Part Dos A White Rose in a Wedding Dress

Part Dos

A White Rose in a Wedding Dress

 

The traditional here comes the bride began to fill the air, beckoning every member of the already packed to the ceiling crowd, to have a sense of excitement and expectation slowly building up inside of them. But no one felt those sensations as strongly as Fiona did, in a regimented designed and minimalist plain white dress, almost void of any real flair and personality that you would expect from a women first wedding dress. But ultimately if anyone knew Fiona well, they would agree that it suited her personality and demeanor perfectly. But unlike anyone else in the hall, her excitement and expectation was awash with fear and apprehension. Even looking at the rolls of people who had traveled all those miles to convene under one room in a celebration of the undying love she had for Rose, which meant so much to her, she still couldn’t prevent the effects of those feelings from pushing her towards the brink of insanity.  All she wanted was for everything to go more than perfectly well as she planned so rigorously for it to do so.  As the bells chimed, on queue the crowd pivoted around in their seats, looking towards the door in expectance of seeing a dazzling beauty dressed in a stunning flowing dress, bursting through them with so much energy and excitement as she always did when entering any normal room. The music grew louder, the chimes continued to roar, yet the minutes began to tick on by, but no Rose. A quiet murmur began to spread across the crowd like a plague, eventually reaching Fiona which caused her to panic even more. Fighting as hard as she could to hold back the rage building up inside of her, she signals to her mother in the front row to see what the cause of the delay. If anyone was to be blamed or even dared to intensely ruining her special day, their heads would be served on a platter for them, quicker than they could beg for mercy. Sensing the boiling rage inside her daughter, Marie rushed up the aisle and disappeared through the doors, it wasn’t too long before she returned with a confused and distraught expression engraved deep into her face, that’s when everyone’s suspicions and Fiona’s fear was confirmed, the revelation hit her harder than a ton of bricks dropped out a plane. She had been left at the altar.  

 

For anyone stepping onto the bus, it was peculiar sight that attracted a lot of confused glances when they saw an attractive young woman with cold icy eyes that could freeze your heart solid with one lingering gaze. A bleached blond pony tail that ran down right down her back towards the base of her spine, wearing an ivory and cream blended wedding dress embroidered with tulips, sat at the very back of the bus. As much as the murmurs and stares infuriated her, the truth was; Rose had more important things to worry about. As much as she tried, the tears wouldn’t stop flooding out of her eyes. The last thing Rose ever wanted to do was hurt anyone. Throughout her entire life, her mother made it her mission to instill in her daughter a loving kind nature, which refused to even contemplate hurting anyone, even the most insignificant of creature on god’s green earth. So since then, every human interaction she had was devoted to upholding up that golden rule; her mother would say, “she others as you would like to be treated”. But the truth was, for the first time in her 25 years of existences she had broken her mother golden rule, and hurt someone deeper than any sticks and bones, even as much as she tried to rationalize her decision to leave, a case of falling out love, fear of marriage or even or questioning her sexuality, the bottom line was she knew she had broken someone’s heart on the worst day possible, on that person biggest day of their lives, in front of their friends and family.

 

It wasn’t until a few months ago that Rose thought that all she wanted to do was spend the rest of her life with Fiona; someone who she truly felt was her soul mate. But as much as she hated herself for running out on Fiona, Rose found it even more difficult to fight the constant lit small part of her from screaming in urgencies for her to turn back. But Rose couldn’t go back, even if she so heartedly wanted to, what would she say? Sorry and that she didn’t mean? But she knew that would only make things worse, because it would a lie, for the truth was on the hole she didn’t regret walking out on Fiona, she just regretted that it had to be done so publicly. As the year would go by, the more she spent time with Fiona the more she would lose a sense of who she was and grow to resent Fiona, even hate her. Fiona was a beautiful person inside, but it was in her nature to want to make everything in her vicinity match up to her lofty perfectionist standards. Rose didn’t want to feel like a school project anymore and she didn’t want to be ashamed of not waking up at 6 am every morning, dress in a suit and arrive in a office job that she hated, just so she could save Fiona the embarrassment of going to business events and telling that her wife was more than just a fashion blogger. Rose was sick of having to be something she wasn’t just to make Fiona happy, so as the scenery outside the window began to blend into one large collage distinguishable blob of color, a sense of liberation began to blossom inside her. When you cause that much damage, you simply can’t go back, there was only one way now and that was forward, on a unknown course to an unknown direction.

 

It had been three weeks since her bus journey had lead her as far as Manchester, but with no money and no desire to see Fiona anytime soon, Rose had only one choice but to return back home to Spain; ordinarily it wouldn’t have been all that bad, in fact it would have been a pleasure Rose eagerly anticipated to be able to see her mother she adored so much, but returning back to her dad was the difficult part. Cesc was the type of man to refuse to turn up to his own daughter’s wedding on accounts that she was marrying another women, and that level of ignorance and pettiness was something Rose just couldn’t forgive, and for her father to expect otherwise would be like trying to find a snowman on Mars or a Valentino dress in Primark.

