She was sitting on the sofa when her mother led him into the living-room. He couldn’t stop staring at her. She looked exquisite. “Hello, Jabulani,” he greeted her quietly.
“Hello, Doctor,” she replied. “Do you like my costume?”
“Yes, I do.”
“I’m dressed as a swan.”
“Yes, a very beautiful swan.”
“And you’re dressed as a…”
They were going to a costume ball held at Thaba Eco Hotel. Avianna couldn’t go because she had come down with a bad cold. “I’m sorry, I can’t go with you, Darling,” she said woefully. “I was really looking forward to going as Anna Karenina to your Captain Vronsky.”
“I’m sorry too. I’ll just go as a Russian soldier.”
“Well, I’m glad you’re still going. It’s a pity you’re going alone, though.”
“Yes, it is.”
“Oh, wait a minute. I just got an idea.”
“Why don’t you take Jabulani? I’m sure she would enjoy herself.”
It never occurred to him to ask Jabulani but the idea pleased him. “Sure, I can call her and see if she would be interested in going.”
“It’s settled then. I’ll be here trying to get over this wretched cold thinking of you.”
“Are you sure you don’t want me to stay here with you–?”
“Stay here with me when you can have a fun evening? Heaven forbid. No, I want you to go and have a wonderful time.”
“All right. I will call her in the morning and see if she’s interested in going.”
He did and she was. “Shall we go?” he said now and she nodded and stood up. They said goodnight to her mother and left.
They walked to his car and he held the door open for her to get in. On the way to Thaba Eco Hotel, he explained more about the ball. It was an annual event and the proceedings went to several charities. “You will meet a lot of interesting people and you’ll enjoy the food.”
When they got there, the ball was in full swing. Mozart was playing and the guests were milling about talking and laughing. Jabulani’s eyes were wide as she drank in the scene. There were people dressed as literary characters, historical figures, movie stars even political figures. He introduced her to several people.
The food was as good as he said. It was a sumptuous banquet spread. There was so much to choose from, she was overwhelmed. Afterwards, there was dancing. She watched the couples as they waltzed and was thrilled but a little nervous when Max asked her to dance. He was a terrific dancer and showed me what to do. She relaxed and enjoyed the waltz.
Later in the evening when they were alone, he said to her, “You’re the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen.”
She smiled shyly up at him. “Thank you, Doctor.”
“Call me Max.”
“Jabulani, I have something to tell you.”
“Jabulani, I’m–” He had been about to tell her that he was married when Sir Charles Cartright joined them. He was dressed as Sherlock Holmes. “Hello, Max,” he said, greeting him with a warm smile. They shook hands. “How are you, old chap?”
“I’m fine, thank you, Sir Charles. And you?”
“I’m doing jolly well and so is Iris. She’s over there somewhere. She’s dressed as Queen Elizabeth the first. Where is that lovely wife of yours?”
Max could feel his face grow hot. “She couldn’t come,” he muttered tightly. “She’s got a bad cold.”
“Oh, that’s too bad. Iris and I were looking forward to seeing her. Please give her our warmest regards. I hope she recovers soon. Iris and I would love to have you over for dinner one of these evenings.”
“Thank you. I will give Avianna your message.”
“Oh, who is this young lady?”
“This is Jabulani, my guest.”
“A pleasure to meet you, Jabulani. Looking at you puts me in mind of my favorite Tschiovsky ballet, Swan Lake. Well, if you’ll excuse me, I think I will go and help myself to another glass of champagne. Excuse me.” He left.
Max turned to Jabulani who was staring up at him, her expression one of devastation. “Jabulani…”
“You’re married?” She sounded tearful.
“That’s what I was going to tell you before he interrupted. I’m sorry…”
“I want to go home,” she told him before turning on her heel and walking briskly away.
He followed her. They went to the car. He opened the door for her and she got in. He climbed in beside her but instead of starting the engine and pulling out of the parking lot, he turned to face her. “Jabulani, I meant to tell you before but…”
She looked at him and he could see from the light coming into the car that she was crying. Her cheeks were glistening with tears. “I wish you had told me,” she said in a trembling voice.
“I wish I had too,” he admitted. He brushed the tears gently away. Her skin felt so soft. His fingers caressed her cheek and then he cupped her face between his hands. They stared at each other for several minutes and then, his eyes dropped to her mouth. Unable to resist, he kissed her. At first, she didn’t respond but after a while, she rested her hand on his thigh and kissed him back. The kiss became passionate and it lasted for some time and then, he broke it off to mutter thickly, “I want you.” He took her hand from his thigh and placed it on his arousal. “Feel how badly I want you.”
