Perspectives X

March 2020! Just three months into the year and somehow we wish we could start it all over! We pray for much better times ahead!

I’ve got a big surprise! As I mentioned, this will be the final online part of Perspectives.

I’m happy to announce that Perspectives is getting published into a book in a few months! I’m grateful for all the support and the love and the feedback (also for all the threats and the 2am discussions – I really love you guys!) Let’s anticipate the book! Let’s share Perspectives with the world!

Aaand If you’re a little late to the party, or a little behind, you can find the other parts right here:

Perspectives IIIIII , IVV , VIVIIVIII & IX

Love,

Elise


Sometimes, God’s answers are a firmly shut door.

The funeral was very solemn. He was a well-known, well-loved man.

There was none of the usual celebrations that people were used to at funerals or wakes. The atmosphere was grave… literally.

Sarah was inconsolable. It was as if she’d finally realised what could have been.

She’d played so many scenes in her head countless times! Like that time when he took her on a boat cruise because she was stressed. She kinda gave him hell, but she had a good time! Then there was that time, when she was pregnant, he’d rub her feet every evening before she went to bed, because he knew it felt good and she liked it. There was no way she was going to land a man like him again. Especially with her attitude, and she knew it.

Oh, Bruma!

His little girls were in cute black dresses. The oldest had been very quiet. She could somehow tell what had happened, and she knew that this was tragic. The youngest was in wondrous oblivion, running between different family and church members. She was a happy soul, much like her father had been a few years ago.

Nadia wasn’t at the funeral. Sarah knew because she looked out for her.

God, Bruma was a good man, I’m so sorry!

As the senior pastor preached, Sarah thought back to that letter she had written to him before he died. Was she to blame?

“So many times we question God. Why do good people die? Why does such a great man of God have to die so soon?”

“What becomes of his family? Did God not think about that before taking him away?”

I didn’t love him as much as I should, but God, Bruma deserved a good end to life!

“There’s never an appropriate answer to these things. One day in Heaven, there are so many questions God will answer for us. Sometimes we say this person or that person deserved a happy ending. Brothers and Sisters, Pastor Bruma’s good ending is in the bosom of the Lord! This world of rot isn’t where our happy ending is. This world of disease and death, stress and fear… This world isn’t great!”

It was a good thing that Bruma’s brothers were not stressful people. The extended family had started some drama, but it was to be expected. They knew Bruma had some wealth, and they knew there was no way they could have it all. Sarah wasn’t going to let them.

She thought about Nadia. Where was she? Why didn’t she show up? It was pretty obvious she was in love with Bruma, and Sarah couldn’t shake the feeling that maybe they did have a thing before he died.

It didn’t matter now. He was gone. She had disappeared too.

Sarah was jostled out of her sleep by Nadia opening the door. The door had this squeaky sound it made.

It had been 4 weeks. Maybe this dream was the indicator.

The doctors had discussed it with her so often. His brothers had visited, and had also been talked to. Initially it was a very vehement No.

With time, it was looking as if there was little that could be done anymore.

He was taken of the vent a week ago, and he was somehow breathing spontaneously. He didn’t have the abnormal heart rhythms anymore. But he was still not conscious.

Bruma was gone. Sarah sighed.

It was time to pull the plugs.


Dear Adeola,

Your letter was quite interesting to read.

I think about you too. More than I’ve thought about any man before in my adult life. And trust me, there have been an insane number of men who have assumed I should think of them.

Unfortunately, I wish the letter was enough to let me let down my guard and run back into your arms… I do miss you, but I don’t know if this is it.

Regarding your wife/ex-wife/soon-to-be-ex-wife… I’m sorry about your loss. But hey, don’t you think it’s so unfair of you to decide to hold her back because you’re not ready to move on?

It’s interesting how some men will always try to find a way to control women. I’m glad I ‘brought you to your senses’ and glad that you’re finally signing your papers and getting your divorce. Good on you!

Unfortunately this makes me wonder what lengths you’d go to, to keep me from doing something if it didn’t agree with you.

You take me back to my twenties, when I still had butterflies in my tummy for a man, when I lived and dreamed that fairy tale life. It’s a beautiful thing. It feels good to know that my ‘heart of stone’ can actually fall in love again. And I’m grateful to you for showing me this!

But apart from the fact that I barely know you, I’m gradually getting the feeling that you don’t take it too well when things don’t go your way. Things will not always go your way Adeola, and that’s not always a bad thing. You move on, and you make it work.

I wish this was the reply you anticipated. I wish I could say that knowing the full story makes it easier for me to run back to you. I’ve come to care a lot about you, and this isn’t an easy decision.

I’m happy to remain friends with you, to figure out if ever I can stop being sceptical about you.

Thank you for sharing the truth with me however. Somehow, it puts things into perspective for me. On a lighter note, it looks like I can check ‘falling in love with a married man’ off my bucket list!

I’m happy to hang out and meet once in a while, but please don’t expect too much.

Best,

Yaa.


They had somehow fallen into some sort of unwritten, unspoken routine. Sarah did the day shifts, usually heading home at around 6pm, to return at 6am. Nadia did the evenings and nights. It had been a week, and there was little to no sign of improvement. There was one time when Nadia thought she saw him move. She rushed out to call the nurse in the corridor, only to come back to a completely still Bruma.

“It must have been a figment of your imagination Ma’am. There’s nothing to show any activity. I know you want this badly, and sometimes it can make you see these things.”

Sarah hadn’t said anything about the letter yet. There was no use. First of all, because there was no telling if he would even come back to life, secondly, she didn’t enjoy drama. But mostly because she felt indebted to this woman. All she knew about her was that her name was Nadia, and she was from the United States. Whatever affair she had with Bruma, it was unlikely they were physically intimate, he hadn’t been to the US in so long. And when he did, he was in the company of church people. Unless of course she had been the one to come to Ghana, she didn’t see how an affair was possible.

You’ve pushed a man that cared so much about you to an early grave!


Wendy had discussed Adeola with Yaa after the letter. Somehow it looked as if she was looking for excuses to not be vulnerable – and she’d told her this. Even though she didn’t think she was going to be with any man anytime soon, (or if ever), she knew that Yaa was in love. It was obvious. Yet she didn’t seem to want to be put into that vulnerable situation anymore. “That’s the thing with you ‘boss-chicks’, Yaa! You don’t want to be helpless in any situation.” She laughed.

They were walking the baby around Yaa’s neighbourhood. He was such a bright eyed baby boy, turning his head to look out of his pram at everything they passed.

“Give him a chance! At least now you know he’s gotten that divorce.”

“Madam, I thought you had sworn off men a few months ago, look at you asking me to run after a man!”

This was the friendship they both needed. The kind of friendship every woman needs. No judgement, no fear, just true, profound companionship.


The minute she woke up, everything from the day before started flooding her mind. She could almost see it all again. She felt blank for a short while – almost as if she was watching it play in a movie, something unreal. And when that lifted, that’s when she felt pure heartbreak. For over an hour, she cried hard. For all she’d given, all the sacrifices she’d made, all that she’d almost given up, and most importantly for what she was about to do.

At noon, she knew she had to check out. She also had to eat something. She ordered a sandwich in their restaurant, and picked it up on her way out.

She made straight for her parents’ house, knowing that her dad would be home and would have questions. She didn’t know if she was ready to talk. All she needed was to work. To get her mind off all of this.

“OJ… This is Dr. Akyia.”

“I know I haven’t called you in ages! I’ve been out of town for a while, and I’m only back for a short bit.”

“I can’t say I’m well.”

“I need your help with something. I need an expedited divorce!”

“I caught him in bed with another man.”

She almost broke into tears saying those words. It still felt unreal.

“Yes, Monday morning should be fine. Thank you OJ. I appreciate this.”


Andrea woke up in OJ’s arms a very content woman. He was still fast asleep when she woke up. He didn’t snore much, but he had this heavy breathing that for some funny reason was endearing to her. And she felt his breath tickling her neck.

She didn’t want to move much and wake him.

The music was still playing, but it was more hush now.

They’d spent most of the night drinking and dancing in his living room. He was such a good dancer. And he was goofy. They did rap battles to really old songs from when they were kids, and then they slow danced to Luther Vandross and Backstreet Boys songs. The night ended beautifully – drunk sex!

How had she missed out on these little things in her marriage? Or was it the marriage tag that took them away? She and Gyedu had never had anything remotely close to this – not even when they were dating.

Yet she hoped he had no plans of asking her to marry him anytime soon. She wasn’t ready… and she didn’t want any of this disappearing into thin air. This is the happiest she had been in so long!

It was probably close to noon, but they hadn’t really made any plans. They’d promised to pick the boys from her mother’s place to see an animation at the cinema later in the evening. Speaking of her mother, she knew that she had many questions to answer soon. She had seen that look on her face, and she knew she had to start preparing her answers.

He stirred behind her, and held her closer, nibbling on her ear. “You dance so well even in bed!” He grazed his fingers lightly on her arms, giving her goosebumps.

It felt good. She turned around to kiss him. Morning breath or not, they started making out, and she could already tell what they’d be doing all afternoon.

They were interrupted by a phone call.

He wasn’t going to pick up, but she shoved him towards the phone.

“Oh hi, Dr. Akyiaa,”

“Haha yes, it’s been really long! How are you doing?”

“Wait, what? Why? What happened?”

“Oh wow! I can clear up some things from my Monday morning. Is that fine with you?”

He hung up, with a faraway look on his face.

“You look like you’ve seen a ghost!”

“You can’t tell anyone this! My friend caught her husband in bed with another man! She wants a divorce.”

Andrea was suddenly nauseous.


Nadia was doing some work on her MacBook. There was a lot that needed to be done in person, and they wanted to know if she was coming back anytime soon. Of course she couldn’t be too sure. It had been a month already. He was off the vent and breathing by himself now, so that was definitely some progress. The doctors didn’t seem too enthusiastic though, but she knew he would come to. He had to!

That’s when she heard Bruma sigh.

She thought she’d imagined it. Probably like that first time when she thought she’d seen him move.

But it happened again, and his eyes started to flutter.

Nadia sat still for a minute. Her heart was thumping!

She needed to be sure she wasn’t dreaming. She shut the laptop, and placed it on the floor.

Bruma opened his eyes. He looked into her eyes, and she didn’t know what to do. What if she moved, and all this turned out to be some illusion?

He coughed a bit.

It was real. He wasn’t dead. He was moving. His eyes were open, he was alive!

“Dry.” He whispered, pointing to his neck area.

“Water.”

Nadia was on her feet, but she couldn’t move. She was dumbstruck… totally dumbfounded.

He shut his eyes again for a minute, and she moved closer to his bed. Maybe she really was hallucinating. He opened his eyes and tried to reach out to her with his hands. It was a weak effort. She went straight to him now, in tears.

He noticed the tears and tried to touch her face. She crouched by his bed, her face close to his, grateful, and joyful, with so many emotions bubbling in her heart.

She heard the footsteps, but it was as if she had been glued to his side.

He was alive!

“I don’t know if you understand, Doc. I had a very vivid dream of what his funeral would be like. Maybe it was a sign.”

“It has been a little too long, and chances of full recovery are very slim. But I believe we can give it another week?”

“I think it’s time to end all this. Let’s pull his plugs, Doc.” Sarah said as she walked through the door.

She gasped and dropped her handbag, almost losing her footing…

Bruma smiled at her. Nadia gasped.


I hope you’re looking forward to the book the same way I am! I’ll send updates and progress reports when I can. In the meantime, let’s share this with everyone! Leave a comment, ask a question, tell me what you think, and tell someone about Perspectives!

PS. Let’s get ready for another online roller coaster soon!

Perspectives IX

Happy February Guys!! It’s the month of Love, and I wish everyone as much love as possible in the rest of the year! The Penultimate part of Perspectives is here! And as always, please keep the feedback coming!

Also Perspectives is likely to be published into a book sometime soon…. Hands up if you’d be interested in a copy lol!

Aaand If you’re behind, you can find the other parts right here: Perspectives IIIIII , IVV , VI  VII & VIII

Hugs,

Elise


Sometimes, God is quiet.

God, you can’t let Bruma die. I don’t know what I’d do. I’m distraught. And I’m scared. And I don’t even know if going is the right thing to do, but I’m going anyway.

The only available flights out were first class tickets on a South African Airline flight, which required that they fly out to Dulles, transit for an hour, and then fly ten hours directly to Ghana.  She didn’t mind the outrageous cost. She was numb and tired… and terrified. Mackenzie was a bit fussy initially. But he seemed to realise his mother was not quite in the mood for his fuss.

It was a very long 10 hours.

She imagined the worst – and the best. Sleep evaded her all ten hours. She wanted to hurl at a point, and she knew she couldn’t blame the crappy plane food or air sickness.

Dear Bruma

If you never get to see this letter, I’ll be the most miserable woman alive. I’ve lost love once in the past. I can’t lose you a second time Bruma. Doesn’t matter that we don’t get to be together, it matters that at least I get to see you, or talk to you. It matters that you’re alive, and that I have my friend of so many years with me.

It hurt me that you would even wonder if it would make any difference to me if you died. It would make a world of difference Bruma. You matter. And you don’t only matter to me.

So many nights, I create this mini family in my head, where you’re the father, I’m the mother, Mack has an adorable baby sister, and we’re one happy family. I day dream about the loving man you are….and how I know for sure I wouldn’t have to bother myself wondering if you loved me.

I haven’t particularly come back running into your arms the way I wish I could because… well life… Considering the circumstances, with Sarah, the church, and all that society does and says, I didn’t want to be the reason why your family would break apart. And even if I wasn’t the reason, the church would never understand that – people in general, would never understand.

My mind is dashing everywhere… all the things I left unsaid, all the things I wanted to say about Sarah’s treatment of you… all the support I wish I’d given you, how I wish I’d had the courage back then to stand up to your mother. And how I feel like maybe if you’d had just a little courage in standing up to her I’d have taken the cue.

I can’t believe you tried to do this. I can’t imagine how bad the hurt must have been. I wish I could have seen through your pain and your efforts. I wish I could have done more. I really really hope you live, Bruma.  

I love you so much!  I never stopped. I never will. And this 10 hour flight is too much time, I don’t know what I’d do if you died. Please Bruma, choose life.

I know how broken you were, and I was so proud of your efforts – therapy, prayer, actually speaking about it (on the few occasions that you did). Being broken doesn’t make you any less of a man, Bruma. Accepting it and working on it is the bravest thing to do, and you did it. You did it! The world can be a terrible place… and of all the cruelty we’ve ever had to deal with, I hope your death will not be one. Not now.

I love you. Please come back to.

Please Bruma

Nady.


Sometimes, God probably just laughs at us from above.

Bruma was in a coma. Sarah didn’t understand how it had happened or how the other woman had known. Bruma was all sorts of things she didn’t want, but he definitely wasn’t a cheater.

She was frantic, pacing in the hospital half the time. Was she the reason he had committed suicide?

The doctor couldn’t tell if he would come out of the coma or not. There was no indication of how much of the drugs he had taken, but if it was enough to get him straight into a comatose state, then it was definitely a lot. She wasn’t paying much attention to what the doctor said she didn’t know what to feel.

This was a man she didn’t quite love, but he had been good to her. So good to her! Very few men were like him. And although he annoyed her and often made her want to leave, death wasn’t what she wished for him. She didn’t know what she’d do. And the girls definitely didn’t love her the way they loved him.

God, I will try to be a better wife if you wake him up, I promise!

He was still not up the next morning. She had wanted to go home to shower and come back, but there was no difference, and it felt so odd seeing him lifeless. She had informed the other pastors and the presbytery to pray. And she’d asked that none of them visit, because really there was nothing to see. Their prayers were enough.

She couldn’t get the nagging feeling about the other woman out of her mind though. Was Bruma actually sleeping with her?

She convinced herself that he was – she could barely remember the last time they were intimate. And much as that was her fault, he had stopped initiating completely. They also hadn’t had a proper conversation in so long. The longest form of communication they’d had recently were through those letters they wrote each other. She felt her heart beat faster when she remembered the last one she wrote to him. He was not her choice – true…. But maybe she shouldn’t have been so cold about it.

“Bruma please wake up… I’m so sorry!”


There are things nobody prepares you for. Usually, a cheating spouse is one of them. And for some reason, it hurt more that he was not cheating with a person of her sex.

He was sleeping with a man.

