Zahara lay in bed looking up at the rotating hands of the ceiling fan in her room. She kept going over the events of the previous night in her head. The laughing and the dancing, then her unexpectedly passionate response to Vincent’s kiss. Her memory wasn’t as sharp as it should be courtesy of all the drinking, so she was having a hard time recalling specific details but the jolt of electricity she felt flow down her spine whenever she remembered the kiss more than assured her that it did happen and it was not just a figment of her tipsy imagination.
She reached for her beeping phone on her bedside table. She couldn’t help the smile that crept to her lips when she saw who the text was from. Vincent was checking in to find out if she got home safe and to let her know he was home. The party wasn’t as much fun after she left so he had also taken off not long after. Zahara knew what she was feeling was nothing more than an endorphin rush that is coming with meeting someone new, someone who finds you just as attractive and is as curious as you are to know more, to share more.
As she walked away from Vincent on unsteady legs after the kiss, she felt a little disoriented emotionally. She was dazed from the explosive chemistry the kiss had unleashed and she couldn’t wait to get away and be alone to fully process what had happened. She could hear his footsteps behind her. He didn’t say a word till she was sitting inside the cab. He appeared to want to say something but sighed instead. He bent down till his face was parallel to hers and gave her a peck on the cheek through the window before the cab drove away.
Four weeks flew by in a sea of phone calls and text messages. Vincent and Zahara’s friendship was in full honeymoon mode. Zahara had managed to pass the kiss off as a moment of drunken weakness that could not and would not happen again. She loved Femi very much and that meant she couldn’t make room for any distractions. He had been away for two years now and the long distance had started to put a strain on things but she had faith in them. Just two more years to go and his program overseas would be over.
Vincent could not get Zahara and the kiss off his mind. It felt like a dam had been burst and he couldn’t control the emotions that were pouring out. He noticed how she had laughed off the kiss when he brought it up during one of their chats. He sensed she didn’t want him to probe her too much about it. But he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that she had felt it too. He knew she was drawn to him just as badly as he was to her. He had looked forward to seeing her on the tracks again the following weekend but she had been a no show. Later during the day when he called to ask her why she didn’t come, she told him the swimming lessons were on hold because Sola, her instructor, was out of town. When he offered to teach her, she said she was busy studying for her final exams. At first he wasn’t sure if she was trying to shake him off or if her excuses were actually genuine. They had managed to talk about everything but the elephant in the room. He decided not to push and just let things flow naturally. He didn’t want to do or say anything to make her pull away. She was the most interesting thing to have happened to him in a long while.
Zahara finished writing her last paper with a huge sigh of relief. After two months of steady studying and exams she felt like she could finally breathe. She went straight home to take a shower and plumped down on the couch to watch TV. Her parents were out of town and she was home alone. She wondered what Vincent was up to and decided to give him a call.
“I just left the office. I’m on my way to grab dinner before heading home. Care to join me?” was the first thing Vincent said as soon as he answered her call. Zahara had to smile. He had been trying to get her to have lunch or dinner with him for the past 2 and half months. Now that her exams were over, she had no more excuses to give and he knew that. There was nothing good showing on TV anyway and she was bored. She had not seen him since the night of the party and she couldn’t deny the fact that she really really wanted to see him again. They had grown quite close over the past couple of weeks.
“Sure, why not. Come get me.” She ended the call and went to her room to get dressed. She had described where she lived to him during one of their endless chats. She put on her favorite Ankara dress and slipped into a pair of flat sandals. She brushed out her hair but didn’t bother with makeup. It was a little after 6 pm and she just couldn’t be bothered. It wasn’t an occasion, just dinner and drinks with a friend.
“I’m outside,” Vincent’s text on her phone read. She picked up her purse and left the house. He was standing next to his car in front the house; he was on the phone and didn’t notice her come out at first. When he did, a big smile spread across his face and he ended the call. She walked up to him, determined not to let the immediate rapid beating of her heart slow down her pace. She smiled and gave him a hug.
“It’s good to see you again. You look good.” Zahara said. Vincent squeezed her a bit before letting go. He was as overjoyed as school boy on Christmas morning. He had been a little surprised when she had agreed to join him for dinner. She usually turned him down for one reason or the other. He planned on entertaining her to the fullest. He opened the passenger door for her to get in.
Three hours later they were seated in a jazz bar, listening to the band play and laughing at how stuffed they were. Their initial awkwardness in the car had melted away as the conversation had picked up during dinner. Afterwards, Vincent had told her about a little place he knew where the live band played really good music. Zahara was feeling quite relaxed in Vincent’s company and wasn’t quite ready for the night to end. After a while he asked if she wanted to dance and she said yes. He led her to the dance floor and pulled her close. Being so close to him made her a little uncomfortable because she was afraid her body would betray her and he would feel her trembling. It was almost like each time their bodies touched there was an invisible spark. It was almost magnetic.
Vincent held one of Zahara’s hands in his as he drove her home later that night. Ever since they got off the dance floor, he had been unwilling and unable to let her go. She didn’t seem to mind although she had an amused look on her face. As soon as he put her in the car he practically hopped to the driver’s side to get in. Immediately after putting the car in drive, he took her hand in one of his and drove with his other hand, only letting go when he needed to. They said little to each other on the ride back to her place. The atmosphere in the car was too charged for words. Vincent kept stealing glances at her face to try to get a read of what was going on in her head but Zahara just stared blankly ahead.
Zahara took off her seat belt as soon as Vincent stopped the car in front of her house. She reached across and pulled Vincent’s face down to hers as she finally gave in to the blazing need he had awoken deep inside her. She kissed him like her life depended on it. She could feel his hands on her face, on her neck, in her hair.
She had been taken him completely by surprise with the kiss. The first time he kissed her at the party he had sensed that she was not the type to hold back, but this was something else. He lit up like a switch. Now he was kissing her back just as passionately. He grabbed a handful of her hair and tugged to pull her head back so he could nuzzle her neck and gently nibble on her collarbone. Her sharp intake of breath turned him on even more. His own need was almost making it impossible for him to see clearly. He wanted her like he had wanted nothing in a very long time. He kissed her till they both had to come up for air.
Zahara stood in front of Vincent in her bedroom. They had finally managed to make it into the house and it was a miracle they hadn’t torn each other’s clothes off. One by one she started taking off her clothes as he did the same. When she had stripped down to her bra and panties, she walked to the bed and sat down facing him. The yearning in her eyes burning brightly.
Vincent did not take his eyes off of her as he took off his own clothes. His eyes followed her as she walked towards the bed, lingering on her full breasts as she sat down. He heard himself exhale and say “Gosh you’re beautiful!” He found the light switch on the wall and turned it off before walking purposefully to the bed and into her open arms to claim her lips once more.
To be continued…