Desires

Bitter Honey is a Ghana-based series, centered around the Quartey family. Kojo Quartey; a taxi driver, his wife Aba; who runs a bank’s canteen, and their three children; Kuku, Abena and Maama live through a series of fortunate and unfortunate events. The Bitter Honey series tells the story of different bittersweet experiences that build their characters and teach them life lessons. Enjoy.

Catch up on the previous episode here! Continue reading “Desires”

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That Saturday Night

Bitter Honey is a Ghana-based series, centered around the Quartey family. Kojo Quartey; a taxi driver, his wife Aba; who runs a bank’s canteen, and their three children; Kuku, Abena and Maama live through a series of fortunate and unfortunate events. The Bitter Honey series tells the story of different bittersweet experiences that build their characters and teach them life lessons. Enjoy. Continue reading “That Saturday Night”

A Child’s View

Bitter Honey is a Ghana-based series, centered around the Quartey family. Kojo Quartey; a taxi driver, his wife Aba; who runs a bank’s canteen, and their three children; Kuku, Abena and Maama live through a series of fortunate and unfortunate events. The Bitter Honey series tells the story of different bittersweet experiences that build their characters and teach them life lessons. Enjoy.

Previously on Bitter Honey…

Continue reading “A Child’s View”

Dreams and Broken Things

Bitter Honey is a Ghana-based series, centered around the Quartey family. Kojo Quartey; a taxi driver, his wife Aba; who runs a bank’s canteen, and their three children; Kuku, Abena and Maama live through a series of fortunate and unfortunate events. The Bitter Honey series tells the story of different bittersweet experiences that build their characters and teach them life lessons. Enjoy.

Catch up on the previous edition here! 

Continue reading “Dreams and Broken Things”

Interventions; Human or Divine

Bitter Honey is a Ghana-based series, centered around the Quartey family. Kojo Quartey; a taxi driver, his wife Aba; who runs a bank’s canteen, and their three children; Kuku, Abena and Maama live through a series of fortunate and unfortunate events. The Bitter Honey series tells the story of different bittersweet experiences that build their characters and teach them life lessons. Enjoy.

Previously on Bitter Honey…

Today on Bitter Honey:

Watching Ma Dee, Kuku remembered the stories his mom used to tell about his grandparents. They were well to do – or if they were still alive, they are well to do. His mom suddenly stopped talking about them when his little sisters started growing older. When she told the stories, it kept his hope alive that he could live the kind of life she had when she was a child. Once the stories stopped, he knew that it was only foolish to keep such hope alive. Looking at her now, he felt hope birth in his heart again.

Ma Dee was talking on the phone. It was wedged between her shoulder and her ear. With her hands she was typing on her laptop. Just as she finished the phone call. Another phone on the seat between them was ringing. She glanced at it and put it down. She turned to him and asked about him.

Kuku informed her that he worked at an IT firm and didn’t say much else.

“Do you live with your parents?” She asked. Kuku nodded and said, “And my little sisters,”

His response shocked him – he didn’t want her to think of him as a child. But he hadn’t expected to give off this information.

Ma Dee nodded and put her devices away. She spoke a little bit about herself she lived a good life – she was married but alone, and had children working in different parts of the world. She owned a number of shops at Makola market and enjoyed helping small businesses with her earnings. Kuku thought his mom would be really good friends with Ma Dee.

“I would like us to be friends. You can take my number and we can talk whenever you want.” Kuku agreed. He picked out his phone, waiting for the number she was about to mention.

Ma Dee burst out in laughter. It was a hearty long laugh. Kuku was confused; was he not supposed to save her number on his phone? What was funny?

“Nice phone,” Ma Dee said with a smile dancing on her lips, and passed her call card to him.  Kuku took the card and murmured, “Thanks”.

The driver spoke up, “Please we’ve reached, should I pass here?”

“No, I’ll get down here.” Kuku unbuckled his seatbelt and turned to Ma Dee, “Thank you for the ride. It was nice meeting you,”

As he got out of the car, Ma Dee pressed something into his palm, “This is a little something to buy credit,”

The car sped off.

