BED OF THORNS by Christiana Obeng-Koranteng

         “Ei, as for you and learning, everyday books, books, why? Can’t you let us rest small? Pressure fonn b3n nso nie?”

         “Sister, la study oo, ny3 saa a, la wuu”, I replied as we both burst out into uncontrollable laughter and off we went. 

She had planned a rendezvous with her sweetheart and just won’t let me be. 

           “Enti dab3n na wobenya boy? S3

            “Please I’m not ready!”, I cut her short. I wasn’t in the mood for a pep talk.

             “Hw3 wo kwasia bi. Every day I’m not ready, I’m not ready. Nashing na woo nashi aa, wose I’m not ready”. 

We let out loud giggles. There was never a dull moment with Thelma. She had been my best friend for as long as I could remember. We were like two bodies sharing one soul. Wahala for who no get a bestie…

As we walked, I could hear shuffling feet. I drew Thelma’s attention and we increased our pace. The stalker did same. We turned around, and there he was; the area nigga we all knew as 8pm. That petty-thief had harassed Thelma and me on a number of occasions in the past, hence our decision to run. Afei de3 b3hw3! 100 meters be what? Oblivious of the footbridge, we run across the George Walker Bush Motorway, as our only focus was to get away from 8pm. Realizing I had crossed to the other side successfully, and still gasping for breath, I turned to congratulate my comrade, but she was nowhere to be found. Thelma had been whisked off the road by a speeding car and had landed head-first on the ground. Her blood was like MTN. It was everywhere… I was shocked beyond say. People were fast gathering at the scene. As to whether or not an ambulance had been called, I couldn’t tell. Wait a minute! Who calls an ambulance in Ghana? Sigh. I only knew that my best friend was being sent away. As for 8pm, he vanished into thin air. And that was it.

I woke up in an abandoned uncompleted building in what seemed like an ocean of blood. It was cold, smelly and somewhat dark. For some reason, try as I might, I couldn’t walk. My thighs and abdomen hurt like hell! It wasn’t until I dragged myself outside, using my bare palms as feet when I realized I had been brutally raped. Medical reports later revealed that my ordeal was so severe that my womb had turned upside-down. I must have been chloroformed when I joined one of the numerous cars supposedly going to the hospital. Who in his right senses will use so much force in raping a girl who was already unconscious? It was as though dynamite had been put in between my thighs, right at the entrance of my private part, and left to explode. I tried opening my mouth to scream for help, but choked on blood, as I had been bleeding internally. It was that bad. 

The following morning, a madman on his usual rounds chanced upon me and run to a group of passers-by, but being approached by a mentally derailed person scared the living daylight out of them. They run helter-skelter. His next option was to drag the seemingly lifeless body to the roadside where he caught the attention of some community youth. He was my Good Samaritan. I was rushed to the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital where I stayed in a coma at the Intensive Care Unit. Looks like my blood screamed louder than the blood of Abel, who was murdered by his brother Cain. The good Lord caused the perpetrator to confess to his crime in a totally drunken state at a drinking spot. He was like a papa no who had taken five balls of 3ba with egusi soup, washed down with two bottles of sweating Guinness and balanced the equation with a huge mug of H2O. The corollary, a volcanic eruption in his stomach was triggered, causing him to release loud smelly farts every two minutes. Yuck!

I woke up to find my belly was swollen up to ten times its original size. The discomfort I felt was overwhelming. I was unable to talk, as I had been put on oxygen. I found my mum and another lady whose identity was uncertain to me. Completely stunned, they remained speechless. Still trying to familiarize myself with my surroundings, I tilted my head to the left and then it hit me hard. I saw an ultrasound machine! Yes! I was pregnant for that rapist. I had been pregnant and in a coma for the past seven months. How on earth was I supposed to birth a child for a man who brutally shredded my forbidden fruit? How was I to live with live evidence of rape, calling me “Mama” for the rest of my life? The doctors had decided against an induced abortion since my inner parts had already suffered so much damage. They hence allowed me to carry the pregnancy with the hope that I would naturally miscarry. But this wasn’t the case. I cursed the very day that beast emptied the contents of his scrotum into me! I began screaming, and kicking and crying and yelling at everything which had the gift of hearing.  My mum and her companion tried to calm me down but to no avail. Who in my shoes wouldn’t have done the same? It took a host of doctors and nurses to restrain a seven-months-pregnant-me before I was sedated. I recall my mum telling me that even in my sleep, I looked like a wounded lioness. 

