Six Years Late III

Thanks for getting to the end of ‘Six Years Late’, guys! I know for many people this might not seem like the happy ending. But hey… 😀 Please leave a comment, tell me what you think, and do share it with anyone who might be interested.

In case you missed the other parts, you can find the first part here: Six Years Late, and the second, here: Six Years Late II .

Hugs!

Elise

 

 

I was sitting in his couch, drinking a glass of sparkling red wine. It was one of the finest bottles of Lambrusco there ever was– one of my favouring bottles – La Battagliola… Though sweet, it had that spicy, bitter bite right after.

He was one of the few people I knew that enjoyed it as well. The girls usually preferred white wine… and even when they had red wine, Lambrusco was not an option. It was the kind of wine you could get through, without even realising! It could also get you drunk without any ‘tipsy prelude’.

 He had that E.L.’s song playing over and over “Mi sweety jole, my one and only my shorty…”

Kweinuaa, Sakyi and Annie had fallen asleep a short while before I showed up. Apparently they’d been running round the house, playing tag, and putting him out of his mind with all the noise.

“Remember when we were kids and we’d play ‘pilolo’, and ‘zanzama’?”

I could already feel a buzz from the wine.

“I was the girl that would always knock the guys the hardest whenever we played zanzama. The other girls would take it easy, cos they wanted to be spared when it was their turn… I could not be bothered!”

Where did that happy carefree girl go to?

 “Mi naa bo po po po, Mi naa bo po po po, nk33, hef3 he ni maya, moko moko moko b3… mi naa bo po po po…”

He was looking at me… in that lazy, yet serious way that only he seemed to be able to. I’d only noticed recently that he had a small dent in his cheeks – it wasn’t a dimple, more like an indented scar. We’d spent more time together in the past 4 months than we ever had before. I’d noticed things about him I’d always overlooked. Like how his jaw did a twitching thing, when he was contemplating things, how he gritted his teeth very subtly whenever an argument came up. And how his smile, though rare, brightened up his face entirely!

Nii had quite suddenly become a common face at any function we attended. After the last time he’d showed up at the house, he’d showed up at some church programmes, and at my office on six different occasions (with flowers and/or lunch). He’d packed out of Ebo’s house, after an argument about whose side he was on, and apparently gotten himself a place at the  Trasacco Valley. I still hadn’t sorted out the way I felt about the whole situation. I was civil about him, but I was not swayed. I had a beautiful life built, and I was not going to bring back toxic memories into them.

And I was sure that I was going to have a happy ending. Maybe just not yet, and surely, not with him.

I handed him the letter…

“So I suppose you’ve come to a verdict?” He said when he saw the addressee… His jaw twitched, as he took it from my hands, sliding a tad closer to me in the couch.

Dear Nii,

I never thought I’d write a letter like this. After about 6 months of your absence, I stopped believing I’d ever see you again. But this is life. And I suppose the unexpected should always expected.

I was very shaken when you suddenly re-appeared. I didn’t expect to be this affected by your return. I didn’t expect to be put so off-balance. And yet already, it’s been over four months!

A few weeks ago, the last time you showed up at church, I had quite a number of people asking me if I’d forgiven you, if there was going to be some sort of reunion. I didn’t know what kind of answer to give. I had not forgiven you. You see, I had buried all of the hurt inside some dead part of my heart, and slowly, without realising it, you were still chipping at my heart… year after year, taking chunks away, from inside out…

Last week, I decided that that had to end. I decided that I would forgive you. I would set myself free. I decided that my heart was too fragile to let this keep festering. I would not let it destroy me.

Now I want to be clear about something. Forgiving you has nothing to do with getting back together with you, making it work, or whatever words you’d prefer to use. Unless the Holy Spirit Himself comes down to speak to me concerning that, I honestly do not see it happening. So I want you to continue to remain as far away from me as possible. It’s been quite liberating hearing your story, honestly. I’m more liberated to go about my own life. I’m only thirty – three. And my life will count. It will count without you in it. I’m glad that I never had that delusion that these young girls keep growing up with these days, thinking that they cannot function without a man. Thinking that they need a husband to validate their lives. Much as it’s helpful, it can be done without. And for six long years, Nii, I’ve made it work.

