Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Ruthless affection: Romance that never was

I was on admission at the hospital recovering from a hip surgery when they came for a visit. The pains after the surgery were agonizing but I saw her haunting figure in the flowery dress she wore. It was then he introduced her to me. I could tell Bob had a crush on this particular one. They were completely inseparable. They fondled each other at the least chance all the time they were with me. Fiona had succeeded in giving Bob’s rootless heart some grounding. Bob was unlucky with ladies. He had forayed in and out of failed relationships with strings of girls through no fault of his. Unlike the others, I could tell Fiona was for keep. She was very infectious.

Bob was a gifted artist and a poet as well. He immortalised Fiona’s dazzling beauty on series of lurid paintings he made of her. The iconic paintings nonetheless did not survive their break-up. Capturing the charms of Fiona on a canvass was an obsession rather than a hobby. Her portraits hanged all over his room. She was in a kinky pose in one of the portraits. It was his favourite creation among the lot. Until he set the art works ablaze he routinely cuddled the kinky one every evening before he went to bed. As a gifted poet he wrote floral tributes celebrating her remarkable looks. The paintings became a vehicle for expressing his profound love for her. ‘Chanting Fiona’s splendour in my art works was therapeutic’ he said to me.

Bob worked in the public service. The wage was meagre; he did odd jobs to supplement his earnings. Albeit he lavished Fiona with exotic gifts and took her to glamour spots in town. He was at her beck and call and he dotted on her. Fiona found Bob’s profound attachment to her as a bother. She wanted space and Bob had occupied too much of that. She yearned to discover the world of romance but Bob was a hold-up. As a high school graduate, her dream was to be at the uni but her results were poor. Her dad wanted her to be a beauty therapist but she abhorred the idea so much. ‘It was too demeaning’. She said. She became frustrated and it was affecting their relationship.

Bob waved his magic wand and got her admission at the uni. He bought her some trendy dresses so she could cope with the fashion craze on campus. In the middle of her studies Fiona’s taste for glamour soared. The wannabe glam model set tongues wagging in her direction with her variety of fashion labels. Her compelling feminine feature turned the head of many admirers hazy. In fact, it turned the head of a mystery lover she met on campus foggy and he fell for her. The mystery lover had muscles to flex and money to spend. He swept Fiona off her feet and ruined the life of Bob forever. The lover turned out to be one of these failed lawyers in Accra who find succour in politics. He and many of his revolting ilks, bask in deceitful lives so long as it guarantees them their ‘boobs, booze and bonuses’. He delivered his deadly dozes of sham on Fiona and her soul was embalmed in scintillating ecstasy which Bob’s love ballads could not replicate.

Fiona had a startling discovery after her encounter with the failed lawyer turned politician. Life for a lady transcends exhibit of charms on canvasses and empty poetic lines. A public servant cum artist was certainly too poor to provide the fame and fortune she craved. The politician gave her a ride in his Lexus in the first instance. The chilly air missed with the air refreshment that glowed in the car made her broody. She swung into fantasy realms and dreamt of weekends in luxury resorts with the kids rolling down the slide in glee. Dumping Bob her long time flame was just too easy. When the agile footed hare is in flight the tortoise must give way. She started avoiding Bob.

Bob was oblivious of the bumper handouts splurged on Fiona. He got his usual paltry stuff and went to campus to meet her. ‘She is gone out’. Her room mate told him. When he insisted on knowing where Fiona was she revealed the grime secrets. ‘Fiona became a wild party girl after meeting the Party Chairman’. She said. ‘She attended lavish bashes with A-list bellicose political sickos. She even romped with the legal flop in a pool in his house.’ Bob wore a disappearing expression upon hearing the bombshell. His heart was in turmoil. His face went blue. The leak flatly contradicted what he knew of the loved one. She had changed from an angel he knew into a fiend. He waited for a show down with her. It was never to be. Fiona was on a chartered yacht far away on a pleasure Island somewhere on the Volta Lake. Bob never heard of her again. His heart tore into two and the pains were agonizing. He became suicidal.

He sat on his bed distraught when I entered the room. I went to see him when I heard the news of his failed suicide bid. He took over doze of painkillers when his heartache became unbearable. The numbing experience had isolated him from friends. He had a forlong look and Bob the buxom guy I knew was a nervous wreck. Some of our pals accused him of being daft for trying to take his life because of a ruthless lady who had no affections for him. ‘There was no romance between them in the first place’. Fiona just used him to achieve her aim’. One friend argued. He got up from the bed and went into the adjoining room. He was in white Y- front underwear and did not bother to cover up. I remembered the first time he introduced Fiona to me at the hospital. They were pleasant couples and were so happy together. I knew he yearned for the day he would walk the aisle with her in holy matrimony. That desire faded into emptiness. He was drained.

He came back into the room moments later with a lit coal pot. His presence woke me from my trance. I watched him walked the room absent minded without saying a word to me since I arrived. Suddenly he started ripping the paintings of Fiona hanging on his wall. He dumped the pile on the floor. He pulled a manuscript containing her love sonnets from under his pillow and added it to the pile. I realised his intentions and tried to save the treasured items but it was too late.

Though he had a sentimental attachment to the masterworks, he incinerated them in the furnace. I stood hapless as the flames licked Fiona’s painted curves into ashes. The boisterous fire smothered life out of his creations. They heralded a painful era in his distorted life and he annihilated that completely. Hanging on to the sick memorials brought poignant recollections. He yearned for the return of the loved one so he hanged on to the cherished items waiting for her return. It was never to be. The loved one never came back.

