THE NARRATOR’S VERSES
THE CHARCOAL SELLER’S SON WEARS WHITE
See, as soon as the cars disappeared, Paa Kweku stood up and picked up two brown A4 envelopes he had brought with him and approached the High Table where the rich Atobrah and Amankwa family had gone to sit again to laugh and enjoy themselves as they were served their special foods.
Evidently, they had not had much time to enjoy food because they wanted the couple to have a good time first.
Ama held Paa Kweku’s arm in alarm, asking him what he was doing, and begged him not to cause a scene but he smiled at her sweetly and told her he was not going to cause a scene. He was just going to give some documents to the two families!
Ama was still scared and told him she was accompanying him, and if he tried to make a scene she would blow him in the jaw. The handsome boy smiled gently at her and agreed. He put his arm around her shoulders fondly and they marched to the High Table!
Paa Kweku stopped suddenly and turned to face Ama. I would never forget his words.
‘Ama, you stayed with me through it all. You have cared and comforted me. I don’t know how it happened but I have fallen in love with you. I don’t have anything to give you, only my heart, because
Well, tears simply fell down Ama’s eyes.
She could not speak, oh boy, but everybody could see the sheer love on her face.
‘Don’t marry me because I was good to you!’ she cried.
‘Ah, Ama! I do not deserve you! You can have any rich man you want because, apart from your beauty, you have a heart of gold! I don’t have money, but…’
His voice trailed off because she spoke softly, cutting through.
‘I fell in love with you the day Ofeibea introduced you to me, Kweku! I don’t need money! I just want to spend my life with you! Can’t you see that? But I can’t marry you because it will be wrong! Ofeibea is my friend!’
‘She married my cousin, so I can marry her friend!’
‘No!’ she screamed.
Well, the boy simply pulled her into his arms and, for the very first time, kissed her sweetly, gently, warmly, and then he raised his head and spoke.
‘You will marry me, Ama, even if I have to tie you up and drag you to church. Do you understand?’
He turned from her
You could imagine the dirty looks the Amankwa and Atobrah families gave him!
Mrs. Amankwa, Ofeibea’s mother, stood up and blocked Paa Kweku, refusing to let him go any further, and telling him to take his dirty self away from there!
Paa Kweku did not speak.
Aha, I forgot to tell you I was an honoured guest at that wedding, and so I was given a spot at the High Table too! Oh, yes! I am also a little rich and powerful in my town, yes, and people give me VIP treatments all the time!
Actually, that was the first time I saw Paa Kweku, and after what he did, I asked about him, learned he was my old friend Aso’s son, and later visited them to get the whole story.
Anyway, anyway, anyway, let us go on!
Your ears sweet you like gorgormi in palm wine!
So, this young man approached the men and held out a brown envelope to Agya Atobrah, his grandfather who had blown a leak when Paa Kweku had been named Atobrah, and forced Aso to name the boy Anane.
Well, this grand old man opened his mouth and enquired rudely what the boy wanted, and commanded him to show respect and leave the podium, ‘you dirty, filthy boy!’
I was appalled to hear this vituperative outrage from that old man whom, frankly, I had never really liked. Paa Kweku was unfazed, however, and he calmly informed the old man that he was just returning the Atobrah loan application to Orphan Inc.
Heerh, kafei buulu onu?
The whole place was quiet!
I saw the sudden shock and absolute confusion on the faces of all those powerful people around the table! Something was not jelling right!
How on earth could a boy who was doing his national service as a teaching assistant come into contact with a high-profile loan application from a powerful man as Agya Atobrah?
How could this boy even remotely be associated with Orphan Inc, that multi-million dollar company?
Agya Atobrah asked furiously ‘what the hell are you talking about? How dare you? Who gave you this document?’
Well, Paa Kweku did not reply.
He simply took out the completed loan application form from the brown envelope, pulled out a chair, and then he sat down.
He reached into his pocket and brought out a pen and a mechanized stamp pad.
Kweku flipped the sheets to the last page, then he stamped it.
The stamp was a big, red embossment that said simply, REJECTED.
And, on the dotted line below, with the words ‘Director’ below, the boy signed a fluid signature, and as he appended his signature, I heard almost all the family members around the table groaning with shock!
Yes, they recognized that signature!
It was on all the approved loan cheques from Orphan Inc, the Director’s signature!
