CHRONICLES OF THE STRANGER
Daddy! I love her! She’s been good to me! She took care of me and Mommy! She paid my exams fees with her profits! For the last couple of years we would’ve died if she hadn’t been there for us!
Tutu, don’t be like that! This girl is an angel! Your son cannot get anybody as good as this girl! And she loves him with all her heart!
Cut that crap right now! Does she want money? I will pay her off with interest if that’s what she wants! But you’re not going to spend the rest of your life with a woman who cannot move in the same circles as you! Put sentiments aside, my son! This is the real world! You’re going to take over my companies one day! You need someone who befits you, not this degenerate! I’ll not allow it! Look, get that thing out of my sight, okay? Tomorrow I’ll write a cheque for you and you can cash it for her. That girl is not bearing my grandchildren, God forbid!
Tutu Dompreh turns and leaves with a dirty look at Dede.
The poor girl hadn’t understood all that was said, because they spoke in English, but she saw the absolute disgust in her future father-in-law’s eyes, and slowly tears of anguish spill down her dear cheeks!
The stranger stops speaking.
He reaches across for another chicken wing from Baaba’s abandoned plate, dips it in source, and pops it into his mouth.
The whole place is so quiet that a feather dropping on the glass would have sounded like a bomb.
Tears have welled up in Kwabena’s eyes, and now slowly spilling down his cheeks.
Tutu Dompreh’s face is a map of abject misery as he feels all the accusing eyes on him.
Suddenly he has lost his aura of invisibility, his almost god-like stature as he is exposed for what he really is: a monster!
His lips move, as if he is trying to speak, but he cannot say nothing.
Some of the young women are slightly trembling, and some have put their hands on their hearts.
Akua shakes her head slowly as things soon begin to make sense to her, things she had hitherto not understood in a long time!
The stranger picks a bottle of water and carefully breaks the rubber seal.
He uncaps it and drinks, and then he sets it down carefully.
Well, Kobby took poor Dede out of the house. He spent an emotional time with her, promising her that he would never leave her, even if it meant losing his father’s riches. But he had a plan! He had a very wonderful plan. He convinced the poor girl that if she got pregnant, his father would have no option than to allow them to marry. This was much against Dede’s belief, because her mother was a staunch Christian, and she did not want to disgrace her mother. But she was so much in love with Kwabena, and did not want to lose him, and so she finally gave in. Kwabena took her on a one-week holiday in a hotel, in the mountains, and finally succeeded in taking her virginity. Dede Naar became pregnant…
Kwabena’s visit to Dede is frequent after that wonderful time at the hotel, and he tells her that his father is slowly coming round.
And then, one evening, in her room, Dede shyly shows him a pregnancy test result.
What is this, my love?
God blessed us, my love! I’m pregnant! Our plan has worked!
Kwabena whoops with joy!
He is so happy!
He kisses her hard and long.
Oh, my darling! I’m going home right now to show it to Daddy! We’ll be married within the week! We’ll go and bring your mother to the city! Oh, our precious baby! I love you, my love!
Weeping with extreme happiness, Dede sees Kwabena off to his car.
And that is the end.
She doesn’t hear from him again for one month!
She calls the number he has given her, but the phone is always switched off!
The poor girl is slowly dying inside!
She visits her mother in the village and tells her everything, and in tears she asks for forgiveness from her mother.
Her mother, MADAM BAJOE NAAR, gladly forgives her daughter, and asks her to go to the city and bring all her stuff, and forget about the ungrateful boy.
Dede agrees and returns to Accra, but her heart is in pain.
She loves Kwabena too much to leave without hearing from him.
Desperately, she needs to say goodbye to him, at least.
She then summons enough boldness and visits Kwabena in the house.
She is horrified to see that there is a great party going on in the house that day.
Scared, she inquires from one of the guests outside, and she is informed that it is a send-off party for Kwabena.
He is going to the United Kingdom to further his studies in just two days!
Poor, poor Dede!
She cannot believe it!
Emboldened by the sheer cruelty of it all, she goes straight into the house and enters the garden where she sees her Kobby dancing wildly and happily with some ladies.
She forces her way to him and pushes the ladies aside, and stands in front of him with tears falling down her face.
Kobby! You can do this to me? After taking my virginity and making me pregnant?
There is a great silence.
Kwabena stares at her, unable to speak, and then Tutu comes around them, and some of his big-shot friends are also around.
Tutu glares at Dede with hatred, and then he turns to his son.
Is it true, Kobby? You impregnated this girl? If it is true, then you have to stay in Ghana and take care of your baby, and your whore!
Dede turns a broken face to Tutu Dompreh.
May God have mercy on you, sir!
With a bellow of rage Tutu charges at Dede to slap her, but he is held back by some of the men around.
