THE LONG HAUL

When it started,

I thought,

A  lifetime chance it was.

A twenty-two-wheel long haul truck

with eighteen automobiles atop.

Enroute to the capital city.

Immense wealth.

Matching the elegance of the wealthy owner,

A tall, dark and handsome stranger.

That was when it started.

It started with Gracey’s laughter

At a random stupid text message, she had received.

Stupid indeed, I had laughed too.

Before the devil had picked his tools and in my brain he dumped.

The devil’s two-pronged fork

turned and turned my grey matter

till Gracey’s ‘stupid SMS’ mattered no more.

The stranger’s inbox I hit,

Behind Gracey’s back

and there began a journey of forever after.

Days of delight with the stranger.

Dreamy nights with Mr Handsome

And summer sojourns with Mr Wealthy,

A man who owned half the cars on any given street.

He had told me.

And thus were my nights filled.

Dreaming with the stars

till the day I heard his voice.

For the first time.

See, we had been texting,

And sexting.

‘ I am Mike’

‘ And am Kaeli’

‘Mike-Kaeli, Michael! See, we fit well.’

Emojis and more emojis.

He understood these things.

The art of seduction.

Do you have a ‘cheo?’

Do I have a rank?

Hell yes, I did.

A supervisor I was.

Laundry supervisor, was not that something big?

Lest prince charming thought I was a gold digger.

A question I later came to understand.

His voice when I heard it

was not deep and husky and sexy.

It was small, plain yet calm even when in distress.

For he was in trouble.

This trouble he was in?

Serious.

Very serious,

so he said.

The not-short-at-all arm of the law,

The twenty-two wheel long haul truck

with eighteen automobiles

en route to the capital,

Impounded it had been.

Could I send him money?

For what?

To bribe the police.

You know your country’s police now.

He said for he was from the neighbouring country.

Yes, I know them.

Rotten. Conniving. Corrupt.

I am a supervisor.

A laundry supervisor.

Money have I not.

At night I agonize and organize for funds.

At dusk, I wait for his call.

He gives me a number.

At dawn, I wire the money.

It’s not enough.

More he asks for, more I send.

Every night

Till I had no more.

Oh, mon a mi.

Then, silence.

No calls.

No texts.

Empty days and empty nights.

And a flame in the heart,

Burning at sundown,

Embers at daybreak.

Longing for the  dusk for his calls

Now just fading echoes.

Oh macherrié.

And the tears of lost love

Catch Gracey’s eyes.

And Gracey’s laughter comes back.

Like the taste of sweet chilli.

A sweet friend telling the bitter truth.

Mr Tall. Mr Dark. Mr Handsome.

A conman in a police cell corner.

The Dracula’s assistant,

Languishing in jail.

Looking for women with ‘ cheo’.

Sending them Fotos of TDH men.

Wealthy and single.

Not so healthy to mingle.

Posing as damsels in distress.

Stressing many a damsel.

Juggling the sticks of dawn and dusk.

Calling and conning at night,

and sitting and waiting at day time.

The outcome thereof,

The damnation of either.

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