Akyia was really seeing stars. Before she managed to get to the car in her confused state, she had thrown up all over the lawn. She didn’t understand what was going on. It was as if her brain had decided it didn’t want to carry on.

Was this new? Had she pushed him to do this? Is this something she could ever forget? He’d had his member in her so many times… and now it was in a random man’s ass! She knew that man… she was trying so hard to remember exactly where it was from. She didn’t think it was the hospital. Because then she’d have known him. Or was he a new friend?

“God why?!” She shouted out as she drove. She didn’t want to drive to her parents’. Didn’t want to answer any questions – at least not yet.

Her husband was suddenly a homosexual…

Was it sudden? Or was he just curious? How long had this been going on for?

Maybe she was hallucinating? To think she’d almost given up her lifelong dream to save this sham of a marriage they had!

The tears were blinding her and she knew she shouldn’t be driving in that state.

She parked on the sidewalk for a minute to think.

The tears weren’t going to stop, and she was giving herself a headache. She hadn’t even rested after her flight!

She drove to the nearest sensible looking hotel, and checked in for the night. She didn’t even know who she could talk to about this. At this point, she didn’t even want to talk. All she wanted was to pass out for a few days. Her head was pounding so hard by the time she got to her hotel room. She hadn’t eaten all day but that wasn’t her primary concern. She grabbed the beer in the hotel fridge, and downed 4 Advils. She lay on the bed wondering what she’d do.

“God I’m so happy there are no kids in this marriage…”


The queue at immigration was outrageous. She was glad someone pointed out that she could skip it because of Mackenzie. She scaled as quickly as she could, and was glad she hadn’t checked in a suitcase. Manoeuvring both of their hand luggage and a sleeping boy was difficult. She ordered an Uber before getting them outside.

Luckily her driver arrived just in time. She rushed him to her mother’s house, to drop Mackenzie. She called Sarah and asked for the hospital. She seemed hesitant initially, but told her anyway. It was about thirty minutes away. She changed the location and went back with the same Uber.


One look at her pained face and Sarah knew that she was in love with him. A woman always knows. She didn’t know how to feel about that. Because if not for this woman, she may not even have realised Bruma had taken anything. She would have assumed he had fallen asleep. And this morning they’d probably be at a morgue and not the hospital.

You’re probably headed to a morgue soon anyway.

They were both silent. Both of them just looking at the lifeless body. Nadia asked if Sarah wanted to take a break to freshen up.

She wanted to. But she didn’t want to give this one the satisfaction of being the one there when he woke up. If he woke up.

As time passed, the chances of his waking up became smaller and smaller. The doctor said his heart was the main issue now. Whatever he had taken had not only put him into a coma, it had also caused his heart to start functioning abnormally.

She eventually went home around 10PM.

Nadia watched him through the night. She held his hand through the night, speaking words to him. She took out her tear stained letter and read it to him. She prayed with him. She tried to pretend he was only taking a nap. She tried not to panic when her heart could tell he was slipping away.

There was no change in the morning when Sarah returned.


Yaa was meeting with Andrea and Wendy together for breakfast. The plan was to have a mini bible study, discuss a few things…. really just some girl chat. It felt nice hanging out with both of them. They’d only done it once, and already it felt like a thing she was ready to add to her weekly routine. Not only was it fun, it was helping her get over Adeola.

“I listened to a sermon by T.D Jakes…. can’t remember when it was, and it got me thinking about church…. about our church. He talked about how the pressure of fitting into a religious environment can tempt you into hypocrisy. We become more concerned about being accepted by the people we worship with, than we are about being used or accepted by God.”

“Back when Gyedu and I were having issues…. I asked that we go and see a church counsellor…. he told me he didn’t want anyone in the church thinking he was not in charge of our affairs – when clearly he wasn’t. It hurt me that he cared more of what others would think than he did about our failing marriage. He didn’t want people hearing about the divorce, he didn’t want people hearing anything remotely not normal about him. And I think that sickened me.”

Yaa completely understood her. Hypocrisy was stinking in the church. And it wasn’t something that was going to go away quick. She had days when she had to quickly correct some passing thought she’d had about someone, because obviously, she had no idea what she’d do in their shoes.

“Same thing as when I got pregnant. I expected some compassion I think. Even if it wasn’t from my friends, maybe from the presbytery? The pastors? Their wives? Heck I’m not the first to get pregnant out of wedlock, and I’m sure I won’t be the last. And sorry as I was, the church made me defiant. My main crime was getting caught to be honest. Because half of the churches population are shagging each other, and because they’re not ‘caught’, they get to look their noses down and tell me trash….”

Yaa knew she had to get in control of the emotions here.

“But hey ladies…. we were not called to a perfect church! We are the church, and just as imperfect as we are, everyone else can be. True, the self-righteousness and hypocrisy really should go… But whatever it is, Christ wants us! Wants our help in making His body whole!”

She hated the fact that it sounded as if she was preaching.

“I’m not righteous. At least not by my efforts I’m not. And I don’t hold anyone to the standard of Christ. Not even the leaders. Christ was the only one who was tempted in every way yet without sin. We’re not. Ours is to love, and do our best with the help of the Holy Spirit. And fellowship with other imperfect people to help build the church!”

She said the last statement with an obvious smile. They both knew what she was driving at.

Yaa said a silent prayer in her heart for their lives, and their churches, and this lovely newfound fellowship they were enjoying. She felt so much peace. Of course she prayed for help to get rid of Adeola from her heart.

Their breakfast ended up turning into a full blown lunch, with great mimosas. Andrea apparently knew one of the bartenders at that restaurant, so they managed to have them unlimited.

Yaa knew she was a lightweight – and an overly sentimental drunk. In Uni, she had been the first to get drunk after a shot. She would slow dance herself to loud Celine Dion songs, and cause her flat mate to go to sleep with ear plugs – there were probably just about 3 such occurrences. 

She had planned to spend the rest of the day at the beach, listening to music and reading a novel. Now, she knew she was going to go home and fall asleep singing Backstreet Boys. Wendy gave her a letter just when she was headed home.


Dear Yaa,

I really hope you decide to read this letter. Wendy told me she couldn’t help me meet you, but begrudgingly agreed to hand you this letter.

I’m so sorry Yaa. I don’t know why I never told you about this… her…the marriage.

I never took off my ring because I didn’t want a bunch of women assuming I was an eligible bachelor. I was so hurt by Fatima and her family.

You made me forget totally that I even had it on!

Fati and I got married despite the long talk from our families about incompatible tribes. She was an educated woman, from Chibok and all that ‘Hausas only marry Hausas’ was really not our cup of tea. She wasn’t really a staunch Muslim, and that worked for me, cos she was happy to join me to go to church services.

Her parents were also semi – educated, and I guess that made it a bit easier?

We had no issues for the first two or so year – actually, we had a very beautiful marriage in those years. We did not let the negativity of others faze us, and we had a united front. A few months into our third year, we started having petty quarrels… all boiling down to the fact that we had tried everything we could, and we still couldn’t have kids. Her parents were suddenly against the marriage like the rest of her family was, and were on a hunt for another man for her.

What hurt me, was the fact that she wasn’t vehemently against the idea. It made me so mad.

I noticed she was very calm about our issues. Never wanting to fix anything, quietly listen to me rant, not saying anything that bothered her… all of that.

My decision to not sign the papers for so long, was my silly way of punishing her, of rubbing it in her face that I still had some control – that she couldn’t go ahead to marry him until I’d signed the papers.

‘Him’ was another Hausa doctor that her parents had found somewhere, who was apparently going to bring an end to the infertility I had brought to their families.

It had nothing to do with me remaining in love with her or anything remotely close.

You’re a special woman. A few weeks of being friends and you have me wrapped around my finger – you have me ready to allow Fati to move on.

I have tried to get you out of my mind, because at some point, I felt like an idiot stalker. Please agree to lunch with me – breakfast even.

I’m really sorry about this whole misunderstanding.

I’ve signed the papers, Yaa. I’m a single man.

Regards,

Adeola.

Yaa looked at the letter half drunk, and smiled, humming to herself.

“Sometimes I wish I could, turn back time, impossible as it may seem, but I wish I could, so bad, Baby… Quit playing games with my heart”

************************

Nadia went to freshen up for a few hours. Her mind was too clogged.

She held a sleeping Mackenzie in her arms, and cried quietly. She didn’t want to wake him up.

Lord, please don’t let Bruma die. I can’t lose him twice.

***************************

Sarah saw the letter on the fridge top. It was semi crumpled, and had tear stains. It seemed to have been written in pencil, so some of the words were not legible.

Her heart beat faster and faster as she read the letter. Bruma was actually cheating?

She could only see snippets of the letter.

“Considering the circumstances, with Sarah… … …  I didn’t want to be the reason why your family would break apart. ……… the church would never understand that – people in general, would never understand.”

“….. Mack has an adorable baby sister, and we’re one happy family. ….. about the loving man you are….and how I know for sure I wouldn’t have to bother myself wondering if you loved me. “

….. “I love you… please come back to me”

Sarah was stunned! Her husband was cheating!

PERSPECTIVES VIII

Perspectives VIII

Happy New Year Fam!! Thank you for being loyal to lettersfromthisheart even when it took forever to get the next post! This year, we will do better! ️ ️ ️

It’s always great to hear: “When is the next part coming?” “You dare not kill Bruma!”“Why don’t you kill his wife instead?” Oh and all the young men asking “Is Yaa a real life character? I’d really love to meet her…” Lol!

Thank you guys for feedback. 

It looks like I’m going to have to end perspectives ASAP, and then develop it into a book at some point…. Because my over-imaginative brain cannot let it rest lol!

In the meantime though, this is the next part!

Enjoooyyy, Share, and let me know what you think! 

If you’re behind, you can find the other parts right here: Perspectives IIIIII , IVV , VI & VII


Nadia was frantic when she got the email. She was driving home, and was surprised to get an email from Bruma – he’d been the last to send an email in their weekly email sessions, and she was yet to reply that email. She moved to the shoulder of the road and parked to read it.

“Bruma, please don’t, don’t don’t!!” She tried his line and didn’t get any answer. She didn’t know anyone who could find him at this time, and there was no way she could call his house – heck she didn’t even have the number for his house.

God, please hold Bruma. He’s in a hard place, and I cannot do anything about it right now. You held my hands so many times when depression was home for me, and suicide seemed like the only way out. Please hold Bruma. Please! Amen.

She called her mother, and asked her if there was any way she could get Sarah’s number. “Nadia, what do you want with her number? What’s going on?” She didn’t know where to start or what to actually say. Bruma wants to commit suicide so I need someone around him to check on him?

“Mama, it’s a long and messy story, but I really do need you to find that number for me… please, Mama.” She was quiet on the line for a bit, and said she’d get back to her.

She drove home with a deliberate slowness. She tried calling again. still no answer. She prayed the whole way home.

So what if he actually dies, Nadia, are you happy with yourself? Are you sure you said all that there was to say? Will you be able to live with yourself after this? You’ve lost love twice in this life. 

She got home and sat in the car for close to thirty minutes feeling so helpless. She didn’t know what to do, and that for her was far worse than anything.

Bruma why would you even wonder if it would make any difference to me?


Yaa had never felt this way before and that made her more annoyed than the fact that she had fallen for a married man. The fact that she was actually sad, and would sit and reminisce hanging out with him made her feel so much sillier. You got played, Yaa… get over it!

As always, she put all her effort into everything else. All her weeks work was done extra fast, extra efficient. She took the baby out on walks with the nanny, she joined midweek service and volunteered for clean-up and extra prayer meetings. She didn’t want to have any time to mope. You’re too old to mope about a man, Yaa, especially not a married man. He’s probably not even as good-looking as you think, it’s all because he played you.

He’d called so many times, left so many messages, left emails, and yet Yaa refused to pick up or read any of them. ‘I will not be hoodwinked’ she kept telling herself.

One of her church duties was the follow up of members. So each month, she was assigned a few members of the church who hadn’t attended in a while, or who were ill or had travelled. It was a role she took seriously… ironically, she didn’t seem to know how to get Wendy to return to church.

She’d set up meetings with two of them for the month. Two were not willing to have a meeting. She called and spoke to Andrea…. she was cordial, and she was willing to set up a meeting for later. Three out of five wasn’t quite bad. She’d take it. There were months when nobody was willing to have a meeting! They were to meet on their lunch break at a cute coffee shop she’d picked.


Andrea was surprised that Yaa had reached out to her from the church. She knew her. She was that beautiful tall lady that was always there whenever the church needed her… she was also very rich! She’d admired her from a distance for a long time, but had never actually spoken to her. It was interesting that she was the one to call her about church. Funny thing was she knew she wouldn’t have wanted to meet any of the elders. And she didn’t know if she wanted to speak with the pastors either. It was a good strategy the church was using, she figured. Asking people you couldn’t say no to to help with follow up.

It was a hearty lunch. Yaa as always was her quirky happy self

“I’m sure you know I’m here cos we haven’t seen you in church in ages! I was told about the divorce, and I know that it may have taken a toll on you….. But we’d still like to see you and the boys?”

Andrea paused for a bit, choosing her words carefully. She felt she could talk to Yaa.

“I fear the church sometimes, Yaa. I’ve got more encouragement in life from friends at work – some of who are not even Christians! I’ve been judged and verbally assaulted all in the name of admonition from the church, and I’m not acting like a millennial!”

“ I don’t know if you understand, Yaa…. but I don’t think our churches love. I remember one of Pastor Bruma’s Sermons, when he said “Church is such a dangerous place to be without God – and God is love!” Half the time, I really feel we’re there playing mini gods in each other’s lives. It’s like they want you to make a mistake, so they can boldly and loudly correct you. I think they always want you to have issues so you can come to them for ‘help.’”

“ Do you have any idea the number of women in the church who called to advise me to stay in my marriage – half of them didn’t ask what the problem was. Those who did, downplayed it brutally, telling me “we live in a man’s world, so if he’s not beating you and it’s just sex he’s not giving you, then why are you leaving him. Even when they beat you, you need to weigh your options – you don’t just divorce a man!”

Yaa was quite taken aback. But she knew herself that the church was very capable. She knew what the people of the church had said to and about her in the past.

“So, I like to think of it this way…. that our church is like a hospital. The fact that a doctor or a nurse or other hospital worker is there to help cure you doesn’t mean they can’t have thier own cancer or arthritis that they’re battling. He could have his own headache, but has been mandated by oath and by law, to come and help get rid of yours. So much as we come to church for fellowship and healing and help, remember we have sick people among us, hurt people, every kind of person can be found in the church.”

 “And I know I shouldn’t be giving any marriage or love advice, seeing as I’ve never been married…. But this is something I’ve realised… our churches don’t take the time to prepare men for marriage… it’s a sad truth…. growing up as a woman, you hear allll about marriage… you’ll learn to cook “so your husband doesn’t eat someone else’s food” you’ll wash and clean and sweep and cook, when your brothers are in their rooms waiting for dinner. At church, female ushers are to do the grimy work, the males are to be the leaders…. it’s all a very messed up system, Andrea… but I guess it takes people like you and I to notice the problem and do better? I can’t say it’s a problem that will be fixed immediately, but I can say that we can play a part in fixing it…. and I can also say I’d be happy if you could return to church with the boys??

They both just laughed. 


Bruma had taken the pills. The time had come, and there was no way out for him. He was tired. The last straw had been when his little girl asked him why he and mummy were always fighting. He never wanted to be that man. He wanted his kids growing up in an environment where they knew what love looked like. He didn’t want his baby girl growing up and settling for just anybody. He couldn’t take it anymore. Nadia was the first to get a goodbye message. He’d also scribbled something down for Sarah.

Dear Sara,

I’m sorry that I failed you. I’m sorry I’m not the man you wanted. I’m sorry I wasn’t your choice. No matter what’s happened, I’m grateful for the years we’ve had together. You’re a good mother, and I’m glad the girls have you as a mother. You’re a lovely cook and home maker too. And you’re an amazing pastor’s wife. I’m sorry for whatever hurt I may have caused you. I’m so sorry for this mess. I willed my property sensibly… and hopefully you will live a comfortable life even if you decide not to work… The girls will each get a part of my estate once they turn eighteen. I spoke with Ms. Bonsu about all this a while back. I wish you all the very best, Sara.

