I went on a date last night. We had met twice before and there were sparks. We had planned to meet on Christmas but I never showed. This date was my way of making up and perhaps making out after. I looked forward to it; maybe there would be fireworks this time. I slept the previous night with her in my mind. She was intelligent and beautiful and I thought she looked like she could make a home. I showered for the date. I shower for all my dates but I lingered a bit longer in the shower for this one. I chose an outfit that said I have my life together, but not so much that I’m afraid to have fun.
It was 5:31pm when I got to the restaurant that she suggested, or was it a lounge? I can never tell the difference between the two. There were brown tables and grey chairs everywhere—outside on the grass, at the entrance, inside, upstairs. The whole place looked like one big brown table and grey chair. There were sofas too. Cream and black sofas sparsely spread out throughout the restaurant lounge. They looked misplaced in the sea of brown tables and grey chairs.
I picked a grey chair close to the entrance. I love seeing my date walk in. I love seeing her back when she gets up to leave. A waitress came to take my order. She was pleasant, slender with a dark complexion. The dim light made her look like a shadow. She was in a short, tight-fitting, blue dress with a black coat and black stockings disappearing into black flats. I ordered two bottles of Heineken. The table was wobbly; I called the pleasant waitress and she came with a paper and fixed it and I poured my Heineken into a glass.
I sat there, holding hope in my hands: maybe this was where the search ended. She could be it. She could be the one. But could she be, because the one wouldn’t be running late. I called another waitress and asked for the Wi-Fi password. She was in the same short, tight-fitting, blue dress but where my pleasant waitress was dark, she was brown. Where she was slender, she was heavier. She spoke to me with her entire body facing the other direction, as if she wanted to bolt so I purposely slowed down the conversation.
“What’s the Wi-Fi password?”
“Is that all caps?”
“Any,” she said, almost breaking into a sprint. I punched ‘yourdog’ into my phone and I was online, chatting with this other girl who I didn’t plan to do anything with. Sometimes you just want to talk to someone, a listening ear. Someone you can tell your fantasies to, knowing you won’t have to act on them. Because when you think about it, you don’t really want your wildest fantasies to come true because they are a chore; who wants chores? I was telling her that I was going to choke her and spit in her mouth and she said it turned her on. This was temporary, I thought. I would leave it all behind once the homemaker and I decided to get serious. Speaking of the homemaker, where was she? She was supposed to be here by 5:31pm and it was now heading to 6:00pm.
I clicked the green receiver button on my phone, went to recent calls and punched in her ID. “Contact can’t be reached,” the nice lady on the other end sang.
Was she paying me back for standing her up on Christmas? Because that would be fair play. I punched in her number again after deciding that she was too good of an egg to do that. She picked on the second ring.
“I will be a bit late, I’m in traffic.”
“What do you mean a bit late? Ten minutes? An hour?”
“Ten minutes or less.”
Traffic? It’s always traffic. I wanted to bitch because I could be in traffic too but I had planned ahead.
“Sawa,” I said. I tapped the red receiver and sipped my Heineken. It cooled me down a bit and I went on texting my online girlfriend. She had sent me a lewd playlist and dresses she was thinking of seducing me with. I gave all of them a thumbs up. They were nice dresses—short like I like them—but this was all temporary till I worked out something serious with the homemaker who was doing the noble work of fighting her way through traffic.
My phone buzzed twenty minutes later.
“I’m here, where are you seated?”
“I’m inside, right at the entrance viewing dresses you can’t miss me.”
I waited for about five minutes and then she appeared in an off-shoulder Ankara top and dark, tight-fitting pants ending in black flats. Her hair was done in Bantu knots. She looked okay; she didn’t look like she tried. She could have worn the same clothes to go to her local kiosk or sit around in the house on a lazy Sunday. I hugged her. She felt fragile in my arms.
“You look good,” she said immediately while sitting on the chair next to mine. I smiled. The pleasant waitress came to take her order.
