Perspectives X

March 2020! Just three months into the year and somehow we wish we could start it all over! We pray for much better times ahead!

I’ve got a big surprise! As I mentioned, this will be the final online part of Perspectives.

I’m happy to announce that Perspectives is getting published into a book in a few months! I’m grateful for all the support and the love and the feedback (also for all the threats and the 2am discussions – I really love you guys!) Let’s anticipate the book! Let’s share Perspectives with the world!

Aaand If you’re a little late to the party, or a little behind, you can find the other parts right here:

Perspectives IIIIII , IVV , VIVIIVIII & IX

Love,

Elise


Sometimes, God’s answers are a firmly shut door.

The funeral was very solemn. He was a well-known, well-loved man.

There was none of the usual celebrations that people were used to at funerals or wakes. The atmosphere was grave… literally.

Sarah was inconsolable. It was as if she’d finally realised what could have been.

She’d played so many scenes in her head countless times! Like that time when he took her on a boat cruise because she was stressed. She kinda gave him hell, but she had a good time! Then there was that time, when she was pregnant, he’d rub her feet every evening before she went to bed, because he knew it felt good and she liked it. There was no way she was going to land a man like him again. Especially with her attitude, and she knew it.

Oh, Bruma!

His little girls were in cute black dresses. The oldest had been very quiet. She could somehow tell what had happened, and she knew that this was tragic. The youngest was in wondrous oblivion, running between different family and church members. She was a happy soul, much like her father had been a few years ago.

Nadia wasn’t at the funeral. Sarah knew because she looked out for her.

God, Bruma was a good man, I’m so sorry!

As the senior pastor preached, Sarah thought back to that letter she had written to him before he died. Was she to blame?

“So many times we question God. Why do good people die? Why does such a great man of God have to die so soon?”

“What becomes of his family? Did God not think about that before taking him away?”

I didn’t love him as much as I should, but God, Bruma deserved a good end to life!

“There’s never an appropriate answer to these things. One day in Heaven, there are so many questions God will answer for us. Sometimes we say this person or that person deserved a happy ending. Brothers and Sisters, Pastor Bruma’s good ending is in the bosom of the Lord! This world of rot isn’t where our happy ending is. This world of disease and death, stress and fear… This world isn’t great!”

It was a good thing that Bruma’s brothers were not stressful people. The extended family had started some drama, but it was to be expected. They knew Bruma had some wealth, and they knew there was no way they could have it all. Sarah wasn’t going to let them.

She thought about Nadia. Where was she? Why didn’t she show up? It was pretty obvious she was in love with Bruma, and Sarah couldn’t shake the feeling that maybe they did have a thing before he died.

It didn’t matter now. He was gone. She had disappeared too.

Sarah was jostled out of her sleep by Nadia opening the door. The door had this squeaky sound it made.

It had been 4 weeks. Maybe this dream was the indicator.

The doctors had discussed it with her so often. His brothers had visited, and had also been talked to. Initially it was a very vehement No.

With time, it was looking as if there was little that could be done anymore.

He was taken of the vent a week ago, and he was somehow breathing spontaneously. He didn’t have the abnormal heart rhythms anymore. But he was still not conscious.

Bruma was gone. Sarah sighed.

It was time to pull the plugs.


Dear Adeola,

Your letter was quite interesting to read.

I think about you too. More than I’ve thought about any man before in my adult life. And trust me, there have been an insane number of men who have assumed I should think of them.

Unfortunately, I wish the letter was enough to let me let down my guard and run back into your arms… I do miss you, but I don’t know if this is it.

Regarding your wife/ex-wife/soon-to-be-ex-wife… I’m sorry about your loss. But hey, don’t you think it’s so unfair of you to decide to hold her back because you’re not ready to move on?

It’s interesting how some men will always try to find a way to control women. I’m glad I ‘brought you to your senses’ and glad that you’re finally signing your papers and getting your divorce. Good on you!

Unfortunately this makes me wonder what lengths you’d go to, to keep me from doing something if it didn’t agree with you.

You take me back to my twenties, when I still had butterflies in my tummy for a man, when I lived and dreamed that fairy tale life. It’s a beautiful thing. It feels good to know that my ‘heart of stone’ can actually fall in love again. And I’m grateful to you for showing me this!

But apart from the fact that I barely know you, I’m gradually getting the feeling that you don’t take it too well when things don’t go your way. Things will not always go your way Adeola, and that’s not always a bad thing. You move on, and you make it work.

I wish this was the reply you anticipated. I wish I could say that knowing the full story makes it easier for me to run back to you. I’ve come to care a lot about you, and this isn’t an easy decision.

I’m happy to remain friends with you, to figure out if ever I can stop being sceptical about you.

Thank you for sharing the truth with me however. Somehow, it puts things into perspective for me. On a lighter note, it looks like I can check ‘falling in love with a married man’ off my bucket list!

I’m happy to hang out and meet once in a while, but please don’t expect too much.

Best,

Yaa.


They had somehow fallen into some sort of unwritten, unspoken routine. Sarah did the day shifts, usually heading home at around 6pm, to return at 6am. Nadia did the evenings and nights. It had been a week, and there was little to no sign of improvement. There was one time when Nadia thought she saw him move. She rushed out to call the nurse in the corridor, only to come back to a completely still Bruma.

“It must have been a figment of your imagination Ma’am. There’s nothing to show any activity. I know you want this badly, and sometimes it can make you see these things.”

Sarah hadn’t said anything about the letter yet. There was no use. First of all, because there was no telling if he would even come back to life, secondly, she didn’t enjoy drama. But mostly because she felt indebted to this woman. All she knew about her was that her name was Nadia, and she was from the United States. Whatever affair she had with Bruma, it was unlikely they were physically intimate, he hadn’t been to the US in so long. And when he did, he was in the company of church people. Unless of course she had been the one to come to Ghana, she didn’t see how an affair was possible.

You’ve pushed a man that cared so much about you to an early grave!


Wendy had discussed Adeola with Yaa after the letter. Somehow it looked as if she was looking for excuses to not be vulnerable – and she’d told her this. Even though she didn’t think she was going to be with any man anytime soon, (or if ever), she knew that Yaa was in love. It was obvious. Yet she didn’t seem to want to be put into that vulnerable situation anymore. “That’s the thing with you ‘boss-chicks’, Yaa! You don’t want to be helpless in any situation.” She laughed.

They were walking the baby around Yaa’s neighbourhood. He was such a bright eyed baby boy, turning his head to look out of his pram at everything they passed.

“Give him a chance! At least now you know he’s gotten that divorce.”

“Madam, I thought you had sworn off men a few months ago, look at you asking me to run after a man!”

This was the friendship they both needed. The kind of friendship every woman needs. No judgement, no fear, just true, profound companionship.


The minute she woke up, everything from the day before started flooding her mind. She could almost see it all again. She felt blank for a short while – almost as if she was watching it play in a movie, something unreal. And when that lifted, that’s when she felt pure heartbreak. For over an hour, she cried hard. For all she’d given, all the sacrifices she’d made, all that she’d almost given up, and most importantly for what she was about to do.

At noon, she knew she had to check out. She also had to eat something. She ordered a sandwich in their restaurant, and picked it up on her way out.

She made straight for her parents’ house, knowing that her dad would be home and would have questions. She didn’t know if she was ready to talk. All she needed was to work. To get her mind off all of this.

“OJ… This is Dr. Akyia.”

“I know I haven’t called you in ages! I’ve been out of town for a while, and I’m only back for a short bit.”

“I can’t say I’m well.”

“I need your help with something. I need an expedited divorce!”

“I caught him in bed with another man.”

She almost broke into tears saying those words. It still felt unreal.

“Yes, Monday morning should be fine. Thank you OJ. I appreciate this.”


Andrea woke up in OJ’s arms a very content woman. He was still fast asleep when she woke up. He didn’t snore much, but he had this heavy breathing that for some funny reason was endearing to her. And she felt his breath tickling her neck.

