The room went silent. And the air pregnant with suspense. Eve could not even hear herself breath, or her heart beat. She sat there stiff, stiffer than a dead log, her arms clutched around herself. Staring at her was Tony, his heart beating so hard, his mind on an overdrive, and his conviction that theirs would be a love story with a happy ending slowly dwindling. He felt helpless. Hopeless even. And he had no one but himself to blame.
He tried wrapping his arms around Eve but she gently but firmly pushed him away, followed by the words, `Don`t touch me.` Her voice was not harsh. But even in its softness Tony could detect bitterness and hate crawling out of it like roaches into his heart. `What have I done?` He murmured to himself.
Eve turned to look at him, scanning his eyes as if trying to detect more lies in them. He tried maintaining eye contact but her stare was so sharp he stretched his eyes beyond her. And even though he could feel her eyes on him he tried so hard to pretend he wasn`t feeling it. That was until Eve suddenly stood up and quickly made for the door. He sprung up and got hold of her arm before she could reach the door and spun her around.
“At least let me explain.”
“Explain what exactly?” her voice was surprisingly still calm, “How you lied about a woman you are definitely screwing being your mother?”
“You could have said she was anything else but no, you chose your mother. YOUR MOTHER?” she raised her voice and shook her head, “You disgust me Tony. You really do.”
Clair who by this time was wondering what the two were up to locking themselves up in a room, heard Eve`s voice and immediately knew something was wrong. She listened keenly and this time she could hear them arguing, talking over each other. She tried to pretend as if it was nothing but when she had the sound of a resounding slap and thought Tony was hitting her sister, she did what Usain Bolt might never be able to do in his good day. Like a flash, she rushed to check, noisily knocking… no, make that banging the door to Tony`s bedroom.
She was about to shout some not so pleasant words to Tony when the door flew open, and she looked in amusement when she saw it was Tony rubbing his cheek. She locked eyes with Eve. And then simultaneously, like they had a telepathic way of communicating, turned to look at Tony, their eyes burning with anger. Clair did not know why exactly they were being angry at Tony but the fact that Eve was angry at him was enough. Girl power. Or solidarity. Whichever the phrase, she was standing with her sister.
Still holding his cheek, Tony said in a mumble, “Sweetheart, we still need to talk.”
“No we don`t,” Eve said with a tone of finality.
Clair would have loved to hear that talk but since Eve was not interested, she suppressed her own interest. “And by the way,” Eve continued, “I will so much appreciate it if you don`t try to contact me anymore.”
Clair shook her head in agreement with Eve. Tony, though he was only meeting her for the first time, instantly knew that Clair did not like him, and she was not making any effort to hide that fact. She was either not a very good pretender, or she just dint care. After a moment of awkward silence and staring, Eve turned to Clair and said, `Lets go.” And she walked out of the room.
But Clair did not follow her immediately. She lingered behind like a perfume, rolling her eyes up and down Tony who was now feeling slightly embarrassed by the turn of events. He tried smooth talking her,
“Look Clair, I am not a bad person…”
“I know.” A smile crossed her lips as she said this.
“Really?” Tony was taken aback by her response.
“I mean it Tony,” she took a step closer to him, “Calling you a bad person would be an insult to bad people. In fact, it will be an insult to badness itself because you are worse. You are evil. If the devil had a twin brother, you would be the twin.”
“But we are meeting for the first time, how could you possibly be so sure that I am that terrible?”
Clair waved him off dismissively, “You are more infamous than you probably take credit for.”
The little hope that was beginning to light in Tony`s heart quickly succumbed to natural death. Clair turned to leave but before stepping out, she turned to look at him for the last time.
“I warned Eve about you but she wouldn`t listen because the poor girl was in love!” Her words reeked of sarcasm. She then walked out, loudly banging the door behind her.
Sam stopped to catch a breath after he stepped inside the living room. He had received a call from Tony asking him to come over immediately without really saying what the problem was. When his breath had evened out, he quickly walked towards Tony`s room and he was surprised to find him packing his clothes in a suitcase. Without looking up, Tony said, “That was quick.”
“Well, you sounded as if someone was trying to harvest your kidneys by force when you called,” Sam then paused before asking, “Why are you parking?”
“Because I am travelling.”
“Yes, I can`t wait to face that Sandra of a woman,” he looked at Sam whose face was wrinkling with confusion and chose to offer an explanation,”Look, Eve was here and because I thought coming clean about my involvement with Sandra was the best thing, I told her Sandra was not my mother.”
“And she hugged, kissed and patted me on the back for being a good man.”
“Was that supposed to be a joke or what.”
“Should I be holding a sarcasm sign up every time I am being sarcastic?”
“Listen,” Sam sat on the edge of the bed, “I understand you are worked up right now but don`t you think you should wait till tomorrow morning before travelling if you really have to?” He then quickly added, “And I don`t appreciate you transferring your anger to me, man.”
“I am sorry about that. But I really need to leave today. I will be back in a week or two.”
They barely spoke as Tony finished off parking. Sam then walked him out but did not go beyond the front door, “I am too tired to walk you to the bus terminal, man, you have a safe journey.” They said their goodbyes and Sam watched as Tony dragged his heavy black suitcase behind him, disappearing outside the gate. He had never seen Tony so disturbed in his entire life. He looked like he had lost something so great and irreplaceable. And he had, because Eve was about the only woman in Sahara village killing most men`s dreams, or featuring in their dreams.
He went back in and collapsed on the couch before dialling Eve`s number and called her. It rung twice before an unfamiliar voice answered, it was Clair`s, “Eve is not talking to anyone at the moment,” she said and hung up immediately. Sam heaved a sigh, and set the phone on the table. He had been friends with Eve for a very long time, and he could only imagine what she was going through at that moment.
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