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

Perspectives VI

Guuys!! I know sometimes you have to go all the way back to read from the start, because there’s so much time between episodes. lol. I promise to do better. For now though, here are all the previous episodes.

Perspectives I, II, III , IV & V

Hugs, Elise.


Dear Nady…

It’s funny that we’re both in the same country… and have been for the past couple of weeks, and haven’t made any proper plans to meet. Would you like to come to the service tomorrow? I will be speaking on ‘Where is God in my hostile world?’

How are the parents? Has Mackenzie made any new friends yet? Did you finally get him to go to the ‘evil forest?’

You asked if things had gotten better. I can’t quite tell… we’re still civil, she still hasn’t acknowledged the letter I wrote her. And whenever I ask about it, she seems too preoccupied to say anything. There was one day when she deliberately walked away when I asked about it. Nady I need big prayers. The kind that require excessive faith.  She refuses to go for therapy. That much she’s stated categorically. Somehow, she doesn’t seem to understand that we could be so much more… have so much more. I’m at my wits end now.

I told you about the morning prayers we usually have together? She spent about fifteen minutes three days ago, praying “Lord, please change my husband.” For a couple days now, I’ve been soul searching. Maybe I’m being unreasonable? You’re a woman, you can tell me? Is it too much to ask that my wife and I get closer? Share an intimacy that we were put together for? Half the time, it makes me wonder, what if… what could have been? Was I right in making this life altering decision, just to please a woman who’s now in God’s bosom enjoying His peace?

Enough talk about this though… I’m still soul searching, who knows, I may be the problem. Aren’t men the problem 80% of the time?

Any chance I could meet with you after church on Sunday? I’ve got meetings with the presbytery, after which I could come by the house if you’re fine with that?  Just let me know if that works for you?

Tonight, Nady, I miss you badly. I had you on my mind all through yesterday. You’re in Ghana Nady… and I wish I could see you.


Akyia had not imagined it to be this crazy. She’d been through stress doing house job at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, and she’d assumed nothing could be worse. This stress was a whole new level. It wasn’t only a physical stress. She was constantly questioning and second guessing herself. Imposter syndrome had never felt so real to her. And she didn’t know what to do about it.

She’d called Papa daily over the first week. Their first conversation was really just him asking… no yelling “Why?”, and her, sobbing on the other end of the line. Of course he was mad. Of course he’d thrown a tantrum and sent her very mean accusing messages. But gradually it looked like he was coming around. She didn’t regret leaving, and the work load and mental plus emotional stress kept her too busy to rethink her decision.

Papa on the other hand had too much time on his hands, and it was affecting his thinking. Some of his friends weren’t helping matters either. “How can a grown man sit there and watch his wife leave without telling him, and you’re still with her?” He’d had so many of such comments; but then he’d had some others congratulating him on allowing his wife to go and reach her goals. He was torn. He knew he loved her, but he felt so disrespected that she had actually left. There was little to be done about it, and he was gradually trying to come to terms with it.


The church had changed a lot from the last time she had been there. It was definitely a lot larger, and some of the people were genuinely nice to her, asking if she was only visiting or staying on for good.

The sermon started with a beautiful song Nadia had listened to so often. It brought back memories. So many hard memories. She tried hard to keep her tears in check.

“May your struggles keep you near the cross…

And may your troubles show that you need God.

May your battles end the way they should…

And may your bad days prove that God is good.

And may your whole life prove that God is good.”

She thought about her struggles, and how they truly kept her near the cross. If she’d wound up with Bruma would she have known God for herself? For the protector and strength He was to her? Would she have ever thought that she could do life with no one else? She had happy tears in her eyes as the song ended. She’d done it. With no one but God. And right now, she knew she could carry on. Mackenzie made it much more worth it.  She missed Bruma, madly, terribly… but she’d done it before. She could do it. She would do it!

“Definitely the three men in the fire wondered where God would be as they walked into the fiery furnace. Imagine being asked to walk into a blazing furnace. Not because you did anything wrong, but because you refused to stand for what was wrong.

And that’s the world we live in today. Wrong is celebrated. And right is ridiculed.

But hey, there was another in the fire! There was a man in the fire with them. They did not burn. They were in the fire with Him.  So that’s where God is when the world is hostile. Right with you. Right in the fire. Right there. Every. Step. Of. The. Way! No matter how long it takes, or how impossible it seems, remember where He is. Right there in the fire!”

He smiled, and the congregation clapped as the choir started singing Hillsong’s “Another in the fire”

“Don’t forget, there was another in the fire… He never leaves nor forsakes us. The church friends might leave you – and trust me, sometimes they do…. In today’s world, half of the time they will – even family might desert you…but Jesus never leaves!”

At the end of the Sermon, the MC asked Sarah to say a prayer. Nadia whispered a prayer for Sarah as she mounted the podium. “God, bring happiness into this woman’s life. Teach her to love Brumah how he wants to be loved. Help me not to come in the way of that!”


The music was playing softly as Nadia tried to get some work done. Even though she was on holiday, there were always a few things she needed to check on from work. Today, she was doing way more thinking than working.

“God is just a prayer away

All you need to do is call

He will hear your faintest cry

He’s concerned about you.”

Back when she’d gotten divorced, apart from the relief of not having to be beaten daily, she’d lived with a constant fear. A fear that maybe she wasn’t good enough. That maybe Brumah had left her because of that, and her marriage hadn’t worked out either because of that. Therapy, and finding God had dulled that thought in her life for many years. Mackenzie had made it a lot easier to not think that way.

“So while your tears are flowing through

Your time of mourning

He is here to lift your heavy heart

Because He’s in love with you.”

But being back home, back in the environment that so hostilely threw her away, seeing Sarah today, in her lovely Kaba and Slit, and the almost customary headgear, Nadia started to wonder again. Was she good enough? Was she damaged in anyway?

She thought about how hard it’d been trying not to contact Bruma for a meeting. How she would go into the backyard and sit for hours, thinking about what they could have had. She missed him. But she didn’t want to be a weakness. Especially not when he was this vulnerable. She wasn’t going to be the reason why he lost his family, or his right standing before God.

“He knows, He cares

He sees, He’s there

He’ll carry you

He’s concerned about you.”

She couldn’t hold back her tears much longer.

Why had Bruma’s mother hated her so much? Why couldn’t she have had him? Why did she have to be the trade off? 

She was so glad she hadn’t come to church with Mackenzie. He would have had so many questions.

“Weeping may endure for a night

But the morning will bring joy

He won’t give you more than you can bear

He’s concerned about you.”

“Dear God why do I still want this man? Why is this so hard?”


