Ana shook her head in protest. Ever since Akwasi and the girls learnt she was pregnant, they barely let her do anything. That plus her mother and mother-in-law’s constant checkups and instructions exasperated Ana sometimes and she had to control her emotions. Sometimes the least thing made her want to cry, and she didn’t understand where all the emotions were coming from. She had a lot to say to the baby, whom they had later found out was a boy, when he came out.
“You guys are overpampering me!” Ana whimpered.
“Oh please. If we had our own way, you won’t even move your legs,” Naa retorted.
Ana rolled her eyes. She appreciated the care but missed being able to do things by herself. As the doctor had predicted, the pregnancy was really doing a number on her. Instead of gaining weight, she had lost some kilos because she was constantly throwing up. She was hoping it’ll reduce in the second trimester, but the story had been no different. She had been given more days of bed rest, and how it was going, she wasn’t going to be able to work till after she gave birth. Thankfully, her boss was understanding and had given her the option to consider working from home if she had the energy to.
Although the pregnancy was tough, she hadn’t experienced any swollen feet or hair loss, much to her relief. But the cravings were crazy. One minute, she wanted a shawarma, another minute she wanted kenkey. Sometimes she wanted to drink lots of malt, but the doctor had advised against it, encouraging her to take more fruits instead. Sometimes Ana felt sorry for how Akwasi had to run around getting her what she wanted. She felt even worse when after going all that length, she sometimes threw up what he brought. She would look at him sheepishly, and he’ll just burst out laughing. He was being a good sport about the whole thing, and Ana was really touched.
At the moment, she was craving spicy kelewele, and Akwasi had gone to get it for her. It was almost as if he and the girls were running shifts keeping an eye on her. It warmed her heart that she didn’t have to face the journey alone. But at the same time, she was silently counting down till the last day when this stubborn baby will come out…
Kyerewa enjoyed running shifts with her girls to keep an eye on Ana. She had factored it into her busy schedule, juggling work with her relationship with Brad. After that phone call with her mum the other day and chatting with her girls, Kyerewa had made the firm decision to stick with him. She had never been big on romance, but knew she had a good thing with Brad and wasn’t going to let that go because of societal expectations. She believed no matter how long it took, her mum would eventually come around. Her dad had been more understanding when she filled him in from where her mum had left off. She laughed softly as she replayed her recent conversation with him:
“How is my K doing?” her dad had asked.
“I’m okay, Daddy. Is Mama still angry with me?”
“You know your mum…give her time, she’ll come around.”
“But Dad, what’s so wrong with being in a relationship with someone who is not from our tribe? Fine, I know it’s a stretch because he is not Ghanaian, but still…it’s not like I chose to fall in love with him. She hasn’t even met him!” Kyerewa reasoned.
Laughing, Kyerewa’s dad responded: “Love is a decision. And whatever decision you take, you need to be bold enough to handle the consequences. You may not know the future, but if you’re at peace with your decision, the rest will fall in place.”
Kyerewa felt a rush of gratitude for her dad. He was surprisingly quite understanding when she least expected it, and she found it easier to talk to him about some things. She sighed…
“Alright Dad, thank you. Please send Mama my love. And let her know we’ll come and visit soon.”
“I heard you ohhh!” Kyerewa’s mum shouted in the background, clearly eavesdropping on their conversation.
“Why am I not surprised?” Kyerewa muttered under her breath, holding back laughter. At least it was better than her mum not speaking to her at all.
“Do you want to come and speak to your daughter instead of standing there shouting?” Kyerewa’s dad teased.
“No, thank you. I’ll wait and do my own assessment when they finally come and visit,” Kyerewa’s mum protested.
This was Kyerewa’s cue to end the call. “Alright Dad, hopefully we see you soon.”
“Alright K, take care, and don’t worry your mum loves you,” he assured.
“I know,” Kyerewa smiled.
Betty was exhausted but elated. Her clients had loved her dresses and the fittings had been smooth. After the wedding, Betty had gained more followers on Instagram, and the orders were pouring in. She had been hoping for growth in her business but hadn’t anticipated this. The girls had suggested getting someone to help, so she could meet the orders in time.
“Yeah, that will be a good idea,” Betty agreed.
“But at the same time, don’t take on more orders than you can handle,” Naa advised. “Otherwise you’ll compromise on quality.”
“True,” the girls agreed.
Taking their advice, she had put up an ad for an assistant, but hadn’t had much luck. Her cousin had offered to help her until she at least found someone. So far, the arrangement had worked, and she was grateful her cousin stepped in when she did. She paused and daydreamed for a second on how she’ll eventually open a bigger shop, hire more people, and make a name in the fashion industry.
Smiling to herself, she said “Baby steps Betty, baby steps…”
Naa punched in a full stop after the final paragraph. She had drafted her resignation letter and let Kyerewa and Manza look through it.
“You are the English and Legal people,” she had teased.
“Ei Naa, are you sure about this?” Kyerewa asked one more time in a last attempt to get her to change her mind.
Naa shot her a look.
Resisting the urge to laugh, Kyerewa raised her hands in surrender and quickly apologized.
“Alright, alright, the letter is good to go.”
“Yep,” Manza agreed. “Your English is just fine!” she winked.
Relieved, Naa opened her email and attached the letter. Although she had made up her mind, she could hear her heart pounding. Was she doing the right thing after all?
Sensing the internal war within Naa, Manza said “Now is not the time to doubt yourself. I’m sure you’ve weighed all the options. It won’t be easy but if you have God’s backing, you’ll be okay…okay?”
Naa sighed, as Kyerewa placed a reassuring hand on her shoulder. “Whatever happens, you know we’ve always got you. Who knows, you may just be the person God is using to teach some of us to take risks.”
“Yeah, like marrying a white man,” Manza quipped, unable to help herself.
Opening her mouth in shock, Kyerewa exclaimed “You this Manza, I’ll get you!”
Feeling the tension ease, Naa laughed, and turned back to her laptop. It was now or never…