It’s me again guys! Back with a new post this week… Two posts in the space of less than a month. Where are my accolades please? Lol!
If you’re in Ghana, I wish you an exceptional long weekend! No matter your affiliation, please go to the polls, and vote wisely, and let’s maintain peace in the country!
Cheers to a great weekend!
Teju drove Talata’s dad to the airport. She felt as if she was in a daze the whole time. She already had quite a hangover, and the morning’s happenings had left her a bit perplexed.
She had never even seen him drive before. Was it against any of the agency’s rules? She hoped not.
He came back after about forty-five minutes. She was in bed, trying and failing to fall asleep.
He came in giggling.
“Apparently I have to buy some cows.”
He got on the bed and grabbed her. She had on a large brown T-shirt.
“I feel like I just won my first part in a TV drama!” He had contagious laughter. She couldn’t help but laugh too. She laughed out of relief. She laughed hard.
It would have been an entirely different situation if Teju had been someone else. Or if he hadn’t figured to pull this acting stunt. They definitely wouldn’t have been laughing at this time.
Her father would probably have started one of his tirades in Frafra. He would have ranted and raved for hours and tried to evoke her mother’s ghost. She would have been in tears halfway there, gotten defensive and spoken her mind. And he would have left, clearly disappointed that he had raised a ‘pagan‘, insubordinate daughter, and screaming that he was ready to go to his grave and be reunited with his wife.
She was so glad none of that had happened. So glad.
It was when Teju started kissing her face that she realised she had actually been in tears.
“Hey, shhh…what’s wrong, baby?” It made her cry even more.
She had always wanted to do right by her father, but even with all her success, it seemed that without a husband and a brood of children, he would never be proud! It hurt her. She did a good job at repressing the hurt. But this morning’s incidents had broken the dam. She sobbed for a good ten minutes. And when it looked as if she was finally stopping, memories of her mother and how she missed her flooded her mind and came with it fresh tears.
He held her and rubbed her back the whole time, occasionally stroking her hair. She fell asleep that way. He dozed off a bit too. He was woken up by her unbuttoning his shirt and kissing his chest.
“Talata are you okay?”
She mumbled something he didn’t quite hear. He held her hands up and looked her in the eyes. She had beautiful eyes. Her eyes were dark. He turned her over and kissed her. Her hands moved to unbuckle his belt. He hadn’t even taken his shoes off before he dozed off. He took them off and kept his shorts on.
“Baby girl… hold on.”
He took her hands away from his crotch and pinned them above her head. He kissed her slowly. She kissed him back. He could tell she wanted more. But it wasn’t time yet. She was breathing faster than he’d ever heard her… he leaned back to get a clear view of her. To make sure she was okay.
“Teju…” she moaned.
He kissed his way down to her crotch without undressing her. She still had on the T-shirt. He released her hands and she made to take off her shirt. He held them up again.
She was in some sort of a rush. He wasn’t.
He knew what she needed, and it was not going to be fast.
He planned to show her a really good time. Very slowly. It felt like the right thing to do, after the kind of morning she had had.
And when he was done making love to her, she held on to him in a way that she usually never did. It felt really good.
“Thank you for helping me with the father situation earlier. You have no idea…” her words trailed off and she sighed.
“And thank you for this too… really.”
He knew what it felt like dealing with fathers. Talata was a good woman. Hardworking, self-confident, and very sweet. She had multiple insecurities that she hid almost flawlessly. She hid them behind her work, her assertiveness, and even more work.
It was rather interesting. He hardly met lazy women. But in her industry, Talata really was doing the most.
Before he lost his parents, his mother had been an industrious multitasker, taking care of him and his two brothers. She had a provision store in the front of their house, sold some fruits in the market square, worked as a head porter when necessary, and after all that, went to night school to better her English. She did her very best.
His father on the other hand was a weird man. He was more in tune with his Nigerian side, and hardly spent any time with them in Ghana. He did send money once in a while though. Teju remembered his older brother wondering if the man had married another woman in Nigeria. He was just a very strange man who never saw things the way anyone saw them.
When they died, the Nigerian part of the family blamed Teju and his older brother for the accident.
For putting pressure on their father to visit them in Ghana. Their youngest brother had been on the bus with them when the accident happened. He was just about eight years old and was only seeing his father for the first time since he was one. Nobody survived that crash.
His older brother carried him away right after the funeral. And it wasn’t as if their mother had much, yet he’d always wondered what could have happened if they’d stayed back and operated the shop.
