“The first man is The Lion. He’s got a lovely mane that women want to touch. He walks into a room and women notice him. Even men. He doesn’t work hard for his kill. Lazy-ass chap.”
Bikozulu: The Lacoste of Samburu
(Read the previous episode here.)
“Good afternoon passengers. This is the pre-boarding announcement for flight F28 to Mombasa. We are now inviting those passengers with small children, and any passengers requiring special assistance, to begin boarding at this time. Please have your boarding pass and identification ready. Regular boarding will begin in approximately ten minutes time. Thank you.”
“That’s our call guys,” Cliff said after he turned to us. We were seated at the waiting lounge. He had been gazing into the vistas of the run way for some time. Cliff is a rather short dude with a dark skin tone. We walks with a limp because generally the right side of his body was once paralysed. That’s my assumption because he never really talks about how he came to be like that. But his personality is just the opposite, not partially dysfunctional in anyway. In fact, he is the candle that lights other candles. Hang around him and you will have to be cheerful in one way or no other way. It’s not easy to shut him down. Although at times he likes his peace, like that moment he stood before the big glass pane all alone.
He is the management brains behind our being at Wilson Airport, minutes away from our flight to Mombasa. People in our university give honour to the season just after the final exams of the semester. Just to let out some steam and do something that will inject a ‘hell yeah! The semester is over!’ – vibe into their bloodtreams. I mean, the academic system in USIU is like hitting your head against the wall.
We have had a road trip to Lukenya before. Don’t we just love the boys in our class who come up with these funky ideas. We had three cars, all of them belonging to the boys. And again, Cliff was the lead manager.
I felt sorry for him though because everyone was in pairs during the whole trip but him. Funny enough, you couldn’t see it in his face that he was indeed a one man rende. If at all he felt it, he never showed it. He never does. And from the way I know him, he never minds. All he is ever concerned about is the welfare of others before his own. In my silent prayers I tell the Lord to bless Cliff with a girl just good enough for him. One that will add a flower to his already exisiting greenhouse of flowers of his wonderful personality.
Anyway, Cliff isn’t the subject of this story. My girlfriends, Nicole, Bancy and I were my company on this three day trip. Both of them were happily dating and apparently, Bancy had her man in class and of course, the trip as well. But he hanged out with the boys most of the times.
Among my silent prayers after praying for a girl for Cliff was never to have my man and I in the same class, especially in Uni. You may never even miss that mjango because he is ever there. You have nearly the same schedules everyday. Ah that’s boring! Even Bancy knew I thought it was boring.
“Mine, we are leaving!” Nicole said snapping me out of my already travelled mind.
By the way Mine is my name, or nickname. It’s the short form of Minenhle. Yea I am half South African half Botswana.
Not long after, we were seated in the 67 passenger plane. A few people were still positioning their bags in the carriers and some of us already strapped our seat belts. Because anyway, something was about to drive me crazy. Something seemed off in this trip. I felt empty, like I needed something that I didn’t have and couldn’t have just at the snap of a finger. I lacked this element of excitement in me. I didn’t know why.
Cliff waved an air hostess down and asked her why it didn’t seem like we were leaving soon. She said that a final announcement had just been made for some two people who had not boarded yet. By that time they had just checked in and were on their way to the plane.
I remember Nicole had started talking to me about something when suddenly my attention was auctioned to a better buyer. I mean, if only he could hold my attention for both our entire lives, it would be enough heaven on earth. Soon she would realise that she was talking to herself and just before she thought of reprimanding me, she realised she also didn’t have the right to talk in such an atmosphere.
We were on a plane, yes? It hadn’t left the ground yet, yes? But guess what, it felt like we were in cloud nine already. Like we had flown into heaven in a matter of nanoseconds and God’s very own angel was now boarding our flight. Maybe Archangel Michael’s little brother or something.
I saw him from the time he stepped in. The entrance was towards the nose of the plane. I was seated nearly four rows away from the back. Let us ashame the devil with the truth today, he was so damn handsome.
He had neat and shiny Arabic hair. That made me lose energy in my legs. He had a light complexion like the sand. There, I lost energy on my knees. Lord! He had a height long enough to replace one wing of the plane. Energy on my back flew like rioters upon the release of a tear gas canister. Ah mjango I had to lose energy on my vital organs that were now no different from clouds that the sky could not contain when I beheld his mascular tattooed arm. It looked like a pineapple had been forced into his bicep. And hello ovary twerker, you just had to have a goatie beard. I was finished!