 Thelma visited me at the hospital in a wheelchair pushed by her mum, and that was the first and last time I saw her since the day of the accident. She was totally bedridden. Her spine was completely damaged. The only mobile parts of her body were her lips, eyes and eye-lids. She was tetraplegic! I was glad to see her alive but my joy was short-lived when I saw the look of disdain in her eyes. She blamed me for that gory accident and said I deserved a worse punishment than “ordinary rape”. As far as she was concerned, her condition was all my fault because if I had held her hand while running, she wouldn’t have been left to the mercy of the speeding car. How was it my fault that my frying pan-like buttocks made me a better runner? Was it my doing that her dadis3n-shaped hips and backside weighed her down, making it difficult to run? She swore that she would continue to hate me with every fibre of her being for the rest of her miserable life. I was totally rendered mute. If you’re surprised as to how best friends could turn sworn enemies overnight, perhaps you haven’t read the cases of In Re Heavenly Affairs; Jehovah v Lucifer 1GLR (1218-1220) and Re Pre-Creation Story 1HQLR (100BC).

The last two months of my pregnancy were filled with an endless series of counselling sessions. The least said about the injections I received, the better. I was literally running mad. I violently attacked anyone who attempted visiting me except my mother and the psychiatrist, whom I could barely tolerate. Mum one day informed me that someone had been waiting on me since I was admitted and badly wanted to see me. I hated the idea more than anything but for some reason, I accepted the request on condition that I will be blindfolded. I was hurt, and ashamed of my situation. I couldn’t stand the sight of my belly even for a second. The moment he touched the back of my palm with his, I knew who my visitor was. Raphael and I were more than friends. Good friends. Tight friends. The type who had feelings for each other but hid behind the “we’re just friends” cover. He gently unfolded my blind but found my eyes firmly shut. I was scared of what I thought his reaction would be. He drew closer to me and said everything was going to be alright. Slowly, I opened my eyes, and the inevitable happened. Our eyes met. I couldn’t hold the tears any longer. I cried my heart out. He tenderly wiped my face and assured me he would never leave me. Though I never saw him, he had been there with me in the hospital since my admission. I always felt his presence in my sleep. That, I was sure. He wrapped me in his arms. We both wept like babies. I stayed wrapped in his arms the whole night. For the first time since I regained consciousness, I slept without nightmares. He was my definition of safety. From that day onwards, we were almost always together. 

On one occasion, Raphael touched my belly while I lay fast asleep. I woke up as the baby reacted to his touch. He quickly took his hand off on realizing I was awake but I placed his hand back on my belly, smiled and returned to my sleep. 

3ny3 dabiaa na y3 posti relationship w) status so o, relationship goals no 3noaa nie

On the day I delivered, Raphael was there with me throughout the caesarian section. We held hands as I was put on anaesthesia and cut open. I woke up to find him carrying a bouncy baby girl so tenderly in his arms. God knows how much I wished he was her father… 

