Regrets : Overview of a Story About Love

I want to tell you one more story about love. Make sure to read the extract of the ebook somewhere further down.

Relationship struggles

The challenges people face in their relationships are universal – adulterous husbands and unfaithful girlfriends. suspicion and vindictiveness, broken promises and wild accusations.

But are the reactions also universal? This is just one of the well-known thorny relationship issues this African story attempts to unravel.

Could it all be about regrets?

Regrets is an African love story told for a global audience. Each character makes a valiant effort to help you not only to understand but also to enjoy their unique West African way of speaking English.

Regrets is a fast-paced, heart-wrenching watch-yourself-from-the-edge-of-that-seat romance from behind the local street corners of rural Africa.

This exotic setting right in the cradle of human civilization is a refreshing break from your familiar urban romance set in Seattle, Manhattan, East London or Paris.

Regrets is a romance fiction spiced with subtle hints at the monumental role superstition and the belief in witchcraft continue to play in relationship matters across the world.

Let me give you just a brief peep into some of the questions you will be confronted with as you go through the pages of this book, never wanting to put it down until you get to the last word.

What would a man do when a total stranger walks up to him and alleges that his fiance has evil powers that could threaten his life at any moment?

What is it that would make a man do the unthinkable to the woman he once swore by heaven and earth to love?

Who is to blame for the woes of a heart-broken 22-year-old young woman with a promising future before her? Is it her doting sister who pushed her into a relationship destined to destroy them both? Or it’s her naive teacher-lover who has been rendered powerless by a scheming fallen angel?

Overview of a story about love …

A sleepy Ghanaian community woke up one early morning to the news of the body of a certain strange man hanging lifeless from the branches of a solitary tree on the outskirts of the town.

The question on everybody’s mind that rainy morning was this: Why would a stranger do this to himself on a land where nobody seemed to know him – until Mariama, the town’s undisputed gossips championship title holder, arrived at the scene?

A retired teacher who occupied a congested single- room apartment choked with ancient personal effects could provide some answers – just.

Regrets …

A male teacher’s duty is to teach, no doubt about that. But being human, he also needs to love. So they do, but often with tragic consequences in more ways than you would ever imagine.

This is a love story told by one writer who knows what is involved in being a young teacher with a promising future and with a need for a woman to love.

It is a story told with great care and compassion for the characters involved, regardless of the nature of their actions and the motives that drive those actions.

Teachers, both male and female, in all remote corners of the world know a familiar story. It is secret, and it is profoundly personal.

This is why they hardly tell others. Either they lived through it personally, or they saw a colleague stumble through it without any clues. The scars left on their memories are big and deep because the experiences can be overwhelming.

And this is it.

Is the reluctance to tell this familiar teacher-story borne out of a feeling of guilt or regret? I leave it to you, the reader, to answer this question yourself when you’re through with Regrets.

Watch out for other ebooks from me throughout the year and beyond.

Regrets – A Local African Story Told for A Global Audience

Here come your snippet of this ebook.

CHAPTER TWO

It was an early Saturday morning in the month of June. Most people were still inside their houses or rooms. They had already got out of their beds, but the usual mid-June rainy weather was doing its own thing. One wouldn’t be surprised if some lovebirds were still in bed, busily making future leaders – leaders of the nation, student leaders, business leaders, religious leaders, leaders in education toying with the future of the young ones, leaders of criminal gangs …. A few had started filing out, shielding their heads from the drizzling rain with old, disused umbrellas, cooking utensil tops, plastic bowl covers, very smelly sleeping cloths and bed covers.

Teacher Arkorful could feel the pangs of hunger making loud noises inside his belly. He decided to defy the rain and go out. His destination was Mariama’s shop. He wanted to buy a loaf of tea-bread in order to prepare some beverage for himself. But he was not lucky. Mariama’s shop was still under lock and key. She had not yet arrived to open the shop. The weather had succeeded in keeping indoors even Mariama of all people.

“Chi-cha!! Mama Mariama is still at home!” He turned round to see a young girl trotting joyfully right behind him. She appeared as if she had no cares in the world.

“Why? Is she not coming to open the shop today?”

“Yes-sirr!!!” The little girl replied. She was about five years old. Her name was Ewura Esi. She was living with Mariama. She was Mariama’s niece. Mariama herself hadn’t been able to bear a child up to today despite her countless visits to every single spiritualist in the locality.

“Ewura Esi …” Teacher Arkorful began.

“Chi-chaaa!!!” That was the extremely lively girl again. She was actually saying Teacher.

“Did you mean your auntie is on her way?”

“No-sirrr!!!”

“So she won’t come to the shop?”

“Yes-sirr!!”  

Hmmm. What is it that I’ve met this morning? Teacher Arkorful thought to himself. What exactly does this extra-lively girl mean? I think I should just go to Mariama’s house and get my poor man’s bread before Ewura Esi confuses me the more.

“Ok, I’m going to meet your auntie in the house. All I want is a loaf of ….”

