“I hope you still feel so in an hour’s time.” I say and walk few steps away from the car, bending to roll up my jeans. “Hopefully, you won’t be too tired to see the beauty at the end of the hike.” I stand straight from my position and notice he is wearing a baseball cap and dark shades. “What are you doing?”
“I don’t want to attract attention.” He says and I laugh derisively. He looks so cute. Aaawwwww.
“The only people that take this trail are farmers. And more farmers.” I walk up to him, and take off his cap and shades. “Better.” I say simply and bite down on my lower lip. I can’t believe I just did that.
“Well, someone is getting comfortable.” He says snidely and I apologise immediately. “Tfare, learn to detect a joke. Besides, nobody really cares about your sorry ass.” He says. I’m about to start feeling sorry for myself when I glance briefly at his face and see him barely holding his laughter in.
He is going to regret this. “Well, let’s go then.” I may not really look it but I’m actually fit and I’m going to be naughty. I will make him feel lost…
“How long have you been doing this?” He asks, interrupting my train of thought.
“Four, five years?” I say.
“Good enough for me.” He says and picks up his pace like we were just walking leisurely along a road and not a mountain leaving me momentarily stunned. Soon, his shirt is a dot above me. Well, I definitely did not see that coming. Oh I forgot. He is an athlete. He is probably at his peak of fitness. I say out loud and pick up my pace too. He doesn’t even give me the chance to get even- all my plans going to naught. I grumble.
When I reach my destination, he has pulled off his shirt- which is damp from sweat- and is staring wonderingly at the scenery below. “I’m glad that I don’t take alcohol.” He says without turning. How did he know it was me? He hasn’t even turned. I’m out of breath so I don’t reply him immediately. He turns to look at me. “Are you alright?” He asks.
“Yes.” I say after I take several gulps of fresh air. “How did you know this was the destination?”
“I didn’t. I wanted to wait for you. This was the first landing so I stayed then I fell in love.” He turns to view the scenery again. “How did you find this place?” He asks but I don’t reply. My brain has been electrocuted by his beautifully sculpted body. He is standing arms akimbo. His dark chocolate skin glowing under the sun. The muscles on his back look hard and firm. Not a blemish in sight. If only he could turn and give to me the sight that I truly yearn for. Like magic, I see him turning and smile. If only all prayers were answered this rapidly. I should savor this one. The planes on his abdomen are well defined. He is the perfect hot mess. My perfect hotness. I don’t want to move my eyes from the glory of his body but I need to see his eyes, I want more. I slowly raise my eyes up till I meet his then I come crashing down to earth. “Are you done?” He asks with a hint of a smile. On my God. He knows. I stare at him stupidly. “How did you find this place?” He asks.
Oh yeah. “I had to interview some farmers for my SIWES project.” I reply after I clear my throat. “For free.” I say with disdain.
“Well, it paid off.” He says with a smile crinkling his eyes. He is so charming. He turns again and throws his arms over the town below. “So beautiful.”
Yes, you are. “So, you like it?”
“Like? I love it. Did you ever notice how people walk up and down without even glancing up.” He asks.
“Yeah.” I say with a smile.
He looks at me in a different way. “You and I may just be good friends after all.” He winks and looks away, sighing. We enjoy the rest of the day in companionable silence.
“It’s getting late.” We say simultaneously. I laugh awkwardly – self-conscious laughs- and then laugh at myself for being so very awkward and self-conscious. Climbing was the hard part but sleep has made going back down a bit tricky. Everything seems so serene. The birds are chirping loudly. It must be around 8pm. Everywhere is so dark and I can’t see anything in front of me. I have never been this late here. I guess you don’t do something this reckless when you are alone. All those articles I read about young ladies being killed by serial killers on a lonely mountain path cross my mind and I feel a moment of panic.
“Watch your step!” Akin calls sharply behind me few seconds before my bottom hits the ground.
“Ouch.” I try to stand but my ankle gives out under me. I think I broke it. I reach for it to feel if it is. I see a pebble where my foot was few seconds ago. Oh just a pebble.
“Did you hurt your ankle?” He asks as he reaches me.
No. “Yes.” I lie. He is going to have to support me. It’s a win-win situation. I will enjoy the proximity and he will be paying for earlier. I always collect.
“Okay. Put your arms around my neck.” He demands and I obey like an automaton. He lifts me into his arms. Whoa. I didn’t see that coming. At all. “Are you alright?”
“Yes. Don’t you think it’s risky navigating this path with me in your arms. I am like 60KG.” I am really 72KG but no one needs to know. Except the person trying to carry you down a mountain? My subconscious remarks snidely.
“I am okay. Just relax. It’s faster this way and I won’t be so worried.” He says simply and starts journeying down. I snuggle close and inhale him without being obvious and start to drift off.
“Tfare?” He nudges.
“Hmm.” I turn in his arms thinking how quickly it has become my favorite place in the world. Familiar, foreign, comforting, and thrilling all at once.
“I am going to put you in the car now.” I hear from a distance but don’t open my eyes.
I can’t believe we are at the car already. How time flies.
I hear him chuckle as he puts me in the seat and buckle my seatbelt. I am aware of my surroundings but I don’t want to open my eyes. I want to soak in this moment for the rest of life. No guy has ever been this sweet to me and I am glad it’s a guy that I love. LOVED? Love.
“I want a baby.”
It’s barely above a whisper but I hear it loud and clear.