The Temptress

You’ve only ever heard about her before. She’s an idea. A rumor. A fantasy. An adventure. A legend. Like a ménage à trois. Exciting to think about but always out of your reach. Her elegance is much talked about. How the wind gently blows wisps of her hair back. How in her wake men and women alike take in wafts of her sensual perfume. She smells like honey on toast on a Sunday morning.  Or dark freshly brewed coffee. Arabica. Some say she smells of mystery. And what does mystery smell like? You’d ask. Like the unknown. Like darkness in a bottle. Like tomorrow. No. Like a better tomorrow. They’d say.

Hypnotized as they watch her stride across the room. Her long legs, graceful in their stride. She knows they are watching. She knows they are talking. She lets them talk. She lets them watch. You’ve heard of the stories. Of her smooth raspy voice. That felt like velvet against a bearded face. Of her lips. Full. Of her passion. Wild like a fire in the savannah on a dry summer. Of her soothing embrace. The fullness of her bosom. The wideness of her hips. Her intoxicating love. Her warmth. Her ease. Beautiful in all essence of the word. It’s too good to be true. You have to meet her. You have to see for yourself. You have to hear her voice. You want to get lost in her embrace. Feel her warmth. Allow yourself to lose sobriety in her love. Drink from her cup. You lust after her. This person you’ve only heard about. Thinking about it sends your blood rushing. You have to meet her. You just have to.

You cannot contain yourself. You’re giddy. You don’t hear the warnings. Many have lost themselves in her arms. A temptress. Luring with the promises of love. Kisses soft. Like falling petals. She draws out your love. Coercing it like an Indian snake charmer till it’s out. Then she leaves your love vulnerable. Exposed. Unrequited. But you don’t want to hear. They’re jealous. Jealous that you might be the one that takes her. Breaks her. Makes her yield to your touch. But deep down. In the pits of your churning belly. You know. It’s a hopeless dream. A fool’s errand. Adamant. That’s what you are. In your rebuttal. She will love me. She will yield. So off you go. To find her. Willingly entering the temptress’s cave.

You’re nervous. Like any man would be in the face of meeting a beautiful lady. Your heart flutters like the wings of a thousand sparrows. You check your face. Is it okay? You smell your pits. Is it good? You check your shirt. Is it too bright? Are the sandals too much? Maybe you’re too casual. She won’t take you seriously. You’re sweating now. The wind brings traces of her robust scent. It’s not coffee. It’s not mystery. You smell something else. It’s a smell that can only be described as the warm feeling of the morning sun. On cold skin. It sends goose bumps. You crane your neck. Step on the tips of your toes. Then there she is. Standing. Unconcerned with your woes. Unbothered. Almost nonchalant. An air of pride. Prejudice. Hangs around her like a sweet lingering fragrant scent of rare mountain flowers.

She’s nothing like you expect. Her eyes glow like the sunrise. She’s welcoming. Gentle. She has the calmness of the ocean at midnight. But there’s something about her. Something you can’t quite put your finger on. You’re not sure. In the depth of her glowing eyes is a desire. You’re not sure if it’s to be wanted. Or to be loved. You want to tell her your name. Both of them. Not the embarrassing third one. You want to tell her. No. Ask her to marry you. She stares at you unrelenting in her gaze. She beckons. Speaking only with her eyes. She turns away and slowly walks away. You see why they call her a temptress. She’s showing just enough. Like icing on a cake. Or the snowcapped peaks of Mount Kenya.

Women? You’ve had them before. At the bar. Over a few drinks. You’ve taken some home. Nothing to it. You’ve made small talk. Asked about what she does. Like you cared. Complimented her sense of style. Not that it mattered. You wanted them off. You’ve laughed at stories of her cat. You know the one that scratches strangers. Fur balls are not funny. Why would anything coughing up a ball of hair and vomit be? But you laughed. Sparkles. That was its name. Maybe Giggles. Morris? It was definitely Tom. Tom was your name. You lied of course. In the morning the story had the same ending. They left. Or. You left. Some became girlfriends. You know. Demanding. Nagging. Women! For a moment you loved them. Thought about a future. Not a far one. But near. Like dates. Where. When. Why. Excuses.

But here you are. Paralyzed. No. Hypnotized. Fear doesn’t grip you. It’s fascination. You like how she brings herself close enough to rub her hair against your shoulder. So close that her voice brushes against the prickly hairs of your skin. That without warning; she takes you into her embrace and lights a desire inside of you. To love. Fiercely. Her lips drip with promise of intoxicating passion. She lets you lean in. She lets your eyes close. She lets your lips part until you can feel her steady breath a whisper away from your eager lips. Then. Without warning. Abruptly. She turns away. Giggles and walks away.  Like the tide on an early morning run. The waves first touch your feet. Caressing your tired heels. Then. It leaves. The rough sand feels harsh. But like the tide. You don’t hate it for leaving. You chase it. Going further into the ocean. Or. Wait for it. In the evening. When it comes in. Bringing stories from the word beyond. And you let it kiss your feet. You know in the morning it will be gone. But you live in the moment.

You realize without knowing it. You’ve fallen in love. With more than her beauty. The idea of her. The way she teases. The idea that you can never have all of her. Or that she will never give you all of her. The fact that she’s the same with everybody. You don’t hate it. You hate that you have to leave. Why. Why now. Your friends know they told you. They don’t blame you. How do you leave? You ask them. You don’t. You never leave. They say. What do you mean? You ask. Because a part of you stays. A part you will never get back. A part she acts like she doesn’t care for but she treasures. They say. You will think about this part. This special thing you’ve left. And you’ll go back knowing you never really left. They add. Because you will be back. No one walks out of her cave

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This piece might be a little abstract. It fits the description to many a love we’ve had. But this piece is dedicated to one lady. A hero. Beautiful in all essence of the word. Kenya.


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