TO SKIN A CAT

TO SKIN A CAT

“Her eyes, Dare, they were phenomenal. I just couldn’t tear myself away from them.”
“Really,” he replied, not looking up from the notepad he was scribbling on.
“Yes,” I said, warmth creeping up my spine as I remembered how Salewa’s eyes had made me feel. “Gosh, it was like metal to a magnet, the way they attracted me. One glance at those beauties, and I knew I wanted them to be mine forever.”

That statement elicited a reaction from my best friend. He dropped his pen, rolled his seat backward and cocked a speculative eye at me.

“Wait, wait, Greg, just hold it right there,” he growled. “You’re telling me you met a girl at the Cinema yesterday, and you fell so much in love with her eyes that you now want to spend forever with them?”
“Exactly!”

Suddenly he burst into laughter.

“What’s funny?” I asked. He didn’t stop, but laughed and laughed until I could see tears well up in his eyes.

“You’re the greatest joker alive,” was what he said when he finally stopped cackling. “And what about…”

My eyes followed his to my left hand where a silver wedding band hugged my fourth finger.

“Oh, Mrs. G?”
“Yes, Mrs.G. What happens to your darling wife? Are you planning to walk up to her and say, sorry babes, I found someone else with halogen eyes that I want to spend the rest of my life with, so come and be going?”

I smiled at him.

“Believe me, man, I have it all figured out. There are many ways to skin a cat you know?”

I caught his sharp intake of breath.

“You’re serious about this?”

I nodded, once, then twice more for emphasis.

The look he gave me as he stood up from his seat told me he thought I had lost my marbles. Still smiling, I watched as he ambled over to my side of the office and put a hand on my shoulder.

“I love you like a brother, Greg, you know that. Now, if you want to run around with some side chick for whatever kick you’re going to get, I won’t judge you. It is stupid because your wife is the absolute best, but still, it’s your business. However, this foolishness about spending forever with this as yet nameless babe because she is the eye of Horus, count me out of it, totally. I’m going to go out now, find a good restaurant to have lunch and maybe smoke a cigarette or two. When I return, it will be to an office where this conversation never happened. Whatever it is you have planned, I don’t want to know any part of it. Deal?”

He didn’t wait for my response, just turned and walked out of the office real quick, slamming the door after him.

I sat rock still for a few minutes, with only the hum of the air conditioner disturbing the quiet. Finally, I dragged my rucksack from beneath my worktop and slowly unzipped it. From inside I brought out a covered jar half filled with a colorless liquid and gingerly placed it on the table.

Salewa’s eyes, ocular perfection that they were, gently bobbed around in the formaldehyde, catching the light as they did.

They were mine, forever, and a testament to the fact that indeed there were many ways to skin a cat.

If only Dare knew…

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