It was my first night in Tobensville — a beautiful and remarkably serene Mediterranean town of stone and whitewashed walls — and everything still seemed dysphoric. I was still awestruck that my parents had finally separated; I had thought that moving to this place with my dad would make that air of sadness vanish but I guess I was wrong. The feeling was still there, relaxed and not ready to leave any time soon.
It was past 7pm and my dad had driven off to work right after we were done unloading and putting our property in order. I decided to have a quick shower before going to bed. No sooner had I stepped into bathroom than I was greeted with a soft knock at the front door.
“Dad, did you forget something?” I strolled to the sitting room, with just a towel wrapped around my waist.
“Dad,” I said again as I reached for the door. I was totally taken aback the instant I opened the door and met a young lady with large moon eyes instead. The red silk gown she had on was so alluring, and she seemed out of this world.
“Who are-” She shushed me immediately, placing her index finger against my lips. I don’t know how she did it, but she arrested my senses instantly with that epic touch, then slowly walked in, shut the door behind her and started heading towards my room while I followed behind like a fool, watching the steady sway of her ample hips. Her skin was smooth and glossy, and her regal blonde hair reached down to the middle of her back. She smelt somewhat like a flower: ambrosial, sweet, warm, peaceful.
Once we got into the room, she slipped off the towel on my waist and ran her fingers along the full landscape of my face, the hills of my cheeks, the caves of my nostrils, my neck, and when she arrived at my chest, she pushed me down with just a finger.
I could feel myself growing big and hard as she slipped off her gown. “Who is this angel that has come to wash my sorrows away for the night?” I thought to myself as I was still dumbstruck; it felt as though I had been bound by a spell. I was 17 but had never embarked on this journey that this abstruse lady was about to lead me on. I didn’t know what it actually felt like so I tingled with curiosity.
When she was completely out of her gown, she slowly mounted me. And in a twinkling of an eye, she had me slip into her, sending a spark of electricity up my spine; the feeling was all shades of phenomenal. I tried to move, but it felt as though my body had been tied down by invisible ropes.
She started riding atop me: slowly, rhythmically, and gently. She felt warm and at the same time cold. My erection grew larger and harder. I couldn’t see her quite clearly because the room was not so lit but I noticed the foxy contrast of her snow white skin against my olive-colored skin; how she looked like a goddess atop me; how her breasts were slapping against each other as she danced atop me. They seemed soft like the flesh of a ripe mango.
And then, I felt an abrupt rush of my semen racing through me like strong ocean waves. It was the strangest sensation I had ever felt. It was like relief but not the usual one I knew; it was strangely sweet, sweetly strange. It raced all over my body, filling up every nook and cranny, causing my hands and legs to tremble. After a few seconds, I felt my muscles collapse and my lungs shrivel like burst balloons as I blacked out for some minutes. Later, when I opened my eyes slightly, I noticed an elderly lady leaving my room. “When did grandma come?” I said in my head, and drifted off to sleep.
When I awoke the next day, I was greeted with a smell of macaroni and cheese.
“Xayden!” my dad yelled, “are you still sleeping? Breakfast is ready!”
I rolled out of bed, and quickly threw on my pajamas when I realized I was totally naked. With deep furrows forming in my forehead, I lurched to the kitchen to meet my dad.
“Good morning daddy,” I said the moment I stepped into the kitchen, grabbed a chair and sat beside the glass table that had one of my dad’s favorite paintings atop it.
“Xay, what’s up with you buddy?” my dad asked, as he stared at me intently.
“Nothing much dad, just a slight headache.” I stroked my loam brown hair as I stared at my reflection in the glass table. “I think I had the weirdest of dreams last night.” My gaze moved up to the painting on the table and for a moment I wondered if the Zebra in it was actually moving.
“Oh really, the one that had you completely naked” — my dad turned off the gas and stared askance at me, his eyebrow raised — “Or were you too tired from all that we had done yesterday that you couldn’t put anything on, after you had had a shower?” He handed me a plate of mac and cheese.
“Maybe dad, maybe.”
And just then, we heard a knock at the door. I made to go see who it was but my dad told me to eat up and went instead. When he returned he said it was someone from the house directly adjacent ours; that there would be a birthday party for teenagers at their place in the night.
My dad had me go before he left for work later that evening. Even after I had refused severally. It was more like a get-together and one of the strangest I had ever attended. All they did was talk, talk, talk.
“Hey, new boy”, one of the weird looking kids there had said when I finally decided to leave and was heading towards the door.
“It’s actually Xayden,” I replied.
“Ok, Xayden, it’s almost Valentine’s day — thirty minutes until Valentine’s day actually and we’re about to commence our love story session.”
“Love Story Session?” I furrowed my brow.
“Yes, something like storytelling, you dig.” I heard another person say from behind. I turned around to meet a beautiful young lady with skin like the pit of an avocado. She looked utterly different from the other kids.
