BY PETER SEVARA
THE DRUNK’S EYES ARE MOLTEN RED as he sets out to grab innocent females in the evening dimness. The female’s yelps of fear are drowned by the loud music blaring from the taxis parked leisurely at the bus-stop.
The cop-shop is all but empty and deserted. It’s Fortnight Friday at Boroko bus-stop at its peak hour. Hova is among a handful of late passengers heading for Waigani. She checks her phone. Why isn’t he answering my text messages?
Darl I need you. Fear creeps up her spine. She logs into facebook: dayumm…stranded @ bko bustop 4 2 hrs nau! Log in time: 5:30pm.
The sun glares down at Ela Beach. Haivavu is sweltering in the 38 degree heat; He brushes off the droplets of sweat on his “goaty” and tucks back his sharp jaw in a yawn. His brown deep eyes scan the sea for some peace of mind. His tall lanky frame steaming under the heat!
The beach is mostly filled with teenage love-birds, street vendors, and a handful of public servants boozing away. He walks towards the Okari trees lining the beach. He is playing patience because Hova is late - again.
Hova wipes her broad sweaty brows as she waits with her cousin-sister, Uaopou at Boroko bus-stop. The buses are all full. Her dimples show because she knows that Haivavu is already tired of waiting. Her full lips sucked in. It’s been two hours now and she still hasn’t got a chance to get on a bus. She looks around at the raskols sneering for an opportunity, pushing amongst the passengers to fish out a phone or wallet. She shivers. No! She would rather wait for an empty bus. She turns to Uaopou.
“Sorry for keeping you with me tita.”
“Nah it’s okay, you just worry about your bf ok?” She offers kindly.
She gives her a weak smile and logs into facebook: oi osem wanem? PMV short ah? Kasssttt!! Log in time: 2:00pm.
Haivavu tires of waiting. Two hours is too much to wait. He ignores her messages and leaves town. An hour later as the bus rolls into Tokarara Service station, Haivavu checks his phone and sees a new message. It’s from Hova.
“Wer r u? m @ town alredi. Walkn 2 ela beach nau. Wer r u?”
‘Ye lon taim yu stap lo wer? Wari blo yu.’ He ignores the text and sets the alert to silent. Its 3:30 pm.
He gets off for the main market. As he walks toward the market he senses eyes on his back. He turns around and hears Hirisi calling his name as she crosses the road.
“Hi sexy?” she drawls.
Haivavu can tell from her watery eyes that she had a little too much.
“Upla drin ah? tokaut tokstret! Haha!” he asks smiling, taking her hand into his.
“Darl I’m sure you wouldn’t be bothered. And of course…I kinda get hot when I’m oiled up ya know!” She laughs a deep throated laugh.
He feels his face get warm and manages a feeble laugh through clenched teeth. He checks his phone to avoid her directness. Nineteen missed calls, seven messages and five voice messages! Hova is at Boroko. What the fuck? I thought she’s already at her house! A look of concern crosses his face.
“Who’s ‘at darl? Hirisi, easily picking up his worried look.
“Ol hauslain yah” he lies. Damn! All this time I thought she was already at her house. He changes the phone alert to vibrate. Its 5:00PM.
Hova rushes at an empty bus nine. Her heart sinks as she hears the dull thudding of the seats in the isle. She sighs and trudges back avoiding those threatening eyes. She posts on Facebook: “waitin 4 bus @ Bko. Its getin l8 n scary wit al dis drunkards walkin and swearin.” Log in time: 5:30pm.
Haivavu is in a dilemma. How can he slip off to save Hova without offending Hirisi? He has to make a choice. One move in any direction causes a chain reaction, displaying a certain picture or message at the end, depending on where and how you start it. Like a game of dominoes. But this is no game. No! This is for love!
