I’m back guys! I’ve been learning to be a student now, and to be honest… no be easy! But I’m back! And I’m grateful for all your support!
This final part of my story is dedicated to my Book Club Ladies… Because they’re always so motivating, and they loooove a swoony ending! And, to the members of the Afrobloggers who make me feel so safe, surrounded by such great creatives! I am grateful! And to Lois, Zelda & Etornam… whose ‘chwests’ could not handle the last part!
I would be so glad, if you could leave a comment (in the comment section) about what you loved the most about this whole series, (I know for many, it’ll be Mawuli, Hahaha… but please tell me what it is about him you liked) and what you disliked the most.
Till next time when I return with Akaa & Alima… please like, share, and be sure to subscribe to lettersfromthisheart! Love, Elise.
My phone beeped.
I hate this, Esaaba. I really do. I want to see you. I miss you. I don’t think this makes sense. It’s been weeks!
I feel like we’re putting ourselves through unnecessary stress. There are ways. I’ve done some research. We can discuss all the options. I’m not letting you go because of this!
I looked at the message, and a lump formed in my throat. Funny how he hadn’t been ready to fight a tribal war, but here he was, ready with research to fight a medical one!
I won’t lie, I had been avoiding him. Telling myself that it was for the greater good… more his good even. Because even though I knew at some point I might want kids, I wasn’t as keen on them as he was. He had this twinkle in his eyes whenever he was around kids. He became a little boy himself. It was a beautiful thing to look at.
My first art exhibition was coming up, and I had immersed myself in the preparations just so I didn’t have to think about it. It was my excuse to busy myself and probably just postpone the inevitable. I went to bed late, very exhausted, and woke up even more exhausted. And much as I wanted to add more pieces for the exhibition, it wasn’t happening. My mind was not in the right place. My heart was not in the right place either.
I miss you too Mawuli – you have no idea!
He replied almost immediately.
Then please stop burying yourself with work. And talk to me. I can pick you up from work tonight, so we spend the weekend together at mine?
I was tempted to say no. so tempted. But what was the point? I was in love with the man – deeply and terribly. I had fallen face flat for him. And avoiding him was hurting me more than I cared to admit.
I’d like that.
He picked me up at 10:25PM. I thought it would be awkward, considering we hadn’t spoken so much in the past few weeks. It was not quite – it was almost like old times. We laughed about people at my workplace, and he told me something silly that happened at work. He was his usual calm, charming self.
Even though the plan was to talk, we really didn’t get that much talking done. We bought some kebabs from his favourite Abotsi, and the plan was to have it with some braised rice he’d cooked. I didn’t feel up to rice, so he made me the usual cup of tea while I showered.
It felt good to be back in his space…
He brought the tea with toast and the kebabs to the room just when I was dressing up. Mawuli just made me happy…
He ate his braised rice, watching me eat.
“I need you to promise me that you won’t avoid me or ghost on me or whatever… no matter how bad it gets, I don’t see how that will help in any way.”
I continued eating slowly, collecting my ‘blastings’.
He showered while I went to do the dishes. There was a carton of paint next to the kitchen door that led to the backyard, and I was wondering what it was there for. I meant to ask, but I got back to half naked Mawuli, wiping his hair, and the question flew right out of my mind.
I lay down on the bed to get a better view. He was smiling at me, and I knew that look. Knew it well. He sat down on the bed still looking at me.
“When last did you go for therapy?”
I frowned… That was not what I was expecting.
I really couldn’t remember when last I went! And where from this so suddenly?
I’d cancelled some sessions and I’d postponed when he tried to schedule for me, all in the name of being busy.
He could probably tell from the look on my face. “But at least you’re still journaling and praying, aren’t you?”
I couldn’t meet his eyes.
“Hey… baby, come here.” He pulled me over to him.
“What’s going on?” I didn’t have words. I was trying to think through and figure out why I stopped in the first place.
