You’re something else, you know that? I had a one-episode story when I first wrote this and you drew 5 parts out of me, way to go!
So today, I present you the grand finale of this story I myself have fallen in love with. So much so that, I’ve made a voice recording of the first few paragraphs (you know I hardly do that) Even better, I’ve got an awesome surprise for you at the end of this post! Ok, enough of my brah brah brah…here’s where we left off last week;
On Saturdays, they usually gave each other space for the first half of the day; he’d play morning soccer with the boys, finish it off with squad waakye, return home to nap and work a little before meeting up with her around 4pm for an endless list of possibilities.
On this particular Saturday, whilst he was celebrating his winning goal with the softest wele, a whatsapp came through from Elsie and that’s when he noticed he’d missed two calls from her.
‘I need to dash off to London tonight. Let’s talk when you see this.”
London or Lapaz? Could it be autocorrect? Who wakes up and suddenly has to be in London? It must be some kind of a joke. Where from this? By the time he got to her house, she was nearly done packing.
“You weren’t kidding?”
“Why would I?”
“Why what’s up?”
“Something urgent, I’ll explain when I return.”
“You don’t expect me to just accept that do you?”
She stopped wrestling with the zip of her suitcase, going to him, looking like she could see into him. “You have to. I know this is strange, I never mentioned this trip and all, but if it wasn’t urgent, I wont be on it. Don’t fight it.”
He licked his lips, swallowed a few times whilst contemplating his options.
“When are you back?”
“Feels like a month.”
“I know. And it’s even harder for me. Would you drop me off at the airport?”
“Please…” she pleaded, sealing his lips with hers. No tongue, just lips warming each other momentarily.
“Thanks darling. You’re the best.”
“You’re asking a very hard thing.”
“I know. Please Yaw.”
Putty. That’s what he was in her hands. She moulded him this way, then that way. He was quiet, but his mind bombarded him with questions. His heart demanded answers, but he didn’t want to push it. He faked the smiles, faked the conversations, faked being there. But when she hugged him at the airport, it wasn’t fake.
He waited till the British Airways plane was in the air. He watched as it took his El further by the second. Hopeless romantic! He knew that’s what he was. That’s why he’d held back all these years. So many people thinking he was this plank, this emotionless man, but he knew what he was, how he became when he was vulnerable. He missed her and she wasn’t even a mile gone.
* * *
The days crawled like a movie in slow motion. When work closed on Monday, it felt like one week had already gone by. He tried to drown himself in work, but work was a pothole beside the Elsie Ocean. She messaged often. there were plenty of 😍 😍 😍 and ☺️ ☺️ and 😘 😘 😘 . The distance put more depth to the feelings. She was still not giving details of the trip, but the curiosity in his heart and mind had curled their tails in-between their legs and cowered to the floor.
By Wednesday, the usual suspects had noticed how much later he was leaving work,
“Ei why you den madam day fight?” Hans asked
He laughed “Naah, she go out of town small.”
The black in Hans’ eyes became smaller, his sigh was barely audible “Hmmph” He turned to walk away, then walked back.
“You know what exactly she’s doing there?”
Yaw wasn’t sure whether to lie or not. “Not really, work related though.”
Hans pulled out the chair beside Yaw, sat in it and scooted closer “See Yaw, you be my guy. Me, I not dey like poke my nose into people’s private life, but you be my guy and this conversation is way overdue.”
Yaw pulled back from his computer and leaned back, all ears “I dey listen.”
“See, about three months before I first saw you at church, something had happened. The prophet had been ministering like you’ve seen him do many times. He called Elsie out, and it wasn’t easy. Apparently there was some issue and anytime she got with a good guy, something strange happened and she’d make some big mistake and it will crush the guy and send him away.
He told her God will give her her own wealth, it wont come from rich old men. He whispered a lot of things in her ears, she broke down in tears. He cautioned her to just cut all ties with all those people with those empty promises, focus on God and it would be fine.”
“But the first time I see am, it was at the service the prophet called her out on.” Yaw interjected.
“Yeah, that was the second time, that’s when the spiritual husband thingy came up and there was a full deliverance. I dey talk of the first time.”
“ Yeah, so later, my guy bi in the service who knew her gave me her full run down.”
Yaw listened like his grade point depended on it. He wanted to stop Hans, to tell him he didn’t care, but he did…he needed to know. So he sipped on the water in the almost empty disposable cup on his desk that had been pleading to be emptied for hours.
“Hmm…” Hans continued “So according to my guy, Elsie messed up his friend big time. They had dated for like a year and half and he was the good boy type, but apparently she had like three big time sugar daddies sorting her out. Bro, one of them paid for her masters and then paid someone off to do her thesis for her. Another paid for all her expenses whilst she was there and this good boy was here in Ghana thinking his bae was bettering herself for them, not knowing there was a lot going down. Like it was traumatic, this guy would get random calls from friends who’d seen Elsie with some mogul. He left her shattered. You’re my guy and I’d never want to see you like that. Me, as Proph pray for am and all I was glad it was all cool and I wasn’t going to say anything. But you telling me she’d travelled now, I felt you had to know.’
