Celina was trying to imagine the words of her mother in law and she kept wondering if her husband’s parents gave up hope on their son and herself. And if they did, what would have been their next step in the next one year if she hadn’t gotten pregnant for him. Her words “Honey your mum just told me an unbelievable story I hope it is true?” are probably the worst thing she had said to her in a long time and she kept on wondering why it had to be her mother who told Tom’s mum about her pregnancy. What happened to Tom? I know we’ve been through this already but I still don’t believe the fact that he did not doubt me at first.
Karen burst in with a cocktail and two glasses and disrupted her thoughts with her loud and obnoxious attitude
“So girl, what are we going to name those two babies in your womb? I’ll suggest Isaac if it’s a boy and Karen if it’s a girl, then you name the other boy or girl”
“Why on earth would you even think of giving my child your name ‘Karen’?”
“Why won’t I give my God child my name” Karen said while trying to open the wine “and FYI that name Karen is unique and people who go by that name live to go places and do things” she added
“Uhuh, no doubt about that, but none of my child will answer that ‘Karen’ name. I’d go with ‘Isaac’ but Karen, hell I won’t. If I didn’t know someone with that name, well, I may have considered. But I know someone with that name so I will not even give it a second thought because I know the kind of person she is” she said in jest
Karen is Celina’s long time friend, they’ve been friends since their 2nd year in college when Karen transferred from the ‘law faculty’ and joined them in ‘accounting’. “Who does that?” was the first thing she said when she heard about Karen because she always saw law as the ultimate thing anyone can do in the university, even if you don’t practice it. She liked law because of the way lawyers dress, talk and do their thing and most importantly because they are taught about everything, thus they are learned. If she hadn’t failed Literature in English in her WAEC, she would have gone for Law instead of Accounting; and there someone was changing from Law to Accounting; she saw it as stupid and foolish. She had always wanted to be referred to as ‘learned colleague’ by fellow lawyers.
Karen is known for her loud and stubborn personality. The ability to talk her way out of any situation she finds herself made Celina become friends with her. She often wondered why someone with such personality; a personality fit for the legal profession would drop the course but later got to find out as time went by that Karen wanted to read law because of the kind of person she thought she is, but found out that though she’s loud and obnoxious, Law wasn’t for her.
Karen has travelled places, renewed her international passport for as many times as possible and most times she travels to go meet men and some of them just go for her curvy body and leave when they get what they wanted and the ones that try to stick around, she just push them away. These, of course, Celina never really liked and the fact that Karen is still single in her late thirties give her cause to worry. That’s basically why she doesn’t want to name any of her children after Karen because she’s scared that child may just turn out to be like her friend Karen.
“Come on silly, I know you think if you name your child after me she may probably be like me” Karen said while pouring the wine on Celina’s glass
“Hell you know I am!” Celina said “you know some names have side effects” she added, but this time lifting the glass up for a toast. “Let’s toast to you finding a husband”
“Duh, whatever” Karen said “or better still toast to your nine months of pain” she gives a smiley face
***Later that day***
Tom was playing 2Pac Shakur’s ‘dear mama’ in his red Chevrolet camaro stereo, after some minutes, he lowered the volume and turned to Celina
“Baby, my mum called, she said they will come visit next week” he said
“Oh!” she said and turned to look at herself on the side mirror “together with your dad?” she added
“Not really, she’s coming with Anita” Tom said
“Oh! That’ll be perfect; at least I’ll have someone to give me a helping hand”
“Sure baby, but you don’t look bright, is there anything you might want to tell me? Tom said with his hands placed on her thigh
“Nothing in particular, but I’ve been wondering lately why your mum used that word ‘unbelievable’ on me” she said
“Oh c’mon baby, we’ve already been through this”
“I know we have, but it’s like she totally gave up hope. And who knows what would have happened as time went by, maybe they would have married a new wife for you just to give them grand children” she added, turning back to the side mirror.
“Look, baby” he drives to the side and parks, turns to face her “everything happens for a reason. God is not stupid. He knows the future and if he didn’t work his miracles and we happened to be childless in the nearest future, I wouldn’t have betrayed you even if my parent asks me to. You know why?”
