He is your uncle, the one who is a lawyer. The yuppie one who made fortunes because he has connections in the government. He is your brother, the accountant who just got a promotion. The one who just walked into his thirties. The one with a young wife at home but he didn’t know marriage would turn out to be such a task so now he distracts himself from the stress by driving his Subaru Outback down to Nairobi University, Kabete campus on Fridays and picking up a girl or two for a rave in a hotel somewhere in the boroughs of Nairobi after lying to his young wife that they have a team building seminar in the Mara that weekend.
He is your Dad, he is on the board of a few companies, and he is turning seventy three on his next birthday. His entire body betrays his age now; his head is full of white hair, his facial skin sags. And he has a potbelly to show the world that he has done his time in the trenches and earned his stripes. He parks a guzzler outside your Kikuyu home and he’s a model Dad. He will come home with a paper bag of edibles in the evening and eat your mother’s food. He will sleep in your mother’s bed, wake up in the morning and tell his kids good morning. His phone will sometimes ring and you will know when its work because he will shout into it without a care in the world then other times his phone will ring and he will look at it and say something like, “Who is this disturbing me this early in the morning?” and he will cut the call and get back to his family, and you will wonder who that is.
Later when he’s in his guzzler parked outside The Sarova Panafric for his business meeting he will call the disturbance and a smooth sweet voice will be on the other end complaining that he never picks up her calls and maybe he will M-Pesa her ten thousand bob or buy her the latest gizmo to shut her up because he is more interested with what’s between her legs than what comes out of her mouth. He knows it’s wrong but he has this twisted notion that the pleasures he gets from the sweet voice keep him from resenting his family and makes him relish his wife and kids more. The sweet voice might be your age mate, twenty three and in Campus. Hell! She might even be your classmate. The sweet voice has smooth walnut skin, bee-stung lips and miles of legs which are very menacing when she’s in something short and as it happens handkerchief size skirts are her thing. She also has an ass that sends most of your blood rushing to your loins with the ferocity of tornado every time you think about it. You hit on her sometime because you’re curious about what she hides under those toenail size skirts but you know she’s way out of your league; what with the jewelry, trendy clothes and the Chevrolet Volt she drives. You know she’s not in your planet leave alone your class but you still give the Vaseline strategy a whirl with her Instagram pictures late in the night because you’re a man with an ego.
Your Dad has rented her an apartment in a hoity-toity neighborhood like Adams Arcade, or Yaya somewhere that spots more business buildings, than homes. Somewhere people will readily pass up for official business. Most are the times she misses morning classes and you sign the attendance on her behalf. Those very mornings that your dad claims he has an early business meeting and even forgoes breakfast. Your mom knows your dad’s misgivings because she has smelled the perfume in his clothes one too many times but she turns a blind eye, because she’s old school and she has been socialized to believe that marriage is about work and compromise and ninety percent of that falls on the woman’s lap. So she stills her tongue, and takes your dad’s cockamamie bullshit because she believes she’s protecting the family.
The sweet voice happens to come to class late in the afternoon just as the lecturer is winding up, and in an effort to start conversation you start telling her some happy horseshit about how you signed the class attendance on her behalf as you stare at her V-neck top while wondering what treasures are buried beneath it. She doesn’t know what it is but you resemble someone she knows. Someone who has given her a lifestyle she never thought possible and that’s how you end up talking, that’s how you end up telling her you live in Kikuyu and that’s how she offers to drop you in Westland’s on her way to her apartment in Adams Arcade and that’s how you end up in Adams Arcade watching her 55 inch Samsung curve TV wondering if her father is the prince of Swaziland.
“Are you related to the Kenyattas?”
You blurt out as you seat on her white leather sofas, those same leather sofas that you’ve seen on Furniture Palace brochures going for obscene amounts of money.
“Don’t worry about it.”
She barks back, all the way from the kitchen in a tone a father would use with a daughter. The house is an American styled apartment and from the living room you can see the kitchen which has a small counter that spots a four gas burner in the middle, three pub styled tall seats, a Samsung microwave and a towering silver Samsung fridge.
“What type of juice will you have, apple or mango?”
She chirrups while opening the mammoth fridge.
“There’s no alcohol?” You chime in with a risqué tone to your voice.
“There’s Vodka, Whiskey and Brandy. Which one do you prefer?”
You’re not an alcohol man, in fact when you go out you take Smirnoff black ice because it’s cheap and it has lots of sugar in it, but you’re with a skirt and you need to act the part. You think for a minute then you remember your old man takes brandy, specifically Viceroy, and they’re always saying like father like son.
“What type of brandy is there?”
You plow on.
“Viceroy, lots and lots of Viceroy.”
After that sentence you already know you won’t be going home that night, “I’m at a friend’s house and I’ll come tomorrow.” You text your mom because she is one to worry. The sweet voice disappears into the bedroom and comes back dressed to kill (but in your case to tease) she is in cotton booty shorts and a loose fitting top that kisses her shy off her belly button which spots what looks like a diamond ring the size of an ice cube. She has a fabulous sense of style, she could walk around in diapers and a bow tie and still look magnetic. She then puts on dance-hall music on her home theater surround system and starts moving her bottom in a frenetic of round motions as she takes long swigs from a tall glass of orange juice that she calls Jamaican sunrise. You join in swiftly and your groin acts as the pivot to her bottom and that’s how you wake up the next morning butt naked in her king-size bed curled on each others arms.
Her phone rings, and you pick it up from the drawer besides her bed and pass it to her, but before you do you take a quick glance of the caller ID because you’re a snoop like everyone else. The name “Mzee” swims in the middle of the 5.7 inch galaxy note.
“Not this morning, I’m in school, we have a cat.” She chimes, and you wonder what this cat is about that is being done on a Saturday morning. Is it the one that I did last night?—
“Sawa, sawa I will call you after the cat.” She hangs up.
You tell her you need to get going and she offers to drive you, partly because she’s afraid Mzee might drop by like he usually does and also because of the ecstasy of being with a young man for the first time in a long time.
You get to your home in Kikuyu and your mom is the one who opens the gate.
“Ulilala wapi wewe?”
She says with a tone that cuts like a knife after you come out of the red Chevrolet Volt.
“And who is this,” she chirrups with a half-smile now a tad mellow after she sees a skirt coming out of the driver’s seat. You say it’s your friend (even though, one night stand would be more appropriate)
“Come in and have tea.” Your mom demands, as she motions the two of you towards the door.
You follow your mother as you wonder why the color has drained from the sweet voice’s face, her walnut complexion has turned pale as a ghost. You look around and see your father’s guzzler still parked in the compound and wonder what he will make of your new friend.
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I like to think of myself as a reader who writes, a Pan-African who thinks with the tips of his fingers, but when I'm not molesting the keyboard I'm usually destroying yogurt (not Frusion) or staring into the vastness of space.