Ansa…The Return

22 Mar

CHAPTER FIVE

‘I am sorry mother, but you cannot marry this man’ Ansa said through clenched teeth. Even as he said that, he could not tear his gaze away from the man whom he had come to loathe with a passion.

 

The four men made their way out of Wassaw late that night. Osei claimed he preferred night trips; it reminded him about his hunting days with his friend Anan, Ansa’s father.

Mensah took particular note of this admission. “If he could do away with Anan, a good friend of his from way back in his childhood, what would stop him doing away with me?” he reasoned.

The group of slaves they had just sold off was the last batch, so of what use to Osei would he be from now on?

‘We cannot cross the Prah this late,’ Akan said, speaking up for both himself and for Mensah. If Akan knew anything, it was that whatever fate befell his boss tonight, he would equally suffer the same fate.

‘Ahh, you have not beheld the scenic beauty of the Prah at night, you must have been missing so much then.’ Osei tried convincing him. ‘You would love the view from the boat.’

‘I just wanted to know why we must leave tonight,’ Akan insisted on getting to the bottom of it.

  ‘Would you please talk to your boy,’ Osei told Mensah, ‘Or I won’t be responsible for what I will do.’

Mensah pinched Akan signaling him to stop.

They arrived the docks without incident. There was one boat which was loaded and ready to go but had space for two more passengers.

Akan opted for it and insisted Mensah come with him since they were ultimately traveling together. After putting up a firm opposition, Osei finally accepted that they go, while he and Kwame would wait for the next boat.

They said their goodbyes and Osei insisted that Mensah meet up with him for another business deal. They settled to meet in a fortnight.

 

*                *               *

 

By midday the next day, Osei and Kwame were well on their way to Denkera. He had on him Ansa’s Kente with bloodstains on it. He also had a lot of money. He had made good money from his last trade and when you add the money he had gotten from Mensah’s deal, it was quite a lot.

He had shared Mensah’s money with the men he hired to do him in. “Poor Mensah,” he thought as a sinister smile played across his lips, “could you have ever imagined that you would have a watery grave in the great river Prah?” He wondered if he would get haunted by the spirits. “Not possible,” he concluded. “Hard men like us always die hard, no room for wandering souls for us.”

It was evening when he finally arrived Nana’s. The place was as quiet as a graveyard. He knew how devastating the news he bore was going to be for the woman he had loved all his life. But he had to go through with it, he had come thus far.

Nana looked up at him as he approached her. She could tell from the expression on his face that nothing good was going to come out of those lips.

She had waited four whole days for news from him and now here he was and she could see her last hope dying.

‘I am so sorry Nana,’ he said as he knelt in front of her, his head bowed. ‘I am sorry I could not save him.’

‘What happened?’ Nana whispered though she was scared to hear the answer that would follow.

‘We searched as far as the Prah’ he began. ‘When the search yielded no result we decided to retrace our steps…’ he paused to fish out the Kente, ‘then we found this.’

Nana collected the article of clothing with hands that shook violently. Her son had gone with the wilds just like his father. But unlike his father, his body had not been found.

For a woman who had lost the only son that would carry on the name of his father, Nana was unusually calm. It was like the calm before the storm. She didn’t make a fuss; she had no complaints for the gods who had allowed calamity to visit her.     

‘I hear Mosa has also gone missing,’ he said trying to steer her away from the subject at hand.

Her answer was a nod.

‘It is quite unfortunate; the gods have robbed us of our finest.’

Nana rose from her seat and walked slowly and steadily into the house. She went straight for Ansa’s room and laid out the Kente on his bamboo bed. She stood there by the bed and she wept. She needed this time to herself to mourn her child, her son.

She thought of Anan, how did this tragedy befall their family? It has always been said that good things do not last long; she had found every aspect of that saying to be true.

All she had now was her daughter and she hoped that the gods would have pity on her so her would-be husband does not reject her over this misfortune.

Nyame, Nyame,’ she breathed.

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