After 3 more months when I was finally discharged, I realized baby Ariel was looking very pale. I took her back to the hospital and was told she had severe anaemia and needed blood urgently. I was tasked with the burden of going to visit that monster of a man who forcefully produced her in me. In prison, I had no time for pleasantries and moved straight to the point, informing him that his daughter was dying and needed blood. He kept insisting that he wasn’t the father of my child. But after the hot slaps and saliva I administered unto his ogre-looking face, he agreed to donate his blood. I would have torn him into pieces with my bare hands if the wardens hadn’t restrained me, and Heaven was my witness. After robbing me of my virginity, he had the effrontery to deny paternity. Now everything was set. My daughter was going to live. The doctor, however, informed me that the blood samples weren’t a match. I asked him what he meant but before he could explain, I told him to test the samples again. The result was the same. A DNA test was run and to my uttermost shock, not only were Ariel and the prisoner in no way related, the latter was impotent. Not that he had a low sperm count, he didn’t have a sperm count at all. Gracious Heavens! His infertility was worse than that of the Sahara Desert. As3 na ne fie abeyifo) ay3 w) mo PhD. 

There I was; completely hopeless with a dying daughter and no idea as to who her father was. Not to talk of getting her rare blood type for a transfusion. She may not have been planned but I knew I loved her the second I held her in my arms. As I sat down in total despair, praying for divine intervention I thought deep and far…I had never known any creature with a chunk of flesh in between its thighs so who was her father? I then remembered that the week before Thelma’s accident, Raphael and I were watching a romantic movie together when we got all fired up. Before we could say Jack, we started fondling each other’s bodies. We were in the mood to do “tins”. After playing around, we proceeded to the main event. He took off his shirt and then strategically brought down my panty, the same way the great Okomfo Anokye brought down the golden stool from the skies. It was a sight to behold! He was about entering my Garden of Eden when he misfired and missed the shot. He made a second and third attempt, and still no goal. It was a replay of Asamoah Gyan missing penalties at the world cup tournament. The Most Merciful Father had timeously poured cold water on our hormones. It was clear the friendly match between Raphael and I wasn’t going to come off. I was somewhat relieved since I had no idea what exactly my role would have entailed as I had never played a match before. We got dressed and promised each other to keep our virginities for our future spouses. I was glad we respected ourselves.

As soon as I put two and two together, I went off to fetch Raphael for the blood transfusion. He didn’t understand how and why Ariel needed his blood. I promised to explain everything to him later as Ariel was on the verge of dying. Thankfully, the procedure was successful. Two days later, I visited Raphael at his home with Ariel, only to find him gravely ill in bed. He had been battling cancer for two years and was doing fine until his body stopped responding to treatment. I just couldn’t believe it! After everything we had been through, why couldn’t we just have rest? By this time, Raphael was dying. In tears, I explained how Ariel was the product of our cancelled football match. He gave a broad smile and said that she was the best farewell gift he could have ever received. He held her close to his chest and kissed her on the forehead as I leaned closer towards him. We wept uncontrollably as we confessed our undying love for each other. He looked deep into my eyes, let out the words, “I love you” and kissed me passionately. Out lips which were now intertwined separated slowly from each other. And that was it. He was gone! 

It’s been a year since Raphael left us. I wake up each morning and retire to bed each night, being grateful for a gift as special as Ariel. So long as man lives, so long as lips tell my tale, my love for Raphael will never die …

 

Pressure fonn b3n nso nie – what type of unsolicited influence is this?

La study oo, ny3 saa a, la wuu – one ought to study hard to avoid future hardships

Enti dab3n na wobenya boy – so when will you get a boyfriend?

Hw3 wo kwasia – such buffoonery

Nashing na woo nashi– you’re wallowing in loneliness

Wahala – trouble

Afei de3 b3hw3– it wasn’t a joke

3ba with egusi soup– a Nigerian meal consisting of rounded cassava grits with soup

Dadis3n – a large metal cooking pot

3ny3 dabiaa na y3 posti relationship w) status so o, relationship goals no, 3noaa nie – a person’s status oughtn’t always be posted on social media, this is how the desired relationship really looks like

As3 na ne fie abeyifo) ay3 w) mo PhD – the powers that be in his family were really powerful

Tins – sexually related activities

Okomfo Anokye – a very powerful fetish priest of the then Ashanti Kingdom