Deep somewhere he saw himself on a hill, watching the beautiful sunset. He felt at peace. He was in carefree moment for the first time in his life. Nothing mattered. The clouds were painted in the red of the beautiful orange-gold of the Sun. Staring at the beautiful clouds in awe; his traced along the lines of the clouds, a lagoon lying far off. It was clouds; it was water; it was orange – gold. The world was alive. Lost in the wonderful scenery, a bird suddenly came flying towards him. He staggered.
He woke up.
Kwame had been sleeping for hours now.
It was about 11pm and he was still trying to recover from the abrupt wake… his phone rang, “Seth calling” the screen read. He picked up the call. “Hey man where have you been? I have been waiting for hours now”. Sorry man I slept off; Kwame said.
“Oh ok, I see, so you kept me waiting here, while you were having a good sleep. ‘Was thinking you were preparing for the game. If you are not coming! Tell me, let me find my way home!” Seth said angrily.
Look man, I just woke up, I don’t need the headache you intend giving me; Kwame retorted.
“Why did you have to sleep in the first place? – You are supposed to be apologizing to me, not telling me to shut up”. Kwame hanged up.
The phone rang again and he waited for a short while and picked it up, saying; “I hope this time you have something more important to say.” “OK, Kwame, I’m sorry, you know I need your help. Please meet me at the rendezvous. I really need to get this girl”; Seth said calmly.
“Sure, I will be there soon man, let me put myself together”; Kwame replied.
Work calls again, he said to himself, as he looked into the mirror above the sink – washing his face. He licked his upper lips, and his tongue felt hair. He touched his face. His skin had become thicker. He would be soon growing lots of facial hair. He was not growing any younger, he realized. He really needed to put his life on the right lane. He wished he could just die and come back as another man, to start life all over again; probably he would have the opportunity to make the right decisions.
He had the fame he always wanted, his friends never stopped calling and he had been with all the women of his dreams. At first, it was exciting, making that impression on his friends, but now he feels he should have done better. He should have put his life together and not follow his many desires, desires that have lead to today’s many megrims.
More and more, as he thought about the last few years, he wondered, if he ever did anything for his own good or if everything was to please his friends; to please people. He had thought little of himself and his life in the end.
He pulled on a pair of jeans trouser and his favorite blue V-neck T-shirt, which fitted his body perfectly. He was 6.2ft tall, had a well built upper torso. He had a great looking body; like that of Sylvester Stallione in the 1990s. He put on his runners and headed for the ICE PALACE.
ICE PALACE was where all the action took place, he was well known there. It was their favorite spot, he and his friends met there on countless times within a week; their rendezvous.
ICE PALACE was 20 blocks from his house. He decided to make a run for the place. As he bound on his way, he felt the cool breeze rush on his face and arms. He liked it. It was refreshing. The breeze was; the night was.
“I must be a night man, because I love the nights, the night is my time”; he told himself.
The night was spooky, the streets deserted, but he cared less because he had walked the road on several occasions.
The thought of the spooky street and he heard; STOP there! He stopped and his defense was suddenly triggered.
Portia had been waiting; she couldn’t stop looking at her wristwatch and then her wall clock. “What is keeping him”; she kept asking herself. She rubbed her hands around her upper arm as she moved around in confusion. Trying to figure out what to do next; there was nothing to do, but she just couldn’t believe how powerless she was. She continued to moil, scrabbling and shuffling herself in confusion.
Where could he be by now? She asked herself.
He called in the morning that he was going to arrive at the bus station by 9pm and as soon as he got there, he was going to call and then get a taxi driver to speak to her so she could give directions to suitable meeting place.
Portia received a call around 10pm, and it was he. Even then, she hadn’t stop calling to make sure he had not encountered any problems. When the call came in, He told her, he had just arrived at the bus station and immediately he found an empty taxi. He was going to call.
She waited and called him after 30mins, to hear; “sorry the number you are calling is either switched off or out of coverage area.” She’d been calling since then to no avail.
Three months ago she saw, reading the newspapers, the name; Teeray Sarpong Williams. The column read; “Teeray Sarpong Williams a 23year lad, invented a system that can digest organic waste more efficiently as compared to any bio-digester, used presently. The system tested in farms in Palugu in Northern Ghana proofs to work efficiently. Renewable energy has a new name………”
At that point something sounded familiar, Sarpong Williams; her surname. She knew that name was only common to her family. Moreover, as far as the story goes, she was the only surviving victim after the fire. She had not stop thinking about the fact that her younger brother’s body was not found. She was only 12 when the fire incident happened but it’s not possible her brother survived.
