Category Archives: Episodic Stories

Campus Wahala #16: Some Wins At Last. Part Two.

Hi, Otu.”

So.

I’d just had the best night in a long, long time. I had almost forgotten I was tired, broke and dissatisfied with my life. I’d connected with an amazing girl and felt something deep for her. As you can imagine, I was practically bursting with joy when I got back to my room.

And who do I find on my bed?

The girl who had confused me for the better part of the semester, single-handedly wreaking havoc on my GPA in the process.

She just sat there, fidgeting with her bracelet in one hand, smiling at me.

“I’ve missed you, Otu.” She was saying this with no shame. Just smiling at me like we were friends. Awurade.

But by God, she was beautiful. I’d put so much effort into blocking out her memory that I’d almost forgotten her face: her exquisite bone structure, and her teeth, the way they glinted as she smiled that particular smile…

I had to remember she’d said something and tried to think of an appropriate response.

“Uh..are you okay, Naa?”

“I’m fine. I just came to look for you. I tried a couple of times after…but I didn’t think you’d want to see me.”

And why would you think I’d want to see you now? I considered what to say next very carefully before I opened my mouth to talk.

“Look, Naa, I appreciate your coming, but-“

She lifted her left hand and lightly tapped the space beside her on the bed. “Climb up.”

I pretended to hesitate but deep down, my foolish brain knew what I was going to do. I grabbed the side of the bed and got on the bed.

“I’ve been stupid, Otu. I don’t need you to tell me this, I know.” She was sitting close, really close. I needed some distance between us for my brain to function well or else who knew what I’d do? I pushed myself off to the corner of the bed.

“Why are you here, Naa?”

“I’ve missed you-“

“-And so what should I do about it?” I was being a bastard. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it like that-“

“I get it, it’s fine, really.. I deserve it. How have you been? Where did you go?”

“I’m fine. I was out.”

“Oh? Really, with who?” She’d kicked off her shoes and now she sat cross-legged in the bed.

At this point I really can’t tell you what I was thinking. I was basically watching myself from somewhere in my head like a spectator.

“Oh, you don’t know them.” Naa knew who Chloe was. Why had I just lied?

Whatever was going to happen here wasn’t going to end well for my self-control, I realised.

“Oh really? Mr. Social butterfly, already making friends outside pharmacy. That’s nice.” She laughed a little, and my lips twitched in response. “Did you have fun?”

“Mm, I guess. I mean, it was- Naa, why are you really here?” I was tired of the nonsense smalltalk.

“Otu, I-“ she stopped and wringed her hands. She looked at them like she didn’t know what they were, and then she looked up at me. Her wide eyes were filled with tears.

I want you to understand; Naa wasn’t someone who showed vulnerability, ever. She was always ready with a cocky comment or a confident smile. She could get kicked out of class and she wouldn’t even blink, just sashay out like her father owned the place.

So to see her like this? It distressed me. I reached out and pulled her to me. “I’m sorry,” she mumbled into my shirt. I could feel wetness on my chest where her head was. She was crying.

“It’s fine, Naa,” I was rubbing her head. “I mean, I was a bit broken after what happened, but I’m fine now. It’s all good.”

She lifted her head. “Really? You don’t have to say that for my benefit, you know.” Her voice was cracked.

This was not going as planned. I hadn’t thought about it when I pulled her to me, but now she was pressed tight against my chest, staring at me. I could literally feel the air leave her lips when her mouth opened. I could feel other things too.

“Naa, I-uh..I..” what was I going to say? A furtive smile appeared and quickly disappeared from her face.

“Otu, before all this happened, a month ago, I mean, was there something you’d been meaning to tell me?” She was smiling, now. “I kept waiting for you to say something..” she trailed off, looking away for a second.

Friends, to say I was confused would be an understatement. My mind was exploding in all directions. Naa wanted me? Naa, who I spent months besotted with, feisty, quirky, gorgeous Naa.

Oh, but there was Chloe..

She was watching me when I looked back at her. “Are you okay? You look kinda sad.” I was. This was really sad. What was I to do? I couldn’t believe this was happening.

She continued,”Was it the midsem results? I heard it wasn’t good for some people.”

My mind snapped back to reality. “What..What did you get?” The question came out of me slowly.

“Oh, it’s not important.” She smiled that way people do when they want to look modest, but they’re really not. “Oh, tell me. What did you get?” I asked her.

“Well, it wasn’t so bad. It could’ve been better, only 66. I think it was this man’s part…”

I practically jumped in the air. 66 over 75! I didn’t even know it was possible to get marks like that. I was confused at this point. “Did they dash you marks?”

She laughed. “Oh, no. I used to learn right after class before you came to see me. I’ve been learning more recently. It’s going well.” She was grinning now, all attempts at modesty abandoned.

I went numb.

Oh okay. So as I’d wasted my time doing lab work for her to copy, she’d been learning. Then she would waste my time with talk and laughter and confusion, and I would stupidly go to bed happy, with my head empty.

If it hadn’t been whatever accident that made me get 45, I would be coming back to rewrite this paper in August.

My house witches following me everywhere were well disguised, I realised. Sometimes they came in the form of dark faced beauties. I knew what I had to do.

“Oh I see.” I calmly said. “Please leave wai. I’ll talk to you later.”

She looked so confused. “But, Otu, what did I say?”

“Please.” It took a lot of self-control to not shout. She jumped off the bed without another word, put on her shoes and walked out.

I was a free man.

I turned around when I heard someone clapping. I’d forgotten Jeff and Abdul were there. Those two were the world’s biggest gossips. Abdul burst out laughing and tapped Jeff’s bed.

“Chale! Did you see how he kicked her out? This is the kind of self-control we need o.”

Jeff was shaking his head. “Foolish girl, she has come with her black face to come and do ‘Oh, Otu Sorry.’ Sorry for yourself!”

I couldn’t help it, I started laughing. Today had been a day of laughter, it seemed. It had almost been ruined, but chale. I thanked God. I stretched out on the bed, smiling. wondering what to say to Chloe tomorrow.

There is love in SHARING

Campus Wahala # 15: Some Wins, At Last.

Friday evening found me in a position I’d come to know well: staring at my ceiling, taking stock of my life and not liking the results.

