Sada walked blithely along the dark alley, her thin red heels clicked smartly on the concrete. Comfortable in darkness, her steady gait never wavered even as a cat suddenly streaked in front of her. She wore unrelieved red; with a full billowing skirt and tight bodice that left her shoulders bare and her back framed. Unconcerned about the cold breeze ruffling her short cap of untamed curly black hair, she swung and waved her hand lightly as though leading an invisible orchestra in a silent concerto in her head.
She rounded the corner and the alley opened up to a moonlit square. A gust of wind played with her skirt, showing short glimpses of her long legs.
That was how he saw her – billowing skirt and dancing hair – as he stood waiting beside a door across the square. Images of dark rooms and foggy windows crept into his mind as he watched her walk toward him. In his mind’s eye he saw twisted sheets, tangled limbs, and soft skin. With every inhale he smelled her scent – a flowery, spicy scent that speaks volumes about the woman.
The woman, the body, is no stranger to him. But more than that, he thought, I know you.
He knows that her air of arrogance is a mask to hide a sensitivity and need to be accepted. He knows that she paid with more than money for that beautiful narrow face with high angular cheekbones. He was there, a couple of years ago, tending to her and wondering why she would want to put herself through weeks of pain for a new face when the one she was born with was already beautiful.
He thought, I know you.
He knows that underneath the sheen of sophistication is a simple woman who finds pure happiness in a simple sunset. That those full wide lips (hers; it is the only part of her face that remained untouched) that seems to only smile slyly or cruelly can be kind. That the alabaster skin almost luminescent under the moonlight is warmer than it seems.
He thought, I know you.
He knows that she is very talented at putting up masks. That she can switch between being the angel or devil or, anything in between really, faster than it would take to snap a finger. That she can be who and what is required for her to be. But he knows that even if she smiles and laughs all night, her deep hazel eyes will always give her away.
He knows her. Better than she thought he did. Better than anyone. Better than she does herself.
He watched as she walked toward him, his eyes racing over her; her knowing eyes, her full red lips, and the smooth valley of her skin. Every corner, every smooth plane, every soft crevice, down to her painted toenails. Exploring her. Watching her move, feeling the energy pulsing from her.
He could almost touch her now. There was a pain in his gut that was like a longing, a memory. She stopped in front of him and looked at him with hazel eyes so full of amusement. ““Good evening, Horus.””
He smiled and turned to open the door. His body taut, his senses intoxicated by her scent, he watched her step into the doorway, look up the staircase, and tilt her head questioningly.
““Go on up, Miz Sada, the boss is upstairs.”” And with that, he pulled the door shut and stood once again, out in the night.