“I heard what you said,” Lebogang had his hands in his pockets, one leg crossed over the other and leaning against his car outside Evelyn’s house.
With Lebo’s jacket on, Evelyn wrapped herself tightly to keep herself warm.
She threw Lebo a puzzled expression. “What I said? When?” she asked.
“To that woman,” Lebo replied. “I didn’t mean to…but I heard some of the things you and the other woman talked about at the hotel.”
Evelyn dropped her arms and froze in trepidation.
“I had seen her grab you while I was on the phone so I followed you. I didn’t mean to eavesdrop…I was just worried that you might be in danger so….”
“How much did you hear?” Evelyn asked, tears welling up in her eyes. Why was everything spiralling so out of control?
“I heard enough Eva,” Lebo told her. “Enough to know the relationship between you and that woman.”
Evelyn’s tears poured without pause. Is this what the end looked like? She lamented.
“Eva?” Lebo quickly closed the distance between them and held her in his arms.
Evelyn was now sobbing hard against his chest
Lebo did everything he could to soothe her and it took over ten minutes to finally get her to calm down.
“What is really troubling you Eva?” Lebo asked once again. They were now seated in his car as it had gotten colder outside.
“I know we just met but I can promise you this, you can trust me.” He implored her.
“I know I can trust you Lebo,” Evelyn replied. “I have no doubt about that….”
“But?” he added for her.
“But, as you might have seen or heard for yourself, this is something very complicated. Everything in me is dying to talk to someone…to talk to you about what’s going on but the price I would have to pay for doing something like that is far more than whatever else I am going through right now.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” He asked.
“Just that,” she supplied. “This is way more than just an estranged relationship between a mother and daughter. There are other things surrounding that one little fact that would turn my already crumbling world upside if word of it got out…or if any of those people got wind that I told someone about it.”
“How bad can it be?” Lebo asked. “Isn’t she your mother?”
“You heard the way she talked to me, did she sound like a mother to me?”
Lebo shook his head. “Not in the slightest. She sounded more like your nemesis.”
“What if I tried to find out on my own? Will that also out you in danger?”
Evelyn turned her body fully to look at him. “Why do you want to know these things so bad Lebo? Is this just a case of curiosity or there’s more. We just met, I don’t understand why you would want to get so deeply involved in my affairs.”
Lebo took her hands into his and held on to them. “I know this will make me sound like the biggest fool in the world but, something happened to me the moment I saw you walk out that door and approach me.” He was pointing to the door of her house.
“I have met a lot of beautiful women in my life but I have never before met anyone like you Eva,” he continued. “When I saw the things that were happening to you at that hotel…when I saw you cry…I felt something break inside me.
“I wanted to protect you. I want to protect you. I want to be that one person in your life you can run to when things get hard. I am not yet sure what all this means but all I know is that I don’t want today to be the last time we will be seeing each other.”
The whole time he was speaking, Evelyn was looking into his eyes. All the things that his lips could not tell her, his eyes did. She wanted nothing but to drown in the sincerity swimming from there, to stop the hands of time and engrave that moment in time onto her heart so she would turn to it in her deepest despair.
There was something comforting and healing in that pair of eyes. She didn’t know him well but she suddenly wanted to know everything about him. She wanted to trust and believe him. She wanted to hear him say he needed her…that he wanted her.
And then Lebo started kissing her, hard, wet and full-on lips on lips. Everything was happening so fast that Evelyn could not keep tabs on her emotions that were spinning out of control.
The first few seconds when she realized what was going on, her first instinct was to push him away, however, there was something else happening to her, a strange feeling coursing through her body that brought all her brain activity to a sudden halt.
She didn’t want to lose that feeling.
If she could cling to it forever, she would do so with every breath she took.
Lebo’s hand was gripping the back of her head as he kissed her, deeper and deeper.
Overwhelmed by all the strange yet welcome sensations coursing through her veins, Evelyn cupped Lebo’s face and started kissing him back.
She wanted more…more of his lips…and more of him.
That was until she felt his cold yet warm tongue down on her nipple.
And the hands of time started ticking again.
Reality hit Evelyn hard across the face. The merciless cold winter night bruised her face unapologetically when Lebo reluctantly pulled his face away from her to look at her.
“I’m sorry,” Lebo drunken eyes apologized to her. “I didn’t mean to….”
