‘Bitter’ stewed herbs or was it traditional vegetables in the fish stew? Call them as you may. This made the third option for the night. Her heart, however, fell for the stewed fish as the Chef prepared to serve his five boiled potatoes. Yes, she counted them and watched every step of the peeling process. Come to think of it, she should have tried the smoked stewed fish like she did the ‘bitter’ herbs.
Dressed in a pink shirt, navy blue pants, a half jacket, and sandals, he worked so meticulously, Maria couldn’t pull her eyes off him. Peeling and chopping and lighting the stove, he made the art of cooking so effortless. Not to forget the passion and devotion expressed in the setting of the table. Eeeeh, OCD they call it? Maybe, just a touch of it. Or was it a push to hit his steps count for the day? At least she beat him to it that day; ten thousand plus and counting.
But hold on a moment. E. L. James got us wondering about the ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’, remember? Oh yes, you too have watched the movie series or read, putting words to matter and visualized it all. I too. Guess I even top the list. Done the soft copies, hard copies and serialized them movies. Googled BDSM and even the ‘little red room of pain’. Yes, wondered what is the difference between ‘Gray’ and ‘Grey’, lost between what my teacher of English taught in Nursery School and what James wants us to believe.
It is said that ladies know colors more than men. In fact, the rainbow and all it represents was meant for us. Haha, maybe so, or maybe the opposite is also true. Maria had struggled that evening deciding on whether a certain suit in the discussion was grey, gray, faded navy blue or faded grey. You feel her, right?
Well, the discussion ensued.
“There is that funny suit of yours that I don’t like.”
“Which one is that?” he asked, turning with hastened curiosity.
“It is not black, not blue and not even grey.” She had specified. One would be allowed to think was a color artist specializing in colour mixology or matching.
“I only have suits in three colors; navy blue, black and grey.”
“Haha, I have no idea what color that is, but I hate the suit.” she insisted.
“Could you be more specific!” Val somehow fascinated by her ordeal.
Let me come clean here. I am not a fashionista. Neither am I into color and trends and looks. I run after comfort and a perfect fit, period. Maria like me follows suit. This is what was guiding Maria’s dislike for the suit. It is a tad bigger in size, leaving him with sloping shoulders like one crushed by the baggage of life. The button a notch far from his now quietly bulging tummy and the sleeves too boring to look at. Yes, she too stares at a man’s shoes and belt, then at the shoulder fit of what he is wearing before she can comment about his gait. And, she wants her man looking top notch always.
A black pair of Baker Shoes, matching belt, perfectly fitting black suit, white shirt, red tie’ these are what define the standard he set the day his step caught Maria’s attention. The coy smile hiding somewhere between a batch of dimples and the twinkle of sunshine in his eyes.
“Come, show me which one you mean…” he said. Stretching out his hand as an invite. It took Maria a second longer to gather what he meant. She and Val were paying a visit to his wardrobe.
Obediently like a monk, she gathered herself from the seat. His hand holding hers so firmly. His smile telling of the excitement he harbored. She could feel the rush of blood through his veins.
“These are all my suits, show me!”
“Mmmmh. This one,” she said. Pointing to the singular suit at the end of the collection as if on cue that it had to stand apart from the others.
He looked at it, sent his piercingly staring eyes her way, then back to the suit. And in one fluid move, shut the wardrobe doors.
“Ok, if that will make you happy!” as if his dressing was meant for her.
“It doesn’t do your physic any justice. Neither does it add value to your look.” she tried to justify her opinion.
Walking away as fast as her feeble legs would carry her, palms in the jacket pockets. Maria was a step or two ahead of him.
“You are in a hurry my dear,” he stated, rather matter of factly. “Where to?”
Pulling her to himself, each could hear the other’s heartbeat. His breath burning out in desire as her body shuddered at his touch. His palms smothered her skin. His face on her shoulder, his nose taking in that scent as she took in his. Her arms around his neck. They were falling in love with each other all over again. She, lost safely in his arms. He planted a kiss on her neck. Slowly adjusting so he could hold her face between his palms. He kissed her forehead. Then her cheeks. To her nose. And ultimately, … … ultimately, to her lips.
