So, today’s post comes earlier than usual, as a ‘birthday present‘ for Andriana! Happy Birthday Miss Adams! This is the penultimate part of Karla’s story… I hope you like it! If you missed the first part, you can find it here, and the second part, here! It’s quite a long one, and I hope you like it!
The shock she felt registered first in her heart, and then her mind. She didn’t know where all the rage came from, but it threatened to knock the wind out of her!
Her first instinct was to slap him! Slap the thought out of him! She had not had an affair! She had been stupid, yes, but it didn’t give him the right to imply that she’d had an affair!
She was at a loss for words. She felt guilty enough as it was, and this accusation wasn’t making things any better.
“Akwei Coffie, Get. Out. Of. My. House.!” she said it very calmly. Yet it was laced with pure anger. How dare he accuse her of having an affair? Is this what affairs looked like to him?
He was surprised. He knew his choice of words was probably wrong, but that didn’t warrant him being kicked out of her house. She had after all been with someone else!
“And now do you think there’s any wonder I didn’t tell you about this?”
Just then, Rama walked into the room. ‘’K, I heard you coughing…….” She stopped mid-sentence when she saw Akwei. She could tell something was wrong. Karla was pointing at the door, and she didn’t look happy – heck she was trembling!
“Hey, guys is everything okay? I just heard her coughing, and then it stopped, then she started again.”
Neither of them was saying anything. They both looked as if they could kill the other.
“Okay, well… I suppose I will come back later?”
When she left, Karla sat back on the bed. “I did not have an affair….” She paused for a bit, trying to hold back the memories from her mind.” “I suppose I got too comfortable with the wrong person.”
He was silent for a while. “K, I have work early tomorrow. I should leave now.” Without really thinking, she shut her eyes tightly to stop the tears from falling. Exactly what she hated – her rage turning into tears.
“Of course, Akwei, go…. Go to work early tomorrow. Come back late too. Make your boss happy – Oh I keep forgetting, you’re kind of the boss now! Well go and make your job happy, excite your clients… and of course enjoy the company of your secretary too. Make all the money in the world! One day, when it’s too late, you’ll realise that some things matter more than others!”
With that, she went and held out the door for him to leave.
“K, we will talk about this tomorrow.”
She stared blankly at him, and started to shut the door. She knew it was going to be really long night!!
It was 11:13 when Akwei sat in his car. He felt drained. For about five minutes, he sat in the car, staring into space. He didn’t even know where to start handling this from. He would call Prince in the morning. Prince was his ‘no filter’ friend who always told the story as it was. He didn’t try to please anyone, and he was often the most sensible of the boys. He was the person that could speak sense into his head the most. Many times, Prince had told him that Karla deserved a lot more than he was giving her. His answer was always the same –
“That’s why I keep working my ass off so she can have what she deserves soon.” He’d always known that it wasn’t the money Prince meant. And soon was very relative.
It was 3:00am when he finally managed to fall into a fitful dreamless sleep. He’d been up the whole time wondering. He realised how long it’d been since he really prayed. Of course there was the morning ritual he did before work, which included a 5 minute prayer and reading of a verse or 2 from the bible. But he hadn’t said a heartfelt prayer in a very long time.
“Dear God, I don’t know how to deal with this. I’m scared that I may have pushed her into the arms of a man who probably hurt her. But I’m upset that she couldn’t deal with my temporary situation. What happens if we get married and either of us has to travel for a while? Why did this happen? Do I confront the guy and warn him? How did this even happen? Please help me …. No, help us deal with this.”
He felt so helpless.
When Karla woke up in the morning, she felt sick. She called in at the office, and asked a friend to work on her urgent stuff for her, and then she sent an email to their boss. She kept wondering where Akwei read the letter up to, to think she was having an affair. Maybe the first paragraph was all that he got to. She was mad at herself and at him. Maybe there was a reason for all of this. Four years together didn’t mean that it had to be forever. That thought made her sad. They’d had some really good times together. He was a lovely man. The kind of man her mother would have approved hands down. Her dad liked him, and her aunties were always asking when they were planning on getting married.
They’d cornered him one time and told him how Fantis never organise small weddings. One of her young aunties had given him a vivid account of what happened in their family weddings – how they didn’t entertain cocktails or small receptions – there had to be a variety of dishes, and the venue must be big enough as theirs was a large family! She told him that he ought to find good caterers, cos’ their family members were made up of “big time connoisseurs“! At the time they’d laughed at her so much, cos’ Karla knew she was exaggerating. Besides, she wanted a very modest wedding. They’d done so many road trips together, especially in the first two years of their relationship.