“Nice to meet you Anika, call me Xayden.” I shot her a smile.
“Nice to meet you too, Xayden,” she reciprocated with a pretty cute smile and grabbed a chair.
Once everyone was seated, she began:
“Okay, I’ll go first since I’m the star of the show, you dig” She chuckled.
“Star of the show?” I muttered to myself. “More like the person we’re celebrating. Then where the heck have you been all this while?”
“Now, what’s love to you?” She asked. She didn’t wait for anyone to answer and then, she pointed at me. “Let’s hear from you first, Xayden.”
“Me?” I scratched my head.
“Oh yeah, you. What does love mean to you?”
“Uhm, sacrifice,” I said with my eyes wide open as I thought about my parents and how they had divorced.
“Uhm, that’s cool,” she said, “who else?”
“Well, love is food,” a fat black boy sitting next to me suddenly said and everyone erupted in fits of laughter.
“I would say Love is what’s left after everything else comes to an end,” a redheaded boy said, when the laughter had died down.
“Interesting.” Anika smiled.
“Love is the beginning of a journey to the center of the heart. It’s a sea of deep water that cannot be fathomed,” someone said.
“Beautiful,” I said, “I think I have heard that before.”
“Love is loyalty,” another person said.
“Nah, love is betrayal,” someone opposed immediately.
“Oh please, you can’t say you love someone and then betray them,” another defended.
“Alright, alright, alright,” Anika finally spoke, “I believe we’re all entitled to our opinions — that’s why I asked what it means to you, you dig. And that brings us to this story… uhm, who has heard of Lavender?”
“Flowering plant? Who hasn’t?” I giggled.
“Well, not particularly,” she said, with her nose wrinkled.
“Lavender? Young woman in, old woman out,” the fat boy beside me said, as I stared in confusion.
“Oh yes,” Anika said, “her actual name was Belinda. She had an obsession for flowering plants, especially Lavender and she was nicknamed Lavender, owing to this fact, you dig.” Anika paused and gave me a hope-we-are-clear-now sort of look. I shot her a grin and then she continued. “To guys, she was such a rigid nut to crack open. She wouldn’t let any man into her life, no matter how hard they tried.”
“Wow,” I whispered to myself. I was, in a way, starting to enjoy my stay in Tobensville.
“Well well, she eventually gave her heart to some young man and they both displayed love like one had never seen before. This Love was so amazing until this young man took her virginity and vanished like one who had suddenly been engulfed by an avalanche. The shock, the shame, the heartbreak was too heavy a load for her to carry that she committed suicide. Her grandma — the only family she had, died of heart attack as a result of this. And they had both died on same day — Valentine’s day.” Anika paused and hmphed.
“Whoa Anika, that’s intense,” I said. “That young man is one brutal motherfucker! I hope he didn’t go scot free.”
“Well, rumour has it that her ghost hunted him down,” she replied, “and that since then she hasn’t rested. She sleeps with virgin boys and takes them away afterwards.”
“What,” I said. And right then the memories of what had occurred the previous night started flooding into my head as though I had just recovered from Amnesia.
“Yeah,” she continued, “she comes as a young woman and leaves as an old woman. That’s the reason people usually say ‘Young woman in, old woman out’ when they hear ‘Lavender’. Some say she comes as herself and leaves as her grandma, you dig.”
“That was not real,” I soliloquized silently, “no way.”
“Uhm Anika,” I suddenly said out loud, “this Lavender lady, does she take her victims away the instant she sleeps with them?”
“Not all the time,” a petite girl sitting on the other side of the room who had been quiet for a long time replied, “rumour also has it that she usually leaves a bouquet of Lavender flowers after she has had sex with her victim, that one bouquet signifies she had you once and took you away immediately. Then if she drops two after having sex with you for the first time, it signifies she likes you and will be coming for you a second time, then take you away afterwards.”
“Yes, but that’s rare,” Anika added.
I started feeling hot all over, irrespective of the fact that the room was well ventilated. It was twelve now. I told everyone that I needed to get some fresh air, walked out and ran straight to my house. When I got there, I ransacked my room hoping not to find a bouquet of Lavender flowers. And then, I felt something underneath my bed. At first I thought it was just a box but when I pulled it out, I realized it was actually a bouquet of Lavender flowers.
“You gotta be kidding me,” I said and smiled; a smile that had fear dancing behind it. When I looked under my bed again I noticed something similar but I didn’t bother pulling it out. Then I heard a soft knock at the front door. I could literally hear my racing heartbeat as that same strong sweet floral scent from the previous night filled up everywhere. And then when I tried reaching for my phone, the door swung open. Whispers of lost voices echoed all around me and hot tears ran down my cheeks as I passed out.
Thanks for reading. Be careful this Valentine, so Lavender doesn’t come for you. Hehehe. Drop your thoughts in the comment section and don’t forget to subscribe for more stuff!