Andrea hadn’t been to church in weeks – months actually. She’d had enough of the pointing fingers and the whispers. She told Gyedu she’d get a fresh start elsewhere with the kids. So he didn’t have to bother about her saying anything to anyone. The truth of the matter was that she had gotten sick and tired of the judgemental way that people asked her questions. “Don’t you think you could have solved the matter amicably? The Lord hates divorce you know?”

She’d gone on a good third date yesterday. They’d texted for a couple weeks, before finally meeting and he seemed like a good guy. The first date had been lunch at a cafeteria close to her office. The second had been a fleeting thirty minutes when he passed by her house and they sat and talked for a bit in his car. Last night had been dinner. He was fun to talk to, and hadn’t flinched when she mentioned her twin boys casually in conversation. He asked their names, and seemed interested when she mentioned how Panyin was always talking, and Kakra was the constant listener. He’d held the doors for her, and opened her car door. He was a gentleman.

And most importantly, at the end of the evening, he didn’t harrow her for a kiss, or anything more. He gave her a hug, said that he’d enjoyed the evening, and drove off after making a plan to meet on another day.

She knew it was too early to get attached, but he made her giddy – something she hadn’t felt in a very long time! And she’d been giddy over him for over 2 months.

The kids were at her mothers, so she could sleep in all Sunday. She had no plans and she liked it that way. It was a good day to laze about and think about last night. Just when she tossed over the other side of the bed, her phone beeped.

“Thank you for a swell time last night, Andrea. I don’t know if I told you this, but you were stunning. You are beautiful, and I had to mentally stop myself from saying/doing anything inappropriate. I really enjoyed dinner with you. If you’d like to, I could cook this afternoon so we eat and talk. I’ll send you the address if you can. Hugs.”

Suddenly she didn’t want to sleep in anymore.

“That sounds good. Would I need to grab some Imodium on my way though? And I could bring some wine, I don’t know your preference.”

“Imodium would definitely not be necessary. Trust me on that. I like my wine white and dry. Anything else you prefer should work too. 238 Trassaco Valley. 1PM. See you soon”

**********

When Bruma visited Nadia, he was a wreck. Mackenzie had gone to the town centre or so with his grandmother. She hadn’t been expecting him to come over the house, so he somehow caught her by surprise.

The house hadn’t changed so much. He was hit suddenly with so much nostalgia.

“On Sunday, that was a very beautiful –”

“Nady, I’m losing my mind! I… I” She really didn’t know what to say. Because somehow she’d seen this coming. She handed him a bottle of water from the counter, and asked him to sit. Her mind was racing, and she really didn’t know if she had the strength to be strong for him.  She’d seen him like this before. Many years ago. Maybe not this bad. But it was obvious he wasn’t in a good place.

She sat in the chair across from him, waiting for him to calm down and speak. He didn’t, only pulled out the note from his pocket.

It was from Sarah. “Bruma, I don’t know if it’s appropriate that I read this…” “Trust me Nady, it’s definitely not a love letter.”

Bruma,

I have never told you this. But when my parents asked me to marry you, I thought I’d done something wrong. I asked my mother why she wanted me to, and apparently your mother had approached her about it. I knew for sure that it wasn’t your decision.

I accepted to marry you because it was the right thing to do. You were going to be groomed to be a pastor, and it’s what I’d been brought up for – the pastor’s wife. Before you, there was a young man I cared about. But he was not even a Christian. He was my little secret for about 3 months. And in those three months, I only saw him twice. I knew I had to get rid of him when he started demanding things from me. A hug, a kiss… on and on. But my mother found out about him before I had the courage to get rid of him. For many reasons, I’m almost certain that marrying you was the punishment for entertaining him.

As your wife, I have the daunting task of the care of almost all the women in this church. I have the task of ensuring you’re fed, and I have the task of making your kids.

I’ve done this well for the past 9 years. I really don’t understand what more you want from me, Osofo. If it’s the bedroom stuff you want more of, I can always take it.

If I had to do this again, I don’t think I would. It’s been really hard, Bruma. We’re from completely different worlds, and sometimes I wonder how we’ve been agreeing on how the kids are brought up.

I’m very sorry if I haven’t been what you wanted in your wife. I know you’ve had extensive experience in the women department. So I can understand if you don’t think I’m the most ideal, but I need you to know that you were not my first choice either.

I don’t think the therapy is necessary, Bruma. How do we explain to the Presbyters that we have marriage issues so we have to go for counselling? If we’ve managed to live well together for the past 9 years, I’m sure we can manage for the rest of our lives.

I know I should not accuse a man of God of certain things, but there are days when I think you’ve found someone else. I don’t care what you do, Osofo, but I will not be disrespected. If you have found someone else, please be discrete about it. If she takes good care of you, it means you won’t come back worrying me at 3AM for sex. Also, please protect yourself. I will not be riddled with disease because of your outrageous libido.

I’m sorry if this letter sounds disrespectful, but I’ve been keeping in all this rage from long before you wrote me that letter three months ago. We both know we don’t love each other. But we have a congregation to lead, and kids to bring up. We’ve pretended for the past 9 years, and we can definitely do a few years more. I’m absolutely fine with the sham we call a marriage, and I’m quite sure we’ll do just fine.

Sarah.

Nadia couldn’t believe her eyes. She’d never read such a callous letter.

She moved to Brumas side, and held him in a hug. He was breathing really heavily. He wasn’t crying, but she thought he probably would. They stayed this way for a few minutes, until his breathing settled. They hadn’t been this close in years. It felt good.

“I’m sorry Nady, I shouldn’t be bothering you with these things. I just…I don’t…”

“Don’t be silly Bruma, who else would you tell?” she was right. Nobody else knew anything about what was going on.

“I miss you Nady. I really really do.” She had to stop herself from saying me too. She knew she had to be the sensible one for the two of them.

He wasn’t in a good place, and she couldn’t take advantage of that.

She held him really tight in a long embrace, and just before she could let go, her mother walked in, with Mackenzie in tow.


Yaa had fallen hopelessly in love with the baby. She couldn’t take her eyes off him. She understood now why so many of her friends who’d decided they didn’t want marriage, had decided they still wanted kids. He had such beautiful eyes!

She’d also met twice with the delightful Nigerian doctor, and she knew she was probably finally falling in love. Why did he have to be wearing a wedding band? Why was he so well cultured? Why did he constantly smell so good? They’d sent each other messages a few times, however they hadn’t progressed to the point where she could ask him about his personal life. She didn’t know if she wanted to get to that point. He wore a wedding band. He was off limits, and she knew she had to stop.

The last time they met, he was explaining to her what the adoption protocol was, and how more often than not, the hospital personnel were not involved in the dealings. He’d offered her a cup of tea or coffee, and she’d only accepted to take the coffee, because she knew he was not going to have his secretary brew a fresh cup. She’d overhead on their last visit that he didn’t like instant coffee. The only thing she liked about coffee was the smell – it tasted like earth to her. But she wanted the extra five minutes. She hadn’t felt this way much before, and she loved the way he treated her.