“I will have a mocktail.”
“There are no mocktails.”
“Come on, have one cocktail.” I added.
“I’m driving and I’m such a lightweight. One cocktail will knock me out.”
“Okay, have a beer then.” She gave me the ‘seriously?’ look and ordered a Desperados. I have always disliked that beer; its name rhymes too much with desperate.
Conversations with the homemaker are never a chore. We hit it off immediately. We talked about cheating. Cheating seems to always take center stage in this place of cool waters. I told her cheating takes too much work.
“Hotel receipts. Buying new shirts because the one you’re wearing has lipstick and a woman’s perfume on it. Staying up all night refining your story. It’s a chore; who wants chores?”
She nodded her head and giggled. When she giggled she raised her shoulders an inch higher and her cheeks flushed pink. I loved it.
“Is that your only deal breaker?”
“There are others but some of them I would only know with time. Human relationships are peculiar. They start off exciting. Then the cracks in personality and character start to show and you have to decide if it’s something you want to put up with.“
Whitney Houston was now on the speakers.
“I love this song.” She said.
“Is it on your sex playlist?” I asked.
“Isn’t it in yours?”
“I don’t have a sex playlist.”
“No way. You don’t have three or four songs to set the mood?”
“I don’t know if I want to have sex with someone who doesn’t have a sex playlist.”
“Good, because hookups aren’t for me anyway.”
She slapped my knee and ran her forefinger through the length of my thigh. “Tell me, after your success did your dynamic with women change?”
“It was a culture shock. You know you move from being a maybe to being the one—from playing games to having it thrown in your face. Late last year, I was going on four dates in a week. I had a HIV scare. I almost went mad. It turned out to be nothing. I am calmer now. More grounded. More discerning.”
She giggled again and moved her forefinger along the length of my thigh.
“So how many were they?”
“I don’t remember.”
“You’re really a bore, I will nag you until you tell me. How many were they?”
“Three thousand two hundred, give or take a number or two,” I said and smiled.
“You’re so boring. So what made you stop?”
“I was always empty. There was no depth to the interactions. Things started repeating themselves. Same restaurant. Same conversations. Same clothes. Different girl. Same outcome.”
“So I don’t have depth?”
“I haven’t said that.”
She ran her forefinger across the length of my thigh again. I loved how she kept touching me while she talked.
“But you never called me?”
I stayed silent and fell into her brown eyes. They had warmth, yet there was a sadness there too.
“Tell me the number.”
“You know, my ex-boyfriend would love that kind of lifestyle. It’s just that he doesn’t have the means to support it. She paused and looked at me for a while. “These Nairobi Love stories you write, how do you cope because I think I would be washed if I had to listen to them and then write them and evoke the kind of emotions you do.”
Oh, she reads me. Hectic.
“Does running help?”
Oh shit, she knows I run. She really does read me.
“Yeah, it helps. I have also been studying about the universe a lot lately. How big it is and how small we are in the grand scheme of things. We are just a stain in the Milky Way and God knows how many galaxies are out there. For some reason, that gives me comfort and makes me brave.”
She drank her desperate drink and took in my words. They were a mouthful but she’s a smart girl.
I didn’t tell her but running and studying the universe were a small part of how I cope. The truth of how I really cope is here. With pen in hand, staring at the blank page. Word after word, letting it all out. Dispersing it to you. To the world. To the cosmos. Letting it form a part of the universe fabric regardless of how small and mundane it might be.
I love what alcohol does to the homemaker. After a few sips of her desperate drink she loosened up. She was excited. She wanted to change tables. She wanted to sing karaoke. She wanted to go upstairs. She wanted to swing from one light bulb to the other. We moved seats and went to the lounge area. She didn’t want to sit on the sofa even though it was more comfortable. She said we would be charged more for drinks if we sat in the VIP section, even though I was paying and the place was practically empty.
