MELISSA

I was awakened suddenly by an annoying buzzing sound that seemed to be coming from both sides of the bed.

¨The heck!¨ I mumbled, grabbing my phone and turning off the alarm, but surprisingly the buzzing continued from the other side of my bed.

I groaned in frustration, opening my eyes, trying to find where the source of the annoying sound.

Blinking, I found Bibis phone.

This woman is going to drive me insane.

Why in the world is her phone doing in my room?

This must be one of her trickeries.

It has been a week already without her letting any moment pass to torture me.

Ever since I made the mistake of lying to Bibi that I was dating, the situation turned from bad to worse.

She has been on my back, demanding, requesting, and insisting on meeting my so-called boyfriend.

She went as far as blackmailing me emotionally by faking a cry, putting words in my mouth about me treating her like she was not part of my life.

She pretended to be sick, claiming that she was getting older and did not know when she might sleep and not wake up.

Eventually, I promised that she would meet him one day.

One more lie – white lie – led to more trouble as she kept reminding me every second.

Drawing a deep sigh, I took the phone and switched it off.

It was only four in the morning, for crying out loud!

”What am I going to do with you, Bibi?¨ I muttered under my breath, scratching my head.

I stumbled towards the bathroom, took a shower, and started with my first job, selling Kaimati (Fried Sweet-dumplings).

I have three different jobs, working in a kiosk, selling veggies, and in a restaurant as a waiter.

Lastly, the one with my boss Mrs Green.

I know it sounds too much, but I have to make a living.

Bibi also helped here and there, selling her delicious porridge to the vendors and constructors.

She claims to still have the strength to do something instead of retiring at home, lazying around, and letting her thoughts wild.

Like she always reminds me of a verse from the bible; An idle mind is a devils workshop. Couldn agree more.

Of course, I never wanted her to work. Bibi has always taken care of me, and it was time for me to do so, but with our financial status, she insisted on leaving with no other choice.

I promised myself, though, that one day, she won need to work. I will take care of her.

….

¨Habibi, I will just go to the bathroom. I am so pressed that I feel like my fallopian tub- ”

”Bibi, no need to elaborate! I get it.¨ I exclaimed, cutting her short, with a glare.

Sometimes I wonder who is the older person between us. I guess they are right when they say that the more a person grows old, the more they care little about being cautious and all.

Their mind reverts to that of a child, free to say anything without being discreet.

¨Don you give me that look!¨ Bibi warned, her eyes narrowing at me, making me sigh tiredly.

¨ There is a public toilet on the other side of the road. Do you want me to accompany you?¨ I asked, only to roll her eyes.

¨What am I? Five?¨ She asked before continuing, ¨I can take care of myself, just you wait here for me.¨

¨Alright, then, I will be here.¨ Bibi then went ahead, leaving me behind.

Taking in a deep breath, I looked around. We were at the city square, located in the central business district.

The parliament buildings, the holy family cathedral, city hall, law courts, and convection centre surround the square.

I walked towards an enormous fountain with the 80-year-old British sculptors masterpiece.

The intricately double life-size, 12-foot, seated statue of the first president, with every detailed aspect, to a birthmark on the Presidents face and his trademark peep-toe sandals.

It has that quality of aging with grace, the bronze darkened and finely sculpted to the founding fathers almost daunting resemblance.

A view from every angle of this statue shows how much it is an integral part of the city square.

Approaching it from the front kicks you as a backdrop, in its exactness, a magnificent masterpiece, and this would have proven a hard nut in competing with the detail involved.

The carver has the statue of the president, sitting on a podium of reinforced concrete, bush hammered and detailed with the sculptors signature and year of installation, in a fine four-buttoned suit and traditional African gear covering the suit and head.

His hands rest on his fimbo (Stick)) a common denominator with him in his rule when he always had a defining item at hand, looking beyond…

The statue is an island by itself and can be approached from multiple areas, both visually and physically, which is a valuable status within space-defining elements.

Standing at the gate, one can almost see him, sitting next to the tallest building as if to say we were here.

It has the unmistakable character of an icon and can easily be the best-defined statue in the country.

My eyes shifted to the buildings that galloped up to the cloud. Standing tall together in the city centre, reflecting the blue and white-silver hue clouds.

So different from one another, but very content to reflect the beauty of each neighbour.

I loved the city so much.

The noise, the rush, the community restaurants, the movie theatres, and bowling allies. The towers of the city stood in resolute togetherness.

The view was beautiful and made me wonder if I would ever enter one or even get a glimpse of the inside.

