Today I come to you with a Guest Post from Macharya and Stacy..aka, The Little Pergola. Their story, titled ON BORROWED TIME , is in Two-Perspectives and I honestly have no idea how they pull it off but they managed to make me love this technique of story-telling .
I hope you will too.
The smell of the hand-wash soap is a lovely lavender, filling the immediate air. I notice the powerful reds on the walls. The marble sink is clean but I spend more time observing how my hands lather the soap. I take my time, careful not to wet my white T-shirt and brown leather jacket as I observe my face on the mirror. The place is practically empty and when I went to the washroom, there was only one guy at the far corner close to the descending stairs. Creamy Inn, next to Archives in the morning, a precious spot for reflecting over ice cream, soda or a book. I chose the soda and the book. I opt for a paper towel, always wary of the hand dryers.
Once I'm done, I inhale once again and feel my face. Lavender. I walk to where I had sat and see her, unbothered, her back turned to face me and covered in dark locks.
I slowly walk up the Creamy Inn stairs carrying my little cup filled with vanilla ice cream and some sprinkles. I scan the dining space as I make my way towards the back but just a few tables away from the wall. It looks like someone might be sitting close to the wall, a Sprite can on the table and a bag on the chair serve as evidence. The place is empty. I mean, what did I expect? It is 1000hrs on a cool Thursday. I take my seat and place my turquoise bag on my laps, mindlessly taking up small scoops of my ice cream and careful not to smudge it on my matte maroon lips.
Okay, she looks fine from the behind, I can partially see her lower back through the seat and her black crop top. The hair is working its magic but I won’t judge till I see her face. I walk to my seat, which happens to be facing her. I observe if my man-bag is still present, it is. And so is my quarter drank soda of Sprite. It's 10, I peak from my watch, the movie starts at 1045. I take out my Purple Hibiscus book, a crisp copy that I have put so much effort not to crease at the ends. I sneak a glance at her and can't help but enjoy the view.
I'll use the book as a guise.
My head snaps when I hear someone drag their seat. I then see a guy in a beautiful light brown leather jacket, a plain white T-shirt and blue jeans, sit a few tables away from me at the soda can. He opens his bag and pulls out a book. My eyes open wide when I make out the title of the book, Purple Hibiscus. I smile as I look at my ice cream, I like that book. I feel him staring at me, hiding behind his book. I look at him then look away and fix my eyes on The Hilton Hotel, wondering how long I'd wait there. I had been standing outside for around 25 minutes before I decided to come in and get something sweet for myself.
"Hello there," a masculine voice says.
I take a serviette, dab it on my lips and reply. I hadn't heard him walk by. I smile back at him. He perches himself on the seat opposite me with a smile that makes my heart skip a beat. He's suaver than I thought.
Gorgeous, so gorgeous that instead of words on the page I only see her brown face with her shapely burnt sienna eye-shadowed eyes staring back at me from the paper. What gives, she appears alone, and this book will always be with me, but she won't. I decide to lower my book and check her out, she stares back and smiles then looks away.
While the view of The Hilton in the morning sun is pleasant, I doubt she suddenly got an interest in it. That is my cue. I put the book in my bag. Nervous? Yes, extremely nervous. Excited? Yes, adventure time excited. This could take a horrible turn but there wasn't much to lose. Why am I going to disturb her anyway? Well, I wasn't going to disturb her, more of a social expedition, and we were both waiting and I was offering company. With that self-convincing, I walk towards her. She appears not to notice me and only looks once I'm face to face with her. At this point, I need CPR, she's breathtaking.
There's something about him that calls me to attention. He's just seated here ogling at me and I also can’t stop staring at him. He gently strokes his beard before speaking, "I saw your eyes light up when you saw my book, Purple Hibiscus."
I'm taken aback. Was I that obvious? I place my hands on the table and respond. He talks about the book animatedly. He's a Chimamanda fan. A reader. That’s a good quality. I feel my cheeks getting hotter by the second. He asks why I'm alone. I sigh and look at him, noticing how beautiful the sunlight illuminates his facial features. His beautiful mahogany skin glistens in the daylight. His dark eyes smile back at me, there’s a fire in his eyes, dangerous but seemingly refreshing. It’s been a while since I’ve seen someone desire me with a mere look. He has shaved his sides into a nice fade and his pretty curly hair sits on his head like a crown. He’s attractive, no doubt about that. He’s all clad up in his chic and warm outfit, but it isn’t difficult to imagine his muscular physique. My lips curve upwards to form a smile, hoping he can’t also read my mind. I look him straight in the eye and respond.
"I’m waiting for my boyfriend."
Sunglasses are perched atop her head and her make-up is minimal but just right. Her nails match her lips. I can tell she’s put some thought into her look, I like that. After a hello, I start by mentioning how I saw her peer at my book. She seems shocked. Well, I talk a little about it, she seems engaged, is she a reader too? Looks boujee enough though.
