When you meet someone for the first time, you almost can know whether they have already been told things about you. They may try to uphold the unfamiliarity but they can only do so well. So you were already acquainted to them, only that it was unofficial. You don’t mind however. You don’t mind the fact that her sister has heard whispers about you already. She would later have to tune in to the whispers that turn into undertone songs in that house. Songs with your name starring in the chorus. She would have to bear with your fragrance that you will unintentionally leave on the fabrics in that bedsitter. Just by sitting on the bed? Sugar, however, would gladly bath in it and even text you with a melting tone about how your sweet odor is all over her place. I mean, how else would you know that you unintentionally marked a territory in a bedsitter in Lurambi?
Read the first episode here.
You also don’t mind that the last time she was told about you, she was the one being told in the library, “That guy, in specs ameniangalia vibaya sijui kwa nini.” You’d laugh about it and apologise to Sugar saying you didn’t mean to give a stern facial expression. No wonder she didn’t dare pass by your reading cube to say hello. In fact, you take that chance to orient Sugar to a few things about you that other people find as anomalies.
The first one is about your face. It’s naturally a stern face. One that looks like you don’t laugh often. But, to their disapproval, someone back in the days, maybe in primary, you’re not sure whether it was Johnny – noted that you have crease marks on the outskirts of your mouth. An indicator that you must be one that laughs a lot. So let’s put it this way. You laugh often and as a matter of fact, very loud. But you don’t smile often. Stern faces barely smile. Okay they do but their smile is not universally accepted as a smile. You’d have to really know them in order to tell when they are happy. So you’re in the same boat as Khaligraph Jones.
The second one is that you don’t really laugh, as she put it. But you say not that you don’t laugh, you just have a different kind of sense of humour. But the sense of humour lightens up the more when you get familiar with someone. Consequently she will be amused when she hears your loud and natural laughter for the first time.
Thirdly, is about your strong sense of self awareness that most people call maturity. Some people appreciate it while others get intimidated. They think it’s too serious for life or they typically just feel like they cannot match up to it.
She realised that you seem not to talk much about yourself. You think that is so smart of her because most people never become conscious of it. And it makes you feel empty at times because it seems you’re the only one who puts effort to know the other person. So lastly, you tell her that you can only do so much to help her know you just as much. But people like you or, scratch that, you in particular do respond to reverted energy. That is a primary trigger that somewhat is unknown to most people. That is the reason why you dwell and pay more attention to friendships whose conversations are two way. They don’t mark their contentment level when they feel like they have been listened to. They mark their contentment level when they also get to ask and dig about how things are on your end. Just as you go out of your way to be concerned about even their minute issues, you respond positively when they are kind enough to do the same.
“So Sugar, just ask.”
The Heavy Consolation
You left when her sister walked in and you officially got acquainted. There was nothing more to report about her. You get an invitation to visit again the following day. You know you can afford the time so you assure her that you will show up.
And since life happens how and when it wants to happen, you couldn’t help but withdraw your RSVP. She says it’s okay. You think it really is until you show up abruptly the day after – looking to make it up. The previous day was to be the ideal day because she knew she wouldn’t have company. Now you showed up when two is already too big a number for a bedsitter. You’re still welcome though until you realise your failed promise ran deeper than the “It’s okay.” You intend to redeem yourself by all means possible and so you ask whether there’s anything you can do to console her.
“Anything?” She asks.
“Well, yes.” You say but you get a shiver through your spine since you’ve just realized the position you’ve put yourself in. Anything can be anything mjango. But you hold your ground and act like Mr. Can Do Anything.
She giggles and says okay. She will not say it but text instead. It was under condition that you’d check what she has texted on WhatsApp after you leave. You don’t really have to use your phone when you’re around her. So this one surely has it that you can only check it out later. You strongly avoid over thinking.
Vibes and good chat that had also woven her sister along go on. Music playing underneath the conversations. The curiosity about what lies unread in her WhatsApp inbox builds up in your gut. You time a point she’s distracted and swiftly switch on the data and click the WhatsApp icon. You think it was only to take a few seconds. Like in and out as if you were never there.
Well it did take a few seconds as planned since you’re fast when using your phone and it barely hangs. 3GB RAM is quite something. What you didn’t plan for however was how fast you would process what you’d read.
