Monday, February 13, 2012

Finding Her (Muse 2 Fariq's Final Fantasia)

Continued from Muse 1

He picks out a photograph from the travel wallet. A small child in the smiling embrace of a beautiful woman. Nothing remarkable. Small; taken in one of those shopping centre photo booths. A strip of six silly expressions. Mother and child pulling faces, having fun and it hits him. The lines blur as he's taken into their universe, their timeframe. Rick smiles although he's not sure why. The wash and connection embraces him like a warm breeze, a wave of love and devotion. He's smiling but he doesn't know it.

***

All she sees is knees, all she feels is restraint. The fat calves, the thin calves the dirty shoes, the shiny shoes. She's locked into a 'thing' with wheels. Acceleration and stop. Slow mosey and chatter. She hears her mother's voice but doesn't understand the language. She sucks her foot, its tiny sandal loose at the clasp. She removes her shoe and exercises two tiny teeth on the soft leather. She needs to pee and lets the warm fluid escape into warmer climes. It doesn't faze her that her nappy's wet. Quite the contrary, it's normal, warming, comforting. A huge face moves towards hers, and coos. Ugly hands brush her cheek. Even uglier lips smack all over her face as she winces and begins to cry with the intrusion.

"Marique? Oh...baby girl. What's the matter? There, there, don't you cry." Embracing arms unclip the stroller constraints as easily as Rick unclipped the rucksack and release the crying baby from her bindings. The big face and ugly lips retreat and she's held close in the embrace of the most beautiful thing she knows...her mother.

Candide Jimenez loves her little flower. She is the joy in a world tainted by poverty and loneliness. The progeny of a clandestine liaison with a man she thought she'd dreamed she'd spend her life with, but knew she never could. One look into the toddler's face and she's overwhelmed by the night she had with the child's father.  The careless whispers, the passion. The feel of his warm hands against a semi-clad body on the white sands of a Colombian beach. A moment of madness, and in retrospect, disaster. 

She'd met Fariq while he was travelling. Candide, the 'den mother' although only 22, and too young for the title. was a cleaner in the hostel at Cartegena. Fariq a soldier on shore leave, exploring the sights before returning to the conflict of his homeland. A loose cannon looking for love. No, not really love. Just a lose cannon. relieved of his own bindings in a land far away from that which kept him taught and controlled.

She'd given him the 'look' while preparing breakfast. Nobody made eggs like her. Soft in the middle, firm on the outside. She reminded him of a well-poached egg and the eroticism of 'eating' her became an obsession. As he dipped toasted into the soft yolk in a communal kitchen, he watched her. Brown arms wielding a mop as if it were her lover. Long fingers caressing its handle. and slow wide sweeps of the floor in soft and cleansing suds.

Candide, so slender and chocolate-coloured. Sweat glistening in her cleavage. A brief tank top and no bra. Nipples erect as the cool breeze from the open windows came in exotic contact with glistening skin, caused by 35 degree heat. Her hips moving as the mop swayed across the tiled floor. One side of her skirt, accidentally tucked into her knickers revealing a shapely leg.  He dips toast into his perfect yolk, and slowly sucks the fertile yellow liquor from its crust.

She glances at him and flashes a white smile, and a dark look.  "Eat your breakfast soldier! I have work to do..."

He's entranced by the chastisement. Finishes his meal and takes his plate to the sink where she's renewing the water, in the now-empty bucket.

"Meet me later?" He's not hopeful. She's probably married. So many women marry young here.

"Where?"

He drops his plate loudly into the sink, surprised that she's even interested.

"Er, the beach? Sunset?" He's a little embarrassed about the overly romantic overture but has signed up for a Graffiti tour and is unlikely to be back before four. Besides, he's fantasised about a brown body on a white beach. The sun setting over an azure ocean. Palm trees and hammocks. After the deserts of the middle east, this would be the epitome of paradise.

"Very well," is all she says and continues to fill the bucket. He watches the hot water climbs it's sides its cavern and suds rise beyond its rim. He takes one more look at her and asks her name.

"Candide. Candy Jimenez...I will see you later."

He spins like a top, elbows tucking into his sides as fists clench and he hisses an excited "Yesssss!" Then leaves to connect with his walking tour.

***
The soft lapping of Colombian waves and the black silhouette of palm trees against a pink and darkening sky are idyllic. Fariq is convinced she will not come, yet fantasises about what could have happened given half a chance. It's been an hour past the appointed time and he's restless.

"Stupid man... stupid, stupid man. She's not coming. I shouldn't be thinking this."

Although not devout, he knows his intentions are far from 'honourable'. He just wants a woman. An exotic woman, a fantasy woman. A woman like her, to sate an appetite so long sated by a hand. And what a woman.

Fariq is not a bad man. Just a young, red blooded man. Conditioned by a different culture, a different loyalty and sense of respect. A man exploring the freedoms he can't enjoy at home. He's been released into wonderland and he likes what he sees, feels, experiences. White water, jungle treks, the community of foreigners, carefree, unrestrained, unashamed. 

