The afternoon was dull & overcast. One of those moments you wished time would whiz by in a bat of an eye for you to flee the office headed for your nearest joint. A swanky joint with sumptuous chops, serious music, sassy women and refreshing Tusker to soothe your throat . The mere thought of it takes you to 9:00 pm. You with a loaded wallet at the back pocket of your jeans . Fresh bank notes kissing your ass! You try to think and XS Millionaires comes to your mind. It’s been a long week and the boss has been breathing fire. Time to offload the pressure now. All your thirst will be quenched. It’s a weekend after all. A time to satiate your wildest fantasies.
YOLO. Dark clouds gather and a heavy downpour is imminent. The city had experienced drowning rains the previous week and by the look of it the skies would open up anytime. When it pours in Nairobi, The Devil descends and takes over – roads are flooded, traffic builds up, appointments are cancelled & thousands of hapless souls get stranded in the melee. Total bedlam. Crazy City. Standing outside my office window confirms my worst fears. A slight drizzle begins. The wind howls and leaves flutter ominously. Umbrellas appear from nowhere and commotion unfolds. Lucifer has descended. It’s 2:00 pm and my stomach rumbles. Undeterred, I leave the office and head out for lunch. It’s not a restaurant. It’s the kind of place you’d take your colleague out for lunch. It’s a six by five foot space where food is sold and patrons form a beeline ready to be served their favorite meal. Sumptuous delicacies I tell you. ‘A healthy alternative in town is now a possibility’ is the banner that greets you as you enter. It’s a joint located inside a shopping Mall that sells accessories and Apparel at obscene prices. The kind you’d think twice about taking your woman out for shopping on a January. Screw January! Heck, you could buy a handkerchief for 500/=! Outside, a long file of hungry Nairobians wait impatiently to assuage their hunger pangs. After an eternity, I finally get my fill and just when I’m getting ready to head back for work my cellphone noisily comes to life. The number on the screen nearly gives me a cardiac arrest. My heart races and for a moment I stand rooted to the ground oblivious of any soul around me. It conjured an unforgettable incident. After what seems an eternity, I muster up courage, hold my breath and put the phone to my right ear.
HER: Hellooo James, sasa, Aki dear it’s been long. I wouldn’t be surprised if you hadn’t picked. How are you?
ME: I’m doing alright, everything’s okay.
HER: (Giggling sheepishly) I came back and this time you are the first to know.
I want to buy you coffee sometime this week.
ME: Coffee? (Sounding puzzled)
HER: Eeh, coffee, si Its your favorite beverage..
ME: If I get time I’ll call you .
HER: Aki Jay usiwe hivyo, nigependa kukuona tena.
ME: I’ll try.
HER: Thank you James. Turrus!
That bastard !!
The madness began in campus, a few years back. I met her in a taxi on our way back to Campus. It was a clear evening as the sun sank in the horizon casting its golden sheen on planet earth. It was a new semester, and we both had paper bags full of shopping. I miss those days. You report to campus with your bank account fully loaded with your parents’ money. All you had to do was turn up for lectures, party like crazy all weekend and sit for exams at the end of the semester. Everything was catered for. Simple life. So anyway, she was donning a white top, blue faded jeans, 5 inch black heels and a black wig. She looked sophisticated and urbane. She sat next to me and by the grace of God I somehow managed to say Hey. The vibe was labored. I stuttered and my English abandoned me. My heart raced. You know that experience right? Your confidence departs from you and you mumble incoherencies. But she somehow knows that you are hopelessly in love with her and flashes that killer smile with delight. She was adorable. Curvy and Charming. She ticked all the boxes in my checklist. I was hopelessly smitten. Let’s call her Vivian.
The following days and weeks were pure bliss. A catholic by religion, Vivian reminded me of my childhood days. I left church courtesy of long mundane masses where half the time was spent standing and kneeling. No offence to the Catholic Church. It didn’t work for me.I’m the kind that gets bored easily. So We’d spend time together –endless coffees, lunches, movies, a kiss here and a touch there……. Paradise.She said she wasn’t interested in relationships. But I was optimistic one day I would win her over. You know that glimmer of hope you have that one day she’ll give in right? Patience pays, the bible says or something of the sort. She was bubbly, gregarious and all I ever wanted in a lady. I was under her spell. I’d cook for her, take her out, assist her with assignments and offer a crying shoulder during her lowest moments. She was mine, My cupcake. I would move continents and cross the Pacific for her. I adored her. She loved me. We loved each other. Or so I thought.
So one day I cleared Campus. And the harsh realities of life knocked on my door. I planted a seed to find employment. Waited, and Waited…. Frustrations mounted. My Shoulders drooped and the will to continue waned. Why do bad things happen to good people? I wanted to throw in the towel. But the God of Abraham is Faithful. We kept contact and I visited her from time to time lugging goodies from my hard earned cash. She would squeal with delight and embrace me like she would never see me again. I felt a like real man. The provider of her princess.
She finally graduated. The party was attended by the whole clan. And she introduced me to her family – a sign of good things to come.
Then one day she vamoosed like the morning fog. All calls went mteja. It seemed like a nightmare. How could she..! Time passed by. Week 1, Week 2……. Nothing .
On a beautiful Saturday morning, bored and buried in Facebook for lack of anything else to do, I noticed she was online. Why on earth was she not picking my calls!?
Heeeeey I’m cool and You?
I’m doing okay, Vivian, I’ve been trying to contact you. You are not reachable.
Oh Well, It’s more than that. I just haven’t been able to tell you this
I’m no longer in Kenya.
I am in Asia.
James I got married…….