On a Rainy Night in Tennessee

by Sabella Ogbobode Abidde

I live in a historically preserved building one mile south of downtown Nashville. The city is perched between the Gulf of Mexico and the Great Lakes around the Cumberland River in north central Tennessee. Known as the Music City it has eighty record labels, one hundred and seventy-five recording studios, one hundred and forty music publishers, and five thousand professional musicians. I moved here two years ago after living in the Caribbean for fifteen years — twelve of which was spent working in cruise ships that cruises the Caribbean.

I started out as a steward and worked in two other departments before landing a coveted position in the entertainment section where I had access to and mingled with some of the rich and famous and the not so rich and famous that came to the Islands to reinvigorate their souls, rekindle their marriages or just to get away from life’s uncertainties. Some came just for the chance to smoke riffs and other stuff; other came for the opportunity to engage in hedonism and other decadent activities. The Caribbean is good life. And here in Tennessee, I continued with the good life.

Every so often you are likely to find me in Washington DC hanging out with some politically conservative friends, or with my liberal-minded friends in Oregon. And if I really felt like it, you may find me at the Bellagio, Caesars Palace, MGM Grand or the Wynn Las Vegas. Not one to place bets, I simply enjoy the ambience, the food, the drinks and the showgirls. Ha, those Showgirls — they tempt even the most righteous amongst us.

Wherever life may find me or wherever I find myself, I always return home to Tennessee where I have about a dozen close-knitted friends some of whom grew up in Tennessee and have not found it necessary to leave the state or the country. But others like Veronica Drawl (a dentist), Kitty Matthews (professor of physics), Hannah Freeman (a rancher and grain trader), and Sidney Bacon (Olympian and PR firm executive), were born in the East Coast of the United States. And then there is MaKennar Sholey Brew, fifteen years younger and a professional dancer and entrepreneur. And surprisingly still a virgin.

Always radiant with a rich dose of self-esteem, MaKennar is incredibly beautiful. She is the kind of woman most men can’t resist; the kind some men would die for or kill for. She is not the kind of woman you meet and forget. No. She dances and waltzes on ones soul and has a recurrent presence in ones dreams and fantasies. She is hard to forget. And difficult to let go. She has dimples, gap-tooth, lush lips and contagious smiles. She was born in Chicago: a product of an illicit romantic liaison between a married mix-raced African-American father who was once a B-rated Hollywood actor and an American-born Ethiopian mother who was a Broadway dancer and actress.

There have been men of style and substance in her life. These are men she easily could have married; or men she easily could have had recreational fuck or loving sex with. It is not as though she is postponing sex for any special day or any special man or any special hour. No. She is simply unsure of when and how to give up such a priceless and once-in-a-life-time gift; she is unsure of any of the men she has come across: uncertain of their motives. And so she has been waiting — waiting for the right fit to come along.

In all the years I have known MaKennar I have always wondered why she is conflicted about virginal sex. After all, she has experimented with and enjoyed cunninglus and fellatio and everything in between with Alex, Jason, and Harvey and a few other boys and men. She likes the scent and the taste and the tingling sensation of extracts down her throat. Furthermore, she liked the touch of tongue and warm air on her labia and clitoris and nipples. She feels safe and warm in the embrace of men. And she always looks forwards to the experience again and again and again. But not just the insertion or the in-out motions that might take her breathe away.

Although when she was twenty-two and in graduate school, she came close to giving herself up to Edward a musician who was famous overseas but was a virtual unknown in the United States. They had spent upward of five hours alone and naked in Westin Hotel, Houston: talking and planning and kissing and licking and caressing and generally making out. He did everything right and said all the right things. And she felt it was the right time to let go…to let go of her maidenhead, her hymen. And then he reached for a bottle of aphrodisiac. That killed her mood and her interest.

I have known MaKennar now for almost a decade. She grew up mostly with her grandmother. However, after the death of her grandmother, she moved in with her mom when she was eleven. And in the intervening years her mother went on to critical acclaim on Broadway and along the way won several awards including two Tony Awards. Her father is no longer the man he once was: divorced, in financial ruins and without his fêted friends. MaKennar herself went on to earn a doctorate degree, danced for big-name companies and for a while was a makeup artist in Hollywood. Today however, she own and run professional dance companies in Seattle and Nashville.

