When someone you love dies – Part II
LUKE IS DEAD
He had killed himself. I froze! I felt like none of this was real. I thought I will wake up and realize all this was just a dream. Maureen screamed so loud when she saw Luke’s corpse hanging from the ceiling and that scream slapped me back to reality. I fell to my knees and started crying like a baby. I wasn’t sure why I was crying but I was crying and I just felt like crying and I did. I cried like a hungry baby.
Maureen was clinging to Luke’s corpse, crying like someone important just died. From that awful sight, I made my final decision. I told Maureen the wedding was off!
She got up and chased after me with tears saying, “Nooo Dre don’t do this, you’ll put me to shame, my friends will laugh at me. CleDre lets fix this please!”, but I completely ignored her like she never existed.
Apparently Maureen’s screaming and wailing had drawn the attention of everyone in the house, they all came to check what was going on. They came in shocked and left crying and asking lots of questions. I heard someone shout “Call an ambulance”, another screamed, “Call the police”. I totally ignored everyone in the house, got to my room, changed my clothes, took my car keys and drove away to some place quiet to think.
I drove around town, going in circles for about two hours till I got tired and parked in the middle of nowhere. I was so deep in thought that I had lost track of time. It was dusk already and my phone had 72 missed calls. I was able to shut out the world for a couple of hours. I picked up my phone and saw a text message which read, “Hey I heard what happened, meet me at Pixels pub let’s talk, this is extremely important”. I had nothing better doing so I went to Pixels.
AT PIXELS PUB
I got there in 10 mins. Emily rose up when she saw me walk in and beckoned me to sit across her and asked me if I wanted to drink anything, but I told her I was okay. I went straight to the point and asked her why she asked me to come over. Was it to gloat or what?. She sat in silence for a while and I said, “Guess you finally got what you wanted, I couldn’t get married today, guess you’re happy now. FYI, even though you threatened to storm my wedding even though I had no idea I had a daughter, I still went ahead and told Maureen the truth, so you storming to ruin my wedding would have been a useless move, very fruitless”
She was still sitting in silence with her face bowed down. I yelled at her, “Look at me when I’m talking to you”, she raised her head and I saw tears running down her face. I didn’t understand what was going on, then she spoke, “Cle, I’m dying”.
“What the hell is this? What do you mean you’re dying?”, then she answered, “I have a tumor in my brain, I have about six or less months more before my condition starts deteriorating and I will die”. I was literally shaking when she spoke, I thought I was done hearing bad news for the day and now I hear this? Remorseful for my earlier outburst I asked her, “When did this happen?” I felt really sorry for her.
She was too teary to talk so I allowed her to calm down so she could tell me more. She tried explaining, “It wasn’t my intention to ruin your wedding as I threatened to, I’m really sorry for that. I tried to reach you countless times, called and texted your cell phone on many occasions but you didn’t return any of my calls or texts, so I figured storming your wedding was my only option, at that point I was getting desperate”.
I was a bit confused, “So wait…you tried to sabotage my wedding just because I didn’t return any of your calls and texts? Just because you wanted to tell me you had cancer? Are you kidding me right now?”
She quickly pleaded, “No no no no that wasn’t my intention at all, I just wanted to tell you about the daughter you didn’t know existed. I wanted her to meet you before my situation got worse. I only had good intentions in mind. You take a second to think about this, you didn’t know you had a daughter because I kept her existence away from you. After that night at the party, few months later I found out I was pregnant. My initial thoughts were to tell you, but I knew you wouldn’t believe me if I told you. We broke up few months before that. If I had told you I was pregnant and that the baby was yours after a one night stand, would you have believed me?..
…I decided to keep the baby and raise her by myself without your help. I was willing to make sacrifices and take care of this baby. I was doing just fine on my own taking care of the baby for 2 years. I’m not after your money because I’ve been taking care of her since day 1 and I only wanted you to meet your daughter, so that when I die you can take care of her since I have no living relatives that I know of here in accra. You’re the only thing close to family that she has and I only wanted what was good for our daughter. I’m really sorry I tried to blackmail you but I was desperate”, she broke out in tears again. I tried to calm her down, then asked her, “Where is she now?”, “I left her with a friend at home”, she answered.
“What’s her name?”, she smiled and said, “I named her after your mom, she’s called Serwaa”. My face brightened up and I was beaming with delight and happiness. Then I asked her when I could meet my daughter, and she answered, “Whenever you’re ready to meet her”.
In that instant, I got a call from my Mom. She said the Police was requesting my presence to answer a few questions. I told Emily I had to rush home, that there were issues I needed to deal with but I promised to keep in touch from then on. I changed her name from Corona Virus to Emily.
The last 24 hours had been the worst, heart breaking, disappointing, unforgettable but rewarding hours of my life. I was angry, pissed, glad, happy and delighted all at the same time. I screwed up, my wife to be also screwed up big time and my dead best friend also screwed up. I found out I had a daughter whom I didn’t know existed and I was getting the chance to meet her soon…all these events under 24hours.
When I got home, my Mom and everyone looked worried. They wondered where I’d been all day since I wasn’t answering my phone and they were worried that maybe I had also gone to hang myself. I almost punched Maureen in the face when she stood up to welcome me with a hug, she was the last person I wanted to see. I shoved her aside and told her to leave my house before I made her join Luke where ever he was. I went straight to my room, took my bath, changed out of my clothes and told my Mom I was going to the Police station. Aside my Mom, I ignored everyone and went away.
