MY FATHER’S DOCUMENT

“Oh, God, Forgive me,” he said in a very weak voice. He was gasping for air. His body was convulsing. His arms and legs were shaking in spasm. His lungs moved up and down. He coughed and spat phlegm all over the floor . His situation was made worse by the catheter fixed in him to aid his urination.
He mumbled over the words, “be careful with these 21st ….century girls if you want to ……”
“Ummm,” he was short of breath again.
As he turned uncomfortably on his bed, I realized his skin was becoming very pale. Blood drained from his face. I touched his hands. They were becoming very cold.
“I need some s…., some….w….wa. ..wat…,” he struggled with the words.
“Water?” I tried to help him with the words.
He nodded.
Quickly, I rushed to get him the water. I returned with a cup of water and helped him drank it. My son, if I die, try and get my ……………uhumm, uhum, he tried to clear his throat ….my …my….doc. ….” but it was late.Too late. He breached heavily one more time. His last breath on Earth. Then he died. His body became cool and stiff. Rigor Mortis has began its work. Strangely, my cheeks were dry. No tears. No pity.
Perhaps you don’t know who died. It’s my Father. But how did he end up on his death bed at the age of 62. To help you understand the situation better, excuse me to send you down the memory lane twenty years ago.

<<>>

Ever since I was a child, I never had the luxury of feeling a fatherly figure in my life. This was not because my father was dead but because he was often traveling, visiting the chain of mistresses he had lined up for himself. There is a saying that beautiful birds always nestled on the branches of the tallest and powerful trees. That saying could be related to 21st-century ladies. Most of them love money and once you are rich, it doesn’t matter whether you are old or young, married or single. They will follow you regardless of any cultural or moral prohibition. After all, who cares. Life is free.
My father was a millionaire. He owned banks, boutiques, Insurance companies and and enterprises. Being rich, handsome and famous, ladies flew around him like bees. Needless to say, he had a fair share of the “pleasures between their legs. Since most of these women were materialistic, they siphoned his riches. “Buy me a car, buy me a house, I need Ghc20,000”. These were their favourite demands which they recited as poems. At least, these were the ones I overhead them saying whenever he was talking to them and his iphone was on a loud speaker.
He was lucky my mother wasn’t the vociferous type. She believed he was an adult and needed not be forced to do what he knew was right. Secretly, I wished my mother was a little bit aggressive so that he would not have the full liberty to frolic with those beautiful descendants of Eve.
Emboldened by my mother’s taciturnity and unequivocal submissiveness, he increased his stock of ladies from twenty to forty-five. It was business as usual as he moved from one lady with voluminous was to another.
Then one day, what we feared he would do happened. He left the house to cohabitate with his new catch who I later knew to be a Nigerian. From that point, he never sends my mother any housekeeping money or money for the upkeep of my two siblings and I.
Off course, my mother was working. She was a primary school teacher. When my father left us to find pleasure in the arms of a younger woman, my mother became finally handicapped. She worked tooth and nail to see me through the Senior High School. Being a Basic school teacher with a meagre salary, she couldn’t afford to send me to the University. She suggested I go to the nurse’s Training college but I refused her suggestion because I simply couldn’t withstand the sight of blood or sick people for a long time.
When all hopes seemed to be lost, the scholarship I applied for came through. I have won a scholarship to go to the University of Ghana, Legon.
When I went to the University of Ghana, Legon. I was amazed at its sheer size, the five-star lecture halls, the students’ hall of residence, the multicultural interaction, social class variations and of course the beautiful ladies. These ladies came in different shapes, height, color and what have you. Luckily I didn’t allow these distractions on campus to take me away from my books. Once in a while, I will go sit in a restaurant alone and drank some Malta Guinness or Smirnoff and return to my hostel peacefully without craving for the company of the opposite sex.
I must say I inherited most of my Father’s nice features and handsomeness, the result of which most campus ladies tried to have a “one night stand” with me but which I bluntly refused. On campus one day, one of the ladies, my classmate, Jenifer, walked towards me and gave me a hot slap saying, “you fool, you are lucky I gave you a free scholarship to taste my nectar and you are there flexing on me. Abi, you dey craze or you dey flex, weytin dey do you?”
When I was quiet, she switched to the standard English, “Who do you think you are, you poor wretched boy.”
A lot of onlookers thought I would retaliate but I just walked away peacefully without uttering a word. That won the admiration of a lot of them and my phone always rang with hundreds of numbers belonging to female students. I simply don’t want to follow my father’s bad example.

