PANDORA’S BOX (pt. 5)

“Goodnight Maa”

Nana Aba stood, stretching and heavily yawning, after she and Katrina had had an hour-long face time with Kay on campus. She tiredly trudged to her room and immediately dropped on her bed and deeply falling asleep.

Hours later into midnight, Kweku opened the glass window of the fine dark wooden Drinks Cabinet stationed at the secluded wing of the house. He distressingly drunk a bottle of whiskey. Katrina strolls towards Achiaa’s room whiles reflecting on what happened earlier that evening.

Kweku drunkenly reaches for another bottle; his sloppy hands carelessly push the front set of alcoholic bottles on the second compartment. A bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label and Springbank Scotch next to it, fell just an inch away from his right foot. Katrina hears the sound of shattering glass as her clenched palm extended to knock on Achiaa’s door. She quickly pulled back her hand and rushed towards where she heard the clatter.

“Leave me alone”, Kweku said, recklessly pushing Katrina away. Achiaa unknowingly followed her to the scene. She offered to help Katrina.

“You. You. What are you doing here”, Kweku vehemently said, pointing at Achiaa.

“Don’t listen to him. You, just clean up this mess and go to bed”, Katrina said to her.

Katrina closed her eye to his drunk condition and sprightly held him on her shoulders to their bedroom, as though this was not her first drill. 

“Baby, come here. Baby I want you”

Kweku grabbed her body tight and began forcefully kissing her lips. She instantly pulled herself away from his stiff grip. He advanced unto touching her body and thereupon, she pushed him to one side with disgust. His hands loosely hit her left eye and cheekbone as he fell on the bed. This enraged her, she took a deep breath and looked at his face; trying to figure out if he was the same charming man she fell in love with.

She was exhausted and turned her eyes away anxious to leave his sight. Her eyes are caught by the small piece of sharp glass thrust inside his right foot. Unhesitant, she fetched the first aid box from their bathroom. She gently pulled the glass at the expense of his painful loud cry. She bandaged his foot. She felt somewhat disappointed in herself. After dressing the wound, she realized he was fast asleep. She was also tired, and neglectfully laid beside his feet.

“Achiaa. Tell me the truth now, who did this?”

Katrina countlessly asked Achiaa the next morning privately in her room. Achiaa was afraid. Her mind battled with the thoughts of whether to heed to her mother’s advice to come clean with whom the father was or, lie about it and save herself further shame than she already feels. Her unresponsiveness only strengthened what Katrina was gradually reckoning in her mind.

Nana Aba woke up that morning with multiple texts from Philip. She was mostly stroked with his last message insisting that she came over to his place that Saturday. She was truly surprised but made herself believe otherwise. She texted him back, naively asking him to forward his precise destination via Google maps.

Deliberating on whether to visit him at his house alone or not, befuddled her. Philip instantly replied with his destination.  She saw the message and went on to get ready afterwards. She wore an off-shoulder velvet blouse over her favorite tattered blue jeans and Reebok sneakers.

She asked Katrina for permission to go out to do some pending group assignments with her friends. Usually, Katrina or Kweku would offer to drop her off on their way to work. However, this time around, Kweku had not come out of his room since, and Katrina, seemingly preoccupied, was not planning to finish her conversation with Achiaa very soon.

Nana Aba spotted an odd form on Katrina’s face.

“Oh Maa. Your eye, it’s swollen. Big one Oh”

“Oh no, I think a mosquito bit me there. But the ointment I’ve applied will heal it fast, don’t worry”

Nana Aba nodded and thought it, unusually weird. Katrina distractingly asked Nana Aba to take some money from her purse and take care of herself before she went out.

Nana Aba had already ordered her Uber ride 5 minutes before leaving the house. The ash Toyota Camry pulled over in front of their street where she stood, and she sat in. She put on her AirPods and listened to her local Afro-pop playlist until, the ride completed in about 20 minutes.  She got out of the car, opened Philip’s WhatsApp chat and texted him a message. She crossed the highway road to the stretch of bungalow buildings on the other side.

She knocked twice on the rusted and perforated metal black fence gate and waited. The gate was unlocked by Miss Alice, Alberta’s mother and Nana Aba’s best friend. She smiled, responding to Nana Aba’s greetings and shouted,

“Abena! Herh. Your friend, Aba is here!”

She invited Nana Aba in whiles continually yelling out her daughter’s name.

To be continued…

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