Thursday, 2 November 2017

Fire and Ice
by Meimunat Abdallah Abdirazak

The kitchen was spotless. It was absolutely spick and span. The sun shone into the room, through the window. The beam of sunshine illuminated the woman at the kitchen counter akin to a spotlight focused on an actress acting on a theatre stage.
Annemarie was of petite build but rather shapely. Her hourglass figure hid the fact that she was a mother of four. She had long hair framing an oval long face. Her expressive eyes were a very light brown. She had a narrow nose and thin lips that she had inherited from her European mother. Annemarie was of mixed heritage, her father African and her mother Caucasian. She had inherited most of her mother’s features.
The notes of a violin drifted round the room, originating from Annemarie’s Ipod. Annemarie loved to listen to classical music while cooking. It tended to relax her. This was clearly happening at that moment, as she was facing the window, face tilted towards the sunlight, eyes closed as she listened to the soothing notes blissfully.
On the cooker, a pan containing plantains bubbled merrily. Annemarie loved to cook for her family. She was the perfect mother, the perfect hostess who loved to host dinners and get- togethers for her family and friends. Annemarie was the perfect homemaker.
Nikita stared at her reflection in the mirror. She was seated at her dressing table and was preparing herself for the evening. She was of a caramel complexion, and her hair was styled in a short afro with soft shiny curls. Her face was heart shaped and she had large innocent eyes.
She was a misnomer. Far from innocent, her eyes would twinkle with mischief, or go to large and soulful in a matter of seconds. This was something that she tended to frequently use to her advantage. Nikita had a tiny button nose, and dimples that would frame a gorgeous smile. She was full breasted, and had a tiny waist, wide hips. These assets she showed off in a knee length bandage dress. She had the perfect hour glass figure. She was an African femme fatale leaving destruction in her wake.
Humming gently to herself, Annemarie poured a portion of chopped pineapple into the blender. Hot on the heels of this, a slice of mango, chopped up orange and juice of a lime followed in rapid succession. She added in coconut milk and blended them all together. She sieved the blended juice and poured it into a jug. This jug found itself in the refrigerator.
Nikita had a weakness for scents. All her friends knew this well. She had quite the collection courtesy of her globetrotting friends who always brought her souvenirs. They never disappointed her. Nikita surveyed her collection critically, and then chose one. She sprayed it on the inside of her wrists, and some on her neck. Scent was one of her weapons when it came to seduction. It was a weapon that she liked to utilize with lethal precision.
A cup of chopped up white and red onions
Half a cup of chopped spring onions
Two cups of sliced tomatoes
A small bowl of shredded lettuce
A cup of chopped green, red and yellow bell peppers
Half a cup of sweet corn
A cup of chopped up pineapple
Annemarie knew that the secret to a mouth watering salad lay in using the freshest and crunchiest ingredients. She knew this fact very well. The kitchen had this tantalizing aroma of fresh vegetables. She took out a glass bowl and proceeded to mix the ingredients in their proportions. The salad looked colorful. She tasted it and thought critically.
Something was missing.
She paused in her machinations, thinking.
Then it hit her.
She bent and retrieved black pepper, vinegar and olive oil from the cabinet. She added minute measurements of each to the bowl, mixed it up with a wooden spoon. She then tasted it. Appearing happy with her work, she covered it in cling film and put this in the refrigerator.
Geoffrey walked in and shut the door. He spotted Nikita and smiled as his gaze swept down her body. He was always amazed at how she always managed to look so spectacular without trying. Whatever she wore, she wore it well. One always got the idea that she was untamable, no matter how demure she appeared to be.
The dress she had on emphasized all her assets. He liked what he saw. Little Geoffrey liked what he saw too, judging by the stirring in his loins.
He smiled at her.
Nikita smiled back at him, slowly.
This was a dance as old as the beginning of time.
It started with flirtation
Then this was followed by vertical dancing.
The cycle culminated in a session of horizontal dancing between the sheets.
It was why those preaching safe sex always told people not to forget their dancing shoes.
