“And when you turned to me and smiled, it took my breath away” Chris De Burgh
In another part of town, the county governor was holding his annual end of year party. The governor’s ground residence was transformed into a fire ball. Literally. The event company had gone to great lengths to give the venue a spectacular look. It was richly decorated with themed colours; purple and pink. Polished cocktail tables spread out across the grounds. In each corner of the field there were food points enough to feed the whole nation. Smartly dressed waiters in uniform stood at ease ready to serve. Guests drank from crystal champagne glasses and ate from fine china ware.
There was a live band playing that night made up of mellowed voices. The guests were dressed to the nines. Their invitation cards had read, dress code: formal dinner. They did not disappoint. The guest list comprised of government dignitaries, corporate CEO’s, business men and who is who in the media and entertainment industry. There was plenty of traditional and exotic meals. Drinks flowed freely, available to anyone who cared to over indulge. It was an extravaganza to behold.
He saw her first as she mingled with the guests. She was exactly how he loved his women. Thin and attractive. He took a second to savor her beauty. She looked like a woman who had just jumped off one of those glossy men magazine covers. For what seemed like an eternity he became a hunter in the jungle studying his prey right before he pounced. He was mesmerized. She was a slender frame wearing a long red figure hugging dress. She was hot. Too hot such that he had to calculate his move on her lest he got burned. He studied her.
She wore her hair long; hanging below her shoulders it fell lazily on her back. Her makeup was sweet and sparkling. Her radiant face shone brightly over the dim lights. It was in the way she walked swaying her hips across the grounds that captivated him or maybe it was in the way she laughed, seductively, he thought, that drew her to him. Cold chills ran down his spine. He swallowed hard. He had to move closer to her. He told himself he had to smell her, touch her, talk to her. He just had to move closer.
He adjusted his bow tie and strengthened the jacket of his tuxedo. Clearing his throat, he grabbed a refilled glass of champagne from a passing waiter. He took a long sip. He let the cool Pol Rodger linger a bit longer in his mouth before he took a slow deliberate swallow while keeping his eye on the lady. My lady, he said to himself, soon she will be. By now she was having her back to him. He stared at her backside. He could make out the contours of her body. He allowed his eyes to travel along her contours. Slowly he undressed her with his eyes, from the back of her hair to her slim shoulders, down her back to her firm narrow bum.
He let his eyes linger a bit longer there. Her dress was perfectly tight. He noticed she wasn’t wearing anything underneath. He felt hot. A thin streak of sweat formed on the upper part of his forehead. His pants became tight. Taking a sip of his chilled drink, he moved his eyes all the way down to the bottom of her dress, he couldn’t make out if she was wearing shoes or not. Her red dress flowed freely covering her legs to the ground. He now more than ever had to move closer. He inhaled deeply, straightened his broad shoulders and took a step forward.
“Phil, My guy!” Before he could turn around, some heavy-set guy was already giving him the bro hug. He cursed under his breath. Suddenly what he was feeling vaporized into thin air.
“Hey, Man,” He forced himself to answer back faking enthusiasm. If it was another place, another time, he would have punched the dude and pounced on his prey.
“I didn’t know you come to these parties, man,” his friend was saying excited to hit off a conversation. Phil barely heard him. His eyes were searching the crowd frantically. His lady in red had disappeared.
Where was she?
“The governor is my friend,” Phil answered. Eyes searching the crowds. “Besides am here representing my people.” They both faked a hard laughter.
Woman, where art thou?
At 42, Phil was the youngest Member of Parliament to be elected in his county. He considered himself young, charming and charismatic. The ladies adored him. He was the most eligible bachelor in town. He was divorced. After his relationship with Kate went up in smoke, one year later, he found himself a wife. He married in a prominent family. A young rich lawyer who was a partner in her father’s prominent law firm. Phil’s father-in-law was also a successful businessman who had built himself a well established empire to the tunes of billions.
Many said that Phil had married for the money terming his marriage to Lina as fake. His own friends and family had speculated that it will not last. Everyone who knew him said that he was an opportunist with a hidden agenda. They were all right. One year into the marriage, Phil declared his interest in the Member of Parliament candidacy. His father-in-law backed him up. He after all backed as many politicians as he could. His business interests depended on it. His empire would enlarge. He was cunning in his dealings. He needed a new ally and so he rooted for his son-in-law. Money changed hands. Networks established. Strategies played. Secret meetings held. Brown envelopes pushed. Political rallies organized. Phil won the elections with a landslide.
