“Letter to Mo” by Akua Serwaa Amankwah.

Modukpe,

               Kilonshele?! I miss you! I miss you so much! How many years has it been? Fifteen? Twenty? When I found you on Facebook, I was thrilled to bits. Then I saw your picture, Modukpe Annor, I couldn’t stop screaming. I never thought I would see you again. The years have treated you well, my sister. You even have tits, shey! They look like watermelons my sister. Remember how you used to fill the upper part of your dress with your little brother Tosin’s dirty socks? God has been good, Mo’. God has been good. Ei where is Tosin? Did he ever marry? Or he got someone knocked up and had to quit school? I was in love with that brother of yours, Mo’. With those side burns and eyes so black and beautiful he was the James Dean of our village. But he wouldn’t even give me a second look!

Modukpe!

I wish I could wipe all these years and continue from when we were young again. I wish I could start all over again. And I wish when you guys were seriously studying I had joined you. It would have saved me from so much heartache.

I regret so many things, unconsciously severing our relationship, getting pregnant as such a tender age, disappointing my father, and being part of the reason why my dear mother joined the heavenly chariot. You know what I regret most? I regret not taking my education seriously. Because I would not have been dismissed for bad grades, and I would not have gotten pregnant not long after that. Once I started my petty whoring, Mo’ I couldn’t stop. I know everyone was talking about me then. And when Hans, Mr Ampong’s son got me pregnant, I didn’t think for a second Papa would let me marry him.

Mo’, it was a nightmare. I had only been seeing Hans because he always bought me Abena Sabina’s piping hot kelewele studded with delicious, greasy groundnuts. When I was forced to become a wife, I was barely 16. I thought I would die. I will never forget the day my people sent traditional drinks to Hans’ family, setting it in stone that I was to be a wife to that prig. I remember Hans ignoring me, seeing me as a plague which had been thrust upon him just because of one night of passion. I remember having to sleep in his bedroom because he didn’t have enough money to get us another place. It was terrible. His father, Mo’, the man treated his children like trained dogs.

Shut up!

Come!

Go!

Sit!

I remember all the times I had to eat food without meat, because there was simply not enough money to buy that. I remember the suffering I had to endure just because I was Hans’ little wife! Wife is not an appropriate word. More like an extra baggage. I remember Mr Ampong trying to force himself on me, and I knew I had to run away. I remember falling from the wall that night. And I remember the miscarriage that followed. I missed you more than ever, but you were nowhere near where I was.

I would close my eyes, and remember all those times with you. Those memories kept me sane, Mo’. I swear. It was what kept me from becoming mad. I remember you and me and the rest of the girls, and all the pranks we pulled. Then when we heard Sonny Achiba’s song for the first time we danced around like Indian women on the street, attracting lots of attention. You and I were the first to wear those sneakers which had lights, remember? Even the boys saluted us. We were the dons of Arrow Primary School. Oh, and remember Our Day? When we would bring our favourite food, our fried rice and jollof, and our drinks and biscuits…oh what I would do just to relive those days!

Primary school was the best. I remember Amelia’s waakye back in school, Amelia and her infamous shito which could make you get diarrhoea if you had too much of it. Yet we wouldn’t stop asking for extra pepper. Then there was chilled sobolo, and then Khalida’s Brukina which was out of this world. Khalida’s yoghurt was thicker than the average one used and it made her Brukina even more delicious. Then spring rolls with beans…boiled eggs which would be slit open and pepper would be put there.

I remember all those good times, and it makes me miss you more Mo’. I heard you married and you have kids. I hope the husband is treating you well.

Mo’, I run away from the Ampongs again, once I had strength. It was the baby which bound me to Hans, but once it was no more, it didn’t seem necessary to stay. When I left the first thing I did was to start again, from class three, when I was supposed to be in JSS at the time. I wanted to do things right. But the Ampongs, those wretched douchebags! They went to tell my family I had run away because of another man. I heard it was what made my mother cry all the time. It was what made her sick all the time. And it was what killed her. I should have come home, but I was angry with my father for forcing me to marry Hans. And I let them believe the worst. I married again Mo’, but not before I completed the secondary school.

Anyway.

I have three girls; I would love for them to meet you. And I am in my second year in the university; yes I promised myself I would do my best.

Bottom line, I miss you. I just…I love you Modukpe. And don’t you ever forget that. I do have one more thing to tell you.

I’m sorry.

I’ll be awaiting your reply, Mo’

Talata.

aka Tala Tala.

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