I mention one of the characters in the book and she replies that she disliked that character. Well, I liked that character, she's already losing points. But I cut her some slack, noticing her gold chain bracelet.
"So how come you're all alone this early here? Can't be the ice cream," I jest, being rewarded by a beautiful smile. She stirs her spoon in her cup. She sighs and looks at me, a bit serious and smiles before saying it, “I’m waiting for my boyfriend.”
I smile at the thought, even better.
“Well, forbidden fruit tastes sweetest.”
I snort at his statement. The forbidden fruit tastes sweetest. He's a daring one. I have to give him one for that. Most guys would be slowly backing away by now, but not him. I’m also curious. What is he doing here all alone? Wouldn’t his bed be a better place to read his book with his drink? I question him. He smirks as he leans back in his chair.
“Bed would have been a better place to read my book but I wouldn’t have met you when I'm in my bed, unless you were already in it.”
I roll my eyes. Is that an invite to his bed? Tempting but I wouldn’t make it that easy for him though. I laugh back at him and partly at myself. Why am I already feeling eager? He’s making me feel things I shouldn’t be feeling. He seems to have a witty response for everything I ask about him. He mentions that he's going to see a movie, all alone. My mind mulls over that, going to the cinemas alone just for one’s personal pleasure. Talk about having a self-care day! He takes a sip of his Sprite as he looks at me deeply, not breaking from his calm and confident demeanour. His gaze moves from my eyes to my bracelet. He leans in closer to the table.
"Glamorous, gold?" He says as his fingers gently brush over my hand. I feel goose bumps form on my arm.
I smile inwardly, she snorts at my statement and twirls her spoon in her ice cream. Her nails are lovely. Her turn now, with the questions.
She's curious about my solo treat, and I sip on my can of Sprite in between my brief answers.
"Bed would have been a better place to read my book but I wouldn’t have met you when I'm in my bed, unless you’re already in it.”
I watch her, enjoying her reaction. That statement definitely got to her.
She's intrigued by me going to the movies alone. I'm tempted to ask her to go with me out of sheer daring, with the lowest of expectations.
I find my eyes again drawn to her piece of jewellery. I like it so much that I find myself gently grazing her hand, "Glamorous, gold?" I inquire, aware of her shifting her hand subconsciously away from me.
At this point I'm leaning in close to her, she smells fruity, with a hint of an Oriental undertones. I tend to find the overly flowery scents a bit irritating, then some smell downright like candy. This one's scent excites my spirit.
"What do I call you? Apart from gorgeous?"
"What do I call you? Apart from gorgeous?"
His smile is genuine and Christ! He smells heavenly! A subtle woody smell that surprisingly blends well with the smell of my vanilla ice cream. Would it be weird if I ask him about the name of is cologne first?
I mention before pushing my now empty plastic cup away from me. He says it again, in a low voice. I think about getting to know his name but the minute I open my mouth, I feel a familiar hand squeeze my shoulder. Oh shit! I turn my neck to see him standing there, looking at me then at my table mate.
"I have to go, nice meeting you," I quickly say as I get up.
My boyfriend doesn't say a thing. His eyes feel like daggers as he squints and studies the fellow. I feel my heart drop, will he say anything to him? Mr. Brown jacket smiles back and keeps his mouth shut. How is he still smiling even in this situation? My boyfriend clutches my hand and walks me towards the stairs. I turn slightly to look at the bold stranger and wave at him, wishing I’d have had a proper goodbye. Why did my guy have to come at that time? I was starting to enjoy this. He winks back and I bite my lips, trying to suppress my smile. I’m then asked who the man is. I shrug. He is a stranger, a nameless intriguing stranger in my mental archives.
That has a royal feel to it, and a queen like her needs a king. She must be dating a knight instead, I mean look at how she's so deflated waiting. It's irresistible, the thought of derailing her plans in an impromptu eloping.
She opens her mouth only for him to finally place his hand on her right shoulder. I saw him walking from a distance, his eyes squinting at me, but I waited nonetheless.
She's perturbed and quickly regains her composure, mouthing a rushed goodbye. He's still looking at me, and I smile back, a small smile. He’s in a grey hoodie with a denim jacket on top finishing off with black pants. Look at that! We’re both in white shoes. He clutches her hand and I notice her wince. There it is, the signs. If he had only delayed for a minute, I'd have a way to contact her. I take a sip from my can, having reclined in the seat as I watch her body, clothed beautifully in red corduroy and black Dr. Martens Boots. Elegant. She turns to look at me and her eyes tell it all. She would have wished for more time.
She waves at me and I wink back smiling, she tries to hide her smile but does an awful job at it. As they descend the stairs, the ‘knight’ takes a last look at me as they disappear. It's 1030 now, and my soda is yet to end.
I look outside through the large windows, Nairobi in the morning, everywhere seems busy apart from in here.
Regina, I smile at what could have been.
PAY A VISIT AT THE LITLE PERGOLA TO FIND MORE OF MACHARYA AND STACY'S CAPTIVATING PIECES.