Monday, April 4, 2011

Eye Candy

I turned this way and that in front of the mirror. The dress was pretty tight. No, scratch that. The dress was skin tight. A leopard print mini to be exact. With high heels to complete the image. Oh my.
“You look great,” Debbie said.
It was her clothes that I was wearing, so I am not surprised that she felt that way. I was a lot more skeptical though. I had never worn a leopard-print anything before and wasn’t sure if it was really my style. The look in Ian’s eyes told me that I must have been working the outfit pretty good though. He wanted to take me to "The Tube".
“Let’s  do your makeup now,” Debbie gushed.
“Oh Lord, help me through this night!” I prayed to myself.
There was no room for negotiation. Before I could protest the transformation, we were out the door.
Ian’s smile was wide as he waltzed me into the club. I was a prize trophy in my vampy dress. As he strutted around with me on his arm, I tired of the game though. I had a hard time playing Ian’s girlfriend. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings, but any dreams of a real relationship sparking, were slim to none. He apparently wasn’t willing to take no for an answer though. For my part, I obviously wasn’t doing much of a job of deterring those thoughts for him. Certainly not by allowing myself to play seductive mistress. He was cute and his dogged persistence wore me down. It had been a long time since I had received such flattering attention and there was enough of me liking it to keep the charade going. It wasn’t destined to last.
By the end of the evening, I tired of Ian’s childish antics.  He had become sullen when I left him to talk to Deon and Phil. I could feel other male eyes devouring me as well. It was fun and I relished the attention, but Ian was almost petulant when I refused to go home with him at the end of the night. He felt that I was his date and somehow owed him something, but I refused to give in. I was not his woman.
As the days passed, it only got worse. He was hanging around the hostel constantly and dripping off of me every chance he got. People kept asking me what was going on, but I had my sights set on moving on again. I knew I was hurting him, but questioned how he could have ever thought to put himself into the situation of hooking up with a backpacker. My money belt was forever growing thinner and I had to do something about it. There was no option at any point to stay, and I tried to tell Ian that he shouldn’t get so involved with me. It wasn’t until I got the training trip planned, that he realized all was lost. I was leaving.
A five-week training trip to Nairobi lay ahead of me. I would be leaving behind my adventures in backpacking, and two weeks spent in Harare with friends and weird relationship statuses. Till the end, Ian hoped to win me over, but his struggles were for naught. My Harare boyfriend would become nothing but a memory of fun and frivolity that was tainted by his young dreams of love. The attention buoyed up my ego though, and I looked forward to the new adventure that lay ahead.

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