Boat, not surprisingly, kept his word. He called every day. Esenam loved those times when they talked. She never thought she would miss him that much. Thoughts of him stayed with her all day. Boat had become a part of her life she would never relinquish. Esenam sat behind her desk occupying herself with her workload to fill the void and loneliness she felt with Boat’s absence. She missed seeing his handsome face every day. She missed the jokes he cracked just to make her smile. She missed the short walks to the roadside with him. She missed everything about him. Her phone rang. She picked up immediately when she saw it was Boat
“Hello Pretty Face.”
“Boat! Are you back? God, I’ve missed you so much.”
“No Sweetie, I’m still in T’adi. I really wanted to come today. Missed you loads. I guess I’ll see you tomorrow, first thing in the morning. Just sit tight. I will be there before you know it. Are you still at the workplace?”
“Yes I am.”
“God, Esenam; you know it’s not safe to work late these days especially on a Friday. Please go home and rest, that way I won’t worry too much.”
“Okay I hear. I’ll finish up quickly and get out of here. I promise you by seven I’ll be out of here. I was really looking forward to seeing you today. I don’t know why I miss you so much,”
“Yeah, I know. I miss you three times more. I was delayed a bit by unforeseen circumstances. Just go home and lie down and think of me. You’ll see that you won’t miss me so much and I’ll be there with you. I love you, my dearest Esenam. Please go home for me.”
“I love you too. I promise I’ll go straight home.”
“Goodnight, my love. sweet dreams.”
“Goodnight.” Esenam felt a bit active after the call. She hung up happy. Hearing from him was all she needed. She looked at her watch. It was past seven. She cleared her table, picked up her bag and was out of the office in no time. An hour later the taxi carrying her pulled up at her residence. She paid the driver and walked to her main gate. She unlocked it and stepped inside. She unlocked the door to her house and entered suddenly feeling exhausted. She switched on the light.
“Surprise!!!” the crowd in her living room chorused. She looked around her. Almost every one she knew was there. Her family, Church members, Boat’s friends. She was totally lost for words. She did not see that one coming. She was so overwhelmed with joy she just stood still and looked around. Boat walked up to her and hugged her tightly. Then Esenam hugged those she could get to. She was very happy. She felt on top of the world. She felt like a real Princess.
There was general giggling and laughing from the people in the house. She wondered how they could pull off a surprise like that on her. Elder Asare called everyone to order and explained that the surprise mini sit up was to congratulate her for her brilliant performance in her exam and securing a job.
“We know you’ve been through a lot. We are happy you didn’t give up. ” He instructed for the drinks and pasteries they came with and they all raised their glasses and drunk to Esenam being happy and successful.
After an hour or so Elorm walked to her and gave her a bear hug. He was so proud of his sister. Elorm walked up to her and hugged her again.
‘I love you, Sis.”
“Someone is very sentimental these days!” Esenam teased. Elorm just stared without uttering a word. He was not used to voicing out his feelings.
“I love you too, brother.” Elorm explained that they had been waiting for close to three hours. He told Esenam Boat came up with the idea and they liked it.
“It’s his way of congratulating you for coming this far without let up. We don’t intend to hang around for long. Most of us will like to hit the road now. See you soon, Sis and stay safe.” Esenam’s Mom and sister also came to exchange pleasantries and one by one all the guests left except Boat. They sat in the sofa. Esenam took Boat’s hand and looked him straight in the eyeball.
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“Thanks for the beautiful surprise. You’ve made this day one of the most memorable ones for me.”
“I’m glad you liked it. But I didn’t do it alone, I got help from your Mom, brother and even Yayra. She is such a sweet little darling.”
“You mean Yayra knew and didn’t tell me? I talked to her this morning on the phone before she left for school.”
“She sure knows how to keep a secret. I was scared she’d spill the beans considering how close she is to you. I have to remember to give her a medal for the effort. How have you been, my love?”
“Not the same without you here to shower me with your love. How was your trip?”
“Tiring and boring because I missed you too much. I think I love you more than it’s possible to love anyone. I have to go again next week. But I promise I’ll be back on Friday.”
“I don’t think I like this. Why must you be the only one to do that job? Can’t they find someone else to go? Besides, the risk is too high. I don’t want anything bad to happen to you.”
“Oh, my love, you worry too much. I’ll be fine. God is our protector.” The doorbell rang. Esenam wondered who it could be. She answered the door to see her brother in the doorway. She smiled sarcastically.
“Elorm! I thought you left.”
“I’ve misplaced a key. I thought I left it here.”
“Okay, come right in then.” Elorm walked in and was not surprised Boat was still there. He looked around for a while but could not find any key.”
“I don’t think it’s here. But where could I have left it?”
“Go to all the places you’ve been today. I don’t remember you being the type that carried keys around.” Esenam shot back. She knew Elorm was just using the key as an excuse to spy on her and Boat.
“Okay, I’ll be on my way but in case you find it, please let me know.” He said as he walked to the door. Elorm paused just before he got to the door and asked Boat if he would care for a ride since he was going home and he lived in that neighbourhood. Boat declined his offer and he left reluctantly.
“Your brother doesn’t trust anyone, does he?’
“No, he doesn’t. He thinks just like my Dad. They don’t think there could be a relationship between unmarried couples without sex.”
“Anyway, I don’t blame him. He’s only trying to protect his sweet sister. I’ll bet he is out there waiting to see me leave before he goes to sleep. I’ll ask leave of you then. I’ll see you tomorrow. I will be glad if you could join me for dinner at my place tomorrow. I’ll do the cooking.”
“Would love that very much but I thought you said you hated cooking?”
“Not when it’s for the queen of my heart.” Esenam walked with him to the main gate. Boat gave her a huge hug.
“Goodnight, my love.”
“Goodnight, my handsome Angel.”