When Someone You Love Dies – Part I

“Yo man! Your phone is ringing”, Luke screamed. “Uhmmm…answer it, tell the person I’m taking a bath, I’ll be done soon”, but I quickly changed my mind, “Luke wait, don’t answer it, check whose calling”, he screamed back at me, “uuhmm ‘Ebola’”, “Noooooooo don’t answer that call, ignore it or put it on silence, I’ll be there soon”, it took a while before I was done, I was just about putting on some clothes when Luke asked me, “Yo fam why have you saved someone’s number as Ebola? That’s crazy”, we laughed at the name and I said, “Its Emily, she was the one calling”, “Huh Emily? The Emily? Your ex Emily?”, Luke looked very surprised. He then asked me why I asked him to ignore that call and I told him, “She’s been calling for weeks now and I don’t know what she wants…

…this week has been the worst, I’m sure she heard I was getting married but I don’t want any destructions from no crazy woman or ex so I gave her a code name and have been ignoring her since, fam I’m getting married tomorrow I don’t have time for any ex of mine”, Luke still looked confused, he wondered, “Aren’t you at least curious to know what she wants? Maybe she just wants to congratulate you or something. Charle back when you guys where dating, everyone knew you guys were meant to be together, until you dumped her for Maureen, you know try koraaaa ooh herrhh, why did you guys even break up sef?”, “Charle I’m starving let’s go get something to eat, I’m really not in the mood to talk about my past”.

 

 

 “Hey man wake up!”, Luke kept yanking my legs on the bed, I opened my eyes and asked him what time it was, he said, “It’s almost 9am, do you wanna be late to your own wedding? Lazy man get up!”, I was feeling very lazy to get up, Luke and I stayed up very late when we went out, and we came home at dawn. I got up from bed and started preparing for my big day.

There were lots of people in my house preparing for today, everything was going according to plan until my security guy came to my room and delivered a handwritten letter to me, he said a lady came to the gate and said I was waiting for this letter, she told him so deliver it to me himself. I excused him and he left. The letter had no label on it, I thought it was an envelope full of money, I figured someone wanted to send my wedding gift anonymously so I opened it.

The letter read; CLEDRE WHY HAVE YOU BEEN IGNORING MY CALLS AND TEXTS? I’M GIVING YOU 1 HOUR TO MEET ME AT DE COCO LOUNGE DOWN YOUR STREET, COME ALONE, WE NEED TO TALK OR ELSE DURING YOUR WEDDING CEREMONEY I’LL STORM THE PLACE AND TELL EVERYONE INCLUDING YOUR WIFE TO BE HOW YOU SLEPT WITH ME, GOT ME PREGNANT YOU AND I HAVE A BABY TOGETHER AND YOU’VE REFUSED TO TAKE RESPONSIBILTY, CLEDRE YOU KNOW ME, YOU KNOW I’M NOT KIDDING, I DON’T LIE AND I DON’T MAKE EMPTY THREATS, YOU HAVE LESS THAN AN HOUR TO SHOW UP OR HELL’S FURY WILL DECEND ON YOU – EMILY.

Luke took the letter from me when he realized I was in shock, he sat me down and asked the $1 billion question, “Cle, you have a daughter?”, I didn’t know what to say, I had no answer to that question. There’s one about Emily that I like, she’s never lied to me and she never makes empty threats, so to some extent some part of me believe I might have a daughter. Emily and I shared a secret about something that happened between us 2 years ago, because of this secret I fear what she said might be true.

I started to panic, sweat dripping down my face, I was literally feeling hot. I kept whispering to myself, “Why me?” “Why today?” “I can’t tell Maureen” Luke kept saying, “Calm down bro, she could be bluffing”, I pushed the curtains aside to check whether anyone heard us talking, thankfully there was no one there and I went back to panicking, “Bluffing? Who cares if she’s bluffing? Aren’t you paying attention?  She said I have a daughter, Luke, daughter”, I took off my shirt, my sweat was soaking it up. I began talking to myself, “I’m getting married, I don’t need this right now, I love Maureen, I wanna marry her, maybe Emily is bluffing, she could be for once, maybe she’s jealous, maybe she has feelings for me, telling Maureen is a bad idea…”

