Read Chapter LI here.
“She really must be broke,” Esi said while recovering from a fit of laughter after hearing how things went at the meeting.
“She’s not serious,” Nhyira said, popping nuts into his mouth. He emptied the Nkatie Burger sachet into his palm and threw them into his mouth.
“But were you ever going to accept it no matter how much she offered?” Esi asked.
“We knew she wouldn’t come up with any convincing amount but what she had in mind was totally ridiculous. Such an insult and a waste of our time,” Kukuaa said.
“So you just wanted the chance to humiliate her.”
“A chance for her to humiliate herself, Esi. We’ve given her too much rope to harass us all these years. She almost drove mum crazy if you’ve forgotten. This is the last straw.”
“So what’s going to happen?”
“Drag her behind to the docks, that’s what.”
“You think mum is really okay with it? She didn’t look so enthused about the idea the other day.”
“I know but she gave us her blessing. As long as she doesn’t wake up with a convicted heart to let her go, we’re good to proceed.”
On the Saturday that followed, Nhyira drove Kukuaa around town on her usual wedding rounds. Ewuresi stayed behind to have her weekly meeting with her father about the company. Bisi left home for the office and arrived quite late. Ewuresi was preparing dinner when she entered the house.
“Kuks and Nhyira aren’t back yet?” She asked after exchanging greetings.
“Nah. Kukuaa texted that they would be home soon. Apparently, she had to pass by Aaron’s place for something.”
“Uh huh. Of course she did. Hmm…love the aroma. Hope it’s ready. My tummy’s grumbling.”
“It always is when you arrive home, mum,” Esi said with a laugh.
“My meal times are like clockwork. It alerts me right on time. Is your dad upstairs?”
“Yeah. He said he wanted to take a nap.”
“All right; I’ll join you soon.”
“Okay, mum.” Bisi went upstairs and entered the bedroom.
Fiifi’s eyes opened when he heard Bisi’s footsteps.
“Hey. Sorry, didn’t mean to wake you,” she said, walking to him and kissing him on the cheek.
“Wasn’t asleep. Been awake for a while now. How did the meeting go?”
“As usual. Let’s do it this way, no, let’s do it that way…suggestions thrown in, shake it up and we have a winner!”
Fiifi smiled. He sat up when Bisi sat at the edge of the bed to take off her shoes. He began to give her shoulders a gentle massage when she sat up. She moaned.
“I needed that.”
“I know.” She smiled. He pulled her zipper down and planted soft kisses down her back. He smiled when he heard her giggle. She heard the doorbell ring.
“Who could that be?”
“Who cares?” He asked as he carried on with his kiss assault.
They both startled when they heard Esi called out “mum!” with a shriek. She gave her husband a nervous look.
“Please go and check out who it is whiles I quickly change.” He got out of bed and rushed downstairs.
“Esi, who is it?” He stopped on his tracks when he took in Constance’s sight.
“You’ve really got some nerve, you know that?!”
“Please is Bisi home? I need to speak with her.”
“You’re not stepping foot inside and you’re not going to utter a word to my wife. Now get the hell off my property!” Fiifi bellowed.
“I’m sorry but I really need to speak with her, Fiifi. This is important.”
“What is it this time? A forewarning to arrest her for trying to kill you?”
“Get out before I drag you out of here!”
“Fii, who is it?” Bisi called out as she made her way down the stairs. Fiifi turned.
Bisi froze when her eyes met Constance’s. She felt her breath caught up in her throat. She held on to the stair-rod for composure.
“Bisi please…can we talk?” Wait, did she hear her say please?
She slowly made her way to the bottom of the stairs.
Esi had left the scene to the kitchen as she waited for Kukuaa to answer her call.
“Hey…are you almost home?” Esi asked hastily when Kukuaa finally answered.
“Yeah, about ten minutes out. Why, what’s up?”
“You won’t believe who decided to show up at our front door today.”
“Who else? She insisted on seeing mum. Dad tried making her go but it seems mum is going to let her come in. I have a bad feeling about this, Kuks.”
“Seriously? We’ll be there soon. I can’t believe she would come over. We’re coming.” She ended the call.
Esi walked out of the kitchen into the scene where her father was trying to convince Bisi to turn Constance away.
“You don’t have to listen to whatever she has to say. She can communicate through our attorney.”
“It’s okay, Fii. She’s not going to hurt me. What harm will come from hearing what she has to say?”
“She knows she stands to lose if this case makes it to trial and she’s trying to wiggle her way out of it.”
“And what’s wrong with calling it a truce? Isn’t that we all want?”
“What? Truce with her? That’s not what Nhyira wants!”
