The Incomplete Embers of Tiraten: pt. II

Making our way back towards Melville on an uncomfortably hot Sunday, he asked what the rest of my day would be like.

"Well, I don’t have anything planned until I have to pick my sister up, so yeah... You?"

"I'm going for lunch with a friend."

"Oh... that's nice." A pang in my chest started up at the realisation that I didn't quite want the day to be over, but he had already been such a great help, I couldn't possibly ask for more.

"Where are you planning on having your lunch then?", I continued, staring blankly at how trees decorated the koppies rolling past us.

"Well, I'm waiting on her to decide. I figured I'd drive through Melville, get onto 7th and we'll go wherever she wants to... If she could just choose". I sat quietly with my confusion until his side eye and a suspicious smirk caught me, entirely off guard.

"You’re an idiot, you know that?" Neither my weak insult nor turning my face away from him could hide the blush feeling settling into me. I love surprises, his always happen to come when I need them most.

At our table, while we should have been deciding on what to eat, we- well, I, spoke about so much. One topic carried over into the next as realisations unveiled about things that weren't even thoughts at the time. So much so, that we discovered a way for our work projects on come together for an annual collaboration, a solution that we've both been depending on. After his hysterical laughter as the lightbulb moment happened, after he'd calmed down enough to let me in on the idea, the world paused as he smiled the warmest smile I've seen on his face in years. I forgot how much of a beautiful man he is; I don't let my mind wander anywhere near attraction, but in that moment, time slowed to a silent hum and I saw him.

His eyes formed creases in their corners, as shyness surged from all the words concealed by curved lips. I saw eyes reflecting the sun as a bronze pensieve of truth, peering right through to my heart, declaring it a place to perch. He was smiling with his soul. It was contagious and caught me completely off guard. Again.

I came to, aware of the energy steadily swimming in sync between us. I know exactly what happened, I think he does too. Still, my settling self consciousness drew me to ask a question so rhetorically redundant - "what?"

"What do you mean, 'what?'"

"It's just that I've never seen you smile like this before... It's nice"

And I’d never wanted to kick myself harder than I felt to in that moment. Here I was, a woman claiming to be a writer- something of a wordsmith, yet in the moment it mattered most, the word I chose to describe our micro eternity was none other than "nice".




Writer, photographer and coffee enthusiast, weaving worlds into existence, one story at a time | Pronouns: They/Them

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Noma Ntshingila

Writer, photographer and coffee enthusiast, weaving worlds into existence, one story at a time | Pronouns: They/Them