“Its fine,” Evelyn forced a smile on her face, her cheeks blushing red, whether from what had just happened between them or from the cold, Lebo could not be sure.
“I didn’t mean to startle you,” she said. “It’s just that…everything was happening so fast….”
“I wasn’t going to….” Lebo quickly went for damage control. He had not meant for things to escalate that quickly.
“I know,” Evelyn tried smiling again to reassure him. “We were both caught up in the moment. It’s late now,” she was looking over at her door. “I think I should go inside.”
She reached for the door but Lebo reached over and placed his hand on hers. “I don’t want you to think that I am forcing you Eva,” he was saying. “But I just need you to know that I will always be here if you ever need to talk.”
Evelyn wanted to remind him that he won’t always be there…that he would soon go back to his home in Botswana and completely forget about her…. She wanted to tell him that if he discovers the truth, he might not be able to look at her the way he was looking at her right there.
Lebo did not miss the conflict in her eyes as she gazed at him.
He leaned forward, planted a kiss on her forehead and told her, “wait,” while he went around the car to hold the door open for her.
“Thanks,” Evelyn said as she stepped out of the vehicle. “Thank you for going with me tonight. I really had a great time despite everything.”
“You really mean that?” Lebo was looking at her expectantly.
“Yes I do,” Evelyn assured him. “You were everything a perfect date should be.”
Lebo was grinning from ear to ear. “I hope that means that there will be a second date, right” He was expectant again.
Evelyn was smiling back at him. “We’ll see….” She said.
“I heard a yes in my head,” he said excitedly.
Evelyn only chuckled.
“I want to hug you right now but I won’t. I don’t trust myself that I would let you go inside after that. You should go in, I will leave once I see that you are safely inside.”
“Good night Lebo.” Evelyn smiled, took off his jacket and handed it over to him. She then turned and walked the short distance to her door.
Once at the door, she stopped to look back at him and waved.
A very ecstatic Lebo waved back and motioned for her to get inside.
Lebo left the moment he was sure Evelyn was inside.
As he was turning at the corner of the street leading to Evelyn’s house, Lebogang drove passed another vehicle heading in the direction he was coming from.
With his mind dancing from the aftermath of that passionate kiss with Evelyn, Lebo was too absentminded to check the passengers in the car that had just passed because if he had done so, he would have turned back around and rushed to Evelyn’s rescue.
However, Kelvin’s furry-flashed face indicated that he had seen the smiling face of the driver that had just driven past them as he turned to get another look at the driver.
“Step on that thing won’t you?” Kelvin snapped at his driver once Lebo’s vehicle had disappeared from view.
Evelyn had just turned on the lights in the living room and was going to check on Thando who was a heavy sleeper when she heard tires screeching outside. She paused by the bedroom door to concentrate.
The lights shining through the window told her that there was someone in front of their house.
Thinking that it was Lebogang who had returned for some reason, Evelyn ran back to the door, unlocked it and swung it wide open only to find a furious Kelvin standing in front of her.
Without saying a word, he grabbed her by the hand and pulled her out of the house.
Evelyn wanted to scream the moment her bare feet stepped on the cold ground outside but she knew better than to attract the attention of Thando who would obviously demand to know everything that was going on with Kelvin.
Thando knowing that part of her life would only complicate things further. Thando’s rationality always disappeared whenever she sensed some injustice taking place around her. Evelyn could only imagine the amount of havoc her best friend would raise if she discovered Kelvin’s true identity.
Kelvin swung the back door of the cab open and pushed Evelyn inside before getting in to sit next to her.
“Where are you taking me?” A petrified Evelyn asked.
She was very much aware of the wrath she had awakened in her proclaimed Master and she could only imagine the things he had in store for her.
It was while Kelvin was dragging Evelyn to the car when Cassie who was passing in another vehicle heading out to the club with her friends saw them.
“Mwansa stop!” Cassie shouted to their driver.
“What is it Cassie?” Her friend Chipego who was also Mwansa’s girlfriend asked as the car parked to the side.
“You look like you’ve just seen a ghost,” said Tanya who was seated next to her.
“There’s something I need to check,” Cassie informed her befuddled friends.
Just then, the cab passed right next to them and Cassie managed to get a clear view of Kelvin who seemed to be having some sort of struggle with the girl she and Moola had confronted a few weeks ago.