“I’m going to ask you one last time, are you sure you want to do this?” with a stern focused face, Luke stared at me, I was so confused, I didn’t know what to say, I just looked away. “Hey get your shit together, we have to find a way out of this, Maureen must never find out, especially not today”, Luke shouted at me. Then he asked me, “When was the last time you saw Emily?”, “I don’t really remember, maybe about a year or two ago and it was at a friend’s party, after that day I never saw her again, what happened that day was an accident, I know what I did was wrong and I don’t want to make excuses but Maureen and I weren’t that serious like now, I never knew I had a daughter until now, if Maureen finds out I have a baby, she’ll definitely call off the wedding…”

My tear ducts were getting heavy, “…I know saying this might make me look like an idiot, but the truth is, I love Maureen, I really do and that’s why we’re about to get married in less than five hours from now, I know marriages are built on honesty and I don’t want to lie to her, I don’t want her to cancel the wedding either, my parents would be disappointed in me, especially my Mom, she’s really fond of Maureen, they bonded the very moment I introduced her to my her, plus I don’t want to test Emily”,

Luke tapped my shoulder and said, “Hey man, there’s no time for Mr. Lover Boy and the emotional shit you’re going through right now, we still have a decision to make right now, either tell Maureen you got another woman pregnant and you now have a two-year old daughter whiles you guys were dating and you didn’t know about it until now or call Emily’s bluff about storming your wedding when the ceremony starts, which by the way is in less than five hours from now, if I were you I wouldn’t tell Maureen anything, I’d get married first and deal with Emily later, but it’s your call”,

I sat in silence for about five minutes, then I said to Luke, “I’ll tell Maureen the truth, I know my marriage is at stake but I also don’t want to lie and hurt her, I don’t want to do this to her, I want to face the music and see what happens, it’ll be like a test to see how deep her love for me is, Luke, you’ve been my best friend since high school, you’re practically a brother to me, you’ve always been there for me, you’ve given me some decent advise in the past but this time I’ll trust my guts and tell Maureen the truth, I made you my best man on this special day and I know you want what’s best for me but I have to show maturity and tell Maureen the truth”

Luke looked at me in a way he has never looked at me and said, “Man…hmm, you’ve earned my respect, I just wished I was more like you, that was real talk right there, I won’t lie to you, you do all”, just then the door opened, then Maureen walked in.

She had this emotionless face on, it was difficult to read her reaction, so I asked her, “Hey babe, what are you doing here? You shouldn’t be here, they say it’s seven years bad luck for a groom to see the bride in her wedding dress before the actual wedding”, Maureen was still walking towards me and staring at Luke, then I asked again, “Babe, what are you doing? Did you hear anything? How long have you been standing behind the door?”, just when I ended my sentence, Maureen jumped and flew across the room, opened her arms and gave me a killer hug, I almost fell down from the impact, she started sobbing.

I was confused, so I asked her, “Babe, what’s going on?”, she answered, “I love you so much, I heard everything, all that you said, the decision you made got me crying, you decided to tell me the truth, for that I really respect and want to get married to you right now”, I was stunned! I couldn’t believe my ears, I felt like a burden had been lifted off me, I kissed her and said, “I love you, I love you, I really do, you’re so beautiful, I want to marry you right away, if a priest was in this room right now we’d get married and forget the ceremony, gosh! You’re God sent”

I told her, “Babe let’s get this straight, I cheated on you and I just found out I have a baby with another woman whiles we were dating and you’re saying you’ve forgiven me? Do you realize if what this woman is claiming is true you’d be a step-mom to my daughter, and you’re saying you forgive me?, she smiled and said, “Yes I forgive you, we’re imperfect beings right? We make mistakes that requires forgiveness right? You wanted to know how deep my love for you was right? Well…I love you to the moon and back hun”, her voice was like music for my soul.

Then she said, “Hun, since we’re all being honest here, I want to tell you something I’ve been holding back for some years now, I feel it’s about time I told you, it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t, and since I’ve forgiven you, I hope you’d do same…but please I’d need you to sit down first before I tell you”, but I told her it wasn’t really necessary to sit down because I was brimming with happiness and I’m sure whatever it was, it couldn’t be as bad as what I did, but she insisted.