“A kiss.” It read.
You cannot remember whether it had an emoji along with it but the important point was already home. You stayed home for too long until you didn’t realise her distraction ended seconds ago. Her eyes caught you staring at your phone and your facial expression read something like, “Damn wow!” and, “Aki ya nani!”
No Window Of Opportunity
You quickly snap and pretend you didn’t zone out. A minute later amidst laughter and jolly she sits next to you asking whether you had read it. You’re not so much of a good liar so she makes it seem like she had not only caught you pants down but was also staring at your wiener.
A kiss, you think. How on earth were you going to deliver that consolation? Okay maybe the how is not really a problem for you but the when. The window of opportunity was scarce like the devil’s fart. There was no way that consolation was going to be delivered on that day under the circumstances her sister’s presence knows best.
Anyway unless the devil indeed does fart out of nowhere in that bedsitter and her sister – happens to have no tolerance for farts leaving her with no choice but to dash out to catch fresh air. Only then will you say that you’ve got your window of opportunity even if it doesn’t smell like it.
She feels shy that you got to read it before you left. She dares to delete it as a way to withdraw it but you fight to grab her phone and beg her not to.
Windows Of Opportunity Don’t Break, They Expire!
As she escorts you out, you mention that that’s quite a magnitude of consolation you’ll have to deliver. She, sweetly you later think, introduces an expiry timeline for the consolation. She says that it would expire in the next 30 seconds. You quickly estimate that since you’re both walking, 30 seconds is the time between where you both are already and the main road. You think that’s impossible. There is no window of opportunity. You figure that she either wants to see what you’re made of and/or wants to have the consolation expire so fast. Probably because she figured she hadn’t thought it through and now her heart was shitting itself but most likely not as much as yours was already.
You protest saying that it’s not fair. Things like these need not be rushed. So you say that in your visit on the following day, if she doesn’t mind another visit that is, it will not end without the fulfillment of the consolation. She says okay, failure to which it’ll surely expire. You spoke by faith so you tremble but maintain it.
You both stand at the same junction she met you in your first visit – unwilling to say goodbye. She looks and sounds so cute, you think. Eventually you have to leave. An hour later, she texts asking whether you arrived safely. Again you think, just how sweet.
It’s Show Time!
The sun comes up quickly and begins the journey down again. Much later during your meditations you realise that you didn’t find it hard to make time to hang out with her. It occurred naturally in your system compared to a few other hang outs you have been to. You concluded that if you’re friends with someone, or you’re dating someone and you sort of struggle or have to nudge yourself to spend time with them, then you might have to question whether you really deserve them. Maybe you might want to consider paving way for people or someone who will deserve them. And that should be early in advance before you entangle them. Save them from yourself mjango.
You arrive right on time. The only mental rehearsal you had done was reminding yourself that it has to flow. And so as you add fuel to the flames of the conversation, you have a feeling that the window of opportunity will present itself. A big ass window like a gaze into each other’s eyes that clearly shouts, “Nigga you better shoot that shot!” And the rest of course, will be memorable history.
The evening came quicker than you imagined. You’re not worried yet since she hasn’t stood to switch on the lights thus entertaining a semi lit atmosphere.
Tic! Tock! Tic! Tock!
You hear a voice like her sister’s closing in outside. You start to panic because your window of opportunity just became a crack of opportunity. Nothing can be done about it and she walks in like the resident she is, says it’s dark in here and switches on the lights. Burns both your eyes until Sugar protests. The look on your faces show her that her arrival is completely uncelebrated. She is confused, laughs and moves about the house since she has already arrived anyway.
You feel like shit. Sugar can tell you do but you mask it with a series of fake smiles. She thinks quickly and hands her a coin.
“Could you please go buy Ting Ting?”
“Ting Ting? But the shop is near you can also go.”
“Please just go buy for all of us Ting Ting.”
An awkward speech push and pull ensues. She then thinks for a while and says okay.
Within you, you’re already demotivated as hell. You want to swallow your tongue and choke on it. You think to just tell Sugar, “Let’s get this over and done with.” Instead, you wear body language and gestures suggesting so but they hit the wall. You figure that you’re trying too hard and she can see that. Her little shyness cannot buy it. The door swings again. In your mind, you resign.