“Why? Because you will not want to leave me devastated after so many years together?”
“No of course not, because I love you. And because there’s no other person I would want to travel down this road together with but you, and no matter what happens, I will always love, care, and be there for you”
“Awww that’s sweet, even when I’ve heard it a thousand time, it still sounds sweet whenever you say it” she said
“Nothing from me ever gets old you know” he said and started the car. “So how is obnoxious Karen?” he added
“She’s obnoxiously fine baby” she said jokingly and whipped her head backward “she actually wants to name our child Karen if it’s a girl”
“Karen?” he giggled
“This is like the 100th time I’m calling you. Where did you travel to?
“Really, O God, I was lost in thoughts”
“Thoughts; Hmm I hope everything is ok with you.”
“Of course baby, I was just reminiscing about life before Marie”
“Oh that! It is worth reminiscing about baby. I do get those feelings at times. I’m glad we are where we always wanted to be.”
“You’re damn right about that baby. So how was your day?”
“Well, it was good, had nothing more in mind but the most important people in my life. And talking about important people, where is my princess?”
“She might be home anytime. And my day was fine thanks for asking dear husband”
“Are you kidding me now? That was the next thing in mind for me to ask. Don’t tell me you’re jealous”
“Jealous?” she reaches for the pillow
“Oh no, don’t tell me you want to hit me with the pillow again.”
Celina looks at the pillow and back at him “you know I didn’t really have that in mind. But since you brought it up, I might just do it.” She climbs on the bed “when was the last time I hit you with a pillow again, baby?”
“If my memory serves me right, I think it’s the day I said you were more of a guy than a girl back then, that was before Marie was born” He looks at the ceiling as if he remembered something. “You know, that day ended so well that I wished we pillow fought every day”
“Silly man” she drops the pillow “I forgive you. I’m not pillow fighting you. Before what happened years back repeats itself.”
“You know baby, six years ago is worth repeating” he picks a pillow “so you better pick up that pillow you just dropped. Because I am not letting you leave this room”
“Don’t be silly” she picks up her pillow “I won you last time, and I am going to do it again, again and again.”
She tried to hit him with the pillow, but he dodged rather he reaches for her waist
“What do you think you’re doing Tom?”
“I told you what happened six years ago will repeat itself today” he moves her hair to the right while looking into her eyes. “I love you beyond explanations. I don’t know what I’ll ever do without you”
“Ok now that’s enough Tom” she tries to free herself from him “you used this same trick on me six years ago and you know how it ended”
“That’s what it’s all about baby. How long has it been?”
“Not even up to a day Tom, just last night” she pouts “Marie may walk in here any time, so you better control your libido”
“well, if she walks in we tell her it’s what mum and dad did before she was brought to earth” he winks at her
“Right and she will jump and sing hallelujah and clap for us. You’re just trying to spoil the small gi…”
He puts his lips on hers before she could complete her statement and they start kissing deeply and not long after Marie enters the room
“Yes darling” she gives an ‘I warned you’ signal to Tom “welcome darling” she leaves the bed and walks to Marie
“Daddy, you came back early today and you didn’t come to pick me” she gives Tom a gloomy face
“Oh no princess: You see, I had to come help mum out with something that’s why I didn’t come to pick you” he reaches out to lift her up but she shrugs
“No, I am not your little girl again” she shakes her body
“Now where did I keep the chocolates I bought for my former princess, let me go find a new princess and give them to”
She looked at him in a strange way “are you trying to bribe me daddy?”
He looks at Celina and turns back to Marie “if that’s what you call it, then yea I am bribing my baby girl and anybody that objects to that should come face me”
Marie turns to her mum, and moves from where she was standing, straight to her dad. “I do object to that daddy, my teacher said only corrupt people bribe and I know my daddy is not corrupt”
Tom gives a surprise look at his wife, then bends so he is almost the same height with his daughter “no miss lawyer, your daddy is not corrupt, he’s only sorry for not coming to pick you up after school”
Marie hugs him “now that’s my daddy talking. So where are the chocolates you bought to bribe me again?”
