Friday, December 26, 2014

These are my confessions

My blog has been so dry for so long. It's not easy oh. I will be honest I haven't put anything up in a while because I haven't been able to finish a single story. I start and I just can't or would I say don't finish. To tell you the truth I don't know why but it's probably because work has been a bit overwhelming for me.

I'm glad to say things are changing. How am I getting out of my writers block? Simple, I'm not giving up. I'm just going to keep writing till I'm back to my normal self. I have grown to realise that repetition is very effective. If at first you don't succeed....  Yea, try, try, try again :)

My writing resolution for 2015 is to have at least one book available on Kindle so I need to make it count!

Oh and merry Christmas

Monday, October 27, 2014

Being Francis

Francis saw his older brother packing his bags. "Hey Dan, where are you off to?" He asked curiously. Dan looked at him and continued packing. "I don't know how you manage to be happy here." Dan finally replied. He picked up a T-shirt and threw it into his small suitcase. Francis did not see that answer coming. He enquired further and Dan made it clear he was leaving their new home. His brother was even more surprised.

 Just then their sister walked into the room. "What's going on here?" She asked. Francis turned to her and explained Dan's intentions. She shook her head and turned to walk out like nothing was happening. "Pat, won't you tell him to stop this and stay?" Francis called out. Without turning Pat said, "He's not a child. He can do as he pleases." Then she left.

Francis asked his brother why he wanted to leave one more time. "Why should I stay? Father doesn't love me, he expects me to follow so many rules and what do I get in return? Constant disappointment. He says “ask me for anything and you'll have it” but he doesn't honour his words. My friends in the South are living very happy lives free from strict parents. That's where I'm headed." Dan let out. It looked like he had given this a lot of thought.

"Daddy loves us so much. Don't you see that? He gives us a lot of food and everything we need and his rules are just meant to protect us." Francis said. "I'm 25 years old, I need more than food. I have asked him for so many things and he just did nothing." Dan said, beginning to get angry. His little brother tried to calm him down but it was useless. He picked his suitcase and walked out with Francis running behind him. "I have one last thing to say. Count all the things Dad has gotten for you and see if they are worth more than the things you are asking for. I will tell Dad you'll be coming back because I know you will." Francis said almost in tears. "Good luck with that." He said and left the house.

If Pat, Dan and Francis’ father was God and they were normal Christians like you and me, can you relate to their actions? Pat is the Christian who believes but does not spread the word nor help others out. She prefers to be a Christian on an island. Dan is the Christian who loses his faith because he thinks God is asleep or maybe just picky because his prayers are not being answered. He feels all he is doing for God is in vain.

 Francis is the Christian we all want to be. The one who believes in God with all his heart and wants everyone to do same so he calls people to God and encourages them. We have probably been all these people at one point or the other in our journey with Christ. It's time to be Francis in our own little way. If you are not sure how, just pray and an idea will pop into your head, completely unique to you. God bless you :-)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The good life


Pic from blakevond.com
signalled the waiter to bring me another glass of whiskey. The football match I was watching wasn't as exciting as I had hoped. The teams that were playing were not exactly the strongest but it was either that or staying at home to listen to my wife nag about this or that. That was when I saw her. Samira, the girl I had the longest crush on. She was just as pretty as I last saw her in university. Her long hair was flowing on her back as usual. When I saw Samira's mother I knew where she got all her looks from. She was with two other ladies, coming from the VIP part of the pub. I waved at her and she smiled when she saw me. She whispered something to her friends and walked to me.

"Peter, I haven't seen you in forever." Samira said joining me at my table. I nodded and asked how she was doing. She was still witty. I really liked that about her. After some small talk she informed me that it was one of her friends’ birthday and they came to chill out a bit. She made me think about my own social life. Well,if watching football matches in pubs counted then at least I had one but unfortunately I had a curfew. 10pm and Afua would call me. Samira made me envy her more when she told me about their plans for later that evening. She was clearly living a fun life. She froze all of a sudden and looked at my wedding band. She congratulated me and I managed to smile. There was a time I would smile much broader when someone congratulated me but now with the baby, things were very different. Afua barely noticed me. All her attention was on our baby but who was I to complain? After all, she was the one taking care of the baby most of the time so I had no opinion even in my own house.