AT THE POLICE STATION
I was asked to talk to one CID. He asked me so many irrelevant questions of which I gave vague and sarcastic answers to. Then he asked, “Why would Luke kill himself?”. I was getting angry talking about Luke so I gave him the shortest direct answer as possible as I could,
“He fucked the woman I wanted to marry, had a baby with her, and hid it from me for 3 years, 3 years! That’s 36 months, 1,095 days, and 26,280 hours. He killed himself because he knew I would kill him myself when I found out. He knew I would beat him to death with my bare knuckles when I learnt that my best friend was the father of the little bastard he had with my to-be wife. It’s been a long day, circumstances led to that revelation, so now if you don’t have any relevant questions to ask me, I’ll just excuse myself”. The CID was stunned when I left his office. He was too shocked to call me back for further questioning.
AT EMILY’S HOUSE
I called Emily to check if it was possible we meet, I told her I was ready to meet Ama Serwaa if it was possible. A 2pm rendezvous was agreed. I asked her what our daughter’s favorite play toy was, and she told me Serwaa loved Barbie dolls very much. So on my way to Emily’s place, I stopped by a toy shop and bought her the most beautiful barbie doll there since I wanted to impress my daughter. I hadn’t seen her before but I knew she was a beautiful princess and deserved everything. I was nervous too because I didn’t know what to expect, but I prayed she liked me too. The feeling of being a father was overwhelming and exciting.
It was almost 2pm and I had almost reached where Emily lived. It was a nice and very quiet neighborhood. She lived in a gated compound house. Emily welcomed me in front of the house, she was already standing in front of the house when my car pulled over. She then escorted me to the house where I was introduced to one tenant as “Ama Serwaa papa”. Suddenly the sense of fatherhood dawned on me, I was a father and the feeling was amazing.
I asked Emily to call Ama over, she was playing with the other kids on the compound. And there she was, the spitting image of her father. This little beauty looked exactly like me, no paternity test needed. I was convinced she was my daughter.
“Ama Serwaa of House No. 321/2 Madina, First of her name, The unburnt, Diaper free princess, The unscarred, Princess of the house and toddlers, Breaker of chains and feeding bottles and Mother of dolls”, she quickly rushed into her mom’s arms then she gave me an awkward look when her Mom turned to look at me. I was full of smiles but it seemed that she wasn’t impressed. I opened my arms to carry her, but she dunked and hid behind her Mom.
It seemed she didn’t like smiling at strangers. Emily invited me into her living room, then offered me a seat and asked whether I’d drink water but I told her I was okay. Ama sat on her laps whiles we talked but I couldn’t take my eyes off her. Then her Mom said, “Ama…Dada nie”, pointing at me, but the kid was looking at me like “yeah so what?”.
This 2-year-old had a mean look on her face like I just took her candy. Then I was like, ‘Bring it on, two can play this game’. So I played my tramp card and unwrapped the doll I bought for her and at that instance her eyes lit up. She tapped her Mom’s shoulder and said, “Mama…hwε”, pointing at the doll I had in my hand. It was so funny I laughed out loud.
Then I told her to come over by handing the doll to her from a distance. She was reluctant at first but her hands were eager. She looked at her Mom one last time and came over for the doll. When she took the doll her Mom was like, “What will you say to him”, she bowed her head and whispered, “Thank you”. She was really excited as she went out of the room to play with her new doll. Her Mom told me to relax and feel at home whiles she prepared something small for me in the kitchen. Ama took her new doll out to play. I could hear her giggling with the other kids outside. I was curious so I told Emily I was going to sit outside and watch the kids play for a while.
Ama was with 2 other kids, a boy and a girl, the boy looked a year older than the girls. I didn’t like him, as young as he was, he had a mohawk on his head with ‘aboy’, he was shirtless, he had sagged his pants and you could see those dirty diapers wrapped around his tiny waist.
As I looked at him closely, he kept running up and down, hitting the girls including my daughter on their butts and running away when they yelled at him. The girls paid no attention to him because they were busily admiring my daughter’s new doll.
This kid run up one last time, hit my daughter on her butt and sped off with a crazy smile on his face. She yelled, “ooooohhh aahhh I don’t like that ahhh!”, then I said to myself, time to be a father.
I took a quick glance around the compound to see if anyone was around or watching. The coast was clear, then I yelled softly at the boy and beckoned him to come over, “Hey foolish boy, come over here!!”. He was startled at once, his face changed, and he became afraid, but I waved my hand to alert him come over. He bowed his head and walked slowly towards me. When he got close enough, I stretched my hand to pull him closer to me, then I asked him, “herrhh! What do you think you’re doing touching my daughter’s buttocks with those silly looking small hands of yours?”
He bowed down his head as if he wanted to cry and I yelled at him with a deep voice, “Hey! Stand straight! Chest out! Chin up! Wipe off those tears and look at me in the eyes when I’m talking to you”. At this moment this little boy was sobbing, then I said, “You’ve began your fvckboy life this early huh, but not on my daughter you mohawk dwarf! If I ever catch you looking or staring at Ama’s buttocks or even thinking about it ehh I’ll bring a knife and cut you into pieces and feed your remains to my dog, have you heard me!?”
At this moment this 3-year-old couldn’t hold back those tears and my daughter and the other girl started laughing at him and when I asked him to go, he sped off like a bullet.
I had been a dad for like 24hrs and I was already doing great things. I felt really proud trying to protect my daughter from that potential womanizer. I looked at my watch, Emily was keeping long so I decided to go check up on her at the kitchen to see what was holding her up, and soon as I walked in I was met with this cloud of smoke. Then I quickly rushed to the kitchen, Emily was laying on the floor flat. I checked for a pulse and didn’t feel anything, she wasn’t breathing.