In the abundant sunlight, Alex was so captivating and winning to look at. So, so enticing and fascinating to lay my eyes on. He had a knowing and skilled smile, like that of a gentleman on a charge to propose to his young and fair-looking lady. His eyes glittered with care and desire, his skin coruscating with healthfulness and vigor. He was the most joyous man in the entire world at that moment.
We sat on a lone and deserted bench under the shade of an elevated and majestic-looking tree. Here, I leaned my back down on the hind part of the metallic-made bench and Alex sat right close to me, sloping forward toward me as though he was about to touch and stroke me. His eyes were firm and resolute on me, studying and examining me carefully.
“So,” I began, “What was it that you wanted us to discuss out here?”
“First of all, I want to know everything about yourself.” As he stated this, his eyes un-stirred from me, stern and grave looking.
“Everything about myself?” I asked, bewildered and bemused at the same time.
“Your history, your likes, your dislikes, your habitude and manners. Anything of that sort.”
“Thanks. I now get it. Well, like you know, I am Sophia Solochi. Quiet, companionless, open and sincere and straightforward and uncommonly single and frumpish when provoked and complaisant and well-mannered to people who grant me respect in turn. My history is as follows:
“I was born in Livingstone on March 23, 2000. At the very dawn and breaking of our freshest century that is. My mother has had no other children besides me. I am her one and only eagle’s egg. I have grown up in numerous and numberless towns. My mom and I are like nomads. We don’t stay in one area for ages unending. Partly due to the work that she does. And also partly due to the fact that we are both people-shrinking. We did have great friends that we would have wanted to spend the rest of our lives with. But life and events are very jealous. They always don’t want you to have that which you would muchly like to own and possess.
“As for what I like, I like simple and straightforward things. Artless things to be precise. Authentic and genuine things. I like everything as long as it is not elaborate and unsophisticated. I like all form of sports. Entertainment. Music. Which does not suggest that I am not selective or discriminative either. I am. If anything I like gets complex and intricate, I will start to dislike it, as I will look upon it to be a very different and dissimilar thing to that which I liked in the first place.
‘”That pointed out, I dislike complex and intricate things.”
“Those were quite heavy words and a detailed list what’s more,” Alex pinpointed.
I sighed as if weary—purporting that I was not. “And what do you like yourself.”
“Anything with a gentlemanly feel and quality to it.”
“Yup. It qualifies among those chain of things.”
“What of those action movies starred by bold and dauntless women? Say Mila Jovovich in the Resident Evil series.”
“Uh…on that one, I like it because of the manly acts and matters in it. The action, high tension, et cetera, et cetera.”
I giggled in amusement and ravishment and Alex smiled gently at me without saying anything.
“How many men have told you that you are beautiful, Sophia?”
I fell quiet and looked at him sternly. He was alarmed, though still at ease and composure. “Sorry. I didn’t hear you correctly.”
“I said how many men have told you that you are beautiful?”
I snuffled, aiming to cackle but falling short. “I don’t know. I don’t know the exact number.”
“They were many in any case, weren’t they?”
“Maybe. Maybe not.”
“You are looking cutie today!”
“Is that all? I mean the reason why you asked me your foregone question?”
“I don’t know. I just threw it off at your feet. Did it offend you?”
“But you look quite the opposite. I mean you look angered and not yourself.”
“I am not angered.”
“Stop teasing me, will you?”
Alex smiled gently and stroked my cheek lightly as he did so. Wow! It felt like…like…like bliss and rapture. As much as I became still and quiet as though I was averse to it, I fancied and craved it like nothing else. It was the most delicate and precious touch in my life. Ever.
“Are you okay?” He asked, having noticed how so quiet and unresponsive I was after a long time.
“I am fine.”
He arranged nicely threads of my hair that had been disordered and messed up by the gushing wind. I liked that too. Even though I did not inform him about it. Being touched by the man that you are lusting after. How many of you know how pleasant and delightful that is? How many of you understand how delirious and light-headed it makes the world around you go?
“What was it that you really wanted to tell me? I am curious to know.”
“How really curious are you?”
“Very, very curious I must specify.” I smiled effortlessly at that, and there Alex sat, enraptured and enchanted with what he saw. He was quiet for a while before he abruptly
shook his head and stared at the group of four or so girls that were strolling by past us, cracking jokes and giggling to themselves. They drew away his attention for a little while—no, he was not ogling anyone of them—but then he returned his focus and care and watchfulness back to me shortly afterwards.
The moment he cast his eyes back to me, I was flooded and became overflowing with electrifying and moving emotions of impulsiveness and rashness. In other words, I was so drawn toward him in a manner similar to the friction and dissension existing between electricity and its transmitters.