“Well, she came to see me not Nhyira. We need to talk this out mother to mother.”
“You don’t have to do this, B.”
“Yes, I do, honey. I’m not saying I’d speak with her in private. I know better than to risk it. You and Esi are going to listen in just in case, okay?” Fiifi sighed in resignation. He wasn’t going to succeed in dissuading her from talking to that snake.
“It’s going to be okay, Fii.” She wrapped her arm around his and glanced at Constance who still stood at the door. She put on her best smile and said, “Why don’t you come inside?”
Constance hesitated and looked at Fiifi as if for permission. When she got nothing from his facial expression, she glanced back at Bisi who was still smiling. How could she be smiling at her after what she almost did to her? She took one nervous step inside and then another one.
“Esi, could you please close the door?” Esi nodded and walked to the door and closed it. She quickly rushed to the kitchen to check on her food.
“Please have a…”
“Please forgive me, Bisi,” Constance said as she fell on her knees before her and Fiifi. Bisi gave her husband a stunned look.
“I’m sorry for all the trouble I’ve caused you and your family. I was lonely, idle and envious of all that you had. I’m sorry for trying to destroy your family by turning Nhyira against you. Please have mercy and drop the case. I’ll lose and I don’t want to go to jail. Please, I’m begging you.”
The front door burst open and Kukuaa and Nhyira entered. They took in the scene and when Kukuaa’s eyes met her mother’s, she knew her revenge trip was over.
“Oh no,” she muttered under her breath.
“Nhyira, please forgive me…”
“Mum,” he said, totally ignoring Constance and walking to Bisi. Bisi gave him a tearful smile before hugging him.
“Mum, no,” he said before she could say anything.
“I know this must be hard for you, Nhyira. You trusted her and she betrayed you and you feel like paying her back. You have every right to do so but letting her go will make you feel better, son.”
“No, mum. She almost killed me for nothing and almost had you framed for that. How could you easily pardon her for that?”
“I forgave your dad when he did what he did to have you. It wasn’t easy but it was the best decision I’ve ever made. Because if I hadn’t, I would have lost this wonderful family and I wouldn’t be the same person ever again. What she did was cruel to say the least and we have the power to crush her if we choose to but we also have the power to let her go.”
“Why did you open the door for her to come in?” Kukuaa whispered to Ewuresi.
“How would I know she’d be the one at the door?” She whispered back.
Nhyira glared at a tearful Constance for a moment and stared at Bisi. He shook his head.
“She doesn’t deserve any mercy, mum. I would be dead by now and you rotting behind bars even it weren’t for God.”
“I know that and it is the same God who tells us that He is just and vengeance is His. If I could forgive your father and forgive you for acting up, I could also forgive her.”
“Mum, don’t pay attention to her fake tears. You let her go and you give her another chance to hurt us,” Kukuaa said, walking towards her.
“It is not my business if her tears are fake or not. But from now on, I leave her to God to deal with her as He deems fit. She’s not going to plague my thoughts anymore. I need you to find it in your hearts to let her go. All of you.”
“I’m really sorry,” Constance sobbed. Kukuaa and Ewuresi glanced at her briefly and rolled their eyes.
“No matter what’s she done, she gave birth to you. Something I would never have been able to do. Please, let it rest.”
Nhyira shook his head. Bisi glanced at his daughters.
“Can you find it in your hearts to forgive her?” They both stared back with no reply.
“She had no business with us till your father went in for her. Haven’t you forgiven your father?”
“Mum, that’s different…She…”
“If we can forgive your father, we can equally forgive Constance. I’m tired of all this drama.”
“Putting her behind bars ends this drama, mum,” Kukuaa said.
“Does it? Can you look in my eyes and tell me you wouldn’t wonder how she’s doing in prison when you two share a bond?” She asked Nhyira.
“She and I don’t share a bond, mum.”
To the surprise of everyone, Bisi went on her knees before Nhyira.
“Mum! Please get up,” Nhyira said, holding her by the arm. Bisi refused to get up.
“Please do this for me. I need you to let her go. You can’t go around hating your mother and expect to love anyone fully. Please, Nhyira.”
“Okay, mum. Please get up.” Fiifi held her other arm and helped her up.
“Thank you,” Bisi said. He nodded, tears in his eyes. Bisi hugged him.
“I suggest you leave,” Kukuaa said to Constance.
“Let this the last time any of us ever set our eyes on you, Constance,” Fiifi warned.
“You won’t hear from me ever again. I promise,” she said, getting up.
“Thank you very much, Bisi. I’ll never forget this. You’re blessed to have such a good heart. I hope to have your kind of heart.”
“You’re welcome, Constance.”