KOBBY! HAVE YOU MADE THIS GIRL PREGNANT?
Kwabena looks down at his feet, and then he raises his head and looks at Dede with tears in his eyes.
He knows, at that moment, that his father means what he is saying.
If he admits to impregnating Dede, his father will definitely not send him abroad to continue his studies.
This is the moment for him to stand up for his love, to repay Dede with kindness and love.
This is the moment to show his appreciation for all the sacrifices the poor girl has heaped unconditionally on him.
His studies abroad is more important to him!
No, Daddy! I don’t know what she is talking about.
His mother screams with sudden fear.
KWABENA! MY SON! DON’T DO THIS EVIL THING!!
Take this harlot out of my house! Dirty infidel! She wants to disgrace us!
Immediately Dede takes a step back, and she feels a great pain in her stomach!
She feels a sudden movement in her belly, a pain so excruciating that it churns her soul out, and she feels her vision clouding.
She turns and flees from their presence.
Kwabena watches her go!
Obaapa Takyiwaa turns to her husband with fear on her face.
My dear, go after that girl! She is not a liar! If she says Kobby made her pregnant then it’s true! This girl is not a liar! She’s also someone’s daughter. If we had a daughter I don’t think you’ll be happy if someone treated her like you’re-
SHUT UP, WOMAN! MY SON WILL NEVER MARRY A SLUT LIKE HER, AND CERTAINLY I’M NOT TAKING A GRANDCHILD FROM SUCH AN INFIDEL, SUCH A WHORE!!
Dede, weeping uncontrollably and with great pain in her belly, walks the unknown streets of the neighbourhood till she sees a taxi and hails it.
(weak, dazed, in pain)
Please, I beg of you, take me to the nearest hospital, driver! I’m in so much pain!
She collapses in the backseat.
The driver does not know that she is bleeding.
The driver hears her praying, asking God for forgiveness and wash her clean, and to accept her in heaven, and he later told police that the car suddenly became blindingly bright for a moment, and he almost lost control.
When pressed by the police, the driver, who was also a Christian, replied that he was sure there were angels in the taxi at that very moment.
But of course they didn’t believe him.
The taxi driver arrives at the hospital and turns to inform her that they have arrived.
But Dede is not breathing.
She is dead.
Many people are crying now.
Kwabena Dompreh screams, and tears fall down his cheeks in torrents.
Oh, no, no, no! Tell me it’s a lie!! I went to the United Kingdom! When I came back to Ghana I couldn’t find her, or anybody who remembered her! I thought she went back to her mother!! Oh, no! Oh, Jesus! Dede, Dede!! I have sinned!! Oh, what have I done?
And, for the very first time since his wife died, tears form in Tutu’s eyes, and trickle down his cheeks.
Goodness me! Don’t tell me she died that day, just like that! Oh, no! Tell me she didn’t die!! Tell me I didn’t kill that poor girl! Oh, dearest me! What did I do?
Akua takes a huge shuddering breath as her tears fall down her cheeks, and at that particular moment all the love she feels for Kwabena evaporates.
She looks at him and his father.
Such heartless monsters!
She can’t believe they had been capable of such a terrible atrocity!
Dazedly, she sees how agonized they are, and she is happy.
She wants to take the gun and shoot both of them, and she has nothing but revulsion in her heart for them.
Well, I won’t tell you she didn’t die! She died! Your cruelty killed her, and her unborn child, a creation of God! She was the only child of her mother! Well, her friend Mintah went to her village to give them the bad news. A delegation was sent to Accra to bring Dede’s body to the village for burial. Her mother came too. That woman is a great Christian, I tell you, and she wasn’t about to stand by and let you bastards destroy her daughter just like that. She came to the mortuary, and she was the first to see her dead daughter on that cold slab. With tears of anguish drowning her, the poor woman put her right hand on her dead daughter’s heart and prayed…
MADAM BAJOE NAAR
My dearest Father above, my God and my Lord, you gave me only one daughter to gladden my heart in my old age, but here she lies, Father! Destroyed by the unfeeling hearts of men who walk in the paths of their own thinking! Father, today I stand on Your word which says whatever is bound here on earth is also bound in Heaven! I bind the loins of Kwabena Dompreh, that boy who did this to my daughter! May he never be able to give birth, and may his father never know the joys of being a grandfather, until they realize the folly of their ways for this evil they have done my daughter, Dede Ahiawey Naar!! This, dearest father, is the only wish of an agonized mother, prayed in the mighty name of Jesus Christ! AMEN!
The stranger gets to his feet and looks down at the faces of the wicked man and his son.