He wondered if indeed the accident was their fault. He wondered if his relationship with his father would ever have gotten any better.
He’d been halfway through High School when it happened. His brother sent him to the agency, where he was able to finish his High School Diploma, and then finish an online university degree. It all felt like decades ago.
Talata stirred in his arms.
“Do you even know the kind of hassle it is to bag a Frafra woman?”
“Humour me.” He giggled.
“First there’s the 3 cows you’ll have to buy, but I think that comes later. You’ll start with some tobacco, then kola nuts, then a guinea fowl, then I think there has to be about three or four visits? Maybe even more. To be sure that you’re serious about her. Each visit has to be with a gift – kola and tobacco are a constant. Then once they certify you’re serious, they’ll ask her if she’s sure she wants to marry you. If she is, her brothers will come with her to your house… I think they said that was so that if there’s some future argument someday, you cannot say she came into the marriage all by herself. She was led there by responsible men.”
“Here I was thinking the Ashantis were stressful!” they both laughed
“I’m not even done! After this, there’s more back and forth. I think he has to visit a few more times with guinea fowls and all those other gifts. Then there’s an important day when a chicken is killed as a witness. I think it’s called ‘Nu’nua’ and it’s supposed to validate the marriage, so it doesn’t end up in misfortune.”
“And then there’s the cows, of course, and then seven sheep, to officially seal the marriage.”
“There’s also another cow after you have a baby.”
They were both quiet for a while.
“Have you considered remarrying?”
“I don’t think the social construct works for me. It requires so many things from me that I don’t even know if I can give. And I don’t think any man will be okay with my job and the hours I put into it. Eventually he’ll want more from me. I don’t know if I can give more.”
“Would you be willing to try?”
“Honestly, I wish I could. I enjoyed that honeymoon period that lasted barely two years. I thought he understood me, and I thought it would work. He was sweet and caring and wouldn’t make too much of a fuss about my late hours, and incessant working. I tried to make time for him. Every weekend, I was all his, no matter what. And Fridays I made sure to be home by 5pm. Then the petty quarrels started. Why did I use so much money on some item… it was my own money, and I don’t even know how he found out the costs. Why didn’t I tell him before making some purchase he considered outrageous? Why didn’t I let him know I wanted to do so and so? Why did my dress ride so high up my thigh? Why did I never do domestic things for him – cook or clean or whatever – I don’t even know how to fry an egg properly. Why did I never seem to need him for anything? Yaada yaada yaada!”
“It went on and on and on. And I agree at some point I started to do a lot of things just to spite him, because I had gotten sick and tired.”
“I don’t want any more of that in my life right now. I think I’m in a good place. Maybe I’m the one that’s not good at making a marriage work, and that’s fine. I’ve come to terms with my inadequacies.”
“So, at this rate, it looks like I’m going to have to stage a marriage. Just to make my dad happy before he dies. I’m tired of his rants. And really, it hurts a lot that for him, marriage and children should be the ultimate goal that will make him proud. As a person, I should be considered a sum of all the many small relationships I’m in. Family, friends, work, etc. and the actual tangible things I’ve achieved – and those are so so many, if I say so myself.”
“Okay… let’s do it then.”
“Marry me, Talata.”
Ato and his wife were having dinner at his parents’. It was some sort of Sunday evening ritual they had.
Again, he brought up his argument about the issue of suspension from the church.
“Ato. You see this is what your generation needs to understand. We’re not trying to play a shame and blame game. God disciplines those He loves, and it is indeed a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Too many of them seem to think that the church leadership is out to get you. That is not it at all! We’re here to guide, and lead – by example and by teaching, and then to correct when necessary. A lot of the youth sin, and blatantly defile the name of God.”
“If someone sins and truly genuinely repents, they don’t hide their sins. True penitence will cause them to confess their sin and be forgiven.”
His mother cut in.
“I understand if you say for instance that we should not generalise suspensions or punishments. I agree that they should be dealt with in a case-by-case situation and should be done in love. That I agree. The church has work to do in that regard. There should be proper follow up to ensure the person remains in the faith and grows and learns from their mistake. I stand by that.”
“But to scrap it out completely would be wrong. It would mean everyone would do whatever they wanted, openly showing their sins, not being sorry. It would drive the Holy Spirit away from the church. The church has compromised so much and continues to compromise!”
