The devil episode 5
I don’t know how long we sat there in the open field. Ama continued crying while i petted and comforted her. Albert and Mensah came looking for us and we all walked to our house in silence. Mensah said Ama should spend the night with us, he and Albert went home together. My Ataga ( Uncle) was summoned to the king’ s palace. He was openly disgraced and jeered at. A hefty fine was slapped on him, the king asked Mami if she wanted to stay married to him but she refused.
The next morning i walked Ama to their house, i stood outside while she went into her mother’ s room. Mami came out with her valise( cloth box), she dropped it outside and went in to bring out her Banigba( an iron bowl used as closet) . Ama came out, her eyes were red and puffy. My heart squeezed, my Ama had been crying. What could i do to help? I approached Mami who came out carrying yet another valise.
She looked up and looked at me piercingly until i felt sweat trickle down my spine.
” Who are you and how can i help you?” She asked sharply.
” My name is Kojo, i am your nephew_ your favorite nephew”
She dropped the valise and folded her arms across her chest, listening, my heart leapt with joy.
” When my mother had me she was very Ill, you took me home with you and cared for me as if i was your very own child. you have always treated me like a son and you are my favorite aunt. You see Ama over there.” I pointed at Ama who stood looking at us ” She means the world to me, i love her …….Mami please for the sake of Ama and the love we both have for her, please don’t leave”
Her eyes got misty with tears. ” You don’t know how it feels like waking up one morning to discover you married your worst nightmare, had his children and wasted your whole life with him…………i don’t know what has become of my parents or the man i was bethrothed to. The most painful part of all these is that, i don’t remember ever carrying a child in my womb twice not to talk of remembering those children i brought into this world. She looked at Ama. I feel so empty inside, i can no longer stay here, in this evil place! i would have taken you with me but I don’t know if I still have the life i once had before ”
A cab drove into the compound. She asked the cabbie to help her put her load in the booth. Ama and i stood looking at her in shock. She paid the cabbie, brought some money out which she trust into Ama’ s hand but she flung the money on the ground and ran into her room in tears. I picked the money and gave them to Mami but she asked me to keep it. I put it into my pocket, i wasn’t taking it for myself. I was only saving it for Ama.
” What is the name of the boy?” She asked me.
” Which boy?”
” Her brother” She said.
” Mensah, he’s 26 years old ” i added.
She laughed and thanked me ” I see now why you were my favorite, i believe now that you were and you still are”. She got into the cab ” Please tell him that i am not good with goodbyes, tell him i said he should take good care of his younger sister and i will put them in my prayers” .
The cab rolled slowly out of the yard, as the cabbie was reversing, Mensah and Albert walked in holding some bush meats, obviously their traps had caught them. Cousin Mensah stood looking at the cab, Mami looked away, she never for once looked back as the Cab rolled away, i reckoned to her that chapter of her life is done with.
Mensah gave me one of the bush meat which i took home to Nma, I waited and brought them lunch, rice and bush meat stew. The guys ate ravenously but Ama refused to eat. She blamed herself for everything, i didn’t go home that night. I offered to sleep in Ama ‘ s room, i took a mat and laid it on the floor. I could hear her sobbing into her wrapper, maybe she needed to cry and get over the guilt so I left her alone. When the nigthmare struck, she came to lay beside me while i shivered in fright. We laid on the mat in each other’ s arms until we drifted off to sleep and that was the beginning of our bitter sweet friendship.
The five ‘ God Sent’ continued bringing us food item, Nma sometimes invite them to stay for dinner, they never come the same day. One day Nma asked Lyon the lecee ( Poly) student if he knew Francis the lecee lecturer who is one of the God sent too but he said no and quickly changed the topic. His behavior piqued my interest and i vowed to do all i could to get to the bottom of whatever it is that is going on.
Ama comes to my house after noon class and we would disappear into the woods where we would sit in silence for long staring at nothing, sometimes i would do my break dance for her, just to make her laugh. Now more than ever, i want to be rich so i could give my princess all that she wants. I started going to the market to help women carry loads but i soon realized that an honest job will not make me who i want to be. Only the devil has the kind of money i crave for.
I overheard some group of Nana benz( Rich mama), those types that bleach their skins to the extend that you can see the blood flowing in their vein. They were talking about a powerful papa who helped them, i lingered long enough to find out where he lives.
He lives in a remote part of Ahepe town, Ahepe is a town in my country, it is rumoured that the people in that town are powerful people. i knew what i had to do. I could feel the blood pumping in my veins, what is it about money that gets me so excited?
I laboured from dawn till dusk carrying bags of salt and beans in the market. I gave Nma some part of the money, Ama also gets her share too although she protests too much that she doesn’t need it i know she does. The larger portion of the money which was nothing to begin with goes into my piggy bank. Nma seems to think that i was saving up to buy myself some new jeans.
Ama was almost always at my house these days, her father had gone back to stay at his farm. Rumour has it he has been trying to make a new charm to bring his wife back. We haven’t heard a word from Mami since she left three months ago.
