Whatever It Takes-Episode 34

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Saturday finally came. Boat had looked forward to it forever and a day. He ironed his clothes for the evening in the morning. Next, he went to the barber’s to trim his hair and stopped by a gift shop to get a small present for his date. He pressed the doorbell to Naana’s house and waited patiently. He realized he was nervous as unanswered questions flooded his mind. What would happen if Esenam would not want to be with him in the long run? What would happen if she did not like the way he was dressed? What would he do if she had changed her mind to go out with him as scheduled? To make things worse, he was not able to convince Naana to come with them.

The door flew open and Naana stared at him in awe.

“Wow! You look very… handsome and different.” Boat thanked her and followed her inside. Naana asked if he would care for some water but Boat was not thirsty. He was nervous. He was behaving like a teenager on his first date.

Naana went to notify Esenam that Boat had arrived. She asked to be excused on the pretext of a headache and entered her room. Esenam, who had been ready over an hour ago came to the living area. Boat had his back turned to her so he did not see her coming. She greeted. Boat turned to look at her.

“Oh my God…. You look incredibly stupendous in that outfit,” he said in a nervous rush. Esenam felt a rush of blood to her cheeks. She was glad Boat liked what she chose for their date.

“You look great too. Shall we?” Boat shouted from the living area and informed Naana they were leaving. She responded without coming out. Once outside, Boat stopped a taxi, opened the door for Esenam and gave directions to the driver to their destination. They were quiet in the car because they were both engaged in sweet and heart-pounding thoughts of each other.

They arrived at their destination and Esenam marveled at how nice the place was. It was a cozy restaurant in a serene environment. Red lights flashed around the whole place. The chandeliers floating from the ceiling added a special touch to the place. A neatly dressed waiter ushered them to their table. Boat drew the chair for her to sit before taking his seat. Esenam felt like a Princess.

Boat stared at Esenam with such love and admiration in his eyes that she looked away. She was not ready for that just yet.

“Shall we order?” Esenam asked shyly.

“Yes. Please forgive my uncivilized ways. I am so enchanted by your extreme beauty that I’ve forgotten myself. You look so beautiful I can look at you all day.” Boat explained and signaled for the waiter.

“Stop the flattery, Boat!”

“I speak the truth, Mademoiselle. You are beautiful both on the outside and inside. Didn’t you notice all the guys turned to look at you when we walked in. I felt very proud to be your companion even if it’s for just tonight.” Esenam felt like Boat could see through her. She had admired him ever since they met. He was simple, caring and fun to be with. He always treated her with respect and love. He had not tried even once to hold her little finger even though she could see how much he loved her. She liked that about him. She was sure he had been tempted but he had never swayed.

“Has anyone told you how beautiful you are lately?” Boat asked, still enchanted.

“Yes, I’ve heard it about a million times.” Esenam kidded.

“Then I’m telling you a million and one times that you are beautiful. And there is something about you; something untouched, something very special. You are exceptional.” Esenam smiled beautifully. Boat congratulated himself for making her smile like that. The waiter arrived with their order. Boat opened the non-alcoholic wine he ordered and poured out two glasses. He offered one to Esenam and raised his to hers.

“To wonderful times ahead! Cheers!”

“Cheers!”

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They ate in silence for a while. Boat divulged to Esenam that he would like to know her more. He declared he wanted to be her friend if that was possible. Esenam answered that she already considered him as a friend and he was grateful for that for starters.

“So, what are your likes and dislikes?” Boat asked at length.

“Likes and dislikes? Mmmm, with regards to people, I like them honest, loving, caring and able to tell you to the face when you are going wrong. I dislike liars, pretenders, alcoholics and people who are disloyal. With regards to food, I like banku and okro stew. I like reading, writing and traveling as hobbies and what again? I guess that’s all. What about you?”

“I like everything you like and dislike everything you dislike but I hate traveling. Tell me about your family,” Boat pressed, knowing Esenam would be a little uncomfortable with the topic. She surprised him by answering his question although downheartedly.

“We are a family of five— there is my Dad, my Mom, a brother and a sister. What about your family?”

“We are three— my Mom, a sister and myself.”

“And your father?”

“I don’t have one.”

“Stop kidding me. I am yet to hear of a child without a father.” Boat still maintained he did not have a father. Esenam noticed his visage changed with the subject of a father came up. She sat quietly and gaped at him showing her utter shock. Boat realized he had behaved badly and tried to salvage the situation by telling the truth about his father.

“My father died when I was in Secondary Form Three.” Esenam apologized for bringing back painful memories. Boat assured her that he was glad his Dad was no more. Esenam was even more surprised.

“To tell you the truth, I am glad he’s no longer a part of us. He was a pain to my mother and all of us. I never forgave him for the hell he put us through. I would never forget the pain he caused us.”

“What happened to the forgiveness Jesus preached? Sometimes we need to let go of our anger and move on. Staying angry only hurts your heart. It makes you sick.”

“I know all that. It’s not like I haven’t tried. It’s just too painful memory.”

“Do you want to talk about whatever he did or did not do?”

“Believe me, you wouldn’t want to know. Besides I don’t like talking about it. I did not bring you out to bore you with stuff like that.” Boat changed the subject and talked about his dreams and aspirations. He said he wanted to own a big publishing company and become a renowned writer for all ages. He loved Accounting but he believed his true call was to use stories to change people’s lives and perceptions.

Esenam in turn mentioned that she wanted to be a professional Accountant, a good wife and the best Mom ever. Boat knew Esenam could do all that and more. When they called it a night that day, they were both content that they went out and promised they would do it again when possible. Boat indicated that he could wait a lifetime if he had to just to do it again. Esenam admitted she had not had fun like that in a long time.

“Thanks so much, Boat. I’ve enjoyed myself tremendously, and I’ll call you often. And please say thanks to Elder Asare and his wife for me when they get back. I’ll never forget your kindness and your help. Thanks for everything.” Esenam said with a grateful heart.

“The pleasure is all mine, Pretty Face. I’m glad I could help. And never feel indebted to me because you don’t owe me a dime.”

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