When I met my fiancee"s father, I didn’t need a soothsayer to tell me he was a hard nut to crack. I wouldn’t say I was the one he hated most but I was the one he kept thousand miles away from his doormat. Memories like spilling onion soup on his milky-coloured rug will never wane out from his mind.
I remembered he had a heated conversation with my fiancee, "Your girlfriend is weak and spoiled, I can’t condone her attitude, she’s a terrible cook."
"’Why dad?’ I heard Harry’s teary voice."
"Harry, its not my duty to cater for your girlfriend."
"Dad! You know I work and —-."
"Yes, I know," he cuts in sharply, "I want to be sincere. I can’t keep her here, take her away."
"She’s not family"
"What do you mean? she’s an orphan."
"Then take her anywhere, foster home or you can even dump her on railway tracks if she gets worst."
Foster home? I felt I was having a nightmare but the cold plate of marcorni and tomato sauce brought me back to reality. I met Harry when I was jobless and still in my final year at the university. He had a caring shoulder I could leaned back on and I was left with no choice but to lived under his father’s roof for two months.
His father treated me like a leper. Whenever we met at a family get together dinner once a year. The best he could do was wink, smiles was crashed out of his face at my present.
"Dad! My girlfriend made A’s this semester", I remembered my mother break the silence.
"Which one of them?", he asked, pretentiously.
"Harry, I hope you are spending your money wisely."
"Why did you say that?"
"She can pay his soul to get those grades."
My fiancee was embarrassed but i was betrayedly calm. I didn’t realised my worth on his father’s scale until my birthday two years ago. Of all his riches and luxuries, I expected something on the record but I got a gift that could only be appreciated in a nursery rhymes. He gave me a puppy!
"I didn’t expect this or do I look like an animal farm?" I stammered.
"Anything goes for you. Beggars don’t look at the menu, they only eat the food without thinking about the bills"
"Guess you are right, Anything goes!"
"What will you call her?", he asked, smiling mockingly
"That’s my niece’s name, idiot! Think of something else."
"Hey Pa! This puppy looks like your niece. At least I can use this to hold her dearie to my heart"
"Your girlfriend is trouble", he told Harry, then left.
May was his niece. It seems her tongue was heavier than her mouth and she couldn’t close it without sniffing for mistakes on my path. She made all the errors and corrections on her reported speech, she was smiled upon with favours while I live with mere ungrateful flatterings.
When my fiancee’s father left, I pretended as a dreamer with sad puppy look and promised my fiancee to keep the puppy. Inwardly, I felt a crowd of little bees tossing about my head in sprightly dance ready to sting.
We looked at each other. Oh God! you are a pet, I am a poet, just a lettered difference, I wish I could change that, so we could be best of friends. As a poet, I wanted to do my best as fun.
"I am not weak and spoiled", I said proudly with a punch on my chest as Samson when he defeated the Philistines.
I smiled pleasantly and started with a pot of stew for supper. May did not eat she eyed the rice and sausage meant for my fiancee, I gave out and watched sheepishly. I got some meat for myself, May growled I gave a three quarter to her she ate the meat and left the bones. Three words like "I WAS UPSET" could describe my mood, May made me feel like a pet hanging ribbons for circus while she sat confidently like a poet who got the year’s trophy.
To ease my anger, I went outside, the sky was blue and white, I breathe the air with faith and felt peace. Few minutes, I heard a cracking sound and rushed wildly to the upstair wing, I saw two bars of chocolate on the floor and a kitten of the Mark’s, my neighbour, with pleading eyes in May’s claws. May was kind to dumped him outside and dropped the cholocate in my hands. I hugged her like my guardian angel with kisses.
Smile of affection spring up daily as morning dew. "MAY!" "How I love that name at dawn and night, like a rising sun on cold day it radiates through my body, happy eyes cannot refuse admiring you. Yet in all these, no wealth can I exchange with my fiancee’s father to give you back."
"If you could take good care of May, then you will take care of me", Harry said, "an evening." Two days before my birthday last year.
"How?" I was curious.
"Dad wanted to buy a house for us on your birthday but I insisted on a puppy", he confessed.
I was dumbfounded but he added, "Little things count"
He brought May and knelt beside her, holding her lopes "Please beg her to marry me", he said, smiling.
"This is not funny", I laughed.
"Your best friend says you can marry me." I laughed wildly.
"Can i show her the trophy now?", he asked May.
"To the best poet in my life, will you marry me now?"
The query was genuine and it was the first time in three years.
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