Maa Abena stopped laughing immediately.
“Is that where they took that boy?” Mr. Agyemang asked with a scowl. “What was that name the press gave him mpo…aha, The Ghost Banger. Is he at the Adada, dearest?”
Maa Abena sighed, and then licked a bit of okra stew from her fingers. This was it. She needed to tell them about Kofi now because there was the likelihood that Kofi would meet them someday, as soon as his terrible mishap was sorted out.
“His name is Kofi Kuntu, Daddy,” she said carefully. “Kofi Kuntukununku, to be precise!”
“What a name!” Mr. Agyemang said, chuckling. “No wonder he sleeps with rotten women.”
“Fii, stop that, would you?” his wife said with a scowl, and then she turned toward her daughter anxiously. “Do you see him? You shouldn’t go near him, dear. That man is evil.”
“Actually, he’s my friend,” Maa Abena said.
“Are you out of your mind, young woman?” her father thundered angrily.
“No, baby, please don’t entertain that young man!” her mother chipped in.
“His is a case of extreme prejudice and ill luck, Mama,” Maa Abena said softly, then she went ahead to tell her parents all about Yaw Kuntu.
Mr. Fiifi Agyemang stared at her with a gaping mouth when she finished speaking.
“Oh, but if that’s true then it’s absolutely preposterous!” he said angrily, shaking head. “The boy is obviously a fool, but that does not mean he should be subjected to such a beastly treatment!”
Maa Abena winced at the ‘fool’ part.
For some strange reason she suddenly did not want her father thinking of Kofi Kuntu as a fool.
“Surely, this can’t be allowed to go on, dear!” Mrs. Agyemang said, appalled. “It’s against every figment of humanity! You should report to the police, or let the press know!”
“With what evidence, Mama?” Maa Abena asked softly. “Director Bobo Dovlo is the best in the country. He’s respected worldwide. He can always deny, you know, and without proof we can’t do anything. If we bring that kind of pressure I’m afraid he might do something quite irreparable to Kofi to cover his tracks. Miss Elsie Ansah says she’ll speak with Judge Buabasah, so until then we have to play it safe.”
“Play what safe?” Mr. Agyemang thundered. “There are things you play safe with, and there are things you need to force through! If this gets to the press Dovlo or whatever the jackass calls himself wouldn’t want the attention! An investigation could go on, and his reputation would be tainted! There’s no diplomacy here! Just report him to the police and give him to the press to chew!”
Maa Abena looked at her father uneasily.
“You believe so, Daddy?” she asked, a little scared.
“Listen, my dear princess, if what you’re telling me about this man is true, and I have no reason whatsoever to doubt you, then that man is not human. There’s simply no way he’s going to allow that poor fool to come out of that asylum. He’s either going to kill Kofi, or he’s going to render him permanently insane. Any minute you waste is another nail in Kofi’s coffin. Tell Miss Elsie that she’s playing with fire. She must take action now!”
“Yes, Daddy,” Maa Abena said miserably. “I’ll let her know.”
Maa Abena called Ato Sey when she left home later that day.
“Hey, the most beautiful girl in the world!” Ato said with an elated voice. “How’re you, dearest?”
“I’m doing fine, by grace, Ato,” she said sunnily. “How’re you too?”
“A bad day just received a blast of sunshine because you called me, my sweetest pumpkin. Wow, this is a surprise!”
“Well, today is my day off so I came to see my parents,” Maa Abena said.
“Oh, and you didn’t let me know yesterday?” Ato asked, his voice hurt. “We could’ve had lunch together. Hey, is it too late to hang out a bit?”
“You’re working, aren’t you?” she asked with a chuckle.
“Well, for you, I can always take a risk, my angel,” he said tenderly.
“Well, actually, I wanted to speak to Akweley,” she said.
Ato gasped at the end of the line.
“Akweley?” he asked. “The Akweley I know? Kofi’s Akweley Odamten?”
“Yes, I mean Kofi’s fiancée,” Maa Abena said. “He gave me her number, and I called her. She said she was at the office with her father, and could spare a few minutes with me. I told her it’s urgent, but I didn’t mention Kofi. I was wondering if you could direct me to the office.”
Ato giggled uneasily.
“Well, that’s another surprise,” he said softly. “She’s going to get married, you know.”
“What?” Maa Abena said, surprised. “She’s going to get married?”
“Yes, dear, to a wealthy guy from the diaspora who’s pumped money into her father’s ailing business. The wedding is in a couple of days, and she’s busy preparing. I don’t think she’s ready to listen to anything about Kofi.”
To be continued