Something I dug up ….

17 Dec

AFTER READING EDJ’S LAGOS SCHOOL DAZE, I WAS INSPIRED TO GO DUST OFF THE FIRST CHAPTER OF A STORY I WAS WORKING ON BEFORE LIFE GOT IN THE WAY.

It is kinda, sorta loosely based on a true story.  Enjoy.

___________________________________________________________________________

I struggled to keep my eyes open for a while then decided to lose the fight.  I sank lower under the covers and sighed, enjoying the morning quiet.  It was Saturday, my day of rest and sleeping in.  I stretched my limbs.  My eyes flew open in shock when my right leg encountered another.  A hairy, long, very long, limb.  Apparently not mine.  I peered out from the under the covers and stared at my sleeping companion, willing my fuzzy mind to get with the present.  I did a quick pan around my sleeping quarters.  This was not my bedroom. Slowly, the events of the past few days came to mind and I realized, I was actually 800 miles away from my own bedroom.  Ah, shit, I thought, today is the day.

“Hey,” the stranger beside me said in a sleepy voice, “you up already?”

I stared at the sleepy mound next to mine and yawned.  “I have to go,” I said.

“Why? It’s early.”

“I still have some packing to do.”

I got out of bed and wandered around, making my way to what I hoped was the bathroom.  I found myself staring at perfectly lined suits, shirts, ties, jackets and Italian shoes.  I was in the walk-in closet.

“Bathroom’s over there.”

He was sitting up in bed, rubbing his eyes with one hand and pointing across the room with the other.  He was naked from the waist up.  I resisted the urge to jump back into his bed and his arms, and walked into the bathroom.  I got in the shower, intending to make it a quick one but was seduced by the heat and therapeutic sting of the water.  I stood momentarily and felt my muscles relax.  The door opened and Johnny got in with me.  He did not ask if he could.  He just did.  He never asked for anything.  He did not ask if he could put his arms around me and I did not mind.  I leaned back against him enjoying his musky smell and hard lean body.  The body.  It got me in trouble all the time.

“Do you want me to drive you to the airport?” He asked.

“No, I got a hotel room last night.  My stuff is still there.”

“Why would you go and do something that silly?”

“I did not plan on spending the night here.”

“Well, I did.  And I planned on spending the day with you until your departure.”

“Thanks for the offer, but I have a few things to do before I leave.”

We stood in the shower listening to the water sprout from the showerhead.  His hands wandered over my abdomen and unto my breasts.  I could feel myself responding but took his hands and gently returned them to my abdomen.

“Wow,” he said.  “Today is the day.”

“Yes.  Yes, it is.”

“Relax.  You will have fun.  In fact you will have so much fun, you will forget to call me and tell me how you are doing.”

My chest tightened and I took a deep breath.  Of course everyone thought I would have fun.  That was what vacations are for.  To have fun. I took his arms away from my torso and got out of the shower to towel-dry and hunt for my clothes.  By the time I was dressed, he was out of the shower and walking around his bedroom, naked, as usual, and leaving around small puddles of water on his hardwood floor.  I made a strong effort to not look at him as I collected my items strewn all over the floor.

“You sure you don’t want me to give you a ride to your hotel?” He asked again.

“I will call a cab.”

“You mad at me?” He asked as he pulled on a pair of jeans.

“No.”

“You are hardly saying anything.”

“It’s nothing.  I’m just a little tense.  Last minute stuff, you know.”  I glanced over at him. He was watching me with a strange look.  His face vanished for a second as he pulled on a white t-shirt over his head.  When it appeared, the look was gone.

I snapped my oversized handbag shut and headed for the door.

“Don’t go out -,” he started to say, but I had opened the door and was met with the sight of several bodies lying haphazardly all over the hallway.  I shut the door and turned to face him.

“I tried to warn you,” he said.

“Those morons never left?” I whispered.

“Hey, they are my friends and they were here to give you a little send off party -” he replied, his voice matching my hushed tone.

“That I did not ask for!”

“How could I let them drink and drive?” He asked putting a hand on his hip.  I frowned at his lame attempt to remind me of my previous DUI incident.  I shook my head and opened the door.  We left the room, picking our way carefully through the hallway, into the living room, where to my chagrin, more bodies lay.  Dash, Johnny’s best friend was on the couch with some white girl wrapped around him.  Other members of the Minneapolis Posse – as I called them were positioned all over the living room.  Okoro, or Koko as he was known, was partially under the coffee table.  Magnet had managed to squeeze his frame onto a loveseat and Obinna still had a bottle of Miller in his right hand.  I did not know who the other their female companions were.  I walked to the kitchen fully aware Johnny was right behind me.

“Breakfast?”  He whispered.  I mouthed, no, and pointed to the refrigerator, orange juice.  He poured me a glass and went into the pantry to place a call to the cab company.  I drank the whole juice all at once and set the glass down amidst left over pizza and fried rice.

Shit, I thought, today is the day.  After he came out, I cocked my head and motioned toward the front door.  We made our way to the front door and stepped outside.