 

At that precise moment, stepping through the door felt like reaching the top of mountain Everest in the middle of winter, for as she looked into the face of her father with the biggest fake smile she could ever hope to conjure up, she was meet with a icy, cold momentarily glance.  Barely acknowledging his daughter arrival, Cesc returned back to the paper he was reading in complete silence. It was a welcome in absolute contrast to the warm loving embrace Rose’s mother gave her as she walked through the doors earlier of the El Pequeno Amor for the first time in almost three years. Rose slowly shuffled into the room with all the haste of naughty little girl dreading a telling off as she is summoned to her father’s room. “Nice to know that my only daughter decides to visit her parents when her life is falling apart” Spat out Cesc with such venom, without once pausing to think how that statement would make his daughter feel, but once again her feelings didn’t matter very much to him. In his own warped eyes, Cesc saw Rose as the one who did the hurting, especially since the day that Rose dropped two bomb shells to her parents on the exact same night, first being that she was wasn’t sure if she was a Bisexual or completely gay, and the next on being that she had fallen in love with a English girl when she was in England reporting on London Fashion week for a local Spanish fashion magazine. Naturally with her father being a strict catholic he saw the whole situation as an indication on his failings as a father, as well as Rose’s attempt at hurting him.  But as usual Cesc was never a man to bottle up his feelings for too long, he completely objected to the path their daughter wanted to take and he regularly made it known to her any chance he had, doing so each time with so with so much malice and hostility, eventually Rose had no choice but to make the big decision to runaway to England. The comment hurt Rose so much, she couldn’t even say a word in the fear that it will open up her flood gates, so instead she allowed the tension in the room to thicken with every passing second. It slowly coiled itself around Rose’s lungs, only was she freed when her mother sprang into the room, in her usual jovial manner with the only thing that both Cesc and Rose could both agree on; that Joanna’s Cachelada was the best in the whole of Spain.

 

Dinner had proven to have been a gruelling tortures affair, that Rose would soon rather subject herself to 1000 days in a Victorian corset than go through another evening sitting opposite a man, who drew pleasure from every moment he spent pointing out his daughter short comings in life. Especially her failure at trying to become a fashion designer, meaning all she could now was write about other people fashion creations or the fact that the only relationship she ever had with a women, came crumbling down like house made of wood being set on fire. Despite her mother’s best attempts to ignite some sort of reconciliation or truths between the pair, by reminding them of their more happier days spent as father and daughter, it did very little to help the matter, maybe even making it worse. Because doing so only reminded Rose of all the times her father had adamantly tried to mould her into the young Dr. Lawyer he wanted her to be. As rage slowly filled up in her, like volcano ready to explode, Rose made her excuses and retreated into her little cocoon of a bedroom, she had spent her entire life in. all the four walls and ceiling littered with various picture cut out from famous magazines such as; Vogue, Vanity fair or W magazine, even famous celebrity icons such as Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn. From one glance at that room, you could tell that fashion was Rose’s entire life, growing up not a week went by that she didn’t lose a entire afternoons lost to drawing her dream dresses, or flicking through her favourite magazines. So naturally by the time she was 18 and ready for university, she was eager to attend the best fashion schools in the world, but her parents couldn’t afford it and even 2 years worth of waitressing didn’t get her any step closer to achieving her dreams. The years went by and she found a new passion possibly almost as great as making the fashion, was writing about fashion.

 

It wasn’t long before Rose had settled into the mundane routine of working in the hotel with her mother again, but that was all it was, routine. She loved spending quality time with her mother, who was like looking in a mirror at times, in the way her mother always seemed to always ignite a room her passion and enthusiasm. However Rose being the wild child she was, naturally the routine slowly began to grate on her; 8 am cook breakfast, 11 am wait until the guests have gone out and go into their room and clean every last inch of it, no matter how filthy the animals leave it. 3pm go down to the shop and by food for dinner, 6 pm help cook the dinner, 10 pm go to sleep and start the whole routine again tomorrow.  

 

 She was finally offered a glimmer of hope when the editor of Mary Clare called up, telling her she was going to be sent to Nairobi Kenya to report on the countries first big Fashion week, a by-product of Africa newly acquired dominance of the fashion hemisphere. With the prospects of being the very first to cover it, proved to be very exciting for Rose as it offered her a fast track from the ordinary daily running’s of a hotel, to the unpredictable world of fashion once again; that was until standing behind the reception desk, dressed in a bohemian style floral dress with a leather jacket; the heart breaking memory of the pain she saw in her mother face when she told her she was leaving and didn’t want her father to know and she vowed that same day that she never wanted to see her mother hurt like that again, so how could she leave? All of a sudden the joy she was feeling began to evaporate from her body, leaving only a cold icy shell of disappointment behind. Then out of then out of now where; a dashing young man, dressed in an odd assortment of bright Ralph Lauren t-shirt, denim trousers matched with white converses, bounded down the stairs and rushed towards her. Guys like him where the reason she doubted if she was completely gay, adding further confusion to the true nature of her sexuality; His long flowing blonde hair and striking blue eyes almost were enough to penetrate through the dark smog currently consuming her lives. Then the most wonderful of things happened, as he began to speak of this women in a red dressed so desperately wanted to find, the roaring passion burning fierce behind his eyes as he spoke, somehow ignited the same out of hers, she had to go to Nairobi, even if it meant watching her mother get her heart broken once again, it was a big price to pay in exchange for following her passion.

 

Originally Rose had planned on breaking the news to her mother slowly, but those plans where quickly discarded when her tickets to Africa were sent a lot earlier than expected, in fact they were set for the very next day. Rose had asked for them to have been rescheduled, but such as the hype surrounding the event, every fashion journalist and blogger were fighting tooth and nail to catch the earliest flight to Nairobi in the efforts of being the first to report on the event. So gone out of the window, was her intentions easing the news to her mother as she had hoped.