In that horrid situation, she couldn’t just take in the experience; she was lucky. She was the first to be saved by her father when the fire started. She can still remember his father’s voice, saying; “stay out here, don’t move an inch, everything will be alright, let me go in for your siblings.” She was in grave shock as she stared at the whole house in flames and her father never came out and neither did she see any of her siblings. She just stood there, her teeth chattering, her body extremely cold. As she stood there she began to stutter, stay here, don’t move an inch, everything will be alright…stay here, don’t move an inch, everything will be alright, as if suffering from echolalia. She couldn’t stop.
Neighbors perceived the smoke and came around to stop the fire but it was too late, there were no survivors. The fire service couldn’t even find their way to the house, as everyone there was so devastated they could barely say where the house was located; they couldn’t direct the fire service well enough.
Seeing the name brought back all those memories and it felt as if, she was living in the moments again but she had lived those memories all her life. She had also become used to the cold it brought to her spine.
The name yet brought her hope, Teeray, what if it’s my brother. What if Abeiku didn’t die and survived. She smiled; she loved the thought of the idea. Even though she knew deep down she was lying to herself. She felt, she just had to cling to this hope even it was false.
She decided to call a private detective to find out if her brother still breath.
After two months, detective Carboso Kwabena called her phone; she crossed her fingers before she picked up, hoping to hear some good news. “Madam I have news for you, I found Teeray and after a long talk with him; telling him about you and the incident that took place 13years ago; he said …”, there was a pause in his voice. “Tell me already, I have no time for play, you have no idea, how I am feeling right now Mr. Detective…” she says. “Well he said, he had no idea who you are and doesn’t remember anything from that day.” Mr. Sintim continued. But he allowed me take his number, in case you will like to further talk to him, to clear any doubts you might have. There was a long silence on the line, hello, hello, hello… Mr. Sintim kept echoing …there was no reply; I guess I am going to hang up now and call you back later. The call cut and as if it was an anchored reaction, she burst into tears; she couldn’t stop crying. Her hope was frail. She made move… but she didn’t hope for this much. She sobbed, and like everything has an end, she finally stopped and asked herself: what will be the right thing to do, if I was in my right senses?
She breathed in, held it for a while, and then breathed out, as if to calm her emotions and put her in control. Ok, ok, ok , mmmm, she muttered to herself.” It is here now, I am in control, it is here, I am in control. “Ok , I am going to call Mr. Sintim now and take the number and I will call Teeray. Some part of her felt Teeray was her brother but it was going to take only her to make him realize it.
She picked up the phone and dialed 0243378590, it rang for a while; and then a familiar voice; “ I knew you were going to call back.”
“I think I need to talk to him in person, that’s the only way to help me realize totally, I am mistaken”; she said. Well the number is 0266789040; I believe he will be expecting your call, take care, bye.
She dialed the number, took a deep breath and then waited, listening to the sound of the connecting tone. In no time, she heard; hello… “Hello is this Teeray.” It felt heavy to speak those first words. Yes it’s me sis, I didn’t believe it was you at first but now that you called and I heard your voice…” Portia couldn’t help but burst into tears again, “Oh my god, this isn’t happening. You are alive”… Yes sis, I am and I have dreamt of this moment, every single night I have been away”. My god, I can’t imagine… Teeray… I want to see you immediately, please.
The talk went on as Teeray told her sister about how much he’s changed and his experiences with the foster family. His schooling abroad had been one of the best things to happen to him.
Portia was lost in the conversation listening keenly to every detail as her found brother talked about his life. In the weeks that followed, they kept communicating until they finally fixed a date to meet.
Portia had been picturing all this time what her brother would look like. He had mentioned he was 6.2ft tall, did a lot of running; a way, he got out his worries. She knew, he was tall and fit… and would definitely have a nice body with all that running and work out.
She couldn’t it take anymore she had waited too long, She went into the garage, stepped into her car, hit the ignition, the garage gate opened with the sound of the engine. And she drove out the gate: she was on her way to look for her brother. She didn’t know where to start looking but she was going anyway – anywhere seemed a good start.
Kwame had been on the streets too long and knew too well how dangerous the streets could be sometimes. After the grist to the mill experiences he’s had in bar fights. He tried to stay as calm as possible in order to enable him think straight, even though his heart won’t stop racing. “A strong man is one who is able to stay calm in adversity”: one of his many philosophies was on his mind.
He was standing still, with his fist clutched, his eyes asquint, looking from the left corner of his eyes, and his ears alert. His heart was skipping beats and pounding hard. He understood what experience this could be, if this was going to be a fight.