His troubles began when he kept calling her Brenda instead of her real name Susan. She forgave him the first few times he used the accursed name for her. It was one of those dammed things, she mused. However, she became alarmed when Stephen kept calling her Brenda. She could not stand it; living under the shadows of a love defector was her nightmare. The fact remained she had no clue why he kept referring to her as Brenda. ‘Who was this Brenda anyway?’ She confronted him. Stephen stammered and went round in circles without telling her a thing about Brenda. She flipped and stormed out of his house. She left town to a hide out in a quiet rural retreat never to been seen for sometime. He was stunned and wondered if he was back to where he started. Despite his hard efforts; the despised name was a tune on his lips and piled to his woes.
Brenda left him a distressed soul. In fact, she took a part of him away. He lost it until Susan rescued him from anguish. Brenda was his first love and as a green shoot, he emptied his innocence at her feet. Love without add-on trappings was worthless to the fluffy ones. The trappings add to the glamour. She crushed his stupid love under her feet. Even though he had found great love in Susan, he was nostalgic about his past romance with Brenda, especially their explosive love antics on campus. It was delightful. They went to lectures together and when Brenda closed before him, she loitered about until he was ready and they cat walked back to their halls together. He as a rule curled his arms around her well-formed waist and hallucinated about higher realms. The pair wandered the cotton streets of the Sapphire city at will. At the set of sun, they lazed in the calm evening breeze from the luxuriant trees lining the feathery grounds around the Drama Studio. The name Brenda was his singsong, a sort of a music label. It was deep-seated in the sub conscious mind and was so indelible. It required something extraordinary from Susan to wipe his mind clean. Yet the name was threatening his new love.
Susan was perfect in every form except to obliterate the hated name from his memory. Since their night out at the film studios in Kanda their love bloomed. He spent less time at the shop and more time at her place. He visited Susan one day and found her very moody. Her face was burry in her pillow, as she lay on her bed almost bare. She did not attempt to cover up when he entered. Stephen was baffled seeing her full curves glowed through her glossy nightie. He sat on the bed beside her firebrand frame. She did not respond when he spoke to her. He held at the shoulders and lifted her gently onto his lap. The softness of her breast on his lap sent puzzling codes to his nerves. Yet he got be careful; she was still moody. He knew something was not right. Susan always received him warmly whenever he visited. He brought her close to his chest and felt her velvety to the fullest. ‘What was it my angel’ he asked her. His hand reached to her curves around her waistline and he stroked her bosom inch by inch. She was calm and melted into his arms.
He looked into her eyes and saw undiluted love. She spoke after salvaging her sanity. ‘It was your mum; she said you have a wife in London.’ It was first time she heard about the name Brenda. Stephen kept his past from her. It was a folly to keep such a secret from a sweet one like Susan. Such angels are rare and difficult to find. Well his stupidity almost cost him pure love. His mum told Susan about Brenda with the hope of scaring away from Stephen. She was indignant of the presence of Susan in his life just as she was with the one gone before. ‘This Susan girl would bring you nothing good’ she told Stephen. ‘She would be a wedge between you and your child hood love.’ She explained further. It was such a pity because Stephen kept the ignoble news from his mum as well. He felt ashamed to tell his mum Brenda and his bosom friend Paa Joe had betrayed him. He stood by Brenda when his mum was nasty to her. The mum realised her son was in love and accepted Brenda into their family. Above Paa Joe was like the brother he never had. The pervert was living with him until he travelled to London for further studies.
To avoid calling her Brenda repeatedly he decided to call her ‘daisy’. Susan became relaxed and came out of her hideout. Things became rosy and they paraded their love all over Adenta. One day Susan was going to town and Stephen saw her off at the taxi rank. When she was about to enter the taxi he held her by the waist and drew her closer. He gave her a hot cuddle. On lookers were baffled at his reckless display of passion in public. A fussy taxi driver saw him as a lost soul in a man’s world. ‘Bema kontobonku’ (an effeminate man) he yelled at him. A foul-mouthed driver joined the fussy one. ‘Do you want to make love to her in the public, you are a nincompoop?’ Stephen ignored the worried observers. He had all but won the heart of his daisy back until his mum told her about Brenda. He had to act fast before his daisy run out of town again. He told his mum about the dark secret enveloping the traitors in London. The mum was bewildered. He pleaded with his mum to visit Susan to calm her down. The plan worked. Susan stayed in town.
The daisy idea was a marvel because it was harmonious and their love blossomed. At the high point of their romance, Stephen had a call from Brenda. She was in tears on the phone. His inclination was to hang up but he decided otherwise. Paa Joe made a fool out of her. She told him. He was engaged to a lady in Ghana. He misled her by promising her marriage and after using her, he discarded her like a worthless item. He drove her out of his house because his wife was arriving from Ghana. She (Brenda) was returning to Ghana and she was pleading with him (Stephen) to accept her back. She loved him still and he was the first man in her life. She went on and on until Stephen eventually hanged up. The deserter made several other calls after the first. Flipping hell, Brenda had sown a grotesque seed in the perplexed mind.
Stephen was at a crossroad in his quest into the world of romance. Following his heart meant accepting the viper from London back into his life. One thing was sure; he still loved the prodigal one. Yet he had found balm in the amusing frolics with his new angel. Susan gave him life when he had none. She saved him from the desolation of the heart and raised him into the world of illusion. Any false move would ruin the petals of his daisy without end. He was so unstable with the news of the return of the traitor. Part of him wanted her back and the other preferred Susan. He had a choice to make. It was a very difficult choice indeed; yes, it was a very difficult choice.
Francis Kwaku Egu