by Daisy Yawson
The rain had begun to fall already.
In the car driving in an attempt to get away from Eyram, his eyes fell on a familiar face. Beautiful but matured face he swore he had seen somewhere before. The lady crossed the road to the other side and could not stop looking at her as the face reminded him of someone he’d once been in love with. She disappeared all of a sudden and until date, the person he’d hired to look for her had failed to find her whereabouts. The face disappeared
His thoughts drifted to 10 years ago when he was only 16.
As a handsome young master of the family besides his younger brother Caleb, every young girl who visited their mansion spared a glance at him. Sadly, he had eyes for a common maid, Akua and not the daughters of great men. Everyone looked on with disapproval every time he was seen talking to her that the two began to meet secretly.
“I can’t believe school will resume soon and I will not be back until I vacate. .but don’t be sad, alright?..it’s just something I can’t avoid.”
“What If I’m married off to someone else before you get back? Your mum will not hesitate to bring that up.”
She took careful steps towards him, embracing him in a hug until a tear dropped onto the white shirt he wore.
Raising her head so she could see his face, she asked him to do something he knew he would regret.
Letting go of her as the disappointment written on his face was a result of her request. Though he hardly watched romance movies, telling a man to make you a woman were vivid words of telling a man to sleep with you.
“I can never do that to someone I’m not married to”.
“So you don’t love me.”
“You don’t understand, Akua… what if…”
“Tomorrow will think of itself, Musa. Because of you, the other staff don’t get along with me and your mother hates me….”
Those words caused him a headache. The girl he loved wanted to lose herself to him but why was he so reluctant to do what he wanted too?
Convincing himself that nothing bad will come out of it, he took her on the cold floor in her room.
Before Ibrahim could go back to school, Kadi did her best to prevent the two from meeting but it was too late. Akua was already with child. Still she had to find a way to tell him.
“Get up, Akua. Akua, wake up.” A girl as young as her, stood beside her bed, trying to wake her up.
“Mmh mmhh what is it?” The sleeping girl managed to stand on her feet and rushed out when informed that Ibrahim was close to leaving home.
Ibrahim together with her mother turned to the figure that called him.
“Son, ignore her. She’s not worth it.”
Because he took a step towards her she threatened.
“Take another step, and your dad will hear about it.”
Those words were like an axe ready to strike him. Seeing him like that hurt her. His dad had the power to send her away so he had to make the right decision. Even if it meant taking a step back from talking to her.
“I’m pregnant with your child.” Her action was the only way. The only way to let him know.
“What?” He couldn’t have heard it right but her face gave up the truth. She really was pregnant and without a second thought, he was right next to her, touching her face, kissing her on the lips.
“Are you certain?”
“Wait for me to come back alright, I will talk to my dad about it. Hopefully, he will let you stay and have the child.” Giving her a peck on her forehead, he left her. Tears streamed down her cheeks.
“Mum, let’s go.” Kadi could have slapped her across her face for spewing that nonsense but it had to wait. She could only keep her raging anger at bay until she got back.
That night in the mansion, her belongings were thrown out together with her. She wept like a baby. That was the last time she ever spent time at home. Three months after school, Ibrahim vacated only to come back home with Akua gone forever. No one helped him find her as Kadi was the main reason behind their silence on the matter until after he hit 20. A friend of his volunteered to help locate her whereabouts. Still, she wasn’t found. It was as if she’d been wiped off from the face of the earth.
It’s been 10 year’s and now he wanted nothing but to call his friend and ask for an update.
Scrolling through his phone, he called Sam.
“Yo…long time.. how’s it?”
“Cool, man. I’m sorry I called instead of meeting up with you but I can’t help but wonder where Akua is.”
“Anything for you man. It’s good you called. A month ago I received an anonymous tip about the whereabouts of Akua. I decided to see you in person but the recent birth of my daughter spared me no time.”
The joy of someone disclosing her whereabouts was visible on his face. His eyes twitched in anticipation.
“Congrats man… how is mother and the baby?”
“They are good, thanks. So as I was saying, I have her location but I’m not sure if it’s the right place. Let me fish it out for you.”
