Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: War and Peace (not about the book) (07/07/11)
TITLE: Daddy's little girl
By Folakemi Emem-Akpan
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The rain sizzled on the rooftop. Angela stood at the window, watching the fat liquid drops literarily wash her garden away. In her heart, there was joy, trepidation, warmth, anxiety. Absentmindedly, she wondered how such emotions could co-exist.
It was early in the day, yet the sky was a grey carpet and the clouds seemed to hang low, almost a touch away from her window.
Tearing herself away from the window, away from the dismal sight outside, she settled into the worn sofa, Matthew’s favorite. It was one of the few things he had absolutely refused to give up, and sitting in it this morning made her feel closer to her husband more than she had in weeks.
on earth could she love two men who were complete opposites
Angela had been the proverbial daddy’s little girl. Angela was four when her mother died, and her father had refused to remarry, investing his energy into two things; his only child and his construction business. By the time Angela was ten, her father couldn’t live without either of these two things, devoting his mornings and evenings to her, his afternoons to his business. And he made a success of both. He was as in love with his daughter as she was with him, and he was now a millionaire twenty times over.
During her teenage years, Angela discussed all her crushes with him. As a young adult, she never went out twice with a man he disapproved of.
Until Matthew. She was twenty four when she met him, a gifted young writer who was as talented as he was poor. He’d been raised in an orphanage, struck out on his own at sixteen, had lived the past ten years living from hand to mouth. He sold his short stories to magazines while he worked on a complete novel. His sales were few and far between and he often had to augment his income from working odd jobs.
He had beautiful eyes and a smile that seemed to reach down into his spirit.
After their second date, Angela introduced him to her father who spent the dinner period reading a newspaper. Angela knew he meant to be rude, and he rather succeeded.
Matthew never came over again, and she didn’t heed her father’s warning that Matthew was a gold digger. When Angela announced she was going to marry Matthew, her father went ballistic. Then he changed tactics and said again and again that Matthew was only after their money. It was Angela’s turn to go ballistic.
Four months later, they were married in an outrageously expensive affair that Angela’s dad put together. Matthew wanted to contribute to the wedding but wasn’t allowed to. For their wedding present, Angela’s father gave them two keys; one to a completely furnished ten-room house, the other to the newest model BMW. Matthew’s protest that they could manage on their own were ignored. Angela’s father wanted the best for his little girl and Matthew was just a side beneficiary.
On the day that they moved in, Angela’s father said that Matthew’s old furniture didn’t fit in with the house and the cold look Matthew gave him seared Angela’s heart. It was then that she realized that she was caught in between the affections of both men. By herself, she’d hefted Matthew’s favorite sofa, had placed it in the middle of the new living room. Her father kept quiet.
For the past seven months, they existed in an atmosphere that was neither a battle field nor a peaceful zone. Matthew was properly respectful towards her father, but she knew he resented the way the older man tried to run their lives.
This morning, she wanted to share her news with the two men she loved the most. Before Matthew, there would have been no torment. Her father would have been the first to hear the news, and a part of her wanted to call him now and tell him first.
But that would be a terrible thing to do to Matthew. At the thought of her husband, her heart began a mad dance. For a minute, she paused to savor the sweetness of this feeling, to immerse herself in the sureness of his love for her.
Then she speed dialed him.
“Hello, little lady.”
“Hi sweet. We are going to be parents.”
She heard his gasp, then his shriek, then his laughter. And peace stole over her.
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