Maria’s legs melted as her face flushed and she surrendered to passion. Yes, the gentleman who takes her breath away. Making her falter and simmer in desire. Leaving her smiling even when she is so mad at him. The one who gives her the reason to chat with the stars, asking them to shine over him every time he is working, out in the fields in lands far away. And when she can’t kiss him in reality, she prays that the winds deliver her kisses to his lips and to tag her hugs along.
“You must be hungry.” He said, pulling away. Ruthlessly cutting short this fairy tale.
“I am famished,” Maria responded. Smiling back and following his steps to the kitchen.
Avocado made the starter with a dash of balsamic. Then the buffet serving for two. Now, sssshhh. Don’t tell her mother. But Maria intends to start trying out the different wines of this world, soon enough. And I shall share her experiences every step of the way. After all, she has the best wine sommelier for a tutor! Tadaaaaa!
An hour or so later, thanks to her slow eating mannerisms, two overfed tummies lazed on the coach. Then he took his phone and went straight for the iTunes. Flossing of his 45,000-song capacity collection.
“What is your favorite song?” he asked. And before she could even utter a word, his monologue continued. Or was it rhetoric?
“Let me play us, my ultimate favorite collection.” He continued. And all Maria did was a node and smile back. She was ecstatic. At least it wasn’t ‘Gambia,’ beautiful as the songbirds’ voice rolls, her fingers sensually rubbing on the strings of the Kora. Or Oliver Mutukudzi, with his bass on ‘Neria’. Not for a Saturday night anyway.
But that night, was different. Special to say the least. To Classical Soul he went, his face gleaming with emotions; a mix of joy, satisfaction, love, and some surpassing peace. He was at his very best. His feet up the table, reminiscing times of old. Percy Sledge, ‘Warm and Tender Love’ playing, he moved the speaker and placed it between himself and Maria. No excuse for not getting the lyrics.
And even before she could warm up to this cozy position, Maria’s now tired eyes betraying her enjoyment of the experience; Valentine got on his feet. And dancing away he did. I tell you this for free, I could pay an extra dime to watch his moves. Swaying in a rhythmical motion to the tunes by Otis Redding. ‘These Arms of Mine’ played out. The ‘jitterbug dance’, or what did he call it? I promise to confirm the name of the dance style he moved to.
Here he came out as hot, and young and fly. Happy to be in his own skin. A guy just enjoying the moment without a care in the world. Who would tell of his many hidden talents? At some point, Maria wanted to join him on the floor. To learn the moves and dance along. But she couldn’t stop admiring this handsome smiling soul right before her eyes. His guard thrown to the winds. Oh yes, the chef was dancing and nothing could steal this moment from her. She had loved every second of it and so she wasn’t going to stand and spoil the mood. Nada!
“Come Maria, dance with me…,” his arms once more stretched out to her.
Pulling Maria from the sofa, he held her waist as she placed her arms around his neck again. Looking straight into his eyes. And as ‘I’ve Been Loving You’ by Otis Redding played, they swayed away. She honestly has no idea what other songs they got dancing to, but boy, ain’t he just a charmer. Two hearts becoming one. Two souls confirming what they already know. Two beautiful people living the moment like there is no tomorrow.
And when they got to bed, the agenda was already set. They were meant for each other. He completed her and she brought him joy and happiness; reminding either broken vessel that they could love again. She was his, and he was hers, and that night, the stars testified to that.
“How about the dancing Chef serving breakfast?” Maria chirped like it was his duty. Oh, what she wouldn’t do to watch his arms at work!
“I enjoy serving you… “He stated, and before she could warm up to the idea of this Gentleman serving her breakfast, he softly whispered. “I love you so much!” Like it was the best-kept secret he would tell her that day.
What else could a lady ever ask for?