Eve waited until when their parents retired to bed before she went to Clair’s room for a chat. When she knocked on her door, she half expected her to refuse to open because though they lived in the same house, they had been avoiding each other, only talking to each other when it was a must. They had become strangers in their father’s house you wouldn’t tell they were born and raised together. Before all this saga, Clair, who loved relationship gossips, always made a point of sneaking into Eve’s room during bedtime to listen to her stories about men who were chasing her. She would listen, smirk, giggle and tell Eve when she complained about men not leaving her alone, that she should count herself lucky because there were women out there who the only person calling them dear and texting them frequently was Safaricom.
Eve would laugh, and then her facial expression would change to a more serious one. “And what about you, Clair? You mean there are no men chasing you around? Or you secretly want to become a nun?”
Clair would shrug, “I have said this before and I will say it again, there are no men in this village who can love me the way I want to be loved.”
And indeed that was her go-to phrase whenever Eve popped that question. And she would say it while holding her cheek like someone deep in thought, you would think she descended from a different universe and now she needed special kind of men to love her. Men who were born not to lift weight and take selfies with their shirts unbuttoned, but born to love, and love only her.
“And how do you want to be loved?”
“Remember I once told you that I don’t know how I want to be loved, but when a man finally loves me the way I want, I will know. So no pressure.”
That did not make any sense either, but those were best moments now that Eve thought about it. There was no rivalry between them. No one looked at the other and wished their boobs would fall off their chest. But sadly, things were that way no more. Like a thief in the night, love and lust crept in and walked away with those special moments. Eve stood outside Clair’s room expecting to be turned away with a cold, I don’t want to talk to you, so she was surprised when Clair opened the door not looking pissed at all. She leaned against the door frame, her eyes sizing Eve up. She was in a baggy white Tee shirt and an equally baggy sweatpants. Her eyes looked sleepy, which made her look sexy. To be fair, Eve thought Clair was a very beautiful woman, too. And she was. It ran in the blood. It was hereditary, it seemed.
“Can I come in?” Eve asked, making sure to sound polite just in case her tone rattled her, making her change her mind.
Without a word, Clair stepped aside and gestured her in. Eve squeezed past her into the room and waited until she closed the door and gestured her to sit on the bed before she did. Clair climbed on the bed, too, and sat with her back against the wall. Her bed lamented thanks to the weight it was being forced to carry. A few seconds passed in silence as Eve arranged and rearranged her words in her head. She had come in peace, so she wanted to be careful enough not to digress and sparkle a war of words.
“So, I met Tony this morning,” she started, her voice slightly trembling, “And he was of the opinion that we sit down and talk about what’s happening.”
“Who is we?”
Eve was startled by her stern voice. “You, me and him.”
“Talk about what exactly?”
“You do know what is happening, right?”
“What is happening is that Tony, this your Tony, got me pregnant and now he wants to cast me aside and move in with you like my being pregnant for him means nothing.”
“That’s not true.”
“You know, it is.”
“Okay, the fact that he wants to talk means that he is thinking about you, too, and wants us to find the best solution to all this drama. We are both going to be mums soon, do you want the babies to come to this our world which is boiling with hatred? Because I don’t.”
Clair paused to think about it and she agreed Eve was talking sense. She also found it difficult to dismiss Eve just like that because she was acting cool and looked like she was no longer spoiling for a fight. She stared at her and she stared back. After a minute or two, she broke the gaze and mumbled, “Fine. But first I will have to meet him alone.”
“Why? This involves me, too.”
“Do you want us to find a solution or not?”
Clearly, Clair was the one calling the shots here so Eve had to tame her own desire and go with hers. “Fine,” she said, “I will call him to let him know that you will talk to him, alone.”
“Sure, in fact, tell him to call me to arrange the meeting.”
“Okay,” Eve said standing up, “Have a good night.”
