he has not slept a wink all night trying to block his ears to her snoring. he can’t raise the volume of the tv any louder for fear of annoying the other guests. so, he resorts to a fitful wakeful sleep. every time he nudges her, she adjusts her position and slips into a higher decibel. he is getting worried the other guests may come knocking after all. he recalls reading in high school, how okonkwo’s snoring could be heard by his wife and children in their out-houses. he makes a mental note to get his earphones from the car in the morning. but who would have thought, he muses, a beautiful girl who snores like a warrior. they had met at his friend’s party the week before, like him, she is in-between relationships. he had mentioned that he would be traveling over the weekend and she had joked that he should put her in his suitcase. here they are – for the weekend.

***

         “you look really beautiful, when you are not asleep.” he is staring at her nose-ring and red matt lipstick. god, she has such natural smooth skin, he muses. he is seating across from her at the dining table talking endlessly with food in his mouth. she smiles and picks up a bit of scrambled egg with a prong on her fork.

            “why are you eating like that. it’s like you are scared of hurting the egg.” he laughs raucously, and masticated particles fly in all direction. at 6’3” he didn’t need to shout to make a point. but he speaks in lispy capital letters. she is watching him like you’d watch a comedian telling sex jokes in a seminary. he has an opinion on everything including the fact that she is eating her breakfast with just a fork. who eats eggs and toast with knife and fork, she muses. she tries refocusing as he slurps and smacks his lips chewing and talking endlessly – but she is slipping into a sound-rage.

         “please pass me the salt, tebby.” she slides the white rabbit-shaped salt dispenser across the table to him, and gets up.

             “are you done?” as response, she picks up her hardly touched breakfast and points toward the bedroom of the hotel suite. he nods and laughs raucously. his phone rings for the umpteenth time. she notices he has changed his ring-tone to miguel & j. cole’s “all i want is you.”[1]

              “sure, tebby.”

***

she sits in the bedroom wondering how she got here. he is handsome, a sharp dresser, a successful lawyer, lives in a decent house and drives a beautiful car. she smells her hardly touched breakfast, and the room starts to close in on her. she takes out her gold-plated cigarette case and a lighter from her bag, picks up the plate of food and goes out of the bedroom. he is still on the phone talking politics and doesn’t pay attention to her scraping the food into the dustbin in the kitchenette and dropping the plate into the sink. she walks through the living room and steps out onto the balcony itching for a smoke and fresh air.

***

                  “you smoke?” lost in thoughts, she didn’t hear him join her.

            “yea.” he looks at her, she looks at him. she takes a drag and smiles – smoke streaming through her nostrils. she sees his hand tighten on the phone in his right hand. in his left hand, he is holding a copy of james redfield’s the celestine prophecy.[2] he walks to the end of the balcony and starts to tap the book on the rail. he stares blankly at the slow early morning traffic to avoid saying something. she flicks the unfinished cigarette away and walks up to him. he turns to face her.

                  “i understand. you’re not my type too.”

[1] Miguel & Cole, J. (2010). All I Want is You. All I Want is You. Bystorm/Jive.

[2] Redfield, James. (1993). New York. Grand Central Publishing.

fkregie 2017.