Ansa…The Return

27 Mar

They faced each other, Ansa and Osei.
They faced each other, Ansa and Osei.

CHAPTER NINE

This was Osei’s long awaited day. Today Nana, his beloved Nana would become his wife in front of all these witnesses gathered here and singing praises, singing his praises. If only they knew what he had done to get here they would steer clear of him. They may think of him as a terrible person but to him the end always justified the means.

The marriage proceedings had been going so well until pandemonium broke loose. He could not rise to see why everyone was in a kind of frenzy.  All he knew was that the women were singing praises of someone, and from clear indicators, it was not HIM they were singing about. It sounded like…could it be what he was thinking?

In the fog of his confused mind he watched Nana rise. She rose and everyone went quite still and then suddenly a roar of applause.

Now even the abusua who was presiding over the marriage ceremony rose. His face was all smiles as he watched the “spectacle” that Osei supposed was taking place right behind him.

Every fibre of his being told him to flee, but he could not bring himself to do that. He was no coward. He had always prided himself brave enough to face his own demons. He had to face this one too even if it was the last thing he would do.

He rose to his feet and he turned around to face the worst fear of his life, his very own nemesis.

It was Ansa.

This is impossible! Osei muttered under his breath just as Ansa was muttering the same thing. Mosa, who was standing behind him, let out an involuntary yelp when she saw Osei. The thought of Osei had always had that effect on her and seeing him now, she could not help herself; she shook from head to toe.

Meanwhile, they faced each other, Osei and Ansa. To all those standing around the scene was not a very pleasant one. The atmosphere was charged enough to ignite a fire.

For Ansa the last three years played back in his mind as he tried to take in the near disaster that would have become his mother.

The shock of seeing Ansa made Nana completely unaware of the sparks flying around her. ‘My son, my Ansa,’ she said as she tenderly felt his face, ‘You arrived at a very important moment of my life. See I was getting married. You remember Osei, don’t you?’

‘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.

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?!”

Nana looked from Ansa to Osei, she could not understand why her son would look upon Osei with so much anger and hatred. Much as she would have wanted to know what he had been through these past three years, she wanted to find that out in the privacy of their home. But with this mutual hatred that she could see between her son and her betrothed, she felt it would be better to find out right away.

‘My son, look at me,’ Ansa gave her a brief look and continued his survey of Osei. ‘Where have you been? What happened to you all of these three years?’ She choked as she was overcome by emotions. ‘You cannot imagine what your sister and I passed through when you disappeared. If not for Osei…’ her voice trailed off.

Ansa never knew he had a dark side. A side that could be murderous, a side that could hate with such intensity he could burst a blood vessel. He watched Osei for any moves. Aside from the mutual hate he could read in Osei’s eyes, Osei remained impassive, unmoving.

‘Well mother,’ Ansa said to Nana, ‘the cure for you malady also happens to be the cause of your illness.’

Nana looked at him incredulously, ‘What are you saying my son? What has Osei got to do with your disappearance?’

‘Why don’t you tell her?’ Ansa challenged Osei, ‘Why don’t you tell her that while you were consoling her, you had me under lock and key up in Castle d’Elmina waiting for the slave ships?’

The gasp from the guests was clearly audible. The tales about Elmina was not strange to all of those present.

Nana turned slowly to face Osei. She did not know which was worse; knowing what her son had gone through or discovering who was responsible.

‘This is not true,’ she said to Osei as uncontrolled tears ran down her face. ‘You did not do this.’

Osei simply ignored her. Now that he knew he could never have her he divided up his fraustration and pent up anger between her and her son.

‘What did I not do for you Nana, when your husband passed and you refused to set your eyes on me because you had this…this arrogant son of yours,’ he glared at her. ‘You did not even notice me.’ He gave a sinister laugh as he registered the shock on Nana’s beautiful face.

‘As for you, Ansa,’ he spat, ‘I believe you enjoyed your time in the dungeons of Elmina. And I can see you came back with that girl; did she enjoy her stay too?’ He had his hand inside his kente as he continued, ‘And now that you have returned, what do you intend to do, take me before the Obirempon like the coward that you are?’

The words had their desired effect. Ansa leapt at Osei brandishing his dagger. He would have preferred shooting his head off with his gun but he decided the dagger was a better weapon for he wanted to employ the element of surprise.  He vaguely noticed that Osei had taken out a dagger from under his Kente. The people were scurrying for safety just as he heard the gun shot and the yell.

Ansa registered the shocked expression on Osei’s face as he looked beyond him, his kente turning crimson red and his dagger clattering to ground.

Ansa could not understand what had just happened. He did not have a gun. Who could have come to this gathering with a gun and be angry enough to shoot Osei?

The scurrying people created way for the shooter to walk forward. As he drew nearer Mosa could not believe her eyes.

‘Kofi! My brother Kofi!’ she yelled as she rushed to him.

Kofi, the son of Dankwa had come to the marriage ceremony with the full intention of killing Osei. When Mensah requested to meet with him last night, he had not known what revelation awaited him. Mensah had filled him with enough hate to make him decide that Osei would not see the dusk of today. But then he had arrived to find Ansa and with him, someone with a close resemblance to his sister. He had been torn between going to his sister and giving her a hug that was three years overdue and concluding his mission. Osei’s move to silence Ansa for life had helped him decide.

Now he held his sister in a tight embrace as he watched Osei lying in the pool of his own blood.

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