RE: Friends or No

Hi guys! So someone read my post “Friends or No” and decided to reply from a guy’s perspective. Obviously I have a very different opinion but I leave the Judging to you…here goes..

Its amazing how some girls make hasty conclusions with respect to guys who approach and speak to them. Most often the guy is not approaching you to start something intimate or a relationship. There comes a time when you see someone and all you want to do is to know the person one human to the other. So please flush that idea of every random guy who speaks to you speaks to you because they’re into you. First strike.

With the female gender being the guru of miscommunication (saying something and meaning the other) it’s sometimes very difficult to tell what you mean when you say you’re not interested. Some girls enjoy the chase and the guy wouldn’t from the onset know whether you’re that type or not. With the ‘I’ve got a boy’ bit; it has now become an anthem and it’s quite confusing trying to tell whether it’s just a classic case of hide and seek or she genuinely has one.

Also, remember if anything inasmuch as its irritating ‘perserverance conquers all’. Not forgetting the fun. The guy who would throw in the line ‘so are you on whatsapp’ after being refused your number is not trying to think of you as a dumb bimbo but rather trying to be cocky and funny, fusing sarcasm with humor. It brings some smiles unto your face come to think of it. So please don’t judge till the guy has made a fool of himself. Most of these encounters are as harmless as they come. After all what’s so difficult about having a conversation with some random guy which could result in some laughter and frankness. This is just my piece. See you when I see you.

Karl Yusif Writer, Poet, Critic, Musci Lover and 100% +233

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A bit lengthier than the rest but I thought an Untitled 4 would be taking it too far. Read it and then let me know what you think the title should be. Thanks!

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Two hours or so later, the man woke up. Again his first question was “Who are you people?” My mom got of her seat, approaching the bed to calm him but he told her not to come near him. She stopped in her tracks; unsure of what to do. That was a first. My mom always knows what to do.

As if she could now hear all the commotion around her, the woman chose that moment to open her eyes. Looking from my dad to my mom and back she asked “George?” As if to make sure it was actually her husband. “I’m here Angie” he said. “Who are these people?” She asked him. By now it was beginning to dawn on us that we had the wrong guy. Just then the doctor stepped in, apparently doing his morning rounds. “Good to see you are awake Mr Ahenkora” he said. “What hospital is this? Who are these people” my dad’s clone persisted. The doctor now took him through the whole story, how they were rushed in, and police went to our residence to notify me since they thought his wife was my mom, a high profile lawyer. “Well she’s not”, the man angrily replied. “As you can see my wife is lying right in this room! Get these people out!” He continued, gradually getting more and more agitated.”I’m his wife”, the woman chipped in. “That’s our daughter, Ofosua…so if you could just tell us…….”

Just then a familiar voice called from the doorway “What’s going on here?” Interrupting the woman’s speech. We all turned to look. It was my dad! Jaebea was the first one off her seat. We both run to hug him. I was so relieved. “I got all your messages Cecilia” He said to my mom. “Yesterday was just crazy”. Jaebea, without waiting for my mom to respond just burst in with “I think you should see this” and she dragged my dad over to his clone’s side. On seeing the guy’s face my dad recoiled.

“It’s like looking into a mirror” he said. By now, the man and his wife had mellowed; all talk of having us removed from their room was abandoned and we were no longer the crazy three who wouldn’t leave them alone. “David Ahenkora” my dad said, extending his hand to shake the guy. “George Ahenkora” the guy responded. “Does this mean I have a twin I didn’t know about for over forty years?” He continued in a much lighter tone than any of us had ever heard him use since he woke up the day before. “Well, as far as I know I’m an only child” my dad replied. “I suppose you have to get better so we can look properly into all of this.”

“About that”; the doctor interjected “Mr Ahenkora is actually quite well. As far as I can tell his injuries are all surface injuries and he can be discharged today.” George quickly asked “What about the pain in my ribs then? And my wife? Why’s my daughter still asleep”. It seemed like he could go on all day but the doctor said “One question at a time Mr Ahenkora; your daughter is in a coma, I suspect it’s from the impact of the accident. Your wife will be fine in due course, we just want to keep her overnight for observation since she was initially in a coma. Your ribs are bruised so I’ll have the nurse give you a salve. Now that I’ve answered all your questions, I think I’ll just leave you guys to sort out your issues. Please keep the noise level down, the are other patients on the floor.” With that the doctor quickly made his exit (I suspect he merely wanted to avoid answering any more questions and being dragged into our drama).