Samira invited me to join her on their chilling spree. I was extremely surprised she asked. To be honest it seemed like she was flirting with me. I was unsure because all the years I had known her she never showed much interest in me. Hey who knows maybe she preferred married men. Her interest made me very excited. There was no way I was going to refuse. She made all 4 of us leave in her car. She insisted on me leaving mine behind. "It'll be more fun if we are all together." She said and winked at me. I almost believed the whisky was making this all up. When I saw Samira's Land Cruiser I realized life was good for her. She drove just as crazy as her personality. My wife was a fast driver but Samira was on a different level. Her friends seemed just as wild because I was the only one clinging to my seat belt. We arrived at a huge mansion. Was this her house? I remember her parents’ house from back in the day. It wasn't half as big as this. She seemed to read my mind when she said, "This is a friend of mine's place. He's out of town for a while so he said we could use it." I nodded.

The interior of the house was like one of those fancy homes you see in decor magazines. Samira turned on some music and they did some dancing. The birthday girl called a couple of friends and asked them to come over. In less than 30 minutes there were about 9 more people in the house. There was music and drinks all around and a tennis Wii game going on. In the midst of all the fun I noticed my curfew was drawing near. Why couldn't Afua organize little parties like this once in a while? Just when I spotted Samira and was going to tell her my plans to leave she grabbed my hand and said she wanted to show me something. I walked with her to the back of the house. There was a beautiful pool there. "How about a swim?' She offered. "What, like now?" I asked. She laughed and nodded. Before I could say anything she took off her dress. The Lord knows all sorts of things rushed through my head. She got into the water and asked me to join her. I fought hard to refuse. Half of my mind was focused on Samira in her underwear floating in the water and the other half was on my wife and our daughter. "I have to leave." I managed to say. Samira's face dropped. "Is it because you are married? Why shouldn't married people have fun huh?" She asked. I wasn't sure what to say.

I sat down by the pool with my trousers folded up and my legs in the water. I just watched Samira swim, extremely considering joining her. I knew I couldn't resist her for too long. "You know that ring you are wearing is like a prison." Samira said. I shrugged. "That's why I'm free." She said giving a backstroke. "When you find the right guy you'll think differently." I said. She stopped and turned to look at me. "I don't think so. I don't see what marriage or love can give me that I can't have." She added. I thought about Afua immediately she said that. I tried to list the things she added to my life. The list was so long I smiled. Afua was the right person for me. I mean I was here in a place I would have died to be in some years ago, thinking about my wife. Samira asked why I was smiling. I told her and she got a bit upset.

Samira got out of the pool and grabbed a towel. She wore some clothes and without saying anything grabbed her car keys to drop me off. On my way back still in silence, Afua called. I expected to hear 'where are you' but instead she said our daughter said daddy. I laughed as we made fun of our little girl over the phone. When I remembered where I was quickly wrapped up the call. "It's worth it huh?" Samira asked. She was driving much slower. I nodded. I really didn't want to go talk much about how much I loved my family. "But you looked so miserable at the bar. Married people look all sad but they always go back to their wives." She said. Her tone had changed. "Loving someone doesn't mean you won't have problems with them. It just means you'll always be there for each other. I guess that's one beautiful thing about it." I said. She turned to me and smiled. When we got to my car she dropped me off and waved as she left without saying another word.


When I got home the first thing I did was look for Afua and gave her a deep kiss. She smiled and asked what we were celebrating. "My baby called me daddy. It's official, I'm her daddy." I said. She laughed and held her mouth to muffle the sound in order not to wake the baby up. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Blind date

I looked around for a black t shirt. I was about to text Aziz to ask where he was when I spotted a fine guy in a black Tshirt. I smiled and put my phone back into my bag. I walked up to him. He looked really cute. Paulina told me he was cool. She was probably being her usual modest self. Then it hit me. Would he think I was cute too. I paused and turned to look at my reflection in one of the glass windows of the bar. I tossed up my hair a little and continued walking. My heart started racing when I got to his table. I smiled. He smiled back too but not as broad as mine. "Aziz right? It's good to finally meet in person." I said.

 "How are you doing?" He asked to break the awkward silence after I sat down. I said I was fine. A waiter came up to me and I ordered a drink. Immediately my drink came a guy walked up to us and spoke to my date. "Hey we are going to play pool do you want to join us? I didn't catch your name. I'm Kofi." he offered. I shook my head. "Not really, I don't know how to play. I'll just make him lose. I'm Selina." I said smiling. They didn't seem to take no for an answer so I gave in.

