Read Chapter XI here.
Fiifi arrived to meet an empty house. He had thought of how to make things with Bisi but he needed the girls’ cooperation to make it work. He checked his watch. School was over. He told the driver to go pick them up. He had a change of clothes, warmed up some food and ate. He went to his study to work. He was on the phone with an employee when he heard the girls come in with their usual screams.
He scribbled something down on his notepad. He could hear the girls’ running footsteps approaching and their screams getting louder. He had to wrap up the conversation.
“Daddy!” They burst into his office with Ewuresi rushing to him and giving him a hug around his waist.
“I’ve to go; daddy duties. Talk to you later.” He ended the call.
“Sweetheart! I missed you!” He picked her up and placed her on his lap. Ewuresi hugged him.
“I missed you too, daddy.”
“Come here, Kuks.” She walked to his other side and hugged him too.
“How was school?”
“Someone stole my pencil today,” Ewuresi pouted.
“You mean you misplaced it,” Kukuaa said.
“No! I put it in my pencil case but later when I opened it, it wasn’t there.”
“Don’t worry; I’ll get you a new one tomorrow, okay? Remind me, Kuks.”
“How did your meeting go? Mummy said you had gone for some meeting.”
“It went well. How was she? Did her headache get better?”
“Oh yeah; you didn’t call her?”
“Why?” Ewuresi asked.
“She could have called me too,” Fiifi said rather defensively.
“Awww…you two are so cute when you fight. Just like the movies,” Kukuaa said with a grin. Fiifi smiled and got up with Ewuresi on his arm.
“Why don’t you two go change and do your homework? I’ve a few calls to make and then we’ll see what to have for dinner, okay?”
“You’re cooking dinner again?”
“Anything to make your mother feel bad for being angry with me,” he said with a wink. Both girls giggled. He walked with them to their room and he put Ewuresi down. He closed the door and went back to his study.
Bisi braked her car to a halt and killed the engine with a sigh. Ah, why hadn’t Fii called her? Was he staying away for the weekend? She took her phone to check for unread messages from him but there were none.
“Great,” she muttered and got out of the car. She took the baby from the back seat and entered the house. She could smell chicken frying. Oh no, the girls weren’t try experimental cooking again, were they? She hurried towards the kitchen.
“Girls…” She stopped in her tracks when her eyes took in the scene.
“Welcome home, mummy,” Ewuresi said. Fiifi looked up.
“Hi babe. Miss me?”
“You are cooking?” She was too stunned to respond to his question.
“Yep. Ewuresi couldn’t wait for you to come home so I decided to step in before she grumbled to death.”
“Ei daddy, you said you were cooking for mummy!” Ewuresi said, not appreciating daddy’s lie. Bisi and Kukuaa laughed.
“I was cooking for you too, my love.” Nhyira made gestures implying he wanted to go to daddy.
“Your son wants you,” Bisi said. Fiifi wiped his hands with a napkin and approached Bisi. He took the baby from her and kissed her cheek.
“And it’s our son,” he whispered to her and left the kitchen.
“My heart stopped for a second thinking you girls were trying your hands on cooking. I was afraid you were about to burn this house down.”
“Oh mummy, we are not that bad. I can fry an egg,” Kukuaa asked.
“Really, which one? The salt-less one or the over-salted one?”
“I’ll surprise you one of these days, mum.” Bisi laughed.
“Of course you will, sweetie. Can’t wait to go on cooking break in this house. I’m going to change. Will join you in a jiffy.”
“Okay, mummy.” She quickly changed and came to take over the cooking. The girls left her to join daddy to watch TV. Some minutes later, Fiifi walked into the kitchen.
“I think I should finish what I started.”
“Oh no, I can take over from here. Thanks for doing most of the work anyway,” Bisi replied, stirring the rice in the pan. He held her wrist, stopping her movement. She glanced at him.
“You just arrived from Kumasi. You must be tired.”
“Took a flight. You have a seat here.” He gently pushed her to a seat and resumed stirring the rice. He added some chopped vegetables. Bisi looked down at her restless fingers.
“Um…Fii, I’m sorry…”
“Shush…taste this,” he said, bringing the wooden spoon to her lips. She tasted it.
“Good?” She gave him a thumbs up.
“Great. Almost ready.”
“Okay; I’ll get the table ready.”
Bisi ate quietly whiles the trio chatted and laughed.
“Mum?” Kukuaa called, causing Bisi to come out of her absent-mindedness. She looked at her.
“Don’t you have something to say to daddy?” Her eyes met Fii’s.
“Um…sure. I want to say sorry for how I behaved the last time especially in front of our girls. It was wrong and disrespectful and I apologize.” Fiifi gave a dismissive wave.
“It’s ok. I understand. Nothing to worry about.”
“Yay, daddy forgives mummy!” Ewuresi said. Fii and B shared a glance and she mouthed a ‘thank you’ at him to which he nodded.
Fiifi entered the girls’ room as Bisi washed the dishes. He sat on Esi’s bed.
“Hey girls, I wanted to propose something.”
“Okay, what is it?”
“You both know why mummy got angry.”
“Baby Nhyira,” Ewuresi said. He nodded.
“Right. I think she got angry because she hasn’t gotten the time and space to process this whole addition to the family. So far, you two have been great with baby Nhyira and I want you to know I’m really proud of you. Now I have a favor to ask.”
“What is it, daddy?”
Fiifi entered the bedroom to find Bisi sitting on the edge of the bed, playing with her fingers. She got up to face him.