After that initial paper I’d bungled up, I’d learnt all night for each of the papers, and they were better, but not by much. How much can you expect to write, when you’ve been confidently missing class for 4 weeks?

So there I was, broke as usual. I’d just drank a lot of water to deceive my stomach that I’d eaten, so it wouldn’t be making disgraceful noises. I was just about to sleep, when I saw a lot of rapid notifications from my class whatsapp group.

My whatsapp class group is a frustrating place. Someone will occasionally post something sensible about tutorials or examination details, something like that, but that’s like 1% of the time. The other 99%, it’s really just rubbish, honestly; people just talking up and down and wasting your precious data bundle. So when i saw the notifications, I was reluctant to open it. It was a good thing I did, though, because they were pictures, captioned, “Anatomy midsem results.”

My heart jumped. So soon? After that azonto performance in the exam hall, I knew failure was my portion. I just needed to know if I’d a failed so badly that I would have to resit the paper.

I waited for the pictures to download, all the while reciting Catholic prayers to keep calm. I didn’t even know I knew Catholic prayers.

It finally loaded and I opened the pictures. I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw there were no names; just index numbers. At least my disgrace would be private.

I started looking from the single numbers. Someone had gotten 7. Out of 74.

And I thought I had house witches. After making sure it wasn’t me, I started tracing the index numbers, till my number appeared. I almost dropped my phone.

I had 45. Forty-five over 74!

(If you’ve not done Pharmacy, you might be confused at this point and think it was a complaint. But no, people learn all night for much less than this.)

My hands were shaking. I couldn’t believe it! I started shouting shouting all over the place. Abdul stuck his head from his bunk and gestured for me to lower my voice, but I didn’t care o, chale. How was this even possible? Had the lecturers dashed me marks?

I looked in the class group to see if anybody else had a similar reaction, but for the first time, the place was SILENT. People had seen their results and their fingers were not working again.

I was still in shock 5 minutes later when the Nigerian girl I’d been learning with called.

“Otu, how was it?” She pronounced my name with a lilt at the end, like a question.

“Chloe! It was amazing! I don’t know how, but I got 45!”

“Oh wow! That’s pretty good. Mine was okay too. See? Things aren’t so bad.”

“Oh God, I am so relieved Ei. I was wondering what to tell my father.”

She laughed. “We need to celebrate. Let’s go out somewhere.”

Ehn? I laughed, because she had to be joking.

“Oh I’m serious o. Let’s go to the mall or something. I’m tired of this school.”

How did I tell her this delicately? I decided to be upfront.

“Chloe, er. I just ate gari and three sachets of pure water 2 hours ago. It wasn’t a lifestyle choice o. There is zero money in my pocket.”

She was laughing before I finished. “Oh, you’re cute. I wasn’t asking you to pay. I’m bored. Let’s go out.”

Brethren, at that moment, there were two voices in my head. The weaker voice in my head was, “Oh chale this is a little yawa here o. She’s paying. She’ll hold this over your head..” but it was quickly overpowered by my stomach voice, which went something like “Hey hey don’t be stupid. You’ve not eaten. Add a polythene bag so you can package the rest and bring it home.”

20 minutes later I was dressed and in front of her hostel. I’d left shame behind in my room. It was time to eat, please.

We took a taxi, and all the way there I wanted to ask her where we were going to eat. If it was one of those nonsense ice cream places, I would cry. It was a pity there weren’t any chop bars with fufu.

“So what do you do when you’re not learning?” We were almost halfway there, stuck in traffic.

“When I’m not learning? So you mean all the time?”

She laughed. “Yes. What do you do?”

I had to think for a while. “Nothing, really. The school has sort of swallowed my social life whole since I came here, but in Botwe my dorm-mate played the guitar. He taught me a few things.”

“Oh really? So you can play songs?”

I couldn’t play anything, friends, but I tried a diplomatic lie. “Oh, I’m sure I can play something, at least. I mean, I can play “All Of Me” for a very long time, but that’s it, really…” She was laughing again. I really wasn’t aware what I was saying was so funny.

At a point the car jolted to a halt in traffic and I was thrown forward, and I noticed what she was wearing for the first time. Kaish.

I hadn’t really paid attention when we were at the bus stop, ’cause I was focused on keeping my stomach silent, but this girl had really dressed. I’d worn jeans and a very loose top so I could eat without looking pregnant. But the dress this girl was wearing ehn, hei. I won’t even discuss what was going on at the front part of the dress, but the length went down to her ankles eh, and there was a slit. I followed it saa, and my mouth was opening slowly as the slit just kept rising. It got lost somewhere around her thigh.

“Uh…” I’d lost my train of thought. I looked up to find her smiling at me. “We’re here, Otu.”

I shook my head and focused. “Sure, sure.”

We got down and started roaming the place. I hadn’t really been there before, but it didn’t really look different from the Accra one. I knew that the Lord had heard my cries, because she bypassed all those silly expensive ice cream places (“Ah. Tsw. Is that one too food?”) and led me straight to some restaurant.

“I don’t actually live in Nigeria, you know.” We were eating. I’d ordered rice, but she was just drinking and looking through the menu. I was intrigued by her comment.

“Really? But you have a Nigerian accent, no?”

“I do? Really. I guess it’s my parents’ influence, then. They’re fully Nigerian, but we mostly drift between Kenya and Mauritania.” I’d even forgotten there was a country named Mauritania. So was everyone rich but me?

She paused and sipped the last of her drink. “They’re really nice places; you should come visit.” She seemed so animated talking about this. She must’ve been really bored in school.

“Ha. Sure, sure. I’ll just buy a ticket and fly to Mauritania, why not. It’s just, what, 2000 dollars?”

She looked amused at my sarcasm. “It really isn’t that expensive, you know. People just assume these things.” She paused, then “Will I ever hear you sing? I mean, I hate that song, but I’m sure it wouldn’t be so bad if you sang it.”

See, I wasn’t very bright, but I wasn’t stupid. This entire night had been too nice. The Nigerian girl I did group studies with, had paid for a trip to an expensive restaurant, and was laughing at my dry jokes all night. These were the kind of dreams i dreamt in my hunger induced sleep sometimes. Was this happening? What was actually going on?

But obviously I wasn’t going to jeopardize anything by asking questions; I still wasn’t done with the food. So I concentrated on that, and as I ate, we talked.

