She used to come to our church before she didn’t come anymore. I can’t say I was the reason why she changed how she spends her Sundays but I wouldn’t entirely rule out that as a possibility. But, shrug, it cannot be me. We barely hit things off to levels that would warrant her to skip sessions with her maker. Or maybe we did. Ah! What the hell.
The best memoire I have of her in my mind was her in a white, woolen, fluffy jacket. Looked like the perfect contrast icing on a beautiful black forest complexion. I didn’t say she looked edible. I mean, we were in church. But after church I also didn’t say I wouldn’t say that she looked like my favourite sugary snack. In between her chest, an antique peculiar to Maasai ladies. That necklace made her stand out from all the other congregants who were just as many to single her out in a short time.
One time I’d be singing with my eyes closed expecting nothing but the presence of the most high and the other time I’d open them and find her kilo-eyes away from the pulpit at the left side of the congregation. I’d think to myself, where in Heaven did this one come from. I have never seen her around here. Damn she’s beautiful! Oh yes forgive my manly soul for such in the house of the Lord but He is the same one who blessed me with the appreciation for good things.
I did well not to think about her again while on a mission to lift praises. Another Sunday would dawn and the same would transpire. I’d open my eyes and spot her at the same spot she used to come early enough to secure. I got used to seeing her as it’s not a sin to expect. Until when I started to feel like she was looking at me.
Wait! Wait! Let me explain.
I know there were other people around who are free to be looked at. Maybe, like many other times in my life I’d think someone’s looking at me but they turned out to just be looking and nothing more or they were thinking about how chapo tastes so nice when wrapped around a fried egg which is so nice by the way – as they absentmindedly fixed their eyes on me. So that’s realising that someone is looking at you. But I am talking about something that goes beyond realisation. A feeling. Ever felt like God is watching you? Yeah I had to ask that since we’re in the spirit of His environment.
Anyway I’d turn and find her eyes fixated on me. Turn again and feel like she was still looking at me. I’d wonder off and feel again that she was looking at me and sure as the sun and the East, I’d turn again and she was looking at me. With admiration. Lots of it. My heart would race because of overwhelming flattery. Soon I’d look back with admiration too. Not because of anything, but because after the black forest complexion, a ravishing necklace that stood her out from every other angel in the house, the queen of it was her eyes. If angels have native origins then this one’s purely African and Masai for that matter.
Upto today, the fact that you’re the last candidate in this series shows you’re the epitome of the girls I have ever admired and not from a distance. And it all started with your African beauty. And so
You’re the news making my headlines today. I didn’t feel like writing about you. I didn’t have the energy to dig back to the rugged past whose only beautiful aspect was how beautiful you are. Savage I know. But I’m doing my best not to serve back the same thing I was served with in 2019. I was taking a quick stroll through Facebook early this week when I saw you posing by its streets. You were seated on a blue bench which has to be our university benches with those properly roasted steaks you call thighs that God took His precious time to cook – sticking out of your mini skirt designed with pure millennialism.
I got reminded of your beauty that I have since admitted as my weakness. Suddenly my orientation towards you was rekindled. You looked so happy. Laughter flooding out of you like a broken dam. Maybe if you hadn’t said a silent no, a huge chunk of that happiness would be courtesy of me. I have a boisterous laugh. We would combine yours and mine and maybe we’d have enough atomic energy to power our own world. But all that is now a dream because after a good number of Sundays, I was convinced that over the glares and smiles we exchanged over the Lord’s sanctuary, it was ripe enough to take it out. How is it that when something funny was said, I’d take my chances to look at you and find you looking back bubbling with laughter? What’s that if not telepathy? Surely it had to be a signal that we both were on the same page. It felt to me like you were waiting for the day I’d haunt after you and say hi at least. You know it was harder because you’d leave the service like the building was on fire.
One day I decided to run from the burning building too just catch up with you. You spoke to me in a hurry but, no hard feelings. I had to make it brief in hopes that I’d see you again. And since faith moves mountains, I did see you again this time on a road I frequented. Somehow it was always not convenient enough to say hello. I realised we’re both friends with, let’s call her Lydia. She had been around church for sometime and we were acquainted. This is a card I rarely play and when I do, it’s always because it’s critical. I asked her for your number. She happily gave it like, “I was wondering when you were going to ask.“
You were quite happy I reached out. I say quite because I’m being cautious about what to make my mind believe in retrospect. But on second thought, maybe you genuinely were considering how we sort of hit things off. Like let’s cut the crap I like you already. I have liked you since the first day I saw you. And I know you like me too. That’s what I read from you. I loved your unreserved orientation towards me. At the same time, I was scared of it. I am a believer of procedure. Context. Good things take time and the value words.
