Saturday 28th June 2014, Prampram Township. House No 56/3A
The Clan Elder looked at Naa with wondering eyes. Most of the women had their mouth clasped in their palms. The murmuring in the room was judgmental. Naa could feel the judgment being passed on her, looking at the overly dramatic posture of the men present.
“Naa,” the Clan Elder exhaled and said “do you have anything contrary to what our husband has said?”
She dared not answer nor establish an eye contact with anyone in the room. The Murmuring was with the fervour of a plebeian uprising. Her mother sat weeping silently while her father stood aloft. He would be the first to cast a stone if that was a likely verdict. He had gone beyond rage; he was flammable. And at that moment, it was easy to confuse his grey beard with icy blue sparks of fire. He was becoming so self-combustible the only person they needed to protect him from was himself.
“I wish you would say something in your defence; at least deny it.” The clan chief grew impatience with her silence. “In any case nothing you will say will justify sleeping with your manager. Someone your husband had trusted you with. Nothing you will say will justify the lies told your husband just to sleep with someone else. Nothing.”
That is not to say your husband did the right thing by sleeping with another man’s wife. No matter the temptation, that was someone’s wife, for heaven sakes! If you have no shame and fear, if you have no respect for your wife, you do not go into another man’s wife.” The Clan Elder addressed Richard flaring up. “It did not matter how lustful you had become; it did not matter how weak and starved. She could have come walking naked; you did not have to prey on her. As a gentleman, when a woman becomes vulnerable and confides in you, it should make your manhood shrivel, not excited. That is the mark of a gentleman. Granted that she even tempted you; knowing her circumstance and knowing that it was similar to yours, was a point to stand strong and help her, not grab it as an opportunity. Assuming your wife was not sleeping with her husband; is this how you would have paid the man for exposing your wife to the world and helping her career?”
The murmuring in the room was not as loud as it was when Naa was addressed and most of it came from the women.
You can look at it from diverse angles, but your strength lies in your ability to restrain yourself; to know what is lawful and what is not and to stick with that which is lawful.
Here we are, not judging your wife for her indiscretion, but judging you for yours as well. The story will be told, not as his wife was unfaithful to him; no. It will be told that they both went out of their marriage, to cheat. You share in this shame. And if you think we live in the times when it was ok for a man to cheat, think about it twice because it is no more ok.
If you had resisted this whore, you would have got the evidence available and you could have divorced your wife with your integrity intact if you so wanted. You would have helped that woman leave her husband with her integrity intact if she so wanted. But your weakness made a vulnerable, emotionally charged woman bring you shame.
Assuming she had come with any reason other than revenge for her husband’s indiscretion, let's say lust for you, you would have been the guilty one right now. Because as at the time you did what you did, you did not even know what your wife was doing. So I dare say you are as weak as your wife.
The Clan Elder, a retired Lawyer, a career diplomat and former member of the Council of State, spoke with so much rage and indignation. He was known for his firmness and tact, but not his rage. He was furious.
“As for you,” He turned his attention to Naa Morkor “I do not know what will make you justify your actions. Your husband has told us a nice story, but that has not made him any much of a saint, so nothing you will say will make you one. Marriage is for better and for worse and the marriage covenant is sacred. I am an Anglican with a Catholic background, so beyond all the traditions, I believe in the sanctity of marriage. Nothing whatsoever justifies infidelity.
If you had any problem with your husband, if you felt threatened or coerced by your manager, you could have discussed it with someone. If it was greed that walked you through this, then you are shameless. If it was lust, then you are not a true daughter of this land. I am disappointed in you. Three years of sleeping with your manager and sleeping with your husband. Three years of a double life. Three years. How evil can you be?!
Don’t you get tired? Don’t you feel any guilt? Young people of today have become so petty; you leave your men and women over things we, in our days, quarrelled over in the morning and forgot by noonday. You have become so selfish and proud you go into marriage with the notion of WHAT IS IN IT FOR ME. If it pleases you, then it is ok. What happened to Better-Halves? Do you please your Right hand and maltreat your left hand because you are right-handed? No. you see everything as the completeness of you. So you treat your body equally. That is how marriage is to make us; as one entity, not you and me. It makes us US and OURS, not YOU and ME and MINE and YOURS.
