Reflections 2


My life was different and I could sense it. It wasn’t the change most people had told me or rather warned me about, it just felt different and I felt as though I couldn’t allow anything to disrupt my new life, I felt responsible for my family more so for my beautiful daughter. It even felt different to say the words daughter! Almost like precious cargo and that is exactly what she was, precious.

Her big brown innocent eyes always bore deeply into mine perhaps in search of security or at least reassurance. As she got bigger and bigger I knew one thing for sure when I held her, I knew that I would do my best to teach her and love her and always tell the truth.
I loved everything about her and as little as she was I could already see her personality slowly developing. I loved to watch her feed and how her eyes almost half closed revealed her vulnerability. I could see the bond she was forming with Ekuba during this time and instantly understood mine and my mother’s relationship.

Kaimile’s hair was a soft light brown ball of curly clusters which Ekuba was already planning to hold up in tiny colourful bands. A look I was familiar with and had seen too often in the park on my runs. Ekuba had teased several times that she had natural, organic curls assuming she meant once upon a time mine hadn’t been? I didn’t care for an elaboration. All in all Kaimile had won my heart over and to think we’d almost lost her too.
The last weeks of Ekuba’s pregnancy was agonising to watch and to understand. We’d gotten over the miscarriage, the scare of a possible zika virus and then at thirty-eight weeks Kaimile being starved of oxygen- was the concern leading to Ekuba being hospitalised and eventually cleared of any danger, but had resulted in her being on bed rest. She was here now, our miracle to complete us as a family.

I woke up early to get ready for my usual run. I looked over and Ekuba looked so peaceful; content, not in the way that people described of a woman who supposedly had her baby and needed nothing else, but more so a relieved one. I realised that She’d been amazing and frankly had surprised me with her authenticity. She’d been through a lot and whilst it was unfair, it had made her stronger. I’d refused to acknowledge it, accept it even at first, but couldn’t deny it any longer. Ekuba was an extraordinary woman and even more so a mother. I felt as though my family was finally here, together and nothing was going to disrupt that.

Only thing was I had panicked.
I didn’t normally panic. If my father had rubbed off on me it would be not to panic under any circumstance. I’d escaped death, well a hoax terrorist attack and the adrenaline thereafter had driven me to certain heights, technically I was a survivor… of sorts and I was prepared to find a way to survive again!
Kweku coming back into our lives, my life after all these years was not by chance, nor was it pleasant for me. It had panicked me and his feigned ignorance only made him reek even more of trouble and I had to get him out before he ruined my life, our lives. Just thinking about it made me sick to the stomach and I was damned if I was going to let anyone bring anymore pain to my family.
Kweku was in town barely a week and he smelt of trouble. He hadn’t said anything yet, but I’d seen the look on his face already, always questioning never satisfied just like how I remembered him, just like his mother.

Over the years I’d kept a cordial relationship with him. Whenever I was in Accra I would include him in my agenda against my better judgement and in spite of Mama’s warnings. I’d honour his invitations and attend ‘business’ dinners with him. I’d even vouch for him with the unsuspecting girls he always seemed to circle around and yet he was never happy.
The trouble is, Kweku felt entitled to what I had, right from the day he found out who I was and more importantly who he was, he felt as though he was owed something, but the poor boy had no idea how my mother fought for what we had. He used every trick in the book and found every reason to take my place in the world, but my mother always told me that it was important to give and even when she realised the kind of person Kweku was she said he would never be able to take what was truly mine. And sadly he had spent most of his life chasing after what was mine.

One summer whilst in Accra and a couple of years before I’d met Ekuba, Kweku had invited me to his friend’s chalet which happened to be situated in the Akuapem mountains “just outside of Accra,” he’d said. “We can go together. He’s getting married and the boys want to remind him why it’s a bad idea.” He had laughed of course, a typical Kweku chuckle, as if he’d made a joke that only he truly understood. And having no clue what was in store both for the friend and the party I accepted. I had never been to the mountains, but I’d heard of clandestine rendezvous that took place in such secret locations. I’d decided that if it was getting a little out of hand I was hitching a ride back. Overall, I was curious to see if Kweku Mintah was capable of truly letting his hair down without any ulterior motives.
We were barely an hour there when I started to feel aloof. I’d found myself a cosey spot and where I could see the lights and life of the Akuapem town and although we were a few miles away from the actual town, it was an awesome view to capture.
Kweku had found his place between a couple of frivolous looking girls who were equally as happy with the situation.
As I’d looked on, occasionally checking my time to plan my escape I’d heard a voice from behind me “it’s early still, you’re not planning on leaving yet are you?” Her voice was sultry and mysterious at the same time. I turned around and she stood a metre away, but close enough to smell her perfume and draw in her beauty. I only had enough time to wonder what a girl like her was doing in a place like this. “Funny, he didn’t tell me you looked just like him?!” She’d said.


