Sonto – The Loves

Sonto’s Secret

Dominic focused on her face again, and she still wore that quizzical look. He wondered how she was able to keep her face immobile and yet animated all at once. He knew several people who could raise one eyebrow and not the other, but none could do it for as long as Sonto. This one time she had had a staring competition with one of his friends, Mickey, where the only rules were dont smile, dont look away, and had thoroughly thrashed him, one eyebrow raised.

Mickey was the most arrogant of all his friends, the one most likely to claim the ultimate player title and proclaim himself “God’s gift to womankind”. All the girls Dominic knew tried to please Mickey or somehow get his attention; even older women. They all preened for him or argued with him or pretended not to notice him but deep down they all wanted him, and Mickey knew it. He was disdainful of most girls, and his friends often laughed with him as he mocked their dates, calling them shallow and dumb. Dominic had expected Sonto, like all the others, to be enamoured of Mickey while pretending otherwise. The guys didnt mind: the girls showered them with attention when Mickey was around, thinking they could fool their boyfriends into believing they cared nothing for Mickey, who sat above it all with a sardonic, lopsided twist to his smile. When Mickey finally met her, he later told Dominic that she was ‘smart’ and different and Dominic felt so proud. When Mickey admitted that shed given him a hard-on though, he didnt quite know what to feel or what to say, so he just kept smiling at his best friend. Nobody had ever wondered what would happen if Mickey ever fell for one of the girls. It had never happened before and suddenly Dominic was reminded that Mickey had never yet hit on a girl and been turned down.

First person to break eye-contact or smile loses – simple and clear. Sonto and Mickey took up positions, standing opposite each other in front of the counter next to the fridge. Somehow everyone had ended up in the kitchen and so the kitchen was to be the scene of yet another victory for Mickey, unless Sonto turned out to be the one. Mickey had never lost to anyone and he told the guys he never would, that there wasnt a person alive who could outstare him, that the one had not yet been born. Dominic believed him. Of course he did – Mickey was better than everyone in every way and everyone knew it. Those who didnt know it just hadn’t met him yet. Dominic watched his best friend stare into his girlfriends eyes, the watching guys whooping like kids and whistling. No wonder they were excited – Mickey had never had to stare at anyone this long before being pronounced winner, certainly not a girl, and Sonto had never looked sexier.

Her hair was pulled back from her face into an afro puff, leaving her high forehead gleaming and making her huge eyes appear even bigger. There was something about her eyes, something that he couldnt name but that he knew everyone else could see too. Shed told him once that an ex of hers had told her she had a jezebels eyes, throwing the insult like a knife and expecting it to stick where it stabbed. She claimed it hadnt, but the way she fell silent for a minute after recounting the incident had given the lie to het words. Her chest rose and fell evenly as she continued to stare at Mickey, deep brown breast-tops almost visible in the vee of her white button-down shirt, the first few buttons left open in a nod to the rising heat of the day. Her jeans tucked in ankle-length boots making her legs seem impossibly long, the entire outfit her usual Saturday staple, changing only from boots to sandals and back again with the seasons variations. As his eyes lingered on the denim-clad swell of her hips, Dominic felt his own heat begin to rise and he quickly raised his gaze back to her face; he didnt want to miss a minute of what he could feel was going to be an epic championship bout. He noted her still-raised eyebrow and cursorily tried to lift one of his in imitation, before giving it up as a bad job and settling down to watch the contest. All Dominic knew was that this goddess was here because of him. All these people, some of whom hed known for years, who had fallen silent watching her stare at his best friend, were watching his woman. She hadn’t moved but everything about her now seemed to say GODDESS in bright and somehow loud flashing letters. Invisible letters to be sure, yet they could be read so easily. She was goddess and she was woman and  and Mickey had finally met his match.

As she stared at Mickey, Sonto allowed her peripheral vision to tunnel so that eventually all she could see was his face. She became oblivious to everything that wasnt located in the space between where Mickeys hair began and where his chin ended. She looked into his eyes, and as she always did, she heard the click in her head that sounded the connection. She couldn’t explain what happened, she just knew that if she looked into a man’s eyes and concentrated, she sometimes saw a glimpse of his thoughts, a quick procession of images detailing whatever was foremost in his mind at the time. Men who lost to her had been heard to confess to feeling hot and itchy; she wasnt trying to have anyone examine her too closely and so shed eventually stopped participating in staring contests. That was undergrad though, and here she was, about to walk for her Masters and shed somehow landed in a group that also held staring contests. What were the odds, seriously? Hiding her secret power was hard enough as it was. Still, she didnt know any of these people outside of the parties Dominic took her to, and it was unlikely they’d know of her reputation. Besides, she’d enjoy bringing down Mickey, the arrogant twerp they all followed around. Sonto mentally rolled her shoulders, getting ready for what she was about to do.