“Would you mind if we go on and take a walk? To my friend’s room in the campus that is. Just for a glass of juice or water if you like. It will be brief and momentary, I promise.”
I mused about it for a little while. “Let us go, shall we? I do mind going to drop by this place of your friend’s with you.”
Alex’s smile was brief and well-mannered. “It is my pleasure then.”
“And mine as well, Mr. Ramirez.”
While we walked, Alex’s hand was firm and unshakable on mine. His fingers played and handled mine in such a thrilling and electrifying manner that made it obvious that he as well had a crush on me. Whoohoo! Hurray! Not only was I in love with this boy. He was also in love with me on the other hand. Which assured me that things between us were headed somewhere at least. Oh yes, they were!
We chatted and giggled and stared and smiled as we went on our way. That had some group of guys and girls hovering nearby stop what they were doing and discussing and pay unreserved and unwavering attention to the two of us. The reflection and study of most guys stayed and lingered on me. It disturbed and unsettled some even. It sure did. I glared back at them lamentably and woefully. What was it about us that deserved to garner such kind of attention and watchfulness? What precisely?
At reaching his friend’s door—located on floor ‘Thirteen’ of the ‘Pine’ building—Alex tried it and scowled at discovering that it had been locked up and bolted. He snapped, “Damn,” to himself and then flashed me an apologetic smile.
“Is there any problem?” I was alarmed and up on my toes in no time—not specifically standing up on my physical toes but immaterial ones as I was in an apprehensive state of nervousness and anxiety.
“No,” Alex quickly replied, granting me another excusatory smile. “All is fine. It is just that Max, Maxwell I mean, has his room locked and kept out of bounds. Don’t worry though. I will ring him up to find out if he is nearby or not. Just give me a second please.”
I waited. Minutes slipped by. Alex had his phone pressed against his ear in expectancy and assurance. It seemed it was continually ringing with his friend not picking up the call. Who
knows, maybe he had his phone kept far away from him? Was it so? I couldn’t tell, and neither could Alex himself.
At long last, Max responded to the call while Alex was lamenting to himself, “Where are you, man?” He immediately added on, “Hey, dude, where art thou?”
There followed silence momentarily.
“I am at your door right now in the hostel…You are not coming back any moment now? Who are you with?” Alex’s face twitched and jerked. “Fine…I will do just that…Bye then!” The call had reached an ending. Alex towed his phone away from his face and fixed it in his pocket straight away.
“So?” I asked. “Are we waiting for this Maxwell or not?”
“Nope. Meaning that our plans to relax down and have something cold and sweet have flopped flat, right?”
Alex stepped away toward a pot of flowers and dug up its soil so as to nab away the keys that were lodged and hidden underneath it. I marveled at him. Ooops! It seemed like this Maxwell was quite a master hand and wit-furnished man. Where almost everyone would use the same old and abused trick of hiding keys under flower pots or even door welcoming mats, he had invented another hard-to-crack game to hide keys in the soil of…flower pots. Wasn’t that being intelligent and brainy? Yes, it without doubt was!
I breathed out in relaxation as Alex unopened the door. He invited me in and I walked in first before him, elegantly and refinedly. Wow! The room was this spacious and extensive and cleanly swept and orderly. Not what I was expecting it to be given that it was a man who stayed in here. It was nothing dirty or filthy or despicable. No!
There were pictures clipped to the wall of a darkly-skinned man with light brown hair just like mine, but very coiled and very short, and he what’s more had amber-dark colored eyes like a drunkard’s during a photo shoot and he also had a very huge and winningly cute smile. In some pictures, this same man was photographed with a very cute but indigenous-looking young lady.
At noticing how so entranced and interestingly overwhelmed I had become with the photos, Alex illustrated, blinking his eyes instantaneously, “That is my best friend, Maxwell. The lady you were eyeing a second ago is Adelaide Libati. His girlfriend.”
“What is Maxwell’s last name itself?”
I smiled unwillingly. “From the Eastern side of the country that is?”
“They are a good-looking couple. They suit each other perfectly well and faultless.”
The moment I said that, Alex stared at me, smiling and grinning in pleasure. His eyes seemed to express: And so will we fit as well. A perfect and ideal couple, Sophia. We will be one too.
Ooooohhhh! Alex’s goodly smile flattered and coaxed me. That was what it did. It knocked and rang my conscious to an almost sleep-like state and it blew away all my restraint and stay to gawk at him as I felt like. My God! This man was so, so, so good-looking. I adored him not for that alone. Everything he did and said, it blew me to bits powerlessly and effectively. What? What kind of emotions and feelings were these that I was now experiencing? Was it real and sincere and honest and pure love? Was it indeed?
