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Mrs Ankrah stood up and went to her daughter, enveloped her and allowed Lisa to weep. It was her first time seeing Lisa fall apart like this and she wondered how many times her daughter had wept like this alone; and how she probably had contributed to it.

She could relate, because many nights she had had to cry herself to sleep too, sometimes after a nasty fight or argument with Lisa’s father. Now she was feeling horribly heartbroken. She had been passing on her hurt and pain to her only daughter.

After a while, she led Lisa to a chair and pulled one for herself, “how long has this been going on?” she asked again. Lisa stopped sniffling and tried to look at her mother, but she couldn’t. Her head went back down.

“For years now…” she said softly.

“For years?” Mrs. Ankrah echoed touchingly, “Lisa, why?”

“Because you hate me! And I don’t know why you’ve never loved me?”

“Of course I love you” she interjected swiftly, but she also knew why Lisa would harbour such a notion; she hadn’t been the kindest mother.

She had been hard on Lisa over the years. And now she was sorry, “you’re my daughter. You’re my only child” she went silent briefly, “I realize I’ve been hard on you” she admitted, “sometimes unwarrantedly. I’m sorry. But please don’t think I don’t love you. And you shouldn’t be entertaining suicide..,” she choked, feeling emotional too, “I’m sorry” she apologized again and they sat silently at the kitchen table.

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