IN SEARCH OF COMFORT

This is my story. I can’t tell the exact day but somewhere in October 1985, I lost an invaluable person in life. Guess who and what happened. As a kid I couldn’t recall everything but I got little to tell. When I turn age five, I began to ask mummy where daddy is but she always ignored me and changes the topic of discussion. Later she told me that daddy traveled when my demand for dad’s where about became persistent.. The next question I asked was, where had he traveled to and he left us here to suffer alone. She often shut me up. Mum was a sedimentary seamstress. She moved from house to house to see if she will get job to sustain the family. I had three siblings. Two girls and a boy, first a girl followed by a boy, and a girl came last. I was the third born. We would sometimes sleep empty stomach on days that mum’s job yielded nothing. Mum was very prayerful and didn’t joke with morality in that same way she impacted them onto us. Big sister was eleven years old, she was in class six with her junior brother, Dickson. Light skinned and very beautiful. She normally reported to mum when ever a guy proposed to her and I was fed up with counting such complains. However, she was lazy with her academics and house chores. That was the only thing that mum hated about her. Sister is the name we all called her including mummy. Dickson, my big brother was nine years. Short, quick tempered, lazy in terms of house chores but very intelligent. Conflicts usually arose between my seniors in term of obligations attached to the home. I was very quite and shy in nature, intelligent and hardworking. I was in class four. Taller than my big brother but bonny and skinny. I was mummy’s pet. She loved me so much because of my charming qualities. The interval between my big brother and me was just a year and four months. Abena, the last born was beautiful, fleshy, thick tall and smart just like mummy. Mummy says that she sees her features in her. She was four years. Mum was very ill. She was unable do anything, she hardly even fed on her own. The burden of earns meat was left to us. Fortunately, our farm was ready for harvest so we reaped everything on it and sold some to keep the family surviving. We took our mother to Atua Gov’t. Hospital and after series of tests were carried out, she was transferred to Accra 37 Military Hospital. The doctor diagnosed her with acute kidney failure. For the kidney donation, we were ready to give it out but the charges for the operations were the difficulty. We moved from our village to Accra in other to get closer to mum.Two weeks were over and all we gained was ¢700 out of ¢2750. Sister got her virginity broken by a rich boyfriend with a deceitful promise. A month was over and the money rather decreased to ¢567 since we were feeding ourselves and part of it was used for mummy’s medications. Mum sat us down and told us her story. She stated “life was not easy for me at all. I suffered from childhood till day. I grew up as a orphan. I did not know my biological parents. My foster parents took care of till I turned eighteen. They were really kind to me all these while. I guess because the man was a pastor for Christ Army Salvation Church and his wife was a deaconess. The family was not blessed with a child. I was equipped with sowing since I showed no interest in formal education. But something went wrong. In my late seventeen, the man began to share his bed with me. He threatened me not tell his wife or else he will kick me out of the house. After telling me where he picked me from, I kept it to myself though I was unhappy with that. When I turned eighteen, the man got me pregnant. His wife discovered that and insisted to know the one responsible for it. I told her the truth that his husband got me pregnant and we have been sexing since a turned seventeen. The man however denied the responsible. He claimed that I was been used by the devil to tarnish his image, their family and Christianity at large. The Lady trusted him. She gave me one week tell her the truth or they will drive me out the house. The man opined that I should give the pregnancy to someone else and that will grant me a nice stay in the house. I wish I could do that but I had never offered my body to someone aside him. The week had elapsed and I had nothing new for his wife. The next day, they packed everything of mine and I was sent back to Aseseso, a village on Somanya-Koforidua road. I conceived sister. I joined a robbery gang to make earns. At that age, I could not abstained from sex. Though, I had protective sex but the gang leader also got me pregnant and asked me to abort but didn’t accept that idea. Dickson that’s your father. Later on a friend took me from Aseseso to Ashiaman to make earns. Over there, we turned our body into the temple of sex. I didn’t filter what entered my openings. Anything goes provided money was attached to it. The business was very fruitful but I wouldn’t save. I had countless abortion. I don’t even know why kept you, Dennis. I cannot pinpoint a particular person as your father. You are a bastard. Auspiciously, a man took care me and my pregnancy. The man was very religious so changed me from my vices. We cohabited for some few years and he also got me pregnant. He took full responsibility. He took you guys as his own children. Unfortunately, he departed before Abena’s birth. I solely took the parenting responsibilities till date. You guys should be united, love yourselves, be hardworking and above all keep your relationships with God serious. You should not worry because I will be well soon.” We all burst into tears. We went back the street to struggle for money. The next morning, we came back only to meet mum’s dead body. We packed our things and got back to Ashiaman leaving her body for the hospital. Dickson and Sister drop out from school. Dickson became vehicle conductor while Sister was helping in a chop bar. They manage to see me through JHS with their little acquaintances. Abena’s upbringing was not a challenge since she was staying with a old rich man. Getting into SHS was a constraint so I have to wait for next year. I worked to gather something to support my siblings. Sister began to sleep with many guys for money and gradually she turned into a prostitute. Dickson also joined a smoking gang which I didn’t know they profession but I guess they went into robbery. Initially, I didn’t like it. But that was the also means to get us surviving and to get me into school. We moved from the detached house to a chamber and hall apartment. We were not in abject poverty any more because they were earning much. They managed to get me through SHS. I came with awesome result which can take me into the university. Abena was nine years old and she in class six. She came very sicked and was sent to hospital. She was diagnosed with HIV AIDS. Unbelievable, how would this be. She told us that the man had been sleeping with her when she turned seven. Dickson asked her “so why didn’t you tell us all these while. She claimed that she didn’t wanted to neglect the opportunities she was having and came back into poverty. The quick tempered, Dickson, went to the man’s place and him strangled him to death. Ow! Things felt apart. While Dickson was in prison, Abena was constantly on drugs. All these burdens on Sister. I worked for two years to gather money to further my education. Much of Sister’s income was channeled on Abena’s drugs. Two years later, I was admitted in University of Ghana to offer psychology, music and Swahili. My one year stay in school was strictly on my friends’ support. I was very conscious with prayer meetings and bible studies. They were feed up with me so in level 200, they arranged with the porters to kick me out of the hall. I became stranded and I told my story to anyone that comes my way. The church was first to hear my problems but no help came from them. I met a friend who introduced me to a brotherly cult. The cult was very secretive. I had a place to lay my head and my needs were to attained. We met on Wednesdays midnight at a dark corner of the school. I put Christianity aside. I was very devoted to the cult because I was amazed with the lovely cohesion that existed between us. In level 300, l took the mantle of leadership in the cult. My stool name was The Beast. We did nasty things like rigging of elections and demoting of leaders through treats. However, our main aim was to deal with lecturers that jeopardized with the lives of students especially the females. I graduated with second class upper in sociology major. I struggled for job roughly two years without fruitful results. I joined the Graduate Unemployed Students’ Association. I was a member of that shameful association for another two years. My story turned around when I met Kalimah. She owned a consulting firm. She employed me in her firm as client attendant. My competency in the job granted me promotion to the office of assistant manager. She was really nice to me. We often went to launch together. I would feel the sense of togetherness but to actualize that togetherness, I have to convert to her faith. Well, that was not a problem for me at all since it marks the beginning of success. My only sister left for me as a family member died five days before my wedding.

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Dennis Lawer

Level 200 student of University of Ghana. Sociology and religion.

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