“Please take a sit”, she held my hand and looked straight in my eyes and said, “I also have a son, he’s 3 years old”, I screamed, “WHAAAAT!”, then she continued, “Babe please calm down, please I’d need you to stay calm, especially for what I’m about to tell you next”, then Luke said, “Cle, I’m going to the washroom”, I ignored him and wondered why he would tell me that, when Luke left Maureen said, “Luke is the father of my son”

The first words out of my mouth was “Are you crazy? Charle gyae ruff agro bi tumi ma nipa fn”, she looked at me dead in the eyes and said, “No I’m not crazy! I’m just sharing my secret with you”, I got up for a second, paced the room for like two minutes, I needed time to process the shit bomb I just heard. I stopped pacing and sped off to the washroom, my first thoughts were to find Luke and beat the living demon outta him before asking him for explanations, Maureen sensed my anger and what I was about to do so she followed me to the washroom but the door was locked, but that didn’t stop me, I kicked the door down only to see Luke’s lifeless body hanging from the ceiling, Luke was dead.

He had killed himself. I froze! I felt like none of this was real, as if I will wake up and realize all this was but just a dream. Maureen screamed so loud when she saw Luke’s corpse hanging from the ceiling, that scream slapped me back to reality. I fell to my knees and started crying like a baby, I wasn’t sure why I was crying but I was crying, I just felt like crying and I did, I cried like a baby.

Maureen was clinging to Luke’s corpse, crying like she’s just lost her Mom. From that awful sight, I made my final decision. I told Maureen the wedding was off! She got up and chased after me with tears saying, “Nooo don’t do this, you’ll put me to shame, my friends will laugh at me, Dre lets fix this please!” but I completely ignored her like she never existed. Apparently Maureen’s screaming and wailing had drawn the attention of everyone in the house, they all came to check what was going on, they came in shocked and left crying. I heard someone shout “Call an ambulance” another screamed, “Call the police, he’s dead”, I totally ignored everyone in the house, I got to my room, changed my clothes took my car keys and drove away to some place quiet to think.

I found myself in the middle of nowhere, I was so deep in thought that I had lost track of time, it was dusk already and my phone had 64 missed calls, I didn’t hear when my phone was ringing, I was able to shut out the world for a couple of hours. I picked up my phone and saw a text message which read, “Hey I heard what happened, meet me at Pixels pub let’s talk, this is extremely important”, I had nothing better doing so I went to the pub.

There was less traffic in town so I got there in 10 mintues. Emily rose up to give me a hug and asked me if I wanted to drink anything, but I told her I was okay. I went straight to the point and asked her why she texted me to come over, she sat in silence for a while and I said, “Guess you finally got what you wanted, I couldn’t get married today, guess you’re happy now, FYI; even though you threatened to storm my wedding even though I had no idea I had a daughter, I still went ahead and told Maureen the truth, so you storming to ruin my wedding would have been a useless move, very fruitless”

She was still sitting in silence, I yelled at her, “Look at me when I’m talking to you”, she raised her head and I saw tears running down her face, I didn’t understand what was going on, then she spoke, “Cle, I’m dying”, startled about hearing dying, I asked her, “What the hell is this? What do you mean you’re dying?”, then she answered, “I have brain tumor, I have about six months more before my condition gets worse and probably die later”, I was literally shaking when she spoke, I thought I was done hearing bad news for the day and now I hear this?, remorseful for my earlier outburst I asked her, “When did this happen?” I felt really sorry for her.

She was too teary to talk so I allowed her to calm down so she could tell me more, she tried explaining, “It wasn’t my intention to ruin your wedding as I threatened to, I’m really sorry for that, I tried to reach you countless times, called and texted your cell phone on many occasions but you didn’t return any of my calls or texts, so I figured storming your wedding was my only option, at that point I was getting desprate”. I was a bit confuse, “So wait…you tried to sabotage my wedding just because I didn’t return any of your calls and texts? Just because you wanted to tell me you had brain tumor? Are you kidding me right now?”