She didn’t want to move much and wake him.

The music was still playing, but it was more hush now.

They’d spent most of the night drinking and dancing in his living room. He was such a good dancer. And he was goofy. They did rap battles to really old songs from when they were kids, and then they slow danced to Luther Vandross and Backstreet Boys songs. The night ended beautifully – drunk sex!

How had she missed out on these little things in her marriage? Or was it the marriage tag that took them away? She and Gyedu had never had anything remotely close to this – not even when they were dating.

Yet she hoped he had no plans of asking her to marry him anytime soon. She wasn’t ready… and she didn’t want any of this disappearing into thin air. This is the happiest she had been in so long!

It was probably close to noon, but they hadn’t really made any plans. They’d promised to pick the boys from her mother’s place to see an animation at the cinema later in the evening. Speaking of her mother, she knew that she had many questions to answer soon. She had seen that look on her face, and she knew she had to start preparing her answers.

He stirred behind her, and held her closer, nibbling on her ear. “You dance so well even in bed!” He grazed his fingers lightly on her arms, giving her goosebumps.

It felt good. She turned around to kiss him. Morning breath or not, they started making out, and she could already tell what they’d be doing all afternoon.

They were interrupted by a phone call.

He wasn’t going to pick up, but she shoved him towards the phone.

“Oh hi, Dr. Akyiaa,”

“Haha yes, it’s been really long! How are you doing?”

“Wait, what? Why? What happened?”

“Oh wow! I can clear up some things from my Monday morning. Is that fine with you?”

He hung up, with a faraway look on his face.

“You look like you’ve seen a ghost!”

“You can’t tell anyone this! My friend caught her husband in bed with another man! She wants a divorce.”

Andrea was suddenly nauseous.


Nadia was doing some work on her MacBook. There was a lot that needed to be done in person, and they wanted to know if she was coming back anytime soon. Of course she couldn’t be too sure. It had been a month already. He was off the vent and breathing by himself now, so that was definitely some progress. The doctors didn’t seem too enthusiastic though, but she knew he would come to. He had to!

That’s when she heard Bruma sigh.

She thought she’d imagined it. Probably like that first time when she thought she’d seen him move.

But it happened again, and his eyes started to flutter.

Nadia sat still for a minute. Her heart was thumping!

She needed to be sure she wasn’t dreaming. She shut the laptop, and placed it on the floor.

Bruma opened his eyes. He looked into her eyes, and she didn’t know what to do. What if she moved, and all this turned out to be some illusion?

He coughed a bit.

It was real. He wasn’t dead. He was moving. His eyes were open, he was alive!

“Dry.” He whispered, pointing to his neck area.

“Water.”

Nadia was on her feet, but she couldn’t move. She was dumbstruck… totally dumbfounded.

He shut his eyes again for a minute, and she moved closer to his bed. Maybe she really was hallucinating. He opened his eyes and tried to reach out to her with his hands. It was a weak effort. She went straight to him now, in tears.

He noticed the tears and tried to touch her face. She crouched by his bed, her face close to his, grateful, and joyful, with so many emotions bubbling in her heart.

She heard the footsteps, but it was as if she had been glued to his side.

He was alive!

“I don’t know if you understand, Doc. I had a very vivid dream of what his funeral would be like. Maybe it was a sign.”

“It has been a little too long, and chances of full recovery are very slim. But I believe we can give it another week?”

“I think it’s time to end all this. Let’s pull his plugs, Doc.” Sarah said as she walked through the door.

She gasped and dropped her handbag, almost losing her footing…

Bruma smiled at her. Nadia gasped.


I hope you’re looking forward to the book the same way I am! I’ll send updates and progress reports when I can. In the meantime, let’s share this with everyone! Leave a comment, ask a question, tell me what you think, and tell someone about Perspectives!

PS. Let’s get ready for another online roller coaster soon!

Perspectives IX

Happy February Guys!! It’s the month of Love, and I wish everyone as much love as possible in the rest of the year! The Penultimate part of Perspectives is here! And as always, please keep the feedback coming!

Also Perspectives is likely to be published into a book sometime soon…. Hands up if you’d be interested in a copy lol!

Aaand If you’re behind, you can find the other parts right here: Perspectives IIIIII , IVV , VI  VII & VIII

Hugs,

Elise


Sometimes, God is quiet.

God, you can’t let Bruma die. I don’t know what I’d do. I’m distraught. And I’m scared. And I don’t even know if going is the right thing to do, but I’m going anyway.

The only available flights out were first class tickets on a South African Airline flight, which required that they fly out to Dulles, transit for an hour, and then fly ten hours directly to Ghana.  She didn’t mind the outrageous cost. She was numb and tired… and terrified. Mackenzie was a bit fussy initially. But he seemed to realise his mother was not quite in the mood for his fuss.

It was a very long 10 hours.

She imagined the worst – and the best. Sleep evaded her all ten hours. She wanted to hurl at a point, and she knew she couldn’t blame the crappy plane food or air sickness.

Dear Bruma

If you never get to see this letter, I’ll be the most miserable woman alive. I’ve lost love once in the past. I can’t lose you a second time Bruma. Doesn’t matter that we don’t get to be together, it matters that at least I get to see you, or talk to you. It matters that you’re alive, and that I have my friend of so many years with me.

It hurt me that you would even wonder if it would make any difference to me if you died. It would make a world of difference Bruma. You matter. And you don’t only matter to me.

So many nights, I create this mini family in my head, where you’re the father, I’m the mother, Mack has an adorable baby sister, and we’re one happy family. I day dream about the loving man you are….and how I know for sure I wouldn’t have to bother myself wondering if you loved me.

I haven’t particularly come back running into your arms the way I wish I could because… well life… Considering the circumstances, with Sarah, the church, and all that society does and says, I didn’t want to be the reason why your family would break apart. And even if I wasn’t the reason, the church would never understand that – people in general, would never understand.

My mind is dashing everywhere… all the things I left unsaid, all the things I wanted to say about Sarah’s treatment of you… all the support I wish I’d given you, how I wish I’d had the courage back then to stand up to your mother. And how I feel like maybe if you’d had just a little courage in standing up to her I’d have taken the cue.

I can’t believe you tried to do this. I can’t imagine how bad the hurt must have been. I wish I could have seen through your pain and your efforts. I wish I could have done more. I really really hope you live, Bruma.  

I love you so much!  I never stopped. I never will. And this 10 hour flight is too much time, I don’t know what I’d do if you died. Please Bruma, choose life.

I know how broken you were, and I was so proud of your efforts – therapy, prayer, actually speaking about it (on the few occasions that you did). Being broken doesn’t make you any less of a man, Bruma. Accepting it and working on it is the bravest thing to do, and you did it. You did it! The world can be a terrible place… and of all the cruelty we’ve ever had to deal with, I hope your death will not be one. Not now.

I love you. Please come back to.

Please Bruma

Nady.


Sometimes, God probably just laughs at us from above.

Bruma was in a coma. Sarah didn’t understand how it had happened or how the other woman had known. Bruma was all sorts of things she didn’t want, but he definitely wasn’t a cheater.

She was frantic, pacing in the hospital half the time. Was she the reason he had committed suicide?

The doctor couldn’t tell if he would come out of the coma or not. There was no indication of how much of the drugs he had taken, but if it was enough to get him straight into a comatose state, then it was definitely a lot. She wasn’t paying much attention to what the doctor said she didn’t know what to feel.

This was a man she didn’t quite love, but he had been good to her. So good to her! Very few men were like him. And although he annoyed her and often made her want to leave, death wasn’t what she wished for him. She didn’t know what she’d do. And the girls definitely didn’t love her the way they loved him.

God, I will try to be a better wife if you wake him up, I promise!

He was still not up the next morning. She had wanted to go home to shower and come back, but there was no difference, and it felt so odd seeing him lifeless. She had informed the other pastors and the presbytery to pray. And she’d asked that none of them visit, because really there was nothing to see. Their prayers were enough.