Her father was one of those rich diplomats, as it turned out. She had a rather large family; she was the 5th child and there were 4 girls after her. We had that in common, at least. We spoke about never finding room for yourself, and laughed at the stress of dealing with older dramatic siblings.

She told me about how she didn’t make many friends because of the usual situation when your family moved a lot (“I’ve been to 8 different schools,” she mentioned at a point.) and so she valued whatever little connections she made. “So I realise were not that close” she said at a point, “but this is nice.”

I was…I didn’t know what to think, honestly. My mind was blank. I hadn’t really paid much attention to this girl beyond using her mind to pass exams, I hadn’t had the time. But I looked at her now, and I saw. The thing about Chloe was that she wasn’t quiet, but she blended into places well, talking, friendly, understated, so she wasn’t really the first person you’d notice when you walked into a room. But when you really looked at her, as I was doing now, you couldn’t look anywhere else.

I realised I’d been staring for the past 20 seconds, trying to organize my thoughts. She smiled at me again. How she could find these horrible social skills funny were beyond me. “Are you done?” she asked, pointing at my plate.

“Uh, yeah, I guess.” I wasn’t even close to done, but I wasn’t sure I could. What was going on? Was I reading the situation wrong?

“We should probably get going, then.” She flicked her hand towards the back and a waiter over with a dutiful smile.

“Are we done?” He asked, looking at Chloe. He could tell that I was obviously not the one with money here. Chale I wasn’t even offended. Broke was broke.

“Yeah, yeah.” She gave him money and rose from her seat. I got up too, and stretched out my hand, and she took it, grinning.

We walked around the mall for a bit, laughing at people, talking, talking, just talking. At a point we passed an ice cream shop, and there were two guys playing the guitar in there. One of the guys was in our class; I was shocked. A pharmacy student with extracurriculars? I barely had time to sleep. He saw us and waved as he played, beckoning with his hand, mouthing come, come! through the glass.

I could see what was about to happen a kilometer away, but I could do nothing as Chloe dragged me in there. “This is your chance, Otu. You thought I was joking about the singing?” She laughed.

“Okay. Are you going to dazzle me or what?” She was sitting down by Paul, the guy. They were already friends, I think. I stood there and weighed my options. I really didn’t have a choice, and I did have a decent voice, after all. Ah well.

“Yo, Xavier. Play ‘All Of Me’ wai. In key of D.” I said to the guy.

He nodded and started strumming, and I sang. There were only about 7 people in the shop at the time, and they’d all stopped to watch. The sellers were just standing there in their hair caps, smiling as I disgraced myself.

I kept my eyes focused directly on hers as I sang. I hadn’t sung the song this well before, but then when had I ever had occasion to serenade a beautiful girl in front of an entire restaurant? Her smile widened with every line I sang, and when I ended the chorus, she giggled and clapped twice, and left her hands in that position, clasped. Someone at the back of the restaurant cheered, and a few people clapped. I had to struggle to keep an idiotic grin off my face.

“That was beautiful,” she remarked, when we were outside waiting for the Uber cab to come.

I tried to be smooth. “Oh, I..I had beautiful inspiration,” I managed to say.

Otu, why? Why was I swag-less like this?

Thankfully the Uber driver called her just then, so I didn’t see her reaction.

She looked drained, I noticed, when we got in the car. It occurred to me that what she’d been drinking at the restaurant was slightly alcoholic. Was she drunk? I told the guy where to go, and we set off. She took out her phone, kicked off her heels like she was in her own car, and sighed, “I’m tired.” She put her head on my shoulder, and started texting on her phone. I didn’t even want to breathe, for fear of ruining it.

It seemed like it was 10 seconds later that we arrived in front of my hostel. She lifted her head and looked at me, and I was at a loss again.

“Will you be okay? I can have him just drop you off there, and I’ll w-walk back-” I stuttered. she shook her head. “I’m fine.”

There was a brief minute, where I thought of what to say, how to say it. Her eyes were still on me. She had such wide, wide eyes, she almost looked surprised half the time. And her hair almost always covered her forehead, but it was parted as she’d slept on my shoulder, and I could see how it curved out. How had I overlooked such beauty for so long?

“Chloe, I-” I stretched out my hand and touched her face. I prayed to the heavens that I wasn’t reading this wrong, then I leaned in and took her lips. She stiffened for a second, then she sighed.

I remember that she tasted like expensive wine. How appropriate, I thought.

We stayed like that for a while, lips locked , and then I out of the corner of my eye I saw the Uber driver’s face through the mirror. He looked horrified. His mouth was hanging. I couldn’t help it; I fell back and burst into laughter. She looked confused till she saw his face, and then we were both just howling with laughter in the backseat.

The taxi driver looked angry. “Please time is far spent, I need to return.” Still laughing, I turned back to Chloe. “I’ll see you?” She nodded. There were tears of laughter in her eyes. The driver sped off immediately I was out if the car, and I waved, twice.

I had to stand there for a second and steady myself. And then I jumped and punched the air in joy. Life was finally showing me a win. I was ready for this. I looked into the sky. “Thank you!” I shouted. People standing around the roundabout were staring, but I was used to the staring now.

I walked all the way back to my room, skipping, wondering whether to tell Jeff and Abdul. I got to my room and pushed it wide open. “Chale, you people would not believe-“ Jeff was looking at me as I entered, and he pointed to my bed. There was a girl in a crop top sitting on it, smiling.

“Hi, Otu,” Naa said.

There is love in SHARING

THE GIRL I LIKE 2

“Hmm, I think I did well today”, I said to myself. The morning never seems so promising, I thought losing my turn that morning was the last for the day. Sam had her 100% attention, I was left standing alone, greeting my other colleagues, saying “hi” wasn’t much  fun for a day like this. All I wished was walking up to her and starting all over again like I was seeing her for the first time. Just this time, I will be the one saying “hi” first.

My thoughts were cut short when the course supervisior and a park of group captains and sub captains led the way to the temporary venue we’d use for the day. ” Shet! I can’t believe I’ll ever receive lectures in this hall again”, I thought, as I made my way gently to the top floor of the complex where the lecture was set to hold for the day.

