Four Weeks Later…
“Yup, I’m getting drunk, tonight,” Mikayla announced, her eyes focused on the drink menu in front of her.
The buzz of chatter swarmed around her as she sat across from her sister, Malika, who was taking in the sights of the restaurant while sipping on a glass of water.
The two were sitting in Am Thai, a scenic Thai bistro in downtown Brooklyn. What drew the sisters here for their weekly Friday dinner were the spicy choices of curried fish, tom yum soup, and drunken noodles, their favorites.
It was busy in the restaurant. Malika and Mikayla could barely push their seats all the way back. The tables were packed and so close together that they would rudely tap their neighbors’ chairs if they did.
“I already see what I want,” Mikayla continued, gliding the tip of her finger down the tiny laminated menu. “What are you getting?”
“I’m not drinking, tonight.” Malika finished the last of her water then gestured to the waitress standing nearby. Malika needed a refill so the waitress walked up to their table, filling Malika’s glass to the rim with more water before walking away.
“What?” Mikayla asked, briefly looking up from her menu, her brows already furrowed before she made eye contact with her sister. “You’re not drinking? Are you sick?”
Mikayla’s eyes scanned Malika’s face. She examined Malika’s bright amber eyes, her glossy red lips. Malika’s skin was perfection, lightly coated with foundation she picked up from the Dior counter at Bloomingdale’s. Granted, she looked paler than usual, but sick Malika did not look.
“You don’t look sick,” Mikayla added. “And you would have to be sick or pregnant to turn down a drink. You’re practically an alcoholic,” she said giggling at her own joke.
Malika forced a smile and looked away.
“You should try the blushing dragon, it has vodka. That’s more your taste, anyway.”
“Didn’t I tell you a moment ago I’m not drinking, tonight?”
Mikayla grimaced. She looked back up from her menu and at Malika and stared at her.
Malika shifted in her seat while scratching the back of her head nervously. She was nervous because earlier that day, not even five hours before dinner, Malika took a home pregnancy test and it showed positive. Making her only 4-weeks pregnant. It appeared her plan worked. She wanted to scream the news from the tallest building in the city, but it was too soon to say anything. What she wanted was to wait until she had her first doctor’s visit to then tell her sisters that she was carrying her first child. She and Rico’s first child.
Mikayla leaned back in her chair and folded her arms in front of her chest. She and Malika maintained their stares as Mikayla returned to scanning Malika’s face. She tilted her head to one side, blinking twice. “Are you pregnant?”
Malika swallowed hard.
“Because I’m not playing when I say that’s the only reason you would ever turn down alcohol. You can’t be in the same room with something as simple as wine and not want a sip, Malika. I’ve known you all your life and—”
“Can I just not want to drink, tonight?”
“No.” Mikayla squinted her eyes.
Malika exhaled loudly and ran her fingers through her shoulder-length hair before lifting her glass of water to her lips to take another sip.
Mikayla gasped. “You haven’t even bothered to deny you’re pregnant, yet!”
“I wasn’t even aware you were seeing anybody.”
“Can you drop it, Mikayla?”
“You don’t even go out like that to meet anybody new,” Mikayla continued. She placed her elbow on top of their table and brought her fingers to her chin to pinch. “The last time you talked about doing anything was when you said you were going to the Braxton Hotel for—” She paused. Mikayla’s eyes pointed up at the restaurant’s ceiling.
“What are you doing?” Malika asked.
“Thinking,” Mikayla answered, her eyes quickly moving back and forth as she did the math in her head.
“Don’t hurt yourself,” Malika joked, snickering.
Mikayla froze when she figured it out. Her brows arched and her jaw dropped when she made eye contact with Malika, again. “Ohhh shit!”
Mikayla yelled this so loud, some of the restaurant patrons turned in their seats to face them.
The breath of air Malika had inhaled stirred at the back of her throat as she froze, too, staring back at Mikayla.