Eventually, I wrote my Final Examination in the school and graduated with a first-class honors in banking and finance. Two months after I completed my tertiary education, my father returned home. He was dying. The signs were all over him. He apologized to my mother and I for abandoning us. All his riches were gone, stolen by the many mistresses he garnered for himself.

Back from the memory lane

Getting a job in Ghana was very difficult. The system was based on Who -you- know and who -knows -you and not merely based on your academic competences. It simply meant you can get the best result in the University but if you don’t have the right connections from people who were in the corridor of power and fame, you will never get any job. I wrote several application letters to several banks. They never replied, let alone give me an assurance of the possibility of employing me.

After searching for white collar jobs for over three years, I decided to do the menial jobs. I remembered seeing a notice board by the roadside where a houseboy was needed by one Mrs Kantey. I went back to the notice board and picked the number under the job advert.

On mobile Phone

Quickly, I dialed the contact number and a female voice sounded through the receiver.
Me : Good morning Madam.
Kantey : Good morning, what can I do for you.
Me : Well. Erhhh. I just……..”
Kantey : Please carry up, I don’t have much time.
Me : I saw an advert saying you are looking for a houseboy so I decided to take the job.
Kantey : (laughing) You decided to take the job? Then take it. Why are you calling me then?
Me : I supposed you will give me the job.
Kantey : There are six applicants already. Tell me, why should I give it to you.?
Me : Well.erhhh. I think I……..”
Kantey : You know what, never mind. Find another job since you can’t convince me.
Me : But madam, I really……”
The call was cut.

I was disappointed. I took a few steps forward and then decided to cross the road. At last, I didn’t check the road well before crossing. An oncoming vehicle nearly smashed me to the ground, missing me by just an inch. The driver was angry with me for my carelessness. She came out of the car screaming and insulting me…you hopeless man, do you want to die. How can you just walk across …..”
She stopped her insults mid-way as signs of recognition dawned on her. She called me loudly, ” “Stanley, what are you doing here?” I kept quiet. She was my School mate Jenifer, the lady who once slapped me at the University of Ghana, Legon. She gazed, quite disturbed by my appearance. Poverty had succeeded in speeding up my biological age. I looked 35 when in fact I was 23.
“Come, let’s go home. I’m interested in hearing what happened to you.” I followed her to her house like a sheep being led to the slaughterhouse. At home, I told her all she needed to know. She was very pathetic after hearing it. She apologized to me for slapping me way back to the University three years ago. She said, “I was just angry when you rejected my sensual advances. I thought it was too important to lower myself to your level only for you to embarrass me but later I realized I was wrong. I tried to apologize to you but my bad campus friends said that would be too demeaning. According to them, you are a nobody and didn’t deserve an apology. They said I should reserve the apology for real men.”
It’s okay, Jenifer, all those things were in the past now. Let’s forget about them and put them in the garbage of history.
“Thank you for forgiving me. I promise you, I will get you a job in my mother’s bank.” She assured me.

True to her words, she got me a job in her mother’s bank. Her mother was a little bit skeptical about my pure innocence but because her daughter was insistent, she decided to make me one of the security men in the bank.
I worked as a security man for six months. With free accommodation and staying in a world-class mansion and food given to me every day, I didn’t mind being a security man. I returned home one day to meet Jenifer in my room. My heart thumped. I hope Jenifer was not up to her games again. “Welcome, Stanley. Please come and sit beside me.” She commanded. I hesitated.
She urged me on until I sat closer to her on the bed.
She said, Stanley, you know I had feelings for you since our University days. I still do. Do you have a girlfriend now? “ I remained silent.
“Talk to me, Stanley, are you having a girlfriend? “
“No, Jenifer, No. I don’t.” I answered.
She smiled and handed over pictures to me saying, I took this picture from my mother’s album because the man to the right resembled you so much. I dare say he was your father.
He stayed with my mother for about five years before leaving. I learned he is now dead.
Unable to control my tears, I allowed them to flow. Jenifer had unknowingly shown me my father’s picture with her mother. They seemed to be having a good time with my father putting some ice cream in her mouth like two teenagers in love.
Realization dawned on me then that Mrs Albert Joy was the one who poisoned my father and took over his companies. Then I recalled what my father was trying to tell me on his death bed….
<<>>
At that point, Jenifer was confused. She asked , “have I said something wrong to upset you?”
“No, Jenifer,” I’m OK.
I decided to retrieve my father’s documents from Mrs Albert. To think that I was a security man in my own father’s company was very ironic.
I knew Jenifer loved me but how would she feel if I tell her her mother was responsible for my father’s demise. What about the fact that her mother took away my father’s properties including his documents?
My situation was made difficult by the fact that I was beginning to develop feelings for Jenifer and I didn’t want to hurt her. When I remembered my father’s dying wish, I realized I had a difficult decision to make.