Searching through the pile of documents on his desk, he gave Ibrahim the address.
Ibrahim figured, his child will be 10 if he or she lived. He only has to see her to confirm. Whatever he felt for her was not real as in a short while, he forgot about her. The only reason why he longed to see her was the child she carried. Everyone had the right to be with their dad and indeed if the child was alive, he will take responsibility for the child. For a while, he forgot the problem with Eyram and set off for the journey to look for Akua.
The drive was quite long in addition to the rough bumpy roads he tried hard to avoid. Finally, he seemed to have found the route to her place. Noisy kids played alongside the street. The houses built looked like they will break down any moment and the foul smell that emanated from the gutters could make one puke in disgust.
Checking his phone for the nineteenth time since he set off, he realized it was really the area she lived. Getting down from his car, he walked on the rough road, getting the most attention since he looked different and smelled different unlike them. Eyes feasted on him and he suddenly regretted leaving his car out in the open but reasoned that nothing will happen to his car.
His knuckles connected with a brown wooden door. Some kids sat beneath the door playing oware (Ghanaian game) that they failed to notice the stranger.
The door opened up to a face he had lost for so many years.
She’d gained some weight. Her hair was messy and in a ponytail looking like a chicken ready to be killed.
“Who are you and what do you want?”
Before he could answer her question, a surprised look was drawn on her face.
“You? Ibrahim. Am I seeing correctly?” Tears had already formed in her tired eyes. She looked exhausted yet she managed to shed tears.
“How have you been, Akua?”
Wiping her tears, she invited him in.
“Please come in.”
The room smelled of used diapers, baby food, breast milk included.
“I’m so sorry Ibrahim that I have to receive you like this.” The milk stain on her cream blouse could not be hidden by her little palm.
Ibrahim looked her over again before nodding. Her charm had been replaced by a tired mother.
“You don’t have to worry about that.”
Everything was a mess in the little room. Indeed life can be hard for some people. In the room is two little brown couch. You could tell the person who purchased it has no taste. Aside from that are baby clothes, scattered all over the floor. The other room was dark to see anything in it.
Ibrahim could only suck it up and endure till he accomplished his mission.
To her, Ibrahim had changed a lot. His movement, the way he talked, everything about him was close to perfect. She did not see a young boy but a handsome man, far from her reach. Not that she will want anything to do with him from that moment.
“Akua, I can see you’re holding up, one of the traits I liked about you. how are you”. Very straightforward, just like the young boy he fell in love with. She thought.
“I am. And I’m great, thanks for asking. How are you doing?”
“His grace is why I’m alive. Akua?”
He leaned both elbows on his lap. “Did our child live?”
Being thrown off guard by such a hard question, she got up to her feet. Wiping her already sweaty palms on her worn-out jeans. Looking elsewhere, distracted all of a sudden.
“Hey, did I say something wrong?”
“Why are you even here huh..to see a dead child?”
He got up.
“What do you mean a dead child?”
“Yes, you did not know. Of course. Your mum kicked me out. Our child didn’t survive, Ibrahim. Somehow I’m glad for both of us. I know he wouldn’t have been loved because of his illegitimacy.”
Turning around from him, she entered the darkroom.
The news was unexpected. He’d been hurt for the second time and wondered if there was another ambush waiting for him.
The child he never set eyes on was dead even before he could find out.
Akua came out shortly with a baby in her arms.
“My daughter is awake now and I will want to feed her. I’m sorry Ibrahim but if it’s your child you’re here for, then I’m sorry to disappoint you.”
She sat down on the pile of clothes and began feeding the child.
All senses seemed to have been lost.
“I’m so sorry. He died the moment I had him. I’m so sorry.”
Her eyes were wet with tears again.
“It’s not your fault. It’s my fault for getting you pregnant in the first place. You will never have known the pain of losing a child. I will take my leave of you.”
He managed to fish out a wand of cash from his wallet and dropped it by her side, stepping out of the room.
The journey back home brought back old memories. Ones to be kept hidden. He still was able to drive himself home without having to drop at a bar
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