She couldn’t get the nagging feeling about the other woman out of her mind though. Was Bruma actually sleeping with her?

She convinced herself that he was – she could barely remember the last time they were intimate. And much as that was her fault, he had stopped initiating completely. They also hadn’t had a proper conversation in so long. The longest form of communication they’d had recently were through those letters they wrote each other. She felt her heart beat faster when she remembered the last one she wrote to him. He was not her choice – true…. But maybe she shouldn’t have been so cold about it.

“Bruma please wake up… I’m so sorry!”


There are things nobody prepares you for. Usually, a cheating spouse is one of them. And for some reason, it hurt more that he was not cheating with a person of her sex.

He was sleeping with a man.

Akyia was really seeing stars. Before she managed to get to the car in her confused state, she had thrown up all over the lawn. She didn’t understand what was going on. It was as if her brain had decided it didn’t want to carry on.

Was this new? Had she pushed him to do this? Is this something she could ever forget? He’d had his member in her so many times… and now it was in a random man’s ass! She knew that man… she was trying so hard to remember exactly where it was from. She didn’t think it was the hospital. Because then she’d have known him. Or was he a new friend?

“God why?!” She shouted out as she drove. She didn’t want to drive to her parents’. Didn’t want to answer any questions – at least not yet.

Her husband was suddenly a homosexual…

Was it sudden? Or was he just curious? How long had this been going on for?

Maybe she was hallucinating? To think she’d almost given up her lifelong dream to save this sham of a marriage they had!

The tears were blinding her and she knew she shouldn’t be driving in that state.

She parked on the sidewalk for a minute to think.

The tears weren’t going to stop, and she was giving herself a headache. She hadn’t even rested after her flight!

She drove to the nearest sensible looking hotel, and checked in for the night. She didn’t even know who she could talk to about this. At this point, she didn’t even want to talk. All she wanted was to pass out for a few days. Her head was pounding so hard by the time she got to her hotel room. She hadn’t eaten all day but that wasn’t her primary concern. She grabbed the beer in the hotel fridge, and downed 4 Advils. She lay on the bed wondering what she’d do.

“God I’m so happy there are no kids in this marriage…”


The queue at immigration was outrageous. She was glad someone pointed out that she could skip it because of Mackenzie. She scaled as quickly as she could, and was glad she hadn’t checked in a suitcase. Manoeuvring both of their hand luggage and a sleeping boy was difficult. She ordered an Uber before getting them outside.

Luckily her driver arrived just in time. She rushed him to her mother’s house, to drop Mackenzie. She called Sarah and asked for the hospital. She seemed hesitant initially, but told her anyway. It was about thirty minutes away. She changed the location and went back with the same Uber.


One look at her pained face and Sarah knew that she was in love with him. A woman always knows. She didn’t know how to feel about that. Because if not for this woman, she may not even have realised Bruma had taken anything. She would have assumed he had fallen asleep. And this morning they’d probably be at a morgue and not the hospital.

You’re probably headed to a morgue soon anyway.

They were both silent. Both of them just looking at the lifeless body. Nadia asked if Sarah wanted to take a break to freshen up.

She wanted to. But she didn’t want to give this one the satisfaction of being the one there when he woke up. If he woke up.

As time passed, the chances of his waking up became smaller and smaller. The doctor said his heart was the main issue now. Whatever he had taken had not only put him into a coma, it had also caused his heart to start functioning abnormally.

She eventually went home around 10PM.

Nadia watched him through the night. She held his hand through the night, speaking words to him. She took out her tear stained letter and read it to him. She prayed with him. She tried to pretend he was only taking a nap. She tried not to panic when her heart could tell he was slipping away.

There was no change in the morning when Sarah returned.


Yaa was meeting with Andrea and Wendy together for breakfast. The plan was to have a mini bible study, discuss a few things…. really just some girl chat. It felt nice hanging out with both of them. They’d only done it once, and already it felt like a thing she was ready to add to her weekly routine. Not only was it fun, it was helping her get over Adeola.

“I listened to a sermon by T.D Jakes…. can’t remember when it was, and it got me thinking about church…. about our church. He talked about how the pressure of fitting into a religious environment can tempt you into hypocrisy. We become more concerned about being accepted by the people we worship with, than we are about being used or accepted by God.”

“Back when Gyedu and I were having issues…. I asked that we go and see a church counsellor…. he told me he didn’t want anyone in the church thinking he was not in charge of our affairs – when clearly he wasn’t. It hurt me that he cared more of what others would think than he did about our failing marriage. He didn’t want people hearing about the divorce, he didn’t want people hearing anything remotely not normal about him. And I think that sickened me.”

Yaa completely understood her. Hypocrisy was stinking in the church. And it wasn’t something that was going to go away quick. She had days when she had to quickly correct some passing thought she’d had about someone, because obviously, she had no idea what she’d do in their shoes.

“Same thing as when I got pregnant. I expected some compassion I think. Even if it wasn’t from my friends, maybe from the presbytery? The pastors? Their wives? Heck I’m not the first to get pregnant out of wedlock, and I’m sure I won’t be the last. And sorry as I was, the church made me defiant. My main crime was getting caught to be honest. Because half of the churches population are shagging each other, and because they’re not ‘caught’, they get to look their noses down and tell me trash….”

Yaa knew she had to get in control of the emotions here.

“But hey ladies…. we were not called to a perfect church! We are the church, and just as imperfect as we are, everyone else can be. True, the self-righteousness and hypocrisy really should go… But whatever it is, Christ wants us! Wants our help in making His body whole!”

She hated the fact that it sounded as if she was preaching.

“I’m not righteous. At least not by my efforts I’m not. And I don’t hold anyone to the standard of Christ. Not even the leaders. Christ was the only one who was tempted in every way yet without sin. We’re not. Ours is to love, and do our best with the help of the Holy Spirit. And fellowship with other imperfect people to help build the church!”

She said the last statement with an obvious smile. They both knew what she was driving at.

Yaa said a silent prayer in her heart for their lives, and their churches, and this lovely newfound fellowship they were enjoying. She felt so much peace. Of course she prayed for help to get rid of Adeola from her heart.

Their breakfast ended up turning into a full blown lunch, with great mimosas. Andrea apparently knew one of the bartenders at that restaurant, so they managed to have them unlimited.

Yaa knew she was a lightweight – and an overly sentimental drunk. In Uni, she had been the first to get drunk after a shot. She would slow dance herself to loud Celine Dion songs, and cause her flat mate to go to sleep with ear plugs – there were probably just about 3 such occurrences. 

She had planned to spend the rest of the day at the beach, listening to music and reading a novel. Now, she knew she was going to go home and fall asleep singing Backstreet Boys. Wendy gave her a letter just when she was headed home.


Dear Yaa,

I really hope you decide to read this letter. Wendy told me she couldn’t help me meet you, but begrudgingly agreed to hand you this letter.

I’m so sorry Yaa. I don’t know why I never told you about this… her…the marriage.

I never took off my ring because I didn’t want a bunch of women assuming I was an eligible bachelor. I was so hurt by Fatima and her family.

You made me forget totally that I even had it on!

Fati and I got married despite the long talk from our families about incompatible tribes. She was an educated woman, from Chibok and all that ‘Hausas only marry Hausas’ was really not our cup of tea. She wasn’t really a staunch Muslim, and that worked for me, cos she was happy to join me to go to church services.

Her parents were also semi – educated, and I guess that made it a bit easier?

We had no issues for the first two or so year – actually, we had a very beautiful marriage in those years. We did not let the negativity of others faze us, and we had a united front. A few months into our third year, we started having petty quarrels… all boiling down to the fact that we had tried everything we could, and we still couldn’t have kids. Her parents were suddenly against the marriage like the rest of her family was, and were on a hunt for another man for her.

What hurt me, was the fact that she wasn’t vehemently against the idea. It made me so mad.