“I got busy…”
“I’ve been really anxious about my new role, and the exhibition… I cannot mess it up. And then there’s the fact that I’ve been trying to avoid you for your own good…”
“What do you mean for my own good? How is avoiding me for my own good?”
“I’ve seen you around kids. Seen how happy it makes you. Seen how you become a kid yourself! I don’t think we should attempt this thing if it’s going to mean that we won’t have any kids. I don’t even know how many kids I want. I can already tell you want many. We both will not be happy with kids who will suffer.”
“There’s so much research being done in sickle cell disease, and so much that we can do or not do, to make it work. And if it becomes impossible, then maybe we can just adopt a baby?”
It was my turn to laugh.
Which Ghanaian man would agree to adopt? Before I knew it, he’d show up with a baby mama expecting twins for him. That thought jostled me out of the fairy-tale I felt I could live in.
“So you think that leaving me, making me go and find someone else because of children would be good? Have you sat down to think about what we have? We’re not perfect… not by any standard… but I don’t know who I can ever have this with? I don’t know who will listen to me the way you do. There’s no one I can relate with on such a spiritual level, and then on such a sensual level. I can pray with you and tell you the deep things hurting my heart. I can tell you an idea I have and know for sure that you will think it through and either push me to work hard on it or let me know if if it’s outright trash. I can trust the decisions that you make, because I know you have me in your mind. I haven’t dated anyone who would send my laundry to the cleaners, and have it delivered, or send me lunch when I forget to eat… I don’t know anyone who can blow my mind with amazing sex, and not make me feel bad for being vulnerable. I don’t know anyone who would make their family kowtow because of how much they love me.”
“With you, I can be silly. Not every day deep conversations and serious life. And even though you are a successful woman, you don’t make me feel as if you do not need me. You let me know that you do. And for any man… well I shouldn’t be talking for other men. For me, it feels really good to be needed, and wanted… Especially if it’s not just for sex or for money. I love that you make me feel wanted in every other way!”
“So, bottom-line, I want you to go back to therapy. And I want you to go back to praying and journaling. Because we both know they’re great for you! I want you to always be at the level of your best babe.”
“And again, I want you to give us this chance. There have been some improvements in sickle cell research. I’m still putting my research together. But in the end, the family will be you and I. Kids or no kids, I don’t want to be in someone else’s arms, thinking about the woman I lost, because of kids I don’t even know I will want to have.”
Mawuli had a way of making me emotional. His words, his touch, his smell. He hugged me and held me tight, and we just lay there, breathing in each other’s smell, not saying anything. With other people, this was something that would get uncomfortable quickly. With Mawuli, it was comforting. He run his hands through my hair, caressing my scalp till I fell asleep.
I woke up to waves in my belly… a hand in my underwear, giving me sensations that had me wondering why I ever thought of leaving the man. The rest of the weekend was basically a sex marathon. I had to answer a few work calls, but I did not get much else done. I was either eating, being eaten out, or eating out!
It was a different me that he dropped at work on Monday morning. I had booked an appointment to go see Doc, and I had written a really long journal entry. We prayed together for a bit on Sunday morning. I was getting my mojo back. all because Mawuli knew how to love me well.
“Esaaba…I want you to stay over the night after the exhibition next week. Maybe the whole weekend? We’ll celebrate how well it goes.” I had no objections!
I showed up for therapy later that week.
“Esaaba, there are things that can break you. Your father’s death almost did that. Also, people that can break you. So far, it looks like you’re the only one that can break you.”
I didn’t know how to react to that.
“There are also the things that can mend you. Religion works for many, therapy helps too. Then there are people that mend you. In your case, Mawuli seems like one of those menders.”
I knew he was right. Without a doubt.
“But shouldn’t I think of the greater good? I don’t want a divorce ten years later because we couldn’t figure out the hospital schedule for our kids. And I don’t want him to decide he doesn’t want kids because of me… I don’t want him showing up one day years later with some random woman carrying twins for him!”