With heavy steps and a stiff neck, Constance walked out of the house. All eyes were on her, half-expecting her to pull a stunt. When the door closed behind her, they all exhaled deeply.
“I can’t believe my court plans are no more!”
“I’m sure you’ll find a more interesting case to handle, my dear.” Bisi wiped the tears from Nhyira’s eyes.
“You’ll feel better, I promise.” He hugged her.
“Bear hug!” They all came around and hugged the two.
Bisi went to Kukuaa’s room after dinner where she lay on her bed, texting on her phone.
“Hey…I know I gave my blessing for you to do your thing in court and I’m sorry for stepping in the way I did. Constance has been a thorn in my flesh for so long that I’d do anything to have her disappear from the face of this earth. But a part of me remains grateful to her for Nhyira. She had many chances to expose your father to the media but she didn’t.”
“She threatened to when Nhyira was admitted.”
“Because she was desperate for money. I’m not trying to defend her but things could have gone way worse. I don’t want to see Nhyira’s mother locked behind bars because whenever I think of her, I don’t see her as your father’s mistress or something. I see her as Nhyira’s mother and sometimes I can’t help but wonder how differently her life would have turned out if your father hadn’t approached her with his baby-making proposal. I wish you could see things from my point of view.”
“It’s okay, mum. A part of me knew you’d stop this before it even started. I wish I had a heart like yours, mum.”
“You do, Kuks. You don’t know it yet but you do.”
“All right; I’ll drop the charges God willing tomorrow.”
“Thank you.” They hugged.
That night as Bisi lay in bed, she felt peace in her heart like never before. She didn’t know if Constance would be back but she felt certain that this was the end of any more troubles with a Constance tag on it. She was free.
Fiifi kissed her forehead.
“You were amazing today. I don’t think of anyone who would have done what you did. Are you angel?” He asked. She chuckled.
“No, I’m no angel, Fii. I’ve just come to learn that the one who forgives, wins in the end.”
Two days later, Constance received an envelope. She opened to find a restraining order against her to stay away from the Pratts. Alongside the document came a note from Nhyira: Just in case you decide to cause any more trouble. I wish I could wish you good luck but I can’t.
Constance sighed. She had lost and she knew it. She had one last thing to do and then whatever happened after was up to fate. She got into her car and drove off.
On her way back, it was late. And a sudden outage of the lights made the road darker than usual. Her phone which lay on the passenger seat began ringing. It was the call she had been waiting for. As she reached for it, it fell off the seat.
“Oh seriously?” She attempted to pick it up and lost sight of the road for a few seconds. When she sat up, she screamed realizing that she had veered off from her lane into the next where a truck was approaching. The truck driver honked at her. In a panicky moment, she steered the wheel back to her lane but she lost control and her scream drowned in the sound of the car hitting hard against a tree.
Constance woke up feeling very weak. Her blurred vision cleared to find a worried looking man in a white coat staring at her.
“Where am I?”
“You’re at a hospital. You had a terrible accident. Do you remember your name?”
“Constance. Constance Ameyaw,” she said weakly.
“What’s today’s date?” She blinked.
“Good. Do you have anyone we can call?” She blinked again. Her head hurt very much. She winced and shook her head.
“No one? No one at all?”
“No. I have no one to call.”
“You lost a lot of blood. We’ve given you some blood but we’d need more. Are you sure there’s no one?”
Tears filled her eyes as she shook her head again.
“I have no one.” Slowly she slipped into unconsciousness from which she would never return.
Her last thoughts before disappearing into oblivion were that of her son who had given up on her.
A month later…
Kukuaa’s wedding came off in a beautiful and solemn ceremony. Bisi looked on admiringly as her husband and daughter did the father-bride dance. She looked up when she felt a hand on her shoulder. Nhyira smiled down at her and sat beside her.
“She looks beautiful, huh?”
“Yeah and very happy. She reminds me of myself when I got married to your father. I was excited to spend the rest of my life with him.”
“And so far?”
“It’s been great. Some days better than others but in all, it’s been great. He gave me two beautiful daughters and he gave me you.” They held hands.
“You’ll always be my mother and I, your son.”
“Yes I will and yes you will.”
“Family beyond blood, huh?”
“Mum, come over for a selfie!” Kukuaa said. Nhyira helped Bisi up and walked over to the spot where the bride and groom along with Fiifi and Ewuresi holding the selfie stick.
And the captioned moment of joy and bliss would be a constant in their lives on the ever-after page.
(c) Josephine Amoako 2016
I know this might not be the ending you were expecting. But I hope you have enjoyed the series. Expect the next one soon. Till next time, ✌