I was supposed to take her out on a small vacation this past weekend. Of course I did take her out, I am a man of my word know? But I have a feeling I am just about to be friend zoned by my very own darling. While Sauti Sol sing ‘Jumping off the friend zone’, I am singing something not so different. Something like ‘Jumping into the friend zone.’ I am a man at the verge of shedding tears.
So the problem was not taking her out, in fact she was in love with the whole idea from the start. It’s quite long since I took her out, hence this time, a weekend-date-vacation would perfectly compensate. The problem was what happened during our first night out in Mombasa.
I had an Uber pick me up first then over to her house to pick her too. This time I didn’t have to wait as I always do and the reason was obvious; she was elated about going to Pwani. Not that she had never been there, but it was because of the one who was taking her. How lovely it is for someone to feel like she has never been to a place just because of the person she is going with. Isn’t that love?
In the car, “I have not seen you this excited in a long time dear.”
With a sweet giggle, “I am always happy dear. Kwani you don’t want me to be happy?”
“Nah not like that. So I should be taking you out for a vacation every weekend to recharge your happiness huh?”
“By the way why haven’t you been doing that? I’ve been longing to hear that proposal.”
I felt trapped in my own words. I thought of how much it would cost me more especially because of her very presence in the ‘soon to be weekly expeditions.’ Her presence in itself is just costly. Even her laughter is enough to scare off a broke mjango. (Team mafisi washikiliwe.) Frankly, I got scared as well. There was an elephant in my own room that I only knew about. For me, getting cash to take her out is never a guarantee. I can either get it or not. Call it probabilities walking on a thread like the way it is in gambling. Oh yes it’s gambling I’m talking about here. Okay I don’t like calling it gambling because it sounds like crime. It’s betting for that matter. I have won good money a few times, enough to make me subscribe to the faith that lack is real and it can knock on my door at any time I want. Okay not all the time. I won’t lie that I have lost big time in some cases. But this weekend’s bet was a sure one. Manchester City and Liverpool? Arsenal and Bournemouth? Leicester City and Chelsea? Stoke City and Manchester United? The outcome for these games has never been so predictable, so I thought. That was direct money in the bank for this pretty being of mine in a pair or rugged booty shorts, an off shoulder top and a fluffy-kinky hairstyle. Stunning is the word there.
With my head held high on Saturday morning, at  8.55am at the Nairobi SGR terminus, we boarded the highly worshiped SGR train to the city of no return-down south.
“So which hotel are we going to?” She asks as she chews the crunchy krackles I had bought when a mjango selling refreshments passed by our double seat; like a hawker in SGR.
With a PR laughter, “You can you ever live with curiosity and tame it?”
Looking back at me with puppy-dog eyes, “Just tell me hun.”
I knew it was a wrong move but it was my only card left, “Where do you want to spend the night?”
“Are you asking me to choose the hotel we will stay in?” She was now becoming sparky.
After a pause, “Just say and we will see the situation on the pitch.”
“The pitch? Like the soccer pitch ama?”
I had used the wrong word because of all what was ringing in my head was the soccer bet that would save our weekend out. I had to cover up with sugar.
PR laughter, “Babe you don’t get jokes do you? Pitch is just a ground. You know situation on the ground?”
“Ooh!” She laughs.
“Hun next time we will do first class right?”
The answer to that in my mind was, “If I bet well!”
But I said, “Hizi vitu zitakuja polepole sweetie. Hakuna haraka ya maisha.”
We set foot at the Mombasa terminus in the afternoon with a welcoming hot breeze that blew across it. I saw the way she looked at me when I said thank you and goodbye to Purity, the passenger cru (not train hostess) that served in our coach. Normally she would get quite moody not only because I ‘flirted’ with our passenger cru with barely four undebatable words, but also for failing to hear what she was saying pretty much at the same time. She remained full of life however. That doesn’t rule out my freedom to compliment the phat passenger cru that were not far away from killing me with their blood-red coat and hat with nice hair styles sticking out – some had weaves manzeh, hair-black skirts that I call: ‘don’t touch her knees’, patent leather doll shoes and neat make up. But it was a little bit weird because of the double- glittery colors done on their eye lids.  They must be having tolerance in their line of work because of mjangos who put their game on their mouths. It’s obvious that were it not for work ethics, some mjangos would have endeavored to hold a revolver with one bullet in it – on their heads. The weight of turn downs and stoppers would have been too much to bear.
“So hun we will board a matatu to Mombasa town from here,” pointing at a fleet of matatus at the terminus’ parking lot.
“Must we board a matatu? I don’t want a matatu.”
Seeing where she was heading with that conversation, “Sasa utatembea?”
Upon hearing that, she halted, released her suit case, dropped her wedged sun glasses to her eyes and folded her arms, as if to protest over going in a matatu. I knew she wanted a taxi. I can’t blame her for not being considerate about my indefinite budget at the time, only because she didn’t know about it and she was not supposed to know either. I still had faith in my ‘jackpot’ that was cooking and should be up for my serving by later that night. Then we would ball all the way to Nyali Beach Hotel, Casablanca and wherever else her wildest dreams would lead us.
In the mean time we had to settle for some place lesser than Nyali.
“This is Blue Comforts Hotel! The new Nyali or something?” I could tell that that was a dis in a colored coat.
“Bae it’s only for a short time. Don’t worry.” I almost found myself on my knees to plead for her ecstasy levels not to drop.