“Fii, I’m really sorry for that act I put up the other day. I was rude and you didn’t deserve the disrespect.” He stopped her by kissing her. She pulled herself away.
“Let me finish.”
“Okay.” Bisi blinked hard for some seconds.
“You were saying?”
“Um…I just forgot my line of thought.”
“You were sorry…”
“Aha, yeah. Please forgive me.” He placed his palms on her cheeks.
“I’ll do so under two conditions.”
“First, never bring up the issue of how I got Nhyira from outside again. I’m sorry for that and I want us to get past that. I know it will hang over our heads for a while but the earlier we can put that behind us, the better a home we can provide for him and the girls.”
Bisi nodded. “And the second?”
“Never call Nhyira ‘my’ son again. He is ours and I want you to start calling him yours too.”
“In other words, I’ve lost all leverage for any future fight,” Bisi said. Fiifi chuckled.
“Don’t worry; I think you’ll get another one soon. You always do.” He kissed her forehead and hugged her.
“I’m sorry for losing our baby. I don’t think I’ve apologized enough for that. I know that broke you apart and I’m sorry for my part in it.” Bisi hugged him tighter.
“I forgive you.” He looked into her eyes.
“Why didn’t you text yesterday?” she asked.
“Was hoping that you would.”
“Guess we both failed.”
“No, it’s what makes right now special.” They smiled and kissed. They fell on the bed and suddenly, their door burst open making them separate with a start. Bisi sat up.
“Mum!” Kukuaa paused in her tracks.
“I’m sorry…did I interrupt…?”
“Uh huh…” Fiifi said with a tone of impatience.
“No, darling. What is it?” Bisi said.
“Esi has stolen my teddy bear and hidden it.”
“So search for it and take it back,” Fiifi said.
“She has hidden it, dad!”
Fiifi was going to respond but Bisi stopped him by touching his hand.
“Let me handle it. Let’s go and look for your teddy bear.” She got up. Fiifi groaned.
“I’ll be right back.” She left the room with Kuks and came back a few minutes later and locked the door.
“You found it?”
“Yep. Let’s just say Esi isn’t good at hiding stuff.” He pulled her into his arms as she was climbing onto the bed. He kissed her.
“I missed you.”
“You could have just texted me.” He looked at her.
“You’re not going to bring that up right now, are you?” She laughed.
“Don’t mind me. I missed you too.” They kissed again. They paused when they heard Nhyira’s cry over the monitor.
“You must be kidding me,” Fiifi groaned. Bisi bit her lower lip to stop herself from laughing.
“Get off me, Fii.”
“Wait, maybe he’ll stop crying.” He kept on crying.
“Babies don’t just cry once, honey. Get off me.”
“Just ignore him. He’ll cry himself to sleep.”
“Wow…where did you learn that? Fatherhood 301?” Nhyira’s cries were getting louder.
“Off, Fii! He’s going to wake up the girls.”
“That’s good. They will put him back to sleep.”
“You don’t want to deal with a sleep-deprived Esi, I tell you.” Fiifi rolled over and lay on his back. Bisi got up.
“Please adjust your body well so the baby can…” He lifted his head.
“He’s not joining us, is he?”
“Where else would I take him?”
“I don’t know…not here; not tonight.”
“Sorry, Fii. It’s one of the many sacrifices you have to make when a baby is in the house.”
“Take him to Kukuaa.” Bisi laughed as she left the room. She reentered with a still crying baby. She put him on his chest.
“Maybe he’ll stop crying much sooner with you,” she said and lay down. She stared at them.
“He does look like you,” Bisi remarked.
“Oh yeah? Of course, I’m a fine boy.” She chuckled. So that’s how they slept, with Nhyira on his father’s bosom and Bisi lying next to them.
When Bisi woke up the next morning, Fiifi and the baby were not on the bed. She checked the time. Almost 8 o’clock. Whoa! Thank God it was weekend. She went downstairs to find the girls dressed, eating breakfast.
“Why are you two up so early? Where are you going all dressed up?”
“Grandma’s, why?” Fiifi came downstairs holding a duffel bag.
“Good morning, love.”
“What’s going on?”
“The girls will spend the weekend with their grandma.”
“Because I want the two of us to get acquainted with the baby. I spoke with them and they agreed. So they are giving us two days off so we can be with the baby.”
Bisi turned to look at the girls.
“Are you sure about this?” They both nodded.
“The driver will bring them back tomorrow evening. Done with breakfast?”
“Great. Let me get the driver.” He went out with the bag.
“That’s very sweet of you, girls.”
“Will you call us to say goodnight?” Ewuresi asked.
“Of course, sweetie.” She knelt and hugged her. She hugged Kuks too.
“I’m going to miss you two.”
“We’ll miss you too, mummy. I hope you and daddy work things out,” Kukuaa said. Bisi smiled.
“Yeah, me too.”
“The car is ready!”
“Daddy is driving us away.”
“No, he’s not. If he asked you to do this, then this must be very important to him. See you tomorrow,” she said and kissed them. They went out of the house. Bisi watched as they got in the car. They waved at one another and the driver took off. They entered the house.
“Why didn’t you tell me about it yesterday?”
“Because I didn’t want you to come up with reasons why it wasn’t a good idea or not necessary. I want us to feel like new parents again. Spend the hours that we have the best way we can.”
“Okay. I’m hungry.”
“I know; so am I. Let’s eat then.” They sat down and ate, chatting and laughing like new lovers. All was well now.
Josephine Amoako (c) 2016
Read Chapter XIII here.