Ezinne stretched herself on the recliner and let the cold air pour its chill on her as she watched the gateman wipe the raindrops off the Pathfinder. He ignored the dragonflies that swarmed over his head, their wings slapping his face.
The wind’s m0an increased. It m0aned and mourned, and the dark clouds loomed over every bit of the sun. Better that way. All the sun did was scorch, burn, and sear.
Footsteps approached the veranda. They must be footsteps. Any sound but the wind’s m0an must be footsteps. The steps loomed nearer and stopped at the Veranda. The kleptomaniac appeared in brown three-quarter shorts and an oversized shirt that advertised Maggi. Green tints clustered in fragments behind her hand. For the weeks she had stayed, all she did was paint.
“You’ve been painting,” Ezinne said.
“I have.” She peeled off the green layers on her palm.
“You’re busy?” Ezinne strived for a smile and budged for Ivie to sit. She sat and pushed a bunch of her cornrows to behind her head.
“No. I just finished painting.” She thumbed the green paint over her palm, and the green lightened into olive in response to the faint stream of the sun that began escaping through the clouds.
“I’d like to see your works sometime.”
“I’d be glad.” She did a fake smile. Fake enough for a blind to tell.
Ezinne took eyes to the unsmiling gateman, who now had head freed of the dragon flies. “How is your health?” she asked Ivie.
“I’m fine. No urges. Everything is fine.”
“Rick said the painting helped in killing the urges.” She looked back at the kleptomaniac.
The girl blinked and removed her gaze. Her eyes weren’t the calling type men fell for.
“Is that why you paint? To kill the urges?”
“No. I paint when I want to,” she said. “It might not be the painting that kills the urges, but they are not as severe as before.”
“Since you came here?”
The kleptomaniac looked at her. “Since the hospital treatment.” Her cheeks slackened.
“I’m happy you’re recovering.” Ezinne smiled, and lengthened lips to perfect it.
“Go continue your work. I’ll come see them later. Rick says you paint well.”
The kleptomaniac rose and carried a face that held important words. “I’m thankful. For the accommodation, hospitality—”
“Don’t say. Everything’s okay.”
She gave her hand a final rub and walked inside.
The girl was likable and not the kind to be disordered. Sometimes the world gave the bad things to good people.
The gateman finished washing the Pathfinder and returned to his cabin.
The clouds began releasing its disturbing birds. They quacked and chirped all through the evening, and some perched at the garage busying with their beaks. The drive-in of Richard blew them off.
She managed rising from her recliner and attempted a smile at him that ended with him pecking her brow.
“Enjoying the weather?” he asked as they went inside. “You’ve bought your wedding gown?” He placed his briefcase on the arm of a chair.
“I’ll do that soon, when we’ve fixed a date.”
“You fix one.”
That would surely come up. It was next in line. After proposal, it was the fixing of wedding date, after that, the wedding. Then after nine months, the questions.
And then, the conflicts. That was the whole sequence.
Wedding dates talks ruled the evening.
The white wedding, first Saturday of April, and the traditional rites, a day before the white.
Wedding dates changed nothing. What was a wedding without children? All because of that bastard—Bakare Damijo.