“Sir” Ewura Esi said, looking up at Teacher Arkorful like a tiny young boy with a sling in hand would do to a bird perching high up on a tall baobab tree. There was always debate among the people of Bobikuma as to whether it was Teacher Arkorful or King Toto, the palm-wine tapper who was the tallest man in the locality.

“Yes, Ewura Esi. What’s the matter?”

“No-ssir.” She said quietly, almost in a whisper, her initially up-raised eyes now about to pry through the rain-soaked ground.

Teacher Arkorful took a couple of steps closer to where the little girl was standing still. Her tiny legs were almost rooted to the brown, damp earth beneath her.

“Just let me know. I promise I won’t tell anybody.”

Teacher Arkorful was no stranger to the way this little gossipy girl behaved whenever she wanted to divulge a secret to an older person.

No one seemed to figure out whether Ewura Esi was just a simple impressionable little girl who found it normal to copy the gossiping behaviour of her aunt or that the whole trait was something that simply ran through the family blood.

“Yes-sir!” she said, almost immediately coming alive again.

“So what is it?” Teacher Arkorful goaded her on, bending down with his ears coming conspiratorially close to the level of the tiny girl standing under him.

“Mama Mariama says she’s not my auntie … she says she is my mother.”

“Is that all?” Teacher Arkorful knew this girl too well to know that she was only preparing the ground to drop a bombshell at the least opportunity.

“No-ssirr!!!”

“Yes? I’m listening. Go on, Ewura Esi.”

“But I know it’s not true. I know my real mother. She lives in Abidjan. She speaks French.”

“Have you seen her before?”

“Yes-sir!!! The first day I met her, she came with one of my uncles. She said his name was Didier. Uncle Didier is taller than you!!”

“Then he must be a man-mountain.”

“Yes-sir! … What is that?”

“Man-mountain?” Teacher Arkorful asked, smiling at the little girl.

“Yes-ssirrr!!!”

“I’ll tell you as soon as you finish.” He knew this little bottle of dynamite has still got a very long way to go. They were now standing under the eaves of Mariama’s shop.

“I know uncle Toure too!!!” Ewura Esi burst out in an almost celebratory tone.

“Your real mother brought him too?”

“Yes-sir! There is another one. When Christmas came not too long ago I went to our hometown. Do you know our hometown? It is Mumford! My mother fell ill in Abidjan so one of my uncles brought her home. He is a white man and his name is Uncle Jeff.”

“I hope to meet one of your uncles one day. Have you got more uncles?” Teacher Arkorful asked, fighting hard to control the urge to tell this innocent little thing that those men couldn’t have been her uncles.

“Chicha” Ewura Esi’s voice went down again.

“Yes, my dear.”

“I don’t know my father.” She said it so pensively and so matter-of-factly you would think she was someone way past her actual age. “Mama Mariama said I was born in far away Abidjan so my father can never be found. Is it true?”

“I’ll tell you when you finish.”

“Mama Mariama also said she loves you! She said it in her dream and I heard her loud and clear!!”

“What did you just say?”

“I said she said it in her dream!!!”

And she was gone like that sparrow that normally visits your backyard.

Teacher Arkorful just stood there. He knew something big was coming from that girl but he never expected this. He scratched his head with his left hand and started moving toward the same direction Ewura Esi had just gone.

When he got to Mariama’s house, he saw her standing in the doorway of her single- room apartment.

“Ewura Esi came to tell me you were looking to buy bread, Teacher Arkorful?”

“Yes, of course. Can I have one big loaf?”

“Yes, my dear. Whatever you ask, I’ll gladly give it to you.”

“Like what?” Teacher Arkorful asked, feigning innocence.

“Anything, Teacher Arkorful, anything … aaahhh, look at this tiny fly!” Mariama screamed as she swung her left hand over her right shoulder and slapped it close to the right hand side of her neck.

She had only a single piece of cloth tied loosely across her chest. As she hit the back of her neck, the cloth easily fell off revealing a pair of good-looking mounds of flesh hanging there on her chest. She seemed not to be in a hurry to cover her half-nakedness. She only managed to turn around and went back inside, her bare back and some large brightly-coloured waist beads now exposed to the full view of Teacher Arkorful’s bulging eyes.

Mariama came back with the bread. She handed it over to Teacher Arkorful who paid for it and started walking away. He acted as if he hadn’t seen anything.

“I have a problem to discuss with you, Teacher Arkorful. Can I visit you at your house this evening?”

“Why not? I’ll be there waiting for you.” Teacher Arkorful said and began to walk away.

“Chi-chaaa!!!”

He turned round to see the owner of the voice. He didn’t see anything. Where could this girl be hiding now? He thought to himself.

“Ewura Esi, I know it’s you. Come out.” He said playfully.

The little girl jumped out from behind the goat pen belonging to Kwame Atta, their neighbour. She then stood still, her back to where Mariama was standing. She placed her right forefinger on her upper cheek, right beneath her lower eyelid in a gesture which only suggested one thing: HAVE YOU SEEN WHAT I TOLD YOU? Then she jumped off saying, “bye-bye, Chi-chaaaa!!!”

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