When you first arrived in town, you’d asked, “Where are all the pretty lassies of this land?”
Many names were delivered, but only two had stuck out: Avril and Soleil.
“That Soleil is quite a feisty one, she is!” one guy said.
“Pretty hot and tempting. No doubt, she’s definitely phat,” another added.
“She would make you forget your own name,” someone else ventured.
All the men agreed as they tended their usual business of the day: discussing women.
“What about Avril?” you enquired. “Is she really the belle of the ball?”
“Ah. That one. Y’better watch out for her, mysterious lil’ thang that she is!”
“She has such a sweet demeanor, bound to knock your socks right off.”
Hmm. You thought to yourself. A lil’ mystery never hurt.
“But,” a booming voice cut in, “You’ll have to wait in line. All the menfolk are after her. Including me.”
Turning to look at the speaker, you see a man as old as time. Stick in hand, smoking pipe perched to the side, and laugh wrinkles dancing around his eyes.
Pff. A lil’ competition never hurt neither. Just makes it all the more interesting, you chuckle to yourself.
For this one, I intend to go charm 100%.
And so it was decided. Avril would be pursued.
You waited through the fall with its red, gold and orange gifts adorning the streets.
Then came winter with her icy cold stare.
Still no sign of Avril.
From what you gathered around games of draught, Soleil had also absconded.
Only, not into nothingness, but rather to the tropics.
Pas de probleme. If Avril’s the belle of the town, she’s certainly worth the wait.
And with that, you comforted youself for many a night.
Finally, the day came. And unexpectedly so.
Going about your work in the fields, you looked up from tending tomato seeds to find her
smiling down at you.
“I hear you’ve been waiting for me,” she said.
Watering can in hand, dirt-smudged shirt hiding gleaming muscles, your eyes began to ache.
Such was the intensity of her beauty.
“Well,” she laughed. “No introduction?”
Rising up from the moist earth in a manner reminiscent of a sun flower straining towards the universal source of light, you took in the contours of what had to be, the last goddess on earth.
Everything in place, everything in tune, the world seemed to quieten in recognition of this extraordinary meeting.
“Pleasure’s all mine,” you said, making your voice as deep as you possibly could.
You then proceeded to provide her with the sort of details that people often provide when they first make one another’s acquaintance.
It was love at first sight!
Soon, you two were inseparable. The charm was 100%, like you’d sworn the first day you heard about her.
Long strolls and hide and seek in the breezy wheat fields, picnics in the park with a basketful of fruits, evenings watching the sun go down into the oceanic wonderland.
Just your typical fairy tale romance.
She was the nucleus to your very system, and you were…
“Well, you have to understand darling. They need me. I’ve been gone so long it’s only natural they’d want to spend time.”
…You were one of the many battling for her coquettish smiles and stolen glances.
All the same, you were happy.
Well, maybe not happy, content is more like it. At least for a while.
Eventually, it’ll be just she and I, you told yourself.
But eventually took its sweet time in coming.
People started to talk.
Nothing new there. They always do.
But this time, you were the topic of discussion.
“He’s gonna get his heart broken.”
“Look at him, following her around like a lovesick puppy. What’s he gonna do when she leaves? And she always does. You know that right?”
You mention it to her, and she says:
“Ignore them munchkin. They are just jealous we make a perfect pair.”
She proceeded to run her fingers gently through your hair.
When that didn’t reduce the creases of worry etched on your forehead, she brushed feather-light kisses across your face.
Soon, you were re-engulfed in only her.
Yours was a whirlwind romance.
A day of intense flirtation. A week of “dating” and by week two, you were an item…
ignoring her countless other suitors who seemed to grow more persistent by the day.
That fortnight eve, you came down with a flu.
“Don’t worry about it love. You’ve been working so hard. Maybe some time off will do you good.”
So that’s what you did. Spent all your time with her with the assurance that her warmth, gentleness and pure magic, would nurse you back to health.
Fitful nights in bed. Virtually no sleep at all.
Crusty eyes from tears cried somewhere from the depths of your soul – not because you were sick, but rather because she wasn’t there by your side.
And curiously enough, when she did come around, you could barely get a word in, your coughs seemed to intensify with her presence.
People said she’d put a spell on you. Just as she had the others.
You begun to think she had. But yet, you knew you’d love her to the point of death.
One morning, you woke up to find Soleil at your bedside.
“Hey you,” she smiled.
You returned her smile and looked weakly around the room.
“Oh, Avril? She’s no longer here. Gone off to wherever it is that she goes around this time of year. But no worries, I’m here now,” Soleil offered.
You’d been sitting propped up by your elbows. Now you lay back into the pillow.
Gone. Gone. GONE!
It was all gone. The cold, the stuffiness in your chest, the itchy eyes, everything.
You reached for the medicine at the bedside table. Did they finally work?
“Let me go grab you some food. Breakfast in bed. Hows that sound ey?” Soleil said, getting up.
She winked mischievously and sauntered away.
Soleil was nothing new. You knew her kind. There were plenty where you came from.
Avril on the other hand…Avril. You sighed deeply.
Soleil soon returned, food-laden tray in hand. You immediately started eating.
“Well, I guess you’re all better now. Guess you won’t be need these anymore.”
She picked up the packet of pills you’d lain on the bed.
“Clairitin? No wonder you were down for so long. This has no effect.”
You look up at Soleil, confusion evident in your eyes.
“When it comes to Avril, you want Benadryl or Zyrtec. Nothing else does it for her,” she explained
Realization dawning, you curse under your breath and gaze into space.
To think you’d thought you had it all planned to the tee.
But don’t we all.
We welcome spring with open arms, only for her to screw us over with her pollen friends.
Talk about dangerous seduction!
[Inspired by the bouts of allergies that accompany spring. Whatever happened to simply enjoying the sun?”]
Jemila Abdulai is the creative director, editor and founder of the award-winning website Circumspecte.com. A media and international development professional and economist by training, she combines her business, communications and project management expertise with her strong passion for Africa. Besides writing and reading, she enjoys travel, global cuisine, movies, and good design.