She emptied her mind and sent waves of thought into the tenuous link she’d created with Mickey. Heat. Heat, she thought at him, and Break. She was surprised he was still standing a few seconds later – normally those who made it past the ‘click’ broke eye contact a moment later, citing feelings of dizziness and yet involuntarily smiling. She had long stopped wondering what happened to them and conscientiously avoided making full eye contact with men, since sometimes the click happened involuntarily on making eye contact and shed find herself on the receiving end of some very disturbing images. You know how they say men think about sex every fifteen seconds? Sonto knew it was more like every seven. Having every man past mating age fall in lust with you got tiresome after a while.

I own you. You belong to me. You are in the palm of my hand and if I so choose, I could crush you. I own you. You are mine. Mine.

She sent these thoughts toward Mickey in a veritable flood and even went so far as to sprinkle a tiny bit of sensuousness in there. Shed never directed so many thoughts at one person before. This man was different and she found herself excited by the challenge. Finally, a worthy opponent when shed given up hope of ever finding such a thing. Who is he, she wondered, and why have I never known that he is special? The questions came thick and fast but she kept Sending to him, more determined than ever to break him. She became aware of a slight buzzing between her legs and at the back of her head, and knew the time was coming to end this. It just would not do to have an orgasm in front of all these people  what on earth would they think? She continued Sending: I own you, all of you, your body mine to do with as I want. The image of a black jaguar came unbidden to her mind, her eyes still locked on his. With a jolt of shock, she realized that Mickey was Sending right back at her. Could it be that he was undisputed champion because he held the same power that she did? Maybe she should have tried harder to make friends with the other WAGs, the wives and girlfriends attached to Dominic, Mickey and the rest; surely if he had a secret power someone would have let something slip?

The jaguar stretched, muscles elongating and tightening in a languorous display of power and pure animal heat. Sonto wrested power over the jaguar away from Mickey, and Sent instead: That is me. The sleek animal morphed and became her. Her, halfway-undressed, secret places covered in silk and lace. Curves undulating, body rolling this way and that way, legs bending and now straightening, hands caressing and moulding and cuppingrippling on grey satin, almost feeling it cool and smooth against her bare skin. This had never happened before. The sex in her Sendings had always been implied rather than actualized, and that was all that had been needed to get the guys flustered and breaking eye contact, leaving her to claim champion. This was new, and strange, but she couldn’t tear her eyes from Mickeys, both of them trying to examine this phenomenon more closely and fighting to get control of the now orgasmic creature only they could see. With her power gripped firmly in her mind, Sonto focused on the images spilling from Dominics, who seemed to be fighting hard to keep control. Perhaps not so worthy after all she thought grimly. She could see herself in his thoughts and what she saw made her almost catch her breath. He was seeing her through the Sending, writhing on the satin, her now-naked skin dappled with light and shadow, which struck her as strange because in her vision the room was brightly lit and she was covered, if barely. Perhaps he was adding layers to the Sending, somehow adding and taking away parts of it without even knowing. Fascinating. But this isnt the time to examine that, Sonto thought. She was in his head as he got lost in the vision before him, his eyes, though still locked onto hers, strangely unfocused as he began to delve into the Sending. Things got weirder  Sonto had become observer and observed; as she watched him watch her or rather, watch the Sending, she also watched herself – she was in her sending and yet outside it, too. She felt panic rising from the bottom of her stomach and up into her throat. This was getting out of control.

She had no idea what was going on and she wasnt sure she liked it, whatever it was. Almost imperceptibly, there was an unclick. Usually Sonto had to break the connection she had made and yet here it was broken by someone other than her. Could Mickey be strong enough to break from her, she wondered? Did he know what had happened? The link was severed and yet there was still a connection – she could sense him, just a fingertip away, could still feel him watching her.

With a spasm of fear, Sonto realised that Mickey wasnt back yet. He was in the same position he had been, as she was, and his eyes still stared, unfocused, into hers. To Dominic, to the guys now whispering just beyond her hearing, she knew Mickey still looked the same, like he was engaged in a simple staring competition, just like normal. But this wasnt normal, and Sonto had no idea what to do. The connection had been severed on her side, but on his, it seemed it was still intact. She had been in control of the Sending, had flooded him with it and then been flooded herself, and somehow, she didnt know how, she’d gotten unclicked and free but Mickey was still entranced. Fear curled from her stomach, and into her limbs, paralyzing her, as she realised that he was still lost in that maelstrom, and she didnt know how to get him back. Sonto couldnt even move, knowing that there would be too much explaining to do if she moved and Mickey remained immobile, staring at the same spot.