Six months later

One day, Mrs Albert told me, “you resembled my ex-boyfriend.” Sometimes, when I see you, I can’t help but remember him.”
When she made that statement, I nearly said to her “he showed you love but you paid him back by poisoning him.” But decided to say instead, ” well madam, sometimes, people resemble each other. It’s just a mere coincidence.”

I realized Mrs Albert was getting very curious about me. At first, she was very subtle about it. Then she became more direct. She often asked me questions about my father, most of which I tried to evade.
I knew its time to put my plan into action.
One weekend, Jenifer came into my room to ask me why her mother was very curious about me.
I responded I don’t know. She’s your mother. Find out from her?”
She laughed and said, she’s not my mother. My parents died in a car accident some 12 years ago. I was 9 years old then. she volunteered to take care of me.
Is she not having children? I asked.
Yes, two boys. They are in Canada now.
When Jenifer told me Mrs Albert was not her mother, my game plan changed. I decided to tell her the truth.
I confessed to her the man she saw in the picture she took from her Joy’s album was my father. I saw her eyes widened in excitement and she said, “I knew it. When I saw that picture, I knew you are related to that man. It’s intuitive. Tell me more, Babe. ..”
I told her her “mother” poisoned my father and took away all his properties- houses, companies, boutiques.
She asked, “so what do you intend doing now?”
“I want to take back what rightfully belongs to me,” I responded. It is my ………….”
Then our conversation was interrupted by Mrs Albert Joy.
“Of course, it is your property. So you want to kill me and take all your father’s documents, isn’t that your game plan? I knew that skirt chaser was your father. I knew it.
I stood rooted to the spot. How on earth did Mrs Albert get to know of my plan?
She will surely sack me from the house.
“Good work, Jenifer,” Mrs Albert praised her “daughter.”
Jenifer responded,” don’t thank me. You used me to get to him. If I knew that is your plan, I wouldn’t have …… “
Mrs Albert laughed and said, Don’t be surprised. All men have the same weakness when it comes to women; they become foolish and vulnerable.”
My heart began to beat furiously against my chest. Mrs Albert had really used Jenifer to outplay me big time. Somehow, I blamed Jenifer for not telling me it was Mrs Albert who sent her to question me.
I was thrown out of the house with a stern warning never to step into the house again. I have lost.

Three months later

It was Friday night at around 6:30 pm. I was resting in the sitting room in my mother’s house when I heard a knock on my door. I wasn’t really expecting anyone so I was a bit surprised. I opened the door and there she stood- Jenifer.
Without waiting for her to say nothing, I slammed the door in her face and went back to rest. I was really angry with her for betraying me. She shouted behind the door, ” Stanley, I’m sorry. Mrs Albert used me to get to you but I have brought you your father’s documents.”
The message hit me like a thunder strike but I reasoned she was only trying to get me to open the door for her.

One hour later

I opened the door. Shockingly, she was still there. I shouted at her, “what are you still doing here. Go away, you betrayer. I thought you really love me.”
She smiled and say, ” I do”
She then handed over my father’s documents to me saying, “I do love you and will always love you.”
When she gave me the documents, I was surprised. I asked her, “why did you decide to hand over the documents to me now.”
She said, ” because they are rightfully yours . You deserve them. Now I have to go.”
“No, no, no, explain to me why you changed your mind” I held her hand and pulled her inside the room. She gazed at me for a few minutes before explaining the situation to me.