“That son of a bitch,” Cassie cussed out loud.
“What is it?” Tanya asked. “Is it someone you know?”
“Let’s just say that it’s someone I used to know because he is going to be a dead man after this.” She took out her phone from her clutch bag and dialled Moola’s line.
Evelyn was trying to get the door on her side open so she could jump out of the vehicle but Kelvin was watching her every move.
They struggled for a while as she tried attempted to free her hands from Kelvin’s grasp before she finally concluded that struggling against him was energy being used in futility. He was too strong for her.
“You better calm yourself down before you make me lose whatever little control I still have on my temper.” He sternly warned her.
Apart from her heavy breathing, Evelyn remained silent the rest of the way.
Kelvin had not spoken another word to her until they were finally inside his home.
Once he was done locking the door, he turned to her, laid his hands on her shoulders and forced her back against the wall next to the door.
“Who is he?” Was the first question he fired at her as fireworks shot from his eyes. His face was just inches away from hers and he could feel her trembling body and her fast beating heart.
Instead of answering, the only thing Evelyn could think of doing was cry.
“Don’t!” Kelvin clenched his jaw in furry and hd his fist out, ready to pounce whenever he lost control. “Don’t show me those tears,” he said between clenched teeth. “Don’t.”
“I am sorry,” Evelyn said in-between sobs. “I am sorry Kelvin.”
“You are sorry for what?” He roared. “Tell me who the hell he is!”
“He’s just a friend,” Evelyn said.
“That’s not what he said.” Kelvin said.
Evelyn could see the muscles on Kelvin’s face. He was speaking in a controlled tone, each word carrying more weight than supposed to and his jaw kept clenching and unclenching.
He had never hit her before…but could this be the day he finally started?
“I know,” Evelyn tried to turn her face away from his furious gaze but she had no room to move. “He only said that out of spite. Him and I are just friends. I swear.”
“Then why did you say you were sorry?”
“Because I knew that you were upset when you saw us together.”
“Us?” Kelvin scoffed. “So now you and him are US? What are you not telling me Eva? What did you do with that son of a bitch? And you better not lie to me!”
Evelyn closed her eyes, unable to tell him a lie whilst looking at him.
“Open your eyes,” Kelvin caught on to her. “Open your eyes and answer me Eva. What did you do with that guy?”
“Nothing, we did nothing.” She still had her eyes shut.
“Eva?” Kelvin roared into her face. “Look at me when you speak. Open your eyes.”
No longer able to control herself, Evelyn gave up her fight and sobbed, slowly dropping to the floor as she brought her hands to cover her face.
“Nooo….” Kelvin was slowly moving away from her, shaking his head in disbelief. He grabbed the closest thing he could lay his hands on and threw it on the floor.
Evelyn almost jumped as the pieces of what had once been a beautiful salad bowl hit the floor and flung in all directions.
“Get up,” Kelvin went at her, his shoes stepping all over the broken glass as he grabbed her by the hand and dragged her upstairs to his bedroom.
In her bare feet, Evelyn left a trail of blood on the livingroom floor all the way into Kelvin’s bedroom.
Unaware of her pain, Kelvin pushed her onto his bed and started ripping her dress apart. In no time, Evelyn lay on her back in nothing but her lingerie, crying, panting and wincing in both pain and fear.
Kelvin was leaning in to force his lips on her when he saw something in her eyes that made him pause.
“Why have you stopped fighting me?” He asked her.
“It hurts,” Evelyn said.
“What hurts? I haven’t even started.”
She pointed to her feet and that’s when he saw the blood on his beddings.
“What the…. where did this come from?”
“The broken glass,” Evelyn answered.
“Shit!” he cussed before moving from on top of her to look at her feet. “Gosh you have cuts all over your feet!”
“Why didn’t you say something goddammit?”
“I tried to….”
“Wait there,” he got up from his knees and headed to his bathroom. He appeared a few seconds later with a First Aid box kit in his hands.
He found her still laying on her back, groaning in pain.
“Sit up,” he told her as he helped her do so, leading her feet towards the edge of the bed.
He sat down by the bed to get a good look at her feet as he disinfected the wounds and he heard Evelyn say, “I can do it.”
“Just sit,” he said sternly and continued administering first aid.
