I Have a Sun

In a modern world, multitasking is no longer a phenomenon for humans. It is a way of life. We all try to squeeze in 36 hours of life’s daily grind into 24. We cook, clean, work for 8 hours, commute for 2, spend an hour in the gym, tackle laundry and dry cleaning, schedule power lunches, take the kids to ballet, soccer practice or recitals, volunteer at [insert local charity here], watch an hour of [insert TV show here], schedule intimacy, walk the dog, feed the cat, take the car to the mechanic, finish [insert pet project here], and for NIAs (Nigerians in America), call family back home. It is never-ending and a miracle we get any sleep or find some satisfaction in no longer being able to laze around or watch the stars at night.

On this particular day I was perfecting my multitasking skills – channel surfing, web surfing and chatting on the phone with Johnny. Some of you might remember him from One Sunday Morning. By now I am safely 1200 miles away from the sexy bastard, smack in the middle of nowhere, literally. I mean how far can you run away from someone like Johnny?

Anyway, here I am in the small town, USA, while he is in Detroit. He was working on a counter offer from an oil company in South Africa and I was helping him with grammar and spellchecking his work. In between, we would crack jokes. We were in the ‘let’s be friends’ zone. Yet, you could still cut the sexual tension with a knife. I remember the day he found out I was moving. He visited my flat and saw all my stuff packed up in boxes, labeled and ready for the U-Haul. You took the job? Why? You did not consult me, he said. I stared at him in amusement, somewhat pleased at his pain and replied, I did need to. You made it clear we are not in a monogamous relationship. You took away your right to have a say in what I do. What? You think I was going to sit around and wait for you to come back to me?

That was a year and a half ago. As we chatted, I marveled at how well we had been getting along lately. I even toyed with the phantasmagoric idea of a second chance. Then he said, “I have a sun.”

I smiled at his analogy. Things had been looking up for the man for a while and I was happy for him. For a while I was swept away at how perfect the world was. It was quite a few minutes before I realized that my smile was frozen in place and my lungs were constricting. My jaw ached from smiling so much but my throat was closing up.

“What did you say?” I asked dreading the answer.

“I have a sun,” he said.

“You have an s-u-n or you have an s-o-n?”

“A son. A boy.”

Oh. Shit. My lungs constricted further. My airway closed up and I started to gasp for air. I moved the phone away from my head so he would not hear me wheezing. After a ten-second deep breathing session, I put the phone back against my ear.

“How old is he?”

“A little over a year old,” was the reply.

I did a quick mental calculation. (Not that my brain was cooperating). She must have been three months pregnant when we had the conversation surrounded by my labeled boxes. He had some nerve!

“I would like you to meet him,” he said.

I struggled to keep breathing. I was coming undone. God must have spent quite a while on someone like Johnny as the man did not think his shit stank. What did he expect me to do? Go back to Detroit and play step-mom-girlfriend?

“I have to go. I have something on the stove,” I said after I could not think of a reply.

“Okay. I will call you tomorrow.”

I hung up and went to my kitchen to pour myself a glass of cranberry juice. Then I went into to the bathroom. I pulled down my pants and sat to pee. I did not need to pee, but I knew from experience that my best ideas came when I sat on the toilet so I sat for a while. After five minutes, I left the bathroom and went into my bedroom, lay on my bed, picked up my pillow, put it over my face and pressed down hard. Then I let out the loudest scream I could muster.

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