“Daddy, daddy I’m home. Daddy…” I kept calling as I went to his room to check on him, obviously to give some flimsy excuses for not getting his fruits. It seemed he’d been struggling for some time before we got there. What was he trying to get? I got there and saw him on the floor. He was unconscious. I screamed out his name. It drew the attention of my mum who was outside having a conversation with Quabena. They quickly ran to the room when they heard the noise.
“Ako, are you okay? Is everything alright with you? What is happening? What is wrong with your father and why is he on the floor? Let’s try lifting him unto the mattress”, mum said without waiting for answers.
“Mum, we need to rush him to the hospital. I came to meet him on the floor like this. He looks unconscious. Quabena, please help us. I know you are tired but do this for us”, I pleaded.
Quabena helped us to the hospital. The nurses rushed to meet us at the entrance when they saw us. They came with a stretcher to convey him to the emergency unit. “Madam, please get his folder while we attend to him”, a nurse requested .
I ran to the records unit to get the folder, gave the necessary information and waited for them to finish up. All this while Quabena was pacing up and down. I guess he was asking God why all these were befalling us. I by my mother, held her hand and prayed silently in my heart. I saw one nurse dash out. She returned with one man whom I later found to be the doctor. Just when they entered, another nurse also came out. Quabena ran to her and asked, “how is he? Hope he would make it.” “Yes, sure. We trying hard to revive him. He’s currently receiving oxygen. Let’s pray it goes well ok, but trust me, he would make it”, she said.
I was extremely overwhelmed when i heard that. We sat for a moment. I was just thinking of all the predicaments, then I heard one lady (nurse) call out my mother’s name. She got up and entered the room where dad was.
“Nooooooooooooo! No no no….Eric, talk to me”, that was what I heard my mum say when she entered the room. This alerted everybody around. I ran to the room without being called. It was too late by then. No! This can’t happen to us. My siblings and dad were no more. Quabena was left to console us.
How could dad have died without telling us anything. What at all could have killed my dad? Father please talk to me.
I watched them cover him with a cloth and asked that he be taken to the morgue.
My father was no more part of the living. I trailed them while they took his body away.
There was nothing I could do than go home with Quabena and mum. As for mum, she could cry no more as she kept swallowing her tears to catch her breath. She had lost all within a twinkle of an eye.
While in the car, I asked my mum, “mum, I know there is no money so what are we going to do about dad’s body?” “Hmmmmmmm Akosua, I will have to go and inform the family, then plan the day with them. I’m hoping it won’t take even two weeks for us to burry him”, she replied. “Very well then”, I said. That evening when we got home, I couldn’t say a word. We both cried as she took her phone to make the necessary calls.
All the while, Godwin was still in police custody. He was taken to court for case hearing, but the court ordered that he be put back for necessary investigations to be done. I actually wished he would even die and rot in jail. After killing my siblings, I lost my father because of him. Hmmmmm…
My mum went to our village the next morning to break the news to them. They came to our house a week after to mourn and observe the one week celebration.
The date was set for the funeral. Quabena helped with the preparation for the final rites.
All too soon,the time was up for us to lay our dad to rest.
It was just a pitiful scene. One of my aunties who lived abroad came down. I didn’t know her. According to my mum, she left the country before I was born. She’s been coming down but had never stepped a foot in the village. I was introduced to her. In fact, she was lovely. Why then was she not coming home or sending us money? Well, that wasn’t mine to answer.
She offered to take us home. “Sister, thought you would be staying here with us or are you lodging in a guest house?”, mum asked.
“Oow dear, I have a house in the next town oo. Remember I was pregnant before I left the country. I gave birth to a baby boy. He’s all grown so he’s now managing my business here in Ghana”, she said.
“O really? I thought you aborted that pregnancy. You’ve really done well. Come on, let’s go. Let me go and meet my son whom I’ve never seen before”, mum said. We jumped into her car with Quabena. As she was about driving, we heard someone call my mum. It was the pastor who prayed before we lowered the casket in the grave. He asked that he had some few minutes with my mum. She got down and attended to the pastor. I didn’t hear what they said, but mum came to ask my auntie if the pastor could come with us. He joined us in the car.
