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My Encounter With The Mermaid
My Encounter With The Mermaid
Once upon a time, I had been on pretty good terms with women. But that was before a mermaid messed me up. She scared me, the way the ticking from a wrapped package might scare me. I don’t want to have anything to do with any woman again. This is not a common story being told around. My friends have accused me of suffering from an incurable fear of intimacy, but I don’t give a damn. Many times in my life, I’ve regretted the things I’ve done or left undone.
It is a great relief to write this down. I haven’t slept well since my encounter with the mermaid and there have been times I have really wondered if I have gone insane or if I will. Most of you reading this will not believe this, not unless something like this has happened to you. Believe what you want.
I’m going to write everything down. Maybe I’ll be able to answer some of the questions my friends have been asking me. Maybe while I’m doing this I can answer some of my own.
I was a welder in an oil drilling company. I was on an offshore rig in Escravos. But they moved the welders around a lot, wherever the company had a contract. Jobs on offshore rigs were high-paying but dangerous. You had to be a crazy man or suicidal to work on an oil rig with a blow torch in hand. There could be explosions any time. I usually worked two weeks on and one week off. For the one week I was off duty, I tried to catch with the fun I couldn’t have while on duty.
I kept numerous girl friends of all shapes and sizes. Some were older than me. Age as far as I was concerned was no barrier. “Wine gets better with age,” I usually told my friends. I spent virtually all nights in club houses.
On the 8th of August, 2014 see, I remembered the date, I was in a nightclub in Warri as usual, but this time I was alone. There was a girl sitting at two stools away from me at the bar. Looking at her made me feel something. You may laugh, but you wouldn’t have if you’d seen her. She would have knocked you back a few steps. I never had any trouble getting girls. Before this day, I was on-again-off-again with twelve girls, who were willing to date me.
She was almost unbearably beautiful. Just like I knew she had commanded attention before I came. She had coal-colored hair, so black that it seemed nearly blue under the fluorescents. It fell over her shoulders of her cream coat. Her skin was cream-white, with just the faintest blooded touch lingering beneath her skin. She had dark, sooty lashes. Solemn eyes that slanted up the tiniest bit at the corners. A full and mobile mouth below a straight nose. She was exquisite.
“What do you want to drink?” the barman asked me.
I took a sip and felt someone tugging at my sleeve. I turned my head and there she was. She had moved over to the empty stool next to me. Looking at that face close up was almost blinding. I spilled some of my scotch.
“I’m sorry.” Her voice was low and melodious. “My fault.”
I smiled stupidly. “It’s all right.” How can I make you understand that I would have given anything, yes, anything to be able to have her. The expression on the faces of people around when she moved closer to me was the best memory of my life. Looking at her was like looking at Mona Lisa come to life. And there was another feeling. It was as if a sudden, powerful light had been turned on in the confused darkness of my heart.
She smiled and I felt dizzy. She brushed her hair back and raised her beautiful face to me. As I watched her I was swept with a feeling of unreality – it was unreal that this beautiful girl had elected to come to me. I’m old enough to know there’s no such thing as love at first sight, but I felt caught in a spider’s web.
I wanted to feel her touch on me. I wanted to kiss her, not for her pleasure but my own; she was so damn arousing, so intensely feminine.
I bought her a bottle of coke. We didn’t say anything else while we sipped our drinks, but it seemed as if we did. She rubbed her leg against mine under the table. It drove me crazy. You’d have felt it yourself if you’d ever been with someone you were really close to, or if you’d gotten involved as I was. You didn’t have to talk. Communication seemed to have shifted over to some high-frequency emotional band. We were strangers but we were communicating without words. It was dangerous, this temptation to take her home, to relax completely in her presence. I was steeped in a feeling of intimacy with this girl I barely know. There were times in my life when I was especially vulnerable to female attention.
“My name is Jimmy,” I said at last.
“Mine is Gloria.”
“You are a very beautiful girl. I’ll be grateful be your friend.”
“Do you love me?”
“Obviously yes,” I replied. What a stupid thing to say. “If you don’t mind I’ll appreciate so much if you can go home with me today.”
When we finished our drinks, Gloria followed me to my one bedroom flat off Airport Road. She was wearing a cream coat over her white gown, which was fitting, and her expression was one mingled with desire and triumph. Immediately I closed the door, her arms were held open and I went to her with mine out to embrace her. As we came together; I felt an unutterable longing. My hands pressed against the smooth plane of her back, her skin near warm to touch. She smiled with those deep black eyes. Her head tilted up to mine, her lips parted, and ready to be kissed.
This was when she changed. Her hair grew coarse, and matted, melting from black to an ugly brown that spilled down over the creamy whiteness of her cheeks. The eyes shrank and went beady. The whiteness disappeared and she was glaring at me with tiny eyes like two polished pieces of precious metals. The mouth became wide with crooked yellow teeth protruding.
“Don’t shout. You derive pleasure in sleeping with every girl you come across. Come to me.”
You can’t imagine the sweeping feeling of intense paranoia I felt. I fainted. I woke up in the hospital. My neighbors found me unconscious and rushed me to a nearby hospital where I was resuscitated. I have since quit the habit of philandering.