She had to keep reminding herself that he was off limits. And that was a really hard thing to you.


Wendy didn’t know what to do about Yaa falling in love with the doctor. They’d talked about it in passing, but she could tell that Yaa was definitely falling. She was happy for her, but she knew it wasn’t right. Wendy was also happy that Yaa was adopting the child. It meant she would always have him in her life, and that made her happy. She’d started preparing to start back at school, and Pastor Brumah had called her a few times about returning to church. It seemed as if the other pastors did not really care that much.


“Dear Miss Yaa. It will be quite a long while before the adoption process is finally over. However I found out from the hospital’s lawyer that the initial part has been approved. Congratulations, you’re a mother! It would be nice to celebrate this. There’s a lunch meeting that I have to attend, and I’d need a plus one. If you’d be kind enough to be my plus one, we could get some drinks after.

Best,

S. Adeola.”

Here’s a link to all the songs mentioned in this piece!

God is Good – Jonathan McReynolds, Another in the Fire – Hillsong United, and He’s Concerned – Cece Winans

Perspectives V

Dear everyone…..Perspectives is back!!💃🏽🍾🎊

If you haven’t had a chance to read any of the previous parts of ‘Perspectives’, you’ll find them here: Perspectives I, II, III & IV

Thank you for all the support, 🙏🏽 the ‘patient’ waiting , 🤦🏾‍♀️ the grumbling, the threats and warnings, 😂etc. I’m happy to be back, and to be ending perspectives soon!! 🎊

Hugs, Elise❤️


Dear Sarah,

Remember the day I asked you to marry me? I don’t remember it in full detail. I remember that it was tough. I remember that we had no emotions between us. I remember knowing right from that day that this wasn’t right for both of us. I knew you knew as well. But I guess we did what we needed to do? You we’re destined to be a pastors wife, and I was determined to do something right by my family. Ours has been such an odd relationship. Functional, but odd.

You know this thing we keep telling our counselees? About foundations? ‘The depth of a foundation matters just as much as what it’s built with.’

It keeps ringing in my head….

The Bible verse that says build with good material, because your works will be tested with fire?

I know we’ve been building with good material….

I know that we’ve both tried. But I know also that our foundation was shallow. I know our foundation isn’t something we can fix. Because God knows I tried. I tried dates, I tried books, I tried conversation, and none of them seem to bring us closer together. We’re basically bonded together, only because of the kids.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed that the past few years have been harder for me than ever. I don’t know if you noticed the meds, or noticed my early morning/ mid-evening hospital visits…

I don’t expect that you noticed, because I tried really hard to hide it. How would people react to a depressed pastor? How many would even believe it? How many people would understand that I preached hope and love and faith, and yet I had suicidal thoughts on some days? How many would ask me to pray it away? How many of them would go about gossiping about the pastor that says he knows God and yet wants to kill himself. How many would understand? Would you understand? Would you, Sarah.

The past few months, I’ve had a lot to think about. I’ve questioned God, and I’ve told him my heart. I’ve asked him for a way out, a way to not feel so trapped. I’ve begged him on my knees and I’ve begged him in our bed. I’ve fasted, and I still can’t seem to figure anything out. I don’t know what to do. So this letter is to ask you. Sarah. Are you happy? Are you happy carrying on with this sham we’ve done so well with for so long, or is there something you want? Do you want us to see a professional? Do you want us to work on our foundation? Is there anything you want besides being ‘osofomaame’? Do you want me? As a person? Or is it just the title that you want? I’m making changes this year, Sarah, and I’m done being quiet about the things that hurt me. I’m questioning things, and I’m willing to change what isn’t working. I owe it to myself to be happy, as long as it remains in the will of God.

There are so many times when I see you chatting with a friend, and I wonder if you’ll ever get to a point where you can have a normal chat with me as a husband… not about the children and not as your pastor.

I want to be able to laugh with you about those funny hats Abrefi wears to church, but I can’t, because you will consider it slander. I want to be able to wake you up at 3am, just because I had a silly dream and I’ll probably forget it if I go back to bed without telling you. I want to be able to come round the kitchen and stress you, while helping you make my kontomire stew. But I can’t.

Sarah before anything else that I am – pastor, father, counsellor etc., I am your husband. You’re the one person I should be happy to see and talk to everyday. I used to be a very happy, carefree man. I don’t think God wanted me to be unhappy. And I know for a fact he doesn’t want you to be unhappy either.

Marrying you was a thing that was supposed to make me right in my family. I wanted my parents to know that I’d done one good thing. Now I wonder if my mother looks down from heaven to see if I’m happy.

When Mama died, I was devastated. I knew you were sad too. But it never once even crossed my mind that I could talk to you about how I felt. I wanted to be held. I wanted to cry – to wail. I wanted to tell someone that I wish mama had met our last baby. I wanted to scream to the world that the one person I wanted to impress the most in life was gone.

Instead, all my grief was bottled up in me, Sarah. I had to be strong, you said. I had to man up. I had to amidst the tedious task of planning a funeral and dealing with family members, hold my heavy grief so deep in my heart that it couldn’t show. On the day of the funeral, I felt things I’d never felt before. I considered taking my life.

I’m not saying that any of this is your fault. I’m just as much to blame. I’m just letting you know that I really wish it had all been different. I wish I could be your husband sometimes and not have to always be your pastor.

You know that I’ve never really figured sex out with you? It’s been close to 9 years, and I don’t know how… I don’t even know what I don’t know. I just know that it feels as if you never want me. And when because of that I decide to let you be, you come rushing at me with your passive aggressive words, asking if I no longer find you desirable. I don’t know if I can ever figure it out with you, but I’m willing to try – only if you are.

I want us to consider counselling, Sarah. I mentioned earlier that I started therapy after the suicidal thoughts I started having. It took a while, of course, but now I can wake up in the morning and not feel that dark cloud there all the time. I can speak without the tightening in my chest that kept happening. I can laugh genuinely again, Sarah. And I want us to be able to be happy. We owe it to ourselves, and then, to the kids.

I care about you, Sarah. You’ve been an amazing mother to our kids, and an amazing Osofomaame. One day soon, please be my amazing wife.

Brumah.


The finality of it all shocked her.

They were finally over? The twins were with her, but he’d promised to continue to provide for them. He’d signed to that effect. And he hadn’t really made a fuss.

There are days when she kept thinking maybe he had a mistress somewhere? But she didn’t want to think that way. She wanted to think that he was just not very sexually attracted to her. And maybe that wasn’t such a bad thing. Maybe that meant that he could find someone out there that he was really attracted to, and who would be fine with his bedroom shenanigans, or the lack of them.