She could feel him gazing around himself inside himself and inside her, too. She could feel his knowing expand as he explored her being and her thoughts; she wanted to clutch her hands between her legs as she felt him take note of the pool of hot energy there. He was so deep inside her thoughts that he was almost part of them and she felt herself exposed to him, laid bare. It was not a nice feeling.

Their eyes remained locked together, and she refused to break contact, even as the fear began to climb steadily upward from her stomach, uncurling and turning her insides to ice. Desperately she tried to look even deeper into his eyes, shouting toward him with her thoughts, feeling her unspoken words flap uselessly against his consciousness.

Come back to me. Come. You are mine and I call you to me, she thought at him, hoping to re-establish, somehow, the connection that made Sending possible.

When it came, the spark was ice cold and burning hot in its coldness. Someone or Something had strummed the invisible wire of strange energy connecting them through their still locked eyes, creating a spark that travelled up and down the wire’s length, annihilating everything in its path. As the link shattered she watched as he ‘came back’ to himself. It was like watching someone go from deep sleep to complete wakefulness in a split second, but without the dramatic action of shut eyes snapping open. They stared at each other, both wondering, both awed by what had just happened.

When he was forced back into his body, somehow gently dropped into it, Mickey had refocused only to find her staring at him, face immobile yet somehow, more alive than he’d ever seen it. He knew his own face was like wood; he’d done this a million times before, staring girls into submission, and although he couldn’t explain what had just happened, he knew he wouldnt be the first to look away or smile. The images of her on gray shimmery fabric were fading away even as he tried to examine them, taking with them the fear hed felt when he thought hed never be able to stop looking at and into the strange woman before him.

Why was she naked, though? The question came unbidden. And where did my jaguar go? He wanted to be by himself to explore these thoughts in peace when he became aware of movement on her face. He watched impassively as her eyebrow rose, the images of her rolling superimposed in front of him and yet inside him. Still her eyebrow rose, ever so slowly, and he saw her writhe on the bed, skin dappled, now hidden now revealed, a strange sepia light making his eyes ache. He heard her say “you are mine” in his head, and all the blood left his upper body in a sudden throat-closing rush. He fell to his knees, body bent over to conceal the suddenly throbbing tumescence. He had the presence of mind to fake a choking fit just to hide what had happened. As quickly as the fire had been lit it was doused, the switch leaving him flustered, forced to hide behind a smile that was shaky to a knowing eye. As the guys teased him about losing to a girl, he knew he’d been touched by -something- and he knew he didnt want that experience again. No way.

Looking at them, his woman and his best friend, Dominic had suddenly felt hot and nervous, like he had witnessed something he shouldn’t have. As he watched, Sonto had slowly raised an eyebrow, raised it even higher, slowly and deliberately, until it was arched perfectly over her impossibly luminous eyes. Because he was looking so intently at her, Dominic missed what Mickey did that made everyone heave a collective sigh of relief, but unlike everyone else, he saw the barely-there shiver that racked Sontos body. She smiled as the guys started congratulating her. Their eyes met as she looked for him and Mickey raised the thumbs-up sign as he moved to clap Mickey on the back.

“Mickey, I cant believe you lost,” he teased, his hand on Mickeys shoulder. Mickey shrugged, the sardonic smile back in place.

“I think  I  choked on something” he said, clearing his throat. Around them, the guys groaned at  Mickey ‘s excuse. Everyone knew breaking eye contact or smiling was losing no matter the reason and  Mickey  knew he’d never hear the end of how he’d lost to a woman who’d succeeded where dozens had failed. What they  didn’t  know, could never know, was that he hadn’t choked.

Later, he confessed to Dominic that he’d gotten a hardon for his girl. Dominic had looked at him quietly and then smiled. “She’s hot isn’t she? When she looks at you it’s like someone turned on a sex tap and you’re the bucket.” Mickey was shocked that Dominic was being so cool. He  wasn’t  sure what he’d expected, but it  wasn’t  this ‘camaraderie’ that was directed toward him. Look, Dominic continued, “She does that. She cant help it. I’ve seen it and it  doesn’t  mean anything. She’s a flirt but it’s unconscious and therefore its not really flirting because she  doesn’t  intend it as such.” Mickey couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Dominic continued talking, his voice taking on a tone of sadness. “She is perfect. She is every man’s desire but she only wants me. She loves me, she desires me, she thrills me, she gives me joy. I wish I could be with her the way she wants.” Mickey was quiet, recognising that Dominic was no longer talking to him. He thought of Sonto and suppressed a shudder. If she could do that subconsciously, what was she like when she was intentional about turning on the sex tap? The feeling of drowning in something hot and furious yet life-giving, the experience he’d had when he got lost during the staring contest, he knew he couldn’t explain that. And he knew that Dominic would not listen to any warnings to stay away from this girl.