Aziz gave me a cue and a quick tutorial. "It's really not that hard. Besides no one on earth is as bad as Kofi's girlfriend in pool." he teased. I giggled. "Easy like you driving your Range Rover eh?" I asked. "Err more like me brushing my teeth, super easy." he said and gave a goofy smile. I laughed again. We were beginning to get along well. He was much more interesting in person. Kofi played first, then Aziz. When Dora, Kofi's girlfriend played I realized what Aziz was trying to say all along. He winked at me and I giggled. It was finally my turn and my coach walked up behind me and showed me how to position my cue. He was rather close but I wasn't complaining. Surprisingly, I didn't do badly at all. As the game went on, Kofi kept asking me if I had really never played before. When I potted my first ball I couldn't help jumping up and down. Aziz run to me, raised me up, spinning me in the air and said I was the best student ever. I laughed my head off when we turned back to look at Kofi and Dora's faces. Their expressions were priceless.

Right after the game, which of course Aziz and I won, we went to sit at the lounge area. The chemistry between Aziz and I was just perfect. The kind where we felt perfectly comfortable around each other. We spoke about the new movies we had all seen and Aziz and I were glad we had the same taste in movies. We even planned to see a new movie sometime. I took out my phone to send a thank you message to my match maker when I noticed 15 missed calls from Paulina and Aziz. I ignored his guessing they were from earlier and rushed to the bathroom to call Paulina back.

"Hey where are you?!" She asked immediately she picked up the phone. I giggled. "Oh say a blind date maybe?" I teased. Paulina wasn't moved. "Ah have you met Aziz yet? He said he couldn't find you. Where have you been?" She asked. I rolled my eyes. "Calm down I'm in the washroom. I was just a little bit late but I've seen him now." I replied. "This your lateness dierr." Paulina said finally calm. She said she had to go and hung up. I looked in the washroom mirror, straightened my dress and walked out. Just before I got to my seat a tall dark guy in a black t-shirt walked up to me. "Hi, Selina right?" He asked. I nodded wondering how he knew my name. He noticed I was a bit puzzled and said. "I'm Aziz, I've been waiting for you for so long. I would have left if it wasn't for Paulina. We said we'd be meeting outside." He explained and I froze. I didn't know what to say. I turned to look at the table I was sitting and saw Kofi and Dora laughing hard. The fake Aziz was staring straight at me. It was like he knew. I turned to Aziz and smiled. "I'm sorry about that." I managed to say. My date said he didn't like the food at the pub so he suggested we go to a Chinese restaurant. I nodded. I turned back to look at the table. "Are you coming?" Aziz asked. I smiled and walked out with him.

Aziz opened the door to his Range Rover when we got to the parking lot. I sat down quietly. "You like Chinese food don't you? Even if you don't, you'll like this particular one. They are the best." He said as he sparked the car. I was barely paying attention. Too many things were running through my head. Then I saw him. He was walking alone.   I turned to Aziz. "I'm really sorry I wasted your time but I'll be wasting more of your time if I go with you. I have to go." I said, opening the door and getting out. "What? What are you talking about?!" He asked furiously. "I don't think this date is working so I'm ending it before it gets worse." I added and ran off. I heard him swear and drive off fast.

I broke into a run in the direction I saw my fake Aziz go. When I saw him standing beside his old car I yelled, "hey!". He stopped and turned around. "Why, why did you lie about being Aziz?" I asked when I caught up with him. "I didn't lie. I just didn't say I wasn't him." He said. "Yeah? Well on this planet it's still lying." I replied. "Oh, is it that obvious I'm not an earthling?" he joked but my expression didn't change. "I'm sorry, what I did wasn't right. I just really wanted to get to know you. I couldn't get myself to tell you the truth. I'm sorry I ruined your date. I won't be causing any more trouble, I'm leaving." He said. He sounded so genuine. If he wasn't, he was the best actor in the world. There was something about him, something very nice. "You didn't ruin my date. Well, technically you did but I still had fun." I said. A smile slowly formed on his face. "We can play another game of pool if you like. I won't mind a few tips." I said stretching out my hand. He took it. "Yes, yes let's play." He said and we walked back. "So what's your real name Fake Aziz?" I teased. "I'm Paul Mensah. Yup, sorry to disappoint you. I have a nice and boring name." Paul said. I laughed again. Paulina wasn't gonna like this at all.



 The end

Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday morning surprise

As Samira walked to work she remembered the sermon that was preached at church the day before. The topic was about loving your neighbour. Even those that didn't love you. She knew one person like that at work. Sarah Brown. Sarah just didn't like her and the feeling was very mutual. From her first day at work Samira never got along with her. Maybe Sarah felt insecure around her because she was younger, she just couldn't tell. "I'll love my neighbour." Samira said with a long sigh. Just before she entered her office building she saw something interesting. There was a car having boot sales not very far away. She looked at her watch. She had enough time to do some window shopping. She saw a nice necklace. It looked like something Sarah would love. She thought for minute and bought it for her at a very good price.

