8 to 5 Ep03: Two lines, foot soldiers and arson

Happy Wednesday! Special thanks to everyone who participated in the #Kenikodjoat2 celebration. Instead of putting up an anniversary post that almost nobody will read, I put together a set of tweets and Facebook status updates with the hashtag. It gave us a few more readers, and to them, I say welcome! The TedX talk went well; I will put up the text of the talk on the blog within the week. This week’s episode is dedicated to my beloved Nana Yaa Aku Awuku! Happy birthday princess! ❀

P.S: My sister has started a blog too. (Yes, we are keeping the blogging streak in the family!) The first post talks about our childhood. You should check out my Mickey Mouse inspired hairstyle in the 90sHappy reading and may the month of November be a blessing to all of us! πŸ™‚

The phone buzzed one more time.

Edem ignored it. He was trying to finish his report before the day ended and he didn’t want any more distractions.

He heard the clicking of her heels even before he saw her. He had learnt how to distinguish Nadia’s ‘catwalk’ from all the other girls’ walks. He could tell when it was Akosua walking down the hallways because she always dragged her feet in an exaggerated manner. Grace always walked as if her shoes were bigger than her feet. Nadia glided on the floor, the click of her shoes almost musical. When she walked, she seemed to hypnotise everyone who fixed their eyes on her.

‘It feels like you have been ignoring me since you got back.’

She was right but it was easier to play dumb than to offer excuses.

‘Why would anyone in his right mind do that?’

She smiled and pulled him to his feet to join her for lunch.

He knew that continuing to hang around her was troublesome- like playing with fire, but as it turned out, he has a thing for arson.

Just one more lunch date…

This wasn’t how he had imagined his life at age 26. He woke up everyday praying that the elections were the next day. Joseph could hardly wait until December 7th so that he could finally change his job title from Campaign Strategist on LinkedIn to something fancy like Special Advisor to somebody important.

Because foot soldier wasn’t sexy enough for the girl of his dreams to boast about.

‘Meet my boyfriend Joseph. He is a foot soldier for the National Democratic Congress.’


Not sexy.

He was born to be a politician. That is why after the SRC elections were over, he had spent that vacation holed up in a secluded location, coming up with tweets for the electoral campaign, instead of applying for an internship at Ecobank.

You have potential. 

That was what the man who sat in the back of the V8 had said to him the day he was recruited. He believed him. In a few years’ time, he knew he would rise to the top as Minister for Communications. That was why he woke up early every day  to listen to the BBC and pick pointers on public speaking from the people on the radio.

There were other young men like him. The digital army, that’s what they called themselves. Nobody ever gave them any more recognition other than’Good job today, guys’ and yet the victory of the NDC in the elections rested on their shoulders.

Theirs and Charlotte Osei’s shoulders.

He silently hoped that all the hustle and bustle with the disqualified candidates would not end up delaying  Election Day. He was looking forward to the celebratory bonus that would come after they had won the elections. They had never seen the President before or even heard from him, ever since the campaign started.

‘The President is a busy man. He is grateful for your service. Keep up the good work.’

Sounded rehearsed but Joseph held on to it like the way a drowning man held on to straw.

His sister was less hopeful and more skeptical.

‘This political career thing is not going to work. I hope you have a plan B. Even I don’t plan to vote for John Mahama. If he wins again, I am moving to CΓ΄te d’Ivoire. I don’t know what will be left of Ghana when his term is over.’

He needed this win more than he was willing to admit. His ego needed a boost. Edem was working in one of the biggest auditing firms in the country. Akwesi was always selling one thing or another- the entrepreneurial life seemed to be working for him. Then again Akwesi could make being a whatsapp group chat admin feel more lucrative than working at a bank. Whenever the boys in his year group were talking about themselves, he always had to go offline. Footsoldier wasn’t exactly the kind of thing you proudly announce on ‘What have you been up to?’ Day.

I need this to work!

Shoot! Shoot! I can’t be pregnant again!

Maku checked her menstrual tracking app one more time and shut her eyes in frustration. Her period was one week late and her app had dutifully reminded her that ‘Your period seems to be late’.

‘What is Robert going to say?’