 

 As she walked down the corridors, the air was filled with the sweet sound of her mother’s singing voice that even today could so easily carry her away to a magic place. She stepped into the laundry room where routine suggests that her mother would be in there throwing last night’s bed linins into the wash; this was the part of the working day her mother enjoyed the most, it was the only time she really got herself to herself amongst the hectic nature of running a business. For her, the laundry room a serene sanctum, a wash with calm, so it was there Rose thought it best break her mother hurt once more, maybe the effect of the environment would somewhere soften the blow, numb the pain. “Mum can have a moment please?” said Rose with a quivering voice a just bit over a whisper. “Sure thing honey”, in her mother’s usual warm, cheery tone, “I want to tell you something“. Joanna placed down the sheet she was folding and spun around to look her daughter straight in her eye, with a look in her mother’s eyes she had never really seen before, a look almost void of any emotions, no pain, sadness or joy, instead it had a quiet sullen quality to it. “You’re going again, right?” said Joanna again not once portraying any emotion. “How did you know?”

“You had the same look the first time you told me you were leaving. But it’s okay know, maybe the you leaving the first time round was actually a good thing, it finally made me wake up the truth” said Joanna with her eyes now, finally glazing over betraying sadness for the first time. “What truth?” squeaked Rose whose eyes were glazing over by now also. “That you weren’t a little girl any more, and you weren’t built for a life working in a small little hotel”. Said Joanna, “But I love it here” stated Rose not knowing whether it was a lie or not. “And it loves you, but I want you to part of that big world out there showing them want you can do! Where are you going?”, “Africa, but after that I’m probably going to go back to England, I’ve have work there, friends” by now Rose had to do whatever it took to avoid eye contact with her mother, otherwise she wouldn’t be able to avoid crying her eyes out. “Whatever your heart once you to do, you go for it, but please don’t leave without telling your father, not this time. He’s old and set in his ways but he can’t handle you leaving him without saying by again.” Rose was unable to contain herself anymore, holding the tears back where like trying to hold a bomb in a tin can, when all it wanted to do was explode. She lunged forward and hugged her mother tighter than ever before, as if in fear that she would float away and she was the only thing holding her to the ground. 

 

Rose was true to her word, and said good bye to her father, then the most wonderful thing happened, for first time since she was a child, he held her tight in his arms, and for that brief moment it felt that all the bad blood between them had completed elevated their bodies, completely wiped of from the surface of the planet. Rose was unsure what had made her father soften so much, although she did have inclining that the shouting from her mother last night for the first time ever time had gone a great way to explaining the sudden 360 turn.  Ever way Rose didn’t know if that embrace would signal a new fresh start in their relationship or was merely for her father to keep Joanna happy, nevertheless it meant that no matter whatever work and life would take her or throw at her, she knew that she had two people always right behind her ready to catch if she fell.  

 

The heat hit her harder than a two ton bomb; this was a girl who spent her entire child hood playing all day on the beach with the Spanish sun blaring over head and wouldn’t stop playing until it finally sunk into the ocean at the end of the day. But the Nairobi’s heat was a completely different animal, a ferocious fiery behemoth that had no mercy for its subjects. In between regular dabs of sweet away from her brow, Rose felt a great deal of excitement, it was the first time she ever had been to Africa, and was desperate to immerse herself in this new vibrant, exotic alien culture that had come a long way in such a short amount of time; a good stable government, made sure that it was able to make good use of its educated work force, to the extent now that every street corner was littered with the finest sports car money could buy; Macerates, Hummers and even Ferraris.

 

As she made her way through the market place towards her hotel, Nairobi didn’t disappoint; it was a country brimming and bustling with the excitement of its new found wealth, the beautifully crafted sky scrapers rouse high into the sky, as if each competing to see who could touch it first. Everywhere she turned in the market, she was bombarded with delicious smells teasing her with the promise of exploding her taste buds. The allure of the deserts stand were what finally broke her resolve to get through the market as quick as possible to rest up the coming days ahead, but there appetizing appearance proved far too strong. Within minutes she had devoured at least three of the small chocolate and cream cakes that caressed her taste buds with each bite.  Soon after she had almost been to each and every stand that promised something sweet; like a bee drawing from there sweet nectar she took and ate as much as slight frame could accommodate. Her Swahili at this point was almost nonexistent, but food was a universal language that Rose was well versed in, especially when it came to deserts.      

 

While the rest of the country where asleep, Rose was up even before the birds had a chance to sing, she was busy trying to get a hold with as much high profile designers for interviews as she could. For her Nairobi Fashion Week wasn’t a holiday in the sun, getting the right angle on the event and the right interview with all the big names, would mean never crawling back to her parents for money again, it will spell out finical freedom, it meant finally moving out of Fiona’s apartment. After a good 2 hours, Rose was just about able to got hold of most of the newbie designers debuting their collections for the week, but it turns out waiting until the earlier in the day to get hold of the big designers wasn’t a very good idea, Rose was never any good at planning beforehand. 

 

The event started a lot earlier than was scheduled, which meant that the journey to the venue was a particularly rushed convoluted affair; it seemed the whole of Nairobi decided to choose that particular day to have; their weddings, school field trips and driving lessons almost in spite of Rose’s hurry. But at least if she were to be late, at least she made sure she did it fashionably, even the extremely disgruntled cab driver couldn’t deny how good she looked in her Faux minx’s fur coat, despite the heat, a knee length flowing white dress with a thing brown belt around the midriff  and a wide brimmed fedora hat. The streets where packed with vehicles all delayed in traffic, as Rose looked outside the window all she could see were a sea of metal, yet every time she asked the driver if there was a alternative route he would shot her a angered barrage of words in Swahili, that she was pretty sure included a few insults in them. In the mean time, it seemed all she could do was sit back and fret about what it would mean for her career if she misses the entire event.