He'd been surprised when Lydia Schonken had crept into his hostel bunk and kissed him on the lips. Not that Lydia wasn't lovely, but too forward for him. He'd shunned her and told her to 'go back to bed', the leggy German and her short pyjamas, teasing him with a glimpse of buttock before retreating.

"You're no fun Fariq. The army hasn't done you any favours," she'd whispered, and blown him a kiss. He felt shy and reserved rejecting her but she wasn't his type. He wants hot blood, not Germanic cool. He wants the skin of the woman who makes him breakfast. The one with the Latin smile and the Salsa hips.

He felt her before he saw her. He, sitting seaward, hands around his knees, thinking of giving up the ghost. She with warm breath upon his neck. The heat of her body felt long before they engaged. She sidled beside him and sat, her hands embracing her bare legs. Sweet-smelling of coconut oil. Her hair loose, not tressed in the tight bun she wore for work. Lustrous, wavy, dark, beautiful hair. He couldn't help but brush an errant tress behind her ear and imagine how it would feel languishing across his belly.

"You came?" His surprise, embarrassing even him.

"Of course!" Her surprise at him being true to his word, pleasing.

They talked. The words spilling from both, honest and easy, free-flowing. How he had to return to military service, how proud his family was. How he was not a fighting soul but had to do his duty. How he wanted to learn about art and philosophy and diverse points of view.  She, about how she'd been a child of FARC and escaped the guerrilla lifestyle only to find herself a slave to labour. How she dreamed of leaving, moving to the countries she'd only seen on television; America, England, Australia, anywhere but Columbia. Before each knew it the sun that sank before them, now rose and warmed their backs.

"I have to go home..." she whispered. "I have lunch to prepare and need my sleep."

"Can we do this again. Or dinner, or...."

"Yes. Tonight. I'll meet you at 10. Here. I'll bring food...and wine."

She was true to her word and for four fantastic nights they kept company. Hands caressing each other's body in the cricket serenaded night. Brown skins on blonde beaches. Reckless and careless. Oh so careless.

***

He'd emailed for a while, then nothing. She, with no internet, hovering behind the plethora of travellers accessing the web within the hostel and leaving their sessions open for her to draft a quick and silent note. He knew that she was pregnant. He promised to return, to take care of her. He was happy but constrained by national service. "I will come back," he'd promised. But he never did.
Then silence as her belly swelled beyond disguise.  His disappearance clear when she received a brief note from his sister who'd found her email address on his computer and explained his absence.

"I know you were Fariq's friend while he was in Colombia. You helped him find himself. He spoke of your sweetness. He told us of your predicament. I'm so sorry. He was killed in action last month. If there is anything we can do....."
Her tears flowed beyond her comprehension. She didn't even read the following paragraphs. Her heart broke and never repaired as she massaged a hand across the life growing within. She had fallen in love and the only legacy of his existence now grew within. The fear she felt was real, the love she felt was overwhelming, the sadness she felt - unable to be consoled. She will never leave, be rescued.

***
"Come on bebe," She places the child back into the stroller, heavy shopping bags hanging from each handle. "I have you as a reminder of him..."

The child continues staring at knees and ankles, chewing the shoe strap and now feeling a little uncomfortable with the damp diaper in which she must sit until they get home. Still, this lovely thing that propels her forward is her life, for she knows no father. This woman is her centre, her mother and no ugly lips or face can deny her that. Even if she doesn't understand a word that's said.

***

The appearance of a shadow lurches Rick from his vision. A menacing figure. Rick drops the reel of tiny pictures and takes a breath as if emerging from a deep dive. The burn in his chest physically debilitating. Candide isn't safe. Neither is her child but he can't cope with more right now. He takes a long draught from the glass of now warm water and coughs, spluttering spittle onto the coffee table. Each droplet turning red and oozing over its edge. He slaps himself sharply on each cheek and focuses on the gently swaying oaks beyond his window. He stands and shakes the vision from his body, hoping that with each shake of his arms, the feeling will dissipate.

4 comments:

  1. I suspect Candide's is a familiar story. I'm wondering where this is going.

    In the paragragh about mopping the floor, I think you meant to call candid, not Marique.

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  2. Ahahahaha! You finally got the "death child" into a story.

    Seriously, the pace is very uneven. Breathe! Slow it down!

    ALOT of typos... everywhere... but this paragraph is particularly bad: "She'd met Fariq while he was travelling. Candide, the 'den mother' although only 22, and too young for the title. was a cleaner in the hostel at Cartegena. Fariq a soldier on shore leave, exploring the sights before returning to the conflict of his homeland. A loose cannon looking for love. No, not really love. Just a lose cannon. relieved of his own bindings in a land far away from that which kept him taught and controlled."

    And it's "Colombia," not "Columbia."

    ReplyDelete
  3. Good way to work a Faqiq Fantasia Muse in :)!

    ReplyDelete