I never bothered to call him. What would I have to say to him over the phone, anyway? “Do you miss me, honey? Or do you miss our son Ayomah?” I just knew he would be coming to see Ayomah off. He was going abroad. I needed to see him face-to-face anyway, look him in the eyes to see if I see any remorse, any signs of regret or shame. The doorbell is ringing. Ayomah is on the phone. Before I even ask him to know who is on the line, I open the door. Mr. Ambrose Alhassan, alias Mr. AA, is trying to embrace me.
“Hello, Maryam, where is Ayomah?” He asks.
“He’s in his bedroom.” I say. I walk past him into the kitchen to turn off the cooker. I hear him say as he comes in.
“He’ll be safe where ever he travels to.”
“Spare me, would you, Mr. AA. I’ve got a lot to do right now before Ayomah’s departure.” Upon a second thought, I open the door. I hear him enter the living room. Feel him standing behind me. When I turn to face him, I realize that Mr. AA is looking tired. He looks much older than sixty-five. I see why people often mistake him for my father. But at the moment he just looks pitiful. Like a stray and hungry dog. But I don’t feel sorry for him one bit, because he’s not a stray dog. He’s the man who left me for another woman without any reason.
“I will go to Church with you tomorrow to meet Pastor Ofori.”
“What did you say?”
“I wish to meet Pastor Ofori, for counseling. For my behavior. To stop it. So I never leave you again. I didn’t mean to do what I’ve done.”
“Are you coming to see Ayomah off or you are coming to stay with me.” I say.
“I can’t leave this house again.” He says.
“You’ll have to when I report to the Police.” I say.
“Please don’t, Maryam. I’m begging you not to, please. It could destroy my reputation. The reputation I’ve worked so hard to build.”
“What reputation? Your reputation of being addicted to fast women and fast cars. You should have thought about your reputation before leaving me for the third time. You only need me when you’re in trouble or broke.”
“I did think about it.”
“Oh, you thought about it, and your brain gave you the go ahead, is that so?”
“No. I mean, I wasn’t thinking when I used to do all that I did. That’s now the whole problem.”
“What in the world would compel you to do what you did. Are you not a practicing Muslim man who is supposed to know better?”
“I don’t know.”
“And then keep doing it?”
“Maryam, I honestly don’t know.”
“Think about it for a moment! If you don’t know, who the hell does?”
“Eh! Are you now dating an American?”
“What did you just say?”
“I mean are you now having an American boyfriend?”
“I guess so.”
“Are you jealous?”
“I’m not jealous. Just asking.” He just shakes his head.
“You’ve appetite for foreign men. By the way, where is that American guy?
“He’ll be coming today to see Ayomah off.”
“What? To see my son off. Is he crazy?”
“No, it’s rather you who is crazy.”
“I’m going to wait to see who this guy is.”
“You’ll surely meet him. He’s a true lover. Not your kind.”
“Don’t annoy me further.” He says.
“I’m not afraid of annoying the day light out of you.”
“I know that. But I keep hoping you’ll not. Look. Maryam, what I did to in the past is despicable and I want to get help.”
I fold my arms, wishing they were baseball bats, so that I punch him in his face.
“I know the magnitude of what I’ve done to you. It was wrong, and I can promise you that it will never happen again.” He says.
“Oh so you expect me to believe you just like that?”
“Let me ask you something, Mr. AA. Did you do this to your other women, too?”
“Yes, but I’m not going back to any of them any more.”
“Oh, so you want come live with me again?
I try to stop the tears, but I can’t control it. I wish this was all just a bad dream, and when the alarm bell rings, it’ll be over. I loved this man hard, but right now, I don’t love any part of him. He used to make me feel protected and safe. Anytime he came back to me after having been dumped by his other women, I accepted him back. Not this time again. All I want right now is for him to leave Ayomah and myself alone.