Annette drove around Accra in a daze for hours. Stunned by Sophia’s unrepentant revelation that she was married and the harshness with which she delivered the news, she sought solace in food. Frankie’s Ice Cream shop was across the street from Sophia’s studio, and when circumstances prevented her from seeing Sophia Annette sat in the window of the restaurant to stare wistfully at her store window. She ate her ice-cream absently until the buzz and hum of evening traffic snapped her out of her trance. She would have to go back home and deal with her life. Sitting here wasn’t going to solve anything.
When she got home, Mr. Prah was seated in the living room, reading a newspaper as usual.
“Oh. You’re finally home,” he smirked.
“Come sit by me,” he commanded.
Annette did as she was told. Mr. Prah held her by the neck and looked searchingly into her eyes. Where had she been?
“Mr. Prah…darling. It dawned on me today that I truly have nowhere to go. I have no one but you,” Annette said, choking back her emotions. “You’ve created a world for me, and I have no choice but to live in it.”
Mr. Prah smiled.
“And don’t you ever forget it,” he whispered maliciously.
With his free hand, he removed his penis from his trousers and pushed Annette’s head towards his lap. She began to suck mechanically. Mr. Prah leaned back and groaned, leaving Annette’s mouth full of his semen and her tears.
Afosua felt emotionally drained when she got back into the office. It was late and everyone was gone, and was happy for the solitude. She hadn’t done any work today dealing with Naa Akweley and going down the dark path of those memories from so many months ago, but she physically felt like she had been laboring in a field like a slave. She was tired…and she was sad.
After her PC powered up she began to type furiously. The algorithm she was working on was failing to solve the fiscal dilemma her newest client was facing. DeutschTech Laboratories was a German company that had an expressed interest in coming to Ghana to investigate Synsepalum dulcificum or ‘asaa’, as it was known locally. The plant is native to West Africa and the German company was trying to exploit its uses for German clients. At least that’s how Afosua saw it…not that she cared. Mark Phillips had made her the team lead on this project, and the financial windfall Phillips & Boakye stood to gain from its success was all she was focused on. This was her shot at the recognition she knew she deserved. When she looked back through the columns of her spreadsheet, she realized what the problem was. Some of the terms had not been translated from German to English. Gertrude would have to fix that in the morning.
Afosua leaned back in her swivel chair and sighed. She hated waiting on other people to get her work done, but there was nothing to be done at this hour. She closed her eyes and wondered what she would do next. The sound of her door creaking made them fly open in panic. She thought she was alone!
“Why are you here so late?”
“Tony?” She was bewildered by his presence. “What are you doing here at all?”
“I have an office on the other side of the building.”
“Since when?” she challenged.
“Since always,” he chuckled. “You forget that I have been working for P&B long before you got here.”
That was true. Afosua let her guard down. Tony was so nice, and there was no reason she had to be a bitch to him. Now that Mr. Phillips had made it clear that they were going to be working together, she may as well extend the olive branch.
“Tony, I want to apologize for the way I acted a few days ago,” she said. “You were such a gentleman, and I was –“
“A total bitch?”
Afosua stiffened. Tony saw immediately that he had offended her, and offered his own apology.
“I think we’re about equal now, as far as hurt feelings and apologies go,” he said. “Can we start from the beginning?”
“Of course,” she said smiling. “How about we start with a proper introduction?”
She held out her hand to shake his.
“Good evening. My name is Afosua Gyemfi, and I’m an actuary for Phillips & Boakye.”
“Tony Coffie, roaming accountant” he said laughing. “And I think I was just as happy with the nature of our first introduction.”
His grip on Afosua’s hand tightened and he pulled her in closer to him. His broad chest felt warm and hard through his button down shirt. Afosua held her breath.
“I think this is where we left off the last time I was in here,” he murmured, unbuttoning her blouse.
With one hand she undid his belt and slid her hand down his zipper. He was rock hard. Within moments they were naked and he was on top of her, thrusting with urgency and willing her to cum. When she did, he refused to cease his penetration and buried his head into her chest, licking and biting her nipples until they were erect and wet from his kisses. When she screamed and came again, he finally released as well. Realizing what he had done, Tony looked at her with panic in his eyes. His passion had taken over his sense of responsibility. Afosua rubbed his neck reassuringly and pulled him back on top of her. She whispered that it was okay. Everything was okay. Unsure, he lay back down anyway, thumbing her clitoris and running his soft lips over her cheek. Only the sound of their steady breathing filled the room.
There would be no conception – no baby. Rafiq had robbed her of that long ago.
When Mr. Prah finally released her, Annette ran to her room and vomited in the sink. She hated the very smell of that miserable old man, and the memory of his penis in her mouth was more than she could bear. Was this the way her life was going to be forever? Groveling and scraping and obeying this old toad’s every command for the rest of her life? Annette had already suffered so many years under his tyrannical rule and she decided this was enough.
There was GhCedis 50,000 locked away in box that she had been saving for years. Part of that was money she owed Sophia for a dress she had just commissioned, but there was no way Annette was going to pay her now. It wasn’t a lot, but it was hers and Mr. Prah had no idea she had it. Her mouth was dry as she quickly formulated her plan. With trembling hands she packed a few clothes into an oversized bag and grabbed the money. When the house was still and the bullfrogs began croaking, she left through the back gate of the estate, disappearing into the night.