She’d expected the divorce to feel exhilarating. She expected that she’d be extremely happy. On the contrary, she felt raw fear. Had she done the right thing? Would the kids understand when they were older? Would she ever find someone else? Did she want to find someone else… she knew she did.

She looked at the one day old message from Akua.

“When are you ready to get back to the dating scene? I have a friend you should meet!”

Was she ready to flirt and date and do all those things she really hadn’t done so much of? Had she just thrown away her marriage for things like these?

But then again what was her marriage? She was unhappy for years. Unhappy and tired. She grabbed the bottle of gin, not bothering to use a glass.

Finally, she replied the message.

“I’m ready…. I guess?” He better be sensible, she thought.  I’m not ready for games. And the kids are certainly not ready for games either. Lol.


The whole flight, Akyiaa kept wondering if maybe she had made the wrong decision. She’d tried. She really had. But if the man she loved was not in favour of her pursuing her dreams, then was that really love? She’d tried to stay back, to decide that she could hold off and stay. But she’d started resenting him, and she knew that if she didn’t figure it out, she could probably become capable of murder at a point. His smugness about being the head of the family and having the last word made it so much worse. She couldn’t stomach it anymore. Good thing she hadn’t emailed to say she couldn’t make it. She’d bought the ticket two weeks earlier, waiting for a good time to tell him. But there was never a good time. The evening she left, she left him a letter. A very long letter. She passed by her parents’ house, and her dad drove her to the airport. They had no idea that he didn’t know. They had no idea that she’d neglected to tell him. “I’m really glad Papa came to his senses.” Her father had said. She only smiled and said nothing. She knew he was likely at the hospital, or with the guys. And that he’d be very upset. But she had to do this for herself. There was no way she could live with herself twenty years down the line, thinking of what could have been. She knew she had tried to live with it. She’d tried to not hate him for not wanting her to go. But she had failed. And ultimately, she knew she would fail at the marriage in the long run if she did nothing about it. She had to do something.


When the baby was put in her laps, it was almost as if her whole life had been brought to a standstill. She could barely pay attention to the people around her. She was exhausted. And completely and utterly dumbfounded. His dark, tiny fingers, his awfully tiny nose, and the way his lips curled when he yawned or stretched or whatever it is he was doing.

The pain she’d been in the past 8 hours had been completely forgotten. And she finally understood how people could have so many kids. The joy that followed the birth of one was intoxicating. As she put him to her breast, and felt his first tug, she shut her eyes, only now realising that she had been crying.

When Yaa met with the doctor concerning Wendy, he assumed straightaway that she was the mother. He discussed everything with her, and answered all her questions. He was a constantly smiling gentleman, who looked to be in his mid-forties. He looked tired – in a chronic way. As if he’d been tired for so long, and his rest wasn’t taking care of the tiredness.

When she asked if there was a protocol for adoption, he realised she wasn’t the mother. Yaa explained the whole situation, and he seemed happy to help even though he didn’t seem to know exactly how.

Yaa didn’t know why she went to look at his ring finger, and why she was disappointed when she noticed the wedding band. She chided herself and went back to paying attention to the man’s words.

They made a plan to meet together with the social welfare team, and Yaa left, wondering what kind of a family man he was, and how lovely he must look in shorts. She scolded herself countlessly, but she couldn’t stop wondering.


Nadia and Brumah continued to keep conversation. Not daily – they’d told themselves they couldn’t do that. They emailed weekly. So she knew about the letter Brumah had written to Sarah, and how for weeks he still hadn’t gotten a reply, or any change. She knew that Brumah’s therapy was better now than ever, and they’d started cutting back on his medications. She knew that he had work that was going to take him to some villages for a while. She knew that his daughter had just had her first tooth come out, and she was super excited.

He also knew that Mackenzie was increasingly getting more involved in the swim team, and it made him happy. He knew that she had gotten a good advertisement deal that could land her a large amount of money. He knew that she had plans of coming home to visit her mother with Mackenzie, but he didn’t want to get over excited. He didn’t even know if they would get to see each other. He wanted Nadia, but he also wanted to honour his marriage.

He knew though, that his days were a lot happier, because he felt heard. He felt needed. He felt wanted. And that feeling beat many other feelings he’d had in the past couple of years. He could pray without feeling any guilt about not keeping Sarah in the loop. Because he’d literally poured out his whole heart to her. Well almost all of it. And it didn’t seem to make any difference for her.

Recently he had a hard time though preaching at church on some occasions.

In one of his last sermons, he spoke about Destiny and the will of God.

How too many people put their destinies in the hands of mere men, mere mortals. How God had a path for everyone, and yet not everyone wanted to follow in that direction. And how God never forced humans. How he gave us all free will.

He remembered the tears in the beautiful red haired doctor’s eyes when the sermon was over. He remembered wondering to himself if he’d taken his own destiny into his hands by marrying Sarah. Later in the week when he emailed Nadia, he asked her if she thought he did. But her reply hadn’t come yet.

Nadia didn’t know what to think about that. All she knew was that she had survived him leaving, and much as she wanted him back, she knew she couldn’t. And she was content with this new friendship they’d started – at least she prayed she’d remain content. What she didn’t know, was if he had taken his destiny into his own hands, by leaving her for Sarah.


Dear Papa…

I know you’re probably going to hate me forever for this. And I don’t know if, or when you can forgive me. But I do know that if I’d stayed, we’d both have been very miserable. I know I tried. Really tried to be the submissive wife everyone has been asking me to be. But I really don’t see myself putting this dream on hold just because your ego can’t handle it. (And if there’s another reason why you had wanted me to stay, please do tell me, because I really can’t seem to find it.)

Three week ago at church, when Pastor Brumah spoke about destiny and the will of God, I felt as though God was talking to me. And I know that God doesn’t contradict himself. I know he says to submit to the husband. I know also that he asks husbands to love their wives. I really don’t know where the love we had is, Papa. I know that this residency is something I’ve worked so hard on for so long, and something I’ve dreamt about and prayed about and longed for since forever. And you know this too. So I can’t seem to understand how come you don’t want me to go.

Unfortunately, it’s too late now.

I just want you to know that this is not me asking for us to break up or for divorce anything at all. If anything, I want to be able to prove to you that we can do this. That long distance for 3 or so years is really not going to be as bad as you think. Especially because we’ll get to see each other a couple of times each year.

I left in the freezer stews and soups that should last for at least six weeks. Hopefully before the six weeks are up, your anger may have gone down, and we can figure out food for the rest of the while that I’m away.

You don’t know what I’d give to have your support, and to have had you go on this trip with me. To help me settle, and to know that even if the situation is not the most ideal, that you’re in it with me. I wish you knew.