Kuku unwrapped the folded wads in his palm. It was five Ghc 50 cedi notes. He was shocked.

“Two hundred Ghana cedis for credit? Ei!”

As Kuku walked towards his home from the junction he was dropped at, he had so much going on in his mind. On one hand, he was ready to throw the lady’s card away. On the other hand, she didn’t collect his number – so if he didn’t contact her, he will probably not see her again. Well, unless she showed up at his office.

“But why do I want to see her again?” He asked aloud. He didn’t have an answer to that question. But meeting Ma Dee seemed divine to him. There was a familiar air about her and the kind of financial freedom she enjoyed. It gave her some confidence – he wanted that confidence. The vibrations of his phone brought him out of his thoughts. He picked it out of his pocket and looked at it. He liked his phone but now that Ma Dee had a good laugh at merely the sight of it, the phone didn’t fit right in his palm any more. The Caller ID read “Aunty Aba”.

“Hello,” Kuku said onto the phone.

“Kuku, when you’re coming home, can you buy some banana and oranges on your way home. Where have you reached?”

“Okay, I’m almost at home just passed the junction. I’ll go and buy some.” Kuku turned around and headed towards the junction once more.

“Do you have money?” She asked him. “Yes, Momma. I have money.”

When he ended the call. He smiled to himself. He was absolutely sure that meeting Ma Dee was divine. As he walked to the lady with the fruit table at the junction, he copied Ma Dee’s number from the card and sent a quick text.

Ma Dee, this is Kuku. Thank you for the ride once again. I appreciate it.

The response was instant:

   😊

***

Kojo could tell Caroline was famished. She had taken the pack of food too eagerly and actually said thank you! When she put the first morsel of food in her mouth, she groaned with pleasure. Kojo watched her carefully through the rare view mirror as she sprinkled some gari on the beans stew and took another dig.

He had bought some for himself. It was in a rubber hidden under his seat. He would devour it when he dropped her off at her next destination. “Please, Ma. Where should I drop you?”

“Why do you call me Ma as if I am old?” Caroline asked between mouthfuls. “Do I look like an old woman?”

Kojo shook his head, “You look like a typical young woman,” and he added; “But you are a ‘biiiiiig’woman, o. The hotels you go to, some of us cannot enter,” Caroline laughed, “I know big people – that’s all.”

The car was silent.

“How does a typical young woman look like?” Caroline asked.

Kojo smiled to himself, “Like they are looking for something. They look like they are lost, or nursing dying hope.”

Caroline looked outside the window. “Take me home,” she said quietly.

Kojo sparked the car and manoeuvred his way into the road. Then Caroline started telling her story.

***To be continued***

I hope to post a new episode every Friday. (So help me, God) Don’t forget to comment, like and share!! 🤗 🤗 

 

Next on Bitter Honey…

Aba had been home for about twenty minutes. She was craving fruits so she called Kuku to bring some home. She laid on the couch to have a short nap. She was exhausted from her thoughts – she couldn’t understand Mr. Amoah’s reaction. She thought they were friends or that he cared about her – she was only trying to help him with whatever issue he was going through with his wife.

She drifted off to sleep.

 

Episode 16 – New Faces

Bitter Honey is a Ghana-based series, centered around the Quartey family. Kojo Quartey; a taxi driver, his wife Aba; who runs a bank’s canteen, and their three children; Kuku, Abena and Maama live through a series of fortunate and unfortunate events. The Bitter Honey series tells the story of different bittersweet experiences that build their characters and teach them life lessons. Enjoy. Continue reading “Episode 16 – New Faces”

Bitter Honey – The Series.

Bitter Honey

About four years ago, I started a blog series titled Bitter Honey. It has been pressing on my heart to continue writing this series, and I’ll do that in the next few weeks. Until then, I’ve been reading through the past 17 episodes and I have had a good time doing that. If you haven’t read the story yet, follow this link!  Continue reading “Bitter Honey – The Series.”

