“You’re not in-love with me Sonia,” Irvin said, stressing every syllable in an attempt to drive the point home. They were still parked in the middle of Great East Road, but fortunately for them, there was little to no traffic to worry about. Still, Irvin put the car back into drive, silently praying for the long day to finally come to an end.
“Who are you to tell me what I can and cannot feel?” Sonia countered. She wiped her tears with her hands and reclined her seat as if she had no care in the world. Irvin looked at her for a few seconds, shook his head in disbelief and then turned his attention back on the road.
He had hoped that once Sonia became aware of the truth, her little crush or infatuation would go away. Unfortunately for him, she appeared more determined in her resolve to get his attention now more than ever. Whatever feelings she thought she had for him weren’t mere tantrums of à teenager, Irvin suspected. The girl clearly had a lot of issues going on and if Irvin wanted to avoid potential problems in future, he would need to get to the root cause of it all. And that might just be his father.
“Sonia,” Irvin said after a few good minutes had gone by. “I’m your brother. Whether you like it or not, we have the same father. That means that you can’t have romantic feelings for me. It’s unnatural. Besides, you don’t even know me. So you can’t call whatever you’re feeling love. And I don’t mean to belittle your feelings when I say they’re nothing but a simple crush. It’s normal, happens to the best of us. Just keep reminding yourself of who we are and in no time, you’ll be back to your senses.”
“Why does everyone want to tell me what to do? Even you Irvin! You hardly know me but here you are giving me instructions on what I should and shouldn’t feel. You’re just like my parents. None of you care whatsoever about how I feel. Do this Sonia. Oh no, you can’t do that Sonia. That’s all I hear. It’s so unfair! ”
While she was talking, Irvin reached for his cell phone and dialed his driver’s number on speaker.
“Who are you calling?” Sonia asked in a panic.
Irvin gave her a disconcerted look. “I’m calling my driver,” he said, shaking his head. “Who did you think-“
“Hello Mr Irvin,” a male voice came through the phone.
“Hey Mr Enock. I’m very sorry for calling you this late, but I need a quick ride from somewhere. Are you available?”
“Yes, yes sir,” the driver said. “I’m always available for you sir. Where can I pick you up from?”
“I’m sending you a location right now, check your phone,” Irvin said. “Have you received it?” He asked after a few seconds.
“Yes I have sir. I’m actually very close to the place right now.”
“Fantastic. Meet me there in the next ten minutes.” He cut the line.
“My mother hates you and your mother,” Sonia said before Irvin could even put the phone down.
“Why would she hate us?” Irvin asked. “She’s the one who ended up married to the man while my mother was forced out of the picture.”
“Is that what your mother told you? That my mother stole dad from her?”
“My mother never tells me anything about her past relationship with my father,” Irvin answered. “The little I know is from inferences I’ve picked up here and there. Moreover, it was my father who pretty much told me that he left my mother to be with yours. If anyone should be mad at someone here, it should be me and mother. “
Sonia said nothing in return. It had been easier all these years to hate the woman who was responsible for her father’s lack of affection towards her mother. Not once had she ever considered the feelings of the woman who had been forced to give up on the man she loved because society thought she was not a suitable match for him. Now that she was facing a somewhat similar situation, she could relate to the woman at a much deeper level. No matter how genuine and innocently deep her feelings for Irvin were, no one could ever understand them, not even Irvin himself.
It’s unnatural. That’s what Irvin had called them. But does it mean that just because her feelings are unnatural then they don’t exist? If they didn’t exist…if they were merely a figment of her imagination, then why was her heart melting Like molten at the mere sight of him, and at the same time breaking into tiny little pieces at the thought of him never returning her affections? Why should she be forced to recognize a biological bond between her and Irvin that the same society frowning upon her feelings would not have an easy time recognizing, let alone accept a union between two people they considered unfit for each other? Why should she be the only one forced to acknowledge that?
“You’re too quiet,” Irvin said. “In any case, your home should be around the corner. Your mother must be very worried.”
“How is it so easy for you to accept things as they are?” Sonia asked. “Aren’t you angry? Don’t you want to give the grown-ups a piece of your mind?”
“I don’t think any of them wanted things to turn out the way they did, he replied.”And, in as much as I don’t know the whole story, I know enough to conclude that our parents did what they thought was best for everyone at that time.”
“Are you always such a goody two shoes? Gosh, you’re so boring!”
Irvin chuckled. “I’m sure I would be extremely boring for someone your age. Now you see why you should give up on that little crush of yours? I’m way too old and boring for you, besides the obvious reasons.” Just then, something on the road ahead caught Irvin’s attention. He squinted his eyes and peered closer to the windshield to have a good look.” Is that your mum waiting by the road? “
Sonia followed the direction of Irvin’s gaze. “That’s definitely my mother,” she confirmed, her face breaking into a mischievous smile as she sat back down. “She’s gonna be so shocked when she sees you.” She laughed out loud.
“Does she know what I look like?” Irvin asked.