When Samira got to work Sarah was not at her desk but she saw her favourite red bag and knew she was around. She picked up a sticky note from her desk and wrote a little note. She stuck the note to the present she had just bought, put it on Sarah's desk and walked away. When she got to hers Elikem walked by with a smile. "Is that a bomb you put on Miss Horror's desk?" She asked. Samira giggled and shook her head. Elikem always had names for everyone. Then it hit her that she wasn't the only one who didn't like Sarah. "Love your neighbour." She whispered to herself as she turned on her computer.

After a few hours there was a general meeting for everyone. Samira took a seat at the back of the board room next to Elikem. "Pay raise time, woop woop." Elikem whispered and did a little dance in her chair. Samira laughed. "You are such a child." She said to her. The CEO of the company walked in with some sheets of paper. He said he had bad news. The company was not doing as good as it used to and they had decided to do a downsizing exercise. Samira's heart missed a beat as he mentioned the names of the people who were being laid off. Her heart sunk when she heard Elikem's name. Fortunately for her that was the last name. She breathed a sigh of relief and turned to comfort her friend.

When she got back to her desk she saw a red sticky note and instantly knew who it was from. It said, 'thanks for the necklace. It's so lovely. Yes you are right we started off on a bad note. So your apologies have been accepted.' Samira smiled. She turned around and spotted Sarah at the entrance of the board room. She walked to her but the CEO was quicker. Samira just stood aside and waited for him to finish talking to her. "Sarah I thought we decided on 12 people? This list is short of one." He said. "Sir that's true but I found out recently that she has potential as compared to the others." Sarah replied and smiled at Samira. "Alright, I trust your judgement, have a nice day." The CEO said and walked away...... 

Love your neighbour!



Thursday, May 8, 2014

After 10 short film

After all the hard work the short silent film is ready to be viewed. I decided to tell my After 10 story in a different way so we made a video! Thanks to an amazing videographer, extremely dedicated actors and a brilliant team I present to you, After 10.

Watch it here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bO8_lXJDULg&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Monday, April 28, 2014

My very own movie!


So for some time now I have been thinking of other ways to tell my stories. Some of these options were a radio drama, a book, animation and short film. Of these three a short film sounded the most exciting to me so I decided to work on that. I went through my short stories and found one that would be perfect for my very first video appearance. I wanted something unique, short and of minimal cost because I was ideally funding everything myself. After 10 was perfect!

 If you haven't read it yet here's the link http://azedi.blogspot.com/2011/05/after-10.html . In less than a week I will upload this comical 3 minute film online. It's not the most amazing short film but I believe it's definitely one worth watching. I have special thanks I have to give for the people that helped in shooting the video. Hilda, James brown, Duke, Ruth, Cyig, Roselynn and the biggest one to Tim :-)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Grace of Fear 3

Baaba froze. Her heart started pounding like the night before. Then a few pieces came together. The bikers must have been the robbers and they may have accidentally dropped the money.  She grabbed her phone and with her shaky hands and called Ralph but he didn't answer. He was the only one she could talk to. She rushed out of the room with the money in her bag and headed for his workshop.

   When she got to Ralph's workshop she was directed to go into the store room. "Ralph, something bad has happened. Some man got robbed and..." she blurt out as she entered but stopped when she realized he was not alone. There was a tall guy standing in front of Ralph. He turned to look at her. "A man got robbed? Where?" the tall guy asked. Baaba looked at Ralph and back to him. "Somewhere around Kaneshi School Junction, in my area." Baaba replied. "What's his name? I know some people who live there." The tall guy added. "I don't know his name but he has a daughter called Nasara. They say the robbers used a special key to open all his doors." Baaba added. The tall guy said wow and smiled. "Bikers are just strange." Baaba said grabbing Ralph's hand and sending him outside. "You heard they were bikers?" the tall guy asked. Baaba froze. She realized she had said too much. It happened a lot when she got nervous. "Ei, did I say bikers? I meant robbers." She said and faked a laugh. Ralph excused himself and went outside with Baaba.

   "Baaba what is this all about?" Ralph asked when they were alone. She hesitated for a while and finally said "it's about the armed robbery I was talking about." Ralph looked scared all of a sudden. She told him the whole story of how she picked the money. Ralph looked a little excited and scared at the same time. Just then the tall guy walked passed them. Baaba turned and watched him. He kept stealing glances at her too. It was when another guy on a bike came to him that things became clearer to her. 

