Dial Episode 51 is rolling…
I had a really good sleep that night, and would’ve slept for a very long time if a pounding in the door hadn’t drawn me out of the delicious folds of my luxurious sleep.
With a groan I dragged myself out of the bed as the pounding continued. Draped in a big cloth and naked underneath, I padded to the living-room and threw the door open, and found Brian and Kuuku standing on the porch with calamitous expressions on their faces.
“What’s biting you two?” I asked dourly.
“Look,” Brian said and pointed behind him.
I looked, and my jaw dropped open with surprise.
The compound was filled with a lot of people!
And they were carrying all sorts of luggage and other stuff.
“What the heck is going on here?” I asked, aghast.
“Word went round,” Kuuku said in a dazed voice. “All the villagers are coming in to claim their houses. They’ve overrun us. They refuse to leave, even when we begged them that progress is still ongoing. They say they’ll sleep on the ground. What the hell is the matter with them?”
A broad grin split my face.
This was what I had planned as my revenge; all the villagers would live Etwe-Pe-Kote and settle in the nsamanpowmu community, and leave that vile king and his evil fetish priest and the wicked elders in the village.
I had thought that their acid fear of the forests being an evil and haunted place would keep them away, and that I would have a hell of a time convincing them to come and settle here…but here they were!
Their sheer numbers baffled me greatly. I had not thought the village was that populous.
“What are we going to do, Yao?” Brian asked. “They’re not prepared to leave!”
I grinned at him.
“It’s a problem, so use it to your advantage,” I said with a chuckle.
“How can this be an advantage, Yao?” Kuuku asked with raised eyebrows.
“You need more labour, don’t you, to make the project go faster?” I asked quietly, and suddenly Brian’s face lit up.
“Damn!” he said with a rueful smile. “I guess this is why you’re the boss, Yao.”
“Yep, that’s why I’m boss,” I said with a chuckle. “Employ them. Most of them are fishermen, and farmers. Give them a good per-day rate. They’ll be happy for the extra money as they work to secure their own houses.”
“That’s a brilliant idea, Yao,” Kuuku said with a sigh. “But where would they stay? Where would they sleep? They’re not willing to leave!”
“Put up two or three enclosed sheds on the outskirts, with tiles on the floors,” I said. “A shed for men, a shed for women. A temporary home. It’ll be better than most of the clay houses they live in anyway. You can partition another shed for those with families. Let them help, and soon the houses would be up, and allocations made.”
“You’re the boss!” Kuuku said, smiling, and then both of them shook my hand and turned toward the people with brighter expressions.
I stood gazing at that lovely crowd, and when I turned away I was smiling happily.
I was very happy. It was payback time, oh yeah!
A month passed in a blur.
The citizens threw themselves into their new vocation with ferocious zeal. They were strong, and the fact that they were working to build homes for themselves served as the catalyst that galvanized them on.
The community began to expand beautifully, and it pleased me very much. They adored me, that much I knew as soon as I stepped into their midst. It was a whole new level of being needed, of feeling a part of a thriving community, and of being loved.
Then there was Abena Adobea.
We became absolutely inseparable.
We went for walks together, and explored the forest around us. She was a bundle of delight for me, and my days only began when I set eyes on her. The nights we parted started to become my worst moments.
I wasn’t very much surprised, when I began to realize that my sleeping moments ended with her, and my waking thoughts began with her. I didn’t try to kiss her again, though, and it was alright with me.
We enjoyed the company of each other, and slowly our awareness of each other became something beautiful and precious. Taking her hand, or feeling her arm slipping around me became electrified moments that I simply couldn’t have enough of, and as the days slowly rolled by, it soon began to dawn on me that there was something that needed to be done soon.
She began pressing me to go to Wowo with her because she wanted to speak to Nana Bosomba. At first I used to tell her that she shouldn’t worry because the man himself would put in an appearance very soon, like he had been doing.
But somehow, Nana Bosomba didn’t show up again, and I began to realize that indeed I might have to go and seek him out very soon.
Brian and I went to the village where I had left my Regera with the local police for safe-keeping. I thanked them, gave them money, filled her up with petrol, and then I drove the powerful, beautiful car back to the community. The road was bad, and I made a mental note to have it fixed. The Regera couldn’t have made it on that road if it hadn’t been the customized tyres and suspension adjustment that enabled me to suspend the mainframe up a bit, so that the underbelly of the car wouldn’t scrape the ground.
And when we got to the settlement, almost everybody came around to stare at the extremely luxurious car.
And it was that day, as I stood chatting to Maame Ntiriwaa, that Prince Kwamepia informed me that they wanted to call the new village YAO-BIKO KROM.
