Love Scandal

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Eve laid in bed with her earphones plugged in her ears. Passenger’s ‘Heart’s on Fire’ managed to bring tears in her eyes and a smile on her face, both at the same time. She loved that song, more so because it was Tony who introduced her to it. Her eyes lazily wandered to the window and gazed at the raindrops freely running down the window pane. The rain, which had come out of nowhere, poured its heart out like a woman tired of keeping her feelings to herself. Passenger’s voice and the sound of rain patting on the leaves outside were a perfect recipe for sleep, so she closed her eyes and dozed off.

When she woke up, she wasn’t alone. Seated right at the edge of her bed was Clair who smiled at her as soon as she opened her eyes and was able to see her. Eve smiled back and sat up straight in bed, back against the wall. She rubbed the lingering sleep off her eyes and managed a lazy ‘hi’ which came out as though it was afraid of the cold.

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Love Scandal

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Dusk was fast approaching and Eve was yet to hear from Tony. Clair was also yet to come back home and Eve wasn’t sure what to make out of all this. She paced in her room, holding her phone closer to her chest, contemplating the idea of calling Tony and asking him why the damn meeting was taking too long. But she decided against it and instead chose to wait for a little longer. She eased herself on her bed and out of tiredness, she fell asleep, only to be woken up an hour later with the ringing of her phone. She fumbled to retrieve it below her pillow and was excited to note that it was Tony calling. Finally! she sighed!

“What took you so long?” she asked first thing when she answered the call. She then stared blankly into space and a faint smile begun taking shape on her lips immediately Tony mentioned Danny and his affair with Clair. The mere possibility of Danny going to be the guy who rescues their relationship by taking Clair out of the picture got her so excited that she didn’t let Tony finish talking.

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Love Scandal

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It was three days since it happened. Three days since Clair found herself locked in Tony’s arms, in his house, on his couch, his lips unlocking the maiden territories of her mouth, his hands taking a much-welcomed tour of her body, clothes being rendered useless, craving taking over from sensibility, and the rain which was furiously kissing the earth outside cheering them on. It was wrong what they were doing. It was wrong for them to get lost in each other’s intimate world like that. But it also felt good so they did not stop until when he fell over on the couch beside her, gasping for breath, as cold air whisked through their naked bodies.

Three days. And yet every time she thought about it, it was like it happened a few seconds ago. The memory of that forbidden lovemaking pulled a chair and sat down on her head, daring her to try and kick it out. She tried, but failed. A feeling of guilt descended on her the same way God’s wrath descended on earth when He destroyed it with floods during Noah’s time. She found it difficult to look her sister Eve in the eye. She found it difficult to sneak into her room and bully her into telling her a story of the men hunting her. She tried to find solace in the fact that both she and Tony were drunk when it happened but nothing.

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Love Scandal

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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.”

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Love Scandal

It was her tradition to stand in front of her full-length mirror naked and give herself a pep talk each time she braced herself for something important. Something that would change her life— for better or for worse. And this time was no exception. After her phone conversation with Tony the previous night, she asked him out for breakfast, telling him that they needed to talk. Knowing too well that Tony was a sucker for time keeping, she woke up early, spent a few minutes on makeup then went and stood in front of the mirror.

She ran her fingers on her tummy and shook her head, reminiscing how Tony had crept up to her in the hotel room and told her how he wanted to make her tummy not flat, unaware that he had already done it. She thought about it with a genuine smile this time. Ever since she broke the news of her pregnancy to Tony two days ago, he had done nothing but assured her that he was happy about it and that he was going to take care of her and their unborn baby. He had said those words over the phone but she could still feel honesty and genuineness oozing out of them. That had, in turn, displaced the dark cloud of sadness pitching tent in her heart. She had given the hope clinging on the hem of her top a helping hand and now it had a firm grip on her heart.

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Love Scandal

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She took a deep breath and tried to convince herself that all will be fine. That the test results were faulty and that the next day, very early in the morning, she will take another test, a more accurate one and this time only one line will appear. Just as these self-reassuring thoughts run through her mind, she broke into a wide smile, you would think that the wider the smile the higher the chances of her thoughts and wishes being validated. She dragged her feet to her bedroom with hope clinging on to the hem of her top and collapsed on the bed with a loud sigh.

But this attempt to fool sleep into being her accomplice in shrugging off the reality of what stood in waiting did not work out well. In fact, it did not work at all. She lay awake in bed, her eyes lurking in the dark like danger. She tossed and turned. Tony became even more aggressive with his calls like he had sensed something was terribly wrong. She was tempted to pick up but the fear of not knowing what to tell him overshadowed the temptations, so she ignored the calls and even switched off her phone, mumbling, “I will talk to you in the morning,” like those words were somehow going to find their way to him.

