The call had come in just as they were turning in for the night.
The small voice at the end of the line called out; barely audible to her, can… can you come get me… please? She said amidst of sobs. She heard shuffling and then voices in the background. Then Gloria’s booming voice at the end this time subdued to something she could not place.
Esi, its Gloria, are you home—“asem kesi esi” Hmmm! “We have a big problem”, Hmmm, She said not waiting for a response from the other end. You and your husband need to get down here quickly.
Ah Glo…, it’s not something we discuss over the phone, auntie Gloria said. I can’t just come to Ghana just like that and neither can my husband too. What exactly is going on? and what is wrong with Annalise?
It’s about your in-laws. You people have better come down and fast. Okay I’ve heard you—will talk to Edward and see if we can catch a flight down in the morning. Well whatever you need to do to get here, do it and get here as fast as you can.
She hanged up and turned towards her husband who had a questioning look on his face—I’m not sure what’s wrong but Gloria wants us to come down as soon as possible. She wouldn’t say why though. Okay you make preparations and go. I’m stretched thin with my schedule for the next couple of weeks and can’t afford to cancel any of them.
Melina got on the first dawn flight she could find and was in Ghana by mid-day. Auntie Gloria’s driver stood at the entrance of the airport in order to see Melina when she came out of the airport.
Aunt Esi! Aunt Esi, Melina heard her local name being called out amidst a huddle of young men trying to get her attention for business. A good thing Kwaku had long hands for she could see him vigorously waving to grab her attention. As she neared him, he grabbed her luggage and they headed for the car.
Kwaku, how are you? I hope there is no problem as your madam has dragged me down here. Hmmm, auntie! As for this one, it’s too big for me to say. Madam will fill you in when you get home.
The ride home was very silent as Melina reminisced about the last time she had come to Ghana. Bad news had brought her down and she dreaded what awaited her as the neared the house.
The shouts and wailing going on in the compound was unbearable. Trembling at what was to come next, she got out of the car and slowly made her way inside the house.
Black! Black all around. Esi! Esi, she felt her friend’s hand holding her and calling out her name. Glo! Am I dreaming? What is going on? I thought I had put this behind me? Esi, calm down. Get yourself together. Your niece needs you.
Anna! she said jolting back to reality. What is wrong with her and where are her parents? And you know I don’t like black. Too many bad memories.
Yes, well it’s because of her parents I asked you to come down. Where is your husband? This affects him as much as you. He couldn’t make it. Were are Eric and Linda?
Come sit. Your niece is with my son. He is the only person who seems to be able to calm her down.
Esi, Mr Banful called walking towards her and giving her a hug. I… We…,
How did it happen? Mr and Mrs Banful filled their friend in on all that had happened. Just as they finished filling her in, Daniel and Annalise walked in.
Akua she said stretching out her arms to her niece. Annalise rushed into her aunts arms sobbing and repeatedly asked, “how could they leave me auntie Mel?” “How could they?”
That night Melina called Edward to break the news to him. “Hi hon, Hi Mel, how are things down there? Where you able to find out what was wrong? Emm, hmmm, hon, I think you need to sit down for this if you standing. It’s about Eric and Linda, we… we… Yes! come out with it already Melina, what’s wrong with my brother and his wife he barked out irritated by the heaving and puffing on the other end.
Gone? Gone where?
Edward wasn’t making this any easy. They’re dead she said breaking down into tears. Silence drew a long line on the line. Hon, Ed, are you there? Edward? The line had gone dead. With shaky hands, she redialed the number to his office but the line was engaged.
With a heavy heart, she turned her eyes upward and said a quick prayer “Father, please take care of him. Grant him peace as he deals with this, Amen. Putting the phone down, she quoiled herself up and tried to sleep but her tears had become her comforter.
Melina stayed a few days in Ghana and made arrangements for the bodies to be transported back to Ghana. She also made arrangements for Annalise to join them in a months time.
Glo, please take care of her for me. I need to go see to Edward first. Don’t worry, do what you have to do. she will be fine here. Let us know when you both ready. God is in control.
Melina arrived in Canada late in the night. Taking a taxi, she directed the driver to her residence. Arriving on the premises, she rushed into the house calling for her husband.
Ed! Edward! There was only one place he ever found sanctuary and that was his study.
Slowly she opened the door and found him sitting on the floor holding a picture frame. He didn’t want to go he said not looking up. I did this. I caused this. No hon, you didn’t. You can’t blame yourself for this she said moving closer to him. She tried to touch him but he pushed her hand away.
Please don’t do this to yourself but he was far gone. As she got up to leave, she said a quick prayer hoping things would turn for the better before the arrival of Annalise.
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