It was some six hundred days after the Winneba Junction accident. Besiwa was stepping out in two armpit crutches for the first time. What a loss! What a calamity? She’s lost her left limb, mother and a little brother, all as a result of one reckless driving she in no way contributed to.
The nurses tried helping her hitch on the armpit crutches but she felt swayed. The first unaided attempt nearly spelt doom because she felt too light, teary, sweaty and wavy. The nurses and the rehabilitation team were now on recess watching her in order to restrategize.
Her adoptive father, Mr. Jedi Forson, was there with his wife to see their “daughter”. Besiwa was assured that the careless driver had been jailed for decades, but that did not make much meaning to her. She was also told she was on full scholarship in an IGCSE/IBDP school and had a car with a driver at her disposal. All these came with a whole outhouse in a new home. She rather felt angered because she was now going to mix with the very social class she detested. Her new parents tried making her happy but only made matters worse. All she needed was her penniless mother. Besiwa was used to her mother’s natural sweat, short hair, dark skin, stammer, anger and funny jokes, but these parents were nearly the converse. They were too nice and thus only reminded her of those rich neighbours who were nice to them only if they needed something from them. She now began to cry, wishing she could tell her new parents to leave her alone.
The Winneba Junction accident was brief but serious. It was caused by one Breaker. He named himself “Virgin Breaker” but his friends were kind enough to shorten his name to Breaker. Breaker had stolen into his friend’s house in his absence and made away with his VW Golf 4 whose documents had expired three days earlier. Apparently, Breaker did not know how faulty the brakes were, neither did he know the problems with steering ends and alignment, reasons for which his friend had parked the car for days. He took the car from his friend’s house near Southern Campus, Winneba and was making for his girlfriend in Ekwamkrom.
Well, Breaker was more than shocked to have received such a call from his supposed witty girlfriend. She was a kind of girl who played a tough one but would later give in to you. The last time they met, Breaker was driving this same VW Golf 4 so he thought it wise seeing her again in it. He knew he’s just going to break her virginity and lay her off. In fact, he had been at her for about four years and had no hopes of giving up. Breaker knew that taking a lady’s virginity for fun was not a day’s job and he was in it with both feet.
He got to DVLA junction when he remembered Martha’s favorite breakfast was bran bread with Multifriuta drink. He then decided to pass by the Winneba Junction gas station to get some. It was in making the 270 degree turn in the roundabout that he realized there was a major problem with the car. Something told him to return it, but…
When Maa woke up few days earlier, she felt not well. A lady nursing a nine month old pregnancy not feeling well, a single parent. She subsequently went into labor- a protracted labor, and she was taken to Winneba Government Trauma Hospital where she had had her prenatal observation all along. It was the third day of the protracted labour that brought all this to fruition. On that day, there was no money to buy even prescription drugs or soap, eating fruits would therefore be a luxury then. As Besiwa heard about this, she went into her closet, broke her susu box and harvested the coins.
Besiwa subsequently invested in pure water trade. By evening, she had made close to fifty Ghana cedis in profit. She then bought soap, fruits and a few things for her mom. Maa was alarmed where her twelve year old girl obtained the money from. As she was explaining to her mom, a neighbour came in to corroborate her story. Maa was moved to tears and instantly warned her daughter never to venture into the street again, because she herself was a hawker in the street and knew the consequences too well. Besiwa agreed, but that agreement was short lived. She calculated where she was going to obtain money to pay for her feeding and classes when school resumed in few weeks. By then, her mom would still have been nursing her little brother and wouldn’t be able to hawk. So she went back to the street.
The day was going well for her that Sunday morning as not many hawkers shunned church. She was beginning to pick those little tricks of the game: running along a moving vehicle while clutching and tucking to both vehicle and bowl deftly. Yet her fine dress, skin, hair and innocent face mapped her out as someone alien to the street. She was sometimes either too sluggish or too quick and this made customers like her; they thus kept asking her to keep the change. This newcomer was becoming a nuisance so all the old hawkers began to hate her. They wished she did not come that Sunday. She actually dressed as if she was going to church and this presentable nature of hers brought her numerous customers.
When the wine VW Golf 4 approached the fueling station, its driver already had lost control over the steering wheels. It mowed down few obstacles in its way before ramming Besiwa. She could have avoided it but indecision was a catalyst to the accident. Old hawkers who had been on this job for ages knew how to handle this. They gave way by running either left or right instantaneously. Besiwa, however, stood ambivalent, but the car kept advancing. Colleagues were calling her from left and right, so by the time she decided which direction to go, she was butted down.
It’s so dramatic! For a split second, she moved left, right, left and right again as a result of the calls and screams from her colleagues. On each occasion, Breaker also thought he swerved left, right, left and right again before bumping her. Her bowl of water and packed breakfast came down with a thud. The bowl emptied its content and cycled away. The car ran parallel to her supine frame without really running her over. However, a jagged end of a front mudguard dragged her along, her jeans skirt providing a string. When the string snapped, that was when the left back wheel climbed over her left leg fracturing both fibula and tibia in a distressing onomatopoeic report.
Now it was time of reckoning. The same police patrol team Breaker was trying to avoid, leading to this mess now came to his rescue. The police told him they were his friends and showed him good friendship by whisking him away from the irate crowd that was bent on lynching him. The police still used some minimal force in shoving him into their truck, though he in no way resisted their bid for friendship.
Besiwa was revived eight hours after the accident and was in the Accident & Emergency Ward of Winneba Trauma and Specialist Hospital. Initially it was planned to keep Besiwa’s condition from Maame for as long as possible but that couldn’t work. When Maame finally heard about her daughter’s accident, she insisted on seeing her. She was most troubled because Besiwa’s National Health Insurance cover had long expired before the advent of the biometric mumbo-jumbo. But now, she just wanted to be sure her daughter was alive; issues about money would be resolved later.
Anyone who saw Besiwa was speechless. The little girl had sustained a few head lacerations that were tidily stitched and smeared. There were also abrasions on her knees, elbows and face. Her chest, breast and thigh had burn wounds presumably caused by the car’s exhaust pipe. The least said about the leg, the better. The bones were not only fractured but looked like those passed through a mangle. She was due for the theater soon where her left leg which had already began festering would be amputated to avoid any further complication.
It was rather interesting both mother and daughter were visiting the theatre the same day. In the heat of the preparation, Maame insisted on seeing her daughter. Fortunately, Besiwa was awake when Maame’s counseling session was over. The clinical psychologist had prepared her mind for the encounter. Maame had earlier thought her daughter had passed on, a reason for which she was prevented from seeing her but was proved wrong. Eventually, Maame was wheeled to A&E at 9:50 am when Besiwa was having breakfast. It was daughter who first recognize mother in a moving atmosphere.
“Bee! Bee-eeeeh! Bee. You’ve killed me.”
“Maa, don’t cry.”
“Bee, why did you have to do this?’’
“Maa, I’ll be OK.’’
This continued for a while. Besiwa was the stronger of the two as she held her tears back only to be let loose another day soon. Besiwa reached into her purse and was surprised at the amount of money in it. She brought out two envelopes from her purse, prayed over them and opened them. She then counted four hundred Ghana cedis and handed it to her mother. Instead of collecting the money, Maame let out a loud scream and passed out. This made Besiwa worried. For a brief moment, she could not do anything, however, the health counselor soothed her by saying it was usual of pregnant women to experience such conditions, yet she knew the health counselor was telling a peace-keeping lie. Maame was pronounced dead minutes later.
Today, as the twelve year old girl was helped to her temporary wheel chair waiting to be taken home, she wondered if she had, in anyway, wronged nature.