COVID-19. Chapter2

Before COVID

The first time I met Kwame was my second year in the university as an undergraduate. I was at the Balme library, he walked up to me and asked me to keep an eye on his books and laptop while he steps out to attend to someone. Few minutes later he came back and asked that I take his phone number and call him in case he is keeping long and I wanted to leave. I finished my usual two hours study and he wasn’t back. Thirty minutes later and he wasn’t back, I dialed the number he had given me and he did not answer, after waiting for an hour and thirteen minutes he showed up all sweaty. He apologized for wasting my time, I brushed off the apology and advised him to keep his belongings with the assistant librarians the next time he is leaving. After that day, I saw him every other day at the library.

Three weeks later it was my turn to ask him for help. I left my laptop charger in my room and I needed a laptop charger to charge my laptop to enable me submit an assignment. He was glad to help. When I returned his charger, he requested to call me that evening, I thought it was only nice that I return his kind gesture and so I told him I was going to expect his call.

That night he called; we spoke for over three hours. His name was Kwame Boafo Adu-Apenteng, a postgraduate student at the business school and in his final year. He told me he didn’t have any friend on campus at that moment because his friends were either working or studying outside the country, and that was the reason he was almost always at the library. He told me he has been seeing me every day at the library and I told him it was my habit to visit the library every day for two hours. He sounded impressed. He never called again during the semester, we texted instead. Everyone calls him KB but he wanted only me to call him Kay. We became friends, then we became best friends with time, then we started dating.

After his second degree, he got a scholarship to do his PhD in the UK. I also got a scholarship to do my second degree in the States. We were constantly in touch. After his PhD, he moved down to Ghana and started job hunting, the salaries were not enough for a PhD holder, the job conditions were unsatisfactory, he didn’t seem to fit into the working class in Ghana. He started his own business, it was a water production and delivery service, it really had a slow growth but it was better than being idle at home. I was still his girlfriend. Three years into the water delivery service, he finally had a breakthrough, he supplied water for three thousand guests at a friend’s wedding ceremony and that was it. He received orders upon orders after that delivery. When he hit big, he asked me to marry him and I did. We had an average Ghanaian wedding; traditional wedding with family members supporting you, lots of SHS mates and friends cheering you on and the white wedding at the church. On the night of our wedding, he promised to work hard, enroll our children in a British curricula school, make sure I tour the world, make me very happy, and wed me again in a grand style. I believed him and told him I was going to pray for him and support him.

I wasn’t comfortable working as the head of communications for a television station but I couldn’t complain—there was a long list of unemployed graduates awaiting my resignation. But two months after our wedding, I got employed as a lecturer at the university of Ghana school of engineering sciences where I did my first degree.

When I had my first pregnancy, Kwame opened another branch of his water business outside Accra, and two other branches within Accra. He bought a house at East Legon. And he still had enough funds to pay his thirty-seven employers. One night when we were deciding on a name for our baby, he jokingly said he had been blessed with a lot of money because God has used his unborn baby to bring him a lot of money. And that was the inspiration for the name of our first child Maame Sika Frempoma Adu-Apenteng.

Two years after Sika’s birth, he started a poultry farm. Business was rather moving faster, he reared rabbits, grass cutters, pigs, and goats in addition. It was a blessing so we named the baby I had that year Naana Nhyira Aferwaa Adu-Apenteng.

Two years later when he opened a bank, the president closed down a number of banks and his wasn’t part, in his bid to thank The Lord, we named our first son and our third born Papa Aseda Afriyie Adu-Apenteng.

Everything was perfect afterwards. So perfect that the kids started calling me Mummy Kay because I used to call him Daddy Kay. And we enrolled all our kids in the British Virgin Islands Academy just like he had promised me on the night of our wedding. I could not spend twenty five percent of my salary in a month, he gave me monthly allowance, he instructed his workers to bring bags of sachet water and boxes of bottled water to the house every week, the products from the farm was also feeding us, all I did was to save my money, be a good wife and a good mother, and pray for him.

Aseda was barely three when he started noticing losses in the water business. After investigations, it was found that the manager was guilty of pilfering. He fired him like every CEO will do. The mangers for both the farm and bank starting pilfering too. He fired all of them and he doubled as a manager and CEO.

One night he asked if I could be helpful by volunteering to be a manageress in one of his companies. I told him I was a virtual manager. He asked how and I told him I am the one giving him ideas and he said that wasn’t enough. Two nights later he told me he wanted to have a second wife so that she could mange all his companies. I was pissed. He wasn’t joking at all. He started coming home late, he wouldn’t eat my food, he wouldn’t speak to me, he wouldn’t go to church with me, everything was a mess. But a messier situation was yet to be met. Sika’s bursar who happened to be my classmate from JHS called to tell me the kids were owing school fees. I honestly thought it was a mistake from their side of the school. Kay was in charge of school fees and he always paid before the beginning of the term. I called him to ask of the kids’ school fees receipt and he gave the cruelest answer ever. “How do you expect me to pay school fees of children whose mother does not want to sacrifice for my businesses. I’m never paying any of those pounds ever in my life. Have a nice day.” He hung up.    