 

 It was a good 30 minutes before the cars even began to dissipate, allowing the cab to move. Eventually after 20 minutes of taxi slaloming around bends at great haste under her encouragement, Rose finally reached her destination; a colossal building made of completely flawless glass, which almost glistened on the horizon like a giant diamond. Inside it was empty Pan’s labyrinth of floors and walls coated in solid marble and granite; if it wasn’t for the signage at every turn, Rose could have easily got herself lost for days. The corridors began to sloop downhill, until there was a final turning to her right, where she was suddenly met with massive cascading waterfall, which had a parting where a tunnel lead straight into a room full of immaculately and glamorously dressed people. As she walked into the room, she instantly fell in love with the hall, which clearly had a fairy tale theme going on with the ginger bread houses, yellow brick roads and towers everywhere. But even before she had enough time to continue to awe at the grand scale and beauty of the hall, she was suddenly whisked away by a rather frustrated porter who despite Rose’s objections sat her in the front row. Soon became apparent was because she had been mistaken for someone else when the seat reservation read Saris Williams, the manager and chief of Vanity Fair. Just when she was about to leap out of the seat and go to her actual allocated seat, the light suddenly turned off and a long jet of fire was spat out by a dragon head mounted on top of a large arch, signalling the streams of models to come out, the show had began and with her in the best seat in the house, no way was Rose  in a hurry to go anywhere.

 

Rose was soon surrounded by the most stunning, beautifully sculpted dresses she had ever seen in her life, but there wasn’t a; Valentino, a Versace, a Givenchy or a McQueen in sight, they were all dresses birthed from the genius that the very best of the African content could muster. She found herself constantly trying to snap herself from the mystical trances the couture garment where putting her under, just to allow herself enough rest bite to furiously write as much as she could about what she was seeing, which was in fact why she was there in the first place.  As she saw the models walk down the run way, each in set of impossibly high stilettos as part of their attempts of keeping up with the popular fairy tale theme. As each Dorothy, Snow White and Cinderella made walked across, Rose felt as if she were suddenly transported into her child hood where she was sat in front of the fire on her dad’s knee being read all those great stories; each dress had the power to transport Rose through a time machine into another of her to so many great memoires she experienced as a kid when her and her father were still close.

 

From the corner of her eye, all of a sudden she caught sight of a commotion, as she turned completely around she was meet with the spectacle of the real Saris Williams angrily pointing in Rose’s direction as well as berating the porter in her infamous diva temper. After awhile Saris turned towards Rose and marched towards her. Rose apologetically leapt out of the set, causing the model that was already struggling in her lofty hells, to miss her step and come tumbling down on top of Rose; bring them both down to the floor with a loud thud, yet almost muted out by the collective audience’s simultaneous gasps of air.  The last thing Rose remembered before she hit her head on the marble floor was the image of large mobs of people rushing towards the model and while very few coming in her direction.

 

Caught up in a most delightful dream inspired by high fashion, Rose suddenly found herself waking up in a world of pain and nauseating sickness. As she opened her eyes, her vision was completely blurred as if she where slap bang in the middle of a desert storm, then from the distance she was suddenly meet with the most amazing mirage, a tall dark skinned knight rode towards her; the closer he drew the more focused her vision became, soon enough allowing her to realise where she was; in a small little doctors office, laid on top of a padded gurney. Sitting opposite her was her minx coat that had been carefully draped over the back of a chair in a near manner. She tried to stand up, but a sudden sprout of dizziness caused her to lose her balance, almost tipping right over but at the last minute stabilised by a pair of strong muscular arms around her waist and the other rested on top of her shoulder. Turning around she finally realized that the mirage of the tall dark knight wasn’t a figment of her imagination, but was in fact a dark skinned Adonis of a doctor, who despite his crimson shirt, couldn’t hide his broad shoulder and bulging chest, the man could have easily been a body double for Arnold Schwarzenegger himself.  As Rose studied him further as he helped her back down, under his piercing squinting eyes she noticed his name tag read Keonne Mutwii, and perfectly chiselled jaw line. Rose had never been so attracted to a man before, and especially intriguing that it was a black man, which was a rarity in the part of Spain she grew up. At first she thought it was the head bump that had given her the light headed feeling, but as Keonne began to move his thick inviting lips that let out a deep and stern, yet soothing voice, Rose was pretty sure now of the source of her light headedness. 

 

“It is best that you sit down, you took a nasty hit to the head Rose, but you got of lucky, the other girl twisted her ankle, but I guess it’s true what they say, beauty is pain” said Keonne in a assured tone, Rose was unable to stop herself over laughing with the high pitch tone of a school girl around a crush. But soon her grasp on what was important to her quickly reverted back, “Is the show over?” said Rose with great concern. “Well you’re lucky for you the model had to been taken out in a stretcher, so they had to take an impromptu intermission; once I’ve given you the all clear I think you have enough time left over to catch the rest of it”

 

   “How long would that take?” said Rose, “Well it depends on how you are feeling now” replied in Keonne as he glared into her eyes, which made her shy and nervous, something she wasn’t used to. “Well I feel great, I just want to get back out there” Said Rose unsure if she was wanted to leap of the gurney to get back to the show, or to leap of it and get on Keonne. “Sure go ahead”, Keonne took of the jacket of the chair and gently wrapped it around Rose’s shoulders, which caused bolts of lightning to shot down her spine, as he’s finger tips gently brushed her neck for mere fractions of a second. Then with all the care and patience in the world, slowly guided Rose out of the room. Subsequent to leaving the office with great reluctance, Rose hailed a cab, in hopes of returning back to the show on time. But as she sat in the back seat all she could think about was that if she wasn’t in a hurry, maybe she could have spent a little more time with the doctor, with the hopes that he could sense her attraction to him and ask her out on a date. His finger betrayed no sign of wedlock, that slight glimmer of a chance caused a small smile to spread across her face.    

