Dear Nii Kpakpo,
today is a very special day in our lives. yes today is a special day for me and your sister oh. exactly a decade ago at 2:33pm (coincidentally it is the country code for ghana) the reverend minister declared your sister and i husband and wife. Anyemi it hasnt been easy but God has seen us through successfully. the other day we were just checking and realized that inasmuch as we have been in this arrangement we have in many ways made it fun for ourselves even through the hardship and have been there for each other.
Kpakpo i remember one time when i was in the final year in school and we had a hall week, it was VANDAL GOES RURAL and the renown professor Kuenyehia drove by as i walked behind your sister looking like an old man in just my one piece sleeping cloth and a long chewing stick in my mouth and heading towards the Jones Quartey lecture hall. she stopped to ask your sister what was wrong wirh her uncle and if the said uncle, refering to me, was sick and how these family members could not stay away from letting students be free to learn. her indignation was further increased when we just started laughing and she was told that i was a student and that i was just portraying the theme of the day for the Commonwealth Hall week celebrations.
Kpakpo years down the line we met again at the wedding of our brother at Tertiary Council and she recognized your sister and when we went over to say hello and told her we were married, she gave a huge smile and said we had done well. indeed she still insist that family members will not let academics have their peace of mind.
Nii Kpakpo i am reminded of this incident because just this morning as we walked to the junction to pick a car to work as we usually do, we just giggled and walked along and people just wondered what was wrong with us. Kpakpo, ever since I moved up north every time we are going to work, we walk together to the junction at the roadside to get a taxi and we do this usually hand in hand or with my hand on her lower back whilst I carry her handbag. Your sister needs to feel pampered every morning and when we moved into the estate a couple of people noticed the practice and thought we were newly weds and that it will soon pass. You should’ve seen the surprise on the face of the delegate sent to make enquiries if it was a passing phase. After a decade of marriage these are some of the practices we have never given up on despite the observation that the culture of the people up north hasn’t been exposed to such public intimacy and display of affection yet.
OK so Nii Kpakpo Thompson I’m narrating all this because it happened again. The sun is blazing hot in the mornings these days so I got one of those thick UV ray shades for myself and so I put them on just as I step out of the gate. Here I was seeing your sister off as usual and walking down the street to the roadside to get a taxi. As usual again people just rode their motorbikes and cycles past us just staring because I was carrying her bag in one hand and had the other hand resting on her ample lower back as we chattered along. When we got to the roadside she had to move along whilst I got some breakfast at the now not so new waakye joint at the roadside. I had just finished my breakfast and adjusted my sunglasses and was reading the early morning messages on social media when this gentleman parked his motorcycle right in front of me and greets me.
Kpakpo I was taken in by what this guy had to say to me especially when he piqued my curiosity by asking if I was the one who was walking with the pretty woman earlier. Oh! So he noticed your sister was pretty. What was this guy up to? He’d managed to get my attention. Dude slowly got off his motorbike and got closer with a curious look on his face so I had to ask him what he wanted. “Oh Boss ! It’s nothing really but please forgive me. I am sorry !” For what I asked. Then he dropped the bombshell.
“I thought you were a blind man. I am sorry!”
What? Nii Kpakpo! Me? I have suffered. My Nigerian friends will say Blind man nkor? But you see that set me thinking too if I will make money sitting in one corner of this land begging for alms like we saw the other day at the station where the have coins in hand and will jiggle it and be singing for you to give them more. These were even able bodied men who can get work. Makes me wonder what society has turned us all into beggars.
Well Anyemi thats my story oh. Your cousin in law has been mistaken for a blind man who walks about carrying women’s handbags and puts his hands on their waists. Maybe when I regain my sight I’d write you another letter.
Until then I still remain
Your Cousin in Law,