In a bid to prevent this from running until part 20 :D , I've decided to make my postings longer...
The warm feel of Akwesi’s arms around my neck brought me back to the present.
“Forgive me dear, that was Elma. She’s helping me edit my literature review.
“I’m not complaining am I? Girlfriends always come before best friends.
“You’re so cute when you act jealous.” He punched my arms.
“Well, I’m not acting it. I actually am.” That was a fact but I put on my “I’m kidding look” and he let it pass.
“So you’re coming to the university next semester? This is the best news I’ve heard all day. I’m really glad your father has changed his mind.”
“You couldn’t be happier than Mama. You should have seen her display of gratitude to our Father in heaven.”
I got up to act out how Mama had stood with her hands lifted and her gaze fixed upwards praising God. When we were done laughing our hearts out, I remembered the second part of his statement.
“No, he’s not had a change of mind.”
He was momentarily lost. “Who’s not had a change of – oh you mean your father? I’m sure he’ll come around.”
I replied with a short laugh, “I’m also sure the pope will be renouncing his Catholic faith and moving to The Lord’s Vineyard Philanthropic Miracles Ministry tomorrow.
“Anima, your thought process –“
I cut him off, “-is amazing. Yes, I know. But seriously, that’s Mama’s newest discovery.”
“You seem down all of a sudden. Why?”
“Because I have a strong conviction she will be taking me there for prayers so he comes around as you said. I just know it. And I’m dreading it. I only accompany her on Sundays, but this is my own case and I’m going to have to be there all week.”
“You presume too much sometimes, Anima. And maybe, just maybe, if you start taking God serious along with her, things will turn around.”
I wasn’t expecting this from Akwesi who only goes to church on Christmas day and Easter Sunday.
“What did you say?”
“You heard me, Anima. I think you’re being too dismissive of God. Maybe he’s allowing all these to happen so you take him more serious.”
The calmness with which he said this irked me more than the words.
“Can we talk about anything but this?”
“I see I struck the wrong chord. Forgive me. I was just being frank with you.”
He did however change the subject, and we spent another hour talking about everything but my situation. I made to head home when the mosquitoes began to bite.
“I’ve to get going. He’s already in a bad mood.”
Akwesi got to his feet and held his hands out to help me up. We walked in silence up to my front gate. He cupped my face in his hands and assured me, “Everything will be alright.”
I smiled and gave him a quick hug before letting myself in.
Mama was waiting for me when I got in.
“Where’s he? Does he know?”
My voice was barely a whisper.
“Asleep. I spoke to him. He seems to be coming around.”
“Really? What did he say?”
“He said I’d made sense and that he’ll sleep over it. My daughter, we need to pray hard about this. Hurry up and take a rest. I’ll wake you up at midnight.”
She cut me off. I remembered what Akwesi had said earlier and kept my mouth shut. I did join her for three hours of prayers from midnight. The next morning, Papa called for a short meeting before heading off to work.
“Anima, I heard you and your mother praying the Holy Spirit over my head last night”, he let out a chortle.
“Do not ascribe my decision on this issue to him”, he continued with a sly smile, “I made up my mind long before your prayer session started.”
It sounded as if he were going to say he had had a change of mind. That I would be going off to the university in a few weeks. But knowing Papa, I couldn’t allow myself to dwell on that possibility. I glanced at Mama who was wringing her fingers in anticipation. He looked at me while speaking, “I still stand by my words. You’re too young to be let out into the world.”
I didn’t know I had any hope left in me after his opening remarks until I felt my chest constrict in disappointment at this. The tears began to well and I was blinking wildly to hold them back. He turned to face Mama,“She’ll be going to the university.”