Tuesday, 14 May 2013

A short story: Conquistar


Simi was well known among the girls of his college and beyond. His fame rested on his handsomeness and charm. When he was fourteen years old, he dated a girl two years his senior. Her name was Samantha, Irish by origin but English by birth. And when she found out that Simi was two years younger than her, she was embarrassed that she had fallen prey to such a lie. She cried for days, receiving letters from people she didn't even know in her school about her stupidity.

 'How desperate were you?' wrote one letter. With no strength to reply and with a soul full of shame, she decided to move school and was never seen again by Simi until one rainy day in late October.

Simi was walking on the pavement that led to his house when across the road he saw a blonde beauty, five feet tall struggling to cover her head from the rain.

'I need to help her', he thought.

The day did not lend itself as the perfect day to hunt a fox, that was what he saw his mission has. Every girl was a fox to be hunted, played with then shot. He understood his role in life as a conqueror, 'to conquer and to go on conquering' was his motto. Simi wasn't born like this but his older brother who called himself Diango, drummed it into him ever since he was five years old. Diango would take Simi to the park and tell him:

 “You see all this little girls, little princesses, you are to be their prince. They are damsels in distress, they need rescuing. They need a prince like you and me to come and save them. This is our task, this is our duty as Conquistar's.”

Conquistar was Simi's last name. Born to a Nigerian mother and a Spanish father, the mixed look granted him to look like an Egyptian prince. Six foot tall with a domineering presence, soft eyes with a herculean body, he was almost irresistible by sight. That was what Samantha felt when she caught eyes of this handsome man walking towards her. She ceased her struggle with the rain and was blushing when Simi offered her his umbrella.

“That is very gentleman of you. No man or woman for that matter has ever offered me their umbrella. It is usually every man and woman for themselves under this British rain.”

Acting to be shy as someone not familiar to be so close to a woman, he pulled back a little and said with a smile that increased Samantha's blush:

“The mark of a true gentleman is to make a lady feel like a lady.”

Unable to hide her rosy coloured cheek, she looked into the eyes of this kind stranger and said:

“Thank you. After the rain shall we meet again so that I may give you back your umbrella?”

 Simi replied with tongue in cheek that: “I am not the kind to reject a woman's proposal. Although I wish that you do keep this umbrella. See it as a parting gift from me to you. I shall take my leave now.”

Almost disappearing from her sight, he turned around and shouted, “let us meet tomorrow night at Tope's cafe near the bridge.”

Immersed in the excitement that tomorrow night will bring about her seeing this lovely stranger again, she walked home dancing in the rain.

“You are back already, it's not eight o’clock yet. Coventry must have taken the party out of you.”

 Samantha knew that she was being welcomed. She hugged her sister Gemma, who returned the warm acceptance.

“Mama phoned earlier asking about you,” said Gemma studying her sister's paradise face. “And what is it with that positive smile on your face?”

Still lost in that moment of kindness, Samantha replied: “Let us settle by the fire, and I shall tell you why I am full of blush.”

Stripping herself of her wet attire, Samantha covered herself in her pink spotted pyjamas ready to discourse with her sister about her encounter.

“The fire is ready and your hot chocolate too.” shouted Gemma from the kitchen. “I made it the way you like it.”

Strolling downstairs, Samantha made her home next to the Victorian fireplace and conversed with her sister about her meeting with that gentleman and what he was like. The eager anticipation of tomorrow's date as Gemma insisted that it was, ruled the last quarter of their chatter.

“He might be the one,” said Gemma, somewhat seriously.

“Time will tell,” wisely replied Samantha.

The morning came with no love to nourish the flowers. It was as if the sun remained asleep in its chamber. However much Cambridge lacked the sunshine this morning, there was plenty of it in Samantha's soul.

“I want to know what love is, I want you to show me...” she happily sang along to magic fm's morning love tunes.

“I want to know what he thinks of me,” she mused to herself. “I want to know what he is like. A man with such gentleman qualities can only be of the nice sort of ilk. At worst he can only be too nice as to make a lady see him more as a gay friend than a boyfriend. Nevertheless I have had my fair share of rotten apples.”

Samantha's love history is short and unfortunate. Her beauty only seems to attract guys who were full of self-confidence with a cheating violent disposition. They only wanted one thing from her and she wasn't prepared to give it.

“They must wait or they...” she often said to herself. As a result of this deep archaic morality, she has been called all types of names, and at one time almost forced against her will. This put her of men for a time, and this man of refinement will be her first date for two years. “If it is a date,” she thought. “Any how a lady must not break her promise.”

Decorating her nails as she often did since the start of her puberty, her sister studied her face with an old look that Samantha was well aware of.

“Stop trying to read what is in my heart. I can tell you what is in there.” said Samantha focusing on perfecting the colouring of her nail.

 “I know too.” replied Gemma.

Worried that her sister was perhaps too fond of this modish gentleman, Gemma thought about reminding her about the misjudgement she has made about men in the past. But she refrained, for as well as having a sharp tongue, she was also a woman of the books, or as her mother calls her, 'a classical lady with a rifle tongue'.

Her beauty rivaled Samantha's. They both had the sincere virgin look about them. And although very contrary in character, they complimented each other well as all good sisters should. Gemma watched Samantha all through the morning and did sisterly things with her all through the day, and even helped her pick the right dress.

“That's just about right.” commented Gemma. “Not too desperate and not too uncaring. He will be blown away if he has any eyes to recognise anything that is lovely.”

“That's about the nicest thing you've said to me today.” smiled Samantha filled with a nervous excitement.

Picking up her velvet Armani bag, she headed to her front door but not without first glancing at herself in the hallway mirror.

