Posted: November 12, 2014 in Uncategorized
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I got my neighbour to stretch my hair with the new black thread on the market. The market women said it’s an effective way of straightening the hair since the black hair naturally shrinks; we wanted our hair to look straight, if not close to straight, like the white women’s, we wanted to feel it being blown by the wind. It’s my first time trying this. Abena requested I did it so I have a closer resemblance to the foreign wig she’ll wear on her wedding day.

Now, I could only see 6 shiny long stretched strands of my hair hanging on my head. It looked different. I looked different, at least that’s what I saw in the mirror. A birthday gift from Abena, the mirror; 2 inches long with an orange painted wooden frame. I can see my image exactly as it is, clearer than I did in the water. The first time I looked into it, I thought I saw my soul looking back. Now, I’m contemplating telling her the truth. Will she believe me? Even my son doesn’t. He thinks I’m making it all up, like I’ve made up Kwabena all these years. Kwabena is real. He was disappointed, my son, but I felt bruised. He said I’m lonely and unwell in the head, and can only have imaginary friends who won’t tell me the truth in my face. He said discussing his father was too sensitive for me to be playing games with. Paa didn’t believe me; he’s everything I have now, and he just won’t believe me.

We’re at Abena’s at the moment for a dinner party. Abena suggested we celebrate my birthday and her upcoming union tonight. Baby-daddy sat next to me on my right hand side. I don’t know what that signifies. In this community, nothing happens by chance or luck. It’s either the work of the gods being manifested or it has some mysterious hand around it. Paa sat right across Baby-daddy and kept staring at him.

Kobbie: Hey kiddo, you’ve got something for me?

Abena: Yeah Paa, you seem to have something under those sleeves, literally and figuratively [smiles]

Paa: I’m 13, Auntie Abena, please slow down on the grammar.

All laugh, except me, obviously.

Abena: You can ask Kobbie anything, ok? C’mon, what are you curious about?

This is where I go numb, praying for the rapture to happen, now.

Paa: I’m worried about mother. Do you know a friend of hers called Kwabena? What of Fii?

Abena: Your mother can have friends besides me, there’s nothing wrong with it.

Paa: This is where you’re wrong. She’s the only one who sees them, and yesterday, I overheard her talking to Kwabena about my father. She said my father is here with us.

Abena: Wait… Wait… Huh?! Aku, is this true? I thought Kobina was dead. I mean, I never got to meet him but… He’s here with us in Kusiman?

I… Well… Yes, but…

Paa: No, I think mother is sick and needs medical attention.

Kobbie: C’mon kiddo, don’t say that about your mother. Wait… Did you say you’re 13?

No, Kobbie, don’t do this.

The tension couldn’t have risen any higher. The stars were too bright and looked too close. It was beginning to get cold outside.

Aku: I’m sorry Abena, but it’s late now and Paa has school at sunrise. We should take our leave.

Just when I take Paa by the hand, he turns and screams in a loud voice.

Paa: She says Uncle Kobbie is my father!! Uncle Kobbie, are you my father? This is all confusing but I have to know. Did you abandon me all these years to come back and marry mother’s friend? Or is mother just making up this like her imaginary friends?

At this moment, it’s as if the gods and the heavens held their breath to listen to who says what next. I couldn’t describe the dead silence any better.

Paa: Why is everyone quiet? Say something.

Abena: Aku, take your son home. Now.

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