Yaw was smiling, like it was all cool “Thanks mehn, appreciated.”
“So now you understand all those times I wanted to say something but never did?”
“Yup. Thanks mehn.”
“No P, I gotcha. But I swear the girl dey bee. Abi you dey like fine tins?”
“Commot for there.”
And it all ended on a light note….whilst Hans was there. Right after, Yaw packed up slammed his bag into the backseat, revved the engine and stomped on the accelerator. His mind was a minefield and there was a colossal explosion of dots that suddenly seemed to connect; the stylish apartment, the seeming ‘beyond means’ lifestyle, the sudden trip. the things he’d never been able to put his finger on. What a bloody foool! He’d gone to church and found a woman he’d felt was God’s gift to him, but she was clearly far from a gift. His mind raced…all the things she could be doing in London right now. Her birthday night, had it been with one of those men? when she couldn’t pick his calls, was something going down? Those three weeks she wasn’t in church after they met, was it with some man?
He remembered that verse about an evacuated demon returning to find an empty house and returning with seven more even stronger than he. ‘DAMN IT!’ He screamed, smashing his dashboard. The bloody traffic was slowing him down. He just wanted to be home. He wished he drank, he’d have drunk to stupor.
He heard his phone beep. “Hey boo.” It was her. From 7:00AM when he’d said hello, it was now she was getting back to him. “Oh oh oh oh oh” he repeated. He kept sighing heavily. He tore out of the traffic and zipped through shortcuts with bad roads. He didn’t feel the bumps, he didn’t care about shocks, he just wanted to be home. He knew what he’d do. By Saturday when she returned, he’d be collected. He’d play this game. He’d pull out his heart. He’d save his dignity.
* * *
When he pulled into his driveway, it was 8:32pm. He smelled her scent, but cursed his nose and mind for being so cruel. He turned the door and let himself in. There, on Wednesday night, with her one suitcase beside her, in his couch, in his blue oversize t-shirt was she, Elsie.
“Sweetie…” Then she noticed the wreck his face was in “Yaw?” She darted to him.
He blinked in shock. Delight, pain, surprise, excitement, uncertainty all mixed into a salad and served him. “Yaw?”
She encapsulated him, felt his beating heart. At first he stood aloof, then slowly he tightened his grip till it felt like he was squeezing the life out of her. She held her breath, didn’t stop him. It hurt, but she didn’t stop him. She heard him sobbing. Crying
“Yaaww.” she whispered back. She said nothing. He said nothing. They stood in each other for minutes.
“I didn’t expect you.” He finally said, releasing himself.
“I know.” she said, stroking his damp cheek with her right thumb.
“What did you go to do?” There was something about how he asked it that made her realise it was no time for lies or excuses.
“Sit, will you?” He sat on the sofa, she on the centre table. She cupped his hands in hers and locked her thighs with his.
“I’ve done some really bad things, in the past. I’ve dated married men, spent their money and basically…basically been a bad girl. I’ve done things I couldn’t understand why I did when they were done. I’ve led a life that didn’t make sense to even me. I’d decide to walk away from it and somehow find myself back in it. I singlehandedly managed to screw up the few genuinely good things that came my way. I’m not proud of that life, but it felt a lot like I didn’t have the power to stop myself.”
She sniffed back tears. Her voice was shake, her eyes looked over his head as if her past was replaying itself to her.
“One time I went to church, Proph ministered to me and suddenly the urge, the seduction of that lifestyle vanished. I felt hatred for things I once loved. I blocked all my old contacts, totally cut them off. I buried all of that, and somewhere along the line, you showed up. It’s funny, you kept making all the moves but I knew I didn’t deserve you. You’re pure Yaw. Pure stuff. After all the hearts I’ve broken and all the mistakes I made, I knew I deserved some abusive man who’d cheat on me and treat me like dirt, but you are the direct opposite. I’m amazed by the love God keeps showing, it all seems too good to be true. Like how can He reward insolence with such goodness? It all didn’t make sense to me.
Anyways one of the men I fooled around with was this man called Mr. Boamah. He runs a major I.T company in the UK called TechTonik. Last Friday, in spite of the fact that I’d blocked all his numbers, he still managed to send me this.” She took out her phone to show him, but couldn’t bring herself to.
“It’s bad.” She warned
“Let me see.”
“Really really bad. I only mention it now because I don’t want anything between us. After this, I’ll understand if you don’t want to talk again.”
“LET ME SEE!” He said snatching the phone. It was bad. She in a negligee, holding on to a tuber of a sex toy, with her tongue touching her upper lip and…and…and…he couldn’t look anymore. His heart boiled in rage and jealousy.
“He claimed to have more, worse.” She’d turned away, sniffing back tears. “He sent tickets, Business Class. If I wasn’t in London in 24 hours and ready to stay for at least two weeks, he was going to send to you and anyone who mattered to me.”
“Me?” Yaw asked
“Yes, he says he has your number, he knows who I talk to and how close we are. So, I panicked. That’s why I left like that.”
