Read Chapter 48 here.
Bibi joined Ayesha in the UK to deliver her baby. Ayesha was with her the whole time at the hospital until she delivered. She sent her father photos and videos of Bibi with the baby. A month later, they all returned to Ghana. Ayesha stayed over at her father’s house with the twins.
Ayesha watched Tariq as he carried the baby in his arms; how he smiled at the baby with tearful eyes.
“Are you crying, dad?”
“No…I’m just emotional, I guess. I can’t believe I’m holding another baby, Ayesha.”
“I didn’t know you were this expectant for another child.”
“I wasn’t. After I lost your mother, I closed my mind and heart to any hopes of fathering another child. And now that I’m holding one in my arms, my heart is full.”
“Pension baby blues. You’re not going to will everything to him and leave me out to hang dry, are you?”
“Don’t be silly,” Tariq said with a chuckle. “You’re my first child. You get first and best share.”
Ayesha gave him a wide smile. Bibi walked in, holding her phone.
“So Ida and Nadia have both confirmed to come over for lunch. Ida is excited to meet Tariq Junior. Calls him TJ already.”
“Thought of a name for him yet, dad?” Ayesha asked.
“I was thinking of naming him Omar, you know? In honor of my brother and friend.”
Bibi and Ayesha shared a look.
“I know you mean well, honey but the spirit behind the name too matters,” Bibi said.
“There are many other great options to consider.”
Tariq turned to look at Ayesha.
“You agree with her?”
“It’s your baby. Whatever you two settle on, I’ll be fine with it, dad.”
The baby started squirming.
“It’s time to feed. May I have him, please?”
He handed the baby over to her. She sat down and began to feed him.
“Boys feed like crazy. Be ready to have your energy sucked out of you.”
“Been waiting my whole life for this. Bring it on, boy!”
They both laughed.
Tariq shook his head and walked away.
Bibi opened the door upon hearing the doorbell.
“Hello, Honorable. You’re welcome.”
“Thank you. We come bearing gifts,” Ida said. Nadia who was right behind her mother, showed her face wearing a smile. She was holding a hamper.
“Oh thank you. Please come in.”
“Where’s the little one? Can’t wait to smother him with love.”
“He’s with his father. Hey…boys, no running!”
Ida gasped in shock as Karim and Kareem ran to hug her.
“How come they are here?”
“I returned to Ghana with them.”
Nadia placed the hamper on the dining table. Ayesha came out of the kitchen holding a tray of cookies and glasses of milk. They both froze for a second upon seeing each other.
“I didn’t know…when did you get back into town?”
“Last weekend. Got back with Bibi. Was with her in the hospital.”
“I see…some step mum bonding time, huh?”
“Yeah, you could call it that. I missed you.”
“I missed you too. Tried reaching out to you but you totally went MIA on me.”
“I’m sorry. Wasn’t in a good place to engage.”
“You know what,” Nadia said, taking the tray from her and putting it on the table. “Come here, sis. I missed you so much.”
“It’s been so long.”
“I know. I missed you too.”
“I’m so sorry for my attitude before. Dad’s passing just messed me up and I wanted to let it out on someone. Sorry, that person had to be you.”
“That’s alright. We were all hurting. Hopefully, we can move on with our lives. Let me get the boys to munch on something before they run this house down. Hey K and K, come for cookies and milk!” Ayesha said.
The boys rushed to her.
“Sit down quietly and have this, okay? Lunch will be ready in an hour.”
“In an hour? I thought we were running late.”
“Who were you expecting to prepare the lunch, the new mother? This is called come, prepare and eat. Besides, I miss cooking with you.”
“Then we have to get something for mum because she skipped lunch.”
“Yeah, I came with her. You think I could come here by myself?” Nadia asked.
“Oh yeah, forgot about your thing with Bibi. Then she’d have to manage with juice and chips.”
“Why don’t you go and greet her while I fetch her the snacks?”
“Sure, okay. Wish me luck.”
“You don’t need it. She misses you and wants you back at work.”
Ayesha walked into the living room.
“Ayesha! You look well. Come here.”
Ayesha sat beside her and they hugged.
“My girl…you ran off like you had no family.”
“I’m sorry. With Uncle Omar’s passing and Jamal’s incarceration, I just wanted to get away. Hope you understand.”
“I do, dear. But we tried reaching out and you blocked us completely.”
Nadia came in with a tray.
“Ayesha and I are going to get lunch ready so please have this for now.”
“Okay, sure. Thanks.”
“So are you staying or are you planning on going back?”
“On what?” Ida asked as she bit into a plantain chip.
“If you’ll help get Jamal out of jail.”
Ida dropped the chip into the bowl and sighed.
“Ayesha, that is out of my hands.”
“No, it’s not. You’re in parliament now. You have access to people with more power than you do.”
“Why not speak with your father? He has more juice than I do.”
“But he’s not NDC. You are. You can speak with those intent on keeping him there to let go.”
“He killed an MP, Ayesha.”
“We both know who really did, Auntie.”
Ida gave her a sharp look and glanced at Nadia who shrugged innocently.
“I allowed the verdict to stay because after all said and done, he did stab Uncle Omar and he had to pay for that. But I won’t sit by and let him rot for a crime he didn’t commit.”
“But the intent was there, wasn’t it? He still needs to pay for that.”
“I’m asking, Auntie as family. Please grant me this and I’ll forever be in your debt.”
“In my debt? I don’t want you to owe me.”
“Then do me this favor, Auntie. I beg you.”
Tariq entered with the baby.