You’re not the reason this is happening. So I hope you don’t blame yourself. Shit happens – excuse my French – and that’s not always anyone’s fault. I wish I could end this letter saying I love you. I can’t. But I hope you know that I tried my best. God knows, I tried my very best!

Bruma.

He dropped the letter under her pillow, and sat there for a while. His head was spinning. He’d give anything to be back at that beach. His thoughts couldn’t centre on one thing.

“God, I’ve failed you. And I’m so sorry…”


It was enough. Akyiaa had decided it was enough. She could hardly get a hold of her husband. He couldn’t be bothered to pick her calls, and nobody could say there was anything different happening with him at work. At least he didn’t appear to be cheating on her at work. 

She took an emergency leave to go home. Residency was hard. Combining it with the instability that was going on in her marriage was getting to her. 

She didn’t know if she’d be ready for what she was going to meet, and she didn’t want to think that she had been the cause of her marriage failing.

It doesn’t even make sense why I have to choose between my marriage and my career. Is this a thing for all women? Why do I have to go through this?

She hadn’t told anyone she was coming home. She preferred it that way, didn’t want a rumour going round for him to find out, and she certainly didn’t want a long list of things her parents would need her to order and bring. 

Her parents were excited to see her- Surprised, but excited. She dropped her luggage there and grabbed her dads car, to go by the house. She knew already he wasn’t at work. It was pretty late… And she’d called to check. If he wasn’t home, she figured she’d just wait for him.

When she got to the house, his car was parked inside. One other unfamiliar car was parked outside the gate where she’d parked. There was a football match on the TV, and two young guys were watching it. She figured he had friends over to watch the match. 

Relief. 

She asked who they were, and asked for him. They both seemed to panic. Odd.

She didn’t want to make a scene, and she definitely didn’t want drama. She’d had enough time on the flight home to think about all the possibilities – and she’d decided she could be fine with any of them. If he was with another woman, they’d plan for a divorce. She was tired enough as it is, having to sacrifice everything for a marriage he couldn’t even compromise for!

She walked into the bedroom, and nearly threw up!

There were clothes strewn around everywhere, and two grown men were in her bed, making love. She let out a shout without even realising it.

He was in their bed, with another man! 

She thought she had it all thought out, yet she didn’t know what to say, or how to act. The other man looked like one of the men from their church. He got confused when she let out the shout, and started to grab around for his clothes. He kept his head down, hoping she wouldn’t see his face. Too. Damn. Late. 

Akyiaa didn’t have words, or thoughts. She was suddenly numb. 

He walked up to her, and started to plead. “Akyiaa you cannot tell anyone this! What are you even doing here?” His first words to here were not an apology. They were to tell her not to tell anyone. He wasn’t sorry. Maybe sorry he’d been caught, but definitely not sorry.

She didn’t know how to process it all, and she didn’t have anything to say. 

She walked out of the house, numb and confused.


Dr. Adeola had contacted Wendy. He wanted her to speak to Yaa on his behalf. She really wasn’t sure if she wanted to. He’d explained to her, he was serious about the divorce. And he really cared about Yaa. And he knew she did too. He just wanted a chance to explain it all properly.

Wendy was definitely not the best person to help him…. she’d already sworn off men. A married man wasn’t about to be her headache – or her friend’s. 

His persistence however had her thinking of a plan. Some way to get him to have a simple conversation with Yaa.

Anything beyond that conversation was really none of her business.


Nadia called Sara. It was probably the most awkward one minute of her life. 

“Good evening, Madame Sara, my name is Nadia and I’m friends with Bruma. This might sound strange, but I think he’s considering suicide; as a matter of fact I think he’s considered it for a while and I might be too late, do you happen to know where he is?”

“I’m sorry, Where did you get this information from? Which friend are you exactly? Pastor is probably playing with the girls in the living room. And why would you say something like this about a man of God?”

Nadia didn’t know how to respond to any of the questions. Sara didn’t seem bothered at all!

“Is there anyway you could confirm please? I’d be very happy to speak to him, I can’t reach his phone”

“Madam, he’s either busy with the girls or asleep and I’ll have him call you when he wakes up.”

Nadia wanted to scream at her!

“Sarah, I’m almost completely sure he’s taken some pills to try to end his life. Please try rousing him and get him to the nearest hospital. Please!”

She was quiet, on the other end. All Nadia could hear was shuffling feet and doors open and shutting seemed to be walking. She could hear kids playing at a point. Sara was not saying anything. 

God. Please let him be fine. 

“Osofo, there’s a lady on the phone for you.”

Nothing.

“Is he breathing? Can you please say something? Can you send him to the hospital?”

“Madam, where did you get this information from? He’s not responding, but he’s breathing. I have to get off the phone and call an ambulance.” 

Nadia breathed a sigh of relief. 

“Thank you! Can you kindly keep my number and let me know how he is? I’m sorry for calling you like this, but I really had to!”

“Okay, bye…. Bruma won’t you wake up?”

She hung up. 

Nadia hadn’t realised she was pacing. She was trying to sort out her feelings. What if he never made it out alive? What if the last time she’d see him alive was back on her last visit?

She grabbed her smallest suitcase and started throwing clothes into it. 

She diallled her mother. 

“Mama, I’m coming home.” 

“Bruma tried to commit suicide.”

“Of course I’m coming with him.”

“I’m yet to check the next available flight. I’ll call back with details.”

“Okay Ma”

“Bye.”

Perspectives VII

Shall we end ‘Perspectives’on the seventh part? Because 7 is the number of perfection right? Or maybe not? Let’s see!

As always, you can find the other parts right here: Perspectives I, II, III , IV, V & VI

Love,

Elise Tirza.


“I hear she’s found some Nigerian doctor bi ooh?”

“She’s probably desperate, because at 42 de3, why won’t she go and find a Nigerian man? She’s too rich, Ghanaian men will run away from her. Did you see her shoes two weeks ago? I saw something similar online – the price was in big dollars ooh”

“Is any of this your business, why are we even discussing this lady?”

Yaa smiled outwardly but inside, she was bewildered! Why were people always up in her business? How did they even find out about Adeola? They’d been on a total of maybe eight dates so far, and most of them were not even exactly dates!

She listened for about fifteen more minutes, and then walked up to the group of 3 having the conversation.

“Ladies, first of all, I’m 39 not 42, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with Nigerian men. Also I’m so glad I have money, cos I can buy the things all those men would’ve promised me, but wouldn’t have been able to buy for me. Oh and those shoes were $1,000 only. Have your husbands bought you such yet?” They looked so mortified. One of them attempted to apologise, but Yaa was already walking away in her lovely form fitting black dress, and beautiful yellow high heels!

Adeola had closed from church a bit earlier, and wanted to know if she felt up for lunch. She knew she was being stupid. He wore a wedding ring. Yet she’d never asked. Never asked if he was married or if it was a fashion ring, or whatever. She knew she’d have to back off once she knew. Her conscience wouldn’t allow her to continue fantasising about a married man. And why hadn’t he ever volunteered the information? She wasn’t crazy about settling down or anything, but she did not want to be in the way of another woman. She did not want another woman suffering because she was being an idiot. She would not be that woman.

You’re being pretty dense, Yaa! A man in a wedding band doesn’t need to be asked if he’s married! He certainly needs not volunteer any information either! He. Is. Married!

She’d had this internal battle for too long, and now she was ready to be sensible. Maybe the church rumour mill had forced some sense into her brain. She was going to ask him, and his answer would determine if she was going to carry on with this. A part of her knew the answer already, and it made her feel terrible!

God you have such a terrible sense of humour, you know? The one time I find someone I might actually like, he’s probably married.


Bruma was carrying his daughter on his legs, playing a game of ‘see-saw’. It was her favourite thing to do besides hide and seek – she’d sit on his legs, below the knees, and he’d bring them up and down, all the while singing “see-saw, up and down.” Sarah walked into the room, irritated about something. Lately, she was almost always irritated about something or another. “Osofo, the head of the Deacons called me, said he tried to reach you but couldn’t.” “Oh my phone is in the room, I’ll call him later… did he say exactly why he was calling for me?” She shrugged, gave him a look and walked away. He’d given up on his marriage now. The only thing that kept him at home lately was the kids. His appetite had plummeted, he’d lost weight, his moods had gotten really terrible, and he’d had to increase his therapy time. He had turned down so many speaking appointments at church, and explained to the Presbytery that he was a bit unwell, and would bounce back with time. At this rate, he didn’t see himself bouncing back soon. The third time he declined speaking at church, Sarah gave him a very insulting speech when they walked into the bedroom after church. “I don’t know why you’re deliberately trying to fail at everything. You’ve failed as a husband, Bruma, and now you want to fail as a pastor too? I don’t understand you sometimes.” He had no words for her. But her words cut him really deeply. He thought about it for weeks. He didn’t know he’d failed as a husband. He’d tried – Lord knows how he tried. Sarah had become something else, and he found himself thinking daily about Nadia. They’d started video calling each other lately. He called her after each therapy session, which was roughly three times a week, and sometimes, he’d drive to the nearest beach and call her from there. He liked that place. It had this weird serenity to it. It wasn’t the cleanest of beaches and maybe that was a good thing because there was never a crowd there – more often than not, there was nobody there.

There was a deserted tree behind the cluster of huts close to the beach. It had barely any leaves, but its branches looked sturdy enough. He’d wondered once or twice if it would be noticed if he got a rope, and ended it all there. Okay, he’d thought about it more than once or twice. He’d had those voices in his head explaining how worthless he was. He’d taken one of the ropes used to make drying lines from their storage unit once. It’d been in his car trunk ever since.

There were times when he felt he was just being stupid. How is one woman making you want to end your life? Would your mother approve of this nonsense?

She’s the reason I’m here in the first place.

Granted I’m a good speaker, a good teacher, but I don’t think I was meant to be a pastor.

God didn’t call you for your happiness, He called you to feed the sheep.

But how can I feed the sheep when I myself am starving? Not just starving, drowning too! Did God call me to unhappiness?

He’d battled with himself for so long! He was getting tired, and he was certainly not winning the battle.

“Mama, what if I hadn’t become a pastor? What if you hadn’t imposed this on me? What if I had gone on to be the bright Architect I wanted to be? What if I married Nadia? What if… What if I actually had a companion I could hang out with and talk to?”

He’d gotten to the point where turning down speaking invitations was really mainly to spite Sarah. There were days when he woke up and planned how he was going to end it. Maybe he would take an overdose of his drugs, and make his way to his tree with the rope… before he got too drowsy of course. He’d planned it over and over again. But he could never bring himself to do it. He knew he had to tell someone about it. His therapist, or Nadia, someone, anyone. Sarah was not an option – she’d probably even have him arrested for attempted suicide – wait no, she wouldn’t. It would give such a bad image of her, and she didn’t want that. Didn’t want the church to know. It made him laugh. He was going to do it, and he knew it had to be sooner or later. What about the kids? And Nady?


Andrea was on cloud nine – to a large extent. She kept telling herself that this had to end at some point but she didn’t know when, and she was definitely going to enjoy it till it did end. The first time she was at his house, he walked her straight into the kitchen where he was cooking an amazing feast! He didn’t even want her to cut onions… “If there’s any Imodium needed at any point, I want to be sure I’m the cause, and not you, he quipped.” Halfway into making his pasta, he spilled some sauce in his t- shirt, and had to take his shirt off the rest of the meal preparation time. She was awestruck! How could he be so beautiful, and so into her, and such a good cook too. That evening had been magical. She felt something she had never felt before. Intimacy with a man who had not made any sexual advances at her – at least not yet then.

He was interested in what she did, and was ready to give an opinion when she wanted one. He didn’t hold back when it came to pampering her. One day it was a spa day, the next it was taking her boys to the park, on another it was just cuddling in the couch because she wanted to.

And the sex! Oh the love-making! She didn’t know if Gyedu had given her low expectations, or if she had put O.J. on a pedestal because he was just an awesome human. But the sex was gooood! Dream-about-it, have-flash-backs, go-into-random-trances-when-you-think-about-it kind of good!  He was a very tender person, wanting to be sure that she was having a good time. She was a bit awkward, and it all felt very foreign to her initially; she kept wondering if after that he was going to up and leave. He didn’t. He seemed to really be into her, and she was all for enjoying whatever it was between them, at least until he decided he didn’t want it anymore. If he ever did.

She hadn’t exactly had the full conversation with him on what led to her divorce. He was content with her ‘it didn’t work out, and we spent too long trying to make it work.’ He asked her to tell him whenever she was ready.

So one afternoon, after very toe-curling sessions, in the throes of her passion, she decided she’d have that discussion with him.

For a minute, he thought she was joking. “You left him because he refused to have proper sex with you? What is he gay?” he chortled. That possibility had never crossed her mind, and she’d spent too long analysing why he didn’t even want to try – she wasn’t going to start thinking about that all over again. He laughed for a bit, and then realised she was serious. “Hey, hey, don’t get moody about this, please…”he whispered. “If he had this sexy, beautiful woman for that long, and didn’t want to make love to her like any sensible man would, then that was really his loss. His loss… my gain. You have an amazing body, and frankly, I enjoy making love to you… you’re a selfless lover, and sometimes, at work, on random occasions, I have flashbacks of the times we spend together, especially the time spent under the sheets.” She was staring at him. Wondering if he was only flattering her, or actually meant what he was saying. “You’re special, Andrea. Gyedu was a lucky man for all the years you were married to him. It’s unfortunate he didn’t realise it.”

She had never gotten this reaction from anyone concerning her divorce. Most people thought she was insane. He’s providing for you and your family, he’s not sleeping around, at least you have no proof; he doesn’t beat you, so why are you leaving him?

She had tears in her eyes, remembering how often she wondered if she was doing the right thing. Wondering if she’d actually ever find someone that made her feel the way she thought a husband should make a wife feel. So much for saving herself till marriage, she’d thought.

The next day, he sent her a large bouquet of flowers at work, and a note that read:

“I’m glad I know that I have a gem, and I’m not going to take this for granted. You’re special, Andrea, and you rock my sheets (also my world)!

 – O.J.”


Wendy had returned to school, and was happy to be back on track. She’d missed so much that it was not likely she’d be able to graduate with her colleagues. But she was happy to be back nonetheless. There was no race. She would graduate eventually, and that’s really all that mattered to her.

She had heard all the rumours about who could be the actual father of her baby. Some thought it was one of the guys she studied with in school. Some were so sure it was some lecturer she must have slept with for grades. Yet others were convinced it was some family friend.

Truth be told, she couldn’t be bothered who said what. The father of her child was inconsequential now. After shirking his responsibilities – and mostly when she needed him the most – she had given their baby up for adoption. It made her happy that she had made a decision to give the baby up to Yaa. She was at peace, and there was really nothing her baby would lack. Maybe a father, but that was alright, she knew amazing people who’d been raised so well by women. And it wasn’t as if her own father had made so much of a difference in her life anyway.

She knew now that she really needed to focus and make it into the kind of place that Yaa was in – emotionally, financially, and even spiritually. They’d had this discussion once. It felt so good to be able to have these conversations with someone. Someone older and more sensible.  And yes she’d gotten quite bitter about men and about the church, and all that, but they’d decided that that was a discussion for another day. Not everything would get fixed immediately. She’d figure life out, one step at a time.

She was definitely in a better place now. Although she didn’t see herself ever returning to church – at least not to that church, she could speak to God without asking anymore whys. She could say a quick prayer about something, without chiding herself.

She was in a much better place now.


Akyiaa had gotten really worried about Papa. He didn’t seem interested in anything that concerned her anymore. She called him religiously on every break she had, yet he picked up only a handful of times, claiming he was busy. Half the time, he’d only pick up to say he’d call her back, and then never actually call back.

She had a few of her friends check up on him at work, but it looked as if he was spending less and less time there. He hadn’t said anything about employment elsewhere, and nobody could actually confirm if he was busy at the times when he claimed he was.

She was constantly tired at work, and whenever she was free, she was stressing about her husband.

So now that you’re finally here, do you consider this worth your marriage?

She was gradually losing it, and she was nowhere near her leave. There was no way she could up and leave. She’d called his parents once, but they didn’t seem to know that there was anything wrong.

She sent him an email after one outrageous shift, when she didn’t know what else to do. She was tired, and didn’t know if she had the energy to deal with his childish ways.