He walked towards her, slowly, in measured deliberate steps like a predator stalking its prey in the jungle. She played the part of prey extremely well. Nikita smiled at him, coyly and backed away in the direction of the wall. He cornered her and leaned in planting a kiss on her ruby red lips.
This woman was all woman, he thought as her flowery scent hit him. He had no idea what perfume she had on but he liked it. He made a note to get the name, so that he could buy it for her birthday. He wanted only the best for his Nikita.
Annemarie washed the rice and put it in a rice cooker. Whoever invented this machine did not know what a godsend it was. She hummed as she wiped down the surfaces in her kitchen. Nikita loved to keep things clean.
She sautéed some chopped onions and garlic in a wok until they were transluscent. A bowl of pre-boiled chopped potatoes was dropped into the wok. Annemarie added cashews to the mixture. She did a little dance around the cooker as she sprinkled some chopped pineapple into the wok. The cooked rice in the rice cooker quickly followed suit.
Geoffrey held Nikita in his arms. He held her hips possessively and placed small kisses on the curve of her long graceful neck. He nibbled as she moaned. Things were getting really steamy.
Nikita tended to drive him crazy. He felt that she knew how to push his buttons. She was doing that at that exact moment. He wanted her badly. How she always managed to bring out the beast in him, every single time he did not know. All he knew is that he burned with this ravenous hunger for her. No matter how many times he had her, his body would not be sated.
She had unbuttoned his shirt and was stroking his chest. As he caressed her in return, his eyes ran over her curvaceous body. They were both breathing heavily as if they had both run a marathon. He loved her body. Everything about her drove him wild.
Pieces of chicken marinated in honey, dark soy sauce and light sauce… Check.
Finely chopped garlic… Check.
Sliced spring onion… Check.
Sesame seeds… Double check.
There are two kinds of chefs: a methodical chef to whom cooking was a science and a chaotic chef to whom cooking was an art. One who would cook from instinct, following his or her baser urges. This is a type of chef who will cook from the heart. The two types of chefs are so different, yet so similar since at the end of the day, they all purpose to create meals.
Annemarie ran through the list of her ingredients mentally as she prepared to make her signature dish.
Nikita pulled away from Geoffrey putting some distance between them. He grumbled, not amused at her actions.
Geoffrey tried to capture Nikita again. She pulled away, yet again.
He sighed in frustration.
“Geoffrey.” Nikita answered.
He observed her, frustration mounting. He was a red blooded male. Nikita’s appearance at that particular moment would have made any red blooded male self combust. He was quite close to doing so.
He made a move to embrace her. This was again unsuccessful as she danced away from his searching arms, a coy smile on her face.
“Uh-uh-uh”, she said shaking her head. “Not yet.”
“What do you want?”
“I am bored.” Nikita pouted.
Geoffrey moved towards her. “I can make things interesting. You shouldn’t have stopped me.”
Nikita evaded him skillfully.
“Let us play a game first.” She suggested.
“You want to play a game?” He asked incredulously.
“Yes, let us play an adult game.” She clarified.
Geoffrey watched her like a hawk. His interest was piqued anew.
“What game?”
“Do not worry. Just know that it will be quite exciting for the both of us.”
“Are you sure?” He asked, sounding doubtful.
“No use sounding like a doubting Thomas. Let me sweeten the deal.”
“I am listening.”
“Let us play the game, and then I will grant you anything that you want.”
“Anything that your heart desires,” she said in a throaty whisper.
On seeing him looking doubtful, she leaned into him and whispered into his ear, then she leaned back to watch him.
“You would do that?” He asked.
She nodded a coy smile on her face.
Nikita stood and beckoned to Geoffrey. He jumped up and followed her with a hungry look in his eyes
He followed her up the stairs. He would follow her anywhere. He would follow her to the end of the world, to the farthest ends of the universe if need be.
