‘Ruth. Where’s Naomi?’
‘Oh! You know her. She’s off on one of her sexy lingerie “shopping sprees”.
I roll my eyes and continue painting my nails. Peach is such a great colour on me and I love that I don’t have to fix my nails because of how long and beautiful my natural nails are.
‘You know, I really don’t know why she bothers with them. It’s not like the lingerie makes them tip us extra.’
‘Ah! If that was the case I would gladly spend more money on underwear than on actual food!’
Ruth doesn’t laugh often but when she does, it’s so similar to Naomi’s. When I asked her why she doesn’t laugh more often she said our situation is not conducive for constant laughter and we aren’t clowns. I never asked again.
‘Ruth! Ola! Open the door! Sharp sharp!’
Ruth and I exchange looks. We know Naomi is usually excited after buying lingerie but she’s never been this excited.
Careful not to mess up my nails, I walk towards the door using the heels of my feet and push back the bolt on it with my palm. Naomi storms in like a whirlwind as soon as she notices.
‘Oh my god! Oh my god! Oh my god!’
‘Hey! You almost ruined my nails!’
I say this while closing the door that Naomi was obviously too busy almost pushing me down to do. Then I turn to her. ‘What’s got you all hot and bothered?’
I watch her throw her shopping bag carelessly at a corner. My eyebrows rise in shock. The happiness definitely isn’t about her new lingerie. It seems Ruth shares my opinion cause we are both looking from the shopping bag to Naomi expectantly.
‘Well?’ I hear Ruth ask but Naomi remains silent. A silence she can barely contain because it’s so obvious to us she’s about to burst.
Naomi is fond of this thing where she pauses for maximum dramatic effect because according to her, we don’t have enough surprises in our life. I think it’s mostly because she loves drama.
After what I’ve been through, a life without surprises is ideal for me.
‘For the love of all that we hold dear speak woman!’
It seems Ruth is more curious than I and it does the trick.
‘I saw him!’
I’m frowning. Naomi is staring right at me as she says this. Ruth asks the question at the tip of my tongue.
‘Who’s “him”?’ I ask.
‘The one you slept with.’
This makes me laugh. ‘You need to be more specific Naomi. I sleep with a lot of men.’
I’m back on the floor painting my nails. I shouldn’t have bothered with Naomi. The cause of her excitement are almost always not exciting. Naomi is obviously annoyed that I’m no longer interested in the conversation and pushes my back.
‘Look what you made me do!’ My nails are officially ruined.
I freeze. I know who Naomi saw. It’s been two weeks since that episode but I’ve not forgotten. It’s not easy to forget happenings that are out of the ordinary.
‘What’s “The Gentleman”? Is it the name of the store you bought your lingerie from?’
Ruth hasn’t caught on yet. I can’t say I’m surprised. Meeting one of our clients on the road isn’t completely unheard of, it’s just rare.
‘Nooooo! It’s not a what, it’s a who.’
I can hear the frustration in Naomi’s voice as she tries to explain to Ruth.
‘The Gentleman that was so nice to Ola.’
‘Ohhh. Well, that isn’t completely unusual. It’s very likely that our clients live around the area. Just the other day I saw…’
‘Yeah I know all that. But do they walk up to you and ask for your phone number?’
My eyes go wide and I stop trying to salvage my already ruined nails.
I don’t even need to look at Ruth. We both have the same expression etched on our face. I know this because I can hear in that one question. Naomi looks pleased she finally got our attention.
‘Start from the beginning.’ I finally say. My attention focusing on her. Naomi immediately switches to story mode.
‘I’m walking out of the shop and guess who I see?’
There’s this annoyed look on Naomi’s face. I couldn’t help myself. Who else would she be referring to? We all know who she’s talking about. It’s pointless trying to make us guess.
‘I don’t recognize him at all. It’s not like I’m the one who slept with him but he described you.’
I’m looking at Naomi as she says this. For whatever reason, she seems hopeful, like she’s expecting a big reaction out of me.
‘Yeah? So? It just means it was that good for him.’
‘I gave him your number.’
‘You did what?!’ I hear Ruth demand. We are both on the same page.
‘From what you said he seems to be a really good guy and he really wants to meet with…’
I can’t believe this. My mind is racing. I tune out Naomi’s voice. Why the fuck would she do that?! I get she’s a romantic at heart but this is just dumb even for her.
‘You had no right.’
Ruth says the words I’m thinking. It’s weird but it seems I’m more in sync with Ruth today than I’ve ever been since I met the sisters. I am vaguely aware of Ruth and Naomi arguing in the background as I calmly walk into my room. Naomi has managed to throw me into an episode I thought I had escaped.