Dear Papa,

I’m getting increasingly worried about you, about us. I don’t know exactly what’s going on anymore. You hardly return my calls, and I know for sure that it’s not because you’re busy. If there’s something you want to say, please say it with your chest, and stop these disappearing acts. We’re both adults, and this is not necessary. Should I be expecting you to visit soon? I mentioned this in the initial letter I wrote to you, but you haven’t said anything about it yet.

I miss you, and I’m worried about you. And I want to have somebody to tell about my day. You’re that somebody for me, Papa. I get so overwhelmed at work, and then I get home to this tiny cold apartment, hoping to speak to you to make it all worth it. I know you were not exactly excited about this move, but I thought we were past this? I want to hear about your day to, and your new employment, as it looks as if you’ve moved from the hospital? Whatever is going on, talk to me Papa.

Please call me when you can.

I miss you!

Akyiaa.


“I don’t know how it’s taken you this long to ask me this Yaa, I’ve often wondered if maybe it didn’t make any difference to you?”  He said with a smirk.

“Just answer the question, Doc.” she tried to be a bit humorous about it, but she was definitely on the brink of tears.

“Technically I’m still married.” She couldn’t hide her disappointment. It felt so weird. This is probably why I’ve never wanted any man, she thought. Their deceit would have given me a heart attack in my twenties!

“What does technically mean?” She asked with a side eye, slowly getting up from her seat. She was ready to leave. She couldn’t have anyone see her cry.

“Please sit down, Yaa, and listen to the whole story?”

I moved to Ghana a couple of years ago… I already mentioned to you that I’m Ghana-trained. So it only seemed sensible to return here. Been married fifteen years. My wife is a doctor too – soon to be ex-wife. I left Nigeria because the separation was very hard on me, and she seemed to be having a very easy time about it. I didn’t want to stay and watch her move on. We didn’t have any kids. I guess that was a good thing? Because how would a bunch of teenagers or middle school kids deal with a divorce like this? The divorce hasn’t gone through yet because I’m yet to sign my part. It sounds stupid and very selfish, but I guess I didn’t want her moving on until I was ready to move on myself? And she’s sent emails, and notices from lawyers, etc. but I wasn’t ready to sign them. Until about six weeks ago, when I met you.

She rolled her eyes and grabbed her purse. This time she was leaving. Such unnecessary fabrications!

I think the fact that you were unmarried and adopting a baby was what made me notice you in the first place? And no that’s not because you’re not beautiful, because you really are – but then again there are so many Ghanaian women who are too, and so many of them who have moved to me since I moved here.

Many of them couldn’t be bothered wheter I was married or not. I figured it wasn’t a big deal for you?

Yaa walked away without another word.

I’ve made it so many years without men, how did I stupidly fall into this?  She refused to be hurt – as if she could command it away. She went straight to bed, and stayed there. The nanny she’d hired must have noticed she didn’t want to talk. She moved out of her way, and didn’t say a word.

“Dear God, you really really make me wonder sometimes. And no I will not cry!”


Dear Nadia,

There’s something I need to tell you. Something I can’t say over the phone on our video calls, because I don’t know if I’ll be able to bear the pain that’ll be in your eyes. Or maybe because I wonder if it would really make a difference to you.

For a couple of weeks now, I’ve been wanting to end everything. I’m not saying this so you feel sorry for me, or anything of the sort. I’m letting you know that you, and the kids, have been that thread of good reason, holding me. I’m grateful. There’s this dream I keep having. You know that thing we do just when we start swim class? Where we go underwater to learn breath control, and see how many seconds we can do that? In the dream, I’m underwater, and I’ve counted and counted, and counted, and I’m out of breath, yet I’m unable to come up! When I first had it I thought it was an indication that somehow God was calling me. I know it sounds stupid, but the first thought that occurred to me was, I can do this – make it easier for Him!

I’ve made a mess of my life, Nadia… a series of decisions I made, and now I don’t even know if I’m going to be able to live out the consequences. I don’t know what else to say, Nadia, other than I’m drowning.

Pain may not be permanent, like you keep saying, but tonight, this pain is drowning me.

I love you Nadia. I always have, always will, no matter what.

Bruma

Perspectives VI

Guuys!! I know sometimes you have to go all the way back to read from the start, because there’s so much time between episodes. lol. I promise to do better. For now though, here are all the previous episodes.

Perspectives I, II, III , IV & V

Hugs, Elise.


Dear Nady…

It’s funny that we’re both in the same country… and have been for the past couple of weeks, and haven’t made any proper plans to meet. Would you like to come to the service tomorrow? I will be speaking on ‘Where is God in my hostile world?’

How are the parents? Has Mackenzie made any new friends yet? Did you finally get him to go to the ‘evil forest?’

You asked if things had gotten better. I can’t quite tell… we’re still civil, she still hasn’t acknowledged the letter I wrote her. And whenever I ask about it, she seems too preoccupied to say anything. There was one day when she deliberately walked away when I asked about it. Nady I need big prayers. The kind that require excessive faith.  She refuses to go for therapy. That much she’s stated categorically. Somehow, she doesn’t seem to understand that we could be so much more… have so much more. I’m at my wits end now.

I told you about the morning prayers we usually have together? She spent about fifteen minutes three days ago, praying “Lord, please change my husband.” For a couple days now, I’ve been soul searching. Maybe I’m being unreasonable? You’re a woman, you can tell me? Is it too much to ask that my wife and I get closer? Share an intimacy that we were put together for? Half the time, it makes me wonder, what if… what could have been? Was I right in making this life altering decision, just to please a woman who’s now in God’s bosom enjoying His peace?

Enough talk about this though… I’m still soul searching, who knows, I may be the problem. Aren’t men the problem 80% of the time?

Any chance I could meet with you after church on Sunday? I’ve got meetings with the presbytery, after which I could come by the house if you’re fine with that?  Just let me know if that works for you?

Tonight, Nady, I miss you badly. I had you on my mind all through yesterday. You’re in Ghana Nady… and I wish I could see you.


Akyia had not imagined it to be this crazy. She’d been through stress doing house job at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, and she’d assumed nothing could be worse. This stress was a whole new level. It wasn’t only a physical stress. She was constantly questioning and second guessing herself. Imposter syndrome had never felt so real to her. And she didn’t know what to do about it.

She’d called Papa daily over the first week. Their first conversation was really just him asking… no yelling “Why?”, and her, sobbing on the other end of the line. Of course he was mad. Of course he’d thrown a tantrum and sent her very mean accusing messages. But gradually it looked like he was coming around. She didn’t regret leaving, and the work load and mental plus emotional stress kept her too busy to rethink her decision.

Papa on the other hand had too much time on his hands, and it was affecting his thinking. Some of his friends weren’t helping matters either. “How can a grown man sit there and watch his wife leave without telling him, and you’re still with her?” He’d had so many of such comments; but then he’d had some others congratulating him on allowing his wife to go and reach her goals. He was torn. He knew he loved her, but he felt so disrespected that she had actually left. There was little to be done about it, and he was gradually trying to come to terms with it.


The church had changed a lot from the last time she had been there. It was definitely a lot larger, and some of the people were genuinely nice to her, asking if she was only visiting or staying on for good.

The sermon started with a beautiful song Nadia had listened to so often. It brought back memories. So many hard memories. She tried hard to keep her tears in check.

“May your struggles keep you near the cross…

And may your troubles show that you need God.

May your battles end the way they should…

And may your bad days prove that God is good.

And may your whole life prove that God is good.”

She thought about her struggles, and how they truly kept her near the cross. If she’d wound up with Bruma would she have known God for herself? For the protector and strength He was to her? Would she have ever thought that she could do life with no one else? She had happy tears in her eyes as the song ended. She’d done it. With no one but God. And right now, she knew she could carry on. Mackenzie made it much more worth it.  She missed Bruma, madly, terribly… but she’d done it before. She could do it. She would do it!

“Definitely the three men in the fire wondered where God would be as they walked into the fiery furnace. Imagine being asked to walk into a blazing furnace. Not because you did anything wrong, but because you refused to stand for what was wrong.

And that’s the world we live in today. Wrong is celebrated. And right is ridiculed.

But hey, there was another in the fire! There was a man in the fire with them. They did not burn. They were in the fire with Him.  So that’s where God is when the world is hostile. Right with you. Right in the fire. Right there. Every. Step. Of. The. Way! No matter how long it takes, or how impossible it seems, remember where He is. Right there in the fire!”

He smiled, and the congregation clapped as the choir started singing Hillsong’s “Another in the fire”

“Don’t forget, there was another in the fire… He never leaves nor forsakes us. The church friends might leave you – and trust me, sometimes they do…. In today’s world, half of the time they will – even family might desert you…but Jesus never leaves!”

At the end of the Sermon, the MC asked Sarah to say a prayer. Nadia whispered a prayer for Sarah as she mounted the podium. “God, bring happiness into this woman’s life. Teach her to love Brumah how he wants to be loved. Help me not to come in the way of that!”


The music was playing softly as Nadia tried to get some work done. Even though she was on holiday, there were always a few things she needed to check on from work. Today, she was doing way more thinking than working.

“God is just a prayer away

All you need to do is call

He will hear your faintest cry

He’s concerned about you.”

Back when she’d gotten divorced, apart from the relief of not having to be beaten daily, she’d lived with a constant fear. A fear that maybe she wasn’t good enough. That maybe Brumah had left her because of that, and her marriage hadn’t worked out either because of that. Therapy, and finding God had dulled that thought in her life for many years. Mackenzie had made it a lot easier to not think that way.

“So while your tears are flowing through

Your time of mourning

He is here to lift your heavy heart

Because He’s in love with you.”

But being back home, back in the environment that so hostilely threw her away, seeing Sarah today, in her lovely Kaba and Slit, and the almost customary headgear, Nadia started to wonder again. Was she good enough? Was she damaged in anyway?

She thought about how hard it’d been trying not to contact Bruma for a meeting. How she would go into the backyard and sit for hours, thinking about what they could have had. She missed him. But she didn’t want to be a weakness. Especially not when he was this vulnerable. She wasn’t going to be the reason why he lost his family, or his right standing before God.

“He knows, He cares

He sees, He’s there

He’ll carry you

He’s concerned about you.”

She couldn’t hold back her tears much longer.

Why had Bruma’s mother hated her so much? Why couldn’t she have had him? Why did she have to be the trade off? 

She was so glad she hadn’t come to church with Mackenzie. He would have had so many questions.

“Weeping may endure for a night

But the morning will bring joy

He won’t give you more than you can bear

He’s concerned about you.”

“Dear God why do I still want this man? Why is this so hard?”


Andrea hadn’t been to church in weeks – months actually. She’d had enough of the pointing fingers and the whispers. She told Gyedu she’d get a fresh start elsewhere with the kids. So he didn’t have to bother about her saying anything to anyone. The truth of the matter was that she had gotten sick and tired of the judgemental way that people asked her questions. “Don’t you think you could have solved the matter amicably? The Lord hates divorce you know?”

She’d gone on a good third date yesterday. They’d texted for a couple weeks, before finally meeting and he seemed like a good guy. The first date had been lunch at a cafeteria close to her office. The second had been a fleeting thirty minutes when he passed by her house and they sat and talked for a bit in his car. Last night had been dinner. He was fun to talk to, and hadn’t flinched when she mentioned her twin boys casually in conversation. He asked their names, and seemed interested when she mentioned how Panyin was always talking, and Kakra was the constant listener. He’d held the doors for her, and opened her car door. He was a gentleman.

And most importantly, at the end of the evening, he didn’t harrow her for a kiss, or anything more. He gave her a hug, said that he’d enjoyed the evening, and drove off after making a plan to meet on another day.

She knew it was too early to get attached, but he made her giddy – something she hadn’t felt in a very long time! And she’d been giddy over him for over 2 months.

The kids were at her mothers, so she could sleep in all Sunday. She had no plans and she liked it that way. It was a good day to laze about and think about last night. Just when she tossed over the other side of the bed, her phone beeped.

“Thank you for a swell time last night, Andrea. I don’t know if I told you this, but you were stunning. You are beautiful, and I had to mentally stop myself from saying/doing anything inappropriate. I really enjoyed dinner with you. If you’d like to, I could cook this afternoon so we eat and talk. I’ll send you the address if you can. Hugs.”

Suddenly she didn’t want to sleep in anymore.

“That sounds good. Would I need to grab some Imodium on my way though? And I could bring some wine, I don’t know your preference.”

“Imodium would definitely not be necessary. Trust me on that. I like my wine white and dry. Anything else you prefer should work too. 238 Trassaco Valley. 1PM. See you soon”

**********

When Bruma visited Nadia, he was a wreck. Mackenzie had gone to the town centre or so with his grandmother. She hadn’t been expecting him to come over the house, so he somehow caught her by surprise.

The house hadn’t changed so much. He was hit suddenly with so much nostalgia.

“On Sunday, that was a very beautiful –”

“Nady, I’m losing my mind! I… I” She really didn’t know what to say. Because somehow she’d seen this coming. She handed him a bottle of water from the counter, and asked him to sit. Her mind was racing, and she really didn’t know if she had the strength to be strong for him.  She’d seen him like this before. Many years ago. Maybe not this bad. But it was obvious he wasn’t in a good place.

She sat in the chair across from him, waiting for him to calm down and speak. He didn’t, only pulled out the note from his pocket.

It was from Sarah. “Bruma, I don’t know if it’s appropriate that I read this…” “Trust me Nady, it’s definitely not a love letter.”

Bruma,

I have never told you this. But when my parents asked me to marry you, I thought I’d done something wrong. I asked my mother why she wanted me to, and apparently your mother had approached her about it. I knew for sure that it wasn’t your decision.

I accepted to marry you because it was the right thing to do. You were going to be groomed to be a pastor, and it’s what I’d been brought up for – the pastor’s wife. Before you, there was a young man I cared about. But he was not even a Christian. He was my little secret for about 3 months. And in those three months, I only saw him twice. I knew I had to get rid of him when he started demanding things from me. A hug, a kiss… on and on. But my mother found out about him before I had the courage to get rid of him. For many reasons, I’m almost certain that marrying you was the punishment for entertaining him.

As your wife, I have the daunting task of the care of almost all the women in this church. I have the task of ensuring you’re fed, and I have the task of making your kids.

I’ve done this well for the past 9 years. I really don’t understand what more you want from me, Osofo. If it’s the bedroom stuff you want more of, I can always take it.

If I had to do this again, I don’t think I would. It’s been really hard, Bruma. We’re from completely different worlds, and sometimes I wonder how we’ve been agreeing on how the kids are brought up.

I’m very sorry if I haven’t been what you wanted in your wife. I know you’ve had extensive experience in the women department. So I can understand if you don’t think I’m the most ideal, but I need you to know that you were not my first choice either.

I don’t think the therapy is necessary, Bruma. How do we explain to the Presbyters that we have marriage issues so we have to go for counselling? If we’ve managed to live well together for the past 9 years, I’m sure we can manage for the rest of our lives.

I know I should not accuse a man of God of certain things, but there are days when I think you’ve found someone else. I don’t care what you do, Osofo, but I will not be disrespected. If you have found someone else, please be discrete about it. If she takes good care of you, it means you won’t come back worrying me at 3AM for sex. Also, please protect yourself. I will not be riddled with disease because of your outrageous libido.

I’m sorry if this letter sounds disrespectful, but I’ve been keeping in all this rage from long before you wrote me that letter three months ago. We both know we don’t love each other. But we have a congregation to lead, and kids to bring up. We’ve pretended for the past 9 years, and we can definitely do a few years more. I’m absolutely fine with the sham we call a marriage, and I’m quite sure we’ll do just fine.

Sarah.

Nadia couldn’t believe her eyes. She’d never read such a callous letter.

She moved to Brumas side, and held him in a hug. He was breathing really heavily. He wasn’t crying, but she thought he probably would. They stayed this way for a few minutes, until his breathing settled. They hadn’t been this close in years. It felt good.

“I’m sorry Nady, I shouldn’t be bothering you with these things. I just…I don’t…”

“Don’t be silly Bruma, who else would you tell?” she was right. Nobody else knew anything about what was going on.

“I miss you Nady. I really really do.” She had to stop herself from saying me too. She knew she had to be the sensible one for the two of them.

He wasn’t in a good place, and she couldn’t take advantage of that.

She held him really tight in a long embrace, and just before she could let go, her mother walked in, with Mackenzie in tow.