Francis Kwaku Egu, UK



Monday, 6 September 2010

Romance, love and betrayal: Stealth lover

He went looking for her but his highflying beauty with astounding curves was gone. She left with Jim the hunk with the looks of a pop icon. She escaped to a pad out of town. It was an only cure for her heartaches. Stephen had pressed his own self-destruction button. He knew one thing for sure their relationship was on edge. In fact, it is irretrievably broken. She was a goner and left him empty as before. It was his fault. The temptress came flashing her boobs and he fell for it. He strolled down the street in front of her house livid and filled with venom. He could see in his mind’s eye Susan coiling her adorability in the arms of the hunk. He was desperately jealous.

Susan sat distant away from Jim as they sat in the bar over some drink. She was in animal print dress with a plunging neckline, which revealed her youthful-looking cleavage. Her looks set tongues wagging. She did not look like someone whose world was turned upside down by a love rat. Jim the stalker had trailed her for months but she ignored him. Her dream was to have a puppy love with Stephen but now she only sang soulful break-up ballads. ‘It must have been love, but it’s all over now. It must have been good I lost it somehow….’ She was cold to Jim though she accepted his date. Jim had splurged cash on her. He wanted a wild night out but she wanted a getaway from the pains. She believed Stephen when he told her he would look after her forever. He floated her on the cotton clouds but removed himself beneath her when she was not looking.

It was the third day and Susan had still not returned from her secret bolthole. It was out of character for her to stay away from him for that long. The little information he gleaned from a neighbour was not adequate. Jim came for her was all they told him. He was in limbo. None of Susan’s friends was keen to help. They were angry over the raunchy txt message from Brenda. The last moment he spent with Susan kept flashing like a flood. She came to his pad looking like catwalk queen. She was just like the temptress he first met at his mum’s shop. Reluctantly she joined him in his bed when he requested. They had steamy romantic scenes. Susan ripped off her cloths and she was in her black lacy bra and brief. He straddled her and fondled her silkily. She told him for the first time she love him with all her heart.

The light in her room was on finally when he got there. It was after he has made several trips there. He fluttered as he tapped gently on her door. There was no response. He persisted and her voice came ringing; ‘go away I don’t want to see you’. She told him it was over between them. He pleaded and asked her to give him a second chance. There was not another chance for him she screamed. ‘You are a love rat; go away’. He stood at the door pleading then his phone rang. It was from Brenda. He went ballistic. ‘I told you to leave me alone’. He yelled into the phone and hanged up. The phone ranged again and this time Susan heard it. ‘Go back to your hooker’

Stephen was so furious when Brenda was flirting heavily after she ensnared him to the Red Lobsters. Hangover is the wrath of palm fronds an elder once said. There was no need for his rage because he brought it upon himself. The stealth temptress had malicious intentions. She wanted to have a romp with him after their wild night out. Her dress was slashed to the thigh and her body language said it all. She wanted to cap the night with a sleep over in a luxury resort in town. That would be suicidal for Stephen because Susan would find out. He slithered out of the teeming cafĂ© when the temptress went to the loo. He fled from the ominous peril. He passed Susan’s house to see her and that was the time he found out she was gone. He called but her phone was off. He decided to see her the next morning. The truth was Stephen was so committed to Susan but she thought otherwise.

In the early hours of the next morning, he was at Susan’s pad again and there was no sign of the leggy beauty. As he waited a car pulled up. A gentle looking chap popped out imposingly. He sauntered towards the house and he heard him talked to someone in the foyer. He was so full of himself. He came to the door and Susan let him in. He had stood behind the door for hours but Susan refused to open him. He felt like venting his fury on the imbecile but he kicked against the idea. It would drive Susan into his jagged arms. He heard a giggle as the door cracked in his face. He imagined Susan ripping her cloths and displaying her natural curves to the psychopathic stalker. He was raving mad.

Stephen felt like his life was in ruins. Susan refused to let him off for his treachery. The emissaries he sent returned with tales of woe. She wanted nil contact with him. Meanwhile she was always in the company of Jim who was so besotted with her. He often draped his arms around her curvy waist anytime they walked the streets. Stephen made series of emotional calls to Susan but she ignored all. He became an emotional wreck. He went into fit one evening and he was rushed to the Legon Hospital. The doctor who attended to him booked him for theatre next day after conducting series of test on him. ‘Nil by mouth’ the nurse wrote by his bedside as she attended to him. ‘Susan is toiling with my heart’ was the first statement he uttered when he went on admission. The nurse was bewildered but his mum who kept vigil at his bedside was not. She knew what to do to save her son.

She went to Susan and pleaded with her to visit Stephen. She was more than happy because she was excited to meet him. She carried things too far. All she wanted was to make him desirous. It blew in her face. Stephen became an emotional wreck. She went to the Legon hospital to see him. He was fast asleep and she kept the vigil at his bedside instead of his mum. At a point, she leaned over him and whispered ‘Stephen I love you’. She fell on his chest and shook him gently. Stephen woke up when he felt her woolly body on him. She cradled him in his arms when he came back to life. Flood of tears fell down Stephen’s cheek when he saw Susan by him. He was discharged from the hospital without the surgery.

Stephen had an amazing recovery. The medical staffs were baffled with his miraculous healing. The presence of Susan by his bedside was succour to his sick soul. Calamities they say act as a fibre that bind lovers together. It times of worries they draw strength from each other. It is not often the case though. Some lovers would only stick with you when it is cosy and rosy. When troubles come your way, they click the undo button. Stephens’s ailment brought Susan back to his arms. Brenda the failed stealth temptress jetted abroad and no one heard of her again.

Francis Kwaku Egu, UK