She was in the washroom when she picked my call that day. I have avoided using any other terminology because I badly wanted to say, ‘the crapper.’ I don’t go to the crapper with my phone. Okay, I have tried once or twice and ascertained that it doesn’t work for me. The number of people I have heard phone calls with over the last year and I hear an echo in their voice is interestingly alarming. We are creatures of habit, so I would imagine that the culprits found loo mobile handling convenient at the start and now they cannot resist it. One lady friend, whom you will understand why names are best kept to myself here, says that place is her safe space. She spends a considerable amount of time there thinking and of course swiping through her phone and whatever else her God knows. Clearly she’s not claustrophobic.
I understand when you’re in the middle of a call and suddenly you feel like taking a wee and you casually continue with the conversation as you do your business. I mean, you’re in there talking to whomever but that doesn’t make them be their with you, does it? You might think, but the times I’d ask someone, “Are you sure you’re not where I hear you are?” they’d revolt and I’d be sorry for asking. Only one person I know finds it cute that I’m so keen to notice when the air around them changes. (Pun unintended.) Cute because I’m keen. Maybe she likes keen people. I know others imagine the boredom that will creep on them as they stare at the door while their muscles relax and would want a way to kill the boredom – so the phone comes in handy.
But as for her? She picked the call immediately to mean her phone was in hand. I innocently asked her where she was and she spoke freely. It was only courteous for me to ask whether I could call at a better time but what do you know, for people who carry their phones to the loo, that is always their best time. I needed to follow up on the story she had began feeding me, you have read two of its parts I believe. If you haven’t, then should you get bored in your next visit to you know where, I wouldn’t feel bad for not choosing a better place to read two of my latest blogs. Here and here.
“I am at my guy’s place,” she declared.
Chuckling, “Okay our guy’s place.”
Yes that was more like it because she had no right to personalize him for herself since theirs was nothing more than a mutually beneficial arrangement. As far as she is concerned, she has and is benefitting in more ways than she has ever in her entire 20s; her 20s that are barely half way. It is through her that I learnt yet again that you should never believe it when someone says “Never.” She was in the middle of doing her never and she was loving every inch of it. (Pun intended.)
“You know I can never go at it with someone I am not emotionally attracted to.”
“If I don’t love you, I won’t do you.”
What she was saying without saying is she cannot engage outside the wires of mutual love and affection. Remember love is a strong word, and many have been met with a ‘No Through Way’ roadblock just because she didn’t love them. But who was this man T, son of Ademola? Just how did he make a young, fully esteemed diva forsake her ways and jump on the horse without a saddle?
“Wait, as we speak, where’s he?”
“Don’t mind, he has gone to the gym. He said it was either he goes to a spa for a massage afterwards or I massage him. You definitely know the answer.”
They had been following each other on Instagram for some years. Some time last year, she bumped into his latest post in the feed. Other times she would see his picture and he looked fine. This particular moment, her hormones must have been aligned right or he must have done some strong Afrocinema juju that morning because she melted into his entire profile and liked every picture. That’s a ladies way of shooting her shot without actually shooting her shot. She got his attention and he did the same. He must have loved how dark she is, the rich colour of an African woman. He slid into her DM and you bet we wouldn’t be wasting ink here if the sliding stopped there.
It took a while before anything actionable was born from their conversations. Maybe his attention was elsewhere at the time. Or maybe it was his chosen style to seem and not to seem. To be interested but not to really be interested. He had mastered the art of limbo, the vacuum he ensnares ladies into so they couldn’t fully predict him – keeping them teased and yearning. Mjango, these are borderline traits of a toxic man.
Let me tell you today. Girls love toxic. They are hypnotized by unavailable men. But why am I calling it borderline? Because there is a thin line between playing like the don’t care man and actually being one and hence, a toxic man. As men, we advise each other to be subtle in our approaches. Never show too much attention, you’ll be taken for granted. Just keep yourself at an indifferent distance, or at least pretend to be because that’s how to keep the women on the sport for you. Failure to know just how much to regulate it falls within the thighs of toxicity. Either way, it works and now here was a girl who had her inners boiled enough by this fine mubabaz that would text her first and go all submarine before responding again. She was so boiled and ready to be eaten that when he asked, “Do you mind going out for dinner?” months later, her answer had been yes way before Rosa Parks said no.
Whether she turned out to be the dinner; being like a marinated baked turkey that willingly placed itself on royal gigantic platter or there was actual food on a table graced with candles – is now past tense. What matters now is how hooked she is.