Annemarie dutifully sautéed garlic in a non stick pan. The chopped garlic started to appear translucent, so she added the marinated chicken into the pan. As the chicken started to sizzle, she added in the remaining bit of the marinade and let the chicken cook in it.
As the contents in the pan dried up, she added the spring onion and followed this with some water. Then she covered the pan and left its contents to simmer.
There were rose petals lining the corridor to Nikita’s bedroom. Nikita held Geoffrey by his hand and led him along the corridor. She opened her bedroom door and he saw more petals lining the bedroom floor with the rest on her bed. Scented candles were lit in the room lending the air their lavender scent.
Geoffrey chuckled. He was going to enjoy this night. One never knew what to expect with Nikita. She had clearly planned this. It was her unpredictability that endeared her to him. He loved the adrenaline rush he got when he dealt with her.
Annemarie checked on the cooking chicken. She lifted the lid and found that the fluid had mostly dried up. The chicken was covered in a sticky sauce. She tasted some of the sauce and made an appreciative noise at the back of her throat. It was just how she liked it. The chicken tasted sweet and savory.
Annemarie took the roasted sesame seeds and sprinkled them onto the chicken. This already tasted delicious. Then she switched off the cooker.
Geoffrey took off his shirt and lay on the bed. He watched mesmerized as Nikita poured out wine for him into a wine glass. He watched the red wine swirl inside the wine glass. It was a deep rich red color. He usually wasn’t a fan of wine, but he decided to go with the flow. After all maybe this was a part of the game.
Nikita handed the glass of wine to him. Then she poured herself a glass. She picked her glass, sniffed its contents, swirled the contents and took a look at them. Taking a little sip, she closed her eyes and sighed appreciatively.
“It has an aftertaste of berries.” She said.
She took another sip, then placed her glass on the bedside table.
She padded around the room her feet in stockings. He loved to watch her, moving around. She was so unapologetically feminine.
“What?’” she asked him, when she noticed his eyes on her.
“Nothing. I just love watching you, doing everyday things. I just love watching you in your habitat.” He replied.
Nikita stretched out languidly, akin to a lazy feline.
“Let me change into something more comfortable.”
She walked away, hips swaying, right into her walk in wardrobe. He watched her, eyes sweeping over her body appreciatively. Nikita was such a tease. Yet he loved every moment of it. Geoffrey moved around on the bed, and then settled to wait in a comfortable position.
Nikita cleared her throat, which Geoffrey heard. He looked up quizzically just in time to spot a foot in a red high heel extend from the wardrobe door. Then the rest of her emerged.
He stopped breathing momentarily.
Was she trying to kill him?
Her see through black negligee left nothing to the imagination. She smiled seductively as she sashayed towards him on the bed.
He watched her every movement, spellbound.
She moved gracefully, stalked up to the bed. She got on the bed, crawled over him. He leaned back in wonder as she advanced. She leaned over him, her scent driving him wild. Geoffrey watched the show, entranced by her antics.
She moved closer and closer.
He could feel her breath on his face.
Then her lips were on his.
She kissed him passionately with wild abandon.
He could taste the wine on her lips. He could also taste a hint of sugar and spice that was uniquely Nikita.
He moved to deepen the kiss and found himself restrained. He opened his eyes and found his right wrist handcuffed to the bed.
Nikita leaned back, smiling at him seductively.
“What is the meaning of this?”
She smiled at him innocently. The minx had handcuffed him to the bed. He stared at her in disbelief. She leaned over him, yet again, hand on his chest. Then she whispered to him.
“This is the game that we are playing. Relax. ”
Nikita took the wine glass from his side of the bed and offered it to him.
He took a sip, staring deeply into Nikita’s eyes.
She leaned forward, and placed a kiss on his forehead.
“Drink”, she ordered him again, her eyes never leaving his.
She held his face in her hands and placed a kiss on each of his cheeks.
Geoffrey decided that he quite liked whatever little game that they seemed to be playing.
“Drink.” She said in a throaty whisper. She sounded so sexy. In that moment, his hunger for her grew tenfold.