She trembled. She had never kissed a man before nor felt his desire for her before. She wanted him too. Her heart was pounding wildly against her ribs and her body was on fire but he was married…”We can’t…” she protested. “You’re married.”
“I know and now I wish that I weren’t. I wish that I’d met you first. You’re so beautiful, Jabulani. You take my breath away. I think about you everyday and at nights when I close my eyes before falling asleep I see your face. I imagine kissing you and making love to you.” He kissed her again, feverishly and she responded. After a while, he broke off the kiss to mutter, “I can take you home now or I can take you to a hotel where we can make love. Which would you prefer?”
“The hotel,” she said breathlessly. She couldn’t believe what she was saying. She was telling a married man that she wanted to go to a hotel with him. It wasn’t the sort of thing she ever imagined herself doing but that was before she met and fell in love with him.
He turned away from her and started the engine. They went to a hotel in Soweto which was less than a half-hour drive from Johannesburg. In about forty minutes they were inside a room. He quickly stripped and then, he took her in his arms and kissed her hungrily before he undressed her.
They stood there, naked, facing each other. Then, he picked her up and carried her over to the bed. He set her down beside it to pull back the bedspread before he pushed her gently down on top. As she lay there on her back, he covered her body with fierce, urgent kisses, making her writhe against him.
He was so aroused, he could hardly think straight. He had never wanted anyone as much as he wanted this girl. Her hands on his skin drove him wild. He caressed her nipples with his lips and tongue. She gripped his hair tightly, her nails digging into his scalp, her eyes closed. Then, he was dragging his mouth across her stomach which quivered before he opened her legs wide and tasted her, making her moan. Her fingers gripped the sheets as waves of intense and exquisite pleasure washed over her.
When she shuddered uncontrollably against him, he raised his head, breathing harshly. Then, exercising supreme self-control he took his time and entered her. After she cried out, he waited for a couple of seconds before he began to move his hips slowly at first and then faster as his desire consumed him.
The light the street streamed into the room, bathing the two naked bodies. Grunts and moans filled the room. The lovemaking lasted for a while. He withdrew seconds before he came. He rolled onto his back, spent. They lay there for some time then, she got up and went into the bathroom. She used the toilet and didn’t panic when she saw the blood. It was to be expected. It was her first time. She cleaned herself up as best as she could and then returned to the room to get dressed.
He did the same. Minutes later, they left the hotel and he took her home. When they were standing outside of the front door, facing each other, he asked her. “Now that you know I’m married, will you change your mind about studying in London again?”
She shook her head. “No. I want to be there because of you, Max.”
He reached out and pulled her against him. “I want you there too,” he told her huskily. “I want to be able to see you as often as possible.” He kissed her long and hard on the mouth. “I’ll call you.”
He released her and quickly walked to his car. When he reached it, he waved and waited until she had gone inside before getting in behind the wheel and driving off.
Jabulani went upstairs and took a quick shower. Before donning a nightgown, she put on a feminine napkin. She climbed into bed and stared up at the ceiling. Her body felt tingly. She wasn’t a virgin anymore. She had given herself to Max. Max. She closed her eyes. How she wished that Max wasn’t married. She tried not to think about it. She tried not to think about his wife. She thought only of being with him here in Johannesburg and then in London.
When he got home, he didn’t go straight upstairs to bed, but he went into the living-room and sat on the sofa. He dragged his fingers through his hair. Upstairs, Avianna was sleeping. She had no idea that her thirty-seven year old husband had just been in a hotel room making love to an eighteen year old girl.
Not once did he ever imagine that he would be unfaithful. He was a Christian man who took his faith very seriously yet tonight, he had thrown caution to the wind and given into his feelings. He wanted Jabulani from the moment he first saw her and tonight he couldn’t resist the temptation to have her. He wasn’t thinking about his marriage or his faith when they were in bed. It was hard to think of those things when in the throes of passion.
However, now, sitting there in the dark, he couldn’t help but think about what he had done. Conflicting emotions warred inside him. Finally, he decided that in spite of the guilt he was experiencing, he decided that he was going to take Jabulani as his lover. They would go to a hotel in Soweto like tonight and they would see each other at the apartment in London which he was going to rent for her. He closed his eyes. Lord, I know that what I’m planning to do is wrong but I just can’t help myself.
He sat there for a while longer and then, he got up and went slowly up the winding staircase.
Source: Thaba Eco Hotel;