(Dear GISTvillers, apologies for not bringing this story as consistent as it should. For the next one week, we’ll feature one episode of Omoshalewa daily. After then, it will be featured every Friday. Don’t miss a thing!)
EPISODE 10: GHANA RAZZMATTAZ 2
â€œYes, and a bottle of your best red wine. Thank you.â€
This is me, ordering a bottle of red wine in this five-star hotel located in Accra. My plan for the night was to drink and drink some more. I wasnâ€™t much of a drunk; at least one can tell from the club episode of Mr. Oga and me. However, on certain days I find myself taking shelter in alcohol. I simply envelope myself in its intoxication and forget how I started with the first sip. This night, I was going to get drunk and sleep off. Mr. Oga didnâ€™t need us until 1.00pm. If there would be any hangover, it should have passed by then.
â€œRoom service will be with you in 2 minutes.â€ The receptionist at the Labadi Beach Hotel, Accra said.
The hotel is the most beautiful ever â€” well next to Edwardian Radisson hotel, London or maybe not. I wasnâ€™t in the right frame of mind so I really couldnâ€™t judge. There were three rooms in the wing where we were lodged. I picked up the phone and dialled Danielâ€™s number.
â€œHi Daniel, itâ€™s Shalewa.â€
â€œHey babe, how was the trip?â€
â€œFine. Just thought I should let you know we have arrived. Wanna turn in now.â€
â€œWhat? Day is still young bozo!â€
I smiled at his attempt to cheer me up. â€œTired.â€
â€œHmm! You sound really down. I really wish you didnâ€™t have to go on this trip.â€
â€œItâ€™s fine; I really need this getaway.â€
â€œI can reach you on this number?â€
â€œYes you can, Iâ€™ll call you again.â€
â€œIâ€™ll call before you do, Shalewa, if you are ready to talk; I will be hereâ€¦waitingâ€¦patiently.â€
I heard a knock on the door and got up to answer it. It was room service with my dinner and wine. I gave the young man a tip (for my mind, I form â€˜mamasâ€™). He thanked me and left.
I was surprised Lydia had not come to disturb me. I opened the covered plate and threw a piece of shrimp into my mouth. I chewed away to the bathroom and turned on the heater. Thoughts of grandma and mumâ€™s discussion crept into my head once again. I stood under the shower and allowed the water run down my body. I was there for over 10 minutes and water had mixed up; I tasted salt in the water. I couldnâ€™t stop crying. No more sobbing, I said to myself. I turned the shower off and wiped my body clean with a white towel the hotel had provided. I wore my lacy bra and matching pant just to make myself happy. I hadnâ€™t worn them in a while; it was the last thing my father had bought me. Funny!
We were in a mall in England when I saw this red and black lace lingerie staring at me. I stood in front of it and looked at the price tag: Â£50. I turned back sadly and ranted about why it wasnâ€™t on sales. Long story brought to an abrupt end, my sweet father paid for it. End of story.
Now Iâ€™m here in this beautiful hotel, wearing this Â£50 lingerie with my silk robe, about to open this bottle of wine and drink myself to sleep. Maybe Iâ€™ll dream; Iâ€™ll dream about my father.
I popped open the wine, poured some of it into my glass, toasted to an unfair life and began to drink. Half way down, I began to feel really tipsy. The room felt hot all of a sudden. I took off my robe and switched on the air-condition. Just then, somebody knocked the door and I got up to open it. My robe! I glanced at it and just strode on to open the door in my lingerie. There was no one. I stepped out into the passage and looked around. I was about to go in when the door shut itself. Ok, I must be drunkâ€¦hehehehehe! Iâ€™m wearing my favourite lingerie, only my lingerie and I just locked myself out. It must be the wine, the door canâ€™t be locked. I pushed. It was still locked.
Even though I was tipsy, I knew the implication of running around unclad. Think! Think! Think! I began to poke myself back to reality. The only option was to knock on Lydiaâ€™s door and call the hotel from there. So I walked to Lydiaâ€™s door and knocked.
â€œLydia! Lydia! Open up.â€
I could not shout, I couldnâ€™t risk Mr. Oga coming out. I sighed with relief as I heard the door open.
â€œOh thank God. I locked myself out.â€
I looked up to look at Lydia as I attempted to run past her into the room, only to discover that it wasnâ€™t Lydia. Breaking news: I am one of those â€˜intelligent stupidâ€™ people that cannot tell their right from their left. I must have knocked on the wrong door.
â€œOh my God!â€ I jumped on the bed and took cover under the duvet.
He couldnâ€™t talk. He just had his hands opened and was staring at me like he had seen a ghost.
â€œShalewa, are you drunk? You are half â€¦â€ He shut the door quickly.
â€œI am tipsy, not drunkâ€¦â€ I stammered. â€œI thought this was Lydiaâ€™s room.â€ I cleared my throat and continued â€œEhm, I locked myself out.â€
He walked into the bathroom and came back with a robe. He left it on the bed and turned around. Perfect gentleman. Ideas! Ideas!! I was tipsy enough to be silly but I fought the devil. I stood up and lost my balance, I was on the floor before I could call my â€˜orikiâ€™.
â€œOh my God, are you alright? You must be really tipsy.â€ Femi screamed as he rushed to lift me up. I started to cry.
â€œAre you hurt?â€
I answered with more tears. At a point I think I was wailing. Femi rocked me like a baby. When i finally talked, I heard myself pouring out everything I should have told Daniel.
â€Mama Shalewa isnâ€™t my mother. She is not my mother. I have called her mother for 26 years of my life and she is not my mother.â€
â€œWhat are you mumbling about?â€ Femi asked quietly.
I looked at his cute face with tears streaming down my eyes. â€œI have known only one mother since I was born and just yesterday, I found out she isnâ€™t my mother. I think she was my nanny and I think she isnâ€™t legally married to my dad; and I think that is why the lawyer is holding on to my dadâ€™s will.â€
â€œWow!!! How did you find out?â€ He asked as he helped me wear the robe and carried me to the bed. I felt loved. I think I smiled. I think I did.
â€œI was eavesdroppingâ€, I whispered.
He smiled. â€œThis is a serious discussion, so Iâ€™m going to let you sleep and tomorrow, when you are in the right frame of mind, we will talk, ok?â€
I nodded my head.
â€œI have to get to the reception to see to getting your door open, Iâ€™ll be back.â€
I think he kissed my forehead or maybe Iâ€™m just tipsy.
I didnâ€™t know when he got back; neither did I know how I happened to wake up in my hotel room the next morning.
Itâ€™s Tuesday morning and I just told Mr. Oga my secret. Mr. Oga had seen me in my sexiest lingerie, once tipsy, twice embarrassed.
I was trying to get over yesterdayâ€™s â€˜non-rendezvousâ€™ when I heard a knock. I got up to answer and was expecting a quality hangover; luckily, there was none.
â€œWho is it?â€
My heart stopped.