 “You look beautiful.” said Gemma deliberately, who was worried for her sister and with a crossed finger hoped that this guy was not anything like the men in her past. “Dear God, please let this be a good encounter.” she silently prayed.

Simi was a man of early arrivals. He believed that it was a man's duty to appear waiting for the woman, rather than the other way round. When she walks in, he would have the advantage of studying her, of noticing the first things which are very important to the evening's direction. He could tell the confidence of a woman by how she approached him when they saw him sitting there with his glistening smile and small display of nervousness. He would have prepared for them a glass of water, for this was safer than being excessively forward. This chivalrous act was to him all part of winning a girl's heart. He understood that every woman was different and this early data collection would dictate which traits he exhales.

The café chosen was one that invited conversation. Slowness of mood was the dominating atmosphere. The air was clean, the beers were few and the wine plenty in orders. Only classical instrumentals were allowed to come through the speakers and one only ever heard them if one open their ears to listen. Walking into this moderate sized room, Samantha looked left to right to see if her stranger was to be located. She approached the bar with a mind full of self-awareness and need of being acceptable by sight. Simi maintained his eyes on her, discovering her need for affirmation. Turning her eyes to her left, she noticed a fashionable man waving calmly at her to signify that he was the being that her eyes were searching for.

Approaching with a stammering composure, Simi rose to welcome the lady by pulling out her chair to take her seat. He made eye contact with her and smiled. Unwilling to make the general mistake of complementing a woman at first sight on her general beauty, he focused on the particulars.

“Your cream fingernails goes well with your purple shoes. I like it.”

This unpredictable complement relaxed her fretting mind. She returned with a blushing smile, and  took a sip out of the cup of water that was intended for her. This little acts of kindness made her weaken the armour she had prepared for her heart. With an ear that wanted to hear more about him she said gratefully:

“Thank you for the umbrella yesterday.” And looking at him embarrassingly, she confessed that she had forgotten to bring it.

“What would you like to drink?” asked his soothing voice, diverting the conversation away from what was past.

“This water is ok for now, thank you.” she replied shyly.

He continued as if ignoring her answer.

“Wine? I hear they have here the Chateau de St.Cosme.”

“That is something father would drink,” she thought to herself.

“There are soft drinks of all kinds, fruit juices, cocktails, and if you are feeling naughty, there is gin too. But as you say water is fine too for now. As you are content with water so shall I.”

“He listens too.” she observed.

Taking another sip of her water, Simi watched her closely and studied her pretty face with an appetite that one day she would only be part of the fading memory of girls that he has conquered.

Understanding that the girl who settled right in front of him was one for conversation, he asked her about home. But seeing that it was awfully rude of him to ask such a question before knowing her name, he politely and playfully asked her:

 “At birth or a few days later, or much before, it is normal for those who care about the baby to inquire about the baby's name. And here we are meeting for the first time, two minutes into what I perceive to be a date and yet I do not know your name. O how can I be guilty of such a crime.”

Samantha laughed at his playfulness and freeness and went along with the tone of communication.

 “I am the guilty one for it was you who rescued me from the evil rain, and it was my due of gratitude to at least have required your name as a token of my appreciation.”

At this moment of delight, they both appreciated one another with Samantha confirming in her mind that this truly was a noble guy of high character.

“My name is Samantha.”

“And I am Simeon.”

Ever since a year ago, Simi introduced himself as Simeon to new girls for he feared his reputation as Simi the women slayer was a hindrance. Unaware of the fact that it was the same guy who had lied to her six years ago concerning his age and whom she still holds a mountain of rage and anger against, she revealed to him that she was educated at Coventry and that she is currently looking for employment as an English teacher.

It was remarkable that she did not recognize him, and he did not recognize her. The reason for her ignorance was that Simi had dispensed with his blue baseball cap if he was to win the hearts of many more damsels in distress. And the reason for his ignorance was that Samantha had long separated herself from that naïve sixteen years old little girl who was pathetically deceived.

His gentle brown eyes charmed her alone, his timely smile and excitement made him all the more agreeable to Samantha. His subtle touches on top of her fingers electrified every feminine reserve in her body.

“Your father must want you home.” he said whilst looking caringly into her evergreen eyes. “Let me not keep you late for after-all we have tomorrow and next week, or whenever you wish, for I am always willing to see and hear more of you.”

Seeing the sincerity of his care she replied:

 “My father is away."

“Whether he is here or away, I always aim to be a man of one mind.”

“What a man of nobleness.” she concluded to herself.

Although she was tempted to say that she was now old enough to stay out as late as she wanted.

She held her tongue and before she could rise to her feet, he stood up to display his respect for her and she did not miss the gesture. Walking out side by side into the scarcely visible evening, he signaled to a taxi to take her home. Samantha expressing that it will do no injury to walk home, he insisted that it was better to be safe than sorry. She accepted his kindness and his whole smoothness and politeness dominated the field of her mind.

“I wish he was my first kiss,” she happily thought sitting dreamfully in the back of the taxi gazing inattentively at the hidden nature that passed her way. She had lost her first kiss to Simi, the boy who lied to her six years ago and ever since then, she has regretted it.*

K.Oni

*Tell me what you thought about this story because I am thinking of making this the first chapter and write a whole ten chapters more or less. Be honest. If it is rubbish, Il re-write it or throw it away and just leave it. I am only in the nursery school of writing yet. 

1 comment:

  1. Nice Twist Ken!
    I think the language used in conversation is quite old-fashioned but in some ways it adds to the story. I'd be interested to know where the story goes from this point onwards!

    ReplyDelete