There is always so much to do getting to the end of the year – husbands, kids, families, friends, and vacations. There is always so much to plan – a vacation with the family, organise the end of year party at work, visit families in the village, try and catch up with a few friends. Gosh, is this even possible with parents having to chase down their kids?
With the kind of work they do, it’s impossible to visit family and friends and have time for their kids at the same time. But this year seems different. Everything seems possible and doable. The election has been successful and most people are full of hope. The change of government means new jobs, better governance and good policies that will improve the development of the state. Since the country changed government from military rule to a democratic one, many have become very hopeful. The hungry have hope that there will be abundance of food, the unemployed believe that they will be working for major companies in a few months. There is a general sense of hope in the air. After so many years of being rule by the military it is very important that the citizens of the country believe in a little hope.
“I think we should plan a little get-together with the group before heading out to the village”, Linda suggested to her husband, Dr. Afriyie, as everyone affectionately called him.
He looked up from the newspaper he was reading and gave her one of his marvellous smiles. “Of course, darling”
Linda smiled to herself. Her marriage was not perfect, but she would marry this man any day of her life. He and their son, Al, were her life. She would give anything to see them safe and happy. Everything, except her ambition to be a director at the Ministry of Education. Linda has toiled and worked very hard to rise through the ranks at a fairly young age. And just when there were rumours that she could be a possible candidate for the position of Assistant Director in the ministry, her husband comes up with the ridiculous idea that she should stop working and be a housewife to cater for their two year old son. After rejecting the suggestion by her husband, tensions have gone pretty high in their house as they both tried to make arguments as to why they want what they want. Eventually, they decided to take a trip to the village to let matters rest, although she suspected that her husband’s family may bully her to comply with his demands.
She loved her husband dearly but she also felt trapped by him. Before they were married, he knew exactly who he was marrying. He knew that she was a workaholic and wanted to rise through the ranks to be Director one day. So she could not fathom why he would suddenly suggest that she takes an early retirement. An early retirement at 31 years!
Dr. Afriyie was one of the senior doctors at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital. He has been married to Linda for four marvellous years, until she started acting funny simply because he asked her to quit her job to take care of their son properly. He wants her to stay at home because he’s hardly ever at home and he doesn’t like his baby boy home alone with some stranger. However, his wife seems to think that he has an ulterior motive that he doesn’t want her to work so that he can control her. He thought this ridiculous and said so without mincing words.
The day of the argument, Al was at one of their friend’s house playing. He had just got back from work and Linda was in the kitchen. She brought him a bottle of beer and that was when he popped the can on the issue they had been avoiding for weeks.
“Have you given any thought to my suggestion,” he asked quietly
“What suggestion would that be?” Linda quipped
Dr. Afriyie looked at her in amusement. So typical of her to fain innocence and pretence of not knowing the subject being broached. Too typical even. He smiled again and shook his head.
“I’m referring to our discussion a couple of nights ago,” he tried again. “Specifically, my suggestion that you take an early retirement.”
Linda froze in her strides to the kitchen. Seriously, are we having this conversation now? She thought to herself. “Well, like I said before, that subject is not open for discussion. I’m not going to do that.”
With that said, she entered their bedroom. Dr. Afriyie heard a little fumbling in probably one of the drawers. After a few minutes she came back, all dressed up in tattered jeans, boots and a big t-shirt. Gosh, she knows how much I hate these type of jeans! “Going somewhere?” he asked calmly.
“I’m going over to Aseye’s to pick up Al”
“Send her my love”
A Couple of Hours Later…
“Al, darling, put your bag on the couch,” Dr. Afriyie checked the time on his phone when he heard his wife’s voice from the hall. She took two hours for a thirty minutes journey. He sighed and took a few steps towards the hall. He stopped in his tracks when he saw Linda hugging their son with tears in her eyes.
“I’ll say that you’re really late,” he finally said
“Hi,” she said with a little smile. “Sorry, I should have called to let you know that the girls wouldn’t let the handsome man leave so I had to let them play for some time before setting off.”
“Ever the lady’s man, huh” he smirked at his son.
“You can say that”, Linda added with laughter
“Is something bothering?”
“No, why would you think that”
“Nothing, except for the fact that you’re acting a little off,” he paused to assess her reaction. Satisfied, he continued, “It’s as if you’re scared of something.”
Linda listened attentively and heaved a heavy sigh when she thought her husband was done playing detective.
“What happened at Kevin’s?” he asked with worry.
Kevin was Aseye’s husband, who was also a lawyer. Dr. Afriyie met Kevin though his wife who was Aseye’s childhood friend and they’ve been tight since Kevin and Aseye’s engagement party six years ago.
“Nothing to worry about,” Linda finally replied. “We gossiped for a while but that was it”
“If you say so”
Linda watched as her husband walked off with his head hung down in disappointment. She knew that he could clearly tell through her white lie and was more disappointed and hurt than angry or annoyed. She contemplated on telling him the disturbing news she had been told by Aseye. ‘He’s my husband after all,’ she murmured to herself.
“You’re right, there is something I’m not telling you”, she paused for a sigh. Although they are having a misunderstanding about her job, she still loves her husband and she will do anything to keep the close, although slightly fragile relationship they share. She searched his face intently for any encouragement.
Dr. Afriyie gave a slight smile as a way of encouraging his wife to continue with her story. Even though he did not have the slightest idea what she is hoping to spill out, he is certain that they can work through it. They are having problems because she is strong headed but that is one of the things that attracted him to her in the first place.
Linda breathed another sigh of relief and the worry on her face was evident to both her husband and two-year old son. “What’s wrong honey,” Dr. Afriyie asked with concern
“Aseye has been approached by the military concerning the new novel she plans on launching in January.”
Asiedua Yeboah © 2016