A writing treat – one of the stories I’m working on so enjoy!
Sara closed the accounts book with a sigh, glancing at her watch. The black plastic face flashed 5:15. It was time for her to leave. She looked out to the front of the store and saw that it was deserted, with the grates still in place. “Mr. Patel must be with Charles going over inventory.” She thought as she stood and arched her back, stretching her lithe body like a cat reveling in sun rays. She tugged down her dress, smoothing out the wrinkles that had piled on over the course of the afternoon. As she locked the file cabinet, she looked around at her tiny office. It was really a windowless closet space that barely held a wooden desk, chair and an old metal file cabinet, but it did offer some privacy. She tossed the keys back into her cream leather bag before stepping out of the office to call out to her boss.
“Mr. Patel, I’m leaving now. See you tomorrow!” A short fat balding head stuck out from the stock room and grinned at her.
“Ok, ok, bright and early tomorrow!” Sara smiled back at him and nodded as she opened the grate.
River Road was bustling with the evening rush traffic as the bright Nairobi sun glinted off squat warehouses, storefronts and dingy restaurants. Her nose twitched slightly as she was assaulted by the putrid smell of sewage drifting from the river running parallel to the road. Holding the bag close to her body, she began her daily brisk walk, her face a stony visage that discouraged all but the most persistent wolf-whistlers. The street was teaming with like-minded commuters, scurrying like busy ants on their way back to their abodes in the outskirts of the central business district.
She noticed his hair first. Long luscious locs cascading down a denim-clad back. He was strolling leisurely in front of her on the hill leading up to Koinange Street. She slowed down, taking in his powerfully built shoulders, broad as mountains. His shirt was long sleeved, but she imagined well-defined muscled arms.
“Not a bad back view.” she mused as her eyes traveled to his lower half. Sighing inwardly, she picked up her pace, brushing by quickly. Her thoughts turned to what she would cook for dinner when she got to home to her flat in the suburb of South C. A few minutes later, she joined the throngs of would-be passengers crowding the central bus terminal. A few matatus blared loud American rap music whose lyrics were barely more nauseating than their neon paint jobs.
“Hello.” A deep voice floated down to her.
Sara turned and looked up into light brown eyes. Her heart fluttered when she recognized the denim clad apparition towering before her. Two deep dimples framed a brilliant smile on a handsome face framed by the familiar locs. “He kinda looks like Mufasa, that cartoon lion.” A random thought swam in her head.
“Um, hi.” She replied, suddenly tongue tied as she tried to smile back at him. She then noticed his outstretched hand.
“I’m Joe and you are..?” he asked still smiling as she shook his hand limply. She cleared her throat trying to get her composure back.
“Sara.” She answered shyly.
The crowds and vehicles had faded into the background; all she was aware of was the tall man gently cradling her hand. His smile widened, making her heart skip another beat. She stifled an impulse to touch his hair, her left hand twitching slightly before she brought it under control.
“A beautiful name for a beautiful girl.” His words gliding over her like warm honey though she couldn’t believe the cheesy lines he was using and yet she felt herself grinning like an idiot.
“It was nice to meet you, Joe.” She answered a little briskly, jerking back her hand from his grip. She gripped her purse and took a deep breath before turning and walking away. His soft laughter followed her retreat like a trailing scent.