Unlike other places, the city square has this fresh air that calms ones nerves. I guess that must be the reason why people come here to just sit down and chat, others taking a walk, maybe to calm their mind.

My eyes shifted to the other side of the fountain, where a young couple was taking pictures, unafraid to display their affection publicly.

I smiled when the young man shook his head, definitely, not comfortable with it, causing the girl to pout.

In the end, he had to go with it.

This scene made me envious, and at that moment, I wished to also have someone who would love me.

Someone who would leave his comfort zone and make an exception for me. Just like any other girl, I also yearn for a relationship.

One without heartbreaks. A lifetime kind of love.

I know that heartbreak is inevitable, that there are no beds of roses for being in love but still hope and wish to get someone loyal.

I have no idea why Bibi was so adamant about me having a boyfriend. And its not like I don want one. Its just that I am not the type to enter into a relationship without feelings involved.

I can not only depend on look, lust, or money. There has to be something. Fireworks maybe, or maybe what Damon from Vampire Diaries told Helena.

Maybe, I wanted the kind of love that consumes me with passion, adventure, and even a little bit of danger.

Maybe not the danger part.

I sighed as I checked my wristwatch, only to notice that Bibi had been gone for a while.

¨What is taking her so long?¨ I asked, walking away from the fountain, my eyes skimming through the crowds hoping to see her.

I was starting to get worried.

I had warned her not to drink, but she never listened to me. I was so caught up looking around for any sign of her that I didn notice when I stepped on a bananas peel sending me flying.

I yelped in panic, but too late to save myself.

All I did was close my eyes and wait for the impact. To expect the feel of the ground underneath me, the pain but pretend that it did not hurt, so I won be pitied by the bystanders.

Or to laugh along like it was funny to cover up the shame, but it never came.

With my eyes shut, I wondered if the impact was enough to kill since I heard tales about people not feeling any pain while dying, not that it makes any sense.

Everything was still and peaceful. The panic I had earlier was replaced with calm, which made my mind conclude that I was dead.

¨Miss,¨ someone spoke, intruding in my thoughts.

Only then did I process that I was in someones arms and not on the ground. I opened my eyes slowly, squinting them to get used to the light.

When my vision focused, everything went still. There was only one way to describe the sun-kissed bewitching, beguiling, captivating, enticing, charming, you name it.

His eyes were light brown mixed with amber and a little shade of green that one can only notice when the rays of the morning sun.

His lips were pale and thin, his nose slender and rounded. A prominent jaw curved gracefully around the strength of his neck showed in the twinning cords of muscles that shaped his body.

Only an Angel could have such looks, beautiful skin – perfect skin – that was the colour of butter.

On second thought, he could be an angel. I mean, the last thing I remember was stepping on a banana peel and tripping.

I couldn be possibly alive, especially with this Angel staring at me with his beautiful eyes. I bet he was Angel Gabriel.

He was my favourite Angel – still is – but why did he look very familiar?

He reminded me of that hot dude I met in the car…

Crap!

It was him!

My eyes widened in horror.

¨You!¨ I exclaimed, my mouth agape looking at the confusion on his face. He didn recognize me, I could tell but…

¨You!¨ So he remembered!

Unexplained happiness filled me with the thought that he did not forget about me. I felt his strong arms pulling me up, and my hands automatically grabbed his strong arms.

Perhaps because of almost falling, I became dizzy when he let go of me, causing me to take a few steps back when he held me again.

¨Miss, are you alright?¨ I heard him ask, steadying my balance.

The sudden grab lifted my heart and soul.

His hands were warm against my arms and felt like my skin was on fire, casting an electric shock that ran through me.

I heard him clear his throat, bringing me out of my stupor, and I blushed to know that I was staring again.

¨Um…ah…Th…thank you.¨ Oh, wow, I was even stuttering now.

Get a grip on yourself, Mel.

¨For saving me, of course. If it were not for you, then I would probably have the sight of attraction and a laughing stock.¨

¨Just be careful next time.¨ He said and was about to leave when my hand grabbed his arm, again feeling the sturdiness of his muscles and could not help but wonder just how much he works out.

¨Wait!¨ I exclaimed, surprised that my voice was laced in panic.

¨Anything else, miss?¨ He asked, his eyebrow quirked in a perfect bow. Now that we were not on the bus, sitting, I realized he was tall, like 65. He was more gorgeous than the last time I remember.

¨Miss,¨ His voice caused my eyes to snap to his, which were already staring at me with a questionable look.

¨Yes, I mean no…sorry, what I mean to say is that I am thankful for you.¨

¨You already thanked me.¨

He pointed out the obvious before adding, ¨And you do realize that you are making such a big issue out of nothing. Any other person could have done the same.¨

¨I am not sure about that,¨ I said to see him raise his eyebrow questioningly.

