Short Story: The ‘Confession’…Episode 10

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Siisi sat in the 3-seater sofa with chin in palm, eyes fixated on the TV set, yet, was not present in the room – he was at the car park of Lystell Hospital, talking to its administrator. He replayed the whole episode like he usually did on his DSTV Xplora decoder whenever he missed a show he’d planned on watching. He would shake his seemingly balding head after the episode has ended and start all over again albeit from different perspectives, and contemplate on whether or not to tell Tina. He was disturbed. 

He spread out on the couch and realized he had lain on his phone. He reached under his right arm with the left and realized he had missed three calls from Patricia within two minutes without realizing. He returned the call. 

“Hey… were you in the shower or something?” she opened the conversation. 

“Uhm… nope! If you paid some real attention back in Birmingham, you’d realize I’m a 'once-a-day bather'. And oh!, before you retort, please note that I wear that badge with honour like the way Nana Addo tucks his white handkerchief into his left cuff.” Patricia was in stitches with that response. 

“I give up on you, Mr. Siisi Grant. Ahba!” she surrendered after laughing. 

“Oh don’t, hun’… I’m not beyond redemption.” 

“Trust me; you are on the “Road to Purgatory’” she quoted the title of Max Allan Collins’ 2001 NY Times bestseller.

Get thee behind me…. shall I say satan?” he responded and they both laughed.

“I really had a nice time today, Siisi. Is there ever a dull moment with you around?” Patricia said fondly of Siisi. They had gone to the cinema as scheduled, and talked and laughed, and she had even rested her head on his shoulder. He liked it.

“I’m glad you were glad. That was what I born for – to bring smiles on the faces of the masses – a certified smile giver” Siisi blew his trumpet, like Sarkodie did with some 6 others in his hit track.

“I wish I hadn’t complimented you. Remind me never to do that again”

“You’d do that again before the week runs out. Wanna wager on that?”

“Knowing you, I won’t give you that satisfaction”

They both laughed. 

“I have an early morning site visit tomorrow morning, as I mentioned, so I have to play the hen today. I will speak to you tomorrow, God willing. And thanks again for today.” 

“Sure, hun… and the pleasure has always been mine.” 

He hit the red button displayed on the screen and thought about how he had just described himself – certified smile giver. On the one hand, he thought it’d be helpful if he opened Philipp’s cupboard and stashed this there too, bearing the threat in mind. On the other hand, he felt, quite apart from the fact that he still harboured some feelings for Tina – no matter how infinitesimal it might be, especially now that Patricia was in the picture – he considered it a civic responsibility to rid society of people he considered dangerous. He battled within him for some time and went to bed.

*****

Tina lay in bed unable to catch some sleep even though the day had been a long one. She tossed and turned, and finally settled on lying on her back. She had met up with her colleague auditors for some fun at the beach and thence to a pub where they talked till late, most of which was interlaced with intermittent yawns. However, there she lay thinking of the dream she had had the night before. Tried as she did in discounting the importance of the dream, she couldn’t - it still lingered in her mind, unable to leave her.

“What is it about Philipp that I’m having difficulty unraveling?... Could it involve Siisi?” she tortured herself. “Did they meet at the hospital yesterday?” she continued. She sighed, uttered a word of prayer and closed her eyes, hoping sleep will find her. It didn’t, until about some 2 hours later. 

*****

Agyeiwaa put the long, plastic broom down and rushed to the washroom, and puked. She rinsed her mouth with water from the sink, and looked at herself in the mirror. “What is wrong with…” out came some more vomit before she could complete her thought. She went into the bedroom to lie down and sought permission from her boss to visit the clinic before reporting to work later in the morning. Her intention was to lie down and hope to feel better by the time she woke up, but two more visits to the washroom in quick succession were enough to cause a change of mind and actually visit the clinic. “I treated malaria not too long ago too oo…or the remnants of the parasites have grown again so soon?” she quizzed. 

She sat on the blue metallic chairs at the waiting area of the Holy Trinity Medical Centre as she waited for the results of the lab tests she had been asked to subject herself to. She played Toy Blast on her phone and when the 5 lives assigned her were exhausted, she played Words With Friends, the mobile scrabble application which allows friends to outwit each other with their knowledge of scrabble vocabs. She had formed a word that earned her 53 points and she was beside herself with inner satisfaction from the feat when her name was called out and was asked to see the doctor again. The joy petered away mighty fast as the thought of taking any pill with –quin suffixing it or any other variation with a deceitful name filled her thoughts. With steps that portrayed her nervousness, she entered the consulting room and met again, the young, good-looking doctor who had asked her to undertake the lab tests. 

“Ms. Abrokwah…” he spoke, whilst perusing the contents of the results which had been given to him by the nurse. 

“Your lab results are in.”            

“Okaaay….” she stretched her response a second longer revealing her anxiety. 

“Did you know before today that you are two months pregnant?” 

