Deep Down Under
Tailor Burdigan tried as much as he could to see Candy in the days that followed, she turned him down several times using one excuse or the other; after numerous calls, text messages and a bit of persuasion, Candy agreed to go out on a date with him.
A black limousine was parked in front of the house, Tailor arrived around 7:30pm to pick her up; about three hours before he arrived he had already mailed a dress to her address. Candy looked elegant in it and as she walked down to the limo, his attention was on the smile she wore than the dress she had on. She mesmerised him with her looks and he just could not but expressed how he felt seeing her, both in his words and actions.
They left with two of his bodyguards in front. The cork of the champagne bottle popped.
“I’ve always wanted to do that!” he said, “Some say it’s the evidence of good living, but I say good health is all one needs to be called a wealthy fellow!”
The classic interior of the limo was something Candy had never seen before and they both seemed to be very excited. Candy sipped the wine leaving her red lipstick on the glass, she appeared too modest in his eyes; not like the rest of the girls who paraded themselves around him because of his wealth, and he liked the fact that she did not see him the way the rest did, well, that’s what he thought.
“I felt like the restless sea, just couldn’t wait to see you again!” said Tailor, “So, how has work been?”
“Just cool, a bit hectic though,” she replied, “You know…usual hassle!”
“What’s your favourite colour? Just curious,” he asked.
“Of all the things you would ask me,” she laughed, “why don’t we talk about that some other time,” as she moved from the seat opposite him, “and not a damn word about Touzhius Alejandre tonight, please!” she gently rested her head on his shoulders.
“You started it!” said Tailor as they both laughed, “What is Touzhius Alejandre? Hey waiter, can I have one plate of Touzhius Alejandre and a bottle of coke?” he joked then kissed her on the forehead.
“Shut up, I’m just trying to remind you not to lift the curtains of dawn on the dusk!”
“I have no idea why I just could not take you off my mind ever since the last time I saw you,” he said.
“You talked too much the other day,” she jested, “I can’t remember ever standing that long to listen to anybody divulge such info.”
Deep inside, she just could not wait to watch him beg for his life in her hands. Candy could tell she had caught him off-guard.
They got to La meilleure cuisines a chic restaurant and bar with wraparound windows and striped marble floors facing the ocean, one of Tailor’s favourite spots.
“It’s kind of nice, too cosy!” said Candy.
“First time I came here, they didn’t want to let me in because of how I looked,” he whispered, “Guess who bought the building two days later?”
“You’re joking!” she said, “You didn’t have to take vengeance to that level, come on!”
“Sometimes…in order to succeed in certain businesses,” he said, “you must feed some associates to the sharks, even your closest allies. Some folks would push your patience to its limits, and make you do things you’ve never imagined you could,” he sighed, “especially those you call friends.”
“Welcome Sir, madam,” said the waiter, “is there any other thing you’d like to have before your order is made ready?”
“Order?” said Candy.
“Oh, yes! I’ve committed a serious crime,” said Tailor, “I made an advance reservation earlier for the Golden Opulence Sundae, one of their best dishes. You’re going to love it!”
“Oh, okay!” she said, “and this Golden Opulence Sundae, I hope a lady’s stomached can harbour it.” She laughed, “Is that what you take whenever you come here?”
“Well, yes but for today, I would also like to have a taste of Grilled Shrimp Scampi.” he said, “But trust me, you’ll love their Golden Opulence Sundae!”
“Alright,” she responded, “if you say so!”
“Okay,” said Tailor as he turned to the waiter, “time to make our stomach happy, young man!”
“And the wine, sir?” asked the waiter kindly.
“The usual,” answered Tailor.
The waiter bowed and left.
“Hmm! Such humility!” said Candy, “So, what kind of business are you into?”
“First, you tell me what you do for a living and I, would puke out all of me in your ears!” he replied.
“That’s so awful.” she replied, “You don’t sugar-coat things, do you? Well, okay…I was a real estate agent, but now working for a firm that supplies building materials from Asia, and you?”
“Well, I had wanted to study engineering. My own mother almost died of heart attack when she figured I preferred to hustle than go to school. It broke her heart,” he said.
“No way, you did not…” she interjected.
“Yup! High school dropout!” Tailor answered, “But now, I’m into exports of virtually any good stuff this country has got to offer to the world; mostly from the farms, and also importation of the little we can devour from the shores of other nations. It’s a rather dicey task but hey, a man got to do what a man got to!” he held his glass of wine and gazed at it for a while, “I just wanted to pay the small bills but now…I’m the reason thousands of men get to put food on the table!” he smiled.
It didn’t take long for the waiter along with a waitress to arrive with the food, wine and cutleries. They carefully placed it on the table as Tailor and candy continued talking.
As Candy tasted a spoonful of the Golden Opulence Sundae, it blew the taste buds out of her mouth.
“Mmm! You’ve succeeded in making me never to doubt your judgment,” she said, “Oh my God, this is super delicious!”
“I told you,” he said, “call me maestro!” They both laughed.
Tailor didn’t hesitate to tell Candy a lot about his beloved mother, she noticed that he sort of wore a polished smile whenever he mentioned his mother.
