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You can run but can’t hide? II

BY: Graphic Showbiz / Ghana

All too soon another Thursday is here. Hope your week has been good so far.  Mine hasn’t been bad at all. Naa Atswei my 14 month-old-baby, on Sunday, was able to say one two three up to 20, unaided. That for me, sparked up a good week.

 

Some have argued that it isn’t good for our babies to be sent to school early; others think otherwise.  A debate has already started among some of my friends on this, and I shall let you know how the discussions have gone so far.

The only problem I have with her head teacher at the crèche she attends is the way she tries to force my left-handed daughter to use her right hand.  I will tell you  how I went to fire her on that indiscretion on Monday.  I can’t wait to tell you about that soon. 

Kindly remind me if I forget to.  Agh, why should anyone be forced to use her right hand when her strength lies in the use of her left?

Oh, I was in a rush to tell you about Naomi’s story of last week.  See how so many other issues have almost caused me to drift from so doing. Please pardon me. 

Naomi tried to be defensive on her admission of being pregnant.  She was kind of astonished when I asked her “how many weeks gone? ”

Looking straight into my face she asked, not smiling, “me?  What weeks are you talking about?”

Then with a very aggressive look and attitude she pulled the sagging door open to go wash her hand.  “My friend, not so fast”, I jokingly stood to block her path.  “You are with child, aren’t you?”  I asked again with a smile.  Without responding, she forced her way past me and walked out the door, livid. Then I knew she was subtly heavy with child. 

Her reaction wasn’t to deter me from speaking further with her because that kind of mood swing, I knew, was characteristic of pregnant women – nothing to be taken seriously. But I guess when Naomi, who is about nine years my junior, sat behind her desk, she kind of felt bad at her attitude. 

As soon as I apologised for distressing her she quickly said, “Antie Ablah, this isn’t anything I want people to know about; I was surprised you questioned me like that.  Please keep it a secret. I don’t trust some of the eyes around here.  I don’t want any evil forces in and around this office to cause me to “miscarry” this baby”.  Then she paused awhile and said, “I am in my third month”.

What evil forces was she talking about?  Were the staff in our office that evil? Were there any persons in there who were causing pregnant women to suffer miscarriages? I swept over that comment and said to her with a wide grin, “congratulations my sister” (and sincerely, I was, and am still happy for her). 

“But you can’t be serious.  What makes you think anyone around here hasn’t suspected?  Aren’t you a full-fledged grown 32 year old woman?  What’s wrong if you’re pregnant? Are you not married?”  Then she bowed her head down coyly as if she had committed a sacrilegious transgression. 

“Naomi, pregnancy is something which is very difficult to hide”, I said in a compassionate tone. “The symptoms that go with it and the eventual supporting bulge of its bearer’s mid-section all make hiding it difficult.  So my dear, is there a special reason why you purposely want to conceal this blessing?”  Then she smiled, feeling like a bird let out of the fowler’s snare – sheer relief.

Who knows, perhaps somebody may be scaring Naomi with stories, spiritual stories, which probably could be making her behave and think in this superstitious manner. 

But of course if Naomi has  a reason to assume that some people in our office acted and behaved like my own aunt, Antie Amedo, she would have every reason to believe that anyone watching her belly was a potential enemy.

Ei, Antie Amedo?  She is trouble incarnate! Someone once described her in three words – SEA NEVER DRY.  Huh, I had on more than enough occasions had cause to believe that she was a “special kind of being”. 

She had done too many unconstructive things to merit the suspicions most people   associated her character with:  It was she who remained at loggerheads with my late father for over two decades and a half.  Ei, she didn’t want anything to do with my father at all – never attended any function he was  present at; even extended the hostility to my mother.

Her reason?  My father had caused the mini bus which carried relatives from our hometown to the Kotoka International Airport when my elder sister was travelling to London way back in the 80s, to leave her behind.  Ei, those were times when a whole entourage could accompany a traveller to the airport to see the person off. Sounds very absurd now, doesn’t it?   Times have changed!      

This aunt of mine I am talking about did something outrageous  when I was pregnant with Naa Atswei.  To commemorate the thanksgiving service of one of my uncles who had been made a Catechist in our hometown, a reception was held.  I was an attendee.

During lunch that Sunday afternoon, my behaviour made one of my cousins, Broda, “accuse” me of being pregnant.  There were not less than 15 of us sitting under a canopy where we were chatting heartily.  And he was right.  I was indeed pregnant.  I admitted it, and laughed over it; even told him how many weeks I had clocked.  Antie Amedo was part of the crowd that was seated.  

That same evening, when I arrived in Accra, before retiring to bed, I got a phone call.  It was Antie Amedo.  I didn’t even know she had my phone number.  Her reason for calling? 

“Ablah, I know you go to church and believe in God very much.  But don’t take things for granted.  When I saw you today, I knew you were pregnant, and that you were about ending your first trimester. But I found it expedient not to comment on it. 

I was rather surprised you could openly sit among those people to disclose the fact that you were pregnant”. 

Tell me, if you were me, how would you have handled this phone call?  I’ll tell you more next week.