“So the losses are….”
“Just one glass- the profit I got is way more than that. You don’t have to be so hard on me.” Junior interrupted Antwi’s calculations.
Antwi just smiled.
“And also- I think you should get another employee…it’s not like we run a small bar.” Junior quickly put in, he knew it was going to be hard but he wanted to convince Antwi to let Melissa come and work at the bar. The thought of Melissa made him grin- he had lost control and been irresponsible with her but he promised her that things were going to be different and that he was going to make her happy. He chose not to dwell on that night- he choose not to beat himself up at least he had been a virgin all this while…
“Junior!” Antwi broke into his thoughts he had been watching the boy for a while and it felt like Deja vu. This was the exact expression Joseph had on his face after meeting Serwaa.
Junior was startled, “Why did you scare me like that. Why are you screaming? ”
“I was telling you to shake yourself up and continue working.” Antwi ordered.
“Listen Kay, the work load is a lot and you know it. You should be able to travel without worrying about the bar. See, she didn’t want me to tell you this but the only reason why last week’s profit went high is because of Melissa. She showed up and really worked hard with-”
“Junior! How many times do you want me to tell you that girl is dangerous? She is not good for you- she can make you end up like-”
“My father? If even you are afraid of that- then what am i to do huh? It’s my fate. Am leaving early today- i have to go embrace my fate after all.” Junior walked out on Antwi for the very first time in his life. He tried calling Melissa but she was not picking up her calls. He carried his heavy self to her house hoping he will feel lighter. Who is he? Is he just the son of his father and mother- can a seed thrive inspite of his environment. Was he a good seed. If his conscience condemns him- is he condemned. Is Melissa really bad for him? Is it wrong that he loves her? Why is it that the voices in his head are driving him insane for sleeping with her? Can he trust himself with not doing it again? Is there a point in even trying- when everyone and everything predicts failure.
“Bam!” A loud sound disturbed the disturbing thoughts of Junior. It was Nicholas – one of the boys who Junior played basketball with, he had used a basketball to hit Melissa’s wall.
“Herh! What’s wrong with you?” Junior shouted- first because he was truly startled- and because he suddenly felt defensive about everything that has to do with Melissa. Nicholas just laughed,
“Sorry bros, ” he said walking towards him,
“So is this why you don’t come and play anymore ?
Junior was very irritable and didn’t want any intrusion,
“Mind your own business!” He replied rather sharply. Nico just smiled as if teasing him, it was evident things were hard for his friend.
“Hey June- no matter how hard it gets- just aim for the basket. You can do it.” Nicholas simply said and bounced away.
Those words gave Junior a sense of peace- he found himself crying. He knew the peace won’t last long- he’d have to go back to carrying the mistakes of his dead father, the miserable mother and his own careless burdens. For now he’d cry- like a helpless baby. He’d cry to be stronger the next time.
Melissa lazily glanced at her ringing phone, if only she knew this boy was going to be this clingy she wouldn’t have gotten involved. But she enjoyed that night with him and would have wanted more of that if he didn’t start being all saint-like and rejecting her every move. His rejection annoyed her so much that she wanted to give him a taste of his own medicine. It’s been two weeks since she left the town, she had come to Accra to work. She was a model and a shoot for a magazine had come back. Now she was in her bosses’s room lying down after a hot afternoon sex- Pete’s compensation for the many doors he keeps opening for her. The door flew open,
“Geez! You scared me.” She complained. A tall dark man simply smiled showing the only thing that brought some shine to his body- his teeth. Pete was truly dark- but he was a black beauty. His skin colour was not the only dark part of him- he was dark in and out. He was in the business of exploiting young beautiful ladies like- Melissa.
“Why will you be scared? You have not been bad, have you?” He said giving Melissa a look that sent chills through her spine. That was the look he gave her when he threatened with exposing the sex videos of her and destroying her modelling career.
“You always love to joke huh?” She said trying to stop her racing heart.
Pete just laughed out loud, “Mel… when you left I really missed you. So much i kept my door locked from any other woman. But it seems you didn’t miss me that much.”
“I don’t know what you are talking about.” Melissa said, she really didn’t but she was sweating.
“Melissa, you are pregnant and it’s not for me. You have been with me for a month now- so it’s definitely not me.” Pete announced with a smirk of victory
Melissa was visibly shaken, she was trying to wonder how he knew and why she had not noticed. Then she remembered that Pete made them give samples of their urine regularly for tests- it was mandatory since he wanted to handle their abortions himself. She had done hers when she came, it’s only because she had no idea she was or could be pregnant…she
“Don’t think so hard about it…” Pete interrupted her thoughts. “Go back to where you came from and tell that punk to give you money for the abortion. Do that very soon or forget about the magazine contract.” Pete ordered and left the room.Melissa was so scared that it made her angry at herself and at Junior- she could not believe that she let such a kid get her pregnant.
Junior had gone to take care of her mother’s shop and the sales were good. He gave the money to her during super,
“I will want to help with the shop in the mornings to the afternoon-Irene can start from the afternoon to the evenings. I would pass by after my work in the evening to take the sales for the day. That way you can be sure…”
“I don’t care what you do. You can sit around all day for all I care- you are useless to me anyway.” His mother said to him but he only kept quiet. This was one of his burdens- he’d carry it diligently.
If only someone could tell him he didn’t have to. If only he will get to know that someone has already taken the burden away- but how can he have faith unless he has heard and how can he hear unless he is told.
To be continued
By: Abigail Affum