Tom and Celina burst out laughing, just then Celina’s phone rang
“Guess who wants to speak with you darling” Celina said and hands the phone to Marie
“Hello, aunty Mirabel” she leaves the room and goes to where she’ll talk without her parents listening to their conversation
Celina turns to Tom “I told you this girl would come in soon and you didn’t listen; now she has just spoilt the mood”
“That’s the joy of children isn’t it? We wanted her, we got her, she has the right to stop us at any point you know”
They started laughing, Tom joins his wife on the bed and kisses her on the chick “I love you so much baby”
“I love you too honey, more than anything in the world, except for Marie though.”
“We both love her more than anything in the world baby; she’s our only source of joy, given to us at the right time.”
They stayed quiet for sometimes then Marie rushes in “aunty Mirabel is coming soon mummy, I can’t wait to see her”
“Ok baby,” Celina said “so why exactly did you run out so we wouldn’t listen to your conversations?”
“Because we were discussing something private, ‘girls talk’ to be precise”
Tom gives another surprise look “girls talk at six? What is this world turning into?”
Celina laughs “America has a black president, so anything is possible” she added
Phone rings again and Tom picks.
He comes back minutes later with a pale face, and says he was called on an emergency at the office.
Tom is an auditor; he runs his own firm ‘Meridian Consulting’. He and his employees audits most of the accounts in the vicinity and are the best at what they do. His 2001 Chevrolet camaro was given to him as a gift on his 45th birthday by one of his clients, Mr. Odion.
His client, Don Chippu, owner of the biggest stationary shop in town, laid a complaint that an error was made in his company account.
Tom rode out in his red Chevrolet and getting to the office, he was told that Don Chippu only thought a mistake was made, but then it was already resolved. Tom got pissed but then had no idea what to be pissed at; whether to the fact that they made him leave his daughter or the fact that they didn’t care to call him when the issue was resolved. But then he decided to keep it cool because Don Chippu is one of his biggest clients.
Chippu was leaned to his white Volvo when Tom came out of his office. He is in his late 40s, gray haired and about 3ft 6inches tall and has totally refused to be old. He wore a white slim fitted Armani suit; black Zara longsleave shirt and purple loafers. Tom kept wondering if black and white and purple shoe to wrap it up is a good combination, but he couldn’t get answers from within him because he is not in a position to judge as his wife does the selection of his clothing. He often wondered how Chippu could possibly see the road when he is on the wheels, as short as he is.
Tom often worries about his baby girl, what she could possibly grow up to become, and every time that happens, he never stops worrying about the day she will leave the house to boarding school as she has always wanted. Marie has become part and parcel of him, and even though he and his wife have been trying to give her a brother or sister, he wonders if life would ever feel the same without her being around him.
On his way home, he stopped at the mall to get his wife and his daughter, ‘the most important people in his life’ a little something. He put on his stereo and Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean came on and he remembered brunch, and how Marie had bumped into them while making out. He often wondered what Marie would think or say if she bumps into them totally naked, maybe over brunch or at night. He had no idea that Marie has heard them a thousand times brunching.
When Marie was 3, she asked her aunt Mirabel why her mum always calls her dads name in a sweet way at night, and well, that question up till this moment is still awaiting a reasonable answer, because aunt Mirabel only said mummy likes calling daddy’s name in a sweet way when she’s praying and asking God to make him bigger.
Three weeks back, Anna, Maries little cousin asked Marie the same thing, and six year old Marie only said they make the noise whenever they are brunching and whenever they brunch, they call on God. The little girl never understood the word ‘brunch’ so she had no idea what Marie was talking about. Marie heard the word brunch from her mischievous God mother Karen, when she was telling her mummy how her Canadian man brunched her until she saw stars at noon.
Marie had often wondered how someone could possibly see stars at noon, ever since she heard Karen say she saw stars at noon. And at six she needed no one to tell her what her aunt Karen meant. Caleb told once told her follow him to the bathroom if she ever wanted him to stop bullying her…