I found myself a seat at the back of the class as usual. “Hmm, first day of resumption and I can’t even change sitting position”, I said in my mind, I’ve not been much of a serious student the previous class, I had been a lone quiet backbencher. ” I can’t really believe I’m doing this again”, I said to myself. My imaginations and thoughts were interrupted by Chichi, one of the girls I spent my holiday chatting with. “Ola”, she said as she walked towards the front of the lecture room. I couldn’t even reply before she zoomed off. ” Well, it’s all good jare”, I said to myself.

Throughout the lecture, I was stalking her. Watching her every move, every dude or babe she spoke to. I was busy thinking of what to say just in case I get another opportunity to speak to her. ” I must make a good impression”, I thought to myself. The lecture was a long and boring one, I could barely make a sentence.  The public address system was not available and as expected the noise was to much for interested backbenchers like me to hear clearly.

Finally the boring lecture ended. I stood up to adjust my tie and ensure my shirt was still as smooth as ever. I waited patiently for her to walk my way so I can make the so called good impression. Before I knew it, while I was a little distracted complimenting my guys, she was already with Sam again. “This time I must not retreat so fast”, I said to myself. I approached them, greeted my guy and with a smile I said “hi” to her. I wasn’t even worried about what they were discussing. I finally had the opportunity of getting her to tell me what she’s been up to, how she likes my new haircut and co. Well, the whole sweet moment was interrupted by my roommate, it was time to return to the hostel. I said goodbye with hopes of chatting with her later at night. “Hmm, I think I did well today”, I said to myself as matched back to the hostel.

There is love in SHARING

THE GIRL I LIKE 1

It’s the first day of lecture for the semester, like a primary school pupil, I’ve been anticipating. I woke up as early as 4am,  I ironed my new pack shirt or is it corporate shirt. I was really optimistic, “today is gonna be a good day” I said as I pick a new pant trouser from my box. My noise and movement woke my roommates. They couldn’t help but ask if I was okay. Me in my mind was really excited but it seems to them I needed a therapy.

With the help of a fashionista so called roommate, the Senator himself,  I picked a perfect tie to match the whole supposed corporate dressing. I rushed to the bathroom, had my bath, brushed my teeth like I was going to kiss the crown princess of England that morning.  “Hmm, I think I’m good to go”  I said to myself  as I await one of my sluggish roomie to fix his tie properly.

LIke a gentleman full of life I walked out of the hostel with my roommates, me I kuku like group walk, I tried not to walk too fast like soldiers embarking on a rescue mission. Few meters from the lecture area, I could see my most of my mates outside waiting for further instructions on the exact lecture venue as the supposed regular venue was being used by our senior colleagues for examination.

As expected, I found my place in the crowd of wonderfully dressed dudes and babes, abi women de ni. Then the unexpected happened, I saw her, approached me. All the rehearsed compliments lines vanished in a moment. I was blank, speechless and dumbfounded. I tried to act like I didn’t notice her presence but my pretence was soon exposed. “You look good, really nice tie” she said. With a less appreciative tone I replied “thanks”.  “Shet!  I was going to say that first”  I thought in my now far confused mind.

  • I was so lost, not sure of what else to do do. I stretched my hand to shake her, I had imagined a hug, it’s been a while. You look good first greeting, she was polite enough to respond as expected. “Soft skin, she has changed a lot. Hmm” I thought. Then that my good friend with probably the best fashion sense appeared. Sam. The very guy that knows my predicament, even offered to help and is actually worsening my afflictions. Well as expected, her attention was swiftly shifted to him. That very moment I knew I had lost my turn that morning. Maybe I’ll try later. “Stupid boy, always spoiling my paro”, I thought in my broken hearted mind.
There is love in SHARING

Wrong Meat #2

This second part of the ‘Wrong Meat’ trilogy is dedicated to the memory of a man who knew me basically all my life till he departed sadly from this land. He taught me English Language between 2003 and 2006, when I was in upper primary at TOPP Preparatory School.

All who knew him will fondly remember his amazing sense of humour, his beautiful handwriting and masterful command of the English language, and on a lighter side, his unique laugh which could induce one to join in the laughter, even when one did not know what the joke was about.

 The man I speak of, the late Emil Kofi Asempapa, once told my class a story. It is that tale I have adapted for this episode of the trilogy. Enjoy.

Gyau quickly retreated to his base, the dark smelly alley behind the internet café, when he realised the operation was too risky to follow through. He had hoped that the people who would rush onto the troski would number at least ten but only three people had approached the rachitic vehicle when it stopped; a scrawny-looking old woman and two young men. No. The first rule was “SAFETY FIRST”.

His modus operandi was to target rowdy situations where a large number of potential passengers jumped over each other for limited seats. Then, when he was assured that all minds were preoccupied with transport issues, he would open pockets and bags subtly to take care of his financial issues.

The tag of “pickpocket” was not entirely accurate in describing who he was then, was it? For, on certain days, the proceeds from picking bags was even higher than that from pockets. Whatever you choose to call him, that was his trade in the city. Insult him all you want, but he was extremely skilled at his work, which accounted for why upon several months, he had never been caught.

Gyau knew that what he was doing was not entirely honest, but how was he to survive in such abrasive economic conditions? There were simply no jobs! Besides, did John the Baptist not say that all die be die? Ahaa…so all work too be work, abi? And he was not even hurting anyone in the process, unlike armed robbers who kill, injure, rape and steal on top of it! Come to think of it, he even paid tithes on his ‘earnings’- that was a very noble thing to do, wasn’t it? How many pastors even paid tithes?

About three minutes after the earlier incident which had gone awry, Gyau the Pickpocket noticed a short rotund man withdrawing cash from the ATM across the road. Immediately, all his senses shot into hyper-alert mode. He brought out his binoculars and observed that there were three brown notes and a few other green notes. And he saw the man place the entire amount in the back of his trousers. Sossskets! Back pocket? Cool chop!

“Koo Shortingo, medaase!”, he grinned widely. He had given his victim-to-be that name because of his short stature. Then Gyau sprang into action!

Quickly, he crossed the road and started following his target. Along the way, he noticed Koo Shortingo dip his hands in both pockets but he was more concerned with the money than he cared about whatever nonsense he had put in the money pockets.

The short walk soon came to an end when Shortingo stopped at a bus stop. Now was the time for the climax of the hunting expedition. The hunter stopped a short distance away from his prey and with acute glances observed his prey. Luckily, there were many people waiting for buses home too.