I’ve attached to this letter a ticket for this Christmas. I know your visa expires in about a month. But then your leave isn’t till Christmas. And I’d be really happy if you could renew the visa, so I get to see you at Christmas. If you decide not to, I understand.

But I want you to know that going away was a good thing. I started resenting you after I made the decision to stay, and I realised I couldn’t let that decision rob me of both my happiness and my marriage.

So please understand. Please understand that I really needed to do this. And please understand that I love you. And I tried so hard to stay and forget about this, I just couldn’t do it.

Love,

Akyiaa


*Osofomaame – Pastors Wife

Perspectives IV

Dear everyone… Happy Easter! (It’s not quite over yet, is it?) I really have no excuses this time – well I do, but I really shouldn’t have been gone this long. I know the usual “I’m sorry for being gone for almost forever” doesn’t quite cut it. Nonetheless, I’m so sorry! I hope you enjoy this! And I can almost promise the next part wont take this long – I’m already working on it!

If you’re new here or you’ve missed any of the previous parts of ‘Perspectives’, find them here: Perspectives I, Perspectives II, Perspectives III.

Hugs! ❤



When Brumah walked into her house, the first thing that struck him was how cosy it felt. It wasn’t one of those mansions that felt too bougie to relax in. it was designed very cosily, and was just…. Homey.

He sat at the dining table in the kitchen, where Nadia was making something. It smelt good… unfamiliar, but good. She said Mackenzie was upstairs and would join them when dinner was ready. He had mixed feelings about meeting the boy. He didn’t know if he would like him. He wanted him to. Badly. And he didn’t even know why. He was good with kids, and had never ever had to think if a child would like him or not. Here he was, hoping the little boy would like him.

There was some music playing from the living room, and Nadia was dressed in home clothes. Baggy trousers and a tank top. He wasn’t sure if she was wearing a bra or not. Why was he even thinking about that? God hold my thoughts please! He didn’t need his thoughts wandering now. They’d agreed to have a simple dinner and nothing more. She was concentrating on the food… whatever it was she was making, and he was trying to concentrate on his glass of fresh juice without staring at her backside. God, I’m having such a hard time here. I’m still so attracted to her. I’m so scared of doing something I’d regret now. I’m so scared. But I want her, God, I love her. I really really do, and you know it. Please do something. Make it work somehow God.

He sighed deeply and caught her staring at him.

“Brumah, everything okay?” She looked worried. She had no idea the flips his heart was doing just because of her concern. He said he was good, and she prepared to go get Mackenzie from upstairs.

Perspectives has been published into a book, and can be obtained here: 

Perspectives III

Dear everyone… Happy New Year! This is long overdue, and I’m sorry.  And to show how sorry I am, this is the longest part so far!  I hope you like it!

Hugs & Kisses!!

Elise



Dear Gyedu,

I don’t think I’ve ever written you a letter. It’s hard living in the same house with you, and yet missing you. Although we’re together physically… (And even that barely), I know we’re not together. We’re living a façade. This isn’t what we envisioned. We may not have ever had that lovey-dovey kind of love before we got married, but at least we loved each other enough to put in the effort. Today, I feel as if your only allegiance is to the boys. I admit that for a long time I felt that way too. Are we too far beyond redemption? Do you no longer find me attractive? Do you want an out? Because much as I want us to fix this, and make it work, I don’t see the point of carrying on if we’re always gonna be this way. The boys are growing up, and with time, they’ll notice these things. They’ll see how cold we can be towards each other, without even intending to be. They’ll see how we never look at each other, never hug, or hold hands. They’ll see that we never sit to talk. We basically wake up from the opposite sides of the bed, and treat each other like we’re colleagues. I want passion, and love. I don’t want to wonder if you love me anymore or not. I don’t want to be here trying so hard to impress you, when you barely notice. I know I shouldn’t assume things, but we haven’t been intimate in over 2 years… are you okay with that? Are you seeing someone else?

I know that what people, especially people at church, think about you, is more important to you than what I think. And I’ve lived with that for a tad too long. I don’t think I’m going to be able to do that anymore. If you remain unwilling for us to get counselling and fix this, I’ll move back to my mother’s with the boys. You’ll be free to visit them whenever you want. And if you feel that we’ll work better that way, I could grant you a divorce, so you visit them or have them visit you as and when. We’re still young. Maybe I can find the love and passion I’m looking for elsewhere. Maybe you have a different definition of love, and you’re getting it elsewhere. I can learn to live with that. But I can’t sit here day in and day out waiting for you to realise I’m your wife, or that I have needs that haven’t been taken care of in forever. If I were ‘promiscuous’, I would have gotten myself very well taken care of a long time ago.

I’ve got so much to say, I just can’t seem to translate them into the right words. Should I say I miss you, when there are nights when I wonder if I did right in marrying you? And when I can go some days without even thinking about you? I really don’t know what to say. Let’s fix this please? Or let’s end it? I will be fine with whichever of the two you want. But I won’t carry on looking like the star couple at church, and living in shambles at home.

Yours, (Am I?)

Andrea


Brumah was very tense. He walked into Bazar Tapas, about fifteen minutes earlier, planning to wait for a bit, compose himself, figure out what to say, before Nadia came in. But she was already sitting there when he walked in. She was concentrating on something on her laptop. She had a very well done bun on her head, and eyeglasses sitting atop her nose – when had she started wearing those? Her lips were slightly apart. Her lips.

He stopped and steadied his thoughts.

Nadia was beautiful. After so many years she was still so beautiful! She looked up and noticed him standing there. She smiled. An unsure smile. A beautiful smile. Brumah was trying not to be dramatic. He felt himself stiffen and he hoped she didn’t. He walked to her, as she took her glasses off and shut the laptop.

“Nady, you of all people know these things can be a sham. I care about Sarah. A lot. And she is a good woman. I just don’t know if she’s the one for me. She is a good mother. I really haven’t thought about any of this. I’m being selfish, I know. But I’ve been so unhappy for so long, it’s starting to take a toll on me. I’ve prayed about it Nady…. for years. I’ve prayed and I’ve prayed. I’ve stopped myself from calling you. I’ve actively done all I can……..”

“I’m not asking that we have an affair, or that you stop seeing your man, but I just really needed to let you know. I want to be happy again Nady. And today, sitting here, just talking, I know I haven’t felt this way in years!”

Perspectives has been published into a book, and can be obtained here: 

Perspectives II

Hi guys! I’m finally back with the second part of ‘Perspectives’. I’m sorry it took forever (I know, I’m constantly apologising for disappearing lol!) I promise to do better with the next part. As always, please tell me what you think, share with someone who might enjoy it, or might be going through something similar, share your thoughts with us all. Most of all, I hope you enjoy it! If you haven’t read the first part yet, you’ll find it here.