As soon as he left, my dad said “well, we’re also leaving. If you want to get to the bottom of this, I’m leaving my number on your bedside table. Give me a call when you get out of here.” We also made our exit then. Now that my dad was here, all the butterflies in my stomach were gone and I had forgotten about all the times when I thought he was a mean old man who wouldn’t let me have any fun. Jaebea and I raced to my dad’s car, leaving my dad to give whatever explanation he had to my mom. I didn’t want to hear the blasting he would receive if his excuse wasn’t good enough. I was still trying to convince Jaebea to go in my mom’s car so I could go with my dad when they got to the car. From the smiles on both their faces I could tell his excuse was good. I decided to go with my mom then, after all the lion had been tamed.

I gave my dad a hug and went over to my mom’s car which was parked on the other side of the car park, yelling “We’ll see you at home guys” as I went. My mom soon followed. Now that my dad was back my mom was her old self- in charge. “Since you already caught on to our plan -thanks to your dad- what do you want for your 21st?” she asked. I thought about it for a few minutes and said “Just a quiet dinner tonight at Holiday Inn.” “That all?” my mom asked. I turned to look at her, surprised. My dad is usually the one who spoils us on birthdays. “Don’t look at me that way Feibea” she said. “Can’t I spoil my daughter once in a while? You don’t turn 21 everyday you know.” I laughed, the mystery explained. By now we were at the gate to our home, parked behind my dad as he waited for Jaebea to open the gate.

Apparently my dad had had to fly out to Toronto suddenly for a client meeting. In his rush, he left his phone at work and since he had all of us on speed dial he hadn’t memorized any of our numbers except my mom’s old one which was missing so he couldn’t reach us. He kept apologizing for missing my 21st but after all my worrying about him in the past few days, I didn’t have the heart to get angry. I just stored the knowledge for the next time I wanted something and he said no which I knew would be soon.

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A month later, birthday saga all but forgotten; I was sitting in our hall, having a quiet read when the doorbell rung. I opened it; and there stood the other Ahenkoras. I let them in and went to call my dad. Long story short, they had finally gotten out of the hospital a week ago and wanted to get to the bottom of the mystery. Jaebea and I had drawn our own conclusions already; proof or no and Yaaba agreed with us. We waited for the grown ups to come to the same conclusion.

My dad took George through his family history, how he was an only child, was raised in Ghana. Both his parents were dead and his only living aunt (his mom’s sister) had died around when Jaebea was born. The man said his parents were alive and would like to meet my dad but they were based in Canada. They were willing to pay for my dad’s flight and everything if that would be an issue. I heard my dad tell them we would fly out on our own after he sorted out a few things at work. Jaebea and I looked at each other with excitement! An unexpected trip. We both loved to travel but we didn’t get to go as often as we would like. This one had landed into our laps just like that. After clearing the purpose of their visit out of the way, they spent a whole lot of time chatting with my parents. I even heard them apologizing to my mom for trying to throw us out initially but she just laughed it off.

Two weeks after the Ahenkoras’ surprise visit, we found ourselves in Vancouver International Airport, getting off our British Airways flight. We followed the signs to passport inspection and then to the baggage claim section. When we got to the public greeting area, the Ahenkora’s were there with an older couple. We walked over and my parents exchanged greetings with them like they were old friends. We joined them home. During the journey I wondered what was going through everyone’s mind.

Once we got to their home, they got right down to business. “I’d like to know why I have your surname and look like you sir” my dad said. Taking a seat, the man who had previously introduced himself as Kwesi took a sip of his wine. “It’s a very long story he said, one that begun over 40 years ago” he said. “Well”, my dad said, “I believe that’s the reason why we took a flight here and made reservations for three days. So start talking, we’re ready to listen.”

“Well then” Kwesi said. “Forty-seven years ago, my brother came to see me. It was barely a week after my wife was discharged from the hospital, still quite weak after childbirth. He knew that my wife and I were in dire need of money and being my twin brother he came with an offer of help. He and his wife had tried for years to have children with no luck whereas my wife had just delivered twins. Once he saw the twins, he couldn’t think about anything else. He wanted a baby badly and wanted us to give them one of ours to raise. Naturally my wife and I said no but when a few weeks later, one of the twins fell ill and almost died and because we couldn’t afford health care, we started to reconsider. I went to see my brother and asked him for help. In exchange, he asked that we let him adopt one of the twins. Not only was he going to adopt the child, he wanted to set us up here, in Canada so there was no chance the secret would ever be told. We were not allowed to contact the child no matter what. Every year, the child would come with them on a vacation to Canada and we could see him but we were not to make our presence known. Looking at our dying child, I felt I had no choice but to agree; considering the fact that he was my brother and I knew he had the means of looking after the child. By then, George had barely recovered from his illness so I gave you up instead. You already seemed so strong; and I knew you could handle whatever came your way.” George ended.