So, Mr. Tutu Dompreh, you evil man! Stop heckling Akua! She came to your evil son’s bed a virgin! There’s nothing wrong with her! She’s fertile and capable of being pregnant. It is your son, Kwabena, whose loins the Lord has locked because the mother of Dede prayed a fervent prayer, and the Lord granted her request because, the prayers of a righteous person availeth much, and whatever a righteous person binds here on Earth is also bound in Heaven!
He reached down for a chicken delicacy and popped it into his mouth, and munched with obvious relish.
Kwabena will never be able to give birth, with any woman, unless he goes to Madam Bajoe Naar and begs for forgiveness for the evil he did to Dede! And do you know something, you ugly bastards, I wish Akua will divorce your son, and I wish that by the time you get to Madam Bajoe she will be dead peacefully, so that you and your son WILL DIE WITHOUT HIM KNOWING THE JOYS OF BEING A FATHER, AND YOU KNOWING THE JOYS OF A GRANDFATHER!! You two are wicked, and do not deserve any form of happiness for the terrible way you treated that poor girl!
The stranger begins to hum a song as he gets down from the podium and begins to walk away.
Kwabena and his father are both weeping miserably.
Kuukua gets up and looks at Tutu with fury.
Aaaah, Uncle! You did this to a poor girl? How would you have felt if somebody did that to your daughter? You should be ashamed of yourself!
She gets down quickly, followed by her husband.
The family’s Clan Head stands up and wags a finger at Tutu.
You’ve shamed our family, Tutu, son of Tutu! The Elders shall hear of this! You’re a pig!
For once Tutu cannot utter a word.
He is shattered.
In ones and twos the guests get up and leave.
The guards who had touched the stranger and been zapped also get up finally on their feet and leave.
Only four people stay behind.
Kwabena and his father.
Akua and the stranger.
The stranger reaches Akua’s table and looks at her.
I wish you’ll divorce him and marry someone else. You’ll be pregnant the first day you make love to your new husband.
I know I should divorce him, yes. Only problem is, I still love him.
But he’s a fool!
He is, yes. But I think all that is going to change now. I forgive him. We’ll go and look for Madam Bajoe. I know she lives.
Oh, yes, she lives. I got the story from her two days ago when God sent me to her. She waits. I see happiness ahead for you, Akua. Keep loving the Lord!
The Lord is all I have. Where would I have been without him? I would’ve been dead by now.
The more reason that you should divorce that fool! He doesn’t deserve you. Or, why don’t you go out and make love to some man and get pregnant, hm? Then give birth for the man, and bring him to live in your Boys Quarters with your child whilst you live in the main house with your husband. Kwabena, that fool, was planning to do that to you, so if the tables have turned, you should also do it to him. What do you think about that?
And, for the first time in many years, Akua laughs uproariously, with real mirth, so much so that tears come to her eyes.
I’m really glad you’re not God, mister. Otherwise I’ll be scared of your revenge!
I would’ve struck your husband’s penis with leprosy long, long time ago, Akua, the moment Dede died!
They both laugh this time.
He turns and begins to walk away.
Akua scrambles to her feet.
Please, sir, please, wait!
The stranger turns.
Please, I beg of you, with all humility. What’s your name? Where do you stay? Where did you come from? I want to come and thank you.
Thank the Lord, not man. And my name is of no import to you now, my dear lady. Keep your faith! God loves you!
He turns and quickly walks away.
When Akua turns Kwabena and his father have come down and are facing her.
Almost in slow motion both of them fall to their knees in front of her.
Forgive me, Akua! Oh, please forgive me! I’m so sorry!
Forgive me, Akua! All my life I’ve been a bastard, an unfeeling ogre! I’ve learnt a great lesson today! Please, dear, forgive me and my son!
Please, stand up! There’s nothing to forgive! We have a journey ahead of us. Let’s prepare and go and look for Madam Bajoe Naar!
A YEAR AND A HALF ON…
Akua Dompreh just can’t be happier!
Everything had seemed lost!
She had even been contemplating killing herself, but the God she worships and leans on hadn’t left her in a lurch!
God had sent a stranger into her life, and following the amazing things and revelations the stranger had laid bare, she and her husband and her father-in-law had made the long journey to the heart of Kroboland to seek a gentle Christian lady called Madam Bajoe Naar!
She had turned out to be a most beautiful elegant woman, even in her matured ages.
They had arrived on a Sunday, and found her in church.
That day she had been up on the pulpit.
It had been a Women’s Week celebration, and Madam Bajoe Naar had been teaching the women in the church about the blessings of forgiveness when three people entered the church.
Akua had asked one of the congregation members where Madam Bajoe was, and the member had pointed at the gentle mature woman standing behind the pulpit.
Akua had moved forward, climbed the pulpit, and fallen to her knees in front of the woman.
Kwabena had run to her and fallen down on his knees too, bawling his head off like a baby.
Tutu Dompreh had just stared at the woman.