 

Returning back to the event, Rose found herself in her rightful place fourth row from the front, throughout most of the event, she was hard at work writing notes expressing her well fashion versed thoughts on the clothes being paraded down the catwalk, but in the breaks in between different designers, Rose still couldn’t ignore the memory of Keonne’s touch, almost permanently imprinted on her skin that had still left the hairs perked up.  But soon after the show was over, it came to the interview and publicity stage, Rose’s elated feeling was instantly replaced with fury as all of a sudden all the interviews with the designers she worked so hard to acquire where a no go, all the agents and PR refused to allow her anywhere near their clients, so when everyone was whisked away to their interviews, Rose was left there alone looking like the last kid picked for their football team. Things were only made worse, when the editor of Mary Claire called her back in her hotel room, telling her that she had heard on the grape vine, that Rose was involved in a very precarious and compromising incident that had greatly embarrassed the magazine, and had that Rose should make sure that if another situation like that where to repeat itself, she would be pulled out of Nairobi Fashion Week. Rose final knew why her planned interviews were a no show, the revelation made her become extremely distraught, and it wasn’t long after the call she broke down into tears.    

 

Rose soon found herself in a situation that was mostly foreign to her, except the night before the wedding, when she found it difficult to choose whether to leave or stay and marry Fiona. She had found herself in a bar, with the prospect of drinking her sorrow away. But as the glass of whisky was placed before her, allowing her to see her reflection in the dark golden liquid, Rose could dare not bring the glass to her lips – that would be too easy.  As she brushed the glass aside and turned proceed back to her hotel room, her vision was suddenly graced by that same piercing squinting eyes, and perfectly chiselled jaw line, it was Keonne, but you wouldn’t forgiven for not mistaking him for James Bond, he was dressed in slick black suit and dainty little bow tie. The guy was truly dressed to kill; which made Rose feel rather embarrassed considering the state she was in; which on contrary by anyone else standard; a black cashmere jumper over a deconstructed denim dungarees, would appear rather stylish, but to Rose’s high standards it was the type of thing you rolled out of bed wearing in the morning. “I thought I heard recognised you, how are you feeling” The deep melodic sound of Keonne voice playing over the jazz tonal music in the lobby, in Roses ears sounded as if were serenading her in a Marvin Gaye inspire Ballard.

“I’m fine, I feel a lot better now” replied Rose trying to avoid eye contact as much as possible, in case he noticed she had been crying. “I heard the show was a big success, I remember your a journalist right, I saw some of your notes when they were carrying to my surgery” said Keonne. “Yeah I’m but it didn’t go so well, I wasn’t able to get any interview with the designers, the little incident turned me into a social pariah” Replied Rose, who with every passing minute felt herself falling deeper and deeper into his hypnotic aura.  Suddenly in the end of the hall, a pair of large double doors swung open and a pair of inebriated men came stumbling out holding glasses of wine that sloshed out when they hollered Keonne’s name.

 

From his pocket Keonne pulled out a old picture depicting two young boys clinging onto each other and showed it to Rose, “I have to go, but this will come a great surprise to you, but I’m friends with Keyshawn, who is kind the head line act, his a childhood friend of mine, and he has turned down interview left, right and centre because he find them all boring, but I’m sure if your where to do it, it will be different, you have a certain intriguing charm too you”. Said Keonne, “That would be amazing; I don’t know what to say?” Rose became deliriously happy, unable to string together any coherent sentences longer than a couple of seconds.  “Well you can take out to dinner to thank me” Keonne placed his business card in Rose arm and with another word coolly strode back to his friends. The only thing Rose could think about it, locked in rush of multitudes of different emotions was – wow! 

 

That night, the incredulous amount of excitement made it almost impossible for Rose to sleep; Keyshawn was the premier designer on everyone’s lips, just in the mould of the likes of, Alexander McQueen, Tom Ford or Donatella Versace, such was their mystique and the scale of the media circus documenting his every eccentric personality and his ostentatious garments which meant that every celebrity had to get their hands on their exclusive clothes, Keyshawn had successfully moved from the obscure Avant Grant fashion world, into the elite world of A List celebrity and Fashion icon status.

 

Just as promised after another phenomenal day at Nairobi Fashion Week, via the instruction left to her at the hotel desk, Rose took a taxi to the newly renovated upper east side of Nairobi; a suburban paradise, that was a playground to the rich, being there made Rose feel as if she had just stepped into a teleport that had taken her straight into Dubai. The taxi eventually draw to a halt at end of a cul-de-sac, as Rose got out of the car she was meet with the sight of a two story palace made of finest material Mother Nature could offer, a true testament to genius design. The cream coloured exterior was void of all blemishes and indications of imperfections. Rose walked up the drive way, boarded by beautifully manicured hedges, and flower bed populated with flowers with colours from the entire spectrum of the rainbow. Proceeding further, she finally reached a herculean sized wooden door, with a brass knocker that when used let out a thunderous sound.

