Back in august 2015, on a very sunny Sunday stood a family that is reuniting after four years of separation. The Apau family was a happy family. The love the mother and father exhibited was inculcated into their only seed, Angel. Her intelligence had earned her a place in the University of Ghana, Legon and her forceful parents and helpful aunt had made it possible for her to attend her dream school. The loving parents travelled from their village to accompany her to campus for the first time and they could not hide their happiness upon seeing her.
“You have grown into a very beautiful young lady Angel, my daughter. Just four years in the city here has changed you completely. I pray you’ll continue to be respectful to your aunt so you can be able to complete your ‘unibokity’ in the city. Men are to be feared, you know I am one of them so if I tell you to fear my gender you must pay heed. I am not saying you should not date, all I am saying is that make sure you are sure before getting into anything.”
Ei Daddy, it is not ‘unibokity’ it is university. Angel said.
Hmm, you know some of us were not lucky as you people are today. The farthest we could go was form four.
Say that again. Mrs. Apau lamented.
Ok daddy, I’ve heard all that you’ve said and I will do my possible best to abstain from all the bad things and be respectful.
Mr. and Mrs. Apau then bid their daughter goodbye at the lorry station as the vehicle zoomed past them. In the same university was a handsome fair coloured boy called Henry. His mother was a Ghanaian from Obomeng Kwahu and his father was an Englishman. He was handsome, gentle, god-fearing and kind, because of this, almost all the girls on campus were dying for him.
The first time he saw Angel, his heart skipped a beat but he decided to study her for some time. A month and two days later, he was going to the Balm library and bumped into her.
Oops, sorry gentleman I…
Don’t you worry, it was my fault Henry muted,
I wasn’t looking straight, I am sorry.
They got a little carried away until Henry broke the silence
Please, may I know your name miss?
My name is Angel. Angel managed to say in her breathlessness.
There is no doubt about it, you look just like an angel,
He said with perspiration.
I am Henry Richards, A medical student and you? I am also in the communication department.
They became friends and soon became lovers.
The love between them was so strong that they got to know each other’s family. Angel’s aunt was pleased but not convinced after meeting him but soon got to know him and liked him as a true gentleman and Henry’s parents were enthused to meet Angel. They were marveled by her beauty, politeness and respectfulness not to talk about her pure African complexion, very dark and beautiful.
They advised both of them and went overseas where they lived as they only came to visit their son. A year and a half later, Henry completed his university education and had to leave for Britain for his masters. On that faithful day, both Angel and Henry were sad to be separated from each other, they cried and ended up sleeping together. A terrible thought escaped Henry’s mind when he was on board the plane, what if Angel gets pregnant? He was annoyed with himself for letting himself get carried away after waiting for so long. He shrugged at the thought after remembering the promise they made to each other. He knew that he had her cell phone number and could get in touch with her any time.
Six months after Henry’s departure, Angel felt lonely as she had no friend apart from Henry. Though he usually called, she lived and suffered a terrible loneliness that threw her off her guard. A very persistent man named Sly never ceased giving her presents and she encouraged it. Before she realized what was happening, she was in a relationship with him. She started ignoring Henry’s calls because Sly pampered her in every way. Sly bought a new cell phone for her and she did not bother to inform henry about it. She also chose not to reply Henry’s letters. This worried him very much that he rung his dearest friend who was in Kumasi to check on her to see if she was alright. Lo and behold, when he arrived in Accra, he got to know the whole truth. He personally advised her and she accepted. So Mark left leaving contacts to watch over her but they also confirmed within a number of days that she was still doing what she was before.
Mark had no choice but to inform his friend about the worrisome news but he also regretted because his father phoned him later and told him that Henry had been in coma ever since. Eight days after getting well, he attempted suicide. But for the intervention of his father’s housemaid, he would have joined his ancestors. All advice fell on deaf ears so his father suggested that he flew down to witness things for himself. Three days later, he landed in Ghana and without resting, conducted a long search but couldn’t find her. Her aunt complained bitterly about her attitude since Henry travelled much to the detriment of Henry. He waited at her aunt’s and almost dozed off.
At about 1:00 am, a flashy VMW came to drop her and he came back from his reverie. He quickly got up and met her at the main gate. Immediately Angel saw him, she feigned headache for though he had become a little lean, he looked gorgeous in his parker and t-shirt. She told Henry that she needed some sleep but Henry insisted on talking to her so much so that she had no choice but to oblige. Henry took her to his apartment. On the way, he said nothing but could feel the tension between them. On arrival, he brought the discussion.
So do I sense the danger of us separating?
What makes you think that? I know it is because of what your friend told you. Angel said.
Are you saying that all that Mark told me were false? Henry asked.
Tell me Angel and I will believe you because of the love we share. He spoke with such emotions that all her defenses got broken. She was short of words.
