I meet her on Thursday at the barbershop. She’s the masseuse washing my head and giving me a massage. “Kwani ulipotelea wapi?” She asks while I position my head on the washing bowl. I raise my head and look at her. It’s not the first time I’m seeing her. I have seen her before. She’s my kind of girl. Beautiful, tiny waist and wide hips. I often cross my fingers and hope she’ll be the one I get but there’s always another masseuse.
“Niko tu, wewe ndio umepotea, kwani ulienda ushago Christmas?” I ask.
“Nilikuwa tu Nairobi.”
I look at her oval face that houses big brown eyes. Most girls have sad brown eyes but hers are kind.
“Tunafaa tukule lunch,” I say.
“Lunch nitakulia tu hapa.”
Her tone of voice makes her sound like a mama mboga in her kiosk, guarding her territory. I remain silent and she starts washing my head. She soaps it and rinses it and directs me to the massage chair. She oils my head and digs her fingers into my scalp and I can feel the stress of wheelbarrows leaving me. She wants to do my back but my clothes are in the way.
I take off my blue sweater and remain with my t-shirt. She puts my sweater on a hanger, gets a towel, puts it around my neck, and starts applying oil on my shoulders and parts of my chest and back. Her fingers and knuckles dig into my skin. If the stress of wheelbarrows had left me before, it’s the stress of BBI leaving me now. She tells me to lean forward and kneads my back, then takes my hands and stretches them so they brush against her small breasts.
“Usinivunje mikono,” I tease. She giggles. “Siwezi kuvunja.”
After she is done, she gets a warm damp towel and cleans the oil from my head, face, and back then lotions my head and my face. “Unataka manicure?” She asks. I think about it for a moment. My nails grow at an alarming rate and I have to cut them weekly. A manicure won’t do any harm.
“Nani anafanya hio manicure?”
“Si mimi,” she says, with all the confidence of knowing she’s my favorite.
“Sawa,” I say expansively.
She takes me to the manicure table. I sit on the chair and watch her gather her tools. “Sikua nakuona time ya Corona, ulikua umepotelea wapi?” I ask while she’s arranging her tools on the table. “Me nilikua nakuona ukikuja kuulizia Tom.” (Tom was my barber but he left). But that’s neither here nor there. What’s here and now is that she’s been looking at me. All her tools are on the table and she sits across from me. I raise my gaze and her big brown eyes swallow me up and I realize for the first time how intimate this is.
She picks my right hand and starts clipping my nails.
“Nafaa kukubeba ukuwe unakata makucha zangu,” I say while drowning in her eyes. She smiles. She has this white, endearing smile.
“Utanibeba tu juu ya makucha?”
“Makucha… na kubabysit TV na nyumba.”
She laughs. Her right leg is now pressed against my left leg. She’s done clipping the nails on my right hand and she is now filing them. I look at her properly. She’s in a loose-fitting black dress. Her hair is done in a ponytail showing her ears which spot tiny emerald earrings. Her complexion is coffee with milk. Her nose is almost a button nose and her lips are neither bee-stung nor thin. I can’t place her; She could be Kamba, Luyha, or Mijikenda.
“Unapenda kukula nini?” I ask?
“Wasichana wote Nairobi wanapenda kukula kuku.”
She laughs again and puts my right hand into a bowl of warm water mixed with Dettol and picks up my left hand. We’re having mundane conversation but there is electricity coursing between our words and we’re the only ones that can feel it.
“Pizza hunipea gas, napenda kuku na milkshake za Java.”
”Ni siku gani wewe hutoka job mapema?”
”Ngai. Nilikuwa nadhani unajoke.”
”Hakuna jokes, sisi ni watu wazima hapa.”
She looks at me as if sizing me up. I hold her gaze.
“Hauendangi church, Sunday?”
“Mimi huenda asubuhi.”
“Wewe huenda confession? Hizo dhambi zote za kushika shika wanaume mungu haezi samehea,” I say teasingly but I see now how it could be taken as an insult.
She flashes me her teeth and pushes me to the deep end of her big brown eyes.
“Hii Sunday siko but hiyo ingine nitakuwa,” I say.
“Unajua kupika kweli?” She’s the one teasing now but without knowing it, she’s telling me that she’s okay with coming to my place without a proper date.
“Kupika ni kazi rahisi na kuna Glovo.”
“Unaweza chinja kuku kweli?”
“Wewe huwezi chinja kuku?”
“Mi naogopa. So unaweza ua mtu?”
“Mtu ana hisia. Mtu huongea. Kuua mtu si kitu rahisi.” She’s now dipping my left hand into the bowl and toweling my right, and removing the cuticles from it. Her leg is still pressed against mine. I fall into her face and think, I will enjoy having you, and writing you.
“Uko na mikono soft,” she is saying.
I hold her hand in a suggestive way. Her nails are painted black.
“Hizi mikono hufight?”
She shakes her head.
“Hazijawai chapa msichana juu ya mwanaume?”
“Heri nipike chai nikunywe.”
“Unajua mikono zinaeza kuambia age ya mtu?”
She looks at me curiously.
“Unaeza sema niko na miaka ngapi?” I ask her.
“Wewe? You look like you’re still building your empire.” I smile, liking the way she says ‘I’m still building my empire’ because she’s acknowledging that there is an empire (which I may be oblivious to) and there is room for her to contribute to it. “Naezasema thirty, thirty-one.”
“Thirty-one in June,” I say delighted with her intuition. I hold her hand again ready to tell her, her age.
“Aki usiniambie. Ukisema age sio hio ntakasirika.”
” Twenty-six,” I say without preamble and she glows.
She goes quiet for a time working on my hand then speaks again.
“Unajua mtu akikuona anaeza thani uko twenty-six but ukiongea mtu anajua wewe ni mzee.”
I should stay silent more often and shave five years from my age, easy. I think.
“Wewe ni firstborn?” she asks.
“Mimi ni third born, last born ni agemate yako.”
“Eh, wazazi wangu ni wazee,” I say finally.
She’s now toweling my left hand and removing the cuticles from it. “Naitwa Kevin,” I say. She tells me her name, then asks for my second one. “Kariuki,” I say. She plays with it in her mouth. “Mr. Kariuki,” she says with a twang. She’s loving it and why shouldn’t she? Kariuki is a name for titans. She tells me her second name, turns out she hails from Rift Valley.
“Umewai ingia kwa duka ukapata kiatu size yako, na hio kiatu inakaa poa?” I’m turning the charm all the way up. “Ukipata kiatu kama hio si unatoa pesa bila kuambiwa?”
”Eh. But kwanza niambie. Do you have a wife and kids?”
I allow her big brown eyes to swallow me again.
“That’s where you come in.”
One of her colleagues sits on the adjacent sofa while she’s polishing my nails with a soft sponge and we quiet down but even in silence, there is electricity in the room. Even a person without their senses could feel the voltage between us.
I get my phone from my pocket, open the dial-pad and push it towards her so her colleague can’t see it. She keys in her number and thumbs the green button so that she has my number too. I pick up my phone from the table and put it back in my pocket. The colleague seated on the sofa gets up and leaves, perhaps realizing there’s very little happening here.
“Sitakuwa hii weekend, but I will be around the next one,” I remind her.
“Nitakuja nione ukipika.”
“Ukikam, unajua kutawaka moto.”
It’s that blinding smile again and those big brown eyes.
My phone starts ringing. I have a meeting scheduled for noon. Talking to this girl, time seems to be flying.
“I gotta get going, tutaongea next week.”