So what would be his move now? Devour Hirisi while she’s ripe and keep Hova dangling? After all Hova kept him waiting so why should he be such a wimp to respond so quickly to her wants? And if he runs off now, what are the chances of having Hirisi so wanting like now? Waste her in the back of the rusty old Nissan Vannette, and while she’s soaking in sensual bliss, he should be in a cab racing along Waigani drive for Hova, and yes of course…with a clear conscience.
Hitting two birds with one stone, at the right spot, at the right time…with just one move…He smiles. Hirisi coils her moist fingers around his thumb and jerks sexually, provoking a flare of emotions. He ushers her into the shadows. It is 5:40pm.
Hova is accosted by a pickpocket. She sidles close to an unknown but kind looking man. The pickpocket falls back but keeps an eye. As they struggle for the bus, the man noticing her predicament offers to help. The pickpocket moves in, tentatively at first then quickly as the struggling gets rough.
Hova struggles but keeps a side eye on the pickpocket. As she moves in, the pickpocket bumps roughly against her and she pulls out of the struggle. She looks up at the man who tried to help her. A look of concern pervades his face. Her heart sinks. Where is my Haivavu? The pickpocket curses and falls back into the crowd. She logs into facebook: folowd by a drunk a**hole. Haivavu wer r u? Log in time: 5:50pm.
Haivavu’s sense of responsibility kicks in - fast! He races to his house and without much of an excuse, makes off with his mother’s purse, hailing a cab on the way. It is 5.55pm.
Hova’s attempt to seek refuge in the nearby kai-bar is futile. The guards bar her from entering. On the Asian shop-owners command they toss her outside. Hopelessness fills her being.
Orova karu aeve ve otivoa eh?
Orova eukoro haikakare!
Meaforoe! Ororo o moiti! Oh-haieh!
I am in someone else’s land?
I love you both!
Please tell me? Oh-haieh!
She is immediately pulled by the hair. The attacker rots like hell and has a greasy iron grip. She struggles with him. Another powerful figure joins the attempt. The public seem ignorant.
Ereva orove toruipi karu
Orove opoumorovira, oaura, kakeura
Iofeare mai voa eva ororo moferae mai leitepea?
Orova naria kaiae ro loi?
Ereva orove mea kakapusu ioveitipea eh?
These are my countrymen!
These are my brothers, father and uncles.
Why are they doing this to me?
What wrong have I done to deserve this?
Can’t they see how helpless I am?
She looks at the road expecting someone...something…Oh darling where are you? Hands claw her brown skin. Search under her jewelled pockets. Scrap her sea of hair. She searches for hope.
Iofeare mai kofa voa
Ava araro okofa moi-ti kau
Ai ovira ava araro hai-arara
Tell me the reason why
That you haven’t been honest to me
This must mean that you don’t need me anymore
She searches between the groping foreign and black hands for help. Her screams echoes off the nearby padlocked gates and tall kapa fences. An empty bus arrives. She attempts an escape but a boot hammers her back onto the pavement. The other passengers rush without restrictions. It is 5:58pm.
Aita eva povi ofare-kau ou iyove re?
Eto eve ofare kofa voa leitepea!
Orove hairi hai foroe aia fiopua!
Aeata ororo lei napesi leitepea!
Usoso arava karu aea feare?
Iofeare lei eva ororo kou toa epea?
Arava heafo oaharo kofa aeata haiafarapai
Arava sesevitepera-soa usoso kakou!
Eve povi ofare haria ou iovetepea
Eva mea-mariti kakou eh?
So you’ll just stand there and just watch?
It’s happening right in front of your eyes!
My heart is crying!
They are swearing and rubbishing me!
Am I not one of you?
Why do you turn you back on me?
I am really struggling here
I find it hard to believe
That you would stand there and look
Have you no shame?
She passes out momentarily and comes back. Her eyes drain white. Her head spins. Her hands grab the air for support as her hair is tugged at its roots. Hot tears sting her eyes. And roll down her tensed cheeks. She grabs something small - but hard. This time her energy drains into a clenched, bulging fist…It is 6:00pm.
Peter Sevara (29) was born in Port Moresby. He loves everything Papua New Guinean