“Take it one day at a time, Esaaba. Talk to him. Don’t put imaginary words into his mouth or non-existent thoughts in his head. He mentioned to you he was doing research. Do yours. Put in the effort.”
“Your assignment for the next two weeks is to have a lengthy conversation with him, to discuss this more thoroughly. It doesn’t need to be a conclusive discussion. It just needs to be a start. If you don’t think you can actually talk, write him a letter or an email. Something to get the conversation going. But I mean considering the weekend you just had, it looks like you can talk to him.”
“While I don’t recommend depending too much on anybody, we need people. And people need us. And trying to get rid of the people that are good for us usually doesn’t end well.”
The rest of the week was a blur. So much work to be done, so many finishing touches to be put on some of the art pieces. So many people that we needed to invite at a short notice. And I managed to add on a few new pieces too!
Of course, I had to employ the lovely stylist again for the event. And again, we went with an AbsKyei dress. Although this time, we toned it down a bit, I still needed to be the highlight of the night. So semi-elaborate was the theme.
We settled on a white and mustard Kente dress, with a slit on the side, and pearls. It was simple, but it was chic.
When exhibition day finally rolled around, I didn’t expect that many people! I didn’t expect my pieces to be sold out. And I definitely didn’t expect the way the rest of the evening went. Mama had invited a few of her and Ol’man’s friends. She sent a link for live streaming to the extended family group, and the resounding congratulations and claps from all of them just made me laugh. Because all those people who asked why I wanted to enter the art industry were suddenly congratulating me. The hypocrites!
Mama and the boys bought one art piece. Everything else was sold out, even including those pieces that I thought my company was completely overpricing. Everything ended a little after 2:00AM. Most people were long gone by then. Mawuli was waiting for me in the lobby while we finished a quick meeting upstairs. By every standard, the exhibition had been outrageously successful. And I was congratulated and given any thumps on the back. “Clearly you are going to remain an asset to us.” Words from the boss that made my chest warm.
When we got to Mawuli’s, we sat in the car for a bit. I was exhausted.
“There’s something I want to show you…” Of course, I didn’t know what to expect. He pulled me out of the car, and ‘commanded’ me to walk.
“Well, you know the other guest room?”
He led me to the room at the back of the house. I’d only been in there once, he used it as a storage room.
“I cleared it up for you…”
What did he mean he’d cleared it up for me? Was he going to make me sleep there? He didn’t want me in his bed anymore? My thoughts must have shown on my face because he just started laughing. “I don’t mean it that way… just come see” I followed him inside, only to be rendered speechless.
He’d not only cleared it, he’d transformed it into a beautiful studio! There was a large easel, with a table on the far corner with supplies. Paints, oils, pastels, palettes, brushes, multiple canvases… everything I could possibly need.
There was a large mirror on one side, and a mini couch right next to it. There was a bookshelf in the corner, with a few books littering the shelves.
Why did I avoid this man for weeks? How did I even think I could do life without him?
“I know there’s still a lot we have to talk about and work through … but I’m happy you’re no longer avoiding me…. I was sort of okay with you avoiding me for a while… because I used the time to finish putting this place together. I’ve been done for a few days now and I decided today would be a good day.”
He was leaning on the doorframe, watching me go from supply to supply. He’d installed so many lights, the room was as bright as day at 3AM in the morning!
“Mawuliiii…” I literally squealed!
What would I do without this man?
I will marry Mawuli. I know the whole sickle cell thing is still something we will need to navigate at some point. Maybe we will just not have babies, maybe we will adopt. Whatever it is, I really don’t see myself doing this life with anyone else. I’ve loved people in the past, and I’ve had good people before. But Mawuli puts me first. In a way that makes me wonder what I did. Was there something I did? Because sometimes I sit and try to analyse. I wonder what exactly I did to deserve him, and what he wants in return… not healthy, I know. But I’m working on it. I love the man, and right now, I’m ready to risk it all.
Dear God… please don’t let me regret this. This has to be you… Because wow!