More lows than highs.

“Come back here,” I laughed as I run close after Jim. “Give me back my granny panties!” I managed to yell out while panting heavily. Jim thought it funny to wear my panties over his head and approach as many resorters as he could. And I was running after him wearing nothing but a long sleeved shirt and his boxer shorts. Mhern were those things comfy. I finally caught up with him but that win was too easy. I began to wonder what made him stop and more importantly what he was staring at. “This is beautiful,” I said staring up at the wall. This part of the hallway had pictures of very successful musicians. I chuckled when I remembered how much Jim loved music. I asked him once what music was to him and whether or not it was his escape and his response left me with no more questions. His answer was, “Music isn’t my escape, it’s my friend. It keeps me company in this cold world allowing me to be distracted by its presence. When the music stops, reality begins.” And for a while, when this friendship began that is, I was worried music was going to be my ‘competition’. Silly I know, but you should see him with his headphones in or even worse sitting behind the desk writing a song. The world doesn’t stand a chance as far as attention is concerned. My worries all came to a complete halt when I figured out that he could still hear me even when the music is playing. Now that’s a privilege.

We returned to our hotel room after a rather tiring but also exciting talk about songs and art in general. “Oo, I need a massage,” she said as she hit the bed. “I wonder if the spa will still be opened,” she continued. It would have been nice to get a massage that evening. Very nice. And so I suggested that we go check to see if it was closed for the night. She agreed and then we were on our way. We talked about the scarcity of stars in the sky as we walked to the next building – where the spa was. “Perhaps the stars are relocating into a much darker place,” I thought out loud staring into her deep black pupils. I cleared my throat when I came to and reached for the door handle. “It’s push, silly!” she giggled after seeing my hand wrestle with the innocent door. “I knew that,” I lied.

Luckily for us, there was enough time to have one last massage session. And it was a treat for two. A pretty young black attendant led us into the parlour we were to get our massage. I whispered to Jim that the movies always filled the massage parlour scenes with Chinese ladies. He nodded in agreement and giggled. “Please take off your clothes behind the wooden partition over there and get wrapped in one of the towels. Our massage therapists will be here shortly.” the pretty lady instructed. We nodded and watched on as she walked out to resume her post. “May I have this dance?” I asked when I was sure we were alone. Jim shrugged playfully before bowing to reply my curtsy. We danced and danced to the rhythm of the beautiful silence. We always wanted to take dance lessons but managed to busy ourselves every single time.

“Ahem.” We both stopped dancing when we heard someone clear their throat. I turned around to see who it was; placing my highest bet on it being the massage therapist. My jaw dropped wide and my mouth dried up. “Jim!!” she shouted sounding very happy. Before I could say anything Clara had already started towards me with a smile so wide. She wrapped her arm around me and hugged me swaying left to right. “Ahem,” another throat cleared. And this time it was from my Bestie. Clara broke loose without losing her smile. “Hi, I’m Clara,” she said stretching her hands towards my best friend who didn’t look like she was going to extend hers. A sweat rolled down my face. I know it was probably from all that dancing but do allow me to blame it on the rising tension. Luckily for me, another lady walked into the room having on the same attire as Clara. “Hello, we’ll be your therapists for the day,” she said confirming the fact that I would have won the bet if I said my thoughts out loud.

I didn’t intend to be mean to this Clara lady. It’s just that it’s been very long since I saw another lady get all hyped up about Jim before. And it’s not to say Jim isn’t handsome or anything. The dude is eye candy. Okay I didn’t mean it like that but I don’t know, I just urghhh. This is going to be one long night. What made matters worse was that Clara decided to be the one to give Jim his massage and from where I was lying, her hands went far below strictly professional to plain ‘you know what I want after here’. Jim looked like he was enjoying himself. I wonder why I couldn’t. “Maybe it’s because you’re thinking too deep about something that isn’t even there!” my inner voice scolded. As usual, it had a point so I decided to just believe nothing grave could happen. I closed my eyes and tried to enjoy my session but they swung right back open when I heard Clara tell her masseuse friend that she was Jim’s best friend before they lost contact.

“Oh gosh, this isn’t good,” I said to myself before swallowing hard. “We used to have a lot of fun. So much fun. We were literally in love with each other but then he had to leave the city,” she added. The rest of the night was quiet save for the soft jazz music that was intended to calm clients. I was definitely not calmed. There were too many things running through my mind. I tried to imagine how the aftermath of this ‘out of nowhere’ discovery would play out and none of the instances led to me being convincing enough. “All done,” Clara said as she closed the cap on her cream. I got up and went to get my clothes from behind the partition. I put them on and went to sit in the reception waiting for my African Bead to come out also. She came out soon after and nodded her head to signal she was ready to leave. We thanked the pretty receptionist and headed for the door. “Finally! Good riddance dear trouble,” I thought as I pulled the door open. Just when I was about to follow my bestie out I heard Clara shout from behind us, “Jim, I forgot to take your phone number.” I cursed a little under my breath and slowed down so she could catch up. I lied that I couldn’t remember mine off head and suggested that she gives me hers instead. She took my phone and dialed her number on it and went on to hit the call button. All the while my African Bead was walking towards the hotel. She didn’t stop even once to look back. I took my phone from Clara and run after her. I slowed down when I got closer and took her hand. I playfully spun her 180° so she’d face me. The silly smile left my face when I saw tears run down hers.


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