Esenam, however, had a tall hurdle to clear before she got married. She had to break the news to her Dad. She had promised him that on her thirteenth birthday. She had the duty to tell her Dad her intentions before he heard it from anyone else. She thought of writing a letter to that effect and having it delivered to him but felt that would be disrespectful. She had to do it in person.
Esenam hailed a taxi at lunch time and went straight to her Dad’s office. The Secretary would not allow her to see him on strict orders from him. Esenam forced her way into her Daddy’s office. He scowled when he turned from the window and saw her. He walked slowly to his chair without a word and indicated to one of the there empty chairs facing the huge mahogany desk. She sat down slowly and faced him. She spoke to him hurriedly, her hands clasped tightly in her laps, her heart beating twice its normal rate. She wanted it out before she chickened out.
Gone were the days when she felt relaxed and protected in her Dad’s presence. Her Dad looked at her as if he was not shocked by what she was telling him. It was as if he expected it.
“Is that why you came all the way here? You shouldn’t have bothered. You kids of today think you are smart. Was it not the reason why you got involved with that church in the first place? Was it not because of that boy that you were rude and mean to Akwasi? You won’t have my blessing, young lady. You lost that right the moment you disobeyed me. Now, if you don’t mind, I have very important things to attend to,” he said and got to his feet. He picked a file from his table and headed out, leaving Esenam alone.
Esenam was used to this kind of treatment from her Dad but it hurt bitterly and fiercely all the same. She was however clear in her conscience. She did what was expected of her as a daughter, and fulfilled her promise to him. She knew her Dad was not the type that changed overnight. Since she had a bit of time on her hands, she decided to see her Mom. She learnt she did not come in that day when she got to her office. She called and found out that she was home. Esenam panicked and went over to the house immediately. She was worried and full of questions when she arrived at their home.
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“Mom, what’s wrong with you? Have you been to the doctor?”
“Your father is sending me to an early grave. It will come to a time I won’t take any more of this. I’m tired and have lost all the energy for fighting to keep this marriage together.”
“Oh Mom, please don’t talk like that. What happened to the ‘never give up’ attitude you instilled in us? You can’t give up without a fight, unless you convince me that you don’t love Dad anymore.”
“I can’t say that because I still love him, that’s the unfortunate part. Through the years I have watched him grow from bad to worse. He thinks the whole world revolves around him. He is too selfish and that hurts. He makes me feel like a nobody in this house. It always has to be what he wants, what he says and that’s killing me.”
“Have you talked to him about it?”
“Believe me when I say I’ve more than tried. It’s only when I threaten to leave that he changes for a while but then he slips back to his usual self. I feel so unloved it’s driving me crazy. I don’t know what to do anymore.”
“Maybe you two need some time alone together. I read somewhere that men usually feel neglected when the babies arrive and all the attention shifts to them. I’m sure he’s like that because of it. His way of getting attention is to boss everyone around. I’m sure he wasn’t like that when you two met. Why don’t you and Dad take some time off and get away. Pamper him a bit and tell him how his actions are affecting you. Maybe that would help.”
“You know your Dad never takes a break even though he works for himself.”
“You know him better than anyone. I know he loves surprises. Why don’t you do something special for him? Do something you’ve not done in a long time, something he loves or loved in the past.”
“You know what? I think I know just what I need to do. It’s been ages since we were alone. I think a little time alone with him could soften the grounds for a meaningful dialogue. I need a favour from you though.”
“Anything. Mom, just name it.”
“I want your brother and sister to stay with you till I tell you they can come back here. I need to be alone with my husband for some days. Do you think you can manage that?”
“Yes, Mom. I’d love to have them at my place. I’ll call to let Elorm know. I’ll pick Yayra up when school closes. Is that all you want from me, Mom?”
“Yes Esenam, that’ll be all.” Esenam informed her Mom about their plans to get married on her birthday which was three months away. Her Mom was very happy about the news. She thought the three months was rather too short of a notice. She was not sure they could pull it off but Esenam convinced her that it could be done.
Esenam told her she would need her help to get her father to at least give his blessing to her marriage.
To be continued…