PERISCOPE: (Advocate against cheating and of peaceful co-existence) The Difficult Choice
As promised in my write-up last week, I reproduce below the short story I wrote in The Mirror issue of May 26, 1990, to support, solidly, the fact that women have the power to change men. Please read on:
Not until Ofori Akuamoah Boateng met his fiancée, Angela Gyamfi, he never knew love could influence a man’s habits. He then wondered why the world is so full of vices that there is no peace on earth. He believed that the man-woman relationship called love is fundamentally so strong that lovers can easily use it to influence their partners engaged in any sort of vice to abandon it.
Perhaps, there is going to be a revolution soon, in which a wife could tell her womaniser husband, “Hey Charlie, you must choose between me and your ‘alomos’.” Or, a man could warn his ‘kalabule’ trader wife: “Be patriotic or pack up your things and go to your mother.”
If this type of moral courage can be applied effectively through love, society could, perhaps, get rid of a good percentage of vices plaguing it.
Before he met Angela Gyamfi, Ofori Akuamoah Boateng could not be separated from drinks and cigarettes. He picked the habits when his parents sent him abroad to read Accountancy. Almost all his student colleagues were addicted. Soon, he found himself deep in them, too. In their leisure hours, they went to while away the time at a drinking spot, and Boateng could not resist the temptation to join his colleagues to exhibit their manly instincts.
When he returned home after the successful completion of his course, he was virtually synonymous with drinks, not a day passed by without drinks entering his system. Any glass of alcohol he took was also accompanied by smoking. One aspect of this deadly habit was that Boateng did not discriminate against any type of drink.
He once told his friend, Charles Owusu Kodua: “If you want me to go out with you for drinks, just call me. Mentioning the type of drink is not necessary for me, since my system takes in anything that can ‘melt’ my blood.”
Charles, as he was called for affection, was a humble-looking young man as handsome as Ofori Akuamoah Boateng himself. Both of them worked in the same office and had, thus, become very good friends. It was, therefore, not surprising that Charles always advised him to put an end to drinks and smoking.
“Boateng, you are gradually, but steadily, ruining yourself, and I warn you to turn over a new leaf, or else, I am afraid, you are going to force me to write an early “Obituary,” since the corrosive power of drinks and smoking is fatal to the frail and fragile human structure.”
“Are you a medical scientist?”
“You are already aware that I am not a medical doctor, but doctors themselves advise us to be wary of these two ‘pleasures’. They have professionally studied all the intricacies in human anatomy, and know what drinks and smoking do to the human internal organs.”
“Charles, do you want to tell me that doctors don’t enjoy these ‘pleasures’?”
“That is not what I mean. I am simply saying that they have studied that drinks and smoking are inimical to the human body. After they themselves have said this and they turn round to indulge in them, they are indirectly writing their own ‘obituaries,’ and that is my ‘back case. But personally, I do believe them. That is why I fear for your health. Hence, the advice,” Charles explained.
A vivacious lady at their office, Cecilia Serwaa Ahenkorah, also had an occasion to advice Boateng. On one occasion, she was passing by a palm-wine shed, when she saw him with his face burled in a huge calabash; he was drinking afternoon palm-wine.
“Eei, Boateng!” “What is it, Ceci? “Please do come and listen to something,” Ceci invited him.
He hurriedly drained in the remaining stuff and fell into steps with her. “Boateng, you see, as Charles has been saying, you are ruining your life.”
“This does not affect the work at the office, does it? he asked jokingly.
“Boateng, I am not joking. I am serious. I am not talking about the work at the office. I am drawing your attention to the two social vices you have become addicted to. Please stop them, since they can also affect your marriage. Some wives can’t stand alcoholic stench, and you may be unlucky to meet one of such,” captivating Ceci pointed out.
“Thank you Ceci. I am going to think about it.” After Cecilia had left, Boateng did not go home ‘to think about it’. He went straight to another drinking spot, this time, an Akpeteshie shed, and soaked himself to the extent that colleagues, including Charles, who happened to be passing by, carried him home.
Such was his deep affection for drinks and smoking that people thought he could never stop them under any circumstance.
The turning point in his life, however, came when a beautiful young lady, with the age bordering on 20, called at his office one day, seeking some information. Boateng worked with a bank in Accra and his duties included attending to customers seeking any type of information.