I noticed she was very calm about our issues. Never wanting to fix anything, quietly listen to me rant, not saying anything that bothered her… all of that.

My decision to not sign the papers for so long, was my silly way of punishing her, of rubbing it in her face that I still had some control – that she couldn’t go ahead to marry him until I’d signed the papers.

‘Him’ was another Hausa doctor that her parents had found somewhere, who was apparently going to bring an end to the infertility I had brought to their families.

It had nothing to do with me remaining in love with her or anything remotely close.

You’re a special woman. A few weeks of being friends and you have me wrapped around my finger – you have me ready to allow Fati to move on.

I have tried to get you out of my mind, because at some point, I felt like an idiot stalker. Please agree to lunch with me – breakfast even.

I’m really sorry about this whole misunderstanding.

I’ve signed the papers, Yaa. I’m a single man.

Regards,

Adeola.

Yaa looked at the letter half drunk, and smiled, humming to herself.

“Sometimes I wish I could, turn back time, impossible as it may seem, but I wish I could, so bad, Baby… Quit playing games with my heart”

************************

Nadia went to freshen up for a few hours. Her mind was too clogged.

She held a sleeping Mackenzie in her arms, and cried quietly. She didn’t want to wake him up.

Lord, please don’t let Bruma die. I can’t lose him twice.

***************************

Sarah saw the letter on the fridge top. It was semi crumpled, and had tear stains. It seemed to have been written in pencil, so some of the words were not legible.

Her heart beat faster and faster as she read the letter. Bruma was actually cheating?

She could only see snippets of the letter.

“Considering the circumstances, with Sarah… … …  I didn’t want to be the reason why your family would break apart. ……… the church would never understand that – people in general, would never understand.”

“….. Mack has an adorable baby sister, and we’re one happy family. ….. about the loving man you are….and how I know for sure I wouldn’t have to bother myself wondering if you loved me. “

….. “I love you… please come back to me”

Sarah was stunned! Her husband was cheating!

PERSPECTIVES VIII

Perspectives VIII

Happy New Year Fam!! Thank you for being loyal to lettersfromthisheart even when it took forever to get the next post! This year, we will do better! ️ ️ ️

It’s always great to hear: “When is the next part coming?” “You dare not kill Bruma!”“Why don’t you kill his wife instead?” Oh and all the young men asking “Is Yaa a real life character? I’d really love to meet her…” Lol!

Thank you guys for feedback. 

It looks like I’m going to have to end perspectives ASAP, and then develop it into a book at some point…. Because my over-imaginative brain cannot let it rest lol!

In the meantime though, this is the next part!

Enjoooyyy, Share, and let me know what you think! 

If you’re behind, you can find the other parts right here: Perspectives IIIIII , IVV , VI & VII


Nadia was frantic when she got the email. She was driving home, and was surprised to get an email from Bruma – he’d been the last to send an email in their weekly email sessions, and she was yet to reply that email. She moved to the shoulder of the road and parked to read it.

“Bruma, please don’t, don’t don’t!!” She tried his line and didn’t get any answer. She didn’t know anyone who could find him at this time, and there was no way she could call his house – heck she didn’t even have the number for his house.

God, please hold Bruma. He’s in a hard place, and I cannot do anything about it right now. You held my hands so many times when depression was home for me, and suicide seemed like the only way out. Please hold Bruma. Please! Amen.

She called her mother, and asked her if there was any way she could get Sarah’s number. “Nadia, what do you want with her number? What’s going on?” She didn’t know where to start or what to actually say. Bruma wants to commit suicide so I need someone around him to check on him?

“Mama, it’s a long and messy story, but I really do need you to find that number for me… please, Mama.” She was quiet on the line for a bit, and said she’d get back to her.

She drove home with a deliberate slowness. She tried calling again. still no answer. She prayed the whole way home.

So what if he actually dies, Nadia, are you happy with yourself? Are you sure you said all that there was to say? Will you be able to live with yourself after this? You’ve lost love twice in this life. 

She got home and sat in the car for close to thirty minutes feeling so helpless. She didn’t know what to do, and that for her was far worse than anything.

Bruma why would you even wonder if it would make any difference to me?


Yaa had never felt this way before and that made her more annoyed than the fact that she had fallen for a married man. The fact that she was actually sad, and would sit and reminisce hanging out with him made her feel so much sillier. You got played, Yaa… get over it!

As always, she put all her effort into everything else. All her weeks work was done extra fast, extra efficient. She took the baby out on walks with the nanny, she joined midweek service and volunteered for clean-up and extra prayer meetings. She didn’t want to have any time to mope. You’re too old to mope about a man, Yaa, especially not a married man. He’s probably not even as good-looking as you think, it’s all because he played you.

He’d called so many times, left so many messages, left emails, and yet Yaa refused to pick up or read any of them. ‘I will not be hoodwinked’ she kept telling herself.

One of her church duties was the follow up of members. So each month, she was assigned a few members of the church who hadn’t attended in a while, or who were ill or had travelled. It was a role she took seriously… ironically, she didn’t seem to know how to get Wendy to return to church.

She’d set up meetings with two of them for the month. Two were not willing to have a meeting. She called and spoke to Andrea…. she was cordial, and she was willing to set up a meeting for later. Three out of five wasn’t quite bad. She’d take it. There were months when nobody was willing to have a meeting! They were to meet on their lunch break at a cute coffee shop she’d picked.


Andrea was surprised that Yaa had reached out to her from the church. She knew her. She was that beautiful tall lady that was always there whenever the church needed her… she was also very rich! She’d admired her from a distance for a long time, but had never actually spoken to her. It was interesting that she was the one to call her about church. Funny thing was she knew she wouldn’t have wanted to meet any of the elders. And she didn’t know if she wanted to speak with the pastors either. It was a good strategy the church was using, she figured. Asking people you couldn’t say no to to help with follow up.

It was a hearty lunch. Yaa as always was her quirky happy self

“I’m sure you know I’m here cos we haven’t seen you in church in ages! I was told about the divorce, and I know that it may have taken a toll on you….. But we’d still like to see you and the boys?”

Andrea paused for a bit, choosing her words carefully. She felt she could talk to Yaa.

“I fear the church sometimes, Yaa. I’ve got more encouragement in life from friends at work – some of who are not even Christians! I’ve been judged and verbally assaulted all in the name of admonition from the church, and I’m not acting like a millennial!”

“ I don’t know if you understand, Yaa…. but I don’t think our churches love. I remember one of Pastor Bruma’s Sermons, when he said “Church is such a dangerous place to be without God – and God is love!” Half the time, I really feel we’re there playing mini gods in each other’s lives. It’s like they want you to make a mistake, so they can boldly and loudly correct you. I think they always want you to have issues so you can come to them for ‘help.’”

“ Do you have any idea the number of women in the church who called to advise me to stay in my marriage – half of them didn’t ask what the problem was. Those who did, downplayed it brutally, telling me “we live in a man’s world, so if he’s not beating you and it’s just sex he’s not giving you, then why are you leaving him. Even when they beat you, you need to weigh your options – you don’t just divorce a man!”

Yaa was quite taken aback. But she knew herself that the church was very capable. She knew what the people of the church had said to and about her in the past.

“So, I like to think of it this way…. that our church is like a hospital. The fact that a doctor or a nurse or other hospital worker is there to help cure you doesn’t mean they can’t have thier own cancer or arthritis that they’re battling. He could have his own headache, but has been mandated by oath and by law, to come and help get rid of yours. So much as we come to church for fellowship and healing and help, remember we have sick people among us, hurt people, every kind of person can be found in the church.”

 “And I know I shouldn’t be giving any marriage or love advice, seeing as I’ve never been married…. But this is something I’ve realised… our churches don’t take the time to prepare men for marriage… it’s a sad truth…. growing up as a woman, you hear allll about marriage… you’ll learn to cook “so your husband doesn’t eat someone else’s food” you’ll wash and clean and sweep and cook, when your brothers are in their rooms waiting for dinner. At church, female ushers are to do the grimy work, the males are to be the leaders…. it’s all a very messed up system, Andrea… but I guess it takes people like you and I to notice the problem and do better? I can’t say it’s a problem that will be fixed immediately, but I can say that we can play a part in fixing it…. and I can also say I’d be happy if you could return to church with the boys??