I was honestly disappointed in myself for bending so low about all these. I had a mild feeling that gave me the chills when I thought about it – that something might go wrong that night. I refused to believe that it was my bet that was going to go wrong. I was wrong!
“The hotel is not so bad hun, what do you think?”
She looked around the room with a slight fold on her face, careful not to just touch anything in any manner. She smelt the beddings, checked outside the window, shower and oh yes she inspected the toilet too. She tried to flash it. I risked a drop of pee in my pants as she did that drill.
“Yea, not bad,” She said as she sat on the bed.
I sat next to her and wrapped my arm around her waist. “I promise we are going to have a time of our lives, okay?”
I missed my breath there for a moment as I anticipated for a positive answer. I made it look like it was going to be a surprise.
She looked back at me and pecked my nose, “Okay, I will wait.”
“Yee! Now that’s my wonder woman. Are you in for late lunch?”
“Sure. Where? It’s got to be a good place.”
“Yes it is. They have the best biriani in town.  A friend showed me that joint the last time I was here.”
She thought for a moment, “I have never had biriani. How does it taste?”
“Shall we subject that to testing and tasting the real thing?”
She giggles, “Okay. Si twende.”
It was 6.10pm when we got to Barka Restaurant. A slap of barbeque aroma roasted at the verandah hit our faces as we approached the entrance. The entrance was so wide purposefully to trigger appetite holders that prefer fancy food places. Inside were two floors with sleek interior design having pink as the prime coating.
“The number of people in here must be speaking volumes of how prominent the place must be.” She said as we took our seats on a table for two. Her compliment gave me more confidence to steer hope for the night.
A waiter with a protruding thorax came to take our order. “Waambaje wenzangu?”
She quickly answered, “Waambaje.”
The guy looked confused for a while. I was almost embarrassed when I realized she had answered like the way ‘How do you do,’ is answered in English. The mjango remained cool because he was no better at comprehending such things.
“Mtala nini?”
She looked at me as if she was expecting me to answer first.
“What did he say?”
“Ooh! Kumbe ni lugha huelewi. I thought you wanted me to answer. He is asking for our order.”
Laughing, “Aki this Swahili! Anway biriani, right?” She looked back to derive my approval.
“Ndio ndio kaka. Biriani.”
“Sawa sawa,” The waiter said. “Ikiwemo na pasta na mkate ya naan?”
“Hapo sasa!”
After he left, “Bae I need to stay here longer. I am in love with that accent.”
“You wish. You can’t get that accent. You have English rubbed all over your tongue.”
“Aki you’re not helping.”
Two enormous oval plates of a load of biriani rice, chicken steak buried within the swamp of spread pasta and naan bread was professionally placed before each of us. The aroma took her away immediately. It only proved that I had starved bae out of how she did justice to the collabo of biriani, pasta and naan. For a moment as I watched her enjoy the coastal delicacy, I felt as if I had won her joy even without the most expensive of places in town. That however didn’t brush off the fact that she deserved better.
“Why do you keep looking at your watch?” She asked as she tore a chunk of meat from the chicken drum.
After stammering, “Just being timely dear.”
Yes, I was timing the end of the last match which was Stoke City against Manchester United so I’d go online and withdraw my prize. But that was theoretical. I was a bit nervous; I even didn’t eat a lot.
As she went to wash her hands, I quickly sneaked online to kill the curious cat in me. The money I’d use to pay for the meal we had just had would be the last of the pennies I had. A part of me was psyched up to looked at the outcome of my multi bets and another part sided with my heart beating in a machine gun rhythm. I was afraid of the truth that would obviously bring me to my death wish.
Mother Nature began a war with me there and then. The internet became slow all of a sudden.
A shadow was cast over me as I buried my eyes in my phone in impatience. I looked up, “Boss kuna dada yuakuita mle chini. Anakaa kutaabika.”
“Chini wapi?”
“Mle msalani.”
That was awkward. Washrooms, how did she get there? I quickly took the spiral stairs. Everything felt so wrong at the time. I could feel it under my ears. She was standing at the door to the washrooms looking uneasy.
“Bae ni nini? You look upset.”
“Yes! I am upset. You brought me here to die. That food was bad! Why you doing this to…” She took an unplanned for about turn back to the washrooms. Oh boy! I was in deep trouble. I suspected it was the pasta and she has a very delicate tummy. Now cheap things are costly.
Stressed and not knowing what to do, I turned to my phone. This is what I saw and I just wanted to die on the spot.
I had lost my bet by a whisker. In betting, a lose is a lose. I should have seen that coming and now I was nursing a terrible shock. I should have also seen her coming when she found me glued on the screen of my phone.
“What are you looking at while I’m dying because of your cheap restaurant?” Wait, you have been betting? Or what is this that I have seen?”
The lower lids of my eyes bulged out in guilt. She turns red.
“You mean we are in a cheap restaurant and a cheap hotel because you betted on the money? The money you were to take me out with? Dude you gambled on our vacation date? Answer me!”
There was already a scene created in the restaurant. Before she could finish launching her slap, the roll call came again. She had to go back into the chambers.
She left while saying, “We are not done here nigga!”


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Written by The Mjango

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6 years ago

Hahahaha now you know…never gamble with dates!

6 years ago

I’m glad you lost the bet

6 years ago

First I was not so sure who ti feel for, but now I feel for the bet-er. (For lack of a better word.) Next time put your money where your pocket is.
Manchester ilitutoa mpangoni wengi lakini.