Both hunter and prey were not to wait for long for soon, a Yutong bus came along.

In the struggle that ensued, Gyau joined the assembly and acted like everyone else; as if he was also there to catch a bus. When he had shoved his way into the position he wanted, right behind Koo Shortingo, he almost smiled and lifted his hands in supplication to Jehovah Jireh. But he held himself in check for the operation was not yet over.

In a split second, he contemplated whether to use only one hand to extract the money from both pockets. He decided against it since time was limited and he could not risk not getting the full complement of the cash.

Thoughts of khebab and beer penetrated his mind, but he shelved them. A few minutes…in just a few minutes, he would be smiling.

Without any more further thoughts, Gyau plunged his right hand into Koo’s right pocket and then the other hand into the left pocket, simultaneously.

A sharp disabling pain shot across both hands! What in the world was that?!! He immediately withdrew them from the pockets but deftly put them back again, amidst all the pain! Anguish or no anguish, he was hitting that jackpot.

The Pickpocket took hold of the money and quickly blended into the dark shadows behind the city blocks. As he walked off, he saw Koo Shortingo turn to look in his direction. Was that a smile or a sneer? Strange.

When he was sure he was out of sight, he first took out his hands to see what was wrong. The sight that met his eyes almost knocked consciousness out of his body! There was blood all over his hands with deep cuts in his palms. It looked like cuts from sharp blades.

“Yesu!” Gyau wiped his bloody hands with his napkin and tied them with handkerchiefs but the blood kept flowing. He cussed! If the money was not commensurate with this pain eh…

He brought out the wads to count. It was not money. It was sheets of blank paper and one had a message for him…

…“THE BEARD CAME TO MEET THE EYEBROW.”

There is love in SHARING

Wrong Meat #1

“But Kweku, we met not too long ago… it’s not even up to a fortnight. Besides, I don’t think it’s right.”

“Oh baby, it does not matter. I really like you, and I know you like me too. It’s just a kiss I’m asking for, nothing more.”

She began to protest again. “But Kweku I have a p…”

He did not even allow her to complete the sentence. Swiftly, he reached for her, held her head, tilted it and sampled her lips with his mouth. An evil smile formed on the face of his mind.

“Her too-know all, I dey spoil der. Hard-core girl my foot!” he said in his head.

Nanoseconds became microseconds, and those also metamorphosed into seconds but their lips were still glued.

After about forty-eight seconds of the act, Kweku tasted something that did not seem like saliva. It felt thick, but not as thick as mucus. He ignored it. After all, who cared about the whining of disciples like Peter and Noah, when one had access to the master Jesus?

He grinned in his mind.

Five minutes later, they disengaged to catch breath. It had been a great moment, no doubt.

Smiling, he asked her, “Baby, so what did you say you went to the hospital for, yesterday? Hope it was not for an HIV test?”

She laughed.

“No baby, I had three rotten teeth at the back of my mouth so I went to the dentist. He even said they had accumulated some nasty pus. He called it dental abscess or something.” She smiled sweetly.

He felt butterflies, heavy butterflies, fluttering in his stomach, but they soon changed into worms and began travelling up his throat. WHAT HAD HE JUST INGESTED?!!!!!

Before she could move her laptop out of the way, he released gush upon gush of foul-smelling gastric content unto her machine and her new carpet.

There is love in SHARING

The Year After (4/4): Big Bad Family Reunion

Family

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here as one big family to witness the solemnization of holy matrimony between our brother, Koku Zamedo, and our sister, Linda Smith. It is a joyous occasion in the life of these brethren and the Bible admonishes us to celebrate with those who celebrate…”

Linda was excited. Her face beam as the pastor went on with his officiating duties.

“Finally, I am at the place where the savage winds of pain and suicidal thoughts cease, where no clouds of confusion can block the warmth of the evening rays from my heart. Koku is officially mine and I am his forever. I am at a place where the sun may set without fear of the darkness to come. Where my soul can whisper to yours in a language only you can truly hear. A place where togetherness and oneness with you, my beloved husband, means peace. Koku, I will love and cherish you for the rest of my life”.

Those were not her wedding vows. Or maybe, they were. Except she was not saying them to the hearing of Koku or the congregation. It was all in her head. The excitement of the day captured the better part of her mind that she alternated between her world of fantasy and the reality she was experiencing.

Koku, on the other hand, showed very little or no emotions. He facial expression could best be described as morbid. He had his bouts of rotation between the real world (his wedding) and the imaginary world. But his imaginations unlike Linda’s were not of a dreamy future. They were questions; what-ifsand what-if what-ifs.

He had done something pretty awful and guilt sat not on his chest but inside his brain. His subconscious demanded reparations. What he had done, he could not undo. The repercussions going into this marriage were dire, but confession was out of the question. The only way out for him was to run; escape this ceremony, save himself and more importantly save Linda from the shame and the pain of his actions. He had to run.

“Now, Koku, we have come to an important part of the ceremony. Listen to the questions I will ask you and respond, ‘I do’ at the end”, the pastor interrupted the guilt-ridden groom’s thoughts.

“Do you, Koku Zamedo, in the presence of God and all these witnesses give to this woman. Linda Smith, your pledge to stay by her side as her faithful husband in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow, as well as through the good times and the bad? Do you promise to love her without reservation, comfort her in times of distress, encourage her to achieve all of her goals, laugh with her and cry with her, grow with her in mind and spirit, always be open and honest with her, and cherish her for as long as you both shall live?”

There were cheers in the congregation. Some of the attendees were already clapping. The question was a mere formality and everyone knew what the answer was. But after clapping for about a minute and not hearing a resounding or even shy yes from Koku, the room became dead silent.

“I’m sorry”, Koku whispered, took a step back from Linda and turned to leave.

“Koku”, she called after him.

The groom turned to look at his bride – the last sighting.

Koku sighed… Linda was still in the hospital bed. It was a dream.

***

“I’m glad you have finally got some sleep”, Linda smiled and reached for Koku’s hands. He stood up from the chair he had fallen asleep in and sat beside his girlfriend on the bed.

Although relieved that it was but a dream, Koku did not feel any better for the dream was a projection of reality. He had indeed done something awful and the guilt was killing him. It was like gasoline in his guts. His insides died slowly in the toxicity, needing no more than a spark to set it ablaze. The fire burnt him out so badly he felt he was nothing but a shell, an outline of a person.