My auntie entered the same house Godwin lived in.
She blew the horn severally and finally the security guard whom we went to meet came to open the door. He was so happy as he jumped about. We were all wondering what was going on?
“Sis, is this your house?” My mum asked. “Yes. I’m yet to see my son”, she replied. We all turned to look at each other’s face. It was obvious she hadn’t been to the house upon her arrival.
“Musah, where is Godwin? I’ve been trying to call him but his phone has been off. I hope he hasn’t started mingling with bad friends”, she enquired from the security. “Hmmmm…madam. Few days ago, some people came here with the police. I don’t know what happened, but they took him away. Since then, he’s not been home. I don’t know which police station they took him to. We were all surprised. As for my auntie, she became disturbed all of a sudden. We managed to calm her down, took her to the hall and told her all that had happened. I mean the relationship between Godwin and Ayebea, the sudden disappearance of Ayebea and Quaku, and worst of it all the things we saw in his room.
“O my God! My son can’t do that. I got him those things for him to use when riding his motorbike. He just loves to be in those. Where did you take him to? Take me there”, my auntie said impatiently. “Calm down woman. Your son is innocent and that’s the more reason why I’m here. The truth would be known today”, the pastor said. His statement struck all of us. “You mean you know who is behind these?” My auntie and mum asked at the same time. They both took their seat, forgetting we have to go to the police station.
“Madam, if I may ask, who is this young man here? (pointing at Quabena)”, the pastor asked.
“He is Quabena. A family friend and a close friend to my son,”my mum replied.
Quabena felt uneasy as the pastor stared at him.
“Well, I don’t have much to say but the spirit of God revealed many things to me when I saw him at the funeral grounds. Man (turning to Quabena), it is better you confess today and save your soul because from what I’m seeing, you have few days to live. You can’t die in your sin.
Everybody was stunned. What was the pastor talking of? My auntie was becoming impatient. All she wanted to see, touch and hold was her son. The pastor asked that Quabena confessed. It was becoming difficult for him to do so.
“Well, I think I need to get my son out now. He can’t be in police custody,” my auntie said. “Yes, he can’t be there. He would surely be out by the close of tomorrow. I mean we can’t go there to get him out just like that. We need to get all the evidences against Quabena too before we take any step”, mum said. “Mum, I think we can still get him out and hand whoever the victim is to them later. My cousin needs to be out”, I said. After all Quabena wasn’t willing to talk. He made me have the feeling that he indeed had done something worst.
After deliberations, we finally agreed to go get Godwin out. We first went to see the CID who helped us with the necessary processes to get him out. We promised to hand over the victim to them soon. Godwin looked unkempt when he was brought out. My auntie couldn’t but ran to hug her only pride. They both shed tears. My mum and I apologized for causing his arrest. He had a forgiving heart. He smiled to us, held our hands and said, “it’s really painful but I understand you. I have nothing against you”. We thanked him and left for the car. It was a family car so it could accommodate us all.
“Sweetie, I’m sorry for everything that happened to you okay. Nonetheless, there is something I need to share with you once we get home”, my auntie said. What could that possibly be? We begged to leave when we got to the house. “No no. We need to reunite. I need to introduce you to my son”, she said.
I’m sure Godwin didn’t understand all that was going on. We sat down and my auntie started.
“Godey, I must first of all welcome you and thank God for your life. I must confess I fell ill when I heard you’ve been arrested, but with the help of my sister who is your auntie, I was able to overcome all and get access to you”, my auntie said. Godwin was shocked to hear that. “My what! She’s the same woman who caused my arrest. Tell me, is it a crime to fall in love with your daughter?”, he asked my mum. I thought he had forgiven us but no! “Yes it’s a crime to fall in love with her daughter. The woman here is my biological sister. The woman I always talked to you about, so that means you were dating your own cousin. She did what any woman would do because she can’t find her daughter and son till date. Just forgive them”, my auntie said.
He sat down with his head bowed for a while, then stood up to my mum, held her hand and embraced her. I wish I could be hugged too but mine never was.
To be continued…
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© Abhynha Yankey