The Target!

These two became the best of friends under the most awkward circumstances ever, and nothing has been so far better than them staying in touch, in like and in love as best friends… He adores this woman, the woman he calls ‘His wife’. Their love is deep, very strong and genuine. They’ve allowed this healthy friendship to develop between them and it is making a huge difference in their lives. – DBM


“I was 35 years old, and for the third time in my adult life, I had no reason to want to wake up early to take my shower, to press on my suit and trouser. I had no reason to rush out to que for Trotro. I had no documents to review, no urgent emails to expect or respond to; no ‘silly’ colleagues to argue or debate with. No ‘boss’ to be putting unnecessary pressure on me to be meeting deadlines, no “Should we be really having this meeting?” meetings to be preparing for, no calendar to be marking or checking for important dates, no new clients to be smiling to or with. I did not even have a reason to want to check for my usual, GHs 10 in my wallet – for ‘Daavi’s banku and Okra stew that afternoon.

I had no reason because I had gotten a letter the day before, terminating my contract with my employers. I had been fired for no reason. So on that particular Tuesday morning, I pulled the bedsheet over my head, yawned heavily and then, slept deep into my warm sheath of unemployment. There was no reason to wake up yet from my sleep.

Five months into the ‘no job’ condition, I started feeling worried. No jobs were calling for interviews. I had put in so many applications but nothing. That hectic mix of ‘highs’ and ‘lows’ as I tried to foretell the unknown. Dave, reality had hit in. I didn’t know what I was going to be doing for money. I had used my savings. I had used the money I had put down to someday, use to marry a wife. Everything had gone south for me all of a sudden, and it was getting me very worried.

Then the call came in.

It wasn’t the ‘call’ I was expecting. I have a certain kind of friends I grew up with; hustlers, who had been hustling like forever. They have no degrees, had never applied for any of the ‘white collar’ jobs we study for, but were living ‘the life’, my kind of life. I wasn’t jealous in any way… just that, it didn’t make sense to me. They did not make sense to me. What they did for a living to survive wasn’t my concern when I was gainfully employed. These thoughts only started coming to mind when I had to be relying on them at a point in my life – for financial assistance. And they gave, freely, not expecting me to pay back.

Well, so I thought, because the call was a call needing a favor. They wanted to use my car. Not just my car, they wanted me to be driving them to the airport. And, no, they weren’t traveling. This was the kind of job they did: they would be surveilling anyone returning to, or visiting Ghana, from the airport, to wherever they would be staying. If the ‘target’ heads to a hotel to lodge, they track a different ‘target’ returning to a home/house. And depending on the kind of neighborhood ‘target’ resides, the type of house they live in or drive into, the kinds/types of cars being driven in, anything ‘rich’/’money’ was their preferred target.

And if the target was right, they sketched a detailed plan to rob them. My friends were armed robbers, unknown to me.

So, we were parked waiting for, I don’t know what, when one of the guys’ had to answer a phone call. There was another guy at the airport, feeding them with information. Three different car numbers were given, and we were to be tailing each. They usually would use their Taxis to be following ‘targets’, I was told. I did not understand why I had to use my private car for their dealings this time around. I wanted to decline the pursuit, however, they had been good to me, and I hadn’t returned their goodness. My plan was to finish with this one favor, and then, I was done with them, for good.

My ‘target’ was a young lady and her dad. I saw their car’s number plate, and I followed them three cars behind. I couldn’t tell whether they made me out, because the young lady alighted at the Golden Tulip area, crossed to the opposite road with her luggage’s, to pick a taxi. She went by a different route. One of the guys on a motorbike, managed to cross to the opposite road, to tail the taxi the younger lady had charted. I panicked for no reason. I had been made out by the man. He stared at me through his rear-view mirror for a while, before driving off. I did not follow him again.

We had to all report that evening at one of the homes of the guys – with information. I did not have any information. I was actually going there to call it quits. Then the motorbike guy gave the home address of our target. I got to know also that, the car I was supposed to be following had entered the same home address. They were a very rich family, and had made it to list of homes to be robbed by the guys.

