episode 1: running
March 7, 2074. Somewhere in Nigeria…
If you wanted a taste of vintage wine you would walk into The Globe. The cosy lounge sat on a hill in the outskirts of the city. The old bar man brought the new guy a Carlo Rossi red – he told him it was a complimentary bottle. Both of them ended up drinking all afternoon. It was still early in the evening when the stranger made his way out of the bar and headed for his new home. No one told him the house was haunted!
He used his right hand to push cobwebs away from his path as he entered into the living room. The cleaning woman must be a joke! Inside, he had to run after a couple of cockroaches with his rubber slippers. He slammed hard, pinning one of them on the wall making sure to crush the head so it doesn’t miraculously come back to life. The stale damp smell of an empty building lingered. Furniture was scanty; the house was yet to come alive.
Maxwell checked the bathrooms, he might need to call the woman to come back and clean the whole place all over. The faucet in the master bathroom was leaking. The small glass window was half-way closed; he tried pulling it down but it was somehow stuck. He was stuck here where nothing worked as they should! He was furious and frustrated. This wasn’t the life he chose, he was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. For the time being, this was the best for him – a new start.
The evening breeze came in through the window with a promise of a liberating night. He couldn’t mistake that smell! He stepped out through the back door and made his way to the source of the smell. Burning weed…divine incense!
He met her, a large wrap of marijuana between her black lips and a trail of white smoke dancing away at the tip of the burning bush. She savoured the green, chewing on the fire. She could feel warm tender tendrils massaging her taste buds. Sunmi parted her lips, lifted her head and blew a stream of smoke in the air. She heard footsteps behind her but didn’t turn. Her head felt light and her thoughts were bare as though enjoying a tan under the summer sun.
She has large brown penetrating pair of eyes that looks as if they were plugged into her round face. She has long, lean limbs and soft black skin that glowed; her hair was cut low. She was perched on the hood of an abandoned car that rested on its belly with its wheel stripped naked. She finally turned to look up at the handsome stranger standing to her right. He was in his mid-forties, gone through two divorces and was running away from something…
Max hurriedly broke eye contact. A soft chill crept up his spine pushing his nerves to the cliff of fear. Her eyes bored into him with the emotions of a cold scalpel; tearing into the dark corners of his mind. There was something weird about this little fragile looking girl but nothing ominous. She is like a cross-breed of the gods and human, like she was borne of a spirit.
“Hi stranger. Welcome to heaven” She extended her right hand to offer him a smoke.
“What are you doing out here alone, smoking” he wanted to say, rather he took the crudely wrapped weed from her slim fingers, took a long puff and held the aqueous bliss in his mouth allowing himself to enjoy every minute of it.
“Did anyone tell you that house is haunted?” Sunmisola continued. The stranger was yet to say anything.
She took back the weed and took a drag. She smiled to herself. Then she created space beside her for the new man in town to sit.
“What are you running from?” the man asked her
She chuckled. Her voice was soft, she had an air of ease around her; she did everything effortlessly.
“What are you running from” She turned sideways to look at him.
Silence reigned between them for a couple of minutes while both of them arranged their thoughts. Max wondered how she knew he was running but a look at her told him she had been running all her life. She had the look of a girl who took instructions from no-one. She wore whatever look she craved, got piercings without seeking anyone’s permission and created her own fashion trend. She looked independent…yet she looked lost.
The sun finally bled out. The night was still timid. The pair was getting bolder revealing deeper thoughts and feelings. They were running away from everything but each other. Or were they? Sunmisola drew herself up resting her back on the windshield. She stared into the dark fabric of the night sky and smiled to herself. Max followed her lead and lay on his back too. The back of his left brushed against her bare left arm as he adjusted himself to find the most comfortable position. She let her fingers slip through his. No words were spoken.
Her pulse was warming up but she could feel it, his had jumped the gun more than twice! He sat up, almost abruptly and turned towards her. There was still silence but the message was clear in its echoes. He leaned towards her, both hands on either side of her eager body. She stayed still but vibrated dangerously within. He brought his head close and she could taste raw lust in his hot weed-laden breath. He hesitated, watching her lips swell up with desire then he let his own desperate lips envelop her mouth slowly but firmly. She looked like she would choke on his kiss. They were taking gulps of each other, ploughing deep with their tongues sweeping through each other’s cavity in wild tides.
Max paused for breath and looked around for a couple of seconds.
“Don’t worry no-one comes here” She held his face in her palms and drew him back to her.
He swung his leg over her positioning himself above her. Those bulging brown eyes glowed lovingly as they searched the sincerity of his passion. He brought his head down and dived into another strong wave of kiss. She closed her eyes and moaned softly pushing her body back into his lean muscled body. She pressed her hips into his hardness and flipped his switch. He responded by slipping his hand under the silk armless shirt. She ached in response to the trail his palm left on her bare skin…
Then she stopped. She stopped running from reality. She stopped letting her imaginations run wild. Their fingers were still entwined. They still lay side by side, nervous strangers. They were yet to lose their minds; but they would, soon!
“I am running from myself…” Sunmi whispered breaking the silence, pushing the trance off her mind.
She knew that she could only delay the inevitable! She craved the firm hands of the stranger on her eager body.
“What?” He sounded confused.
“Earlier you asked me what I was running from…I’m running from myself. What are you running from stranger?”
Death! He was running away from death but he could not say it…he was not supposed to say anything.
…to be continued