Sonto and Dominic

She looked at him and felt nothing. Well not nothing exactly; it was like the memory of stubbing your toe, or knocking your head on the corner of the frame when you got up from eavesdropping under your big sisters window. It was unpleasant and very very painful when it happened, but as a memory its difficult to recall just what the pain felt like. She felt like that, like she was trying to feel something that had once been there but was now beyond reach and perception. She could tell that Dominic was fully engrossed in the speech he was giving, his eyebrows raised and eyes wide with earnestness. She wanted to care, but the truth was she just didnt, not even a little bit.

“We were good together. It was always meant to be us in the end.”

He held her hands but looked down at the table, unable to meet her eyes for longer than a few seconds at a time. This was nothing unusual. I know I messed up, he continued, It shouldn’t have taken me this long for me to see how perfect we are together. I’m sorry.

He raised his head and looked into her eyes. His fingers stopped their nervous dance and tightened around hers; Sonto faked a smile to stop from flinching at the dampness of his palms. She stared at his nose sitting as it did a bit off-centre, leaning just slightly to the left of his midline. She was trying to avoid looking into his eyes for no good could come of that. When youre trying to let an ex down gently, gazing into his eyes for minutes on end can be counter-productive. His nose was pointy, with a little bump on the bridge sustained in some boyhood fight. It was a good nose and all things being equal it was a nose any woman would be proud to have her children bear. Pity one cant select the desired body parts and discard the rest of the man, Sonto considered idly. What if women could pick and choose  his nose, anothers brains, still anothers physique?

She wondered about his parents, whom shed never met although they lived a mere hours drive away, in Lower Houghton. Broomsfield was the bigger, trendier town; Lower Houghton where the parents went to retire. They must have been exceptionally attractive to have a son so good-looking she thought, now lost in her examination of his face, trying to figure out what it was that had drawn her to him in the first place. Must have been that almost-perfect nose. Or perhaps his eyes. Deep brown eyes, wide-set in a square-shaped face, supported by an unreasonably fleshy cleft chin. The fleshiness of his chin like that of his lips had always fascinated her, so out of place was it, rendering a strong-jawed visage weak and unassuming. His chin made him look like he could be a wimp and it wasnt until you actually got to know him that you understood that that wasnt too far off the mark. By this time her gaze had moved from his chin and mouth back to his nose; as her thoughts went wandering, she allowed her eyes to roam his face for more clues to his weakness.

His lips were full and firm, almost too full to look quite right on a mans face, and the slight overbite did not help matters much, giving him a slight Im-about-to-break-down-in-tears quality whenever he tried to look stern. The lips in question moved almost seductively as he continued to talk. She remembered reading once that full lips on a man denote a leaning towards effeminacy. She shrugged faintly at the thought and her lips involuntarily twitched. She came back from her revelries with a mental jolt, the sudden shift in consciousness accompanied by surprise as his face suddenly loomed closer.

Dear God why is he trying to kiss me, she thought frantically. She drew her head back almost imperceptibly, swallowing the brief flash of indignation that tore through her. What, she fumed to herself, had he said or done to think he deserved a kiss? She knew he thought his saying the three magic words would seal the deal, and for a brief moment she considered giving him a pity-fuck that night. The image of Adams hands on her breasts filled her mind and she knew then that Dominic would never see her naked again. Making love with Dominic had been good, so good, but Adam, oh Lord Adam took things to a whole nother level!

When his lips failed to make contact with anything, let alone something soft and slightly sticky as he expected her lipstick-coated lips to be, he slowly opened his eyes, and found her looking at him, one eyebrow raised slightly higher than the other, and a very faint smile playing about her lips.

I’ve lost her, he thought, and tried not to let his disappointment show on his face. I’ve just bought a house – not for her of course, I didn’t want her then – and she doesn’t want me. The thought tasted strange in his mind. How could she not want him? It was him; – he’d just apologized and told her he loved her. Why wasn’t she kissing him right now? He was perplexed.

His admiration for her gleamed darkly in his mind, made blurry by all the anger he felt toward her. Why did she have a child? Did she not understand that his mother would never accept a ruined woman as a daughter-in-law? Thank God she’d been married and not the mother of a bastard; his mother accepted that divorcees need love too. Single, never-been-married mothers though? Not so much. Still, whatever her circumstances were one just didnt marry someones mother: that would be cuckolding yourself and real men never stood for cuckoldry.

