The Coffin Maker Episode 93

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Five Months Later

Opana’s Workshop:

Opana:

Herh so what is happening in our society now? This old people have refused dying, erh? After doing this man’s coffin which I got many accolades for my good work, no one has passed by my shop to order for a coffin or even come and ask for the price of the cheapest coffin I have over here. This Efo of a man I think has cast a spell on me with that ugly encounter he had with me.

7th Apprentice:

Boss please I want to go and buy food at the market. If I don’t go early enough, I might not get the exact food I want to eat this morning.

Opana:

Eeeeeiiiii!!! Kofi Ansah you came to suffer on this earth paaa oooo, so you came to interrupt me on the plans I was taking in my head just to spew this nonsense of going to buy food. If you don’t leave my presence with your smelling overall, I will smash your head with this hammer I have next to me.

7th Apprentice:

Am very sorry master. Please, I meant no harm, boss. Please am taking leave now Sir and I promise not to stay long. (runs from Opana’s face)

Opana:

(talking to himself) Why would I progress when I have all this bad luck people around me? Life has been slow for me all because this contender in the next two towns called Efo has been going round giving people cheap prices and bad designs. Hmmmmm, all the same am like the cat who has nine lives and since the hunter said he won’t miss his shot, now the bird won’t also perch on the tree for long. I have gotten a super fabulous plan to clump this setback down for good. Hey, who is there? Come here right now.

9th Apprentice:

Master please I am here.

Opana:

Good, mmm go to the cafe close to the market and tell the attendant to do these things for me. First let him write and print these words out for me. Let him write

Promotion! Promotion!! Promotion!!!

“Nice Coffins Reduce to Clear at an Affordable Price”.

Secondly, let him design a nice banner which has some pictures of beautiful coffins being displayed and don’t forget to add my contact number to all the work you print out. When you bring it, you people will go round the village this afternoon to paste the papers so people see what I am capable of doing. Do I make myself clear?

9th Apprentice:

It is very loud and crystal-clear boss.

Opana:

Okay so take this money and make sure you come back with a receipt after the printout because from the way your face is looking, you look hungry and I don’t trust you guys in this shop when it comes to money issues. Don’t keep long because you guys have a very big task ahead of you this afternoon.

9th Apprentice:

I will be back even before you notice my absence boss. (takes leave)

Opana:

(summons all his apprentice before him) I called you people to inform you that this afternoon you guys will go round the entire village and even beyond the neighbouring villages to paste posters of my works. As you all can see, ever since we did the coffin for that man which I rewarded everyone handsomely, work has been slow and I don’t know the bad luck that one of you has brought to my shop. You guys go round chasing anything in skirt and by so doing you have infected my shop with this setback that beats my imagination, as at now I can’t think far.

7th Apprentice:

(talks on a low tone behind his colleagues) Then think madness my boss.

Opana:

I will think your father and father’s mother. Herh, who was that? Who just spewed that nonsense from his mouth? You have infected me with your bad luck and you are there uttering foolish things to my hearing. Now, which fool amongst you coughed that nonsense from his smelling gutter you call your mouth.

5th Apprentice:

Boss I think it came from the other side.

Opana:

See him too! I thought as you raised your hand to talk, you had something sensible to say. I don’t know why you always speak and misbehave as if you were not up to nine months in your mother’s stomach. I won’t repeat myself again but whoever made that comment should own himself out before I do my thing which you guys know what I mean.

8th Apprentice:

Master please as for me I didn’t hear anything ooo. If I did, I will point the person out one time quick.

Opana:

No problem my united boys. As the saying goes “united we stand, divided we fall”. Since you people are covering up for that fool who made that statement, I have something special for all of you. Now you people should move out from the workshop and go and kneel down in the gravels outside there. I will release you people when my mind tells me to. I decided to give you boys money after you finish pasting the posters your colleague will come back with but because you people decided to conceal the truth from me, I am keeping my money.

8th Apprentice:

(raises his hand up and Opana gives him the sign to talk) Mmmmm, master I think I heard that uncultured word and I think I know the voice that made that foolish statement.

