Yinka Elujoba

She had the kind of beauty only available to women past the age of forty. Her flesh was experienced, discerning, wise by reason of use. 

The plane was in the air, the sun just beside it—a crimson ball sinking into the horizon. When I brought out Camus' Essays she tapped the book twice with a forefinger and declared: "He loved cities."

Her voice was everything a weapon could ever hope to be. I fell in love like a horse.

I could see she wanted something more: the brief yellow glint in her eyes, the way her shoulders moved when she asked me if I was a writer, the zigzag movement of her fingers across the seat before she drank her wine.

Oh, the thrill of being chased.

"What are you coming to do in Belgrade?" The question passed between us like an invitation.

"I am simply passing by," I replied.

"A shame," she said and sank into sleep.

I looked out the window. The sun had disappeared and regret was flowing through my veins.

Later, when the plane landed, she squeezed something into my palm. It was a paper containing her email address. When I looked up she was already gone, her hips swaying down the stairs, hair bobbing behind her.

Months passed. Messages passed. When I arrived in Belgrade it was summer.

"You're even more beautiful in this sunlight," she declared.

On his death bed Goethe asked that the blinds be opened to allow light into the room. "More light!" he was said to have screamed. But whether light or darkness, a man's death is inevitable. Why not die in the light of love then?

06:43pm on 22, July 2019


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