I am not saying they are not true but bu… you.. see
Angel, what do I see? I see that I left the shores of Ghana with each of us promising ourselves to be faithful but not long after, you go around flirting with God knows who.
The anger and hurt with which he spoke scared Angel.
“Ok, I will tell you everything”
She was almost on the verge of tears.
When you left, I felt so lonely that I needed a companion, you know, someone to care for me. You also knew very well that my aunt couldn’t provide me with everything I needed. Angel said, not even convinced of the impact of the words she has uttered.
Angel, are you saying that you didn’t receive all the monies I sent? What are you saying? Even if it wasn’t enough, you could have told me other than living this promiscuous life. You know my parents are well off. You could have asked me even if I was broke, I could have found a part time job to make up for whatever you needed. You know I will do anything, just anything to see you happy. Is it because of the love I shower on you that you treat me this way? What did I do wrong? Where did I go wrong?
Angel begun shedding tears and apologizing, it broke Henry’s heart to see her cry that his comfort ended them in the arms of lovemaking. She woke to find Henry looking at her, she told him that she loved him and that she was ashamed of herself and promised never to do such a thing again. Henry was convinced when the words were spoken for she felt her remorse. He got engaged to her and this time went as far as going with her to the village to meet her real parents. On arrival, he went back to Britain and found himself a part time job swearing to himself to make her happy as she didn’t want her to ask for anything from her parents.
He showered gifts upon gifts on her and made sure she lacked nothing. Unknowingly to Angel, Sly was an armed robber, he went on one of his operations and got killed in the process. This news hid Angel like a blow because she was secretly seeing him. She vowed to be faithful to Henry; after all, he was her true love. This promise became history as Angel met Max who claimed to be a lecturer in at the Central University. Her aunt talked to her but she wouldn’t listen. This time, she received Henry’s calls and replied his letters as though everything was alright. Six months later, when Henry’s mother came to visit, she heard all the bad things about Angel and being a good mother sensed danger because of the deadly diseases in modern times. She decided to inform his son but remembered what happened the last time Mark delivered one such message. She called Angel and advised her like the daughter she never had.
Even though she thanked her like a good girl, she continued her bad ways. Mrs. Richard had no option but to tell her son because she was all she had and did not want him to end up with a harlot. What even scared her was the rumour circulating that Angel had HIV/AIDS. Henry cried and thought about Angel and couldn’t accept the mere thought of living without her. This time, he couldn’t think of murdering himself because of the many guards his dad hired to keep watch over him. He became so lean, he was fortunate that he had completed his masters before receiving this deadly news. He reluctantly stopped calling her and tried his best not to have anything to do with her again and this nearly cost him his life, for Angel was his first love.
He thought of how a girl who didn’t appreciate her one bit could make her suffer when many girls adored him when some girls would die to have him to themselves. He contemplated on the issue but had no answer. Meanwhile, Max was all over Angel everywhere they went, not knowing that he was a killer for a very powerful herbalist, he was a real murderer. He pretended he loved Angel and spent so much on her. Thoughts of Henry erased completely from her mind. One day, he asked Angel to accompany him to a place he termed a surprise for her. When they arrived at their so called destination, he took her out of the car blindfolded. He took her to the herbalist. Immediately they reached the room, he removed the blindfold. There was the herbalist in his full scary regalia, face half painted and eyes wide opened with mouth twitched in satisfaction upon seeing a new person who would increase his potency. When she saw the predicament she was in, she made an attempt to scream but her mouth was sealed with dirty rags, the boys there gang raped her until she became unconscious. They then left her to regain her consciousness.
When she did, she was taken to a room and maltreated for a whole month without proper food. She was always tied together with the other victims and beaten when she refused to eat foods that were always drugged. Their thirst was never quenched they were only entitled to a full glass of water every day. Blood was drawn from her veins any time there was need for human blood. They had to attend nature’s call on themselves until the human cleaner, who was wicked than any of the people there, came to wipe them clean with a metal like sponge. One day, Max entered her room and asked her to say her last prayers. She couldn’t help shedding tears, this time, real tears of shame, pain and sorrow. She cried and asked why he was doing that. She asked him what terrible thing she did to merit the treatment being meted out to her. She was a total mess. Max decided to choose some other person to the slaughter house and left her with her tears.
After two weeks of aunt Ama’s search for Angel without success, she became very worried because though she had become more of a harlot recently, she always called and said where she was and whether or not she would be coming. Aunt Ama’s strange feelings forced her to report to the police and the media with promises of a huge ransom for those who came with any lead as to where she could be. Both electronic and print media advertised to plead with anyone who had information to report for a handsome reward. Her aunt in her desperation called to inform Henry who was reluctant to come down. But his father convinced him to help the poor woman look for her missing niece.