“Why are we waiting outside?” he asked.

“Don’t want the cab horn to wake the guys up.”

We stood in silence, staring at the cobbled stones that led from the door to the driveway.  He lived in an enviable subdivision in suburban Minneapolis.  His townhouse was located across a duck pond, though none of the ducks were out and about.  The morning sun’s reflection on the pond made me a bit despondent.  I was supposed to be excited, happy, even.  Yet, I was filled with that horrible feeling of not knowing.  He sighed a few times.  I expected him to say something but he did not.

A yellow cab pulled up to the town house and I started towards it.  Johnny hurried to the door and opened it.  I started to get in, then turned and gave him a hug.  I held him a moment longer than I intended then let him go and got in the cab.

“Have a safe journey,” he said.

I smiled and waved as the cab pulled away.  Journey.  How appropriate that he would use that word.  It was like he knew my trip would end at the airport and my journey would begin afterwards.  After nine years in the United States, I was going home to Nigeria.  For three weeks, I was going to be transplanted in a place so familiar, yet alien.  The real trip began yesterday when I drove eight hours from the Fernville, North Dakota to Minneapolis for a direct flight to Europe and a connecting flight to Lagos.  Johnny of course insisted on seeing me before I left and what was meant to be an intimate night for two became a rowdy house party of a two dozen of his friends.  I really did not mind, but I would rather have spent the night alone in my hotel room.  He insisted.  I figured one last night of steamy lovemaking would help calm my nerves.  Problem was when we stumbled into bed, alcohol had put out much of the steam we had earlier on.  But I had enjoyed being held. I enjoyed running my hands over his tall, muscular, zero-percent-body-fat frame.

My eyes bored into each of the skyscrapers they drove by on the freeway, trying to imagine if anyone had a life such as mine.  I wondered if anyone would be setting off to confront my past like I was.  The cab pulled up to The Plaza Hotel. I paid and got out, giving the doorman a cursory nod to his enthusiastic’ ‘good morning.’  Back in my room, I picked up the phone and called the kitchen.

“How late do you serve breakfast?” I asked.

A lady with South American accent replied, “11 o’clock.”

“Would it be possible to order a bottle of wine with my breakfast?”

“Er, I will have to check.  Please hold.”  Minutes later, “It would be an extra charge ma’am.”

“That is fine with me.”

I hung up and took off my clothes.  In my hurry to leave his house, I had not scrubbed properly.  I did not want the psychological burden of carrying his scent with me over ten thousand miles.  This time, I focused on my task scrubbed behind my ears, my back, between my legs, everywhere I remembered he touched – which was pretty much my entire body.  As I wrapped the hotels fluffy bath robe around my, there was a knock on the door.

“Yes?”

“Room service.”

I dined on my favorite breakfast of scrambled eggs, wheat toast and jelly, and a glass of Pepsi.  I later opened the bottle of Pinot Grigio I untraditionally had a craving for.  After two glasses, I felt ready to face my day.  I logged on the Northwest Airlines website and double checked the weight capacity of my luggage, then removed and repacked several items a few times before giving up on the chore all together.  If my luggage was overweight I would have to call Johnny to pick up items I would not be traveling with.

I looked at the time.  It was a few minutes to noon.  My flight did not leave until three.  I lay on the bed the reservations lady had said was an award winner of some obscure quality assurance group and closed my eyes for a short nap.  The drink had certainly alleviated some of my anxiety.  I made a mental note to stop for another one at the airport bar.  And another note to double check to make sure my anti-anxiety medication was in my purse.

At 12:45, I rang for the bell hop.  My luggage secured on the trolley, my nerves manageable, my eyes safely behind enormous shades, I made my way to the lobby and into my cab, taking care to over-tip both the bell hop and the door man.  Who said black people did not know how to tip? I thought to myself as the cab pulled off and headed to the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport.

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7 Responses to “Something I dug up ….”

  1. Beulah December 17, 2010 at 1:43 pm #

    Fantastic Storyyyyy!!!……next part pls??!!…im drooling already…lol

  2. EDJ December 21, 2010 at 11:39 am #

    Well I am glad you were inspired to dig this up! I am intrigued by the story already. Why is our lady friend visiting Nigeria? Who is Johnny? What will happen when she visits Nigeria? Ahh the questions…

  3. Ginger December 22, 2010 at 7:41 am #

    I want to know this sassy woman’s name…just went for a something something to strengthen herself for a journey back home. I like her style. This story feels very intimate and yet.. oya now, continue

  4. Joxy December 22, 2010 at 8:35 am #

    Oya continue biko. I’m intrigued.

  5. Neefemi December 27, 2010 at 8:55 pm #

    u should continue it tho….

  6. A Witty Fool January 2, 2011 at 9:11 pm #

    Lovely story. feels like the start of something. hope we get to find out where it (or she) goes from here

  7. ms.o January 4, 2011 at 3:23 pm #

    where are you?????? Happy new yr!!!

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