We Live Together II

“Dufie.”

Mrs. Croffet was on her daughters tail.

“Herh, Dufie Croffet” She blocked Dufie’s way behind the Aboagyes’ window.

Christopher Aboagye, Christiana Aboagye’s husband sat on his bed. Why the Croffets thought the back of their room was the place to trash out their private issues still left him dazed.

Just last week, it was Mr. Croffet chasing his wife about the December bill for the previous year. It wasn’t paid.

Two days ago, their beloved daughter was with whoever doing what he didn’t bother to find out.

Now it’s mother and daughter.

Chris yawned and stretched. He’s been awake throughout the little in-house demonstration, rather, match of protest that was staged against Judith.

Seventy percent of the tenants were somewhat Christians. They claimed to be. So exactly what was wrong with helping another house mate out with her electrical connection? Be it a prostitute or not.

He wasn’t all sold out but last week’s sermon kicked him off his chair on being a real neighbor. And talk of sharing a compound with your pastor too.

“You won’t talk to me? Saa. Okay. Go ahead and waste the hard studies you did, running after all things in trousers and Polo Shirt.”

Asaabea walked away and left Dufie very upset.

Chris couldn’t help but laugh. This family are truly a hand-selected few. For a family of just three, the drama was grand. He lifted his curtains. Dufie’s face was burning with pain and anger, evidently. Chris thought he saw shame too. Who wouldn’t be? The Polo Shirt comment was a rib cracker. Dufie looked at him and hurried after her mum.

“You can’t disrespect me like that Maa. Earning a degree isn’t a joke. Especially in Ghana… ”

There Dufie goes again with the degree lecture. Someone would have thought a year of joblessness and no entrepreneurship initiative from her would have shut her down.
It’ll be a miracle if there’s any quiet in the compound today.

Chris got out of bed barefooted and picked a bottle of voltic. He gulped down, rinsing his mouth in the process.

“Preparing you for a quick, smooth washroom experience.”

Chris looked down on his starting pot belly. He laughed some more and sat the edge of the bed. The compound was hushed now.

The knob to their room turned and in some seconds was released. He cleared his throat and faced the entrance to the bedroom. A rooster crowed. It was late. Perhaps it was a lazy one. Chris pored at Christy.

“This unnecessary early morning quarrel and scene you created is because of your insecurities you can’t go past.”

He said and walked pass her and slammed the door to the bedroom. Married for fifteen years, if one does the favour of overlooking the two years they cohabited before Christopher made up his mind, they occupy the largest chamber and hall in the Croffet’s compound. Christiana, called Christy in and out of her home was a plump size 10 woman whose little pout lips stood out on her face. The two were called the Christy’s behind their back. At least, that is what they made people think. Christy followed Chris into the hall.

“Aboagye.”

Christopher ignored her and put on the Plasma TV that sat on the long wooden stand at the middle of the room.

“Aboagye!”

Christy shook him on the shoulder. He kept his eyes on the TV, his feet hurled into the settee.

Chris was everything unlike his wife physically. He was slim, no matter the quantity of food he ate and was the tallest in their current compound and all the other two they have been in. He could hear the young girls giggling outside. The dog in the compound barked occassionaly. These, and the coolness the day brought with it made him put in oblivion the sour reputation he must have before his pastor now.

“Keep avoiding the obvious Chris.”

She sat on their antique stained centre table and faced him. Christy snuffled and pulled her sleeping coat to her dab her eyes.

“Because I look like a little baby wrapped in satin in your arms, you expect me to believe you went into a prostitute’s room and spend almost 30 minutes changing a bulb?”

“Fixing her electrical connection, Christy.”

Chris spoke, his gaze stuck on the TV. Besides his eyes that were almost fiery, his body said nothing of irritation.

Christy fumed at his calmness. She knew he did nothing. The veiled reason for this conversation was her request for them to move out into their own place. They could afford a two bedroom detached, even a three bedroom house if Chris would look at her side of issues. Chris has worked hard and turned their “Aboagye Electricals” into an almost national brand with three branches in Osu, Takoradi and Kumasi Kejetia.

“We’ll have to move Chris. I won’t take the humiliation.”

Chris smirked.

“I’d be shocked if this concluded on anything else.”

Christy went into the bedroom. She took to loud sobs.
It’s time to drag him down that path.
She laid straight on the bed, her face buried in the pillow. It took her husband years to decide on anything that will make her happy. She’s stayed too long married to him anyway. Too, too long.

Chris turned up the volume on the TV set. It’ll drown the actual voices he was tuned into – the ones of the kids who have taken to ampe now and jumped high with giggles and excitement. It’ll also drown Christy ‘s cries.

“You won’t blackmail me with tears.” He shouted with the loudest tone he could muster. “We’ll move after you’re pregnant.”

He sighed. Finally he said it, even if she didn’t hear.

 

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