Read Chapter XLI here.
Bisi entered the kitchen to find Kukuaa standing over a saucepan on fire, busily texting on her phone.
“Who are you busily texting that we all have to endure eating burnt food for dinner today?”
“Sorry,” she said, putting the phone down and grabbing the wooden spoon to stir the contents in the pan.
“Who’s he?” she asked curiously. Kukuaa looked up at her mother.
“What makes you think it’s a he?”
“Oh, judging from the excited look on your face, it is definitely a guy. So, what is he, a friend, a close friend, about-to-be boyfriend or new boyfriend?” Bisi said, pouring herself a glass of apple juice.
“Um…we are just getting to know each other.”
“Oh, so soon-to-be boyfriend. So tell me, is he fine?” Bisi asked curiously, excitement rising in her voice as she sat. Kukuaa glanced at her curiously.
“You sound very excited…more than I am. Why is that?”
“Of course I am! Do you know how long I’ve waited to discuss boy issues with my daughters? I now feel like a mother!” Kukuaa laughed.
“Oh mum, you can be so cute sometimes.”
“So show me his picture. I’ve to see if my girl has good taste or if I have to add to my prayer list for God to give you super vision in that area.” Kukuaa shook her head as she took her phone and opened the gallery. She tapped on a photo and slid the phone over to her mum. Bisi blinked and looked up at her.
“Is he…?” Kukuaa laughed.
“No, he’s not. A friend sent me the photo.”
“Whew…I must say he is rather fearfully made.” Kukuaa laughed harder.
“I know, right? Let me show you Aaron’s photo,” Kukuaa said, taking the phone.
“Oh, his name is Aaron, huh? Cool name. You know, I once had a crush on a guy called Aaron long ago but it didn’t work…” Kukuaa gave her a look which made her pause.
“Please don’t jinx this for me, mum.”
“I’m sorry. Let’s see Aaron!” She show him the photo.
“Whoa, my girl has good taste!” She gave her girl a hi-five.
“I must say, he wears the name very well.”
“I know, right?”
“So when do I get to see him?”
“Not anytime soon.”
“But why?” Bisi asked, pouting.
“Mum, it’s too early for any family introductions.”
“Or are you scared I’d charm him with my wonderful personality?” Kukuaa laughed.
“Oh no, mum. You can’t be my competition.”
“You sure about that?” Kukuaa thought for a moment.
“You’re right. He’s one of your big fans.”
“You see? I may be getting old but I’m still appealing,” Bisi gloated.
“Yeah right. So to prevent him from becoming star struck when he meets you, I’ll keep him away for now.”
“Oh no, but I want to see your bae!”
“Isn’t that how you guys call it now?” Kukuaa laughed.
“No, mum. Bae is for the lady.”
“Oh, so I’m your daddy bae.”
“Why do you make everything about you, mum?”
“Because I’m Bisi and I’m the bae of this house!” They both laughed.
“But seriously, you must bring me up to date with the latest jargons. I need to stay relevant so as to connect with my younger generation fans like Aaron.” Kukuaa gave her a sideways glance. Bisi burst into laughter.
“You see, I’m bae!”
“Okay now, you’re abusing it.” After they had calmed down from their burst of laughter.
“So talking of Aaron, we’ll be going to the mall to watch a movie this Saturday.”
“Saturday, when I’m going to be home?”
“You’ll be with dad.”
“Ah well…is he coming to pick you up?”
“Yay! I get to see him.”
“Upon second thought, I think I’ll meet him there.”
“Oh no. He’s going to pick you up and I’m going to see his face so he knows you come from a home. That’s non-negotiable.”
“I hear you.”
“Oh my baby girl is going to start dating! I’m going to tell your dad.”
“Come on mum, I don’t want any sit down chat with you two telling me it was done in your day.”
“Oh you’re so going to get it.” Bisi called his office.
“Yeah honey, what’s up?” Fiifi asked when he picked up.
“Guess what, Kukuaa is dating!”