Cheers to a lovely weekend! ❤

Elise


Brumah had a sermon he’d been working on for weeks now. Somehow he couldn’t seem to get the message coined into the way he felt the Spirit was leading him. And lately, his thoughts kept going back to Nadia. Especially as his appointment to preach in New York approached. He’d prayed those thoughts away on so many occasions, lately it wasn’t working. He knew she had a little boy, but as much as possible he tried to not look her up or wonder about her. Sometimes he missed her so much… missed the way she made him feel about himself. Missed her funny quips. She was a very happy girl…. it took so much to rile her up….

But she was considered a bad girl. That was obviously no problem when he was also considered bad. When he got saved, his mother had over and over and over, drummed it into his head, that this was not the kind of girl a Christian boy brought home.
He remembered how nervous he was the day he broke up with her. She thought he was kidding. “I know I’m not good enough for your family, and that’s okay…. but I thought I was enough for you?” She said it with a smile on her face. But he knew her too well to know that deep inside, her heart was breaking into a thousand shards. Just like his was.

He still hadn’t forgiven himself. He’d prayed, and cried out to God… In his mother’s words, “no child of mine will be yoked with an evil woman!”
He’d cut communication with her for so long, and she hadn’t fought it. There were times he was tempted to think maybe she was fine with it all. But he knew her too well. Knew she didn’t want to disrupt his well-structured life. She loved him, and he knew it… loved him enough to remove herself just so he wouldn’t have to suffer. She loved him in a way no woman ever would.  And he loved her in a way he knew he couldn’t love any other woman. He thought back to the last time they’d made love…. he was reaching dangerous territory now. He missed her so much more when he thought about the sex.

He knew he shouldn’t be comparing, and he tried so hard not to. But Sarah constantly shamed him when it came to that department. He felt like he had to earn the right to sex. And even when he did earn it, it was on her terms. No funny positions. No strange sounds. Shower before. Aim: Make babies.

Perspectives has been published into a book, and can be obtained here: 

Buy Perspectives

Perspectives

This is a story about 6 individuals, and how their intertwined stories may not seem like they really seem. Many of the happenings in this story are from real life tales. Many are fictional.

Let me know your thoughts! Have you ever been in any of these situations? Have you met someone in such situations? How did it go? What did they do? Share them with us!

Elise


 

Bruma hadn’t always been a Christian. But he was a good one – a good pastor too. He lived to please the Lord. He knew in his heart of hearts, that he was trying. He knew that he wasn’t perfect. But he knew also the grace of God that had carried him out of destruction.

He knew he would probably have been cursed somewhere, likely dead if that grace hadn’t carried him out. He knew it. And he was grateful. How he became a Christian was nothing short of a miracle. But that was a story for another day.

When his mother asked him his thoughts about Sarah, he didn’t quite have an opinion. She wasn’t the kind of girl he’d have gone for, though very beautiful, she was a bit plain, a bit too submissive and a bit too ‘deaconess-y’. She hardly questioned things. They had to be done a certain way… the right way. But that wasn’t a good enough reason for him to say no. So he agreed to marry her. He didn’t want any more stressful issues with his family. He’d caused them enough pain.

Before he married her, he went to Nadia to apologize. He knew he owed that girl so much! He’d cost her two abortions, and too much heartache. She was the one that genuinely had his heart. And she’d stuck with him through all the stupidity of his youth. She was the only one of all the girls he’d had in the past that he could never forget. She left the country when he decided to move on. She told him she didn’t want to stand in the way of his transformation, but she couldn’t trust herself to not keep coming back. Nadia was a good woman! Her kind of crazy was what his heart needed. And on many nights, when he was alone with his thoughts, he wondered what could have been.

Sarah was good too. Only that she had been socialised in such a way that made her believe that almost everything modern was a sin. She owned nothing above her knees, she didn’t consider joking as a couple a normal thing – hers was to respect him, and cook for him. When he bought her lingerie for their honeymoon, she told him she was fully submitted to him, but she couldn’t do any ashawo things. He thought she was only joking. If only he knew!

 


 

“The church is arguably the most judgemental place on earth. Day in and day out, the church turns hundreds of people away – with a glare, with one word, one sentence, and one rumour. Aren’t we supposed to be the source of love? Aren’t we the ones who should comfort others? Are we not the ones to bring others over to this bright side?”

Akyiaa was always excited when it was pastor Bruma preaching. Apart from being good looking, he was also practical, straight to the point, and not repetitive like some of the other pastors. She’d skip on her post duty rounds to be there if she knew it was him preaching! Today, he had started a new series about the hypocrisy that needed to go away from the church.

She remembered all the time church people had made interesting comments about her.

“But why would a Christian woman even decide that she can wear an anklet?!” “Is black lipstick too a thing? Did you see it on her Instagram? Asɛ bɛyifo!”

And though she considered herself quite liberal, she looked back to all the times she herself had thought judgementally about others. Even if she didn’t voice them out, she’d thought them. And that, was just as bad!

“I need you to understand, church, that our righteousness did not save us! We’re all saved only by grace! Now a man with long or braided hair, has been given grace just as much as a man with a haircut – his hair, his choice! A tattoo doesn’t change the grace that God has given to us! Red hair will not stop you from going to Heaven! The jewellery you wear, will certainly not change anything about your walk with God!”

 


 

Andrea was finally tired. Tired of the façade she’d been living, tired of the pretence and the effort required to live it.

She remembered clearly the last time her husband had so much as looked at her…..

About two years ago, she’d stopped trying to convince herself that he was not having an affair… there was almost no one she could talk to about this. In church, Gyedu was a saint – he was an elder. He loved the kids. And as much as possible, he was civil to her. Many women wanted men like him. She’d be called ungrateful if she complained.

They’d been married 8 years, and the last 2 of those years, had been without sex. She didn’t consider herself a very sexual person, and it wasn’t as if Gyedu thought much about her when it came to sex… He was her first, and when they first got married, she thought sex was gruesome. But she decided she’d not waited this long for sex that would make her wish she was still celibate. She’d been brought up to think that God would reward her for remaining a virgin prior to her marriage. This really wasn’t the reward she had been expecting.

So she researched. She read articles. Both Christian ones and all those ones that she knew her church people would disapprove of. She bought books and magazines on the matter.

When she brought it up to Gyedu that she didn’t really enjoy the sex, and hence had done some research, on how they could maybe make it better, he wouldn’t have it! It was about six months into their marriage, and it was the biggest fight they’d had – well not quite a fight, just he became a very angry man.

