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It is quite early, just some few hours past dawn, when I make my way to Pamela’s. Though Pam is an early riser, I am unsure whether she’d be awake or not at this time, but I forge on regardless.
‘Pam!, Pam!,’ I scream, upon reaching her front door instead of knocking.
‘Girl, just shut up and come in. Do you want to wake the whole house up or what?,’ she cries from inside the room.
‘Sorry, I didn’t think you’d be up by now,’ I say through gritted teeth, while etching my bottom on the bed.
‘Well I am now. Thanks to you,’ she grunts in between yawns.
‘What brings ‘Little Miss Scarce’ to my room this morning all dressed up? Another date with Will huh?’ she says sarcastically, raising her brows up and down.
‘Really, Pam? You are ridiculous! Who in the world goes on a date at dawn? And for the record, I have not gone on a date with anyone! Okay?’
‘Of course. You guys went to therapy, then you had lunch and then he dropped you off at home. Awwwn. Tssw, tell that to someone else, not me.’
‘You’re crazy. That’s just it. I don’t even have the energy this morning Pam.’ I exhale deeply, and collapse onto the bed.
‘Is everything okay? Your face doesn’t look too good,’ she asks, sitting up cross-legged, eyes fixed on me now.
‘Hmm,’ I exhale again, ‘Dzifa called yesterday.’
‘What did that bitch want?’ I sense the anger in Pam’s tone.
‘Chill, Pam. Mom’s not well. She called to inform me.’ I exhale deeply again for the umpteenth time.
‘Ow!’ That’s bad. What happened? Hope it isn’t anything serious,’ Pam cries out, sounding more awake now.
‘I don’t know. I’ll have to go there to find out. It has to be that serious for Dzifa to call me. What I don’t understand is why mom herself didn’t tell me.’
‘Oh well, you know mothers. I’m sure she didn’t want you to be worried.’
‘Yeah but still… I’ve been asking her to come live with me here but she’s so stubborn she won’t listen. I’m going to get her for real this time and I am taking no excuses.’
‘Yeah sure. It’d be best for the both of you to stay together. Oh! so that’s why you are all dressed up,’ Pam exclaims, realization finally dawning on her face.
‘Yep. I came to give you my keys. I thought I might as well go early. Dzifa sounded desperate.’
‘Alright then. Do take care and have a safe journey. My regards to mom as well. I wish her a speedy recovery.’
‘Thank you. I’ll see you when I get back. Take care too and be a good girl.’
To that Pam snorts, sniggers and rolls her eyes at me. I laugh, hand over my keys to her, give her a hug and leave. Trekking to the bus stop, I pray silently in my heart, hoping beyond all hopes, that Mom’s condition isn’t as bad as I’m thinking.
The clock strikes ten in the morning when I zoom past nurses and various people to the reception of the Family Health Clinic at Asante Mampong where my mom has been hospitalized—I had been earlier informed by Dzifa. After making inquiries and giving the nurses in charge the necessary information, I am directed to the female ward. Luckily for me, I am still allowed to see her for a quick moment though the visiting time for morning is over. I rush to the ward to find my uncle, Mawuli, and Dzifa by my mom’s bedside. I exhale gratefully upon seeing my mom in a sitting position, although propped up by a pillow, talking to my uncle. Though she isn’t in the best of form, she doesn’t seem to be in a critical condition either. ‘Thank God,’ I mumble silently to myself.
‘Good morning Uncle Mawuli,’ I greet.
‘Good morning my lovely niece. Ei look at you. It’s been a while don’t you think? You have now become a Kumasi girl so you don’t look for your uncle anymore,’ he says in response.
‘Aw Uncle. That’s not the case at all. It’s just that time hasn’t been favourable to me.’
‘Haha, it’s okay dear. Hope you’ve been taking care of yourself well?’
‘Yes Uncle, I have.’
‘Hi,’ I say to Dzifa, ‘Thanks for the call.’
‘Hi Fafa,’ she responds, ‘It’s nothing really. You needed to know. Well, now that you are here, I’ll like to take my leave.’