And at the time of my calling, she was at his place eager to have him stand amazed in her presence because nobody has ever made her see or do the things she does with him. It’s like with age comes experience. It’s not necessarily about how he stands amazed, it’s more about how he treats her. She is like his canvas and he is a very talented French painter. He strokes the brush like his life depends on it; call it passion in every stroke. And she cannot help but be painted with disbelief because small boys never treat her this way. Small boys don’t have stories of life rich enough to throw her into wonderland. Small boys don’t have intelligent conversations with her; discussing ideas and the ins and outs of life. It would get even lit when he lights a blunt as they chill on his balcony with the view of Nairobi’s buttocks before them. Sometimes, hers would be the view. Small boys don’t have women experience, they want to be pampered more than they can pamper. Or maybe the ability to pamper comes with money. Because anyway, most small boys don’t have money either. Yeah they will sing started from the Bottom with Drake but the difference is he is here because he’s got money and the small boys end the chorus at the bottom. T’s money has him living like a king in Nairobi after leaving Lagos ten years ago to start his own company. He shouts class starting from the fact that he took his son to study in the U.K. He wanted to make him a man of his own and establish himself in the colonial land, but poor small boy wanted to go back and be where his mother is.
He has a minibar in his apartment, two refrigerators stocked with all a girl could crave for and a mini massage parlour at the corner of his bedroom. It’s always a – I massage you, you massage me next – situation.
And primarily, small boys are simps.
“Tell me Rita, why are you in this situation?”
“I am someone who has never had a regular person. I mean, being in a regular relationship.”
“And why is that?”
“Because I attract the same type of men. A macho man. An unpredictable man. A toxic man. That’s my attraction principle, and I think most girls suffer from this. I have something that I want, I’m very particular about it and I can’t help myself. What attracts me is the aspect of being unpredictable and highly toxic. I want what I cannot control.
It’s like I want a duplicate version of me. I’m a controller. Even with my friends, they bow to my will. I am not attracted to a man who bows to my will, I am attracted to the one who makes me kiss his feet. Men like these don’t show they are head over heels for you. They may want you, but they have mastered the art of not showing it and that makes you fall for them head first.
And you see that’s why I don’t like light skin guys; they look not macho. I don’t want to say gullible, but dark men present manliness. It’s worse when he is light skin and short, the worst combination ever. T is dark, and tall, and he has beards. He looks like an African man. He is well built, he has abs. A girl could wet herself just looking at him and yet he is a 44 year old. Let’s not get started on the size of his cane. He treats me like a queen when I am with him, but he draws his boundaries sharply. Like, he is not always available, even when I want it so badly, he won’t tell me just to come over because I want it. He will say he is busy, and don’t call him randomly unless it’s an emergency.
Small boys out here like another one recently – are always available. The guy is such a darling. When I tell him I have a flu, he calls every hour to check on me, mara he wants to come over. Dude! Be a mafia for Pete’s sake. Make a girl complain about why you don’t seem to care once in a while. Even if you have nothing to do, when a girl wants to see you, don’t be too quick to ask where. Just say you have something you’re doing, maybe the weekend? A man is sexier when he looks busy. Sometimes T works from home, but he can’t let me be there when he is. He says I am distraction.”
“Oh but I am. He would drop me off when the weekend is over or on Monday morning and that’s how we may not talk again till the brink of the next weekend. Maybe some occasional meme sharing and teasing but that’s it. There is no hint of exclusivity. We just go with the flow. We haven’t defined things but at the same time we have silently defined them as platonic.”
“No I love you?”
“I love you vindu shi! My knight in shining armour can come and I would send him back crying because he is ready to conquer armies for me. That’s how messed up I am? I am used to having people I can control, predict and twist, so I would definitely be attracted to what I can’t control by nature. Subconsciously I am attracted to a version of me. Same alpha energy that I have.
Ladies are advised to be feminine, and that means don’t talk about yourself a lot. But some of my aspects cannot be placed in a feminine box. For instance, mbona nisikutext wa kwanza? I would tell a guy that I like him first. Where you? I wanna see you. I wouldn’t wait nipangwe. To some people, that is not entirely feminine. That’s because I don’t follow rules. I do whatever comes to my mind at the time.”
“So that’s where a mubabaz comes in.”
She sighs, “I know I may not find what I am looking for if I keep being attracted to the same people. These are not people I can be with in the long run. I mean, surely I am barely ,24, his son and I are age mates! What future could I have with a 44 year old?”
“You do realize the oxymoron in play, you know there is no future yet you let him do things that could bind you to a wheelchair for life.”
“Of course I do. And I can’t help it. Napenda wababa because I cannot control…”
Clicks, “Sorry some guy’s calling me. He keeps on calling. It is dudes like this that I am not attracted to, dudes who are doing the most.
Anyway, he’s a great guy. I attract the same type of men who make me go bananas and eventually break my heart. I find people who are extremely damaged. But this one? This Rich, Smoking Mubabaz is a risk worth taking. This is every 20s girl’s dream. If I am going to sin with a mubaba, I’d rather do it with a rich and good looking one. All you got to do is not dare ask if you’re the only one. This is a divorced man living his best life. He can do what he wants and who he wants. All I or we make sure is we are careful. I’d be a fool to think of myself as special.”
“But so far, you’ve been really treated like special right?”
“Yea he’s starting to like me. I know it… Shiet! No! No! No! Not here, not today!”
“Why? What is it?”
She whines some more, “This is such a bad time for this to be happening.”
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