For a few minutes nobody said anything. Then suddenly, my dad got up and said “let’s go.” We all got up without a word, and followed him out the door. Once we got to our hotel, Jaebea and I went to our room, and left him and my mom to talk. I hoped that my mom would convince him to go back. I wanted to know this new family that had been thrown our way a little more. My parents didn’t come out again until the next morning when we all went downstairs for breakfast. “Are we going back?” Jaebea asked; exactly what I had been dying to ask. “Maybe later” my dad responded. Halfway through breakfast however, the Ahenkoras’ showed up with George (and now my dad’s) parents in tow taking the choice out of his hands. Jaebea and I asked to be excused and by the time we got to our room, their daughter was right behind us.

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It’s a year later and whatever was discussed at that breakfast table I have no idea. For Ofosua, Jaebea and I though those two hours waiting for our parents and grandparents to finish their discussion was the beginning of an awesome friendship; especially since she and Jaebea are roughly the same age. Now they spend most evenings Skyping with each other about who knows what. My parents and  the other Ahenkoras are thick as thieves, leaving me with the grandparents. So I connive with them from time to time and this year alone I’ve traveled far more times than my parents would have ever agreed to. In the end, I may not have had a party for my 21st but I got to add five more people to my family and really, what more could a girl want?!

WHEN TO CALL THE CALVARY

This is a piece that was published in the 6th edition of the ECHO MAGAZINE…….just thought I should add it on here too………..enjoy!

……………..relationship abuse: real love or imprisonment with hard labor?

So you got the boy you and your girl friends have been checking out since level 100. He’s cute, he makes you laugh, and he beats every single item on the list. He’s every girl’s dream and frankly, all your friends are jealous. It’s all romance and intense feelings in the beginning. The match seems to be one made in heaven; perhaps, you even start thinking about what the future looks like. Then suddenly, it all starts to go horribly wrong.

Relationship abuse is very real. What started as a whirlwind of joyous moments can have you lying on the hospital bed or even worse, without your self-esteem. Is it time to call the cavalry? Usually, when one says abuse, everyone thinks of physical aggression of one partner in the relationship towards the other. Sadly, that’s just a little aspect of the problem. Abuse comes in many diverse forms; it can be physical (violent behaviors like punches/slaps), emotional (teasing/bullying), or even sexual (having to take part in sexual experiences you don’t want)! Abuse is also not gender specific. Although males are more overtly physically aggressive, females have been found to be verbally aggressive too. The girl may be small but the words that will come out of her mouth can reduce even a giant of a man to tears. Because emotional abuse does not leave any telltale signs on the victim, its effects are often unrecognized, but really, it is as dangerous as or even more so than physical abuse because the hurt it causes can last a long time after the incidence.

Often, people get stuck in abusive relationships because of one or two of many reasons. Some feel that abuse is the other person’s way of showing they care. Others stay because the other person makes them feel like they can’t find anyone better. Victims also keep the details of their relationship to themselves because they are embarrassed or afraid of what other people will think. Keeping it quiet however only gives the abuser more leeway. The first step to getting out of an abusive relationship is to talk to someone about it.

Friends and family who suspect that someone they know is being abused should help, instead of being judgmental. Let the person know you are aware of the abuse but you are not judging. Let them also know that you are ready to listen whenever they want to talk. Being able to talk freely usually helps people even more than the advice you think you can offer. Also, do not confront the abuser. That’s not your place. Confrontation may do even more harm than good, and worsen the situation entirely. Sometimes, people stay in abusive relationships because they feel like they can’t do without the other person. It helps to let them know this is not true, that there are many other people that would love to be with them. Finally, encourage the person to go for some kind of counseling, it helps! Future relationships can then be with people who are not so engulfed by insecurities that they feel the need to abuse others!

I read this and loved it!!

The Writer's Block

This is a story I did a couple of weeks back for @Amowi_‘s blog. I’m just reblogging it here. You can find Amowi’s amazing blog here, of you can simply follow her on Twitter.

Enjoy!

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SHE WAITED

He would come.

She knew it, as surely as she knew her own name. He had never failed to show before. Never, not once in the time she had known him. Whenever she needed him, he showed. Today would be no different.

He would come.

She stood in the chilly outside air, watching the early evening traffic crawl by, the jacket she wrapped tightly around her providing little protection from the cruel cold. She stamped her foot to keep warm as her eyes scanned the roads. Where was he? She had sent him the message almost an hour ago. He was supposed to be here by now.

