Continued from last week’s story…
As I had my quiet time that morning, the scripture for meditation read:
“There’s a way of life that looks harmless enough; look again—it leads straight to hell. Sure, those people appear to be having a good time, but all that laughter will end in heartbreak” – Proverbs 14: 12-13 (MSG Bible).
I was sluggish the whole day. At the office, my boss realized my demeanour wasn’t like the usual and asked if everything was ok with me.. I just smiled and said a hesitant yes…
He tried to engage me in conversation but when he realized I wasn’t ready to let the cat out of the sack, he gave up…
Nii was returning in two days’ time, and I wanted everything sorted out before he arrived… so I called Paa just when I settled down in the office.
As usual, he was more than excited to hear my voice, but his excitement was short-lived when he realized I was a bit cold. “Paakow can we meet after work at Merry’s Pub, say 6:00 pm?” I asked… “Errhhmm why don’t I rather pick you up from work” Paakow proposed.
I wanted to say no, but I was in no mood to argue so I agreed. Paakow got to my office at 5:00 pm….I invited him to either come and sit at the lobby or in my office, but he refused.
I was quite surprised, because Paakow is not the kind of a person who would like to keep to himself.
We left the office at 6:30 pm.
Paakow was quiet throughout the journey to Merry’s Pub and so was I…
“Is everything ok with him?” I thought to myself, “or it is probably one of his usual tactics”.
I couldn’t take it anymore, so I broke the silence and asked “Paa, is everything ok with you?”
He shrugged and said “yeah”… I asked no more.
When we got to Merry’s Pub, the place was overly packed, to my displeasure; probably because the next day is a public holiday.
Since there was no Pub nor restaurant close by, Paa suggested that we go to his house, which was not very far off. I gave in, not even sure I knew what I was getting myself into…
Paa’s apartment hadn’t changed much since the last time I was there….
I tried to prevent my mind from feasting on the memories that this very apartment brought me….
I sat in the sofa while he went to the kitchen to get me a drink….
I didn’t know how to set the ball rolling but I started anyway anyhow….
“Paa……” I began. He didn’t allow me to finish the sentence when he burst out… “Adwoa, Eno passed on this afternoon”…
“Oh! How? What happened?” I asked, but he could give me no answer because he broke down in tears..
Eno was Paakow’s mum.
She meant everything to him.
She single-handedly took care of Paakow and his two other siblings when their dad passed on while they were still very young.
Paakow always narrates the happenings with a lump in his throat…
After the funeral, Paakow’s father’s relatives forced Eno out of the house they had built together with their sweat and left her with nothing to survive on.
The events took Eno by storm and she almost lost her mind, but for the support of her family.
When the days of mourning were over, Eno returned to her business, she was a petty trader in the market, her only source of livelihood.
She broke her back to take all her children through school, good schools for that matter, all the way to the university. Eno never remarried, so she was both the mother and father to Paakow and his siblings … and now she is gone… I could understand his pain and sorrow…
When the tears subsided, he told me how Eno was battling with cancer for some time now and had even been on admission at the hospital for over two weeks. I didn’t know whether to cry too, or console him; Whether to pat him at the back, hug him, hold his hand, or ask him to put his head on my shoulder and cry……
It was as if he could sense the battle going on in my mind; he rested his head on my shoulder without invitation and cried some more..
It so broke my heart to see him in pain, especially he being a man for that matter. I offered him some tissue and allowed him to mourn his loss. Eno was such a wonderful woman to me too..
When Paa broke up with me, she called me severally and asked me to overlook Paa’s stupidity as she called it.
“Don’t mind him, he doesn’t know that you are a rare jewel….Adwoa don’t listen to him oo… as for me, you are my daughter in law.”
“Leave him for me, I will talk some sense into his head and he will come running back to you”…
She could call me on the phone for hours unend trying to convince me not to give up on her son and our relationship.
She so much believed in our relationship and offered us all the support we needed. When her efforts proved futile after some time, she gave up…
How many women are fortunate enough to have a mother in law of this calibre …
“May her soul rest in peace” … I whispered to myself….
I helped with the calls to family members to break the news to them because Paa didn’t have the will power to do so….
I tried to console Paa as best as I could….
“Paa, please be strong, you will sail through this… I know how difficult this is for you”…..
And yes I did, being an orphan myself, I knew what it meant to lose a loved one….
I lost both parents while I was in senior secondary school…..
As a result, Efia and I had to live with one family member to another and suffer so much ordeal at their hands until I became financially independent after university and could support us both….
This, Paa knew so well and so he could find some comfort in what I was saying…..
I wondered why Paa’s girlfriend made no appearance that evening….but I kept that to myself…
And on and on we went that evening….until Paa fell asleep….
He woke up a bit later at 11:00 pm…and looked quite composed …
That was when he asked me what it was I wanted to see him about; a question I had been dreading all day.
I couldn’t bear to see him cry again, considering how emotional he had been all evening… so I lied to him that it was because I wanted to ask him to take me out to see the new movie which was showing at the cinemas.
He allowed himself a wry smile…
I left Paa’s house at 11:30 pm, without disclosing my real intention to discontinue seeing him…. and to put an end to the emotional fling we were having; something we both pretended did not exist….
I however resolved to inform him when the dust settles on his mother’s demise.
Nii Noi returned on Wednesday afternoon.
It in fact seemed a long day for me…
I looked at my phone several times during the day….just so I don’t miss his call.
I was so excited when he finally called at 13:00 pm.
I went to his house after work.
I really had missed him and so had he missed me……
The few days he had been away seemed like forever …
I hugged him so possessively that he almost lost his balance…..
Nii not only had bought the wedding gown, he as well had bought me other nice dresses and perfume.
I danced around in the hall and to show my appreciation, I hugged him some more… “Awwwwwww my Treasure, thaaaaaannnnkkkk you” I sang in jubilation.
Nii had cooked jollof and that’s what we had for dinner. Nii is such a good cook and his meals are always worth coming home to.
After dinner, we talked about his trip and many other things but Paakow.
Since the plan A of talking Paa out of the emotional entanglement didn’t work out, Anita my best friend advised me to tell Nii all the same about Paa and all that had happened, even though nothing intimate happened between us…..
Anita believed that will clear my head of the guilt I harbored… but I couldn’t gather the courage I needed to tell Nii.
I just didn’t know what to expect.
“What if after telling him he turns on a leaf I have never seen before and calls off the wedding.”
“I have come too far with him to mess everything up”…. I thought….
“I will tell Nii some other time, certainly not today”…… that was how I concluded the matter.
“Therefore, confess your sins (including weaknesses) to one another [your false steps, your offenses], and pray for one another, that you may be healed and restored…….”
Wardrobe series continues next week. ..
#Wardrobe series #Sister Sister
By: Priscilla Kuukua Akonor | Facebook: @Sister Sister