“I beg your pardon?” came the sharp riposte from Agyeiwaa who wore a squint on the face. 

“You are two months pregnant, my dear…Congrats!” the doctor said, and immediately wished he hadn’t uttered those words as the response he received was enough to kill the dreams of a freshly graduated doctor. 

She stormed out of the office in a rage which nearly resulted in a head-on collision with the edge of the door.

“I’m not prepared for this…neither is abortion an option” she thought amidst the tears which streamed down her face as she rode at the back of an Opel Astra cab.

*****

Tina was busy documenting the client’s finance processes in order to make the audit assignment more meaningful and value-adding. She had requested for some documentation from the client company’s legal department about two hours ago which were yet to be delivered. Rather than wait and send a reminder via mail, she decided to stretch her legs by walking there to inquire about the delay. The phone in her hand vibrated and she looked the screen and realized the sender of the mail was Siisi Grant. She unlocked her phone and stopped to read the content in the hallway.

“I couldn’t sleep last night. I contemplated whether or not to tell you what you are about to read now. On the one hand, I figgered it wasn’t in my place to be the one to tell you, and on the other hand, I thought it would be unfair on my part to know something and keep it away from you, as its effect would possibly be seen or felt after you guys settle. I owe it to God, myself and humanity to be as honest as I can possibly be. And just as I would like to be done to me, I do unto others.

              2 secrets, I know Philipp has been hiding from you. That day at the pub when you introduced him to me as your fiancé, I was gobsmacked – not at the fact that you                       didn’t choose me, but the person you rather chose. About 5 years ago, I lived in the same area with Philipp and suffice it to say that he is/was gay , maybe bi-sexual –                   he even proposed to me. He isn’t straight.

The second, I only found out this morning after what happened yesterday at Lystell Hospital. When you mentioned that he worked there, I asked the hospital administrator and she didn’t know any doctor who goes by that name. I got curious and asked a friend who worked at the Medical and Dental Council to ascertain whether Philipp is a registered doctor on their roll, and it turns out he isn’t. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, Tina, but he is a fraud.

              There is no way I could have looked you in the eye and told you these chilling, heart-wrenching words. I could not have done it over the phone either. Call me a coward,                if you will. I'm cool with it.

PS: Please don’t call me. I will be unable to answer your calls.”

By the time Tina finished reading Siisi’s revelation, she couldn’t control herself and let out a loud scream, which attracted the presence of occupants of the office premises who inquired what the issue was, but only saw tears streaming down her face. She ignored the prying eyes around her and walked into the washroom and locked the door behind her for about an hour. She exhausted one roll of toilet tissue. True to his words, Siisi did not answer the five calls placed to him. She called her best friend.

“Agyeiwaa…” she said with a voice reminiscent of mourning widow when her friend answered her phone on the third attempt.

“Yes, Tina…what’s up?” she answered, successfully concealing her own tearful voice.

“Philipp….”

“What about him? Did something happen to him? What is it?” Agyeiwaa asked frantically. “Tina…talk to me eh?” she pressed when she heard nothing from the other end. 

Amidst sobbing and intermittently interlacing her monologue with Oh Jesus!, Tina narrated the contents of Siisi’s mail to her bff.

Eh…Tina, what are you saying? How can Philipp be gay when I’m carrying his baby?” Agyeiwaa discounted Siisi’s assertion without the necessary consideration.

There was silence from the other end – long enough to cause Agyeiwaa to reflect on the words she had just uttered. She realized she'd messed up.

“What did you just say, Agyeiwaa?” Tina asked when the tears ceased flowing as a result of the latest shock. “Agyeiwaa, I said repeat what you just said!” she bellowed into the phone in a tone reminiscent of Mrs. Brown's of Mind Your Language fame.

The line was dead. Several attempts to reach her again proved futile.

*****

Philipp was on the phone whiles enjoying ‘gɔbɛ’ for lunch at the popular beans joint opposite the Nima police station when he heard two beeps on his phone – the second sounding about a minute after the first. He spoke for about 5 more minutes, taking instructions on what to do with the next consignment when it arrives at the Tema Port – who he needs to sort out and with how much. He listened to the baroness and thought of how his intended marriage plans to Tina could be hastened if this deal goes through successfully. He ended the call and saw the names of the senders of the two Whatsapp messages showing on his phone.

Agyeiwaa’s read “Philipp, Tina knows about us oo…what are we going to do now?” His mouth gaped when he read it. He figured Tina’s message will be as a result of the what he had just read from Agyeiwaa, and rightly so.

If Agyeiwaa’s message was not enough to cause a loss of appetite, Tina’s surely did with its brevity – “It is over!”

The End…  

P.S. If you missed Episode 9 of The "Confession", you can read it here.

More Vim…Let’s Go…

The writer is a chartered accountant and a freelance writer. He can be contacted at pkbwilliams@yahoo.co.uk. Click here to read other articles he’s authored.