So I’m going to return to the dating scene, my dear. And I’m going to be a very happy woman – even happier than the woman you married – if that’s possible.  I will spend drinking nights out with the girls, I will laze about my house and read books. I will drive to the beach whenever I feel up to it. I will go to church and enjoy services, and pretend I cannot see or hear all those who seem to think they can decide what I do in life. I will not spare a thought over you – as I have not done in years. I will do what’s best for my daughter and I.

Oh, and just so you know, we know exactly what heaven on earth is like. It definitely doesn’t have you in it.

Now, about my daughter. Yes, Nii, you read right – my daughter – Kweinuaa. I’d like for you to stop harbouring any intentions of ever getting close to her. Because if you ever try it, Nii… I will get a restraining order. And if you send me to court, I will fight you. I will fight till I make you go bankrupt. You know better than to let this go unheeded – I’ve done my research, and I know how to make it work. She was not your daughter when I had her. She certainly isn’t now. 

Ebo and Ofoe have been amazing fathers to her. She will be just fine.

 

He paused and looked at me with a funny simper… I downed a little more of the wine. My heart was racing, and my chest beginning was burn a little. I could tell I was somewhere on the verge of drunkenness. I’d have to consider an Uber… or Ebo could drive me home?

 

And one day, I hope that you find some other woman, who can handle you. Someone who’ll be fine with a decision to bail anytime things don’t work. I hope she makes you happier than I ever made you. I hope you have babies with her. Because my baby girl is not to be shared. She’ll always be my daughter. Not ours.

All we have left, Nii, is the memory of a beautiful marriage, a horrid separation, and now, a surprising and civil re-acquaintance. Nothing more is ever going to come out of that.

Now that you’ve made your apology and intentions known, I’d like for you to know that you’re forgiven. Only forgiven so I can be free.

I will have a happy ending, Nii. But it won’t have you in it.

Regards,

Parker.

Ebo looked at me, and smiled – fully this time. It was an intent gaze. He took a sip of his Lambrusco, and kissed my forehead.

Maybe… just maybe, this was my happy ending.

 

 

The End.

 

 

This is the link to the E.L’s song that was mentioned. I don’t know the full meaning of it, lol… I’ve just recently fallen in love with it, and I hope you like it too.

E.L – Mi Naa Bo Po (Official Music Video) – YouTube

PS. Thanks Ike for the illustration 😀

Six Years Late II

I woke up from a very restless sleep, thinking I’d been dreaming.

But I saw the armchair he’d sat in. It was definitely not a dream. I thought there was a vague smell of his cologne. How didn’t I smell it last night? And after six years he still used the same one?

“Nii is back.” I half-whispered into the phone to Wendy. I didn’t know what to make of it. My heart was heavy. I didn’t think it would ever happen. That he’d show up with an apology – never in a million years. “Oh God! Well, what’s his story?”

What did she mean what’s his story? Did that matter in any way? I didn’t know the story and I didn’t want to know. And I was too scared that he would somehow try to meet Kweinuaa. I did not want that kind of drama.

Well would you stop him? It’s indeed his daughter is it not?

I was shaken. The events of the previous night kept playing in my mind. I was not sad, I was upset. Livid. Seething.

Six years was too long to decide you could waltz back in and make it work. I didn’t want a story – if even he had one. And I didn’t want to be so affected by his return.

He’d walked out of the room when I ‘threatened’ to hurt him. At least he hadn’t forgotten one thing. My calm threats were never empty. He said he’d be back. “And I promise, I’ll explain it all. I’ll make up for the years and the pain. I’ll make this work”.

You see, I think that the fact that he assumed I would want to hear the explanation upset me more than the fact that he was back. I didn’t want an apology, I didn’t want a story. I wanted to go back to 2 days ago, when it was me, my baby girl, and the beautiful life we had.