Yaa had fallen hopelessly in love with the baby. She couldn’t take her eyes off him. She understood now why so many of her friends who’d decided they didn’t want marriage, had decided they still wanted kids. He had such beautiful eyes!

She’d also met twice with the delightful Nigerian doctor, and she knew she was probably finally falling in love. Why did he have to be wearing a wedding band? Why was he so well cultured? Why did he constantly smell so good? They’d sent each other messages a few times, however they hadn’t progressed to the point where she could ask him about his personal life. She didn’t know if she wanted to get to that point. He wore a wedding band. He was off limits, and she knew she had to stop.

The last time they met, he was explaining to her what the adoption protocol was, and how more often than not, the hospital personnel were not involved in the dealings. He’d offered her a cup of tea or coffee, and she’d only accepted to take the coffee, because she knew he was not going to have his secretary brew a fresh cup. She’d overhead on their last visit that he didn’t like instant coffee. The only thing she liked about coffee was the smell – it tasted like earth to her. But she wanted the extra five minutes. She hadn’t felt this way much before, and she loved the way he treated her.

She had to keep reminding herself that he was off limits. And that was a really hard thing to you.


Wendy didn’t know what to do about Yaa falling in love with the doctor. They’d talked about it in passing, but she could tell that Yaa was definitely falling. She was happy for her, but she knew it wasn’t right. Wendy was also happy that Yaa was adopting the child. It meant she would always have him in her life, and that made her happy. She’d started preparing to start back at school, and Pastor Brumah had called her a few times about returning to church. It seemed as if the other pastors did not really care that much.


“Dear Miss Yaa. It will be quite a long while before the adoption process is finally over. However I found out from the hospital’s lawyer that the initial part has been approved. Congratulations, you’re a mother! It would be nice to celebrate this. There’s a lunch meeting that I have to attend, and I’d need a plus one. If you’d be kind enough to be my plus one, we could get some drinks after.

Best,

S. Adeola.”

Here’s a link to all the songs mentioned in this piece!

God is Good – Jonathan McReynolds, Another in the Fire – Hillsong United, and He’s Concerned – Cece Winans

Perspectives V

Dear everyone…..Perspectives is back!!💃🏽🍾🎊

If you haven’t had a chance to read any of the previous parts of ‘Perspectives’, you’ll find them here: Perspectives I, II, III & IV

Thank you for all the support, 🙏🏽 the ‘patient’ waiting , 🤦🏾‍♀️ the grumbling, the threats and warnings, 😂etc. I’m happy to be back, and to be ending perspectives soon!! 🎊

Hugs, Elise❤️


Dear Sarah,

Remember the day I asked you to marry me? I don’t remember it in full detail. I remember that it was tough. I remember that we had no emotions between us. I remember knowing right from that day that this wasn’t right for both of us. I knew you knew as well. But I guess we did what we needed to do? You we’re destined to be a pastors wife, and I was determined to do something right by my family. Ours has been such an odd relationship. Functional, but odd.

You know this thing we keep telling our counselees? About foundations? ‘The depth of a foundation matters just as much as what it’s built with.’

It keeps ringing in my head….

The Bible verse that says build with good material, because your works will be tested with fire?

I know we’ve been building with good material….

I know that we’ve both tried. But I know also that our foundation was shallow. I know our foundation isn’t something we can fix. Because God knows I tried. I tried dates, I tried books, I tried conversation, and none of them seem to bring us closer together. We’re basically bonded together, only because of the kids.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed that the past few years have been harder for me than ever. I don’t know if you noticed the meds, or noticed my early morning/ mid-evening hospital visits…

I don’t expect that you noticed, because I tried really hard to hide it. How would people react to a depressed pastor? How many would even believe it? How many people would understand that I preached hope and love and faith, and yet I had suicidal thoughts on some days? How many would ask me to pray it away? How many of them would go about gossiping about the pastor that says he knows God and yet wants to kill himself. How many would understand? Would you understand? Would you, Sarah.

The past few months, I’ve had a lot to think about. I’ve questioned God, and I’ve told him my heart. I’ve asked him for a way out, a way to not feel so trapped. I’ve begged him on my knees and I’ve begged him in our bed. I’ve fasted, and I still can’t seem to figure anything out. I don’t know what to do. So this letter is to ask you. Sarah. Are you happy? Are you happy carrying on with this sham we’ve done so well with for so long, or is there something you want? Do you want us to see a professional? Do you want us to work on our foundation? Is there anything you want besides being ‘osofomaame’? Do you want me? As a person? Or is it just the title that you want? I’m making changes this year, Sarah, and I’m done being quiet about the things that hurt me. I’m questioning things, and I’m willing to change what isn’t working. I owe it to myself to be happy, as long as it remains in the will of God.

There are so many times when I see you chatting with a friend, and I wonder if you’ll ever get to a point where you can have a normal chat with me as a husband… not about the children and not as your pastor.

I want to be able to laugh with you about those funny hats Abrefi wears to church, but I can’t, because you will consider it slander. I want to be able to wake you up at 3am, just because I had a silly dream and I’ll probably forget it if I go back to bed without telling you. I want to be able to come round the kitchen and stress you, while helping you make my kontomire stew. But I can’t.

Sarah before anything else that I am – pastor, father, counsellor etc., I am your husband. You’re the one person I should be happy to see and talk to everyday. I used to be a very happy, carefree man. I don’t think God wanted me to be unhappy. And I know for a fact he doesn’t want you to be unhappy either.

Marrying you was a thing that was supposed to make me right in my family. I wanted my parents to know that I’d done one good thing. Now I wonder if my mother looks down from heaven to see if I’m happy.

When Mama died, I was devastated. I knew you were sad too. But it never once even crossed my mind that I could talk to you about how I felt. I wanted to be held. I wanted to cry – to wail. I wanted to tell someone that I wish mama had met our last baby. I wanted to scream to the world that the one person I wanted to impress the most in life was gone.

Instead, all my grief was bottled up in me, Sarah. I had to be strong, you said. I had to man up. I had to amidst the tedious task of planning a funeral and dealing with family members, hold my heavy grief so deep in my heart that it couldn’t show. On the day of the funeral, I felt things I’d never felt before. I considered taking my life.

I’m not saying that any of this is your fault. I’m just as much to blame. I’m just letting you know that I really wish it had all been different. I wish I could be your husband sometimes and not have to always be your pastor.

You know that I’ve never really figured sex out with you? It’s been close to 9 years, and I don’t know how… I don’t even know what I don’t know. I just know that it feels as if you never want me. And when because of that I decide to let you be, you come rushing at me with your passive aggressive words, asking if I no longer find you desirable. I don’t know if I can ever figure it out with you, but I’m willing to try – only if you are.

I want us to consider counselling, Sarah. I mentioned earlier that I started therapy after the suicidal thoughts I started having. It took a while, of course, but now I can wake up in the morning and not feel that dark cloud there all the time. I can speak without the tightening in my chest that kept happening. I can laugh genuinely again, Sarah. And I want us to be able to be happy. We owe it to ourselves, and then, to the kids.

I care about you, Sarah. You’ve been an amazing mother to our kids, and an amazing Osofomaame. One day soon, please be my amazing wife.

Brumah.


The finality of it all shocked her.

They were finally over? The twins were with her, but he’d promised to continue to provide for them. He’d signed to that effect. And he hadn’t really made a fuss.

There are days when she kept thinking maybe he had a mistress somewhere? But she didn’t want to think that way. She wanted to think that he was just not very sexually attracted to her. And maybe that wasn’t such a bad thing. Maybe that meant that he could find someone out there that he was really attracted to, and who would be fine with his bedroom shenanigans, or the lack of them.

She’d expected the divorce to feel exhilarating. She expected that she’d be extremely happy. On the contrary, she felt raw fear. Had she done the right thing? Would the kids understand when they were older? Would she ever find someone else? Did she want to find someone else… she knew she did.

She looked at the one day old message from Akua.

“When are you ready to get back to the dating scene? I have a friend you should meet!”

Was she ready to flirt and date and do all those things she really hadn’t done so much of? Had she just thrown away her marriage for things like these?

But then again what was her marriage? She was unhappy for years. Unhappy and tired. She grabbed the bottle of gin, not bothering to use a glass.

Finally, she replied the message.

“I’m ready…. I guess?” He better be sensible, she thought.  I’m not ready for games. And the kids are certainly not ready for games either. Lol.


The whole flight, Akyiaa kept wondering if maybe she had made the wrong decision. She’d tried. She really had. But if the man she loved was not in favour of her pursuing her dreams, then was that really love? She’d tried to stay back, to decide that she could hold off and stay. But she’d started resenting him, and she knew that if she didn’t figure it out, she could probably become capable of murder at a point. His smugness about being the head of the family and having the last word made it so much worse. She couldn’t stomach it anymore. Good thing she hadn’t emailed to say she couldn’t make it. She’d bought the ticket two weeks earlier, waiting for a good time to tell him. But there was never a good time. The evening she left, she left him a letter. A very long letter. She passed by her parents’ house, and her dad drove her to the airport. They had no idea that he didn’t know. They had no idea that she’d neglected to tell him. “I’m really glad Papa came to his senses.” Her father had said. She only smiled and said nothing. She knew he was likely at the hospital, or with the guys. And that he’d be very upset. But she had to do this for herself. There was no way she could live with herself twenty years down the line, thinking of what could have been. She knew she had tried to live with it. She’d tried to not hate him for not wanting her to go. But she had failed. And ultimately, she knew she would fail at the marriage in the long run if she did nothing about it. She had to do something.


When the baby was put in her laps, it was almost as if her whole life had been brought to a standstill. She could barely pay attention to the people around her. She was exhausted. And completely and utterly dumbfounded. His dark, tiny fingers, his awfully tiny nose, and the way his lips curled when he yawned or stretched or whatever it is he was doing.

The pain she’d been in the past 8 hours had been completely forgotten. And she finally understood how people could have so many kids. The joy that followed the birth of one was intoxicating. As she put him to her breast, and felt his first tug, she shut her eyes, only now realising that she had been crying.

When Yaa met with the doctor concerning Wendy, he assumed straightaway that she was the mother. He discussed everything with her, and answered all her questions. He was a constantly smiling gentleman, who looked to be in his mid-forties. He looked tired – in a chronic way. As if he’d been tired for so long, and his rest wasn’t taking care of the tiredness.

When she asked if there was a protocol for adoption, he realised she wasn’t the mother. Yaa explained the whole situation, and he seemed happy to help even though he didn’t seem to know exactly how.

Yaa didn’t know why she went to look at his ring finger, and why she was disappointed when she noticed the wedding band. She chided herself and went back to paying attention to the man’s words.

They made a plan to meet together with the social welfare team, and Yaa left, wondering what kind of a family man he was, and how lovely he must look in shorts. She scolded herself countlessly, but she couldn’t stop wondering.


Nadia and Brumah continued to keep conversation. Not daily – they’d told themselves they couldn’t do that. They emailed weekly. So she knew about the letter Brumah had written to Sarah, and how for weeks he still hadn’t gotten a reply, or any change. She knew that Brumah’s therapy was better now than ever, and they’d started cutting back on his medications. She knew that he had work that was going to take him to some villages for a while. She knew that his daughter had just had her first tooth come out, and she was super excited.

He also knew that Mackenzie was increasingly getting more involved in the swim team, and it made him happy. He knew that she had gotten a good advertisement deal that could land her a large amount of money. He knew that she had plans of coming home to visit her mother with Mackenzie, but he didn’t want to get over excited. He didn’t even know if they would get to see each other. He wanted Nadia, but he also wanted to honour his marriage.

He knew though, that his days were a lot happier, because he felt heard. He felt needed. He felt wanted. And that feeling beat many other feelings he’d had in the past couple of years. He could pray without feeling any guilt about not keeping Sarah in the loop. Because he’d literally poured out his whole heart to her. Well almost all of it. And it didn’t seem to make any difference for her.

Recently he had a hard time though preaching at church on some occasions.

In one of his last sermons, he spoke about Destiny and the will of God.

How too many people put their destinies in the hands of mere men, mere mortals. How God had a path for everyone, and yet not everyone wanted to follow in that direction. And how God never forced humans. How he gave us all free will.

He remembered the tears in the beautiful red haired doctor’s eyes when the sermon was over. He remembered wondering to himself if he’d taken his own destiny into his hands by marrying Sarah. Later in the week when he emailed Nadia, he asked her if she thought he did. But her reply hadn’t come yet.

Nadia didn’t know what to think about that. All she knew was that she had survived him leaving, and much as she wanted him back, she knew she couldn’t. And she was content with this new friendship they’d started – at least she prayed she’d remain content. What she didn’t know, was if he had taken his destiny into his own hands, by leaving her for Sarah.


Dear Papa…

I know you’re probably going to hate me forever for this. And I don’t know if, or when you can forgive me. But I do know that if I’d stayed, we’d both have been very miserable. I know I tried. Really tried to be the submissive wife everyone has been asking me to be. But I really don’t see myself putting this dream on hold just because your ego can’t handle it. (And if there’s another reason why you had wanted me to stay, please do tell me, because I really can’t seem to find it.)

Three week ago at church, when Pastor Brumah spoke about destiny and the will of God, I felt as though God was talking to me. And I know that God doesn’t contradict himself. I know he says to submit to the husband. I know also that he asks husbands to love their wives. I really don’t know where the love we had is, Papa. I know that this residency is something I’ve worked so hard on for so long, and something I’ve dreamt about and prayed about and longed for since forever. And you know this too. So I can’t seem to understand how come you don’t want me to go.

Unfortunately, it’s too late now.

I just want you to know that this is not me asking for us to break up or for divorce anything at all. If anything, I want to be able to prove to you that we can do this. That long distance for 3 or so years is really not going to be as bad as you think. Especially because we’ll get to see each other a couple of times each year.

I left in the freezer stews and soups that should last for at least six weeks. Hopefully before the six weeks are up, your anger may have gone down, and we can figure out food for the rest of the while that I’m away.

You don’t know what I’d give to have your support, and to have had you go on this trip with me. To help me settle, and to know that even if the situation is not the most ideal, that you’re in it with me. I wish you knew.

I’ve attached to this letter a ticket for this Christmas. I know your visa expires in about a month. But then your leave isn’t till Christmas. And I’d be really happy if you could renew the visa, so I get to see you at Christmas. If you decide not to, I understand.

But I want you to know that going away was a good thing. I started resenting you after I made the decision to stay, and I realised I couldn’t let that decision rob me of both my happiness and my marriage.

So please understand. Please understand that I really needed to do this. And please understand that I love you. And I tried so hard to stay and forget about this, I just couldn’t do it.

Love,

Akyiaa


*Osofomaame – Pastors Wife

Perspectives IV

Dear everyone… Happy Easter! (It’s not quite over yet, is it?) I really have no excuses this time – well I do, but I really shouldn’t have been gone this long. I know the usual “I’m sorry for being gone for almost forever” doesn’t quite cut it. Nonetheless, I’m so sorry! I hope you enjoy this! And I can almost promise the next part wont take this long – I’m already working on it!

If you’re new here or you’ve missed any of the previous parts of ‘Perspectives’, find them here: Perspectives I, Perspectives II, Perspectives III.

Hugs! ❤


Brumah got back to his hotel room with mixed feelings. First, relief. He was relieved that he had gotten all of it off his chest, relieved that he’d gotten to see Nady and got to hold her in an embrace even if it was for barely a minute. His heart bled though. Maybe he hadn’t thought it through as well as he should have. What would Sarah say to him? What would she do if he left her…..?

Yes he was considering that.

He knew theirs had never been a ‘proper’ marriage. But he did marry her. He made promises before God. And what would he say to her? What was his ‘why’? And what would she do?

Would she be her usual passive aggressive self or would she fight him? He was so worried about her. He knew he was being selfish. But he’d been too unhappy for too long. He’d popped depression pills for close to 2 years, and to a large extent he knew the cause of his depression.

He and Nadia had agreed to try to meet once or twice before he headed back home. He knew how much he’d prayed about this whole thing, but he couldn’t help but wonder about Sarah. For the girls, there really was no questioning it. He was not going to stop being their father. He was not letting them go.

He had so much more to pray about.