“Recently one of the elders was even telling me about one of these churches having their members go kissing in front of the congregation when the bans of marriage are announced – What is that? We might as well lay a bed right there for them to finish it all right there! But I digress. That is a discussion for another day”
“Ato, if we all saw things the way God saw them, the church and the world at large would be such a different place!”
“Remember Eli’s sons and their many sins? Remember how they caused the Glory of God to depart from Israel? And how Israel had compromised so much that they only realised the glory had departed after the Ark of Gods covenant was seized ? That is what will happen to the church very very soon if we’re not careful. Even some church leaders are playing the fool, and it should not be so!”
Ato didn’t know what to say anymore. He’d prepared arguments and planned what to say. But all of a sudden, he didn’t know what else to say.
Alima woke up around 3am feeling unwell. She couldn’t place a finger on the problem exactly, but she felt she was about to be ill. Akaa lay right next to her, snoring lightly.
He had come to bed really late. Some deal was not going well or something of that sort, and he’d spent long hours on the phone and in different meetings trying to fix it.
He had nothing on, and his dark skin was shimmery, from the moonlight. They hadn’t drawn the curtains, so the moonlight made the room a bit bright. The breeze from outside was a quite cool. The AC gave her a stuffy nose after a while, so they never left it on for too long. Instead they kept the windows open. She looked at his bare chest, and then at his face, and her chest was getting a little bit tight.
Get it together, Alima! You’ve only known this man only a few months now. Just three days alone with him, and you’re ready to risk it all?
She had realised it was getting terrible. This was the number one rule they were given at the agency. Do not fall in love with a client. Request a different one if you realise you might.
For the first time in a long time, she felt very confused. She thought about her life. How little she’d lived and how much she wanted more. She wanted so much more. Wanted to see her mother, wanted to ask her what was going on. How were the men treating her? She missed her. So much!
“Hamamat, I miss you.” She said under her breath. And I wish you were here.
I’m falling in love with the wrong man. And I need it to stop. Please make it stop!
She tossed and turned for close to an hour before finally falling asleep.
When Akaa woke up she was fast asleep. He remembered her waking up sometime just after he came to bed. He’d been so tired he could barely even open his eyes. But she had been awake for a while. It was unusual for her to remain sleeping this long.
He had some early phone calls to make, after calling Celine and speaking to the kids.
He cooked breakfast and then got some work done.
Lina was still not up.
Sometime close to noon, he had most of his work done, and decided to go wake her up.
She was drenched in sweat and her skin was hot, yet she was shivering as if the room was cold. Her eyes were slightly open, but she was not saying anything. She looked at him as if she was in a daze.
“Lina, what’s wrong?”
She shrugged. “I don’t feel so good.”
Akaa was terrified. He already had he medical history as part of being able to take her out of the agency, and there was nothing significant on it. She was healthy.
“Maybe it’s malaria. I don’t remember the last time I had that.”
He needed to get her to a hospital quickly. But there was an agency doctor they were supposed to call in these situations.
He found the number and dialled. They spoke a few minutes, and he said he could get there in about an hour. In the meantime, Akaa was to either get her under a cold shower, or use a cold cloth to sponge her, and just keep her comfortable.
“In case I die, or something happens, just know that I fell in love with you. I love you Akaa, even though I know it’s against the rules. I’m sorry.”
It scared Akaa even more.
“Lina you’re not dying. And you will be fine. Nothing is happening, and I love you too.”
Germany was everything Adzo dreamt of and even more.
Most of the people in Køln seemed nice, and the hotel had multiple amenities to keep her occupied.
She typically slept in when Anto went for his meetings in the mornings, and then woke up to have lunch and go sightseeing. Then he would join her to do something fun after. It felt like a dream. She had the freedom to buy whatever she wanted, no matter what it cost. Not that she wanted much. She was happy just being there, seeing all the sites, doing all the fun things.
On the weekend, they visited neighbouring countries as well. She ate fancy chocolates in Belgium, and stayed two nights in Amsterdam. They visited the Red-Light District there. He told her about it even before they went, but it felt surreal when they actually got there. The smell of weed hung in the whole area, and they were offered brownies in multiple shops. They tried some of those and went on to browse different sex shops. It felt so weird that this was common culture. The women in the glass windows were the final straw for Adzo.
This could have been me if I were born in this country. Could I possibly have paraded around this way? What are they paid? What are their actual lives like?
“I don’t know if I could ever do this.”
That night, they had some more of the weed-laden goodies just before they got to their hotel room. It felt like an out of body experience for both of them.
And that night, the sex was like nothing they’d ever tried!