 

The door was opened by a pretty girl with a shaven haired,” You’re Rose right?” said the girl in a thick South African accent, after confirming her identity Rose was subsequently lead through assortment of young interns rushing around the place liked crazed headless chickens, each carrying mountain of clothes with them and exhausted expression on their faces. Rose was eventually led into the front room which was open plan; the bedrooms, kitchen, and dining room, only separated by movable glass sliders that could become opaque by a simple voice command. The tables and chairs seemed as if they had been chiselled from solid oak, the counters and surfaces from granite and the decorative ornaments from artificial ivory.   Everything else in the room seemed as if it was taken straight from Star Trek or the fantasies of geeks everywhere.

 

She was finally led into a pair of sliding doors up a narrow staircase, eventually emerging to a secluded balcony in which both Keonne and ever the enigma Keyshawn, stood talking as they look over seemingly the entirety of Kenya, about how life had change from their humble begins to the paradises they find themselves in now.  

 

As they both turned around, Rose could feel her heart pounding at her chest cavity, as if at any moment it was preparing itself to leap out of her chest. For the last few years, no designer had excited and intrigued Rose as much as Keyshawn had, to the extent that he took up an almost godly status in her eyes. In particular before her eyes now, he was an almighty sight taking the form of a peacock combined with a lion bathed in the light of the sun that made him shine bright like a dazzling golden phoenix. He was dressed in a long golden cape, fitted with what looked like a 100 miniature peacock feathers. Beneath the cape he wore a plain white suit, this strange balance of ostentatious and the minimalistic, was a contradictory quality that had made his work and expertise so highly sort after and coveted. “I’ll leave you to it” Said Keonne, after which he proceeded towards the door, pausing only to place his hand softly upon Rose, “You’ll be fine”. With that he then disappeared back into his house, but saying those few words and hand on her shoulder, created a tidal wave of tranquillity that surged through her body, nullifying the storm of unease that had manifested itself in the presence of Keyshawn, almost instantly, almost by magic. 

 

As they sat down opposite each other across the table, It had come as to a surprise to Rose, the way she was able remain completely calm and assured throughout the interview. Almost from the gecko was void of all the formality when Rose was able to show her true carefree laid back manner, which Keyshawn greatly to took a liking too. They say you should never meet your heroes, because they can never live up to your high standards, but Keyshawn was witty, fascinating and a lot more complimentary about her dress sense then she would ever have dreamed. The hours soon flew by and once she had all the information she needed for the write up, they were still able to sit back on the recliner chairs and wax lyrical about every last aspect of the fashion world. Only did they stop laughing and joking, when one of Keyshawn’s assistance had to come to tell him that he had a flight the next day. Against his will Keyshawn left the balcony, leaving Rose looked in deep thought; how was Keonne feel so at ease and eradicate the nervous with just the one touch?

 

Taking in the beautiful scenery one last time which was now showing the early signs of night, Rose returned back into the main house. But all to her surprise, the place looked like a ghost town; any remnants of life had completely vanished. At first it was rather haunting and made her feel rather apprehensive, but as Rose ventured further into the house she took up the chance to look around the place before she left, especially when she was meet with such charming pictures of a rather young Keonne, which soon made take her guard down. Each strategically hidden picture around the place showed him as a child or either him with his family, in each of him but both shared of the commonality of have a immense amount of love that could be felt, and it also looked like Keonne from birth was always a good looking child with a ever present sense of maturity well past his years. “I oblivious need to find a better place to hide those picture” startled Rose turns around to see Keonne dressed in a freshly pressed black satin three piece suit, one of Keyshawn’s specialties.  “You look very cute as a child” said Rose as she battled to smoother the masses of butter flies fluttering inside of her. “Thank you, but don’t you dare think that flattery will get you out of your end of the bargain” said Keonne with a mischievous smile on his face. “And what was that?” replied Rose in a playful manner. “I’ll show you” and with that he healed out his hands and led her out to his back garden, when on top of the pool where small candles laid carefully on top of small white roses, drawing her attention towards the far end of the pool where a carefully arranged three course meal appetizingly awaited.  

 

“This is too much!” squeaked Rose struggling to grasp the enormity of the romantic gesture, “You only just met me, what makes you think I deserve all of this” Her curtness was even surprising to herself, but she couldn’t help it. She never experienced so many nice gestures from one person; nursing her back to health, the interview that could just make her career and now the dinner, which was the most amazing and romantic thing she had ever witnessed, Keonne had already done so much for, which made her even more guilty about the feelings she was having. Because the truth was, the whole thing frightened her, it was too much to handle.  “I was just trying just trying to have special time”, Said Keonne trying with great difficulty to hide his confusion and slight hurt at her reaction.   “I’m sorry I just thought, it would be a couple of drinks, or maybe a nice restaurant somewhere, not a marriage proposal” As soon as that came out of her mouth she so heartedly wanted to take her words back or at least have the ground would open up and drag her down into to its murky depths; but she couldn’t take it back, as she turned to leave the last thing imprinted in her mind was his wounded pride. 

 

Rose was in her room disgusted at the way she reacted to such a beautiful act, but it was no denying that it was truly what she had felt, but it just come out in the completely wrong way. As she laid her head back down on the pillow, looking past the ceiling and into her past, she began to realize why she reacted in such a strong way, she looked back into her relationship with her father, who grew more distant from her as the year developed, until eventually he seemed as they were mere strangers on a train, who due to circumstance had suffer a long train raid next to each other. She thought maybe her experiences with her father led her to think back to her relationship with Fiona, who could be seen as a person with a lot of ambition and convictions about what she wanted to achieve in life. Her law career always came first, but unfortunately it meant Rose was contently shoved to the side, relegated to the realm of after thoughts. At first it greatly frustrated Rose, but as the months developed she found herself harbouring  feelings that grew stronger for Fiona every passing day, to the extent that she just learned to accept playing second best, as long as it kept Fiona happy. But it seemed that in time, playing second best meant she had forgotten what it felt like to be showed with attention, to her it was the most foreign and alien of feelings.     

