Ansa…The End

21 Feb

Chapter 9

“There he is.”

The voice sounded vaguely familiar. Ansa raised his face to find Ivan Stacky, the Dutch who had bought him off Kofi Otubu’s barracoon, pointing at him.

“Are you sure it’s him?” asked another Dutch standing beside him.

“I am. It is he. Cost me a hand and a limb if I say so myself. I bought him off that Otubu man in Wassaw for a good bottle of scotch” Ivan affirmed.

Ansa was led off the line and escorted down a corridor as the two men walked behind him.

“Why would you do a thing like that?” the other Dutch asked Ivan.

“Do a thing like what?”

“Buy one Negro for a good scotch? We often get ten of them for that” the other one expatiated.

“Oh that. Otubu says he is an asset. This one is educated he tells me.”

Ansa was led into a room. Filthy though the room was it could not be compared with where he was coming from.

“You are really a lucky man” his fellow Negro who had led him into the room told him. “We hear Osai Tutu says Mr. Dupuis has permission to kill any slaves that cannot board the ship because of the abolition.”

 

Ansa could not believe his ears. “How many?” he whispered.

 

“About 10,000” the man answered offhanded. “Wash quickly and then you can have a meal.”

 

“Why?” Ansa’s voice was a hoarse whisper.

 

The man turned to Ansa enquiringly.

 

Ansa said no more as he stared at the metal container of water. He could not stop the tears that welled up in his eyes as they spilled over and ran down his cheeks. Whatever it was that had saved him from crossing that door…he would forever be grateful for it.

 

Slowly he stooped, took some water in the palm and poured it on his face. His face felt grimy to the touch and he tightly shut his mouth so the water does not run into his mouth.

 

He spent time scrubbing his body, removing dirt that had caked. He had to be careful with his feet which had been eaten into by vermin during his stay in the dungeon.

 

He still had no idea how long he had spent there, but he somehow knew that the worst was finally over. It may even be possible that he sees his home again. Yes, he would once more see his mother and have the satisfaction of turning in the man who had subjected him to this horrendous experience.

 

It was about an hour before the man came to check on him. Ansa had scrubed himself to the best of his ability and could not contemplate covering himself with the filthy rags again.

 

He was standing in the altogether when the man came in. the man came in bearing some articles of clothing. He handed Ansa underwear and a pair of khaki shorts which Ansa put on. He was led out of the room down the corridor and into another room that had some long tables and benches, no doubt a cafeteria, and asked to sit while awaiting further instructions.

 

Ansa sat gingerly at the edge of the bench not knowing what to expect next. He still felt itchy especially around his ear, his hair and his groin but he did not want to scratch it fearing that he would dirty his nails once more.

 

A female brought in some food and placed it on the table beside him. Ansa took a close look at her as she turned to walk away not daring to look at him.

 

“Mose?” Ansa asked not daring to hope it was really her.

 

Mose turned to look at him in obvious shock.

 

“Ansa”

 

To Ansa that was the most reassuring word he had ever heard in his life. He stood up as carefully as he had sat and moved to stand in front of her. He knew he must look a ghost of his former self and did not expect any form of acceptance from her. They stood staring at each other for a time.

“We have come a long way, you and I” Ansa said as the silence grew. “All I want to say is I am happy you are alive.”

 

Mose collapsed in his arms in an embrace Ansa was by no means expecting. It was all he could do not to collapse on the floor himself. He held her to himself when he regained his balance and let her cry.

 

“You like the little servant girl?”

 

Ansa slowly detached himself from Mose and turned his attention to the door where Ivan Stacky stood.

 

Ivan had an amused expression on his face as he watched Ansa. “Don’t act like your hands were found in the cookie jar my man. You can have her if you want her.”

 

“I am sorry Master” Ansa said bowing. “I did not mean to…”

 

“It is no problem, I promise you” Ivan assured him walking into the cafeteria. “Have you had your meal?” he motioned to the bowl on the table.

 

“I am not really hungry” Ansa replied as his stomach growled to belie the claim.

 

Ivan gave him a look over. “You need to eat boy, sit and eat.” He turned to Mose “She would be here to attend to your needs. I shall see you in a while.”

 

With that he strode out the room.

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