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Listening Ear

The Haunting Rage Of A Scorned Wife - Part 1

Saturday, 28th June 2014, Prampram Township, House No. 56/3A

11:30 AM

The elderly man, with skin so wrinkled it could have been soft leather neatly wrapped around his veins and muscles and seamlessly patched together, looked unambiguously disturbed. He spoke softly into the ears of the Clan Elder of their family. With each word he uttered, the Elder’s countenance fell, leaving it pale and lifeless.

The news was so shocking it could only be accepted as the truth from their own daughter’s mouth to believe it was indeed true. Its shame was like none other known to a clan that reputed itself for being the never-dying torch in a town groping in the pitch-blackness of moral debauchery.

“Ah, you are all welcome once again to our family,” the Clan Elder said and took his seat in the living room, littered with books, wall-hangings, and calendars, some of which dated back to the 80s. The Odum chair he sat on bore the marks of age, which was also evident in everything else present in the room, including the pungent air that hovered tirelessly like an ominous miasma waiting to deliver an irrevocable verdict on them. The room looked like a time travel into times beyond the advent of time. It had almost something from each epoch of their ephemeral existence; it was simply timeless.

“I believe my linguist and elders have already gone through the required tradition, so there is no need for me to repeat them,” he spoke with gravity in his husky, aged voice. “The matter that lies before us, at least, as I have been briefed, is a serious one, and if it is true, the consequence would carry the same seriousness and severity. However, as wisdom demands, while I sit in the seat as a judge, I would hear the story again and in detail, so I can make a just pronouncement.

“Our elders, who are gathered here this morning, we have heard you and receive this with a good heart,” a stoic-sounding man in his mid-fifties responded on behalf of Richard and his family. “And as you have said yourself, we have already gone through formalities, and time is far spent, so without any further ado, I call our son to tell all of us here exactly what happened. Once again, I apologize for the absence of our Clan Elder, as you may have been informed, he had to be admitted to the hospital last night after drinking contaminated water. I am standing in on his behalf as the family linguist.

“Please, we are all ears.”

“Our elders, I pay my respects,” Richard stood and said, to which a veil of murmur rose up in response.

“My name is Richard…”

“What kind of human names his child Richard?” The Clan Elder said with a drab voice and eyes that subtly revealed annoyance at the use of the English name in his presence. Richard understood the comment.

“Sorry, elders, I am Nii Obli Kwetey, and I am married to your daughter. We have been…”

“Which of their daughters?” His family linguist interjected, mildly irritated at the lack of proper grooming in the ways of speaking among the elderly for young people of today.

“Naa Morkor, please,” Richard corrected himself, suddenly realizing he was in for a barbecue, only this time he was the meat.

“Young man, where you stand is very crucial; my advice to you is to be as detailed as possible. We will not tolerate any scanty information,” the Clan Elder stated in a matter-of-fact voice.

“Yes, sir.”

“You may proceed.”

“Thank you, sir,” Richard said, grinning sheepishly. “I am married to your daughter Naa Morkor, and we have been living together for the past 10 years with two children. I am 42 years old, and she is 38 years old. I work for an Accounting firm in Accra, where we live, and she works with an Auditing firm also in Accra. Her job takes her to many places both in Ghana and in the West African sub-region.

We believe our children have been given the best of care any loving parents could give to their children. Financially, emotionally, and to a good extent spiritually, we have been there to support them.

The last bit did not sound right in his mouth, to which the Devil did not miss the opportunity to whisper one of his favorite lines into his ear...

You are spiritually hot, or you are spiritually cold. But you are lukewarm… He has spat you out of His mouth, Richard. You are out of His mouth like the stinky cloth of your shame.

Richard lowered his voice as the words rang in his ears. “We have done our best to make our home beautiful and comfortable for the four of us and our house-help living with us. And I believe it was a happy family until the devil brought me to this path of shame, and I slept with someone.”

