To read the First Part of this story, click here.
There is something refreshing about anger, especially if you’ve been starved of it for so long. I’m walking across the busy streets of Orient city, Sheoul provincial capital; my hands tuck deep in the pockets of my leather jacket, humming a tone to myself. I’m not sure what song it is but I’m sure it would belong to one of Ema’s archaic music collection which must have stuck to my head from consistent airplay every morning while we prepared for work. Shudders from the confrontation with her still linger and one who notices how I cling to myself would conclude the crispy harmattan breeze is telling on me. I can hardly believe how much of a mountain she had made of all this. I remember dealing with the presence of a colloquial man-crusher of hers for the first eight months of our relationship without blowing things out of proportion. And even though his name eludes me now, I can never forget how I’d lost my senses to laughter the night she mentioned it. It was one of those overemphasized catholic names with clumsy symphonies, like Alphonsus for example. His family had served on Ema’s family ranch at the countryside for many generations. They grew up together and as kids, he had probably felt a thing or two for her. Now fifteen years had gone by and mister crusher still used that as a premise to woo her in the guise of a friend. I had very often caught them spending time together in her family’s house, sipping hot chocolate amidst rounds of nonsensical giggles. And there always was this glint in his eyes whenever I’d unexpectedly stormed into them in the barn. The type an athlete would have when he had with little or no effort triumphed over an opponent. However, Ema’s smile, the one that almost stretched to her temples, always reassured me. In her eyes, he represented nothing more than a brotherly figure, and to me, that was everything.
Charlene on the other hand, is a clerk at the law firm and we had probably exchanged a few hellos amidst her devious attempts at flirtation, which however amusing, did not appeal to me. She came in just three weeks ago and I am baffled at the rate at which her stink already spread to every nook and cranny of the firm. I do not know why Ema thinks I’d cheated on her with that kind of a woman. Not that I’m implying I’d cheat on her if Charlene isn’t who she is but Ema’s temper and insecurity have always been hurdles in our relationship and they are becoming quite difficult to jump. I had times without number mulled over it, wondering now if I displayed any tendencies of infidelity that permitted the flinging of china plates at my head; the same china plate I’d used in serving chin-chin to Charlene when she mischievously appeared on my doorway, grinning like a bat. And I had vividly noticed while serving the snack that a button of her blouse was undone and the alluring pathway on her chest had been jewelry to my magpie eyes.
She was in the neighbourhood, she had said, and decided to stop by and say hi. I wanted to yelp, “Well you just did” and shove her away but before I could gather my thoughts, she had sneaked her way in, casually making a dry comment of how lovely the apartment was. I closed the door and turned to face her back, bare and freckled, the telltale of a backless blouse. And I could see how tightly her skirt which was several inches above her knees clung to her waistline down to the curvity of her thighs and the two fleshy halves slightly above them.
“What are you doing here?” I asked in between gulps of saliva. She turned to face me, slow-and-steadily nudging her hips that the halves wobbled.
“Oh Nelson darling, is this how you treat a guest in your house? Be a gentleman.” She returned in an anticipated husky tone that however harbored an indistinct softness even though I scoffed, trying to convince myself the way she said that wasn’t in any way enticing; not a single bit. She wasn’t the kind of woman that would strike you as beautiful on first or second sight; not the smiling kind you would want to return to every evening after work or one who would want to share every single detail of your life with you. Not the kind to eat from the same plate as you regardless of how little; who wouldn’t cast snarls at you when the rattle of coins fail to come from your pocket; who would stick even when the glue that holds you together seems to wan. She was just “there”. The kind of woman who’s without clothes lying next to you, ready to display mind-boggling bedtime tricks on you if you’re brave enough to stay awake, and the only reason those lowlifes at the office flocked around her was because they wanted a feel, if not a generous bite, of her “assets”.
“Well I must have amnesia because I can’t remember giving you the address to this place.” I barked, admiring the sarcastic flinch of an eyebrow in the mirror behind her.
Now this woman must have descended from a long line of hyenas because she, without warning, tittered in a way only those canines could muster and when she had had a fill of her idiocy, said, “I know my ways and my ways know me.” Then she placed a palm on my chest perhaps to tickle the anxiety creeping through my skin, for I believed her to be everything but oblivious. She was the kind of woman that loved to be in control, I could tell, and I had cursed her for placing that hand on me as I had cursed my overzealous heart even more for the unnecessary blows it dealt to my chest at an unnecessary time. Then she had walked over to a sofa, tactfully lowered herself into it and crossed her legs. I had offered the chin-chin from the fridge amidst her fifteen minutes of insidious chatter before telling her I had things to do and she needed to leave. Only then did she ambush me with a hug, ‘knowingly’ soiling my white polo shirt with bits of her lipstick while my only thought had been to walk her to the door and politely kick her out. It showed how blind women with ‘certain’ needs are to common hints. Ema had walked in at that thin line between untangling myself from her grasp and pushing her away, stunned by the spectacle before her eyes, and Charlene in her unconcealed love for theatrics had smiled derisively saying, “You have quite a fine gentleman for a lover Emmy. It would be a grave shame to lose him to someone else; someone who would appreciate more his reputable qualities.” Then she winked at me, tongue delicately sticking out between parted lips before vanishing as she had come. Hence, the gasp from Ema, and the ice in her eyes, had told me I was in for more drama as I walked past her to close the door.
To be continued……