Dial Episode 17 is on…
I lay on the floor, expecting her to deliver another blow, but she stormed out of the room. It took some time for the acute pain in my balls to subside, and then I sat up gingerly.
A moment later she came back into the room. I gave a start, because I thought she had left. She looked at me coldly, her eyes looking very red and swollen, and I knew she had gone to shed a lot of tears for her niece.
“Dede,” I said weakly, drained. “I’m sorry!”
“Oh, comot for there!” she said, but it wasn’t with much fury now.
I sat on the floor, leaning against one of the huge settees and watched as she gathered up the ice bucket, glasses and bottles of alcohol and took them to the kitchen.
A few moment later she came back with a soft sponge in a little soapy water and rubbed the expensive Venetian rug on where some drink had spilled. I watched her in some sort of wonder as she cleaned the room.
It was the first time I had seen a woman working around my house! My father had never really tolerated a woman in the house. He always took his pleasures with them out of the house, and I grew up doing mostly the same. The mansion was our recluse, our special abode, for the two of us.
Watching Dede of Wowo working her way around, I was horrified by the fact that I didn’t find her presence intrusive at all, but oddly pleasant.
A moment later she came back, when the room was restored to its clean arrangement, and sat down opposite me. She had removed her shoes, and her feet were very lovely indeed. Clean, neat, and absolutely feminine. There were beautiful girls who had feet like a lions’ paws, but this girl was all beautiful from head to toe.
She glared at me, still angry and hostile.
“Well, I have to get going, Yao,” she said softly. “I spoke to my brother, and when he told me what you really did to Akos, I really lost it. I’m sorry for hitting you, especially down there…but you did deserve it!”
“A beautiful girl like you,” I said with a giggle. “Who would have thought you’re like Azumah Nelson inside?”
She raised her eyebrows, and then a little smile softened the harshness of her face.
“So?” I continued warily. “He forgave me?”
She sighed heavily.
“He didn’t want to, but I pressed on him, pointing out that Akos wanted it that way, and so he told me to leave. He would come and see you tomorrow morning. Said he would have a talk with you, and then release you if you meet a very minor condition.”
I sighed deeply, and tears came to my eyes.
“Thank you, Dede,” I whispered quaveringly. “That means a lot to me! Thank you very much!”
“You’re not welcomed, you mean boy!” she said, but her voice wasn’t harsh. “He should have let your hair turn orange! That would’ve served you right for being such a scoundrel!”
“I am not surprised you feel that way!” I said softly. “After all you’re his sister.”
And that one got her giggling suddenly, and somehow I was very much glad that she was no longer angry with me. Her small giggle pleased me very much, to my own surprise.
A moment later, she stood up, and her eyes looked at me kindly.
“I hope that whatever my brother’s condition is, you’ll be able to meet it, Yao,” she said in a little worried voice. “I hadn’t spoken to him in years, but because Akos wanted me to, I had to swallow my bitterness and reunite with him, and in a way it healed us some way. And so he knows he got me back because of you. Don’t disappoint me.”
I struggled to my feet with alarm and looked at her desperately.
“No, Dede, no, no, you can’t go now!” I said desperately. “Please, please stay!”
That startled her, and she took a step back, scowling at me with sudden unease.
“Why would I want to stay here?” she asked brusquely. “No. I won’t do that!”
I reached out desperately and took her hands.
“You brother said he would come tomorrow morning,” I said desperately, and my voice was shaking. “I don’t want to be alone with him, please, no! I want you to be here too, I beg of you!”
“But why?” she asked, puzzled.
“I don’t wanna be alone with him!” I shouted, desperate and almost slipping into hysterics. “That man…he makes me wake up and eat palm oil foods without knowing it! He makes me ride with anacondas! Jeez, he makes dead televisions come on, cordless phones ring! Dede, your brother is a demon! He is a wicked person! I’m not even sure he’s human! No, no, no, Dede! You have to be here! I don’t wanna be alone with him!”
She looked at me, her mouth opened with shock.
“Jeez!” she murmured as she dragged her hands from mine. “You’re scared of my brother, aren’t you?”
I gaped at her.
“Scared? Scared you said? No, I’m not scared of him. I am very terrified of that wicked old man, Dede! T-e-r-r-i-f-i-e-d, terrified of him! No, you have to stay here otherwise I’ll leave this house for him!”
She shook her head, and she frowned darkly.
“Don’t play games with me, Yao Biko!” she said in a frosted voice. “If you want me to stay because you’re planning to add me to that damn list of yours…”
“Heeeeey!” I shouted suddenly. “Stop there, Dede, stop there! What? I craze? You want me to sleep with Nana Bosomba’s sister too? Look at what I’m going through for his daughter, and you think I’ll add his sister? Madam, even if you lie down and bisect your legs from here to the moon, I won’t touch you with a feather!”
This time she laughed gently.
“Alright, Yao, I’ll stay, for the sake of Akos,” she said gently.
The relief hit me with such force that for a moment my eyes glistened with tears again, tears that never seemed to leave my system. Ever since I met Nana Bosomba, tears were slowly becoming a part of me.
“Thank you, Dede,” I whispered. “Thank you very much. Come, let me show you where you would sleep.”
“Later, Yao,” she said gently. “First I’m going to prepare something for us to eat, because I’m famished. And then you can show me to my room.”
I smiled at her.
“Fair enough,” I said.
She turned to go to the kitchen, and I reached out and took her arm.
She turned, and we looked at each other for a long time.
“Thank you, Dede,” I said softly. “I appreciate all that you’re doing for me in these trying times, really.”
She brushed my hand off her arm.
“I’m doing this for Akos, okay?” she said, unsmiling. “Don’t get any funny ideas.”
She left the room…but somehow her rebuff didn’t sound genuine to my ears. I had a little funny feeling deep down somewhere within me that there was something going on inside Dede Nortey of Wowo that I just couldn’t put a finger on.
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