“Ungeniambia uko na meeting ningeharakisha; nivile ulianza kunipigisha story,” she says while bringing out a salt-like substance and massaging my hand with it in rapid movements.
I get up.
“Sijamaliza. I think I have missed something,” she says while inspecting my nails and toweling my hands.”
“Utamaliza tukipatana,” I say with a cheeky smile while she lotions my hands. I pick up my sweater and look around in case I left something. “Kama nimesahau kitu utaniambia,” I say while walking to the reception desk. I pay and look around the barbershop. They all look oblivious. A nuclear bomb just exploded right under their noses and they didn’t even notice.
I step out of the barbershop and save her number into my contacts. I go down the stairs with a spring in my step. You know, we’re so used to meeting lovers on the internet that meeting them the old-fashioned way feels refreshing. I get out of the building and smell the breath of fresh air. I also smell something else. I sometimes have these moments when I can faintly feel the future and this time I smell her cunt during our lovemaking.
I get home and the first thing I do is check her profile on social media. A woman’s profile is usually very telling. It gives you a glimpse into what she is about. This is where you know if she is self-absorbed and full of hubris or well adjusted.
She loves cooking and she’s a Proverbs 31 woman. I open the bible. I cough from the dust because I haven’t touched it in a while. She is clothed with strength and dignity. She can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
I like the sound of that. I save one of her pictures and stare at it. There are those big brown eyes, chiseled oval face, and that figure and we have chemistry. It’s high time I got a wife and built a family, I think, and this one will do nicely.
I let my mind wander. I try out my second name with her first name for size. I decide that it suits her. I imagine the vacations and the frolicking and our kids. While I’m thinking about this, my head detours, and I start thinking about her touching all those men in her masseuse job. I don’t like the taste in my mouth. Once she properly settles into my last name she will have to leave that job, I decide.
Throughout the week, I’m looking at the photo I downloaded of her and stalking her social media. She doesn’t post much if at all. Which is very Proverbs-31-woman-like. There’s another woman who calls me often. I put their photos side by side and decide the other one doesn’t stand a chance.
I don’t text her throughout the week even though I’m dying to. I don’t want to dilute the chemistry we built. I want the idea of me, the idea of us, to smolder in her mind so that when I text her the coming week, the smolder ignites.
Next week gets here and I text her on a Wednesday evening.
“Hawayu.” I check my phone furiously. Thirty minutes, forty-five minutes, one hour. Nothing. Well, goodbye Proverbs 31 woman.
“Hi there…” The text comes in after two hours and I breathe a sigh of relief.
“For a minute nilidhani umemeza ulimi,” I text back, hoping she will laugh and I can text. “…Nikashangaa utakulaje kuku bila ulimi.” And she can laugh some more but she goes quiet again. Who tells people, wamemeza ulimi? Idiot.
“Nivile niko home. I rarely touch my phone.” The text comes in after an hour.
“When did you say you get out of work the earliest?” I decide to go for goal.
“But this Saturday I won’t be working…”
“Let’s have our chicken Sato then.” I take the hint, running.
After she accepts, I’m ecstatic. I’m the cock of the walk. At that very moment, I could have taken on the world and it wouldn’t have stood a chance. I don’t confirm the dates and the location then. I decide to wait till Friday evening and kill two birds with one stone. Give her the details and confirm that we’re still on as a side effect.
Thursday comes and all I’m doing is staring at her photo and giggling to myself. There are those big brown eyes, chiseled oval face, and that figure and we have chemistry. It’s high time I got a wife and built a family, I think and this one will do nicely.
I listen to Mbosso’s: Sonona. Ewe binti maringo, sijui wanisikia. Pendo lako nicheze bingo. Huenda nikajishindia. Mwenzako bado niko single. Pendo limenichachia… Love songs are starting to make sense.
Friday comes, I wake up, piss, flush, wash my hands, and have breakfast. I put on music and start cleaning. I wash the dishes and do the laundry. I put the blankets on the line to get some sun. I wash my bedroom, I wash the other bedroom that doubles as my office, I wash the kitchen…. There’s a lot of washing happening.
I wash the bathroom. I get on my knees and scrub the toilet. Then I finish off with the living room. There is a place on the ceiling where dust leaks. I take a broom and sweep the dust and it all pours on the floor. It takes me about an hour to clear it and after I’m done the house is spotless. I know from experience to prepare for success. You don’t want a girl looking at your dusty walls and wondering what else is dusty about you.
The clock reads 5 pm. I change into my running tracksuit, get my headphones and my mask, and hit the tarmac. Nyashinski is in my ear. Africa tunaikamia tu mos mos bana. I’m Kenyan so you know I’m a marathon runner.
I get back at around 6 pm have a shower, have supper, and go to Carrefour and buy fresh boxers and a vest. I get back in the house when the stars are in the sky and text her with my fingers crossed. ‘What if she made other plans? Well, you will have resilience and a clean house.’
“Hey, let’s meet 12 pm kesho at Junction Mall.”
“Doing some shopping, then we grab the chicken and head to my place.”
I say casually. A woman wants to feel that you will be okay whether she comes or she doesn’t. If she even senses that your life depends on her coming. She won’t come.
“Hi…latest 12:30, I’m not good with keeping time.”
The text comes after twenty minutes. I get quite irate with people who can’t keep time. But I give her that one. It sounds like an attempt to be funny more than anything else. In any case, you can’t be late if you communicated prior.
“You can do 12:31. Now you have all the time in the world.”
“Okay… See you tomorrow.”
“I hope you’re doing well.”
“See you tomorrow goodnight.”
My cock sometimes sees rubber and it panics. So I had planned to try on a condom. You could call it rehearsals. This is a girl, who I would just be okay with sitting with and just talking because we actually have chemistry. But I told you before, it’s important to prepare for success.
There is a pack of three of Durex in my wardrobe. I pick one and lie on my bed face up. I really don’t want to do it. All that cleaning and running has me dog tired. But I have to get through this. I open my phone and tap her photo. A few indecent thoughts about her and my cock is stiffening. I slide the condom on. I haven’t touched myself in a while and the sensation feels very good. I think of stroking myself and spilling into the condom but I decide to wait for the main event.
I wake up at around 8 am. I piss, wash my hands, and make breakfast. I put on music and start cleaning the spots I missed yesterday. Cheerleader by Omi fills the house. Oh, I think that I found myself a cheerleader, she is always right there when I need her. I get a damp cloth and wipe the sockets and switches. I squat and clean the dust on the line that connects the tiles to the wall.
I try wiping the handwashing bowl next to the toilet with the damp cloth but the stains won’t come out. ‘Leave something for her to clean in future.’ I tell myself but on second thought I fill a bucket halfway with water, pour Persil and get a brush. The sink is white after I’m done.
The hour hand is at 10 am and Tiwa Savage is in my ear. Mister lover lover, you know say I no get wahala. Anyhow you like, I go do my dear as long as you no course palava. I get a duster and pass it around the house. I get the white sneakers that I will wear and start cleaning them. That’s when the anxiety hits me like a mallet.
All of a sudden, I’m nervous. Will I still be attracted to her? You know people can look and seem one way in one setting and be completely different in another one. I remove the laces from my shoes and wash them. I dry them with a towel and put them in the sun.
I jump in the shower, open the faucet, soap up, rinse and towel off. I apply Nivea Cocoa glow on my skin and Nivea Fresh Active Deo on my armpits and put on the white vest I bought. I spray Nivea-Men-Deep-Black-Charcoal on it and put on an orange t-shirt and blue denim jeans. I lace up my sneakers, put on blue socks, and sink into my shoes. I finish the look with my watch and my spectacles. I look in the mirror. I look good, some might even say edible.