So One Word, Shit!
You opt to leave and she agrees that it’s time to. But first, you partake the Ting Ting which slightly freshens your mouth.
She puts on a beautiful dark green trench coat. You think it makes her look so fly. You announce your good-byes to the other resident as you allow Sugar out the door first like the gentleman you like to try to be.
The verandah leading to the gate is poorly lit. The distance to the gate is fairly short but you both bid your time with small steps and small talk. Your hand lingers on the small of her back also because you love the way the trench coat fabric feels. The Ting Ting has brought about a short spurt of sugar rush no wonder she’s acting bubbly all of a sudden.
You get to the gate. She dares to open it but then you stop her.
No, scratch that. The Word Is, Shieeeeet!
Okay it’s not really you because as far as you can tell, you weren’t thinking at the time. Something has come over you, like the spirit of Alejandro or something. You grab her waist, which really feels nice even more courtesy of the trench coat. You will forever have nostalgia for that trench coat. She notices that she is under siege in your arms and she dares not to fight it. You pull her close to you and she follows suite. Big shout out to the Maker for your height that is giving you a leaning advantage. She has her head held up and you briefly study her eyes under the mercy of the poor security lights. They look so cute. They close. Faces move closer.
“… eating Sugar yes papa!”
Your lips finally meet. Too late for anyone to back off now. The fact that she didn’t back off forever stands as your assurance that at least the feeling is mutual. Your heart records that she is not only sweet, but her lips are too. Not because of the Ting Ting in her mouth of course. You can’t tell how long it lasted, but it did sure feel like light years.
The lips detach and it feels like magic. This was more than a window of opportunity. It was literally a gate of opportunity. Both of you confused and trying to recover from the sweet and lovely status quo. In your minds you know anyone can show up there at anytime. So you ought to go. Your body languages agree to go but it seems Alejandro wasn’t ready to.
Alejandro, Cheza Kama Wewe Tena! Ting! Ting! Ting! Ting!
While you both reached for the gate, Mjango Alejandro turned the reaching out to reaching out to her. And one more time, you take her by surprise. She’s overtaken and mind blown. You can feel it. You hear her giggle in the middle of the kiss. That’s because you, you daring mjango, dares to push your Ting Ting with your tongue to hers. She loves it. Just the audacity! She sure loves it and she not forgetting to say thank you for the Ting Ting after you text her saying you’re home safe stands as your confirmation.
Jaduong! You will tell yourself later, Jaduong!
She sees you off at the usual junction. You will remember that after the gate of opportunity, you held hands with interlocking fingers up to the junction. For the rest of your experience with Sugar, you will adore holding her hands. It will also confirm to you that holding hands is your weakness. And that’s not all. You don’t just interlock your fingers with anyone. You reserve it for one who makes you feel some type of way.
Enters Someone’s Little Princess
Sometimes this month and last month you’d have WhatsApp voice calls with her. Sometimes, you’d find her missed calls. Other times she’d find yours. Most of those calls don’t end without you getting to hear her softly pass instructions to a kid.
You’d also hear the kid talk back just like the sweet little princess she is. Your most favourite time was when you heard the little princess throw a tantrum because Sugar was sitting on her small bike. She got slapped on the arm for that. Sugar not the little princess.
It was fine because anyway, ‘Kama teke la kuku halimuumizi mwanawe, sembuse teke la mwanawe?’
The other one was when Sugar rebuked her when she spotted her eating toothpaste instead of just brushing her teeth. You made a joke saying you have an experience to show for the eating of toothpaste. You developed life threatening stomach ulcers in class seven sometime after you joined boarding school just as a result of a toothpaste eating habit. In your defense, the hunger in boarding school was unbearable.
You remember sitting in a doctor’s consultation room looking like you’d pass out the next minute and watching him trying to explain to your then terrified parents just how vulnerable you are to stomach cancer. Especially if he ends up giving an inaccurate prescription. He, the doctor, wore not a very promising face.
But you missed cancer and long term ulcers complications by a needle hole. You told Sugar you can narrate that lesson to the little princess, jokingly of course. Sugar, with how amusing she can be offered the little princess the phone to listen to the story about why she shouldn’t eat toothpaste. She threw a tantrum and hang up. How sweet, you thought. Sugar called back and said, “Well, there you go.”