My phone rang just as I was driving over to Wendy’s. It was Ebo. We hadn’t spoken in close to two months. The last time we did, he was picking Kweinuaa up for a play date with his kids. I knew why he was calling. But I didn’t want to hear anything about Nii. Yet I owed it to Ebo to pick up the phone. He’d been a good friend. Perhaps the closest thing Kweinuaa could call a father, save for Ofoe, Wendy’s husband.

Saying a silent prayer in my heart, I picked up the call. And suddenly that phone call from the hospital about seven years ago flashed before my eyes. It made me suddenly nauseous.

“Ebo, ofee fine? Long time.”

“Parker Are you okay? Nii is in my house. He says he spoke to you last night. He’s acting weird – he’s been quiet half the time. Where’s Kweinuaa? What happened last night?”

He seemed even more distraught than I was.

“Ebo I’m driving to Wendy’s I’ll call you when I park.” It was a bit of a struggle gripping the steering wheel, I hadn’t even realised I was trembling. Why did he have the power to even elicit a reaction from me?

Maybe you never really forgot him. Maybe you still love him?

I laughed at that thought. I didn’t know how to feel about this. How did people react in these situations? I did not want to ask myself what Jesus would do, because I knew I probably could would not do it!

But how did people disappear for no reason, and then reappear? How did their loved ones cope?

Wendy knew I needed a distraction. She packed us all up to the beach. Her family and mine. It was not exactly the kind of day I had in mind, but it was a good one – the girls making sand castles that barely stood for five minutes, Ofoe, giving them piggy back rides in the sand, and Wendy and I eating and lounging the whole time. It was hard not to think about him.

Just when we were leaving, Ebo showed up. Of course, Kweinuaa was super excited, asking to go with him, and begging for a sleep over. It was a definite no – the kind that she knew she shouldn’t beg about.

He came with an envelope for me. He looked apologetic when he handed it to me. It was quite a thick envelope. Like some folded documents. “Nii asked me to give you this.” I knew I was not going to open it. But Kweinuaa was looking, and wondering. It was a wonder she didn’t ask who Nii was. I took it and shoved it down my bag. I saw the look on Ebo’s face. He seemed to know what was going on in my head. He offered to follow me home, so we could go talk. Kweinuaa was going to remain at Wendy’s. I took the offer, not because I wanted to do any talking, but because I didn’t want to have to think about all of this alone.

We drove home, and while I freshened up, I thought back to the last time I had given a proper thought to Nii. I’d constantly wondered what to tell Kweinuaa as she grew up. But I’d stopped wondering what actually happened years ago. It was not worth the heartache.

“Dear Parker, 

I know that this comes as a shock to you. I know you want to have nothing to do with me – all that happened last night confirmed that for me. I just feel like there are some things that you really need to know. The most important of them is how sorry I am.

Even though I don’t think that you ever wondered if you were a good wife, I want you to know that all the things that have happened had nothing to do with the kind of wife you were to me. You were a good wife. I won’t lie and say that you did anything at all to merit any of what happened. You were a good woman. The kind that any man would be excited to return home to. You were loving and happy, and very helpful, you were amazing in bed, and you were smart and sensible. You were special.

A couple of months after we started trying for kids, I felt very pressured. And I felt that maybe it was cos of me? So I did some tests. Initially, they said that I had no issues. Thinking that the problem was from you, I decided to get a mistress. Just for the purpose of having a baby. (Not that I consider this justified). But when after 8 months, she couldn’t have a baby either, I sought a second opinion. There, it was concluded that there was no way I could father a baby. I really didn’t know how to tell you. And for about four months, I sat on the information, trying to figure out the best way to tell you, and when. And then you came at me, with a pregnancy out of nowhere! I honestly assumed that you’d had another man father the baby. And although it was not in line with your character in any way, I felt betrayed. Around that same time, I got the offer to move to Mauritius. I stalled it long enough to find out if you’d come clean. I didn’t want another man’s child. And I felt like damaged goods, because what man doesn’t want a son of his own? It was very stupid of me, and I acted like a child. I don’t know what made my mind so made up about the whole situation. I don’t know why I didn’t stop to listen. 