The hour hand is at 11, the minute hand at 6. Diamond is in my ears with Sikomi but he is not helping my anxiety. My palms are sweaty when I’m dialing the Uber. After I am done giving him directions I pick up the empty bottle of Keringet and place it by the door. I’m also going to do some shopping at Carrefour, or has my anxiety made you forget?
I toggle the music to bedroom songs to set the mood. Bobby Valentino comes on. Slow down, never seen anything so lovely. Now turn around and bless me with your beauty… The playlist is an hour and forty-six minutes long. That should be enough time for me to get her, do my shopping and get back.
The Uber is here after fifteen minutes. I pick up the empty Keringet bottle and head out.
It’s 11:45 am when I get to The Junction Mall. The anxiety is still there but it’s ebbing. I go to Carrefour and punch in the Keringet bottle at the Customer Service section. I put the receipt in my back pocket and enter the liquor section to buy condoms.
You never want a woman to see you buying condoms in her honor. At least not when you’re starting to interact. She will be upset and the sex might not happen. Women want to tell themselves a story that sex happened spontaneously and neither of you had planned for it.
I get the condoms and put them in my pocket then head over to the M-Pesa booth next to Text Book Centre. My watch says it’s noon and my phone is ringing. She’s on the other end.
“I’m already here.”
“Meet me at the entrance to Carrefour.”
I say and thumb the end button, thinking that we agreed she would be here at 12:31 pm. I still have things to do. I need to get some money and then head to the washrooms to unwrap this box of condoms. They usually wrap it as if it’s housing the nuclear codes and the last thing I want to do is struggle with it in front of her. I feel slightly irritated that she didn’t keep her own time. But then again, you want her to be early, it means she wants to spend more time with you.
I get to the washrooms and struggle with the box for about two minutes. I get the three packets of condoms and put them in my pocket. Throw the box in the waste-bucket, wash my hands and go looking for my flame.
“Niko Carrefour. Where are you?” I’m asking her on the phone.
“Nilienda kununua maji. I’m at the counter.”
I see her at the quick check-out counter and I love the view. Her hair is in freshly done braids that are held in a ponytail with a black hairband. Her earlobes have hula-hoop earrings. She looks like a woman of culture in her short slim-fitting purple dress that slightly cuts above her knees showing her brown thighs and her feet that sink into tiny black ankle boots.
Sitting down at the manicure table she was much taller than me and I imagined a bigger girl. Looking at her now, she’s shorter and I’m towering over her. I give her a hug.
“I was thirsty, nikaona ninunue maji,” she says, holding her Mt. Kenya bottle of water and looking at me with those big brown eyes and a slightly made-up face to highlight her beauty.
“Nanunua maji pia,” I say while getting a trolley. The anxiety having left me. We walk together through the aisles. She’s still holding on to her bottle of Mt. Kenya but the moment I put the Keringet onto the trolley. She rushes to the shelf and returns her Mt. Kenya.
“Oh, wacha nirudishe hii.”
I pick up a packet of twelve of Tena toilet paper and a packet of six of Frusion yogurt.
“That’s it, nimemaliza.”
“Ungefanya hii shopping badaye,” she says as we get to the counter and punch out.
As we head out, I get into my pocket and give her a thousand bob. “Enda ununue Streetwise 2 mbili KFC.” I’m hitting two birds with one stone again. I will get to dial the Uber and see how she handles my money. I know a streetwise 2 is 350/-. She should have at least 300/- bob change. The moment I give her the money, I decide she can keep the change. But I wonder if she will mention it?
I dial the Uber, it’s just in the parking lot. I put the shopping in the boot and sit with the driver and wait for her. She’s taking her time and I start chatting him up to make him forget that he could be getting other fares instead of waiting.
We talk about the after-life. He claims that when people die they go to other planets. I’m telling him I doubt it because planets are physical. Our technology is just not advanced enough for us to get to them but one day it will be.
“How long will you be?” I call her.
“Wamesema fifteen minutes.”
A car wants to get out. We move from where we were and park a bit further ahead.
“Wewe unataka kusema watu wanaendanga wapi wakikufa?”
“Souls ziko na sisi tu huku. That’s why unaskianga mtu akisema alikuwa amelala akaona someone who died a long time ago.”
”How long now?” I have dialed her again.
“I am on my way.”
She calls after five minutes.
“Niko hapa kwa ATMs.”
I go and get her and open the back door for her.
“For a minute nilidhani KFC inakuona inasonga.”
The Uber driver laughs. I was fishing for that laugh from him, you would think he is the one I’m taking home.
He puts the key in the ignition and we are off. He is chatty throughout the journey and I’m starting to regret sparking conversation with him.
“Ati mnaongea kuhusu nini?” It’s my flame at the back.
“Tunaongea kuhusu kifo. Watu huenda wapi wakikufa?”
She goes silent.
“Nasema souls ziko tu huku na sisi, hakuna pahali zimeenda.”
”Eh,” she chirps from the back.
“Hapana, watu wanaenda planets zingine,” the driver barks.
We get to the gate and the conversation finally comes to an end. Thank you God. I pay, get the shopping from the boot of the car and lead the way. Just as I am getting to the stairs I realize my flame is way behind me. I stop. “Kuja ubebe hizi.” I give her the bag with the tissue paper and the Frusion yogurt and I carry the Keringet. As she takes the bag I realize there are a couple of house-helps in the compound staring.
We climb the stairs and I turn the lock to my house. Chris Brown fills our ears. ‘Yo, tell me fellas have you seen her? It was about five minutes ago. When I seen the hottest chick that a youngin ever seen before… I gotta give her game proper. Spit it, so she get it, there she is, I gotta stop her.’
I remove my shoes and take the Keringet to the kitchen. I come back to find her seated on the arm of my two-seater sofa removing her shoes.
“Floor yako ni baridi,” she exclaims.
“Apana. I’ll just wear the ones I have.”
She has tiny black socks for her ankle boot heels. I go to the bedroom and remove my blue socks which go all the way to my knees. I don’t need that kind of discomfort in this heat. I wear orange ankle socks, wash my hands and go to the living room. I find her seated on the sofa, and the chicken still wrapped in the KFC bag on the coffee table.
“Do you want to serve the chicken?”
She gets up and goes with it to the kitchen. I can hear her washing her hands. Then she’s back with me on the sofa with the bag.
“Nimeamua hatutatumia plates, tusichafue vyombo za bachelor.”
She stares at me. There are those big brown eyes. She blinks. When her eyelids close, then open it feels like you just pulled back the curtains on a very big window with a scenic view. I allow myself to drown in this view before tearing the brown bag open so that it serves as a mat on the sofa.
Aubrey is in our ears with Fire & Desire. You just like my sidekick, I just wanna wife, fulfill all your desires. Keep you in the front, never in the back, and never on the side…
“Is the music too loud, ama nipunguze volume?” I ask while taking my box and opening it. “Iko sawa,” she says as I start eating my chicken. She’s not eating, she’s just staring at me.
“Do you have a tattoo?”
“Unakaa the type that would have one,” she says while moving her gaze to the painting on the wall. It’s a big painting of two glasses of wine. One has white wine and the other has red. The wine spills out from both glasses and meets in the middle to form a love heart. I find this quite poetic.
“I love your painting,” she says.
“Ebu guess nilibuy how much?” My ego asks.
I shake my head.
I shake my head.
