If an alabastron could open.
*He carried his whole life around in his Volkswagen .*
Mr Peter was an uncommon human being. Life had left him few,if any at all,friends.
He had a soft almost bulging belly that was ever present,whether he was well fed,or not-which was more than often the case.
In his lovely blue vehicle, Peter drove around,his back hunched and his bright green eyes peering at the empty wide roads of his hometown through round red rimmed glasses.
“What am I doing today?”
“Well,Dad,you’re working. As you always do.”
A loving voice spoke from behind the thickness of a pile of papers,She shoved moulding pillows to the side and rosy cheeks appeared by her father’s side.She complimented his smooth bald face with a kiss.
The car came to a delicate halt and his daughter squiggled out of the car,her cobalt scarf fighting against the violent wind to keep up with her long legs as she raced into the red bricked school building.
Mara was the only proof he needed that God existed.
Speaking of God,I need some help,I really hope this presentation goes well, I’m on my last lap.
Jeez I’m hungry .
“Hey,Sylvester I wanted to fi..”
“Peter I’m sorry,we can’t do it,but please do join me for breakfast, we can draw something else up,look nice.”
“Look,It’s about that 16 year old of yours,think about her.”
“I’m on my way Slyvie I just have to make a quick stop first.”
“Peter,it’s a great thing you’re doing,I don’t know how many other men could handle your life,even myself,you’ve got to make it.”
His car sailed smoothly enough above well tarred roads and Mr Peter drew up before his former pretty pink house,his Mrs. lay sprawled across a lawn chair with a cigarette dying out between her bony fingers.
“hello, Kaito.” his fedora balanced on the veranda,revealing a head flowered thickly with a mass of tight black curls.
“Peter” the sound of his name from her pale lips told of a parched throat,and longing soul, “So nice of you to visit,I promise you soon I’ll be better,and Amara and you and me,we can be one again.”
“Kaito,I won’t deceive you,I don’t know whether that will ever be possible.” Mr. Peter replaced his hat firmly on his head. “It’s cold,why aren’t you inside?”
“My doctor said it’s best not to smoke in the house,because of all the,you know.”
“ I know,so drop the cigarette and let’s go in,I’ll cook you something before I leave.”
Kaito rose slowly from her macabre position,her left leg,then her right,then everything else all at once,she sauntered behind Peter in jeans that once hugged her so beautifully,now she was little more than skeleton,both in soul and in body.
Even in all her weakness you could tell from a mile a way that she was a beautiful woman,even though her lips cracked when she smiled and her coffee skin didn’t glisten as the years before,Kaito was a masterpiece,Peter clenched his fist as he strolled into the place that had once been such a loving home.
Where did it all go wrong?
Peter sat opposite his separatee and watched her chew toast which had been overwhelmed with butter, he thought of the former years,Kaito would never touch anything which was not fruit or vegetable,the time where she so desperately wished her full figure away.
Peter smiled as he remembered his last birthday,how Kaito had surprised him with an expensive dinner and a scarlet dress,if one had told him it was possible for love to be stolen so easily,he would have disagreed passionately.
But that was then.
“How is my baby?”
“Mara is fine,She has grown very tall and beautiful now, like you.I might have to take her to my sisters this night,she has choir practice after school,we might get home too late.”
Kaito smiled,her eyes twinkled,she swore in her heart on her life that she would be better,she was going to be a mother again and a wife again,never would she destroy everything she had built with her own hands again.She found herself almost..almost,praying.
“Peter thank you so much,for everything.I’m sorry,for everything,I didn’t mean to,It was all too much for me.”
“Kaitochi I’m sorry too,I’m sorry that I love you so much,but you don’t love me and that you never did.”
“I might not now,but Heaven knows Peter,you’ve been good,and when I can,I’ll love you desperately.”
For the first time in perhaps years they had discussed something deeper than medicine,phone bills and Amaras rapidly increasing height.They had mentioned love,that which broke them apart.
“Peter,my man!” Joshua extended his right hand which was cuffed with crisp white.His dark grey suit had been almost perfectly tailored to suit his relatively “herculean” stature.
