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And that was what they did on Saturday. Ato called Lisa from his father’s residence. Before ending the call Lisa told him she was also on her way to see her parents. They wished each other good luck.  

When Ato finally sat down with his father, years of feeling neglected, unwanted and angry flooded his heart again. Mr Williams apologized for his years of absence when Ato demanded answers, “I was young and stupid,” Mr Williams admitted, “I fell out of love with your mother and I didn’t handle the whole situation well. I could have done better, I’m sorry”

“And…?” Ato insisted, angry and trying not to flare up

“That is why I’ve been trying to reconnect and build our relationship, son. I don’t know what else I can do,”

“And all this isn’t because you have no one else? It appears I’m the only one you can turn to?”

“No!” Mr. William fervently rejected the thought, “you’re my son. I know I have wronged you but you’re still my son and I want us to patch things up” tears glassed his eyes.

“Did you hear about my mums’ death?”

“I did” Mr. Williams responded softly with his head bowed

“And you still didn’t show up!”

He exhaled, “I wanted to, but I also didn’t want to be the cause any troubles. Did you think the family would have tolerated my presence? I stayed away because I didn’t want to cause troubles” he repeated, “but I have visited her graveside”

The last piece of information surprised Ato, “You know where she was buried?”

“I asked around. And I’ve asked her forgiveness. I truly hope you can forgive me too?”

*****

Silence endured for some seconds, “I forgive you” Ato finally voiced and they locked eyes, “I’m seeing a psychologist,” he revealed softly, “I needed some help dealing with all this, and it’s actually been helpful. I’m looking forward to us rebuilding our relationship. Mum would want us to”

“Yes, she would,” Mr William said and slowly stood up and opened his arms. Ato stood as well and without hesitation walked into his father’s arms. He was an explicit young version of him; tall, dark-skinned and handsome. They shared a long hug as tears run down Mr. Williams’ face, for all the years he had missed with his only son, but feeling thankful for the reunion.

****

In another part of the city, Lisa was telling her mother not to raise her voice at her, “You can make your point without yelling or insulting me. If you want me to use fresh tomatoes instead of tomato paste, just say so. No need to call me names…”

“So you’re too grown now I can’t correct you? Is that it?”

“You just called me a lazy girl. You didn’t correct me. And what exactly is lazy about using canned tomatoes?”

“I don’t blame you” Mrs. Ankrah retorted, “You’re beginning to look like a human being again so you think you can talk back at me. If I haven’t been insulting you about your weight, would you have done something about it?”

“You think I’m losing weight because of your insults? Your abuses were driving me to eat mum because I was depressed. Maybe you don’t know that abusive remarks affect people negatively?”

“Shut up and finish the stew…, your father is waiting”

“Exactly.., you tolerate his insults and then you turn on me” Lisa snapped.

“Lisa! If you don’t shut up I’ll stand up and slap you right now. You’re not too grown in this house”

“Then stop insulting me! And making me feel worthless and stupid; because of you and dad I’ve been fighting suicidal thoughts!”

“What are you talking about? Always being dramatic”

Instantly Lisa stopped stirring the stew she was attending to, went to her handbag; ransacked it for a while and brought out a bottle of pills. She tossed it at her mother, “they are anti-depressants I’m taking! Prescribed by the psychologist I’m seeing. You think it’s been easy for me? You and dad have been nothing but…” she stopped herself before the words “bad examples” could slip out.

Her mother picked the bottle from the ground and started to examine it. The label read, anti-depressants, fluoxetine (Prozac).

She lifted her head and looked at Lisa who was seething with anger. But her mother’s demeanour had completely changed in that moment. She looked shocked, sympathetic, and even shaken, “how long has this been going on?” she asked softly and instantly, Lisa broke into heavy sobs, releasing tears she had been holding in her guts for a long time.

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