“So honey there’s this guy…” “Who?”
“Si you wait I’m not even done…”
“Okay sorry go on,” I sit up desperately trying to find a comfy position on a waiting chair in the salon my madame goes to somwhere in town. Salons should work on better chairs for customers who tag along to the salon to motivate the actual customers. Being the man I am, I accompanied my madame to have a manicure and pedicure. The magazines in there are old and she cannot resist talking while I’m there. That means I have to listen to her. She even forgets that some conversations she strikes in there demand for our ears only. I constantly need to remain alert to ricochet those private conversations that escape her mouth or say, chase back those cats that she lets out of her bag? I didn’t know whether nail work could be that hypnotising. At one point, she asked me to remind her to shave me! Mark you my hair(on the head) is already done, well trimmed, giving me the killer looks. What other shaving could she possibly be talking about?
I felt like leaving the embarrassing atmosphere like a house fly threatened with a broom in the kitchen. But I couldn’t, I was seated directly behind her and there was a wide mirror on the wall infront of her. She had eyes on me full time. But she was not the only one who had eyes on me. That mirror served several others very well, both customers, hair dressers and nail dressers. I bet madame knew and she was enjoying the previlage of my attention over all of them. She was enjoying the ownership she had over me. She was too occupied by that to care whether I was struggling to keep up with her attention at the expense of several other tempting ones.
Some said with their eyes, “Look for a way to just drop your number here…” , “… just a one night stand, you and me.”
Some body languages said aloud, “This could be all yours. Just forget her and come for it…” , “signal me and I’ll walk out after you…”
“Yes so,” she continued, “He started becoming close with my friends from nowhere. Doing favours for us like driving us home and taking us out for lunch… Are you listening?”
Almost caught off guard, “Yes yes I’m listening. Go on.”
“Okay he also used to drive me home. I didn’t know his intentions. I took it as friendly favours.”
I was curious to ask what else she had from him in the name of ‘friendly favours.’ I thought better. But that part where he drove her home landed at the wrong place. Is if that I should get a car or something?
“Then one day he was driving me home and he was like, “I’ve been longing to confess something…”
Though there was some noise from other female voices, laughter and the background music in the salon, I could tell some mjangos undergoing beatification in there held their ears up-sharp; to hear the unravelling of my madame’s story. From there gossiping would be the disease. I also held my breath.
“He said, “I think I am attracted to you.”
I don’t know why but I wasn’t shocked, “And then you said?”
“I asked him, “Is that the best you can do?” He said, “Okay I am in love with you.”
She started giggling. She was seated still not to disrupt the young and rather plump lady keenly doing her manicure. I pitied and admired the plump nail dresser at the same time since she was so focused to the extent that she didn’t notice her cleavage had become more than what is permissible enough to be called a cleavage. I thought I should be nice after she is done to give her a tip and say, “This is for your cleavage.” That is when my madame is not in close range. Or maybe she was aware that her cleavage had gone beyond permissible limits but she was among the many others who were hustling for the attention of the only man in the salon at the time. Well, if that was her intention, then she should have tried harder.(Hehe.)
Anyway my madame knows if she messes up with her nails, she will be in for someone’s wrath. Not because of anything but because this particular someone always wants to see her looking neat and beautiful. That is why he can go even to the extent of making sure he takes her to the salon to ensure her nails or hair is done perfectly. He even employed a designer for her. (By the way today is her birthday. The designer. She is called Nait. Happy birthday Nait.)
“That was when I knew that men don’t just do favours for free.”
Shaking her head as her smile faded.
I thought for a while. “I think I do you favours for free.”
“Look who’s talking! Should I start telling ways in which I pay you back? Bae, surely? Should I?”
That was when it hit me, I wasn’t going to let her say that before the sea of feminine faces in the mirror. “No! Wachia hapo!”
“Weeh!” Chuckling, “So I told him, “A while ago you said you think you’re attracted to me, how is it that it has changed all of a sudden to loving me?”
“He must have cried huh? ”
“Ati cried? He kept on making moves on me and trying to be so nice…”
I fell into deep thought asking myself who that mjango who has the guts to make moves on my very own might be. Without realising it, I had positioned my face towards the plump nail dresser. You know that moment when you drift into thought with your eyes open but you cannot see? Kunaitwa kuzubaa eish! I am a victim of that habit because I think a lot and when I do, I take my time. So unluckily, it seemed like I was taking my precious time with my eyes on ‘another man’s property.’
