It’s her hair.
It’s twisted in little stringy curls shimmering in the light of the morning. Her fingers are busy; twisting, pressing, patting. She looks like a child lost in the simplicity of life. Just twisting curls in her hair.
After a few minutes, she dips her hands in her bag and searches for something. Her hands return with a book. She opens and flips pages.
I try not to keep a steady gaze on her. So, I act like I’m looking at a distant island as the boat slides over the water. She stops reading and then lets her hands down over the port side. She’s caressing the water like it’s her furry pet. I try it on my side and the water splashes in my face. She’s so graceful you might think she’s had practice in a former life.
I had last seen her at a get-together of mutual friends. We hadn’t spoken. I don’t think she had even turned her eyes towards me. She was famous. The former face of a popular telecom company who had recently turned diva. She was the envy of women her age and the fantasy of many men. Me? I was a blogger whose only audience was two or three hundred readers, five of whom were regular readers. It was like that time I had a crush on Brandy when I was fifteen. It was for personal amusement because when the hell would I ever meet Brandy?
So, who would have thought we’d be on the same boat to an exotic island without the stresses of cameras and other guys? I’d make my move as soon as I caught a moment with her alone. At the moment, there were too many of us. People might get suspicious.
I decided to catch my breath, stop looking at the island behind her and focus on the music in my headphones till we reached the destination.
It was hard because, her eyes were like perfectly rounded raisins in a sea of white Toblerone. They were like that a mysterious Mona Lisa that drew you in till you shied away. I wanted to look and look away at the same time and couldn’t decide soon enough so that I was caught gaping and asked,
“Hey, are you al right?”
“Ummmmm am um…Hi, I’m wondering.”
“What about it?” She said as she smiled with the beam of a thousand sunrises!
“It’s so perfectly twisted in those curls…”
“Beast of habit I guess. Once my mind starts to unwind, my fingers follow.”
“Oh. Well I was just curious.”
“So curious you stared for minutes on end?” She raised her left eyebrow.
I didn’t know why she kept on talking. I expected her to be the kind that kept strangers at arms distance yet here she was asking questions.
“Well, you caught me, I was looking at you. Your hair.”
“I like catching thieves red handed. That way they leave with nothing.”
I swallowed some saliva. Was this a diss or was I still being stuck up?
“Haha, take it easy. I’m just kidding. And you’re easy to tease. Are you those hair thieves that sneak up on people and perform Samson hair cuts?”
“No, haha. I think it looks nice.”
“Why, thank you.”
“And I don’t know your name.”
And to think it started with her hair.