76. "Say it for God's Sake, Say it" XXI

His hair looked shorter than usual when he first appeared in the doorway of my office, so much shorter that I found myself muttering softly, “What made you cut your hair so short? I loved it much more before.” Once more he seemed pretty darn resourceful in picking out the most perfect time for seeing me. I was standing behind my desk when he first arrived. The offices were deserted by everyone save for the advisor with impaired hearing whose condition might have encouraged my atypical temerity. My wit, though, wasn’t wholly present to help me quickly grasp the momentary stillness that accompanied his astonished gaze that my remarks seemed to have invoked, and which made me realize, though late, the foolishness of my “audacity”. The man’s powerful and mesmerizing manhood appeared all too defenseless in the face of such practically unexpected “dewy-eyed flirtation”. And the gratified smile that he shot me was so pregnant that I instantaneously sensed the girlish shyness swashing its red

75. "Say it for God's Sake, Say it," Part XX

Steaming with sweat and legs wobbling with dread, I rushed ahead, trailing Uncle Sam’s heels; my grandpa and Dina also followed suit. The waiting had kept us all on tenterhooks, and my patience had long worn out. The few meters separating the living room from the front door seemed unending. I stood behind Sam, clinging to his shirt, quivering at the thought of whom we might face on the other side of the door—the dear faces of the members of my family or the henchmen of the autocrat. I sighed with relief, however, and my anxiety subsided when I saw my younger brother zooming in the moment Sam pulled the door open, breathlessly letting on some of the good tidings with his innocent question, “You’re going to go to America, Lu?” I sensed the heat of a betraying blush spreading all over my panic-stricken face upon meeting my Dad’s eyes; his reassuring smile, just as ever, had the effect of magic, easing off most of the tension that had held the belt in the pulleys. And I ran towards my fam



74. "Say it for God's Sake, Say it" Part XIX

Apprehensive of being caught red-handed , I returned to my seat with my little treasure enfolded in my hand. I skimmed the office area around me, ensuring that I wasn’t been preyed upon, and with a fluttering heart, I opened the drawer pretending to be looking for something inside. I hurriedly threw the small piece of paper inside, and pushed the drawer back with the same speed, eyes still sweeping the vicinity, ascertaining no one was spying on my “grand secret.” Assuming normality, I leaned back in my chair for a few moments, trying to catch my lost breath, and controlling the pleasurable sensations of my body. Patience wearing thin, I re-opened the drawer seconds later, and unfolded the paper I had placed inside, not forgetting though to grab my small mirror that I kept in the drawer, in order to give the pretence of a routine feminine checking of make-up. My eyes surveyed the office one last time before they devoured avidly the words on the paper. It was a concise letter of six or

73. "Say it for God's Sake, Say it" Part XVIII

I sensed a delicious warmth pervade my whole body as I walked next to him the nearly two hundred meters that took us outside the building. It was an incredibly sensational feeling, something novel that I had never experienced before, and which, much to my surprise, swept away all the abominable sense of desolation and despondency, let alone the bruised ego, and the silent fury that had gripped me, eating on my nerves for days; all seemed to have magically vanished, becoming more like a thing of the remote past. And the occasionally inadvertent brushing of my shoulder against his arm, as we walked side by side, was so stirring. We were like a wonderful twosome that must have been created and made only for one another. And the two halves of the one apple did seem like they were finally placed closely together. My emotions for him flared up, and became so hard to suppress, or inhibit. It didn’t truly matter much then if the whole world was watching our togetherness. My preciously guarded

72. "Say it for God's Sake, Say it" Part XVII

From my peripheraI vision, I glimpsed him entering the office at the beginning of the following week, with the same air of composure and unflappability. And after a few shuttling trips between the coffee machine and Tom’s office, wherein he had stationed himself, chatting for most of the duration, he finally entered my office when the opportunity offered. His familiar footstep heralded his entry, but I lacked the least desire to raise my head, much less welcome him. The pile of papers before me had become my only asylum, wherein I buried my slaughtered pride under a tumultuous sea of shock and pain. Desperation had eventually taken me over, bringing up an incapacitated calm, which challenged and subdued his silence as he stood near my desk. “I’m leaving at the end of this week,” he proclaimed calmly. “You’re going to follow me in about two months.” He dictated his unilateral plan with an air of vexatious sureness. I had always seen so much love and affection in his eyes not to recogni

71. "Say it for God's Sake, Say it" Part XVI

Despite its enfeebling blow, the encounter with mum seemed to have unencumbered me of the abominable sense of guilt that had been beleaguering me for the past few months for hiding the secret of my romance with Martin from my parents. And despite the worrisome uncertainty of my parents’ reaction, I drifted into a tranquil and peaceful sleep the moment my head touched the pillow, totally oblivious of the roughshod treatment that Martin was designing for me, and which was going to make everything else seem relatively light and bearable. Having brought the interrogation to a close, mum was anxious to take me home, but I escaped her persistence by claiming exhaustion and fatigue. Dina supported my excuses, sparing me yet another weighty encounter, this time with my dad, which I, given the already charged situation, was desperate to put off as long as I could. Mum, anyhow, left tight-lipped. And from the little she had breathed, I gathered that she was going to discuss the matter in depth