Saturday, 15 August 2015


Frank just took a quick look at the text message he had received from Leticia and quickly pushed the phone back into his pocket in such a manner that could be best described as ‘If you are pregnant, what do I care?’. He quickly went back to thinking about Rita and what was keeping her from showing up for their date. He had already started getting nervous and wondered if she was going to accept his proposal of a life together as man and wife. He was beginning to get extremely nervous because he knew this was a lifelong commitment and there was no turning back once the ‘move’ was made. He stood in front of the restaurant and took a look at his watch; time seemed to be at standstill when one had to make such decisions. He took consolation in the fact that; both he and Rita were madly in love with each other and felt comfortable around one another. He had no doubt whatsoever in his mind about the bold step he was about to take and in that moment; just that moment alone,  even the love and good times he shared with Leticia were relegated to the background. He could not wait any longer so he picked his phone and dialled Rita’s number. “God will punish you too, how dare you talk to me that way”, Rita said as she picked the phone. “Rita are you okay?”, an alarmed Frank asked. “Hello, Frank, I am sorry for keeping you waiting on me all this while”. “I am almost there so don’t fret”. “What was that about God punishing someone?”, Frank asked. “I will tell you about it when I see you”. Approximately twenty five minutes later, Rita turned up and it was worth the wait for Frank because Rita was looking ravishingly beautiful in her blue dress, light make-up and an emerald necklace laced with little pearls. The perfume she had on lingered in the place they met and Frank, being a gentleman and seeing the lady he intended to spend the rest of his life with, he rose up from his seat, walked up to her and ushered her to the table he had had reserved for the evening. As usual, they started with their usual chats and Frank took the opportunity to find out why she was ranting earlier. “Can you imagine, this rude taxi driver who picked me up”, Rita said with disgust on her face, “He wanted to cheat me by charging an outrageous fare and when I disagreed, he wanted to be abusive and I had to show him that I was no pushover”. “Really”, Frank said as he occasionally nodded his head in agreement. He was actually nodding because he was nervous and did not know how to propose to Rita and Rita too would not ‘shut up’ about the taxi incident. Frank did not want to jump the gun so he was contemplating on postponing his proposal till a later date. On second thoughts, he decided to give it a go and not waste any more time. “Rita, will you marry me?”, Frank said in a shaky voice. Rita was sipping strawberry smoothies. She quickly dropped the glass and asked, “What did you just say?”, as if she did not hear Frank the first time. “I said I want you to be my wife, Rita”. “I want you to spend your eternity with me”. “I love you so much”, Frank said as he trembled trying to take Rita’s hand into his palm. Rita appeared visibly shaken because she had not expected this question from Frank this soon. She began to tear up and stood up, stretched her head across the table towards Frank and kissed him. “Is that a yes?”, Frank asked nervously. “That is more than a yes, Frank so stop shaking like a leaf” “I will marry you, Frank”. “I realized that you were behaving strangely and I knew there was something on your mind but I didn’t know it was this wonderful surprise”, Rita added. Frank was so excited that Rita had accepted his proposal and instantly he was not hungry anymore. He smiled at Rita as she ate her food and refused the numerous invitations she made for him to join her. After the meal, Frank and Rita shared a bottle of wine and Frank did the honourable thing of dropping Rita off at her apartment in the nurse’s quarters. “Would you care to come in?”, Rita asked Frank as she disembarked from his car. “No, thank you”, Frank said. “Okay, if you say so”, Rita replied “But like we discussed, I will look for a suitable time so we meet my parents”, Rita added as she walked backwards to be able to shut the door of Frank’s car. “Okay, that is fine, take all the time you need to plan that”, Frank said. He said his final farewell and sped off towards his house. When he got to his gate, he remembered the text from Leticia but he felt it was probably too late into the night to call so he decided to call her in the morning. He lay on his bed thinking about the evening with Rita and soon fell asleep with a smile on his face. The next morning, he was running late for work and rushed to the kitchen to grab his breakfast when he received a call from Leticia, “Frank, did you see my text message last night?”, Leticia queried. “Yes, I did”, Frank said with his mouth full because he was eating bread when the call came through. “I was just about to call you because I have good news to share with you”, Frank said. “Just before I forget, Congratulations on your pregnancy, I hope Gabriel comes out quickly to see your parents before your baby bump starts to show, you know if that happens, he would be made to pay a penalty right?”, Frank explained. “He is a lucky man and you are a wonderful lady, Tish so don’t give him too much stress”, Frank added. “What are you talking about, Frank?”, Leticia asked. “I am carrying your baby, not Gabriel’s”. “We have not made love in a long while and you are the last person I have been intimate with so you do the math”. There was dead air for a while, then Frank spoke, “This cannot be possible, Tish”. “No Tish, this cannot be happening”. It cannot be true”. “I can’t believe this”. “Not at this time”. Frank shot out. “What has time got to do with me carrying your child?”