“Six thousand,” I say finally, having had enough of her guesses and her jaw drops to the floor. “I know, I feel as if I stole it,” I say, deciding that from now onwards, it’s valued at fifty thousand bob.
Her eyes are now on my coffee table where An Anonymous Girl and Drug Paradise are seated. She picks An Anonymous Girl.
“So wewe husoma?”
“Nimeona wewe ni Ben Carson.” She must have peeped my office bedroom when going to the kitchen and saw all the books on my desk.
I laugh. “Na wewe, do you read?”
“Not often. I think nilisoma kitabu moja last year, na hata sikumaliza.”
I put a drumstick in my mouth and pull out a clean bone.
“It’s easier kusoma ukiwa pekee yako, I guess.”
“I throw the bone into my box.”
“So wewe hufanya kazi gani?“ She asks while biting a French fry.
“I’m a creative,” I say.
“Creative wa nini?”
“I write.” I pause. “I write for brands.” It’s a half-truth. I was waiting for her to pick my novel so I could tell her the full story.
I tell her and start eating the second piece of my chicken. Her questions are relentless.
“Uko na hobbies gani?”
“Kusoma si ni hobby,” I say while finishing my chicken.
“Umeshiba hio kuku kweli?”
“Venye umebeba hio maji mzito na ukaningojea kwa hio jua?”
”Nilikua ndani ya gari, na hio maji hata sio mzito.”
”Eh, kama ni mimi ningeambia mtu anisaidie. Unataka nikuletee maji ya kukunywa?”
I love how she gets up without hesitating and brings me a glass of water from the dispenser. It’s a small gesture but it makes me feel appreciated and respected. I take the glass and down it in one fell swig.
“Supper utapika saa ngapi?”
“Jioni, around 8.”
”Eh, nitakuwa nishaenda but nataka kuona ukipika.”
”Kupika haina formula. Tunanunua nyama nusu hapa. Naiboil for an hour. Nakaranga. Natengeneza ugali. Hio story tunamaliza.”
The look on her face says she doesn’t believe me.
”Ama unataka tununue kuku tuchinje?”
”Unaeza chinja kuku?”
”Weh huwezi chinja kuku?”
“Mi naogopa.” She pauses. “So unaeza ua mtu?”
“Kuchinja kuku na kuua mtu sio the same. Mtu ana hisia. Mtu huongea. Kuua mtu si kitu rahisi.”
”Heh. Mi siwezi.”
“Unataka kunywa yogurt?” I ask, changing gears. She nods. “Enda ulete hizo Frusion yogurt nimebuy.” We both make to get up but before we do my lips part again. “Uko na watoto wangapi?” I can see her figure and I know other men are not blind to it. “Mmoja tu,” she says and my heart sinks.
“A boy or a girl?”
“A boy.” My heart sinks further. I prefer girls better. Sometimes I’m a dick to my dad and he is my dad. I can only imagine if he was a step-dad. I probably wouldn’t give him the time of day.
“Na wewe. Uko na watoto?”
“Perfect,” she says while getting up. I get up too and go to wash my hands. I wash my hands a bit longer waiting for her to come from the kitchen. It’s time I smacked that big ass of hers and got this party started. I dry my hands and wait. She walks past me and I pretend I’m finishing up and I follow her and smack it. It jiggles on my hand. “Nani amekuambia unispank kama hujaomba ruhusa?” She says while sitting down and handing me a cup of Frusion yogurt and a spoon. I smile. It will be a sad day when an ass like that walks around this house and goes unsmacked.
“Nani hufua nguo zako?” she asks.
“Songa karibu nikuambie,” I say while opening my Peach & Apricot yogurt. The plan is to dip a finger inside and smear it around her lips then kiss her. It’s as if she can sense it because she gets up and sits on the armchair of the sofa.
“Mm mm nijibu kwanza.”
“Sometimes mimi hufua, other times, mimi huita mama fua.”
“Wewe hukunywa pombe?”
“Sijakunywa pombe in a while.”
“Ama wewe hukunywa wasichana?”
Women will finish you long before you finish them. No one man can have them all, even Solomon couldn’t. I stay silent for a time.
“It’s either unakunywa wasichana, ama you’re focused on your career?” I will let you, dear reader, answer that one. She continues. “Ama nakuuliza maswali mingi sana?”
I spoon my Peach & Apricot. “Umeniuliza maswali za kutosha. Sasa nitime yangu kukujua. But I will do it differently.” Sade’s Sweetest Taboo is playing. If I tell you how I feel will you keep bringing out the best in me… You give me, the sweetest taboo… “Hey Google, pause music.” Google doesn’t ask me why she should pause music. The living room just goes quiet.
“Funga macho.” She closes her eyes without a fight. “I’m going to do a personality test on you, called The Cube, is that okay?” She nods her head. It’s something I learned from Neil Strauss in his book: The Game.
“Imagine an empty room.” I’m telling her. You can imagine it along with her as you read. “Have you imagined the room?” She nods her head. “Put a cube in that room. Where in the room have you put it, in the corner or the center?”
“Close to the corner,” she says.
“What size is the cube, is it big or small?”
“It’s not too big.”
“Is it on the ground or is it floating.”
“It’s on the ground.”
“What color is the cube?”
“Now put a ladder in that room.”
“Where in the room, is the ladder?”
“It’s far away from the cube.”
“What is it made of, rope ama chuma?”
“Now put a horse in the room.”
“What is the horse doing?”
“It’s just there, doing nothing.”
“Does it have a saddle that you can sit on and ride the horse?”
“Open your eyes. Let me tell you what it all means.”
She opens her eyes. There is that scenic view again.
“The cube is your personality, it is close to the corner and not the center because you don’t like a lot of attention. It’s brown instead of transparent or some other brighter color, which means you often keep to yourself and you don’t open up easily. It’s on the ground, creative people usually have theirs floating. It means that you like planned things. You don’t do well with last-minute changes.”
“The ladder is your friends. They are further away from your cube. That means they are not that many and you don’t see each other often. But your relationship is strong because the ladder is made of iron and not rope or some other fragile material.”
“The horse is your potential partner. The men you want. Or the men that are hitting on you seem to be going nowhere. That’s why your horse is doing nothing. It doesn’t have a saddle because you don’t want to be with these men.”
Her eyes are growing in size and her jaw dropping as I talk.
“Wewe ni mind reader?” she asks while getting from the armchair and sitting next to me as if hypnotized. “Because I like to keep to myself. Na sina marafiki wengi. Sisi huongea when someone is in need of money, ama kuna chama.”
I hold her arm and pull her towards me. She comes without resistance. I dip a finger in my yogurt and smear it around her lips. I move my lips towards hers. There is a fire immediately they lock together. My hand finds her hairband and pulls it off. Her braids fall on her face. I push them back. We French some more. My hand finds her thigh. I push her purple minidress up and push my hand in-between her thighs. She pushes it away.
We French for a while. She pushes my head to her neck and moves her mouth to my ear and nibbles it. I love the sensation of her saliva and lips on my burning hot ear. I smooch her neck, she pushes my head deeper in. I bite the skin on it and she moans. The harder I bite, the louder her moans. It’s like nothing I have experienced before. I push my hand back in her inner thighs and it brushes against her panties. I rub her cunt and she allows it for a while before pushing my hand away again.
I take off my spectacles and we French some more. My hand finds her inner thighs once more and I push her panties to the side and brush against flesh and brittle pubic hair. I lift her up and place her on top of me. She removes my orange t-shirt and pushes the hem of my vest behind my neck. Her purple dress is rolled up all the way to her chest and I’m unhooking her animal print bra. The bra is off and I have one of her nipples in my mouth. She lifts her hands and the dress is off too. We are skin to skin.
