“Allow it, please, not tonight”. Her pupils began to retract from their former dilated state and the beam on her face suddenly dropped like the sunset on a late afternoon at wintertime. She drew his face closer to her chest with her palms and kissed the right side of his forehead. “I don’t want us to do this anymore, it just doesn’t feel right.”
He sighed, then stopped and looked into her eyes for a few seconds before pulling out, somewhat perplexed. “What’s the matter? Am I doing something wrong?” “No… No, you haven’t done anything wrong” she groaned. “In fact… it was good, very good… but I don’t think we should be doing this… not like this… not right now anyway…”
The despondent look on his face said it all – “Women!?” he thought to himself. Rewind a few moments – passionately entwined in the act of making love, incessant remarks about how she’d been itching to feel him all afternoon – and now, right in the heat of things, she’d bowed out on him, and it was, supposedly, “very good?”He pulled free from her, reluctantly. Puzzled lines appeared across his forehead, forming a sullen expression on his face, no different to his childhood evenings when mother would send him to bed on a school night. Reaching for the glass of white zinfandel on the bedside table, he downed the remaining liquor in a single gulp.
In his endeavour to brush things off and regain composure he smiled at her but her vain attempt to smile back merely exposed her vulnerability, appearing as though she was somehow pleading with him. It was all in her eyes, there was just something about them. She’d tease him from time to time; about the way he just got caught up mid-conversation gazing into their almond shaped abyss, attempting to discern her thoughts – her way of entrancing him – and he was doing it again!
“Thanks for understanding… you’re a great guy… not too many around these days!”
“Yeah…” He lied, “no probs.” She purred as the tips of his fingers traipsed through her tresses. He’d always had a thing for the short cropped look. “You’re not too bad, if I do say so myself!” he said, sticking out his tongue, lightening the eerie mood.
“Whatever!” she retorted, pushing him away. He pushed back, gently of course, and in a matter seconds they had descended into a playful scuffle, somewhat reminiscent of young cubs on the African plains. He’d learnt over the years to not be fooled by her petite frame. Oftentimes, he would be the one to surrender, because she would just refuse to give in and he never really wanted to hurt her. Well, at least that’s how he made himself feel better about losing to a girl. Today was no different. A few minutes in and she already had him locked into submission – thighs spread across his chest clamping down his arms with her knees so he couldn’t move, lying on his back, helpless! “Okay… You win, You win…” he gagged. “As always!” she said, smug as ever, thrusting her fist in the air in triumph.
She eventually loosened her stronghold and cheekily planted her lips on his, before falling onto his right arm. She had the softest lips – the kind that magnetically coerced you to cleave to them, like a new-born to the bosom of a mother. The intimacy in that moment was surreal, yet powerful. The room began to fill with the kind of warmth that radiated around a camp fire as the tingles in their abs erupted to the surface of their lips. Eye to eye, he felt at one with her, she with him, both at one with themselves – and for those precious seconds, nothing, no one else in the world mattered. “Uh Uh… no more now” she smiled, rejecting his advances to prolong the moment – such a tease. But that was one thing that he loved about her; she never gave too much away. Just enough to keep him ticking and playing chase – cat and ball theory all over.
“M-M-Marie…” he stammered. “You know how much I care for you, right?” She nodded. “You’re special, but–”
“But…” she interrupted him mid-sentence. “I can’t keep giving myself to you like this… I’m worth so much more.” She drew closer to him and laid her head on his lap; she’d never seemed so defenceless.
“Believe me… I love how things are going at the moment but I don’t wanna ruin what we got… the closeness… our friendship… with all these ‘titles’… you know what I mean? It’s just pressure. Unnecessary pressure”.
She chuckled intermittently, but didn’t say much afterwards and after a few moments, drifted off to sleep. Guess she’d heard it all before.
He snuggled up behind her. “Sweet Dreams…” he whispered, brushing his lips softly against her ear, and embraced her tightly. She smelt like heaven. “Goodnight Dee…”
Just like Marie, I’ve often felt violated, somewhat abused and taken for granted; my treasures stolen and resources consumed without the slightest of intentions to replenish or an attempt to pay my “bride” price. (Yes, I said it, MY bride price – I’m worth something too!) The worst is that, more often than not, I’ve been the one to consent to it, so I guess I’ve only got myself to blame.
Take last Thursday for instance; I put in a few extra hours without extra pay at the behest of my boss, because she was somewhat overwhelmed and needed a hand, and well, I just had to stay behind and impress her. Lo and behold, I arrive hours later to an unlit apartment, an overworked and weary missus tucked between the sheets, the little man far away in the land of dreams and all but a bowl of cold jollof rice and a glass of diluted blackcurrant cordial on the dining table to lay down palm leaves and greet me as I made my triumphant entry – marital bliss? Not quite.
But before I get swept away by a tide of self pity, I’ve been the pirate too! I’ve broken hearts, embellished stories, told countless lies and connived to get what I want; all to the glory of satisfying my flesh at the lowest possible cost – I’m economical. It’s taken me years – heck, I’m still struggling with it now – to grasp the timeless concept that regardless of the size of my stomach, the wetness of my appetite or even the luscious cherry that dare reside on the top; I simply can’t have my cake and eat it! Whatever that means?
I suppose I can always blame society; the speed of life in the 21st century; the dawning age of liberalism where anything goes; or the rise of social media, consumerism and the glorification of debt. Of course, I must have it now – I can always pay for it later right? – Or maybe not.
What if we all were to go back to basics? To the good old days? To the age when a man would actually go out of his way to romance a woman first and win her heart; drop to his knee and give her a ring – at the very least a first date – before enquiring of her virginity.
And what if we all took the same stance as Marie did? Deciding once and for all, that enough was enough; that we were all worth so much more. I guess I’d grow some balls and learn to tell my boss “No!” from time to time, and prioritise spending my days doing the things I truly loved with the people that I actually gave a damn about. Maybe I’d slowly begin to grasp that as a man, my sperm, my beloved seeds, are far too precious – royal in fact – to be planted into just any random soil. I was just gazing in awe at my boy last night as I tucked him in – his cute eyes, tiny fingers, flat African nose, unfortunately inherited receding hairline (sorry son it’s in the bloodline!) – and to think that such a king actually came from me.How I mourn the years past that I have wasted away many a sapling – my next generation – all in the name of lust.
Conversely, I’d also start to appreciate the value in everyone else; slowly begin to recognise that the best things in life aren’t necessarily always free; and that maybe – just maybe – understand that if I really wanted something special, I’d have to get off my regal behind one day and actually sweat for it!