Then (HIM)

Old wounds


I had finally given in to my mother and gone to Accra for the summer. It wasn’t like I didn’t enjoy my trips out there after all, I had been back and forth since my teen years and although there were some hairy moments they were good. After we moved to Ghana from the Congo, my mum did her best to settle us in and get on with her life, our lives. She got a job as an assistant teacher at a school in Labone where I gained admission and where she met and made new friends. She’d heard about the school’s exchange programme to and from London and decided it would be a great opportunity for me and somehow managed to get me enrolled on the programme to get a taste of secondary education in England and boy did I work hard for it. I studied from morning till night on most days and on weekends she’d make me go to school for extra tuition which she paid for by cleaning the school and making snacks for the other teachers. Soon everyone had developed a taste for my mother’s delicious kashata and congo bars (the delicacies of my father’s home town) and constantly asked for them in batches.

My mother had dedicated herself not just to me, but to ‘her school’ as she later began to call it.
We’d gone back to Kinshasa a few times to see my grandmother who was one of the most hard working and fiercest women I had ever known and the feeling of nostalgia always hung over me whenever it was time to say goodbyes and as much as my mother wanted to deny it I know she felt it too. Grandma’s house was always ready for us and so were her nosy neighbours who always seemed to know when we were visiting. Mama K’s house helpers each swore they were not leaking news of our imminent visits.
My grandma was called Kaimiley and everyone knew her as Mama K. She was one of the founders of a small business group in her town which supported local farmers to source farm equipment’s and gadgets suchlike to maintain their farms and crops. She was shrewd in her business dealings, but always forward thinking and made people believe in themselves and in whatever they were doing. She would always tell me to learn hard and make something of myself.

On one particular visit my mother and grandma had been looking at some old pictures my father had kept in his desk drawer safely tucked underneath piles of papers which also looked like they didn’t want to be found. They had been documents for properties in Goma and in Ghana. There were also pictures of a lady smiling enthusiastically at the camera or perhaps whomever had been behind the camera at the time. Another picture showed her slightly rounder around the waist and the third was of her holding a baby. There had been something familiar about the lady and her smile even in the pictures was encapsulating and contagious. The next picture was the one my mother had reacted to. The baby it seemed was older about 4 years old and holding his mother’s hand-the same woman except this time my father was in the picture too. They all smiled boldly and although my father looked happy, there was an emptiness behind his eyes that told a story, one only he could tell, but probably never did. Behind the picture were inscribed K at 3.

I had never seen my mother angry or upset. She was always calm about everything, but she had a way of getting her point across without raising her voice. She and my father would have quiet arguments, but my father would always be the one to storm off in a rage and ‘mother’ would say “your father needs to clear his head,” by way of explanation.
“KK wait for me on the porch, Mama and I just need to talk” and with that began an hour of a ‘quiet argument’. My mother had emerged from the room with the pictures and the next few days in my grandma’s house were somber and desperately disturbing to me and sadly also our final days.
We had returned to Ghana with no explanation from my mother or Mama K. I had never forgotten that day and wondered what could have been so important and who the people in the pictures were. Whatever it was had stopped us from going to visit grandma in Kinshasa and ‘mother’ from spending her Saturday mornings on the phone to her and another thing was for sure; that my grandmother possibly those before her had started a tradition of names beginning with ‘K’.

A few months after visiting grandma, my mother had received messages that she was unwell. I’d overheard her talking on the phone and repeating it and then another week later she’d packed a bag for us and said we were going to see grandma.

Mama K’s house was busy with people going in and out when we got there. My mum had explained that mama was getting worse and it seemed she didn’t have long to live. I had done everything I could not to breakdown and cry. I couldn’t bear the thought of my grandmother dying. My second biggest supporter in the world and my connection to father would leave me. A woman walked out onto the porch and she looked familiar straight away. Her dark skin was covered by an African print dress and her hair in braids, but she it seemed I knew her I just couldn’t remember how. “Hello Kaleb” she said to which my mother responded “why are you here?” It was my aunt Ayaba.

I finally remembered her from years ago when I was really little. I remembered how she would look after me when my mother wasn’t at home. I remembered how she and my father would talk for long periods on the rare occasion he was home and I remembered that she had suddenly left us. I looked at my mother to question why I was only just seeing her cousin after so long and why she looked like a bucket of water had been poured over her. I needed answers before I could speak again and my mother looked like she was searching for the same answers too. “Mama I’m hungry” came a little voice from behind her. He was a little shorter than me, younger too. “Kweku come and meet your cousin Kaleb.”