He would come.

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Jaebea didn’t waste any time in asking. “My wife and  daughter” was his immediate reply. “Who are you people?” He continued. He had a slight accent, just like my dad. We all stared at him blankly. Apparently, he was either suffering from amnesia OR he was not my dad. He was very insistent though, asking us to explain why we were in their hospital room. He had no reasonable explanation for the surname coincidence. He was obviously starting to get agitated so the nurse came in and asked us to step out in order not to further agitate him. I knew that my mom would just wait till he was better to bring it up again. Meanwhile, the woman and her daughter were still in a coma, oblivious to all the turmoil that was going on around them. Once in the corridor, my mom asked to speak with the Doctor so we were led to his office. The doctor had only one extra chair in his office so Jaebea, Yaaba, and I had to stand while my mom sat. At this point everyone had forgotten it was my birthday and I couldn’t even blame them.

The doctor was very friendly, he was clearly the chatty type but my mom was having none of it. “It seems there’s been some mistake” she said. “My daughter was notified about our family being involved in an accident but the two females in that room are not our family and the man looks like my husband but he does not recognize any of us. Is it some kind of amnesia or what?” Looking totally nonplussed, the doctor proceeded to calm her down.

“I can’t say without examining him ma’am, I’ll have to speak to him to determine that. Let me assure you though that whatever it is, we’ll get to the bottom of it” came his quick reply. “Well don’t just sit there” my mom said, “Let’s go, examine him now, I need answers!’ she continued, badgering the poor man as if he was one of the criminals she usually harassed during her trials. The doctor hopped off his seat like it was on fire and we followed him out of the room to my dad’s room.

On our way there, I tried my dad’s number again, hoping that he’d pick up and all this saga would end but still there was no answer. I made a mental note to check if the man had my dad’s phone. If he did, then he was obviously my dad. When we got there, my dad was sleeping again. “As you can see” the doctor said “he’s gone back to sleep. You’ll just have to be patient till he wakes up.” With that, he turned and left us to our own devices. Meanwhile, my mom’s phone had started buzzing. Apparently several of the guests had congregated at our front door and were wondering why no one was answering the door. “Oh for Christ’s sakes” my mom mumbled impatiently. “Let’s just go home. I’m sorry Feibea but we planned a surprise party for you which has to be cancelled because of the circumstances.”

I couldn’t even pretend to be bummed. I was more worried than any of them (I think) about this whole situation. Yaaba agreed to stay in the hospital whilst we went home to sort out the situation. On the drive home my mom and I were quiet. I was wondering how my dad could forget us. On the one hand I was thinking the guy wasn’t my dad but the fact that my dad  hadn’t picked up his calls all day was a little worrying for me. As if she could read my mind Jaebea said “daddy has just lost his memory temporarily. He’ll remember us by morning. I’m quite sure.” Neither my mom nor I said a word.

All the guests had arrived by the time we got home. My mom let them in briefly and explained things to them. One by one they left, after expressing their sympathy. After the last guest left, we all just turned in. I could hear my mom pacing throughout the night; presumably still trying to reach my dad. Whenever she went this quiet then something was very wrong. Usually a very bubbly person, she’s the reason why Jaebea is so confident. She speaks her mind everywhere and she’s had her fair share of threats. My dad is the only one who knows how to calm her. Half way through the night i knocked on her door and went in, going to lie by her side. Not long after Jaebea came in and we huddled together in the bed till it was light outside.

My mom didn’t even eat. Jaebea and I made some sandwiches to take along. As soon as we finished we set off, each of us hoping for good news this time. Yaaba was fast asleep, curled up in a corner. Her parents came in right after her and after exchanging a few whispered words and worried looks with my mom they left us alone with the patients-who were all sleeping too. We each settled in our own corner, waiting for what the day would bring. I brought a book to pass away the time, and soon I was lost in my own world.

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Friends; or No?

So this guy walks up to me and before he can even open his mouth I’ve written him off. HOLD YOUR HORSES!!! Don’t call me mean just yet. After years and years of sitting through the ‘hi my name is…’ and ‘please can I have your number’ speeches I’ve realized there’s really no point listening anymore. Let’s be honest; most of these guys are the ones who will call you persistently, day or night and will never take no for an answer. You have a boyfriend? Oh they don’t mind sharing. You’re simply not interested? Oh what can they do to make you interested? On and on it goes…….they push you and push you and push you until finally; you hit the block button!

