“You need to stop doing that,” Petra said through gritted teeth. She closed her eyes and wished that this day would be over. The good thing was that she didn’t have to go to work. The alternative was to spend an unsettling, gloomy afternoon with Ekow.
“What am I doing?”, he bit back. He sounded tired and cold.
“You don’t have to stay around if you don’t want to”.
“Petra.. Don’t start, please”
“No, it’s ok, I know you have work to do. Just go”.
“Why do you do this every time Petra, why?”
“Well you’re staying here isn’t going to be any good, I have to cook, I have to-”
“Jesus, just stop, Look, this isn’t my fault ok? They said nothing was wrong so stop talking to me like I did something here!”
Petra turned around from the window she had been staring through. For a second, she ignored the pain that had gripped her throat. She took a good look at Ekow. He had grown leaner these last few months. He was trying not to drink as much but she suspected he kept a bottle at work. His face was set in a scowl that had been there for as long as she could remember now. That scowl was mild reflection of the turmoil she was trying to contain.
She walked over slowly to the where he stood. She looked hard at him. Ekow could see her skin was breathing, her eyes were wide with anger. She had her fist clenched as though the invisible wall that stood between them was the only thing that held her back. Maybe it was.
He kept his resolve and stared back.
They were both angry. They were still in love. They were both very proud . And they both knew it was too late
“Petra…” He moved to hold her, but she wrestled, pulled back .
She couldn’t remember when they started but her face was wet when she raised her hands to touch it. Tears, damn.
“Go” It was all she could say. “I can’t give you anything,”
“Petra, it’s not too late-” But he knew she couldn’t hear him. Ekow could tell from the slumped shoulders. She had given up on him. Eight years seemed like a breeze of wind. It was gone before it came.
“Petra I am sorry.”
“For what? Eight years is a long time to wait. I understand.” She turned around and gave a small laugh. “I should be happy for you. I-”
“Petra..” But there was really nothing to say.
After a long pause, keeping his eyes on the ground,Ekow said, “He will be coming here, Petra. My son will have to live with us. I hope you understand how important this is to me”
She spun around and stared at her husband. This could not be happening.
SHE is a collection of short fictional narratives that represent different (love) experiences of Ghanaian women