He excused himself to go to the washroom.

***

“Koku!” The voice came from behind him in the hallway of the hospital. He turned. It was Naa. He was a mixture of shocked, confused and ashamed. Before, he could say a word, Naa embraced him tightly. His confusion heightened.

Naa’s hair reeked. Her face was pale and sickly; her eyes, drowsy. She was unkempt and she looked like she had not had a bath in days. She trembled as she held her brother-in-law tight for about two minutes.

When they finally broke the embrace…

“Naa, is everything okay? Is Edem fine? Where is he? Is it the baby?”

“No, no, no… Everything is fine. No, I don’t mean it like that. Everything is not fine. Erm… What am I even saying? I mean, your brother is fine. So is the baby”, she paused.

Koku nodded anxiously and raised an eyebrow to signal her to continue.

“It’s my cousin, Kennedy. He was involved in an accident two days ago. It was a hit and run”.

Koku’s heart skipped a beat. Naa caught him in another embrace and started sobbing. Koku allowed her to cry on his shoulders. He did not really mind because his mind wandered.

After he found out that Dr. Ntim was responsible for Linda’s predicament, Koku entered the car quietly and drove off with the older man chasing him on foot. Obviously, he could not catch up with Koku so he stopped.

Koku kept driving.

With each mileage he covered, the speed at which he drove increased. His eyes were tear-laden and he could not see well but he kept going. Then he heard a knocking sound on the bonnet of the car.

Screech! He pulled the car to a stop.

He was sure he had knocked something down but he did not look back to see what. He stepped on the gas and went away.

Could it be a coincidence? Was it a human being who crossed his car that day? What were the chances the victim of his mistake was this same cousin of Naa?

“There you are”, another voice interrupted Koku’s thought.

Naa disentangled herself from Koku. “This is my aunt, Maa Maggie. She’s Kenny’s mother. Maa Maggie, this is Edem’s brother”.

“Have my condolences, Maa Maggie. I’m so sorry to hear about your loss”, Koku stretched his towards the woman.

“Oh, my baby did not die. He’s currently undergoing surgery. That’s why we are waiting.”

Koku was relieved! “Thank God”, he muttered.

“God will punish whomever did this to my son. The person will suffer on this earth”, Maa Maggie turned to leave. Naa followed her aunt.

Koku headed for the entrance of the hospital. He needed some air. At this point, the guilt was ice in his guts. It was about twenty-eight degrees in the hot harmattan afternoon but Koku was frozen on the inside.

***

“Damn it!”, he cursed as he bumped into someone at the entrance.

“Koku!” It was Edem.

The brothers who were shocked to see each other stared at themselves for about a minute and then went into a brief embrace.

“I just met Naa. She’s told me what had happened. I am so sorry. It’s sad what happened to the boy”.

“Hmmm… It’s very sad. As for the irresponsible driver who did this, we shall sure catch him. I am just coming from the police station with Kennedy’s father. We went with an eye-witness who says he could identify the car. He says the car was a black Hyundai Elantra”.

Koku started trembling but his brother did not notice.

“There, there comes Kenny’s father. You might even know him. He was a parliamentary candidate for the National Democratic Congress in last year’s election”.

Koku lifted his head to look in the direction Edem pointed at. He couldn’t believe his eyes.

“Dr. Ntim?”

The End

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There is love in SHARING

The Year After (3/4): Revealed

Revealed  African entertainment

Koku was welcomed into Dr. Ntim’s office by welcoming smile from the receptionist, Abigail.

“He’s quite busy now. I will let you know you are here as soon as he is free”, Abigail said with her honeyed voice and she offered him a chilled bottle of Voltic water.

This was the first time Koku was visiting Dr. Ntim’s office since the latter lost in the parliamentary elections last year. So much had changed since the last time. One would have thought that the losing candidate would have a simpler office set up. But no, this was a massive upgrade.

The room was designed to inspire confidence and allay apprehension, water colours on the wall, square glass-topped coffee table with magazines, comfortable chairs in complementary brown, fawn and baby blues, neutral tan coloured walls. A picture of a beach was sprawled on each wall, each depicting beautiful scenery: rolling waves on idyllic sand. There was also a framed picture of former president John Dramani Mahama right above Abigail’s head. Underneath his feet was a dull grey carpet that covered the whole room. A television hung in one corner displaying boring commercials. Above it was the clock.

To compliment the face lift, the crowd that used to be there around the time of the election was not there. These electorates! Koku was certain they were all lined up in the incumbent MP’s office now.

Koku was too anxious to read any of the magazines or watch TV, so he just tapped his foot impatiently, his eyes never leaving the door that led to Dr. Ntim’s office. The taps of the keyboard coming from Abigail and the constant boring commercials from the TV was driving him insane. He anxious to go back to the hospital and see Linda. She was recovering but he needed money to buy the prescribed medicine for her.

He stared at the black-framed wall clock for the ninth time this hour, scrutinizing the second hand which seemed to linger an extra minute at every passing second. He took his gaze off the clock, silently vowing to not look at it once more until absolutely necessary. He looked at Abigail again. His facial expression asked the question, “how many of minutes?” Abigail simply shrugged.

“I wish I could go in there and prompt him but when this particular guest comes, he hates to be interrupted. I’m sorry”, Abigail offered an explanation. “Why don’t you—“ Her statement was disrupted by the sudden sound of Dr. Ntim’s office door creaking open. Koku’s eyes shifted to the door to see a young woman stepping out.

“Miriam?”, Koku was shocked.

His ex-girlfriend was shocked too. She missed a step and almost fell. Miriam regained her composure, stretched her dress down to cover her exposed thighs and walked past Koku like she did not know him from anywhere. Koku rose from his chair slowly when he saw the good old doctor coming out of the office but his gaping mouth and eyes followed the sound of Miriam’s four-inch black stiletto heels as she walked away. The rhythm of her heels clicking against the hard-concrete floor synchronized with the ceaseless ticking of the wall clock.

Dr. Ntim beckoned Koku to enter his office and the latter obliged. From the way the room looked, the young man did not need a prophet to tell him what happened there all the while he was waiting in the reception. He could not believe it. His mind wandered in thoughts about Miriam. He was disappointed in her. How could she? Is this why she left him?

