People are afraid of snakes. I fear spiders. A lot. Some guys are afraid of their wives and girlfriends. Or their wives finding about their girlfriends. Kind of takes me back to Jimmy Gathu. Suave guy, rectangle spectacles deep voice hid in people’s closets. Closets Jimmy? You always came out of one. Something you need to tell us? Anyway. Remember him? He’d be on prime time telling off married people to ‘wachana na mpango wa kando’. Making men hot under the collar sending kids for water.
‘Junior shika hii glass ulete maji’
Junior would look at the already full glass and wonder why the dad needed water
‘mbona unang’ethia apo kama mamba inaota jua’
‘Baba iko na maji’
‘Unafikiria sijui? Ninalipa School fees uniulize maswali? Umeonja iyo maji uskie kama inaonja kama maji?’
Women would squirm in their lesos. Look at Junior and smirk. He kind of looks like Johnny the neighbor. But she convinced Baba Junior that those are his eyes. They even blink the same. You can tell a kid is yours by the way they blink. My blinking is off. I think the left inherited my mum’s and the right my dad’s.
‘Watoto wa siku hizi’ she’d say glad the ad is over and Jimmy is back in the closet
A scared college girl somewhere would be wondering how she will make rent if people took his advice. She’s been told education is the key But what she really needed was the key to that damn closet. Lock Jimmy in and keep him there.
I was young. No girlfriend no wife.
You’re probably thinking what this intro has to do with the story. Let me spoil it for you. Nothing. But I did meet up with a pal. Or should I say lady friend? Not on Valentines But way before. Doesn’t really love whisky. But talked about it in the story. I felt cheated. I had to make do with vodka. Which isn’t as bad as it sounds. But Jimmy wouldn’t like that. Loyalty is important. So anyway we talk over drinks and chat later over strong Wi-Fi. Turns out she has a story. I tell her to tell it. She refuses. Makes me do it. Makes. Can you believe it? So I listen keenly and pen it down. Here it is:
I’m out with my girls. Normal night out. Bottles of overpriced whisky on the table. Buckets of ice. Bottles of water sparingly at each corner. Four unopened coke bottles. The flash of cameras as Caro takes a selfie with Aggie. They pout. Take a million photos. Delete a million photos. Take a million and one photos. Delete a million photos. Upload one. Tag all of you. Another is busy posing with the bottle looking like a failed sales lady. You don’t even hold whisky bottles like that. No one tells her. She couldn’t sell you her dream if she tried. You’re all tired of her instagram. Shady poses. Shady pictures. And she tags all of you. But she’s fun. And pretty. Mostly pretty.so she can tag along.
My phone buzzes. It’s him. That guy. Cute. Maybe handsome. A dancer. Why do women like dancers? Something about the fluidity in their motion that… never mind. He’s around. Wants to say hi. I think maybe a brief hello. A slightly longer hug. And I’m are back to drinks. Pictures. Gossip. Ogling. We arrange to meet outside the club. Perfect. For me. He’s never seen me buzzed. He doesn’t even indulge. For a moment I think against it. But he’s also never seen me in my ‘Friday’ jeans. That hug all the right places. What the hell, right?
I go down the stairs. Step out. I see him. Something inside you tingles. We hug. Talk a bit. Then it gets awkward. Like first times. He’s never been to a club. At least that’s what you think so you have to excuse yourself. But he lingers. Like a lost puppy. Cute. It wouldn’t be though if he wasn’t cute. We walk in. Me, a bit apprehensive. Very tipsy. Him? I don’t know. He doesn’t have that awe filled glare. The lights don’t seem to fascinate him. At the table it’s quick introductions. I make sure he waves at shady poses. I don’t want the accent to betray her. I keep him away from Caro and her flashes. He sits next to me. Just close enough to let the mind wander but far enough to not let anything else wander Mothers do a pretty decent job. Mine did. So first round is on me. But he doesn’t drink. So, soda. If anyone asks he would be the designated driver. We are having whisky. Can’t be that the only female genitalia on the table doesn’t even have one. So designated driver it is.
Cokes need to be bigger. Wait. Sorry. That did not sound right. I mean 300ml is not enough. This guy chugs it down. I offer to buy another drink. He’s a gentleman. Says no. He’s fine. So he sits there. Watching. We are drunk. So maybe we ignore him. Once in a while one of us will engage. Ask why he is not drinking. Get the same response and forget about him again. Time lapses. The ice bucket is a water bucket. I don’t notice it at first but guy gets up. I think he is about to dance. Get some of the girls ogling Get me a pat on the shoulder. Some ‘That’s a keeper’ talk whispered in my ear. But, he pours himself a glass of ice cold water. Smart. Makes sense. Why buy water when it’s right there?
Who said girls can’t drink? We can. The bottle is over. The fun has just started. But, I have a tag along. I take my leave. Plus an escort, cute one, in the middle of the night things could happen. We walk to my stage. Jeans getting us some attention. Maybe it’s the drinks. I just want to get some minus the attention. The stage isn’t far enough. Maybe I was hazy. But we’re there. I’m about to board. He stops me. I’m thinking this might be it. He might just turn me around and in one swoon kiss me. He doesn’t. Maybe it’s the drinks but he casually announces he does not have any bus fare. Do you know how that feels? To have someone make you think they were interested in your company only to have them drop a bombshell? Again I think it’s the drinks because I don’t fully react. Maybe he said air. Maybe he doesn’t have air. Makes sense. It’s me. I’m the Sparks to his Jordan. Is it Jordin? So yes. No air. *cue music here*
I look into his face. I’m searching for something. Anything. Even his dignity. Manhood. Something. He’s unflinching. Standing there waiting for fare. It’s late. I’m drunk. I say I don’t have change. He asks. Yes, he asks. He asks how much I have before taking it and getting change. I’m still shocked. And drunk. Dream guy turns out to be nightmare guy. I just want to go home. But wait. He leans in for a kiss. Maybe it was the drinks. I was drunk. In shock. So I let him have it, got into the bus and went home. The whole way I was trying to figure out what kind of men we have. I can buy drinks. I can buy food. But fare? With all this femininity. Pretty face. Prettier eyes. Curves. I’m not going to wear any pants in any relationship. Even if they are my ‘Friday’ jeans.