{Narration from the third-person point of view}

Jenifer saw the look of surprise on Stanley’s face. She decided to explain the situation to him from the time she showed him the picture she took from his mother’s album. She confessed to Stanley that she snooped through his belongings and saw Stanley’s picture in which a man was holding his hands and that man was the same man cuddling Mrs Albert in the picture she took. She said she knew then that her intuition about Stanley was true. Charles was Stanley’s father.
Jenifer said her mother Joy, knew there was something about Stanley she was not seeing. She decided to use her to unravel the mystery. She told her daughter to ask him questions about his mission and family background. That was exactly what happened. It was during the interrogation that Joy came from her hideout saying, “Of course, it is your property. So you want to kill me and take all your father’s documents.”
Jenifer claimed she followed Stanley to his house secretly the day he left. When she returned home, she had time to deliberate on the issue and decided to give back to Stanley what belonged to him especially in a situation where the properties were about to be shared between Mrs Albert’s two sons. Jenifer knew she would not have a share in that property since she wasn’t Mrs Albert’s child by law.
She said she stole the documents from Joy’s room one day when she traveled, using her master spare key. Joy didn’t realised the document was missing until she was on her way to return the documents to Stanley. She called her on the phone and threatened to kill her if she didn’t return with the documents. Jenifer also claimed Joy said she would have poisoned her as she did to Charles if she had known Jenifer would stab her in the back. Jenifer said she had a record of their conversation on her phone.

[Stanley’s Point of view]

I was surprised when Jenifer narrated her side of the story to me. I keep asking myself, ” Did she love me that much to betray Joy or is this another trick?”
Without hesitation, I filed a case against Mrs Albert Joy at the police station. She was arrested on her way to the Kotoka International Airport. After two months of court proceedings, she was found guilty of poisoning my father and was given life imprisonment.

Three months later

I got married to Jenifer. The honeymoon was great. I could still recall it as if it happens right now.

<<>>>

I felt her enter the bedroom. Something tingled down my spine although at first, I didn’t know what caused it. I looked up and met her eyes. She paused for a few minutes and stared at me. I returned her stare, paralyzed with sudden desire. Then the gap between us narrowed. I closed my eyes, and a second later felt a new sensation from an unknown direction of the bedroom.
I looked, and there she was smiling at me. I asked her, “are you alright? “
She nodded in the affirmative. Her lips were tender with lust. She took my hand and kissed my knuckle in a courtly gesture. I blushed with eagerness, She laughed and asked if she had embarrassed me. I denied embarrassment, and she complimented me on in an unusual manner. I laughed, very low, and leaned forward to whisper to her that it was false. Her hand came up as I spoke, and rested on her shoulder, the warmth of her palm sweeping through me sending an urgent signal to my deepest self, my inner core.

She looked at me without speaking. I told her I was feeling hot inside. For one despairing moment, I thought she had misread you, but then she smiled, and her lips found mine. The thickness of the dark wig she wore cushioned her head, and the long curls brushed across her breasts where they rose from the tight bodice of her costume. My fingers traced the line, and she gasped with tension.
I used my hands to pull her hips to mine, and she swayed against me. My own hands rose to caress her neck and shoulders, and I nibbled my way along the firm line of her jaw.
I asked her if she was ready for me but I hardly heard her response because it was muffled through the pounding of my own heart. I felt I could ask her anything and she would have agreed. A moment later I moved towards her hotspot and with delight realized she had granted me permission to access it without uttering the words. I looked at her with playful delight written all over me.

Above us music floated out of the open window into the night. I swayed in time with it, eager to speed the joy I knew she offered; the gateway to limitless joy. “Shhhh!” The rest is my secret.

I thank God for touching the heart of Jenifer to bring back my father’s property documents. I’m a billionaire now.
I have been taking care of my mother. My two siblings Maxwell and Anita were also working. Maxwell is a banker and Anita is a nurse.
Jenifer had given birth to our second child-a boy whom we name Jayson. My firstborn is called Braxton. I pray to God to continue blessing my family. Despite his misdeeds, I respected my father for finally coming back to his senses on his DEATH BED.

THE END.