“Leave the devil out!” A random shrill voice came through from nowhere in particular.

“Silence!” Naa Morkor’s family linguist called out.

The clan elder, visibly perplexed, asked his linguist, the old man with leathery skin, “I thought it was our daughter who slept with someone?”

The silence in the room was textural.

“Young man, which is which? You slept with someone, or our daughter slept with someone’s husband?”

Saturday, 24th March 2014, Dansoman, House No. DC5

9:15 AM

Richard was chatting with Naa Morkor while he waited for the last bit of the laundry to come out of the machine so he could take them to the drying line. He had a heap to wash, but he thanked God he could still do it. They had not been with water for the past two weeks, and the pile of dirty clothes from the four human beings living in the house had become a heap that could tip like an avalanche should anyone touch them.

The kids had left for a party three blocks away. Who throws a children’s party at 8:30 am? And they say Ghanaians are not weirdos. He thought to himself.

Victoria had finished cleaning the louvers and was in the living room, mopping the floor. How stubborn could people be? Richard was upset by the thought. She always insisted on using Dettol to mop the floor. It was as if in her previous life, she was a cleaner in a hospital, or she was poisoned with a concentrate of Zoflora. Victoria would not touch the pleasantly smelling Zoflora disinfectant for anything whatsoever.

Even from where Richard was standing, he could smell the haunting stench of Dettol floating laboriously on the stale air from the Hall. He thought of calling her to ask why she did not use Zoflora, but he thought against it. He could swear on the beard of Freud she would stand there and stare at him like a primitive woman staring at someone from the future.

And seven hells! She would be wearing those skimpy dresses that literally spark the sin in him. Not that the thought had not crossed his mind before. She was dumb, or at least she looked it – her funny head and elfish ear shape and all – but that body was an evil one designed by God just to see if a man will see it and not sin in his heart. At twenty-something years old, all that Victoria's body was begging for was to be sullied in the most ferocious way ever known to man. However, there was the lust killer. Her Body Odour could instantly block the rush of blood from the brain to the lower worlds of a hungry man.

And that stench, which has defied all treatment, had kept Richard from allowing the unsavory thought to linger in his mind.

He decided against asking.

He called her to redo it again with Zoflora, to which she stood there with her thick, fully developed lips opened and her rather slender fingers scratching her tangled hair. Richard did not look at her twice.

Nonetheless, Richard always preferred this house help to the one that lived with them two years earlier. Oh, Lord, have mercy. Those were the crazy old days. The maid grabbed him by the balls in the hallway and opened her nightie, displaying all her sin and asking Richard to walk with her to hell. But thank God for little mercies and strength. The lady was booted out that same night with her un-bitten apples in her hands.

Naa had gone on one of her long audit trips. The average man would have fallen for the temptation. However, Richard was the type of person who could put his hand to his chest and swear fidelity to his wife under extreme temptations. He was proud of his own track record. But that was a long, long time ago. Two long years back in time.

Presently, Naa traveled on the Thursday to Kumasi for some ongoing auditing work, and she was coming back on Sunday. Richard himself had driven her to the airport.

The loud music from the living room and the steady drone from the washing machine prevented Richard from hearing that someone had entered the house. Victoria came just in time when Naa had sent a nude picture of hers to him. He started grinning in synchrony with the rapidly bulging frontal part of his boxer shorts. She looked delicious.

“What?” He asked as Victoria came to stand at the doorway, scratching her hair.

“Please, Madam’s friend is here to see you,” she answered.

“Which one?” Richard asked, trying to figure out how to get away from the washer without Victoria seeing what he was nursing in his boxers.

“Please, I don’t know her name. She came here sometime back with Mr. Ofei. I think she is his wife,” Victoria said politely.

“Is she tall and dark?”

“Yes, please.”

“Wears glasses?”

“Yes, please.”

“Okay, tell her I am coming.”

Victoria mildly genuflected and left.