When he was done, he sighed heavily and moved so that he was now his back against the bed, with his head bowed in resignation while Evelyn watched from the bed.
They stayed like that for five minutes, no words spoken between them.
“Kelvin,” she was the first to break the silence.
“UM,” Kelvin answered his back still to her.
“I am sorry….” she said, almost in a whisper.
Kelvin slowly got up from the floor and went to kneel on the other side of the bed, his eyes full of unshed tears.
Confused by his reaction, Evelyn turned her body to face him.
“What are you sorry for Evelyn?” he asked her.
“I don’t know Kelvin,” she answered honestly. “I am just sorry that I made you upset.”
“I am sorry too,” he said, his tears finally giving way.
“It’s okay, I understand. You didn’t mean to hurt me, you were upset.”
“Not that,” he said.
“What?” Evelyn asked.
“I am sorry…but I think that I am in-love with you Eva.”
And then she felt the room suddenly go cold and quite. A needle could have dropped and she would have heard it land on the carpeted floor. The walls started to spin around her.
“Eva?” Kelvin was looking at the tranced expression on her face. “Did you hear what I said?”
She was nodding and then shaking her head at the same time.
“I said that I think that ….”
“I heard you the first time,” she quickly cut him off, not trusting that she would be able to keep her sanity if she heard those words a second time.
There was something about hearing someone say those words directly to her that seemed to shake her to her very roots.
Why did the first person to tell her such words be Kelvin of all people? Even if she wanted to brush his words aside, the damage had already been done; he had already said those words out loud.
“Why?” She asked him. “You hate me.”
“I know,” he said. “I think that I love you as much as I hate you.”
“You are just confused. You don’t know what you are talking about.” She tried to argue with him.
“No, I am not confused anymore.” Kelvin countered. “I have thought about for a long time and it’s true, I am in-love with you.”
“Please don’t say that?” She begged.
“Do my words make you nervous Eva?” He asked.
“No, they just make me uncomfortable.” She answered.
“Why do they make you uncomfortable?”
“Because this is you we are talking about.” She replied. “You have invested so much time and energy trying to punish me for being my mother’s daughter and now you are confused. You are confusing those feelings of anger and resentment for something else.
“I understand why you might think you have such feelings after seeing me with another man but that’s only because you think of me as your property…something that belongs to you. We all feel some ounce of jealous when we see something we feel belongs to us with someone else.”
“Please don’t reduce my feelings to something so trivial,” Kelvin said. “Do you think I like feeling this way? God I hate the fact that you exist. Every time I look at you I think of my sister and what she went through. I see you and I just feel like kicking something…kicking you. My blood boils when I think of your mother and I can’t seem to think straight.
“I have these ideas in my head of how I should punish you, make you pay for everything my family went through…I always have it worked out in my head but every time I see you…every time I look into your eyes…all those feelings go away and something else takes over.
“At first it’s true, I just wanted to possess you, to make you mine even if by force by the truth is that I was fighting hard to keep these feelings away because they disrupted all the rational calculations I have made in my head. I told myself that there’s no way I can be in-love with the daughter of the woman that killed my sister and caused the death of my father.
“I tried to fight…. I tried to hurt you, to hate you…thought that maybe if you hated me like that, then I would hate you more in return and feel so remorse over hurting you. I thought that would help clear the confusion in my head.
“But when I saw you at that hotel on the arm of another man, I knew without a doubt that what I felt for you was something I have been desperately trying not to avoid admitting from the moment I met you. I know its absurd yes, I know…but I won’t lie to myself any more. I am in-love with you Eva.”
“No you are not,” Evelyn insisted, turning to look away from him but Kelvin moved to be in front of her again.
“Look me in the eye and tell me what you see in there Eva,” he said, taking her hands into his. She tried pulling away but he held her in place.
“Look into my eyes Eva,” he pleaded.
She was still looking away. “The only thing I am going to see in there is the desperation of a man who wants to use me to avenge his sister’s face. Why not save yourself the embarrassment?”
“I deserve that,” Kelvin said. “I deserve that.” He repeated.
“Just out of curiosity,” she was finally looking at him. “How exactly did you see this scene ending in your head? That you confess your love for me and I jump straight into your arms?”
“I didn’t think that far. I just knew I had to tell you. It wasn’t easy for me to come clean but if I didn’t tell you how I really felt, I was afraid I might lose you.”