“Hmm, I guess with all the fortune now, your mother is proud of you,” she said smiling at him.
“I wish it is so,” said Tailor as he sipped his wine, “She passed away before I made my first thousand bucks! So, to make myself feel better, I uh…” he sighed, “I went back to school, got the certificates!”
“Wow! Isn’t that adorable?” Candy said.
“Yeah! It is,” he said, “I had them framed and her grave dug.”
“What?” Candy responded in a low tone as she forced the liquid down her throat.
“I placed the certificates beside her…in a gold coated-coffin,” he responded, “but of course I paid my way through the university!” he giggled, “Who wants to study anyway, huh? The system is ugly, so ugly the so-called educated ones work throughout their lives for the poorly educated but incredibly wealthy and extremely successful folks! You wonder which party is ignorant, huh?”
“Wow, you are a strange one, aren’t you?” said Candy, “She must have mean a lot to you. What’s her name, your mother?”
“Yeah, but I disappointed her in many ways,” he replied, “Her name was Alethea! It’s a Greek name, meaning ‘Truth,’”
Candy smiled, “Look, I don’t know if it’s okay for me to say this but uh…”
“Please, excuse me for a minute.” asked Tailor, “You don’t mind, do you?”
“No, not at all!” responded Candy.
Tailor pulled out his cell phone and walked away from the table.
Candy cautiously checked around to see if anybody was watching as she dipped her fingers into her purse and pulled out a small bottle with a colourless substance in it. Her heart began to pound as she held the small bottle, she took a heavy breath, then carefully put the bottle back into her purse. Minutes later, Tailor returned.
“I think I need to cut down on the wine!” he joked as he sat down. Tailor picked his wine glass and took a sip, “You were about to say something right before I left.”
Candy smiled, “Oh yeah!” she sighed, “Ever since we got here, you’ve been talking about your mother. I didn’t hear you say a word about…”
“My Father?” Tailor interjected, “He did what most cowards do; poked an innocent girl when she was just 16 and went off the grid when she told him she was pregnant,” Tailor picked the bottle of wine and emptied it in his cup, “and you won’t believe who came knocking on the gates of my house years back,” he stared into Candy’s eyes, “but I put him back where he belonged!” Tailor called to the attention of the waitress.
“Where he belonged?” Candy asked, “Where is that?”
Tailor looked reluctant to answer her question this time around.
“I am sorry if I uh…” she responded.
“Naa, it’s okay. The only place people like him belong is away from life, I mean away from my life,” said Tailor.
Candy managed to change the topic of their discussion and as the waitress arrived, Candy told Tailor that it was late and she needed to get home.
“There’s no need for another round of bottle,” she said, “had enough wine and fun for the night.”
“It’s as if your presence makes me nervous,” he said, “I almost ate the entire plate and virtually swigged down the wine! Could you believe that?” Tailor laughed.
“I’ve enjoyed my evening so much,” she said, “and I’m glad I came!”
“Really?” he asked excitedly.
“Yeah!” she nodded with a beautiful smile.
Tailor entertained her with his great sense of humour and he disgorged it gladly. They had fun that night and showered themselves with as many droplets of jokes as they could. After the dinner, Tailor and Candy left the restaurant and went for a walk; they took off their shoes and stepped on the warm sandy beach that night, and the ocean osculated their feet with its fluent riches. They felt as if they had known each other for long. Tailor did not bug her with his lifestyle nor about any nontextual matter.
They continued to talk on their way back and she told him a few things he needed to know about herself.
The limo was packed in front of the house.
“So, when am I going to see you again?” Tailor asked as he walked her to the door.
“Would you like to see me again?” asked Candy.
“Sure, I’d kill or die to see you once more!” Tailor answered.
“Why? Pardon me asking?” she replied with a smile.
“Well, one; for the fact that when I look into your eyes I feel like I’ve got no secrets to hide anymore,” he said, “I feel as though all the mystery that surrounded me is gone with the wind. I feel like you know me deep down for who I truly am!”
“I’m kind of scared hearing that, Tailor!” she said softly as she wrapped her arms around his neck, “Just call me anytime, sweetie. I really had a quality time!” she kissed him passionately.
Tailor kept his eyes shut for some seconds, “Wow!” he took a deep breath, “Wow!’
“This is the part where you open your eyes!” Candy whispered, “And say, goodnight!”
“I wish I could freeze this moment!” responded Tailor.
For a man who has got almost everything he had ever dreamed of, watching him lose his defences in the sight of a woman perplexed his bodyguards, but who were they to speak of what they’ve noticed.
Candy entered the house and shut the door behind her, with her back on the door, she stood there for a while and almost didn’t cry but tears rolled down her cheeks as Jake’s thoughts hovered around her mind.
About half an hour later that same night, her cell phone beeped, she checked it and saw an sms from Tailor, expressing how much of a wonderful evening he had and how grateful he was but the part that hitched her heart was the message he sent before she slept off; ‘Candy, I’ll love to celebrate you every day, I’ll make the birds tell our story. Let’s make the angels wish they were you and I. Candy, you make me want to become a better man…your smile would make a king’s throne seem worthless without you sitting by his side. I’m falling in love with you, and I’m not afraid to say it!’