‘Sure. Thanks for everything you’ve done so far.’
‘She’s my mother too, remember? I don’t need to be thanked,’ Dzifa replies.
‘I’ll come back in the evening to see you mom. Get well soon,’ she says to mom to which she smiles, nods and says, ‘Take care my daughter.’
‘Bye Uncle Mawuli.’
‘Alright Dzifa. Take care okay. See you soon.’
‘My regards to your father,’ says mom.
I roll my eyes. Mom stares. My tightly curled up lips do not wait long enough for Dzifa to be out of earshot before it blurts out distastefully, ‘Why would you ask after that man?’.
‘That man is my child’s father, no matter how bad he is or has been. I don’t expect you to understand Fafa. That’s why I don’t ask it of you. But for goodness sake, why do you treat your sister like a stranger?’
‘What, mom? I spoke to her when I came in, didn’t I?’
‘No, Fafa. I saw the way you spoke to her. We all did. And thank God today, Mawuli is my witness,’ mom retorts.
‘Yes dear, I noticed. Is everything alright between those two, Eunice?’
‘Everything is fine Uncle. I don’t even know what mom is going on about. Dzifa and I are cool. First of all, you’re not exactly in a position to be worrying about anybody right now mom. Second, that you didn’t tell me you were sick up to the point of hospitalization is something I can’t just ignore. But we will fight it out later when you are feeling better. I just want you to know you are coming with me to Kumasi once we leave this place. Period!’
Mom is about to protest when I shut her up with a raised index finger. She holds her peace, and swallows her words. Adjusting her head well on the pillow, she falls back into the bed.
‘I side with Fafa this time Eunice. It’s no longer safe for you to stay all by yourself.’
‘Mawuli. You too?,’ Mom snaps at her younger brother.
‘God bless you Uncle,’ I exclaim in relief, ‘Only God knows how much I’ve been saying this and she won’t listen. She claims her life is here and she can’t just leave and whatnot.’
‘Oh-hoh Eunice. But you can start over once you get to Kumasi too.’
‘Start over where and when? At what age? Mawuli, better stop giving this girl ideas. I’m very much fine here.’
‘Of course you’re fine. Look how fine I came to meet you. Do you have any idea how many beats my heart skipped when I received that call from Dzifa. I already feel guilty having to leave you all alone knowing your condition. But you never tell me when something is wrong or bothering you. So what am I supposed to do? Mom, you are all I have left after dad…If you keep doing this…and something happens,…I…,’
‘Aw don’t cry my baby. I’m fine. Nothing will happen to me. Come over here. Don’t make me sad.’
I move over and sit beside her on the bed, sniffing and wiping my eyes with the back of my hand. Mom puts my head on her tummy while she gently pats one of my shoulders.
‘You are the one who keeps making me worried. You never tell me anything,’ I say sullenly.
‘I am sorry dear. I didn’t want to trouble you. Plus your uncle here has been with me since. Nothing would have happened.’
‘I don’t care mom. Come with me to Kumasi. My room there is big enough for us. We can figure out something for you to do when we get there. We are better off together than separated. Please mommy?’.
‘Hmm. I’ve heard you, okay? Can we not cry now. Such a big baby. Kai, your father would be very disappointed.’
‘He wouldn’t be proud of you either,’ I say, my lips pursed out, sniffing still and wiping my eyes aggressively, before breaking into a light smile eventually.
‘Haha…you two are quite a sight! I must be on my way sister. I have some few rounds to make,’ Uncle Mawuli declares.
‘Let’s go together Uncle. I haven’t taken my things home yet. I came straight from the station.’
‘Alright my dear niece.’
I give mom a kiss on the forehead, promising to be back before she realizes I’m gone. She smiles and tells me to take my time, rest, freshen up and eat a meal before coming back. I could come in the evening and she would be fine. I refuse. We settle on me coming in the afternoon. I’d get some vegetables and make her some light soup.
Welcome to the end of another episode. Thanks for reading as always. Don’t forget to share, like and comment below. God bless us all as we stay safe in this pandemic. Till I see you again…bye🤗