SAMUEL COBBY GRANT
A MONTH LATER
The news spread like wildfire and it was on everyone’s lips at the factory. Kuuku Laing, aka Killer, had tendered in his resignation letter to Management and they were having a hard time dealing with it. They were at their wits end struggling to find a suitable replacement for him at the Blending Room.
Rumours were strife as to the reason for his seeming sudden resignation. Some were saying that Pat had called it quits and that was the reason for him leaving out of shame and a broken heart.
Another school of thought was that he was leaving because he had to quickly get married to a certain Manza with whom he was expecting a baby.
If either Kuuku or Pat knew of the various interpretations of the resignation floating around, they showed no sign of it: and neither did they offer any explanations.
The main reason why he was leaving the Tobacco Factory was to allow him to give LAING AND SONS his full attention.
It was booming beyond his expectations, especially with the arrival of his latest equipment- a computerized threading machine his German contacts had sent to him. He had even managed to sign a contract with Euro Tech Parts to be their sole spare parts dealer in Ghana.
Money started flowing in but he refrained from buying a car even though he could easily have afforded a luxury car. He rather drove his mom’s or Pat’s car alternatively.
In addition to Ashes, he now had four more workers assisting him at his expanded outfit. He had also relented to pressure from his mom and had been assisting with the family business his father had left behind which his mother had been struggling to keep afloat. His involvement had succeeded in turning it around, making it more profitable.
KL was at the shop in his reflective orange coloured coveralls. He had gone to work quite early to go through the books before Ashes and the rest reported. He had doubled Ashes’ salary in appreciation of his loyalty. And he had advanced him a loan to enable him to rent a suitable accommodation. He was so occupied with the books he was going through that he failed to notice the lady who had entered. Not until she touched his forearm.
“Brother, where’s GM,” she asked, sizing him up.
”GM?” Kuuku asked, not understanding.
”Yes, GM. Don’t you know your own General Manager?” she rasped as if she was talking to a child.
”Ohh, you mean Engineer,” Kuuku said, amused.
”Yes. GM Engineer” she said impatiently
”Please sit. He’ll be here soon,” he said, offering her a chair but she went and sat in the most comfortable chair in the office. After waiting for a while, she got up and paced around a bit and sat down again after taking a bottle of Malta Guinness from the fridge. That malt drink KL had his eyes on.
Pat arrived thirty minutes later with his breakfast and saw the lady sitting comfortably in the chair she normally sat in.
”Who’s she?” Pat asked, whispering.
”She’s looking for my GM,” KL whispered back, straight-faced but it was obvious that he wanted to laugh.
”GM as in General Manager?” Pat asked, not really getting it.
”Yes. She looking for my GM. The Petrochemical Engineer.”
”Ohh I see,” she said and whooped with uncontrolled laughter. She managed to keep a check on her laughter after a while and pulled a short bench to sit on though she normally would have left for work immediately after giving him the food.
The lady, though was decent enough, kept casting displeased looks at them, and wondering why KL was entertaining a lady at a place of work.
Ashes eventually made his appearance and he hesitated at the entrance when his sharp eyes spotted his Boss, Mama Pat and Akuvi, his latest catch in the office section of the shop. He was about to turn and leave when Kuuku called to him.
”Engineer, you have a visitor.”
The ‘Engineer’, sweating all of a sudden, and with an uneasy smile, went to his visitor and stood in front of her, his usual composure lost.
Kuuku, on seeing how uncomfortable Ashes was feeling, made Pat wait as he had his meal which was Tom Brown that morning. He was soon done and left with Pat after placing the ‘Engineer’s’ share of the food on top of the fridge.
”Sir, I am going to the bank,” he said.
Pat laughed all the way to the bank and only forced herself to stop when she saw that KL wasn’t amused at all.
”That was so funny. ‘Engineer’ really made my day,” Pat said.
”I’ll make him smell pepper today. That girl is so dumb,” KL said. ”She even drank my Malt.”
”Hahaha Hahaha,” she laughed with tears in her eyes. ”That was so funny.”
Kuuku really hadn’t planned on going to the bank that early but he just wanted to give Ashes space to handle the situation.
Pat’s only response was to continue laughing and tickling him in the ribs.
Kuuku returned to the shop some hours later and noted with satisfaction that the visitor had left. Ashes had already eaten the Tom Brown with the bowl washed. He knew without being told that he had shared the food with the rest of his colleagues.
He had summoned him and had given him a severe reprimand for his constant lies to women.
”You have to know that if you are not honest, you can never be trusted enough to hold a responsible position here,” he told him sternly.
”But Master, I am an honest person o,” he said in defence.
”I know but you can’t go on deceiving women like that. The lady thought you were the boss here. She even went to the fridge to take my malt without asking for permission,” he said, fuming. ”She even dared to cast rude glances at Pat and me. ”
”I am sorry, boss,” he said, shamefaced.
”You better change otherwise you’ll have problems with me in future. ”
Ashes thanked him profusely and left to continue with what he was doing. He was ashamed that his behaviour had made his otherwise kind boss give him a tongue lashing. His employment at the Machine Shop had really brought a remarkable improvement to his life, and he was thankful for the kindheartedness of his boss.
