When Afosua got back to her office after her lunch with Naa Akweley she was more than shaken. It had not gone anywhere near how she’d planned, and that surprised her. Afosua had always prided herself about being calm under pressure, and generally very pragmatic, but there was something about Naa Akweley that unsettled her. She wanted to find out what it was, but since she had told Naa Akweley to basically fuck herself, there was no chance of that.
Naa Akweley would have been a useful ally because her husband was an influential man. Ian Blankson was the senior pastor of one of Ghana’s three mega-churches, and his congregation included statesmen, businessmen and all manner of scoundrels looking for salvation. More importantly, the wives and mistresses of these men attended church with them, and it was they who were Afosua’s true target. She was going to get to them by aligning herself intimately with Naa Akweley…but now she’d dashed those chances.
Afosua buried herself in her work, trying to sort out the details of two accounts that were left on her desk. She quickly analyzed the risks involved in the Bawku venture. The skirmishes that plagued this small Northern town were no longer a threat, and the Ashanti investor who wanted to set up a beef processing plant would do well there. The people were willing and the resources were plentiful. It would be up to him to generate enough bribe money to satisfy the MP for the region. His behavior analysis showed him to be highly deceptive and greedy, but compliant enough to see significant change for his region if he were compensated well enough. She moved on to the next account: The Swedes.
By 6 pm she was still pouring over the details. Something just didn’t add up. It was too perfect. There was absolutely no risk in this account. To the untrained mind, the project seemed like a no brainer, and a sure thing…but Afosua knew better. Nothing is ever for certain. Everything has a price.
“What do you have there?”
The sound of Mr. Boakye’s voice jolted Afosua from her thoughts.
“The Swedish account,” she replied. “I’m looking over the behavior analysis grid and the numbers. Something’s not quite right.”
Mr. Boakye’s face darkened.
“That’s not your account,” he said tersely.
“Yeah, I know,” retorted Afosua. “And that’s actually something I wanted to talk to you and Mr. Phillips about. When you contracted me, you promised me a spot in upper management. Ever since I got here, I’ve had the title – yes – but not the responsibility. All you’ve had me do is the work of a first year analyst and I…”
Harold Boakye held up his hand, signaling for silence and cutting her off.
“You know what your problem is Ms. Gyemfi?” he asked seating himself on the edge of her desk. “You haven’t been vetted yet. You are neither tested nor proven. Everyone, anyone, who has ever advanced with this company possesses one thing that sets them apart and makes them special.”
“You mean a penis?” Afosua asked, her tone ascorbic.
Mr. Boakye chuckled dryly.
“Experience. Everyone here has real world, applicable experience. You my dear, have none.”
“I will as soon as I hash out this Swedish account,” she replied confidently. “Sir,” she added.
“No. No you won’t. That account is too important and too detailed, even for you,” said Mr. Boakye. “Brilliant as you may be, you are not to touch it.”
“But –“ Afosua objected.
“Do NOT touch that account, Ms. Gyemfi,” Mr. Boakye said, rising from his perch and taking the file with him. “That is all.”
Afosua nodded and bid him a good night before preparing to leave herself. Too bad for Mr. Boakye she had already saved on the data on her pen drive.
Naa Akweley was still in the study when Ian walked in. The smell of liquor and the spirit of her despondency were heavy in the room. She looked up and greeted her husband with red, watery eyes. He looked back with disgust.
“You’re drunk,” he spat.
“Yes I am.”
“How dare you drink, in your condition!”
“How dare you fuck the maid, in my condition!” she shot back.
When he slapped her, she momentarily lost her vision. When she regained it, all she could see was the hulking frame of her husband looming over her. She hated him…hated him and loved him so much.
“You know that we have dinner with the Bishop tonight,” he railed. “You know how important this meeting is, especially at this time!”
Naa Akweley nodded in agreement. She cast her eyes downward, showing her contrition.
“Ian, I’m sorry…I am. I was just so upset because when I came home you – you were –“
She couldn’t even bring herself to say it. She didn’t have to.
“What I do in my own house, with my own staff, is my business. Your only JOB as my wife is to keep me happy. You don’t have to concern yourself with anything else,” he said darkly.
Naa Akweley nodded. She understood completely why her husband was sleeping with the maid. Who would ever believe it? He was a “man of God” and she was an illiterate from nowhere. Any allegations she might ever make would be laughed out of court or the newspapers. Some would believe her, but most would doubt her. Ian’s voice cut into her and ended her inward reflection.
“You’ve never had to work a day in your life,” he finished. “Don’t start acting up, or it won’t always be that way. Get yourself cleaned up. We leave in 45 minutes.”
When Ian left the room, Naa Akweley let herself cry for a few more minutes before going up to her and her husband’s bedroom. At least the maid had had the decency to make the bed. Of course, she would have to be sacked. This was the third maid. Naa Akweley would not stand for a third miscarriage brought on by grief. If nothing else, she was strong enough to do that. She was strong enough to save this baby.