“Joshua.Leave the derisive speech for today.” Peter forced a wry smile.
“Business isn’t going well?Oh,wait, there’s no business!”Joshua made for his office,prowling,but not before he bumped Peter’s shoulder and commanded dryly,“Watch yourself.There’s only one room for a salesman here,and you’re looking at him.”
Sylvester hurried in,adjusting the silvery button of his soft collar navy suit and the entire office of L-shaped desks,grey-jacketed men and red lipped women straightened out,
“Good morning Mr Piles!”and the others echoed.
Sylvester grabbed Peter’s right bicep — one which was not much of a bicep at all,and he rushed him away from onlookers.
“You look,decent,enough.We’re going to a partner’s,I need to close this deal,if at all you’ve been deliberating anything other than your best,forget them now.”
Mr. Piles stopped abruptly and turned and faced the city below him through a large glass wall.The sun wasn’t too far away and it complimented the landscape browns and golds and whites of buildings an hours drive away,so pleasantly soiled by cold red sand.
“Peter,it’s not easy living so large and seeing others so small,I haven’t forgotten that there is hunger down there.”
“I know you haven’t.” But Peter knew very well that the true Sylvester-the-caring was long gone.
The two men strolled into the lift,Peter — by the lines on his cream coloured face — appeared well advanced in years over Mr Piles who was as fresh as an apple,though,they were the same age.
“My car,or yours?” Peter joked.
The chauffeur ushered both men,into a C-Class, and offered Peter a sympathetic nod before he went on his way.
The roads of this side of town were smoother, the home’s and offices —taller, glassier and glossier.
Peter stroked the window and was brought back to awareness when he eavedropped Piles who was in the driver’s seat call his wife and mention lovingly he was going out of town due to an emergency.
Piles cut the line. “women eh?”
Peter looked ahead in silence,and wished he even had a home to call,talk less of a loving wife to lie to.
He was not going to tell Piles to stop cheating on his wife,or that his wife deserved better.He wasn’t going to beg his friend to save his marriage,the pain of watching another person toy with what he craved so desperately overwhelmed him so he surrended to silence.
The day was getting warmer,but it was still chilly.
“Pete,I think we’ll be skipping breakfast today.” Piles suggested.He observed the bags below his friends weary eyes and then reconsidered saying, “Actually let’s eat.Now.”
“Peter,where are you staying?”
“At my sisters.”
“Well kiddo we’re going to meet a partner — and a somewhat friend,his name is James Macabre,his wife is Joselyn.Expect crappy behavior,but he’s got stacks,what you need right now.”
Peter shook his head.
How did he get here?
Piles drew up to a kfc drive-thru, “We’ll get more at James and Joselyns’, eat up for now.”
The next twenty minutes passed uneventfully except when Slyvester screamed at cars that moved too slowly.Otherwise,there wasn’t much other talk apart from Piles learning how much of a jerk James would be.
But he was met with far worse at five minutes into the late morning when a seven feet oak coloured door swung open to reveal a tanned man in silk trousers who jogged on the spot determinedly.
“Hey Dean,what’s up?”Amara adjusted her lunch tray to create space for her best friend.
Dean turned sideways to show off his newly styled hair, “Appreciate.Appreciate!”
Amara bubbled out laughter and clapped like a seal,
“You finally got it done!”She reached out to outline the blonde highlights Dean had gotten in his curly afro,the sides of his head were faded, Dean almost looked cute!
“Are we still on for tonight?”
“heempch yeah!”Amara responded with a mouth stuffed with cheesy chicken br ead.
“how was your history paper?”
“don’t worry,we’ll ace the next one.”She swallowed.
“you aren’t eating?”
“Ew no way, I’m trying to watch my figure!”Dean outlined his “hips” and flipped his imaginary waist length hair.And the two friends collapsed into laughter.
“Sylvester Piles,jeez James,you’ve known me for years!”
“Sure thing Anthony!Who’s the friend?”James slammed the door behind his visitors and jogged ahead of them to his spacious backyard.
