Once upon a Love

When a beauty like her tells me, “I like you. You should meet my brother”, I am excited and anxious to see what he looks like. For Dora is fair and busty, pretty with a cute pointy nose, intelligent and sophisticated. Her small delicately lined lips needed no lipstick; they are already a permanent plum rose. It matched her complexion perfectly. She is a real intimidation to look upon.
The first time we met, we hardly met at all. It was at a mutual friend’s house. After she said ‘hello’, she stayed glued to her novel. Her beauty had struck me from that day. I wondered what sort of book a girl like her would be interested in yet I couldn’t tell by the cover of the book. It had no cover. It must be an old novel. Then we met officially within the walls of the university campus through the same friend months later. This time, she took a good look at me and her first words to me were, “You’re pretty, I like you. You should meet my brother; he’s handsome too.”
As perfect as Dora is, she is marred by the flock of friends she keeps. Not one of them complimented her not even her good-for-nothing boyfriend. Yet there is one, a night crawler mystery lover, whom she adores and would have been perfect for her except for his taboo to be seen in broad day light.
Dora found the rationale to keep me close and guard me jealously. When her male friends complimented me, she would quickly say, “Have you met my brother’s girlfriend?” It makes me smile. I like the idea of belonging to such an ideal though. However, it is Dora’s way of keeping the guys away from me and letting me know too, to keep myself away from public appreciation. It makes me feel important and exceptional, the idea of belonging to someone I haven’t met. It all seems interesting and puzzling waiting for the day when I eventually meet my ‘boyfriend’. Then I met someone else.
I want him yet I can’t make time for talks. I keep a strict routine between lectures and my room – the room Dora worked out to share with me. Any change about me will arouse suspicion. Not that it will kill me if I spend time with other people but I prefer to be within my own company and Dora likes that too about me. When I couldn’t make time, eventually I lost the chance of a relationship with the guy.
The day I finally met John was an unassuming one. It was late into the night and after what was called a fraternity gathering. I thought it was a regular university party though. However, instead of heading back to campus Dora insisted her house was closer than school and she wanted to go there. She asked me to come with her. She needn’t have. It was my opportunity to meet her brother.
A tall figure opens the gates after Dora honked a while. The boy looked sleepy as he takes his time to open the gates. I wondered if Dora told her brother she has a girlfriend for him and if he accepted it. I wondered if he didn’t already have a girlfriend and if I wouldn’t just be imposing. I step out of the car and wait for Dora to lead the way but she waited for the tall boy to walk to us.
“Were you sleeping?” she asked him.
“No, I was watching a movie. How are you?”
The tall figure is her brother? Oh no!
“Joan, meet my brother”, Dora says to me casually.
“Hi”, I said greeted casually.
“Hello”. His voice is soft and caring.
A tall slim boy with a soft voice, I am definitely in for it.
“Hug him”, Dora says or commanded because we hug almost immediately. It isn’t a familiar hug, weird more like. I actually wrapped my arms around him.
We arrive at her house on Friday night through early Saturday. Dora just wanted to go to sleep. She expected me to feel at home and I guess she assumed I did because I barely asked questions.  I follow her when she goes in to sleep but while she just crashed into bed, I help myself to her wardrobe to get a towel. I let the shower pour in my hair. The water is cold. I settle to sleep afterward in an oversized shirt I found in Dora’s wardrobe.
I must have been tired because by the time I woke in the morning, Dora was out of bed. When I asked her brother where she is, he just said, ‘she’s gone back to school. She said you can stay the weekend and I’ll drive you back to school tomorrow’. I was confused. Dora didn’t discuss with me before deciding for me. “But if you want, I can drive you back today when you’re ready”, John quickly added when he sees the confusion in my eyes. I said nothing. I am here after all; the least I can do is try to get to know my boyfriend. So I take a bath and got into one of Dora’s clothes. Except for her bust, I fit into her clothes nicely.