“Oh yeah? Can we talk about it when I come home? I’m in a meeting at the moment.”
“Oh sorry about that. I was too excited to wait for you come home. See you soon, love.”
“Sure, sweet.” Bisi ended the call.
Fiifi put his phone down.
“Okay, can we wrap this up? I’ve a wife to go home to.”
“Oops, I interrupted your daddy’s meeting,” Bisi said.
“You sound excited like I just told you I’m about to get married,” Kukuaa said.
“It is the first step,” Bisi said, giving her a wink. Kukuaa shook her head. Her mother was too hyper for comfort.
Saturday came and Bisi sat in the living room, working on her computer when Kukuaa came downstairs.
“I’m ready! How do I look?” Kukuaa asked.
“You look nice…it’s just that the dress is a bit too…”
“Mum, it’s not short. It’s right above my knee.”
“I know; what I meant to say was that, it’s too airy. The breeze could just lift it up and since you’re going to the movies, why didn’t you wear jeans? That’s hard to come off.”
“I’m not going to undress at the movies, mum.”
“I know but guys will always be guys. It’d start with accidentally brushing against your thigh and who knows what will follow?”
“Come on mum, I’m smarter than that. Besides, you bought me this dress.”
“I know and it was meant for our outings not with some guy.”
“Are you jealous?”
“No, I’m not.” Fiifi walked in.
“Dad, how do I look?”
“Whoa…you look…” He glanced at Bisi and back at Kukuaa.
“It’s nice but I sense there’s a but to it?” Kuks sighed.
“There’s no but to it, dad. You’re just saying so because you looked at mum. It is decent.”
“I agree. You look sweet, Kuks.”
“Thanks, dad.” He sat down. The doorbell rang. Kukuaa checked her watch.
“Right on time.”
“Points for punctuality,” Bisi said, smiling at her daughter who smiled back. Kuks opened the door.
“Hey. My parents are here. Just say hi and we’ll be on our way.”
“Bisi Pratt is at home?” he asked. Kukuaa rolled her eyes and pulled him inside.
“The one and only.” They walked to the living room.
“Mum, dad, please meet Aaron. Aaron, meet Mr. and Mrs. Pratt.”
“Good day sir; good day ma’am.”
“Good day. I hear you are going to the mall?” Fiifi asked.
“Okay; hopefully you’ll drop her off before it gets dark?” Bisi asked.
“Okay then. Have fun.”
“Thanks, dad. We’ll be on our way.” Kukuaa blew them kisses and they left the house.
“He looks like a nice guy,” Bisi remarked.
“Yeah, he does.”
“I think now that Kuks has started meeting guys, you should take her out on her date and let her know her value.”
“I want you to have a father-daughter date and tell her the truth about dating from a guy’s perspective and the need for her to value herself.”
“You should have been her first date but Aaron beat you to it so I’d say next week.”
“I’ve a pretty tight schedule next week.”
“So make time. This is important to me, Fii. If I talk to her, she might not take it as seriously as she would if you do the talking. Kuks listens to you.”
“You want me to take Kuks out on a date?”
“Yep and treat her like a queen. Set the standard for her.” He nodded.
“Will I have to do the same thing when Ewuresi graduates from senior high school?”
“Uh huh. As for Nhyira, I’ll see what I can do. So next week it is, right?”
“I’ll see what I can do. I’ll make it work.”
“Thanks, honey.” She kissed his cheek.
“You know, I miss our dating days when you’d text me out of the blue just to check up on me. It was fun and sweet,” Bisi said dreamily. Fiifi pulled her cheek.
“So you want me to date you?”
“Uh huh; it would be fun!”
“Okay; we’ll go back in time then. I’m going to date you.”
“Yippee! I can’t wait to be dated again. I guess Kuks has brought out the teen in me.”
“She definitely has.”
Father and daughter walked in arm in arm into a restaurant and Fiifi pulled the chair for Kukuaa to sit down. The menu was handed to them and Kukuaa’s eyes widened in shock as she checked the prices. Fiifi chuckled.