 Then she saw it, the snake tattoo on the other biker's leg. Her heart missed a beat then she heard Relph's voice. "Baaba, stop looking at them. Look here." he said. She managed to do as he said. "Yo, ma guy. We dey go come." The tall biker yelled and hopped onto the back of his friend's bike. Ralph nodded and waved as they left. "Were you part of them? Ralph what is going on?" Baaba asked almost in tears. "I needed the money so we could leave this place. I had nothing to do with the shooting. The man brought his car here and his key holder had his house keys so I just made a copy. That was all. They said they'll give me 500 cedis if they got the money. The man is very rich so it's not so bad. I swear I didn't know they would shoot him." Ralph explained. He had to get her to trust him.

Baaba listened in shock with her mouth slightly open. "I think we should send the money back. I can give it to the Police." she said. "Are you mad?!" Ralph yelled. He looked around to see if anyone heard him. If the Police find out, I'll go to jail or the biker boys will kill me. Those guys are hard. Let's just take the money and go." He suggested. Baaba felt guilty. "What if the man dies? What will happen to the girl? If we tell the Police about the bikers we won't go to jail. Just say they forced you." She said. Ralph considered it for a moment and shook his head. "Look, these guys are untouchable. Even the Police are afraid. Where's the money?" He asked, looking around. When he saw that Baaba wasn't convinced he held her by the shoulders and looked into her eyes. "If you go to the Police both of us will die." He said.



 To be continued  ...

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Bitter sweet memories

  It's 8:43pm. I'm in bed wondering if I should eat something before I sleep or not. The indecision in my head gets boring so I pick up my tablet and start playing Welcome Home by Radical Face. Just when I'm putting my tablet down I see a bunch of call cards in a basket near my bed. I pick them up and flip though. Each card carrying it's own memory of how and where I got it. Some made me smile, I rolled my eyes at some, others were not significant enough to earn an expression but there was this one. Just one that made me pause and retrieve a lot of bitter sweet memories. No it wasn't the card of an ex boyfriend. It was the card of a friend. A friend I met in the oddest of circumstances. A friend I didn't know for very long but could chat like we grew up together. Did I mention this friend was just as talented as he was humble. Those rare kind of people that you expect to rosh but they don't. Then the bitter part started to sink in. These were all the things he was when he was still alive. The call card of Dennis Dartey still lies in a basket in my room next to my bed.

Friday, April 4, 2014

My crush on Jude

 
"Relax you'll be fine." Sayram said. I nodded and managed to smile. "How do I look?" I asked with a goofy pose. Sayram laughed and told me never to do that again. I giggled. I was getting relaxed now. In no time at all we heard the guys walking to us. My heart started racing. Sayram stood up and glanced. "They are coming!" she said excitedly. I saw Jude, first or maybe my eyes chose to see him first. He was in a yellow t-shirt and black shorts. His football boots were in his left hand. His head was down as he walked. Then I saw Selassie and Henry too. It looked like Selassie was telling his jokes as usually because they were all laughing. Then Jude looked up. When he saw us he smiled. I felt every bit of his smile. Then I turned to Sayram. "Eish, I can't do this oh." I said. She shook her head.

     "My goodness Mavis are you wearing makeup?" Selassie asked immediately they got to us. "Sela, don't be a fool." Seyram said and we all laughed. Sela walked closer to me and stared at me. "Oh but it's not bad oh. Come for a hug." He added. "Eww, take your sweaty self away." I teased and moved away from him. Jude came to sit next to me. "Sela is right. It suits you." he said. I smiled. I noticed Sayram was giving me a weird signal. She handed Henry a drink and they started talking. "Where's my drink?" Sela said walking to her. I turned to Jude. He was stretching. "I'll get you a drink." I offered and picked a coke from Sayram for him. "Ask the boy la." she whispered to me. I nodded and walked back. Jude was smiling when I came back. "What was all the whispering about?" He asked and took his drink. He looked at Sayram and turned to me. Sayram turned away quickly and he giggled, yawa. This was pretty awkward.

   You see, Jude isn't one of those hot guys you just see and have a crush on. I mean he's the best player on the football team but that's not it. I've known him for 2 years. We were so close so many people thought we were dating but we weren't. I must say he is one of the reasons I broke up with my last boyfriend. My ex didn't like the fact that Jude and I were so close. He claimed I had feelings for him. Maybe he was right. A lot of feelings can stir up when you and someone spend a lot of time together. I can't blame Jude though. I mean we are both on our Uni football team, cancer awareness club and hostel. It wasn't normal of me to ask a guy out but Sayram told me she heard from Henry that there was another girl trying to make wild. So yeah, here I was about to tell him I liked him and face either acceptance or rejection. According to Sayram, anytime she spoke to Jude he mentioned me. That was comforting but really I was one of their few common friends. Mavis you can do this!

