Judith sat across her dad. She wasn’t amused, neither angry. She talked to herself the umpteenth time and glared into his eyes. They said nothing back. Or he was holding them back from being expressive as he gulped down Janet’s homemade Melon Juice. Everyone drank at least two cups for their first tasting. She won’t be surprised to know his glass was his second. The awkwardness she anticipated wasn’t here.
Her dad, Mr. Boakye Biney sat back relaxed in his seat, like it was the most normal thing to be happening today. Judith wanted to run him off like he did her years back. Dragging her bags out of their big house in Takoradi that afternoon, she was crying inside he’d stop her. He didn’t. He rather helped get the second Travelman suitcase out and locked the door. She felt her chest rising. It could be anger, hate, anything rising up inside her. He had the impudence of driving here to claim her when he should have before life got out of her hands. After smacking his lips the third time, he looked up at her and propped his right foot forward.
His voice came through softer than Judith had predicted. He wasn’t loud. He didn’t seem like he’ll scream now nor anytime soon. Three years could change a lot.
“Why are you here?”
She was running out of patience playing this pretend game. He should know her better. She thought she’s missed him. Even wanted to speak to him. But now that he’s here, she wanted to hate him, hurt him back.
“I’m here because of you.”
“No. You are because of your reputation.”
“Listen for once.”
Boakye spoke, all the while his demeanor calm.
“I have listened enough.”
“You haven’t Ako. I’ve barely talked.”
“I’m Judith dad. Ako is buried.”
“I know you hate me.”
“It’s beyond hatred. I loathe you…”
Judith choked on the words. A lump formed in her throat as she fought her tears. She wouldn’t cry in front of this self important man.
“… I wish I could throw up every food your hand fed me.”
She swaggered out of the hall into Janet’s bedroom. It helped it was a Saturday and Lewis decided to take the weekend to visit with his parents.
She laid face down wishing she could call Derrick. Two nights ago, before Janet’s call came through, they spoke at length and she discovered a part of her present life she’s dared not. Whoring for her was a good payback for her dad. Derrick Asamoah pointed it out and right when he said it, it sunk home, struck a cord.
Janet came in, dumped the basket of clothes on the bed, gently lifting off that side of the bedsheet. Dirty bedsheets were the hardest for her to wash. She owned a good washing machine but trusted her hands more.
She shook Judith on the leg.
“This is my matrimonial bed. Up with you.”
Janet pulled her by the leg, tickling her calf. She laid there. She sat by her.
“He got to you?”
Judith shook her head.
“You are sad?”
She nodded and sat.
“He’s so calm Jane. He ruined my whole life with his harsh words. He appears from nowhere and wants me back, wants to be the father he should have been to me all those years. I’m tired of him, tired of his new love.”
Jane started folding the clothes. She was herself worn out with her private guilt. Watering Judith’s current emotion with care is a no-no. There wasn’t a joule of energy in her for it. She however felt to probe.
“Is there more I don’t know.”
“A few details.”
Judith took a long bodicon dress from the pile of clothes and stared.
Janet smoothened a white shirt she put on the row of folded shirts on her left. She looked at Judith in self defense.
“Osofo maames wear bodicon too. Wow. I never thought.”
“It’s a dress. It’s about ten skins thicker than your favorite cream – colored. And I’m a Christian, not Osofo Maame.”
“Ow. There’s a difference. I see.”
“Judith. You know you’re clever.”
“If you insist.”
“Please tell me those details you were about saying before my dress caught your eye.”
Janet pulled the drawers on the wardrobe and put away Lewis’ shirts. Judith took out a boxer and hurriedly dropped it back in the basket.
“Derrick’s assistant pastor called my dad.”
“Pastor Turkson doesn’t know him.”
“He doesn’t. In summary, he happened to talk to a Pastor friend who knows my dad. He helped him get the contact and voilà, dad’s here.”
“Okay. This is getting more confusing. You mentioned over the phone Pastor Turkson suspects the church board knows about the guy following yourself and Derrick. He mentioned they could get sinister. Is that why he called your dad?”
“Obviously. He wants me away and so much from Derrick.”
“Why do you think he did it for Derrick?”
“His eyes and body posture.”
“Sign and body language expert now ha.”
“I’m a prostitute.”
Judith said, studying her face in the mirror close to the bathroom. Three years has changed a lot.
© M’afua Awo Twumwaah 2016.