“I see.” Yaw answered, it all felt a bit much, honestly. “So when you got there…”
“When I got there, his driver was waiting to send me to his place. I knew what he was up to, so I tricked the driver to send me to my cousin’s at Strattford. That’s where I stayed. It upset him because he thought I’d stay at his. I didn’t care. The deal was to be in London, and I was there. I felt so miserable, you kept checking on me, it got me sick, so we didn’t meet on Sunday. Monday afternoon, he came to my cousins, asked we go to this restaurant nearby. He drove to his apartment….”
Yaw felt his teeth gritting, his fists clenching, he is head banging UHH!!
“…He said he hated what I’d forced him to do. He wanted us to be together. He’d finally gotten divorced and his kids were with his ex in Manhattan. He even had a stone, huge ring. He said I didn’t have to return to Ghana. He had an offer letter ready to make me head of Comms at his firm, 140k quid a year, a white Rover and an apartment in Central London plus paid holidays each year and the chance to travel with him in his private jet. I honestly didn’t expect that. He knew an immediate answer would be no, he asked me to get back Tuesday night at dinner. I’m not gonna lie Yaw, I thought hard about it. Hard and long. My old self was scratching me, drooling, being as persuasive as can be.”
“Aaannd…” Yaw said impatiently.
“And so we did have dinner last night. Private dining at some fancy place off 15 on Orange. Sorry I’m giving seemingly endless details, I just want to tell you eeeverything.
“So after desert, he passed me a Savorski diamond necklace. It looked like a fortune. He asked if I had an answer. All this time, you’d never left my mind. Yes he has all the money, but I don’t have a price anymore. And that’s what all the goodies felt like. I know i’m not like those criffe girls, I’m still on baby steps with God, but I know enough to tell if He’s talking to me and there was no peace about this Mr. Boamah offer. I mean the starting point itself was off. But in a strange way I’m grateful to him; he made me realise just how badly I want this…us…you.
I walked off, he groped, I slapped, he threatened, I told him to go to hell, got an uber, went to pack up, headed to Heathrow, got the next flight to Ghana…to where my heart is…to where you are.”
“What about his dirt on you?”
“I was most worried about you seeing it, and now I’ve shown it to you. If he broadcasts it, it’ll be bad and I’ll have to live with it. It’s my mistake, and I take full responsibility. I wasnt…I’m not perfect, but I cant, I wont live with blackmail.”
Yaw said nothing. He just fiddled with her phone in his hands.
“You don’t have to say anything. But whatever you think or decide, you’ll always be a better man than I deserve.”
Still more silence “Let me take you home.” He finally said. She hadn’t considered that as a possible answer.
* * *
The night was dark, the moon seemed to have dozed off, leaving his work to a few overworked stars. The streetlights were off…most of them and there weren’t so many cars on the road as before. There was a police roadblock ahead. Yaw put on the inside light and lowered his window.
“Officer,” he greeted “I salute.”
“I take am!” the lanky officer responded “I also dey watch you.”
“No shaking” Yaw said smiling, it was the first time she’d seen him smiling all night “I dey turn my body come right now.”
“Eeenh? Ok. Rosalinda, you’re okay?” He asked in Elsie’s direction. She faked a smile. “Carry on boss.” Yaw drove off.
When he pulled up at her house, he carried her suitcase in. “You wont stay a little?” It sounded like a plea.
“No, I’m good.”
She hugged him, he stood like a traffic light, and peeled off. She watched him walk off into the car and disappear. He didn’t turn back even once. She crumbled to the stairs at her porch and wept like a child. It was the worst and loneliest night of her life.
After staying under the hot shower for about an hour, she coiled into her bed, still crying. He didn’t call, text, nothing. It had never been like that before. She prayed for sleep to come take her and not bring her back anytime soon. After what felt like a lifetime, sleep obliged, drawing her into dreamworld, offering anaesthesia that would only last till morning.
* * *
COMMERCIAL BREAK: If you’ve come this far, then you’re just the person I stayed up all night preparing this surprise for. You can click on the image to get the full e-book either now or when you’re done with the post 🙂
* * *
It sounded very distant, as if it was part of her dreams, but it eventually woke her up. It was the annoying gate bell. She squinted as she looked at the phone. It was 10:00am. Yaw still hadn’t called. Her heart sunk. Pain returned. The ringing didn’t stop. Who the hell was it?! She stomped to the gate fuming. She opened. It was…it was him. She didn’t know what to say.
“Hi, sorry to bug you. Please does Charles live here?”
She was confused “Charles?”
“Yes Charles Mensah.”
“Drat, sorry. I should have paid closer attention when he was giving directions. Oh, forgive my rudeness, I’m Yaw.”
She smiled. She started getting the drift. “I’m Elsie, but my friends call me El.”
“El, that’s easy. Sorry to be upfront, but is it ok to charge my phone a little so I call Charles?”
“You can use my phone.” She offered
“No, I’d rather charge mine and call.”
She smiled. “Have you had breakfast?”
“No, but I’d do anything for a pancake!” He answered
“I love pancakes too!”
“I think we’ll get along just fine Elsie. Really nice to make your acquaintance.”
* * *
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