Track 8: The Sands of Time Flow Too Fast when we Talk.
“Jazz, come on,” Danny called.
She cleared her throat and righted her dress. She hurried out into the hallway to find him holding her black sweater. He helped her wear it, and made sure it was buttoned before he ushered her out. The night air was cool. Danny opened the passenger door for her, and once she was settled, he hurried around to the driver’s side.
“How is your mum?” he asked, once they were on the road.
“She’s okay,” Jasmine said. “She fusses. Today she brought my sis and bro along.”
“Jenny and Daryl,” Danny said. “Is Daryl in high school?”
“Yeah, his last year,” Jasmine answered. “He’s a good kid.”
“You love them very much,” Danny noted.
“There are times we are at odds, but I’ll always love them,” Jasmine said with a smile. “Tell me Danny, how did you start on cars?”
“My dad. He was a grease monkey, loved working on engines. I used to hang out with him a lot, so the disease passed on.”
“Did your mum approve?” Jasmine asked, turning to study him.
“She was alright with it. She’d say she was happy we were happy.”
Jasmine smiled at the that thinking of a young Danny with grease all over his face. Maria Kihome died of cancer when they were in high school. Jasmine remembered Danny and Terry’s struggle as the doctors tried to save their mother. When they failed, the grief was so deep, Jasmine had thought the siblings would break.
“I know you miss her a lot,” Jasmine said, softly. “She’d be proud of you.”
Danny glanced at her for a second, then took her right hand in his left and squeezed.
Jasmine tangled their fingers and stared out the window.
“So where are we going?”
“The Passion Fruit,” Danny said.
“Impressive,” Jasmine said. The Passion Fruit was a popular restaurant hidden in the lush green hills of Limuru. Getting a table on a moment’s notice was very difficult. “How did you get a reservation?”
“I have my ways,” Danny said, getting on the highway headed toward Limuru. “So tell me, Jazz. What don’t I know about you? I want to know everything.”
Laughing, Jasmine looked at him. “Everything? Seriously, a girl needs some secrets. So the intrigue remains.”
“Not you, Jazz. I want to know you, inside and out.”
Smiling at his provocative words, she said, “That could take a while.”
Danny pulled into the restaurant parking lot and parked, turning off the car, he said quietly, “As long as it takes, Jazz.”
Not sure whether to be happy or afraid about that statement, Jasmine watched Danny get out of the car and came around to open her door. He was really working at this, she mused as he locked the car and they headed into the restaurant. How was she supposed to resist it?
“Action or Epic movies,” Danny asked.
“Action,” Jasmine said.
They sat close together at a very private table, eating peach pie from the same plate.
“Dark-haired Bond or Blonde Bond?””
“Definitely Pierce Brosnan,” Danny answered with a smile. “Rock music, or rap?”
“Bondo, Punk rock and new age stuff,” Jasmine answered. “It depends on the mood.”
“Fair enough,” Danny nodded. “Vacation in Paris or an Island in the Pacific?”
“An Island in the Pacific. I’m not refined enough for Paris,” Jasmine said with a wide smile, holding Danny’s gaze, she asked. “What about you?”
Danny studied her lips and said, “Definitely the Island in the Pacific.”
Jasmine nodded and would have kissed him but then—
“Danny boy, you didn’t tell me your date was Jasmine!” Raphael Kihome interrupted, pulling a chair to their table.
Sitting back, surprised, Jasmine stared at the older version of Danny.
“You promised not to interfere,” Danny complained to his father.
“Well, that was before I saw who your date was,” Raphael said with a handsome grin. “Jasmine, you look beautiful.”
“Thanks, Mr. Kihome.”
“No, if you’re going to be part of the family, call me Baba,” Raphael said.
“Baba,” Danny scowled at his father.
“Oh quit whining kid,” Raphael waved off Danny. “Did you like the food, Jazz?”
“Yes. I didn’t realize you would be here,” Jasmine said. “So you’re the one who helped Danny.”
“Apart from cars, I love good food, my dear. This place is my other obsession,” Raphael explained. “You come here whenever you’re hungry, alright? You’ll always have a table.”
“Baba, go bother other people,” Danny said.
“Yeah,” Raphael turned a teasing smile on his son. “I came here to remind you that this is a public place. My girl deserves more class from you.”
“Baba, Go!” Danny waved Raphael off, making Jasmine laugh hard. Once Raphael was gone, Danny sighed. “I’m sorry about that. He gets friendly.”
“I love it. Your Dad is charming,” Jasmine said. “Kind of like you.”
“Like me?” Danny grinned. “You think I’m charming?”
“Maybe a little,” Jasmine said.
“Let’s get out of here and we can talk about it more,” Danny smiled.
Glancing at the clock on the wall, Jasmine nodded. It was already ten-thirty. All that time passed while they discussed topics that had nothing to do with why they were on this date in the first place. Danny could distract her like nothing else.
“Let me go to the ladies,” Jasmine said. “Then we can go.”
“Alright,” Danny nodded, watching her take her purse and get up to leave the table. She winked at him and hurried away, headed for the discreet ladies’ room.
For a moment, Danny appreciated how every man’s gaze followed her in the room. It was the way she moved, such effortless seduction.
“You may stop undressing her already,” Raphael said beside him. “I see you finally got the guts to ask her out.”
“Baba, stay out of my life,” Danny said, shaking his head.
“Can’t, you’re stuck with me. Be good to her, she’s in need of love,” Raphael said. “The kind you’ve been bottling for her.”
“It’s not easy,” Danny said. “She’s scared.”
“Most good women are, you just have to know the right time to make it permanent,” Raphael advised. “Don’t hurt her though.”
“I’m not going to screw this up.”
“It would be a shame. You’ve been wanting her so long,” Raphael said, squeezing his son’s shoulder, he moved on to the next table.
Jazz returned and Danny smiled as she reached him.
“Yes,” she said, looking around the dining room for Raphael, she said, “Just a moment.”
Danny watched as she hurried to his father. Smiling, Jasmine hugged Raphael.
“It was nice seeing you tonight.”
“You too, Jazz.” Raphael stroked her cheek. “Make him take care of you, and if he doesn’t, tell me.”
Jazz chuckled. “I will.”
Danny gave his father a nod, and then quickly led Jazz out into the night.
To be continued….Thanks for reading!
Baba – Literally means Father in swahili. When I first wrote this, I had met cousins who called their dad, ‘Baba’, instead of Dad, or Daddy like the rest of us. I thought that was extremely cool, so I had Danny call his father ‘Baba’, as Raphael is so laid back and passionate about life.