His chest heaves up, slowly. Her head moves with it. She can feel his heart thumping away at his ribcage. His breath, warm and moist, caresses her forehead in its calm rhythm. She’s still waiting for him to make his move.
His hand glides lightly around her waist, expertly slipping around and hooking perfectly below her navel. She can feel her breath getting sharper and shallower but she tries to play it down. Heavy breathing could be a dead giveaway right about now. But he must know his own heart is beating faster and faster.
‘This is trouble girl. Think!’
He pulls her back gently but swiftly and comes within inches of Bosco’s face. Ever determined, Bosco does not release his hold on her wrist, but tightens his grip, asserts his feeling of entitlement to her. She can feel a thin film of sweat forming between his palm and her wrist. Her skin begins to crawl and itch but the two men stand so close to the offended organ she feels itching it could send the wrong message. And with the atmosphere as tight as it is, one spark from her itching and the fire could start.
It would be an honor for men to fight over her hand…even all of her but not on the holy grounds of a church. What would the old women say?
“Young people nowadays…”
Not young people! Not her! Not like this.
She can see it already. She’s not sure who would win in a fight between these two but she already knows who she wants to win. And yet she can’t let them fight to find out.
She looks at his eyes and sees a fire in them she’s never seen before. She looks at Bosco and sees an arrogance she’s never seen before. She exhales and steps between them, her back to him, face to Bosco. It’s a calculated move. Besides, would you turn your back to Bosco while wearing a short red dress, even in church?
‘That was stupid’
Her nose is brushing against Bosco’s prickly beard. If that is not nearly uncomfortable enough, her breasts are pressed firmly against his chest and his groin is dangerously close to her body. She whispers a quick prayer, hoping against hope that he is not easily excited. The Lord is near and hears her. Clearly she had overly underestimated the space that was between them.
He steps back, she can feel him move away from her rear. She is relieved but slightly disappointed. It feels like he has abandoned her. She uses the new found space to free herself from Bosco’s body. But that grip on her wrist refuses to go.
“Guys, don’t fight”
“Let her go,” he says calmly.
“I’ll let her go if she asks me to let her go”
“Bosco, please. Let my hand go”
She looks up into Bosco’s eyes, they have become furnaces. The pressure around her wrist eases and the fingers slide off on the sweat they had produced. She turns to him, puts a hand on his chest and pushes him back…lightly.
“Come on, let’s go.”
“Are you sure?”
He gives into the push and turns. She walks away with him and they leave Bosco behind. She can feel the eyes burning into her as he puts his hand around her shoulders and inspects her sweaty wrist.
“Are you waiting for someone?” he asks as he inspects the hand.
“No, I think I’ll just go home now”
She looks at his face.
‘He’s hesitating. What’s he thinking?’
He smiles his slight smile, she thought he’d not do it again. The tension is lifted. Bosco is just another passing memory. He’s here now, in the present, her present.
“I was just wondering if you would join me for lunch”
Hold on. Lunch? On Sunday? Was he asking her out? He’s looking at her nervously. The smile has melted into a portrait of confused unease. She wants to answer but the words are not forming quickly enough in her head.
The smile is now gone from his face. He’s just waiting for an answer now.
‘YES!’ she’s thinking but her mouth refuses to move and form her reply.
“It’s not like a date, or anything. Just lunch”
“Yeah, sure. I’d love that,” she replies. These words form faster than she can blink and come out of her mouth with intense ease. “Just give me a minute, I need to visit the ladies.”
He smiles and nods in his own unique way to say he understands.
She turns and begins her walk to the ladies room. She can’t believe what she’s just done.
Once in the ladies room, she picks her spot in front of the mirror and gives herself a long hard look in the face.
“You’re an idiot” she confirms to herself.
“Of course you are” someone reaffirms in the corner.
She turns around to find the singer touching up her make-up.
“You are an idiot. Two guys want to fight over you and you stop them. Do you know how many people would kill for something like that to happen to them?”
“That’s not my problem”
“Excuse me?! You think you are better than everybody, don’t you? Newsflash, you ain’t”
“First of all, I didn’t ask for your opinion. Second, if you want Bosco you can have him. Third, shut the hell up, I wasn’t talking to you”
“Who do you think you’re talking to?” the singer queries as she steps closer. Her heels echo off the tiled walls amplifying her attitude.
She turns to face her foe, wearing as much arrogance on her face as she can. She might not sing in the praise and worship team but if this turns into a fight she’s sure God has her back.
“I said, who do you think you are talking to?” The singer punctuates her words, pausing to give each one weight and an intimidating force. Each word is taken a step at a time so that she’s right next to her when she’s done talking.
“I’m not talking to you.”
She feels the heat rising in her cheeks. Her nostrils feel like they’ve flared out already, taking in as much air as they can to cool her down but it’s not working. Her heart is pounding in her ears again, only this time it is not as pleasant as when he was wiping her face with the handkerchief. She can feel the muscles throbbing, even in her fingers.
‘Lord help me’ she thinks as she feels the inevitable approaching. She holds the porcelain sides of the sink and looks down. Her soft hands flex around the edges of the sink as she tries to restrain herself.
“You don’t know who you’re messing with. He’s mine. You get it. Mine. So leave him alone.” The words are whispered in her ear, a measure of venom added to them.
As the singer speaks she turns on the tap and a jet of water splashes into the sink.
“Get away from me” she hisses under her breath.
“What? You can’t look at me now?”
“I warned you.”