“Honey…,” she gently whispered as she shook her husband who was fast asleep and snoring. He returned to life. “Hey, what’s wrong?” he asked. “I thought I heard someone knock. Can you please go down and check for me?” she requested softly.

Even in the dark, Mrs. Joker, a.k.a. Barbara Joker, looked breathtakingly beautiful. Her beauty was one unmatched by any maiden in the town and it was no surprise when Paul, the guy all the ladies in the town were dying for, married her. She was now in her third trimester of pregnancy, just a year after marriage. Her list of haters had increased greatly when news of her pregnancy hit town.

Mr. Joker, who preferred to be called PJ, loved his wife very much. It was not only because of her beauty, even though it had very much enchanted his heart that faithful Christmas eve at the town square. What touched him more about her was how matured and responsible she was, and he had sworn to do everything possible to keep her safe. So from the time they exchanged vows, he made Barbara resign from her secretary work just to stay home and take care of domestic affairs. He treated her as nothing less than a queen. After all, he was the CEO of Energy Consultancy, the renowned million-dollar company; his cash was enough for the two of them, their families, their entire education and their pets.

“Honey calm down, it may just be a bird or some bad boys from the neighborhood playing pranks on us. Why don’t you sleep?” he responded, struggling very hard to keep his eyes open.

“Please check it out to make. It could be some weary traveller seeking refuge, or would you want me to go and check it myself?” she asked, knowing very well that he wouldn’t allow her.

“Okay. I’ll go and check,” PJ stated as he dragged himself lazily from the bed. He loved his wife so much that even in the period of her pregnancy, he forbade her to wash dishes. He would have carried her around if the physician hadn’t recommended that walking helped the development of the baby.

He grabbed the torchlight from the bedside and made his way downstairs. The descent was not very long a journey but in his sleepy state, it took him quite some time. He kicked a few things in the dark before he finally made it to the door. Worried, Barbara kept asking if he was alright till she could finally hear no sounds.

He opened the door and looked outside. It was a little after midnight and the night sky shone beautifully. As he stood turning his head in circles trying to figure out what or who came knocking on their humble residence, only one thought came to mind: “Edger Allan Poe’s Raven is here in Takoradi.” He laughed at his thought. It was one of his favourite stories when he was growing up.

He sighed into the darkness. The wind gently carried it on its wings farther away but, still, no one seemed to be there. “Dearest Barbara, this is probably one of the late night illusions  pregnant women feel,” he whispered to himself and smiled as he gently closed the door and turned the knob. He returned to the room.

“It was nothing, my dear. I stood there for a long time but saw nothing. Please get back to sleep,” he said as he reached for his wife’s blanket and tucked her in. He made his way to his side of the bed to sleep. It was when he was about to hit the bed that his wife startled him with a moan. “Darling, I think he is coming!”

With the zeal and speed of a thousand Roman soldiers, he quickly made for the garage and got the car ready. Soon, husband and wife were flying at top speed to the hospital. All sleep vanished.

They swiftly waded their way through the midnight moonlit road. He thought about the many nights they had fought about the what gender they preferred. Right now, all he cared about was how to change places with his wife. The labour pains were too much for even a man like him.

“Kindly wait right here,” the nurse on duty said to him as they carried his wife on a stretcher and headed for the theatre.

He started calling all the men of God he knew. They had always prayed about how they would enjoy and love every second they held their baby in their hands. Never did he think it would be this tough.

An hour went by, yet no word was received from the theater. Then an hour more and yet another. His restlessness was just beginning to reach its peak when finally fate came to his rescue. The door opened and the nurses came out beaming with smiles. Without being told, he knew all was well. He knew his status had just changed; he was a father.

Life, can be said to be a very big garden. In this garden, there are many flowers, trees and shrubs. Among these, there is a special one that always catches one’s attention. He had found that very special plant in the garden of life and without it, there was no life. Without it, he had no life.

Tears started rolling down his cheek. His mom told him how his father missed this chance to see him only because he was busy in some far away country on a business trip. He could count the number of times he actually saw the man he called a father when he was growing up. The most important thing in his father’s life was money and how to get it. This philosophy had been drummed deep into his skull at a tender age and he had grown up believing that he could value nobody and nothing more than he valued money. But Barbara drilled a hole in his heart and filled it with love and what actually counted in life- family. She redefined his value system.

He was now a CEO of a reputable institution. He had many cars and everything a happy life would mean. But none of it mattered. Those material possessions were now nothing but mere adjuvants in his life.

The only things that stood tall in his heart now were their baby, his wife and how to make them happy. They were the beauty in his stars.

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