I have always liked her. Her life stories and personal experiences have always intrigued me. But more than anything else, her self-assurance, brilliance of mind and her gentle nature have always impressed me. Every so often she’d dye her hair red, green, blue or blond or whatever. Naturally though, her hair is black and bouncy and they sit well under one of the most beautiful and striking features ever. I do my best to avoid prolonged eye contact because I always feel drawn in, taken, possessed. It could be that I am in love with her; but at fifteen years my junior how do I make my case? I didn’t. And so it has been in all the years we have been friends — until this past week when I retuned home after a two weeks holiday in Belize.

Nashville Tennessee is not like Seattle Washington where it sometimes rain as though the rivers in heaven overflowed their banks. But on this particular day in Nashville, it rained. It rained and rained and rained.

The day started out like most summer days in Nashville: warm and humid, with July and August being the hottest months of the year, when daytime temperatures can rise to 88 degree Fahrenheit (31 degree Celsius). A few of my friends had stopped by to say their hellos, returned borrowed items or just to chit-chat about intermestic even

ts. At about 6 pm MaKennar called to say she was going to stop-by to pick up some souvenirs. In addition, it was going to be the last time we’d see before she leaves for a five weeks working trip to Seattle.

The heavens had begun to wail when she arrived. Slightly wet. We said out hellos and exchanged hugs and perfuctionary kisses to the cheeks and tried to catch up on events of the last two weeks. But this time — unlike every other time she has been to my abode — she was more loquacious, touchy, and demonstrative. We made longer eye-contacts. She tilted her head to the left, and then to the right, swept her hair to the back of her head and around her right and left ears. She pouted her lips. And then went through the same motion again. And again. Just before her vanilla-flavored coffee was ready she asked to see the souvenirs which were still unpacked in my bedroom.

Sophie B. Hawkins was crooning “As I lay Me Down,” on the radio when she went for the souvenirs and I went for the coffee. When I returned to my bedroom with the two cups of coffee, I saw heaven; I saw paradise with two moons staring at me. There she was on my bed. Naked. Waiting. Willing. Wanting. Longing. Ready. Itching. Wet. Calling. Arms stretched and thighs apart. I caught a rich whiff of her nectar. And then it was morning. And she was gone. Without a word she was gone. But she left her maidenhead with me.

Placed on a Victorian era silver platter by my pillow was a handmade card with the words of Elizabeth Barrett Browning: “There, that is our secret: go to sleep! You will wake, and remember, and understand…You were made perfectly to be loved – and surely I have loved, in the idea of you, my whole life long.”

When I parted the blinds there was sunlight. Back to bed I went. To sleep and to dream. And to wait.

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Anonymous March 4, 2006 - 2:58 pm

Nice story.I'm always sad when I read about girls that gave it up in a non committed relationship.Ita a precious gift,why get tired of keeping it wrapped?Good writing!

Anonymous March 2, 2006 - 8:16 pm

beautiful, excellent ,very intoxicating , sexy. gay man

Kritick February 23, 2006 - 10:46 am

Don't give up your day job, my friend, it didn't have that "indigenious Southern feel"

Anonymous February 22, 2006 - 1:58 pm

Very interesting choic of words. Loved every minute of it.

Anonymous February 22, 2006 - 12:23 am

Sabella, what is this??? Soft erotica??? Ha ha, I had to give you a hard time! mrskenna

Anonymous February 20, 2006 - 12:23 pm

Excellent fiction. I have always enjoyed your writings. keep it up!

Anonymous February 20, 2006 - 11:44 am

Keep dreaming – you are out of your mind. yeye man..u sure sayu never chop potion?

Anonymous February 20, 2006 - 11:37 am

I dont get it.

Anonymous February 20, 2006 - 5:29 am

Surely "you're sitting on money" if you can write like this… you just in the wrong business! you could be the new James Hardley Chase


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