¨Maybe where you come from, but knowing my countrys people, I would be a celebrity, trending on every social media platform. I am sure I would be a meme queen, especially with a boomerang effect.¨ I said truthfully, earning a low chuckle from him, making my stomach flutter.

¨Thats why I am exceptionally grateful for you being a prince charming and saving the day.¨ I added.

¨I never pegged you to be a damsel in distress type when we first met on the bus.¨ He said, crossing his hands against his chest, and once more, I could only marvel at how his muscles bulge powerfully.

¨You remember?¨ I questioned, surprised by the fact that he would mention it.

¨Its hard to forget someone as close to being as annoying as a fly.¨ He stated, his look changing from emotionless a while ago replaced by an amused one.

I let out an awkward laugh, scratching my neck out of embarrassment. Of all the things, he only had to remember me as an annoying fly.

¨Yeah, about that, I am not always clumsy. I was just having a bad day, and everything was acting against me.¨ I tried explaining, hoping to rewrite his impression of me.

¨Except from you, of course.¨ I added Without thinking.

¨I mean, you saved me whenever we met – twice.¨ I continued.

¨I only saved you once, which was a couple of minutes ago.¨ The handsome guy reminded me with a small smile, making me shake my head in disagreement.

¨In the bus.¨ I pointed out.

¨We only swapped the seats.¨ He paused, looking like he was in deep thought, before adding, ¨And I did not want to hear a description of what your sweat smells like.¨

¨Jeez, can you not remember the embarrassing things about me?¨ I mumbled, looking anywhere but him.

¨You mean like the flying kiss part¨ He asked, his voice laced with laughter, and I knew I was doomed.

I didn know I could blush so fast until I met this guy. I always think that I have this kind of ability to keep my emotions to myself.

But, the burning of my face said otherwise.

Again, I was thankful for my skin complexion, which did well in hiding the blush.

¨Can you go easy on me? Its only our second meeting, and I don even know you.¨ I mumbled, my eyes still unable to meet his.

¨The name is Max.¨ Came his answer without even hesitation, causing me to snap my eyes to his. I was shocked that he introduced himself.

¨What?¨ he questioned, ¨ Don tell me you are the type to not give out a name on the first meeting with a guy?¨ He asked cocking his head to the side.

¨Actually, yes.¨ I answered, looking straight into his eyes, ¨But this is our second meeting.¨ I added.

¨And…¨ He drawled, waiting for me to continue.

¨And I believe that the first meeting to be an accident, the second meeting is a coincidence, but there is nothing wrong with exchanging names in the second meeting¨.

¨And phone number?¨ He asked, his gaze deep into mine like he was looking into me, not at me.

¨Are you hitting on me?¨ My mouth just had to open without thinking, spouting such nonsense. The hot guy, Max, was only trying to be friendly, and I was already much.

¨Can I?¨

What? Totally unexpected!

¨No!¨ I answered almost immediately. I expected him to huff and walk away like the other guys I turned down or leave a snide remark, but he did none of the above.

In fact, that amused smile and flirty look did not falter at one.

¨No?¨ he asked, ¨No, no number in the second meeting or no, I can hit on you?¨ I guess I found myself dumb, in the sense that my words stopped flowing, stopped because I figured that he was quick-witted

and a trickster.

¨No, as in, no number on the second meeting, and no, because without my phone number, you cannot hit on me. It will be useless.¨ I answered with a victorious smirk.

If he thought that I was going to allow him to twist or delude me with his words, in that case, he was so wrong.

Max stared at me for a second before throwing his head back with a half-suppressed, typically scornful laugh.

The sound of his laughter put me again in another trance. It was like the summer rain, and the bird song too.

It was as if his sound lifted a veil from my eyes and allowed me to see the world more clearly. Its funny how laughter can do that – his laughter – those honest rumblings of the soul.

¨Smart.¨ He commented, as pride swelled in my heart.

¨So your name? As it is, I am the luckiest man to have such great luck on stumbling on your path twice.¨ I felt pleased that he found me savvy.

¨Melissa, My name is Melissa.¨ I answered with a smile of my own.

¨Melissa.¨ He said, testing the name on his tongue, and I liked the sound of it.

Extending a hand to me, he said with a Cheshire grin, igniting my heart.

¨Well, Melissa, nice to meet you.¨ I accepted the handshake.

¨Nice to meet you too, Max.¨ His hands were huge, engulfing the tiny ones that I only notice now.

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