And the boy tossed the sheets with absolute disdain at Agya Atobrah’s face!
His cold gaze went around the table, and he spoke softly, telling them to ‘check the name of Orphan Inc. It was changed a month ago, but I was waiting for this day to make it public. Go on, open your phones, check!’
I was intrigued, because I did not know what was going on!
But, I was sitting beside Kuuku Atobrah, who was Paa Kweku’s father, and I craned my head to look on the screen of his tablet as he navigated to a Website with trembling fingers!
Well, I knew it was Orphan Inc, that wonderful and powerful website I had been using myself as a professional man… but, lo and behold, it was displaying a new message!
It said PKA INC!
There was a small floating message beneath the new name that read, ‘We changed our name! Orphan goes real! Orphan Inc is now Paa Kweku Anane Inc: PKA INC!
Well, Kuuku simply dropped the tablet!
He could not hold it!
I saw doomed expressions around the table!
Paa Kweku pulled out the second application from the Amankwa family, stamped it with the REJECTED stamp, signed it, and flung it at the face of Mrs. Amankwa.
He stood up then and did a very odd thing, yehowa!
He removed his batakari and dropped it on the floor!
And beneath it, he had on the whitest shirt I had ever seen in my life!
And his smile was broad as he looked at the stunned, dismayed faces of the Amankwa’s and the Atobrah’s.
‘You took huge loans from me, and I own your companies. I want you to remember that. My mother told me that one day the charcoal seller’s son will also wear a white shirt. Oh, yes, Lord. Today, I’m wearing the whitest shirt of them all. Just remember, that I can make all of you poor with the snap of my fingers, you fucking idiots!’
When he turned away, Mrs. Amankwa almost fell down!
With tears in her eyes, trembling with shock, she asked just one question:
And Paa Kweku answered her simply.
‘I wanted a wife like my mother and not a wife like you.’
His father stood up from the table with shame and tears on his face, and he called his son’s name, and Paa Kweku looked a him with great fury and spoke two words:
He descended the steps.
‘You own…Orphan?’ Ama asked in a voice that was so tiny that it was like a squeak.
And the charcoal seller’s son smiled sweetly at her.
‘Formed it years ago, my love.’
‘But… if Ofeibea had known… she would have married you!’
‘I wanted to marry for love, Ama, my darling. I didn’t want to marry a woman.’
And so he left the venue with his Ama.
He went home and fell on his knees in front of his mother, and begged her to forgive him for keeping his wealth a secret. Ahhh!
That angel of a mother understood and forgave him!
He took her from the uncompleted building to the biggest, most beautiful house in the country.
Oh, yes, I forgot something, I forgot something!
Ofeibea had an Orphan Inc account, see?
On her way to the honeymoon, she navigated to the Orphan Inc’s social media, MyLife, to upload pictures… and saw that Orphan Inc was PKA, also Paa Kwesi Anane something something!
I heard she just fainted inside that limousine!
She woke up in the hospital, jumped off the bed, ran away from her husband, got a taxi, and zoomed right back to town!
A day later, she located the amazing mansion where Paa Kweku was with his two trusted women planning his wedding!
Ho, when she was admitted, she was not wearing her wedding ring!
She came with her parents and Agya Atobrah and Kuuku Atobrah and a delegation!
Paa Kweku listened to them calmly!
His mother cried!
The Atobrah’s were sorry for wronging him, rejecting him, they now wanted him to have their name…blah, blah, blah, blah!
The Amankwa’s were sorry for wronging him, rejecting him, they now wanted him to be with their daughter… blah, blah, blah!
In the end, Paa Kweku did not utter a word.
He just stood up, took Ama’s hand, kissed her, and left the room, telling his mom, the former charcoal seller, to deal with her vistors!
Ahh, how could she deal with her visitors when she was just crying?
Oh, yes, I forgot to tell you that Paa Kweku was wearing another incredible, pristine white shirt that day too!
I have to go in and prepare for my trip tomorrow. I know there are other things you want to hear, like how did it end with Ofeibea and Sunsum and blah, blah, blah, blah!
All I can tell you is that Ama is now Mrs. Ama Anane, and she now has four children, yes, four.
First she had twin boys, and three years later had twin girls!
Awo mu designs!
Young people of today, learn sense in love!
I am the Narrator, and these are my verses!
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