Nadia was so conflicted. It was almost as if she could feel her heart breaking all over again. She went to bed thinking about Brumah. She remembered that day when he’d come over to the house to let her know they couldn’t be together. She’d expertly fought back her tears while he was there, and cried herself to sleep weeks and months after. Her mother had asked her countless times to talk to Brumah. But she insisted it wouldn’t make a difference.

She remembered the last time they’d made love. It was as if they both knew it would be the end of them. It was one of those days when they’d held each other closer, and looked in each other’s eyes more often. They’d been slow and thorough. She’d thought back to that morning so many times. How he looked into her eyes, with all the words he couldn’t say. How her unshed tears manifested as muffled moans and groans, shudders and stutters….

But even if she got Brumah back, what would her life be like? She’d have the constant guilt of knowing she broke a family up…

She’d also considered his ministry…. how society wouldn’t understand anything from her perspective – or even his. No matter what, she would always be the ‘home-wrecker’. Worse still, she’d be the big Pastor’s home wrecker.

Would her son love Brumah or his kids? I mean there wasn’t much to hate about him, but kids were kids…. why was she even thinking this so far out?

How did her ‘simple’ life suddenly get so complicated?

She trudged up to Mackenzie’s room to see him tucked in already. Of course he wasn’t asleep. He never fell asleep till she got back, try as the nanny did.

“Dear God, if Mackenzie loves him like I do, It’s really going to be hard not trying to get back with him. Why is this happening now? Why am I here praying about wanting a married man? Of course it’s not the first time… but why is he here now? What is going on? ”


Papa had stopped giving her the silent treatment – to some extent. He gave one word answers, and ate her food now. He mostly ignored her. They no longer had their normal banter at table. There was so much tension when he was home – which wasn’t even much anyways. They didn’t eat lunch together at the hospital anymore. People started asking questions, and she didn’t know what to say. Usually she’d pretend to be so busy at lunchtime, just so the time would pass quickly. He on the other hand, joined friends to go places for lunch.

She’d tried talking to him like her dad had suggested, but she really wished she hadn’t. He looked at her blankly for a few minutes, and started fidgeting with his phone. He was not ready to listen. She had to think of something.

So when one of their mutual friends called to ask if she was in fact leaving Papa, she thought it was a joke. She was not planning on leaving Papa! She was going to study, and return home. She had no intentions of staying for good. She had every intention of coming home every chance she got, and she had every intention of ensuring he came over whenever he could. But who was she explaining this to? Nobody cared enough to listen. Very few wanted to know the actual story. Most were happy to continue with what they heard as rumours – some even wanted to add on to it!

When Papa finally drove in Friday night, it was close to midnight. Akyia was waiting up in the living room. She had dozed off a bit in the couch, but was woken up when she heard him opening the gates. She’d been crying earlier, and she’d downed about half a glass of whisky. She quickly went to wash her face. 

She had news for him.

Lately she could barely stand him. She’d started wondering if losing her career for the man she loved was truly worth it. But then again, was her career worth losing the man she loved?

As he opened the doors, ready to ignore her and head to the table for his dinner, as was his custom lately, she got up and started talking. Blabbering actually. It was a thing she did when she was nervous. Often, he had laughed at her because of that. Today, this wasn’t funny.

Papa, I’m no longer leaving. I hope this makes you very happy. I hope you’re happy knowing that the one thing I wanted the most, at this point in my life, is slipping through my hands only because of you. I really wish I could understand you, but I can’t. And that’s okay. I said for better, or for worse to God about you. I never thought I’d be so close to my dreams and yet so far away. I hope our marriage survives this. Because if it doesn’t, I swear you’ll pay for making me lose out on my dreams, and also on a happy marriage!”

She gulped down a tablet of diazepam with what was left of the whisky in her glass, knowing damn well that wasn’t the smartest move.

She walked stoically to the bedroom, leaving a very stunned Papa at the door.

He had no idea what had just happened, or what was coming at him!


Wendy and Yaa’s bond had grown over time, she’d helped her defer the final year of school, to have the baby. The plan was to have the baby in a few months, breastfeed for a couple of months, then have her mother/a nanny take care of the baby, while she returned to school. Yaa was willing to take care of the cost of all of that, and Wendy was extremely grateful. Even though she was old enough to be her aunt, their friendship was that of colleagues. They weren’t formal together. They were friends. Wendy enjoyed Yaa’s company, and enjoyed thoroughly the fact that for a long time, she hadn’t had to struggle  financially. She was happy to hear things from Yaa’s perspective. She was happy to make pregnancy jokes with someone. She was happy that she didn’t have to pretend that she had it all figured out. 

Yaa could talk to Wendy about her crushes, without getting one of those “so are you thinking of marrying him?’looks or questions.

It was refreshing for both of them. 


Andrea had finally given up on her marriage. She wasn’t willing to try anymore. Gyedu had taken to coming home on some days, and staying at ‘work’ on some. She’d stopped waiting up for him. She’d stopped trying to impress him. She’d gotten herself a therapist, and after some therapy, settled on a lawyer.  She was well on her way to serving him the divorce papers. Her only problem was the kids. She knew Gyedu was not going to fight her over that. But would they grow up hating her for leaving their beloved father? One thing she would always give him credit for, was his provision for the boys. She didn’t need to ask him for anything for them. Not that she would if the need came – she could very well provide for them. But he never made her have to. 

Lately, on the weekends, she’d send them to her mother’s, either so she could hang out with friends, or have therapy. She’d started making new friends, and started learning to flirt. It felt good to finally get round to doing fun things again. She wasn’t bothered anymore when she was asked about her wedding band. She’d sent an email to their head pastor about leaving Gyedu. It was a two-page long email, explaining everything she had tried to do to save the marriage. She had somewhat secretly informed their marriage counsellors a while ago about the situation. Funny, the information was met with long meetings (with her alone) where she was asked to be more submissive and to understand that men can be egotistical, especially where their sexual performance was brought into question. And how they could also be a bit pre-occupied. She was questioned if she had ever had sex outside the marriage, and if she was comparing him to another. She hadn’t tried meeting the counsellors again. Gyedu was probably spoken to as well, but she’d never know. He never talked about it.

She’d gotten to that point where she didn’t really consider herself married anymore. The only thing that would make it final was if she gathered the courage to take the darn ring off. She hadn’t gotten there yet. And she was hoping that would come easy soon enough. Maybe after the papers were served?

She’d started looking into buying a new place. A two bedroom house she could have for herself and the boys.

She had a long way to go, but she knew she’d get there. She had decided that society wasn’t going to detect what happiness was supposed to look like to her. She knew God hates divorce. She knew also that he hates self pity and gossip and slander too. He’d hate the disrespect she’d show to her husband, the head of the family, if she remained married to him. She had to choose one sin, before she became guilty of them all.

 And God understood her right? She was tired.

Dear God…. I’m so sorry!


When Brumah walked into her house, the first thing that struck him was how cosy it felt. It wasn’t one of those mansions that felt too bougie to relax in. it was designed very cosily, and was just…. Homey.

He sat at the dining table in the kitchen, where Nadia was making something. It smelt good… unfamiliar, but good. She said Mackenzie was upstairs and would join them when dinner was ready. He had mixed feelings about meeting the boy. He didn’t know if he would like him. He wanted him to. Badly. And he didn’t even know why. He was good with kids, and had never ever had to think if a child would like him or not. Here he was, hoping the little boy would like him.

There was some music playing from the living room, and Nadia was dressed in home clothes. Baggy trousers and a tank top. He wasn’t sure if she was wearing a bra or not. Why was he even thinking about that? God hold my thoughts please! He didn’t need his thoughts wandering now. They’d agreed to have a simple dinner and nothing more. She was concentrating on the food… whatever it was she was making, and he was trying to concentrate on his glass of fresh juice without staring at her backside. God, I’m having such a hard time here. I’m still so attracted to her. I’m so scared of doing something I’d regret now. I’m so scared. But I want her, God, I love her. I really really do, and you know it. Please do something. Make it work somehow God.

He sighed deeply and caught her staring at him.

“Brumah, everything okay?” She looked worried. She had no idea the flips his heart was doing just because of her concern. He said he was good, and she prepared to go get Mackenzie from upstairs.

“Hey baby, this is Uncle Brumah, he’s mummy’s very old friend.” Mackenzie was a star-eyed little boy. A little too pretty for a boy – if there ever was anything like that. He looked just like his mother. Except his hair was a curly, light brown that looked dyed?

He was a beautiful little boy.

“Hi buddy!” was all he said, as he took his place at the table. “We’re having these veggies that mummy likes to make. I’ll show you how to eat them if you don’t like veggies much.” He smiled “I don’t like veggies, but mummy says they’re good for me to grow. So I have a special way of eating them.”  He whispered. He was so pretty, Brumah was really just looking at him and nodding.

He was quite a talker…  maybe something he got from his dad? Cos Nadia was hardly this talkative. She was more contemplative. 

In all, it was a good dinner. Mackenzie was a smart little boy. Quite witty for a child. And he was very curious about Ghana, completely looking forward to visiting.

When he’d been put to bed, Nadia and Brumah sat in the sofa talking. 

“Remember when Mama almost found out I was pregnant? “ Brumah remembered so well. He knew Nadia wanted to keep the pregnancy – on both occasions. But he knew there was no way he could go tell his parents about a child born out of wedlock. He knew they’d hate him even more. He was the black sheep at the time, and that would have been the last straw for him. 

So for both ‘mistake pregnancies’ they’d had, he’d taken her himself to the Hospital, and sat throughout the ordeal. Each time, she had a stupid smile plastered on her face after. But he knew. He knew the tears she’d shed later on when she was alone. He knew she’d try to never mention it again, but the pain would probably never go away – heck even he felt pained. Even years ago, Nadia preferred to grieve alone, at least initially, before she let him in on her sorrows. She said she preferred to sort out her feelings alone, before bringing him in on it.

“Nadia…. you don’t know how sorry I am about those. I had no right… I…. we shouldn’t….“ 

Brumah didn’t have the words. 

“We were young and stupid. You didn’t force me… both times, we discussed it. There are days though, when I think about it. Maybe Mack could’ve had a bigger sister and bigger brother?” She chuckled, twirling her hair in her right hand. 

“But it’s okay.”

Brumah wanted her even more then. 

 He missed actually talking about things. Even if she acted as if she was okay when he knew she wasn’t, it beat a passive aggressive approach any day. 

“Nadia. I’m not gonna mince words. I miss you so much…. About a year ago, maybe less, it was a Saturday night….. I woke up at maybe 3am, horny as hell…. Being married, that shouldn’t be a problem right? The natural thing to do, is to reach over to my wife, see if maybe she wanted to help fix the situation…” 

Nadia was already giggling. “Well…. I sort of knew what to expect…so I lay awake maybe thirty minutes, hoping that this odd morning wood would disappear and let me go back to bed…. of course it didn’t. So I finally woke Sarah up…. guess what she said?” He made the narration sound so funny, but she could tell he was probably hurt by it. 

She said “Ei Osofo…. we have church in a few hours and sex is what’s on your mind? For a man of God, you can be pretty carnal!”

Needless to say, there was no trace of horniness left in me after that. That wasn’t the first time of such….. and it surely wasn’t the last. 

Nadia was in stitches! Brumah himself was chuckling to himself as he thought about it. 

“On days like that, all I can think about is making love to you. I’ve replayed every single time we’ve made love in my mind over the course of my marriage. It gets worse when I want to have a normal conversation with her. To gossip about someone, or to say some things that are inappropriate for a pastor to say to people… but hopefully appropriate for a man to say to his wife? I will be given a mini sermon about the things I can and can’t say as a man of God. We’ve never loved each other. She knows it, and I know it.”

Nadia was staring at her feet, wondering what kind of a sham marriage Brumah had gotten himself into. 

“Mack’s father was very abusive…. He hit me, said horrible things to me. The verbal abuse was what happened more often. The first time he hit me, I threatened to call the police…. big mistake… he beat me to a proper pulp after that. ” I pretended everything was okay, cos I’d just had his son. I was hoping he’d get sensible I guess? He didn’t. So I called the police one time while he was hitting me….  filing for a divorce after that wasn’t so hard. 

I don’t know where he is currently…. just every month, I get quite a large cheque for child support.” 

Brumah was clenching and unclenching his fists the whole time she was talking. He inched closer to her, wondering if it was okay to hold her. 

“I’m so sorry Nady. So so sorry.”

This was the first time she was saying this to another person that wasn’t her shrink.

He wanted to hug her. He didn’t know if she’d want that. He didn’t know what to do… and for him that was a first. He knew Nady so well that this was unusual. The conflict was written all over his face. 

“But Brumah…. we cannot do this…. I don’t even know what ‘this’ means…. we cannot based on this love that we still share hurt the people in our lives. You’ve got an amazing wife, and two beautiful girls. You said vows, Brumah…. for better or for worse.

And no matter how bad it gets, Brumah…. you can make something of it. And I hope this doesn’t make you question the fact that I still love you. I love you. I’m still in love with you. I don’t think I can ever not love you. But I’ve had to get myself to a place where the love I have for you makes me think about what’s best for you and I. Your wife probably loves you the way she knows how – the way she was brought up to love the pastor she’d marry. And even though that may not be how you’d want to be loved,  she most likely loves you. We cannot have an affair, Brumah. And you cannot leave your wife or kids. Your ministry is important, and you don’t need a scandal in your life – surely not now. And so no matter how much I love you, Brumah, we cannot do this.” 

Brumah was quiet for a bit.

“Love is an unconditional unmerited act of favour towards someone else without expectation of reward…” This is from a sermon one of the other pastors preached. It’s one of my preferred definitions of love.

My wife married me because it seemed great at the time. She’s never said the words “I love you” to me. And if she ever did, I’d be so surprised. Because I know that she cares about me, she loves the kids, she enjoys being the pastors wife, but she doesn’t love me. Love wasn’t why she married me. 

I love you Nady…. and you already know that. I’ve hurt you in the past, and it’s a hurt that I’ve carried with me daily for over 8 years. And it’s a hurt I’ve tried to forgive myself for, but can’t seem to. I know you don’t hold it against me. But my heart does. 

I’m ashamed to say, that I do not love Sarah the way I should. I never have. And it makes it even more difficult that she’s not the kind of woman I would have chosen for myself, and that she doesn’t love me either. Ours has been a partnership. 

I don’t know what society will think of me if I should leave her. I kind of have a slight idea what she’ll think of me. I feel she’ll be happy to be rid of me though. There will be backlash, Nady. I will be hated, and probably taken off the church board. I will likely be stripped of my pastoral duties. 

But Nadia, the past 8 years have been so hard for me. 

I was diagnosed of depression a couple years ago. It was like a cloud I could not lift. Even my kids couldn’t in any way evoke a feeling of happiness in me.  I wasn’t just sad. I was indifferent. I was hopeless, and it was almost as if I was trapped in a bottle. Yet I stood on the pulpits and preached amazing powerful sermons that people loved apparently! It was so terrible having people talk to me about how amazing the message was, when I just wanted to crawl deeper into  the black pit I felt I was in. 

No matter how bad it gets, Nady….. I cannot live the way I’ve lived over the past few years. Please help me here…. 

I’m not asking for an affair. I don’t want that…. but I want you. I’m just asking you, to leave space for a possibility. I’m asking you not to cut me off again. I’m asking you to make space for me in your future. I don’t know the full scope of what I’m asking, but I want you Nady!

She closed her eyes, willing her tears to stay in place. Brumah reached out and pulled her into his arms. She didn’t fight it.

Perspectives III

Dear everyone… Happy New Year! This is long overdue, and I’m sorry.  And to show how sorry I am, this is the longest part so far!  I hope you like it!

Hugs & Kisses!!

Elise


The knowledge that wherever it was he was in New York, Nadia could be a couple minutes or hours away kept him on edge the whole time. Sarah hadn’t wanted to accompany him on the trip – she hated flying, so he had one junior pastor, and the head of the music ministry with him on the trip. It was their first such trip, so they were all for the fun things. He probably would have been too, for their sakes, if he didn’t keep feeling he might meet her randomly.

Call her?

Would it be such a bad thing to actually meet up with her? You haven’t seen her in years and she’s still running in your mind. You don’t think it’s a good idea to just say hello?

He kept battling whether or not to call her… Day 4 into the conference, he realised he couldn’t keep up with it. He had to call her. It was even likely she would be too busy to meet up with him. But at least he knew he would have tried.

She picked up after four rings.

“Hi, this is Nadia!”