I reach for my belt, unbuckle and whip out my cock. It’s stiff. She takes the length of it in her mouth. If I was stiff before, I’m rock hard now.
You get such a good view of a woman when she’s taking you in her mouth. I trace her face with a finger and run a hand through her braids. “Go and get the condoms from the bottom drawer of my wardrobe,” I tell her, in a lazy sexually charged voice.” My words fall on deaf ears. She’s back on top of me and I have a nipple in my mouth and my cock is rubbing against her red panties. I push them aside. She moves her back and swallows me into her wetness.
Cunts are all different. Sometimes you put your cock in and it takes a turn. Other times you don’t even know if you’re in there, yet on some others she grips you and she doesn’t let go until you give her your seed. This one has a grip, even though I have been gripped better, to the point where I was spilling my seed in a minute or less, but those were the days when I was a boy.
She moves up and down the length of me with my hands assisting her and my teeth sinking into her neck. I bite her so hard, I can see my teeth marks on her skin. She pulls me away from her neck then pushes me back in again. As if she wants me to bite her and at the same time she doesn’t want me to. I find this very strange.
She is facing the window and loud moans are escaping her and I’m wondering if the house-helps we saw while coming in can hear her? That will be a nice piece of gossip going around for a while.
My teeth are in her skin. My hands on her ass and she’s swallowing me and spitting me out. The tempo is increasing and increasing. I succumb to her grip and I give her my seed.
“We were not supposed to have sex today,” she groans in my ear.
“When were we supposed to have it?” I say, while removing the hem of my vest from the back of my neck.
“Next year,” she says and laughs.”
I pick up my spectacles from her side of the sofa as she peels off from on top of me. They are broken. She must have sat on them in the heat of the moment.
She’s now wearing a worried look.
“Don’t worry. I have another pair.”
I go to the bedroom and get them. I come back and find her seated on the sofa in a daze.
“Akili yangu imefunguka sasa.”
She looks up at me.
“You look so young when you wear spectacles.”
“Unataka kuwatch movie?”
“Let me shower kwanza,” she says while removing her hula-hoop earrings and placing them on the coffee table while going to the bathroom.
“Uko na towel ingine?”
The other one is dirty in the bucket.
“Tumia hiyo iko hapo.”
After she’s gone, the magnitude of what I have just done hits me. I realize how much I don’t want a kid at this moment. I put my hands on my temples and wonder how I will broach the P2 subject with her.
“Uko na t-shirt naeza vaa?” She’s asking from the bedroom.
“Kuna t-shirts ziko hapo unaeza vaa.”
She comes to the living room worried.
“Wardrobe yako iko empty?”
I don’t like clutter so I don’t have a lot of clothes. I give them away as they wear out. So that I just have maybe, five good t-shirts and three good trousers.
“Angalia kwa hio drawer ya kwanza, kuna long-sleeved safi unaeza vaa.”
She comes to the living room. The t-shirt could be longer but her wide hips won’t allow it.
“Hii ni fupi na hatujafika place ya kuonana tukitembea uchi kwa nyumba.”
She goes to the bedroom and comes back with a pillow.
“Naeza tumia hii?”
She crosses her legs and puts the pillow on her lap and starts eating her chicken as I put on Venom on Netflix.
“Are you clean?” I ask her.
“Wewe ndio na faa kukuliza hio swali, nimeona condom imefunguliwa kwa drawer yako?”
How do I start telling her I opened that pack to do rehearsals last night?
“But sijui mbona nimekutrust, I just feel comfortable with you,” she continues while eating her chicken.
Attraction and comfort are the same thing. When you’re attracted to someone, regardless of how vile they might be; you’re comfortable with them and as an effect, you give them your trust out of leniency. I know better, yet here I am, making the same mistake as her.
“Nilikuambia uendee condom ukakataa.”
“Nani alikuwa na time ya kuenda huko kwote. Mood ingekuwa imeisha.”
She finishes her chicken and we settle in to watch Venom. I’m seated on the couch with my feet on the floor and she’s seated next to me with her feet crossed on the sofa. The pillow is doing a bad job covering her thick thighs, and my t-shirt is doing an even poor job because I can see her red panties. I trace a finger on her thigh and tag at her panty aroused.
“Tuende bed,” I groan in a sexually charged voice.
“Enda peke yako,” she says.
A few minutes into watching Venom, we start remembering that we were having Frusion yogurt before things got hot in here. We are wondering where our cups went when she sees mine spilled over the crevice on my side of the sofa. Hers fell over the sofa and it’s in the corner of the window.
We clean up and settle down to watch the movie. I’m seated on the couch and she’s seated next to me, then without preamble, she sinks her hands on my waist and places her head on my chest and it makes me feel good. I love the way she takes refuge in me, as if I am her pillar of strength.
“Twende bed?” It’s the sexually charged voice again.
She nods her head and leads the way. I stay behind to put on bedroom music. Lil Boosie comes to the speakers with Calling Me. That pussy keeps callin’ me… I know I can’t love her but that pussy keep callin’ me… Get me in trouble…
I get in bed and we start kissing. Her mouth finds my ear and starts nibbling it. My teeth sink into her neck and the hem of my vest is back behind my neck. I sleep on my back and she takes the length of me in her mouth. My bed faces the window. The drapes are pulled back and the sun filters in and kisses her face creating a view that could rival the painting in my living room.
She gets on top of me. She swallows me and spits me out for about a minute before she gets tired and starts gesturing for us to switch positions. I take her the way the missionaries do. I look at her as I give her the length of me. Her eyes are closed shut, with moans escaping her.
I turn her over and take her from the back. This is another view that could rival my painting. I hold the bed’s headboard and push myself into her core. Jeremih is on the speakers with Birthday Sex. You say you want passion, I think you found it. Get ready for action, don’t be astounded. We switchin’ positions, you feel surrounded. She’s letting out such loud moans. I’m wondering if my pink-sequin-dress-neighbor can hear her. All that running is finally counting for something, I think as I slow down the tempo and lie on top of her. Her eyes are still closed and she’s letting out soft moans.
“Open your eyes,” I say.
They remain shut.
“Look at me,” I plead.
I give her the length of me for a time before falling beside her. She sinks her hands on my waist and places her head on my chest.
“Watu wanonanga kijana amenyamaza kumbe ni farasi.”
I look at her and laugh.
“The ladies we passed tukiingia kwa gate. You’re not worried about them?”
She’s referring to the house-helps.
“Hawatasema they saw you with a lady?”
“Hatuongeangi. So it doesn’t matter.” I fall into her eyes. “Mbona hutaki kuniangalia?”
“Sitaki kushinda nikifikiria tu wewe na sex.” She pauses then continues. “Unajua sikua nadhani hata unaongeanga.”
”Wewe hukuja, unanyolewa, unaishia. But ni poa juu napenda machali wamenyamaza.”
I’m drowning in her big brown eyes the whole time she’s talking.
“When was the last time ulifanya manicure?”
She gets up and points a finger at me.
“Wewe, usiwahi fanya manicure tena.”
I laugh out loud.
“Hii ni kitanda ya uchoyo,” she says without preamble.
My bed is a small 4 by 6. Enough for me.
“Kila kitu kwa hii nyumba ni ya uchoyo. Hii kitanda, bathroom uko na towel moja, sofa ni two seater. Unaletanga slayqueens kwa hii kitanda kweli?”