They both just laughed. 


Bruma had taken the pills. The time had come, and there was no way out for him. He was tired. The last straw had been when his little girl asked him why he and mummy were always fighting. He never wanted to be that man. He wanted his kids growing up in an environment where they knew what love looked like. He didn’t want his baby girl growing up and settling for just anybody. He couldn’t take it anymore. Nadia was the first to get a goodbye message. He’d also scribbled something down for Sarah.

Dear Sara,

I’m sorry that I failed you. I’m sorry I’m not the man you wanted. I’m sorry I wasn’t your choice. No matter what’s happened, I’m grateful for the years we’ve had together. You’re a good mother, and I’m glad the girls have you as a mother. You’re a lovely cook and home maker too. And you’re an amazing pastor’s wife. I’m sorry for whatever hurt I may have caused you. I’m so sorry for this mess. I willed my property sensibly… and hopefully you will live a comfortable life even if you decide not to work… The girls will each get a part of my estate once they turn eighteen. I spoke with Ms. Bonsu about all this a while back. I wish you all the very best, Sara.

You’re not the reason this is happening. So I hope you don’t blame yourself. Shit happens – excuse my French – and that’s not always anyone’s fault. I wish I could end this letter saying I love you. I can’t. But I hope you know that I tried my best. God knows, I tried my very best!

Bruma.

He dropped the letter under her pillow, and sat there for a while. His head was spinning. He’d give anything to be back at that beach. His thoughts couldn’t centre on one thing.

“God, I’ve failed you. And I’m so sorry…”


It was enough. Akyiaa had decided it was enough. She could hardly get a hold of her husband. He couldn’t be bothered to pick her calls, and nobody could say there was anything different happening with him at work. At least he didn’t appear to be cheating on her at work. 

She took an emergency leave to go home. Residency was hard. Combining it with the instability that was going on in her marriage was getting to her. 

She didn’t know if she’d be ready for what she was going to meet, and she didn’t want to think that she had been the cause of her marriage failing.

It doesn’t even make sense why I have to choose between my marriage and my career. Is this a thing for all women? Why do I have to go through this?

She hadn’t told anyone she was coming home. She preferred it that way, didn’t want a rumour going round for him to find out, and she certainly didn’t want a long list of things her parents would need her to order and bring. 

Her parents were excited to see her- Surprised, but excited. She dropped her luggage there and grabbed her dads car, to go by the house. She knew already he wasn’t at work. It was pretty late… And she’d called to check. If he wasn’t home, she figured she’d just wait for him.

When she got to the house, his car was parked inside. One other unfamiliar car was parked outside the gate where she’d parked. There was a football match on the TV, and two young guys were watching it. She figured he had friends over to watch the match. 

Relief. 

She asked who they were, and asked for him. They both seemed to panic. Odd.

She didn’t want to make a scene, and she definitely didn’t want drama. She’d had enough time on the flight home to think about all the possibilities – and she’d decided she could be fine with any of them. If he was with another woman, they’d plan for a divorce. She was tired enough as it is, having to sacrifice everything for a marriage he couldn’t even compromise for!

She walked into the bedroom, and nearly threw up!

There were clothes strewn around everywhere, and two grown men were in her bed, making love. She let out a shout without even realising it.

He was in their bed, with another man! 

She thought she had it all thought out, yet she didn’t know what to say, or how to act. The other man looked like one of the men from their church. He got confused when she let out the shout, and started to grab around for his clothes. He kept his head down, hoping she wouldn’t see his face. Too. Damn. Late. 

Akyiaa didn’t have words, or thoughts. She was suddenly numb. 

He walked up to her, and started to plead. “Akyiaa you cannot tell anyone this! What are you even doing here?” His first words to here were not an apology. They were to tell her not to tell anyone. He wasn’t sorry. Maybe sorry he’d been caught, but definitely not sorry.

She didn’t know how to process it all, and she didn’t have anything to say. 

She walked out of the house, numb and confused.


Dr. Adeola had contacted Wendy. He wanted her to speak to Yaa on his behalf. She really wasn’t sure if she wanted to. He’d explained to her, he was serious about the divorce. And he really cared about Yaa. And he knew she did too. He just wanted a chance to explain it all properly.

Wendy was definitely not the best person to help him…. she’d already sworn off men. A married man wasn’t about to be her headache – or her friend’s. 

His persistence however had her thinking of a plan. Some way to get him to have a simple conversation with Yaa.

Anything beyond that conversation was really none of her business.


Nadia called Sara. It was probably the most awkward one minute of her life. 

“Good evening, Madame Sara, my name is Nadia and I’m friends with Bruma. This might sound strange, but I think he’s considering suicide; as a matter of fact I think he’s considered it for a while and I might be too late, do you happen to know where he is?”

“I’m sorry, Where did you get this information from? Which friend are you exactly? Pastor is probably playing with the girls in the living room. And why would you say something like this about a man of God?”

Nadia didn’t know how to respond to any of the questions. Sara didn’t seem bothered at all!

“Is there anyway you could confirm please? I’d be very happy to speak to him, I can’t reach his phone”

“Madam, he’s either busy with the girls or asleep and I’ll have him call you when he wakes up.”

Nadia wanted to scream at her!

“Sarah, I’m almost completely sure he’s taken some pills to try to end his life. Please try rousing him and get him to the nearest hospital. Please!”

She was quiet, on the other end. All Nadia could hear was shuffling feet and doors open and shutting seemed to be walking. She could hear kids playing at a point. Sara was not saying anything. 

God. Please let him be fine. 

“Osofo, there’s a lady on the phone for you.”

Nothing.

“Is he breathing? Can you please say something? Can you send him to the hospital?”

“Madam, where did you get this information from? He’s not responding, but he’s breathing. I have to get off the phone and call an ambulance.” 

Nadia breathed a sigh of relief. 

“Thank you! Can you kindly keep my number and let me know how he is? I’m sorry for calling you like this, but I really had to!”

“Okay, bye…. Bruma won’t you wake up?”

She hung up. 

Nadia hadn’t realised she was pacing. She was trying to sort out her feelings. What if he never made it out alive? What if the last time she’d see him alive was back on her last visit?

She grabbed her smallest suitcase and started throwing clothes into it. 

She diallled her mother. 

“Mama, I’m coming home.” 

“Bruma tried to commit suicide.”

“Of course I’m coming with him.”

“I’m yet to check the next available flight. I’ll call back with details.”

“Okay Ma”

“Bye.”

Perspectives VII

Shall we end ‘Perspectives’on the seventh part? Because 7 is the number of perfection right? Or maybe not? Let’s see!

As always, you can find the other parts right here: Perspectives I, II, III , IV, V & VI

Love,

Elise Tirza.


“I hear she’s found some Nigerian doctor bi ooh?”

“She’s probably desperate, because at 42 de3, why won’t she go and find a Nigerian man? She’s too rich, Ghanaian men will run away from her. Did you see her shoes two weeks ago? I saw something similar online – the price was in big dollars ooh”

“Is any of this your business, why are we even discussing this lady?”

Yaa smiled outwardly but inside, she was bewildered! Why were people always up in her business? How did they even find out about Adeola? They’d been on a total of maybe eight dates so far, and most of them were not even exactly dates!

She listened for about fifteen more minutes, and then walked up to the group of 3 having the conversation.

“Ladies, first of all, I’m 39 not 42, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with Nigerian men. Also I’m so glad I have money, cos I can buy the things all those men would’ve promised me, but wouldn’t have been able to buy for me. Oh and those shoes were $1,000 only. Have your husbands bought you such yet?” They looked so mortified. One of them attempted to apologise, but Yaa was already walking away in her lovely form fitting black dress, and beautiful yellow high heels!

