“Ah…Aah… She didn’t want to pay back!” Esi’s 17 year old brother Caleb struggled to say.

“Pay what?” his mother yelled at him.

“Ah…ah I know her in the neighborhood…She’s been taking my money and my gifts, and she didn’t want to pay back for all that! Enam tell them the truth eh!”
“Ah no Papa it’s not like that! He said that he likes me and that he wants to ‘spread’ me!” the teenage girl said naively.
“Shut up! Spread you like how? Are you a spreadsheet? Or you’re now Blue band spread?” the elderly man rebuked his daughter.

“Caleb which kind of ‘pay back’ are you talking about?” his father enquired trying hard to hide his shock.

“Daddy she’s been taking my money and my gifts! Even her friends were benefitting! Then she didn’t want to pay back! Yesterday she told me that she will pay back! I went to meet her only for her to give me the excuse that it was her time of the month! I asked her to let me check to confirm but she said no! I knew she was lying! I got angry then gave her a few punches.”

His father gave him a dirty slap.
“Caleb! Where did you learn that from? 17 year old boy! Just 17! You’ve been using my money to ‘spread’ girls?”

“Don’t you do same? Eh Owusu! Don’t you give out money to small girls at the expense of your own home? No wonder your son is learning same!” Mrs. Owusu angrily addressed her husband.

“Woman don’t bring yourself! Don’t bring yourself… Caleb how could you be this senseless?”

“Ah daddy don’t shout at me!” Caleb spoke back for which his father gave him another slap.

“Why? Are you surprised that your son is talking to you that way?” Mrs. Owusu sneered. “You disrespect me and talk to me anyhow, why won’t our son learn to talk back at you in likewise manner?”

Esi stood there helpless as the scene got more and more chaotic. Before she realized, her parents had resumed quarrelling in the presence of the girl and her father to the embarrassment of the whole family.

Dorothy Budu-Arthur


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