THE NEXT DAY
Ashes knew something wasn’t right as soon as he opened the door. There was this pungent smell that permeated from the very cores of the container. He staggered backwards and stopped. He then squinted into the container, feeling the heavy presence of some evil force. It was just at that moment that he noticed the pool of blood at the entrance of the container into which he had inadvertently stepped.
He gaped in horror at his bloody footprints and turned around without locking up, screaming and wailing, running to nowhere in particular. Aimlessly, he ran and ran along the circular road and found himself back at the same spot.
He made his way, barefooted as he had lost his slippers in his abortive run for safety and gingerly approached the entrance and quickly clamped the padlocks in place and took to his heels again.
Kuuku woke up with an urgent desire to visit his mother at the mansion
He had tried to call Pat but his calls had gone unanswered. He picked a taxi that took him straight to Chapel Hill.
”Kuuku. ..eei Kuuku” she exclaimed as soon as she set her eyes on him. She had had this foreboding about something happening to her son and so had been praying from the time she woke up for his safety, and so seeing him at her doorstep that morning seemed like a miracle to her. She told him of her fears and asked him where Pat was.
”Who’s Pat ” he asked suddenly. He had lost his memory on anything concerning Pat.
His Mom was shocked. She was short of words. Terrified, even. How was that possible? Tears stung her eyes as she looked at him with trepidation. But she understood immediately that it was a spiritual problem, and it was going to be fought at a higher spiritual level.
Pat meanwhile was in a state of despair. She had seen his calls but something she couldn’t even begin to understand stayed her hand, and had prevented her from picking his calls. She could call anyone else but when it came to her Kuuku, she just couldn’t. She stayed put; at home, neither eating nor drinking but only kept looking at the sparkling ring on her finger. Several times she picked up the phone to call him, but she put the phone down on each attempt without calling him.
Madam Lawrencia made Kuuku join him in prayer, which he did though he felt his whole being screamed to be at the Machine Shop, but the calmness he was feeling at his mother’s place was the overriding factor. They prayed throughout the day. He fell into a sleep later in the day and she went into her room to continue. She beseeched upon the Lord to clear the shackles of the Devil from her son’s life. She prayed ceaselessly, endlessly, until she also fell into a deep sleep.
She found herself in a beautiful and serene garden, with gentle dewdrops falling on the flowers, birds chirping, beautiful butterflies floating around with a gentle breeze caressing her skin. The skies suddenly darkened, and thunder rumbled in the distance.
”Pour one bottle of water on those you love,” a gentle but commanding voice said amidst the sound of the thunder.
”Who is this,” she asked in a trembling voice.
”Pour healing water from the four bottles on the one you love for deliverance.”
Thunder rumbled again and lightning flashed, illuminating the garden with its brightness and she saw four bottles of water at the centre of the garden. Thunder rumbled again shaking the very ground she stood on.
”Go. Go quickly. Time is of the essence,” the voice commanded and she woke up with sweat pouring all over her body.
She checked on her son and found him still asleep. She went into the kitchen to prepare supper since it was Auntie Aya’s day off.
She called her Reverend Minister on phone and he prayed with her after which he gave her ‘akwankyerɛ’ that consisted of Biblical verses.
That night, she barely slept. She first led Kuuku, who seemed to be in a trance to his room, and charged into a prayerful mode. She prayed, desperately.
”If you are really the Living God I serve, help my son fight this battle. If you are the Living God I have served all my life, you will not forsake me in this hour of my greatest need. I know you. You are the Alpha and the Omega. You are the I am that I am. No weapons fashioned against us shall prosper.”
She prayed, clapping her hands and pacing from one end of the room to the other. She prayed and prayed till midnight.
Feeling thirsty, she made her way to the kitchen for water to quench her thirst. On her way to the kitchen, she had to pass by the dining table and she saw four bottles of water arranged the same way she had seen in her dream. She stopped and picked one bottle, opened the cap and took a sip. She was energized instantly. She knew without being told that Kuuku needed to drink too. She walked purposefully to his room and found him sitting on his bed, staring at his phone, as if he wanted to make a call. She instinctively poured some of the water on his head and he jerked into action. He grabbed the water from her hands and drank.
”Let’s go and see Pat,” he said decisively, leaving no room for arguments
”Yes, let’s go and see Pat.”
They left then, with one of the bottles of water. He drove through the empty streets of Takoradi towards Tadisco Down as his mother prayed for God’s protection.
They were soon at the house and he saw that though her doors were locked, her lights were on in the living room. He opened the door quickly with his key and they found her at that ungodly hour sitting on the sofa dejectedly and staring at the phone in her hand. They gaped at her with pity but Madam Lawrencia reacted quickly. With determination borne out of desperation, she sprinkled some of the water on her head and made her drink some.
Pat jerked out of her reverie and with quick steps, hurled herself into Kuuku’s arms.
The elderly woman joined in on the embrace and held them both in her motherly arms, crying and giving thanks to the Most High God.
To be continued…[insert-comment-form] [stextbox id=”info” caption=”JOIN US ON WHATSAPP“]
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