Adeola had closed from church a bit earlier, and wanted to know if she felt up for lunch. She knew she was being stupid. He wore a wedding ring. Yet she’d never asked. Never asked if he was married or if it was a fashion ring, or whatever. She knew she’d have to back off once she knew. Her conscience wouldn’t allow her to continue fantasising about a married man. And why hadn’t he ever volunteered the information? She wasn’t crazy about settling down or anything, but she did not want to be in the way of another woman. She did not want another woman suffering because she was being an idiot. She would not be that woman.

You’re being pretty dense, Yaa! A man in a wedding band doesn’t need to be asked if he’s married! He certainly needs not volunteer any information either! He. Is. Married!

She’d had this internal battle for too long, and now she was ready to be sensible. Maybe the church rumour mill had forced some sense into her brain. She was going to ask him, and his answer would determine if she was going to carry on with this. A part of her knew the answer already, and it made her feel terrible!

God you have such a terrible sense of humour, you know? The one time I find someone I might actually like, he’s probably married.


Bruma was carrying his daughter on his legs, playing a game of ‘see-saw’. It was her favourite thing to do besides hide and seek – she’d sit on his legs, below the knees, and he’d bring them up and down, all the while singing “see-saw, up and down.” Sarah walked into the room, irritated about something. Lately, she was almost always irritated about something or another. “Osofo, the head of the Deacons called me, said he tried to reach you but couldn’t.” “Oh my phone is in the room, I’ll call him later… did he say exactly why he was calling for me?” She shrugged, gave him a look and walked away. He’d given up on his marriage now. The only thing that kept him at home lately was the kids. His appetite had plummeted, he’d lost weight, his moods had gotten really terrible, and he’d had to increase his therapy time. He had turned down so many speaking appointments at church, and explained to the Presbytery that he was a bit unwell, and would bounce back with time. At this rate, he didn’t see himself bouncing back soon. The third time he declined speaking at church, Sarah gave him a very insulting speech when they walked into the bedroom after church. “I don’t know why you’re deliberately trying to fail at everything. You’ve failed as a husband, Bruma, and now you want to fail as a pastor too? I don’t understand you sometimes.” He had no words for her. But her words cut him really deeply. He thought about it for weeks. He didn’t know he’d failed as a husband. He’d tried – Lord knows how he tried. Sarah had become something else, and he found himself thinking daily about Nadia. They’d started video calling each other lately. He called her after each therapy session, which was roughly three times a week, and sometimes, he’d drive to the nearest beach and call her from there. He liked that place. It had this weird serenity to it. It wasn’t the cleanest of beaches and maybe that was a good thing because there was never a crowd there – more often than not, there was nobody there.

There was a deserted tree behind the cluster of huts close to the beach. It had barely any leaves, but its branches looked sturdy enough. He’d wondered once or twice if it would be noticed if he got a rope, and ended it all there. Okay, he’d thought about it more than once or twice. He’d had those voices in his head explaining how worthless he was. He’d taken one of the ropes used to make drying lines from their storage unit once. It’d been in his car trunk ever since.

There were times when he felt he was just being stupid. How is one woman making you want to end your life? Would your mother approve of this nonsense?

She’s the reason I’m here in the first place.

Granted I’m a good speaker, a good teacher, but I don’t think I was meant to be a pastor.

God didn’t call you for your happiness, He called you to feed the sheep.

But how can I feed the sheep when I myself am starving? Not just starving, drowning too! Did God call me to unhappiness?

He’d battled with himself for so long! He was getting tired, and he was certainly not winning the battle.

“Mama, what if I hadn’t become a pastor? What if you hadn’t imposed this on me? What if I had gone on to be the bright Architect I wanted to be? What if I married Nadia? What if… What if I actually had a companion I could hang out with and talk to?”

He’d gotten to the point where turning down speaking invitations was really mainly to spite Sarah. There were days when he woke up and planned how he was going to end it. Maybe he would take an overdose of his drugs, and make his way to his tree with the rope… before he got too drowsy of course. He’d planned it over and over again. But he could never bring himself to do it. He knew he had to tell someone about it. His therapist, or Nadia, someone, anyone. Sarah was not an option – she’d probably even have him arrested for attempted suicide – wait no, she wouldn’t. It would give such a bad image of her, and she didn’t want that. Didn’t want the church to know. It made him laugh. He was going to do it, and he knew it had to be sooner or later. What about the kids? And Nady?


Andrea was on cloud nine – to a large extent. She kept telling herself that this had to end at some point but she didn’t know when, and she was definitely going to enjoy it till it did end. The first time she was at his house, he walked her straight into the kitchen where he was cooking an amazing feast! He didn’t even want her to cut onions… “If there’s any Imodium needed at any point, I want to be sure I’m the cause, and not you, he quipped.” Halfway into making his pasta, he spilled some sauce in his t- shirt, and had to take his shirt off the rest of the meal preparation time. She was awestruck! How could he be so beautiful, and so into her, and such a good cook too. That evening had been magical. She felt something she had never felt before. Intimacy with a man who had not made any sexual advances at her – at least not yet then.

He was interested in what she did, and was ready to give an opinion when she wanted one. He didn’t hold back when it came to pampering her. One day it was a spa day, the next it was taking her boys to the park, on another it was just cuddling in the couch because she wanted to.

And the sex! Oh the love-making! She didn’t know if Gyedu had given her low expectations, or if she had put O.J. on a pedestal because he was just an awesome human. But the sex was gooood! Dream-about-it, have-flash-backs, go-into-random-trances-when-you-think-about-it kind of good!  He was a very tender person, wanting to be sure that she was having a good time. She was a bit awkward, and it all felt very foreign to her initially; she kept wondering if after that he was going to up and leave. He didn’t. He seemed to really be into her, and she was all for enjoying whatever it was between them, at least until he decided he didn’t want it anymore. If he ever did.

She hadn’t exactly had the full conversation with him on what led to her divorce. He was content with her ‘it didn’t work out, and we spent too long trying to make it work.’ He asked her to tell him whenever she was ready.

So one afternoon, after very toe-curling sessions, in the throes of her passion, she decided she’d have that discussion with him.

For a minute, he thought she was joking. “You left him because he refused to have proper sex with you? What is he gay?” he chortled. That possibility had never crossed her mind, and she’d spent too long analysing why he didn’t even want to try – she wasn’t going to start thinking about that all over again. He laughed for a bit, and then realised she was serious. “Hey, hey, don’t get moody about this, please…”he whispered. “If he had this sexy, beautiful woman for that long, and didn’t want to make love to her like any sensible man would, then that was really his loss. His loss… my gain. You have an amazing body, and frankly, I enjoy making love to you… you’re a selfless lover, and sometimes, at work, on random occasions, I have flashbacks of the times we spend together, especially the time spent under the sheets.” She was staring at him. Wondering if he was only flattering her, or actually meant what he was saying. “You’re special, Andrea. Gyedu was a lucky man for all the years you were married to him. It’s unfortunate he didn’t realise it.”

She had never gotten this reaction from anyone concerning her divorce. Most people thought she was insane. He’s providing for you and your family, he’s not sleeping around, at least you have no proof; he doesn’t beat you, so why are you leaving him?

She had tears in her eyes, remembering how often she wondered if she was doing the right thing. Wondering if she’d actually ever find someone that made her feel the way she thought a husband should make a wife feel. So much for saving herself till marriage, she’d thought.

The next day, he sent her a large bouquet of flowers at work, and a note that read:

“I’m glad I know that I have a gem, and I’m not going to take this for granted. You’re special, Andrea, and you rock my sheets (also my world)!

 – O.J.”


Wendy had returned to school, and was happy to be back on track. She’d missed so much that it was not likely she’d be able to graduate with her colleagues. But she was happy to be back nonetheless. There was no race. She would graduate eventually, and that’s really all that mattered to her.