Now (HER)


As she closed her eyes I stood watching for the next few seconds hoping she wouldn’t wake up or burst into tears at least not for the rest of the night. The last guest had left about 20 minutes ago and I suddenly realised how much I had left to wash up and put away, but I too needed to close my eyes just for a few minutes. I sat in the rocking chair by Kaimile’s bed just like old times; when she was a baby, when I’d have to rock her to sleep-almost falling asleep myself. On a few occasions Kaleb had taken her from me and put her in her cot to sleep peacefully. It wasn’t that long ago. Kaimile was one today and what a day she’d had. Most of her nursery friends had been here with either mum or dad or both. Kaleb had done his best to make conversation with everyone, but I’d seen the slight crease in his forehead waiting to blow up into a full frown, but I chose not to rescue him. After all I had to deal with it everyday, everytime I dropped Kaimile at nursery and picked her up. Kaleb had slowly been disappearing into his work again especially as the company had expanded. His last invention had been bought by ‘Zu Tech’ a conglomerate of enterprises and also one of the organisers for the ‘Young Inventors Awards’. He’d been excited about his new ventures and mergers and quite honestly Kaimile most of all. Kaleb and I had talked about trying for another child as soon as Kaimile turned one, but our sex life had dwindled and when we did make love it was hurried ‘just in case the baby woke up’ , even though it was most unlikely…

I sat without rocking for a few minutes and tried to remember the last time we’d made love. Just the thought had sent a heat down between my legs making me shift uncomfortably in the chair. Kaleb had never lost his skill to arouse me even with just a touch. He’d slipped my night gown off my shoulders as I brushed my hair. One at a time as he kissed the back of my neck. Before I could melt into a heap onto the floor I turned round and held his waist acknowledging what he’d started and slowly kissing his chin then his throat. I lifted his t-shirt up high enough to kiss his stomach and spent a few minutes admiring his musclely body. I had his attention and intended to keep it. I gently massaged his buttocks and carried on kissing his stomach and slowly worked my way down. My husband was a tall man and well built in every way. His body was firm and felt good to touch. He was definitely delicious to taste so I didn’t stop and he held on with every touch, every kiss, every squeeze. Kaleb lifted me up and turned me around to lean against the wall. It took a lot of resistance not to wrap my legs around him, but I followed his lead. My body wriggled into position my legs slightly apart, but he didn’t indulge me. Kaleb dropped down on his knees and kissed my back, pinched my buttocks and kissed the back of my thighs just to torture me some more. My legs almost gave way, but he held me up and when he sensed I couldn’t take anymore he slowly lowered me onto his lap as I guided him into me. We breathed into each others faces and barely kept our eyes open. I hadn’t been exercising quite as much in the last couple of months, but I held my own until I couldn’t anymore. Kaleb kissed my neck almost biting it as he too let go. We held onto each other on the floor as we breathed simultaneously not speaking, not moving.

Kaimile was still fast asleep when I stood up from the chair, turned on the monitor and made my way out of her room to look for my husband. It had been almost two weeks since we’d made love and I wanted him.

I walked past the mess in the kitchen daring to peep and rather saw my reflection in the window as I walked slowly, sensually as though I was in search of my prey to devour them. I heard music, a faint sound from Kaleb’s office and chatter and as I approached it hit me that we had another house guest; Kaleb’s cousin Kweku who had been staying with us for the last few days. He was on a business trip, but Kaleb had insisted he stay with us after all we were central to anywhere and it gave them a chance to catch up after a few years. I walked into the study and they both turned around to look at me. For a second, just a second I couldn’t tell which was my husband. They looked identical in the right light and at the right angle. I stood for another second before saying “she’s fast asleep, had a long day. What’re you two up to?” And as I walked towards my husband, I felt Kweku’s eyes fixed on me with my every move. I leaned into Kaleb and whispered into his ear “I’m hot for you baby.” Kaleb and I spent the rest of the night in each other’s arms, but I couldn’t help thinking about Kweku and the way he had looked at me. Something about him didn’t seem right, but who was I to come between ‘brothers’ so to speak.


​  NOW



It was perfect timing; the Río leg of the grand prix was in November – the second to last in the tournament and we were there. Ekuba and I had the time of our lives, well at least I did. Ekuba had spent most of the trip either throwing up or in a cold sweat. She’d tried her hardest to feign enthusiasm, but the constant pale skin and dull eyes betrayed her and yet she was not confident enough to see a doctor out there. Nenaa and Derick along with Kwame and his new beau had joined us in Río and although they hadn’t been able to get tickets to the race course they were equally as psyched over the excursions. Our time together had been superb. 

Overall, Brazil was not a disappointment in the least, but rather beautiful and colourful a country with rich culture and ornate features. Río was every bit as sensuous as we had heard and the food even more luscious. Our two week stint had been very worth it, but we were back to reality and the demands of our daily strife. 
With the huge demands and investments on our inventions we had acquired the space for further operations to produce on a larger scale. I of course spent most of my time in the lab trying to develop new ideas whilst moving into a new and larger apartment. Ekuba had been promoted to ‘Director of operations’ – she too had been extremely busy with work, but not for much longer I assumed as we were expecting our first child in a few months… 

At first processing the news was tough, but we dealt with it as soon as the doctor reassured Ekuba that she did not have the dreaded ‘zika virus’  which had allegedly spread like wildfire in Río. We’d felt a mixture of anxiety and excitement coupled with curiosity, because of Ekuba’s recent experience. I had to admit I’d wanted a child so badly for such a long time, but after the ectopic pregnancy I knew that I didn’t want to subject my wife to another possible ordeal. However with the help of our friends and Annalise especially, we had eventually succumbed to the prospect of parenthood once again. It was left now to find out what was really in store for us and we couldn’t have been as ill prepared as we felt.