Ansa…The Return

25 Mar

CHAPTER EIGHT

He watched Osei for any moves. Aside from the mutual hate he could read in Osei’s eyes, Osei remained impassive, unmoving.

The man moved under the covers of the dark shadows surrounding him. He had on dark clothes to complement the dark night which had become his abiding place for the past three years. It had to be this way. He needed to conduct his businesses at night and sleep by day like the owls and other night creatures.

He had cursed himself roundly for his blind trust. A trust that cost him his life…almost. His family had had an elaborate burial for him unlike the one they had for the man Ansa who many still considered a boy three years ago. He had heard about his burial. He had heard about the role his ‘good’ friend Osei played at his burial. He had nursed himself to health and also succeeded in nursing his loyal friend to health. With each day that passed his only purpose in life found a deeper root and a more sinister meaning.

He lived for the day he would step out of this darkness and live a normal life like all else. The day he would walk down the path or the road in broad daylight while people look upon him and say their greetings to him the way they used to until the day Osei had betrayed him and left him for dead at the Prah.

Mensah sat down after his long trek. As soon as he sat down Akan came out to meet him. Akan had indeed depreciated considerably. The once athletic looking Akan had become lanky; his hair was long and tangled from a lack of grooming.

‘Were you able to get it?’ he asked Mensah.

Mensah had a faraway look in his eyes. He appeared oblivious of his surroundings.

Akan checked to see if he was holding onto anything that had a resemblance of the weekly supplies he had gone for. He saw nothing. He knew it would be futile trying to extract any form of information from Mensah.

He has seen Mensah in this kind of mood many times before. After both of them had survived the near drowning experience at the Prah his master had become a very distant bitter person.

Their survival at the Prah that night had been nothing short of a miracle. As the boat they boarded got as far as the middle of their boat trip, he and Mensah suddenly realised that every other person in the boat with the exception of they themselves, were part of a grand plan.

He had sensed that they gave them the persona non grata treatment, but he had dismissed it since they did not come from these parts. But soon the leader made himself manifest. He ordered the other men to divest them of all they had. He was particular about demanding the money they had realised from the recent trade they had engaged in.

It was at this point that he had realised this was no ordinary robbery. Mensah had given them all they asked for and without warning he had plunged into the Prah. He had tried to follow suit, but he was slow and so he had taken a stabbing before he made it over the edge of the boat.

Ordinarily, Akan and Mensah were strong swimmers, but with the wound he had sustained, he could hardly move his arms. He had started sinking immediately he hit the water. Mensah alone knows how he got them both away from that river for he came to three days later in this shack in the middle of nowhere. Mensah had nursed him back to life and he had made no contact with any other human since then. It was Mensah that had told him how Osei had betrayed them and thrown them to the wolves. Mensah was sure Osei was the brain behind the robbery and his regular nightly visits to town over the years had yielded enough information for him to conclude unequivocally that Osei had plotted to have him eliminated.

Akan sat down on the bough of a felled tree. He had to wait for Mensah to come out of his mood. What was the hurry anyway; he had all his life to wait.

At length Mensah let out a huge breath. He stared unseeingly in Akan’s direction and then as if suddenly realising Akan was there he appeared startled.

‘Welcome back,’ Akan greeted him.

‘He is getting married to Ansa’s mother the day after tomorrow,’ was Mensah’s reply.

Akan moved to his side immediately. ‘This is what you have been waiting for all these years. What is your game plan?’

‘That marriage must not take place’, Mensah growled as he turned to stare into the darkness again. ‘Osei must pay for what he did to us.’

‘The man has no shame,’ Akan said as he shook his head. ‘He certainly has a twisted mind. How could he set this elaborate plan in motion just in order to marry a woman? Is the woman made of gold?’

‘He really has a warped mind,’ Mensah nodded. ‘He kills the son to marry the mother, really crazy!’

‘So what do you want to do?’ Akan asked. ‘Would you put in an appearance at the wedding?’

‘That would have been very dramatic, would it not?’ Mensah answered, a smile forming on his lips. ‘But that would not favour us, my friend. If I do that I shall be putting us both in danger. Osei is very tricky and could turn the table on us.’

Akan looked frustrated. It seemed Osei might get away with it again.

Mensah turned to look at Akan. ‘Don’t bother your head about this,’ he told him. ‘Osei would pay for this with his life.’

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