This is a short one just before the holidays! I hope you have a good weekend!
And as it seems as if all of Ghana is getting married today, I wish everyone the very best in their marriages!
Please find here the link to all the previous parts:
Alima had tried several times to eat something by the time the doctor came in. It didn’t work. She was too nauseous to make it happen, and the little that Akaa managed to get down her throat came out after barely two minutes. He was so distraught, it was almost hilarious!
He sponged her until her temperature had gone down just a little bit.
It took the doctor a little over two hours to get there.
“I’m Dr. Mensah”, he said. He was a short, plump fellow, with the typical thick Ghanaian man’s bottom. He looked mid-fortyish, and wore a blue shirt, with black oversized trousers. Probably because that was what would hold his ass well. He had an unkempt look about him and looked tired and absent-minded. He kept getting phone calls and messages, constantly interrupting their interaction.
“I will ask you some questions, and then examine you, and then take some blood for a few tests. Regardless of the results of the test, I will start you on antimalarial drugs, because for some people, the rapid test does not show much.”
He handed Alima a bag of things. “There are some pregnancy tests in there, please pee on one of them and bring it back to me.”
Akaa helped her to the washroom, but she asked to be left alone.
He came out and spoke with the Doctor about a few things. He wanted to know what tests were usually done.
“Once we run those, I will email both you and her on the Agency’s mail, you can take a look and then we’ll know if she’ll need any other tests to be done, or if she’ll need any more medications.”
Alima was in there for quite a while. Akaa went to find out if she needed any help, but she said she didn’t.
She came out later and handed the test kit to the Doctor, together with the bag containing the remaining pregnancy test kits he had given her.
“Well at least we know you’re not pregnant…” He said, picking up yet another call.
Akaa didn’t know he’d been holding his breath. He breathed a sigh of relief, and Alima turned to look at him. He couldn’t exactly read her eyes.
The doctor gave her some injections, and then some medications to be taken later when she could eat.They were both quite irritated by the doctor and were more than happy to see him leave.
Alima asked to be left alone to take a nap. She had so much going on in her mind.
She wanted to talk to Akaa, but she didn’t know if it was really a good idea.
“Teju, you crack me up!” Talata was giggling in his arms. She didn’t even understand how he assumed they could get married! She was not going to be some sort of slave mistress, marrying a young man because she could afford to pay for it.
“Well, it would put your father off your neck, and it could possibly teach me to live a decent life outside of the agency.”
He was actually serious.
“You can rest assured too that I will not be looking for much of your attention. You can work and thrive, and I will learn to work and succeed too. Win-win for both parties”
It seemed sensible. But she didn’t know if she was only considering it because of how emotional she felt at the moment. She liked him. Actually, he was great. And this morning was confirmation of that. But he was at least eight years younger than her. Not that he looked too young. But…even older men were constantly so immature, what was to say that this one that was pretty much a child was going to be any different?
“I don’t know what the agency’s stance on things like that are. And I don’t know how it would work, and…”
“Well… you could think about it, ask around, figure it out. And if you don’t want it, I’m fine with this too…I like you, and I think you should try to stop caring what your dad thinks. He’s lived his life. Live yours.”
He held her tighter when he said that.
Returning to Ghana, Adzo felt sad. It felt good to have escaped reality for so long in such a beautiful place. It was like a breath of fresh air, really. Anto seemed to feel the same way.
She had to stop herself from crying on two occasions. The first time was when he lifted her up in one of the parks, just for the fun of it. “One of the things I like about you is how small you are. I could probably hide you in a suitcase!” being small had never been considered a good trait, so it was new. And for some weird reason, it made her feel mawkish.
The second time was on the last day of the conference, when he skipped the sessions and stayed in bed with her. It was a really good day. They ordered room service all day and stayed in bed. He gave her a massage, and some really really good head.
“I don’t want you to ever forget this trip…” He half whispered, half kissed into her ears. I am really glad we did this.”
“Thank you for bringing me… I’ve had such a beautiful time.”
He kept putting his face in the crook of her neck and nuzzling her. Saying things that made her wish she wasn’t just a paid service.
“You treat me really differently…” maybe she shouldn’t have said that.
He put his teeth lightly on her ear and held it for a few seconds. “You deserve to be treated differently.” Her eyes teared up.
“What about…” she swallowed her words together with the lump that was forming in her throat, to stop herself from asking about his wife.
“He giggled. He probably knew exactly what she was going to ask.
Have you heard the saying that most people don’t marry those they love? They marry those who were ready when the time came for them to marry.”
“It’s from Chimamanda’s novel isn’t it?”