He paused to calm himself down.
“How different is that penis from his? How different?” the whole place roused to life with catcalls and laughter. The Clan Elder continued.
“If you felt tired for whatever reason, why did you not leave him? I would rather you left him so the world knows that you do not want to share your bed with him again. But you see how foolish you were; you gave yourself to a man who is owned by another woman. A man you cannot even openly be seen to be holding hands with or displaying any public affection for. A man you must lie to see. Someone’s man.
If today, you fall sick, how can you truly have his love? If he dies, how can you truly grieve for him as a man you shared so many intimate moments with? You will cry in your closet but wipe your eyes when someone shows up because you cannot explain why you have taken the death of your boss so personal.” The family members in the room nodded, agreeing with the flow of knowledge coming from their respect Clan Elder.
“You were paid only in sex and the basic ephemerals of life while his wife inherits everything. You will not be significant in the grand scheme of things. You will always be a dispensable chattel. Thank God a man’s manhood does not shrink with a lot of sex. So you can have it for as long as you want. But he who respects you marries you. That is what your husband did. The least you could do was to respect him back.
See how a man and a woman you both do not know from anywhere have ruined your lives?
And isn’t it amazing, that your husband did not just sleep with any random woman but the wife of the one sleeping with you, even without knowing it? And how strange it is that they are still married; that the wife has forgiven her husband and the husband his wife, whilst you two fools are here asking for a divorce?
Clearly, this woman is not coming back to your husband again and I don’t know about you, but you seem unrepentant and I won’t be surprised if you will go back to be his whore. But if you don’t, well he will find another woman, and you would have lost twice.
“I will not waste much time on this. If you want a divorce I will give it.” At this point, Naa Morkor’s mother broke down in tears and was led out of the room by a few young men present. Her father was nowhere to be found.
“I understand you even have your divorce papers here. I will sit through to see them signed. I will ensure that you, Naa, get nothing out of this divorce. You can take me to the supreme Court.” He spoke harshly pointing his walking stick at the wounded woman sitting directly opposite him. “And you will not see your children again.” He added gravely.
The uproar in the room was spontaneous. Some of the women wailed in hysteria while others only stood by sobbing and holding their tummies. The stunned men looked on. They were expecting a just punishment, but not seeing her children again was, to most of them, a bit on the harsh side. The clan linguist held the Elder’s walking stick. He yanked it out of his hand. The family members of Richard were not sure how to react since the verdict was on Naa Morkor. They sat feeling tensed and fearing what would come next. No one in the room downplayed the power the Clan Elder wielded in the room and in the nation and they knew whatever verdict he came to, would be difficult to change.
“Silence!” He yelled “Let me make this clear, I am not doing this in the name of any tradition neither is this to be seen as my disregard for women. No. I am taking this hard stance because she is our daughter and has put us to shame! I am doing this because I will not sit and in the name of a law that is devoid of moral values watch infidelity rewarded. Regardless of what your husband did, since you have not denied the fact that you cheated on him three years before he cheated on you, and whoever made him cheat did it because of your actions, I can say you incited, indirectly, your husband to cheat on you through a third party. You are vicariously liable for the actions of your husband in this case, since his actions were influenced by an action you set in motion and led a third party, offended by your action, to take the specific steps she took to bring your husband to the action he took in her bid to seek redress.
As a lawyer and politician, with over 40 years’ experience, I can tell you I have enough clout to ensure that even if you go to the supreme court to get a fair bargain out of this divorce, it will be on paper for you, in reality you will get nothing.
“You work, don’t you” He asked Naa Morkor.
“He is talking to, you answer him! Whore!” Someone shouted from the crowd.
She nodded silently.
“Good, so build your wretched life from the scratch, I guess you will not lose much, seeing your husband hasn’t got much.”