“Miriam is a good girl”, Dr. Ntim interrupted Koku’s thoughts. All the while the politician was blabbing about the young girl he had just bedded. “She is not like one stubborn one I visited recently. She would not let me sunkumalunku. Can you imagine? After everything I had done for her. These girls! I disciplined her immediately. I will even send my boys to go and collect the car I bought for her one of these days”.

Koku nodded although he was not following conversation.

“How much do you say you want?” Dr. Ntim asked. Koku was alert now.

“Only thousand eight hundred, sir”.

“You’re lucky I’m in a good mood this afternoon. Thank the young girl who just left here. I have told you to come around. Although we lost the election, all hope is not lost. We still need some of you guys around. The road to Victory 2020 starts now and you must be part of it. I have big plans for sharp boys like you.” Dr. Ntim while talking pulled his drawer and brought out three bundles of cash.

“You say your girlfriend is not fine? This is three thousand. Take it and take care of her. As soon as she is fine, come and let me sort you out with a job. Okay?”.

“Thank you very much, sir.” Koku found his voice. “I will come next week Monday. God bless you”.

Both men walked out of the office. Koku saluted Abigail to thank her and continued outside with Dr. Ntim following him. Koku walked towards Kenny and stood beside the baby boy.

“Thank you again, sir. As I said, I will come on Monday.”

“Hey! Who gave you that car?” Dr. Ntim snapped at him.

“It’s for my girlfriend, doc”.

“Linda is your girlfriend? This is the car I told I was going to confis—“

“Wait! It was you? You were the one who visited her on Sunday? Jesus Christ!”

To be continued…

There is love in SHARING

The Year After (1/4): Dinner For Three

This was the happiest Koku had been in the past seven days. Ghana’s social media marked a one year anniversary since the National Democratic Congress lost in the 2016 elections and the mockery was no joke. He remembered the events of the post-election days like it was a fight in which was pitilessly crushed. His body jarred with each post he was reminded to have made and the confidence with which he made those posts. His friends and the self-acclaimed social media troll masters and meme kings put a lot into ensuring that sympathizers of the now opposition party would not have a pleasant week.

Pain seared through his skin, especially when he remembered how much his future hinged on the victory of his political party. He thought of himself as the biggest loser in the elections. He had dedicated five years of his life to the National Democratic Congress and there was nothing to show for it.

The past week also reminded him of his severed relationship with Edem and Naa.  Naa took seed in January and gave birth to a girl in September but Koku had not visited his brother and his sister-in-law yet. The guilt of his indiscretion last year sat deeply on his chest.

On a brighter side, the events of last year’s election brought Linda into his life – the best thing to have happened to him in the past year. And there was Kenny!

Koku grew attached to the baby boy after a vigilante group of the New Patriotic Party crossed him shortly after the elections and seized the campaign van he was driving. Linda was kind to let him use Kenny as much as he wanted. There was only one condition according to Linda.

“Make sure he is always clean and when he develops any faults, that’s your problem not mine”.

“Those are two conditions, you know?” Koku replied, readying his mouth for a banter. But Linda gave him the do-you-want-to-use-the-car-or-argue-with-me look and that was enough to stop Koku from saying another word.

Koku turned the door knob and made his way into the living room. The rich aroma of the what he suspected to be Jollof rice wafted down from the kitchen and beckoned him. He could not resist the delightful sensations that whipped up inside his memory at the mere thought of delving his teeth deep and fast into the soft grains. His mouth watered as he relished how cloves of pressed garlic, chillies, tomato paste, beef or chicken would feel on his tongue.

“Koku!” Linda shouted from the kitchen. “Did you remember to buy the sanitary pads for me?”

Silence.

“From your silence, I know you forgot it. Please, go back for it now”.

Pause.

“Otherwise, your nose will smell Canaan but your tongue won’t taste it”.

There was no word from Koku this time too but Linda heard the trapdoor squeal. “Good boy”, she thought, wearing a satisfying smile.

Her eyes wandered around the kitchen. Tea stained counters, dirty tea towel, tea stained mugs, chipped mugs, cracked mugs, odd assortment of cups, crumpled tea towel, dirty enamel mug, slimy draining board and unrinsed dishes. She cringed. The place did not speak well of her at all. A lady like her. She paused her thoughts but the noisy of hum of the refrigerator did not give her the peace of mind she thought she would get.

“Koku must help me clean this place tonight”, she said to herself and walked into the dining room.

The dining room was elegant in a minimalist sort of way, yet still echoed the natural world outside. The table dominated the space. It was an elongated ellipse of oak with the raw bark at the edges. Linda smiled anytime she sat at the table to eat. The importer told an interesting story about the dining set. The tree had been a victim of a violent storm a few years back, upended root ball and all. The two chairs on both ends came from the same tree, each one beautiful in its simplicity, all clean straight lines and high backs.

A navy-blue fabric laid on the table. On top of the fabric and right in the middle of the table was a bouquet of fresh flowers in water. The polished silver cutlery shone brightly in the dimly lit room. At both sides stood a tall empty wine glass and there were beautifully folded napkins to match the colour of the fabric laid on the table. All that was missing was the food and the people to eat it.

“Today is the day”, Linda said to herself. She could not wait to break the news to Koku. The romantic dinner and sending her boyfriend back to the shop were all leading to the big announcement planned for after dessert.

She knew he would be excited to hear it but she was still anxious to see his reaction. This would change everything for two of them. The excitement made her breathing rapid and shallow. She could feel her pulse pounding in her temples.

It was a relief to hear a knock on the door.

“Speak of the devil”, that was indistinct. Then on top of her voice, “Silly you! When did you start knocking before entering this house?”.

It was obvious it was not Koku at the door. Or, he was playing his usual pranks on her.

“Young man, if you think I’m coming to the door to meet you, forgerrit!”

Still, there was no movement into the room. Linda gave up and walked to the entrance.

She lost her balance when she saw who was at the door. She leaned on the mull post to prevent her from falling. Her mouth shivered. She wanted to say something but…

“You look like I just pulled a rhinoceros from my pocket”, the elderly man at the door made light of the situation and let himself in. Linda followed him silently. She was still in shock.