“I’m not quite sure… but it’s the truth! Might as well be written in the Bible.”
“You make me forget the mistake I made in getting married to my wife. You listen to me. You talk to me in neutral or even loving tones. You do things for me unasked. She’s a lovely woman… or was. I don’t know her so much anymore. But she’s a good person. Yet she will never listen to me or show me any respect. Marrying her was wrong in the first place. And then now she makes it even harder!”
He didn’t say anymore. Just kissed the top of her head.
She climbed on top of him really slowly, determined to make him forget they just spoke about his wife.
Maybe the whole marriage thing was really just a scam. Maybe she could work like this forever. Not all the girls at the agency were this lucky – that she knew. But then again how many marriages were lucky?
“Akaa, I’d like to go to an actual clinic.” He was sitting with her in the bed after she’d taken nap.
“Are you feeling worse? I thought you were getting a bit better. You look a bit better.”
“No, just that doctor looked a little absent minded.” He sort of understood her.
“There’s a clinic not too far from here, but they know me quite well. We could go to this other one, maybe 40 minutes away? Is that okay?”
She nodded. Although she didn’t feel good, the way he looked at her tenderly made her smile.
“And I’d be really happy if you’d let me stay here another week? You don’t have to be here. I understand you have work. I just don’t want to go back to the agency sick. They always look at the girls who get sick funny. Like they are trying to shirk responsibilities or clients.”
He’d do anything for her at that point. She looked so vulnerable, so unlike her usual self.
“Anything for you.”
“Ato, I don’t understand how you can disappear for a whole weekend sometimes and show up with the excuse of church work.”
Amber had been moody all week, and all of a sudden, she was screaming at him. It was as if she had bottled all she had to say for so long and was finally releasing it all.
He acted shocked.
“Baby, are you trying to compete with God for my attention? Is that what this is? I can’t believe it!”
She was quiet for a few seconds.
“I love you, and I care about you a lot! I take care of you, I give you good loving! I never say no when you need money. We go on holidays once a year. You do not work, yet you are not poor or lacking in any way. I make time for you as much as this church will allow. And now you’re saying what?”
She remained quiet. He could tell whatever fight she had in her, she had lost it. Or at least she was losing it.
“Where do you think I disappear to? Do you think I even have the time to cheat on you? Is that what this is about?”
“Ato I’m not saying you’re cheating.”
“This week we’ve had back-to-back projects, I barely make it home in time for dinner. We’ve been travelling all over for the upcoming seminar. The logistics have been crazy! You no longer ask me how work was, or what exactly we’re doing. You’re constantly sulky, and only bright when you need money from me. I have let all that slide because of the workload we have currently. And now you accuse me of me of overworking for God? Amber I don’t know what to say to you!”
He started to walk away. But he caught a glimpse of her face, and noticed she looked genuinely sad.
“I wouldn’t do anything to hurt you…” He said, pulling her into a hug.”
“I love you so much… and I am only doing the Lords work!”
He held for a long time.
“I’m sorry, Ato. I just get so lonely…”
The drive to the hospital was almost silent. Alima was distant. He could feel it. It could have been because she was ill. But a few hours ago, she was professing her love to him.
He remembered with mortification that he’d told her he loved her too. What was coming over him? This was how scandals started. He didn’t want a scandal. He had to figure a way to make the nonsense stop.
Maybe he needed a break from the agency. Seeing her every almost month was part of the reasons why this was happening.
He made a resolve in his head. He had to make it stop. Maybe he would take Celine on a surprise holiday out of town once Alima was well and back at the agency. That would definitely help get it all out of his system. The kids wanted to go to Disneyland, and he hadn’t been able to take them the year before. Maybe now was the time for that trip.
Alima asked to go in alone with the doctor. He didn’t seem to have a problem with it.
He called his travel agent just when Alima got out of the car.
“Can we organise tickets and hotel for Paris for somewhere next week? Likely the end of the week. We can leave Sunday. I’ll confirm some things at work to know when we can return.”
“Yes, myself, the madam, the nanny and the kids. Two suites at the hotel. The nanny and the kids will take one, so it should have at least two rooms in their suite.”
“I’m not so sure about a car rental, can the hotel organise a chauffeur?”
Alima really felt she had to talk to someone. Someone that wasn’t Akaa or an ally of the agency. Where was her mother when she needed her? Even her girls at the agency would be great to talk to!
She dashed into the cosy doctor’s office, as soon as it was her turn, and started blabbering. She didn’t even realise she was pacing.
“Doctor, I’m pregnant, but I have the five-year implant in my arm. What does it mean?! Why is this happening to me?”
To be continued….