She quickly pleaded, “No no no no that wasn’t my intention at all, I just wanted to tell you about the daughter you didn’t know existed until recently, I wanted her to meet you before my situation gets worse, I only had good intentions in mind, you take a second to think about this, you didn’t know you had a daughter, it’s because I kept her existence away from you, after that night at the party, few months later I found out I was pregnant, my initials thoughts were to tell you, but I knew you wouldn’t believe me if I told you, we broke up few months before that, if I had told you I was pregnant and that the baby was yours after a one night stand, would you have believed me?..

…I decided to keep the baby and raise it by myself without your help, I was willing to make sacrifices and take care of this baby, I was doing just fine on my own taking care of the baby till she was 2 years, I’m not after your money because I’ve been taking care of her since day 1, I only wanted you to meet your daughter, so that when I die you can take care of her since I have no living relatives that I know of, you’re the only thing close to family that she has, I only wanted what was good for our daughter, I’m really sorry I tried to blackmail you but I was desperate”, she broke out in tears again, I tried to calm her down, then I asked her, “Where is she now?”, “I left her with a friend at home”, she answered.

I asked her, “What’s her name?”, she smiled and said, “I named her after your mom, she’s called Ama Serwaa”, my face brighten up, I was beaming with delight and happiness, then I asked her when I could meet my daughter, she answered, “Whenever you’re ready to meet her”, that instant I got a call from my Mom, she said the Police was requesting my presence to answer a few questions, I didn’t need to guess what it was about, Luke’s suicide. I told Emily I had to rush home, there were issues I needed to address but I promised to keep in touch from now on.

The last 24 hours has been the worst, heart breaking, disappointing, unforgettable but rewarding hours of my life, I was angry, pissed, glad, happy and delighted at the same time. I screwed up, my wife to be screwed up, my dead best friend screwed up, I found out I had a daughter whom I didn’t know existed and I get the chance to meet her soon…all these events under 24hours.

I got home, my Mom and everyone looked worried, they wondered where I’ve been all day since I wasn’t answering my phone, they were worried that maybe I had also gone to hang myself. I almost punched Maureen in the face when she stood up to welcome me with a hug, she was the last thing I wanted to see. I shoved her aside and told her to leave my house before I make her to join Luke where ever he was right now, I went straight to my room. I took my bath, wore new clothes and told my Mom I was going to the Police station. Aside my Mom I ignored everyone as I went away.

At the Police station I was asked to talk this Criminal Investigation Detective(CID), he asked me so many irrelevant questions of which I gave vague and sarcastic answers to, he asked, “Why would Luke kill himself?”, I was getting angry talking about Luke so I gave him the shortest direct answer as possible as I can, “He fucked the woman I wanted to marry, had a baby with her, hid it from me for 3 years, 3 years! That’s 36 months, 1,095 days, 26,280 hours, he killed himself because he knew I would kill him myself when I found out, he knew I would beat him to death with my bare knuckles when I learnt that my best friend was the father of the little bastard he had with my to-be wife, it’s been a long day, circumstances led to that revelation, so now if you don’t have any relevant questions to ask me, I’ll just excuse myself”, the CID was jaw dropped when I left his office he was too stunned to call me back for further questioning.

The next day, I called Emily to check if it was possible we meet, I told her I was ready to meet Ama Serwaa if it was possible. A 2pm rendezvous was agreed. I asked her what our daughter’s favorite play toy was, she told me Ama Serwaa loved Barbie dolls very much. So on my way to Emily’s place I stopped by a toy shop and bought her the most beautiful doll there, I wanted to impress my daughter. I haven’t seen her before but I knew she was a beautiful princess and deserved everything. I was nervous too, I didn’t know what to expect and I prayed she liked me too. The feeling of being a father was overwhelming and exciting.

It was almost 2pm and I was almost at where Emily lived. It was a nice very quiet neighborhood, she lived in walled compound house, Emily welcomed me in front of the house, she was already standing in front of the house when my car pulled over, she then escorted me to the house, there I was introduced to one tenant as “Ama Serwaa papa nie ooh”, suddenly the sense of fatherhood dawned on me, I was a father, the feeling was amazing. Then Emily called Ama to come over, she was playing with the other kids on the compound and there she was, the spitting image of her father, this little beauty looked exactly like me, no paternity test needed, I was convince she was my daughter.

