by Sandister Tei
This morning I put my head down on my desk in the office and a morbid thought of my demise came to me. You know those ‘What if I died”moments? I started imagining how it would be if I died at my desk this morning.
Would my dog AJ who looked me sadly as I put him on a leash in my grandma’s porch miss me? Would he even notice I’m gone?
My mum didn’t say goodbye to me this morning. I only caught a view of her back from the window as she made her way out. How would she feel if she suddenly got a call from work that I had died? Would her BP consider her?
What about my brother Sandy? He was yelling into his phonewhen I was leaving. My last words to him were, “Mum said call her when you comehome”. I thought of the name he calls me– “Dede and Sons”. I think he will miss me terribly.
Then I thought about my grandma, recovering from her stroke.She raised her bad arm to wave me goodbye when I left home. I was gone alreadybut I suddenly looked back to find her waving. I am sure nobody would tell her about my death. They would be too afraid what might happen to her. But I am certain of one thing that she will wake up at night to knock on my door to findout if I am in there. A habit she developed 10 years ago when my mum left home to get married. Her concern for me is unparalleled.
I also thought about my grandma’s nurse Abby. This morning we gossiped about the seamstress who made our Christmas clothes and how unprofessional she is. I bet Abby would break out in surprise loudly, “But I spoke to her this morning!” Yeah, she is dramatic.
My uncles Kweku and Kofi would be disturbed. One owes me and I owe the other my contribution to the 2010 property rate bill of our house. I doubt that will matter. However I have the strongest feeling that these two men with my brother will be my pallbearers. I weigh less than 50 kg. These strongmen won’t have a problem.
But then who would carry my body out of the office? Policemen? I have a feeling Asumani the watch man at work wouldn’t notice I died because we barely exchange any words. He’s very shy. I think the lawyer upstairs will return from court and because he always greets me and speaks with me before he goes upstairs to his office, he might notice there is something wrong. I never sleep at my desk. The stillness of my body will get his attention.
My boss G would be disturbed perhaps. I know I can be very annoying as his PA but he is more than a boss. A lot of times he makes me smile. He gives me insight into the awesomeness of the male species. He will probably be the one to call my mother if the good and intelligent lawyer upstairs hasn’t already. Oh shoot. My android is password protected. No one can call without the code. Well George knows my house — very well enough and he’ll find my mom there.
Edem. A good friend who has become family. I am supposed to pay her back for a transaction she made on my behalf. We are meeting today for that and to discuss her online project. Edem doesn’t like lateness but on this occasion, she will have to forgive me.
Then I thought about my frail diabetic dad. He rang me yesterday. He said he bought me a bottle of fragrance. I was ashamed as I hadn’t sent him any money for November and I also forgot his birthday because that morning I was thinking about Columbia Journalism school application deadline and fees and fighting back the urge to scream out in pain from my peptic ulcer. I was underfed the whole of last week and perhaps that’s why the ulcer relapsed. My dad lost his first daughter to her mum and he wouldn’t be amused if he lost a second, me, to death at this age. His expectations of me are very high. I am not allowed to die like that as far as he would be concerned.
I also thought about Maurice F. Oh my friend Maurice. How would he feel? We have lunch plans in some weeks. I am supposed to marry Maurice. He’s the only person who knows me the way I want to be known. He knows my biggest secret.
I am imagining the news of my passing spreading like pornographic photos on Facebook among my Motown friends. What a comparison…Those who didn’t know ‘Sandister’ will come looking at my profile.
Oh Jermain. That boy and me share some melancholic genes. We share a lot artistically. We are supposed to become great together. I missed his last Skype call. I never got back to him. That will be his story.
I thought about the Harold, Akuamoah Boateng and AT — Brothers of the sister. Social media brought them to me. I have affection for them. I am yet to meet them after our reunion on Twitter. I have asked if I can feature them on my website. Harry Porter (as I call Harold Ankrah) is to write alerter to you Marissa. Ain’t that cool? Well I wonder how he’d feel if he found out I died this morning before I could call during lunch to discuss the letter. Kwabena has abandoned me. It would serve him right if he couldn’t find me again.
Cousin Veronica! She will never forgive me for not visiting her in her new mansion. She is a mother of three so she doesn’t have the time to visit me and so has extended over 20 invitations for me to visit her in her new space. She is dying to show me around, I know. She’s also very spiritual and wouldn’t find my passing a natural one. She might inquire about my death from her pastor.
Cousin Tkay. She would have the job of consoling my brother, her old flame.
Aunts and uncles and all others… Marissa, people are going to have stories I tell you.
My professors and lectures I still stay in contact with, church members who haven’t seen me in ages, ABAN… Lord I have so much behind me that tears fall harder.
Then I thought about myself, the most important person in this matter. I leave no children behind. No little girl with my cheekbones or little boy to survive me and console my mother of her loss. I am uncertain if I would get my first view of my own face and body as a ghost looking at her body. I desire this sometimes because for all we know, every mirroring medium is a liar and we don’t look at all like the reflections we see.
I think about my pink Dell in which 1000s of drafts and ideas I am yet to publish remain. It is also password protected and I wonder how people will get access to it. I compare what I am yet to write with what I have already and I am like, “Shit my legacy is weak”.
I think about my relationships. I have controlled and tried to control people. I have helped people. I have led people. I have served people but I haven’t loved and cared for them as much as I want.
I think about my fears and deepest regrets but honestly Marissa, they seem unimportant now.
Even in the face of death, the people I dislike, I still dislike. They hurt me Marissa. They never considered me and in my last moments won’t consider them. No sudden epiphany. Thinking of my death didn’t melt the grudges but they only strengthened them. People like themselves are the ones who contribute misery to our already seemingly short lives. God punish them and punish me for asking him to punish them.
This letter is just provoking tears and from this experience this morning I just know one thing. I love my life and I love myself. If not I wouldn’t shed a tear but be happy to think of my own death. However I am not. I am saddened by what I have left to do and the people I will hurt with my absence.
Let’s continue this later. It’s lunch. I have to call Edem and Harold.