For a few seconds he was stunned silent. She sounded just like she did years ago, just less bubbly, and a bit more exotic – her accent had changed.

“Hello, who is this and how may I help you?”

“Ahem. Nady….”

He could have sworn he heard a gasp. Nobody else called her Nady – she hated it, but it was all he called her. She hadn’t expected him to reach out to her. They were both silent for a bit. Almost as if the sound their breathing alone could answer all the questions they had.

“Brumah, how’s it going? I saw posters of your conference around. Looks like it’s making the waves.”

Somehow, Brumah could feel her shock. He didn’t know how to act, what to say, only he knew he needed to see her.

Nady, I want to meet up with you before I leave. I… I know it’s been years, but maybe just thirty minutes?”

She was quiet.

“I leave in two weeks. After the conference, we have a week of a couple of meetings, and probably some touristy activities. If you have any free time on any day, we could meet during your lunch break? Or after work? I don’t really plan to take part in the touristy things, so whenever it is that works for you… I’ll make it.”

He sounded so miserable, almost desperate, Nadia wondered exactly what was wrong.

“I can take some part of my day off on Monday. What time works for you?”

“Anytime, I can clear my whole day on Monday, I don’t think there’ll be much going on anyway”

“Bazar Tapas isn’t far from my office, we could meet there at 1PM Monday? It’s on 31st… I’ll send you the address”

“I’ll be there.” They were both silent on the phone for a while.

“I’ll see you soon Brumah, I need to go now.”


Akyiaa was so surprised that her mother- in-law was giving her such advice.

“Do you know how I had to sacrifice my master’s degree after school so I could have and take care of Papa? School isn’t all there is to life. As a woman, you make the sacrifices. They’ll pay off one day.”

She had gotten tired of listening about an hour and half ago. Funny how the rumour mill hadn’t spared her.  Especially at church.

‘So she’s leaving her husband to go to school 4 years! Who’s supposed to take care of him?! And it’s not even as if she’s had children. This woman, I don’t even understand. Does she know how many of the women will jump on her husband once she’s gone?’

Her colleagues at work were the most encouraging. Papa was still acting weird, and she didn’t know how to feel about it. She didn’t know if he felt his staying more at the hospital would make her decide to give up the residency. She wasn’t confused about her decision to leave. She was confused about the reaction of the man she loved.

‘God, did you make an African woman to sacrifice everything? Is there a part of my life that I can live without having to think if society would approve?  Or if my husband would be okay?’

If Papa had gotten this opportunity nobody would have questioned his leaving. Nobody would have even asked what his decision was! He would likely have been asked if he was taking his wife, or if she’d visit sometimes. It made her so mad that people didn’t even consider what she wanted. But she’d have been okay with all that if she at least knew that Papa supported her. She wasn’t new to people talking about her. And frankly it didn’t bother her so much. But to think that some of the people she loved the most shared those same sentiments saddened her deeply.

She lit up when a call from her father interrupted her mother-in-law’s long winded speech.

She went to the car to take the call, planning to leave without a word. They could always assume it to be an emergency form the hospital.

“Baby girl, Daddy misses you.”

She was teary just hearing that.

“Your mother told me what’s going on… how are you taking this?”

“Daddy…..I’m just tired.”

She was trying not to sniffle.

“I haven’t changed my mind about the residency. But it’s starting to look like it’s that or my marriage.”

He was quiet for a while, before he said “Any man that tries to clip your wings, is not the sort of man you deserve.”

She didn’t even know how to hold back her tears.

“I can’t tell you what to do anymore, baby girl… but I think you should speak calmly to him…. let him understand that you’re not leaving him. Men like to be pampered. He wants to feel like you’d choose him if it got down to choosing. So get around his head, and make him feel pampered, but let him know you’re going.”


Dear Gyedu,

I don’t think I’ve ever written you a letter. It’s hard living in the same house with you, and yet missing you. Although we’re together physically… (And even that barely), I know we’re not together. We’re living a façade. This isn’t what we envisioned. We may not have ever had that lovey-dovey kind of love before we got married, but at least we loved each other enough to put in the effort. Today, I feel as if your only allegiance is to the boys. I admit that for a long time I felt that way too. Are we too far beyond redemption? Do you no longer find me attractive? Do you want an out? Because much as I want us to fix this, and make it work, I don’t see the point of carrying on if we’re always gonna be this way. The boys are growing up, and with time, they’ll notice these things. They’ll see how cold we can be towards each other, without even intending to be. They’ll see how we never look at each other, never hug, or hold hands. They’ll see that we never sit to talk. We basically wake up from the opposite sides of the bed, and treat each other like we’re colleagues. I want passion, and love. I don’t want to wonder if you love me anymore or not. I don’t want to be here trying so hard to impress you, when you barely notice. I know I shouldn’t assume things, but we haven’t been intimate in over 2 years… are you okay with that? Are you seeing someone else?

I know that what people, especially people at church, think about you, is more important to you than what I think. And I’ve lived with that for a tad too long. I don’t think I’m going to be able to do that anymore. If you remain unwilling for us to get counselling and fix this, I’ll move back to my mother’s with the boys. You’ll be free to visit them whenever you want. And if you feel that we’ll work better that way, I could grant you a divorce, so you visit them or have them visit you as and when. We’re still young. Maybe I can find the love and passion I’m looking for elsewhere. Maybe you have a different definition of love, and you’re getting it elsewhere. I can learn to live with that. But I can’t sit here day in and day out waiting for you to realise I’m your wife, or that I have needs that haven’t been taken care of in forever. If I were ‘promiscuous’, I would have gotten myself very well taken care of a long time ago.

I’ve got so much to say, I just can’t seem to translate them into the right words. Should I say I miss you, when there are nights when I wonder if I did right in marrying you? And when I can go some days without even thinking about you? I really don’t know what to say. Let’s fix this please? Or let’s end it? I will be fine with whichever of the two you want. But I won’t carry on looking like the star couple at church, and living in shambles at home.

Yours, (Am I?)

Andrea


Nadia had kept herself really busy. She’d filled her week up as much as she could. She’d ensured that she was too tired when she got home to think of anything. Her week was fully booked, even her personal assistant asked her why she wanted so much work done in one week. She knew she didn’t need all that work done so quickly. She really didn’t want to go contacting a married man that she was still in love with. She didn’t want to break down the wall she’d kept up for so long. So she was quite surprised when he called, desperately wanting to see her. She was even more surprised that she’d offered to clear her schedule and even showed him to one of her favourite restaurants. She was on edge all day after that call.

Why was he so distraught? Was he dying? Was something going on?

She managed to slow her pace at work after that, worked sensibly, and went home to Mackenzie. She knew that Brumah probably knew she had a son. But she didn’t know if he knew the details – of course he didn’t.

She spent half her week wondering if meeting with him was a good idea. They texted a bit after she sent the address. But she was careful to keep it short. She refused to be ‘that ex’.

She was still so attracted to him. Completely. She wasn’t sure if that attraction would ever go away. Probably not. But she loved him enough to ignore it. He couldn’t handle any scandals. Besides, chances were he had moved on. He was married… with two kids. He was probably happy.


“I don’t think I wanted to keep this child. Before getting pregnant, I was very against abortions. Right now, all I can say is that I understand. I understand everyone who chose that option. In my heart of hearts, I know if I’d found out earlier, that would have been my option too.”

Wendy found that she could talk to Yaa about everything. She hadn’t even been able to tell her mother half of this stuff. And it felt so good to be able to talk without feeling judged.

“Cos everybody treats you differently all of a sudden. Friends at work, those at church, the father of the kid, your family…it’s really an endless list…. I contemplated suicide”

Yaa was overwhelmed. She’d had her fair share of life’s pressures, but suicide wasn’t something that had ever crossed her mind.

She had decided she was going to try to adopt Wendy’s child, probably Wendy herself. It was all so toxic… all that she’d been through. For a 24 year old, it was all a bit much. And how did the church help? By excommunicating her 🤦🏾‍♀️🤦🏾‍♀️

She enjoyed her lunch dates with Wendy so thoroughly it was as if they were age mates!

“As a child, I had fairytale ideas of marriage – maybe I still do? I wanted a man to come and sweep me off my feet! I didn’t want a man that thought he was saving me from the scorn of the world by marrying me. I guess with time, I realised that was unreal, and I realised also that maybe marriage wasn’t for me? Or maybe it’s cos I lost the one love of my life? One day I’ll tell you all about him…”

They sat quietly for many minutes, each content in the others company.


Brumah was very tense. He walked into Bazar Tapas, about fifteen minutes earlier, planning to wait for a bit, compose himself, figure out what to say, before Nadia came in. But she was already sitting there when he walked in. She was concentrating on something on her laptop. She had a very well done bun on her head, and eyeglasses sitting atop her nose – when had she started wearing those? Her lips were slightly apart. Her lips.

He stopped and steadied his thoughts.

Nadia was beautiful. After so many years she was still so beautiful! She looked up and noticed him standing there. She smiled. An unsure smile. A beautiful smile. Brumah was trying not to be dramatic. He felt himself stiffen and he hoped she didn’t. He walked to her, as she took her glasses off and shut the laptop.

She stood to hug him. He smiled at her. He was so overwhelmed with emotion he couldn’t trust himself to speak.

“Hi Brumah, it feels good to see you after so long!” He held her in a hug. Though warm and long, it ended a bit more abruptly than he’d have liked.

“You look amazing Nady!”

“You don’t look bad yourself…. I was honestly expecting a pot belly!”

He laughed. She made him happy. It hadn’t been 5 minutes, and he was already feeling at home. A feeling he hadn’t had in a very long time.

They ate and talked, as if no years had passed by. They both avoided the topic of marriages and relationships. But she showed him a photo of Mackenzie. He also showed her a photo of his 2 girls. They both looked so much like him.

“You sounded almost sick when you called me Brumah… is this why we’re meeting? Are you dying? Is there something wrong?”

He smiled when she said that. And he looked her straight in the eye and reached for her hands. It was a thing they used to do. To prove the other was being totally truthful, they’d look the other in the eye, hold hands and speak, without thinking.

“Nady, I’m not here to disrupt your well-structured life. But I’m unhappy. I miss you. I’ve never admitted any of this out loud before. I know very little can be done about this, but I needed to see you. And I needed to let you know.”

She looked away. She needed to scream. She wasn’t ready for that.

“Brumah you’re married. You love your wife. You have a beautiful family.”

“Nady, you of all people know these things can be a sham. I care about Sarah. A lot. And she is a good woman. I just don’t know if she’s the one for me. She is a good mother. I really haven’t thought about any of this. I’m being selfish, I know. But I’ve been so unhappy for so long, it’s starting to take a toll on me. I’ve prayed about it Nady…. for years. I’ve prayed and I’ve prayed. I’ve stopped myself from calling you. I’ve actively done all I can……..”

“I’m not asking that we have an affair, or that you stop seeing your man, but I just really needed to let you know. I want to be happy again Nady. And today, sitting here, just talking, I know I haven’t felt this way in years!”

Nadia didn’t know what to say. She wanted to tell him, that there were few days when she didn’t think about him. That she had never forgotten what it felt like to be in his arms. She wanted to tell him that when she was expecting Mackenzie, she’d imagined him kissing the baby bump daily, and singing his silly songs to him. She’d imagined him running to the stores for her cravings at dawn. She’d imagined having and raising him with her. She wanted to tell him about the nights she’d managed to fall asleep only after imagining herself in his arms, or him inside her. She wanted to tell him. She was so conflicted. How would Sarah feel about all this? She refused to be the reason a home would be wrecked. Her heart was shattered years ago when Brumah was taken from her. Wouldn’t Sarah feel that way too? It had hurt. Very very badly.

“Nady say something, please…..”

Nadia hated how her tears came unexpectedly and at very odd moments. She was trying hard to not cry. Oh but how she missed him. What would it hurt to fall asleep in his arms tonight? It had been so so long.

Was that even what he was offering?

Oh God!

Perspectives II

Hi guys! I’m finally back with the second part of ‘Perspectives’. I’m sorry it took forever (I know, I’m constantly apologising for disappearing lol!) I promise to do better with the next part. As always, please tell me what you think, share with someone who might enjoy it, or might be going through something similar, share your thoughts with us all. Most of all, I hope you enjoy it! If you haven’t read the first part yet, you’ll find it here.

Cheers to a lovely weekend! ❤

Elise


Brumah had a sermon he’d been working on for weeks now. Somehow he couldn’t seem to get the message coined into the way he felt the Spirit was leading him. And lately, his thoughts kept going back to Nadia. Especially as his appointment to preach in New York approached. He’d prayed those thoughts away on so many occasions, lately it wasn’t working. He knew she had a little boy, but as much as possible he tried to not look her up or wonder about her. Sometimes he missed her so much… missed the way she made him feel about himself. Missed her funny quips. She was a very happy girl…. it took so much to rile her up….

But she was considered a bad girl. That was obviously no problem when he was also considered bad. When he got saved, his mother had over and over and over, drummed it into his head, that this was not the kind of girl a Christian boy brought home.
He remembered how nervous he was the day he broke up with her. She thought he was kidding. “I know I’m not good enough for your family, and that’s okay…. but I thought I was enough for you?” She said it with a smile on her face. But he knew her too well to know that deep inside, her heart was breaking into a thousand shards. Just like his was.

He still hadn’t forgiven himself. He’d prayed, and cried out to God… In his mother’s words, “no child of mine will be yoked with an evil woman!”
He’d cut communication with her for so long, and she hadn’t fought it. There were times he was tempted to think maybe she was fine with it all. But he knew her too well. Knew she didn’t want to disrupt his well-structured life. She loved him, and he knew it… loved him enough to remove herself just so he wouldn’t have to suffer. She loved him in a way no woman ever would.  And he loved her in a way he knew he couldn’t love any other woman. He thought back to the last time they’d made love…. he was reaching dangerous territory now. He missed her so much more when he thought about the sex.

He knew he shouldn’t be comparing, and he tried so hard not to. But Sarah constantly shamed him when it came to that department. He felt like he had to earn the right to sex. And even when he did earn it, it was on her terms. No funny positions. No strange sounds. Shower before. Aim: Make babies.
He’d tried over the years to dissuade her. There were days when he’d decide to just hold her in bed, make out with her, no sex, and just enjoy his wife. She wouldn’t have it…. “Ei Osofo, why? Today no action? You know I don’t like your games. Are you thinking about something else?”

He’d gone a couple of months at a time without sex/foreplay at all sometimes, just to see if she’d even want him at all. He often gave up before he was led into temptation elsewhere. Funny enough, no woman, no matter who tried, had ever gotten him to even consider losing guard – and so many women had tried, both in and out of the congregation.
Yet one thought of Nadia and he had to command himself to be strong, and sensible…

God why can’t I forget about her?! It’s been 8 long years! 


Akyiaa looked at the screen in disbelief… She was walking on her Paediatric ward when she saw the alert. She got matched! She speed dialled Papa!
“Papa I got matched!”
She was too excited to hear the catch in his voice.
“Let’s celebrate! Dinner tonight, on me?” He agreed quickly and cut the call.
She’d been working on starting a residency in the US for about two years. She wanted to be a Paediatrician. Papa had tried also…. he didn’t like the learning process, he’d stopped after the STEP 2 of the USMLE when his scores were not quite amazing…. he figured he’d best remain home, and work on getting into a residency programme right here. Akyiaa had tried to talk him into carrying on but he wouldn’t budge. So she went ahead and finished up. He kept telling her to forget about it, usually in a joking manner. But she knew what she wanted, and there was no budging.

She was over the moon about it, it felt like she was walking on cloud 9! That dream was finally about to come true!
She didn’t notice that Papa was weird at dinner. Her heart was too full. When the bill came and she paid, she finally noticed Papa had been too quiet. She looked at him, and asked if he was okay….
“So have we decided that you’re actually going?”
For a second she was a bit confused.
“Actually going where?”
“To New York?”
“Sorry I’m confused… you mean am I planning to go do the residency? Why the hell not?”

“But what happens to us then? I mean it won’t be less than 4 years in all, and I’m guessing you’ll want to practice there for a couple years after? So what happens with having kids, what will Mama say? And are we going to be apart for that long? You know I don’t like long distance things and…..”

