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Adwoa was furious and sad at the same time when she received the news about the death of Esi. One of their friends Comfort had sent her the message with gory images on WhatsApp. She held her mouth with the left hand while she looked at the images. Tears of anguish that have colours of their own begun to course down her cheeks.
She looked away trying to recollect the face of her friend because she wasn’t able to make out the person in the image sent her. Esi was burnt to death beyond recognition with her two children – Emmanuella and Hannah – last night in their sleep. The death has been linked to one Nana Anamoah who is the former girlfriend of Esi’s brother Samuel.
She had had several quarrels with Samuel over his decision to break up with her for an 18-year-old senior high student. She had threatened retribution if he doesn’t make amends.
Some five days before the attack, she had told Samuel in the presence of his friends that she would kill him alive. ‘I mean what I am saying. I will burn you and your family,’ she emphasized.
Samuel had laughed off the threat but cautioned her to be careful of the things she does.
It happened that on the night of the incident, Esi slept in his brother’s room with her children after she gave her room to some relatives who had visited from the village. Samuel was notified of the arrangement so he slept at one of his friends’ end.
A suspect who was arrested a day after in connection with the attack said they were contracted by Nana Anamoah to kill Samuel. He told the police they poured a gallon of petrol into the room before throwing a lighted match into it. Nana Anamoah hasn’t been seen in the community after the incident and the police have launched a search for her. Esi and her two children were killed by the inferno before fire tenders arrived at the scene. Their bodies were wrapped in white polythene by personnel of the Ghana National Fire Service and conveyed to the morgue at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.
The tragic story that happened at Esi’s family house at Lartebiokorshie was reported by the major media houses in the country. The newspaper headlines for the next day added to the sombre moment and some of them were more tragic than the accident.
‘Woman, two children burnt alive,’ reported Ghanaman Times. Daily Read newspaper, most circulated paper, had carried the headline, ‘Woman burnt with children over cheating brother.’
Adwoa wept. She was torn between believing the tragic story and disbelief and she chose the latter. She scrolled down her contact list to dial Esi’s number. She pressed the call button and it went through but nobody answered it. She dialled again but this time she heard a man’s voice.
‘Is that Samuel,’ she inquired. But the recipient wasn’t in the mood to be queried. ‘What do you want?’ a hurried deep voice asked.
‘I am Adwoa, a friend to Esi. I heard something about her and I want to find out if that’s true,’ she said. ‘Am I speaking to Samuel?’
‘Yes I am Samuel. Whatever you’ve heard about the death of my sister is true Adwoa,’ he delivered the message and Adwoa felt her heart jumped inside of her.
‘What?’ she probed. It was so loud that attention of her colleagues was drawn to her agony. Some of them had started to move toward her, asking among themselves, ‘what’s strong with her lately?’
‘She was a good and kind hearted friend,’ she told them but they weren’t in the capacity to know whom she was talking about.
One of her colleague Michaela drew closer to her and placed her right hand on her shoulder. ‘Who are you referring to?’ she asked.
‘It’s pathetic that somebody would think about killing another human being and in this case Esi one of my best friends has been murdered in her sleep,’ she said.
Her colleagues numbering five raised their heads to look at one another as though that is a fashionable game in town. They knelt by her to sympathise with her.
‘This is infamy,’ Michaela said looking at Adwoa as though she was search for an approval.
That day Kwabena phoned her several times but she never picked them. Her friends encouraged her to speak to her husband but she never budged.
Another phone call came through and when she looked it was Kofi Poku, the Nissan Pathfinder driver who had given her a lift last three weeks. Her friends prevailed upon her before and she received it.
‘Hello Adwoa how are you doing,’ he said, hoping for a nice conversation but she wasn’t in the mood. ‘Hello, are you there?’ he asked.
‘Yes am here,’ she retorted with an anguish voice. ‘I’m just said because my best friend has been burnt to death by her brother’s former girlfriend,’ she volunteered.
‘Oh, oh, I am so sorry. What are you doing in the office?’
‘It’s my lunch time but I don’t feel like going out to eat.’
‘Can I come and pick you up for lunch together so that we can talk more about your friend?’
‘I dont’ want to talk about Esi anymore.’
‘Okay we won’t talk about her but you need to take fresh air and I know somewhere that we can get it in its purest form.’
‘Where is that?’
‘Be prepared I will be in your office in the next 10 minutes.’
Kofi Poku was parked two minutes away from Adwoa’s office when he phoned her. He has been thinking about her since meeting her on the roadside on that rainy day. ‘She is beautiful, slender, tall and busty,’ he thought. He waited after five minutes before he phoned her to meet him at the company’s car park.
Kwabena has been asked to replace Mr Nti at the Annual African Magazine Publishers Union in Monrovia, Liberia. He would be away for two weeks and he has tried to contact his wife to inform her about the trip but she wasn’t picking her calls. The decision to attend was an impromptu one that was taken a day after Mrs Nti’s death in the car accident. He drove to the house to pack few of his shirts and trousers and headed to the Kotoka International Airport for the trip. He wrote a short message on a sticky note and posted it on Adwoa’s dressing mirror. He also sent her a WhatsApp message as well as a normal text message in order not to keep her in the dark about the emergency trip. He presented his documents to immigration officers at the Airport and went to board Gambia Bird flight S01254 after he his passport was stamped.