“This place smells good”. He continued, casting his eyes across the room. “Is that Jollof I smell?” He walked towards the dining room. “Oh, nice. Looks like you were expecting me”, he turned to look at Linda who had still not recovered from the surprise.

Seeing that she could not respond, the man went on. “Oh, I am sure it is not for me. It’s for your boyfriend. Dinner for two, huh?” Pause. Sigh. “Can we make that three?”

To be continued…

There is love in SHARING

Karma To The Professorial Degree

It was the biggest and best day in his academic and professional life. He would be honoured as an associate professor at the DoRight University and he would give his inaugural “professorial” lecture. “Professor Hiram Ansah”. His new nomenclature was music to his ears, especially the way his wife, Bertha, said it.

Whilst in bed that morning, Bertha came up to him and planted a kiss on his lips. “Congratulations. Your academic and research publications show your sharp intellect. Well done. I’m so proud of you”.

“Thanks, honey. But I think I deserved more than a professorial kiss for my sharp intellect. Don’t you think so?” Hiram winked.

“You mean you want some of this?” Bertha lifted her skirt up to reveal what was underneath. She wriggled her waist lustfully and turned away from her husband. “Not this morning, my professor. Let’s go give a kickass lecture. And after that, you can have this for as long as you want.”

Bertha winked back at her husband who was licking his lips lasciviously. “Naughty professor!” She teased and she left the bedroom.

Hiram took a copy of the speech he had rehearsed from the bedside table. He smiled. His phone was buzzing with notifications, especially from the Ansah Family WhatsApp page. His family was excited, and many of them told him how proud they were of him. For a thirty-seven-year old man to be made an associate professor, there could not have been any prouder achievement.

When Hiram arrived at the university for the event, it was like a déjà vu. Except this time, it was not merely a feeling. He walked the same hallway last two years when his friend, Andrews, was scheduled to deliver his inaugural speech.

Hiram and Andrews were friends from high school. They had always been close. However, Hiram was always jealous of his friend. Andrews was better than the former in everything.

In the year Andrews got the promotion to professorship, life only dished out misfortune to his friend, Hiram. Andrews was on the verge of attaining a dream they were both chasing, he had the prettiest girl in the person of Bertha for a girlfriend and was receiving offers from all over the world to become a lecturer in some of the best universities. Hiram, on the other hand, had recently been duped and dumped by his girlfriend of six years and that affected him badly.

On the day Andrew was expected to be honoured, Hiram spiked his friend’s drink with laxatives.

“Thanks, Hiram. In a time like this, I need my best friend by my side,” Andrews was appreciative.

About 30 minutes after taking that water, Andrews was nauseous, and he was visiting the loo almost every ten minutes. On one of the occasions, he was too late and pooped on himself. He locked himself up in the washroom and never went back to the auditorium.

After waiting for to no avail, the ceremony was cancelled and the guests dismissed. Andrews took the embarrassment of that day badly and his life took a tailspin. He resigned from the university and took up a teaching job in a private basic school. The light in his once bright future dimmed.

In a spin of fortunes, Hiram’s life took a better turn at the expense of his friend’s misfortune. He became the star boy in the university, hooked up with Bertha after she left Andrews and now he was on the brink of taking Andrews’ dream. Despite things turning around for him, he had to carry the guilt of what he did to his best friend. He could not bring himself to confessing what he did to Andrews.

When Hiram entered the auditorium and saw Andrews seated in the front seat, his heart sank. His eyes and mouth were frozen wide open in an expression of stunned surprise.  Andrews responded with a smile and a thumbs-up. The impact of that smile knocked every wisp of air from his lungs. Hiram stood there struggling to inhale, to exhale or to do anything. The encouraging smile from Andrews bounced around inside his skull. Hiram directed his family to their seat and rushed to the washroom.

Hiram searched his briefcase frantically for his anti-anxiety drug. He specifically asked Bertha to put them in his bag because he anticipate that he might get nervous at the event. However, the dose anxiety he experienced because of seeing Andrews was nothing he saw coming. As a matter of fact, he did not think Andrews would show up.

He found the pills and took two. He washed his face and looked in the mirror. He was disappointed in the man he saw. He was nothing but a fraud, a cheat and evil man. He closed his eyes to prevent his guilt from eating him up, turned away from the mirror and left the washroom.

Back in the auditorium, the dean of his faculty introduced him to some of the invited guest who had come to see the bright and young professor. There were handshakes, hugs and kisses. When it was time to meet the chairperson for the event, Prof. Mrs. Mary Setorwu, Hiram was stopped in his tracks. She was pretty! After the introductions, Hiram held out his hand for a handshake. The woman place her soft palms in his and pulled him in for a hug.

“Congratulations, young man. I am sure you will have a great professorial career and even become the Vice Chancellor of this university”, Prof. Setorwu said while patting Hiram on the back.

Hiram smiled as he enjoyed the contact he had with the curvy elderly woman.

Then the woman shoved Hiram off her. “Young man, what kind of inappropriateness is this?” She screamed.

Hiram was shocked. So was everyone else until Prof. Setorwu pointed at Hiram’s crotch. Hiram had a very nicely curved bulge in his trousers. He could not believe himself. Embarrassed, he ran out of the auditorium back into the washroom. He entered a cubicle and cried. “God, forgive me,” he pleaded. “Please, calm down,” this time to his manhood.

It took a while yet Hiram’s kicky-wicky would not cool down. Now, he faced the dilemma of having to go back to the auditorium or staying in the washroom till the big man shrank. He knew the fate that waited for him was not pleasant. However, a brave man takes responsibilities for his mistakes and bear the consequences. He needed to prove that to the professors and they might give him a second chance.

He stepped out of the cubicle and went to the sink to wash his face. It was then he realized that he left his anti-anxiety drug there the first time. He examined the bottle and noticed that it was not his Valium 5 pills. They were Viagra pills!

“Oh, my God. Bertha has killed me.”


Catch up on the entire serial here. From chapter 1 to 7

Have fun reading…

Shade #1 – Karma Day in Court

Shade #2 – Tight or Loose

Shade #3 – One Good Turn Deserves Another

Shade #4 – Karsthma In the Bank

Shade #5 – Karma Has The Last Laugh, Always

Shade #6 – Karma At Kejeti

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Shade #7 – A Victim of Karma’s Wrong Meat

There is love in SHARING

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