I sincerely apologise Parker. Truly.

When I left, I assumed that you’d move on with the father of the child. I assumed you’d sign those divorce papers and get on with the other man. I wanted to see who he was. When after two years I was told there was no sign of such a man, I started to wonder.Then I heard you’d named her Kweinuaa; I thought to myself – if she was really my daughter like you claimed, maybe you’d have given her some Ga name of some sort….  I’m an idiot, I know. 

I’d met a lady from Sao Tome who was also in Mauritius for work. She did not want any babies in life, so you can imagine her joy when I let her know I couldn’t even have any. Though it haunted me on many nights, the fact that I at least owed you a reason for leaving, I maintained in my heart that if you cheated on me for a child, then you deserved this. It hardly occurred to me that for 8 months, I’d been having an affair for this sole purpose, so I had no right to judge.

Parker, I’m really really sorry!

A year ago, the lady I moved in with found out she was pregnant. My first reaction was anger! How could this happen to me twice? But she was so mad at me – saying I’d lied to her. She was not even planning to keep the baby, so I realised she really didn’t want it, so she’d likely not been having an affair. So I went through a series of tests again. I found out that indeed I could have a baby, I just had a rather low sperm count, meaning it was just more difficult for me to.

Parker, it’s haunted me for a year! It’s kept me up so many nights. I felt like a villain. I wanted to come back home to you. I’ve begged God to forgive me, begged him to let you forgive me. I’ve gotten to my wits end, Parker.

I am so sorry. If there’s anything I can do, let me know. I will do it. If it means that I have to go round the world, I will do it. I know I owe you six years of a beautiful life snatched from you… for something you didn’t do. I owe you so much. But if you’ll let me, I’ll make it up to you. I’ll make sure you and our little girl know what heaven on earth feels like…”

It was when I felt Ebo’s arms around me that I realised that I was crying.  I handed him the letter refusing to read what was left of it. There were other things in the envelope that I hadn’t even paid attention to. They looked like hospital reports. I didn’t need any of this. I attempted to push my way out of Ebo’s arms. But suddenly, it felt good to be there. To have someone’s arms to cry in. It really felt like a breath of fresh air. I just held on to him, and cried. Cried for the lonely nights when I wondered if I’d always remain alone. Cried for the times I thought maybe I’d done something to push him away, that maybe for some reason, I was inadequate. I cried for all the children’s parties I attended with Kweinuaa that made me ‘crave’ a husband. And I cried for all the things Kweinuaa may have missed, and would likely continue to miss from not knowing her father. I cried for all the stupid dates I went on, that ended up with me wondering – If Nii left after close to 4 years, what would make this one stay?

I didn’t have any words, just tears. I hadn’t cried about him in years. And I’d vowed I wouldn’t ever. But here I was.

“Ebo… he cheated on me. He cheated…. for 8 months… and I’m… I’m the one who… I’m the one who… who had to… to suffer for it! Ebo please… please tell me you…. you knew nothing about it?”

I was hardly coherent between sobs.

“Parker, I had absolutely no idea!” He said it so calmly, holding me as if his life depended on it.

When the sobs had subsided. I sat there, wondering what next. Wondering if I could ever look into the face of this man I’d once loved, without wanting to rip his throat apart. I wondered if this thing called forgiveness that they’d been preaching to me forever was even possible.

I remembered some random lady from church who’d once told me that if I truly forgave Nii, ‘God would give me a good husband – he would restore the years the locusts had eaten’. It was the first time I’d felt the urge to cuss in church. Maybe if Kweinuaa hadn’t been sleeping on my arm, I actually would have.

Sitting there quietly, trying to piece myself together mentally, and slightly embarrassed that Ebo had seen me at my worst, I heard a key in the lock.

I knew Nii was back again.

I was too spent to say a word. He walked in, saw Ebo and I in the half embrace that we sat in, and made a face. Neither of us made to move.

I made a mental note to change the locks.

‘Ebo, ofee fine?’ – Ebo are you okay?