She had heard all the rumours about who could be the actual father of her baby. Some thought it was one of the guys she studied with in school. Some were so sure it was some lecturer she must have slept with for grades. Yet others were convinced it was some family friend.

Truth be told, she couldn’t be bothered who said what. The father of her child was inconsequential now. After shirking his responsibilities – and mostly when she needed him the most – she had given their baby up for adoption. It made her happy that she had made a decision to give the baby up to Yaa. She was at peace, and there was really nothing her baby would lack. Maybe a father, but that was alright, she knew amazing people who’d been raised so well by women. And it wasn’t as if her own father had made so much of a difference in her life anyway.

She knew now that she really needed to focus and make it into the kind of place that Yaa was in – emotionally, financially, and even spiritually. They’d had this discussion once. It felt so good to be able to have these conversations with someone. Someone older and more sensible.  And yes she’d gotten quite bitter about men and about the church, and all that, but they’d decided that that was a discussion for another day. Not everything would get fixed immediately. She’d figure life out, one step at a time.

She was definitely in a better place now. Although she didn’t see herself ever returning to church – at least not to that church, she could speak to God without asking anymore whys. She could say a quick prayer about something, without chiding herself.

She was in a much better place now.


Akyiaa had gotten really worried about Papa. He didn’t seem interested in anything that concerned her anymore. She called him religiously on every break she had, yet he picked up only a handful of times, claiming he was busy. Half the time, he’d only pick up to say he’d call her back, and then never actually call back.

She had a few of her friends check up on him at work, but it looked as if he was spending less and less time there. He hadn’t said anything about employment elsewhere, and nobody could actually confirm if he was busy at the times when he claimed he was.

She was constantly tired at work, and whenever she was free, she was stressing about her husband.

So now that you’re finally here, do you consider this worth your marriage?

She was gradually losing it, and she was nowhere near her leave. There was no way she could up and leave. She’d called his parents once, but they didn’t seem to know that there was anything wrong.

She sent him an email after one outrageous shift, when she didn’t know what else to do. She was tired, and didn’t know if she had the energy to deal with his childish ways.

Dear Papa,

I’m getting increasingly worried about you, about us. I don’t know exactly what’s going on anymore. You hardly return my calls, and I know for sure that it’s not because you’re busy. If there’s something you want to say, please say it with your chest, and stop these disappearing acts. We’re both adults, and this is not necessary. Should I be expecting you to visit soon? I mentioned this in the initial letter I wrote to you, but you haven’t said anything about it yet.

I miss you, and I’m worried about you. And I want to have somebody to tell about my day. You’re that somebody for me, Papa. I get so overwhelmed at work, and then I get home to this tiny cold apartment, hoping to speak to you to make it all worth it. I know you were not exactly excited about this move, but I thought we were past this? I want to hear about your day to, and your new employment, as it looks as if you’ve moved from the hospital? Whatever is going on, talk to me Papa.

Please call me when you can.

I miss you!

Akyiaa.


“I don’t know how it’s taken you this long to ask me this Yaa, I’ve often wondered if maybe it didn’t make any difference to you?”  He said with a smirk.

“Just answer the question, Doc.” she tried to be a bit humorous about it, but she was definitely on the brink of tears.

“Technically I’m still married.” She couldn’t hide her disappointment. It felt so weird. This is probably why I’ve never wanted any man, she thought. Their deceit would have given me a heart attack in my twenties!

“What does technically mean?” She asked with a side eye, slowly getting up from her seat. She was ready to leave. She couldn’t have anyone see her cry.

“Please sit down, Yaa, and listen to the whole story?”

I moved to Ghana a couple of years ago… I already mentioned to you that I’m Ghana-trained. So it only seemed sensible to return here. Been married fifteen years. My wife is a doctor too – soon to be ex-wife. I left Nigeria because the separation was very hard on me, and she seemed to be having a very easy time about it. I didn’t want to stay and watch her move on. We didn’t have any kids. I guess that was a good thing? Because how would a bunch of teenagers or middle school kids deal with a divorce like this? The divorce hasn’t gone through yet because I’m yet to sign my part. It sounds stupid and very selfish, but I guess I didn’t want her moving on until I was ready to move on myself? And she’s sent emails, and notices from lawyers, etc. but I wasn’t ready to sign them. Until about six weeks ago, when I met you.

She rolled her eyes and grabbed her purse. This time she was leaving. Such unnecessary fabrications!

I think the fact that you were unmarried and adopting a baby was what made me notice you in the first place? And no that’s not because you’re not beautiful, because you really are – but then again there are so many Ghanaian women who are too, and so many of them who have moved to me since I moved here.

Many of them couldn’t be bothered wheter I was married or not. I figured it wasn’t a big deal for you?

Yaa walked away without another word.

I’ve made it so many years without men, how did I stupidly fall into this?  She refused to be hurt – as if she could command it away. She went straight to bed, and stayed there. The nanny she’d hired must have noticed she didn’t want to talk. She moved out of her way, and didn’t say a word.

“Dear God, you really really make me wonder sometimes. And no I will not cry!”


Dear Nadia,

There’s something I need to tell you. Something I can’t say over the phone on our video calls, because I don’t know if I’ll be able to bear the pain that’ll be in your eyes. Or maybe because I wonder if it would really make a difference to you.

For a couple of weeks now, I’ve been wanting to end everything. I’m not saying this so you feel sorry for me, or anything of the sort. I’m letting you know that you, and the kids, have been that thread of good reason, holding me. I’m grateful. There’s this dream I keep having. You know that thing we do just when we start swim class? Where we go underwater to learn breath control, and see how many seconds we can do that? In the dream, I’m underwater, and I’ve counted and counted, and counted, and I’m out of breath, yet I’m unable to come up! When I first had it I thought it was an indication that somehow God was calling me. I know it sounds stupid, but the first thought that occurred to me was, I can do this – make it easier for Him!

I’ve made a mess of my life, Nadia… a series of decisions I made, and now I don’t even know if I’m going to be able to live out the consequences. I don’t know what else to say, Nadia, other than I’m drowning.

Pain may not be permanent, like you keep saying, but tonight, this pain is drowning me.

I love you Nadia. I always have, always will, no matter what.

Bruma

For Not Pitying Me…

They tell you they’ll treat you like everyone else.

They tell you that your disability doesn’t really matter.

They’ll make it look as if it’s really not a problem.

But you see, it always becomes a problem. Always.

There have been all kinds of stories. From “I wish we could eat at a place without drawing so much attention to us,” to “I’m not so sure the guys will feel comfortable around you,” to “I really don’t know how I’ll introduce a one-legged woman to my father.” Even with the girls, there’s been “you know our ‘hanging out’ is usually swim-time – it would be awkward to invite you when it’s so obvious you can’t swim.” (Never mind that I actually had learnt to swim with my leg and stump!)

Of course it hurt. And it hurt more because I’d lost the leg because of something too stupid to say. It didn’t help either that I was not a quiet or subdued person. But frankly, what made it worse was the pity. They tell you they’re fine with you, but their eyes tell a different story.

With time, I’d learnt to have what I called ‘superficial fun’. I could meet up with colleagues and acquaintances and have a good time. Shallow talk, drinks, and then goodbyes. It worked well. No inner circle, just mum. No actual friends, mainly co-workers.

When I started the firm, I knew that a lot of the favours I got were because people pitied me and didn’t expect that it would amount to anything (Although I know you strongly disagree) – but look at us now!

I remember one of the university interns asking me how I could be so strong when people had almost no regard for the handicapped. She was one of the few that didn’t have that pity look. She was straightforward and genuine. One day, I hope she gets out of law school and comes here to work. Or that she builds a firm to rival mine.

She had no idea that before you, it really wasn’t much strength. It was more of a daily motion. Put one leg in front of the other each day – actual leg, then prosthetic leg, or crutch, or whatever. That, and the occasional ‘superficial fun’.

