She looked at him, and her face was troubled, a furrow puckering her brow.
“I spoke to Ato deep into the dawn, Kofi,” she said in a worried voice. “He told me all that happened. But I’m confused, Kofi. If there’s nothing wrong with you, why did Director Dovlo confine you? Why did you act so absolutely crazy in the presence of the judge and journalists?”
“He injected me with some drug, Maa Abena,” he said carefully. “He told me it would make me act like a madman and convince the judge and the others about how unstable I was.”
She stepped away from him, her face filled with uncertainty, shaking her head.
“Motive, Kofi, motive!” she said, her eyes accusing. “That man is a professional! I admire him so much, because he knows his work. He has cured many inmates that were brought here, and integrated them back into society successfully! How on earth would he want to do such a thing to you?”
He stood up and walked slowly towards her.
“A long time ago, a woman came to my workplace to see my director,” he said carefully. “That woman wanted to buy a house, and my director told me to take her round to see our completely-detached housing units so that she could make a choice. I was a poor, bad boy, then, Maa Abena. I was a womanizer, and I saw only a lonely, mature woman with money to spend. She was not wearing any wedding bands on her finger, and she told me she was a divorcee. I began an affair with her. It lasted for a year, and then I could not take it anymore. For one, I was very much in love with my fiancé then, and secondly I could not tolerate her demands any longer. She wanted me to move into the house she bought with her, and get married. She was domineering and very violent, and so I broke off with her. I had no idea then that she was still a married woman.”
He stopped, his eyes filled with remorse, sweat on his face.
She looked at him, but it was evident that he was reluctant to continue.
“And what has that story got to do with Director Dovlo remanding you here?” she asked softly.
“I only found out when I met him that indeed Naana Basiwaa was a married woman,” Kofi said miserably. “She was Mrs Naana Basiwaa Dovlo.”
“Jesus!” Maa Abena exclaimed, shocked to her very bones. “Director Dovlo’s wife? The one who committed suicide?”
Kofi was trembling, and he could not stand any longer. He lowered himself onto the bed.
“Yes, Maa Abena, although I never knew she committed suicide. The Director told me. He is blaming me for her death, and he’s going to cut off his pound of flesh.”
“That’s so preposterous!” she whispered, so horrified. “He’ll keep you here to exact revenge? Is that what he’s doing?”
“That’s what he’s doing, Maa Abena,” Kofi said softly. “But he has the perfect excuse now passing me off as an insane man, and so he’ll get away with his evil.”
“Not as long as I live!” Maa Abena said, still shaken. “That’s so horrible, Kofi dear, and so terrible!
She went back to the desk and put her medicine holder down.
She came and sat beside Kofi on the bed, and took his hands, looking deeply into his eyes.
“If what you have told me is true, Kofi Kuntu, then a terrible injustice has been done to you, and I’m going to be your friend to ensure that this evil is exposed.”
Tears shimmered in his eyes, and he turned his face up to the ceiling to keep them from falling.
She was an angel, and she was on his side, and he was so grateful for that!
“I spoke to Ato, like I told you,” she continued, her face sad. “Evidently he went back to the shrine.”
Kofi scowled first, then raised his eyebrows.
“Ato went back to Mallam Busanga?” he asked with some surprise.
“Yes, Kofi,” Maa Abena replied. “He wanted to find out if that password situation has now been remedied since you were able to do whatever you were supposed to do with the corpse of that Indian lady.”
Kofi looked at her expectantly now, his face flushed.
“What did Mallam Busanga say?” he asked excitedly.
She shook her head sadly at him.
“Well, a load of nonsense, if I may put it bluntly,” she said. “The Mallam said that you were supposed to put in your…your…whatever, manhood, yes, and withdraw yourself. But since you put it in and then you were hit by a doctor, which forced you out of the woman, it means you didn’t withdraw your manhood yourself, so the password is still intact.”
She saw Kofi’s face going through a very tragic transformation.
The excitement slowly ebbed out of his face, and he looked bland for a moment but it rapidly changed to moroseness, then sadness, to agitation, and then, incredibly, his expression broke down and his face screwed up into a terrible line of sorrow, and then the tears walled up in his eyes like an overfilled dam, and slowly coursed down his cheeks.
It was such a tragic show of the weakness and vulnerabilities of a man, and it made Maa Abena Nyantie sad indeed. She reached out and took his hands in hers.
To Be Continued…