Connor sat on the davenport stirring the sugar and cream into his tea. I sat across from him holding my breath- waiting on him to say anything at all. I looked around my home nervously, praying that Corey or David didn't awaken from dreams seeking me out to comfort and soothe them with a story.
"Gilly, why didn't you tell me?" he asked softly. I heard the pain in his voice and saw it on his face as he searched mine for answers.
"Are you sure that the boys are yours? Maybe I slept with someone else?" I responded desperately trying to get out of it. The look he gave me sent chills down my spine.
"Do you think I'm blind? They have my eyes and the face I had as a child. They are mine, and you are not one known to sleep around. The thing that happened between us nearly gave you a breakdown. You're a good girl Gilly- everyone knows that!" he responded getting up to look at a picture of me and the boys. "Do you hate me that much? Was I that awful that you couldn't tell me that I was a father?"
"No! Never! You are one of my dearest friends but I just couldn't tell you. I couldn't make me and the boys come between you and Hannah. You and Hannah are so perfect for each other, how could I ruin that?"
"They're my sons! It would be no ruin." He stated in return getting up to pace.
"How about your parents? They are as Southern as Southern can be. Your mother called my sister a nigga to her face that time we stopped by to look you up. They hate us! You think they would accept children from a black woman?" I pointed out desperate to have him leave me and my boys. I knew him well and knew that if he didn't walk away now- I would be stuck with sharing my boys with him and Hannah for life. At that moment I was being more than selfish and I knew it- but it was my right.
"My boys are more important than what my parents or others think- they are a part of me like no other, they are mine Gilly and I want them to live with me."
"No Connor! That can't happen. They are mine- they know only me as their mother. I'm the only constant they've ever had." I cried out afraid that he and his family's name could take my sweet babies away from me. "It would rip me apart to loose them."
As I began to sob, he came over to where I sat on the rose colored loveseat and rocked me gently. His presence was so comforting, and familiar. I inhaled deeply his scent- a mixture of CK Curve for Men®, the rugged outdoors and something that was uniquely him and comforting. We sat like that for what seemed like hours, but it was only thirty minutes.
"How did you find out?" I asked softly not wanting to look into his eyes as I lead him to the twin's room. They were fast asleep but he could still look in and see their tiny angelic faces and bodies fast asleep. They lay in their big-boy beds sleeping peacefully. They didn't stir as he brushed back curly locks of dirty blonde hair off of sleeping faces and re-tucked David who as usual had unrolled out of his blanket. He smiled as he whispered that he loved them.
"Evangeline and Rob told me. She didn't want too- but as we were talking about her last trip out here her husband handed me the photo album. I think Rob is tired of all the secrecy. When I saw the boys with you, I knew they were mine and it hurt that I had not known of them." He related very softly. I knew better than anyone what the tone of his voice meant. He had been really and truly hurt.
"I'm sorry I didn't mean to cause you pain. I just wanted to leave all of the drama behind." I replied hugging him in comfort as we came back into the living room. It felt so good to be held by him- it was like I was utilizing every opportunity I could to get his arms around me.
"There is only one thing to do now- I want to be apart of the boy's lives, you're their mother and they need you there- the only choice left is that we have to marry!" he said a while after we'd broken away from each other.
The look I gave him spoke volumes and made him laugh. I failed to see the humor in the situation or how he could suggest such a thing. Had he heard a word I had just said to him? Did he remember Hannah, his parents, my family or even his job as a very successful Architect in Colorado? My life was in New York now- he couldn't expect me to marry him and move back to Colorado could he?
"Are you out of your mind? Us married?" I asked incredulously.
"Yes! I am. The boys need both parents, and I really don't work well with the splitting up of twins, or the joint-custody thing- and a custody battle would take years because we both want them. We obviously work well together as friends, we're attracted to each other, we are both very goal oriented and attend the same church. What else would we need?"
"Love, your parents acceptance, you love Hannah, you work in Colorado, I still have two years working at the centre before I can work on my Doctorate. Our lives are in two different places."
"We love each other as friends, that's a good start, Hannah and I- well that wasn't destined, we can live here in New York until you finish your work at the centre- then we can move back to Colorado- my job is easily adaptable, I can move to Haiti and be fine." He responded and she looked at him and realized that nothing she said could dissuade her. He would convince her to marry him- and his chin was set in a stubborn way that told her just how obstinate he would be until he got his way.
The phone rang cutting off anything I would say in response. Sighing as I got up I walked over to the phone and answered it. It was my current significant other, Martin, calling to see how I was. That brought to mind another reality- I'd finally met the man who complimented me in so many ways, how could I walk away from him?
"Martin, Connor's in town and we're trying to figure out what we're going to do with the boys. Can I talk to you later?"
"Sure. Call me when he leaves. I wanted to talk to you about something important. Tell the white boy I said hello- and thanks for being such a fool. I'd have never let you walk away." He replied sounding weird.
"Good night Martin." I replied ringing off.
"So I'm the white boy?" Connor asked- not bothering to play like he hadn't heard the conversation. "Is this your new boyfriend?"
"Yeah- Martin's from Trinidad and black like me. I guess we fit." I replied shrugging nonchalantly.
"Well I don't care if you two fit- because you're marrying me." He replied getting up from his seat on the couch and coming to cup my face in his hands.
Why couldn't Connor take 'no' for an answer? How could we ever work out? We'd both found persons who fit us better- hadn't we? I wondered to myself a second before he captured my lips in a soft and tender enfoldment. At the touch of his lips all other thoughts left me and I sunk into his arms and feelings that I had thought I'd left behind at his apartment those years before.