Tony was happy to hear that Clair had agreed to talk but disappointed that Eve wasn’t going to be a part of it. And even though Eve had said she was okay with it, Tony still thought it was a bad idea. And a fishy one. A bad idea and a fishy one. But he still agreed to it. So the same night, he called Clair and asked her where she wanted them to meet and she said, in your house? He said it was okay. When? The following day. He turned to Sam who was lying on the couch after the conversation with Clair and said, “Clair will be here tomorrow, will you kindly stick around? Just in case she has something up her sleeve, you know.”
“Sure,” Sam said and then quickly sat up straight on the sofa, “By the way, I think there is something we may do that will drag you out of this mess. I am not sure it will work, but we can try.”
“Okay, I am listening.”
Though they were only the two of them in the room, Sam ducked over to whisper something in his hear.
The next day at around noon, Tony rushed to the door immediately he had a knock. Standing outside was Clair dressed in a black long-sleeve lace dress. The dress went slightly below her knees and did very little to hide her bump. It was a small bump but a bump all the same. It was the first time Tony was seeing her bump, which mad him uneasy and excited at the same time. That bump threw the idea that she could be faking the pregnancy out the window. She held a black handbag and he also noticed that she was in black heels. If she had threw on huge black spectacles, she could as well have been a character in Hollywood movie mourning the death of her husband in a Church echoing with whispers and whimpers.
However, all was not black and gloomy, Clair had a bright smile. A smile which Tony wasn’t sure what to make of it. Was it a mocking smile? Whatever deeper meaning that smile carried, Tony did not know, but he smiled back. He carefully closed the door behind him and went ahead to pull her in for a tight embrace like he had been longing to see her. He even mumbled in her right ear that he was happy to see her and she chuckled like she knew he was only pulling her legs. The embrace lingered on for a little longer than she expected, but that’s not to say she did not enjoy it. She even intentionally pressed her boobs on his chest and he let her get away with it for a second before pulling away.
“You look glorious, Clair.”
“Thank you, sir. And you look as handsome as you have always looked.”
He shrugged, “What can I say? God knew it would be difficult to describe handsome in words so he created me instead.”
She laughed. Standing before her was a different kind of Tony. One in a jolly mood and for a moment she wanted to believe that indeed he meant it when he said he was happy to see her. “So, you wanted to talk,” she said.
“Oh, yeah.” he said with a nod.
“Are we going to do it inside or we are just going to stand here and, you know, talk.”
“No, we will go in. But first, I want to let you know that there is someone in there who can’t wait to see you.”
The smile On Clair’s face slowly turned into a grin. “What are you talking about?”
“The question should be, who am I talking about?”
Clair flashed him a sharp look, “Okay, who?”
“I think you should come in and see for yourself,” he then opened the door and gestured her in.
She eyed him suspiciously.
“What kind of games are you playing with me? I thought you wanted us to talk, not me meeting I-don’t-know-who!”
“We are going to talk, don’t worry about that.”
She went quiet. It hit her that Tony was not playing nice for nothing, he was up to something. And she was only going to find out what by going in and seeing whoever this person —that Tony was talking about —was. She asked him to lead the way and he gladly agreed. She followed him in and stopped to her heels when she came face to face with Danny. A dark guy in a white T-shirt and blue jeans, holding a glass of juice in his hand. He was clean shaven. His sideburns ran down the sides of his either cheek like two railway lines, joining together at his chin where a bushy beard had made home. He broke into a smile when his eyes met hers. As for her, she smiled and then grinned. Smiled and then grinned. She was no longer holding her bag, it had succumbed to the force of gravity when she lost hold of it.
Danny! His name rung in her head. A soft ring, like a gentle blow of a soft breeze. Where had he come from? Where did they find him? In fact, how did they know him? Wait, this was really him? She rubbed her eyes and stared at him some more. He was no longer seated. No longer holding the glass. But he was still smiling, and now up on his feet. He walked towards her and a small voice in her head told her to run towards him. But another voice, authoritative than the other one, told her to run away from him. But she did neither of those. Her feet had been pinned to the ground. Her eyes were now dangling with what could only be itching tears. She opened her mouth to speak and with so much difficulty, whispered, “Danny!”
Standing just a few inches from her, he replied, “Yes, it’s me,” and pulled her in for a hug.
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