She sat on one grey seat then claimed it was uncomfortable and moved to another so that she was sitting across from me. She hugged her desperate drink, looked at me and giggled. I smiled. I had taken two Heinekens and I was sober. She had taken half of her desperate drink and look at her, she purred.
“Why did you take down that post?”
“The one with the girl who was a terrible kisser.”
Christ, she reads me, reads me.
“There was a lot she did not tell me. Turns out she was battling clinical depression, anxiety disorder and a myriad of other complications. I realized my scare was nothing compared to what she had to deal with every day of her life. I just wish she was honest from the beginning. That whole episode would have been avoided.”
Homemaker drained the bottle of her desperate drink and said she wanted to go upstairs. We got up and headed there. I was a step behind her on the stairs and I spanked her. She has a tiny ass but my hand felt surprisingly good against the fabric of her pants and soft bottom.
“Don’t do that,” she yelped and I spanked her again. “How would you like it if I did it?” She moved back a step and spanked me. I barely felt it through the fabric of my jeans.
We sat in the lounge area, next to the window. She ordered a two-liter bottle of water and I ordered a Tusker. She placed her hand on my knee and ran her forefinger through the length of my thigh.
“You know 88% of women don’t orgasm from penetration,” she said without preamble.
“What do they orgasm from?”
“Which percentage do you fall into, 88 or 12%?”
“But you feel good during penetration?”
“Of course I do but imagine feeling good and not being able to finish? That’s what a lot of women go through every time they have sex.”
I told you she was a smart girl.
“A lot of women don’t know what they want. They don’t even know what makes them climax and it’s a pity.”
“What makes you climax?”
“For me it’s the rubbing and the licking of the clit. Sometimes it’s the words. I could have an orgasm by just sitting next to a guy who is saying the right things.”
She got up and went to the bathroom. I opened my phone. I had six messages from my online girlfriend. I put my phone away without opening the messages and sipped my beer.
Homemaker got back. The water had diluted the desperate drink in her system and she started telling me about her ex-boyfriend. He was a bum who was bankrolled by his parents. When he was not at the gym, he was fucking random women or getting drunk and wrecking his parents’ cars. When he was doing neither, she was bankrolling him and he was giving her grief by fucking her friends and comparing her to them. I looked into her brown eyes. There it was, the reason for the sadness.
She told me how they had an on-and-off relationship. How they argued and broke up almost every month. He would come to her house after a breakup and camp outside, begging to be taken back. He would sit outside the door like some fool. The sun would beat down on him during the day. The cold at night. She would wake up in the morning and leave, only to find him there when she came back in the evening. The rain would find him there too until she felt pity and let him in.
She told me she had a pregnancy scare and they went to see his parents. They loved her and they kept calling her their daughter. I told her when the parents love you too much, the son is usually no good.
Now she was at the point where the ex-boyfriend thought that he was going to be a dad and his parents thought they were going to be grandparents and they kept calling. I told her all these could be solved by telling them she was never pregnant, but she was thinking of inventing miscarriage stories. She was thinking of travelling to her ex-boyfriend’s village to let his parents down easy.
I told her not to feel bad for that family because they are not saints either; they were simply looking out for the best interest of their son and her visit to the village would just sink her deeper into the quicksand. But I could see there were invisible hands tagging at her. Keeping her in the madness because deep down a part of her had not let go.
My beer was now half empty and my bladder was full to bursting.
“Where are the washrooms?”
“Straight ahead, to your left.”
I got to the urinals. I unzipped. A strong stream of ammonia and liquid gold hit the bowl. I zipped up. Flushed. Washed my hands. Toweled off and headed back to my damsel in distress.
I felt bad for her. I felt bad for me. I felt bad for us. This could have been the one. She had soul. She had guts but she hadn’t gotten over her ex, not by a longshot. They hooked up last in December and she moved houses but I could see her picking his calls before the month ended. I could see that visit to the village. I could see the reconciliation. And the toxic cycle after—obeying the law of inertia. A property of matter continues in its exciting state unless acted upon by an external force.
