Mama went back to grinding the spices she’d been at before I came in with my news and back to singing in an attempt to silence the sounds of my room being trashed. I pulled a stool and sat by her in silence. I caught tear drops falling into the wegba and its contents.
“Let me help you.” I reached out to take the tapoli from her, wondering, why she wouldn't use the blender which was still in the carton in which she bought it on the shelf. She gently pushed my hands aside, “Go on out and breathe some fresh air. Dinner will be ready by the time you return.” Her smile didn’t hide the pain in her eyes. I didn’t want to leave her but I figured she wanted privacy to calm him down.
“Alright, Mama. I’ll be back before it gets dark.”
The sun had let down on its earlier fury, and the sticky stillness that came along with it had given way to a cool breeze. I wasn’t sure where I was going. I let my feet lead as I consciously took my mind off my parents and allowed it to be filled with thoughts of Akwesi. He’d become my escape – The other half of my world which made sense.
He called me beautiful. Papa said I was an ugly daughter of a bitch. I instinctively reached for my left cheek where Papa’s palms landed when I was stupid enough to ask him if he was impliedly a dog the first time he called me that. Everything had been perfect in my eyes up until that point.
Akwesi’s voice pierced through my thoughts. I looked up to see him relaxed on one of the wooden park benches in the woods behind his home. The sight of him resulted in a warm fuzzy feeling in my stomach. I never used to feel that way until a few months ago.
I hadn’t decided where I was heading when I left home, but judging from where I found myself, I knew my feet had been leading me to him.
“I guess I was coming to see you.”
“You guess?”He got up and hugged me.
I laughed and took my seat by him, resting my head on his shoulder.“Guess what?”
“Anima, I’m never able to accurately guess your thoughts. Spare me the torture,” he grinned. “You’re just too smart for me.”
“Akwesi paaa, you can be dramatic papa. What’s the torture in taking a guess?” I raised my head to look him in the face.
“You’d never know until you’re me and I’m you,” he said, making funny faces at me.
“Ok, I’ll spare you the torture.”
“I’m all ears.”
“I got admitted to the university to study Chemistry!” It took a while for the news to sink in. I watched the confusion in his eyes turn to joy.
I nodded with a smile.
“I thought your father was against it?”
He did not wait for an answer. “Was that not what he said? That you’re too young to be let out into the world? That there are too many dangerous people out there and you’re not ready to face them?” His phone rang before I could answer. Signalling me to hold on, he answered,
“Hello Elma! Oh no, I’m not busy, we can talk.”I frowned, feigning disapproval at this interruption. He got up and kept walking back and forth. I could catch bits and pieces of his side of the conversation. It had to do with his thesis. Why would Elma be discussing that with him though? My mind drifted and I smiled at the memory of what once caused me many days and nights of tears and heartache......
To be continued...