Joe spied Aunty Miriam out of the corner of his eye, the vibracrete wall offering him little protection. It should have been higher according to his dad, but his mom was neighbourly; and a little paranoid about security.
With his hoodie pulled down low, he was skulking about grabbing a quick cigarette before the dreaded family hour round the dinner table. For now, he was hiding from his mom and her disapproving stares.
He gave her a quick wave."No bags this time, aunty Mirrie?" he asked.
The woman was forever lugging bags: carrier bags, handbags, school bags, gym bags... Always on the go; she never seemed to rest. She had the strength of Samson! He'd seen her handling 6 Spar bags at one time. That and juggling her handbag, her phone; and her sunglasses on top of her head!
He was sure she'd have muscles like a man, but the tannie appeared formless under layers and layers of dark clothing. For a second he felt sorry for her and wondered if she wasn't getting hot under all that clothing in the 32 degree heat.
"Joe!" she nodded, giving him a disapproving glare and wagging her finger, "your mom's gonna have a fit if she catches you smoking."
"She's in the yard doing the washing, Aunty Mirrie," he responded, "you won't tell on me?"
He stubbed out the cigarette and grabbed his skateboard before she could answer and headed to the field dodging his mom and her dreaded family dinner ritual.
He took a selfie, his hair blowing in the wind, a scowl on his face; typed "badass" and before he reached the corner, his whole world knew his was flying.
"Joey....." the wind carried his name in vain; he was long gone.
Midnight came with the dying of the wind. What remained was the heat, stifling and suffocating.
It was the kind of heat that left your hair matted, your skin sticky and your movement slow and laboured. It was so hot that the air was humming.
Sleep was going to come hard.
Miriam snuggled down, shifting pillows and white linen around looking for a cool spot, but the bed was on fire. A battle was about to be waged for the coolest spot. Mika stirred, punched pillows and threw back covers; she flicked it back at him.
He tutted at her in his sleep.
The sandman was no longer a friend; they seemed to have parted ways with her menopause. She was on fire, heat radiating from inside her as if she was going nuclear.
Miriam got up, her feet hitting cool tiles in relief. She ditched the slippers by her bedside in favour of bare feet. Grabbing her Ipad, she headed for the lounge down cooler passageways.
She flopped down on the sofa in relief, her negligee riding up thick thighs. Logging on, her fingers poised to touch screen, flick pages, absorb, engage.
The whole world was waiting.
She checked into Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, Skype seeking connection...There was always someone online somewhere in the world.
The light flickered across her face, hmmm, she frowned, there'd be no hangouts for her in her flimsy sleepwear, she'd consider changing but it was too damn hot.
"Hey!" Mika called from the doorway, the darkness cuddling him.
She looked up and giggled.
She always giggled when he was naked. Mike was more comfortable out of his clothes, than in it.
He wasn't a suit-and-tie-kinda guy. Or a pj's-kinda guy; top or bottoms. Miriam loved that about him.
"Hey, you," she said through laughs.
"Aren't you shy?" she insisted, the world momentarily forgotten, staring up at him from underneath her fringe.
"Biebering," he laughed, as she shook her bangs to get a better view.
He was in a naughty mood.
She was on automatic as soon as he came into view.
He moved furniture around, pulling rugs, shifting ottomans.
"What are you doing?" she asked, "shhhh...you gonna wake the kids."
"You don't want your feet slipping out from under you, now do you, madam?" he said grabbing her by her arm and pulling her up.
"Whooo! Careful!" she shouted, dropping the device to the floor. The light remained on playing shadows over his body.
"Gonna be hard to get a grip," he said as their bodies touched, and their sweat mingled. He licked her shoulder.
He bit her in her neck, tiny bites than left goosebumps down the length of her.
He brushed away the straps and it clung to her arms in protest. He nibbled at it, his teeth pulling it down.
Miriam stood there swaying, prayed that the silky bits would offer more resistance.
She needed him on his knees....
She heard the sound of the wheels on gravel as the security lights flashed on next door turning night into day. The realisation dawned on her that their curtains and windows were left open to let in the breeze.
She heard the jingling of door keys.
She grabbed at the nightie folded at her waist but it wouldn't budge, and she couldn't move as Mike's held onto her with a vice-like grip trying to get up.
"Hello, Aunty Mirrie," waved Joe giving her the once over with an approving glare; wagging his finger at her in delight.
A flash went off as a look of horror crossed her face!
He typed "badass!"
"Joe, no...." she screamed in vain.
And before Mika got to his feet; Joe's whole world knew they were in flagrante delicto.
Her voice carried; but he was long gone.
Joe had spied Aunty Miriam our of the corner of his eye, the vibracrete wall offering her little protection.