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  • Writer's pictureChef Nii

Mashkey Ensued

Updated: Apr 18, 2021

Chalè … are seeds not meant to eventually become splitting images of their tree, taking root in the right soil, hoping to blossom, into this magnificent spectacle, encompassing a lifeline meant to be passed on, or so I thought. But this!!! What happened to us … How did we get here?

I am trying so hard to think, to think back to a moment in time, maybe things were different at a point, but I keep coming up with nothing, nothing but empty hands. I am carefully going through all these boxes, boxes that I have painstakingly tucked away, having to reencounter never talked about emotions and experiences, yet it seems as if I am only going through the same box over and over again. Different boxes but the same content. How did we get here?

“Like poles repel!” summed up our entire relationship; two apparent strong headed people who could not seem to agree on anything. I felt misunderstood, you felt un...heard. “You don’t listen! Do you ever listen?! Are you listening?! Do you hear me?!” Yes, I do... More like...I did. But how was I going to get you to understand that I was struggling. Struggling to comprehend what you were telling me, and that maybe, just maybe, if you would take the time to listen to me and just show me, I knew I could get it and then you will not feel unheard and I will not feel so misunderstood. “How did we get here?”

Both in love with fashion yet couldn’t disagree more on style and colour choices. Both in love with music yet couldn’t disagree more on song choices and artistes. Both madly in love with cooking, in love with food, both of us extremely passionate about it, yet we couldn’t disagree more. When it came to choosing that as my career choice - in most situations it gives life to many but when it came to me, it only took a significant amount of mine away from me. How did we get here?

You know the day he asked me to leave is a day that is definitely locked in my memory clouds forever. For the first time in like, forever it didn’t pan out into an argument. You know when you are shocked speechless? That was it! Who says that to their seed…is that even normal…but then again who am I kidding, “WE” have never been ordinary. How did we get here?

I feel like my response shocked you, you expected me to fight…as always, but the thing is, you need to have the strength to fight and the honest truth is, with the amount of life I had given out the night before, the strength left was not enough to fight hence my walking away to my safe space, no words uttered. How did we get here?

I stood in my room, asking myself, “Who do I call?” Who will be willing to take me in no questions asked? The only logical person who came to mind at that time was Auntie Yaa, so I called her feigning another sleep over. I mean it had happened so many times in the past, short sleep overs turning into months, even to the point where I had my own bed, my personal space, my own little corner just by the window. I never understood it then, but in talking about it now, I see it … a perfect plan that I could never have imagined. A Father who knows and sees all, saw the end and set things in motion, to provide an answer for that very appointed time. So on the day my father threw me out, I put on a mask and walked into Auntie Yaa’s house with no questions asked, it was just another sleepover, just another very normal day. How did we get here?

I put on a smile, and walked in, that was the day, the day I learnt the art of mask wearing, wearing what you wanted the world to perceive versus what the true reality on the ground really was, and I mastered it. For months, like a zombie, I went through the motion of things I was so used to doing, going through life with no feelings. Required to fulfil all my obligations as if nothing had changed, having to magically appear at Church every Sunday to carry out my “calling”, listening to others, encouraging them, praying with them, but most importantly, submitting to your authority as my pastor, for it was my father and not my pastor I had issues with, for after all “We do not air out our dirty linen in public”. What happens in the house stays in the house. To dwell on this and to deliberate on exactly how it affected my faith, will charter us unto a tangent that I don’t think I am ready to walk on, at least not yet. How did I get here?

But … It’s interesting how in the midst of all of this, a phoenix arose, everything that happened prior, led up to that point. Going through it then I couldn’t see it, but looking back on it now I see it. My father only played the part that was required of him, so what was meant to be will be. The necessary act that tipped that first domino which set everything else in motion, the click, clank, clock of each domino falling exactly where they were meant to fall, leading to that ultimate manifestation, for it was in that season that I fully understood, that I caught a glimpse, fathomed what my purpose was. It was in that season that I walked into my destiny and Nii’s Gourmet Factory was birthed, surrounded by a formidable force. My father threw me out of his house and into my shoes, unto the path I was meant to tread. How did we get here?