“Ama Serwaa of House No. 321/2 Madina, First of her name, The unburnt, Diaper free princess, The unscarred, Princess of the house and toddlers, Breaker of chains and feeding bottles and Mother of dolls”, she quickly rushed into her mom’s arms then she gave me an awkward look when her Mom turned to look at me. I was full of smiles but it seems she wasn’t impressed, I opened my arms to carry her, but she dunked and hid behind her Mom.

It seemed she didn’t like smiling at strangers. Emily invited me into her living room, she offered me a seat and asked whether I’ll drink water but I told her I was okay. Ama sat on her laps whiles we talked but I couldn’t take my eyes off her, then her Mom said, “Ama…Dada nie”, pointing at me, but the kid was looking at me like “yeah so what?”. This 2-year-old had a mean look on her face like I just took her candy. Then I was like, ‘Bring it on, two can play this game’, so I played my tramp card and unwrapped the doll I bought for her and that instant her eyes lit up, she tapped her Mom’s shoulder and said, “Mama…hwε”, pointing at the doll I had in my hand. It was so funny I laughed out loud.

Then I told her to come over by handing the doll to her from a distance, she was reluctant at first but her hands were eager. She looked at her Mom one last time and came over for the doll. When she took the doll her Mom was like, “What will you say to him”, she bowed her head and whispered, “Thank you”. She was really excited as she went out of the room. Her Mom told me to relax and feel at home whiles she prepares something small for me in the kitchen. Ama took her new doll out to play, I could hear her giggling with the other kids outside. I was curious so I told Emily I was going to sit outside and watch the kids play for a while.

Ama was with 2 other kids, a boy and a girl, the boy looked a year older than the girls. I didn’t like him, as young as he was, he had a mohawk on his head with ‘aboy’, he was shirtless, he had sagged his pants and you could see those dirty diapers wrapped around his tiny waist. I looked at him closely, he kept running up and down, hitting the girls including my daughter on their butts and running away when they yelled at him, the girls paid no attention to him because they were busily admiring my daughter’s new doll. Then this kid run up one last time, hit my daughter on her butt and sped off with a crazy smile on him face, she yelled, “ooooohhh aahhh I don’t like that ahhh!”, then I said to myself, time to be a father.

I took a quick glance around the compound to see if anyone was around or watching, the coast was clear, then I yelled softly at the boy and beckoned him to come over, “Hey foolish boy, come over here!!”, he was startled at once, his face changed, he became afraid, but I waved my hand to alert him come over, he bowed his head and walked slowly towards me, when he got close enough, I stretched my hand to pull him closer to me, then I asked him, “herrhh! What do you think you’re doing touching my daughter’s buttocks with those silly looking small hands of yours?”

He bowed down his head as if he wanted to cry and I yelled at him with a deep voice, “Hey! Stand straight! Chest out! Chin up! Wipe off those tears and look at me in the eyes when I’m talking to you”, at this moment this little boy was sobbing, then I said, “You’ve began your fvckboy life this early huh, but not on my daughter you mohawk dwarf! If I ever catch you looking or staring at Ama’s buttocks or even thinking about it ehh I’ll bring a knife and cut you into pieces and feed your remains to my dog, have you heard me!?”, at this moment this 3-year-old couldn’t hold back those tears and my daughter and the other girl started laughing at him and when I asked him to go, he sped off like a bullet.

I’ve been a dad for like 24hrs and already doing great things, I felt really proud trying to protect my daughter from that potential womanizer. I looked at my watch, Emily was keeping long so I decided to go check up on her at the kitchen to see what’s holding her up, and soon as I walked in I was met with this cloud of smoke. Then I quickly rushed to the kitchen, Emily was laying on the floor flat, I checked for a pulse and didn’t feel anything.

story written by: @AbokiCleDre (follow me on twitter)

Copyright © 2017 by @AbokiCleDre

All rights reserved. No Copy and Paste. Unlawful copy of this piece is prohibited. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator,” at the address below.

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