“Ooohh Fancy!an associate!” He shrilled not leaving out jazz hands.”Nice to meet you Pete!”
James snorted and slapped his knee “meet! Pete! you gotta love me!”
“Yeah because we need your money,” Piles muttered behind a bright smile.
“Joselyn!We got guests baby!”he screamed at a wonderful French style balcony.James slammed his tanned palms together and adjusted his sunglasses, simultaneously reclining on an electrically warmed bench. “Now what can I do for you gentlemen?”
“well James,we’re here to close the deal,our shipment’s due in a couple of weeks,we need this to be confirmed before we can get our permit”
“Three hundred and fourty six thousand,one point two a-piece”
He turned to Peter “what do you think?worth it?” his voice was smooth like melted butter but still very much deep and demanding.
“Definitely Sir,worth every penny,and unlike most companies,all our dealings are secure and perfectly legal,you won’t have to worry about any trouble from the law”and Peter cleared his throat.
“I see,you heard about the law suit,that’s exactly what I need to hear. Give me an hour to look over the contract, my lawyer’s right upstairs working.”James rose and slid his arms into a pastel pink sweater. “ I’ll drop you off at the kitchen,get some food and hang in the leather parlour,on the right.”
He headed for the stairs.
“See you in an hour!” Piles called after him excitedly.
“Hey Mara babygirl!” Peter swung his daughter off the concrete steps. “Guess what?”
“Jeez Dad! Not here!”
He roared in laughter and headed for the car, “sometimes I forget how big you’re getting!”
“Dad.What’s going on?” Amara shut the door behind her, shivering with excitement.
“Well nothing much,look in the back.”
All their belongings were gone.
“ you’ve already dropped our stuff off at auntie’s?”
“Well…something like that.” And he started driving,it was 5pm, “You’ll see baby girl,you’ll see.”
“How was choir practice?”
As they drew up to a brightly painted greek-style house.
It wasn’t HUGE but it was something,something serious.
“Papba,where are we?”Amara only called him this childhood name when she was either terrified or ecstatic.
Now she was both,because she had known no stable home for a year. And this meant all the times she knelt down in prayer with Dean encouraging her to go on,God was listening.
The realization dawned on her like the smell of brown sugar cinnamon rolls bursting through a café window.Thickly powerful yet gentle and sweet.
“Mara baby,are you okay?”
“Papba…”Her voice trailed as her eyes swelled.
Her father had not announced it was theirs. But the twin balconies and rooftop garden gave it away.This was the house she had been promised,since..since..since she could remember.
Three weeks into the new house,a call came in from Kaitochi.
“Amara guess what?”
“Pete, I’m in church!”she giggled like the school girl she was when she first met Peter.
“Well that’s good,that’s nice Kaitochi.”
“I’ve changed! I can’t explain it! I’m fine now Peter,I’m free!I’m no longer held by any cha.”
He had heard it before. Saturday morning was too early for Kaito to be distributing false hope.
On the other side of the disconnected line was a broken heart. Kaito clung to the church phone releasing tears unto her bare face.She dragged herself down the wall beside her and looked up to the ceiling.
Lord I believe I’ve been changed,Christ I believe all these wonderful things I’ve heard and seen about you.I believe I am different,new.
The words caught in her throat.
But I need my daughter.I need my husband.PLEASE I KNOW THEY LOVE ME BUT THEY DON’T TRUST ME.
Her voice rang with passion and hurt.
Christ help them to trust me.please.I need them to trust me.
She receeded into a sobbing pile.
Two years later Kaito would dance into her home.
She passed away in her sleep half a year after her daughter’s 20th birthday.
She had called out to angels and explained that they filled her room.
It should have destroyed Amara,but it didn’t.
It was miracle enough that she had known her mother before she passed.
Pain washed over their house like a flood but didn’t stay long as Dean proposed to Amara.
They would be getting married in a year and a half.
And there you have the tale of the wonderful alabastron that opened in the life of Mr Peter Peterson.
The miracle was not delayed,but was patient,and the vision did not lie in the end.
Surpise! you never knew whether he was called his name or surname.