I snapped back when I involuntarily moved my eyes and guess what, our eyes locked. She was seeing me ‘see’ her all that time. She pulled up her top to cover that huge decent or indecent exposure (it depends with you.) I turned away my face in guilt. She was done with the manicure and now they were discussing on how the pedicure is going to be done. She also looked away from me while she talked to my madame. She didn’t look happy at all, that is to my amusement by the way. I thought it would be the other way around. Or is it because my madame was there yet I could still afford to look at another man’s property? Of all the places I could do that is before the sea of faces peering at me in the mighty mirror?
I was fearing for my madame’s pedicure. It would be done with so much hate and disgust. How could I explain to her that I was thinking about an issue I am facing as a man? So it just so happened that I was thinking with my head positioned not at the wrong place, but directly opposite to where she was operating from. In fact I wish I could get to know the man who owns ‘that property.’ I would explain to him and you know men, we understand these things. Well, even if he won’t understand I can at least bribe him by allowing him to stare, this time intentionally at ‘my own property.’ But when my madame realises I did that, of course I’ll be blogging from the morgue next time.
Though mjango, the issue still stands that another man’s property has been tampered with. That confirmed something I’ve been longing to know by the way. This I tell my fellow mjangos for free, even if a woman is into you, don’t ‘molest’ her with your eyes before or even after you make your move. Aki take that to your grave. So for me, I wasn’t to make a move. But that doesn’t mean I was safe. What I had allegedly done might eat her up until she spills it over to my madame. When that happens, every opening into the salon will be closed and the salon will turn into a WWE wrestling.
I was almost standing up and saying, “Babe, the manicure is enough for today. Let’s go.”
Maybe she’d say, “Honey, go where and why?”
After stammering, “We go and have lunch at eehm, anywhere you want.”
If there is one thing that does not fascinate my madame unlike slayers out there is food. Junk food or whatever kind of food. That means her positive reaction to that would definitely be very slow. Oh, another thing, she smells a rat very quickly. So trying to get us out of there would only trigger the universe to pour out explanations to her. I resolved to acting cool saying under my breath, “To hell with it!”
As I took out my phone to help me wipe off the face of suspicion and smokey atmosphere of guilt, “So babe where was I?” She resumed.
“I don’t know, had you gone anywhere?” Faking a smile.
Thank God she doesn’t roll her eyes. Another sign that my madame ain’t no slayer. She only gives me a look that says, “Really?”
“You were telling me about…”
“Oh yah I’ve remembered. So si it reached a point I got fed up and told him point blank that I had been taken. He asked by who, then I told him your name. Ever since then he has never made a move again. He kept his distance. You see that’s how people respect you?”
I giggled, careful to keep my eyes on her as we spoke through the mirror. What would I do if it wasn’t for that mirror? “So all that was about a mjango who respects me to that extent?”
“Yes, you’re really respected. It’s just that you don’t know.”
I could only laugh. That was a good attempt from her to feed my esteem.
“How nice of you to say dear.”
“You know your image is my concern just as much as my beauty is your concern.”
“In fact the new hairstyle you will plait is makeba.” I wink at her.
“Are you sure it will look good on me?”
“Ama it’s because the designer says so.” We both laugh.
“Ask him whether he respects other women!” I heard someone say with some weight of contempt.
My madame turned to look at her nail dresser. “Are you talking to me?”
I began tasting something awful in my mouth, a sign of impending disaster. I counted my options. Leaving the hot premises? No. It would raise suspicion and add firewood to that conversation while I’m gone. Start up another conversation? Damn! They are already talking.
Even before I could finish counting, “Hun she is asking whether you respect other women.”
My face was blue. I strategically looked through the sea in the mirror from corner to corner. I don’t know whether it was just me but it seemed like all eyes were on me, waiting for the answer to that. It seemed like every feminine mjango in there had even the least of accusations of me. Maybe I had tampered with their men’s properties without knowing. So was I to give a public apology in a salon or what? No mjango, I wasn’t going to sit there and see my manhood hang on a peg in a salon. I wasn’t going to be bound guilty by one woman who thinks she has anything on me. Wanaume we have been victimized for long enough. I am standing up for my rights. That was the Martin Luther King sample of a speech I made to myself.
Bravely, “Hun, you know me better,” standing up, “Do I repect you?”
“This is not about me, it’s about women. So answer the question.”
My confidence began to tremble. I looked into the nail dresser’s eyes and said, “Yes, I do respect women.”
As if that was the answer she was waiting for, “And why were you loo…”
Even without thinking, “Excuse me could you give me a minute? ”
I walked out. I bet not even the bravest of men can stand that atmosphere when that bomb of a question she was at the verge of asking is detonated. No man mjango! No man!
“So honey there’s this guy…” “Who?”