Episode 15 – The Midnight Call

Bitter Honey is a Ghana-based series, centered around the Quartey family. Kojo Quartey; a taxi driver, his wife Aba; who runs a bank’s canteen, and their three children; Kuku, Abena and Maama live through a series of fortunate and unfortunate events. The Bitter Honey series tells the story of different bittersweet experiences that build their characters and teach them life lessons. Enjoy.

***

Previously on Bitter Honey…

 

Kojo was asleep for two hours before the call came through. It was almost midnight, and he hated to leave home at that time. He whispered a goodbye to Aba and quietly left the house. He hated late night jobs but he knew it was a good opportunity to charge more for his service.

He hummed along to the ‘cools’ that were playing on the late night radio. He could count the number of cars that sped past him. At that time of the night, the road was practically empty, and he enjoyed the smooth drive. When he got to the house he had been directed to, he turned off the ignition and sat quietly for about 5 minutes.

Kojo called the lady, but she did not pick. Caroline; that was her name. She was very beautiful with very smooth, light skin and looked about 28 years old. Kojo tried to recall the features of her face, but couldn’t clearly remember. ‘Why wasn’t she answering her phone when she called him to come,’ he thought to himself. He anticipated that he would have to wait a little while, his mind drifting to the various options of who Caroline was, or what she could be doing here at this time of the night.

‘It could be her home,’ he suggested, bending his head to see the full building through the window and concluded; ‘She must have a very big family, then’.

Thinking out loud, he said “Or maybe there was a dinner party and she’s too drunk to drive,” Kojo laughed at himself. He enjoyed imagining the stories behind each customers’ taxi ride. His phone rang and brought him back to reality,

“Driver, wu w) hin?” (meaning, ‘driver where are you?’) This lady sounded upset, he took a look at the number to confirm that it wasn’t Caroline’s and replied; “whai ni?” (‘who’s this?’)

There was a blend of voices, music and shouting in the background, which made it harder for Kojo to hear what the lady was saying. The angry lady yelled while another lady screamed. Kojo could tell there was a struggle going on between the angry lady and other people. The line went dead. Kojo was uncomfortable, he called Caroline again but she wasn’t answering. He tried three more times and called the angry lady. Her phone was off.

Kojo got down from the taxi and checked to see if the house had a doorbell. He was convinced that the angry lady must be related to Caroline or something. Standing closer to the building, Kojo could hear muffled music being played inside the huge house. He rang the doorbell and waited. A minute later, he heard a door open… more shouting, insults being hurled back and forth… then the door shut.

As the footsteps drew closer to the gate, Kojo heard whimpering and a second voice aggressively consoling. ‘That must be the angry lady,’ Kojo thought as the gate opened. With the opening of the gate, came a flood of whining complaints from the angry lady about lateness and other unnecessary things. Kojo ignored her, his attention was wrapped around Caroline.

Her face was reddened, she had scratches on her arm and chest and little red slashes on her thighs. She was barefooted; angry lady was holding her heels. Kojo assessed the dress Caroline was wearing, he couldn’t tell if it had been torn and reduced to that ridiculous length or that was the original design. Either way, the dress had been stretched and laid limply on her shivering body.

Eventually, when angry lady was done ranting about how Kojo wasn’t there early enough, she ushered Caroline into the backseat. Kojo closed the door after them.

As Kojo drove off, the angry lady tried cleaning sweat and little drops of blood from Caroline’s face, “Adjo, I’m fine.” Caroline said between sniffs. Adjo started another rant about how Caroline needs to leave that ‘good-for-nothing idiot’ for good.

“Driver, we’ll drop Adjo first,” Caroline cut into Adjo’s unending rattle. “Please where?” Kojo asked, trying to say as little as possible. Adjo directed Kojo and sat down quietly. “He only does that when he’s drunk. He didn’t mean to, he’s not like that,” Both Adjo’s and Kojo’s mouths dropped open in unbelief.

