Dawn caught me curled up in Eric’s arms, like a child who sought his mother’s comforting arms after a nightmare. I stared at the ceiling for some time, musing on the cosy feeling his warm arms gave me. I inhaled strongly. With a slow pace, I pulled my arms out of his grip, not wanting to wake him up. I sat up on the bed, glanced at his cute face which was quite in sleep. I admired his cuteness and facial hairs that relaxed on his chin like icing sugar would on a perfectly baked cake. I fluttered my eyes and shook my head. Eric shouldn’t have jumped at the offer of being my roommate. He should have resisted it. That way, Frank would still be with me and since he clearly hated anything about my type, I wouldn’t have a chance of doing anything silly. I sighed, shook my head the second time and stood up. I started towards the bathroom.
“How was your night?” Eric jolted me.
I paused. Took in a deep breath and turned. He was smiling, excited and happy. I gave him a blank stare, hoping he would tell me why he was feeling so lifted. But he kept smiling, beaming his sexy eyes that have no trace of sleep in it.
“My night was fine,” I replied since he would not quit smiling for a little explanation. “And why are you so lifted?” I threw in immediately.
“You,” he answered and jumped up from the bed. “Last night was awesome. I mean you gave me what I never imagined could be…”
“Okay, now you have to stop,” I hushed him with a faint chuckle. “I didn’t give you anything. You took it from me, forcefully and we later agreed that it will not happen again.” I paused, swallowed hard and looked at him as the smile disappeared from his face. “We also agreed to teach Ahmed a lesson, remember?” I chipped in.
“Yeah, you don’t need to remind me of all that. I know exactly what happened last night,” he said and headed to the bathroom, sad.
“Eric I am…”
“It’s okay,” he cut in. “I understand. Last night was a mistake and will never happen again. I get it.”
“Don’t sound like that. This is…”
“I get it Thony, really,” he said with a faint smile. Like a disappointed child, he footed into the bathroom and shut the door.
I slumped on the bed, confused and shocked, yet not disappointed. Although we agreed last night that what happened would never happen again, I knew within me that Eric never meant it. With the look in his eyes, the softness in his voice and the affection that adorned his touch, I just couldn’t stop thinking of how much of a trouble that I have plunged myself into. If only I pulled myself together, if only I left that room for him that night, I would still be held in high esteem in that house by everybody. But now, Franks knew my secret and Eric has me under his palms. I just didn’t know yet what he was capable of. But I knew how far a man would go to win his love back. Ahmed was a proof to that and I feared Eric would do worst. I sat on the bed, fist curled into each other, mind lost in thoughts and eyes staring at nothing in particular.
The bathroom door opened, bringing me back to reality. I fluttered my eyes. Eric was standing in front of the door, face and mouth washed. “You should take a bath,” he said. “I don’t think you did that last night?”
“Can you say anything without referencing last night?” I asked, feeling irritated at his constant reference to the ugly incident I was trying to forget. “It’s annoying,” I added, voice a little raised.
He froze in shock. Staring at me like I said something I wasn’t allowed to say. For seconds I regretted saying what I said. Fear gripped me. If Eric fell out of favour with me, he might talk. And anyone who hears his story, which I was sure he wasn’t going to tell as it happened, would definitely believe him. After all I was the one who never brought a girl home for three years and some months. It would be easier for them to believe that I was gay, which was in fact the truth, than consider the possibility of being seduced by a Casanova. I wanted to apologize. I wanted to tell him how irrational my words were. But something got my lips glued to the roof of my mouth. We stood, lost in thoughts while staring at each other.
A heavy knock came at the door and we startled. Our eyes flashed at the door and at each other’s face with same force.
“Eric!” Frank’s voice came. “Open up!” he said.
I turned at Eric who was as confused as I was, maybe even more. I saw fear all over his face. What happened last night did have a negative effect on him more than he was ready to accept. He wouldn’t want Frank or Ken to find out. I smiled within me. He was scared of the incident getting out just as I was. So I would stand my ground, talk to him the way I want and tame him to accept my terms and conditions. I sighed and strode towards the door.
“Wait,” he whispered. I stopped, turned to him and waited for whatever he wanted to say. “Do you thing he heard us?” he asked.
“Of course he didn’t,” I replied, wondering why he was so tensed.
“I am sorry,” he said. “I sorry for referring to last night, I promise it won’t happen again,” he added.
I was shocked, but I didn’t show it. I quietly garnered all the courage I could and replied back to him like a king assuring his subjects that everything will be fine. He nodded and I opened the door.
The look on Frank’s face was suspicious but I cared less. Unless he has been standing on that door longer than his knock came, he obviously did not hear anything.
“Good morning,” I greeted, so lifted that he scowled at me in confusion.
That would be me talking to him again since he decided to shut me out of his life.
“What can I do for you?” I added with a smile, heightening his confusion.
“Move out of the way,” he said, pushing me aside.
I scoffed and watched him go straight to the wardrobe, and after some seconds search, he returned with two shirts in his hands. While he headed for the door, I was confused at the whereabouts of Eric. I knew he was in the toilet but I didn’t understand why he would hide from Frank.
Before Frank locked the door behind him, he scanned the room again, like in search of something which supposed to be visible. I knew what that was and was not ready to quench his curiosity.
“Be fast Eric, we are late for school,” he shouted after a failed search and walked out, not waiting for a response.
I locked the door and rushed to the toilet.
“Don’t ever let them know what happened last night please,” Eric said to me immediately I opened the door.
“Of course,” I replied. “And you need to stop hiding so they won’t suspect a thing.”
He nodded and I walked out of the bathroom, leaving him to use the bathroom for what it was meant for.
When Eric was ready to leave for school, I was lying on the sofa in the sitting room watching news.
“Ahmed called me,” he said as he walked into the sitting room.
“What did he say?” I asked.
“He asked about you and…”
Frank walked in, halting our discussion. He stared at us for some time.
“Ahmed again, huh?” he scoffed. “Who the hell is Ahmed Eric?” he demanded. That would be his second time hearing that name, and yet all his efforts to find out who he was proved abortive.
“Somebody you don’t need to know,” I replied, and focused on the television.
“That was rude Thony,” Eric said and paused, glanced at me and at Frank and sighed. “Wait, are you guys by any means quarrelling?”
“Of course not,” I answered, scowling at Eric for asking questions about what he already knew.
“Can we go Eric,” Frank said, emitting a soft smile.
Eric stared at me, winked and I reciprocated. Both walked out of the house.
I was engrossed with the news of the drama going on in the Senate House when my phone beeped. I picked it. It was a message from Eric.
“Frank would not let me rest. He said I must tell him who Ahmed is or he exposes your secret.”
I jerked up from the seat and dialled Eric’s number same way.
….the story continues….