   "Oh don't mind Sayram. Sela's silliness has caught her too." I joked. We turned to look at her. She was holding Henry's drink away from him and he was stretching for it. I laughed. "See what I mean?" Jude laughed and nodded. She saw us and winked. Henry got hold of the drink now. As usual we split up and walked back to our hostels. As Jude and I walked back I played the words in my head. We were talking about a new movie that was released. Then from nowhere at all we both said "There's something I want to tell you." at the same time. Was this fate. We giggled and played the 'you go first game'. "Ok how about we write it on a piece of paper and read it at the same time. Jude squinted. "Isn't that a bit too dramatic?" He asked. I shook my head. "Well, but it's fun. Come on." He agreed so I brought out a piece of paper from my bag. I split it into two and gave him one and a pen. "Go ahead, write it." I said. He did and gave the pen back. I smiled and wrote, "I think I like you. Is the feeling mutual?" Not romantic at all eh? I know!

   We stood in front of my room with each other's note nicely folded. Just then, Jude's phone rang. He answered it. It was his roommate. The annoying guy had lost his keys so he needed Jude's set. He told me he had to go and he'd read it when he got to his room. "You know what, don't open it. I'll call you when I get to my room so we can do the reading thing. Cool?" He suggested as he walked off. I nodded. When I got into my room, I feel on my bed and watched the note in my hand. I turned and looked at my 'not ringing phone'. I shook my head and unfolded the note. So it read...

  My heart sunk. My eyes teared up. Why? I dropped the paper on the floor and closed my eyes. Just then there was a knock at the door. I wiped my eyes dry and opened the door. It was Jude. "Yes, May the feeling is mutual." He said and walked in. I couldn't help it. My tears betrayed me. Jude saw his note and hugged me. He wiped my tears with his thumb and kissed me. Someway somehow I wished his note had said he liked someone else. At least that way I'd still have him around as my friend.


 Can you guess what Jude's note said?

Monday, February 24, 2014

Grace of fear 2

 The bikers rode around yelling at each other for about 10 minutes and left. When all was clear Baaba looked for her keys and made a run for it. Luckily for her they didn't return. She breathed a sigh of relief when she entered her Auntie's house. Her hands were still trembling with fear when she laid down to sleep. After another 30 minutes she managed to fall asleep.




 Baaba went about her morning chores very quickly the next day. It was Saturday and she wanted to tell Ralph the good news. As she did her usual trip to the market for her auntie, she was so tempted to buy herself a thing or two with the money. She knew her Auntie would suspect her if she did so she left praying that where she hid the money was still safe. She called Ralph and asked him to meet her at the market. When she saw him she smiled and told him to guess the good news she had for him. He didn't seem amused at all. In fact he was quiet unhappy. This was strange.

   Ralph liked meeting up with her and was usually happy when she initiated it. "Ah, what's wrong? Did Bra Yaw ask you to pay for something again?" Baaba asked concerned. Ralph shook his head and shrugged. Bra Yaw owned the fitting shop where Ralph worked. He was very stern and would make his workers pay for every tiny mistake they made. Bra Yaw was another reason why Ralph wanted to leave for Kumasi. "What is the surprise? I have a lot of work to do." Ralph snapped. Baaba felt offended. Why was he taking all her fun away? Just then, Ralph's phone rang. He signaled at Baaba and walked away to answer the call. He was speaking very low so she wouldn't hear what he was saying. When he walked further away and turned his back to her she left. "I'll keep everything to myself then." she muttered as she walked away, a little heart-broken. B

 Baaba took the long route on her way home. She wanted to think. It was hard to think with her auntie yelling and screaming in the house over trivial things. As she walked home she couldn't help thinking about Ralph. He was the first friend she made when she moved to her auntie's house. She enjoyed his company because he was always full of smiles. He would always listen to her complain about her auntie and reassured her. Baaba didn't understand why he was acting strange. Maybe there was another girl. One who entertained his leaving town plan more than she did.

