I wondered if she knew just who she was, or more importantly, who I was?
It seemed like each day brought new things, and each night brought us together, but with the sunrise at the new day’s dawn, we were strangers once again.
“Who are you?”, she chanced to say, while we still shared the last moments of the Summer Night. “Why are you here with me? Are you staying or going now?”
“My Summer had been cancelled”, I explained once again. The same explanation, at the same time on each new day, to the same person. Not being angry at who I was, just wondering why, we were traveling together?
“Consider me to be a chance companion on the road. We met and we are traveling together, no more, no less”, though I was lying. I was lying, because I still remember the night before, and the scent of her perfume on my skin. I was lying not only to myself, but her as well, for I feared that she would leave me alone during this Summer, not having any direction, nor companionship to share life’s small moments with.
“Where are you going today?” She asked me rather nonchalantly, as if I were the Engineer, “All Aboard” the conductor would say, motioning the lack of guests onto the train, staring his empty stare at the rows of seats, empty seats filled with non-paying passengers.
“I thought of taking a trip, somewhere.” Something that I said in a sort of way which would suggest a destination, without having one. “We could travel there together”, said not necessarily to her, but to her as well, if she chose not to travel with me.
“I’ll consider your invitation”, she said, “but I might just have other plans as well.” She turned away as if she were heading in the direction of her destination.
“Can I come with you?” I asked, not in a pleading way, but in one that suggested that we should travel together.
“Oh, Are you also traveling somewhere today?”
I thought this line of questioning was getting us no closer to finding out, who the real murderer was. She was toying with me, but I liked it. “Have I ever showed you my knife?”, she asked while I looked for another cigarette, even though I never had smoked before. She hiked up her skirt and showed me her holster, sporting a thin stiletto. “Only in case of emergency”, she hastened to say, but how many emergencies did come, remained between her and herself.
Did she really kill him? I doubted it, but then I had fallen for her unmercifully and unabashed. I had jeopardized the case, by doing so, but her eyes told me that I wanted her, no matter what.
“Take me for a ride”, she said in that way which made me melt onto the floor. Stepping daintily over the puddle on the floor, she looked out of the window to the street. “My convertible is still parked at the curb. Tank filled with gas, and a woman ready to go all the way! What do you say to that, Big Boy?” I pulled myself together, and dusted off the odd piece of wax or two, before sweeping her off her feet, and passing through the waiting window to the street below.
“I’ll drive”, she said while twirling her keys in the air, looking for the right one to use.
“The wrong one will take us farther”, I said without hesitation, but with a doubt if she would indeed go that far?
“He loves me, he loves me not”. She sat on the front seat, her legs draped over the side of the car, tossing the odd key away, as if they were petals on a Summer Flower, blowing away in the wind. “He might have loved me, just before I shot him. He might have been the one, but my knife knew no mercy.”
“Save me,” he cried. “Don’t do the deed!”
Was she confessing to the perfect crime, or just toying with me again? She chose the key with the leopard’s head, and placed it in the ignition. The motor roared as if it were on the Serengeti, chasing antelopes in their final death knell. “Hop in before they catch us, alone and unarmed, waiting to sink their teeth into us.” She just stood there, looking out across the African Skies. It looked like rain, somewhere. Just not here, not today.
“I love seeing the wind in your hair”, said while we raced along the Endless Plains, as said in the Maa, in the Maasai. “Africa was a good choice for today”, said while thumbing through my travel brochures, tossing them onto the back seat, but turning into Mosquitoes instead. “Why did you do that?” she cried, while getting stung a place or two, having to scratch an itch, which had been bothering her since we met, almost losing control of the jeep while doing so. “Have you ever done it in Africa before?” I assumed that “it” would become known to me, while we raced across the patterns and undulations of the grassy plains. She released the wheel and let the jeep flow along with the current, heading towards the falls, The thundering falls.
“Should we pretend that we are in a barrel going over Ndoro Waterfall?”, said while gazing into the bluest of my eyes? “I can see an ocean in there”, she remarked while the car was spinning out of control, the current tearing trees and rocks from the shore, adding to the chaos and mayhem of the boiling river. “I can see an ocean of possibilities, when traveling with you”, she said to me, in a rather unabashed way, throwing caution to the winds and kissing me….The vehicle swerved from side to side, as if the road had lost control of the situation.
I took control, and held her in my arms, stemming the tide of confusion, the jeep rolling to a stop in front of my office once again. “Did you do it dearest?”, I asked while running my fingers through her hair, sifting out the trees and rocks that had entangled themselves in the waves.”Did you really kill him?”
She turned away as if to confess to no one, she whispered something, which made me want to hear something else, and not what she wanted to say. “I loved traveling with you today,” I imagined her saying. “I loved seeing the blue in your eyes, I could love an ocean with you”, which must have been the words she had been whispering, the words that I did so want to hear.
Not Guilty. How could it be otherwise? I believed her as she gazed into my eyes..
I could love an ocean with you……