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Lisa was still sitting in bed, half-hidden under the sheets — feeling happy — when Ato lightly pushed the door back and entered, carrying a breakfast tray and a lively smile creasing his countenance.

It was a Saturday but he was up already, doing what he usually did for her— serving breakfast in bed. More than breakfast in bed, the day also marked their fourth anniversary as husband and wife; the story of how they came together, Ato loved to tell anyone who would listen. She loved him too— he was the one perfect decision she finally made after years of several wrong ones, mostly, with men and little things like food.

SIX YEARS BACK…

The last guy to break Lisa’s heart caused her to start seeing a therapist; her sense of self had been dragged too much in the mud and she didn’t think she could survive on her own.

She needed something other than her tears to hold on to and so when her best friend, Korkor, suggested therapy, she was up for it— there was nothing else to lose and her goal was to rid herself off all the mental and emotional torture Fiifi had put her through, like all the other men who had come into her life and gone had done.

She no longer wanted to live in the wreck of their actions. So she started seeing Dr. Ama Ansah, who welcomed her like a daughter and listened to her unfortunate stories with men. She counselled Lisa in between their soul-searching conversations and recommended self-help books for Lisa.

Dr. Ansah constantly encouraged Lisa to be patient with herself because she sensed strongly how disappointed the young lady was in herself. Lisa talked down on herself easily and endlessly referenced cruel statements her ex’s had made about her, “It’s true anyway” she would say, “I’m ugly. I’m fat. I cannot control my eating habits and funny enough; I expect to a man to love me. Maybe I should just kill myself! I hate my life”

*****

Dr Ansah sympathized deeply with her patient. She had been a psychologist for twenty-five and had seen it all; patients who couldn’t stand being themselves, those who were suicidal and those who came in with extreme cases of timidity and low self-esteem. They all by the end of their time with her left transformed and invigorated for their new life. Thus, she believed Lisa wouldn’t be an exception. But as of now, the young lady needed to be patient with herself and focus. Constantly throwing light on her seeming weaknesses and tearing herself down wasn’t the way to go. She had been telling her that since their first session, about three weeks ago and slowly, Lisa was beginning to adapt.

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