Reggie looked at Boat with pity. Boat had been in his house for close to a week without saying much. He had not eaten or slept much during the period. Reggie knew something was wrong but all attempts to get him to speak up had fallen on deaf ears. The two friends are sitting on the same sofa in Reggie’s living-room. Reggie moved closer to Boat and put his hand on his shoulder.
“Boat, you can’t go on like this. Look at you… you’re a complete mess. I know something has really shaken you up, but if you don’t want to talk about it, that’s okay with me. However you can’t allow it to break you down like this. You’ve hardly eaten or slept these few days you’ve been here. Don’t take this the wrong way but you’ve never spent more than a day in my house. I know you are hiding from someone and at the same time you are hurting terribly. I know it’s a woman because only a woman would make you look like this. I’ve seen you like this before and it wasn’t pleasant. Why don’t you go and deal with whatever problem that is out there? It won’t go away unless you deal with it. I don’t like seeing you like this. It breaks me too.” Reggie advised.
“If you are tired of me being here, just tell me and I’ll find another place for myself.” Boat shot back angrily.
“You know very well that was not what I meant. We’ve hardly had a normal conversation since you came. You are defensive all the time. I’m only advising you because you are my friend, you either take it or leave it. But don’t tell me I didn’t warn you; that lady won’t wait around for you forever. If there is a misunderstanding, you have to clear it up and you can only do that if you confront the problem.” Boat was furious now. He was not in the mood for Reggie’s condescending stance. He felt that Reggie had spoken to Esenam but she did not give details of what happened and was probably trying to get it from him. He was not ready to talk about whatever happened between Esenam and himself.
Boat got to his feet. He walked out of the room without a word. He got into his car and drove off with no destination in mind. After driving in circles for close to an hour he finally settled for the beach. Memories of time spent with Esenam at the same beach flooded back. He got out of the car and walked bare-footed on the shores of the beach.
“Could it be that I was mistaken? Am I making a mountain out of nothing? Could what I saw just be an innocent hug? What about the kiss? Did Akwasi do it intentionally to upset me? How could she allow him to touch her? Could it be that she’s still in love with him? God, please give me some answers. I am troubled and I don’t know what to do. Why was he there at her apartment at that time of the day? Is there something going on that I don’t know about? Esenam, how could you do this to me when all I’ve done is give you the very best of me. I love you Esenam. I really do.” he thought out loud.
Meanwhile, Esenam sat behind her desk in the office unfocused. To say she was miserable was understatement. She kept entering and deleting data in an excel worksheet. Nii Armah watched her for some time and shook his head. He got up from his desk and walked over to her concerned.
“Esenam, if you are not well you should ask for permission to go home or the hospital. You don’t seem to be concentrating on anything you do these days. What’s up with you? Are you pregnant or something?”
“Please back off, would you? I am not in the mood for your games. Please, leave me alone.”
“I can’t do that, not when whatever is bothering you is affecting your work. I suggest you ask for a few days off so that you deal with whatever is eating you up. You are not doing anything here as it is. Inefficiency is something that cannot be tolerated here. It’s better you go home than make mistakes that could be used against you in the future.”
“Thanks for the suggestion but I don’t need it. I’m very fine.” Nii Armah left her alone.
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Esenam tilted her head back on the headrest of her chair and closed her eyes tightly to keep the tears from falling down her cheeks. She felt weak and helpless. She had not slept or eaten much the past few days. Her soul was tormented and what made it worse was Boat’s disappearance. She was truly worried about him and his welfare. She thought Boat was a little immature to react like that but she blamed herself for the whole unfortunate incident. She shouldn’t have allowed Akwasi into her house in the first place. She knew it was very silly of her to trust him. She knew her actions and consequences had hurt Boat and that’s one thing she could not bear. She’d hurt him in the worse way possible. It wasn’t like she blamed Boat for leaving but she knew she would have confronted Boat if she had been in his shoes.
Her Mom called and questioned why she had not bothered to call or pass by after she turned down her invitation. Esenam did not have much to say. Her Mom could tell there was something wrong just by talking to her but Esenam would not confide in her. She was the type that took care of her own issues. She had never used third parties especially in her relationships.
Esenam was able to get her Mom off her back by promising she would come see her that weekend. Her father had not been too harsh on her when he came home to see her talking with the rest of the family outside his gate the last time she was there.
Esenam called Boat’s office after talking to her Mom and found out he had taken days off. She was very sad that things had gotten this far. Hearing from a third party that Boat had taken leave days unsettled and crushed her. She decided it would be best to accept she had lost him. It was obvious he did not want anything to do with her. She tidied up her desk, picked her handbag and left.
Nii Armah wished her well and begged her to try and enjoy the weekend. Esenam knew it would be difficult to forget Boat. She was totally in love with him. She also knew that the God she served and gave up his family for would not forsake her.
She reached her apartment in no time and walked dejectedly to her door. She unlocked it and turned the door handle. A voice from behind her called out her name. She was familiar with that voice. She turned slowly to look at him. He looked troubled and wretched.
“Can I come in for a minute?” Boat asked.
“Sure. .” Esenam said, relieved to see him at last. He followed her inside. Esenam tossed her bag in one of the sofas and sat down without looking at him.