I went to the bank, cash out part of my savings for the kids’ school fees and I went ahead to pay it. He stopped his workers from bringing us water and so I had to be buying water from other people for ‘his’ children and me. The eggs and meat also stopped coming so I had to resort to buying from the mall or cold stores. He moved out of the new house he bought for me and went back to stay in the apartment he bought at East Legon. Occasionally on weekends he will come and take the kids out—without my permission. I noticed that the kids were not performing well in school and so I sent him a text never to take kids whose school fees he wasn’t paying out without my permission. I never got a reply to that text, but he never came to see the kids. Not even on their birthdays and Christmas. I had to be telling lies to the kids about his whereabouts. I remember once I told the kids he was busy in Germany one morning and later that afternoon he was being interviewed live on tv. I quickly changed the channel but I’m very sure Sika noticed it was a live interview.

Beginning of this year, he showed up with bags of sachet water, eggs, meat, boxes of bottled water, and an amount of money in an envelope. I didn’t need all that. I told him I wasn’t going to take any of that and he didn’t attempt forcing me to take it. I told him to divorce me so that his next wife will have a white wedding since it was the dream of every woman. He left without a word. The next day he went to pay half of the kids’ school fees for the academic year, and he deposited ten thousand Ghana cedis into my account, I didn’t call to say thank you—he wasn’t going to answer my call.

It was the was the first day of her last internship. The first two she had had was very tiresome but it wasn’t worth the grade she was given. This time she wasn’t so much interested in the grade, she wanted to secure a place for her national service and if possible, a place to work after her national service. She was supposed to report at 8:00oclock but it was 6:30 and she was at the Okponglo bus top waiting for a trotro heading towards Shiashie where the bank was.

She was the first intern to arrive, the cleaner was impressed because she had volunteered to help him mop the floor. He used that opportunity to advise her to be a respectful and hardworking young lady, she had heard that several times from her mother and uncles but she had to listen again anyway.

After an hour and half of orientation, the secretary assigned all the interns to their posts. But before that, she told them the CEO was going to speak to them during their lunch break.

Her work was to sit at the front desk, write the names of whoever entered, assist anyone who needed help, smile at people who entered, do all the nice things with the exception of opening doors. She knew there was an additional task that was yet to be given; the early morning please-buy-me-hausa-koko, the midmornings go-and-buy-me-waakye, and the lunch break task of get-me-roasted-plantain-from-the-roadside. She wondered if that was what she was going do later with her degree in business administration.

From where she sat at the front desk, she could clearly see the streets. A man alighted from his vehicle and his wallet fell off. He headed in the direction of the ATM. She quickly left her post to pick up the wallet for the man.

“Sir please you dropped your wallet” she said panting

“thank you.” He opened the wallet to check if everything was intact. “Thank you very much, that was a helpful move” he beamed with smiles.

“You are welcome,” she replied shyly.

“Let me give you a tip for this gesture.”

“No sir, I’m okay.”

“O no let me do this”

“I’m okay sir” and she walked away to her post

The secretary came to call all the interns to CEO. That is where she saw that she just helped her CEO!

“Hey you” he said to her. “The name is?”

“Kate”

“Kate?”

“Kate Akrofi”

“Thank you for helping me” he unintentionally hit the envy-her button by that statement.

Fast forward eight weeks passed by and she finished with her internship. Her internship logbook was filled all the sweet remarks. She deserved it, she worked hard for it. But there was something else, she won the heart of the CEO. He took her number and started calling her after work every evening. It was through one of their conversations she told him she was named after her father’s mother who was called Kate and that was why her family calls her aunty Kate.When she was going back to her family for the vacation, he gave her money for transport.

When school reopened for her final year, he gave her money for provisions shopping, paid for a one-in-a-room hostel for her, on her birthday, he bought her an iPhone Xmax, and gave her money for a party with her friends. He told her to keep everything discrete and she agreed. He asked her to be his girlfriend and she agreed; she couldn’t turn down the proposal of a man who had turned into her father over a couple of months. He gave her a promise to make her his second wife so that she would manage his businesses. She kept that to herself.

When the first semester ended, she went home for the Christmas vacation. She acted all normal around her family until her brother noticed that she wasn’t using the Samsung galaxy pocket Wofa Yaw Badu bought for her when she first gained admission into the university. He confronted her about it and she simply said her friend bought it for her. He was happy that his sister has gotten a rich friend. Thankfully, Wofa Yaw never saw that phone during Christmas and that saved her from all the you-should-be-very-careful-of-the-people-you-receive-gifts-from speech was sure to receive after telling him a friend bought her an expensive gift of the sort.

School reopened and she went back to school, he kept on passing by afterwork. This month is five months of being in a relationship with him and they have never had sex before. The closest they have been to sex is an intimate hug and a peck from him.

Thank you for reading!

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