How? That which could only succeed a “Why?” “Why did we get here?” I guess...having to go through the same cycle over and over again and being dealt the same hand over and over again takes so much away from you, it tires you out. It seems as if life slits your throat and drops you to bleed out, only to pick you up and do it all over again. Why did we get here?

I begrudgingly moved back home with a condition, mummy will pay for cake school. Moving back into the lion’s den, but this time with not so visible angels, at least not to the human eye. But there was one faithful day…. That faithful day, closing my eyes now, I remember it. After one of our many episodes, I storm out of your room and into mine, slamming the door, fingers balled into a fist slamming them in my other palm over and over and over again shouting, “This must stop!” I topple over onto my knees, bawling, rocking back and forth I whisper to myself, “I can’t take this anymore”. Why did we get here?

I don’t know why, but I curl up into a ball on my bed, trying to contain it all. Trying to make myself as small as possible because that is how I feel...small. I do remember lying there and maybe sleep that had eluded me for so long finally showed up, for what preceded could only be but a dream. Why did we get here?

Statements casually made; little glimpses of your life shared in that moment became a reality. The eyes of my heart morphing into camera lenses, with the ability to rewind, go back in time to the day when your life was altered forever. Your childhood - your innocence snatched from your little fingers. Why did we get here?

As you sat with tear drops breaking past the barriers of your eyelids, rolling down your face...falling. Falling into the welcoming bosom of the earth, that which had also welcomed the body of the possessor of your bloodline, when he walked towards the light and didn’t turn...back. Leaving you with clouds so heavy, yet not a drop of rain in sight. Why did we get here?

Trying to see past the tear drops hurling up in my eyes clouding my vision like ill-fitting contacts, eventually rolling down my face, I caught glimpses of you. Trying to gather your siblings, trying to console your mother whiles helping her gather what she could, because the cloud of widowhood wasn’t enough, the cloud of homelessness too deemed it necessary to gather. Corrupting our bloodline with dejection and rejection coming back in full circle, the wonderful circle of life. Up until that moment I never understood how it could be so easy for you to just let me go. Why did we get here?

I watched as you stood holding up these clouds so those around you didn’t have to. Growing up quickly, not being allowed to feel, because that required stopping which was a luxury. You had to man up and catch whatever was thrown at you, for dropping the ball was not an option. Why did we get here?

My eyelids opened, and immediately... I got it! Curve balls thrown at you by life, you turned into experience and knowledge worth passing on. Your expertise on a wide spectrum of issues, only a symbol of how far life had stretched you. Why did we get here?

Mastering the art of showing up, yet never learning the ability to speak or express emotion, well except strength, which usually comes out in the form of.... aggression. For “never again!” “Nobody’s taking what’s mine!” Anything else considered weakness, for it required you slowing down, hindering your ability to provide. How can that be love? For love meant...provision. Why did we get here?

Immediately all the confusion and misunderstanding and hatred culminated into one feeling…empathy. And I had to ask myself “What have I done?” And the night that had been with us for so long eventually gave way to glimpses of the long-awaited dawn. Why did we get here?

Knowledge is hope. I understood that I was in the ring with a past and not a person. A fight already lost, for things of the past we cannot change. I throw in the towel and walk away. I can’t do this anymore..., loook, I am tired.... of other people’s decisions determining my outcome. I am tired of others choosing for me and leaving me to fight it out. I... am... tired...”

How did we get here?

It all ends here today! Here and now! No more! No one’s choosing for me anymore, today I decide! I decide, to walk out of the ring and unto the path, that leads me into that room, with that blank canvas. Holding the brush of hope, I dip into the colour of different, painting a story of change. No more fighting, just painting pictures, freezing moments and making memories. The brush strokes may be painful but so far, these beautiful masterpieces have been so worth it. How did we get here?

To this moment when, I hear every word that comes out of your mouth, and I know for sure you are one of the few people who now really understands me. How did we get here? To this moment where I had no shadow of a doubt that you see me, to this moment when all you tell me is that I am enough, to this moment when I have no shadow of a doubt that I am loved ... by ... you.

How did we get here?

This is how we got here...

Chalé until the cock crows again, keep enjoying your kelewele “against” your pure water.

The Sun, Sunshine

And Sunflowers.

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