AfroBloggers #WABC 2021

I won the Afrobloggers #WABC Award!!! I still can’t believe that I won this challenge. It still feels so surreal! And it’s so interesting that at the beginning, I had no idea where to start from! All I knew is that I wanted some form of continuity. I’m so glad it went so well!

Thank you to everyone who helped me in the past month – with research, with ideas, with feedback! Thanks to everyone who read or shared my stuff. Thank you also to everyone who ever encouraged me, ever motivated me. And finally, thanks to everyone who nominated me! There were so many great works out there, I myself found it so hard nominating someone! I feel privileged to be among such a great community… You guys have genuinely brought out the best in me! I intend to keep up the standard, even improve it! And if you haven’t read or shared any of pieces, please take the time to do that today! 😀

Now it’s the final Mawuli & Esaaba story, and while it might not have the ending you expect, (lol, please don’t beat me up!) I hope you enjoy it!

The right thing to do and the hard thing to do are usually the same thing.

Steve Maraboli

They say adversity does not strike twice. Sometimes, I wonder if there’s any truth in that. 

I had been retained by my company, and with that good news came a whole lot of paperwork, a lot more responsibility, amazing health insurance, and also multiple hospital tests. Hospitals had never been my forte. And now, living and managing life in a pandemic that killed my father, hospitals could easily count as part of my most hated places! 

I added a few personal tests, I’d always been curious about, and had them all done… The perks of corporate insurance! 

I was called in to see a doctor after a few days, to discuss my results. 

“We noticed that your sickling status is SC. While that is considered sickle cell disease, it is often not as severe as those with the SS trait.”

I was terribly confused. There was no way I had sickle cell disease. Most of the people I knew with that were broomstick skinny, with constantly yellow eyes! I was certainly not… in fact. I had been called “a woman with enough body” on multiple occasions! It annoyed me, but it had to count as proof at least that I did not have sickle cell disease?

“Well, it looks like you are part of the lucky few who have little to no crises at all. It means that you’ve likely avoided triggers of crises without realizing it.”

It felt like I was living a Telenovela! Who, Me? 

“It also means that this should influence your choice in a partner. With the SC Genotype, you’ll end up producing kids with Sickle Cell Disease if you choose a partner who has any genotype other than AA.”

He paused for a minute, and then went on.

“AS and SS genotypes should completely be out of bounds for you. I do know that outside of Ghana there are some advances where they can do stem cell transplants, etc. to help. But here, we only end up with children who suffer and suffer, and parents so riddled with stress and grief. “

“You’re lucky to have found out before getting married or even having any children. Some people in our parts do not know until they’re pregnant!”

I was staring at this young man with so much amusement, it must have shown. Because he paused again for a bit, to give me a reassuring smile.

“Doctor can we run this test again? Because I’m really not a sickler” 

In the meantime, I went home to ask Mama, if she knew anything about it.

“Ol’man’s genotype was AC. Mine was AS. We were told of the possibility of producing a sickler, but we didn’t think it would be serious.”

In two days, I returned, and the results were exactly the same. 

“So, we will have you booked to see a haematologist. She will work you up in the long term and follow your care. 

I needed Mawuli tested ASAP. But he was on a work trip that was going to be for at least two weeks. We spoke daily on the phone, but of course it wasn’t the same. 

“I’m either AS or AA, babe. Let’s just hope it’s AA.” 

“Or what?” I asked as quietly as my racing mind would allow me.

He hesitated.

“Or we’ll probably have to adopt. Or even find other options. I don’t know. But I don’t want anything to break us apart. And I don’t want us to have children who will just suffer! We cannot live constantly stressed lives. And we cannot make innocent children suffer.”

His voice got quieter. 

“You were born for the soft life. We’re not going to suffer!”

That made me smile. 

“I knew these boys with sickle cell disease back in senior high school. Always in some pain or other or in hospital for one reason or the other! 

One of my friends, Dean… He was unfortunately so unlucky! He had three siblings, and each one of them was SS! I asked if his parents had known prior to getting married.  He said yes…. And they decided to pray about it!”

“Well, they ended up with four sickled children, one that died of a stroke at age 8, and a horrible divorce after about twelve years of marriage!”

Did we survive tribal prejudice only to break apart for medical reasons? Was this the universes way of telling me that Mawuli and I were not meant to be? Did the average couple go through all this? Or maybe we weren’t the average couple? I didn’t know what was going on!

He got back on a Saturday afternoon, and much as I wished he could go check on the same day, we had to wait till Monday. Try as I could, I didn’t know how to quiet my brain, and make it stop considering the worst. It felt like Ol’man all over again! 

And when I went to see him, we ended up having amazing sex. The kind of lovemaking that had me passed out for hours, and then awake for more, wondering if I was going to give all this up because of his genotype.

God, don’t you want me to be happy? Why does it look like it’s one mishap after the other?

We finally had him test on Tuesday afternoon. The results came back Friday morning. It read in large letters on the document, AS.

Comments (15)

  1. As one with sickle cell disease, I am really glad you have talked about this. People need to be informed and test. And yes,the right thing to do is always the hardest. Oh Mawuli….guess it was not meant to be or they could adopt. You never know!

  2. I don’t even know how to express my feelings. I know that these are things we never pay attention to but if a man is willing to even adopt, I think he is worth keeping…you’re a very good writer Elise.👏👏👏👏👏👏

  3. I had no idea about this particular test, and am glad you brought it to light. Some of us would never have known…. Also if adoption is an option then then love can still win. I have hope…… And congratulations on that win. Well deserved😇

  4. Awwwwww!!…. What a sad end of a magical lovebirds…. I can imagine what poor Esaaba will be going through. Life is not fair at all!!!!… What a tragedy!!!!! Hmmmmm😱😱😱😱😱 such a nice story it should have ended happily ever after… After all the hurdles that they have to fight and win…… Keep writing Mrs. Writer and congrats on your award🎉💐…. God bless u😍🍾🙌

  5. Wowwwww girl
    This is quite a rare disease. And I think its quite important for people to go for checkups every now and then….this was quite a sad ending 👏👏👏👏👏
    Big ups to you Elise. You are true definition of a creative writer. Congratulations on your milestone.

  6. Oohhh Nooo!!!😭😭😭😭. Ok if i were Esaaba, i would agree to either:
    1. Breakup painfully or
    2. Marry Mawuli but adopt babies or
    3. Marry Mawuli and use His sperm with an AA woman’s egg for artificial insemination for me to carry our baby(ies). Whether we get 1 child, twins or triplet..thats all the baby(ies) we will ever have.
    4. A combo of 2 and 3 will be great too.

    2, 3 or 4 will be at the top of my list compared to 1.

    Thank you Dr E. For this beautiful story, touching so many sensitive and yet vital social issues. You deserved the win..CONGRATULATIONS 😍🙌

  7. Dr. Mrs. Elise!!!!
    The story didn’t have to end this waaaayyy 😭😭😭😭

    Can’t Esaaba and Mawuli enjoy 1 love win 😭…I’m sad sef

    Great writing…you are amazing!! You deserve the win 🎊🎉🥂

  8. Congratulations.
    It’s all the doing of your the Lord.
    May he bestow more grace on you for higher heights

  9. People say love conquers all. Thanks to technology, they still have a chance of being together…

  10. Finally got to the end of this…. You’re amazing. Thank you for sharing your gift with us and congratulations on the win. You deserved it.

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