The Arrangers of Girlfriends

Photo Credits: Nairobi Noir
Photo Credits: Nairobi Noir

The first time a girl knocked on our door asking for me, mama was ecstatic—she couldn’t stop smiling: being the only son you would think she would have felt threatened. Another younger, fairer woman here to claim her son. You would think her claws would have been out ready to pounce and cut her down to size. You would think she would have felt disrespected by the toenail size skirt she wore, or by her yapping mouth which was ajar most times than it was shut. But no, mama pranced around the kitchen happy with herself and made toast bread for us: she didn’t even give us the sex talk, she just smiled and stared at us as if we were from a different planet.

I was no Casanova and mama had seen that. She was probably afraid that I would die alone without ever getting to taste the wetness of a woman. If it was up to her—instead of toast bread and tea she would have handed us a packet of condoms because there is nothing that scares a mother more than the son she adores being unable to get a few women to adore him. It disturbs her and gets her up at night, she ceases to be a mother and becomes a PIMP instead.

“That church going girl called Wambui, she told me she’s free Friday’s perhaps I should introduce her to my son.”

And that’s how you come from college and find Wambui sequestered on your favorite seat eating chapatis whose smell now permeate the house while smiling from ear to ear. But you don’t see her how mama wants you too because there is something about mothers and choosing women for you—they never quite choose the ones who make your stomach watery, they never choose the toenail size skirt wearing ones that you usually crush on. They instead go for the Wambuis, girls that you only see as sisters.

A week after Wambui sat on my favorite seat I grabbed toe nail skirt girl’s ass and she cursed me out. I apologized profusely, I even used a few RnB songs to mellow her down and she finally accepted my apology. She put her hand softly on my shoulder as if I was a harmless bunny and told me she couldn’t dream of losing such a good friend like me. I would later learn that I had been swept into the friend-zone dungeon, a dungeon that many disappear never to be found.

I knew I would never come out of that dungeon when mama sent me to the shop late in the night only to see toenail skirt girl fondling with a man in the dark. There was enough light for me to see that the gentleman in question was much older than me, there was also enough light for me to see his hand comfortably sited on toenail skirt girl’s ass. That same ass that I grabbed and it felt like having a front row seat in heaven. That same ass I had to apologies for grabbing with mellow RnB songs in a vain attempt to get things back to the days of toast bread and tea.

There is something about plunging into the darkness that is the friend-zone, you’re confused at first. The friend zone is like being next to a fresh water lake dying of thirst but you can’t partake because the water doesn’t see you that way. See how confusing that can be? It is unnerving, it takes you into a rollercoaster of sulking and hating every woman in a toenail size skirt and if you’re too deep in it like I was you grow to hate toast bread and tea as well.

But like everything else there is always sunshine at the end of the darkness, and that sunshine is called acceptance. Acceptance is the most important stage because it allows you to work on yourself —it allows you to mend your fishing net and adjust your sail in accordance to the wind. And the reward is usually a pretty little thing in a tiny little thing patty on your hands.


The second time a girl knocked on our door asking for me, mama jeered and smirked her lips. Maybe her tiny shorts appalled her, but I enjoyed staring at her long bronze legs. Maybe it was the amount of cleavage she exposed or perhaps it was how she hugged me—holding on for a bit too long before giving me a long kiss with a lot of tongue.

That day mama didn’t make toast bread nor tea. That day mama didn’t smile and look at us as if we were from a different planet. That day mama switched off the TV sat between us and gave us the contraceptives lecture.

Have you noticed the semi-colons and hyphens? I’m doing this new thing where I’m trying to make sure you’re reading the story exactly how it is in my mind. Breathe when you come across a hyphen and break when you come across a semi-colon. ‘If language is the vehicle, punctuation is the fuel.’

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