This would be her second pregnancy in their three year marriage. She was already dreading going through the cycle all over again. After Manuel was born, it has taken a whole year for her breasts to return to their supple bikini-worthy size and for her to feel sexy again. Her pregnancy was a difficult one and in the last two months, the doctors had told her to avoid carbohydrates. As if that wasn’t enough, it had to be a caesarean operation because all the water was finished and she was not dilating enough for his head to come out. The sore had taken forever to heal and coupled with her swollen nipples, she didn’t have the heart to show up and be Robert’s sexy wife.

She knew that Robert resented the situation. She also knew that he would not voice his frustrations because she had birthed his son- the first fruit of his loins. She could feel them drifting apart but between breast feeding, changing diapers, tears (both Manuel’s and hers), doctor’s appointments and irregular bed times, there was almost nothing she could do. This wasn’t how she had envisaged things at all. After her fairytale wedding at age 25, she was looking forward to just enjoying life with Robert and seeing a little of the world. She even started an evening class MBA in Marketing. Manuel coming into the picture meant that she had to defer her course until further notice.

And then there was work. Apart from the fact that her direct supervisor looked at her as though pregnancy was a sign of weakness, her male colleagues constantly patronised her. If it wasn’t a joke about her being too tired from nursing her son the night before, then it was her being too busy with mothering duties to do her job. It was almost as if she had to work extra hard to prove to them that she could still  do the job she used to do before she got pregnant. Never mind that she did ten times a better job than most of them did on any day. Of course there was Mr Parker, her boss who kept looking at her as if she had betrayed him and got him pregnant without his permission.

She could not be pregnant again! God forbid it!

Her mother would have asked her to wash her mouth and pray for forgiveness if she could read her mind. She could almost hear her in her mind’s ear.

‘Children are a gift from God! You should be grateful that you have been blessed with children. Many women spend nights crying to God when 8 years have gone by without a child and every woman in their husband’s family is silently accusing them of barrenness. Don’t be ungrateful!’

She wasn’t.

She just wished having a child would not turn her life upside down. She wanted to rise in her career and be the best banker she could be- the one she used to be before Manuel came along. She wanted to be Robert’s sexy wife- the Maku he married. She wanted to join the rest of the bankers for client socialisation night instead of rushing home to feed Manuel mashed yam and groundnut soup. She wanted to watch a good movie, not another episode of Barney.

She loved her son. God knows she did- but something told her that she would have to choose which path to follow. She also knew that the whole world would crucify her if she chose her job over her family. Tired of tossing it around in her head, she stepped out for a few minutes and bought a pregnancy test from the pharmacy.

It was only when she had finally put Manuel to bed, packed her husband’s lunch and taken a bath that she had the courage to take out the test from her bag. She locked herself in the bathroom, keeping an ear open for changes in the Robert’s snoring. Hurriedly reading the instructions, she held her breath when she urinated on the stick.

One line, not pregnant. Two lines, pregnant. 

When she looked at the stick, she saw what her inner person already knew:

Two lines, pregnant.

See you next week! 

Apologies for the delay. School has reopened and Jurispridence was 😩😩 (yeah that’s how best to describe it!)

36 thoughts on “8 to 5 Ep03: Two lines, foot soldiers and arson

  1. “Claps” Keni!!! But seriously may we know the time you would be posting, cos I can’t handle the anticipation I go through every Wednesday, looking forward to you. Plssssssssss. And again: Kudos for slaying as always!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Akua! ☺️☺️ I don’t give a time because my life is very unpredictable at the moment but I do my best to publish before midnight on Wednesdays.


  2. hmmmm………..owww welcome Maku!!!!………hmmm but this your intro into our world dier hmmm…….I don’t know what to say mpo.
    And the award for the best suspenseful ending of episodes goes to………..”drums rolling”……KENIKODJO!!!!πŸ‘πŸΎπŸ‘πŸΎπŸ‘πŸΎπŸ‘πŸΎπŸ‘πŸΎπŸ‘πŸΎπŸ‘πŸΎπŸ‘πŸΎ…..hehe…eeii Keni the day you wouldn’t leave us in suspense dier then it means you didn’t write the story!!πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜†πŸ˜†πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚…….hahaha

    Liked by 1 person

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