Unspeakable Acts —Elaine Bonow

Unspeakable Acts
The plane landed, after a turbulent hop from Miami to Montego Bay. It was the end of hurricane season. She decided to make the trip on the spur of the moment. She had to get away before she did the unspeakable, which would change her life forever.
Madeline reached up and grabbed her bag from the overhead bin and exited the plane parked outside on the tarmac. The heat sucked the breath right out of her body.
She left him behind, and the cold winter that had been so confining, so claustrophobic, so deadening to her spirit, dousing her fire. He was happy alone with his work to keep him busy, his routine that never changed, just like in the movie “Topper,” where the mild mannered banker was controlled by his routine until the frisky ghost of Marian, the fun loving capricious society girl captured him and changed his life.
Maddy had such a vague memory of fun now, married for so long that her younger self was a dull aching memory of agirl who once was the life of the party, a girl who has almost disappeared into staid middle-class-ness.
Maddy jumped at the invitation to spend two weeks in Jamaica, a place she had last visited before her husband had turned into his present incarnation of staid business man concerned with the status quo. He had arrived and was satisfied, proud of his possessions especially of his wifely possession but not proud enough to let go and get full enjoyment from his hard-earned prizes.
Maddy could feel the heat through the soles of her shoes, the asphalt so hot it was like a kids spongy playfield. She wasn’t used to see so many black faces in charge of things. She dragged herself through customs and ignored the lascivious looks of the uniformed guards, the whites of their eyes rimmed in red, a cartoon of black face, which seemed shockingly wrong.
Lois sent a car and driver to get her through the town and into the hills. The heat was unrelenting until she got into the air-conditioned SUV. The road was crowded with cars, mopeds, and pedestrians. Along the sidewalks, school children walked in groups, their clean uniforms creating a wave along the side of the road of white shirts and dark blue pants and skirts accented by tidy ties, books in brown satchels and matching brown lace-up shoes atop white ankle socks.
She felt dizzy from the trip and the heat. The driver pulled over to an open-air stand and bought back a cold can of coconut juice and a straw. She drank greedily and felt slightly nauseous but soothed.
They traveled at a fast pace as he carefully threaded the car through the busy city and up into the green lush hills above the Montego Bay. On the switchbacks, the blue bay outlined by the white sand, interposed between the canopy of the lush forest, was breathtaking.
After what seemed like eternity the cab reached the house. Perched spectacularly on an impossible cliff it looked inviting. Lois wasn’t home yet but a tall dark skinned woman with a severe expression welcomed Maddy. Her hair was braided and she wore a pale blue dress with a white round collar.
She showed Maddy her room. Tired from the trip and exhausted by the heat, Maddy took off her clothes and without redressing lay on top of the bed. A large fan whirred overhead and she dropped off into a dreamless sleep.
When she woke she was immediately aware of her nakedness and alone as she was felt a bit embarrassed. The sun had lowered and she was also aware of certain sensuality in the very air that swirled around her from the overhead fan. She heard voices and sensed movement from the house. Maddy dressed in a pair of white Capri’s and a lightweight shirt and followed the murmuring voices to a veranda overlooking the sea.
“Welcome, welcome Maddy. I see you found us. How was your trip? It’s so good to see you in person and not on the Internet.” Lois grabbed and hugged Maddy to her. “Here meet my friends, Patrick, Celine, we call her Ce Ce and you met Theresa when you arrived.”
Maddy recognized Theresa who had changed into shorts and a pink silk shirt. Ce Ce reminded Maddy of an older Lois and then she remembered that Lois had mentioned her aunt would be visiting the same weekend.
Patrick stood up as Maddy came towards the table and offered her the seat next to him. “Please, sit here beside me.”
The sun was starting to set. The sky, darkened into a turquoise hue, was reflected in the crystal waters below. The house was perfectly situated with a spectacular view. Maddy could hear waves crash below her. She thought they were high in the hills but just then Lois said, “Yes, that is the beach below. There are one hundred steps down to my private little beach. We’ll go down tomorrow.”
“Wow, how did you read my mind?”
“Oh no, I’m no psychic! Everyone has the same look you have when they get here and hear the surf.”
“It is quite charming isn’t it?” Patrick said. “You’ll have a wonderful time here at Chez Lois. I came to Montego Bay about twenty years ago and stayed. I live here now, just up the road.”
“Yes, Patrick has gone native. He operates the best Ital food joint near here deep in the forest.”
“Do you want a drink dear? I’ll make you a beautiful cocktail to toast the sunset. How about a lovely Chi Chi?”
Ce Ce got up, performed her magic and returned with a pitcher of a creamy concoction and five glasses. “This is delicious.” Maddy said after a toast to her new friends and the beautiful surroundings. “It tastes like coconut and pineapple and…”
“Rum of course good Jamaican Rum.” Patrick added and clinked his glass with Maddy’s.
Maddy relaxed in the warm night air. Theresa brought out some snacks from inside the house. It became obvious that Theresa and Lois were lovers, something Maddy never expected, when they shared a kiss and a giggle. They soon retired leaving Maddy in the company of Ce Ce and Patrick. Ce Ce brought out a glass pipe, filled it with, as she put it, “Some Irae weed.”
One puff and Maddy was high. It had been years since she had smoked, since they had smoked or had any fun. She started feeling giddy, a bit topsy-turvy. Her phone rang. That roused her into the now from the Out of Nowhere and she answered the phone. “Hello Dear.”
He asked her about her trip. She got up to stand away from the others. He sounded in usual form, dry in tone with just enough emphasis to seem interested although she could easily imagine that he was relieved to have her gone, to have the time to himself, his routine and his rules without her.
She felt better now after the interruption, not so stoned. Ce Ce had somehow slipped away. Maddy felt relieved like a weight lifted from her shoulders, and also a bit guilty in this uncommon feeling of freedom. A slow reggae beat joined the breeze from the sea.
Patrick came towards her and made a short bow. “May madam have a dance with me?” She fell in his arms and was pleasantly surprised when he could lead her body so quietly and easily, like they had done this before. She couldn’t remember the last time she had slow danced. This made her ecstatic and so thrilled she knew she had to slow down, to watch herself or suffer the consequences.
Patrick let her go. He kept the beat with his body and to her absolute surprise he started singing along with the music. Maddy sat back and closed her eyes. She could feel his presence when he sat in the chair opposite her. She liked him even though she just met him. She felt like a character in a WE Channel daytime movie.
Something has to be wrong with this picture. Maybe Lois had planned something and hadn’t told her. She studied him with half closed eyes. Yes, he was perfectly suitable. She wouldn’t fall in love. She will forget all about him when she goes home. She won’t make a fool of herself.
Patrick liked this part of his life, working for Lois. She carefully picked women and the women friends of friends through Facebook and Twitter, who needed a fix, a fix as strong as a drug but better for the soul by far. He found most of them to be delightful. He enjoyed loving them for a short while.
Maddy decided then and there to do the unspeakable. She didn’t want to miss a second of fun. She got up from her chair and without hesitating straddled the strong brown legs of the stranger in front of her and smothered his face in kisses.


About bbcstudiowrites

This blog is me archiving the BBC Studio Writers Workshop.

Posted on April 14, 2014, in Fiction, Seattle, Short Stories and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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