The mood had now changed from fun to somber. She had long stopped holding my knee and running her forefinger through the length of my thigh. I sipped the last dregs of my Tusker and told her we needed to get going. She started looking frantically into her purse.
“I can’t find my car keys. I was with them here.” She moved the beer bottle on the table then looked into her tiny purse again. There was a big, black thingamajig that took half the space in the purse.
“Isn’t that the key?”
“Don’t ask me a stupid question. If it was, I wouldn’t be checking.”
I turned on my phone’s flashlight silently; it wouldn’t have done anyone any good if both of us were on edge. I looked under the table, on the sofa and in the cracks between the cushions. Nothing. I looked at her. She was deep in thought.
“I haven’t left anything on any of the tables, right? Let’s hope they are where I think they are,” she said with finality to her tone.
We got up. I asked the waitress for the bill. This one had a mane of hair. A bit of makeup. Not the kind that overwhelms but just enough to enhance her features. Besides a beautiful face, she had a beautiful body and it was wrapped in a tight-fitting, mauve-pink mini dress and a black leather jacket. She also had those sad, brown eyes. Who were the men, who were the men doing these women in?
“Hi, let me get your bill.”
She came with the bill and I handed her the money. My bladder was full to bursting again and I disappeared to the gents. It was another strong stream of urine. All that ammonia. All that liquid gold. If ever there was healthy urine, this was it. I finished. Put my cock back in my pants. Zipped. Flushed. Washed my hands and toweled off. I found Homemaker sitting on one of the sofas with the palm of her right hand on her forehead.
She got up when she saw me. We went down the stairs, out into the portico to the first floor of the parking lot. She opened her car door and there were the keys. Turns out it was something she did often. It was a storm in a teacup after all. I was tipsy. I opened the back right door of the car and sat down with a plop.
“Come to the back for a moment,” I told her.
“I never sit at the back of my car. It must be full of my shoes and clothes.”
I pushed all of them to the floor.
“There’s plenty of room.”
“Come here, there is more room.”
“No, you come here.”
“Come here I kiss you.”
“You know what, I will let you sit there.”
I didn’t insist. I have interacted with enough women to know that if she was into it, she would have been on top of my lap, with her tongue deep in my throat, massaging my tonsils. And if she was not, not even cupid and his love potions would have gotten her lips onto mine.
She moved from the passenger seat to the driver’s seat. The engine coughed. Her hand was on the gear. The car started turning. I heard her talking to the guard. Then we were on the main road.
“Kevin, will you be able to get home?”
“Don’t worry about me, I’m okay.”
“Where do you want me to drop you?”
“How are you going?”
“Put me at that Shell over there.”
She slowed down at the Shell. I heard her speaking to the guard there. She wanted to fuel. The Shell was closed and the guard was directing her to another petrol station. I got out of the car and she pulled out of the Shell. I watched her car recede onto the road. She was going back to the only life she knew how to live. It might be painful, it might be a circus, it might be poisonous but it was her life and she was the only one with the power to change it. I saw her brake lights come on and I felt sad because that might have been the last memory I would have of her.
I looked at my watch. The hour hand was at nine and the minute hand at six. I thought of taking an Uber. I crossed the road and took a matatu instead. On the phone, my online girlfriend had shared more dresses. I got to my house and turned the lock on my door. I sat on the bed with a plop and took out my phone. My online girlfriend had shared a lewd photo; full lips, big healthy breasts, legs that went on and on were gawping at me. I reached into my pants and felt my cock stiffen in my hands. I stroked it; once, twice, thrice… my seed spilled. I cleaned myself and crawled under the covers thinking, “I need to stop leading her on.”
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image credit: kelly sikkema
Your writing makes me so happy, it is so beautiful, so different and it leaves me wondering coz I can relate so much to some of the characters.