 

“Where are you getting all these ideas from? We’re not people of the world! I’m not going to do anything funny just because you claim you’re not enjoying it! What do you even have to compare us to? Was I not your first? Or are you seeing someone?! Who has been putting these ideas into your head?”

She’d tried a few more times after that. To initiate sex, to try some position that would maybe get her close to some satisfaction, but Gyedu really wouldn’t have it. He didn’t want to be “carnal.”

From then on, sex had been his thing. She didn’t bother anymore to pretend that she was enjoying herself. She was so excited when she got pregnant. Although it was a difficult pregnancy, she didn’t have to deal with two times a week being painfully pounded and harrowed ‘like a good wife’.

When the twins were born, she put her all into her beautiful sons. She moved in with her mother for over a year, well beyond the customary three to six months that was acceptable. Gyedu visited fortnightly, and even then, their conversation was strained.

When she moved back home, they merely lived like roommates. She tried hard to make it work. She prayed and fasted. She apologised to his sore ego for making those suggestions earlier in their marriage. She did the things that made him happy. Cooked all his meals just the way he liked them. Got him gifts that she knew he’d like.

It didn’t change much. He stopped having sex with her altogether. When she tried to initiate it, he’d rub it in her face that she claimed she didn’t enjoy it…so why keep pretending? She tried talking to Gyedu about getting counselling. He was even more upset about that than he was about their sex issues.

“You want me to be ridiculed in the church, is that it? You want people to think I’m an incompetent husband?”

What made it easier for her was her five year old boys. They were her joy. She knew that it was up to her to bring them up to respect women, and not live like the world revolved around them.

Her marriage was just a façade, and she knew it. She didn’t want herself getting tempted by men elsewhere. She’d had advances made at her at work, and it was becoming increasingly difficult to say no. She couldn’t bring herself to cheat on Gyedu, but a woman has needs too! So after two years, and four months of being celibate though married, and over three years of thinking through, praying, wondering and convincing herself, Andrea ordered herself a vibrator.

 


 

Wendy was excommunicated from church when she got pregnant. It was one of the most difficult times of her life. But somehow, her meetings with Pastor Brumah and Elder Aining made it a bit easier. She understood that this was so that others wouldn’t fall into the same mistakes that she had. She wasn’t sacked, just she couldn’t hold any leadership positions, and she couldn’t be a part of the choir anymore. It was for a short while.

What surprised her was how the members of the choir suddenly treated her. She knew for sure that there were a number of them that were sexually active. But you see, that was the flaw in this whole excommunication thing. We’re all holy, until we’re caught!

All of a sudden, she was no longer friends with Rachel – how could she hang out with the latest sinner? She assumed that one of them would at least call to ask how the pregnancy was going, and how she was coping. On the contrary, she was very blatantly ignored at church. She thought it was a figment of her imagination, that maybe she was overthinking it cos of her own shame. But she was very obviously snubbed by two or three members. She wasn’t one to hold grudges. She decided she’d leave the church for a while. She was unfortunate to have committed a sin that couldn’t be hidden from the church. She’d thought of the abortion she knew Rachel had done, just so the church and her family wouldn’t find out. But hey, she had been the unlucky one. Life was that way. She would be okay at some point. She knew it.

 


 

Nadia had been living in the United States for the past eight years. There were still very few days when she didn’t think about Brumah. About what could have been. She’d never been bitter about any of it. She loved him. And she knew that he loved her as well. But life happens. And people hardly end up with the ones they love. Even when they do, life happens. She’d tried to meet others when she moved. She’d even been married once, to an abusive older man. She’d had a lovely baby boy, and then left that marriage. She was currently very comfortable, living in a place that many would consider a mansion, with her son. He was four, and the sweetest soul alive. She’d given up on her wild ways, and gotten right with God. She fellowshipped at the local church not far from where they lived. It was a church of love. That’s probably what drew her to it. She remembered visiting Brumah’s church in Ghana one time, where one elderly woman came and covered her with a cloth in the middle of the service, because the tattoo on her right shoulder was showing, and “we don’t do that here.”

So many times she’d considered going back home. But she knew it probably wasn’t for the best. It would worsen how much she wanted Brumah, and she didn’t want to be a homewrecker. She could tell he was happy. At least from what she saw on social media. He had a vibrant ministry in one of the big churches back home, and he was loved by many. His wife was beautiful. A bit more quiet than Nadia thought he would end up with, but she seemed good for him. 8 years, and they were still going strong.

She’d tried praying the love she had for him away. If only it worked that way!

 


 

Yaa was the Country Director at the UNDP Ghana office. She was strikingly beautiful. And her charisma made her loved by all. But she’d had to put up with so much pressure – first from men, and then her family, and then from her church, even from friends! How could you be thirty – eight and not want to be married? She’d heard one usher once talking to a lady, saying that it was because she earned so much money. Men didn’t want a woman who earned more money than them. She was livid that day. But as always, she kept her composure. She’d also heard once that she’d given up marriage for success. As if people didn’t have the two. Another rumour was that she was too authoritative for men. She laughed when she heard that one. Of course there were also rumours that at this age if she wasn’t married then she had some person she was hitting it with from time to time. Because humans somehow could not understand that a woman could be fine without a man, and without sex.

Yaa just did not want marriage. She’d been harassed by her family members, sent on awkward dates, some of which had to end abruptly, because the idiots assumed that at her age, she was desperate and would marry anyone regardless.

She’d had just one love of her life. And she felt content to have had that experience. He died early, even before they’d ever thought about marriage or any of those things. She simply didn’t want marriage, and people didn’t understand that! For the past eight years, she’d had people praying for her, that God would give her a husband, to people sending random men over to try to win her. She didn’t appreciate it, but she wasn’t rude about it. She hoped that at some point they’d get the memo. But it didn’t look like that was happening. Even her close friends, after they got married, started to slowly shun her company, or tried to send her on blind dates. So she threw herself into her work, and into her fun. She worked hard! And she travelled the world when she wasn’t working. She took herself on dates she liked, and did all the fun things she wanted. Marriage was really not the thing for her.

 

To be continued……….

 

 

Ashawo – offensive word for prostitute

Asɛ bɛyifo – like a witch

 

Risking a ‘Miracle’

Photo Credit - Google images

 

Hi guys!! It’s been quite a while! This is a post to raise awareness on Sickle Cell Disease, and the need for people to know their sickling status long before they fall in love! It’s inspired by many true stories – Stories of the many parents who have spent countless hours and money in hospitals, and endured guilt that only they can understand; stories of many kids who have suffered right till their adulthood, and stories of the many other kids, who did not make it. 

Also, it’s quite a long one, I hope you like it, and learn from it! If you have any experiences, any knowledge that would help someone, anything, share it in the comment section, and share this with a friend! Who knows who we may be reaching out to?