Opana:

Oh really, then tell me because am all ears over here.

8th Apprentice:

(ignores the eye contact his fellow apprentice were giving him) Mmmm, master the person who made that statement is….. Mmmm….. Hmmm!!…. It was…… Master hmmmm!!!, the person who made that statement is……

Opana:

(screams) Will you go straight to the point and stop beating about the bush like a pope who wants to propose to a nun at the mission house. I don’t have all day.

8th Apprentice:

Mmmm master I fear my colleagues and seniors will tag me as Judas.

Opana:

I don’t care even if they tag you as Jonah or Job, If you don’t have anything to say I will entreat you to hold your peace and just follow your mates to the gravels. I will just keep my money and use it for something beneficial to myself. Next time when you see someone’s beard burning, you will run and fall in the stream that follows through this village.

8th Apprentice:

Master I am ready to cough out the villain here. Please it is my senior standing behind me.

7th Apprentice:

Herh!! you liar. I will slap you right now. Did you hear me say anything, you liar? Master I swear with my two front teeth that he is lying. I didn’t utter any word when you were talking. Please don’t listen to him.

Opana:

And who are you to tell me who I should listen to and whom I am not supposed to listen to. If you say you are not the one who uttered those words, then I presume it was my late father who spoke. You see because of money, your colleague betrayed you and gave you out. Indeed, money is the root to all evil and money indeed makes the world go round. What your mate said to me has been well heard by me but I won’t work with it, since all of you decided to keep mute on the matter. You will still face my punishment until I feel am okay before I will release you people. Now get out of my sight and do as I have instructed you.

8th Apprentice:

But master I told you the truth by telling you who was behind that statement.

Opana:

Oh, shut that window you call your mouth. If I didn’t mention money like would you tell me who the culprit was? You should bow your head in shame for betraying your colleagues because of money. Now you fools should leave my presence before I use my hammer on you fools.

10th Apprentice:

Master please my senior will return very soon with the poster for us to go and paste it in and around the village. We need sound mind and strength to do the task ahead of us. Kneeling in the gravels under the hot sun will be too much for us, moreover, the school kids will close very soon and it will be embarrassing for them to see us kneeling in the gravels and sun that way. I humbly appeal to you to reconsider your decision and forgive us of our mistake and God will reward you.

Opana:

Awwww!! What a wise and sweet counsel from a young fool like you. God himself knows that if I pardon you, I have offended Him. You guys should leave my presence now before I do something regrettable to you. If cancer doesn’t feel shy to grow on my nose, I will also not hesitate to use a big cotton to block its shine.

Some hours later the 9th Apprentice returns with the posters and banners. Opana checks the designs and printout and he is very impressed with the work his boy brought before him.

Opana:

With this sharp printout and designs I will reward you handsomely but not now. Go and release your colleagues and come with them before me right now, you guys have a big task to perform today.

9th Apprentice:

(leaves Opana presence and comes back with his colleagues) Sir please we are here.

All Apprentices: (in a chorus voice) Thank you master.

Opana:

If you have any appreciation, give it to your colleague who came to release you. His good work made me to reconsider my decision if not like you will be in the sun for long. Next time none of you will open the gutter you call your mouth to make stupid remarks when am talking to you. Now listen careful to what am coming to say, I am going to divide you into four different groups which will be led by the four senior apprentices we have in this workshop. You will work in the four coordinates of the village and even go beyond the other villages to paste the posters and mount the banners of this workshop.

I call it facelift and rebranding so I will need your absolute best for this assignment, I will personally go round the village to inspect the work you are going to do and the team or group that does a good job will be rewarded handsomely. Bear in mind that I spent a huge sum of money to get this banners and posters done so any group or team that decides to waste the posters will pay dearly. You people know by now that I don’t go against my words. Now seniors come forward and ballot as to the area you will operate from with your boys.

2nd Apprentice:

I got the southern coordinate.

3rd Apprentice:

I got the western coordinate.

4th Apprentice:

I got the eastern coordinate.

Opana:

Then that means you got the northern coordinate?

1st Apprentice:

Yes please.