He had never seen a lovelier woman in his life!
He had fallen down flat on his stomach in front of her with genuine tears in his eyes.
Oh, Dede, Dede, Dede! Madam, please forgive me! I’m a bad man! Forgive me for making you lose your daughter! Forgive me for making your daughter go through so mucho misery! Oh, Lord! Dede forgive me! Forgive me, my love! Oh, I don’t deserve to live! I deserve to die!!
It is all my fault! My stupid pride! Thinking I’m more human than everybody else! I’m a murderer! Please, please, please, forgive me and my son, madam!
The news had spread, and of course the dear, good woman had also cried, and had forgiven them immediately!
It had been a great day in the small village that day.
They had stayed for almost two weeks in the village!
Tutu Dompreh had insisted on a fitting burial for Dede!
He had ordered experts to come from the city and Dede’s grave had been redesigned with incredible marble, glass and gold.
Brochures had been printed, and a fitting burial had been performed.
Tutu had flooded the village with food and drinks.
The villagers just couldn’t stop marvelling.
A lovely bronze statue of Dede was even erected behind the gravestone.
Afterwards, Kwabena and Tutu had accepted Jesus Christ in the village, and Akua couldn’t stop laughing when the great Tutu, the proudest, most arrogant man she had ever known, was baptized in the village’s dirty pool of water… and he had been smiling all along!
And then Madam Bajoe had prayed for Kwabena for thirty minutes in the church, beseeching the Lord to be merciful and let His grace fill Kwabena and release his loins.
Later, Tutu had insisted on bringing Madam Bajoe back to the city.
Akua, who had lost her mother just after completing university, suddenly had a new caring mother in Madam Bajoe.
She had begged Madam Bajoe to come and stay with her for a while, and the gentle woman had agreed, albeit reluctantly, and come to stay with Akua.
Tutu had been a constant visitor to the house on various pretexts, but they all knew he was just interested in seeing Madam Bajoe.
Two months later, she and Tutu had been married, just around the time that Akua did five pregnancy tests and they all showed positive!
And that day she and her husband had been over the moon, and cried with thanksgiving!
Tutu has built a huge building for the church, and his wife, Mrs. Bajoe Dompreh, is now the Women’s Leader!
One and a half years on, and God has made everything so beautiful, in His own time!
Akua is now the mother of triplets…
Two boys and a girl!
Yes, she serves a most powerful God!
Finally, her own naming ceremony has come, and this time it has been held in church!
Performed by Pastor Fiifi Addo!
Akua is so happy that she fears she is going to burst!
Later they all go out to have pictures taken.
There is much laughter and happiness.
After several pictures, Akua, Kwabena, Tutu and Madam Bajoe pose for a final picture.
Kwabena is holding his daughter.
Tutu is holding one boy, and Madam Bajoe the other.
As soon as the picture is taken Akua’s eyes are drawn to the entrance of the church.
She sees a tall figure in an excellent cream suit standing there.
The man has no beard this time, and he is not wearing a hat.
He is wearing dark glasses though, and has a round growth of hair around his lips and down his chin.
He is too far away, but even from the distance Akua is quite taken aback by how young and handsome he looks!
Kwabena is looking at her with great love in his eyes.
Sweetheart, what’s wrong? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.
Akua does not speak, and she does not shift her gaze.
Kwabena stares at the direction she is looking at, and he gasps.
It is him!
Yes, the stranger! There’s something different about him… I can’t seem to place it!
He looks younger!
Yes, yes, that’s it! Far younger, handsomer!
Suddenly Akua begins to run towards the stranger.
He raises his hand and waves, and then he turns towards the entrance!
No, no, wait! Somebody stop that man for me! Please wait!
But when she gets out she sees a sleek, powerful car speeding away, and she stops with frustration as she stares after it.
Thank you, whoever you are! Thank you, stranger!
The stranger is looking through his driving mirror at her, and then he smiles, shakes his head, and turns a corner, losing sight of her.
He is now on a straight stretch of road.
Father, you’re great! But sometimes I don’t understand Your ways! That Tutu man and his silly son didn’t deserve happiness! They don’t deserve another chance! Now they’re Christians! I wanted them to suffer so much for their wickedness, but You knows best, so that’s okay. If I had my own way-
Suddenly a brilliant lightning splits the sky and a ground-shaking thunder booms, rocking the car.
The stranger laughs and shakes his head ruefully.
Yes, Lord! I’ve heard You. Your ways are higher than mine! Yooo, I hear, Father! You’re Lord, You alone are Lord! And I’m loving this life You’ve given me!
The stranger laughs hard and presses down harder on the accelerator… and for a brief moment people who were watching the huge beautiful car later said they saw the interior shining brightly as if the car was filled with angels!
End of CHILDLESS Chronicle
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