“Hi Riq, is that our new bundle of joy?” Ida asked excitedly as she got up to meet Tariq. Tariq handed him to her.
“Aww…look at him. So cute. He does look like you. These days, you have to check all that to be sure whose child you’re celebrating,” Ida said.
Ayesha rolled her eyes.
“And upon that note, I take my baby back,” Tariq said.
“Don’t be silly; I’m not done admiring this bundle of joy.”
“Ayesha, let’s get the cooking started, shall we?” Nadia called out. Ayesha got up. They left the living room.
The kitchen was quiet except of the sound of the knife chopping vegetables.
“Listen, I understand if you’re upset by my mum…”
“Upset, you say? My husband and father of my children is rotting behind jail for a crime he didn’t commit and you think I’m just upset?”
“A crime he didn’t commit? I don’t think he knifed my dad just to give him an ugly scar, Ayesha. He did it with the sole purpose of ending him.”
“Granted but he was attended to in time and he was getting better. Why should he have to pay for someone else taking advantage of the situation to free herself from her vows?”
“Fine; I do hear what you’re saying but you don’t expect me to back you on this. It’s my father your husband attacked, Ayesha.”
“Great. Let’s get this lunch done and over with, shall we?”
“Fine with me.”
A few minutes later, Ayesha asked, “Seeing anyone?”
“I might be.”
“What does that mean? You’re unsure about him or it’s non-exclusive?”
“We just started.”
“How’s he like? When do I get to meet him?”
“Considering the fact that you got my first killed, I’m not exactly looking forward to doing an introduction.”
“Ouch. I’ll take it. I deserve it.”
“You know I love you like a sister because that’s what you are but you must admit there has been a lot of water under the bridge. But this is not a part of it.”
“I understand but you better talk to your mum.”
“So what have you been up to since you got back?” Ida asked when they were halfway through the meal.
“Visiting my poor husband in prison.”
“Aww…Aren’t you the good wife?” Ida said slyly.
Ayesha dropped her fork. “Okay, I’m just going to say it. I think Jamal has done enough time.”
“Ayesha, can we do this after lunch?” Tariq asked.
“I wish I could, dad but I don’t think I can hold it in any longer. Why should he still be doing time when it wasn’t his intent to kill Uncle Omar in the first place?”
“Excuse me? Wasn’t his intent, you said?”
“Yes, he told he did what he did out of rage to hurt him; not to kill him.”
“But the intent is as bad as the action itself in the law’s eyes, my dear,” Bibi said.
“Uh huh but why should he do time for someone who took advantage of the situation to actually kill him?”
“What are you talking about?”
“Ayesha…” Tariq called out.
Bibi looked at Tariq who shook his head and sighed.
“Ayesha, I understand your frustration of not having your man warm your bed but that shouldn’t drive away your sense of judgment, honey. I don’t know what you’re trying to paint with that insinuation but we have my dead husband’s testimony on record that your husband attacked him which was very fatal. The fact that you’re trying to emotionally bulldoze your way into getting Jamal out is just lame.”
“Lame? If there were to be some evidence that proves that someone actually touched your husband causing his death, that would mean freedom for my husband and a re-opening into the case. I don’t think you’d want that, would you?”
“Why wouldn’t she?” Bibi asked, biting into a piece of chicken.
“Would you care to answer that, Honorable?”
“You don’t want to pick a fight with me, Ayesha,” Ida warned.
“All Ayesha is saying is that, if there’s a way to get Jamal out with the political power you and Uncle T wield now, then now is the time to explore that,” Nadia chipped in. Ida gave her a surprised look.
“Spoken like a politician. Since she’s speaking your language, could you help me out here?”
“I’ll talk with your Auntie and see what we can do.”
“He’s your son-in-law. Come on, dad.”
“Who couldn’t keep his anger in check and attacked my brother. Never going to forgive him for that,” Tariq said.
“Well, how am I supposed to raise two strong boys without their father?”
“How do all the other women who are singlehandedly raising multiple kids doing it?”
“That’s not the point.”
“Then what is? You are lucky to be born into a well-to-do family who are ready to chip in to help you with whatever you need. In case you forgot, Kakra has a trust fund from my husband that you shamelessly slept with for years. What the hell are you complaining about?” Ida said heatedly.
Ayesha began tearing up. She felt Nadia’s hand on her thigh. She pulled her chair backwards and got up.
“I think I’ve lost my appetite.”
“And you managed to ruin everyone else’s. It was such a great meal by the way,” Ida said, picking up her glass of water.
Ayesha walked out of the room. Nadia got up.
“Aww…don’t you miss doing this? Going after her after an explosive act at dinner?” Ida said.
Nadia shook her head as she walked out.
“Enough, Ida,” Tariq said.
“I know you have a soft spot for her but you should shut her up when she oversteps her bounds.”
“So what is the real scoop here?” Bibi asked.
Tariq glanced at Ida. “What it is, is that we love having dramatic dinners. It’s a family tradition.”
“Are you sure you want to do this?”
Ayesha said nothing.
“Because when you go down this path, there’s no going back. Are you willing to destroy your family just to get a man out of jail?”
“He’s not just any man. He’s my husband and father of my children.”
“And how sure are you that he’ll stay with you when you get him out? He could file for a divorce and take away his son.”
Ayesha turned. That thought hadn’t crossed her mind.
“No, Jamal wouldn’t do that to me.”
“Well, he stabbed a Member of Parliament in a parking lot. I think anything is possible with him when he’s well motivated.”
“This is different.”
“So I ask again, are you sure you want to do this?”
(c) Josephine Amoako 2021
Read Chapter 50 here.