“Dad sent her some pictures of you. He thinks it’s such a neat idea that the two of us become buddies.”
A short distance away, Shelly was pacing back and forth across the street. “I can’t see her face from here but her body language tells me shes a very pissed off woman,” Irvin said. She must have identified the car as it got closer because she stepped out of the way and started waving at the car.
Irvin brought the car to a stop right in front of Shelly who immediately walked over to the driver’s side to yank the door open. “Who the hell are you!?” Shelly yelled. Before Irvin could respond, Shelly’s face contorted into one of recognition. “You,” she muttered. “How did-”
On the other side, Sonia had just stepped out of the car and banged the door shut behind her. “I thought you said you wanted us to become friends, mother,” Sonia said as she walked over to where her mother was now standing, à few feet away from the vehicle as the tall Irvin disembarked.
Shelly could clearly make out every inch of the young man’s profile thanks to the two lights mounted on top of the wall of either side of the gate. She did not need extra help identifying those eyes, the nose, and lips despite the facial hair around them. This was indeed her ex-husband’s son. He was the spitting image of William twenty years ago.
“Good evening ma’am,” Irvin tipped his head apologetically in her direction. He didn’t know what he was sorry for, but there was something about the look in the woman’s eyes that made him feel sorry for a lot of things he could not put a finger on.
“You look just like him,” the words fell from Shelly’s lips before she could stop them.
Not sure how to respond, Irvin kept his gaze down and nervously ran his fingers through his ever impeccably styled and curled razor-flat short hair.
“Did you know my daughter before today?” Shelly asked.
“I did, yes,” Irvin answered, finally looking up. “I ran into her a couple of times, but even before then, I knew who she was because my mother told me a bit about my dad’s family.”
“That’s not the whole truth Irvin,” Sonia challenged him. “Why don’t you tell my mother here exactly what’s going on between us?”
“Sonia,” Irvin said in a clipped tone.
Shelly was looking from one to the other, a trepidacious look assailing her features. “What does Sonia mean when she says-“
“It’s nothing ma’am,” Irvin quickly jumped in to explain. “It’s nothing serious. I just happened to meet your daughter a few times and she tried to make us friends without knowing we were actually related.”
Shelly looked like a huge weight had just been lifted off her shoulders. However, her relief was short-lived thanks to a daughter who seemed to take absolute pleasure in watching her mother unravel to shreds before her.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Shelly asked.
“What do you think it means?” Sonia asked sarcastically.
“I think this is a conversation you should have between the two of you,” Irvin said to Shelly. “I’ve done my part to try and reason with Sonia, perhaps you stand à better chance of getting to her to see sense since you’re her mother.”
“I should get going now,” Irvin said, watching his cab come to a stop on the other side of the road. “It’s late and I have morning classes. It was really nice to meet you ma’am. I hope the next time we meet, it’ll be under better circumstances. You both have a goodnight.” He tipped his head slightly once more and before either could put in a word, he ran across the street and got into the car.” Drive, now.” He said to Enock before he could even shut the door.
” What did that young man mean by making you see sense? ” Shelly asked once they were alone.
Instead of answering her mother, Sonia turned and walked away, leaving her mother with no choice but to drive the car back inside. By the time Shelly made it into the house, Sonia had safely locked herself in her room. Shelly pounded repeatedly on the door until Sonia was forced to open it for fear her mother might leave a hole in it.
“I know you take pleasure in hurting me Sonia, but your own step-brother? How can you have a crush on him of all people?” Shelly cried.
“Who said its a crush?” Sonia asked.
“You mean it’s not like that?” There was a hint of hope in Shelly’s voice. Perhaps it had just been all a misunderstanding.
“I love him mother,” Sonia said.
“If it will make you happy, he doesn’t like me like that,” Sonia said. “Just like you he thinks it’s a childish crush that will go away soon. But he’s wrong.”
“Sonia, he is your brother!” Shelly cried.
“Do I look like I care about that!?” Sonia yelled back. “I also wish I didn’t like him as much as I do,” she cried. “When I realized who he was, I thought if I looked at him once, I wouldn’t feel anything. But no mum. My whole body, mind and soul are consumed by him. I see him in my sleep and he consumes my thoughts all day. When he grabbed my hand to force me into the car earlier, ” she touched the part where Irvin’s hand had been. Her whole face lighting up into a smile, including the tears filled up in
” You should have felt the fire that ran through my veins at his touch mum, ” Sonia said.” If we were truly not meant to be, my body shouldn’t react like that. If my feelings are so wrong, then why does my body come alive everytime I think about him? Why does my heart beat so fast that I feel like dying everytime I lay my eyes on him?” She sobbed.
Sonia’s tears were enough to prove to her mother that whatever she was going through was something that could not be wished away by a screaming and shouting fest. Antagonizing her daughter any further would only fuel the rebelliousness in her, thus magnifying her infatuation into something bigger than what it actually was. This was not a problem she could handle on her own. The person who had set all this sickness in motion was going to have to fix this as soon as yesterday.
