Freshwater by Emezi Akwaeke

Freshwater by Emezi Akwaeke

Author:Emezi, Akwaeke [Emezi, Akwaeke]
Language: eng
Format: azw3, epub
ISBN: 9780802165565
Publisher: Grove Atlantic
Published: 2018-02-13T05:00:00+00:00

Everyone left for Christmas break soon after. Ada went to Saachi and Añuli and said nothing about Ewan because there was nothing to say. When she came back to Virginia, she ran into him at Gilligan’s and his eyes lit up. They stood by the bar and caught up, leaning toward each other to shut out the rest of the noise.

“I wanted to get you this CD I saw, but I thought it was too cliché to give the African girl a CD with African music on it,” Ewan told her, and she laughed. They stayed in the club until they’d both missed their rides.

“Let’s just walk,” he suggested. It was three miles back to his house and he held Ada’s hand the whole way as he told her about his girlfriend, how much he adored her, that they’d talked about breaking up.

“You told me once that you’re more honest with me than you ever were with her,” Ada said.

Ewan nodded. “Probably true,” he said.

They kept walking and Ada looked up at the largeness of the sky. It was strange, she thought, to be here in Virginia, with this man, inside this bubble they’d built.

“What kind of parents do you think we’d be?” she asked.

Ewan thought for a moment. “I think if a guy came up and said outright, ‘I’m fucking your daughter,’ we’d probably just look at each other—”

“—and shrug—” added Ada.

“—and say, ‘You know what? Fair enough.’” They laughed as they crossed a road and cut through a parking lot. “Can you imagine what our kid would look like?”

“What, brown skinned with freckles?” said Ada, giggling.

“And a ginger afro.” Ewan bent over laughing, and I watched them both from inside her head, amused. It was cute. They talked about how their families would receive them—they talked as if things weren’t impossible, as if choices hadn’t already been made. I didn’t interfere, not yet. When they got to his room and got into bed, Ada hesitated.

“We don’t have to do anything,” she said. “Things have changed, you know, we can step back and just be friends. Nothing would get broken.”

Ewan smiled. “You’re beautiful and you’re lying next to me.”

He reached out to her and I entered his arms. I can only be what I was born to be.

Trust me, I wanted things to go back to the way they were, free and easy, but Ada couldn’t do it. It was too late, now that she loved him. She started feeling guilty all the time, imagining how it would feel for his girlfriend if she knew about their affair. It was easy to imagine the pain of betrayal—after all, Ada loved him too now. She and the girl were basically on the same side. He and I were, for all purposes, the villains in this.

Also, Ada had gotten the Depo-Provera shot, a load of hormones that made her bleed for eight weeks nonstop. It threw off the fragile balance she and I kept in her mind, and there were terrible mood swings, a gutting depression.


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