Cledre woke up abruptly by the sound of a broken glass next door. It was so loud it startled him. He got up and sat on his bed, he sat still and kept turning his face in all direction as if he was anticipating the sound again. He rubbed his palm on his face, then squirted his eye as he looked up to check the time on the clock hanged up on the wall.
“It’s not day break” he whispered to himself in disappointment. He reached out to his phone which was plugged in, charging, to check whether he had any missed calls or new text messages. After going through his phone he decided to go back to sleep since he felt the sound was just a false alarm. “Must be the cats fighting outside again” he thought to himself.
He went back to sleep with his phone in his hand. But was awaken for the second time by another glass shattering from the room next door. Half asleep, he stood up and switched on the lights in his room, he tip toed to his window and slowly drew aside the window curtains to spy if intruders had invaded the house, but he saw nothing out of the ordinary.
“Something doesn’t feel right” he wondered. He went out of his room to check if everything was alright, he decided to check the room next door first, the room where his parents slept, since that was the direction those disturbing sounds came from.
As he got closer to his parent’s door he heard crunching moaning inconsistent sounds from the room. At first he thought those sounds were familiar and he tried guessing what might be happening in the room. He smiled to himself and decided to return back to his room as he didn’t want to interrupt their privacy. As he was walking away he heard another “mmm aargghh hmmm agyei”.
His curiosity got the better of him so he decided to knock on the door to check if everything okay. He knocked once but there was no answer. He knocked again but there was still no answer. Then he heard “hmm mmm aagghh aarghh” it sounded like someone was moaning. So when he kept knocking and when no one answered he decided to enter uninvited.
He barged in and soon felt embarrassed and ashamed of what he saw. He saw his mother naked laying on the floor tossing and turning. His mother held tight to her stomach in pain. “MAMA!” he cried. He quickly rushed to her side and kept asking her what was wrong with her. There was a faint sensation of pain as blackness swirled in front of her eyes. She could not speak or answer what his son was asking of her. She remained semi-conscious, dissociated from what was happening. The pain in her eyes deafened her to all outside sounds. “DADA! DADA! DADA!” he kept shouting as he could not see any sign of his father in the room.
With the speed of light he sped off to look for his father, time was of the essence. He found his dad deep asleep in front of the TV with the remote still in his hand. He reeked of alcohol. Cledre’s father, Mr. Asante, came home late drunk last night after spending time with his friend, Papa Sarpong, at the bar last night. It took a while for Cledre to wake his father from his slumber, but he was still not fully awake and seemed angry that his son, who he thought had just disrespectfully woken him up from his sleep. “Hey hey hey what is wrong with you? Haven’t I told you not to wake me up when I am sleeping?” he lashed out angrily at Cledre.
“Sorry sorry, Dada it’s Mama, something is wrong with her I think she is dying, we need to hurry and get her to the hospital as soon as possible please, she’s in agony, we need to do something fast” he pleaded.
His father chuckled and said “What do you mean your mother is dying?” His father chuckled and said “Your mother is dying and so what? You’ve become a stubborn boy, interrupting me when I am asleep, come on, leave my sight at once!” he barked at him. Cledre was not offended or upset, he knew his father very well so he knew that was the alcohol talking. His father was a gentle, calm respectful man, he wouldn’t dare say such things about his wife or talk to his son that way.
Cledre managed to convince his father to follow him to their room to see for himself. What he saw shocked him “Eeii eeii Aboagyewaa, what is wrong with you? What is happening to you?” he lamented. His father always called his mother ‘Mavis’ her first name, but he called her ‘Aboagyewaa’, her second name, for the first time in many years, which was how serious the situation took him aback.
“Dad! We need to take mom to the hospital” he turned facing his dad who still seemed shocked. “Herrhh quickly, rush out to look for a taxi to convey your mother to the hospital’ he ordered. “I’ll find some clothes to put on your mother” he added.
“Dad what is wrong with your car? Can’t we drive her straight to the hospital?” he quizzed. “Hey! Since when did you start talking back at me? I said go out and look for a taxi! Can’t you see I’m still drunk and drowsy? I can’t drive in this state I barely have control over myself, now quickly do as I say you fool!”
“Then Dad, please give me the car keys I can drive!”
“Hey, are you still standing there?” Mr. Asante shouted angrily.
“Dad where did you put the keys? I can drive. Besides we live very far away from the main road, its 2:40am in the morning, there’s no guarantee I’ll get a taxi, and even if I do, I’m sure it would be too late, please Dad trust me, I can drive”
“Hey don’t be stupid! When did you learn how to drive? Do you have a driving license? Stupid boy!”
“Dad Gabriel’s elder brother showed me the basics of the automatic transmission, Dad trust me I can drive your automatic car”
“No no no no, don’t be silly I have never taught you or seen you drive before, you want the police patrol team to arrest us on our way ehh, now go and get us a taxi right now!”
“No! I’m going to look for the keys” Cledre walked out on his father despite his warnings.
Cledre’s father got angry and decided to go out himself to find a taxi since he thought his 15 year old son was being stubborn and disrespectful.
It’s been a while since his father set out to get a taxi, he’s been waiting by the road for minutes with no signs of an approaching vehicle, and after an hour he finally stopped a taxi and they both quickly rushed to the house. When they got there, Cledre’s father realized his front gate was wide open and his car was not on the compound. “Eeii thieves, thieves have stolen my car oohh, eeii thieves” he went all around his house searching for his car.
Until he finally remembered his wife was dying. But when he got to the room she was not there. He called out for Cledre but there was no answer. He went from room to room but it seemed the house was deserted. Confused, drunk, drowsy, tired he began to wail. Just then his phone rang, and it was Cledre, he told his father he drove his mother to the Legon University Hospital where the mother was being taking care of.
The father quickly took the taxi and rushed to the hospital. He was so angry at Cledre he almost slapped him after creating a scene. The night shift doctor assured him his wife was receiving the best treatment available and she is now stable. He added, “Mr. Asante I must commend your son, he brought your wife in just in the nick of time, any later would have been fatal, you should be proud of him and commend his bravery. Preliminary investigation suggest that your wife was poisoned, I am thinking food poisoning, but we would have to wait for the results and see, she ate something she wasn’t supposed to eat, for now this is all we have, I’ll keep you updated if we find anything else. Mr. Asante looked at his son long and hard, said nothing to him and went to sit at the visitors lounge where Cledre joined him.
Mr. Asante asked for his car keys back from Cledre. They both sat in silence to the early hours of the morning. Mr. Asante got up and went towards the directions of the male washroom.
Moments later his phone rang. And on the fourth ring Cledre decided to answer his father’s phone, a woman was on the receiving end of the phone call…
“Hello is she dead…?”
“Is who dead?…”
“Your wife, is she finally dead? Did you do it?…,”
“Did anyone suspect it was you?”
“Hello please who is this?…”
“Who are you?”
“Cledre, this is my father’s phone, whom I am speaking with please?…”
The caller hanged up. That was a strange call Cledre thought to himself. When his father came back he told him someone called “EVOL YM” called his phone. Startled by the name, Mr. Asante snatched his phone from his son and ordered him never to touch or answer his phone ever again.
Cledre figured his father was still mad at him for being disobedient and driving his mother to the hospital without adult supervision and a driving license.
But after a while Cledre realized, “EVOL YM” spelt backwards reads “MY LOVE”
‘My love’ he kept repeating to himself, who is this woman my father calls ‘My Love’ ?