And so with all that you remember the day Sugar first broke the news about the little princess.
It’s About Time You Knew I Am A…
It was in between your regular hang outs when she introduced her into the conversation. She didn’t do it in a manner to give you a chance to believe it or not. In fact, she proceeded to show you pictures of her and say how much she misses her. She said she was now three years old.
Well, your processing speed was clogged with shit but you acted cool. You were happy for her in fact. You stored that processing task for later in the same way men store sorrow then they mourn later in their own way. But it got you a bit confused because you weren’t sure whether she was just letting you know in advance for honesty’s sake or it was a warning. You’re not sure a warning about what, but just a warning.
Not long after, you processed it and you were okay with it. And then you got even more confused a weekend later.
You go to Kisumu to emcee another event. You promote an acquaintance you had met before in another event to a friend. You find her to be very nice. Too nice that she teaches you about the importance of taking warm water and when not to take cold water. For instance, after a hot meal, the best example being a dish with beans, dare not take cold water if at all you want to drink water immediately after. Beans don’t necessarily make people fart as people think. People fart because they drink cold water afterwards. So imagine the times you have caused people around you to suffer because of your ignorance. You discover amidst your conversations that she has a bachelor’s degree already. And so you’ll say, “Graduated AS WELL!”
That was not the end of her graduating. Shortly after Kisumu, she introduces the best graduation in her life so far. The graduation to motherhood! It had been three years now. Like it was literally the mother of coincidences mjango.
You have already developed stronger shock absorbers, and so you tell her how her daughter is indeed beautiful. And that ever since you got to know her, she has done nothing but inspire you.
Either way, you couldn’t help but nurse confusion. Was she just telling you? If so why now yet nothing in your conversations prompted it? She just brought it up. You can’t shake the impression that she saw it well to tell you that she’s a mum before things escalate if at all they are to go that way. Or was she also warning you? Warning you about that which only she knows best?
You get too disturbed to keep it to yourself. And so you seek counsel from an intellectual brother. It’s more of a fellow man’s perspective. You skip the details about the actual personnel but pose it in a general scenario. Unlike other times however when the challenges you both bring to the table end up with solid conclusions, this time, he was honest that that was a tricky one. Even he would be and is just as confused. Eventually, you crucify the confusion and go with the flow.
To __ With Her
The next time you meet Sugar, she will be in a nice green coat and a black trouser, the ones with a fairly light material. She will be on a motorbike from her house and you’ll be standing outside the school gate after minutes of being over conscious about standing in a public place for too long. They always make us wait, you say to yourself as you try to keep it together. She had asked whether you’d be available but you didn’t ask what for. You just RSVP’d yes and when she rolled before you with a rider, your steam from the fireplace of rising impatience suddenly cools. Not because she has arrived but more because you’ve just seen her and she looks so good on top of all that. You hop on, enthusiastic that that smelled like an upcoming surprise. And yes it would be. But she smelt better than any surprise.
You’d later sit adjacent to each other in the only restaurant in the town that serves pizza. Treat’s on her just as it was yours the last time you both had lunch. You’re touched by her selflessness and high scores of reciprocation.
MATTERCO STUPID POTATO
Which is the polite short form for:
Matter Concerning One Stupid Potato
It’d rain while you both talk about the one potato in your lives that you once loved that spoilt for all the potatoes in the sack of your lives as a result. You know, first loves. You’d later share that nonetheless, it was upon someone as an individual to determine to quit measuring every other beautiful potato they come across with the same scale they use to measure that son of a potato that spoilt their belief in love. You’d be glad that she’d find that very insightful.
Later you learn that your class bounced.
You love the fact that she listens when you talk. Just like you never have enough of when she talks. You won’t consciously realise that you’ve created a habit surrounding her. Maybe up until you read a book months later about how habits form, how to spot habits and how habits affect and can help even more in our lives and businesses. The habit in this case would be a cute habit. A day won’t go by without talking or hearing from Sugar. If it does, you’d feel like something’s missing.
She’d graduate to the one person you tell things first or when something is bugging you. Like the next week on Monday when you stared at a possible bad injury or even death.
À suivre mjango…