing.
He really couldn’t explain it to anyone.
‘Hey, I am sorry I ghosted. I don’t have the energy to deal with other humans right now. I don’t know how you guys can be working out, baking banana bread, Tiktoking, Netflixing and Tiktoking when people are dying.’
Good enough? Nope.
He picked up his phone again and sighed.
Over 1000 WhatsApp messages and 200 emails. Just the notifications were giving him anxiety all over again.
I will try again tomorrow.
Never mind that he had told himself that everyday for the last 3 weeks.