Everything in the plane seemed to have stopped at his sight. Every eyes turned to him. The African version of Dwayne Johnson (except this one didn’t have a bald head) was on board. No wonder the plane couldn’t leave without him. The air hostesses fought to stand at the entrance just to welcome him. Another one was already stationed at his seat ready to usher him. Perhaps to make sure his muscles fitted into the seat because if not, she’d be proud to tuck them in and she’d be drooling in all the right places while doing so.
I figured even the dudes I was on the trip with surrendered silently for they were no match for him. It was the beginning of a wonderful blue movie for me in my fantasies until a few steps into his entrance, he stopped and looked behind as if to wait for someone. Let it not be a girl he is waiting for, I prayed.
And like some of our evil prayers, it went unanswered. I read the reactions of the guys around that looked like exclaiming, “Chineke!” She tripped at her last step but didn’t fall and a laughter between them ensued. The smiles they exchanged had a radiance of intimacy in them. Just like that, I started nursing a heartbreak. Like we had started dating when my eyes landed on him, we started having a fight when he turned to wait for her and we broke up when they exchanged intimate smiles.
The girl was shorter, as all girls should be to their men. It’s cute to date a guy who you have to raise your head to kiss him. In fact, he helps you raise it by holding your chin. Oh my blue movie! Her complexion was lighter and her face was enough to say she was related to the Kardashians. She knew she was beautiful. He knew he was handsome. And we knew they were a couple and that’s how I knew I was not game. I mean, what would a guy like him see in a girl like me at the expense of the girl walking behind him?
So I retired from looking at him but Nicole, who has a bad habit of staring at good looking guys until she has studied even their shadows – pressed on.
The follwing day we were at Yul’s Resort just by the beach. They have the best prawns by the way. We were there to jet skii. Fate has it’s way of doing things. All the ten got jet skis but me. They went in pairs. I had taken my time to change in the washrooms. I said I would just chill. I had a life jacket on top of my bikini; I had forgotten that I should just take it off. As I watched the waves clap the shores, minutes later I heard some cheers behind me and the clapping of hand shakes.
“You have come with your beast?”
“Yea yea I have. Bakari is getting it ready to skii.”
“That is good.”
And the chatter went on. My mind switched off from that. I snapped again when someone held my shoulder.
“Excuse me, there is a guy who has just come with his jet ski. You still want to jet ski? He can ride with you.”
Boy wasn’t that news to my ears. But I had to know who it was first. He might be Aquaman on a mission to find a wife for himself and ride us away to the cities at the bottom of the ocean.
“Where is he?” I asked.
The man pointed and the figure that he was pointing at coincidentally turned. That turn looked familiar. That body size, shape and height looked familiar. Oh shi*! It was him. The hunk from the plane. I thought my life was kidding me. Our eyes locked then he turned again as if he hadn’t noticed anything familiar.
“Can I tell him you’re ready?” The man asked.
I was trying to contain so many reactions at the time and what came out was enough for him to think I had said yes.
I was directed to his jet ski where he was waiting. My denial was written all over me. I am used to wearing bikinis but I felt naked before him.
“Come on, hop on. I can’t wait any longer. I really want to ski.” He said upon realising my hesitance. I did so and he instructed me to wrap my arms around his waist and not let go for any reason.
“That was how I started being friends with Ibrahim. He was fun to talk to,” she paused to sip her Cappuccino.
Minenhle and I were seated facing each other at Java in USIU campus. The Java is at the student centre which is an entire building with an elevator. I was envious because one, there is nothing close to Java where my Uni is, my uni doesn’t have an elevator and the student centre there looks like a place where wazee wa kijiji go to for their meetings.
Mine is in her fifth year now and in her just concluded one year ever since breaking up with Dwayne Johnson’s replica. This one was now the real heartbreak which she says she is still mining her way through.
“He loved fun too. And by fun I mean going out and having a good time but he didn’t drink as much.”
The two birds graduated to love birds two months after they met. What about the beautiful girl he walked in with in the plane? You might ask. Well she is his step sister.
“That was a cause for joy for you huh?” I asked while still imagining how well Java would do in our Uni, or not!
“To some extent yes and in another way no.”
“No because if she was his girl, I wouldn’t have fallen for him and as a result, I wouldn’t have been in a toxic relationship.”
She calls it toxic because for the one year they had been dating, she had never felt like she was good enough for him.
