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Written by AKOGWU JOSEPH CHINONSO…

The early morning of East Legon was alive with activities. The atmosphere was friendly and astonishingly welcoming and the singing breeze carried a tantalizing mixture of scents across the area. Horns of cars stuck in the traffic jam filled the air. Pedestrians walked to and fro the streets, each hurrying for the day’s business. Traffic police stood at strategic points in the streets, their hands controlling both drivers and pedestrians. It was the beautiful city of Accra, the capital of Ghana, having a total area of 200 square kilometers and today one of the largest and fastest growing cities of Africa.

East Legon, a predominantly residential and business area situated in the Northern Accra is one of the most prestigious residential surburbs of the city. It’s adjacent to the main campus of the University of Ghana and only about twenty minutes drive from the Kotoka International Airport. East Legon is a name that conjures up another world of beauty and glamour with a dazzling cornucopia of things to see. It’s a city that leaves behind fascinating memories for every first time visitor and is a high-income area that houses the affluent, comprising: the rich citizens of Ghana, well-to-do foreign residents and wealthy immigrants from America, Europe, Asia, including African nationals from all over the world. The area is well planned and has well developed infrastructure with spacious and landscaped ground.

East Legon is filled with captivating designs of classic buildings that seem more of tourist attraction than apartments. 13 kilometers from the university lines series of attractive monuments which add to the beauty of the area. In the middle of the buildings stood the late Williams’ estate. It was among the best in East Legon. It was fenced with high concrete walls and had a massive gate on which barbed wire tangled. The estate occupied fifteen acres of land and consisted of ten large concrete buildings. The compound was completely appealing with two lawn tennis courts and swimming pools at the both ends of the compound. Half of the floor was done with marbles while the other half was beautifully carpeted with flowers. Several guards were stationed in a booth inside the front gate and four guard dogs roamed the compound. The estate was built by Williams before he became the President of Genna. He stayed in the estate whenever he was in Ghana for a conference or other political business. One of the houses served as a rendezvous for Thelda and the senate president.

Thelda Bruno sat gloomily on a duvet, which covered the double bed in the bedroom of one of the buildings. The room was spacious and lavishly furnished. From the extreme right of the bed, about twelve inches, stood an elegant wedding portrait. In the picture, her late husband’s lips and hers were held together in a passionate kiss. Another large portrait came next to the wedding portrait. It was a family photograph. In it, Stella stood in-between her parents, their faces sparkling with smiles. Directly above the portraits was a plasma screen held in place to the wall. Few inches from the TV, was a wine rack. It contained various brands of wine, ranging from foreign to local brands. An en suite bathroom was located at the left of the bed and immediately after the bathroom was a fitted wardrobe. On its rail hung Thelda’s numerous expensive clothes. A full-length mirror stood next to the wardrobe, followed by her make-up kit. The walls were tiled and the floor was done with fitted carpet. The room looked entirely plush.

Thelda was fair, slim, with a pretty face and a smooth skin. Her sensuous lips, straight cheeks and pointed nose made her beauty outstanding. She had fine legs and an outstanding height that contrasted sharply with her husband’s. She was simply dressed and heavily made-up. Her smooth skin was hidden in a pink blouse with blue spots on its shoulder straps. The blouse spread to her chins, revealing only her ankles. She wore a black jacket over the blouse and a pair of long dangly earrings fastened her ears. Her left wrist was encircled with a golden bracelet. She was wearing a diamond pearl necklace round her neck and her blonde hair was pulled back in a stubby French braid. A crooked smile rested on her lips but she wasn’t aware she was smiling. Much was preying on her mind. Her daughter was gone forever. That thought tightened her chest and increased her heart beat. She never expected it would come to this. A feeling of guilt began to stir in her and she stood shivering and pulled across the room to the window, then pulled back the drapes and gazed out into the rising sun which shimmered on the horizon. Soon, tears welled up in her eyes and she let out a muffled cry. Her once beautiful make-up suddenly became disheveled. Her legs grew wobbly and she shuffled back to the bed. She threw herself violently on it and lay stretched out. She tried to stop her tears by wiping it away but it kept on flowing profusely and she allowed it and started brooding over the past. She thought of her beautiful daughter with pains. She was a replica of her mum. She had her mum’s attractive face and penetrating eyes. In addition, she was intelligent and daring. Her daughter was a lady that controlled men’s eyes with her unique charisma. She remembered the day her daughter was born, her happy childhood and the fondness that existed between them. Her meekness and lovely voice were what she missed most about her. “You’ve the voice of an angel.” She had always told her. As she progressed in her thoughts, she made every effort not to think about her late husband. That was the part of her life she didn’t like going to. At last, she dwelt on that dreadful day, the day her daughter came to know what was not meant for her, the day she made the highest decision of her life; a decision that had changed her life and made it miserable. Although Thelda believed that trying moments called for hard decisions, she knew the decision she had made was gradually taking breath out of her. Had she not eavesdropped to that phone call, she wouldn’t have died. She blamed. I had no other alternative. She tried to console herself. It was a hard decision but I had no choice. She flicked a tear off her cheek, her face becoming red with anger. Her throat felt dry and she wanted a drink. She managed to her feet and stood for a while to gain strength. She took off her jacket, draped it over a vanity table in the room and walked to the wine rack. I have to get over this. She determined forlornly and pulled the rack open. If I don’t control my emotion, it will control me and I’ll end up getting myself exposed. Stella is gone forever. I’ve to go on with my life. After all, every war has casualties. Unfortunately, my daughter has been added to the list. She wiped off another tear as she scanned the brands, then she selected Madeira. Holding the bottle tight under her armpit, she took a glass from the rack and returned to the bed. She placed the bottle on a stool and poured some quantity into the glass. She quickly guzzled it down with a grimace and poured another. I murdered my only child. She muttered. She lifted the glass to her lips, took a slug and relaxed the glass on her laps. Will I be able to get through this? “Oh my God,” She said and wiped her tears with the hemline of her blouse. He poured another quantity into the glass, raised it to her mouth but returned it to her laps. She closed her eyes and tried to blot out the image of her daughter from her imagination, but the memories of their vacations around the world suddenly raced through her mind. She finally and reluctantly let her thoughts drift back to the very last vacation she had with her daughter barely a year ago.

To Be Continued…

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