It has been a loooooong minute since I wrote a story and I miss you all! The past couple of months have been highly stressful for me and I thank God it is all over, at least for a while. To make up for lost times, this story is quite lengthy (you can thank me later. *wink wink*). I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Don’t forget to share and I look forward to your feedback. Feels great to be back!
They did not know and it was not their fault, but before you judge, understand that with the way it happened you probably wouldn’t have known either. The nature of the woman’s work involved dealing with as many as five clients a day and while it is hard to forget your first or last, the faces of everyone else in between eventually becomes blurred; a distant memory instantly forgotten with the arrival of the next client. It’s not like she wanted to have their faces etched in her memory anyway and the sooner she forgot about them, the better she could sleep well at night. It was a job life forced on her; people always say you have a choice but the harsh truth is that in some cases, the lesser of two evils must be done.
You see, selecting one over the other does not make it a right choice- It just means that the consequences are less costly. Saddled between a rock and a hard place with selling herself on one hand and a life of crime on the other, the woman chose the former. It wasn’t a job she enjoyed; there was nothing pleasurable about having men who smelled like a cocktail of pungent smelling armpits, mouth odor, and smelly feet pounce on her. It was not refreshing to have men old enough to be her father do things to her that would make the devil blush. Her skin crawled anytime they touched her and with feigned enthusiasm she counted down the minutes till they gave their last grunt, signaling that the ordeal had ended.Over the years, the woman had learned how to block out the intense urge to run out in the middle of the job. She looked forward to the times her services were required by decent customers but the perfect gentlemen were rare, very rare in her line of work. Who could blame them anyway? Nice looking gentlemen would not usually seek the services of her kind.
The man was one of her usual customers, making use of her services as often as possible. Anytime he needed company he sought her out and she never disappointed. He had other sources where he got what he needed but the woman was always his first choice. You see, back in 1985, It was far more complicated to get access to people like her. They were few and operated in the most clandestine of areas. It was common to find them in alleys so dark that light made little difference and corners so secluded from the town that only a determined soul would dare approach. In their defense, the Ghanaian society had zero tolerance for their likes it wasn’t the sort of job you could proudly, broadcast without getting embarrassed to the core by supposed saints; saints, some of whom still made use of the skilled services of the woman and her kind when they thought no one was watching. These hypocrites would seek them out as if their very lives depended on it anytime it tickled their fancy.
The man had a wife but her frigidity constantly drew him into the arms of people who were skilled in the art of pleasing men. A log of wood was much more agile than she was in bed; his wife would lay as stiff as a frozen corpse without the slightest hint of passion. The man kept hope alive for years, hoping she would eventually become more responsive but he lost it eventually. Sadly he had come to understand that in as much as he could demand her body, he had no way of making her respond to his touch. He would get home late with well-crafted lies about how a meeting ended late or how his boss assigned him some extra work to do. Technically, the man hadn’t lied about the “extra work” part. It was the nature of the work that was beyond questionable since it involved more physical energy than what his job as an accounts officer required. His poor wife, so gullible and trusting never for once doubted his fidelity. Well, maybe she did but even if that were the case she played the part of the dutiful wife perfectly and gave no hint that she was well aware of his perversions. She was happy anytime he returned home late from work; the man usually arrived home so exhausted he sometimes skipped dinner and went straight to bed This usually made his wife heave a sigh of relief, grateful she had been spared the arduous task of fulfilling her marital obligations in the bedroom.
It had been almost twenty-seven years since the woman turned her back on the business; the only job she had ever know since she turned eighteen and had been doing for close to seven years. Most people quit when they were too old and wrinkly, too dried up and drained of their beauty to fetch a decent amount of money but not her. She was still as beautiful as ever and her goods were highly appealing to many men. She was not bone-jutting skinny, neither was she ‘weight in all the wrong places’ fat; the woman’s body was good enough to keep them coming back for more yet she needed to walk away.
Her sudden decision was necessitated by the life growing inside her. It took her almost 3 months to discover that she was no longer living for herself, that there was a life gently springing within her.Contraceptives were rare and in situations where they were available, it cost too much to afford so there were times she worked without them.The woman drank all sorts of herbal concoctions and inserted a variety of substances into her body in an attempt to stop the life dead in its tracks. She gave up when she almost bled to death after her last attempt. It was obvious the child was desperate to see the world and she had grown weary of going against its will.
