Esenam hailed a taxi and headed for church. Boat was the only one present when she arrived. She put her bag on one of the chairs and walked up to him. Boat had set up the PA system and was testing it. Esenam felt awkward around him especially after her father’s attitude towards him.
“Boat, I’m sorry for what happened the other day when you came to my house. I don’t know what got into my father. I’m sorry for the embarrassment he caused you. I truly am sorry.” Esenam said and handed him a piece of paper. “Kindly take this, it’s my number, call any time you want to come over.”
“There’s nothing to be sorry about, Esenam. Your Dad was just carrying out his duty as a father. I wasn’t embarrassed at all. Talking of your father, does he know you’re here?”
“No! I made sure no one saw me leave. Besides, when they knock on my door, it would be the same old story. I asked Yayra not to bother me this morning. I told her I needed to sleep because I wasn’t feeling well.” Naana walked in just then and was jealous instantly to see them alone. She greeted for formality sake and become more suspicious when Esenam and Boat stopped talking.
“Did I interrupt something? I can step outside if you want.” Naana said sarcastically.
“No, that wouldn’t be necessary. We were…” Boat tried to explain.
“Oh, you don’t have to tell me what you were talking about. Boat, do you know you still owe me a visit?” Naana cut in.
“Yes, I do. I will honour it very soon.” Boat answered unenthusiastically.
“I hope it would not be this week because I’m traveling with my boss to Kumasi tomorrow and we won’t be back until Friday.” Naana supplied.
“So, you were going to leave without telling us?” Boat questioned.
“Of course not. You know I can’t do that to you.” Naana answered. A couple more people trooped in and exchanged greetings with them. Esenam felt a little out of place. Naana always invoked that feeling in her when she was around her. For some reason, Naana’s attitude always got to Esenam. She felt like Naana was marking her territory every time she saw her with Boat. Esenam wondered if the two had a relationship brewing in the pot. She tried to move away to give them space.
“Just a second, Esenam. How are you doing?” Naana tried to be friendly.
“I’m blessed by His grace,” Esenam answered.
“I wanted to know if you would be distributing brochures with us after the service?” Nana enquired.
“I’m sorry I can’t make it today.” Esenam replied.
“What’s with you, Esenam? For the past month or so you’ve not been joining us for the distribution of the brochures. You say no to almost everything I ask of you and you’ve even shirked your responsibilities in the Youth Club. Is it that you’ve lost your spirituality?” Naana dished out bitterly.
“That’s enough Naana. Leave the poor girl alone. She’s going through too much already. Who are we to judge? She needs us to be supportive of her now more than ever. Shelve your unnecessary tantrums for another day.” Boat said, fighting very hard to control his anger.
“And I’m sure you are her confidant now, right? Just keep your eyes open or she’ll make you fall like Eve did to Adam. I have this feeling that she…”
“Hold that thought for another day, Naana. Sometimes I really find it difficult to believe you learn anything from the teachings we receive here.” Boat defended Esenam and gently asked her to go and sit down. He was fuming with so much anger and needed to tell Naana his mind. The Presiding Overseer called for order for the service to begin. Boat walked away from Naana without saying another word. He went straight to his seat.
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To be continued…