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Louise Maroni, together with her bubbly, happy daughter met Kathy and Nick at the Zoo’s entrance gate at 11:15 and they greeted each other cheerfully.
“Where should we camp Louise?” asked Kathy with a smile.
“Oh, let’s go over there, there’s a nice shade and it’s spacious enough for the kids to play.” Louise said pointing out to a shaded area next to a tree and bunks with a table, where there was a swing nearby. She had on a torn, white jean short and a cropped shirt, showing off her perfectly toned tummy for a new mom, branded sneakers, a cap and shades and her daughter was wearing a pink Minnie Mouse set of tights and a top, a hat and baby shades. She was tiny and very cute like the princess Cinderella herself.
Kathy also wore blue jean shorts coincidentally, with a see-through blouse almost covering the shorts and peep-toe sandals, showing off her immaculately manicured toes, she didn’t wear any hat but had designer shades on as usual and Nick wore shorts, a soccer jersey and sneakers with a comic cap.
They made their way to the spot which also overlooked the dam, giving them a view of the ducks. As they were unpacking their picnic bags, Kathy broke the silence.
“Oh Louise, Cindy is so beautiful. She is such a princess really, you are so fortunate. I also wanted a daughter the second time around, but I guess that dream won’t be happening anymore. But then again, looking at Nick here is enough a blessing.” she said as she blushed, containing her nerves and anxiety.
“Thank you, Kathy.” She said sincerely “But you are still young and you also look healthy, surely you can still try for another baby.” She said with an assuring smile.
“My husband was murdered half a year ago.” Kathy said bluntly.
Nick was already playing at the swing and Cindy was anxiously reaching out for her toy which hung on her stroller car.
“I’m so sorry for your loss Kathy, I had no idea. You know we have so much in common. You see how God plans His things.” Louise said warmly, reaching to hug Kathy, who had no option but to reciprocate.
“What do you mean Louise?” Kathy asked curiously.
“I mean, my boyfriend, my daughter’s father, was also murdered about 7 months ago. Just as I had Cindy. We weren’t married yet but were planning to do it after she turned a year old.” Said Louise “And see we both drive the same model cars, we live on the good side of town and we both mourned our partners just recently. Sad isn’t it, two beautiful, young, lonely ladies whom death cheated out of happiness.” she said as Kathy looked on in wonder; and she wasn’t driving the Mercedes today, she came in her umbra Porsche Cayenne since she needed space for Nick and their outing, but Louise didn’t know because she didn’t see her park, they met at the entrance gate so she assumed it was the same car, and Kathy didn’t bother to correct her.
“You mean to tell me Cindy’s father was murdered too?” she asked wide eyed.
“He was brutally murdered Kathy.” she said looking intense.
“Were her killers arrested at least?” questioned Kathy.
“Not yet but I can assure you, his friend had a hand in it, but I was scared to confront him of course.” she said with conviction.
“Was he – was he involved in…” Louise cut Kathy as she murmured her sentence.
“No ways. He was a good and loving person, he was an upstanding business man. He wouldn’t be involved in illegal activities, it just wasn’t in him.” Louise said defensively of her late lover.
Kathy tried to piece things together worriedly but she was also shocked by all this, but she had to know, so she kept asking.
“Did you live with your boyfriend Louise?”
“No, not really. He was…” she then paused at Cindy’s crying outburst and Nick also came running, wanting something to eat so they attended to the children. They had a light conversation after introducing Nick to Cindy, who seemed obsessed with her and they were laughing at him playing with her.
“Mommy, can we please go see the animals? I want to see all the animals, Cindy too, please mommy, please?” pleaded Nick with a mother bent on her own mission and didn’t want to budge but Louise cut in again.
“Come on ‘mommy’, we too need the walk you know.” Louise convinced her.
“Okay, okay, let’s pack away our bags and get going.” Kathy surrendered at last.
“Thank you, mommy, actually, no. Thank you Louise.” Nick said and Louise chuckled as he hugged her.
“He’s such an adorable, darling kid.” Louise said to Kathy as they strolled past the camels.
“Yeah, that’s the way kids should be. Just a bundle of joy.” said Kathy as she stroked Cindy’s cheek while pushing her on her stroller car.
“You know what I noticed about kids Kathy?” asked Louise as Kathy looked at her.
“That they bring us joy?” Kathy guessed, blushing in all her radiant beauty.
“No.” Louise said instantly. “They both have brown hair, emerald blue eyes and naturally tanned skin!” she said, giggling.
“Now that you mention it, yes, they do have stunning similarities. You were right Louise, we do have a lot in common.” agreed Kathy, but something seemed to shock her because her eyes popped out and she stopped walking instantly, which surprised Louise.