Ansa…The Return

23 Mar

CHAPTER SIX

Osei had the audacity to return the look. For shame! He could not conceal his hate for the man, whom he carried as a baby, watched grow up, coveted and finally sold. All that ran through his head was “How many lives has this nemesis of mine got?!”

 

Ansa’s funeral was a sombre affair. It was considered bad luck for a parent to bury their child and relatives had advised Nana to keep it as quiet as possible.

Osei, though, had tried to insist that the entire funeral rites performed for adults should be performed for him too. This advice was more to assuage his guilt feelings and to assure himself that Ansa was dead and buried both to him and to the entire community.

Nana on her part did not see why she should do that because down at a tiny recess of her mind, she still held on to the hope that one day her son would return to her. This hope was borne out of the fact that the body was not found. She did not believe that Nyame would be so cruel as to take her son and not even give back his body.

Osei did his best to be a pillar of support for Nana throughout the funeral. When all the guests had finally dispersed later that night, he was left alone with Nana and her daughter. His man, Kwame made himself scarce though he kept an eye on what was going on from a distance.

‘You should try to leave the past behind you and move forward,’ Osei said in consoling Nana.

‘The past would always be behind,’ Nana answered. ‘And the future would always be ahead of us.’

‘I am happy to hear that,’ Osei ventured further. ‘You need an extra hand around here and my man Kwame would always be on hand to assist you in whatever you may desire.’

Nana smiled mirthlessly. ‘I believe I stopped living today when I had to bury my own son.’

Her words tore at Osei’s conscience. Much as he tried to convince himself that all he had done, he had done out of love for her, he knew in his heart of hearts that no man alive would exonerate him of blame if this came to light of day. He needed by all means to kill his conscience in order to silence it once and for all. But he was only human and nothing could stop the guilt feelings. He vowed to himself that once he succeeded in marrying Nana he would remain a faithful husband catering to her every need. It was just as well, he had lived the better part of his life fantasizing about this woman, he could see his entire scheme succeeding someday soon and he could not afford ruining his conquest with a troubled conscience.

He held Nana’s hands in his palms and peered into her face. She looked so forlorn and he wanted so badly to hold her in a warm embrace. Much as he wanted to do that he knew that any move in that direction would only scare her away from him and he could not risk that…not now anyway. There definitely would come a time when she would see there was nothing preventing her from willingly looking to him as a woman does a husband.

‘I think it is about time you left,’ Nana finally said as she retrieved her hands from his. ‘We don’t want the neighbours to talk, do we?’

Osei had a good mind to say to hell with everyone, but this time he let it pass and allowed her to rise, signaling the end of his stay. He swallowed his pride and rose also.

‘Don’t forget what I said about Kwame’ he reminded her. ‘He would be here every day to check if there is anything he could help you with,’ and report your every move to me. He smiled at her and she managed a smile for his benefit.

He gestured to Kwame and that one rose from where he was seated and approached him.

‘You would keep an eye on Nana for me,’ Osei told Kwame. ‘Check on her each day to be sure she lacks nothing.’

Kwame did well in concealing his bewilderment. It was obvious to him Osei was losing it. How could he turn him into a simple errand boy? He smiled his acknowledgement of the assignment.

‘I must leave now,’ Osei said to Nana.

They left the compound before Kwame spoke. He had gotten over the shock of the assignment but he wanted to know why Osei should humiliate him so.

‘Do not consider it a humiliation,’ Osei pacified him. ‘I need to know what she is up to. What if she becomes interested in some other man? You yourself know how hard I have worked for her. Won’t it be a tragedy if she becomes interested in some other person now?’

Kwame had to agree. It would indeed be a disaster.

‘So that means my real reason for the daily visits is to make sure no one comes around to help her out.’

‘Yes. I have to establish a presence, and you are to help get me information as to her everyday activities.’

*             *                  *

Nana watched Osei and Kwame leave. She knew why Osei was doing this. His interest in her ever since her husband died was no secret. He was patient, she would give him that and with the new development…

Could she bring herself to consider Osei for marriage? She had been so self-sufficient since her husband’s death because Ansa had always been there to take care of her. But now things were different, Ansa was no longer here and a huge vacuum had been created.

She turned to find her daughter watching her. Could she have imagined what was going over in her mind? Would she accept Osei as a stepfather?

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One Response to “Ansa…The Return”

  1. jameschesley March 23, 2013 at 10:31 pm #

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