Shelly closed the distance between herself and her daughter and wrapped her arms around her. Twenty minutes later, the sixteen year old slept soundly in her mother’s arms after having cried herself to sleep. Shelly carefully removed herself from the bed and quietly shut the door behind her. She went downstairs into the living room and called William on the home telephone.
“Shelly?” William said.
“Will,” she could not hold back the tears the moment she heard William’s voice.
“Shelly are you crying? Is something wrong?… Say something you’re making me worried.”
Shelly took a moment to composé herself before attempting to speak. “You need to fix this mess you’ve created Will. This is all your fault.”
“Did something happen?” William asked.
“Your daughter cried herself to sleep because she thinks she’s in-love with your son, her step-brother, Irvin.”
There was silence on William’s end of the line for what felt like a minute. And then, “I think I heard wrongly. Shelly, did you say what I think you said?”
“I only found out today that she’s known the boy for a while now, but she didn’t know who he was until I informed her. She completely lost her mind after that, stole my car and drove to the boy’s place in the middle of the night. Moments later, he drove her back home and asked that I speak to her about her crush.”
“Wait,” William said. “Irvin is aware of this… Whatever this thing is?”
“He is but he says he’s failed to convince her to give up her infatuation. But Will, that’s not even the problem here. The problem is our daughter. She’s somehow convinced herself that this isn’t just a crush. She truly believes she’s in-love with her own step-brother. I cannot even bring myself to repeat the things she said about how he makes her feel.”
“I can’t believe this is happening,” William said. “Do you have any idea what a field day the press will have if this gets out?”
“Will!” Shelly screamed before realizing she might catch her daughter’s attention. “I can’t believe you,” she said in a low voice. “This is your daughter we are talking about here and yet it feels like you’re more worried about what this might do to your political career.” She hissed. “What was I even thinking calling you about this? It’s not like you’ve ever been a father to you. Good night William. “
” Wait Shelly, don’t hung up, please, ” William begged.” I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to come off like that. Of course I’m more worried about Sonia’s welfare than anything else. I just meant that her situation might become even worse if this gets out before we’ve had time to help her process everything. She’s at such a tender age, and her problems will only get worse and magnified with the media’s interest.”
Shelly wasn’t sure whether to believe him or not. William was a professional manipulator. It came with the territory. But how was she to know when he was off as a politician and on as a man, husband, or father, when politics literally ran through his veins? Several times in the past he had put his career above everything else. That couldn’t just change over night.
“I’ll pass through early morning before she leaves for school,” William said. “And Shelly… I’m really sorry for putting you through all this. I wish-“
“Goodnight Will,” she cut him off and cut the line immediately.
An hour after getting into bed, Irvin was still wide awake. Despite all the drama that had happened, there was one person he couldn’t seem to get off his mind, Mara. Now that it was confirmed she would be working with his father, he wondered what it meant for the two of them. Would she care that he was her client’s son? Would the age difference matter to her?
Irvin picked up his phone and opened the blank chat between him and Mara. He had planned on calling her about dinner later in the day but now that he was still awake with a mind filled with images of her, he couldn’t help himself. Still, 3am was both too late and too early to text or call. He was about to put his phone down when her online status came on. Irvin grabbed the opportunity and shot her a text.
⬅️Hey, you’re up.
His text was blueticked right away.
➡️Who’s this? Came the reply.
Blueticks. No response. Still online.
Two minutes later,
Blueticks, no response. Offline.
⬅️Blueticked ? Should I be worried?➡️ It’s very late Irvin, go to bed.
⬅️I can’t sleep.
➡️Then bother someone else, especially someone your age.
⬅️Its actually good morning.
➡️I don’t care. Goodbye.
⬅️Have dinner with me tonight. Please.
⬅️If you say something about my age, I’ll tell my father that I like you. And if you turn my invitation down, I’ll tell him the same thing. As you might be aware, I’m young, meaning, I’m shamelessly childish.
➡️Are you blackmailing me right now?
⬅️ Would you prefer I do it later…maybe after we’ve recorded a session together? 😉
➡️SMH. I can’t believe this.
⬅️ Mara, if it feels like blackmail, then you must be guilty of something.
➡️Really, how old are you?
⬅️Twenty. My father already told you.
➡️ I’ve never met a twenty year old who’s as manipulative as you. It must run in the family.
⬅️You’ll never meet anyone like me in the whole world Mara. Send me your address.
⬅️Don’t men pick up their women for dinner in this country?
➡️I’m not your woman Irvin. I’m old enough to be your mother.
⬅️Say that to my face while I make you cum from just a mere goodnight kiss Mara. I’m not your son. I want you. I’ll pick you up at six.
➡️I haven’t given you my address.
⬅️It sounds to me like you want me to prove myself. I’ll play your little game. Let’s see how long you can keep it up. See you tomorrow. Goodnight.
➡️It’s morning already.
⬅️I’m glad to know I have your full attention.