She hated that she’d allowed herself to destroy all that. But she was prepared to be brave about it. If he wanted out, she’d let him go – she felt like damaged goods to him anyway! But before that, she’d explain to him that not every girl wanted a house full of money, with a husband who wasn’t there.
All she did that morning though, was mourn her apparent loss.
Akwei walked into Prince’s office without realising that his shoulders were slumped. Prince was always a tease, and much as he made sense, it never came without some name calling and insults.
“I have a feeling that K has finally left your stupid ass!” Akwei couldn’t even muster a smile. He felt as if he had lost her. “I knew she’d leave you! You’ve married yourself to your work for over a year, and you expect that she’ll remain there waiting for you? ” he continued with some Fanti expletives.
“She hasn’t left me…. But I think she had an affair.”
Prince looked astounded. He knew Karla well. Knew she would never be capable of anything of that sort. She had a crazy heart in her, but she was loyal and forgiving, almost to a fault!
“Okay, now you have my attention – what the hell is going on?!”
When he had finished his narration, Prince was quiet. Which was odd, because normally he would laugh at him or something of the sort.
“Akwei, you are a fool! Ohwie waa!! Your woman was manhandled by another man, and all you could think of was that she had an affair? Wait, tell me, which part of your story did the so –called affair happen in?”
“Ah Charlie, she stated categorically that she was enjoying his hugs and the way he looked at her – all of that. What else would qualify it as an affair?! And how do I know for sure that it wasn’t consensual?”
Prince knew that his friend had probably lost his mind. He sat in front of him, and called him a fool in every language he knew how!
“K is a loyal girl… too loyal mpo. How many times have I told you that if she were any other girl she would have left your ass?! She did not have an affair, she fell into a smart man’s ruse… or maybe she was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, I don’t know! She wanted you, you were not there – And Akwei, I know you, even when you’re there physically, it’s just your body that’s there! Your mind is on some stupid contract or plan or promotion! So she enjoyed the attention Kobby gave her – saa akoa no, Ͻyξ slick!!
Akwei, I’m even surprised it was just Kobby. Cos I know that the really dark guy from the evangelism wing has had his eyes on K… and then the pastor’s younger brother too, that UK bad boy no… You think if it was affair she wanted, she wouldn’t have gotten any of these guys? And she didn’t even keep this Kobby from you. You met him, she told you about him – you probably didn’t even listen! When was the last time you kissed the girl…? Wodeξ maybe you’ll tell me that woyξ asore boy, nti I won’t even ask about sex. Fine. But tell me the last time you planned time with her. Took her out somewhere, and kept work away from it. I know you haven’t done that in at least 8 months – because the promotion was 8 months ago meboa???”
Akwei was too shocked for words. Not because Prince was being too forward, he knew his friend, it was his nature. But because he honestly couldn’t remember the last time he’d even held her hand. His hugs were always the 5 second goodbye hugs at his car or hers when they were departing. He sat there with his head in his palms, sweating, and wondering if indeed all this was his fault.
“Hmmm…. Akwei, if you lose Karla, I can say almost completely confidently, that any other girl you find will probably want you just for the money. And now that you have enough of it stop working like a greedy bastard and marry the girl! Go on a vacation”
He looked at his watch, it was almost midday. He hadn’t been out of his office for this long in ages. He left Princes office feeling like a fool. He didn’t know how to go about the whole situation. Was he supposed to just go and apologise? What about what she did? That didn’t make it right? Plus he wasn’t exactly good at apologies. He was so distraught.
After he had his secretary to cancel all his appointments. He stayed locked up in his office for about an hour, wondering what he was going to do, praying and trying to figure out a way to forgive her, and then make things right.
He called her number and it was off. Called Rama who didn’t pick up. He didn’t want to panic. He called her office and was told she hadn’t been to work. Before he called her father, Rama called back “Hey Rama, is K okay?”
She seemed hesitant, but then she responded
“Not exactly. She cried a lot this morning, but she was quite okay when I was leaving. Daddy says he gave her some of the sedating tea thing when he went home for lunch, I think. So I’m guessing she’s asleep.”
“Okay thanks. I’ll pass by.”