“It’s not my birthday dad and neither is it any special occasion. Why should we come here and spend so much on meals that I can prepare even better?”
“It is a special occasion because you and I are on a date, my dear. So calm down and enjoy yourself.” Kukuaa narrowed her eyes.
“Mum asked you to do this, didn’t she?”
“You can tell, huh?”
“Oh yeah, I’ve lived with her long enough to smell her plans from a hundred miles away. Is this because Aaron and I went to the movies?”
“She just wants you to have an idea of how this next phase is going to be like and what you deserve.”
They ordered drinks and sipped and chatted as they waited for their meals.
“What is mum scared of exactly? That I’d fall helplessly in love with a boy and get my heart broken?”
“You’re a girl and it’s bound to happen. But I want you to know that you’re one special lady and I’m proud of the kind of phenomenal woman you’re growing into. I watched your interview and I couldn’t believe it was my little girl. I know that at this age, you’d crave for some male attention and it’s normal. But I want you to know that you don’t need a guy to validate you. You’re complete on your own. You don’t have to lower your standards or do what you don’t want to just to hold on to a guy. If he can’t respect you for your values then he isn’t the one for you no matter how cute he is.”
“Whenever you go out with some guy and I’m sure they would be quite a lot,” he paused as Kukuaa chuckled, “I want you to look back to this day and measure how safe and valued you feel whenever you are with him. You don’t have to hear ‘you’re beautiful’ from someone else before you feel so. You’re beautiful, intelligent and talented. I’d want you to appreciate yourself and keep yourself till the right time, you understand?” Kukuaa nodded.
“I know mum was, is and will continue to be prim and proper so there’s no way you two crossed the line but I also know you were quite the bad boy in your day. So did you ever pressure mum for sex before you got married?”
“Well, I wouldn’t say I pressured her but it come up a couple of times but I understood where she came from and I appreciated her for it. I knew I needed her in my future so if forfeiting sex for the meantime guaranteed me having her beside me for the rest of my life, then so be it. And I’m glad I waited. She gave me you and Esi.”
“Yet you cheated on her and got yourself Nhyira.”
“For which I’d forever not take lightly of your mother’s gentle heart. Another woman would have demanded a divorce, filed for full custody of you girls and ripped my company apart but she stayed and forgave me. I know how much it broke her and the memories of how she almost lost her sanity still grips me with fear. I’ve vowed to myself not to hurt her like that again.” He pulled out a small box from his pocket and opened it. Kukuaa gasped.
“You’re not going to find a perfect guy; because he doesn’t exist but I do hope that you’ll treasure your body and spirit for the one who truly deserves you, Kuks. Do I have your word that you’d live up to be the exceptional woman your mother and I believe you can be?”
“Yes, daddy.” He took her hand and slipped it on her finger.
“It’s beautiful. Must be expensive, huh?”
“You’re valuable; the cost doesn’t matter.”
“Thanks, daddy. I’m in love with it already!”
“I’m glad you like it.” He kissed the back of her hand.
“I’ll never forget this day.”
“Then my mission is accomplished.” Their meals arrived and they ate.
“Mummy, see my ring!” Kukuaa said excitedly when they arrived home.
“Oh wow, it’s beautiful.” She studied it. “It’s been customized with your initials. Wow, thanks, honey.”
“I’m going to tell everyone what an incredible first date I have had with my dad!” Kukuaa said and rushed to her room.
“When did you think of the ring? It didn’t even cross my mind,” Bisi said.
“I just thought of making the night more memorable for her. And thank you for making me do this. It is important that we spend such quality time with our children,” Fiifi admitted.
“You’re welcome. And have I told you, you’re the best husband in the world?”
“No, I haven’t heard that in a while.”
“Oh, then I have a lot of making up to do.”
“Oh yes you do.” They shared a smile and a kiss.
(c) Josephine Amoako 2016
Read Chapter XLIII here.