When Lisa managed to get to the parking lot and into her black Benz, she bawled like a baby, her face buried in her palms. She basically had been living like her mother when all she wanted was to be different. She cried for all the times she made herself feel small for the men she accepted in her life.
She cried for every time she apologized for something she didn’t have any business apologizing for; for over-compensating and compromising her dignity for men who didn’t give a hoot about her or mean her well. For over thirty minutes she sat in her car and wept bitterly for the inadequate young woman she felt she was and the unstable childhood that had contributed to her brokenness.
She didn’t deserve any of this. She deserved better. She was a thirty-two-year-old copywriter in an advertising company. Growing up, what she really wanted was to become a novelist, but she soon realized that in her part of the world, writing didn’t pay at all and when her first boyfriend told her she wasn’t any great a writer, it was all she needed to completely give up on her dreams. Now she only produced short voice-over scripts for advertisements and worked with the graphic designing department of the company. It wasn’t all Lisa wanted for herself but she seemed to be stuck with her job and the little satisfaction it brought.
Coupled with her weight issues, unsupportive parents and ill-luck in relationships, she hated her life. Hopefully, seeing Dr Ansah would help her put the pieces of her life together and gradually start living on purpose, she thought, after crying for what seemed like an hour. She pulled tissues from her handbag and cleaned herself up. She drove out of the parking lot and continued towards home.
As she drove, her thoughts went back to the evening she first encountered Aeron; it was at a birthday party of a colleague. Aeron stepped in to defend her honour, as she saw it then when a guy tried to start an argument with her, “It’s not a big deal man. There many empty chairs here. Just pick another one” Aeron said when he got involved.
“No,” the upset young man insisted, “I was sitting on this chair and she knows it. I just went to get myself a bottle of beer and immediately she put her bag on the chair. Is it right?”
“You know it’s a lady’s thing. Just get a different seat”
“Don’t tell me what to do. Maybe you should tell her to pick her bag from the chair and act like a decent lady”
“Hey! Don’t insult me because of a chair. I’m sitting right here, you idiot!” Lisa screamed at the guy
“And you’re a bitch” the young man retorted. Instantly Aeron shoved the guy and pouched him in the face. The young man tripped and fell.
“Don’t insult the lady” Aeron yelled at him.
“You’re just as stupid as her” the young man screamed back from the ground. Aeron went down, grabbed him at the throat with and started punching him in the face all over again. The incident garnered eyeballs as people screamed at Aeron to stop beating the guy. He stopped.
“Let’s go” he turned to Lisa, giving her his right hand. Without a hint of unwillingness, Lisa collected her handbag from the chair and took Aeron’s hand, ready to go away with him.
“Lisa” Korkor called her friend. She was amazed her Lisa was just going to walk away with this stranger who had just abused another young man.
“She will be with me,” Aeron said even before Lisa could get more words out, “I don’t want him anywhere around her. You can come along if you want,” he said to Korkor.
“I’ll be fine,” Lisa told Korkor before she left with Aeron. They started dating shortly after.
Now that Lisa was going over the incident of almost three years ago, she understood why she left willingly with Aeron that afternoon— she was used to the kind hostility he displayed. She interpreted it as protection because her father conducted himself similarly; whether he was making demands or claiming to be protecting her.
She was used to angry men exerting their power and telling her what to do— and so when Aeron beat the guy and told her to come with him, it didn’t feel any different from her father screaming at her or telling her to get lost because of something she had done. She was used to shrinking in the presence of violence.
Dr Ansah was helping her to understand that now; she had been groomed to respond to such things. Importantly, she was learning why she needed to prioritize loving herself and pay little attention to criticisms. It was important for her to start believing in her highest dreams and potentials again; like her knack for writing. If she was going to make substantial improvements in her life, she needed to start believing in her potentials, she thought as she drove towards home.
She was very thankful for Dr Ama Ansah. Even though the woman was a professional, she approached her job graciously and Lisa was satisfied with the services she was receiving.