“And young man, just so you know that infidelity is not rewarded, you will not also see the children again until they are of age and they decide they want to see you”
Richard’s face changed drastically. His family linguist held his hand and stood up instead.
Please…” He began to speak.
“Can I please finish”
“Please, we are begging on his behalf. Please. He is only a boy…”
“Yes, he is a boy so he must learn to take his life serious so when he becomes a man he learns how to make all the right choices.” Naa’s clan Elder said.
Richard stood up and attempted to speak, freeing himself from the grip of his Clan linguist.
“Sit down young man.” The Clan Elder said bluntly with burning anger on his face and in his voice. “What do you think is happening here? One of your Occupy flagstaff house social media jokes I have been told will take place on the 1st of July? I am a retired Lawyer, A former Ambassador and a former member of the council of state. I suggest you watch the very place you are standing because I can ensure your life ends where it is right now. So just sit down and behave yourself. I did not drag you here. You came here.”
Richard sat flatly as though gravity had been intensified against him.
“Your children are American citizens right?” The couple nodded.
“And I assume you entered the US with a visa that did not permit you to stay and have children and be a burden on their system?”
It was Naa’s turn to be upset. She was scared and helpless.
“I understand the children are with your elder brother at Roman Ridge?” The Clan elder addressed Naa.
“Yes Please” She said, maintaining eye contact with the Elderly man trying to guess what would come next.
“You know how Americans protect their own, right? Now that both of you have proven to all of us here that you are incapable of looking after two American Citizens entrusted to your care, we will hand them over to the American Government for safe keeping. Luckily your Elder sister, who is an Evangelist and Married to Pastor, has been married for a long time without a child. I understand all of your children were born in her home in Atlanta. I have also been informed these two children were supposed to go for their high school Education in the US during which time they would live with your sister and husband. I am also aware that this couple have literally adopted your children and are currently making monthly remittance for their upkeep.
Well as it stands, we have hastened that process and they will be sent away tomorrow evening. Everything is sorted out. You can meet them at the Airport and say your final goodbyes to them. I will ensure that you are denied Entry into the US for at least the next ten years. I will ensure that. Unfortunately, you cannot let any court in Ghana compel the Americans to do otherwise, after all, it is their country and these are their citizens. Besides both of you are divorced and you are not in the position to cater for their citizens with such bright future. The courts would be told of your fights and your travels and that will make it more likely to throw your case out.
We believe your sister and her husband will provide that kind of parenting your children need to grow to be responsible children for the world at large. I don’t think any of you two have any objection to your sister taking care of them; after all, they were going to do it at some point in time anyway.
When you both put your lives together, you will learn the lesson of placing value on the most important things of life.
“We are done here.”
Julia will enjoy her husband for as long as it can last. She will be diagnosed with cervical cancer and will die on the 15th of February 2016, a day after they spend Valentine’s Day together as a family in Larry’s Official Residence at Cantonments, where the family will move when Larry is made a partner in his firm. Julia will request not to die in the hospital bed but in her matrimonial bed.
Larry will become a partner in his firm as Julia had promised. He will be comforted by Naa during the period of mourning, kindling their old relationship and will marry her on 11th November 2017.
Naa will resign from her job in order to marry Larry. She will cut off all contacts with her family and refuse to forgive her elder sister for taking her children. She will, however, be unable to bear any child and will live a troubled life while she watches Larry continue with another woman he found during Julia’s period of infirmity.
Richard will find Solace in religion. He would eventually go into Ministry, get invited to preach in a congregation pastored by Naa’s elder sister and husband. The US government will be petitioned to remove the travel restriction imposed on him. On 15th May 2021, Richard will marry a Philippine Evangelist and settle in the US, sharing the upkeep of his children with their adopted parents. His passion will be to help couple sdeal with infidelity.
The Clan Elder would die on the 23rd of July 2025 and would be given a state burial. Richard and his wife will be part of the officiating Clergy.
Vengeance is of me, says the Lord.
Copyrights 2014. All rights Reserved.