What on earth was Mrs. Ofei doing in their house? He wondered as he hurriedly went into their bedroom to put on jeans trousers and an Interlock shirt and came out.

“Hey, look at you!” Julia said with a bright smile that made her suddenly glow.

“What a pleasant surprise!” Richard said, walking right into her bosom as she sat on the sofa with arms wide open, asking to be hugged. Richard couldn't help but notice instantly that everything about Julia was wrong. It felt like that moment in the night when ECG takes the power off, and you are walking up and down your house with a candlestick. That feeling you get as if disembodied spirits from hell are watching you from the darkness outside but you don’t see them. You feel their burning gaze on your fragile body, but you don’t see their fiendish faces. You know if a sound is made, you will pee on yourself and run, leaving your skin behind. The chill that feels chilly….

I see you, but you don’t see me. Your soul is mine.

First, it was her dress. It was, without doubt, unusually transparent; she was without any underskirt or leggings, and her blue G-string was visible even in the poorly illuminated room. Richard was not sure what material it was, but it was clearly a dress something of a wrapper was to be worn under. Her cleavage was rolling like a tempestuous sea. It was the kind 20-year-olds would kill to have. That was the bona fide property of a 45-year-old woman with three strong boys and a girl as proof.

In her bosom, that minuscule hug they exchanged felt like forever, and the perfume she wore was like a strange nerve gas designed to heighten the lust in any man. All he could think about was the nude picture his wife had just sent him. Thank God he was wearing thick Denim. What an awkward moment it would have been.

“I know right,” she said gleefully.

“What brought you this way?” Richard asked, still not sure what the visit was really about.

“You brought me this way, Ricky,” she answered playfully.

“All the way from Tema? Wow…”

“Yep!” She said, nursing a smile that showed hopping naughtiness, but eyes that said something else. Something he couldn’t understand.

“Wow, how may I help my boss?” Richard asked politely.

“Oh, please. I am not your boss.”

“Well, my wife’s boss’s wife is my boss,” Richard thought it was funny and laughed.

Julia thought the same too and let out her side of the laughter, except that was not why she came. No, not to laugh.

“Oh no. You are not to do anything for me,” she said innocently. “I know you were most likely going to be alone and clearly bored this weekend. I have also been on leave and been home all week, so effectively bored. All my girls are not in town. So, well, I thought the only friend I may know who would be receptive enough to host this old boring hag could be you. So I drove over.” She rattled the words off with the cheerfulness of a teenager gibberishing to her crush.

“No way! You are joking,” Richard said, pleasantly surprised at the gesture.

“No, I am not, silly. I came to visit you, Ricky.”

“You could have called. I could have been out or something,” Richard said, realizing the woman referred to him by a name only his wife calls him by. Ricky.

“Have you heard of the word ‘surprise’?” She asked, laughing.

“Well, I am not sure about that, but I hate it,” Richard said. “Because most often, I end up as the surprised one.”

“Well, I end up actually giving the people I surprise the real thing. Maybe I was born to surprise,” Julia said, throwing her hair back in laughter, revealing a not-so-perfect set of teeth.

“And I am glad I surprised you… At least I did not catch you pants down.”

Richard burst into laughter. “I would never do that,” he said.

“No! Silly, I meant pants down as in, walking in, tiptoeing, and seeing you naked,” Julia said it calculatedly to make it sound innocent.

“Oh no, oh no! That will not happen,” Richard said, shaking his head in refusal, in reality, wishing he was not having this conversation with someone’s wife. A woman he really respects. A woman older than him.

“Why not?” Julia asked, surprised. “I walk naked in the house. Did you know how Adam and Eve lived?”

“Not with kids and a grown-up maid in the house,” Richard said in a voice that had a feel to the effect that, but for those intervening factors, walking naked in your own house wouldn’t be bad at all.

“Oh, talking about kids, where are they?”

“They went for a party in the neighborhood.”

“Dear lord! Who throws a party at this time of the day?” Julia asked, totally bewildered.