Thats  why he was angry with her. He loved her but the presence, the aliveness of her daughter stopped him – had stopped him – from ever expressing that truth and seeking a permanent arrangement with her. He knew he was wicked for wishing the child didnt exist. It wasnt that he hated it – her – it was just, life would have been so much simpler and better if the woman sitting before him wasnt already a parent.

Dominic did not want to stay away from this woman. As he recalled what Mickey had said, about getting a hardon for her that day of the staring contest, his own words came back to him. He had known she was special and that she would have given everything to be with him. She had told him she loved him, told him she’d wait for him, and told him he was her soul mate – all without begging or ever pleading her case. She had taken the crumbs he threw her and kept on waiting, while he kept on wondering what his mother would say if he announced his intention to marry a divorcee, one with a child on top of that. He had told himself she was used goods, ruined, that it didnt matter how he treated her. His body felt warm all of a sudden, as he replayed in vivid yet strangely monochrome tones the abandonment with which she gave herself to him. She threw herself into their lovemaking passionately and completely, holding nothing back and taking it all. She drank from the well of his being, pouring herself into the spaces she created, leaving him sure he had touched heaven’s secret splendor. Each time he thought he was ready to take the plunge to be with her he held back, turning away, slamming the door in her face. He once pretended to be busy just to get rid of her, kicking her out of his flat firmly yet kindly after hed had his fill of her body, faking blindness to the confusion almost expertly hidden under the hurt and shame on her face. She pasted on a brave smile, and pretended to believe that he would call her later. They both knew he wouldn’t, but she didnt know why.

Back in the present Dominic cursed himself, looking into her eyes. He knew he’d lost her, but he couldn’t quite wrap his head around the fact. He thought of the many times he’d said he’d call, and didn’t. He thought of how shed once said “You never tell me I ‘m beautiful,” with this sad sort-of half-smile expression, her head cocked to one side. He had opened his mouth to protest and she’d looked him straight in the eye quickly raising and lowering one eyebrow. He’d seen her do that when she was about to present irrefutable evidence in an argument, and the protest died a quiet death, words dissolving into nothing. She was right. He had never told her she was beautiful. He had deliberately, studiously avoided doing so because he knew she heard it all the time.

They’d loved each other so deeply could it really be over? That he’d never actually told her he loved her wasnt that big a deal, right? Hadn’t he just told her that just now? He’d thought if he told her it would spoil things; make her think there was hope when he knew there was none. His idiocy seemed to triple in size till the biggest argument hed formulated against being with her seemed utterly and completely stupid: she was a mother; everybody knows you don’t marry people’s mothers. The statement was ridiculous even as it formulated itself in his mind once more, familiar from months of repetition and he again felt that flash of anger toward her. Why did she have to be so perfect and so flawed? Why could no other girl ignite his passion the way she did?

She resolutely refused to touch him there and to let him touch her secret place, claiming she didnt need it, that just being with him was enough foreplay for her. Hed begged her for a hand job once, and she’d looked at him long and hard. “Are you saying that what I give you is not enough?” Her face was expressionless as she asked. Before he could form a sentence, shed gone on. “Are you bored with me?”

Hed found himself considering the question. Was he bored with their lovemaking? Had it, indeed, become routine? To say the answer was a resounding no would be clichéd. The answer was a clanging sincere NEVER! The wrongness of the idea that she could be less than perfect was an almost physical discomfort. “No,” he had said firmly, looking at her. She hadnt respond, merely going back to resting her head in the hollow created by the curve of his neck. Their lovemaking had been slow and sensuous that day, both of them hanging over the precipice like eagles surfing the air, the ending leaving them breathless and panting when they tumbled over the edge in intense screaming relief. He had been, as always, visibly shaken by the intensity of sensation, and he knew now that wanting to negate the power of what he’d felt was why he had tried to detract from it by asking for still more.

She was still looking at him now, her chin resting on an upturned palm as she sat across from him, her knees crossed one on top of the other, the silky curve of her stockinged knee visible over the edge of the table. He detected a bit of thawing he thought, hoped. There was no way it could be over, right? Their lovemaking was indescribable. Surely she couldn’t walk away from that? A frisson of fear tumbled down his spine, but he refused to consider that she was turning her back on him as he had so often turned his on her.

She kept her face immobile. She was listening to him, all the while wanting to shake him. How long had she loved him, yearned for him to love her back, to see her, truly see her? How many times had he told her and shown her that he would never choose her? And now here he was saying all those words she’d thought she wanted to hear, unaware that listening to the words of regret and contrition sprinkled with promises of rainbows and eternal love, she couldn’t stop herself from wishing that he would shut up.

