There are days I wake up all jolly and excited, eager and anxious to see what the day have in store for me. Then there are those days that not even a gallon of black coffee filled with an elephant’s trunk-sized sugar would help, time seems to drag on as if waiting for someone. You check the clock and it’s 09:11 am, two hours later, you check again just to find its 09:12 am. Doesn’t time know I have my bed waiting for me at the end of the day? Sure’ life is no bed of roses, but neither is it a bed of thorns! Such day’s I understand Hitler’s actions and given the opportunity, I would do worse.
But then there are those days when you have to go nowhere, no work, no planned visitors, no multi-level pyramid scheming salesmen, nothing! I look forward to such days. The first thing I do, of course, is to change my Whatsapp status to ‘Phone about to die’ and turn my internet off. Then, I rush to my movie guy with a two months accumulated list of movies and series, I proceed to give the usual lecture that should anything not play, not speak English or not end, I would move to any of the other thousand movie shops around. I wouldn’t move just because of a few glitches; you know that and I know that, but he doesn’t know that. Secretly, I’m loyal.
You obviously have to close the curtains so the GNLD and AIM salesmen don’t knock on your door and hopelessly try to convince you to buy toothpaste that has healing and miracle working powers.
One came last week and was unlucky enough to knock on my door, she must’ve irked her luck because I was around –I shouldn’t have been, but I was.
When she first knocked, like any mildly paranoid being, I peeked through the window.
She was a short, chocolate complexioned young lady in black rubber shoes with white soles. The soles cautioned tire and beckoned me not to be mean to her, but she came knocking, I didn’t go searching for her. She also had a gray bag that sagged on her back all the way to her hips. Her hair was recently blow-dried, meaning she had recently made profits and would, therefore, stand the scorn of one callous customer.
She made her second knock and waited, she must have seen the sandals on my door as she seemed to be in no apparent hurry. I went to the door and knocked from the inside. I couldn’t see her face but I bet she must’ve been curious as she made another knock; this time, with more gist and command.
She intrigued me. I thought a knock from the inside would have had her running for the hills –or at least the next door.
I opened the door, an act I was convinced I wasn’t going to do.
“Hi, my name is Lucy, what’s yours?”
Hold on, she wasn’t trying to choke some products down my throat, she actually cared about who I was. How sweet.
“I’m Lucius. You look tired, would you like a glass of water?” No, my name is not Lucius, I just thought it was common ground since our names had a closeness of sorts. After all, you can never be too paranoid.
“No, thank you. But I would like to show you something.”
“Well, as long as it’s legal”
“Haha… you’re funny. And yes, it’s very legal. You see this toothpaste, it helps your teeth and gums, and rids you of any mouth smells.”
“Does, my breath stink that bad?’
“No, you’re teeth are actually clean, and to maintai…”
“I could sell you mine, I make it myself.”
“haha… But I’m the one selling.”
“But my teeth are clean, your words.”
“It’s ok, I can try next time. Let me see if your neighbors want some.”
“I usually sell them mine. You can call me when you want some as well.” I said as she walked away, I could see a hinting smile on the edge of her face.
I hadn’t tortured her as much as I wanted, but it did seem like I made her day.
I went back to my seat ready to start a full day of senseless movie watching with a few breaks to answer messages I deemed worthy of a response. And no, I am not this lazy, but every once in a while I do like to shut off my brain and just think why they had to make another season of Prison Break.
A couple of hours into my zombie activity, I heard a soft knock on the door. However, I quickly dismissed the idea of someone being at my door, either because I thought my mind was playing tricks on me or I just didn’t want there to be anyone. And if making them a figment of my imagination would make them go away, I would happily oblige.
There was another knock, soft as the first one. The subtlety of the knock assured me it wasn’t Lucy again. I went to the door without my usual peek-through-the-curtains routine. I opened the door and it was the lady from across the hall.
What was she doing on my door? Did she want matchsticks to light her cigarettes? Did she just want to see my face? Had she seen me ‘spying’ on her again? Did she want to tell me she had a boyfriend? All these questions tracked through my mind as I looked at her slender and perfectly symmetrical face. Her figure is neither too fat nor too slender, she is just the right weight. Her height neither too tall nor is it too short, she is just right height. Her hair is long and dark and shiny, ‘twas just right. Her eyes, she has the loveliest brown eyes that anyone could get lost in if the smile didn’t swallow you in first. The eyes she covered with her glasses that fell perfectly on her bridge and complemented her brows. She was just right.
A few years from now, when she is walking down the aisle on her wedding day –our wedding day. I will let her know for the hundredth time how I got lost in her eyes the day she looked at me.