“My question exactly,” Richard said, sharing in her surprise.

“That must be some weird-ty, not party.”

“Julia, oh my gosh, you are so hilarious. I thought so too. I mean, who does that?”

“And I have seen the house help already,” she stated.

“Oh yeah, walking all over the place,” Richard wasn't sure what answer she was expecting.

“I know right. The worst kind. Bless your heart, Rick, but this kind beds husbands. I guess you are not guilty?" she asked with that look that said, ‘it’s ok son, your secrets are safe with me.’

“Oh no, not me,” Richard said.

“You hesitated. Oh no! You are guilty, Ricky,” she said and laughed so hard she was absolutely childish. “Oh my goodness. You pervert! You did the poor girl.”

At this point, Richard was totally confused and wasn't sure where things were heading. He wasn't sure if it was Julia’s weird ways of breaking barriers to get close to him or if it was just a wrong conversation on a free fall.

“Come on. Don’t be ridiculous. I have never done that,” he said curtly.

“Well, I wish I could find a way of finding out. What is her name?”


“Victoria!” She called her.

“Julia, what are you doing?” Richard asked, clearly feeling uncomfortable with where things were going.

“I am calling her for a frisk; an intimate frisk for that matter. Victoria!”

“Oh wow. No, stop that.”

“Why, Ricky? You did it?”

“Don’t be ridiculous.” Richard was completely confused. What was the woman up to? He suddenly felt she had overstayed her visit. Victoria appeared through the door leading to the kitchen.

“Victoria,” she called her name.

“Yes, Madam?” Victoria responded and came to stand in front of Julia as if to say, 'Please frisk me.'

“Are you busy, like right now?” Julia asked her, pretending not to see the look on Richard’s face.

“No. Yes, but not so busy.”

“Good. Is there a market around here?”

“Yes, please, Madam. The Dansoman market is a walking distance from here.”

“Is it as good as the Kaneshie one?" She asked her but looked at Ricky.

“I wish I could help on that, but I doubt,” he said, shrugging, looking very relieved.

“No, please. The Kaneshie Market has cheaper prices,” the house help responded.

“Good. Please get me these items from the Kaneshie market right away so you can come and continue your work. Richard, please,” she asked Richard for permission.

“Oh no problem at all.”

Julia burst into laughter as Victoria walked away with the list and a fat bundle of cash. “Lawd have mercy, you should see your face. You looked pale and scared. Why would I do that?” Julia teased him.

“I don’t know; you sounded like you were going to do it,” Richard conceded.

“I know, I can be crazy at times. So how do you cope?” Julia asked casually.


“Naa and her travels…you know.”

“Ha. I guess it is a question we can both answer together, right?” Richard said, referring to the fact that Julia’s husband also goes on auditing trips.

“I know.”

“We are in the same boat. You young guys may have your own ways and means and how technology can make distance feel like no big deal. Me, I am a poor old woman with all these goods wasting away," Julia said without any physical reference to those goods she was referring to, but Richard knew she was referring to the totality of her body, which was quite impressive for a woman her age.

“Hmm,” he said.

“He always comes back tired, with countless reports to write, countless emails to respond to. And the first two weeks of such audits are the worst. I literally get superimposed with his work and fade out into oblivion,” she said sadly.

“The story of my life,” Richard commented despondently.

“Your wife is young, and you are fresh blood, I doubt if yours is that bad. Mine has lost himself to his job and in his quest to be a partner, we have all become part of the sacrifice he must offer the gods to get there,” Julia said, sounding fatalistic.

“It is never easy,” Richard said pensively, rubbing his left knuckles monotonously in his right palm. It was all the story he couldn’t share, all the pains, the cravings, the denials, the fears, the anxiety. It was everything he couldn’t give voice to; things he could not find words for.

"It is never easy," he repeated, knuckles rubbing in his palm.

Not easy at all.