I protested, but they wouldn’t listen. And that was the name they gave to the settlement.
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And, perhaps the happiest day of my life in that new town was the day Abena Adobea washed my hair, and styled it beautifully into new cornrows.
Sitting in front of her, with her head back almost on her lower belly as she plaited my hair, I found the passion and the love bubbling in me, and I guess that was the day I admitted to myself, that I might be in a spot of trouble.
I had fallen in love, deeply and unreservedly, with a village girl.
I began to teach Abena Adobea how to drive the car, and she surprised me with her natural acumen and intelligence with the automobile, and before long she was cruising around with sheer happiness on her face as I relaxed in the passenger seat just staring at her with a mixture of love, happiness and amusement.
Our evening walks became something of a regular moment for us, taking us farther into the surrounding forest. We found a favourite spot, near the edge of a sparkling brook, where we spread a blanket on the ground, most times, and enjoyed a snack as we chatted softly.
And that was how Okomfo Basabasa found us.
Maybe he set spies on me, or maybe he just knew my movements because of that damn powers they had, he and Nana Bosomba and people like him. Whatever it was, he found us that late evening by the brook.
Abena Adobea popped the last bit of shortbread biscuit into her mouth – she had become quite fond of that biscuit – and smiling contentedly at me, she slowly lay down on the blanket and closed her eyes.
Sitting with my back propped up against a tree, I looked at her with a slight smile on my face. I never get tired of looking at that lovely and cherished face. Suddenly, a smile broke fully on her face, and she reached out her right hand toward me. I took her hand, and she dragged me down to the blanket.
I chuckled and lay on my back beside her. Suddenly she turned on her side and then draped the loveliest thigh in the world across my thighs. I gasped, my whole body experiencing that electric moment of unexpected pleasure, and then she reared up above me and looked down at my face.
And on her face was an expression I had never seen before, and one I wished I would always see. It was a divine look, a breath-taking look of tenderness, of passion, of infinite bubbling emotion from the very core of her heart…the sort of look every man would never get tired of seeing on his partner’s face.
This, indeed, was the expression of love.
My heartbeats quickened as her head dropped, and then she kissed me…slowly, tenderly, oh, so sweetly. I didn’t touch her, but just relaxed and enjoyed that heavenly feeling of those sweet lips on mine. So soft, so dizzying, so amazing, making my heart race and my pulse hammering so wildly that I could hear it in my head…kpum, kpum, kpum, kpum!
It was a most rapturous moment for me, one I could have revelled in for eternity.
But then, the growls came!
At first I thought they were coming from her, but then they got fiercer and more closer, and then Adobea lifted her face off mine, and both of us looked around with alarm, and then terror slammed into me at the sight that met my eyes.
We were surrounded by about ten royal palace guards dressed in red war regalia. About six were holding double-barrelled guns pointed at us, and four were holding four straining beastly dogs on leashes, straining to get at us and tear us to pieces.
Adobea screamed, but I held her tightly and whispered into her ears.
“It’s okay, my love, it’s okay,” I said gently. “Don’t worry, nothing bad will happen to you.”
I got up slowly and dragged her to her feet, but she kept her arms around me, still trembling with fear. We were quite far from the main community, and I knew there would be no help from that quarter. If I had been alone I could have tried to fight my way through, but the wild dogs were the menace, and it would have been quite deadly.
But I wasn’t alone. I had a most cherished girl in my arms, and so there was nothing I could do if I wanted her not to get hurt.
Then four men emerged from the trees behind the others.
Two were elderly old men, probably Elders of the Palace.
One was the grim-looking King Obiba, wearing a blood-red smock and shorts with a horned warrior’s helmet on his head. He was holding a wicked-looking knife in his right hand, and he was seething with absolute and uncontrollable rage.
The fourth man in that ensemble was, of course, that wicked and vile man called Okomfo Basabasa. He was dressed in a raffia skirt, as usual, and had smeared his body and face with some multi-coloured paint. He was holding that horsetail whisk which he pointed at me, his evil face made meaner by his obvious hatred.
“You have defiled our customs ever since you came here!” he whispered in a voice shaking with rage. “And now you made the gods of our ancestors angry by desecrating the village! You have destroyed the ancient village of Etwe-Pe-Kote by uprooting all the citizens and settling them in a vile forest, in the home of the ghosts and spirits! You have disturbed the peace and sanctity of the nsamanpowmu with your actions! The gods find you guilty, and you’re sentenced to the crudest death of being buried alive whilst you’re naturally breathing!”
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