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Her messages usually came at 9:00 a.m., 4:00 p.m. and then after 9:00 p.m. Every day without fail. I wondered what job she did, why she chose those hours. What arrangement they had.

Tuesday, August 14th, 4:00 p.m.:
Miss your fingers. I can almost still feel them inside me. Can’t wait to see you this weekend.
My husband’s fingers. My soul mate. The fingers I manicured without fail every Saturday morning.

Sunday, August 20th, 9:00 p.m.:
Yesterday was fun. Too bad you couldn’t sleep over because you had to go to church. Hopefully I get you to sleepover next weekend and worship in my temple.
For about the hundredth time I wondered who this woman was. What job did she do? What had she studied in school? Literature? She sure had a way with words.

Sunday, August 20th 9:03 p.m.:
An ardent worshiper you will find me. You bring out deep things I never knew I possessed.
Thirteen years of being together, Seven years of marriage and another woman brought out things he never thought he had.

She impressed me though. Must really have her game on to be able to get my husband to respond to messages in the space of two minutes. God knows how many times I have had to ring him to check and respond to messages I had sent him.

My husband was cheating on me. And I was the one who had brought them together.
I had gone out with our girls, on Efe’s tenth birthday, to pick up her birthday cake.
“Aww, your girls are so cute.”
I turned around to see a lady approaching me, reaching out to hold Saaba, whom I was carrying.
“Thank you very much. Today is actually the older ones birthday, and we are having a party at our house. You are invited.”
“So kind of you. I sure will.”

I was surprised when she turned up a few hours later at our house. I had thought she was just being polite. While I was running around making sure the kids were okay, she was also busy making sure she got my husband for herself, or was it the other way round?

I noticed my husband’s late homecoming from work, long absences during weekends. He said it was work. It was my brother who suggested that I get this app used to hack into people’s phones and transmit their messages into your phone. All their messages.

My mother used every insult in the book on me when I told her. For bringing a stranger to my home. Blamed it solely on me. And told me to better fight for what was mine and not give up. “Good men are hard to come by oo.”

So I started texting her. Threatening her. Begging her. He was a father. His kids needed him. I needed him. All messages were ignored.

He left the house a month later, mumbling something about needing space. He came over every Saturday, for about an hour to hang out with the girls, barely acknowledging my existence.

I was putting Saaba to bed, when my phone rang. It was her number. I knew the digits. Why was she calling me? To mock me? She rang two more times. Was she not content with having him? I put my phone on silent.

It was when I picked up my phone the next day that I saw her messages:
9:19 p.m.:
“Kofi is having an attack. He says you are the only one who knows where to get his drugs. Please pick up.”
9:30 p.m.:
“Please, I really need your help, he’s losing it.”
9:45 p.m.:
“Please help me, please.”

He was dead an hour later.

When the ambulance came for his body, the police took her in for questioning. Apparently they had been arguing loudly and their neighbors had heard it. She had lit a cigarette to calm herself. That had triggered the attack. He was allergic to smoke.

Another message. 8:30 a.m.:
“I beg you, please come to the station and tell them your husband had asthma, and it was an attack that killed him, please.”

He was now my husband. The dead man was now mine to have. I was thinking of what retort to offer when a call came through. His lawyer.
I was in charge of administering his estate. Probably hadn’t had time to change his will.

Another text, she was staring at life in prison.

I turned off my phone. It had been a long time since I actually smiled.

 

 

**************

Post image by martinak15 via Flickr.

About the Author:

portrait-naanaNaana Antwi-Larbi reads stories and hopes that, one day, she will write a love story with a happy ending.

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7 Responses to “Love’s Death Call | by Naana Antwi-Larbi | African Fiction” Subscribe

  1. Fatie 2016/12/15 at 01:36 #

    Wow! I couldn’t help smiling too at the end. And no, I do not think I’m a horrible person for feeling such joy at her misfortune

  2. Belinda 2016/12/15 at 04:33 #

    Wow… What a comeback.karma definitely had a day. Well done

  3. Adeniji Adebanjo 2016/12/20 at 00:58 #

    Pay back is a bitch. Lol!

  4. Linda ofori 2016/12/21 at 12:04 #

    Wat a story ! Good piece !

  5. Afua 2016/12/21 at 13:15 #

    Wow…. .!! U gud
    N unfortunately I smiled too.. Am I a bad person … ?Nope I dun think so.!! Gud one Naana

  6. Maame Efua 2016/12/21 at 13:49 #

    Wow! This is so eerily satisfying! ❤

  7. Godfried 2016/12/21 at 15:23 #

    U rock my dear. Hope u write a movie script. And i will be glade to play in that movie. U are ur limit with God in the lead.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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