Whatever It Takes By Eunice Ansah Agyeman
Esenam bit into her chicken with ravenous passion. She was really enjoying the food especially her chicken. It was one of the things she loved about her family. It was an unwritten routine that the family ate together every evening of the working days.
It was an opportunity for their parents to check on how their day had been. It also offered an equal opportunity for the kids to find answers to their questions on life, school and love. Yes, they practically talked about everything at dinner.
Elorm and Yayra, her younger brother and sister, were also indulging in their food. But this particular evening, no one was talking. There was an immense tension around. One could sense some friction between Mr. and Mrs. Fiagbe, their parents. Esenam’s Dad raised his eyes through his thick lenses and cleared his throat.
“What is this I hear about you joining another church and as a result ending your long-standing relationship with Akwasi, your fiancé?” Mr. Fiagbe asked, setting down his fork. Esenam was caught off-guard. She had not told anyone about her decision to end her relationship with Akwasi, her childhood sweetheart.
“Dad, it’s not like…” Esenam tried to explain herself but her Dad was in the dictatorship mood and wouldn’t let her finish.
“Oh shut up, you ungrateful fool. Must you disgrace me now? The Amegashies and our family have been friends for centuries, and the thought that our long-standing friendship was going to be permanently sealed with you marrying their son was very welcoming. We were all so happy when you two fell in love naturally without interference from any of us. We’ve all grown used to the fact that our much-awaited wish was finally coming true. And I have to hear this atrocity you have committed. Do you know what your stupidity could do to the Amegashies and our family? Must you just throw away a beautiful relationship because you are a so-called born-again Christian? Or there is some bastard in the picture you are not telling?”
“There is no one else, Dad. If you could only give me a few minutes, I would tell you what actually happened.”
“Shut up young lady, and listen really good. Akwasi told me exactly what happened. He had never lied to me and I know he is not lying now. You should go and reconcile with him as soon as dinner is over. Let me warn you, if you don’t do that and stop your church nonsense, I will disown you and I will make your life such a living hell that you would regret ever being born. You don’t have the faintest idea what I can do to you.”
“But Alfred, you are not being fair, why don’t you listen to her side of the story? She is your flesh and blood, you know.” Mrs. Fiabge cut in, distraught. Everyone had stopped eating now.
Mr. Fiagbe wiped his mouth hurriedly and left the table very angry. That was typical of him. He always had the final say. Esenam had suddenly lost her appetite and was fuming with rage. She had never liked her Dad’s unruly behavior of getting the final say on everything. Granted, he was older than anyone in their household but that did not mean they all had to tow his line on everything. This was her life they were talking about and felt she should have a say in it, at least.