That night Adwoa offered Kofi Poku the opportunity to enter into their living room. She had read the message her husband sent her about the Monrovia trip, so she didn’t see it as a big deal. ‘I hope this guy doesn’t go chasing Liberian woman because of their beauty,’ she had thought. She went into the bedroom to change her dress and came back to offer him a bottle of water but he declined. She sat by him and asked about his relationship life.
‘I haven’t found anyone as precious and beautify as you’re to marry at the moment,’ he flirted with her.
‘There are beautiful women in town; you just have to open your eyes to take a good look.’
He inched closer to her and gave her an intense look. It was incisive as though he had ripped her shirt apart exposing her nakedness. He rubbed her hand. ‘God really created you Adwoa.’
She didn’t reply because her heart had begun racing sensing danger ahead. Kofi Poku rose to kiss her but she withdrew. ‘I thought you said you want us to be mere friends when I told you I have a husband, so what are you trying to do.’
‘I am sorry Adwoa but I think I love you and this grows in bound whenever I see you.’
‘Please you have to kill that passion inside of you. It can ruin our friendship.’
Before she could utter another word, Kofi kissed her. He was all over her. She looked surprised and didn’t react. He kissed her again only this time she felt something animated inside of her.
The rest of the kisses that followed were sensual, mutual and cooperative. It was intense and violent with each trying to suck out the saliva from the others mouth. It was a deep-tongue kissing. Kofi reached for Adwoa’s T-shirt and removed it. He wrapped his hand at her back and unbuttoned her black brassier. She responded by delving her hand into his trouser to touch him and he jerked as though electrified. It was tall and huge. She couldn’t compare it to the others she had seen in her life. They made love in the couch.
The next day she was mad at Kofi for what happened last night. She refused to sit in his car but later conceded after he had apologised and assured her it would never happen again.
Surprisingly that evening they made love again, this time on her matrimonial bed. She later prepared supper and the two of them ate together in silence.
Adwoa’s colleagues at the office had begun raising eyebrows about her sudden closeness to a man whom she barely knew. She was aware her friends gossip about her anytime Kofi comes to pick her up for lunch. She had decided not to let her husband hear about the affair so she stopped Kofi from coming to the office. They both settled on a venue that is on the outskirt of Accra for their weekend meetings.
Kwabena was reflecting on the challenges at home when the receptionist phoned to tell him he has a visitor. The conference planners had offered him a suite at Royal Grand Hotel located at 12 Street in Monrovia. He loves the city of Monrovia because of its neatness and orderliness. Their water bodies are clean and he actually saw his face when he stood by one of it.
He thought about the call from the receptionist and concluded he wasn’t expecting anyone especially since this was his first time in the country. ‘It could be Maa Pari the Liberian business mogul who funded the conference.’ He guessed.
Kwabena met Maa Pari at the Conference’s opening ceremony where they exchanged contacts. He ran into her on the second day of the conference and the two had lunch at West Point Hotel close to the United Nations drive. Suddenly the woman has taken a liking to him. He put on a white T-shirt and black trouser and descended to the reception.
‘Ma men how yor err?’ Maa Pari said in Liberian colloquia as soon as she saw Kwabena.
‘Hey how are you?’ he repeated not understanding what she meant by ‘how yor err?’
‘How was yor night?’ this question from her was clear to elicit the right response from Kwabena.
‘I slept well by God’s Grace. How about you?’
She pointed to an empty table in the open space and both of them moved toward it. There were four chairs arranged by the table. They sat down and she ordered rice and potato green. ‘Yor eaten already?’
He understood it and said no. He directed the waitress to give him rice and palm butter. He had initially rejected Liberian food because of its simplicity but after three days in the country he has become a fan. He now consumes rice with palm butter, pepper soup, cassava leave, and potato green with fanfare. The waiter brought the food and they ate in silence.
He enjoyed the Liberian palm butter because it looked much like the palm nut soup in his country. The striking difference is that palm butter is thicker and heavy compared to the palm nut soup that is always light.
Adwoa was at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital at Ridge to see the family doctor, Reverend Dr Atiko Hesse, when a phone call came through. It was a Liberian number and she quickly recognised it was the husband. He would be home over the weekend and has called to tell the wife.
‘Can you meet me at the Airport please?’ he asked.
Adwoa sighed. ‘I have a couple of things to do on that day but I will see if I can meet you.’
‘Okay baby, I love you and be good.’
Kwabena’s closing comment hunted her. She knew she had not been the good wife after she met Kofi Poku.
Adwoa was examined and a lab test conducted on her as part of her monthly medical check up. But when the results of the tests were handed to Dr Hesse, he found out she was pregnant. He was surprised because Kwabena had told him he had not slept with Adwoa for more than two months. ‘She is one month pregnant,’ he said silently that she didn’t hear him.
He wanted to tell her about the result of the test but he decided to hold on to it until Kwabena arrives in the country.