When Morgana decided she wanted to bring change into her life, she wasn’t just all talk.
She was first and foremostly fed up with being part of the audience that just watched people do things with their life. She wanted to be one of the actors now. The ones who had the spotlight shed on them constantly.
So being in the last seat wasn’t going to cut it for her anymore, neither was being in the front seat too. She wanted to be on the stage. She deserved that much.
She’d been a dormant doormat for too long.
So when her brother rang her one afternoon asking her whether she’d like to go on a short trip with him and his wife to a remote town outside the region capital, she seized the bull by its horns and told him she was in.
The thing about Morgana was that she never ventured outside her normal routine of home to work to grocery shopping and back home. So taking a decision to go somewhere interesting and fun was all new to her. It was a step that went against her daily boring schedule and was definitely a step she was willing to take to spice things up in her life just a tiny bit.
On the day of their trip, she woke feeling excited and thrilled for the first time in a very long time. She showered, applied her make-up and went packing. She’d thought of everything she needed on this trip the previous night while on the brink of falling asleep. It was in these minutes, before falling asleep, that she thought about all the important things she needed to do the next day, and she always fell asleep with her plans and decisions fully formed for the next day, not that she’d had many plans to begin with anyway.
Their destination was the beach and her brother had booked them a chalet in a resort that was a reasonable 2 hour drive away.
Sporting her summer hat and clutching her packed bag that included sun lotion, a change of clothes, a bathing suit among other things, she made her way downstairs when she heard her brother blast his horn repeatedly.
She hopped on and off they went.
On their ride, she was thrown so many years back to when her dad would take them on similar trips outside the city. At the time, the road trip would fly by with them listening to loud songs, singing alongand munching on good snacks. And this road trip was executed in similar fashion.
It kind of sent a pang to her heart when she reminisced all the various trips they’d been on together as a family.
Her dad had been the adventurous and fun type who didn’t think to save a penny but rather spent all he had in his pocket on dining out, and exploring nature-packed spots. In the end, I guess he just got fed up with all the usual spots here and decided to venture to new lands only this time he set out on his own and never came back.
Sighing, she smelled the beach before she actually saw it. She looked up from wiping her hands after having her tomato and cheese grilled sandwich to find that they’d reached their destination.
A wide grin wiped away any traces of grim thoughts and she scooted forward in her seat drinking in the sight of coconut-laden trees in the distance and a scattering of blue brick roofed buildings that she was sure would be the chalets.
Parking in an empty spot, they carried their baggage into the reception for check-in. In the reception, she felt a kind of tingling in her feet. She just couldn’t stay still and she found herself stepping outside to the centre of the resort where the sea breeze hit her hard, playing roughly with her streaming hair.
She began to digest her surroundings. She was on a wide terrace with bamboo chairs and glass tables that were mostly occupied.
Men in blue shirts zig-zagged between them carrying platters of food and everyone seemed busy. Just ahead the terrace, she spotted the pool that was bean-shaped and the sparkling blue water immediately had her drawn. She groaned and was instantly ravaged by the need to just hop into the water and be engulfed by it. “Control yourself,” she adviced. “We’ll test your rusty swimming skills later.”
She looked around her and saw more eye-magnets. There was a little island to her left with a small erected hut surrounded by water and had a wooden bridge connecting it to the central walkway.
The walkway took you directly to the sandy beach. She looked down the walkway and heard before she saw the waves crashing onto the sand.
This only increased her spreading smile.
Entranced, she hadn’t heard her brother calling for her until he came to stand directly in front of her, blocking her trance with the waves. “We’ll hit the waves as soon you help me with these bags. At least carry just yours,” he said, and with that he headed towards her left, down a cobbled narrow path lined with stemmed shrub plants on both sides. It was a long path and walking down it, you experienced the feeling that you were walking through a maze. Her hand was itching to grab hold of her phone and start snapping pictures. “Later, later. Now just gaze,” adviced her sis-in-law, Fay.
When they got to their chalet, she was shown her room that to her luck, was pink and extremely girly.
She laughed out loud and tossing her belongings on her bed, zipped into the bathroom where she changed into her beach clothes. No sooner had she finished applying more sun lotion on her skin than, the door connecting her room to her brother’s creaked open, and she heard rather than saw her brother walk with his squeaky flip flops across the entree apparently already changed and ready to go swimming.
She and her brother were lovers of the beach and swimming. Water to them was like a second habitat.
“I’m ready, let’s do this!” she let out and smacking her brother across his back playfully, raced out of the chalet and down the cobbled path over to the beach, hearing her brother catching up to her in seconds and eventually racing past her.
