Unfinished business

She has unfinished business
She walks into the garden restaurant
Her black jeans; black jacket and black shoes
Her lips a bright red
Her black clutch bag in her right hand
She is ready for the mission
The manager nods at her as she walks up to him with an open smile

She nods at him
And heads straight to one of the deep chairs next to the gas heater

Will this be warm enough she asks as if to herself
The manager answers in the affirmative
She bursts out laughing
A little embarrassed, she had forgotten the manager was still following her behind
She was having this conversation in her mind
She was talking to “him”
Reliving their first evening at the garden restaurant

The “Africa band” playing as it was on that evening that she still remembers in her mind
The manager smiles
He assumes she speaks to him
He politely pulls the chair for her and she sinks in and pulls her jacket around her
“Cold?”, asks the manager
A little she responds sinking into gloom
Nothing a warm jiko won’t sort out, the manager all so helpful quips
A jiko appears as if by magic
She smiles as she hears “his” voice those many weeks as he asked the manager then to bring a jiko on her side to keep her warm
“To cover the side where my arm does not reach” he had said lovingly
I could never be cold with you next to me
She had responded as she snuggled next to him
She looked deep into his warm loving eyes
And felt safe and protected and loved

Today she snuggles deeper into the couch
The manager looks at her and asks
“Is he coming”
No she says sadly, he has travelled today it’s just me
“And my memories” she said under her breath
The manager looks at her with understanding and  she almost burst into tears
“Should I bring the menu madam?:

No, she shakes her head
Please bring the usual; a plate of salmon  for me and beef fillet for him with chilli on the side;
He likes chilly
Oh and the usual bottle of wine

The manager hesitates
“But you said he is not coming?”

No but today is  our anniversary so I will eat for both of us
The manager bows respectfully and melts away into the darkness
She smiles and looks around as the band strikes : Malaika
She smiles and remembers another time another place when the same song was played and he sent her a  message
“Nakupenda malaika”…..mission accomplished

She came in today to hold on to the memory of their love
And she succeeded
It seems even the heavens conspired to help her celebrate
the band
The music and the manager saying
“Your usual bottle madam”
He poured and she toasted to the love and the memory so real that she could see him salute her back
“To us ”
She said and smiled into the night


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