It felt like I had you. You were mine and I was yours. There are words we used on each other that are meant to be expensive. They are bought not with any other currency but time, context and procedure – all of which we seemed to have short-cut because of ‘Let’s cut the crap, we liked each other from the onset.’ But we still used them. I backed my words with meaning. I hoped you did too. But I wasn’t so sure you did. I wasn’t sure whether I was just convenient for you.
That’s because you leaked part of your past to me. It revealed your belief system which said nothing short of, “I cannot love again.” Your story was of a guy you loved to the core of your being but he broke you. End of your story! You are not big with details by the way. Yet therein lies the context I’m a sucker for. Now if you cannot love again, what were we doing? Who was I to you? A guy you liked and could hit things off with but it should never go to our heads? Yes, I remember you said you loved me but added a “Don’t take it to your head.” Like I love you but it’s one day at a time.
I cut you a lot of slack. Also because I was fresh from being broken too. I was okay with the one day at a time. I would have been for as long if only I didn’t feel like you were on and off. That’s how I knew you have an evasive personality. Maybe it’s because you fear deep connections. I get. I don’t know. It was so confusing. I don’t even know how to explain. I couldn’t bear it. Maybe I wanted more but you didn’t realize it. You were just on and off. And the times you’d be on, you’d make it really seem and feel like you really wanted us however much it was one day at a time.
We shared secrets. I must admit though that it felt like I shared mine alone. I thought one day at a time was the perfect space for no judging.
Wait, how is one day at a time supposed to work? Should we only look for each other when we need each other? How consistent should we be? Isn’t caring to be as available as the other needs part of the ‘agreement’? Are deep conversations part of one day at a time?
You promised to make me a Masai wrist band. I don’t know how that went.
When I couldn’t take it anymore, I ejected myself from your space, vowing never to come back. I was wasting my emotions. Unfortunately like a moth to a light bulb, I couldn’t resist flying back at the sight of you. You’d promise a hang out. When the agreed upon day came, calls weren’t picked and texts went unresponded. I’d plunge into the valley where disappointment, regret and heartbreak meet. I’d swear again that I’m done.
We met sometime on campus. You were all smiles and promising. I gambled again with you by asking whether you’d be free sometime. We had a cute push and pull over who’d cook. Finally, we decided that if I’d cook then it would be at your place. We agreed on 2pm. As loyal as I am, I readied myself as I called to confirm whether we were still on as is custom for me to do before any meet up. You said you were just leaving campus and you’d be in Nakumatt in no time and you’d call me when you get there.
Mjango, ladies and gentlemen, I waited for that call. I decided to head out still as I tried to call her. They all went unanswered. In the middle of the road, it hit me that it was happening all over again. I had fallen prey to the same cycle. I went back and felt bad about myself for the rest of that day. My roommate, Maina got to unearth the roots of my foul mood that day.
He said, “Usishinde umejisumbua sumbua na huyu dem. Anakubeba akili. The more unamwonyesha uko available sana, the more anakubeba ufala. Muonyeshe ata wewe ukona life na ukona options za madem wengine. Delete her even.”
You don’t need grey hair to be called a Wiseman brother.
However, you say all men are dogs? Fate had it that it’d throw me one more bone for my sorrows . After quite a long time, we happened to talk again one night. You were in Kisumu having a good time as was custom for you and your friend. You needed someone to talk to. You said you were only there because of your friend. Girl power kind of situation because they were around guys. Friends of her guy. The conversation spiraled to things about us. I tried to steer it into a grown-up detailed conversation. At least let us have a formal agreement. Something we both actively concede to. One that would go to the depths about what we really want with each other.
Well shortly after, that titanic hit an iceberg when you asked whether I love you. It felt like a trick question. Even if it wasn’t, surely it was a premature one. My analysis states that one would ask that question if they love you first. If then you did love me and wanted to confirm whether we were sailing in the same ship, then my Masai sweetheart? You have a funny way of showing it.
I said no. I didn’t love you. I meant it was too early to say. I meant why don’t we define some things first. But depth isn’t your cup of tea. Or maybe that’s just your way of showing love? You just need someone who decrypts that as love. Someone to understand that you have been through shit with love and they need only be patient with you to pick up the pieces. Anyway, you drifted. That night, you officially drifted. Because maybe you don’t take no for an answer. I started to feel like I had said the wrong answer. And now it felt like I was being punished for it. I just didn’t understand you. But I understood one thing, our uncertain run was finally over.
I have seen you upto four times since the end of last year. Two of those I was far enough for you to see me. The other two, I had to literally run to avoid meeting you. The last time, I almost boarded the nearest bodaboda. Your beauty is my weakness. I’m not sure I have the strength to see what would transpire if we met. And talked. All I must do for now, is admire you from a far.
What if I had said yes, I loved you?