Esenam entered the living-room from the garden door. She walked cautiously to her Dad who was busy watching soccer on the high definition Samsung television. She was not sure if that was a good time but something told her if she did not get whatever was on her chest out that instant, she would never get the opportunity ever again.
“Good evening, Dad. Can I have a word with you, please?”
“Not now, Ese. Let me finish watching this match. My team is playing and we are winning. Sit down. It’s left with a few minutes to go. Then I’ll be ready to listen to you.” Mr. Fiagbe said, pointing to a space beside him for Esenam to sit.
The doorbell chimed just as the referee whistled for the end of the match. Esenam walked grudgingly to the door. She knew her chance to get to her Dad had just slipped away the moment she opened the door. Akwasi walked angrily past her as soon as she opened the door. He waited for her in the corridor leading to the living room.
“What is the meaning of this nonsense, Esenam? Are you totally out of your mind? What are you trying to do to me? Are you possessed or something?” Akwasi asked, stretching his hand that held the envelope Esenam had left for him in his room. Mr. Fiagbe heard Akwasi and asked him to come into the living-room.
“Daddy, look at this. I came back from the beach to find this under my pillow. You can imagine my joy when Kabu told me Esenam said she’d left something for me in my room. I hurried to my room only to find this.” Akwasi said and handed the envelope to Mr. Fiagbe. Mr. Fiagbe hurriedly opened the envelope, took out the brief note and read its contents aloud:
I am sorry it has come to this Akwasi. I can’t be your wife and so there is no reason continuing with this relationship. Please find it in your heart to forgive me. I pray you find someone who would make you really happy. Ess.
He felt a metal inside the envelope and brought it out. Akwasi’s exquisite diamond studded promissory ring to Esenam stared him in the face.
“Esenam, are you well? Should I take you to a mental hospital or something?” her father asked, very worried.
“There is nothing wrong with me Dad. I just can’t marry a man who tried to force ….”
“Shut up, would you? Don’t try any of your stupid lies to save your skin. How could he do anything like you are suggesting? Just look at him, is he not a gentleman? Would he show his face here if he had tried anything like that? That church has turned you into a monster. You are now a professional liar. God knows what else you do now. From this day onward, I don’t want to see you anywhere near that church or the people in it. I want you to apologize to Akwasi right now.”
“I’m sorry Dad. I can’t do that. I have done nothing wrong! I’m your daughter for crying out loud. Why do you always take Akwasi’s…” Esenam uttered angrily.
“You talk back to me?” Mr. Fiagbe got to his feet and raised his hand to slap her. Esenam ducked. Mr. Fiagbe moved closer and threw his hand again and caught his wife – who had been drawn by the angry voices in the living-room – in the face. Mr. Fiagbe raised his hand again.
“What the hell is going on here?” Mrs. Fiagbe said, holding her husband’s hand in mid-air.
“Allow me to put some sense into that ungrateful being I have the misfortune of fathering.” Mr. Fiagbe said furiously.
“What is her crime now, if I may ask?” Mrs. Fiagbe shot back.
“She is a malicious liar. That church has turned her into a liar. I don’t know how I ever ended up with a daughter like that. I don’t think she has my blood running in her.”
“That’s enough, Alfred. You can choose to believe a stranger over your own flesh and blood, that is your own headache but don’t make foolish insinuations. I won’t have that. You should be ashamed of yourself. You are welcome to take all the children for a DNA test if you doubt their paternity but don’t insult me. You are just like that fool, that’s why you choose to believe him instead of your own daughter. I’ve had just about enough of this nonsense,” Mrs. Fiagbe retorted and left angrily.
“See what you’ve done, Esenam. You are driving me insane and you better be very careful. I can make life very difficult for you, you know. In fact, I can ruin your life forever so don’t tempt me. I have said what needs to be said, you have to marry Akwasi. He is the perfect guy for you. I know you’ll be happy with him. And you have to stop attending that church immediately otherwise I’ll throw you out of this house, and I know you can’t survive out there. I’m warning you for the last time, I don’t want to see or hear that you’ve attended that church ever again.” Mr. Fiagbe stated and walked out to search for his wife.
What can make a father takes side of the husband to be instead of his own daughter?