There are times too when I’ll allow the guy to start speaking but before he finishes, I’m off. Did you ask why? Oh it’s a whole variety of things ranging right from DICTION to the kinds of silly questions they’ll ask you just within that one-minute window you give them. YES!!!!!! Diction matters…..i don’t know about other girls but it is very important to me (and please no one is saying go and be using all the words you saw in your thesaurus on us; totally unnecessary).

The new thing is to ask ‘are you on Whatsapp?’ when you refuse to give them your number, as if it’s not the same number you use on Whatsapp. This question I find very irritating because it immediately tells you how dumb the guy thinks you are :/

So  my answer to ‘can we be friends’? Is no!……because really, if you had to ask then obviously, we can’t!

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I walked into the house, and the only sounds I could hear were my heartbeat and my breathing; the night was that still. It was shocking to meet an empty, dark house when I was expecting a party. Tonight was when I turned 21 and although my family thought they had kept it a secret, I knew all about the party they were planning. I moved from room to room, turning on the lights and calling out their names in turn in the hopes that someone would respond but still, there was silence. At this point, I started to get creeped out, jumping at my own shadow and at the sound of my footsteps on the tiled floor. After covering every room in the house, I realized it was as empty as I first thought. I couldn’t imagine where else they could be though. Then the doorbell rang.

It was the first of the party guests. Great, I thought; answering the door at my own surprise party. I decided to start calling them whilst there was only one guest present. Knowing my crazy family, it wouldn’t surprise me to hear they’d invited 100 guests, half of whom I’d never met. I tried all their phones; my mum’s, my dad’s, and even my little sister Jaebea, who I thought was too young to have a phone of her own. Still, there was no answer. Just as I started to get worried, my cousin, Yaaba came rushing in. she teased me about being the first person in history to crash her own surprise party. I tried to pry from her the whereabouts of the rest of the family but she wouldn’t budge. Then the doorbell rang again. Thinking it was another guest, we both rushed to get it, only to come face to face with a cop.

He asked whether he was at the Ahenkora residence and if one of us was Feibea. When we replied in the affirmative, he took off his hat and said ‘I’m really sorry, there’s been a terrible accident on the motorway, your family was involved, and they are currently at the hospital. We wanted to know everything at once. How accident occurred, what hospital they were at, the policeman just raised his hand and told us to calm down, since he’d been asked to escort us to the hospital. I was about to ask why we needed an escort when I realized it was probably because my mom is involved in a high profile case at the moment and questions have been raised about the safety of the family. We explained things to the guest and left with the officer.

On the way to the hospital Yaaba and I were both quiet, each consumed by our own thoughts. I prayed the whole way there; praying first for my sister, then my mom, then my dad and after that starting the cycle again. A journey that usually took 30 minutes seemed to go on for hours. Then we finally arrived at the hospital. We run into the emergency room, leaving the policeman behind. We identified ourselves to the nurse at the reception desk and she showed us their room.

The sight that met me as I entered the room was totally unexpected. There was my dad alright but the woman was not my mom and the little girl in the room was definitely not Jaebea. I run back to the reception, screaming at the top of my voice about the mistake they had made. When they had calmed me down sufficiently for me to explain, I told them that two out of the three people in the room were not my family. The nurse checked and rechecked her admissions sheet and she couldn’t seem to find a mistake. ‘They came in together’ she said. ‘The man is listed as George Ahenkora, the lady as Mrs. Angela Ahenkora and the little girl Ofosua Ahenkora’. I tried to imagine how that could be. My mom’s first name was Cecilia not Angela, my dad was David not George Ahenkora and my sister, Jaebea not Ofosua. Yet they bore my surname, meaning they were related in some way. The man also looked exactly like my dad; same height, same face, same coloring even! The only thing different was the clothes they were wearing. So unless my dad had a twin that we didn’t know about, it meant that all this while my dad had been leading a double life.

Yaaba agreed with me that it made no sense. We started trying my mum and sister’s numbers again. Still, they were not picking up. I tried my dad’s just in case but he too, no answer. On the fifth try of Jaebea’s number, just as I was about giving up, she answered. I couldn’t help it, I started weeping. By now, our hysterics had drawn a lot of eyes and my crying jag wasn’t helping but I didn’t care. ‘What’s all this crying about?’ Jaebea asked from the other end of the line. ‘Who died?’ she flippantly asked. Instead of answering, I demanded she hand the phone to my mom. I told her all that had happened, the accident and the strange people with the same surname as my dad. She rushed over with Jaebea and got there just as my dad opened his eyes. In spite of our joy that he was apparently fine, the question on all our minds was who those two in the room with him were.

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