. “Leticia, I have asked Rita to marry me and she has agreed”. “This pregnancy will therefore undo all my efforts and I am not going to compromise on that, trust me”, Frank said. “What is that supposed to mean, Frank?”, Leticia asked. “It means by accepting responsibility of this baby, I would have to forfeit my proposal and lose Rita”. “Do you understand that?”, Frank asked. “I don’t care, Frank and I am not having an abortion if you are even thinking of that”. “I know what you are doing, Tish”. “You are bent on sabotaging my happiness with this pregnancy”. “So if this is a joke, cut it out because some jokes are pretty much expensive”, Frank said. “You are just being jealous”, Frank added. “You can think whatever you want dear but the fact still remains that I am pregnant and you are responsible”, Leticia said and hang up the line. Frank appeared disoriented after the phone conversation. He had done a terrible mistake of not telling Rita of what had happened between himself and Leticia. He did not know how he was going to break the news to Rita if it was established that he was truly the father of Leticia’s unborn child. “What have I done?” “How am I going to possibly explain this to Rita if it turns out to be true?”, Frank asked himself as he drove to work. He asked Leticia to meet him in his hospital for a proper test to be run since he did not believe in the potency of the test kits that were sold outside. As they sat outside waiting for the lab report, Leticia engaged Frank, “Is that what you think of me?”, “I will never want to see you unhappy and this pregnancy is never a trap to sabotage or blackmail you in any way”, Leticia said. “It is not as if I knew you were going to ask that nurse to marry you in the first place”, Leticia added. Frank was about to speak when the lab technician called him to come for the result slip. He opened it with fear and trembling and it confirmed that Leticia was indeed pregnant but there was still an uncertainty hanging unresolved; was the baby for Frank or Gabriel? Frank had to confront Rita and confess to her, the same way, Leticia had to inform Gabriel about the turn of events. Frank called Rita immediately he closed from work and asked her to meet him at his house. “Frank, is everything okay?”. “You know I hate it when you keep me in suspense”. “Can’t you just tell me what the matter is?”, she pleaded. “No”, Frank insisted. “Meet me and let us talk about it”. Rita left what she was doing and dashed to Frank’s house. “I am here now so tell me what you have to tell me”, Rita said nervously. “I have a confession to make”, Frank said. “What is it my dear?” “Have you changed your mind?”, Rita asked. “Far from that”, Frank said. “The thing is that, Leticia is pregnant”. “Congrats to her, but what has that got to do with us?”, Rita asked. “I think I am responsible”. The second Frank finished his submission; he received two slaps in the face. “I knew you could not stay away from your first love but I expected better from you, Frank”, Rita said. “I am highly disappointed in you, Frank”, Rita added. “What are we going to do about it now?”, she asked. Frank, who was rubbing his cheek after the slaps sheepishly said, “I don’t know, Rita, I am just confused”. “I will delve into how this happened later but for now, do you still love her or you want to be with me?”, Rita asked. “I want you, Rita, Frank answered back, holding his check so as not to receive further slaps. “Then you have nothing to worry about”. “We will find a way of solving this issue”. “If this girl thinks she can break me to leave you for her, then she has another thing coming”, Rita said. Meanwhile, Leticia was waiting on Gabriel to return so she could break the news to him. She was hopeful that he was going to take it in good faith and accept responsibility as the unborn child’s makeshift father. Immediately Leticia told Gabriel about her pregnancy and who was responsible, he shot at her, “I knew you would go crawling back to that guy”. “I was actually waiting for this day and true to my speculation, you did not disappoint me”. “I have always had my doubts about you and was waiting patiently for something to go wrong and I am glad you have proved my suspicions right”, Gabriel said. “Gabriel, I am shocked”, Leticia said. “Does that mean that you never trusted me all this while?”, Leticia asked. “I did, but I had my doubts because ladies cannot be trusted nowadays”. “My dear lady, your chapter in my life has reached its climax and it would be only prudent for you to find the exit because I would not take upon myself the burden of taking care of another man’s child knowing full well of the repercussions it might have in the future”, Gabriel added. “Please pack your stuff and leave my house now”, Gabriel added……  My name is Edwin Oko Lamptey and this is my “Priceless Dreams ©”…. 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