Berth was up waiting for me when I got home – I knew she would. “You must be tired”, she said, taking my brief case from me. “Should I warm your meal for you or you had something to eat already?”
I had not eaten anything since my lunch at 1pm, and I was starving! But knowing Berth very well, she would sit through supper with me, engaging in little talk. I was not ready for that. There were too many things going on in my head, and I’ve come to realise through living with her that you don’t mess with anyone who took a short course in psychology. They are more than professional psychologists. She thinks she has me all figured out although I always tell her she is only right 10% of the time. Tonight however, my fear of the probability of the 10% being right was 100%.
“I fed on some junk whiles working, so I don’t feel hungry.” That in itself was not a lie, and I made sure to look straight into her eyes whiles saying it. Amy offered me some coke and chips when she moved over to my work station. She had wanted me to look over some calculations her supervisor had asked her to submit by the next morning. That excuse sounded much more plausible when she said it to me then than now. Looking back, I wonder why she had two packs of snacks with her.
Berth’s voice brought me back to the present “Should you wake up hungry at 2am, it will be in the fridge. I’ve to get to work early tomorrow so it’s an early night for me.” She placed the food in the fridge and headed towards the bedroom.
“I’ll soon join you. I just want to listen to the late news.”
This got her to stop in her tracks. “Did you mean to say soccer highlights or late news?” She teased. Shoot! I mentally kicked myself. Everything was going fine up until now.
“I meant both. Is there not a sports segment in the late news? Go on to bed love, It’s only the highlights I want to watch”.
I turned on the TV, and sat in the couch directly opposite it. My eyes were fixed on the screen, but my mind was back on Amy, trying to figure out how to go about putting her in her right place the next day. I’ll just tell her that Berth is not just a girlfriend. She is the woman I plan on marrying, and therein lies the difference. I almost jumped out of my skin when I heard laughter behind.
“Oh my God! Jay,” Berth managed between fits of laughter, “since when did Cartoon Network start showing the late news?”
That was when I noticed I had been staring at cartoons all this while. I laughed in spite of myself. “Work was so stressful today, I figured I’ll be better off watching cartoons than filling my mind with all the negative news going on around the world.” This time, I patted myself on the back mentally. That was such a smart thing to say! “What brought you back here?”
She ignored my question. “Well, over an hour of cartoons doesn’t seem to have done the trick. You still look stressed. Come on, let’s go to bed.” She turned off the TV and I followed her to bed.
My heart literally skipped a beat when once I turned out the lights and settled into bed, she mentioned my name. That was what she usually did whenever we “had to talk”.
“Yes dear?” I squeaked.
“My dad called me today with good news. My kid sis got admission into the medical school”
I turned to face her “That’s fantastic!”
“There’s a little problem,” She went on. “He suggested she spends her first year with me as a day student.”
I didn’t see the problem with that. “And how is that a problem?”
She let out an exasperated sigh. “You seem to forget that I am no longer living on my own as I’ve got them to think. They’ll kill me if they know I’m living with a man I’m not married to.”
“We’ll find a way around it.” I knew very well this would be a big issue with Berth and her people, but I also knew it wasn’t the end of the world.
“Well, school starts in 3 weeks for her so we’ve got to think fast. If Adwoa were one who knew how to keep her mouth shut, I wouldn’t have been up thinking about this. But trust me Bill, I know my sister.”
“Tell your parents you’ll pay her boarding fees.”
“And you think that solves the problem? What happens when she’s on holidays?”
I could tell the next form our discussion was going to take. She was going to say something along the line of “Why don’t you just man up, go see my parents and lets formalise this thing?”
My guess was right – the very same wordings.
“I thought you had an early morning tomorrow? Why don’t we discuss this after work?”
“That is what you always say when you want to avoid an issue. “Why don’t we discuss this later?” Well, today, we are going to discuss this now.”
Wow, she was angry, I could tell from her tone. She turned on her bedside lamp, and sat up in bed. There was clearly no running away from this. I sat up and scooted closer to her, wrapping her in a hug. “Listen to me love, you know you are the one I’m going to marry. There’s no fear about that. We just-“
She disentangled herself from my hug.“Bill, you’ve been saying this to me for the past one year. I don’t doubt you, but seriously, when is it going to happen?”
“Sooner than you think.” I meant my words.
“Well, I’ve decided to move out. I’ll only move back in as Mrs. Mensah.”
She caught me off-guard. “When did you decide on this?”
“Oh, just now. I decided as I spoke the words.”
I could tell from the fierce look of determination in her eyes that she was serious. “Where are you moving to?” I managed.
“Have you forgotten I had just renewed my tenancy agreement before you convinced me to move in with you?”
“So when are you moving out?”
“Tomorrow, after work.”
“What can I say to make you change your mind?”
“You know what to do Bill, not just what to say.” She smiled, kissed me on the forehead and said goodnight before turning off her lamp.
"What a day!" Yes, I actually said that out loud. She gave no sign she even heard me. She only repeated goodnight and went to sleep. "Goodnight" I replied.