Ten shillings of Love

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It was a hot afternoon. The date May 12th 2011. The previous year had seen me complete my high school education and I had nothing but the future to look upto. The day was special in more ways than one. First it was my birthday. Secondly I met one of the most important people in my life – then lost them but that was years later and everything was my fault I guess but that is a story for another day.

I was barely legal and the excitement of buying alcohol without having to hide was thrilling. I was as broke as a church mouse and that not withstanding I purposed to get hammered. Coming to think of it church mice can’t be broke can they? But anyway you get the drift. The usual goons were on the scene each of us armed with a few hundreds and an insatiable appetite to walk by the knees. Four wheel drive we’d call it.

This is where chance or fate happened. A friend asks me to send them some airtime. They needed to make a call or something of the sort. There wasn’t much to it so I obliged.  Trust a drunk to screw thing up. He gives me the wrong number. Actually he misses one digit and I sent airtime to the wrong person. Being on the kind of budget we were on this was an abomination. Insults were hurled and feelings were caught more so when he suggested I should send some more this time to the right number. It wasn’t even much ten shillings I think. This was to be the ten shillings that forever changed my life.

Details here are a bit sketchy. Maybe she would offer clarification – if we were on talking terms. Who called who first is not important but a call was made to the number that received the airtime. Mine was a simple plight to have my money back. The voice on the other end was mellow, soft and had this sexy coarseness to it. Undoubtedly it was a lady or a girl by that time. We went back and forth for a few minutes which to me was a waste of time. I should’ve been drowned in the piss of demons I wasn’t willing to spend anymore time on a futile mission. I bade my goodbyes and that was that.

What went through her mind afterwards I will never know and might never know. Three days after – I remember it was a Sunday. I had graced the church halls paying penance for my birthday debauchery and I was heading with my friend for a round of FIFA. My phone rang – it was her. This time I decided to hand the phone over to my friend. I thought he was in a better position to find out who the lass was. Trying to be suave he milked as much as he could then hang up. He was satisfied with the information he got and was all to willing to share. At the back of my mind it was all weird. This never happened at least not to me. I was more old fashioned.

The calls became more frequent and closely spaced together then came the messages. I had the mind to ignore all of them but for some reason I was drawn to this lass. She had an appeal I hadn’t seen or heard in a while and truthfully it was a breath of fresh air. Breaking all the rules in the book I allowed myself to be immersed in a world of sweet nothings. I had never laid my eyes on this person and it was both scary and fascinating at the same time. All I had to go by was the voice. That mellow, sweet and sexily coarse voice.

Over time it developed into a thing. It was weird because even after all that time spent we still had never made actual contact. Back then we did not have the benefits of whatsapp, twitter was an alien idea and Facebook was still up and coming. The risks that came with chatting up strangers was unknown to us. This built trust and this trust culminated into a crush which finally opened up to a love story. A beautiful fairytale with the beautiful maiden, the prince charming but minus the happy ending.

It was one tumultuous journey. But the first time we met had to be one of it’s peaks. Two strangers familiar with each other laying eyes on each other for the first time. There was that quaint awkwardness a hand shake that morphs into a hug and conversations picked up from the last message. No doubt it was love – or a version of it. Our body language said what our words couldn’t. Our eyes spoke silently and our hearts were screaming. Promises were made on the innocence of the moment – promises later broken in the heat of similar moments. But it was all so beautiful. If it was within human power this would have been a time played in constant loop till the world came to an end. But if the world also comes to an end nothing made us exempt to the same fate. The crash was fast and devastating.  More to her than to me.

I was young and somewhat wild with a support system thay bounced me back from almost anything – this is the waragi brotherhood. It never really hit home until I’d get the constant calls and I could hear her heart breaking. It was sad. One of my lowest moments I must admit. During these moments memories would flood in. Memories of promises made. With such I had the resolve to mend things. Which worked for a while until it broke again. It became a thing stretched over years. When they say love is tragic believe them. Especially young love. When the mind doesn’t fully comprehend what it wants. There’s nothing that’s as difficult as trying to find yourself when yourself is tied to someone else.

So now we’re just strangers. I don’t know if I could be happier or its just a facade. I guess it’s a cycle and we’re back to where we started. Can I have my ten shillings back though?  Times are hard 😊

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