The lady, called Angela Gyamfi, wanted to open a current account to enable her salary to be paid through it.
“Please, how much must I open the account with?” she asked in a captivating voice that sent electric currents of lust and affection for her through his whole system.
“Sister, as much as your purse can permit,” he replied politely.
“Yes, I know that, but what is the least amount? I haven’t got enough,” Angela revealed blushing.
“Can you afford GH¢500?” “Please, this is exactly what I intend to open with.” “It’s alright, sister.” “Thank you brother,” she said greatly relieved.
He directed her to the appropriate section of the bank, where Angela was served with the minimum delay, something characteristic of the efficient staff at the bank. She felt grateful to him.
“Please, I am through with it; thank you very much,” she said, honouring him with a disarming smile, which revealed a set of slender teeth with gaps in them.
“Oh, do not mention it throughout all the days of your life on earth. The pleasure is always ours. We are here to serve the public.”
From that day, the two started an interesting journey to the realm of mutual love and affection. But then, Angela was horrified to realise later that his man had two other lovers – the twin sisters of drink and smoking!
She was alarmed and felt disappointed. She was from a Christian home and these social vices were unknown in their family. She felt desperate, because, she had fallen head over heels in love with him. She could not, however, accept him at the expense of her virtues. She, therefore, decided to let him know of her sentiments.
“O.B.,” Angela called him affectionately during one of their outings, “I have detected that you are addicted to drinking and smoking, this is unfortunate. Even though I love you, as you yourself know, and have even agreed we get married as soon as possible, I am afraid I may call it quits, if you do not divorce these two hopeless lovers.”
His heart missed a beat, and when it resumed, it was as though he was suffering from palpitation. He truly loved Angela. Even though he had met other ladies, none of them had ever received the sort of affectionate attention he was giving to Angela.
This indicated that he had a very soft spot in his heart for her. But, she was now speaking of separation, due to his love for drinks and smoking. Truly, he also loved these two pleasures.
“Angela, what are you telling me?”
“Simply, drop your love for the two ugly girls in the form of drinks and smoking. The choice is yours. If you really love me as you profess, please choose me and leave them”, she said resolutely.
It was indeed a difficult choice for him. He stood still before elegant and angelic Angela, trying to find a compromise. He loved the girl and had not the slightest intention of hurting her in anyway.
“Angela, please, allow me a little time to phase out the two ‘pleasures,” he suggested with sorrow in his tone.
“No Sir, my dear, ‘habits die hard’ as the saying goes. If you don’t act with determination and seriousness, you cannot stop any bad thing. Just determine to put an end to it at once and you will succeed, especially if you add prayers to such determination. Now, promise me that you have stopped as from this very second,” Angela demanded authoritatively.
- B. heaved a deep sigh of distress, stood still for some minutes, gazed intently at the girl before him, and confirmed that he could not part from her for all the riches and wisdom of the biblical Solomon. He would, simply, yield to her demand.
“Angela, I do faithfully promise that, from now on, I have declared an irrevocable enmity between me and these two ‘pleasures’!”
Her face brightened up with smiles of satisfaction. Her love for OB increased, and she could not help but embrace him.
That very evening, he was put to test in the absence of Angela. Two of his colleagues, with whom he usually went on a drinking spree, called on him dressed up for a party being organised for one of their friends going on a transfer, after staying at post for twenty-five years.
The occasion was, therefore, considered to be a memorable one. It was, thus, very grand.
There were different types of dishes. Drinks of all sorts were superfluous, with guests helping themselves to whatever type of drinks they fancied.
O.B. and his friends set around a table on which there were bottles of assorted drinks. Their glasses were filled. They lifted them up and one of them said C-H-E-E-R-S!
They clinked glasses and each of them began to drink. O.B. put his glass to his lips. Just then, the image of Angela Gyamfi, his beautiful fiancée, appeared on the screen of his mind! He remembered his solemn promise to her and put down the glass with the contents untouched.
His friends could not understand his action, but he did understand it all. He wanted a human being for love, and not drinks with its concomitant smoking.
No! They had no promising future for him and he must avoid them like the Egyptian plague in favour of his sweet, elegant and vivacious Angela Gyamfi.
Yes, indeed, women have formidable POWER to change men.
NOTE: *All names and places mentioned in the story are fictitious.
By GODFRIED K. ARHIN-KUMI
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect The Chronicle’s editorial stance