A Dance with Death

She smiled as she remembered the night it all began. He was so handsome and danced like there was no tomorrow. The music played softly in the background and the full moon cast a spell on the slow moving tightly embraced couple. That was truly a night designed especially for lovers, life, love and laughter, she thought.

“You have the sweetest and deepest brown eyes I have ever seen on anyone,” he said looking intently into her shy eyes, and gently running his fingers up her exposed back. She was pleased and felt a flush of pleasure spread on her face. “The way you say it I could almost believe you,” she said softly.
“Believe me, I speak true,” he whispered into her ear.
“Is this what you say to all inexperienced farm girls like me?” she quipped feeling suddenly daring.
“Life generally gives fortunate people three things, a good heart, a good mind and a brilliant smile but you life gave one more – the most beautiful eyes in the universe,” he said in an intimate mesmerizing tone.

He smiled that cute smile of his- his gold tooth glinted in the soft light and she felt like heaven was here and now and all that mattered was this precious moment.

“O thank you Emily for lending me the evening gown,” she thought as she buried her face against the cashmere dinner jacket he wore ever so elegantly.

“No! She said,” breathlessly.
“You were created for love and this night is the night,”
“No..Please,’ she whispered. She was torn between two strong emotions one refusing the other agreeing.
“You are special. The minute I laid eyes on you I knew. There is no one in the whole world for me but you. My sorry life began when I looked into your eyes,” he said softly kissing her gently on her eyelids.
“If you say no my life will end and end right now. My heart says yes my body says yes the night says yes and I know yours says the same. Please… let’s not waste this special moment,” he said as he kissed her bared shoulder while undoing the clasp on her low cut evening gown.

“No …no…no,” she whispered but she knew she had surrendered herself to the passion that burned in her veins. The heat spread from her un-tampered groin and enveloped her like a raging inferno; the tendrils of her raging passion stifled all reason.
“Do you love me?” she asked her breath hot and moist her eyes glazed.
“Could I ever love anyone else after looking into your eyes,” he said as his lips eagerly sought her hardened nipple.

She abandoned herself to the night and its message of wild passion. “What of precautions against aids?” a voice whispered from the back of her mind. “No, not him he’s not the type,” her passion replied.

After a few seconds of pain and discomfort she felt her body accept him.

“That will be all Mr. Davidz,” said the doctor to his patient.
“And ….?” The patient asked his voice asking questions beyond the stated one.
“If you take your medicine religiously and exercise regularly you will be as fit as the proverbial fiddle!” replied the doctor.
” You are aware that the cost of the new drug is pretty steep,” said the doctor.
“Who cares, doc. Our family has enough money to set up a major pharmaceutical company and still have money to spare. Forget cost, just keep me healthy. That is what I, so generously, pay you for,” he said as he strapped on his expensive wristwatch.
“Are you taking precautions?”
“I’m as careful as they are!” he said casually. The harsh fluorescent light glinted off his gold tooth as he smiled a smile that women considered cute and irresistible.
The doctor was troubled but providing care tothe Davidz family helped pay for the newer bigger house his wife had bought. ” The devil and the deep blue sea” was what came to mind when he thought of his dilemma.

Where was he now?, she wondered as a cough wracked her fragile, wasted body.
“What squalor,” thought the priest sadly as he entered the room of the dying woman.
“She’s still lucky the priest is praying for her after bringing disgrace to our village,” said the old crone. “They open their legs for every man that looks at them twice. She deserves it.”

“Hush Tembi, you’ve become a harsh and unfeeling old woman. You forget that you too were young and made your mistakes in your time. Remember Charles?”
“That was different. Times have changed and this one can infect the whole village, why must we die because of her lust? I still don’t know why you feel pity for her, she must carry the burden of her own error.”

She heard the muted discussions of the village women, the soft recitation of the priest but it didn’t matter anymore. What was loudest in her mind were the questions, “where is he now? did he really love me? Why did he dance in and out of my life? Is he all right or..?”
With these questions unanswered she gave a soft sigh and expired.

As the small gathering dispersed from the lonely grave with one fast-wilting flower on it, an expensive car pulled up and an elderly man stepped out. He stood over the grave and cried bitterly, he took out his yarmulke, placed it on his head and prayed fervently.

In another part of town the music played softly and the young woman nervously touched up her make-up.
“May I,” offered a soft seductive voice.
“What?” she asked surprised.
“Dance!” he said.
“With me?”
“With no one else in the whole wide world,” he answered and smiled.
She hesitantly offered her hand and stood up.
“If you refused my world would have ended right here right now,” he said and smiled, the soft light glinting off his gold tooth.

The man with the yarmulke sat in the darkened room his mind re-playing the events of the past day.

“Today I went to the grave of the third one. Your son is a killer.”
” No it can’t be him, they were loose women.”
“I have investigated and the women were all young and people of good standing. He is picking them.”
“No, no he is just sick and perhaps, accidentally infecting them.”
“The doctor says different, it is deliberate. It is murder and nothing less.”
“He’s just a baby. He doesn’t know what he is doing.”
” His victims are someone’s babies too. He knows exactly what he is doing. This must stop before more people die. When I stood over the grave of that young woman something in me died and I knew what had to be done.”
“No, no, no! There must be another way.” She whispered desperately as she looked into his determined eyes
” There is no other way!”
As he closed he door behind him he left her sobbing into her hands. “My child my child my only child. O god, help us all.”

The door burst open casting a shaft of light into the darkened room. The man with the gold tooth kissed the laughing girl passionately and switched on the light.
“Dad!” he exclaimed as he saw a man stand up and raise his arm.
“I am your son,” he said with rising fear.
“No! My son is dead. He died the day he started deliberately infecting people with this deadly disease!” said the elderly man with the yarmulke as he pulled the trigger.

This short story is in memory of my friend and comrade Bonginkosi Sahkile.
“Just another victim of time”
May it make a difference.

February 3rd, 2004 by