Everyone around her seemed to have that one person to love. Each lonely soul she had previously found solace in had eventually been joined by that stunning other they had been patiently waiting for all morning. And yet she was still alone at her table, typing away empty words on her machine which looked like it would also leave her in three seconds.
She looked around one last time, her eyes silently begging for a lonely friend, someone who looked as empty as she felt. Someone who would make her feel the soothing comfort of lonely company. None. Every customer at this restaurant had someone to lean on, someone’s hand to brush against during flirty laughter, or someone’s eyes to gaze into as a whispered lover’s intense conversation lost the two in a world of their own. Rolling her eyes she dove back into her work and lost herself in the black words she was typing.
Suddenly she felt a presence. An intent gaze had fallen upon her and stayed there. She felt her body stiffen in nervousness. She wanted to look up and discover what wonder awaited her. She thought about the possibility of the love of her life sitting across the patio, looking at her, taking in every inch of her beauty. The more she thought about it, the surer she was that the surprise that awaited her was a tall beau ready to make her his wife. Her mind’s eye told her of his six foot three structure, broad swimmer’s shoulders and arms so strong they could kill a small puppy with one carelessly placed strike. She saw his black curls fall around his face in loose tendrils, and she knew of the coolness in his hazel brown eyes. The kind of cool that cannot be threatened by any situation, but turns red hot in passion when behind the closed doors of the bedroom.
She imagined his smile. His perfect rows of pearl white teeth that spoke no lies, guarded by the lips of a god.
She saw the smile of her husband-to-be, the man she could love for the rest of her life, and she loved every moment of it. She loved how his tongue rolled the Rs in his mouth, as if tasting them, playing with them a little before letting them tumble out of his mouth. She loved how he would listen to her speak, and never interrupt. She loved how he would be so attentive to her needs, and how he would massage her feet. She thought about all the things he would do, “Breakfast in bed, surprise flowers, heart melting romantic dates, tender kisses, passionate embraces.” She thought about everything cliché every girl had thought about and hoped for. She knew it was all mostly cliché but she did not care, because she knew it was all true, and she would want all that and more in a man.
When she had formulated her dreams in her mind and convinced herself that today would be the day that it would all come true, she raised her eyes to find her beau.
Toothless. The dirty old man smiled at her. His dirty hand in the zipless crotch of his torn trousers, he was furiously jerking his hand. He winked at her and licked his lips and he kept moving his hand fervently, his eyes cruising all over her body. Fighting back the gourmet doughnut she just had, she was thrown into the reality of her “beau”- the homeless man on the street corner.
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.