Read the first part here https://jessyburche.blog/2020/02/28/loving-a-staid/
Read the prequel ‘Trailing Spec205″ https://jessyburche.blog/2019/09/13/trailing-spec205-part-1/
“What the hell is this!!” My father’s voiced boomed in his oval office. It was a spacious office, with oak desks, sparkling white walls, air diffusers that emitted a woody scent. The scent however, was the last thing on my mind as he barked out his question.
There was a pad with its screen screaming the latest headline from Afrikana’s notorious gossip tabloid – The Jade. “Caught Snipping – Space Corps Foremost Man; Hamzah’s Daughter Spots A New Beau And He’s An Alien!” A hologram image of I and Salim holding hands and snuggling into each other at The Club popped up from underneath the headline.
“An alien!! Latanna you really enjoy slapping me in the face!”
“For going out on a date!?’
“No!” he barked. My Dad’s eyes were bulging out of their sockets, spittle formed at the corner of his lips. If I was’t standing on the other end of the desk, he would’ve given me an ear splitting slap.
“For going out with this…this..!” he shuffled the cards on his table frantically. “And to a lowest rank officer for that matter! Here, at Omar!! You don’t have sense!Now you go on to have a frisk with an alien! Not a good one at that!”
“You have no right to tell me what to do! Its a new century Dad!” I was sick of this shit! “You’re always trying to control me! Who I date! Who I see! For once I want to do me!
“And you chose thi-“
“Oh my goodness, you’re infuriating! I worked hard for everything that I have and you can’t control it!”
“You think so? Who sent you to the first Science and Research specialist school; the most expensive in the continent so you could get a chance at being SPO. No, tell me Queen Latanna, who did?’ his dark skin stretched with every word he spoke, like he would explode in any moment.
“But I wrote the tests! And I passed! And TN…not all successful parent have successful children. So count yourself fucking lucky!”
I grabbed my coat from the visitors sit and stormed out of his office marveling at my father’s audacity. I put the ringer on and my mother’s hologram surged forward.
“You need to talk to your husband mum!”
“Good afternoon Latanna” My mum said tightly.. She was smudging some lipstick on for what I suspected was for one those meaningless wives club dinners they have.
“Afternoon mom! You husband is being a jerk!”
“Watch it! He’s your father”
I rolled my eyes.
“You should listen to him though. I don’t think dating an alien will do you any good”
“Oh so you heard?”
It was her turn to roll her eyes. “I saw the tabloid Latanna and I think it’s below you”
“Its? Its a living thing Mum! and IT has a name”
I was at Omars inner circuit line that would take me to our Observatory.
“I don’t mean to upset you darling but I need you to see things from your dad’s point of view. You know your father is influential so naturally he’d watch out for anyone that might take advantage of him and his family”
I sighed. “Mom? It was just the first date. I’m still getting to know him so there’s no need for Dad to be this worked up. I’ll call you back. Its my turn on the line. Bye”
The circuit cab was just a group of personal pods that traveled on air macs in a single file across the Space Corps . I got in and fastened the seat belt around me.
Hey. What are up to tonight?
I sent the message to Salim. Immediately, a response pooped on my screen.
Well then. You can come over to mine at 6. I have the lasted infusion games with a 100% virtual arcade and some bacon toasts…if you want
That’s great. I’ll be there but…
Am I allowed at Sphinx?
The question was a bite. “Of course. Just come in through the back”
“Cool. See you at 6″
I had just pulled the bacon toast from the microwave when I received a notification on my ringer. It was the visitors prompt. I accepted the request to let Salim in.
Soon there was a tap on my door. Now, I could understand Salim’s expression. It was somewhat embarrassing for me, seeing how my room was four times his entire condo. It was an entire flat if I was being honest. A living room with the latest Ultra-HiQ TV, woofers that played on command, heck even my lighting was the latest command control.
We passed through the corridors, the faux fountain dripping down the white walls. We turned left, passed my kitchen – which I never used – and towards my room.
“Impressive place you have Miss Latana” Salim said as we stepped in. I placed the bacon toast on my side table. Requested my home assistant – Sade – to turn on the virtual arcade stacked at the right corner and requested the “infusion” game.
“So its Miss now? Gender fluidity, Salim” I said as the gory scenes popped up for my selection. I handed him the virtual shades as we stepped unto the track.
“Blood bathe is the best by the way” he pointed out.
I selected the scene and we were in!
We’d just passed the haunted psychiatric ward when I heard it, a heavy thud at my door.
I paused the game just as Salim pulled off the gear.
A loud thud again. We exchanged questioning looks. I and Salim stepped out to the living room. I checked the prompt. It was my father and two security guards. I panicked.
“Latanna, I know that peice of shit is in there. Better let me through or I’ll break the door down”
The text loomed in neon colors in front of me. What is wrong with my father?
I texted back ” No”
“We’re coming in”
Just then the door burst open and two gruff security officers stepped into the living room. I blocked Salim as they tried to get hold of me. The officer with a face cap on paused.
“What are you waiting for! Side step the idiot and grab that unwanted thing away from here!” my father barked.
The guard lifted me off the floor and flung me on the sofa. He grabbed hold of Salim by the collar. “Stop it! He’s my visitor!’ I screamed, scrambling to my feet as they whisked Salim away. “Dad!”
I glared at my father. “This is absolutely the worst!”
“As long as you’re in my estate, you do as I say Latanna. And I say, I don’t want him here”. His voice was dangerously low. I felt the heat rise in my belly. I was raging inside.
Finally, I said, “Fine.”
I went into my room and locked the door. I took my small duffel bag from my wardrobe ignoring my Sade asking if I need anything, stuffed a few clothes, my tech note and pad.
“And where do you think you’re going Latanna!?”
I paused to turn towards him at the door. My father, in his black jalabia stared at me with eyes hot with anger.
“I’m leaving your estate. So I don’t get to do what you want.”
I didn’t wait to hear the rest. I shuffled out of the Sphinx estate just as the pod cab I had booked arrived.
“Where to Madam?”
“9th Street, Bawari”
The driver stared at me in disbelief before driving off.
On my way, I worried about Salim. I hoped that he was okay and that by the time I reached his house he would take me in. I hissed impatiently as the elevator took me to the top floor. With my heart pounding in my throat I knocked.
Salim opened it. He had an ice pack to his eyes and he stared at me with a scowl.
“What are you doing here!”
“I asked if it was okay to come!”
My voice was shaking as I said, “I know. I thought it was okay. I’m sorry. Please let me in.”
“For fucks sake, Latanna! Your father could’ve had me killed!”
I was crying now. I so desperately wanted to hold him. To beg him to let me in. My father was a thorn in my flesh. He’d been since he was appointed Head, Science and Research at the Space corps. Something about moving up the ladder with the right influence – the money influence. I hated what he is now and I wanted to tell Salim that but instead I let the tears wash over me like the famous Jesus whose blood must’ve washed his followers of their sin.
“I’m sorry” I manged to say between sobs. “I should never have come”
He took one look at my duffel bag and sighed. “God, Latanna you’re going to get me in trouble!”
I looked at him pleadingly then I made to leave. Salim out to hold me. Something had shifted in that moment. . In his arms, I felt free suddenly. Like I’d walked out from a cage I didn’t know I was in. In that moment, I made a promise to protect Salim. Staid alien or not!