� Jones Kwesi Tagbor
The disabled in society are really suffering. Discrimination, stigma, social rejection, I went through some from my co-workers. It was as if I was a monster to the people at the office. They talked to me the way they liked, some even said I was the devil�s incarnate so they don�t come closer to me.
After work I used to be the last person to leave the office simply because I needed them to leave before I follow if not they would make me feel bad through their backbiting . I was actually sent to the district education office to work as a deputy to the procurement officer. Naturally I was a very hardworking person who will always make sure I completed my tasks in time and accepted other duties outside my job description.
One day, as part of my responsibilities, I submitted my department�s second quarter report to the district director. After checking it, congratulated me for doing a very good work. He asked me to tell him more about myself. I managed to tell him as much as my memory could recollect. Ranging from how Richmond treated me to how Williams died and finally how I became one eyed person. He felt very sorry for me and promised of making life better for me with regards to my position at the office. He said he will make sure I was promoted and promised a whole lot of packages for me.
After saying all that he has for me, I asked permission to leave to my office. As soon as i got to the gate of his office, He mentioned my name and asked me to stop. � don�t you want to continue your life with another man? � he asked. �Sorry sir I don�t understand what you mean. � I responded. He said he will call me after work so I was free to go.
I thanked him and left. I realized a smile on his face before I left. I tried to understand what this man was driving at but couldn�t find the meaning . Just as expected, his call came in immediately it was 4:30pm. By then, even though work has closed, I was waiting for the other people to leave before I go. As I already said, they always look down upon me and constantly finding faults on me. The director called and asked where I was at that very moment. I told him I was in my office. He asked why I was still there but I told him I had wanted to finish with some work before leaving. He said if that was the case then he will wait for me so that he could give me a lift home. In about 15mins later, I called and informed him that I was ready. While in the car going, I asked him to explain the question he asked me back at his office.
This was what he said; � Esther � I responded.
� For the past few weeks, I have being observing and got to realized that you are a very hardworking person. I felt bad hearing about your past experiences when it comes to relationship. I know you are still mourning your beloved William. His soul rest in peace though. I would have married you myself had it not to be the fact that am already married and besides, am not very sure you will like to marry a sugar daddy like me. � I laughed upon hearing him say he was a sugar daddy.
He continued � I spoke to my son who is currently at the states about you. He also had similar situation as you . He lost his wife on the day of their honeymoon through same accident three years ago. He has decided not to marry again because he loved his wife so much. But upon telling him about your condition, he felt interested in you. His name is Francis. Because of you, he will be coming to Ghana to see you and finally propose. Please don�t let me down when he comes.
� Sir but you are not being fair to me, you could have consulted me for my opinion before asking him to come down to Ghana. I will disappoint you sir because it will be difficult for me to forget my William. I have decided not to be engaged to anyone again. I also needed some time to mourn my William. I will be cheating on him if I should get engaged to another man. This is because William died because of me and am not ready to let someone take over his place in my heart � I explained to him.
He spoke to me at length just trying to convince me to accept his offer. I also told him that no young man will ever crave for a lady with my conditions. He said I should stop worrying about that because his son doesn�t crave for beauties bought in the store but for natural ladies.
“His wife who died was not even close to your beauty but he loved her just because of her character. She was humble, smart, God fearing and also lively to be with. This are some of the characteristics I saw in you which made me feel that you will be a very good fit for my son. I know you even have more to offer. You can go and think and pray about this when you get home”.
“William is gone for Christ sake but life must go on. The Holy Book even made it clear that we should let the dead bury their dead and that is because life is a journey. This journey got a lot of junctions. People will branch to their junctions when they get there. Must you wait for them to come back to the main road before you continue driving? Certainly not. So my dear Esther, gather courage and let go of the past. Your late William even knows that you loved him but what happened was an accident. As I already said, pray over what I just told you and make a decision for yourself. � he added.
I started shedding tears as he mentioned William as �late William �. I thanked him for the inspiration he gave me and I told him I will do just as he said. Soon, we got to my house and I alighted. I lived in a compound house with one of the workers from the secretariat, so she saw me getting down from the director�s car. Quickly, she phoned a friend back at the office and gossiped to her that I was going out with the director.
People won�t have evidence before reporting issues . The lady she gossiped to had wanted to go out with the director but because the director was very much committed to his wife, he wouldn�t compromise his stance. I couldn�t sleep early that night. I used almost the whole night to think of what the director told me. At dawn, I phoned my mother and told her everything. She also asked me to give the gentleman the chance since it was his own father that recommended me to him.
But my mother asked me to come back home so that we could think through it very well. The following day at the office, as I was seated planning of how to do my stock taking, the lady I was reported to came and said �Madam husband snatcher, know that the director is married oo. Don�t think he will give you the chance. Just stop it because it won�t work. Or do you even think he is looking for people with one eye? �
� Oh Madam please have I offended you in anyway? And what shows am interested in the director? � I asked. She added �there is nothing called secret in this world anymore. Or you think we are not seeing your movements? Continue hopping into his car and the day his wife will get you, that is where you will know where the power lies. � She walked out on me after saying that.
I never got the reason for her actions. I called the director and reported what she came to do. That was when the director told me about her behavior at the office. He asked me not to mind her actions. He also asked me whether I have decided on what he told me the previous day. I asked him to give me a week for me to organize myself. I said so because I’d wanted to go see my mother before making a final decision. He agreed to my request. Over the weekend, I went home to see my parents. They were actually happy to see how good I was looking. In fact money is always good�life without money is annoyance
Had it not been the case that I had everything on my side, I would have looked very wretched. In the evening, I put the issue before them. They seem to be happy to hear that so they also encouraged me to accept Francis.
On the Sunday of that weekend, I went to church with them. At the church, I prayed for Gods direction. After the church service, I returned to my place because I would be going to work the following day. I called the director after I closed from work to informed him that I have accepted his request.
He was happy to hear that. Not knowing Francis was already around. He informed me that his son, Francis, was already in Ghana just waiting for my response. I felt shy when he said that . He gave the phone to Francis for him to speak with me. I hardly heard what Francis was saying because he was trying to slung. I asked him if he can�t speak like a typical Ghanaian. He laughed.
We scheduled a date and time to meet. He had wanted to come to the school but I didn�t like that idea. We planned to meet on a Friday after school. After school that fateful Friday, he called and I directed him to my house.� Waow! come and see the type of car he brought (Range Rover). Very expensive of course.
I told myself that this guy must be very rich. The secret was that Francis was an occult which I never knew. We went out that evening where the official proposal was made. I accepted the proposal. Not knowing by the demand of his occult, he was to marry a disabled person and after telling his masters about me, they agreed for him to marry me. Oh my God!!! Why must it always be me?
Life with Francis �the occult� was something else. Follow me to the next episode.
The next episode will come this evening.
To be continued