“Slayqueens ni akina nani?”
“Madem wa a good time not a long time.” She gets up and pauses in a way that a slay queen might pause and adjusts her voice to a twang. “Kariuki, me I can’t sleep in this bed with you, nataka space.”
Churchill should come and get this girl.
“We unaeza bembeleza dame?” She says while settling back onto my chest. “Uko na ka-ego Fulani. Sidhani unaeza bembeleza dame.” She answers her own question. “Maybe hii kitanda inafaa kukaa so we can be closer,” she says and we start kissing again.
Her mouth finds my ear and starts nibbling it and my teeth sink into her neck. She lies on her side and we spoon with Ginuwine in the speakers. Lookin’ good, plenty tight. Is there any more room for me in those jeans? I take her in the missionary position again and give her the length of me and there it is, the smell I felt in my faint vision. It carries in all women but it has a different tone, in each one.
She’s moaning loudly and I’m increasing the tempo and her grip is overwhelming me. I’m making sounds too. Like an injured boar or a dying bull. I’m about to give her my seed when she pulls me away, “Don’t cum. Don’t cum,” she barks. I fall beside her. ‘No man can truly master the WAP,’ I decide, the heat subsiding.
“Utameza P2?” I ask shamelessly.
“Period yangu nikuisha inaisha,” she touches the tip of my cock with a purple nail. “Hata nashangaa mbona hauna damu,” she says and removes the hem of my vest from my neck. “Hii vest itakunyonga.”
She sinks her hands on my waist and puts her head on my chest.
“When was the last time ulikua in a relationship?”
“She was dodgy. Ananiambia she’s around but she’s off to Mombasa with another man.”
“Awww, I can’t believe someone can do something wrong to you, you’re so good,” she says in that way women do that make men feel spineless. “Kwani hukua unampeleka vacations?”
I stay quiet.
“If it was me, natoa 5K, alafu unatoa hizo zingine, si hio ni deal poa?”
“Kitambo pia. With this guy who wanted to break up with me but he was not telling me. Nyinyi machali hukua complicated sana.”
“Machali si complicated,” I say. “Men only want three things.”
“Sex, food, and peace.”
She looks at me unconvinced. “You know women think sex keeps a man, sex doesn’t keep a man. Ni yeye akupende, na wewe umserve,” she says finally.
The music has stopped and she’s asking if there is someone knocking on the door. I get out of bed, go to the living room and peep through the steel door glass. There is no one. I shuffle my bedroom music. Bobby V comes on. Slow down. I just wanna get to know you, but don’t turn around ‘cause that pretty round thing looks good to me… now turn around and bless me with your beauty. You cutie.
I go to the kitchen and come back with two cups of Frusion yogurt. I give her the Wild Berry and open up the Vanilla.
“How does yours taste?” I ask. She gives me a spoonful. “It’s sweeter than mine,” I say.
“You can have it,” she says while giving me the Wild Berry which is almost empty, and taking my Vanilla which I have barely touched. “You’re eating so slowly,” she says while draining my cup.
The cups are drained. Drake’s: Final Fantasy is on the speakers. I never really talk about dick that I wanna give you, or places I wanna get to. Neck grab, head grab. Arch back, heart attack, cardiac… And we are back to kissing. Her mouth finds my ear and starts nibbling it and my teeth sink into her neck. We are spooning again and I am turning her over. I take a pillow and put it under her stomach so that it supports her arched back as I give her the length of me.
Her cunt makes farting sounds as I go in and out of her and she giggles, embarrassed. Google says it’s when the air gets caught between your cock and her cunt, and it’s called queefing.It could be queefing or it could be applause. I suppose we will never know.
I do this thing where I tease the tip of my cock on the entrance of her cunt and then put it all in without notice. She seems to be loving it. Sometimes I stay too long and she throws her ass back and swallows me into her wetness.
I smack her ass with the weight of a fully grown man and the noise of the palm of my hand coming into contact with her skin reverberates throughout the room yet she doesn’t flinch beside let out a soft moan. I find this strange so I do it repeatedly.
I reduce the tempo and lie on top of her. Her eyes are closed shut with soft moans escaping her. I move my hands to hers and our fingers interlock. We both make sounds of eating sweet sugarcane.
“Open your eyes,” I groan.
They remain shut.
“Look at me,” I plead.
I give her the length of me for a time before falling beside her. She rolls over and looks at me.
“Uko sure wewe si mjaluo?”
”Mbona hutaki kuniangalia?”
“Oh, ndio nishinde nikikutumia good morning texts kila siku.”
She sinks her hands on my waist and puts her head on my chest. She’s skeptical, putting her head on my chest and I’m wondering why and then I realize she has seen the Ventolin inhaler on my bedside table. I look at it and look at her.
“Kama nilikuwa nakufa, ningekufa kitambo.”
She puts her head on my chest, gently as if it’s made of glass.
“Uliniambia uko na sisters wangapi?”
“Uwi. I fear sisters. Sasa ukikufa naweza waambia nini? Mimi naweza lia.” She gets up and pretends to be one of my sisters, “Woi, kamwana gaitu. Ni kairetu kau gake ka mursik,” she says in Kikuyu before settling back on my chest. “Uko in a relationship, ama kuna mtu anadhani you’re in a relationship na yeye? Unajua mtu anaweza kuwa in a relationship pekee yake?” She says and laughs.
“There’s one who calls every day, hata sijui mbona hajacall leo but simfeel hivyo.”
“Labda she’s saving you.”
“Hauji madem hufanya hivo. Kuweka chali kama plan B, in case what they have doesn’t work out.”
“Probably wewe ni plan B wake.”
I crease my forehead. “Na wewe?”
“There’s a guy but sina desire. I just see him as a protector.” She goes quiet for a while. “Or maybe nitampatia chance. Relationship ni decision unamake to love the other person and you stick by it.” She quiets again then continues. “You know a woman can grow to love a man she didn’t want before but a man can never grow to love a woman he doesn’t like.”
“What happened to baba watoto?”
“Alianza madharao ndogo ndogo, so I left.”
“Does he see the kid?”
“Akitaka kumuona we meet in town in a public place.”
The music has gone quiet and she’s hearing knocking on the door again. I get out of bed, go to the living room and peep through the steel door glass. There’s no one. I shuffle my bedroom music. Pretty Ricky comes on. Baby Grind on me, relax your mind take your time on me. Let me get deeper, shorty ride on me. Now come and sex me till your body gets weak.
I get back in bed and lie on my back and she sinks her hands on my waist and places her head on my chest.
“Unapenda kukula nini? Najua Wakikuyu hawapendi ugali but najua kupika mokimo na githeri.” She goes quiet for a while. “Naweza pika but siwezi fua nguo. Kuna time after high school nilikuwa nadate huyu chali. Kuenda kumtembelea nikapata dame mwingine huko akimfulia manguo, tangu hio siku nilisema sitawahi fulia mwanaume si bwana yangu nguo.”
“Mlichapana na huyo dame?”
“Hapana, nilimwambia mimi ni cousin,” she says, while giggling.
Jeremih is back with Birthday Sex and we start kissing. Her mouth finds my ear and starts nibbling it and my teeth sink in her neck. She moves her head past my belly button and takes the length of me in her mouth.
I move to take her from behind. She arches her back and swallows me into her wetness. Moans and queefs escape her with her eyes closed. I look at the view and decide I should save it for later. I take my phone from the bedside table and open the video function but it’s such a task giving her the length of me, while keeping an eye on her and recording. I put the phone away and increase the tempo.