She thought of Adam. The lyrics from that Ledisi song popped into her head and she almost hummed a few bars before she caught herself. Talk about soul-crushing ego-destroying behaviour, she thought to herself  humming to yourself while a man you’ve called in his hearing your perfect other, declares everlasting and undying love. The irony of it made her want to giggle, but Adam was a sobering thought. She allowed the admiration she felt for him to rise, chased by a sense of gratitude that he had found her broken and torn and made her whole. He was a man, tall, strong and dark…Ledisi’s lyrics swam in her head and she suppressed a smile. Time to end this.

Dominic had finally run out of words and he was looking straight at her. There was an air of expectancy about him and she knew one wrong move would have him trying to kiss her again. Schooling her features into her you-bore-me-but-I-can-pretend-concern look, she took a breath and prepared to give him the ” Ill always love you lets be friends” speech. The intended words never made it out of her mouth. Instead, she found herself asking him why hed never ever bought her anything. The confused look on his face was oddly satisfying: this, he had not expected. She didnt say anything, and when he suggested talking about that another time, she still said nothing. He got the message and started apologizing.

“I’m sorry. I was an idiot.” He stopped. Curiously she wondered if he’d have the guts to tell her that he never bought her gifts or anything really -except dinner- because he just couldn’t be bothered; he knew she wasnt going anywhere. Turned out he didnt have the guts because he stopped talking.

She spoke softly, holding his gaze with her own. “You loved me you love me but you just don’t love me enough, the way I want to be loved. You don’t and didnt love me anywhere near as unreservedly as I loved you.” She wanted to add “the way Adam loves me,” and thought better of it. Men’s egos, she sighed inwardly, before raising her eyes to his. “I loved you. You loved me. We agree it was great. Just, like I said, not great enough. I don’t know what else to say.”

Dominic felt his world implode. She was gone. She wasnt angry with him, she wasnt hurting anymore, and she was truly ok with not being with him. As he continued to look at her, she seemed to grow even more beautiful. Her skin took on a warm glow, and her eyes flashed fire, yet all he felt emanating from her was – nothing. He’d heard about indifference being worse that hate, but nothing in his experience had prepared him for this nothingness. She continued to look at him, and all he saw in her eyes was thinly veiled impatience. With a shock he realised that she was dying to leave; only good manners kept her from saying so. He knew she had a boyfriend and he wanted to ask about the man, but he didnt really want to know. How could she be with someone else? Abruptly he saw her with her lower lip caught between her teeth, the way she looked when he long-stroked and she wanted to prolong the pleasure, holding her breath as her climax built…

Knowing that this mystery man would see her like that, would hear the little squeals she made when she was about to – for a moment his vision clouded over at the thought that he’d never again touch heaven. His eyes returned to normal and when he made eye contact again, he felt she’d withdrawn even further.

It was over and he knew that this time it was over for good. Somewhere, the fat lady was singing.

Because you don’t understand

You dont understand.

You don’t understand what it’s like when you lie to me and my heart cracks beneath the strain.

You don’t understand how that hurts me, breaks me, changes me and chnages things.

Changes everything, changes me and changes you…

The way I see you, hear you…

It brings tears to my eyes when you feel you need to hide from me by lying to me. You don’t have to hide from me – don’t you yet understand?

Don’t you understand there is no need to don the bravado for me – that it’s OK?That you’re OK?

Sigh.

You don’t understand what it’s like when you call me a liar.

When you throw my words back in my face and ask me to come up with more.

I don’t have any more.

All I have is me and when I am not enough I don’t know what do or say or be…

So I stay myself because being me is what I’m good at; it’s what I do best.

It hurts when you tell me my best is not enough and ask for still more but I forgive you

I don’t blame you

I don’t hold it against you.

How can I fault you for not appreciating the best when you’ve never before had the best to appreciate it?

Keep It One Hundred

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I’m over here chillin’, fantasizing about how he’ll ruffle my ‘fro.
I’m over here feeling sad for my sisters, my mother Africa’s ebony daughters:
Y’all know how it goes in that other country, that other harsher land,
The one they call ‘corporate S.A.’ – that land flowing with wine & money (so they say – I don’t know: I’m all about that organic milk and honey) –
That concrete jungle where self-expression – well what do they know about self-expression? – looking like clones of a clone of a WASP,
Three-thousand rand weaves and killer stilettoes,
-But you gotta pretend you don’t like food and have one Woolies apple for lunch;
Yes just the one, payday is khatshana but a girl’s still gotta munch.
Y’all know you’re living from paycheck to paycheck,
Tryna flaunt like you’re the boss, chile please – you gotta save up them Clicks points just to get you some floss!
Mister owns you: owns your time and not just from 9 to 5, owns your home and your fancy ride –
Hell, Mister even owns your fashion choices, dictates what you can wear right down to the colour.
Chile listen, try not to get it twisted.
Let your hair loose, or don’t – maybe put it up in a bun.
Wear your shoes high, or not – p’raps go to Bata and be phly.
Do you chile, just do you. Life is too short dammit, too short to be miserable.

