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Friday, March 09, 2018

Tomorrow Never Ends ( Book Excerpts) 5

Later, after dinner, Oma stood by the verandah of the house. She could hear the sounds of music coming some distance away to her left. 

It was from the guest house which had a live band that entertained guests from the city regularly especially at weekends. 

The music however, could not drown the sounds of the sea, some meters away from the verandah. The soft light of the moon, which hung over the earth like a bloated ball, shone over the waves in their steady, eternal movement to the shore.

Their endless motion, ancient and timeless, had a music of their own that was beguiling.

 A few steps saw Oma standing by the water's edge, so close, water lapped at her bare feet. She stood on the deserted beach, looking at the immense sea, feeling as if she was alone in the world.

 Oma softly inhaled the salty sea breeze, which left her feeling calm and clear- headed.

Then remembering something from her childhood, she picked some pebbles at her feet and began to toss them into the sea. 

These created little ripples which were soon swallowed up by the hungry waves.

 "Calming," a voice said close to her. She turned quickly to see Daniel standing by her. She wondered how long he had been standing there as she had not heard him walk up.

"Yes," she agreed. It was more than calming; it was magical. She wished she could stay there for a long time to rest from the hassles of work and city life which could be overwhelming at times.

"There're days I feel like letting go. Work, commitments, the business, everything. Leave it all behind and move here," said Daniel.

She gazed up at him, his face inscrutable from the dark shadows cast by the moonlight. "So, what's stopping you?"

"Responsibilities. There're just too many of them. Their grip's too strong," he said with a sigh.

 She could understand the feeling. Though her outfit was small, she had had to work extremely hard most times just to stay afloat, keep the business going.

 Imagine what it took to run a company as large as his. Oma felt a faint stirring of sympathy for him, at the heavy burden on his shoulders.
Then he took her hand and said: "Come. I want to show you something." 

They walked along the beach in the opposite direction from the guest house and loud music. A short distance away was an empty canoe lying forlornly on the beach.

 Daniel climbed in and holding out his hand, guided her inside. They sat side by side on one of the small wooden platform that served as seats.

"Are we going fishing this night or what?" she said jocularly.
He laughed. "It's too late for fishing. It's an abandoned fishing boat. I come here to chill sometimes and imagine myself rowing in it, far away into the sea, to a faraway place, where nobody can reach me. No mobile phones, internet, nothing.
Just me and the big, blue sea," he said grandly.

"You really wish to get away from it all, don't you?"

"The temptation is always there," he said. Then turning to her, he added softly: "Especially with you here with me, Oma."

As he spoke, he drew closer and closer till their faces were almost touching. Then she felt his cool fingers on her face, caressing, exploring as if striving to imprint her features in his palms.

 Her heart began to beat rapidly, wondering if he kissed her like the other time, if she could resist him.

She could not deny it anymore, she was deeply attracted to Daniel and being so close to him, with his hands on her face...
…his mouth pressed lightly on hers, with his hand moving to the back of her head to draw her closer still.

Sighing, Oma opened up to receive his kiss, which soon deepened into a passionate clinch which left them both shaken.

All was forgotten except the ecstasy of being in each other's arms, the wanting, the desire...
"Oma, what have you done to me?" he intoned as his mouth trailed down her chin to her neck.
"Daniel," she said softly, holding him tight, all the emotions she felt, all the feelings she had for him embedded in that one word.

They were so engrossed in themselves, they failed to see the lone figure standing a few feet away observing them. Then he drew closer and spoke in a loud voice.

'The broken thread of many moons past, will be renewed. But the red ones can't be found. I see crisis, troubles ahead. Unless the red ones return to their place...' The voice startled Oma out of her dreamy state.

She tried withdrawing from Daniel's arms but he held her tight to him. "Don't move. Please," he said.
Then turning his head slightly, he stated shortly:

"Baba, what's it this time? Can't a man have some peace on a quiet beach on such a beautiful night?" The man laughed and walked to stand in front of them.

"I see I've come at a wrong time, my son. But my message is timely. Take it or leave it," he said, making as if to leave.

Daniel sighed, and whispering something in Oma's ear, got down from the canoe. She watched curiously, wondering who the man was. From the light of the moon, she could make him out as a slightly built elderly man in a robe with what looked like a heavily bearded face. He was talking and gesticulating while Daniel stood by him silently.

'The red ones have been lost in a faraway place. They must return for restitution to take place,' he affirmed. Oma joined them and stood by Daniel.

He took her hand in his and smiled at her before he turned to the man. "And what are these 'red ones' you keep mentioning, Baba? And who's keeping them?" Daniel queried.

 The man did not reply immediately. Oma could feel his curious gaze on her, a sound of wonder in his voice as he said:


"The time will come when the mystery will be revealed," he addressed Daniel. "And you will search for me then!" And with that, he walked away in the direction he had emerged from.

"Who's he?" asked Oma as they stood watching the man walk away and disappear into the night.

"We call him Baba Ibeshe; he's also known as the Seer of Ibeshe. He's a kind of prophet, a mystic who sees visions or whatever. I've known him for years, he was close to my late uncle. He's quite famous around these parts; people come from the city and beyond, even outside the country to consult him," Daniel disclosed.

"I thought I told you to remain there," he added, looking at the canoe. Then taking her hand, he steered her towards it. But she resisted him. "It's getting late and cold as well. I think we should leave," she said.

"Not yet," he told her. "We have some unfinished business to do, remember?" He gathered her in his arms and kissed her again, his hands at her back, pressing her close to him.

Just then, it began to shower, light rain drops falling softly on them as they stood in a tight embrace.

"Shit! Even the weather's against me!" Daniel grumbled while Oma laughed. Holding hands, they walked quickly towards the house, their feet
sinking in the sand softened by the rain...

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