Illustrative photo by Gerrel Saunders
Isabella is a perfect woman. I know it, and even though you may not agree with me, – because your ‘oh there’s no perfect person’ conviction will not allow you – I still insist.
Isabella is perfect woman; her pointed nose like a Fulani girl’s, which delicately graces that hollow point above her slightly pouted lips, can bear me witness. Also bearing me witness are the sinuous twists on her waist which tease my eyes whenever she moves her hips, making the huge mounds of flesh pushing out behind her, above her legs, bounce like sea waves on high tide. Isabella is awesome!
Isabella is a wonderful character; a mixture of slight melancholy and heavy sanguine. The young woman has an extremely beautiful face that is the colour of fresh egg yolk. Her deep dimples make me wish she keeps smiling at me all the time because when Isabella smiles, her cheeks always take on the form of an apple after the first bite, sending in me an airy ecstasy that gives me the feeling of flying. Isabella has a narrow face with eyes that corner towards each other under arc-shaped eyelashes that always look as if she has just run dark pencils on them.
Isabella’s hair fascinates me more than any other thing; it has a shiny gloss to it that appears to make it glisten each time she stands under a gleaming electric bulb. Her hair is filled with a spongy softness, – I know because I have felt it a few precious times – and flows over her shoulders in wavy rows.
Isabella – she is tall and sure; a perfect woman.
Many times a man has to work really hard to get things done, to prove his virility, his masculine prowess and unmatched machismo, but sometimes a man does not need to work so hard, he can just get lucky, like I got with Isabella. There is no other way to put it, but only God could have sent her my way.
I first saw Isabella on a breezy evening at the McDons restaurant in Oturkpo where Joseph my best friend and I had gone to get some food. I remember clearly what time of day it was; it’s hard not to remember any encounter with someone like Isabella. We had just walked into the restaurant and I was about to sit at a table covered with an overflowing, sparkling white cloth, when I saw her. It was 5:33pm. I know because I had just looked up from my watch when my eyes caught hers and my heart momentarily stopped its pumping. Even though I was about to sit down, the sight of Isabella ensured my buttocks remained suspended in the air for some seconds till the queer look on Joseph’s face brought them down on the seat which was a wooden structure overlaid with a spongy sofa.
“Are you okay?” Joseph asked me, but I didn’t answer him. How could I answer him? There was something majestic I was trying to see.
Isabella sat by my right with a group of three girls who were obviously her friends. They were sitting round a table five yards away from me and Joseph. The girls were all light skinned but Isabella was so different from them all, so prepossessing, so charming. The gleam from the florescent lamp hanging from the ceiling above them, gave her hair the appearance of a glistening pool reacting to the stare of a bright sun.
I couldn’t hear what the girls were saying as they chatted away, but she kept smiling and chuckling, making the dimples dig deeper into her cheeks.
“Yeah, I know.” Joseph said, winking at me “She’s really cute, man”
I looked at him, flashing him a dire look that made him flinch. How could he demean the girl by merely using the word ‘cute’?
“Are you kidding? Man, she’s gorgeous!” I told him, turning to look at the girl again. “She’s a goddess, bro. Look at her”
Joseph laughed. “You go fear na. Yeah, the girl fine sha. No be lie”
Isabella and her friends kept laughing and gesticulating as they ate from their plates.
“Dude, how can one human being be so beautiful?” I said. I was staring at her now, not caring if anyone noticed it.
“Is that a statement or a question?” Joseph replied me, laughing again. “Guy, go order your food and eat make we waka from here jor”
I ignored Joseph. He obviously didn’t understand what I felt. Isabella was everything that filled my subconscious. What food was he talking about?
“I wan go follow the girl talk” I said. “This girl no fit just pass like this na”
“Oya na” Joseph said with a note of impatience strung to his voice “make your move na. Abi you wan spend the whole evening for here?”
Joseph was right. I decided to walk up to the girl. I had to at least get her number and hear her speak to me. Maybe even make her call my name. That would be magical.
“Give me a moment” I told Joseph and stood up. However at that same moment, something happened that crushed my spirit completely. A man smartly clad in a black suit walked in to where the girls were seated and planted a kiss on Isabella’s cheek. She smiled warmly at him as he spoke with the other girls.
My heart sank and I sat down again. Joseph began to laugh out, almost hysterically. He was mocking me and that really annoyed me but I didn’t tell him to stop. I was just wondering how lucky that man must be feeling that he had an angel all to himself.
Moments later, the man left the restaurant carrying all the girls with him.
It was three days later, after I had tried in vain to get Isabella off my mind and after Joseph had mocked me innumerable times for always talking about the girl, that I saw her again on my way to the bank.
The sun had just announced noontide with its fierce and defiantly scorching stare from the sky when I saw Isabella. It was the first day of June in the busy city of Oturkpo and everyone was walking fast on the street. However, even though a wide tarred road separated us and even though she was standing in the midst of a thick mass of fast moving people on a pavement opposite me, I didn’t waste time noticing her.
She was facing me, looking distressed and really worn out as if she had just been hit with terrible news of an impending doom. She was wearing a tight pair of black jeans which hugged her skin the way a tortoise’s shell clings to its body. She was wearing a little white shirt and had a shiny veil wrapped around her neck. On her left hand was hanging a rope which she clung to as if she was scared of losing it. A rope! I wondered what she wanted to do with it. She was looking around her as if she was frantically searching for someone. Suddenly she began walking away to her right, still on the pavement as she mingled with the crowd.
