Gabriel wasted no time in getting Mercy to fall in love with him. He did like her, and a part of me still believes that he did love her even now. I had spent all my life with Gabriel to know what made his blood boil around women. He was the guy who always had a plan, and sometimes when I look at Mercy, it feels like he failed to understand his plan and execute it. The next time I met her was a month into their courtship. She wore a bright yellow dress and flat sandals. She had come to visit Gabriel, but he’d stepped out with some of his friends. I opened the door and let her in. She thanked me and in the softest of voices asked me for a glass of water. I sent Gabriel a text while in the kitchen to let him know that she was visiting. He asked me to keep her company as he made his way back, and I knew he’d be gone a while.
“So, you stay here with Gabriel? What’s your name?”
“Michael and it’s nice to meet you Mercy.”
“Thank you. I’m sorry I haven’t met you before Michael.”
“It’s fine. So where do you stay?
“I stay in South C with my parents. I guess you two are lucky to be staying on your own.”
“It’s a hustle, but it has its days. Are you the last born?”
“No, I’m the second-last born. I just graduated last year, and my first job doesn’t pay enough to see me move out, so that’s why.”
“It’s fine. Take your time.”
“Omg! You should hear what my folks say. They think just like you, in fact my Dad said I’ll only leave his house when he knows I’m ready to do that, and that is code for never!”
“I still think that women have it easier, when you are a guy, the moment you turn eighteen you are out of the house.”
“I still think that’s good. It makes you figure things out, so how long have you known Gabriel? You must be best of friends to stay together.”
“I’ve known him since primary school. He’s a good guy, and we do stay together.”
“Thank you. I know he’s on his way, so just feel welcome, he’ll get here soon.”
I went to the kitchen to fix her something to eat but Gabriel had eaten what was left. I looked for the juice we had bought but stumbled upon an empty bottle near the cabinet.
Mercy fell asleep on our couch that day. I walked her to the bus station at six. Gabriel came home three days later.