To him, her aunt was so good and honest to Mr. Richards that he used all his tactics to convince his son to help her in the search of her niece. Henry did as he was told and brought along his friend Mark who had become a very good detective. He investigated the background of Max on campus, with persuasion and the help of brown paper (bribe) he found all there was to know about him. Even the so called hard core criminals feared Max. Meanwhile, Angel was about to be killed when a storm broke and destroyed part of the building so they left her and went to see to the repairs of the building. They had by then beaten her to an extend that she had a bruised face and was almost paralyzed. She then thought of her dear Henry who could not hurt a fly, she thought of how she loved him, how funny he was, how caring he was. She bit into her lower lips, sobbed and prayed that God forgives her her sins. She always prayed for protection for Henry.
Oh! How she wished she could turn the hands of time, she would have remained faithful and loyal to Henry alone no matter what anybody had to offer, but that was too late. How could she allow herself to be lured into this mess? Immediately Henry and Mark got to know of the suspected place Angel was rumoured to be, they went there with armed policemen. Luckily, Mark had a microscope that allowed him to see through every building. He saw about four people who were tied with rope but couldn’t tell if Angel was part or not. The policemen surrounded the house and some went into the house but it wasn’t that easy because the security of the herbalist was very tight. In their struggle to rescue those who were at the verge of death, six policemen died and thirty three of security men of the herbalist’s died. At last, the police were able to arrest the accomplices of the herbalist but the herbalist himself vanished. Max was killed in the struggle. When the four people were untied, Henry and Mark couldn’t tell which one was Angel and almost gave up hope of finding her among them until Angel begun to cry. Henry couldn’t believe his eyes, he thought it was some cripple before him, but for her neatly arranged teeth, he wouldn’t have recognized her. Henry screamed and passed out. Henry together with the four others was sent to the hospital.
When Henry recovered, he saw to it that Angel was alright but spoke to her casually without eye contact. He encouraged no conversation between them. Any time Angel saw Henry, she tried to beg for forgiveness but he just lifts his hands for silence. When she was in her convalescence stage, he left for Britain without informing her.
When she heard of his departure, she almost fainted but knew that she was responsible for her own loss. She cursed the day she met Max, now deceased and prayed again and again that God forgives her. After her ordeal, Angel became a born again Christian and was very active with her church activities. She also took her education seriously.
Two years later, she became a presenter at one of the famous radio stations in Ghana without a boyfriend. She confessed that she was afraid of men when she was interviewed by a colleague. She said she trusted only one man, that man too might be married with kids. She told her colleague that, he was such an angel but she carelessly threw him away so she will live with the consequences.
There was a secret her aunt had not revealed to her yet because she was asked not to. One fine Saturday, Angel rung her parents Mr. and Mrs. Apau and asked them to spend some time with her because she was on casual leave. When they came, they tried to talk her into marriage as she was twenty eight years of age and their only daughter, but she discouraged that conversation. It was during one of such misunderstandings that they heard a knock on the door and in came aunt Ama, Mr. and Mrs. Richards and the one person that she had really ever loved; Henry. She immediately shouted his name as tears welled up in her eyes. She went on her knees and begged him for forgiveness amidst tears.
Henry immediately took her into his arms and assured her that all was well. Her parents stood amazed at the sight of this wonderful dream and wished it wouldn’t vanish into thin air. They were brought to life when Angel broke the silence,
Ei auntie Ama, it seems you knew all this and kept it to yourself.
Aunt Ama chuckled and told her how she was asked to monitor her every move to see if she was a completely changed person. She also told her about how sometimes Henry comes down and follows her to church without her knowledge. Henry’s mother declared how shocked she was to see the one time gold digger change into such a born again Christian. Mr. Apau asked Henry if he still loved Angel after all the he had to go through because of her. He replied:
“It was the decision of the heart, I mean, my heart and that of Angel to love each other and there was nothing that neither we nor anyone could do about it. Isn’t it Angel?”
All the people in the hall except Angel chorused
“Exactly” and Angel cried hot tears. Two weeks later, an engagement took place followed by a grand wedding. During their honeymoon in New York, Angel asked her husband a favour to allow her to come back to Ghana to fulfill a promise before heading back to settle in their marital home in Britain.
Her permission was granted and she summoned all the University of Ghana students for an important lecture. She lectured them to stay faithful and loyal to their partners and never give in to those who entice them with gifts, and used her own experience as an example and added that she did not know what would happen to anyone who followed in her footsteps. She stressed on the fact that that herbalist is nowhere to be found no matter how much they search for him. Meaning any one could fall victim any time. She also made sure that the lecture was broadcasted on all the television stations in the country. After the lecture, she was sure that her message would get to all the youth of Ghana.
After the lectures, Henry hugged her as she said thanks through her happy tears of gratefulness once more to her generous and caring husband. The reply was sealed with a kiss.
AMOAFOWAA SEFA CECILIA © 2014.