I miss those days when I used to wake up, sit on my couch, and finish a book in one sitting. Those days when I had nothing but time to download PDFs and buy dusty second-hand books on the streets. I can no longer go back because my conscience grew with my age.
But I have been looking to re-ignite the reading aspect of those days, albeit without the dust and with a clean conscience, so today I found myself at Adams Arcade picking up a package.
“Habari, Jumia iko side gani?” I asked a heavily clothed guard after we shook hands, and he pointed at what could not have been more than five steps from where I was. I always ask for directions after I have arrived at the damn place. I realized with irritation.
“Tuoge tafadhali,” a lady shouted as I got to the entrance. It can’t be me, I thought. I just had a shower an hour ago and applied my signature scent: King of Seduction by Antonio Banderas.
“Nambadilishe manguo,” the lady continued, quite amused as I got a better view of her audience. A crowd of about 30 spotting reflector jackets, which my mind immediately registered as delivery guys.
“Hatuna time ya kubadilisha nguo when we are moving from one location to another,” a delivery guy chimed in, as I walked to the receiving desk to meet a pleasant lady who was having a laugh at the situation.
She was easy on the eye, with a mane of black hair on her head and she couldn’t be any older than twenty-five. Perhaps I could put Antonio’s scent to the test; Is it truly the King of Seduction?
“Hi,” I said warmly.
“Hi. Are you here to pick up a package?” she asked as the delivery guys were dismissed amidst incoherent complaining.
“Yes,” I said and showed her the details of the item on my phone. She keyed something in her laptop and got my package.
“I’m curious to know what it is,” she said.
“Guess,” I said. Or Antonio’s scent said.
“It’s not a phone, is it?”
“No, it’s not.”
“I thought so,” she said while prompting my M-pesa number.
“It’s a Kindle,” I said after paying. “For reading books,” I added after noticing her blank stare.
“I read too. I like romance novels.”
“Oh, really?” I said while removing the bubble wrap and revealing the blue box.
“You’ll leave this with me,” she said while picking the bubble wrap and popping a few bubbles. “So you really like stories huh?” she asked.
“Yeah. I am a writer,” I said while inspecting the seal on the box. Which was untampered with.
“What do you write?” she asked while handing me the receipt.
“For fun or professionally?”
“Let me show you. I said opening the photo gallery on my phone. I may or may not have been fishing for applause. It was early morning and why not start the day with a complement?
“Wow,” she said.
“Wow is damn right,” I wanted to say. “I didn’t catch your name?” I asked instead while putting the Kindle in my bag.
“Malo. That’s an interesting name,” I said as Ting’ Badi Malo by Gidi Gidi Maji Maji swum in my head. “We should stay in touch,” I added and we exchanged contacts. Antonio doesn’t falsely advertise, does he?
I dropped by a nearby Java after and unboxed my Kindle. It’s the size of a small tablet, which means it’s portable. It’s paperwhite and glare-free, so it reads like a book.
I am looking to go back to the days when I was discovering books and I felt like a kid in a candy store. I can’t wait to devour through books and maybe we can have a book club of two with Malo and she can tell me if the delivery guys finally agreed to take showers and change their clothes, and whether her parents are fans of Gidi Gidi Maji Maji.
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