Stella respected him for his determination and focus, but sometimes worried privately about his dislike for what he called ‘the privileged’. On several occasions Stella assisted him to pay for his tuition and professional exams, but he often called her ‘rich girl’, until she complained. Stella politely rejected his attempts at intimacy, virtually pleading that they should spend more time getting to know each other whilst preparing for the future. But one evening he got angry, and exploded.
‘What is your problem? Is it because I’m from a poor home? Listen, you are not better than me, eh? You have managed to breeze through school because of privilege. Your father is a surveyor. Is he not a thief? You are basking in arrogance because of your father’s stolen money. And let me tell you, you are too fat and getting ugly. There’s nothing special about you’. He got up, picked up his briefcase and walked to the door as Stella shouted after him. ‘My parents are honest people. They are not thieves. You gladly took some of the money they gave me, without complaining. Get out of my room! I hope I never see you again’. As she stood before the mirror, Stella decided that it was time to go back home for a break. The insults from Danny had really hurt. She picked up the phone and booked a flight to Accra.
Stella was home at North Kaneshie before eight in the morning. Her parents and two sisters gave her a huge welcome, and they sat down to a big, long breakfast. She answered all their questions about her job, and thanked her parents for sponsoring her to achieve her dreams. She was happy to have qualified as a paediatrician, and glad to be working in an environment in which she made some good money whilst preparing for a career back home. She was not expecting to return to Ghana in the next couple of years unless, of course, things changed.
‘Okay, Dr. Stella’, her dad started. ‘If I may touch on a sensitive subject. You are only 28 and fortunately you have acquired your academic and professional qualifications. You can now take your time and get married when the time comes. We understand your worries about your experiences with young men. But you are still quite young. You can regard those experiences as part of the building blocks which will help you to secure a good relationship eventually. You know that as your parents, we are not putting any pressure on you. We know that having raised you up and given you a good foundation in life, you are bound to have a good husband and family in God’s time’.
‘Well, Dad, I’m not really worried about getting married right away. I wish I didn’t have to meet guys who were either not my type, or who had all kinds of problems. Like Danny. I did my best to make the relationship work, going out of my way to help him financially and even with his academic work. Yet he ended up humiliating me. That really hurt me. I’m sure I will get over it. But yes, I will move along with my life until I meet the right person. There’s no hurry. But by the way, how is home? Anything interesting happening?’
‘Everything is okay’, Mommy said. ‘Your dad wants to retire at the end of this year, so he’s setting things up at the office. He has already hired two young graduates. Yaa Barwuah has finished her MBA Marketing, and Adjoa will write her final insurance exams in June. I’ve had a few issues at the restaurant, and I’m trying to resolve them but your dad keeps interfering. That’s about all.
Basically, everything is fine’. ‘Mom’, Adjoa said, ‘you could have allowed us to speak for ourselves. And I thought Dad is trying to help you sort out the problems. You should at least appreciate that’.
‘Don’t worry, Adjoa’, Yaa Barwuah said. Stella will be here for a little while. We have time to talk, and of course she has time to see things for herself’. ‘That’s my girl’, Daddy said. ‘Stella, you are very welcome. Make yourself comfortable, and let me know your plans. Paul can take you to visit friends or do any rounds that you need to do’. ‘Actually, Dad, I plan on taking things easy at home for a couple of days. I will make quite a few calls, and I’m sure some of my friends will want to come and visit. And of course, Yaa and Adjoa have a lot to tell me. Hey girls, let’s go’.