Malika looked away long enough to see Maliya walk through the front doors of the restaurant.
Malika pushed her chair back and leaned forward quickly. “Hey,” she said, pointing right at Mikayla, “you better not say anything.”
Mikayla laughed loud, slapping the table with her palm.
Maliya got a few feet closer to their table when Malika lightly kicked Mikayla underneath the table. “Get it together, right now. I’m serious.”
“Sorry I’m late, ladies,” Maliya said swinging her shoulder bag over the back of her chair, taking a seat next to Mikayla. “Omari and I were on the phone with our wedding manager trying to arrange this Skype call that’s now scheduled to take place in two weeks.”
Maliya turned to Mikayla who was trying her hardest to swallow her giggles but was doing a terrible job at it. “What’s so funny? What did I miss?”
The petite Asian waitress walked up to their table again and said, “I see your third-party has arrived. Are you ladies ready to order now?”
“Not yet,” Maliya replied, politely. “Can you please give us a few minutes so I can review the menu?”
“In the meantime,” Mikayla said with a smile, “please bring us an entire bottle of your strongest liquor for the two of us to have,” she said gesturing to Maliya and herself.
“I’m sorry?” the waitress questioned.
“The two of us? Why just the two of us?” Maliya asked Mikayla before looking over at Malika. “You’re not drinking?”
Malika looked up at the waitress from her seat. “Ignore her please,” she said pointing at Mikayla who was wearing a grin. “We’ll call you over when we’re ready, thank you.”
“She’s not drinking tonight or any other night anytime soon,” Mikayla said.
Malika kicked her on the shin underneath their table and Mikayla yelped in pain before bursting into a fit of laughter, again.
Malika’s fingers were on the bridge of her nose when she exhaled loudly.
“What is so damn funny?” Maliya asked, her eyes darting from Mikayla to Malika. “Why is she laughing so hard? And why aren’t you drinking.”
“Damn, y’all act like I’m some type of lush. Like I’m always drinking.”
“You are always drinking,” Mikayla and Maliya said at the same time. “Jinx,” they said again in unison before pointing and laughing at each other.
“But seriously, what’s up Malika? You feeling all right?” Maliya asked.
“Yeah, Malika,” Mikayla taunted. “You feeling all right, sis?”
Malika shut her eyes tight and sighed.
Maliya’s smile melted into a frown. “Malika,” she said reaching for her sister’s hand. “What’s the matter?”
Malika got quiet. Her eyes bounced from Mikayla to Maliya before she dropped her view down to her lap and sighed again, this time louder. She should have known keeping something like this from her two older sisters would be impossible.
“I’m pregnant,” Malika confirmed.
Maliya stared at Malika for a moment before blinking several times. “Pregnant? How? By who?”
“This is when it gets good,” Mikayla chimed in.
Malika shot Mikayla a threatening glare.
“I didn’t even realize you were seeing anybody. You have mentioned no other guys to us. Has she, Mikayla?” Maliya asked.
Mikayla didn’t respond.
“In fact,” Maliya added, “the last guy we were even talking about was Rico, but he’s—” Maliya paused, staring out into the distance. Soon her lips were moving but no words were coming out. She was counting to herself.
Mikayla giggled when Maliya’s jaw dropped.
It took little thinking for Maliya to figure things out. Her breathing changed as she quickly reviewed the timing of everything in her head. She looked back over at Malika. “Please tell me you are not pregnant by Rico?”
“Remind me never to piss your ass off,” Mikayla said, pointing at Malika. “Because you play so dirty.”
“Malika, please tell me you’re not,” Maliya repeated.
“Clap, clap, bravo, though,” Mikayla continued, clapping her hands loudly. “You sure know how to get a bitch back.”
“Oh, my God. It’s Rico’s isn’t it?!” Maliya asked in a panic, her hand now cupping her mouth.
