A short story (re-written)
Karibi had expected this. He’d even wanted it to happen. Still he felt a twinge of pity. She’d been stood up. Again. She sat there, alone in a restaurant, wearing a pretty black dress.
He watched her reflection in a mirror and saw the sigh that gusted out of her mouth and ruffled her natural, black hair as she sat back and closed her eyes.
In one way or another, he’d been rescuing her since they were kids and she’d always resented it. Whether as a pre-pubescent tomboy or the swan she’d evolved into, she’d been diving head-first into catastrophes and he’d been reeling her out. And though until just recently — he hoped — she’d viewed him as nothing more than a bothersome big brother, he’d never considered her a sister.
He couldn’t think of her as a sister, not with the way he felt about her. His problem was that every time he’d tried to tell her how he felt he’d muck it up, the result being that she’d never believed him. But maybe it was time he made his move and rightly this time.
He came up noiselessly behind her, cupped the back of her neck, his thumb caressing her just under her left ear. He felt her pulse leap, saw a smile burst across her face as she turned to look over her shoulder. Kabiri stepped beside her and watched as her smile died.