Geoffrey downed the glass and put it back on his side of the bed with some difficulty.
“Please take off the cuffs?” He begged Nikita.
Nikita got off the bed.
She walked to the front of the foot of the bed. Geoffrey watched her every move.
She stretched her back, baring her breasts. Then she sashayed to the table where her ipod lay and switched it on. Music filled the room, and she began to dance.
She swayed to the notes that alternated between fast and slow, each time she changed her rhythm according to the beat. Nikita seemed to be quite lost in whatever she was doing. Her eyes were closed as she moved gracefully like reeds on a lake swaying to a gentle breeze.
Geoffrey’s eyes never left her body.
She turned and looked at Geoffrey seductively. Nikita slowly unfastened the bows on her negligee. She unfastened one after the other. Her eyes locked on his. Then she stretched taking off her negligee.
Underneath it, she had worn a matching red, lacy underwear set. She had decorative beads around her waist. She was really enjoying this striptease. All that she lacked was a pole to dance around.
That was thrilled him about Nikita. She always tended to live in the moment. Nikita moved slowly, swaying to the music which had changed to a Middle Eastern tune. Her dance turned into a belly dance. He had never seen her belly dance. This was new. He watched her, eyes on her waist. He appreciated new. He loved new. He would walk to the ends of the earth if the reward involved new experiences instigated by Nikita.
Where had she learned to do that? He thought he knew everything about her. This was a pleasant surprise. His trousers had gotten really uncomfortable. He shifted, trying to relieve the tension.
Nikita did not stop her dance. Instead she became more provocative, thrusting her breasts out in tune with the music. He was in big trouble.
She was fire. She was a blazing inferno. She lit fires with her dance, her provocative dance. Nikita lit fires that spread to his loins. Yet he was not afraid of being burned by these fires. He welcomed them albeit with a bit of discomfort.
His eyes raked over her body. He loved curves. They were his obsession. The curvaceous female form was the purest expression of art. He was the epitome of the red blooded African male. Nikita had curves in abundance. They excited him, every damn time!
Geoffrey felt drowsy. The room appeared blurry, the music seemed distant. Nikita appeared to dance in slow motion. It did not feel right. Something was very wrong. His eyelids were drooping as he struggled to stay awake. It was a futile attempt. He looked up a final time, to see the room spinning. The last thing that he saw was Nikita smiling at him, then darkness.
There was a distant ringing noise in his ears. What was it? What was making that infernal noise? His head pounded without mercy. This was accentuated by a heavy dull throbbing sensation at the back of his skull. He tried to open his eyes but it was as if his eyelids were glued shut.
He paused a bit, trying to remember. Maybe if he kept still the pounding would stop. The ringing noise had stopped. He hoped that the pounding and throbbing would stop too.
Where was he? He tried to remember and couldn’t. How long had he been there, he pondered. He still couldn’t answer that, he seemed to be have some sort of memory loss. He felt confused. The incessant pounding noise in his head did not help matters. He tried clutching his head in his hands. He couldn’t move his right wrist. His wrist was restrained.
He panicked.
What had happened to him? The pounding in his head was incessant. He struggled to open his eyes. That was a big mistake.
The lights were too bright. They were blinding him. They exacerbated the pounding noise in his head. He shut them fast. It was like he had a tribe of energetic Africans holding a tribal dance in his head. He had never had a migraine, but he was sure that what he was experiencing at that particular moment in time, was the mother of all migraines.
He struggled to open his eyes yet again. Then shut them immediately as they were still too bright.
He sniffed the air.  It had a fragrant lavender scent. He sniffed appreciatively. He ran his free hand on the surface that he was on. He clutched something soft, and brought it upwards to his face. Remembering the harsh lights, he cracked one eye open.  Things appeared blurry then cleared as he focused. It appeared he was holding a rose petal.
He dropped his left hand down, and noticed that he was in a semi reclining position on a bed. The bed looked familiar. The pounding sensation in his head had slowly gone down. He opened both eyes; the lights didn’t seem so harsh anymore. This room looked familiar. He looked around slowly. Scented candles were lit in the room; they must be what was producing the lavender fragrance.
