14th February, Central Business District, Nairobi: His Voice
It is Valentine’s Day.
I am seated just outside the Lifestyle Mall. On one of those green public benches that are always clean but are never wiped. No wonder people in Nairobi always have dusty behinds. The effect of sitting on dirty chairs. The only people around are campus newbies. You can smell it on them. The way they walk around in packs, wearing the latest fashions. The guys a bit too loud trying to prove their coolness to the girls. The girls wearing skirts so short you’d think it is an indicator of their attentions spans. I digress.
I am waiting for this girl I met online a couple of weeks ago. I know, I know who does online dating? But I was bored. My girl has been acting up lately. So I accidentally created an online profile on Tinder, the dating app. You know, just to see what it’s like. Then I stumbled on the funniest profile ever. We got to talking and this mama just got me. Plus, apart from being funny. She could actually have intelligent conversations. Have you ever had a conversation so awesome, you got a boner after that? Me neither, until I met this one. I never thought girls could be funny. Blame it on my dating a girl who is as humorous as dry bread. I love that girl but when God was dishing out booty. He gave her too much and when it came to humor….he gave her nothing. It is the universe’ funny way of maintaining a balance I suppose. I love my girl but I had not laughed this way in a long while. So we finally decided to meet up. To put a face to the online profile. Which is why I find myself here today.
Girls and lateness
I have been seated here for the past hour. Normally, I would have left after 20 minutes. Life is too short to wait for anyone. Even pretty girls. But she promised to buy coffee at the Java restaurant and considering the way my bank account is set up right now. I can afford to wait another hour. Plus, I told my girl I was working today and I have a client meeting at Java. That woman is so suspicious she will probably demand receipts. I am lost in my world, wondering how I got myself in a relationship in the first place. it was supposed to be a one night arrangement. I suppose the action was too good a brother had to stay.
She finally shows up, a half hour later. She does not apologize. In a yellow dress, that announces her presence even before she speaks. Instead she throws herself at me and gives me one of those hugs that results in blood cascading to the nether regions. She is genuinely excited to see me. I smile. She laughs and she has those dimples that look like 2 craters designed by God to make you fall for her. She grabs my arm and leads me in to the restaurant. She happily takes over. She orders a Malindi Machiatto and swears I will like it. I do. As we wait, she leans over and tells me, it has been awhile since she took someone home. I blush. Then, I excuse myself immediately and head to the bathroom. It was getting a little too hot in there. In the bathroom, yours truly, stretches a bit, a few press-ups and of course I wash my head just to cool down. I think of throwing some cold water down there. But I figure, that is not socially acceptable in a public wash room. This is going really well.
Her lips are moving
In the next hours, she talks. I listen. She tells me of her family. The little quirks that make them work. How her brother at 31 still pees in bed a little. How her sister is dating her ex and the way her parents are thinking of opening a church. Apparently it is a really good business investment. She tells me of how her parents, Luos from Nyanza dislike Kikuyus. They say all Kikuyus are thieves. I ask her if she thinks I am a thief. She says yes, I am stealing her heart. I laugh at the cheesiness of her line. She is in a manner an open book. I like that. Her ability to tell you everything but reveal nothing.
The darkness falls quickly. I am glad. The sun is the enemy of lovers. She has a curfew. She asks me to take her home. However, she insists that she drop me off first at my matatu stage. I have never heard of a girl dropping off a man. However, it is Valentine’s day, maybe the ladies had a convention and decided to show us some love for a change. As we walk from the lifestyle mall to my stage. She keeps talking, and she does that thing girls who like you do. She slips her hand in mine. As if, my hand is the safest place in the world. I smile and hold her a bit tighter. At the stage, I stop hoping to get a last minute hug before she leaves. It would not hurt to get a feel of the twins one more time. I figure she is probably meeting another guy before heading home. She definitely would not want us to meet. So I do not push it. I tell her goodbye and wait for her to leave. Instead, she insists we board the matatu together. I do not resist. I ask her why she is not going home. She laughs, in the high pitch I love and she tells me my place is her home, tonight at least.
My phone rings. It is my girlfriend, soon to be ex. I turn off my phone. The new girl looks at me and laughs, asking why I am avoiding my girlfriend. I brush it off. The matatu starts moving, rushing headlong into traffic. It moves quickly, as if the driver understands I need to get this girl home quickly. Before she realizes I am just another shady guy. She leans on my shoulder and holds me close. As she closes her eyes, she mentions that she is not wearing any panties. I shiver. She laughs and asks me to wake her up when we are home. I wonder what it will feel like to have her naked on my bed. I look at her, she is beautiful. I wonder who must have hurt her and made her this way. Because she’s got it all going on with her body. When you look at her, she is an African star. Ameumbwa akaumbika. Sura, shape na tabia ziko sawasawa. Her papa is Luo and my mama is Kikuyu. So tonight when I lay my chest on her thighs. As she welcomes me into the folds underneath. We will in our small way, be healing the nation.
Later that night. Her voice
I am seated in the dark. The window is open. My clothes on the floor. My panties on the kitchen table. I am not quite sure how they got there. My trousers on top of some magazines I am sure he bought just to impress me. I was impressed. His boxers are next to my cashmere top. The condom he just removed sits on top of them both. The semen dripping from the edge. I wonder how it would feel to have his babies. I sit up, the darkness envelops me. I can hear him, peeing in the bathroom. His heart glad that he got me here. I can almost see the spark in his eyes. The smirk on his lips as he asked me to call him baby. I did.
It has been 3 weeks of chatting with him. I never believed in meeting people online. I should have trusted those instincts. Probably I would not be here.
He opens the bathroom door, naked. He covers himself with a towel. A waste of godliness.
I can feel it. The gentle tug of foolishness at my heart. I am falling for him. I can feel it. I can see it. I wonder how it would feel to grow old with him. To have him call me his lil mama. When we are 80 and toothless. To have him chase me around the house. Catch me in his arms, flailing though they may be. I think I will love him even then. To watch him grow old. His eyes growing ever weary. But the glow, remaining just as it did when he first saw me. In a yellow dress. The frills tugging at my thighs. Daring me to expose what my mama gave me. The way he kissed me the first time. As a hungry lover devouring his prey. And the way he bedded me that first time….
Grow old with me
I hope he dies before me. So I can kiss him goodbye one last time. See how his tongue swirls in mine. The way swans intertwine their necks with their lovers. I wonder how it will taste like. Perhaps like cyanide, daring me to follow him into the abyss. And when his breath wavers. When his chest starts heaving and his eyes falter. I will extract one final promise. He has to promise to find me in the next life. He can love again before I join him. But in the next life, it has to be me he chooses. He has to find me and love me again.
He calls my name and wakes me up from my reverie. He wants to know if I’ll eat something. I ask if I can eat him. He laughs…beautifully.
It is Valentine’s day.