Kojo stole a glance at Caroline’s face in the rear-view mirror, ‘Is she alright?’ he asked himself. She was adjusting her weave and buttoning a shirt over her outfit. “You’re not serious. Have you seen what he has done to you? Look at your thighs, Caro!” Adjo sounded very shocked. “I’m very serious, Adjo. He didn’t know what he was doing, and tomorrow he’ll come and apologize,” Caroline sounded sure of herself.

By this time Kojo had reached Adjo’s house. Before she got down, she said, “You’ve convinced yourself he’s more than he actually is. I hope all this is not because of his money,” She walked away, looking angrier than she was when Kojo first saw her.

Caroline got into the front seat, now fully clothed in blue jeans and a black long-sleeve shirt. She gave clear instructions on how to get to her home and waited. Ten seconds later, Kojo hadn’t moved the car. He was staring at Caroline in astonishment.

“Lets go!” Caroline exclaimed. He drove away.

***To be Continued***

Episode 14 – Blurred Lines

Hi Guys! So its been a while since I put up an episode of Bitter Honey🙈. I promise to be good from this week on… Here’s a brief description of the series, and the newest episode in the series. 

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Bitter Honey is a Ghanaian-based series, centered around the Quartey family. Kojo Quartey; a taxi driver, his wife Aba; who runs a bank’s canteen, and their three children; Kuku, Abena and Maama live through a series of fortunate and unfortunate events. The Bitter Honey series tells the story of different bittersweet experiences that build their characters and teach them life lessons. Enjoy.

***

Previously on Bitter Honey…

Aba had been working as a canteen manager about nine months. She looked forward to peak times at the canteen, and made good use of the free times between them. She found that a lot of the ‘top’ executives loved to come into the canteen when it was mostly empty, just to sit by themselves and play with their food. They seemed like a lonely bunch. In direct contrast, the younger workers were all noise and laughter before during and after meals.

Being a good listener, she would usually start a conversation with one or two when they come in, to encourage them to share the burdens on their minds. For most, she was welcomed and appreciated. For a few, she immediately advised herself to keep her distance. Most days, she would pray silently that she will never find herself doing something that she wasn’t passionate about.

Aba enjoyed Mr. Amoah’s company a lot. A little too much that it made her feel uncomfortable. She always comforted herself with the words, ‘I’ll tell Kojo all about this conversation when I get home, so its fine.’ Mr. Amoah usually came in when the canteen was empty. It was like clockwork. Either all other workers knew he was on his way, or he waited till all other workers had left the canteen.

Today, he was talking about his wife for the first time. He looked like a different person altogether. As he poured out bitter emotion with his words, deep wrinkles marked his face. He looked years older than he actually was.

“David”, Aba touched his arm, offering comfort the best way she could. He looked up and shook off the heaviness, “But that’s a topic for another day!” He quickly changed the subject, trying not to make the situation pitiful. It was a little too late, Aba was worried about him – he was deeply troubled.

They went on to talk about everything for the next twenty-five minutes, “I would like to meet your husband,” David announced. Aba laughed at the unexpected declaration. “That can be arranged. I have to get back to work now, my kitchen needs me,” with that she said goodbye.

The only thing that kept running across her mind, was the look on David’s face when he spoke about his wife. She wasn’t looking forward to discussing this with Kojo at home.

As the bank driver drove into the compound of the company apartments, she was thinking through her conversation with David.  ‘Maybe he doesn’t need to know this, it seems very personal,’ she thought to herself as she politely greeted her neighbors who were sitting in groups on the compound, picked up her children from the opposite apartment, and started getting dinner ready. While she worked in the kitchen she asked Abena and Maama about school and enjoyed the countless stories that came from that single question.

Maama and Abena had just finished eating when Kojo got home. He looked tired, but suddenly lit up with energy when Maama and Abena pounced on him in excitement. Aba smiled and dished out her husband’s food. Eventually, when the children had settled behind the television, Kojo turned his attention to his wife and embraced her.