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Love Scandal

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Woman with pregnancy test

Valentine had described the doctor they were going to see as an elderly chap who was going bald, and who had a pot belly that poured over to cover his belt buckle when he stood and rested on his thighs when he sat down. She had said that his voice was croaky and that the only thing uglier than his belly was his handwriting, which if it were a path in the middle of a forest, would never lead you back to civilisation. First of all, Eve did not understand why Valentine thought it necessary to furnish her with such mundane information, was she trying to scare her off? And secondly, that description depicted the doctor as an unhealthy chap, putting his credibility to doubt.

“You said you have two doctors in mind, couldn’t you pick one who looks less scary?” Eve said.

Valentine dismissed her. “Looks is not what we are after here, Eve, don’t lose focus.”

So Eve was genuinely surprised when they walked into this said doctor’s office only to be met with a guy who looked not a day older that 34 years old. He was significantly tall, clean shaven, and had no trace of a pot belly. He stood up to greet them when they walked in and Eve could have sworn that he looked her up and down as they exchanged handshakes. As they sat down, Eve threw Valentine that look that said Oh my God, why did you lie about the doctor? He is so handsome! And Valentine flashed her the smile that seemed to say Got You!

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He lay down, his head in the palm of his hands. He watched Eve step out of the bathroom, a towel wrapped around her chest. His eyebrows went up involuntarily when she dropped the towel to the floor, feeding his eyes with the most beautiful form of art he had ever seen, and probably would ever see. It was amazing how each time he saw her naked, it was like the first time. Like every night God came down with his tools and his right-hand man, Angel Gabriel, woke her up from her sleep and whispered, “look, we were just seated up there, looking down and admiring you—our masterpiece—and felt we can always make your hips just a little bit curvy.” And they did. Then when they next showed up, it was her dimples they deepened so that when she smiled, even the devil could see and acknowledge God’s artistic ways.

The end result was what Tony was seeing. A new woman each day. Body filled up in all the right places. Her face growing beautiful by the minute. Her legs…..oh her legs…he wondered why he was hesitating running away with her. Look, as a man, have you ever chased a bird that’s so beautiful you were sure she would turn you down, but then she said yes and now you weren’t sure what to do with her? Well, Tony was having these feelings at the moment. She was oiling herself, seductively running her fingers through her flat tummy. She did it on purpose, occasionally throwing him quick glances and winking at him. He stared at her flat tummy and then an idea struck him. An idea that got him jump out of bed excitedly and rushing to where she was, startling her to death.

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She sat on the floor with her knees pulled up to her chest and her back against the wall. The air she breathed stank to high heaven with regrets. Regret for this godforsaken love, regret for not running away from it and running fast when she had the chance. Regret for believing he would always stand by her no matter what. She regretted everything. Yes, just everything. She lifted her eyes to see him seated on the edge of the bed, head buried in his big hands. He was shirtless, flaunting his biceps and abs many would be more than willing to steal and be jailed for.

Looking at him made her eyes well up, but she sucked back the tears because she did not want to break down. She bit her lower lip to stop the scream rising in her throat. Just then he looked up, fixing his gaze on hers. His eyes looked watery like he was also fighting back his tears. She watched him watching her and suddenly she started having mixed feelings. She wasn’t sure whether she wanted to rush to him and rain blows on his silly abs or simply envelop herself around him and kiss the hell out of his lips. Why was he like this? She wondered. So far he had been the only man capable of triggering so many emotions she didn’t even know she had. She hated him for that.

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Love Scandal

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 Instantly, tense silence fell on everyone in that living room. Their smiles and laughter dried on their lips as if by sorcery. They threw each curious and confused looks, and when no one seemed keen to break the silence, they all began to murmur, making the room look like a bees’ boardroom. All this while, the little beautiful world that Eve lived in was fading . . . it became unreal. How could this be? she wondered. She suddenly felt lonely in this her little world filled with the wreckage that was her love life.

The murmur and whispers died down when Eve’s mother raised her voice to speak. She respectfully asked everyone else to excuse them and they all stood up without a word and walked out. Left behind were Tony, her mum and the complete family of Mzee Daniel. Clair was now sitting down, feeling proud of herself. She had crowned herself the queen and everyone else was going to make due with being her subjects. Tony was still too shocked to speak, and so was his mum who hang her head down—probably ashamed on behalf of her son.

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