Glorious was the air, and bowed were the flowers’ heads. Malaika wandered towards the end of the porch, soothing dancing bells with a gentle hand as she went along her way. Despite her serene nature, her scent hurried ahead and filled the stranger’s mind with hope and fear.
The porch wore a halo of hanging baskets, silk ribbons and honest light. The romance of honey suckles and dew laced the air. In the sky, the clouds were too peaceful to compete with the sun. They were unattached and free, alone in their territories of air.
Malaika drifted closer towards the stranger, who stood absolutely still. Though his mind was swirling with every season and song, he gave not one of his thoughts away. Malaika floated towards him as if she were a falling petal, and a breeze was trying to catch her before she kissed the ground. The porch hummed in delight and the petals of the chrysanthemums quivered and whispered among themselves.
The stranger studied her as if she were the most fascinating creature on earth. She seemed to be an enchantment; capable of vanishing in an instant. She might have been a myth, a moment or a colour – the stranger could not tell.
Her plait was copper in colour and seemed to laugh with seven thousand shades of sunshine. When the wind teased, the lively fabric of her skirt clung to her legs like an insecure child, yet billowed out behind her as if she might take flight. The shorter curls of her hair fluttered about her face and framed the two glowing emeralds that held the stranger’s attention so effortlessly.
There was no doubt that she was different, but there was something more to this moment – something the stranger had never known. It was not the quaint home, a thatch story dressed in ivy and washed paint. Not the empty bird cage, rusted and dull; which swung aimlessly alongside the baskets. It was not the freckles that charmed her nose, nor the light that glimmered in her eyes.
The moment changed and her voice danced through time and space; falling on his ears like music composed by fate. It was a symphony of elusive truths and unsung souls that whirled to a melody of chimes and lullabies; and for the moment that seemed an eternity, he drifted into love.
Malaika edged closer to the stranger; curiousity sketched itself on her face. A breeze curled through the air and the stranger was wrapped in cold ribbons. He straightened his back and blinked several times. He breathed deeply.
In an extraordinary moment, a smile streamed acoss the stranger’s face. It was rain to dry land. It was as if the sun had crawled from night’s clutches and his face was changed from a lifeless relic to a perfect jewel whose light could never fade. He was beautiful.
He was truly beautiful as he stepped onto the porch and laced his ice-cold fingers in Malaika’s outstretched hand.
He was entirely beautiful when he bowed his head and stepped onto the porch.
The stranger was utterly beautiful as he followed her into Heaven.
*Malaika: (noun) Guardian (Swahili)