I am in my apartment; a two bedroom flat. Right now I am seated on the bedroom floor, back against the bed looking at the screen of my Samsung Galaxy. The hum of the air conditioner is the only sound that interrupts the silence. That; and the occasional rustle of clothing.
I am hungry.
I wonder how that sounds to you. You would probably say; or at least think ehn go and eat na.
Or something like that.
Some of you may start to feel sorry for me. You may begin to think about the times you were hungry – the times you were weak with hunger and didn’t have a way out or even a consolation.
Heh. Sorry o.
You should look in my refrigerator one day, and the day it does not look like the best-stocked food shelf in Shoprite, Addide, SuperSaver, Spendless and any of those megastores – you can carry the fridge and anything else that catches your fancy. Including me.
Okay. So maybe I am kidding about the last part.
But you get the picture.
As I was saying – I am hungry.
And it has been a while since I have eaten, so I am entitled to some supping tonight. I have been good – I have been really good for a while, and I want some refreshment. I deserve it.
The smart thing to do would be to look for a meal somewhere conveniently far off – somewhere remote where I am unknown and can go and come as I please…
But I do not have the power I need to take down fair game- especially a vigorous young thing only such as can satiate me tonight. I may have to consider –
His heavy tread takes me to my window and I look in between panes as he walks past. I can smell him from here – a curious mix of cologne, deodorant, sweat and cigarette smoke. The combination suggests something exotic and I find my oral juice flowing. I sniff some more and his scents create an image in my mind; five nine, solid shoulder and chest muscles, pot belly, strong thigh muscles, huge behind.
The last bit stretches my lips in a feral grin. This will be a meal to enjoy.
I hear the key begin to turn the tumblers in the lock and I move from my bedroom window to my sitting room door – and out. The cold air stirs the hairs on the back of my neck, my arms and I look exactly how I feel – a feral jungle being stalking dinner.
‘Dinner’ straightens from his door, opens it – and then turns in my direction. I have never met him before; this neighbor of mine – at least not as I am meeting him now. He leaves too early and returns too late and he is never around on weekends. I usually just hear him come and go; the same measured heavy tread. Never in a hurry, never sluggish. Just paced.
He looks at me. “Hey,” he says uncertainly. I step from my shadowy doorway into the light on the ‘porch’ – and I see something shine in his eyes. I don’t know what it is; but I like it. I step out further and smile softly, liking the way his eyes travel down and up me. They linger somewhere around my chest area – and then he looks away guiltily. I laugh.
“You live here?” he asks, managing to meet my eyes. I lower them demurely and smile with one corner of my mouth.
“Yes – for the past four months,” I respond. “I am your next-door neighbor; the one you entertain with Coldplay every night.”
A strange look appears on his face; one of guilt. It doesn’t belong there.
“I’m – I’m so sorry. I had no idea – “ he breaks off and I interrupt him before he can start again. “It’s not necessary. I like Coldplay and I’d rather not play music myself. And besides, I’m grateful that’s all you disturb me with.”
I grin at him and he smiles back. He has a pretty smile; something that transforms his entire face just like that. He looks a lot younger and therefore cuter – and I begin to wonder if indeed this should be dinner.
“Do you want to come over? I just made some spaghetti – “ I applaud myself as perfectly-cooked spaghetti appears on my cooker – appears as clearly as though I just placed it there myself, “ and meat sauce. You must be hungry.”
He slowly shakes his head, consciously trying not to look at my breasts. “Honestly, I’m really too tired to eat – but I really appreciate the gesture and hope we would still be able to do that some other less inappropriate time.” He stretches his hand towards me. “I’m Seun by the way.”
I take the warm hand firmly in mine and give it a solid pump. “Evelyn.”
He looks at the hand I am still holding, a small smile on his face – and then looks me fully in the face. I smile and wink at him, eliciting rumbling laughter from his belly. It is the laughter of someone who enjoys life, and before I can argue with the decision I find myself laughing back.
“You’re pretty direct, aren’t you?”
I chuckle smugly and let go of his hand. “I don’t see why quibble when it’s something I want. Life is short.”
He looks directly at me again, and this time there is a hint of uncertainty – of doubt. I can almost hear the wheels in his head turning; he takes a few unconscious steps back.
Again, he shakes his head. “No. I just don’t like something I do not understand. And you, I do not understand. Not yet anyway.”
“What’s not to understand? You’re one of those guys who think too much about everything, abi?” I shake my head slowly. “That’s not a lot of fun.”
He nods in agreement, “So they tell me – but I cannot seem to stop it. Besides, it works.”
I am fascinated in spite of myself; in spite of my hunger. I would like to know him more, to learn of him more. Learn of this place through his eyes and maybe learn what he thinks of me; my kind. I decide to go hungry; one more night won’t kill me. I decide to let him be, and then I make a man the most unselfish offer I have made in a long time.
“You sure you’re not hungry?” I ask again. “You’re completely safe – I give you my word.”
He’s quiet for a moment – and then he smiles that innocently devastating smile. Oh mother; I mumble silently, oh mother, you did not tell me they came like this!
I look at his smile again and I am reminded of that song – ‘Say You, Say Me’ by Lionel something-or-the-other –
Wait. Did I just say a smile reminds me of a song?
What kind of idea is that? I must be hungrier than I thought!
“….maybe next time,” he finishes as I return from my journey. “I’m sorry – what did you say?”
“Did someone say hungry?”
The voice comes from behind me; from another of our neighbors, Jide. A lousy fool who seems to think he was made solely for the fairer sex. Seun’s frown tells me he shares my sentiments – or at least some of it and I begin to –
“Wassup Seun? Looking good – Evelyn baby,” he says and crushes me to his chest. He smells good – some anti-shave but I am so mad at him I cannot appreciate the fragrance; the masculinity of it.
Seun nods quietly. “Goodnight,” he says, disgruntled by Jide’s behavior but too nice to say anything about it. I push away from Jide and smile. “Good night, Seun. Some other time would be nice.”
He waves and steps into his room, locking the door almost immediately. I turn to glare at Jide –
“Sure,” I answer. “Thanks. Sure, I have spaghetti. Are you hungry?”
Jide opens my house door and steps in, having invited himself.
I smile. Maybe I do not have to go hungry tonight after all.
Excerpt from my horror story collections ‘Tales From My Other Parts’.