Malika slammed the side of her fist on the table’s surface. “Can you two shut up?!”
Mikayla and Maliya became silent as they stared at Malika.
The waitress returned to their table for the third time that night as the trio sat quietly, both Maliya and Mikayla’s eyes fixed on Malika while Malika’s eyes bounced back and forth between her two sisters.
“Are you lovely ladies ready to order yet?”
“Five more minutes,” Malika uttered without making eye contact.
“As you can see, we are having a very busy night. We have people waiting to be seated. So, if you aren’t ready to order—”
“Sato,” Maliya interjected still staring at Malika.
Mikayla looked up at the waitress. “Just bring a tiny flash of that sato along with two cups, thank you.”
“Can you stop looking at me like that?” Malika asked Maliya after the waitress left their table.
“He’s married, Malika,” Maliya said low. “Why would you do that?”
“He wasn’t married when we did it.”
Maliya’s jaw dropped, and she shook her head. “Is that why you planned to go to the Braxton Hotel that night? Or was this an accident?”
Malika looked away.
“You planned this?! Maliya asked. “Malika…”
“Hmph, mama gon’ trip when she hears about this on Sunday,” Mikayla said.
“No, she’s not,” Malika replied through clenched teeth. “Because she’s not gonna hear about it. You two weren’t supposed to hear about it, tonight. But you,” she said pointing at Mikayla, “went snooping. So, now I had to tell y’all sooner than I would have liked.”
Maliya twisted her mouth to one side, thinking, still staring at Malika.
“And can you stop looking at me like that, Maliya? Say something.”
“What do you want me to say?”
It was no secret to Maliya or Mikayla. They were aware Malika wanted a baby. From the time she was sixteen, she’s wanted to be a mother. They all worried that she would be a teen mom as obsessed as she was with talking about babies.
Although Maliya was the more responsible one of the three, Malika has had maternal fever for as long as they could remember. She was finally at the age she previously planned to have a child and was getting all doe eyed, even more than she’s been in the past, at the sight of babies. So, they were well aware of how much she couldn’t wait to be a mother.
Maliya sighed, allowing a smile to turn her frown up. “You’re right. Congratulations, Lika.” She reached for Malika’s hand and held it in her own. “A baby, wow.”
Mikayla smiled reaching for Malika’s other hand. “Congratulations… with your crazy ass.”
Malika cracked a smile then rolled her eyes at Mikayla.
“We’re here for you no matter what,” Maliya said.
“That’s right,” Mikayla added. “We’ve got your back through thick and thin.”
All of Malika’s teeth could be seen after hearing that from her sisters.
“Here’s your sato,” the waitress said. She placed the flask, that was brimming with the warm Thai rice wine, down on their table. Maliya and Mikayla poured themselves a drink and all three of the ladies placed their food orders with the waitress.
“This is gonna be an interesting ass pregnancy, I’ll tell you that,” Mikayla said. “When’s your first doctor’s appointment?”
“Let us know what day so we can be there,” Maliya instructed.
“I was thinking Rico could be there, instead,” Malika said.
Maliya and Mikayla glanced at each other then back at Malika.
“You’ve already told him?” Mikayla asked.
“Not yet,” Malika replied. “I will tell him, tomorrow.”
“Well, tell us when the appointment is, anyway,” Maliya said. “Because I want to be there.”
“So, do I,” Mikayla said next. “I wish I could be there when you tell Rico. I’d love to see the shock on Nalani’s face. That prissy conniving ass bitch.”
“Simmer down, Mikayla,” Maliya urged, before glancing over at Malika. “How do you think he will take the news? This isn’t something easy to hear right now. He did just get married.”
She was a little nervous and excited to reveal her pregnancy to Rico. He’d be shocked having not been clued in on her plan to get pregnant. Still, she hoped he’d be a little thrilled.
“We’ll have to wait and see,” Malika said, grinning.
END OF CHAPTER.
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