The gateman positioned the cartons by Ivie’s door. Richard was glad the rooms in his house were getting occupied rather than remaining useless. The room still looked virgin, still had those scents as though no one had spent a minute in it, whereas several nights had been spent.
“What are these?” Ivie fixed at the cartons as the gateman carried them in.
“Painting tools. You’ll need them.” He didn’t expect a smile or anything near that and didn’t get one.
She shifted from the entrance, carrying a mashed face. “Richard, I have these at my house. If I have the need for them, I’ll go get them.”
He entered and sat on a couch. “I never knew. I never saw them in the hospital.”
The gateman arranged the cartons at a corner and strode out.
“I didn’t see the need for much painting at the hospital.” She rested her eyes on the cartons. “You should return them. If I need them, I’d go pick them from my house.”
Richard huffed. He would have enquired first. Wasting money had never been a hobby.
But the purchase wasn’t a waste as the tools were the originals, engulfing enough to perfectly suppress her urges, since evidently, those at her house didn’t do much good in supressing them. “It’s buy and no return.” The best he could say.
She lowered herself to the bed. “So what will you do to them?”
“They can’t be thrown away. You should use them while you’re here and save the ones at your house.” He used a handkerchief to dust off a speck from his trousers. “When would you go home to get your clothes?”
She pressed the remote control and switched on the television. A soccer commentator screamed from the screen over a goal scored in a penalty kick involving two teams in the middle of a penalty shoot-out. “I don’t think I will be going. The ones here will do,” she said.
If it were the clothes she stuffed into her bag at the hospital, then she was joking. “I’ve seen your clothes. They won’t go far, except you plan on laundering every day.”
“I don’t intend on staying more than three weeks. The clothes will do.”
Three weeks. That would barely be enough for whatever needed to be done. “Allow Ezinne take you home sometime tomorrow so you can get more clothes. She’d be glad to do so.”
“No need stressing her.”
“Believe me, she won’t be stressed. She’s—”
“Who exactly is she to you?” Ivie removed attention from the television.
A short smile lined halfway across her lips, but long enough to perfectly hide the gap between her incisors. “Good. When is the wedding date?”
“Not yet set, but soon. Within the next two months.”
“She’s a good woman.” Her smile gradually disappeared, and her eyes reverted to the television. She changed the channel to a quieter one that didn’t have screaming commentators but a woman talking to some children on the right food to eat.
“Start working with those tools. You’ll love them.” He rose and surveyed the room for sufficient space for the tools. There was enough.