Author’s note: If you’re new to When Love Finds You, welcome. If you’re not, hey welcome too. I’m glad you’ll spend some amount of your precious time to visit and read. Today we say hi to Sule and Tara’s family. Shall we?
“Mum please the gate.”
Sule pulled absentminded at his eyelids, stared at his phone and stashed it into his breast pocket. He leaned on his car. He hated being out on the street when it was dark and worse when he was alone. Suzie Tafua came out and stood at the gate, using about a full minute to make eye contact with her son. He was growing and somehow losing his taste for respect. The look registered well into Sule’s brain. His features softened and he got into his car. Suzie pulled the gate open and stood aside to allow Sule drive in. He pulled into his spot in the garage, Suzie leaning at its entrance.
“I thought requests are preceded with greetings.”
Sule warmed up beside her, his hands full with documents to be reviewed. The pressure was already mounting up within him. He needed to look put together before whoever he was to meet from Target. And he had only tonight. Tomorrow will be filled with chores. Then he’ll have to lead Sunday School at Church and Sunday will just come and pass in a few seconds and there will be Monday staring right at him. He didn’t want anyone seeing any more loopholes than he could afford and taking advantage of it. He’s watched too many movies and read too many materials to already feel vulnerable. Bringing someone into your business feels like opening your heart to any new woman, at least for him, it could mean anything at all.
“I’m sorry about it.”
“I believe you are.”
Suzie started towards the back door.
“Dad’s lying in the couch.”
“Okay. The back door is fine. Even better.”
“But you’ll have to be down in five minutes.”
“Yes mum. For devotion and small conversation. I know the routine.”
Sule’s tone stung with sarcasm. He was not a fan of his dad. Worse, his dad was trying too hard to get him to be. He didn’t know which one he hated most about coming home, the gate being opened or the evening routine.
Suzie stopped at the door.
“Your dad is trying to be a father. Give him a break.”
“I’m trying mum.”
Sule let the frustration in him out.
“He was absent for the most time when this bond he wants could have been created. I’m not the problem mum. I’m doing eight to five, doing life myself…”
“Granted Sule. You’re not. How did it escape me?”
Suzie cleaned under her eye.
“Fatima is out on a sleepover with a couple of her friends. She told me to tell you to check your Snap.”
Suzie walked briskly away. She took quick heavy steps up the stairs. Sule kept his eyes on her. She’d probably get into the shower and sob.
Sule tried stopping her but she was gone. He never liked getting her stuck in between himself and his dad but she always ended up right there.
“Tara, shut the door well and hold on to the lock tighter than usual. It wouldn’t go back in after you left this morning. You must have pulled too hard on it.”
Selina said making her way from the bedroom.
“I must have. I was running late. Beat won’t get out of the way for me.”
“He’s your cat. He’s snuggled up over there in the couch.”
“Good for him.”
Tara smiled and held on the lock and forced it in. She took her hand bag back from the worn out settee by their old box TV, threw one glance Beat’s way and headed for inside. Their house was somewhat of a self-contain, two rooms, kitchen, bath and hall with a small balcony at the back, covered up to serve as the store for her dad’s tyres. Before she could get into her room, her mum called.
“Please put the lights off.”
“Will do mum.”
“And there’s left over Ampesi in the warmer. We couldn’t get plantain. I know you hate it but yam is better in the market now.”
“I’ll pass mum. I’m already upset for yam.”
Tara stretched for the switch, pressing her face softly against the cold wall. Her mum hit the switch down and winked at her. Tara laughed.
“Rather? I should be hearing some thank you. I saved your pretty nose from getting twitched.”
“Thanks mum. For saying my nose is pretty.”
Selina shook her head and leaned by the wall. She looked at her Tara. Her face was fast becoming a clone of hers. She was just eighteen when Tara’s cry made her shed those grateful tears at the 37 military hospital. There isn’t a day she wasn’t thankful she didn’t abort her. If only Tara knew everything.
“So how’s work? The customers are still trickling in?”
Tara had told her months back her work, Papp’s inn, wasn’t doing as well as it did when it started. Customer’s found their competitors cheaper and better. Now it’s a miracle to send out even thirty boxes of Pizza a day. Their plans of launching their pastry line has since been halted.
“Yes. Still trickling in.”
“You both shouldn’t get disheartened.”
“Thanks mum. I’ll tell Sule tomorrow. He sent his kisses.”
“Welcome. He’s a sweetheart.”
Selina smiled. They both leaned on the wall. Their curly afro hair held in high buns, a few strands of Tara’s straying on her face, their round, soft cream eyes framing beautifully their face. Tara’s pupils stood a bit off, her contacts had their own taint to it. She looked catty. That’s how Sule described it. Both their lips were a slight pout that parted wide with the ends cutting closer to the cheeks. Tara’s was however thicker, taking after her dad’s.
I would have thrown this beauty away and regretted it all. Or perhaps I wouldn’t have known she’d be such a beauty. Then they’d be no regrets, just guilt hanging over me all my life like her father’s frequent hangovers.
Selina sighed and turned her gaze on Tara.
“I’ve been praying. I know the bills are hard on you.”
“You have no real idea mum. Have you seen the electricity bill lately? It’s been shooting up like crazy.”
“I have honey. I saw the water and your dad’s bills from the clinic are in too. But it’ll be alright.”
“When you get a job maybe. Goodnight”
Tara muttered under her breath and entered her room. She avoided her mum’s eyes. She didn’t want to succumb to her emotional blackmail. She knew she should have said it better but how better. She was just 25 and already she was taking care of the home. She has since after her Junior high school. Both parents were too steep into drunkenness to be bothered to be parents. She heard two soft knocks on her door. Trust her mum to not let conversations end sour.
“Door’s opened mum.”
Selina jerked the door open softly and stood by it, a smile buried on her face nonetheless.
“We’ll be all packed up to the estate before you come in tomorrow. I wanted to tell you so you head there right after work.”
Tara’s eyes widened.
“Yes. Your father and I are joining you. Uncle Harris forgot to tell you I believe.”
“He did. Thanks.”
Tara kicked her inch heeled sandals off and sat on the bed.
She said with tears gathering in her eyes.
“I just wanted to be alone without them a while. Was that too much to ask for? Now they’re coming with all their baggage.”
She swallowed and buried her face in her palms.
“I don’t precisely mean baggage but with all their stress you know. Tara Donkor just wants a normal life.”
Tara lay on her back and looked up the ceiling. She has never entertained the fears but now they were moving up her veins into her heart slowly. She has always been afraid of losing Papp’s inn and of having her parent’s showing up all over her life and now both seemed real. She was afraid.
©M’afua Awo Twumwaah 2016.