© Aaron A. A

The nurse takes the Bibles and walks out.
Nana Yaw paces the ward for a while, rubbing his forehead, and then he suddenly pulls out a chair and draws close to the bed.
He sits on it, almost wringing his hands, and then he looks up finally into his father’s eyes.
He leans forward and puts his chin on his steepled fingers.

Words can’t express how sorry I am, Father. I hope you can hear me, Father. You see, when you married Araba you remember I was then in Oxford University. I came home during the summer break and met my new step-mother. I was shocked, Father, when you told me you met her at a presentation function and she told you she was a teacher. She told you a lie, Father.
For a moment he cannot speak as pain thrashes his heart, and then he resumes.

I knew her before I went outside. I knew her as a stripper at a bar. The moment I saw her I became angry, and she knew I was going to inform you. That night she drugged your cup of cocoa, and you fell into a deep sleep. She then came to my room and cried and said she has changed and that she loved you. She begged me not to tell you the truth. I didn’t believe her, and then… then she got out of her clothes and I couldn’t resist her. I was drunk, and I couldn’t resist her, Father. That was three years ago, Father. And it has continued ever since. I travelled a year ago, hoping to forget all about her, but I couldn’t, Father! I love her!
Nana Yaw bows his head shamefully for a moment, and his body trembles hærd. He sighs miserably and shakes his head  dazedly.

I’m sorry you found out the way you did, and I’m sorry it has done this to you. My conscience is killing me, and I feel a great deal of remorse. But I love her, Father. There’s nothing I can do about it. I just want you to understand that I never meant you any harm. It just happened, and I’m very sorry!
Nana Yaw stands up and turns away with a huge sigh.
Without another word he leaves the ward.
And Kwame stares at the door… and silent tears fall down his cheeks.
Maame comes back and sits on the bed, and smiles reassuringly at him.
Two days later, when Maame has finished cleaning Mr. Awuah, something happens that totally takes her unawares.
It is almost two weeks to the day he suffered the fatal heart attack.
The wardrobe has been stored with a lot of clothes and underwear for the sick man.
She covers him with talc, and then dresses him up.
She then calls Nurse Enyonam who helps her to fix the sensors back on him.

He’s deteriorating… Wouldn’t be long now, I guess.

I’ve been praying for him. I don’t get it though. His wife doesn’t visit him often. It’s been almost two weeks and I’ve seen her here only once.

Yooo! Posterity will judge all of us one day!
The two women chat for a while, and then Enyonam leaves to attend to other things.
Maame looks at Mr. Kwame Awuah and smiles mischievously down at him.

Now, let’s try something. Can you hear me? If you can hear me please blink once.
Mr. Kwame slowly blinks once, and a broad smile spreads across the face of the kind-hearted woman.

Well, isn’t that simply wonderful? Well, your son warned me not to read the Bible to you again, but I know a wh0le lot of Bible stories. Do you want to hear more? If you want to blink twice. If you don’t want to blink once, and I’ll not worry you.
Mr. Kwame Awuah looks fixedly at her for a long time, and then he blinks once, and Maame scowls with disappointment, but just then he blinks again, and a huge smile spreads across her face.
She sits down on the edge of the bed, and then she begins to tell him about the life of Jesus Christ.

Can I call you Kwame? One blink for no, two blinks for yes.
Kwame blinks… twice.

Alright! That’s so sweet! You can call me Maame! I’m going to tell you about Jesus Christ. Blink once twice when you’re tired and wants to rest, okay?
He blinks twice… for yes, and she sits and smiles at him and admits that although he is a little bit short he is a very handsome man, and he reminds her so much of her husband.
Oh, her dear, loving husband!
Maame begins to tell him about Jesus Christ, and some of the miracles Jesus did. After thirty minutes she looks at him and touches his cheek gently.

Are you tired, Kwame?
He blinks once… no!

You’re enjoying it, aren’t you?
Two blinks… yes!
They look at each other, and suddenly Maame feels a tightness in her throat.
She sits back suddenly.

Erm… listen, I’ll just go and relieve my bladder, okay? I’ll be back in a jiffy!
Maame stands up and rushes to the bathroom.
She really doesn’t feel like urinating.
She wants to put a little bit of distance between them.
Quite suddenly she is feeling emotions she knows she has no reason to feel for Mr. Kwame Awuah.

To be continued…

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