She watched him eat, and listened to the various stories he had to tell about his day. His line of work made him interact with the most interesting people – in both good and bad ways. Aba enjoyed listening to his stories. He spoke extensively about how angry some people made him and how pleasantly he was treated by others. As they washed the dishes together, Aba would ask questions, intrigued by how much he was able to notice from some very short interactions with certain customers.

“How was your day?” Kojo asked Aba. She smiled as she wiped her hands on a kitchen napkin. “More or less uneventful…” she was rethinking her answer when Kojo responded, “I’ll be going out soon. A lady took my number. She said she will call me to come and pick her up,” Aba nodded, assuring herself that nothing really happened during her day that was worthy of conversation. “What time did she say you should come and pick her?” She asked him,

“She didn’t say when, she said she will call me so I will have to wait for her call,” with that, he walked out of the kitchen and into the hall.

***To be Continued***

 

Next on Bitter Honey…

 

Episode 13 – Longing

Bitter Honey is a Ghanaian-based series, centered around the Quartey family. Kojo Quartey; a taxi driver, his wife Aba; who runs a bank’s canteen, and their three children; Kuku, Abena and Maama live through a series of fortunate and unfortunate events. The Bitter Honey series tells the story of different bittersweet experiences that build their characters and teach them life lessons. Enjoy.

***

Previously on Bitter Honey…

 

 

Emelia finally called, and Kojo was relieved. It had been a long four hours since he dropped her off at her gentleman-friend’s house. He couldn’t stop thinking through the endless possibilities of what could be happening in that house; his mind raced through everything from ritual to rape and back again. Then he thought about where her parents were and if they knew where she was. He concluded that he couldn’t get her off his mind because of her resemblance to his daughter.

When she walked out of the house, she got into the backseat of the taxi this time. Kojo noticed that the gentleman didn’t come and see her off at the gate. He didn’t know what to make of that.

“Thank you. Good Afternoon.” Emelia greeted. “Where do you stay?” Kojo asked, as he drove out of the estate. “I live at Teshie Nungua. When you get to 1st Junction, I’ll direct you,” she replied. Kojo nodded.

Before the silence got comfortable Kojo asked, “Was that your classmate?” Emelia hesitated, “No, he’s my boyfriend.”

“Oh ok! What are you doing while you wait for your results?” Kojo was trying hard to make conversation, “Is your school doing summer school?” Emelia shook her head no. She didn’t seem interested in talking to Kojo so he remained silent.

 

In a few moments, she was on the phone speaking to either her sister or her best friend. Kojo respected the privacy of his customers, so he tried not to listen to her conversation. But when Emelia started sobbing uncontrollably, he couldn’t help but glance at her through the rearview mirror.

“Sarah, I couldn’t do it… I think he is angry with me.” She was quiet for a while, “I really love him, but I just couldn’t.” She continued sobbing and eventually ended the conversation. The person on the other side must have been consoling and advising her, she said a lot of ‘ok’s intermittently, and finally ended with a “buh-bye”

Kojo couldn’t figure out what the other person was saying, but he wished he could tell her that she made the right choice. He wouldn’t dare intrude, he was just a stranger. He willed her to stop crying throughout the ride, but the only time they exchanged words was when Emelia was directing him to her house. They got there, she paid the fare and got out.

 

Emelia stayed in his thoughts for the rest of the day. He made new customer friends, made other customers laugh, and gave out his number multiple times. But she was the first thing he spoke about with his wife when he got home.

“Aba, she was practically Abena’s age. That scared me.” He concluded, after a hearty meal of apim and nkontomire stew. Aba sighed heavily, “That’s a good thing, that just means if Abena found herself in the same situation, she won’t do it too.” She was trying to calm Kojo’s worries, but she made it worse.

“Abena must not find herself in such a situation!” He frowned at his empty plate. Aba, rubbed his back softly, “She won’t Kojo. She won’t”

***To be continued***

 

Next on Bitter Honey…