“Have a seat, will you?” Alex offered.
I smiled generously. “Thank you.”
Following that, he disappeared off into the kitchen. I heard him humming and miming and caroling and warbling to himself from in there. Hmmnnn! What a great and talented singer he was! One that would become even more polished and accomplished if he rehearsed and practiced more. Oh yes, he would.
For the first time ever, I wondered if Alex was not toying as it pleased him with my emotions and feelings. Wasn’t he up to playing knick-knack and bauble-like gimmick with me? Wasn’t all that he wanted from me solely sex and then dump me in the very end like an abused and misused doll? I knew men quite well. But not very much fully and considerably. Who knew, his intentions could be good, or bad in any case. Who knew?
Those thoughts had me get worried and unsettled. I became so uncomfortable and disquieted after weighing everything. In all my life, I had not enjoyed sex up until now. In all my life, I had not been ill-used and perverted by any man. In all my life, I had not been deceived and hurt tremendously by someone of the contrary sex. And by giving myself to Alex, wasn’t I just about to drop carelessly that long-preserved shield of mine and make myself vulnerable to all kinds of disasters and misfortunes and calamities?
I did not notice Alex walk over to me with a tray of two glasses of juice and fried eggs and bread until after he had mouthed to me the words, “What is distracting you in that pretty little mind of yours?”
I gulped instantly and stared up at him, blinking to my senses and notion and soundness all of a sudden. “Sorry. I was just…musing about a few number of things. They are not that serious or alarming either. They are not.”
Alex shrugged, lodging the tray he was carrying on the table before me. He sat on a sofa overlooking mine so as to come face to face with me. I looked straight into his eyes, quiet and subdued. And he looked back at me, happy and gladdened. “Is there anything you would like to state?” He asked me.
“Nope.” I shook my head methodically. “Nothing at all.”
His gaze was lengthened and protracted on me before he abruptly jerked his head left and right sprightly and gawked directly at the tray between us. “Let us eat, shall we? I will first offer a prayer before we touch the plates or the glasses of juice themselves.”
Alex’s prayer was pleasingly sweet and short. As he prayed, I was tempted to open my eyes and peek at the motion and vibration of his handsome-shaped lips. Damn it! How could such a suggestion come about into my unsuspicious mind? Anyway, I didn’t do that. No way! That was not my thought or suggestion either…but a demon’s. Yes, it was what I suspected it to be. Oopsie!
I ate slowly and unhurriedly. Alex ate steadily and observantly to how I was eating. His expression was dull-like and laughable. Like he had lost train of his thoughts or something of that sort.
When a piece of egg I was about to eat missed my mouth and jabbed my left cheek together with the company of my fork, he acted quickly and wiped it away with the napkin that hung down his chest, fitted somewhere to the collar of the shirt he was putting on. After he had cleared the chopped egg and its tarnishments off my cheek, he looked at me abstractedly and dreamingly -like. I had to clear my throat momentarily to draw his attention and watchfulness away from me. He did not hesitate to do so.
A few minutes later we were through with the eating. Alex had cleared the table and even washed and wiped clean the dishes, without my assistance or aid of course. He would not let me raise a finger or do a thing. Yes, he would not let me do any little bit of work.
He afterwards showed me photos that we had taken the previous day at the cafeteria named Sam’s Lobelia. My goodness! The photos were so …exquisite and graceful. I wanted to keep some to myself but Alex would not let me own or have any. Just for my eyes to feast on in the privacy of my bedroom and my mind to ruminate on whenever I felt like casting a glance on them.
We were just the two of us. Lovely and adorable and posing in unlike styles of our choices. Alex posed manfully and mildly and I myself posed deliciously luscious. Uhmnnn! It was like seeing photos of angels in heaven! Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! Don’t take my word as the veritable gospel. I am just saying.
Alex was fascinating and becharming. And I was this amiable but refined.
“What do you think?” Alex asked.
I sighed, doing my best to be as truthful and sincere as I could. “Well, you came out adorable and charming…I don’t like the way I looked. Maybe a different and well-thought pose would have been first-rate and appropriate.”
“C’mon. Why do you have to say that? You are beautiful and lovely in those pictures.”
“You don’t get what I am saying here, do you?”
“Oh yes, I do, baby.”
Sh*t! Did I hear Alex call me baby? I pretended that I had not. “The problem is not how normal I look, but rather how I was posing in these photos. All of my posing is unfit and unsuitable I must say.”
“I disagree with you?”
“You do? Let us say that you are aware that that is the exact truth but you won’t confess it just to make me feel better about it.”
“Look, Sophia, I am not telling untruths to you here.”
“I give up. You are too stubborn to believe me, aren’t you?”
I scowled at him. “Alex!”