John made a breakfast of toasted bread, omelette with a glass of orange juice before I came out of the room. He could have knocked to let me know breakfast was ready because even after I was done dressing up, I took my time going through Dora’s magazines and old novels that lay on her shelf. It was then I concluded she is a romance and, crime and thriller genres kind of girl. She also had stacks of new clothes with their price tags on. Their mom lives in USA and only sends them quality clothes so I expected nothing less. I wish I can have some of her clothes. I was out of the bedroom only when I was bored going through Dora’s stuff. I went into the living room where John is watching a movie.
“I made breakfast. I didn’t know if you would be hungry”, he said when he saw me. His voice still so soft and caring, it is very unusual to me. If only he will be as soft and caring as his voice, we could have something.
“Thank you”, I say as I wait to let him lead me to the dining room. He laid out the table quite impressively. The toast had lost its crunch when I settled to eat but I ate it quietly anyway.
“We can take a drive to get some movies if that’s your thing” he came in minutes later to tell me.
When we finally got back to the house from his video club, we had gotten his recommended The Wings of the Dove. I have a strong feeling he has seen it before. He seemed so sure it would interest me. I sit on the big sofa waiting for him to put the tape in the player. He sits beside me after he did. I feel claustrophobic about to watch a romantic movie with a stranger. Yes, he is Dora’s brother but I hadn’t asked her anything about him and he isn’t telling me about himself. Well, we hardly said anything about ourselves yet. I concentrate on enjoying the movie. It is an interesting one. The plot is of love and conspiracy – conspiring to love rather than choose a life of ordinary wealth and status. I follow the story of Kate Croy and Merton Densher and Millie Theale carefully. We watch attentively, quietly. I feel the urge to urinate so I get up in the midst of it to do my business. When I returned, I see the video is paused in the midst of a racy scene. Kate and Merton were getting down to it – touching and feeling on each other. I wish he had just let it play on instead. I could have asked if I missed anything and he could have narrated it to me, better still.
We spend the rest of the day watching more old movies and when night came, we slept naturally. It was an early night since there was nothing to talk about. I couldn’t wait to go back to school the next day.
The weekend has been quiet, lovely though but my mouth smelled from lack of occasional speaking. I got ready to leave by 10AM. John didn’t keep me waiting either so we began the journey of about twelve miles.
John put an R Kelly disc into the CD player. R Kelly was singing, ‘…from beyond this bed of mine I see ceiling fans with you on top of me …’ Oooh boy! I smell something brewing. My eyes widened in the excitement on the idea. I only smile. John caught my smile and it probably gave him a better idea of me, the sort of things that might interest me. He looks at me and smiles, I smile back. It is a lovers’ beatific smile. We both look away. I didn’t want to believe we just shared a moment. He holds out his palm on the handbrake as he drives. I see it beneath my lashes. He knows I see him. I slowly put my hand in his’ and he wrapped it all in his’ completely. Then he caressed my hand, feeling every line and wrinkle of it. I didn’t know when I too began to work my hand through the rhythm of his touch. I close my eyes for a second and it almost felt like my hand was gliding in water, smooth, soft and dreamy. My palm begins to excrete fluids while my body gets warmer. I let him feel my hand till he just held it in his’ for the rest of the journey. He had just made love to me by the movements of his hand and at that moment, I was convinced that we are officially boyfriend and girlfriend. Although we hadn’t said much that weekend, we both agree something happened by the end of it.
Dora wanted to know how it went when John dropped me off but I needn’t say a word. She knew it was full of talks and giggles and love making by the shameful manner we held each other in front of the hostel. She is surprised how quickly it happened but she is happy. She had succeeded in matching the perfect girl to her brother.

4 thoughts on “Once upon a Love

  1. I was hoping for more myself…I suppose I can imagine the rest in my head and just let my thoughts be the Director/Producer of this your mouth watering story. God help me

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