Elise

 

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

It wasn’t a big room. But it was filled with more people than it was made to hold – as usual.

And it wasn’t my first time here, but it had been a while. I’d had many encounters with different doctors, and different waiting rooms – but this was my favourite one. Growing up, I literally lived here! But it had been so long, I’d almost forgotten all about it… the musty smell of harsh antiseptics, the screech of cleaning equipment, the shuffle of haughty nurses (all with asses so large, it looked as if it was one of the requirements to be a nurse!) the eager, fake-humility of medical students, and the loud barks of arrogant doctors/nurses. It was all so familiar! Oh and of course, how could I forget the ever so common squabble between impatient patients!

By the time I was 12, I had been to Dr. Asafo’s office so many times that all the nurses, cleaners, pharmacists, security men, doctors and orderlies knew me too well. I knew all the nooks and crannies of that hospital. I knew when to sneak in, so I could skip the long queues. I knew that people would hardly pity me, so sneaking in to see the man himself was always my best solution. I knew that if I went in on Friday mornings, I’d get mango juice and hot bread from him.

I was an ultra-skinny child. Ultra-skinny is what I like to call it, because it sounds nice. I got tired of all the teasing in school, and all the random people trying to feed me, (“Akatesia, endzidzi aah? Dzidzi ai?”) that I coined my own word for it. Ultra- Skinny.

I didn’t like the fact that I was that small. But it was not something I could do anything about. It would never change. You see, I was born with the Sickle Cell Disease. And in Kumasi, Ghana, where Bone Marrow Transplants weren’t yet available, sticking to my drugs and instructions was the only way to survive. Even then, I still had crises.

I’d learnt to deal with it, and it’d been working just fine – to a large extent.

Today, I wasn’t here to see Dr. Asafo for the usual check-up, or the once-in-a-while ‘hello’ visits. I was here to show him someone. I needed his sickling status checked. I didn’t want a situation where I would bring children like myself into the world. I needed to know well ahead of time. I could have had him check it anywhere. But I also valued Dr. Asafo’s opinion.

 

When I was seventeen there was a young boy that I was attracted to – Barimah. He was quite amazing. His sickling status was our main barrier – AC. I made it clear that we could not be together. But he would not relent. It’s the thing I miss most about him. His unrelenting nature. If he wanted something, he went for it. “Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero” that was his anthem – day and night. But I couldn’t live that way. At least not regarding the person I decided to have kids with. I could not willingly bring a child to this earth who would suffer. I had to think about the future. I couldn’t always carpe diem!

We lasted two years… and over those two years, he actively researched, and found information on Sickle Cell SC disease… and how it wasn’t as bad as the SS one. Once, he sent me a whole PowerPoint presentation, on things we could do for our kids, if in the future, they ended up with Sickle Cell SC Disease. One afternoon, after one horrible crisis, my mind was made up. Nobody I loved was going to have to go through this if I could help it. Barimah had to go, and hard as it was, it took a year for both of us to finally come to terms with our separation.

I remember asking mum when I was about 13, why she married dad when she knew they could have a child with SCD. (Because I knew they both knew before they got hitched.) She looked into my eyes and said “We wanted a miracle from God.” I can’t explain the kind of rage I felt. “You wanted a miracle, so you decided, why don’t we test God’s miracle-doing business by having a child who will be hospitalised once or twice every month? And one that would die at age 4? Is that how it works?” I was in a frenzy, and she was almost in tears!

I didn’t talk to either of them for about two weeks. But then I realised that there was really nothing that could be done – the milk had already been spilt – I lost my little brother when he was 4. I was 8 then. They never had another child, and it’s been just me since. I had to make it count.

So I was here to ensure that I didn’t go down that path with Mick. I couldn’t spend this much time in a hospital over my child – assuming I lived long enough to have any. And most of all, I would not subject any child – any living creature, to all I’d been through.

I had the power to make a difference with my knowledge. And I believed that love meant that I would use that knowledge for good, no matter how hard.

The first time I met Mick, we were opponents on a high school debate. Of course, thanks to my size, I get underestimated a lot. He’s a large burly fellow, and he was the lead of his team, as I was mine. They didn’t expect much from us, so for the most part, they were very complacent. After one round, where they lost completely, they got the memo, and started to get serious. Mick was a good debater. And he didn’t shame me, or comment about my size. He generally didn’t say much – unless it was his turn to debate of course. I was am a chatterbox!

“Miss Koomson. Dr. Asafo will see you now.”

“But didn’t she just come here? Madam I’ve been here since morning, why is this one going before me?” The usual chatter of impatient patients. I was too used to all of it.

Mick just followed me. He had been extra quiet since morning. We both knew that this could be it. The end of all we were hoping to build. He had a dramatic way of putting it. “Your love for me is not unconditional. Because I know that if I were to have any S or C in there, you’d disappear from my life. So why don’t we just check later?” I’d agreed to later for the past three years and a half.

But it was dangerous. I had fallen in love. And I had to think for my kids. My future. His future. I believe in miracles. But I believe that if God has given me the ability to do something about it, he’s not expecting that I ignore that ability and ask for a miracle!

“Akosua… it’s been ages! I see you’re well” He always had that smiley teasing way about him. I was so nervous. Mick was calm, smiling when he had to, most likely not even following the conversation. After our usual banter, Dr. Asafo had one nurse draw blood from him, and then asked us to hold on for a bit outside, while he saw some other patients.

I don’t know if the whole situation was now finally dawning on me, or if I somehow suddenly felt that we would definitely have to break up… but I got so nervous, I could tell I might throw up. He looked at me and he could tell. He gently grabbed my bag, held my hand, and walked us out. I was too nauseous to utter a word. He knew! He knew, and that made this all so much worse. What if I couldn’t have him? What if I ended up with someone who had no clue when I needed to leave? Someone who would be quickly bothered by my crises?  What if? I got lightheaded really quickly, and so he stopped me.

“We don’t really need the results, Akosua. Ok let’s not have kids! We can adopt… We’ll stage a pregnancy if people want to assume it’s actually ours…Or what about a sperm donor?

I want you. I don’t want to lose you because we could bring sick kids into the world. And I don’t want sick kids either. I don’t want them to suffer. But I really truly want you.

But if you decide that you can’t be with me, I’ll be okay with that. I can be your friend. I can pick you up when you need me to, I can just… I don’t know… just… let’s not do this today, okay?”

In that minute, it dawned on me that maybe, this is what my parents had. Maybe this is why they risked love for a miracle….

I couldn’t afford to take that risk.

 

 

Akatesia, endzidzi aah? Dzidzi ai? – Young lady, don’t you eat? Please eat okay?  (Fanti, a Ghanaian language)

Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero – ‘seize the day, put very little trust in tomorrow [the future]’

 

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.