He made a face in turn, staring down. “Let us put an end to this debate of ours, shall we?”
I concurred, “Agreed.”
I was liking Alex more each moment that I spent with him. In his presence, I was so galvanized and so drawn away that I could not focus on anything else. That was also true with him. We were, as what I would describe, this seriously attracted and drawn to each other. Both physically and immaterially. That was what we were.
At sundown that day, Alex walked me to my car at the university. It was dark and gloomy overheard us, like it would rain, but I fathomed and calculated that it would not. Oh yes, it seemingly wouldn’t. Whoa-h! I would be glad if the clouds would reserve the rain for the night. I liked to sleep while it was raining. I liked to fall asleep with the drizzling and plummeting showers hitting down on the roof of our house. I relished in that.
Alex held my hands gently and mindfully. He squeezed and crushed them even, but not painfully. His hands were so warm and strong-built that they felt like a shield which I could not afford to fall upon anywhere. As he looked at me mildly and innocently, I smiled down at him for one ephemeral moment and he smiled back, his lips being loving and tender.
“Thank you for everything,” I told him.
He did not quit smirking right that instant. “You are welcome. When am I going to see you again? I have enjoyed your company, you know. And I would like us to meet and interact and also have fun another time. What do you say?”
I hung my mouth open happily, intensely delighted and overjoyed. “I would relish passing by time with you. But that must be on a day that you are free and unoccupied. When will that be?”
“How about Sunday the 24 th. In the afternoon that is. At three o’clock. You can come over and have dinner here at Max’s with me.”
“Will that be fine with him? Maxwell?”
“Of course. He would be very glad to meet you. I told him about you already. That we are friends who came across each other in the course of one bad event.”
“Sharp then. No disputes, no problems.”
“That is fantastic.”
For the proceeding hours of that day, I did not forget the sweetly pleasant smile that Alex allotted me as I took my leave in my car. It was the most enravishing and winning smile ever. Oh my! I was head over heels in love with this gentlemen. But hang on a moment, was he already in a relationship and commitment with another woman? Hmmnnn! I had not given it any thought until now. I recoiled from any likely answers. It didn’t matter that much. In our day and age where men prowl about and womanize as they feel like, what is to be expected? Cheating and hoodwinking, of course! No doubt he already had a girlfriend. He was good-looking besides. Any girl would drool at his mere presence and throw herself down at his feet if he happened to get near her. She would stalk him non-stop either, just to wait for that glorious opportunity to be introduced to him and make all necessary advancements required to become his woman. Of course, he was in a relationship with WHO KNOWS. I didn’t give a damn. If I were also to be in love with him or just about anyone, I had to learn the get-rich-fast rules to this so-called juggle- and-sham-and-ensnare game. Or else I would die a lonesome virgin for the rest of my life with no virgin and free man to happen on. Except when I would date and go out with a still innocent and lawful two-year- old that had never laid eyes on porn thanks to the influence and sway of his already perverted and promiscuous friends.
At home, while cooking in the kitchen, I ‘googled’ on my phone:
Possible Signs That He is Presently in No Relationship
The results were astounding. I was replied with hoards and hosts of contra-distinct responses, most of which made no any significance or soundness to the topic that I had posed. I considered asking Kris about it but then shrank away from accomplishing that. I couldn’t let her know that I was seeing some particular boy. NO! It would totally wreck everything for me. For now, my fling with Alex had to be a secret I would not divulge to her.
Where was all this going? Was Alex and I really meant to spend all our earthly days remaining together? Had God meant us for each other? Or would our affair end up just like my previous ones…awful and catastrophic? I had no clue or slight idea.
That night in my bed, while I lay with my eyes settled on the dark ceiling above me, I wondered whom Alex was calling tonight. Which lady? Was she extremely beautiful? Even more good-looking than I was? Did he truly and whole-heartedly love her? Even more than he loved me myself? Was she the one and only true love of his life? Or was she some girl who he was just sporting and playing score-the-ball-into-the-goal-post with?
What precisely? What?
I regretted having neglected to take Alex’s number. I needed to at least hear his voice just to be fully alive and cheerful. Whom was he spending time with in his free time? Maxwell or the other lady? Or even both of them?
Alex’s absence to me was torment and annoyance at the same time. I gave word to myself. That very day that I would meet him, I swore, I was going to embrace and cuddle and squeeze him tightly so as to never let him go. Yes, I would do all that. And much more if appropriate.
Friday, just like any other day, was boring and delightful and burdensome and cumbersome. I had to keep myself quite busy to avoid the pain and reflection that brought ache and misery in my current life and heart altogether. My own life. It had been and still was a whole load and heap of mess and adversity. If only there was one work-quick knick-knack relief.