She had no idea the countless nights when I felt that my left leg was burning – even though it actually wasn’t even there. She didn’t know how much I’d cried over the stupid pitying glares that people gave me. She had no idea how much love had been lost… how many heartbreaks I’d suffered. And how I’d decided that love was not for the ‘crippled‘.

She, like many others, did not know that you were the one wake-up call that I needed.

When I met you, I was in my old wheelchair. It didn’t seem to bother you… because you stayed and talked, and drank with me, and teased me, and sort of flirted with me. I thought it was the drinks. I was pretty sure that we’d sober up the next day, and you’d remember that the girl was in a wheel chair with a stump, and decide to forget about it all – it was all too familiar!

But you called me the next day, and asked to go on a date. I told you I had a fitting for my new prosthetic leg, so I didn’t think it would be possible – thinking that that would remind you that I really was in a wheel chair.

But you asked to tag along “I’m on leave, so I’m pretty free! I could tag along and then take you out to dinner after?” – At that point, I must say that I was starting to get smitten! I had to sit in front of my mirror, and remind myself that this was all ‘superficial fun’. I could not afford to ever be heartbroken again.

Yet after that physio appointment, I knew that I wanted you. It didn’t matter in what context – brother, friend, doctor buddy, boyfriend (even though this possibility was so far-fetched to me). Whatever you were offering, I was willing to take it… I needed as many people that treated me as if I was like everyone else, as possible.

I remember the stupid smirk on your face when I asked the dude if I could go back to wearing miniskirts with the prosthesis. How you got into doctor mode, bantering with him, and not being arrogant about all the answers he gave – which you already knew.

That day, I decided that if I had just 2 people that didn’t care about my cut leg, 2 people that would treat me normally, after a day of dealing with pitying glares or hurtful comments, then I’d be okay.  I had mum already. And now there was you.

After 10 months, I got back to practicing, and there were times when I could swear that I won the cases just because the judge saw that I wore a prosthetic leg. You wrestled me out of that thinking of course – “You’re a smart young woman – helluv vibrant, irresistible, nothing about your absent leg has anything to do with your winning any case! You’re efffing brilliant – and you should even start your own firm! ”

I fell in love with you that day. Proper love, you know. It was just unexpected. You motivated me. Before you, a lot of my colleagues knew how to bring me down easily. Especially with regards to the incident, and the leg. And of course, the pity.

I remember when you got to mine, from the clinic one afternoon, and I was so upset about Le-Ann’s child abuse case. I was poring over my books and barely noticed that you were there. My leg was somewhere on the couch, and I was sprawled on the floor, in a tee and shorts.

You claim you stood there for about thirty minutes, just looking. I noticed you only when I turned to get my bottle of water, and I was startled, wondering why the hell you were standing there staring at me that way!

“I’ve been lusting after you for some time now…”

I thought I was imagining it. I mean I knew you cared about me, and respected me as a person, I liked that you hugged me often, and made me feel mushy on the insides. I knew that our relationship was special, and we would always be in each other’s lives, caring for and motivating each other. But I had no idea that you found me attractive in any way. It took me by surprise.

It took me by surprise too when you got down on the floor – lab coat, stethoscope and that weird bag in hand, and kissed me. All the raging hormones that had been banked securely for years were breaking their boundaries and pushing me over the edge🙈 . It’s why I started tearing up. I know you probably knew that. My lies about how emotional the case made me didn’t seem to appease you.

Later on, when we’d just eaten, and I was going over the case with you, and planning out my arguments, you did it again. Out of nowhere. “I want to marry you, Diane, and make many little Dianes with you.”

I remember also when I came by the clinic one evening to bring you food, just because. How one of nurses asked me if I was sure I was in the right place. I remember how mad you were when you finally came out. I remember them loud-gossiping about ‘the boss’s girlfriend’, how I must have used some sort of ‘juju’ to get you, because how would such a good doctor – tall dark and handsome, settle for a ‘cripple’. That word! It was the first time I saw you irate!

I’m getting too emotional over this letter…😫 The point, is just to say, thank you… For not pitying me. For loving me. For showing me that being ‘handicapped’ in anyway, is not the end of life. That life can be amazing regardless. Thank you for dancing with the one-legged girl… For 3 years of seeing me as whole, when I had doubts. For dealing with my issues – phantom limb and the low-key low self esteem being the worst of them. Thank you for all the fights we’ve had – it’s refreshing to know that you don’t let me win them just because… (Oh and thank you for all the make- up sex we’ve had to have🙈🙈. The most recent of which may have led to a thing…😂🤣😂🤣😬😉)

We’re expecting.

I have a feeling that you already know, and you’re just waiting till I say it. I hope it’s a boy. And I hope he becomes just like his father… (just without the leaving of soapsuds in the bathroom part😋).

Thank you for everything. But especially, for not pitying me!

Diane.

juju – evil spirit, fetish or black magic.

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 Ebo’s 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 be 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 😀

Come Back Home

This is to you Paapa…

I don’t think you’ll ever know how much I miss you!

You don’t know what all the belief you had in me did.

There’s no way I can forget that without you I would have given up.

You made me hope for so much more. You made me dream.

So why can’t you hope too?

Why can’t you see that it’s killing you and you need to stop?

It’s killing you, and it’s killing Mama!

You taught me so much virtue, it’s funny how things can turn around in such a short time.

You helped believe things and deliberately think things that changed my mindset

And it’s brought me here today.

You shaped me into the woman I am.

But sadly, you’re not here.

You’re not here to see that I made it.

Sometimes, I wish it was death that had taken you.

I actually wish that this ‘tribute’ was to mourn you.

But no, you’re here… Here, yet so far away.

A completely different person.

What changed you?

Nobody died, you didn’t lose your job, nothing extraordinary happened.

It seems this habit evaporated into being.

How did we not notice soon enough? Why didn’t you ask for help?

When am I going to be able to come home and ask you to hold my baby girl?

When can the kids come and see a sober grandpa?

Remember that time when you were teaching us to ride a bike?

Remember when you took the trainer wheels off and asked us to ‘flyyyy!!!!’

Remember when we took swimming lessons and you’d always sit at the edge of the pool and tell us: “We people from the forest, we can’t swim… we can only make sure our kids can”

Paapa why can’t we go back to those days? Why can’t I tell my kids the kind of father you were and not have such a hard time making them believe me?

Paapa, if for nothing at all, Mama is tired. She’s sick and tired of cleaning up your vomit, she’s sick of all your apologies on the few occasions when you’re sober enough to offer them. She’s endured so much Papa. She pretends that everything is okay, but we all see the wrinkles she’s developed. We see that she has frown lines in the places where there were lines of laughter. We see that she’s not the strong, happy person she was when we were growing up.

Sometimes, we even hear her cry!

You took so long to build so much, why are you destroying it all with just a couple of years?

Paapa, I pray for you every day. Just like you taught me to. I pray expecting a miracle. Because I want my kids to know the kind of father I had. I want you as an example of one of the people they should strive to be like in the future, not one of the people they should never be.

I hate that I cannot have a normal conversation with you…. Just slurs and words I can hardly make out. I hate that you can’t hear about any of my big cases…

Nana and Akwesi seem to have given up on you. They don’t understand why I still bother.

“It’s been over five years, Yaa… you need to let it go, Paapa will be gone soon anyway!”

I don’t blame them Paapa.

I can’t blame them.

Yet I need you back.

The next time I win a big case, I want to be able to drive straight to you and give you one of those hugs that made everyone wonder what was wrong with us. I want to hear one of your long talks about the things I should focus on.

I’m going to return you to the rehab place, and this time, Paapa, you’re not coming back if you’re not sober! I’ll come with you if I have to. I need you to not give up Paapa. I need you to somehow get through with it and come back home to us all. Come back home to Mama, she needs her man back!

I miss you Paapa. It’s been five long years, and I want to kiss your cheeks without wanting to retch.

We want you back Papa, please come back!

‘Yaa Baby’