Author’s note: The Story Begins Here
“Decision’s; God’s Love”
Esi threw her hair extension back and hugged her knees. She wasn’t cold anymore or perhaps she wasn’t paying attention to the cold. She wanted to be done and over with this moment. She had never fancied serious talk. It’s never been part of her family.
Well she never even had a stable family. There isn’t one she could describe as such – hopping from one home to the other and finally ending up with her mum and step-dad. She exhaled. That was the last thing she wanted to think about.
“Esi” Kwame shifted to face her. “I’d like you to do me a favour. Are you up for it?”
Esi nodded. Kwame continued.
“Thank you. And you don’t necessarily have to give me your answer now.”
Esi nodded. She was getting nervous. She hoped it wasn’t what she’s been waiting for him to bring up all this while.
“You must quit your job.” Kwame said quickly.
She looked away from him. She knew that would be it and she understood him. She had always wondered how long he could be friends with someone like her; someone with a profession close to a whore.
She hugged her knees tighter, tears flowing down her face.
“Shhhh.” Kwame hugged her. “You don’t have to cry.”
He was starting to feel bad. He sat up and handed her his handkerchief.
“I didn’t mean to make you cry. I just want you to be safe doing something decent to earn money.”
Esi blew her nose as he talked. He wondered if she was really listening.
“You could get a job or even start school. You could even train as a hair stylist. You know get into a vocational school – anything but being a stripper.”
Esi looked away black. He finally mentioned it. She gazed ahead saying nothing. Hearing it from him hurt than all the accusing stares she is used to receiving. He had never addressed her as such.
“Hey.” Kwame attempted after a while of silence.
“You have anything to say?”
She shook her head.
He sat looking aimlessly around, stealing glances at her. He wanted to see if her countenance had changed. He looked at his watch. It was almost 11 in the night. They had to leave but he didn’t want to end the conversation this way. He had not planned to really call her that.
He stared at his sneakers and the wet grass underneath them. Maybe he should say that.
“Maame” He cleared his throat. Maybe that name would lighten atmosphere a bit. She liked it, her adopted Twi name.
He drew closer.
“I didn’t mean to mention that. I’m sorry if you’re hurt. I…”
Esi cut in; her tone harsh and sad. He could hear her choking.
“Please can we go?”
That was it. The conversation was closed. He looked back at his watch. It was 11:10 and the guard will soon be there to tell them he wants to lock up.
Everything would have gone well if he had just not mentioned that word in his desperation. He should have been wiser-perhaps a little more patient.
He cleared his throat and got up. Esi was already some steps ahead of him. She wanted to either get away from the park or from him and either ways, he understood her. He passed his hand over his neatly barbed head, pulling his beard.
“God” he said under his breath “I hope we don’t lose this altogether.”