Opana:

As I said earlier on, this evening, I will go around the village and it’s neighbouring villages to access the work I have given you, the group that does a very good work will see the brighter side of me and the group that decides to waste my money with an abysmal performance will also see the bad side of me. You as seniors and group leaders must supervise this mission and anyone who tries to go wayward should be dealt with. I will need a situational report from you people by the close of the day and as I said, I need your maximum best for this assignment. Now does anyone have a question to ask?

3rd Apprentice:

Sir, so please, what time should we return to the shop or how many hours do we need to complete this task?

Opana:

Good question, well I won’t give you any time but I will start going round the village after 6pm. You people are not supposed to come back to the workshop today so go out there and paint the village with my posters and banners. Any question again?

2nd Apprentice:

Boss so where exactly do we paste the poster?

Opana:

So, can’t you be rational a bit? Come and paste it at my back and forehead, when you are walking around the village don’t you see where churches and politicians have made their boys paste their posters? Go and do same. Since you are quiet now, I presume there isn’t any further questions from you people. I will see you tomorrow God willing. Now get the posters and share it amongst your boys. You have 20minutes to hit the road.

At the California University Hospital:

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Doctor:

Ma’am I am pleased to inform you that after several hours of working with my team on your daughter, we have successfully taken the lump that was growing in your daughter’s brain.

Akua Yankey:

(screams and hugs the doctor) Thank you doctor, my God will reward you abundantly. You don’t know how happy I am now after sitting here for over 6 hours. Please can I see her now?

Doctor:

Yes, you can see her when the nurses move her to her private ward but I must stress that she is very weak and needs about 8hours rest so please when you go inside there, try not to wake her up or make any noise.

Akua Yankey:

Okay doctor, I have heard you and thank you very much for your good work.

Doctor:

Well if there is any thanks or appreciation, render it to God because your daughter being alive now is a miracle to myself and my team. We did our best and God did the rest. Today, I witnessed the mercies and love from God personally even though I use to doubt God sometimes.

Akua Yankey:

Doc, please, I don’t really get you. Can you please explain to me in plain language what you are driving at?

Doctor:

Ma’am I don’t know which God you serve and how you serve him but all I know is, He stood in for you and your daughter today. In that theatre room we saw what I call miracle and saving grace because we lost your daughter for about 12minutes. Her heartbeat stopped and her pulse seized from working. We tried everything humanly and medically possible but we didn’t succeed, as we were about giving up, I saw a glowing light flash my eyes and the next thing I saw on the machine screen your daughter’s heartbeat and pulse was been displayed and was back to normal.

For my 33 years of working in the theatre, I have never encountered anything like what I saw inside there today and I now believe God is still in His miracle business. Your daughter will be fine in no time. Please be gentle with her when she forgets some things she already knows and try to take her to places she likes most so that it helps her to heal faster.

Akua Yankey:

I know the living God I serve will never forsake me, the Presbyterian God I serve never sleep nor slumber, miracle worker and the light out of darkness God please receive your praises. “Abba nna gi bara uru otuto mma odigh onye di ka gi.

Doctor:

(smiles) I didn’t get what you were saying but looking at your gesture and body language I can tell you were praising God.

Akua Yankey:

That is true sir, I said in Igbo language that “Abba Father! you are worth my praise and there is none like you.

Doctor:

Ah that is a nice way to praise God in your local language.

Akua Yankey:

Actually, I am a Ghanaian and not a Nigerian but I stayed in Nigeria for some time, so I speak some of their local languages.

Doctor:

Well I know God understands every language on earth and I believe he has heard you. Please ma’am, I will be in my office. See me before you leave to your place of abode. I will have to write down some drugs for you to get at the pharmacy for her and please do well to ask me any question which will help you to understand her current condition.

Akua Yankey:

Okay Sir and may God richly bless you and every member of your team for what you did for my girl. I will never forget this day Sir.

Quincy’s End:

Quincy:

Jack have you heard from the wedding planner?

Michael Ansah:

Not yet bro. I called her two lines but none is going through. I don’t know why because the last time we spoke she gave me the assurance that I will hear from her this morning.

