“I’m proud of you for nursing,” Deirdre said. “I’m glad young mothers are coming back to the right way.”
“You know my doctor tried to talk me out of breast feeding?” Nadeya said. “As soon as he stopped screaming, I asked for my records and found another doctor.”
“Another testicular torsion?”
“Na, titty twist. Very effective.” She laughed, cutting her eyes at Deirdre, who laughed loudly.
“I kicked my OB in the balls when I had Burl. He and I didn’t see eye to eye on several things. Long story short, he didn’t tell me I had a few hoops to jump through for an epidural. Then he goes to sew me up without any numbing agent. It was reflex POW!”
“She had awesome aim,” Fred said, carrying in a tray full of mugs and coffee things. “His wasn’t a torsion, but he was limping when he left. Served him right, he was a complete terror the entire time.”
“We had to go to him because of the insurance,” Deirdre said. “But I complained so about him, they dropped him and got a really lovely woman. She delivered Corin.”
“I was lucky with my OB, she’s got midwifes with her, and one of them delivered Ray.”
“The doctor, not the midwifes. One of them a very handsome guy.” She raised an eyebrow.
“I guess I went into the wrong field,” Fred said, pouring them each a cup of coffee.
The other men trailed in with dessert and plates. They enjoyed their treat in the living room.
“Bedtime,” Fred announced, pointing to his boys. “I’m driving you in the morning, so move it, Rawhide.” He made a whip-crack sound.
“I’ll take them,” Aaron said.
“I’d rather. You and Dee stay here with Jasper and Nadeya, and I’ve got the boys.”
“I’ll go,” Nadeya said. “I have to pick up Ray-Ray. I can pump some, but I need my baby fix by then.”
“Okay, it’s settled. Nay takes the boys, Jasper and I will stay here.”
“You’re not worried about Nadeya by herself?” Fred asked.
Jasper chuckled, kissing his wife. “My wife is nine times more lethal than anything those jokers can send. No.”
Eoin headed to Daytona, riding to the club with Aaron. He had everything he needed in his satchel, and he’d already done the prep work at Deirdre’s house. Walking in, he was greeted like a long, lost prodigal son. Assuring everyone he was fine, he settled in his dressing room and put on his foundation garments. These nicely padded his chest and rounded his hips and buttocks so he looked more feminine. Once this was accomplished, he dressed and started his makeup and hair.
The stage manager came by a few minutes after he’d finished, greeting him and going over special guests, events and so forth, that he was to mention during his spiel. Eoin always ad libbed his introductions, preferring to be spontaneous and in the moment. He felt a little flustered and off his game, but once the house lights went down and he took his spot for the opening number, the butterflies stopped fluttering. He was in his element, ready to take possession of the stage. The music came up and his voice formed the first words of Feeling Good by Nina Simone, echoing in the dark. As the music built, the lights came up, to find him seated on a stool, in a glittering black sheath dress and fishnet stockings. His own black hair had been teased and glittered, standing up like Tina Turner’s.
As he went through the evening, he couldn’t stop himself thinking about their situation. He wasn’t afraid for himself, but he was worried about Deirdre’s family. He didn’t let the preoccupation interfere with his performance. If anything, he did better than he had in a long time. They had finished the grand finale, and the cheering audience begged for one more song. Eoin whispered to the others, and the band, what he wanted to do.
“That’s gonna bring everyone down, man,” Miss Twiggy, an anorexic looking performer, said.
“This is important to me. Please just do it. I can’t explain now.”
“Fine. But my objections….”
“Are noted.” Signaling the band, he walked alone onto the stage.
Slow, soulful music began. A soft spot came up on Eoin’s torso. Standing in the half dark, he spoke quietly into the microphone. “Ladies and gentlemen, I lost a very dear friend, the love of my life, a few days ago. She was murdered.” A gasp escaped the audience. “Normally, I would end the show on a high, happy note, but if you’ll bear with me, I would like to dedicate this song to Wendy.” Soft applause followed.
© 2018 Dellani Oakes