As she walked, she saw a large number of people in front of a house. She recognized one of the people, Agnes. Agnes used to work at the bar with her. Baaba walked to her and asked what was going on. "Some people robbed the man who lived here yesterday oh. They said the robbers used a special key to open all the doors. We are not safe anymore oh. The man and his daughter were asleep kwraa. They stole some plenty money the man had and shot him too." Agnes narrated. Baaba listened. "Ei, is he dead?" Baaba asked. "No he's been sent to the hospital. I feel sad for Nasara, his daughter. Her mother left the father last year. They said she preferred the father. Now she'll be forced to live with the mother. That woman is terror." Agnes continued. Baaba's heart sunk. She knew what living with a terror woman felt like. She noticed the time and rushed home.

 When she got home she was scolded for leaving a single plate unwashed. Baaba could not take it anymore. She was leaving, with or without Ralph. She went to her room after cooking the evening meal. She noticed Ralph had called her a number of times. She rolled her eyes and put the phone aside. She took out a pen and paper to write a list of what she needed to run away with. Then she locked her door and took out the money. She hadn't even counted it. The piece of paper around the money had something written on it. Baaba noticed it was a list. It read, "tomatoes, fresh fish, cabbage, light bulb, story books for Nasara..." Baaba froze.


 To be continued ...

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Grace of fear

  Baaba kept her head down as she walked home. That part of the road had so many potholes. She had to watch out for them before she tripped and fell. She had fallen before. It was darker that night than usual because she stayed an extra 4 hours at work. It was because her head was down that she saw it, a bundle of 50 cedi notes and a piece of paper attached to it.

   At first she wasn't sure it was money so she bent down to take a better look. She gasped and picked it up. She instinctively looked around. The lonely street was just as it always was at 2 am. She put the money in a secret compartment she had in her bag. She made this compartment for her money just in case she met any robbers. Luckily for her she hadn't met any yet since she started working at the bar but today it was very late so she didn't feel safe.

 Baaba walked faster now, completely forgetting the potholes. She was busy imagining what she was going to buy with the money. She was sick of working around drunk men. She guessed the money would be at least 2,000 cedis. When her house was in sight she broke into a run. She was planning what to do next. She would hide the money inside her mattress. There was no way her auntie would find it. Then she would run to Kumasi with her boyfriend, Ralph. He had been bugging her about running away for so long. She smiled as she run.

 She was just five minutes to her house when she heard the sound of motor bikes moving in her direction. Baaba was so startled that she missed her step and her bag fell. She picked it up quickly. Bikers at this time was never a good thing. She turned and looked in the direction of the sound. She saw shadows and lights getting brighter. They were moving very fast but she knew they couldn't see her yet. She dug her hand in her bag trying to locate her keys. There was a chance she could rush in before they saw her. When her shaking hands couldn't find the keys she shook her head and dashed into a bush nearby.

 In seconds they were on her street. She could hear them talk but couldn't make out what they were saying. They went up and down the street slowly. Baaba just sat in the bush with her heart beating faster and faster. She clung on to her bag like it was her baby. From where she was squatting all she could see were their feet. One had a tattoo of a snake around his ankle. Baaba closed her eyes tightly and prayed he wouldn't come any closer.


 To be continued...

Sunday, January 26, 2014

A piece of Julz

It's funny how little we care about things till they happen to us. For decent number of years before I was diagnosed I used to make jokes about scoliosis. I called and I still call chairs with curved back rests Scoliosis chairs. Back then I had no idea what was going on in my back. All through high school and Senior high school I had some pains in my back but it was for short periods of time and not severe so I never paid attention to it. You see I was a very sporty person. I played basketball and swam a lot so the muscles in my back were pretty strong.

Having a swimming pool in my hostel during university and joining the basketball team there kept me on a relatively good path. The problem started when I graduated from University and joined the working class. No one ever prepares you enough for that. When I think about how 'stressed' I felt in school as compared to working a 9 to 5, I just laugh. Goodness I sometimes even wish I was back in school.

Moving on, I wasn't exactly carrying bags of cement or bending over to pick cotton, I was doing the usual office administration work but a lot had changed.

l  I was sitting for long hours.
l  I was standing a lot waiting for the bus to and from work
l  I wasn't getting enough time to play basketball
l  I rarely went to swim because of proximity to the pool
l  I spent hours sitting at my desk on my computer even when I was working from home

Things had clearly changed. The pain in my back got worse until I went to the hospital. I had an x-ray done. Isn't it funny how the person doing the x-ray always hides when he's about to shoot? Lol. A week later the results came and it said there was nothing wrong. I thought “hey, maybe it's my chair at work so I spoke with my boss and we had it changed. The pain also changed, it got worse. My neck also joined in. My mother who is a retired nurse told me to go and see a specialist, an orthopaedic doctor so I did.