A familiar figure sat at a table next to the window.  It was a woman, a shapely one at that. It was Nikita. Everything came flooding back. The visit, the restraining of his person using handcuffs, the wine tasting, the sensual dance… Wait a minute, the wine… He saw red!
“You drugged me,” he said in an accusatory tone. His throat burned.
Nikita turned, and smiled. She had changed her attire. She was in a figure hugging top and jeans now. Despite what she had done, he still felt a stirring in his trousers. Damn her to hell! Why did she have to be so curvaceous?
“Sleeping beauty has awakened.”
“Why did you do this? What was your end goal?”
“Your head must hurt. Your throat must be killing you too.” She said evading his question.
She poured out a glass of water for him, and brought it to him on the bed.
Geoffrey stared at her with suspicion. She offered him the glass, he refused to sip.
Understanding dawned in her eyes.
“I am so sorry it had to be this way, but it was necessary.”
Nikita walked back to her seat, and set down the glass on the table. Then she walked out.
Geoffrey looked around. Where had Nikita disappeared to? He pondered over the turn of events. What the hell was she up to? Was she an assassin sent to kill him? Had she been sent by one of his business rivals to finish him? She didn’t look like a serial killer. What did serial killers even look like? What was the motive for her actions?
He shifted on the bed, handcuff chafing at his right wrist. It would be a long while before he trusted a woman again. The only woman he would trust was his mother and her.. No. he didn’t want to think about her, because focusing his thoughts on her made him feel really guilty for all that he had done to her. She didn’t deserve his actions at all. He sat on the bed and indulged in self pity.
Tick tock.
The rhythmic ticking of the clock almost lulled him to sleep. That was until he remembered that he was in uncharted territory with regards to Nikita. His fear was waking up in the afterlife. What was taking Nikita so long?
He heard voices and sat up in a panic. They were here. Nikita had gone and gotten her accomplices. They were going to kill him. He broke into a sweat as he started praying. The door to the bedroom creaked open. Geoffrey watched wide eyed.
Nikita walked in carrying a tray with what looked like food. A lady followed her closely also carrying a tray with food. Something about the second lady looked familiar. He was too distracted by her to note what food they had just brought in. Then she turned and faced him, a cool look on her face.
All colour drained from his face as he recognized Nikita’s companion.
How did she get there?
Why was she there?
When had she arrived at Nikita’s house?
What was she doing there?
Who had even tipped her off?
One person came to mind. That African Jezebel in the form of Nikita.
He turned to look at Nikita. She stood next to her partner in crime, with her arms folded across her chest. The look in the other lady’s eyes was positively glacial. He could recognize that look anywhere. The look that she was currently throwing at him chilled him to his bones.
How did the two of them even know each other? This was bad. This was very bad. What would a man do when confronted by such circumstances? He decided to tread very carefully. The potential for fireworks here was extremely high. He had to nip this situation in the bud before it got worse. He knew it would get worse. How much worse was what he couldn’t predict.
“Annemarie?” he croaked.
The woman in question looked at him, expressionless. He shuddered in fear. He could take a tantrum any day. This calm façade scared him. What was going on in her head? He didn’t know. Of late, he had no idea as to what she was thinking.
“Hello, Husband.”
He had jumped from the frying pan right into the fire. He had thought up all these scenarios where Nikita had been a serial killer, where she had been sent by his business rivals to finish him off. This was much worse. He watched Annemarie heart in mouth, dreading what would follow.
“It is not what it looks like.”
Annemarie snorted in derision.
“Tell us some more lies.” Nikita responded.
“How do you two know each other?”
“Wouldn’t you like to know?” Annemarie responded. She sent him a pointed glare.
Geoffrey shrunk back into the bed. He tried to make himself as small as possible to no avail. He snuck a glance at Annemarie and saw that her expression had not changed. She was furious. He had never seen her that angry before. Never had he imagined that in their 10 years of marriage he would ever see Annemarie in such a rage. She looked like she wanted to throw things. She looked like she would literally and figuratively skin him alive.