 

The following morning, Rose was awakening with probably the best call she had ever had in her life, a welcome relief from the plight of depression she was feeling the night before. Her editor had read up on her reports about Nairobi fashion week, which prompted her with a silly amount of enthusiasm to congratulate her interview with Keyshawn, which she claimed was the stand out high point of all Rose’s pieces throughout the week and possibly her career with Marie Claire. “We are going to run the interview piece as the lead for our next issue, we extremely excited, well done the issue is guaranteed to go flying of the shelves. I’m still wondering how the heck you pulled it off”. Rose was thinking the same exact thing, but then she remembered that if it wasn’t for Keonne getting the interview for her, then providing her the comfort to do the interview the best she could, she made her realize how much she had to thank him for, “I guess I might have just met some great people here” Said Rose with a smile slowly growing on her face. Once the call was over, Rose only had one thing on her mind, she had to thank and apologize to Keonne, he hadn’t done anything wrong, he’s only crime was that he was just to perfect; smart, successful, good looking, but most importantly he had a good heart, but no one should ever be punished for that, and she knew it. 

 

Sending over her last report on Nairobi fashion week, after the shows finale extravaganza, Rose took the taxi straight to Keonne house. But as she got there, the house keeper told her that Keonne had been called into work on emergency, so all Rose could do was wait on his step like a lost puppy waiting for it owner to come find it. It was a good 40 minutes before Rose could see an electric Volvo, holding a tired but surprised Keonne in the driving seat. Upon pulling the car up his drive way, “I’m really surprised to see you here” Said Keonne, “I know, I had a call from my boss this morning, she loved the interview, and she’s going to run with it as the lead for the next issue”.   Said Rose trying to sound as sweet and innocent as possible, “So I just came to say how sorry I was for being so rude yesterday, I’m just not.”

 

“It was too much right?” Said Keonne making his way to his door step, “Yeah I guess, but maybe I can take you out for dinner we could still have the left over’s from yesterday”. Said Rose, but there was no way Keonne could say no to such an adorable creature. As they spent the rest of the night sat down in front of the TV, watching reruns of old American sitcoms, Rose was committed to not allowing her insecurities getting in the way with having her time with Keonne. As they spent hours upon laughing at shows, she thought she was in the only person in the world who had a love affair with Saved By the Bell and The Fresh Prince, it took her by surprise that here was this guy, who was a wealthy doctor, who was best friends with fashion royalty on the other side of the world, who shared the exactly same sense of humour as her, it was a fantastic feeling. The rest of the night was like having a slumber party with a best friend you shared so much in common with, except the only difference lying in the fact that this was a best friend that she was equally both emotionally and sexually attracted too.

 

As the ending credits ran on the last episode of Friends, Rose reached for the TV remote and switched it off. “It better we stop it there, otherwise I could lose whole months to that show” said Rose in between a fit of giggles. “I probably agree, let’s just sit back and talk, actually one second”, with that Keonne quickly leapt from the sofa and disappeared in to another room, leaving Rose in the living room trying with all her might to think about something else besides kissing Keonne, something she yarned to do more than  a flower yarned to blossom. Keonne soon graced her presence again, expect this time he held a small bottle of wine and pair of glasses, he sat on the floor with them and gestured that Rose join him. “This needs a little something extra”, Keonne reached for the TV remote, pressing a large inviting red button; almost like a scene  straight out from Hogwarts, the TV suddenly slid into the stone wall it was mounted on, revealing a small fire place behind it. With one more push of the button, the fire place shot to life, illuminating brighter than the mid day sun. As the night wore on, Rose didn’t know if it was the wine, or the heat from the fire place, but her pulse began to quicken and as much as she tried, all she could now was think about kissing Keonne amongst other things. As he talked, her eyes were constantly trained on his plump lips like an eagle targeting its next pray, until Keonne leaned over her to pour them the last of the wine, allowing Rose to take in his intoxicating musk did her resolve finally evaporate.  

 

He could feel it, she could too, and they were both at their lustful peak. The temperature in the room intensified, reaching its almighty climax, when Keonne laid the bottle of wine to the side and placed his hand firmly behind Roses neck, bringing her lips to touch his ever so gently. Keonne moved his head back to take in her beauty one more time, allowing Rose to see the reflection of the fire dancing in his eyes and the way his skin almost seem to illuminate, causing it to look like expensive velvet. He brought her entire body into his, then carefully laid her on the hard wooden floor, which had heated to the right level, making laying on it just by itself such pleasurable experience. Which was further intensified when Keonne slowly unbuttoned his shirt, revealing a muscular tussle, which made her flood with adrenaline as she ran her hands down it leading to his belt buckle, which she undone then with little disregard ripped it out and through it to one side. Keonne placed his hand on her ankle, and then slowly drew his hand up her thigh, which caused all the hairs on the back of her neck stand up, begging for him not to stop. His hands eventually reached under her dress, and after lightly pulling off her blue lacy underwear half way, he bent down and used his teeth to finish the deed, after which he throw them to one hand side. Rose undid the buttons on her dress, allowing Keonne to tug it off, as the fabric rubbed against her bare skin eventually revealing her naked body, it felt extremely liberating for her as if she were a present being opened for the very first time. She had never been with a man, although she fantasised about it on many occasions, she had never meet one who seemed special enough to share her body with, but in Keonne large ruff hands she knew it was in the right hands now as they slowly explored her body, making sure to caress every inch of it along, stopping to gently messaged her breast as he simultaneously gradually eased himself into her. Rose couldn’t contain the squeals of unquantifiable pleasure from erupting from her mouth, but eventually the excitement grew so much that she could no longer utters screams of pleasure as Keonne deep thrusts rhythmic caused her body to contract as a pressure built up inside her. Until suddenly her body realised it all at once in one massive explosion, before her body grew limp as she succumbed to a surge of euphoria and ecstasy.