She watched him, still at a run, toss his towel onto the sand as he neared the ocean. He looked back at her, a fat grin capturing his face and at that moment, she didn’t see a 31 year old married, dentist who had began to grow a smattering of gray hairs on the sides of his head. She rather saw a skinny nine year old, in his batman swim shorts and orange goggles in hand, infecting her with a contagious smile that got her running to chase up with him.
They hit the waves and she screamed in delight, instantly submerging herself completely in water. This was heaven!
Emerging once more, she looked around her, sighting her brother already go deeper into the ocean, and turning her back to him, looked towards the shore.
In her mad dash to meet the water, she hadn’t taken in her surroundings carefully.
The beach was pretty clean and neat, unlike the other public ones she’d been to as a kid. A handful of people lounged around and some kids were playing with a ball nearby.
The coconut trees she had glimpsed far off when she first arrived, now stood directly in front of her in all their glorious height, trunks slightly bent and wavy.
There was a hammock hang between two tree trunks and she could see a wooden swing too.
She also saw benches made of thick bamboo stems placed a bit far back for people who wanted to watch the waves and not get drenched by them, to sit on.
The sun filtering through the moving tree leaves added a dazzling effect to the sand and it sparkled and Morgana’s eyes sparkled more in return.
She swam for an hour more, submitting to her sister-in-law’s request of a beach ball game.
Finally calling it quits and feeling like she’d satisfied her thirst somewhat, she wrapped a towel around her, grabbed hold of her stuff and trecked back to her room, leaving her brother and his wife to have a romantic moment on the beach if they needed it.
She showered and changed in her room and decided to take a short nap before it was time for dinner.
She woke up to the sound of the waves crashing dimly outside and to complete darkness. “Whoa! How long did I sleep?”
Searching for her phone on her bedstand, she checked the time to find it was 6:06 pm and noticing a message from her brother, she found out they’d barely left 10 minutes ago to the terrace for dinner and were waiting for her to join them.
Wrapping a shawl around her shoulders, she stepped out and was instantly glad she had guessed rightly.
For a tropical country like Ghana, this weather was unusual, her teeth began chattering immediately and she got herself walking at a brisk pace to generate some heat through her body.
Looking towards the beach, she saw darkness but still heard the waves crashing endlessly.
Sometimes she would think that living so close to the ocean truly was spectacular and she hoped and wished she’d one day have her own place to call home by the shores. Yet, one thought did scare her sometimes and that was having the waves creep up on her at night while she was sleeping. She had had this imagination stuck in her mind ever since her grade 5 geography teacher had once taught them that the sea tide was higher at night.
She had never told her family why she had refused to go out for walks on the beach at night when they had proposed. She didn’t want them to doubt her love for the place and probably stop taking her there. She loved the beach. Her night time insecurities were just playing with her head. That was all.
Shaking those thoughts from her head, she looked up and spotting her brother and wifey, headed there.
Dinner was a feast! Among the three of them, they had shared a grilled fish tilapia, some stirfried noodles and a seafood curry and rice platter.
She hadn’t had such a hearty appetite in ages and she blamed it on their swimming. She must have burned some serious number of calories.
They stayed out on that dimly-lit terrace at night, exchanging stories and laughing at some. Although it was chilly and she had the occassional shiver, she felt completely warmed at heart and was thankful for what she had. Although life had been cruel to her at a point in time, yet it was moments such as this that made her proud of herself for fighting on. If she hadn’t, she wouldn’t be here, right now, having fun and laughing recklessly and loudly, feeling happiness she thought would never knock her doors.
It was close to 12 midnight when they headed back to their rooms and bidding each other a good night, fell instantly asleep.
She was at the lake behind their house. Her father and brother were there too. Her brother had the fishing pole hooked onto a fish since the line had gone rigid and their father was helping her brother wheel it in. It was a sunny Sunday, the day they always went fishing. She watched her brother, eyes wide, excitedly pull out a wriggling fish from the water and her father expertly unhooked it. It was now her turn. She would take the still-living fish and put it into a puddle of water between the rocks on the bank of the lake. They never took those fishes home. They never ate them. They always put them back in the water. Althought they loved fishing this way together and enjoyed the thrill of snagging a fish, they didn’t want the fishes dead. Her dad looked at her, smiling and showing his teeth, and gesturing to the truck began speaking to her, but why was it that she didn’t understand a word? Whenever her dad opened his mouth to speak, a clucking sound came out. Why was her dad clucking?
Cluck cluck cluck
cluck cluck cluck
Her eyes slit open and she squinted into the slightly lit room.
