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“Yes. If we’re going to have a second date, I need to know exactly why you’re seeing Doctor Love,” He laughed and felt at ease as the two of them seemed ready to jump into what felt like the second phase of their evening.

Lisa sat silently for a while and then softly said, “I tend to jump into relationships easily and I mostly date emotionally unavailable, hot-tempered or controlling men. I try to fix them because of it’s my way of filling a void. It never ends well. But now I’m learning it’s not my duty to change anybody. My responsibility is to take care of myself and become more aware of my choices,” she paused briefly, “basically, I’m figuring out how to live healthier; emotionally, mentally, even physically, because I’m dieting too. And Dr. Ansah is helping me,”

Ato sighed quietly, “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have let you go into all that. It’s hard admitting our weaknesses. I should know better”

“That’s okay” Lisa assured, “It helps. Admitting there is a problem is the first step to doing better, and I’ve been making some real positive changes lately. I’ve been focusing more on my strengths, working on my weaknesses and learning how to love myself more” she sounded happy, “Dr Ansah is a blessing”

“Yes she is” Ato agreed and sipped some wine; “Recently, my father got in touch with me. He’s been absent from my life for about twenty-nine years. He wants back in…,” he stopped talking and made eye contact with Lisa, “he left my mum and me when I was five”

“I’m sorry” Lisa echoed softly.

“Thank you. I thought I had completely put him behind me. His resurfacing had really thrown me off balance for a while now and that is why I’m seeing Dr Ansah”

“Is it a relationship you want to revisit?”

“That is what I’m exploring with Dr Ansah” Ato replied, the expression in his eyes suddenly tired, “Even if I want to mend the relationship, I just can’t figure out how to manoeuvre it. How much of myself do I make accessible to him; do I pretend twenty-nine years of absence didn’t happen. He didn’t show up for my mother’s funeral”

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