Seeing God…

In chatting with a friend I said this: talking about the very first time I saw the ocean:

Oh my God yes! I will NEVER forget that moment…I still cannot understand how people can become so blasè about the ocean…and I lived on an island for a year! You’d think being surrounded by water I’d get over the …I don’t know, surreality?- of comparing our insignificance to the vastness of the ocean…but no, it still stuns me. Every time is almost like the first. Every first glimpse of the ocean makes my breath quicken. And then y’all be like ‘there’s no God’. Ah! Gerrarahere!

490715200019 while you were sleeping

I want you to see me.

See my spirit, my soul, my aching heart.

I want you to see me.

See my wounds, my scars – all, not in part.

I want you to hear me.

Hear my pain, my tears, the screams of my heart.

I want you to kiss me. Kiss my pain away, fill up the cracks in my soul with love with love with the mortar of love.

I want you to touch me.

I want you to hold me.

I want you to wake up and talk to me, see me, hear me, kiss me, love me.

Dreaming my dreams of you…

She lies, limbs splayed, almost sated, almost content. She didn’t quite get there, he didn’t quite bring her and she debates whether to finish herself off – she is still close enough that a few rubs would do the trick, but she is so comfortable that she doesn’t want to move. It is one of those times when not climaxing is a mere annoyance, easily ignored, rather than outright frustration. She feels the bed dip once or twice as his weight shifts, she assumes that he is getting  off the bed to pad into the bathroom for his post-love-making routine. Sometimes she would save him the trouble, taking him gently in hand and wiping away the evidence of their joining with a selection from the stack of soft baby towels she kept in her drawer for that very purpose. She never felt more feminine than when she did that – but she didn’t do it all the time. It is a routine both of them enjoy very much and although this has never been discussed, they both know that it is best kept for those very special occasions when he is all man, all giving, and she is all woman, all receiving; when he takes  her and by so doing gives her inexplicable pleasure. Such occasions are necessarily rare and valued – even the most exquisite dish can become common-place if care is not taken to keep the special, special. She keeps her eyes closed, not wanting to get into their usual post-coitus banter, hoping he’ll think she’s fallen asleep: she wants to bask in the moment and enjoy the after-effects of having had his body under hers as she rode him to completion. There’s just something about being on top that makes her feel magnanimous, generous. Today, she forgives him easily for not being a gentleman, for not letting the lady come first. The bed dips once more, and her eyes snap open at the sensation of rough stubble on her inner thigh. Moving to grasp his head and halt its upward movement, she tries to sit up.

-Don’t move.

Slowly she lies back, irritation rising, knees tense. He is just going to arouse her all over again for nothing, she thinks. There is no orgasm coming her way – he’s not 20 anymore she considers, a tad regretfully.  She sighs and prepares to give the obligatory moans that signal the pretend orgasm. She has to time it just right: let him work long enough to feel accomplished, but not so long that she’d be left super frustrated. Now she’ll have to give herself those strokes after all. Dammit. Her mind is beginning to drift to what she will wear to work tomorrow, that daily conundrum that never seemed to resolve itself until after the shower, when body lotioned and face cleansed, toned, and moisturized, she would stand in front of her closet in nothing but her underwear. Whatever he is doing between her legs is mildly pleasant – just a bit longer she thinks, then I’ll moan and end this.

A mystery she has never been able to solve is how people lay out their outfits the night before: the few times she did that it always turned out to be a waste of time – she rarely wore the selected outfit when the time came, and so eventually gave up on the process.

His nipping teeth bring her back to the present and she squirms a little, caught between pleasure and pain – and liking it there. She relaxes, and allows herself to hope that maybe this time…

He crawls between her legs, knees between hers, hands travelling northward to cup the soft globes of bronze flesh that sit high and firm on her chest, squeezing them together as he brings his mouth to her dark, now-engorged nipples. The gossamer thread connecting her nipples and the seat of her pleasure twangs at his ministrations and her breathing changes, becomes heavier and shallow all at once. Her thighs become heavy too and between them, an ever-expanding lake of white-hot fire. The peaks she climbs when he roughly tongues and gently bites those so-tight buds, his ability to make her forget everything except his touch and warm wet mouth – these are things she cannot ever trade, not even for a chance to understand what all the fuss over lovers of southern cuisine is for. With nipples this sensitive, who needs coochy kisses?

