....It was a trans-formative summer. I was experiencing the sunny summer glow of a German town while my troubles, worries and family were tucked under thick blankets in Africa's dry winter. Some days it would rain, and I'd imagine the smell of rain back home, or the patter on the ceiling as I sat in my room, watching series' to no end. Yet, I was here, miles from home. Sleeping on a white couch in a little town tucked right at the border to Denmark from Germany.
I never carried any kind of suave. I was just a black girl who tied her hair up, wore skirts, jeans and cardigans, with a hint of mascara to brighten her dark almond shaped eyes. I was never spectacular. However, the 10 hour flight and 5 hour train rides summoned me into a sleep so intense, that I could dream about the past 16 years, had I been someone else; had I thought different, and acted differently. I may have turned out differently.
I like to be different. I like to change. I like to stand out. I like to be free to express myself, and through pain I could be everything I wanted to be. The day I went to "Anka Tattoo Studio" I didn't realise that the change in my dreams was happening. Everything was about to change with the ripping of a needle through my tongue. I held her hand tight; my friend, my little sister. The white girl with the blue eyes who I'd seen grow from a blonde, large eared brat to the support I never knew I needed. I watched her smile, and throw her head back as I sighed in pain. Day by day she'd bring me cups of soup and pudding, hold my hair back while I tried to oh-so gently brush my teeth. She answered with a voice most angelic, "He's my cousin" when I asked her about the dark haired bloke in the leather jacket I'd spotted in our kitchen.
The smell of cigarette smoke was never truly appealing to me, yet, I'd grown up with parents who'd smoke as often as a chimney in a European winter. Yet, the pheromones and smoke that made up his scent caught a whiff to my nose. I smiled. "Who are you?" he asked me. His hazel eyes piercing every ounce of my physical being.
"Uhm. Arlana. I'm your cousins friend"
"Oh. Nice to meet you"
He left the room. So suddenly, so swiftly. I silently turned my head as I tried to catch my breath and in that same moment, he turned his and smiled. A perfect smile, and a mouth filled with the shiniest of pearls and caressed by the softest copious pink lips. He stole my breath again, and left me gagging with the embrace of his saccharine aroma.
It came as no surprise that I saw him around the yard the next few days. "What're you doing?" he'd ask as I sat soaking up the sun; or "where are you going?" as I frantically paced towards the sea to drown my worries with the waves. However, no other moment can compare to the night we sat watching a film in the language of my ancestors' oppressors.
"Do you understand German?" he asked me, not wavering to stare directly into my shy, frightful eyes.
"Yeah. I've been learning it since fifth grade," I replied, barely keeping hold of my breath.
"Can I sit here?"
"Sure," I uttered almost too quickly.
"Willst du mit mir kommen? Ich brauche etwas zu essen," he said, laughing at the grin on my face.
"Ja, ich bin auch hunger," I replied. Laughing to the sound of his laugh.
The walk over the stoney path was silent, and cold. My thick legs shook under the short piece of fabric barely covering my ass.
"You have nice legs."
"Uhm, thank you," I giggled. The compliment wasn't unfamiliar, but I never imagined that a man of so much suave would recognise my minor blessing.
I sat on the table with my legs crossed as I watched him bake a frozen pizza.
"Can you cook?" he asked me.
"I can make toast and eggs, if that counts for anything," I blushed.
"I can't make you my wife then."
The pause was awkward. I looked at him. My eyes must've given away that I was speechless.
"You were meant to laugh," he giggled.
"Oh. ha," I forced out, "I was laughing in my head."
He laughed at the statement, and I laughed at the look on his face. I'd never seen someone look so handsome while laughing so frantically.
I stared at his face while we ate. Assessing the contours of his bone structure, assessing the size of his hands and watching the gestures he made while he spoke. For a moment he stopped, and just looked at me. I looked away shyly, scared of what he might be thinking. He grinned and got up to leave.
We walked over the stoney path again. Saying nothing, only breathing. I was sure he could hear my heart thump against my chest. It was so loud..
We walked, and it thumped.....thumped....thumped....thumped........thumped...
Until we reached the front door, and I reached my arm out to open it. I closed my eyes as I felt the cold sensation grip my waist and spin me over, and gushed out a loud breath of air as my back thumped against the wall and his breathe was on my neck. My heart stopped and his face smiled. A grin so devious and mysterious that it scared me a little bit; but at the same time, his scent and his sinister darkness drew me closer until I could feel his soft lips against mine and taste the sweet, cigarette mixed sap of his being. I felt warm and the cold was suddenly non-existent, and the contours of his body laid so perfectly against mine. I turned my head, and I laughed. He laughed. The cold came back, and my heart beat frantically.
"I like you," he whispered.
"I like you too," I smiled.
Sometimes, in my sleep. I feel that moment wrapping itself around me. The feel of the breeze that hit my skin that night, and his cold hands holding onto my hips. I can feel the hard wall pounding against my back, and the smell of cigarettes smoke flowing off his being.
Sometimes I can feel him here, and I can smell him here, yet more than just a few miles and a few oceans hold us apart. But, sometimes, I can feel him here.