Ansa…The Return

18 Mar


This is impossible!


It was about three years ago that Ansa, the son of Nana went missing. His disappearance caused quite a stir for he, like his father was a skilled hunter. It had been the day his sister was to be given away in marriage and his outing was supposed to produce the meat to be used for the ceremony.

Nana had sent for her husband’s longtime friend, Osei, but he had not been available. Nana had been frantic as the time for their guests to arrive drew closer and closer. An occasion which was supposed to be joyous had become a disaster. The wait had been long and agonizing. Nana could not comprehend why the gods would allow the two men in her life to go in the same way.

The night had come, their visitors had gone and still there was no sign of Ansa, or Osei who ordinarily would have shown up as soon as she sent for him. It crossed her mind that they might be together, but she dismissed the thought. She had reasoned in similar lines when her husband disappeared but it turned out that their path had not crossed then. She figured he must have gone for one of his customary journeys which always took him days to return.

The young men of Denkera gathered in groups to form a search party. The gathering of the young men gave Nana a feeling of déjà vu. It was like when her husband went missing, but this time her son, Ansa, was not leading the search party, he was the one they were to search for.

Nana watched the scenes of her life play before her. It was curious that Osei was not here. He had always promised he would be here in her time of need. What time greater than this?

Kofi, son of Dankwa, was to lead the search.

‘Nana, don’t despair. We shall find him,’ he comforted her.

Nana was grateful for the encouragement, but something told her that her son would not be found. There was something ominous about his disappearance and Osei’s absence. It was exactly the same thing when her husband disappeared five years ago. Osei had been conspicuous by his absence.

She shook her head to clear it of all the negative energy clogging her thinking. She needed to stay positive. She needed to be strong for her daughter whose great day had been marred by such misfortune. She prayed that her would-be in-laws do not consult any oracles over this. She knew how superstitious her people could be. In fact she could imagine how she would take it if this was happening on Ansa’s wedding day.

The search party was out all night. When they returned the next morning it was to report that there was no trace of Ansa.

To Nana, the report still left a window of hope. It was better they had not found him than that he be found dead.

The search had continued till late in the evening. Ansa had been missing for a night and a day when Osei finally showed up. As soon as he caught sight of Nana he put on a show of pure distress.

‘Nana, my dear Nana,’ he cried unashamedly. ‘What tragedy has befallen you?’

He held Nana in a tight embrace as he apologised for not being there when the incidence had happened. He proceeded to assure her that he would move heaven and earth to bring Ansa back.

‘He is the pillar of this family; the gods cannot do this to us.’

‘What can I do?’ Nana replied. ‘I cannot but patiently wait for the search party to bring in their report tonight and tomorrow morning if need be.’

Osei cleaned the tears on her face with the back of his hands.

‘I would organize my own search. You know how well I know these paths, my men and I would comb the area inch by inch,’ he said.

‘Won’t it be better if you joined forces with the search parties already on ground?’ She suggested.

‘No’ he quickly dissuaded her. ‘They would just get in the way. I prefer to work with my own men.’

‘If you think that is the best…’

‘I think so’, and turning to Mensah, ‘We had better move now. We have no time to waste.’

Osei hurried away with Mensah. For what it was worth, his act was quite believable. He was smiling inside him…he was actually going to get away with this.

When they were well out of earshot of everyone Mensah said, ‘I don’t know how you do this, that woman is really distressed.’

And when Osei gave no comment he added, ‘Something tells me the boy we have in custody is her son.’

Osei turned to him menacingly. ‘You know you are really beginning to get on my nerves with your constant yapping.’

‘I know you are good at this business, but nobody plays this kind of game so close to home,’ Mensah insisted standing his ground. ‘And for your information, I do not fancy the idea of your passing me off as one of your ‘men’.

Osei decided to soft pedal.

‘But you would agree with me that the boy is beyond price.’

‘That is not the issue; you are part of the search party for a boy YOU abducted. How do you explain that?’

‘That is my problem, don’t you think so?’ Osei replied sarcastically.

They walked on in silence for a bit then Mensah said matter-of-factly, ‘This would not end well’.

‘Leave that bit to me,’ Osei answered proudly. ‘I shall show you that I am the proverbial tortoise.’ Then he laughed out loud ‘The slippery eel…that is what I am.’

Mensah shook his head. He knew that this situation was quite dicey and he very much wished he could extricate himself from it.

‘I thought you were a brave man Mensah. Don’t worry, we shall pull this off.’

Mensah feigned a smile. But his heart was far from smiling.


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