Something was telling me that I had been made out by the man. What was the guarantee he hadn’t noticed my car number? I couldn’t risk it. I had to think, and fast. They planned on the date and time to take action. They had gone to patrol the neighborhood for days to assess the area. It was safe for them to rob. The afternoon of the robbery day, I couldn’t sleep. Dave, guilt is basically one of my internal alarm clocks. It’s been programmed into me from time in memorial, and I knew what it was anytime that particular alarm rang. I had to do right by myself because it was ringing non-stop.

I visited target’s neighborhood, went straight to their house number, to knock on the gate. Who was I looking for? I didn’t know. All I knew was, I needed to speak to the lady from abroad. The security at the gate almost threw me away, but I insisted on seeing someone. He wouldn’t let me in, so I waited under a tree. The young lady drove to the gate from wherever, and I quickly rushed to her car. The security guy was fighting me to ward off her vehicle, but I wouldn’t budge.

She got out of her car to grant me an audience, and I was awestruck. My wife is a beauty to behold any day, Dave. Anyways, I told her everything I knew and had done with my friends, and begged for forgiveness. She called her dad and I was asked to wait in the house. Another drama for another day, but the police came over, took my story, and then asked me to go. The lady asked for my phone number before escorting me to the gate. She thanked me enough.

That dawn, my friends got arrested when they made the attempt at their house. They are still in prison, I think. Let me get to the best part of my story. The girl was checking on me via text and calls. We agreed on a first date and I was to pick her from her house. Her dad caught a glimpse of my car in their neighborhood and called the police on me. It took his daughter to intervene. He warned me to keep off but the young lady was determined to prove I wasn’t as bad. Fact is, Dave, I was that ‘BAD’ with ladies. Unemployment had made me look ‘GOOD’.

What attracted me to my wife? The fact that she never judged me: be it unemployed or a potential armed robber. She did not judge my character based on my fiends or her father’s impressions of me. She made it her due to rather pay attention to the intentions behind my words and actions. Dave, an honest man can do his business all day and remain a good man until he is dead, but you know the human being, skeptics will always try to convince you of otherwise.

Not my wife. She felt I deserved the opportunity to be given a chance to prove myself worth trusting. She trusted her heart with me though she did not know me that well. And I didn’t want to let her down in any way, so I intentionally made the effort to change for her. She deserved the better of me. She traveled back to Germany, and our communication stopped. For over five months, I hadn’t heard anything from her.

That wasn’t my only problem: my guys in prison, I don’t know how, but got to know I was seeing the same lady from the house they were arrested. They managed to piece two and two together, and placed a bounty on my heard. Two attempts were made on my life. And I had to run. I changed location; moved to Kumasi to hide at a mate’s residence for months. My girlfriend, somehow connected and I had to narrate my ordeals. She used four months into paying for my passport, visa application processes, paid my transportation to and from Accra to the embassy, paid for my plane ticket, and got me out of Ghana, to move in with her in Germany.

She taught me the basics in the German language, enrolled me in my first Master’s programme, paid for it; paid for my second Master’s degree, found me jobs, and made sure life was very comfortable for me. She wasn’t ‘rich’ in Germany. Her parents are rich in Ghana, but she was surviving in Germany. She took loans upon loans to get me the right education, and I have paid back every Euro.

When I was done paying her the last amount, I asked her to be my wife. We married without any of our families present in Germany; our families did not know about the marriage either.  We had a son together, before returning to Ghana to break the news to her parents. Her dad was pissed but my son pushed love into his heart. He couldn’t let him off his sight. He loved his grandson so dearly. I have over time won a place in his heart. My mother-in-law has just been awesome. She’s just like her daughter: I deserved a chance to be given a second chance. I am cool with my brothers and sisters in-laws. My family love my wife, and life is moving on.

Our journey hasn’t been easy, but we intend to make it work right. We are a team in this marriage, and we both put in our individual efforts to make it work for us, just as we want it. Dave, I love my wife. And it’s not because of what she has done for me, but simply because of who she is. She’s good, a very good woman – who has always had my very best interest at heart. I feel happy and safe when I am with her. She tells and shows me how much I mean to her. We talk about everything. She has since loved and appreciated me, every single day.

The only thing I may not like about her is when she’s mad at me. She forgets my name, forgets about her love for me, and would shout,

“Herrrh, armed robber”! and then would laugh out loud. Rough, make-up  hearty sex follows right after her laughter. Life couldn’t have been better.” – From BA Ofori.

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