Six months after he was elected Lina filed for divorce citing infidelity and irreconcilable differences. The media had a field day. Social media was a buzz. Rumors flied all over. It came out that Lina was unhappy in her marriage right from day one. That Phil neglected her. It was said that she was going crazy. He was never emotionally available for her. He was milking her dry and was a serial womanizer. It was ugly. His father-in-law got a heart attack. A tabloid reported at some point that Phil was still stuck in his previous relationship with a certain self-made business woman. Lina had always suspected the same.
They went to court. Phil fought dirty, he was ruthless. He hired crooked divorce attorneys. He bribed the judge. Lina gave in and Phil got himself a handsome settlement. She was the moneyed one, he had sworn. When it was done. Lina flew out of the country to clear her head in one of the Caribbean islands. She never came back. Several months later she would go on Instagram, post a photo of herself sun bathed in a tiny pink bikini, hanging on the arms of a masculine Maui beach boy beside the sea, holding a cocktail glass, wearing a wide grin and oversized sunglasses. She captioned it, sex on the beach.
Phil moved out of his matrimonial home. Put it up on sale. Cashed the money. He continued with politics. He was popular. The media loved him. Women drank from his palms. He knew he was attractive. He charmed everyone on his path. He widened his networks. He stepped on many people’s toes and jumped over others. Many hated him. Others loved him. They listened when he spoke. He pushed bills in parliament. He broke existing rules and made new ones. His political career was bright. He was meant to lead. One day, he had told himself, I will live in the governor’s mansion.
“Yes, yes, it’s a great party,” Phil answered to some comment that he wasn’t sure whether it was directed to him or to someone else. The people around him had grown into a crowd within a few minutes. Everyone was talking at the same time. But his mind was not there he was thinking about the mysterious lady.
Who was she? Was she alone?
“There’s an issue I would like us to discuss next week,” The deputy governor, a lady, turned to Phil.
“Yes absolutely,” answered Phil, “Have your people call my people and set up an appointment.”
Where was she?
“It’s a personal issue,” She pressed in his ear.
He took a step backwards. Rumors had it that he had once had an affair with her. She had condemned them as malicious. He smiled inwardly when he remembered how she kept telling him she was married with each falling off of her clothes . He didn’t embark on the same ship twice.
“Have your people call my people,” he repeated calmly.
Damn it. Eyes searching.
At the high table there was the sound of clicking glasses. The master of ceremony turned to the microphone and asked for everyone’s attention. Each person’s focus turned towards the front. Small crowds were dispersed as they took their seats. The MC was introducing the governor who was expected to make his speech. Thereafter the dance floor would be opened and everyone was invited to dance like there was no tomorrow. The band was warned to keep the guests entertained like never before and the waiters were told to make sure everybody’s stomach was well taken care of including their thirst. Phil had given up on his lady in red.
The governor took the microphone.
“Ladies and gentlemen…,” The governor started.
He spotted her from the corner of his left eye. My lady. She reappeared mysteriously just as she had disappeared. She was standing at the corner of the field, alone, looking straight at him. Teasing him with her eyes.
“I hope you are enjoying your night……” Governor’s voice trailed off in the wind
He wasn’t listening. He turned his head full circle to gaze at her. Their eyes locked and they held each other’s gaze for a few seconds. She twitched a small shy smile. He titled his head and raised his glass at her.
“…….that was a great year we had…”
She stood still staring at him. He now had full view of her. She was breath taking. His heartbeat increased. His temperature rose. He took a step towards her.
“As you know we achieved most of our objectives……”
He could see that she was holding her gown with her right hand and she had lifted it up slightly. He saw brown skin. His knees became weak. She dropped it and like a night goddess turned around to leave.
“…I would like my wife to say a few words…”
She turned and looked over her shoulder, he was still standing. She started walking away slowly her dress flowing swiftly against the night breeze caressing the contours of her being. He was awed.
Hands were clapping at a distance.
In a daze, he dropped his glass on a nearby table and like a slave to a master he followed her silently into the darkness.