“He said I was beautiful but his actions didn’t say the same.”
He would flirt with other chics in her presence and his excuse would be, “I didn’t approach any of them. They just come.” Then he’d add ‘babe’ to such a statement.
But like all other relationships where one party is being hurt and the other is still holding on and we on this side call that mjango foolish for not letting go – her reason was that she did love him. But now she is not sure whether to call it love or obsession. Because she doesn’t understand why she was so attached to him despite the flaccid commitment on his end.
Her language of love is giving gifts. And gifts can also be sparing one weekend to fly to Mombasa just to be with him. You know, so that it doesn’t go to record that they were having a long distance relationship.
“I just didn’t want distance to ever be his reason for saying this can’t work.”
“Did he ever fly to Nai to see you? Even just wait for you to finish your classes here at this nice Java on a Friday? Did he even know your campus has Java?”
“What did he care? Not even once. He always said that he doesn’t have time but he had the time to jet ski with chics and go to strip clubs with his boys.”
“Strip clubs. You should have been his strip club.”
“Well, Mjango you should have been around to tell him that, maybe?”
She knew many of his friends and that’s how she would get to know most of the things he did when with them.
One time she was in Mombasa with him and his friends. She normally never accompanied him on his outings to clubs but this one time, she felt insecure and she decided she would tag along. She stayed at their table as they went to let loose on the dance floor. Her boyfriend had left his jacket with her and she held it tightly in her arms.
Some time later, a girl with a very short, tight, black dress showed up and just sat at their reserved table. She looked around and saw the jacket, “That’s Ibrahim’s jacket?”
“Oh so he is around.” That seemed to have made her overly excited. She took out a mirror and cross checked her makeup. All this time Mine was just watching.
“Are they coming back soon? Because I don’t want to go to the dance floor. I am not dressed for that today.”
Her excitement must have blinded her from noting that the girl seated next to her was not enjoying her conversation.
They came back and upon sighting Ibrahim, the girl nearly jumped out of her skin. She embraced another girl’s man as if he belonged to her. Ibrahim not knowing how to react – just stood like a pillar of salt.
“I’ve missed you. Are you ready we go? Because guess what, tonight I wore nothing inside.”
No wonder she didn’t want to go to the dance floor. Her bare necessities were just hanging unattended to under her dress!
Shock struck Mine like a lightning bolt. You mean you guys have been shagging! – expression was written on her face. Her demons rose but they are not the type to cause a scene. She left the jacket on the table and just left.
She walked alone in the night hoping someone would just jump from nowhere and hit her hard on the head until she dies. And what’s surprising was that he didn’t even go after her. He just showed up in the house early in the morning. It took his ego eight hours of silent treatment from her just to finally trigger him to be the one to put the elephant in the room – on the table.
“They had shagged three times!”
“He confessed that?”
“Circumstances forced him to. I had decided I was leaving and never coming back if he didn’t tell me the truth. I was so broken.”
“And well, had the two of you ever gotten down to it?”
“You mean us having had sex?”
“Yea. But once. And it was terrible. I only wanted it because he did. For his sake. He stopped in the middle of it saying he doesn’t feel a thing.”
“Damn!” I went silent for like two minutes just to have that sink.
“Like you don’t satisfy him ama?”
“Something like that, yea. I just later learnt that he was not emotionally connected to me. He didn’t find me attractive like other chics he is surrounded with.”
“So why then couldn’t he just break up with you?”
“I think it’s because I was the good girl in his life that he never had. The wife material; not my words. He adored me when I did things for him. He just didn’t want to lose the one person who really took care of him the way he likes.”
“And you why did it take you so long to leave his hunky ass?”
She sighed. “His words of assurance. His language of love was words of assurance. I attach a lot of value to words. I would see chics who are darn prettier than me and are are his friends but he would still tell me that they were no match for me. And I think I was deceived by never wanting to believe that I could ever get another guy as handsome as he was. With the firm personality that he had.”
“So when did you realise that shit was enough?”
“I battled it for very long though. After one day I had a conversation with my mum, I am very close to my mum by the way. She knew about him. She said I needed to let that lazy bone go. He didn’t love me as he claimed. He just had me wrapped around his little finger and he did what he did because he was sure I could not break up with him or rather get over him. She said I had to start being selfish with myself and just love myself for once. I had spent so much and got very little in return. That’s not love and that’s not a man meant for me.”
So are all men dogs? No, but some surely are lions.
And so she let that lion go.