“Hi,” she said with a radiant smile.
I, like the overly confident and charming prince just stood there in utter amazement and silence –yes, we all have moments of weakness. But this lady -who later I would learn her name to be Clair- is a clear embodiment of a walking drug. So addictive and she doesn’t seem to know it.
“Hi to you too… Just so you know, I stopped stalking you if that’s what you wanted to say. Not that I was stalking you, but I stopped” I answered back as I tried to build my composure, a house of cards.
“No,” she giggled, “Just wanted your help with some pets I have in my house. Would you mind coming over and taking a look?”
Wait, what? This is code for something, Am I right? It has to be a certain code. I’m not sure we’re even allowed to keep pets in the apartment. Did she know about my celibacy vow? How do I even bring a celibacy vow to pets in my apartment conversation?
“Yea, sure. What are they, cats? Dogs? Dragons?”
“Real funny, just come and see, just don’t be squeamish”
Don’t be squeamish! That’s definitely code.
The contrast between our two apartments was humongous, I thought I had entered the heaven of houses.
Her walls were painted purple with flower patterns close to the edges, every wall had an art piece that seemed to blend with the background. Her seats were a dark shade of blue adorned with pillows of all colors, shapes, and sizes. Her curtains had two layers, one heavy outer thick layer that shared the same purple as the walls, and lighter inner strip that took different colors. Her coffee table was made of pure glass that seemed to play tricks on your eyes depending on where you stood. On the corner beside the window stood an old bookshelf, it was beautifully cluttered with books, journals and at the top a couple of top prize trophies. On the walls leading to her kitchen, lay two pieces of art; One was a huge lettered ‘C’ that seemed to be carved out of wood, the other was her photo. It must’ve been a professional shoot, the grass around her bend towards one side in perfect harmony, as subjects would to a queen they adored. The trees in the background stood with such majesty and command as though they were standing guard and protecting her, the dead stamp she was seated on oozed life. The photo was an epitome of perfection.
“Please don’t tell me the pets are invisible, invisible pets can hide from you all day.” I broke the silence that had been for a while. She stood there and let me take in her apartment’s ambiance.
“No silly. But truth is, there are no pets.”
I knew it, I knew there were no pets, I cleared my throat as I prepared to share how I took the celibacy vow and though she was my kryptonite, I just couldn’t.
“They’re more like vermin.” She interjected just as I was ready to explain myself.
“I’m sorry, vermin? Like bugs?”
“Yes, like bugs. Only four-legged, elusive and furry.”
“Yes, rats. They’ve plagued my apartment for a week now and I just can’t seem to find them. That’s why I need your help.”
Lord, thank you that I was not about to break my celibacy vow. Now you know you created me a very courageous being. I find no flaw in my design. However, if there’s one thing I have always meant to ask you, is why I’m I afraid of rats? Why couldn’t it have been anything else, I would pick dogs or elephants or even birds. But you just have to go with rats.
And Satan, I know you and I have not always had the best of relationships. You always trying to lure me with irresistible incentives, me cursing you. But getting me in a room with the potential missus and rats, that’s just straight up cruel and beneath you.
“Of course I’ll help,” I said with a pitch in my tone.
“I think they’re in the kitchen. I’ve tried setting up traps but they’re just not dying.”
“I’ll go to the kitchen and lock the door and if I don’t make it out alive, tell my story.” I joked as I made a beeline for the kitchen.
She smiled again. And that gave me all the courage I needed.
“It’s my house, we’re doing this together. Unless you’re a certified exterminator.”
There we were. Two people in love, in the same room, united in one cause. This is what love is made of, and we would have one great story for our children.
I had a broom and she had a sandal, I felt like I had the upper hand which also gave me added responsibilities I didn’t care for. We had our backs leaning against each other circling slowly around. It felt like a script straight off the Titanic, only we would both make it out alive.
From the rods of my eye, I saw a little gray creature staring at with a death glare from in between a gorge. I stood there looking back at it, contemplating the myriad options running across my mind.
Could I throw a broom at it? No, it would probably walk it off. Could I make a jump and dunk on it with the broom? No, it would have escaped by the time I was landing. I said nothing and just watched it.
A few minutes later, she said it was futile to try and hunt a rat which I assured her it wasn’t.
She offered to make me lunch but I declined. Now while that monster was in her house.
I did, however, invite her to watch a movie at my place and she accepted. I spent the next five hours explaining to her who Michael Scofield was and the plot behind Prison Break.
I still retain, this is going to be a great story to our children.