being a 20-something woman in Ghana

His oldest grand child is about my age, 25 years old. What am I doing here with someone’s grandfather?, a man of 75 years old? A man who sometimes forgets my name and barely stays awake long enough for me to convince him that I am who I say I am.

Sometimes, I wonder how I got here. How I am able to go to house in the middle of the day and see a man who sometimes have bladder accidents and sometimes struggle to hold his own glass of water.

Oh and his children, my God, they are cruel. Not the kind of cruelty where they throw insults at you or do awful things to you. I will gladly take that kind of cruelty. NO. Their cruelty is the kind that makes you feel like a little speck of dust that isn’t worthy of even being wiped away. The kind of cruelty that stares you down and makes you think, you will be better off dead, because you are good for nothing. The kind of cruelty that makes you hate yourself and relive every mistake that you’ve ever made. I truly wished they hated me, but they do not, I do not exist and for the one second that I might, I trust I remind them of an irritating fly they could just swat away with the back of their hands. Sometimes, I wonder why they just don’t throw me out of the house, but that will mean they see me, and they don’t.

I have thought about getting a job and fending for myself. But it simply won’t be enough. With my education and experiences, I am sure I can get a banking job. I love the prestige that comes with a banking job here in Ghana, but the pay will not be enough and no one will hire me because I don’t have “connections.” It is tough out there. But I cannot be like some of my friends who work 2 or 3 minimum wage jobs, if I did that, when will i have time to enjoy myself. I am too young to be tired all the time. I definitely do not want to go into prostitution either even though some people may consider what I am doing with the old man prostitution; I don’t see it as that. At all.

So here I am, I have been sitting in the house for nearly 5 hours, I have to wait for my 75 year old guy to wake up and come downstairs, then I have to talk to him for about 2 hours and tell him jokes and make him laugh, so he thinks I honestly came to visit him and not just here for money. I then have to take him upstairs and touch on his old wrinkly body, and when he sleeps, I will look through his desk drawers and night stand to steal some money to add onto what he gives me. I’m not a bad person. I’m only trying to survive.

I am so tired and hungry

Here he comes

Me: daa, I’ve been waiting for you

My 75 year old: eh, eh, ummmmm, Gloria! how are you?

 

 

 

*this is fiction

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