“Lose me? You’ve never had me Kelvin. The only reason I am sitting her half naked in your bed is because you forced me to.”
“Which is why I am going to stop,” he announced.
“What do you mean?” Evelyn asked after a moment.
“I mean that I am going to stop forcing you to be my woman. I have a lot of issues against you yes but I will not force you to do anything you don’t want any more. I am just begging you that you think about what I just told you.”
“And what will happen after I think about it Kelvin? Have you forgotten that you will be getting married very soon?”
Kelvin seemed at a loss for words. He had actually forgotten about his own engagement.
Evelyn started to laugh. “Are you kidding me?” She asked him. “Did you actually forget about the fact that you are not a single man? And not just that, according to you, this wedding has a lot to do with your revenge. Were you planning on turning me into your willing mistress with that insincere declaration of love?”
“It’s not like that Evelyn.”
“Then what is it like Kelvin?”
“Yes I will be marrying Moola but that’s not out of love and you know it. The one I love is you.”
“So you marry your enemy’s second born daughter and turn her first born into your mistress? Wow, isn’t that the best revenge ever?”
“It’s not like that.”
“That’s how it looks from where am standing.”
“What if I give up on the marriage and not marry Moola? I can do that for you Eva.”
“Then it will be breaking the heart of your enemy’s second born daughter and marrying her first born daughter. I think they are all still in the same bracket.”
“Then what do you want me to do to prove to you that my feelings are real?”
“I want you to leave me the hell alone. I have never done anything bad to you Kelvin so I don’t deserve such treatment from you. I don’t care about your revenge or your marriage to Moola. I just need you to leave me out of it. Please.”
“I can’t do that Eva. I need you in my life, sincerely.” He brought her hands to his mouth and kissed them. “Please Eva, just give me a chance.”
Evelyn tried to withdraw her hands but Kelvin was still holding on to them. “Do you know that you doing this actually means that you don’t care about me in the slightest? The moment your mother discovers who I really am, do you think she will let me live? I checked at that orphanage where there was the boy they mistook for me…I found out how they discovered his dead body on the side of the street not far from the orphanage.
“That was no accident. Witnesses saw that car go after him even when he desperately tried to make a run for it. An innocent little boy was killed all because your mother thought it was me. What do you think she will do to me when she discovers that her only begotten son is planning on ruining all the plans she’s put in place just so he can be with the daughter of the woman she is in the process of ruining. If you really loved me as much as you claim you do, you would not be putting me in such a position Kelvin.”
Kelvin finally dropped her hands and got up on his feet, his two fingers rubbing his closed eyes as he lost himself in deep thought. He then walked over to the nearest wall and started hitting his head against it.
“What do you think you are doing?” Evelyn asked. “Have you lost your mind?”
“I think so,” Kelvin answered, still hitting his head slowly against the wall.
“Stop it,” Evelyn snapped. “You are giving me a headache.
And Kelvin stopped. He turned around to face her. “What if we ran away?” He suggested, a glimmer of hope suddenly touching his eyes.
“I knew it, you’ve finally lost your mind.” Evelyn said.
“I am very serious Eva. What if we went to some place so far that my mother can’t find us?”
Evelyn scoffed. “Sometimes you act like you have a four digit IQ but now you are acting like it’s in the negatives. Who’s we Kelvin? I don’t have those kind of feelings towards you.”
“I know you don’t and I blame myself for that. But if you can get to know me all over again, I am not such a bad guy Eva. I made a few terrible mistakes with you but that’s not really who I am.”
“Besides the feelings part,” Evelyn was saying. “There’s your mother. She is the only family you have. Do you honestly think that you can fly across the world and be at peace knowing very well that you plunged a knife into her heart?
“Or, that you did so with the daughter of the woman responsible for taking away her daughter and husband? Even if your mother was your worst enemy, no son would do something like that to his own mother.”
Kelvin looked knocked-out, like all the fight had just been taken from him by those few words from Evelyn’s lips. He held his hand to his forehead and allowed his knees to give way to exhaustion.
He was sitting on the floor looking dejected and hopeless.
And then there was loud banging on his door, the kind that would collapse the target building if prolonged.
“Kelvin, I know you are in there with that whore. Open this door right now!” Moola yelled from outside.
Kelvin and Evelyn gaped at each other in shock as Moola banged her life away against the door.