Cluck cluck cluck
Where was that sound coming from?!
It wasn’t a dream anymore. She was in her pink room at the chalet, and her phone beside her read 5:30 am.
She rose from her bed and slowly made her way towards her window and towards the source of the clucking.
Cluck cluck cluck
Peeking through the curtains, she was instantly met with the clucker!!
What was a peacock doing outside her window, perched on the wall of her porch?
She stared, transfixed.
It was beautiful, and the more time she spent looking at it, and the higher the sun rose, the more colorful it appeared to be.
It was in shades of dark blue and violet, but she couldn’t exactly pinpoint where the blue started or where the violet stopped. The colors run through its feathers, creating a colorful wave just like the ocean behind it.
She grabbed her phone, finally wide awake, and slowly opened her door. She didn’t want to scare it away or even worse, give it a reason to attack her with its flashy beak. She had heard peacocks were quite aggressive when in attack mode. Standing still, she went snapping images with her camera. The peacock apparently got tired of standing on her porch and hopped off it and onto the grass and she still went snapping away and recording video shots of it.
She was so excited about her discovery of the peacock that she went knocking on her brother’s door, wanting he and Fay to sneak a peak at it before it vanished into the shrubs.
Her brother appeared at his door, bleary-eyed and rubbing his eyes, “What’s the matter? Is something wrong?”
And pulling his hand, she took him to see the peacock that was now almost at the end of the garden.
“Aaah! You missed seeing it! I should have woken you up earlier. But don’t worry I took a hell lot of pictures and videos of it,” she said.
“Yeah I heard it clucking at 5am,” Fay said yawning, appearing behind them. She went on to mimick the same clucking sound the peacock had made and together, the three of them burst out laughing.
“Come on, let’s order our breakfast. The breakfast we had for our honeymoon here was amazing! You’ll love it Morg,” said her brother.
And true to his word, the breakfast was quite good. They ate on the porch, crashing waves before them, shrubs and leaves rustling and the pattering sound of a light drizzle surrounding them.
God, she loved it here. She never regretted saying yes to this trip!
After breakfast, they packed up and while she still had some time on her own, she wandered out of her chalet, deciding to take a stroll. The rain had stopped and the grass smelled fresh and earthy. She inhaled lungfuls of air, hoping she could save some for when she returned back to the city, but sadly she couldn’t. She had only one hour left of this piece of heaven to live, and bidding it farewell, she went about the entire resort taking pictures. She bent down, knelt, lay flat on her stomach and did whatever was needed to capture the essence of this hidden diamond. The owner hadn’t been wrong when she’d named it Blue Diamond Resort..
And just as she stood on the jewelled sand, facing the Atlantic Ocean, she could hear her screams of joy and pleasure as she saw a little version of herself race to the water, sand spade in hand, her brother just behind her. She watched herself laugh with mirth, not a care in the world to cloud her features. She was purely happy, a feeling that had been tightly shut in a compartment of her heart and that was only just beginning to unbolt its doors presently. She stood, tears streaming down her face for she could finaly feel the little girl inside her stirring awake.
Her tears turned to choked breaths and she found herself sitting on the sand, grasping handfuls of sand tightly in her clutched hands, as though trying to crumble them even further into smoother grains. She knew this was coming, and had been dreading the time she would completely break down and welcome her past back into her life. All these years she had been putting up a tough facade, acting cool and unaffected by the hurt she had been dealt. She had had two people, who she had loved unconditionally, turn their backs on her. The first time it had happened, she hadn’t blamed herself, blaming it all on the other, but the second time… that second time she had experienced it, she had realized there must have been something wrong with her, that she just wasn’t worthy of being loved. That’s why she had sworn to shut off her feelings and anything that reminded her of those torturous memories, but coming here and agreeing to the trip, had brought back memories. The car ride, the beach time they spent swimming, the flashes of joyful screams and laughter she could hear… they had all broken down that rock fortress that was her cold heart.
And as she rocked back and forth, arms hugging her knees to her heart, she felt familiar hands go round her in a tight hug.
“I’m here for you, shhhh, don’t cry,” whispered her brother.
“No, WE are here for you,” added her sister Fay, who was as good as one.
And at this, if it was possible, she cried harder, squeezing their arms tightly to her, silently telling them she needed them by her side and thanking them for their presence.
And together, the three of them sat there on the sand, tightly holding onto each other, sealing their trip with an unspoken promise of protecting each other.
And as sad as that moment had been, but it brought change to their hearts, especially Morgana’s, who had finally admitted that she was that little girl from her past and that she was still capable of being happy.
Not the end.