I roll her braids around my hand twice to get a good grip. It’s war now. She’s moaning loudly and I can’t tell if it’s my cock or if it’s because I’m pulling her braids too hard. The sound of my bed squeaking and my pelvis hitting her back reverberates through the room as I give her my seed for the second time and fall beside her.
“Iko kwa miguu zangu. It’s a lot,” she complains.
I look at her. Lucky girl. She’s gotten the deluxe cock. Most women have not been that lucky.
“Are you sure, you don’t want to take P2?”
“Niko on my safe days. Trust me, I don’t want a kid. Kuna madame hutrap machali na watoto but I’m not one of them. Lazima tukuwe in a relationship and decide we want to have one.”
She goes quiet.
“Kids are just bills, bills, bills… Kids are blessings,” she adds, finally.
I just lie there, without the energy to move nor speak.
“Na need kuoga. I’m sticky,” she says and gets out of bed.
I gather the little energy I have and follow her, deciding that I need to wash my cock.
“This is actually a big house. Unalalanga kama umewasha stima?” She asks, in that way women do to make men feel manly about dull things.
I nod my head.
“Heh, mimi naeza ogopa,” she says while peeking into my office bedroom. “Unaweka double decker ya watoto kwa hii room and you’re sorted,” she says expansively.
I told you I have moments where I see the future, faintly. While we’re standing there staring at my office bedroom. Which is soon to have a double-decker. I see us having sex a couple of times and her realizing there’s no other woman that comes here and she starts leaving her things every time she visits. I see her moving in with her son and I see myself miserable and I don’t like that vision at all.
“Uko tu na toothbrush moja. Wewe ni mzuri. You don’t have toothbrushes from other ladies?” She says from the kitchen.
“If a woman leaves something, I usually just throw it away.”
She finds me in the bathroom with the water running on the length of me.
“Enyewe hii ni nyumba ya bachelor. Hio kitchen iko tu fuaa. Naweza ipanga hadi ushangae,” she’s saying as I turn off the faucet and realize that my vest has bloodstains on the hem.
“Iweka kwa maji ikona jik.”
“Will Persil work?”
I put some water and Persil in a bucket and throw it in. The younger me would have thrown it away.
“Nimeoga tu miguu,” she is saying while coming out of the bathroom. I think, having been inspired by me just washing my cock.
I go to the kitchen and pick the last two cups of Frusion yogurt. I had hidden them for myself but I have just decided we live for now. I find her seated on the bed with her legs crossed. I hand her the Fruit Cocktail and keep the Mango & Peach and sit down on the bed with my feet on the floor.
“Tuende tumalize movie?”
“Apana nataka tuongee. Nitakuja tuwatch movie siku ingine,” she spoons her Fruit Cocktail. “Ama tutapanga, nisipate mtu huku akiosha manguo.”
“When was the last time you were with a man,” I ask, my face becoming serious. “And be honest?”
“And when was the last time you got tested?”
“December on World AIDS Day. What about you?”
“Around August.” I spoon my Mango & Peach. “You know nobody wants to be sick. Being sick is bad business. You can’t work yet the illness demands money for hospital bills.”
“I’m clean,” she says but even as she says it. I know we shall revisit.
“Kuna WiFi?” She asks.
“Kwani how do you think everything is playing?” I say, feeling insulted.
She puts in the password. “Wacha apps zikuwe zina update before niende.
Lyttle comes on the speakers while I lie on my back and she sinks her hands on my waist and places her head on my chest. Let me hold you, girl caress my body. You got me going crazy. You turn me on, turn me on…
“We have been fucking all afternoon. Hata sijui umeenda rounds ngapi,” she says and moves her mouth to my ear and starts nibbling it and you and I both know where this is headed.
“I’m tired,” I say but she’s relentless. She takes me in her mouth for a time then climbs on top of me. I pick her up with the little energy I have left and remove her from on top of me. She comes to my lips. “I want to give you a proper goodbye.” We have kissed to the point where our lips are raw and I want no more of it. “I don’t want to do a lousy job,” I say with the best intentions.
“So now it’s a job?” She says and shows me her back.
I get into the spooning position. “I will do it, ukiniangalia.” She looks back at me but I can’t find her cunt. I put her in the missionary position. She grabs my cock. She can’t find it either. “Imejifunga,” she says while oiling her hand with her saliva and touching herself. Diamonds lyrics in Kwangwaru swim in my head. ‘Weka mate niteleze kama nyoka pangoni.’ I put in the length of me but I want to turn her on her stomach and take her from the back. “Itatoka,” she says but I’m not listening and it spills out. “Wewe ni mchezo uko nayo sasa.” She says, as I fall beside her.
The sun that was filtering through the window has gone and darkness has taken its place.
“Time ya kuenda imefika.”
“Nataka but my sister will end up taking care of my baby and she will be mad.” She falls back on the cushion. “Nataka kuenda but sitaki.”
She gets up. “Funga macho, hatujafika place ya kuonana bila nguo.” She dresses up. I love the way her short purple dress cuts and exposes her thighs. I get out of bed and we kiss with my hands grabbing her back. “Unataka turudi tuanze mchezo tena?” She asks. I shake my head.
I pick my pants and t-shirt from the floor and get a grey hoodie from my wardrobe and dress up. I look at her, she wants to take photos. I get the ring-light in my office bedroom. When she sees it, she wants to doll up. She gets into her handbag and puts on makeup. I open the camera function on my iPhone. She pouts her mouth and throws peace signs in the air. She puts her peace sign close to her chest… then next to her arm… another one on her head. Women and their peace signs. I wonder why we don’t have world peace yet. She’s done with the peace signs and I send the photos to her WhatsApp.
She looks at the pictures and complements some of them, then opens the camera function on her phone.
“Let’s take a selfie?”
“No,” I say flatly.
I take the ring-light and direct it towards the bed.
“Tu act movie?”
“Mambo ya sextape sitaki.”
We’re ready to go and she wants the hoodie I’m wearing. “Let me wear it so I smell like you,” she says. I rather like this hoodie. I open my laundry basket.
“I’m giving these clothes away. Unaeza chagua yenye unataka.”
She picks a yellow and an orange hoodie. The yellow fits her better but the orange one has more color. “Usipatiane hii ya orange, nitaikujia.” Even as she’s saying this I know she won’t be getting the orange hoodie if she doesn’t leave with it today. I get my Deep-Black-Charcoal-Deodorant and spray it on the yellow hoodie she’s wearing and we head out to the stage.
“Unajua sikuwa nadhani utataka sex?”
”Ulikuwa unadhani nitataka nini?”
”Nilikua nathani tutaongea tu.”
I laugh. Imagine entering a lion’s den thinking it’s a chicken house? But then again, that’s the charm of Bluebeards Castle.
“You’ve surprised me,” she says. “But in a good way.”
Remember this girl had my change, about 300 bob? Or has all that sex, made you forget? We had decided we would let her keep the money but she had to acknowledge she had it first.
We get to the stage, there are no matatus and I don’t want to stand there waiting.
“You still have the 300 bob. Si you just call an Uber to town?”
“Three hundred on transport? Wacha tungojee matatu.”
A matatu stops after a time. I give her a hug and wave her goodbye.
I get to the house. I have just had the most intense sex I have had in a while, yet I feel the same. I find this strange. You think you will feel different after having sex but you don’t. It doesn’t solve your problems or improve your lifestyle. It’s a natural human act, and you just go back to your routines and being who you were, after.