Quincy:

She better call so we know when and where we will be doing the pre-wedding photo shoot. I wouldn’t like any last-minute things where pressure will be mounted on us.

Michael Ansah:

I will call Henrietta right now to see if I can get any information from her. It’s her brother’s wedding and she is part of the bridal team so I believe she will have some first-hand information at her side.

Quincy:

Oh okay, I will also get in touch with the editor of the new magazine and see when we should come in to start the photo shoot of her models. Meanwhile we have been booked at the Royal Pumpkin hotel poolside two nights from today, that photo shoot money will be sent to me this afternoon by the driver of the event organiser.

Michael Ansah:

Charlie so is it we that we have become a household name like this? Some weeks ago, we were struggling as to how we will get machines to start this project but thanks to Julia, we are sailing smoothly.

Quincy:

Before I forget a record label director wants to book an appointment with us. I eavesdropped on the convo of his P.A and it seems he wants us to travel to Paris with some of his new artiste so we do some photo shoots there and after that, we will move to New York.

Michael Ansah:

Woooow!! What a juicy deal it will be. I can’t imagine myself in a plane to Paris and New York. I will surprise Julia the moment we get to the States and if by then, my mum and sister are still in the hospital I will pay them a visit also. Guy please do everything humanly possible for this deal to pull through even if they won’t pay us any money.

Quincy:

Hw3, dey there!!! This is going to be the deal that I will charge them very big. In showbiz, your branding determines your value. We won’t settle for less if you care to know. I will charge and even charge travelling allowance also. Just relax for me to pull the strings of this contract.

Michael Ansah:

Mr smooth talker, I will relax and watch you do what you do best. Hey I mentioned Julia’s name not too long ago and she is calling.

Quincy:

Say me well to her and please don’t tell her anything about the deals which hasn’t gone through yet.

On Phone:

Julia:

Hello Mickey, how are you doing? Please forgive me for not calling you often, the workload over here has increased immensely. You won’t believe I leave the house before 7am and I return home after 10pm.

Michael Ansah:

Hey take it easy, you shouldn’t be working yourself to death my dear. Let me ask if your boss also stays at work that late?

Julia:

Hmmmm!! That one, he is on sick leave so his job has been shifted to my desk that is why I overwork myself that way. Talking to you right now, am going through some files which I will send to him tomorrow for him to append his signature on it. Mickey I’m damn tired and would have loved some romantic massage to calm my stressed nerves down.

Michael Ansah:

Hahahaha, if wishes were horses’ beggars will surely ride. Try and get a white guy over there so he treats you special when you are stressed up.

Julia:

My friend, drop that white guy topic. I am not in search of a residence permit where I will go in for a white guy. Have you wondered why the white women chase after our black men? They want strong, thick and long black d**ks, they want men who can ride them and blow their brains off, they want……

Michael Ansah:

It’s okay madam sex educator, keep quiet and suffer then. So, when are you coming to Ghana again?

Julia:

Do you know that was the reason why I called? I had a distressed call last night that my mom is in a very critical condition and as at now, she is on a life support machine at the hospital and she needs my presence there. I have booked for a ticket and I am waiting for the confirmation from the airline, so, I should be in Ghana a day or two. Get ready because I will be going to the north with you to visit her at the hospital.

Michael Ansah:

That won’t be a problem my dear. The important thing is for you to get to Ghana safely. I dey for you always.

Julia:

Okay handsome, let me leave you for now so I clear the work on my desk. I will call to inform you when the confirmation from the airline comes in. Stay safe and sound. Bye for now.

Michael Ansah:

Okay dear, I will be expecting your call then. (call ends)

Later in the evening Opana goes round the village with the bicycle he seized from a small boy some time ago to access the work his boys did. He was somehow satisfied with the job done and returned home exhausted.

Days later some few people came in to order some coffins but after that the business took another standstill dimension. Opana was getting worried because he could go to his workshop for a whole day and not even a customer will pass by and ask him of even a quotation or price of a coffin.

Days later Opana decides to put his destiny into his own hands and get back on track with his business even if he was going to use foul means to achieve his aim.

What could Opana be aiming at?

TBC