Thursday, April 13, 2006

Turbulent Journey - Ch. 9

The next day, Angel carved out an hour of her time just to take a walk in the woods. Whenever there was a crisis-free day she regularly indulged in her old habit of seeking solitude.

Angel needed those times alone to think and reflect about her life, really about life in general. Few people in her life understood that need to be alone. Many deemed her anti-social, unsociable even. Fortunately, Jamaal wasn’t one of them and that pleased her immensely.

Walking in between several rows of tall palm trees, Angel smiled at the green leaves swaying in the gentle breeze. By now she knew every inch of this island, every palm tree, what plants to avoid, which to enjoy. She also knew where most of the slimy creatures liked to parley and which trees the visiting birds liked to sing in as they made their presence known each day.

Continuing her stroll, Angel soon came upon the fresh spring. It gurgled on her right beyond a large mass of flint-like rocks. These were the same gray rocks that Angel and Jamaal used to build their campfires with each night. Pleasant weather, delicious fish, good clean water, and except for the narrow bay and jagged outer shoreline, this patch of land could have been a wonderful island paradise or at least a great vacation resort.

I wonder why it’s not inhabited, Angel mused, finding a safe seat by the gushing water. But like most things in her life right now, she’d have to find that answer out later. In the meantime, Angel was going to enjoy what knowledge, peace, and comfort she’d been blessed with today.

***

In Lorenzo Beach, Melvin Truxton hung up the phone and reached for his black checkbook. He’d just finishing talking to a pilot that he’d hired to fly over certain perimeters of the Atlantic Ocean in search for his daughter. Mr. Sims was coming by to pick up his deposit in an hour. Melvin wanted it to be ready for him when he did.

Not satisfied with the depressing results of the official search that had been conducted by the authorities, Melvin thought it necessary to perform his own search. He needed to do this for his own peace of mind and for the peace of mind of his wife.

After two months with no encouraging news, Annie was slowly, but surely slipping into depression with each passing day. Melvin couldn’t just stand by and let that happen.

Hopefully, Sims will provide us with better results, Melvin mused, trying to remain optimistic in the face of such overwhelming despair. Someone in the family had to keep their heads up.

After signing his check, Melvin looked over at his sleeping wife’s frame and wondered how long Annie would sleep today. She hardly ever got up early these days, sleeping sometimes until well after noon.

Please let this nightmare end, the exasperated man lamented, feeling his whole world unraveling at the seams. Tearing up the check, Melvin wrote out a new one. He hoped that somehow this larger amount would make the pilot and his team search even harder for his baby girl.

***

One chilly November evening, Jamaal and Angel sat on his bed playing cards. It was raining outside and the steady, almost hypnotic sound of the raindrops was luring her to sleep, hours before her bedtime. It was just 6pm. Martinez was already asleep on the floor. Any time was the puppy’s bedtime.

Jamaal smiled behind his cards as Angel yawned again for the fourth time. “Why don’t you just go to bed early? You know you’re sleepy.” He laughed and put down two red kings.

Angel self-consciously snapped her mouth shut, cutting off another enjoyable yawn as she endeavored to deny the obvious. “Am not! Just tell me how many more cards you need, man.” She wrinkled her nose playfully at him before readjusting her t-shirt and blue jean-clad body on the bed. Then Angel strained her eyes to focus on her own hand of cards.

“Now I know you’re sleepy. I put my cards down a full minute ago. By the way, I have twenty.” Jamaal pointed a long finger to the two red-faced cards on the bed. “What’s in your hand?”

Angel shrugged nonchalantly and put down a red ace and two black tens. “Twenty-one.”

Jamaal erupted into rich laughter. “I don’t believe it! You’re almost half unconscious and you still beat me,” he said, leaning forward to pull down the bottom of his gray jogging pants again.

Jamaal found those pants in one of the previously occupied rooms and the fact that they kept riding up his long legs made it obvious that they originally belonged to a shorter man. But Jamaal didn’t care. Fashion wasn’t a principle thing on this island, beneficial function was. And these pants were crucial to satisfy his need for clothing.

Angel shifted again and stretched out her legs. “Yep. It’s true. I can beat you in my sleep. Shot, man, I can beat you with one hand tied behind my back.”

The handsome man sitting across from her arched his eyebrows in challenge. “Oh, so you’re bragging now?” When he reached for Angel’s arm in fun, he was suddenly jostled by the force of the chemistry between them. It was as if an electrical outlet had been touched with a steel pin. Their attraction was just that strong.

Angel felt it, too, and shuddered from the sheer joy of Jamaal’s touch. It felt wonderfully different from all the other times he’d touched her. Before, his touch had been friendly mixed with deep concern. Now it was electrifying, almost energizing. She wanted his hand to stay and at the same time was afraid that it would and then send them both into the land of no return.

“I…think I will go to bed…I mean to sleep now,” Angel stammered out, quickly getting up. She didn’t know what else to say as her pulse raced and a taut, sensational change began in her body.

Then as she hurried off to her own room, Angel realized that she was suddenly wide awake. Who could sleep after such a powerful encounter?

Jamaal remained where Angel had left him. He’d seen the flame of raw desire lapping upon her. He’d seen it blaze hotly in her smoldering green eyes as they stared at each other, urging him to take her into his arms and love her senseless. But Jamaal refrained. With heavenly help he refrained, because there was no humanly way that Angel could have left his cabin otherwise. Even now his hands were aching to touch her again, even in the smallest of ways.

Strength, Lord, strength, Jamaal requested as he went outside to take a long walk. It mattered little to him that it was still raining. The brisk downpour might do his aroused body some good.

Angel’s Scripture:
“It is God that girdeth me with strength…” Psalm 18:32

© 2006 Suprina Frazier

No comments: