Kate Gabra splashed some more cold water on her face. She liked their new place. She did more than she expected to. The kitchen is twice the old one, if not thrice. And the house itself feels so cool. Take it, this time, June in Ghana is cold, too cold for a place like Accra but the house had this coolness by itself. She felt it from the walls when she stood against them.
But those two pale to the vast sitting area upstairs, the only thing upstairs and she loved it. She could host her girlfriends anytime. Even if Kwaku was around. She wouldn’t have to disturb him nor worry about his weakness around them. She took the towel to her face and dabbed off water.
Today, the sun was up high in the sky too early and throwing its rays carelessly about. That’s what shone on her face and woke her; a reminder she should have put on her sleeping mask. She slipped into the bathroom slipper and shuffled towards the kitchen. She threw off four strands of her long jet black hair that had found its way onto her face and pulled up her falling pajama. She was a mess in the mornings; worse now that she quit work to be a stay-at-home wife. She stopped by Kwaku’s room. He was gone. She frowned and peered at the alarm clock. It was barely past 6am.
Where could he be?
Don’t think about it Kate.
Kate flung open the fridge and brought out the jar of lemon water. She poured herself a glass, jumped unto the brown wooden counter and began to sip. The lemon smelt less fresh than before. She’d have to pour it out and replace them with new ones. Now, lemon water was part of the family. She couldn’t imagine a day without feeling its crisp bitter biting taste linger on her tongue.
Similar to the feeling she gets whenever her mind wanders back to Kwaku’s affair. The second honeymoon was to be the solution, the firm press to stop the bleeding. She’s pretended well the bleeding has stopped. But she knew the truth too well. She wakes with it, cleans with it and lays with it. Kate shut her eyes. She could still smell the cologne when he comes on her, still sees the lip stain. Like a bad dream you can’t wake up from. And then that self-doubt steps in; that perhaps she really doesn’t satisfy him. She lacks an attraction. She Kate Gabra, sensation in medical school is not enough for her husband.
Her eyes began to water.
She forced them open.
“Not now Lord. Please not now. I’m barely up. The day is so young. I’m yet to relive the blessings of a husband…” She choked. “…of a best friend and that nice conversation with her.”
Her phone rang.
Kate whispered and run to her bedroom. She looked at her ID. Her dad. She sighed. Who better to lift her mood?
Sefa Addison sounded tired. His voice croaky and faint.
“Dad, been to an all-night? You sound tired.”
He laughed, but not as hard as he was used to.
“Not church but yeah I was in an all-night, a meeting. But that’s not why I called. How is my girl?”
“Your girl is fine. Getting used to being stay-at-home. That’s all. Tell me about this all-night. I was with Dzidzor yesterday. She didn’t mention it.”
Kate didn’t believe her dad and she wasn’t about hiding it. The last time he sounded beaten up like this, he had been diagnosed with Prostate cancer and was going in for surgery the next day. He had hidden his diagnosis for over half a year. Even attended her med school graduation feigning health. When the hospital called her in she couldn’t believe it. And now she wasn’t ready to experience all over again the fear that enveloped her. He was the part of her world who hasn’t failed.
“You’re smart Kate but Dzidzor isn’t in our region.”
“Alright Papa. I just hope there’s nothing going on worth my knowledge that you’re hiding.”
“I won’t put you through the prostate cancer experience again Kate. I’m your dad.”
Kate hesitated. Why could she still not believe him? Or was she just being paranoid?
“Ok. Then you should go and sleep.”
He laughed again, almost choking. Kate frowned.
“Dad. Be nice. I’m just saying the obvious. Besides I’m a practicing doctor. Rest is important.”
“Stop taking care of everyone Kate. That’s all I am saying.”
“I’m taking care of no one dad. I’ve quit work.”
“And about that. I’ve been thinking.”
Kate yawned, moving towards the kitchen. Her glass will be going warm. She bit on some lemon pulp straying on her tongue.
She peered again into Kwaku’s room and stared at the clock. Where was the day flying to? Why should it be almost 7am when she just woke up minutes ago?
Kate took the phone off her ear and checked whether the call was still active. Network coverage in Ghana gets worse with increment in telecommunications maybe. The call was off.
She grumbled and went for her glass. She held it between her palms. The lemon water had lost the chill feel. She gulped down and dialed her dad’s number again. Sefa’s phone beeped but he didn’t answer it. She tried two more times and gave up.
She looked at the calendar magnet on the fridge; Kwaku’s idea. She had to shop today-groceries mainly. She has lunch with Dzidzor too. Maybe she will every day.
“Lord, today has to start now. With you of course.”
Kate grinned and made for the stairs. Till they are done setting up, that space will be her study and prayer place. She has already plugged in her drive to the extra plasma Kwaku dumped there, later to be for the guest room. The acoustic version of oceans from Hillsong will be filling every void in the house soon. The song has been on her mind for days now.
She climbed the fleet quickly, sitting in the couch nearest. She quickly sent Dzidzor a reminder of the lunch over WhatsApp. Not that Dzidzor will forget. She inhaled and exhaled as if prepping for a music concert. No matter how her fears threaten to take the lead over her life, she was assured of peace once she gives them to God. There wasn’t any exchange she loved better than that. It’s how she’s survived the wilderness of life the past two years and it’s how she’ll survive now. She has to never forget that.
NB: If you are new or just have to catch up, start here.
©M’afua Awo Twumwaah 2016