I took my X-rays with me. The doctor studied them for a while, examined me and asked if I had certain pains. He was 100% spot on. You know how excited you get when someone describes an exact feeling? I was almost smiling. He diagnosed me with a mild case of thoracolumbular scoliosis. This simply means that between the thoracic and lumber portions of my spine it is' curved slightly, in my case, to the left. He further went on to tell me that I didn't need surgery (woohoo!) but I would have to wear a brace :-( , a lumber support to be specific. He also advised regular swimming to strengthen my back muscles. “Why swimming?” I asked and he told me that because of the water it would put less strain on my spine itself. Plus it was a cool (low temperature) way of getting a serious workout.

After that day I have had a completely new lifestyle. I wear a lumber support (which makes me a size bigger), I sleep on an orthopedic mattress, I take a decent amount of pain killers, I don't wear heels and try to swim as often as I can. So many things have changed. Scoliosis does that. There are times when the pain gets so overbearing it disturbs my mood and all my plans go out the window.

Rather than feel sorry for myself, I looked for ways to get my life cool and fun again. So I
l  Got a swimming partner :-)
l  Got a tablet to do all my computing needs while I lie down in bed
l  Altered my clothes so my lumber support didn't look odd.
l  Stopped my 9-5 and ran my own business
l  Found a number of swimming pools close to me

Living with scoliosis is hard but the honest truth is that when you plan your lifestyle well, the pain will reduce drastically. I haven't gotten to the point where I go weeks/months without aches and pains but I'm constantly working hard to get there.


Scoliosis :  a medical condition in which a person's spine is curved from side to side. 




Thursday, January 16, 2014

Changes

Angela looked at her watch. Her brother was 20 minutes late. She played around with her drink uncomfortably. She didn't like where she was. She didn't like shabby public places like this. She just had to give her brother some money and he suggested they meet there. She was contemplating leaving when she saw an old friend of hers. He was called Henry. He walked straight up to her and sat down. "Wow, Angela how are you? It's been so long." He said. Angela nodded boldly. She told him why she was there and they did a little catching up. She enjoyed his company even after all those years. "Where is your Rosary ring? You always used to wear it." Henry asked. Angela looked at her empty finger. “I don’t believe in those things anymore. I’m now an atheist. Henry was surprised so he asked why. "I don't think God exists. If he did he wont let evil things happen to good people." She said and sipped on her drink.

Henry was even more surprised. He remembered Angela was one of the most dedicated Christians in school. "Well I can't say I understand all God does but..." Henry started but Angela cut him short. "I watched my dad lose everything. First his job, then his wife and finally his life. I had to wait tables just to pay for his funeral. There is no God, just luck." She said. Henry could feel the bitterness in her voice. "I'm sorry about your father. He was a good man. All I can say is things happen for a reason." He said. Angela was about to reply when she felt the floor underneath her shake. She looked down immediately and saw that the building was collapsing. There were screams all over the place.

People rushed to the exit but the stairs were the first to cave in. The screams got louder as one pillar underneath them fell causing the whole floor to tilt. The people on that side fell to their doom as others held on to anything they could find. Henry grabbed a table leg and pulled Angela to it. As they hung there they could see another pillar about to give away. Angela looked down. They were 3 stories up. Her heart beat hard. Was she going to join her father wherever he was? "Angela we might not make it. Please accept Christ now before it's too late. Just pray." Henry yelled. She was surprised he was thinking about her at this moment. She looked up and saw that the table leg was about to break.

Just as it broke and they slid down to the edge of the floor she closed her eyes to pray. "We are glad to have you back. You will join us in heaven but not today." She heard a voice say. She opened her eyes. She was inches away from the edge when she grabbed on to a decorative light pole. Henry got a hold of it too. She looked around and saw a roll of water hose attached to the wall. She turned and saw 7 people holding on in fear. She turned to Henry. "We can use the water hose to climb down!" She yelled. He looked at it and understood exactly what she meant. She stretched her hand and dragged it towards her. "Ok, go down before the pillar gives away! " He screamed as she gave the hose to him. She smiled and said, "not today, I won’t die today." She gave him the hose and unrolled enough for Henry to climb down. Everyone cheered when he got down safely. Angela turned around and gave the hose to a child.  Henry and a few people downstairs helped the little boy as he came down. One after the other Angela helped all 7 people down. She climbed down as fast as she could herself and met a host of cheers.

Minutes after the area was cleared the second pillar collapsed. Angela was safely out of the building looking for Henry. She didn't find him. Wherever he was she wanted to say thank you for those few words that gave her back the life she lost: a life in Christ.