Now, I had never before this time, approached any girl on the street and had always scolded Joseph who often did and still does it. I had always felt it was improper to do just size up a girl on the road and begin stalking her. That could be classified as harassment. However, this sunny day was no day for abiding by my own standards. Even laws are broken, aren’t they? I crossed the road and made straight for Isabella.
When I reached the pavement, she was far gone ahead of me. There were so many people walking at the same time but that didn’t stop Isabella from walking so fast through them. I wondered how she could walk so briskly through a crowd so thick. I trudged behind. Some men were walking in front of me, blocking my view and they looked really huge. I knew they could easily break my bones if a fight started but I didn’t mind, I brushed them aside as I struggled to reach the girl. She was still far away and was not slowing down. I wondered where she was going. Why was she walking so fast?
I can’t remember just how long I kept walking but I was finally beside Isabella. She didn’t seem to notice at all that I was staring right into her face. She just kept walking while I tried to keep up with her pace.
“Hey” I ventured, my heart beating a little faster than normal. I couldn’t believe I was right there beside the woman I had been dreaming about for three nights.
Isabella did not answer me. She didn’t even look at me. At first I felt indignant, but then I remembered the cliché that all beautiful girls are pompous and felt it may be true after all.
“Hi, uhmmm…pretty lady…” I began again but a brisk movement of her hands cut me off. She was obviously not interested in what I was trying to do.
I decided to try again.
“Wow, you really look like a lot of trouble. I might need to go gym up before coming to talk to you again” I said and laughed a throaty laugh meant to capture her attention but she just kept on walking.
Isabella had the haughty gait of an Amazon and yet kept walking with the depressed shoulders of a wounded soul. I watched as she moved with her head raised high, and had the feeling that she was caught in between shades of gallantry and faint-heartedness. She was a mystery and I walked beside her like a man in need of salvation.
“Hello, milady” I said to you her, determined to go on with the wooing even if she was not listening “I was walking right there on that pavement actually going for an urgent assignment when I caught sight of you and I couldn’t help but follow suit.”
I saw what appeared to be a smile come upon her lips and I pinched myself. What kind of line was I using? How could I use that line on her? I saw you and decided to follow suit. Damn. She would think I’m not a serious person.
I decided to try again
“See, usually I don’t do this, you know, follow ladies on the street. I… I… actually I haven’t done it before but it was simply impossible not to follow you.”
I pinched myself again. Oh no. Have I lost all touch with how to woo a woman? What was I saying? I looked at Isabella and it seemed she was not even hearing the sound of my voice. Her head was raised as high as ever and she was still walking fast.
At this point I decided, I had to get her. I must go back home with this prize. Nothing could make me feel better. I had to at least get her number. I thought of what next to say, feeling a little puerile.
“Seriously, I have never been this charmed by anyone before” I said and I meant every word. “Please make my fantasy a reality and stop for a minute”
Suddenly Isabella turned from the pavement and darted into a turning by her right which led to a narrow path overrun by thick brown grasses. She just kept on walking and didn’t look back
I watched her move away and felt a rush of irritation wade over me. How could she ignore me so? What was she thinking?
As she walked away, I watched as her perfectly rounded behind bounced voluptuously like two hot balloons grazing each other.
I hesitated at first, then I decided to follow her. She was still walking fast.
“Hello” I called out, wondering what kind of woman she was. Her pompous act was already getting to me. How could anyone ignore another person for this long and not feel anything? It was unlike anything I had ever known. So, she was beautiful but so what? Was that why she should be this filled with pride? Why would she not even stop and acknowledge my presence?
I stopped following her and made up my mind to go back. Who did she think she was anyway? She could go ahead and eat her beauty for all I cared.
I turned around and began walking back. I would not tell Joseph about this girl and how she ignored me. He would mock me even more if I did. I would keep everything to myself and maybe try learning some new skills in the art of wooing a woman. That I would do. This girl had humiliated me. She had just kept on walking as if I was a mere piece of wood trudging beside her. She must think she was the Queen of England to ignore me so.
I stopped and turned around to look at her disappearing figure. She was headed straight for the woods in the distance with her rope held firm in her hand. I wondered what she was up to and where she was really going. Why would a girl like her head straight to the bush in the middle of a sunny afternoon with a rope in her hand? I decided to find out.
I ran up to her.
“You’re still not talking to me?” I said, panting from the effort to catch up with her. She didn’t reply “Your silence is killing me, girl. Can I just know your name?”
Suddenly she stopped, turned around and faced me. My heart doubled its beat to three times its usual rhythm.
I’ve been told before that a man’s heart beats faster than usual only when he is scared of something, especially of the unknown. But my heart was beating faster not because I was afraid but because in front of me stood the most beautiful woman I have ever seen and I couldn’t come to terms with it.
Isabella’s velvety smooth and neat skin dragged my lips apart in reverent awe at her majesty. Being so close to her now, I saw that she had slightly green eyes and wondered how a black lady could possess that. She stood tall with strands of her hair sprawling across her forehead which was adorned with a perfect hairline.
My eyes parted wide as I silently paid obeisance to the charm she commanded with her beauteousness.
Suddenly her voice brought me back from the reverie I was lost in.
“Don’t waste your time, Mr.” her voiced sailed to my ears and clung to it like ants would cling to a ball of sugar.
“Come on…” I began, quite unsure if what to say next
“Don’t waste your time”, she said again “I am a dead woman. I died yesterday”.
At first I thought I didn’t hear her correctly but when I saw the glimmering glitter in her eyes take on the pale color of blood, I knew there was something amiss, something I have to run away from.
I looked around me. There was nothing and no one to be seen. I was alone with this weird woman in the middle of the bush.
To be continued on Thursday
Written by Samuel Daniel, an Editor and Content Writer at TORI.NG