In his mind, he knew that no man would envy the position that he was in at that moment. The enemy of his mistress and his lawfully wedded wife.
Annemarie walked to the table that they had set. She sat down and served herself. Annemarie had a refined grace about her that came with being part of the bourgeoisie class. She was the perfect wife with impeccable manners that one showed off to his partners and colleagues at work functions and dinner parties. She sliced her chicken daintily with surgical precision and lifted a forkful of the chicken to her mouth. 
Annemarie put the chicken into her mouth, chewed it and closed her eyes while savoring the taste. She knew that Geoffrey loved chicken it was his favorite dish. She swallowed and cut out some more. The dish with plantains in peanut sauce was nearby, she tasted some of it and made an appreciative noise.
Nikita picked an envelope that she had placed on her seat earlier. She removed a photograph and walked to Geoffrey.
“Exhibit 1’ she said as she held it out to him.
He took it, hand trembling.
6 other photos followed in rapid succession. Each was of him and a different woman for the past 2 months. The photographer had managed to take those photographs at the opportune moments. Moments captured when he and each of the women had looked cozy and intimate.
“You shouldn’t have cheated.” Nikita told him.
“I can explain.”
He was shushed immediately.
Annemarie took a sip of her juice, then she dabbed her lips with a napkin. She leaned back in her chair and assessed him silently
“It is not what it looks like.” He attempted to defend himself to no avail.
“Shut up! I am not your wife. You cheated on your wife with me. Now you are cheating on me with not one but six different women.”
“They didn’t mean anything to me.”
“Boohoo! Cry me a river. I am sure that is what you will say about me when trying to get into good books with your wife.”
“My wedding day was the happiest day of my life. Geoffrey you had no idea how happy I was. I used to love you, but your actions killed my love for you. What do you expect when your husband thinks you can do nothing right? You criticized me constantly despite all my efforts to please you. Now I see that I was not at fault at all, you were the one with a problem all this time.”
“No Geoffrey. I don’t want to hear it. I want a divorce. With this evidence, I am getting my way. Plus I am going for full custody of the children.”
“No! Annemarie, Nooo!” he pleaded.
Annemarie leveled a furious look at him. This one burned. Only in this case it wasn’t a fiery one like Nikita’s. His wife the certified ice queen threw him an icy look.
“Undo the handcuffs Nikita. Let him enjoy his meal, I am sure that he is hungry. Let him enjoy as it is the last home cooked meal that he will get from me.”
Annemarie then turned and walked away. She walked away with a huge smile on her face. Geoffrey could not believe it.
Nikita walked towards him with the key to the handcuffs in her hands she dropped it in his left hand and started to walk away. Then she stopped, and turned towards him
“You should have never cheated on me. I want you gone from my house in the next three hours. Leave my key on the table.”
Then she too sailed out of the room.
Geoffrey sat on the bed. He had not moved for the past hour. He was still processing the shocking day’s events. Why did he have to succumb to the Madonna whore complex? Why had he not been grateful for what he had at home? He had the privilege of being married to a saint, yet like other men he wanted to live on the edge. He wanted a woman who was a whore in between the sheets, and he had not been patient enough to show his wife what he desired. Nikita herself was the definition of sin itself.
Yet he had sought excitement. He had just gotten it in spades. He was convinced that somewhere in the universe, karma was a hag having a laugh at his expense. The b*tch had him by the balls. He had experienced the cool burn of ice, and on the other hand he had experienced the scorching heat of a volcanic eruption. Nikita and Annemarie were the proverbial fire and ice and they had left him burned and scarred.

* * * * *
About the author: Those who pursue knowledge never age mentally. Meimunat Abdallah Abdirazak happens to believe in that. She is this fun-loving female master’s student who loves to write, and needs to pay her bills. She also has a weakness for pets, so you can guess that her story does not involve any tortured pets.

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