Author’s note: Episode XII features Mrs. Benjamins and Asaabea Croffet. I missed them and I knew you have too so we gave them a feature. And currently there’s a story going on my Facebook page and so many new likes. I’m super glad and grateful for all those little blessings. I keep writing because friends like you keep reading and leaving such warm words of encouragement. Thank you so much. XoXo. Did you miss XI, read it.
“She said she’s going for counseling.”
Mrs. Benjamins sipped her steaming liquid made from herbs and roots boiled together. She was seated in the kitchen with Asaabea Croffet. She watched Asaabea prepare her Groundnut soup to accompany Kokonte that evening for her family’s supper. The afternoon was cooler than usual and the house smelt like freshly baked white clay from the rain that sprayed on the sandy ground some few minutes.
“And what made her say that.”
“I particularly didn’t hear that come from her mouth.”
“So this is an insinuation?”
“She goes for counseling even when a needle pricks her.”
“I support that.”
“Counselling has its place in marriage. Spilling out whatever fear to a pastor is not right.”
“I support that too. Imagine I tell our pastor how stingy my husband can be with even electricity bills which isn’t his money in the first place.”
“Or that you tell him about how long it takes him to replace a bulb for the entire compound.”
“I’ve told that before.”
“He was embarrassed?”
“You think. He run me off and barked all the way home.”
Both women laughed.
Asaabea tasted her soup for the last time and after taking it off the fire, covered the coalpot with an earthenware bowl. She poured herself a generous amount of the herbal mixture under Mrs. Croffets watchful eyes.
“So exactly what did you over hear the Aboagye’s discussing?”
“It seems one of them wants a divorce.”
“Chris is a monster. I knew he’d leave this girl soon.”
“And that’s what surprises me. Christy was the one asking.”
“Christy?” Asaabea asked baffled and lowered her jug from her mouth. “Christy stayed when he cheated. Why would she leave now?”
“Why will a woman who’s yet to move into her dream home and travel for a vacation outside of Ghana want to leave her husband?”
“Because she’s tired of the marriage.”
“And that’s what I think this is about.”
“Are they in there?”
“I’m sorry please.”
Chris made small crawls and held Christy’s feet. Her tears run unto his black curled hair roots.
“Christy I apologise for all the hurt I’ve made you go through. I want to make this amend. I promise you I do. I’m sorry it’s been about what you could give me all along. It’s not any longer.”
Christy cleaned the tears under her eyes with a swipe of them on her shoulders. Lines of mascara and black khol liner could be faintly seen on her cheeks. She cried herself to sleep last night. Chris took to the couch. Why she’s made up makes no sense. For days now, she’s been in her pajamas and besides taking her bath, she’s not been out of the bedroom. Not even to buy food. Chris did the cooking. The ordering too. Make up the day before was to cheer her up, take her mind off feeling like a used tissue.
“I’m going to book an appointment for counselling.”
Christy said, her focus on the wall. It had a wierd hue of blue in it. Chris painted it two days to their wedding. What has she not fought to be given in this relationship? She fought to be married, fought to stay in it. Now she felt she was fighting to be loved unconditionally. She glanced at Chris at her feet. He said that isn’t so now. She wanted to believe him with all of her but it was hard.
“No counselling Christy. Talk to me.”
“It’d hurt you.”
“I can take it. I’ve put you through worse.”
“No. I’ll just go and see Pastor Turkson.”
“We’ve already seen him too many times. The last we did, he said we should sit and talk our issues out like adults when we both can process what the other party is saying well. That’s all I’m asking we do.”
“I don’t want to talk to you.”
“Pastor Turkson is not in the church anymore. Counselling sessions have been on hold since.”
Chris walked over to the other edge of the bed and sat towards the window.
“You were going for counselling?”
“No. I knew you may want to. I called to check with him so I could tell him what’s wrong. I didn’t think you’d want to see me around there.”
Christy lifted her suitcase and shook the clothes unto the bed. Chris looked on.
“I think I’ve been difficult to live with.”
“No need to lie Chris. I’m not going to leave.”
“Well a little.”
“I see. I think I’ve wanted kids not for me or you.”
“I think I’ve not gotten over Junior and his mum.”
Christy started whimpering.
“Hey.” Chris went to her side and took her hands. “That’s been years ago and I haven’t seen her again after.”
“But it’s not been years ago for me. Every month I unwrap a sanitary pad, I see junior and his mum taunting me and … “
“Why did Ako leave.”
Boakye repeated Derrick’s question, a sadness covering his face afresh.
“Why Ako left is the same reason she won’t talk to me. She can’t stand me.”
Derrick’s gaze was set on Boakye. He paid attention to the words he spoke. He did as though Judith’s salvation was somehow hinged on them.
“What were the circumstances?”
The comfy welcoming hall seemed to have taken up a sort of tension at this question. Boakye’s sad face took on another emotion. Two more. He looked sad, angry and ashamed. All at the same time.
“I drove her out.”
“You sent her away.”
“Yes. Let me say I helped her pack out.”
Derrick sat back in his seat. He wasn’t shocked. He’s prepared himself for anything on his drive here. He was getting enlightened. The story was all coming together good for him. After spending more time with Judith before she wouldn’t talk, he began to suspect her prostitution was a form of rebellion. The second time they talked in the Croffet’s compound, she blatantly said her father was a pastor. That left a big impression on him. The way she said it. Her tone held contempt.
“She wasn’t obeying?”
“Worse. She brought a man into our home.”
“You wouldn’t stand for it?”
“I was ready to. Till she blurted out something like she being able to take care of herself and she’d move out and went into her room to pack. I was angry and hurt. That morning was my birthday and I didn’t want to accept that I failed raising my daughter.”
“And she left and moved to Accra and became a prostitute.”
“Yes. Her brother kept in touch. I was too proud to beg her to stop or come home.”
“Is that why she hates you?”
“No. There’s more. I was like a millitary man in my home. I think she hated me more for that than she does for being thrown out.”
“Did you try apologising after meeting her?”
Derrick took a gulp of his water.
“I tried. The meeting didn’t hold. Ak0 walked away.”
“Let’s pray, shall we?”
Derrick looked at Boakye’s face. Both father and daughter needed the Lord’s love desperately. Both needed it as much as the other but for different reasons.
© M’afua Awo Twumwaah 2016.