They eat in silence for a while.
“Sister Kafui, aren’t you going to tell us how the interview went?” Awurama’s inquisitive self can no longer hold back.
She casts furtive glances at her mom, anticipating an objection but none comes, instead Auntie focuses on her food.
“Sure I will, Awurama,” Makafui says after a while. “It wasn’t as I expected anyway, so there isn’t much to say.”
“Really, what happened dear?” Auntie asks.
“That stupid C.E.O., instead of interviewing me, decided to harass me. Can you imagine?”
“Huh? I don’t understand sister,” Awurama says, a look of confusion painted all over her slender face.
“Hmm, I went there hoping to be interviewed, but that was far from what happened. That old goon had the audacity to touch my breasts without my consent and went on to tell me that if I warmed his bed, then he’d give me the job.”
“Oh my goodness! He did that?” Auntie exclaims quite shocked.
“What nonsense! Did Daddy not say that man is his friend?” Awurama explodes, her voice high-pitched with irritation and disgust.
Makafui cannot really tell which irritates Awurama more: the fact that the man sexually harassed her or that he identified as her father’s friend.
“Yes he did, but I didn’t mention Uncle to him when I got there. I wanted to get the job fairly, out of my own efforts,” she says.
“Oh I see.”
“So what did you do?” Owuraku asks quietly. He has been silent all along Makafui doesn’t even know he’s listening.
“Well, I didn’t want to cause a scene, so I was going to leave quietly, till he said something about brains. I realized then that he had none himself, so I turned back and gave him a gentle smack across the face.”
Awurama chuckles, “Gentle smack indeed, I’d have beaten the hell out of that man if he tried that with me.”
Makafui laughs—and so does Owuraku— as realization dawns on her face. Earlier, she felt Awurama was oddly familiar. She gets it now. Awurama’s personality reminds her of Mawuena in many ways: her outspokenness especially, and of course, that feistiness too. The last time she had set eyes on Mawuena was at a mutual friend’s party in Los Angeles. She was half-drunk, they couldn’t even hold a proper conversation. That girl had always been wild, even as kids, she had always been the one getting them in and out of trouble. She smiles to herself and makes a mental note to call her, probably some time soon.
“You shouldn’t have hit him though, my dear,” Auntie says, cutting her thoughts short. “He is a man, he could have gotten violent and the situation could have easily gotten worse.”
“No mummy, I completely disagree,” Awurama responds sharply, “He deserves to be hit and even more. He should have respected himself as a man before disrespecting sister.”
“Shut up your mouth. You think you know everything erh. You are just a little child, my daughter. A man is capable of many things,” Auntie says almost angrily.
Now Awurama dislikes being told to shut up, so she grimaces but remains silent.
“Inasmuch as I understand your fears Auntie, I also cannot deny however, that I agree with Awurama too. It is our silence and inaction that have given men his kind the license to take advantage of us for so long. Remember sexual harassment is really not about sex, but more about power. ”
“Hmm, that is true to some extent dear, I’m just saying you must be very careful in such circumstances.”
“You have nothing to be afraid of sister, he wouldn’t dare lay a finger on you. Imagine he gets a smack for every time he treats a woman inappropriately. Imagine that those women stand up for themselves in that way. Do you think he’d continue to do that? Of course not! I think it’s about time women take action for the things that are of genuine concern to us or such men will continue to take us for granted. Our silence is long overdue,” Awurama says, as if giving the speech of her life, one she hopes to receive a standing ovation for when it ends, placing due emphasis on certain words and phrases which meant more to her.
Even Owuraku can’t help smiling throughout his sister’s improvised speech, giggling admiringly as he leaves the table with his empty plate. Makafui can tell he approves of all that she said—he thought so too.
Well, Makafui is proud of Awurama, and she tells this to her as they wash the used dishes. She smiles and says,“Thank you sister.” She tells her that earlier, she sounded just like Mawuena.
“Your twin sister? The one you showed us in the picture the last time?” Awurama says.
Makafui nods, before saying, “You remind me of her, you know. Now that I look at it, both of you are similar in many ways.”
“I’d love to meet her too sister. Will she also come back to Ghana like you?” Awurama asks.
“Maybe—maybe not. That girl is unpredictable,” she says smiling at herself, suddenly feeling nostalgia for her sister.
Later in the day, her uncle returns from work, and Auntie tells him everything. He is enraged and vows to confront his friend about his shameful behaviour. He offers an apology on his behalf. She tells him to let it go. Besides, how is it his fault that his friend turns out to be a jerk?
Makafui is exhausted. She kindly excuses herself from the family while they watch one romantic comedy TV series—a favourite of theirs. She badly needs a nap. She climbs the stairs sluggishly to her room where she washes down and crawls into bed. She does not realize when sleep overtakes her.
In her sleep, she has a dream. Awurama and Mawuena go to Mr. Ekem’s office to give the man a sound beating. Owuraku tries to stop them but is very unsuccessful. The poor man is bruised all over, blood oozing out of his nose, everywhere. Auntie, on the other hand is terrified; she keeps crying and telling them to stop while calling for help from some people Makafui cannot recognize—but it is as if they cannot hear or see her, as none of them pays any attention to her at all.
Makafui wakes up startled. She is relieved when she realizes that it is just a dream. She’s sure they would laugh at the silliness of it, when she recounts her dream to Awurama the next morning. She checks the time; it is fifteen minutes past midnight, and she’s still very much sleepy.
She pulls her blanket well over her head and retires to bed once more, soon snoring away.
“It is only a wise person who knows that we are all better off if our fellow human is better of.”