Zuchu’s: Sukari is on the screen. Ai sukari. Nampatia. Ai sugar, sukari. Nampatia… What a beautiful African woman, I think while watching the music video. I look at my phone, I have two texts from her.
“Thank you for today. I enjoyed your company.”
“Leo utalala kama mtoto mdogo.”
”Haha umenifanyisha exercise,” I reply not wanting to recap the sex on text. I switch Zuchu off, piss, wash my hands, brush my teeth, turn off the lights and go to bed. Google usually plays me rain sounds so I can be able to sleep, but this time it’s lights out the moment my head hits the pillow.
I wake up on Sunday at around 8 pm. I put on Wiz Khalifa: We Dem Boyz. Hol’ up, hol’ up. Hol’ up, we dem boys… I am feeling really good. I rinse my vest in the bucket and put it in the sun. It’s moon white, you wouldn’t even tell it had bloodstains. I find her hula-hoop earrings on the coffee table and her hairband on the sofa. I pick them up and put them in my drawer as a memento.
I go to Naivas and buy sausages. I fry them after and sit down to have breakfast. I open my phone and watch the clip I recorded of her. It’s ten seconds, dark and incoherent. I throw it in the bin. I check my WhatsApp, she’s posted some of the photos I took on her stories. I finish my breakfast and pick up Venom on Netflix from where we left off.
A text comes in from her in the afternoon. “Hey… Can you ask Google how to stop someone from running on another one’s mind?” She texts from a different number. Google says it does not understand the question.
This was a problem of mine when I was in my twenties. Feeling as if I would die if I didn’t tell someone they were on my mind. Now, sitting in my thirties, I realize it’s okay for people to be on my mind. My mind can accommodate a lot of things and I don’t always need to act on some of them.
Monday comes and I start wondering why I did not use protection. 72 hours have not yet lapsed. I could go to Kenya National Hospital and get Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP). I think about the long queues and the side effects of the drugs and get a headache.
She said she last had sex in July and got tested on World AIDS Day in December. I ask Google when World AIDS Day is just to fact-check her story. Google tells me it’s on December 1ST. Dodgy people’s stories are always falling apart because they’re full of loopholes. From the time we met, she didn’t do anything but be straight with me, so I don’t have reason to doubt her. But still, I am who I am and I have to cover my bases.
Einstein says, a clever man solves a problem and a wise man avoids it. I could have been a wise man by just using the condoms that were right there in my pocket. Today, I will have to be a clever man and hope to be a wise one tomorrow.
I decide to buy a HIV kit and test myself, then send her the results and request her to do the same. If she is as straight as she has been with me, she shouldn’t have a problem with this.
I get out of the house with my bag at noon. The midday sun is up in the sky and it’s scorching everything in its path. I avoid the chemist next to my flat and walk a bit further to the next one. I find a well-dressed gentleman and a woman behind the counter. Everything about them says they are a couple. I instinctively go to the man.
“Can I have the HIV self-test kit?”
“Oral or blood?”
“Which one is better?”
“They will both give you the same results.”
“Give me the oral one.”
The woman is directing him to where the kits are. He comes back with one.
I am delighted with the price. I pay quickly through M-Pesa, put the kit in my bag, and walk slowly in the midday sun back to my house. I soap up my hands, rinse them and towel off. I pick up the kit. It says ‘Chukua selfie’ on it with a cool hand sign above the words.
I open it, get the swab and roll it through my upper and lower gums and dip it in the liquid provided as directed on the manual, and start the long wait. “Hey Google, set a timer for twenty minutes,” I say with a shaky voice. There’s always anxiety when testing for HIV. I could do this test tomorrow and I will still be anxious. The twenty minutes feel like a lifetime but they get here all the same. One line. I’m negative and it’s time for the second part of my task.
I text her on both lines. The one she gave me and the new one she recently texted me with.
“Hey,” I text on the first line.
“Is this your line?”
“I need to tell you something. Respond if this is your line.”
I text on the new one she recently texted me with. The last thing I want is for the line to be her sister’s or someone else’s. After a few minutes, I call her, she doesn’t pick. I decide that she’s busy, and she will get around to it when she’s able. A part of me decides she’s being dodgy.
I go to buy fruits to just get my head away from things. She calls with the old line when I’m buying watermelons. “Hey, I need you to do something for me. I will text you in a few minutes,” I tell her. I get to the house and find her texts from her new line.
“Yeah, this is still my number.”
“Sorry, missed your call.”
I get right to it.
“Just took an oral test. I’m negative. Sending you cash. I need you to take one too, so I stop stressing, or know if I need to take PEP. Is that cool?” I share an image of my negative results.
“Okay, no problem.” I find her incredibly attractive after this text comes in.
I send her the cash and extra for the trouble.
“But PEP is advised to be taken within 24hrs after sexual intercourse.”
“But I will send you my results, ndiyo uache stress.”
“It’s actually within 72hours,” I text back. Believe me, I have done extensive research on this.
“Lakini sijai ona Kevo who is this cautious… you should change your name,” she says with laughing emojis.
Her text comes in after forty-five minutes. One line, she’s negative too. I look at her fingers. The color of her nails is still purple, same as they were on Saturday. I look at her surroundings. The tiles in her background say she did the test in the washrooms. The same washrooms I have been in from time to time while in the barbershop.
She couldn’t have doctored the results or gotten someone to do it on her behalf. She wouldn’t think that far ahead in such a short window of time. I couldn’t even think that far ahead. If I had, after the first round I would have bought the kits and we would have tested together, then I would have been somewhat a wise man instead of a clever one.
I open my phone to more of her texts.
“After three months we’ll take the test again.”
“Do you trust my results, or you went ahead and took the PEP?”
“Are you home.”
I look at the last text. I know that I now have the kind of clearance, where I could tell her to clock out of work early and come-over and she would do it. I could really use the tightness between her legs but that comes with its own expectations and promises so I answer the question that needs answering.
“I trust them.” I text back.
I sit down and ask myself what those expectations and promises would look like. The vision flashes in front of me again. Her and her son living with me, me doing things out of obligation and her making most of her decisions with her son in mind. I don’t like that vision at all.
We could be friends or friends with benefits but that’s toxic too, especially when there is someone who wants more. You shouldn’t be spending huge amounts of someone’s time; who wants you in that way, who you don’t see yourself with, in the foreseeable future.
The sun rises and sets on Tuesday and Wednesday. Good morning texts go unanswered. She texts again on Wednesday evening.
“Hey, how are you? You know, I wanna believe that you’re busy or contemplating what happened between us; things happened so fast, you know. What have you been up to?”
“Hey, I’m good. I’m just silent because I don’t want to give you false hope.”
“Okay. Out of curiosity, did I say or do anything wrong that made you feel that way?”
“No, no. You were actually pretty cool.”
“Alright. I kinda liked you, but you know, the feeling has to be reciprocated in order for it to work. I respect your decision. Thank you.”
I want to tell her to come and we can make it work. The decision feels so hard but I know I have to make it. It’s an easier decision to make now, compared to the one I would have to make later after our lives are weaved together and there is more at stake.
I wake up on Thursday feeling down and under. After having breakfast I put on soft music and sit at my working desk. Ed Sheeran comes on with Photograph. Loving can hurt. Loving can hurt sometimes but it’s the only thing that I know. I find myself crying and convulsing violently to this. When it gets hard. You know it can get hard sometimes. It is the only thing that makes us feel alive. I cry at my flaws, at our expectations and what both of us thought could be, that never will as Ed Sheeran goes on and on with Photograph.
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