She didn’t expect him to rise again so soon, so she is confused when he begins to nudge her thighs open, when she feels his hardness there, almost at that sweet spot. Ordinarily she would have been consumed with questions of her own inadequacy –did he not come, before? – but this time there is no time for that, he is whispering in her ear, demanding entrance, wanting to dive into that hot lake.

Vula. Vula ngingene.

His insistence is thrilling and she resists the urge to let her thighs fall open, luxuriating in the undertones of desire she hears in his suddenly raspy voice.

Angifuni.

A playful smile making her lips twitch. Legs moving to close, pretending to push him away with her hands on his chest, lightly pulling and twisting his nipples. She wants to hear him plead some more, instinctively knowing that his expressed desire will further fuel her own. The insides of her thighs are suddenly slick, and she rubs them together, trying to press against that magic button and failing, yet somehow managing to increase her own excitement anyway. Her breath catches in her throat and she wants more –

Ngena phela. Letha. Ngipha.

Legs finally falling open, fingers clawing at buttocks, pressing him in, deeper. He moves against her, catches hold of her arms and pins them above her head, his heat melding with hers, their earlier lovemaking and this new coupling making the joining easy. There is no resistance as he slides into her and fits snugly into his very own heaven, drags her towards ecstasy with him. They moan, and she rakes his back with her nails, wanting to pull him deeper and harder into her. He holds still for a moment, not wanting that champagne to pop until the perfect moment, and she holds still with him, her body pulsing with the throbbing heat deep within. Then they’re caught in that age-old dance: rhythms matching, hips rising and buttocks falling in synchronised rapture.

Uyatshisa.

He mumbles against her ear; her womanhood quivers in response. He continues to talk. Describing what he is feeling. Telling her what she is to him, naming her, bestowing title after title upon this goddess writhing beneath him, this queen, this bearer of ecstasy, this delicioussss, his only one – and as he continues to whisper and carries on thrusting, she begins, again, to hear colour and see music. The crescendo builds and ebbs, builds and ebbs, all of her expanding to contain all of him: all of his passion, all of his pleasure, until when she feels she must scream or die from the sheer bliss of it all, he slows down and stops moving.

Ufunani?

She won’t answer. She can’t. She shakes her head mutely, unable to look him in the eyes, raised as he is above her, weight on his elbows. She tries to catch him, lifting her hips, but he lifts his too, almost but not quite coming free of that heat prison, drawing a cry of dismay when she thinks he is leaving her empty. When she relaxes, he moves into her once more, excruciatingly slowly, and her breath comes in a long, drawn-out, breathy sigh, which quickens when he asks,once more:

Ufunani?

What can she say that will let him know of her desperate need for his thrusting hardness, and yet allow her to keep her dignity intact? She still says nothing, pride winning over desire, eyes wide open as she tries to keep control despite the twitching down below. He looks down at her and shifts, momentarily sinking deeper into her throbbing aching core, making her gasp. Bringing his hand between them, searching for and finding that slippery hard-soft pebble he begins to stroke and soothe it, calming the throbbing there and yet making it worse, making her want to ask him to stop, don’t stop; maybe she is losing her mind.

Then she is gyrating; limbs shaking as he slowly strokes it, and slowly strokes himself back and forth, in and out of her. She is almost over the mountain and her movements quicken in anticipation. Her body begins to stiffen, little spasms coming to life in her centre, she is whimpering and grabbing hold of him, nails digging into his back, when he brings his mouth to her ear once more.

Ngithe ufunani?

It is unbearable. So close and yet so far. The spasms don’t stop, nor do they strengthen like she needs them to. This time she has to answer. She has to tell him –

Ngifuna wena. Please.

He strokes and he strokes, relentlessly. Her eyes roll back in her head and she loses all sense of propriety; her voice guttural and desperate, her words running together; all thoughts of coherence fled.

Please.

Please what?

He covers her mouth with his. Lifts his head again.

Please what?

Please. Please make me come. Please. Only you.

She moans.

Please don’t stop.

I won’t stop.

He bites her neck. Sharp and sweet and her breath catches.

I want you to come for me. I want to see you come.

He bites again. Harder this time.

Come. Come for me.

Her mind explodes, orange and red beating against her closed eyelids, and when he moves his hand from between their bodies to cup her butt, drawing her closer and pushing himself impossibly deeper into her, the explosion doesn’t stop but only builds and now seems to fill not just her mind and body, captures him too, makes him stiffen and cry out her name as he pours his life into her.