Sesame Seed: Airport.

by | Feb 10, 2024 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

The machine spat out a ticket like a child’s tongue in the school playground. Tony was late. Grabbing it through the open window, he threw it onto the empty passenger seat of the Subaru; the seat which would soon be occupied by her exquisite form. Or so he thought. Pulling into the drop-off car park, he scanned the front of the terminal building. Tony hadn’t bargained for road resurfacing on his route to the airport and cursed his luck. Why hadn’t I just paid the extra few quid to park in the short stay and arrived early? He demanded of himself. It was then that his chest turned to concrete as his lungs struggled to inhale. There, standing like a lonely, golden ear of corn in an expanse of grey, stood his Sesame Seed.

Surrounded by several items of luggage which were as big as her, she was hunched over a litter bin, equally dwarfing her, trying to light a cigarette. The familiar flaxen locks were clamped to her head, in a giant yellow bun, with a large black hair clip. She wore a full length yellow woollen coat, her favourite colour, black leggings and the biggest pair of black Doc Martens he’d seen since Elton John in Tommy. 

Tony jumped out of the car and marched towards her, smashing his concrete waistcoat and banishing any nerves, in a rush of adrenalin. Suddenly aware of his approach in the empty expanse of the car park, she smiled, shook her cigarette lighter and raised her eyes. With one last failing attempt to ignite the cigarette, in the face of a North-Easterly, she fumbled to place it, unlit, into the box and shoved it and the lighter into her bag. Her look said, “where have you been?” and she shrugged her shoulders. The effect was stunning, physically vulnerable to the elements, yet indignant towards him, the paradox that was the essence of this tiny woman. Looking into her eyes, it all came back. The cafe in Doha, that first glimpse , troubled yet smiling in a distant way, followed by every memory, photo and video spanning months.

Wrapping his arms around her, he recalled just how delicate she was, her head tucking under his shoulder, against his ribcage. Like embracing a rose bush, he was gentle, but aware of the thorns. They weren’t far behind, as he inhaled her scent, and she was conscious of it.

“Please, I’ve been on that plane for seven hours, that’s disgusting!” She snapped but made no attempt to move.

“I’ll be the judge of that”, Tony exhaled, savouring the aural anomaly of her sweat and the distant linger of fragrant shampoo. Closing his eyes, he held onto that sensation as long as possible at the expense of every other sense. Finally, she pushed him away out of embarrassment rather than rejection and he felt it. 

She took one look at the car and shook her head.

“No.” One word accompanied her action.

“No? I don’t understand. What do you mean?” Tony was shocked at her reaction to his Baby.

“It looks fast,” she said, pointing in the direction of Kenji with her head turned away, as if it was something giving off a noxious odour.

“It’s as fast as I want to drive it, which is not very fast. Trust me.” Tony’s words seemed to placate her. Nevertheless, she promptly refused to sit in the front. Following some adjustments, Tony managed to get her into the compact rear bucket seat, which seemed to be made for her diminutive frame. The drive into town took place in virtual silence, contrary to his expectations. His mind was racing. How was she? Did she hold a grudge about his transport comment? Was she unhappy in the car? They’d spent most of their time in taxis during their previous time together. The January sunshine was blinding, reflecting off the wet road. It was the first and only sunny day of the month, as if the sun had come out to greet her.  Then, suddenly it occurred to him. He didn’t even know their destination. As usual she’d been fiercely independent and secretive about her new address.

“Where to, Princess?” Tony tried to sound as casual as possible but his brain took on another level of dismay. Something which would increase further with her answer.

“My new house is called the Bruce Building. It’s in the city centre. Do you know it?” She answered, innocent of the explosion she’d just ignited in Tony’s head.

“Bruce Building. Let me think. Yes I do believe I know of it.” Know of it? He hadn’t been able to get the place out of his mind since that day in the ‘Cat; the multicultural couple and the brushed aluminium entry system. “What apartment number is it, may I ask?” Surely not. He thought.

“Let me see,” she replied, fumbling in her bag, “Ah, yes. Here it is. Sixteen, one-six.” The words pierced his skull like nails.

Without warning, a row of brake lights illuminated in his distracted vision and he slammed his foot on the brakes, stopping inches from the car in front.

“Jesus, Azizam! Are you trying to kill us? I knew I should have caught a cab.” Tony caught the look of genuine terror on her features. However, he couldn’t explain the reason for his recklessness.

“I’m so sorry Princess. It’s just that I’m so excited to have you here.” Tony checked the mirror to see which way the pendulum of her emotions would swing. Thankfully, it swayed in his favour, signalled by a tragic but obvious smile. He’d escaped on this occasion.

“ I forgive you, but you must do one thing for me,” she responded, her features taking on a mischievous look.

“Anything, my Princess. Your wish is my command.” Relief doused the flames of his anxiety.

“Take me to your beach. The one from the photographs?” She visibly bounced in the chair at the request.

“Let’s do it.” Tony pulled Kenji gently  away from the lights and headed north.

***

As they pulled into the Spanish City car park, hugging the coast, her face lit up. Her smile was like nothing he’d witnessed before. Another level of extreme beauty from this enigma. Her whole countenance joined in on the show in a perfectly choreographed dance. She adored the photographs he’d sent to her on an almost daily basis, showing the sun rising over the North Sea. To witness this joy in person was mind blowing.

Immediately Tony opened the door, she was off, her petite legs adorned with the giant boots, carrying her to the promenade fence. The clasp holding in her hair worked loose and fell to the ground sending her aureate mane in all directions. He stooped to pick it up, just as the cold wind caught the errant locks wrapping them around her face like a golden mask.

“Can we go down?” she begged, tugging at the yellow rope that caged her features. She had seen the lower promenade which was tantalisingly close to the glass-still sea. Humble, apologetic waves tickled the narrow strip of sand below.

“Of course, we have plenty of time”, Tony responded, considering that they had the rest of their lives. 

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