They smile and reassure. ‘No worries to ponder over, nothing to contemplate. We’re friends – forever friends. And we’ll help you every step of the way. Through the barriers of desire, we’ll be there.’
The tap squeaked slightly. He patted the top in a plea for it to behave itself.
‘Not tonight.’ He whispered. ‘Don’t give me away tonight’. He squeezed his hands into the fluffy clean towel on the towel rack and sniffed them. There was nothing but the scent of the Jasmine and Magnolia handwash Warda insisted on buying, and it was then that he was grateful that it was the strong floral scent that floated from the pores of his hands and not the musty stale smell that occupied them just minutes before.
He left the bathroom, holding the handle down as he closed the door until he knew the spring lock was aligned with the hole in the door, giving a faint click of satisfaction as he released the handle. He only had one sock on as he tiptoed across the carpeted hallway, the other hand been put to use in his mission, and was safely in the washing machine with the other whites that he planned to wash in the morning.
‘It’s laundry day tomorrow,’ he’d told himself, ‘I’ll be doing the good thing and helping my woman out. Nothing wrong with that. Nothing wrong at all.’
Suleiman Darko had fallen into its grasp once again, and his companions had given him all the ammunition he needed to see it through.
“Hmmm,” Warda groaned. “Oh. Ooooh.” She tightened her already closed eyes. “Hmmmm. Suli.”
“Hmmm – you okay, hon?”
She grasped her hair, a patch of it already matted to her sticky face.
“Hmmm. Oh, Suli.” Her moaning became longer and grew in pitch.
“Amr’s ready, Suli. Ooooh. God ooooh.”
Suliman’s ears pricked, his eyelids retreated and he swung round to face his wife in one swift movement.
Her legs were in a world of their own as they swished from left to right beneath the covers. Her arms cradled her lower abdomen and her eyes were still shut, her face contorted.
“Warda!” He shook her gently, she remained ever non-responsive to his calls. Her legs swished and moans escaped her lips, but she did not answer him. “I’ll call the hospital… we’ve got to get to the hospital. Breath! Breath… Warda, breeeeeeath. Quick quick slow – quick quick slow – quick quick–.”
He was on his feet now, still with one sock on.
“Where’s the phone? Where’s the book? The book. Where’s the book? What’s the number? The name of the midwife. Come on, Suli, think!” The information that he’d spent 5 months internalising became a mass of nonsensical gunk in his mind. He couldn’t think straight, and mumbling aloud didn’t make things any clearer for him.
“Book. Book. Yes, book!” He’d located the book in Warda’s brown leather bag, the one they called the Warda Bag as it was the only one she’d carry in the last 2 months of her pregnancy.
“Phooone. Phone. Where the hell is the bloody phone?” His voice rose as he knocked perfume and lotion off the dressing table. “House phone! Use the house phone, idiot. Okay, house phone.” He ran downstairs to the living room as Warda continued to wriggle beneath the sheets.
© The Londoner, July 2011
You can read Rose Redemption I, here. 🙂