They met again twenty-six years after their last encounter without a shadow of recognition dawning on neither one of them. It was ironic that people who had once tumbled up and down in bed and other unsavory places, people who had practically seen each other as naked as they were at birth acted like complete strangers meeting for the first time. Like the woman, the man did not make it a habit of remembering the faces of the women whose services he sought in the dark. He needed them to fulfill a need and once that was done, he moved on wiping them from his mind. The man and woman were reunited after so many years because of their children. They wanted to join both families together as one through marriage.
People often made comments about their uncanny resemblance; they both had dimples on their left cheek and had a similar facial structure; they even smiled in the same way. At the end of the day, they pegged it down to the fact that the myth was true that if you were with someone long enough, you two could end up having identical features. In their defense, they had been together for well over six years. The boy and girl met while they were both in the university. He was a final year student while she was in her second year. People thought it was one of those relationships that wouldn’t last but they proved them wrong. Their chemistry was instant; they skipped the entire friendship scene and headed straight for a relationship. It was fast and sudden but it felt right and so they went along with the flow. It wasn’t always smooth but they worked their way through the hurdles and never let go. It was worth it, every bit of it so they made it work. The boy and girl shared a very deep bond and in the end, they concluded that they were soul mates.
The huge church auditorium was filled to capacity with family, friends, loved ones, and spectators. You know how weddings are; half of the guests usually don’t know the couple yet driven by curiosity and in some cases food, they present themselves as guests. They might have come for different reasons but at the moment, everyone had gathered to witness the ceremony. The weather was gloomy outside with the threat of rain hanging dangerously above their heads. The woman advised her not to set the date during the rainy season but the stubborn girl was vehement. She insisted on getting married on her birthday even if it rained an ocean.The woman was never surprised by the girl’s stubbornness, knowing very well that she acquired that trait from her.
The atmosphere outside was however in stark contrast to the scenery on the inside; the all-white décor made it look like it was snowing indoors. Everything including the chairs was draped in blinding white. Well, almost everything since the carpet rolled out for the bride was crimson red. They all rose, almost in unison at the stroke of the keyboard that set the pace for Pachelbel’s Canon, heralding the bride’s entrance. The woman’s eyes were filled with tears of joy as she watched her daughter walk down the aisle. She looked as elegant and regal as the lady she truly was. On a normal day, the girl looked beautiful without makeup but the make-up artist had done a fine job of making her look even more dazzling. She smiled softly when she locked eyes with the woman and almost shed tears when she saw her mother wipe the tears from her eyes. She quickly got over that urge when she imagined how awful she would look if her makeup was ruined. It was a day of joy, not sorrow and the girl had no plans of looking like a scarecrow on such an important day.
The boy was nervous, clenching and unclenching his fists as his nervous tick made itself manifest. The girl had assured him that he would be enchanted by the gown and she told no lie. The boy watched with slightly parted lips as she drew nearer. The gown was perfect; so white and pure that he was certain it would shine in the dark. It clung to her like a second skin and her cleavage was slightly visible leaving him to wonder about how much pleasure he would derive in stripping it off her later that evening. The veil was sheer enough for him to see her pretty face clearly; he loved how she looked and he was proud to have landed such a beauty as his wife. He had always known that she was perfect for him, that they were perfect for each other and he was glad they were finally doing this.
The man and woman looked on with pride as their children took what was probably the most important step of their lives. The woman had countless opportunities to share her bed with a multitude of men but not her life. After she had the girl, the woman decided she would have nothing to do with men and not even the fear of loneliness could make her get married. Although she knew it would be tough to live apart from her, the woman was nonetheless happy for the girl. The boy and girl smiled at each other with excitement oozing out of their bodies, completely unaware that they were about to do the abominable, uniting as one. The man could only hope that his son would be a more faithful husband than he was. He had no idea that his soon to be daughter-in-law was the proof of his last encounter with the woman; she was unaware that the man was responsible for the pregnancy that had led her away from the wretched life she once lived many years ago.
They did not know that his son was getting married to their daughter.