“I know...” she said softly and rubbed his wrist with her soft-palmed and delicately fragranced hand.

“And if you slip, as a man with needs, no one will understand,” he added.

“No, they won’t. All they will see is a whore of a woman who cannot control herself. Please get me a drink,” she requested.

“I am so sorry I didn’t offer you anything,” Richard apologized.

“Oh, not a problem, I mean, we just got off so fast it did not come up,” Julia assured him.

“What would you have?” he inquired.

“Anything wine-ish?” she asked and giggled, revealing cheeks that showed mild wrinkles beneath the heavy make-up.

“Sure.” Richard disappeared around the corner and brought a bottle of some cheap wine he had bought a while ago.

Victoria was stepping out of the house after quickly changing her smelly clothes. The new one was no better; it was only clean looking.

Julia, without checking anything on the bottle, poured herself a good one and gulped it down. She handed her almost empty glass to Richard, who, feeling the negative dangerous vibe and wanting to toy with it, took it and gulped it down.

Without words, he knew this was it. No woman was bathing, and no king was looking down from a rooftop, but if any part of the Bible was to be enacted, this would be one of the three Cardinal temptations. The end would justify whether he would be Adam, Joseph, or David. He had always been Joseph, but for some funny reasons, he was tired of running; tired of being decent.

He had been running all his adult life from what normal functioning men embrace. His idea of the Superman was the one who stood out of the lot. The Outstanding Man. And the only way that man would happen was to run when pursued. Flee. But being an outstanding man had lost its glitter lately. No one celebrates them. They even look at you strangely, like you were an aberration. He was tired of running.

Don’t you bloody feel tired, Richard? I will understand you are only a man

“Don’t we both need something stronger?” Julia suggested.

“I sure think so,” he concurred.


“I have whiskey.”

“Then let’s suck some whiskey and choke on it!” Julia shouted.

Richard appeared with a bottle of Black Label and poured Julia a portion.

“To the married Spinster and Bachelor!” she proposed.

They both laughed and gulped it down.


“Maybe we should help ourselves,” Julia said and watched the words drip into the begging mind of Richard. Her eyes were transfixed on him. She extended her hand to where Richard sat. He grabbed it, not sure what to do with it.

“You decide,” Julia whispered, as though she could read Richard’s confusion. But she hastened the decision as she inched closer to him and grabbed him in the crotch and started unzipping his jeans.

After an hour of unbridled extreme pleasure bordering on the obscene, the two finally paused to catch their breath and regain their sanity. For Richard, it was an unfamiliar terrain, and he was not sure how he felt about it. Julia, on the other hand, though this was new to her, had come with a pre-emptive mind, and she was savoring the hope of many more such explosive moments; moments of crushing, bruising, tearing, and screaming.

She was lying silently, staring at the POP ceiling, listening to her own heartbeat and the gentle breath of Richard as he lay next to her on the cold tiled floor of the living room. He was thoroughly enjoying the feel of her tender fingers running knowingly through his furry chest.

She felt a sudden chill as the cold breeze from the air conditioner finally overpowered the rebellious sweat on her naked body.

“What are you thinking about, Rick?” she asked quietly, pausing her fingers to allow him the opportunity for an honest answer.

He shrugged. “Not sure,” he said. “My mind is blank.”

“I am thinking about when we can do this the next time,” she said purposefully.

“I am not sure if it's a good idea…” he wondered audibly.

She covered his mouth with a deep passionate kiss that literally took the air out of his lungs.

“It is a very good idea, my friend,” she said.

She quickly got up, and without a word, dressed and started putting on her makeup. The transition from the kiss to the makeup was so fast and professional, she could have been a ‘Sister’ finished with one customer and getting ready for the next. He saw no emotions on her face or in her body language. She simply got up and started getting ready to leave.

She called him 'friend'. No lover, no darling, no sweetheart, nothing. Friend. As weird as the guy who organizes a children's party at 8:30 am.

PG Sebastian

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