I turned out the light and was asleep before I even hit my pillow. My two-hour siesta on the extended bus ride from Mombasa left me feeling more ogre than beauty queen, and I planned to sleep the day away to try and remedy that. It was nine o’clock in the morning, but I figured that Dar es Salaam could wait. I was exhausted. I needed sleep now.
No sooner had my head touched down, then a knock roused me back to the land of the living.
“Ugh,” I grumbled to myself. “No.”
I scrunched my eyes more firmly shut and whimpered, “Why!”
I needed sleep! I debated ignoring the knock. I figured that it was the good Samaritan that had saved my sanity and decency on the bus. He had just dropped me back at the hostel, with a promise to return later. I feared that perhaps he was smitten though and wanted to make later more like sooner. That attitude wasn’t much of a repayment for all the niceties that he had shown me though. He had even bought me breakfast. I felt like an ingrate, shrinking away from his presence.
With a sigh I gave in, and went to the door just as a second knock cheerily tapped on the frame. I pulled the door open and stopped. The frown on my face melted instantly. As I stood there numbly, I gazed up into the smiling face of a red-haired giant. At 6’3”, this stranger immediately dazzled me with his beautiful, green/hazel eyes. His smile lit up his face, as he explained that he had seen my name on the register when he signed in. His thick South African accent charmed me back to fully awake, and I found myself shyly smiling back at this beautiful man. He wondered if I would be interested in a wander around Dar with him, to discover all that it had to offer. I don’t know if I can say that I was instantly in love, but damn I was close! A sleep-deprived, silly grin accompanied my assurance that I would love to step out on the town with him.
“Neale,” he said, as he introduced himself with extended hand.
Yeah, I was pretty darn near in love right then. I would wander to the ends of the earth with him, but a little piece of my brain reminded me that I was sorely lacking in sleep and perhaps not able to make the best decisions right now. While I did know that I very much wanted to spend more time with this handsome specimen, I also knew that I really needed to sleep. My sentences fumbled and I gave in to my sleep-addled brain. I wasn’t going to let this temptation get away from me though. I promised that with a few hours of sleep, I would gladly poke through the deepest darkest corners that Dar had to offer. He acquiesced with a nod and promised to come back in a few hours to wake me.
“See you soon Neale,” I waved sleepily to him. Sleep beckoned, but dream-land was now filled with visions of promise that I looked forward to in earnest.