“Akwei I hope you haven’t done anything to her? She refuses to tell anyone why she’s upset, and she made daddy promise not to call you.”
He felt guilt tug at him – raw painful guilt, threatening to engulf him.
“Well, I’m not so sure… – but I’ll just go over and check on her.”
She was really asleep. Curled up in a ball in the corner as usual. She wasn’t wearing much, and he felt himself start to react to her body. She had an amazing body. Though she was quite small, she had the hips and behind of the typical Ugandan woman. She was often self-conscious about it, but he felt it was a body any woman would be proud to have – it was a body that many men wanted!
Why haven’t you ever told her?
He willed himself not to think about her body – waking up to find her boyfriend sitting in her bed with an erection did not sound like a good thing. There were more pressing issues.
He took off his tie, his shoes and socks and lay on the bed across from her. He kept praying that it wouldn’t be too late.
It was 3.42pm when she started stirring. It woke Awei up – he hadn’t realised he’d been this tired – he didn’t even realise he’d nodded off. He waited for her to notice that he was there, before saying anything.
She looked surprised. Probably thought she was dreaming. He tried to smile, but the weight of the whole situation made it almost impossible. He really felt like he had lost her.
“K… tell me what happened.”
She was quiet for about a minute. Battling if she should tell him or not.
“Akwei, I thought about it today and realised you were right. I did have an affair. And although for the greater part, it wasn’t a physical affair, it was still an affair.”
“I liked all the attention that Kobby gave me. I craved it sometimes. He was mostly a gentleman. He opened doors, and pulled chairs and all of that. He always knew exactly what to say, and how to say it,. And anytime we were out somewhere, I had his full attention. I think that’s why I didn’t state an emphatic no when he made advances at me. All my nos were very playful. He knew about you of course, you even met him that evening after I’d had lunch with him.
That morning, we’d planned to see a movie together. when I went to his place, he tried to kiss me. I knew that I should stop him, but I didn’t. And by the time I had enough sense to stop him, it was too late, he… he was not listening to me. He just kept on….plunging. It was … ” She paused to suppressed a sob that tried to escape.
“It was ….painful, and humiliating, and very scary. And I was mad at myself for letting it happen. “ She had her hands clenched into fists, still battling the urge to cry.
Akwei hadn’t expected it to be so difficult listening to her. He wanted the truth, but he felt like he couldn’t deal with it. She did not stop him when he tried to kiss her. He knew he probably had a part to play in it, but he could not let go of the obvious fact – she had been with another man, and to a large extent, very willingly.
“Do you still talk to him? Do you still see movies with him?”
“No, Akwei.” She was surprised at herself. At how calm she suddenly was… almost too peaceful about what she saw coming.
“Prince thinks that this was my fault. That I didn’t make enough time for you. That your infidelity had to do with my job”
She didn’t know how to answer that. The word infidelity was to painful to hear! She knew Prince, and could almost picture him blaming Awkei.
They were both quiet for a long while.
“There were times when I felt that way. That I would never have your full attention, that I would always be second place to your job. It doesn’t excuse my actions. But I may not have felt needy enough to fall into someone else’s arms if things were different”
Akwei couldn’t think straight. He quietly looked at the wall behind her for what seemed like eternity. He knew he should be more upset about the fact that he had hurt her, but somehow his mind was dwelling more on the fact that she had gone to him willingly!
“I don’t know when I’ll be able to forgive you, K…. especially for keeping it from me for so long. It makes me wonder if you’d do it again.”
“Do what again?” “Never mind, I understand.” She was quite astounded, but didn’t feel like fighting. And she was tired of all the “please make more time for me” stunts that she’d had to pull ever so often in the past. This was probably the time to let go. She could feel tears welling up in her eyes. But she wasn’t about to cry. She was still determined to not cry.
He reached over and pulled her closer to him. The last time he did something like this with her was close to a year ago. He was watching a documentary on the finance course he was taking at that time in his couch and she was determined to worry his life! So he’d held her still, as close to him as possible, until she gave up and fell asleep. She remembered it so well….
And now it was all probably going to be over…
To be continued …
Ohwie waa – You are very silly
Saa akoa no, Ͻyξ slick – That guy is slick!
Meboa? – Am I telling lies?
Wodeξ maybe you’ll tell me that woyξ asore boy – Maybe you’ll tell me you’re a church boy
Here’s the link to the final part of Karla’s Story:
Karla’s Story IV