 

With the air still thick with love making, Keonne brought out a large blanket and draped it over Rose’s body, and again they were talking with the same vigour as they started the night with, only interrupted by spontaneous bursts of animalistic love making.  The next morning she woke up to a lovely note from Keonne thanking her for the night before, and he had placed it on a beautifully cooked breakfast, which she greatly need because her body from all the intercourse last night felt as if it had run a marathon, and eggs were a welcome relief to her growling stomach. From the distant her ears where quickly alerted to the screech of her mobile phone, thinking it might be Keonne or her boss, Rose quickly rushed over to it, but as she placed the receiver to her ear, she could physically feel the new world she had found herself in slowly crashing and disintegrating before her eyes, because the voice she could her on the other side of the phone was Fiona and she wanted Rose back.  

 

“Hey Rose, I heard you in Africa on the Fashion thing” Said Fiona who sniffled ridded voice made it obvious that she had been crying.

 

“Nairobi Fashion Week yeah it going great” Rose always hated the way Fiona never to a actual active interest in fashion, something she cared deeply about, and the way she always found some way of diminishing her work in some way.

 

“Well that great I’m so proud of you” Said Fiona  

 

“You don’t have to be nice to me, I left you at the altar so just say what you want to say to me, you hate me, slag me of, I deserve it!” Rose wasn’t expecting the abruptness in her tone, but she was pretty sure last night experience had ignited a new fire inside of her, and she liked it.

 

“Of course I don’t want to slag you off, but yeah I was left hurt and embarrassed in front of my whole family, I still feel it now, but it hurts even more that I can’t have you in my arms anymore and I miss that”

 

“Why are you being so nice, I hate myself for what I did to you, so why can’t you do the same to me” Said Rose with tears beginning to flood into her eyes.

 

“I can’t because I love you, Look I begged your mother to send me your address, If you want come back to me, I sent you a first class ticket to come back to England tomorrow, I’ll be waiting at the airport for you, look I hate to go, but I’ll be waiting for you, I love you ok”

 

The words felt like a ton of bricks being dropped on her from an impossible height, at the same time as all the air in the room was suddenly vacuumed up and as much as she gasped all longs remained empty. Just when she was slowly falling in love with someone new and amazing, Fiona had to come out of nowhere and distort Rose’s new calm lake of her heart and mind, turning it into a ravage raging river.

 

Returning back to the hotel, swinging the door open, just as promised a first class ticket back to London laid on top of her bed, almost mocking her as if the little piece of paper had the potential to control her destiny. She could stay here and see where the new exciting emerging love affair could take her, or go back to Fiona maybe her first real love. Rose spent the rest of the day, under her bed locked inside an internal tug of war, despite Keonne and her mother calling her numerous times, she wasn’t inside the right mind set to talk to any of them. The clouds rushed past the sky, the clocks hand spun around and her room was awash with activity as waiters came in and out to bring her food and cleaners came in to take the uneaten food out, but Rose was oblivious to all of it, tucked away in her own little world. It wasn’t until the sun set and a knock at a door, followed by a deep voice uttering her name, did Rose break free from her trance. It was Keonne.    

 

She tried to ignore him at first, but after a good 5 minutes, she couldn’t bear to leave him out there an longer, she opened the door and there he was with a little white rose in one hand a small bag of food from the local 5 star restaurant that Rose had told him yesterday that she would have died to eaten at. Walking into the hotel room and seeing both its state and Rose’s state that was a great deal of concern on his face, leaving her with no choice but to having to tell him everything.

 

Typical to what she had grown to expect from Keonne, he was as nice and understanding as he demeanour always portrayed, and she both loved that about him and hated it because it made the decision between him and Fiona all the more difficult.

 

“I can’t make your decision for you, all I can ask is that we can at least spend a wonderful night together, and whatever happens tomorrow happens, and at least we know we spent that last couple of days with someone special. Said Keonne, sat next to Rose on the bed, at the sweetly ran his hand through her hair, whilst the other one was interlocked with hers. Most of the night they spent in silence, in appreciation of each other’s calming and reassuring effect on the other, with the quiet hum of the Nairobi street life soothingly playing in the background. They gave in to their lustful peak again that night, the love making was a passionate as the night before, but this time there was  a solemnise in the air as the love making at the moment was almost a gesture of good bye rather than fulfilment of animalistic desires. 

 

She woke up that morning with Keonne still laid by her side; she reached over for the ticket and held it in her hands. She opened the draw and placed the ticket in it and laid back down as she wrapped Keonne’s arms around herself. Rose didn’t know where this thing with Keonne would take her, all she did know was it was the start of a new phase in her life, it was the opening of the crystallise that would allow this little white rose to blossom on her own for the first time, giving her the new fresh start she always wanted. 

 

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