Akyiaa was seeing stars…
“Papa, if the tables were turned, would you think I’d have a problem? Of course I’d miss you and we wouldn’t get to be together as often as we’d like but it’s not forever? Besides you could come over every leave? And vice versa? We haven’t even discussed the possibilities and you don’t want me to go?”

“It’s not that I don’t want you to go… but have you thought it through? We won’t have kids for the next 4 years? And you’ll be at least thirty-three by the time it’s over. And knowing you, you won’t want to have kids during the residency… You of all people know the risks of having a first child after 30… It’s not that I don’t want you to achieve your dreams, but is now really a good time? Can’t we wait a few more years? Who knows, by then I could also figure out the steps properly and we’d go together?”
She knew if she carried on she’d probably start crying. She grabbed her purse and car keys and walked out to the parking lot without a word. She only allowed her tears pour silently just as she sped off. Good thing they came in separate cars!


Andrea knew she couldn’t talk to any of her friends about her husband…. at least not her ‘Christian’ friends…. especially those whose husbands knew Gyedu. She’d tried Selassie one time, but she got told “Sister, aren’t you happy it’s not out in the open? These are the kind of things you keep quiet and pray about. God always hears.” And this was a person she’d considered would maybe listen to her, of course pray with her and then give practical solutions…
There was Nana Aba, who was usually considered their naughty friend… she’d considered on and off speaking to her about this. She’d considered Pastor Brumah too, but she knew Gyedu would kill her.
His indifference lately had gotten worse, and try as she could to not care, she really couldn’t handle it. She was dying slowly inside. Save for her boys, she felt so alone! This wasn’t what she signed up for.

Nana Aba was surprised that Andrea wanted to meet with her alone. They were good friends, but it had been ages, and there was hardly a meeting with just the two of them. Usually all the girls were there as well.
It all made sense when she finally got all the info… She knew it was important to her friend. But the irony of the whole matter made her want to laugh! Wasn’t it men that were out there cheating on their wives because they (the wives) were not willing to be adventurous? Why was he withholding sex from her? Was he cheating on her? She was obviously struggling here and he was out there doing what?

“Do you want me to talk to him? I could do that for you, find out what exactly his problem is?”
Andrea choked on her Coca Cola, coughing and sending droplets everywhere.
Talk to him about what? Already, he thought counselling would make the whole world think he was a bad husband…. if Nana Aba went and spoke with him, he’d come back upset that she was going round telling her friends.
“You can’t talk to him, Aba…. I don’t even know what to do. He refuses to talk to anyone about it, and he obviously doesn’t want any help….”

“Isn’t there some sort of law that allows annulment of a marriage if it is sexless beyond a year?”
“Aba I can’t have the marriage annulled…What happens to the boys?”
She didn’t even know if she wanted the boys to grow up in this loveless marriage…
She’d envisioned a completely different marriage life… and here she was, 8 years down the line, wondering if it was worth it.
“Okay. Maybe you should talk to him… maybe he’ll understand how important it is to me to have a husband and not just a roommate…”


Yaa knew she knew that girl from church. The one from the choir. How had she transformed so much in such a short time? She parked and called out to her.
She looked so surprised, Yaa even thought she had the wrong person.
“I haven’t seen you in church in ages!” She laughed a half-hearted laugh, “Ooh I had a few things to take care of…”
“Anyway, I’m getting lunch, come let’s get it together..”

She didn’t know why she felt so drawn to her. But she wanted to know her story, and where the father of the baby was. And what her plans were. She’d noticed even before she stopped showing up at church, that she also didn’t really hang out with the friends in the choir anymore. Funny enough it wasn’t unusual. People got ex-communicated, and all of a sudden they had no friends!

She noticed how guarded she was over lunch. How slowly she ate and how lost she got in thought. She tried to put herself in her shoes…. young, unmarried, pregnant. Life was definitely an interesting game.
“Okay, lets strike a deal, my dear….. everyday we’ll meet here for lunch and a chat?”

Wendy was a bit struck by the whole afternoons events. She liked this lady, admired her from afar. She just never knew they’d ever sit together for anything. She looked down at her small bulge, and the food they were eating, and how difficult it was for her to come by such… she had to agree. What’s the worst that could happen?
“Yes please. We have a deal.”


Nadia had seen the flyers all over social media. She’d seen it countless times. Each time she saw it, her breath caught. She was so confused. Why was her heart racing over a man she hadn’t seen in over eight years?
He’d been invited to do a week-long series at a  nearby church. Maybe she’d take that week off and fly out to see her parents with Mackenzie. He’d never been home to Ghana before, and he hadn’t seen the grandparents since his last birthday. He was constantly asking about his “Naahnas.”

In all of New York, why did this have to be the church he was invited to?

God I know you have a good sense of humour sometimes….but to be very honest, this one is not funny!

Her mother said she wouldn’t be available that month, that the notice was too short to cut off from her work. She preferred that they’d come after a month… when she’d already planned to take a month off. She settled on that, inwardly groaning and praying for self control to not try to reach out to Brumah while he was around. She thought about the times years ago, when they could just sit at the base of that tall coconut tree, not far from her house, and overlooking the beach…. it was their place. She wondered if that place was still there. If he ever went back there. They’d had the most intense conversations there, shared a lot of good memories there…. they’d read books together there, made out countless times there, and there were times too when they’d sat in the quietness and said nothing… it was their place.
She missed him so much sometimes…. missed the trips they’d done together, crazy silly fun they’d had. He was a very skilled lover…. in and out of bed, and he knew her body so well! She sat there reminiscing, trying not to get hot and bothered… There was one day on a trip they’d done up north to Mole, when he’d kept her in bed all day, constantly putting her to sleep with satisfying exhaustion, and waking her up to either food, or some more pleasurable activities. There were other days when he’d just hold her, whisper sweet nothings into her ears, nibble on her neck and ears, and fall asleep with her that way. Those were things she’d never had since him. Things she’d missed. Things she wondered if she’d ever get over.

Oh Lord… Eight years down and thoughts of him still get me wet! Why?!


Osofo – Pastor

Perspectives

This is a story about 6 individuals, and how their intertwined stories may not seem like they really seem. Many of the happenings in this story are from real life tales. Many are fictional.

Let me know your thoughts! Have you ever been in any of these situations? Have you met someone in such situations? How did it go? What did they do? Share them with us!

Elise


 

Bruma hadn’t always been a Christian. But he was a good one – a good pastor too. He lived to please the Lord. He knew in his heart of hearts, that he was trying. He knew that he wasn’t perfect. But he knew also the grace of God that had carried him out of destruction.

He knew he would probably have been cursed somewhere, likely dead if that grace hadn’t carried him out. He knew it. And he was grateful. How he became a Christian was nothing short of a miracle. But that was a story for another day.

When his mother asked him his thoughts about Sarah, he didn’t quite have an opinion. She wasn’t the kind of girl he’d have gone for, though very beautiful, she was a bit plain, a bit too submissive and a bit too ‘deaconess-y’. She hardly questioned things. They had to be done a certain way… the right way. But that wasn’t a good enough reason for him to say no. So he agreed to marry her. He didn’t want any more stressful issues with his family. He’d caused them enough pain.

Before he married her, he went to Nadia to apologize. He knew he owed that girl so much! He’d cost her two abortions, and too much heartache. She was the one that genuinely had his heart. And she’d stuck with him through all the stupidity of his youth. She was the only one of all the girls he’d had in the past that he could never forget. She left the country when he decided to move on. She told him she didn’t want to stand in the way of his transformation, but she couldn’t trust herself to not keep coming back. Nadia was a good woman! Her kind of crazy was what his heart needed. And on many nights, when he was alone with his thoughts, he wondered what could have been.

Sarah was good too. Only that she had been socialised in such a way that made her believe that almost everything modern was a sin. She owned nothing above her knees, she didn’t consider joking as a couple a normal thing – hers was to respect him, and cook for him. When he bought her lingerie for their honeymoon, she told him she was fully submitted to him, but she couldn’t do any ashawo things. He thought she was only joking. If only he knew!

 


 

“The church is arguably the most judgemental place on earth. Day in and day out, the church turns hundreds of people away – with a glare, with one word, one sentence, and one rumour. Aren’t we supposed to be the source of love? Aren’t we the ones who should comfort others? Are we not the ones to bring others over to this bright side?”

Akyiaa was always excited when it was pastor Bruma preaching. Apart from being good looking, he was also practical, straight to the point, and not repetitive like some of the other pastors. She’d skip on her post duty rounds to be there if she knew it was him preaching! Today, he had started a new series about the hypocrisy that needed to go away from the church.

She remembered all the time church people had made interesting comments about her.

“But why would a Christian woman even decide that she can wear an anklet?!” “Is black lipstick too a thing? Did you see it on her Instagram? Asɛ bɛyifo!”

And though she considered herself quite liberal, she looked back to all the times she herself had thought judgementally about others. Even if she didn’t voice them out, she’d thought them. And that, was just as bad!

“I need you to understand, church, that our righteousness did not save us! We’re all saved only by grace! Now a man with long or braided hair, has been given grace just as much as a man with a haircut – his hair, his choice! A tattoo doesn’t change the grace that God has given to us! Red hair will not stop you from going to Heaven! The jewellery you wear, will certainly not change anything about your walk with God!”

 


 

Andrea was finally tired. Tired of the façade she’d been living, tired of the pretence and the effort required to live it.

She remembered clearly the last time her husband had so much as looked at her…..

About two years ago, she’d stopped trying to convince herself that he was not having an affair… there was almost no one she could talk to about this. In church, Gyedu was a saint – he was an elder. He loved the kids. And as much as possible, he was civil to her. Many women wanted men like him. She’d be called ungrateful if she complained.

They’d been married 8 years, and the last 2 of those years, had been without sex. She didn’t consider herself a very sexual person, and it wasn’t as if Gyedu thought much about her when it came to sex… He was her first, and when they first got married, she thought sex was gruesome. But she decided she’d not waited this long for sex that would make her wish she was still celibate. She’d been brought up to think that God would reward her for remaining a virgin prior to her marriage. This really wasn’t the reward she had been expecting.

So she researched. She read articles. Both Christian ones and all those ones that she knew her church people would disapprove of. She bought books and magazines on the matter.

When she brought it up to Gyedu that she didn’t really enjoy the sex, and hence had done some research, on how they could maybe make it better, he wouldn’t have it! It was about six months into their marriage, and it was the biggest fight they’d had – well not quite a fight, just he became a very angry man.

 

“Where are you getting all these ideas from? We’re not people of the world! I’m not going to do anything funny just because you claim you’re not enjoying it! What do you even have to compare us to? Was I not your first? Or are you seeing someone?! Who has been putting these ideas into your head?”

She’d tried a few more times after that. To initiate sex, to try some position that would maybe get her close to some satisfaction, but Gyedu really wouldn’t have it. He didn’t want to be “carnal.”

From then on, sex had been his thing. She didn’t bother anymore to pretend that she was enjoying herself. She was so excited when she got pregnant. Although it was a difficult pregnancy, she didn’t have to deal with two times a week being painfully pounded and harrowed ‘like a good wife’.

When the twins were born, she put her all into her beautiful sons. She moved in with her mother for over a year, well beyond the customary three to six months that was acceptable. Gyedu visited fortnightly, and even then, their conversation was strained.

When she moved back home, they merely lived like roommates. She tried hard to make it work. She prayed and fasted. She apologised to his sore ego for making those suggestions earlier in their marriage. She did the things that made him happy. Cooked all his meals just the way he liked them. Got him gifts that she knew he’d like.

It didn’t change much. He stopped having sex with her altogether. When she tried to initiate it, he’d rub it in her face that she claimed she didn’t enjoy it…so why keep pretending? She tried talking to Gyedu about getting counselling. He was even more upset about that than he was about their sex issues.

“You want me to be ridiculed in the church, is that it? You want people to think I’m an incompetent husband?”

What made it easier for her was her five year old boys. They were her joy. She knew that it was up to her to bring them up to respect women, and not live like the world revolved around them.

Her marriage was just a façade, and she knew it. She didn’t want herself getting tempted by men elsewhere. She’d had advances made at her at work, and it was becoming increasingly difficult to say no. She couldn’t bring herself to cheat on Gyedu, but a woman has needs too! So after two years, and four months of being celibate though married, and over three years of thinking through, praying, wondering and convincing herself, Andrea ordered herself a vibrator.

 


 

Wendy was excommunicated from church when she got pregnant. It was one of the most difficult times of her life. But somehow, her meetings with Pastor Brumah and Elder Aining made it a bit easier. She understood that this was so that others wouldn’t fall into the same mistakes that she had. She wasn’t sacked, just she couldn’t hold any leadership positions, and she couldn’t be a part of the choir anymore. It was for a short while.

What surprised her was how the members of the choir suddenly treated her. She knew for sure that there were a number of them that were sexually active. But you see, that was the flaw in this whole excommunication thing. We’re all holy, until we’re caught!

All of a sudden, she was no longer friends with Rachel – how could she hang out with the latest sinner? She assumed that one of them would at least call to ask how the pregnancy was going, and how she was coping. On the contrary, she was very blatantly ignored at church. She thought it was a figment of her imagination, that maybe she was overthinking it cos of her own shame. But she was very obviously snubbed by two or three members. She wasn’t one to hold grudges. She decided she’d leave the church for a while. She was unfortunate to have committed a sin that couldn’t be hidden from the church. She’d thought of the abortion she knew Rachel had done, just so the church and her family wouldn’t find out. But hey, she had been the unlucky one. Life was that way. She would be okay at some point. She knew it.

 


 

Nadia had been living in the United States for the past eight years. There were still very few days when she didn’t think about Brumah. About what could have been. She’d never been bitter about any of it. She loved him. And she knew that he loved her as well. But life happens. And people hardly end up with the ones they love. Even when they do, life happens. She’d tried to meet others when she moved. She’d even been married once, to an abusive older man. She’d had a lovely baby boy, and then left that marriage. She was currently very comfortable, living in a place that many would consider a mansion, with her son. He was four, and the sweetest soul alive. She’d given up on her wild ways, and gotten right with God. She fellowshipped at the local church not far from where they lived. It was a church of love. That’s probably what drew her to it. She remembered visiting Brumah’s church in Ghana one time, where one elderly woman came and covered her with a cloth in the middle of the service, because the tattoo on her right shoulder was showing, and “we don’t do that here.”

So many times she’d considered going back home. But she knew it probably wasn’t for the best. It would worsen how much she wanted Brumah, and she didn’t want to be a homewrecker. She could tell he was happy. At least from what she saw on social media. He had a vibrant ministry in one of the big churches back home, and he was loved by many. His wife was beautiful. A bit more quiet than Nadia thought he would end up with, but she seemed good for him. 8 years, and they were still going strong.

She’d tried praying the love she had for him away. If only it worked that way!

 


 

Yaa was the Country Director at the UNDP Ghana office. She was strikingly beautiful. And her charisma made her loved by all. But she’d had to put up with so much pressure – first from men, and then her family, and then from her church, even from friends! How could you be thirty – eight and not want to be married? She’d heard one usher once talking to a lady, saying that it was because she earned so much money. Men didn’t want a woman who earned more money than them. She was livid that day. But as always, she kept her composure. She’d also heard once that she’d given up marriage for success. As if people didn’t have the two. Another rumour was that she was too authoritative for men. She laughed when she heard that one. Of course there were also rumours that at this age if she wasn’t married then she had some person she was hitting it with from time to time. Because humans somehow could not understand that a woman could be fine without a man, and without sex.

Yaa just did not want marriage. She’d been harassed by her family members, sent on awkward dates, some of which had to end abruptly, because the idiots assumed that at her age, she was desperate and would marry anyone regardless.

She’d had just one love of her life. And she felt content to have had that experience. He died early, even before they’d ever thought about marriage or any of those things. She simply didn’t want marriage, and people didn’t understand that! For the past eight years, she’d had people praying for her, that God would give her a husband, to people sending random men over to try to win her. She didn’t appreciate it, but she wasn’t rude about it. She hoped that at some point they’d get the memo. But it didn’t look like that was happening. Even her close friends, after they got married, started to slowly shun her company, or tried to send her on blind dates. So she threw herself into her work, and into her fun. She worked hard! And she travelled the world when she wasn’t working. She took herself on dates she liked, and did all the fun things she wanted. Marriage was really not the thing for her.

 

To be continued……….

 

 

Ashawo – offensive word for prostitute

Asɛ bɛyifo – like a witch