The silence after Ashorkor’s appearance was palpable. Kojo was lost for words. He could have sworn he saw her at the restaurant – of course he did; who else’s photo did he have on his phone? Sweat that pooled on his head started waterfalling onto his shoulders, soaking his shirt. Man’s not hot. How could Ashorkor get home so fast and even get food ready? Is she a spirit or something?

“I hope I’m not interrupting anything my love, I just came to inform you that food is ready.” Ashorkor finally said to break the silence that was almost beginning to suffocate all present, especially Kojo; he looked like he was going to pass out anytime.

“No my dear, not at all. In fact, it’s good you’re here, Kojo has something to show me and I think you should see it too. Kojo, over to you.” Mr Appiah replied Ashorkor and directed his attention to Kojo.

“Uh…I….Dad, you know what? Maybe I should come back later, after you have eaten.” Kojo managed to say.

“The food can wait son. It’s probably even too hot since it just got ready. Show us what……

“kriiiing…. kriiiing…. kriiiing.” The doorbell rang.

“I’ll get it” Kojo said and walked briskly towards the door. Without looking through the peephole, he opened the door and sighed heavily when he saw who was there.

“Nana. Thank God bro, you’re a life saver.” Kojo said as he made way for Nana to come in.

“Is everything okay, you look very pale?” Nana enquired from Kojo when he stepped in. Kojo gave him a nod and led him in.

“Dad you’ve met my friend right, Nana. He was in the neighbourhood and decided to pass by.” He introduced his buddy to his father.

Mr Appiah smiled at Kojo and stretched his hand for a handshake. After the pleasantries, Mr Appiah made his way to the dinning table, not forgetting to give Kojo the ‘we’ll have that talk later’ look. Kojo heaved another heavy sigh of relief and led Nana upstairs to his room.

“Do you care to explain what the heck is going between you and your Dad?” Nana could not wait till they got to the room to make his enquiries.

Kojo just smiled as he quickened his steps and entered his room. He stood at the door post and waited for Nana to get closer.

“What the hell are you doing here?” kojo fired at his friend.

“Wow. What the hell am I doing here huh? A moment ago I was a life saver; now I’m what, some bag of weed you wouldn’t want to be seen with?” Nana answered sarcastically.

They both stood there staring at each other and waiting for the other person to speak. After what looked like a minute silence, the both burst into loud round of hysteria. Kojo stepped away from the door to make way for Nana to enter.

Ashorkor looked over her shoulder from the sink where she was washing the dishes to make sure Mr Appiah was enjoying his food. She was surprised to notice that he had not touched his food. He seemed to be lost in thoughts. What could possibly be bothering him to make him lose appetite just like that? He had specifically informed Ashorkor that he wanted to eat banku with her special ground pepper and grilled tilapia. She had even taken her time to marinate the tilapia, just so the tilapia can absorb the spices. So why was he not eating? Did she offend him? Or Kojo…?

“Baby you haven’t touched your food. What’s the problem? Is your son in some kind of trouble? Ashorkor enquired, wrapping her arms around Mr Appiah.

“What? No. No he’s not in any kind of trouble, God. It’s just; (sighs) Ashorkor is there something you want to tell me?” Mr Appiah asked Ashorkor with a puzzled look.

“What? What’s that supposed to mean?” Ashorkor asked with confusion.

Mr. Appiah had been thinking about what his son was about to show him earlier. He had been wondering why Kojo was hell bent on proving that Ashorkor did not have good intentions. Had Ashorkor been pretending to love him just to dupe him? Was she who she claims to be? These among other thoughts flooded his mind and made him forget that he had been served the same food he asked to be prepared for him.

He looked into Ashorkor’s eyes and all he saw was a young lady devoted to making him wonder if he’d been blinded all this while; was his son right about his Princess? Ashorkor could not understand why Mr Appiah seemed far away though nearer than ever. With the staring contest ongoing, both were wondering what was going through the thoughts of the other.

“Auntie Ashorkor I’m done.” Esi’s little voice jolted both of them back to earth from whichever planet they were on.

“Okay darling, let’s get you to the kitchen to wash your hands.” Ashorkor carried Esi to the kitchen to wash her hands.

Mr Appiah said a short prayer and proceeded to devour his food. Whatever it was, he was not going to let it ruin his appetite.

“Seriously though, Kojo what’s going on? I see a lot of emotions- fear and distrust. You know, like a multifaceted emoji. Tell me what’s going on.” Nana broached the topic on a light note.

“What do you care man? I was at your place earlier and you were not interested in what I had to say. Where’s the sudden interest coming from?” Kojo replied.

“My guy, you’re being emotional. Okay, I am sorry. I came to apologize for the way we left things earlier. What is going on my brother? Now tell me about the tension between you and your dad.” Nana pushed further.

“Nana I don’t know what is going on o, but I can tell Ashorkor is up to something. I can’t place a finger on it, but I have a haunch she’s here for a reason.” Kojo relayed his fears to Nana.

“Why do you say that Kojo? I mean from everything you’ve told me about this lady so far, she seems to hold your Dad in high regard. She hasn’t been unfaithful, so what is it that is giving you this feeling about her?” Nana further probed.

“Now that’s the problem Nana, the faithful part. I’m not sure she’s been faithful to my father.” Kojo paused. He tiptoed to the door and put his eye to the peephole. He thought he heard footsteps and went to see who was passing or eavesdropping. There was nobody there. Whew.

“You see”, he continued, “when I left your place this afternoon I was starving and since I did not want eat anything prepared by you know who, I dashed to the restaurant just after your place. Man I couldn’t believe the number of people who had gone to eat at that time of day, forget Agbamami. Don’t get me started on the serenity and the food. Merhn, that food err.

“Masa shun! What has all these got to do with your unsettled thoughts about your father’s wife to be? Didn’t you learn summary in Senior High?” Nana angrily cut Kojo off from winding and beating about the bush.

“Yea sorry about that. So while I was eating I took my handkerchief to wipe the sweat off of my face, then I caught a glimpse of someone familiar.  I took a second and closer look and you will not believe who I saw.”

“Who did you see?” Mr Appiah’s voice preceded him as plodded into the room.

To be continued…