One morning i was getting ready to go to work when i heard Afine screaming excitedly. I went outside and saw her hugging a Micheal Jackson Wannabe. He was tall and handsome, his jerry curls were shinny like he dipped his head into a gallon of gel. He had on black pant trousers that was afraid to reach his ankles, with sparkling white socks and black pointy shoes. His shirt sleeve was rolled up to his elbow and they were hooked to his pants with suspenders.Afine led him to where i stood and introduced him as her brother Kofi, he held out his hand to me, grinning stupidly. I couldn’t help liking the clown, whoever likes Micheal Jackson is a friend of mine.
” Hello my name is Kofi but my Azeey( Pals) calls me Kofa”
” Hello Koffa” I shook his hands.
” Am glad to know i won’t be the only guy staying in this compound, are there any hot Mamas in the hood?” He asked.
” Kofi!” Afine shouted and walked away muttering under her breath.
Nma came out of her room and Kofi stared at her lustfully until i kicked his legs and he hops up and down holding his foot.
” What was that for? i thought you are my Azeey (Pal)”
” Charley that is my mother you were staring at like a dog in heat” I said.
” Why are you here?” i asked.
” Am going to start lecee( poly) here, am on scholarship but i have to sort out where i stay, my cute sister offered me a place here. He looked at the mud houses in disgust. ” Even though its not much to look at, i accepted”
” Okay. See you later” I said as i walked away.
I worked extra hard carrying bags after bags of food items just so i could have enough money to go look for Papa Ayi the powerful man who could make me who i want to become in life. The thought of how much money i would have at my disposal didn’t make me mind the hard work much. I would beg little Pam to help me rub my aching back at night, one evening Ama said she would help me massage my shoulders, Nma and Pam had gone to see Albert and Mensah so we were alone. Micheal Jackson wannabe had also retired for the night so we were truly alone.
Her soft soothing hands on my bare shoulders did wonders to my body, i didn’t know when i erupted in my shorts. I was so embarrassed but she assured me it was nature. She excused me while i changed into new shorts but she never offered to massage my shoulders again.
Every evening Kofa would regale us with one joke after the other. He is just too funny, you can’t help liking him. His one weakness is older women, he came to look for me at the market one day, all the mama La Benz ( Rich milf) were giving him the eye. It wasn’t long before he hooked up with a big assed Mama, she took good care of him both in cash and kind.
I briefly considered hooking up with one too so i could have more money but i quickly put it out of my mind, those women do not have the kind of money i want. However Kofa shared his booties with me. He encouraged me to have a rethink but i knew i wanted more. I deserve more.
Instead of waiting for my money to add up i borrowed some from Kofa, one early morning i snuck off to the motor pack. I bought a face cap and wore it, i boarded the bus going to Ahepe_ 12 kilometers from my own home town. We had a smooth journey, the road was free of traffic besides how many people have money to board buses these days? We got to Ahepe in no time, i bought hot dogs and koliko ( fried yam) at the motor park. After topping it down with a bottle of cold Coca_Cola i asked for directions to Papa Ayi’ s place. I was told i will take a bike and continue half of the journey to his place on foot. I told them at the park that he was my grandfather to stop them from asking annoying questions. I took a bike,200 cefas, to the pig farm road and i walked the straight path leading to his farm. There was nobody on the road, i was a bit scared but I kept telling myself that i must be brave. At some point i thought i heard footsteps behind me, I broke into a run until i saw smoke from a far. The women of the household or mudhold? gave me water to drink, i sat on the stool given to me. I told them i was looking for Papa Ayi. The younger of the two women went inside one of the huts, she led a scrawny, sick looking blind old man out of the hut. My heart plummeted and dropped at my feet.
I couldn’t believe i came all the way from Tabligbo ( my home town) to meet an old blind man. But his words surprised me.
He gave an eerily laugh and said ” Small child, you have come far and you are disappointed to see i am just an old blind man” he laughed again.
How could he possibly know that?
” Come with me” he said. The young woman led him back into his hut and i followed him.
The hide of different animals were hung on the wall, there were seven different gods in a corner of the room. We both sat on a deer hide on the floor, the young woman went out of the room.
” I may be blind but i see far…..far beyond what the physical eye can see. He spat on the floor ” What you seek for is not here, your purpose in life is greater than this way ”
” How do you know what i seek for Papa and what is my purpose in life?”
” You seek for money and power, your purpose in life is not for me to tell you”
” Papa it is true i seek for money that is why…..”
” That is why you have been seeking for the secrets to money, that is why you eavesdropped on those women in the market and you came looking for me” he finished for me.
I was amazed. i was in the right place at last. ” Please you have to help me Papa”
” Son this way is not your way. If you continue in this way, if you jump up, you will surely jump down!”
Why is this man being mean? What is all this talk about jumping up and coming down? ” You dont understand sir, i need…..”
” You need to wait for your time. I can’t help you. ”
I stood up dejectedly.
” Tell Kofi he will soon have gonorhea if he is not careful” he said laughing eerily. ” And tell your brother to be careful, real careful”
I stomped out of the hut. I had come all the way here for nothing. The women offered me some food but i refused, a young man came out of the other hut and gave me a ride to the motor park.