There is a small town in western Kenya called Kakamega. Slightly less or more than four hundred kilometres from Kenya’s capital Nairobi. It is a town which most of my school and classmates used to bluff a lot whenever they went there for a weekend eatout. I was born and raised in another kakamega sub called Bukura which is a few kilometres apart. Personally, I cherished every time I went there with my mum, though I can’t lie, it used to be so rare.
For the past good couple of months, I’ve been held in a bit of a cycle which could not easily break. Work-school-business cycle. This is a kind of cycle which labels you good names but mostly bad names. You lose touch with some of your friends. You lose touch with even some of your distant relatives when it’s totally not your fault.
How can he be paid yet he’s never finished college?
Nowadays he thinks he’s made it. He can’t even call or text to say hi.
You become less active socially – which is good by the way. The little time you always get is never enough to give to all of the things and give it to everyone.
Let me formally introduce you to a friend of mine from the school of economics called Roggoz. Roggoz is a nickname so you shouldn’t be thinking I have a Portuguese friend already. I won’t say much about him but there’s a bit of a sentiment from him which I really liked.
We once had a conversation about alcohol and drugs in general. It was a long and scattered conversation but one major point from him was that… sometimes in your spring life years, you may not need an addiction. All you may need is just to focus on whatever you are doing then make good money first. Whether it’s working, taking your academics serious or doing and growing your business.
This was a bit sensible and I finished the conversation by saying “hapo umeongea kama Padre mwenyewe”
1248hrs. A hot and sunny day in Kakamega town. I step out of KATAWECO SACCO passengers’ van and line my feet on the streets. I am only thinking of meeting my friend from the school of engineering.
Make friends outside your school please!
A pair of black AGK earphones sneaks itself through my sweatshirt. I skilfully find myself through the streets like it’s my backyard. Shaking my head to the cadence and voice of Madilu System, I get into some nice place for a bottle of water though I ended up biting. I walk into the restaurant and nobody cares even welcoming me or saying hi.
It’s the hospitality industry guys, come on.
I sit on one of the couches at the corner and I have to wave my hand for a waiter. A waitress quickly runs to me holding a cell phone and my head rings back to ArtCaffè…
We should not run inside the restaurant neither should we use our phones.
“Hello pretty, how are you?”
I strike a chat. What’s with most males calling every other girl or woman pretty? I also wonder.
She presses her lips and breathes in and out then responds.
” I’m fine thank you”
I’m not amazed so I give her my order right then.
“Can I please have a cold large bottle of still water, without a glass and the menu please? “
“Sorry ati umesema nini?” (Sorry what did you just say)
She asks for clarification in Swahili. I don’t know if it’s English that she doesn’t fathom or…?
What I decide to do is to repeat the order in Swahili.
“Nasema uniletee maji ya kawaida kubwa baridi bila glass na menu tafadhali”
She notes the order then smiles to me.
I smile back. Who I’m I?
“Asante sana. Karibu 37 bar and lounge my name is Anita and I’ll be a at your service toady.” (Thanks. Welcome to 37 bar and lounge)
She turns and walks away as I shift my attention to my phone so that I may avoid looking at her behinds. I believe I’m just like all of you other men.
A few minutes later, I see her approaching me. She looks like she has no problem in this world. She is slow. She’s just pulling herself. Probably because it’s a Monday and from the look around I’m the only guest in the entire place. She serves the water but I have to remind her that I did not need the glass plus she didn’t carry the menu. I wonder what it is that she was noting down. Oh confused pretty girl.
I was biting chicken wings with one hand and the other one holding my phone. I was texting and checking on those who always alleged I was lost. I was scrolling through social media and I also got a chance to post updates.
While Scrolling through Instagram, I came across a post of a girl who I went with to grand school. It was a full photo with zero filters exposing just exactly who she was.
Close to a decade without ever meeting but just liking photos on social media. Meeting in Alumni WhatsApp chat groups then talking on phone for some months with failed meeting plans over and over. The snap had no caption but had location information which really amazed me. Then, I already envisaged a hook up because I knew if she was really at that location then I’d eminently link up with her. First before anything, I double tapped the pic then let everything else follow.
The photo was taken a place called Kefinco which was barely four kilometres from where I was. We slid into each others inbox and what conspired led to us finally meeting at Holden mall, Kakamega. Don’t ask what I did to my chicken wings and a bottle of water!
Circa 1348hrs on the same day. Sun still hot and shining. Wind blowing. Ginkgoales trees outside the mall swaying to the wave. Trans-county shuttle vans speeding along the highway. Personal vehicles getting in and outside the mall. People of different ages and gender. Some carrying shopping bags. Some just walking around. Some walking into the mall for some shopping experience. Some like me seated on benches outside the mall probably waiting on something or someone. I was keen to look around so I could spot her from a distance. I saw a figure walking towards me and I knew it was her. I could tell from her short, brown-dyed hair. I had seen it on one of her earlier posts. She stood slightly over five feet. She was rocking black pair of leggings with flat, urban, white low-cut Adidas sneakers. A sexy sleeveless summer dress top beautifully exposing her light skin arms, neck and shoulders. As she neared, she gave me a killer smile and then again who I’m I, I smiled back. I don’t know if it killed her. She was such a temptress.
She said as she got close to me and gave me a tight hug.
“Wow wow lady N!”
I was mesmerised.
We got stuck to each other, affectionately embracing as we murmured. You’d think we were love birds from a long time past. We walked away from the benches into the mall. Still holding hands you’d think we were in love yet we had barely ten minutes of live interaction.
We were seated in some nice restaurant inside the second deck of the mall. I checked her Instagram photos again just to compare with her in real face. Lady N must have been around twenty two years of age. We had been having our drinks first as we talked about the years before. The waitress came returned with the menu. She placed them on the table nicely then I told her to get us some water for the table first.
Lady N perused the menu. Regardless of what was there, she was gonna have deep fried fish fillet coated with spicy bread crumbs, then French fries as an accompaniment. She knew that place before and had actually come up with the suggestion.
Delicate piano music played as we enjoyed our main course. We indulged in a long, deep and merry conversation. Mostly about the many years after grand school. Sometimes laughing. Sometimes commenting on the restaurant ambience and service. Sometimes just holding hands then letting go when phone calls interrupted. We never put our phones on silent. We just didn’t take the date so serious while again we took it so serious!
While I had gone for a university degree, she did short professional business courses and had a spa well up and running in a nearby city of Kisumu. After we were done she offered to pay the bill but I was clever to bar her. We talked more and more even after the table was cleared and the bill paid.
1503hrs. Kenol bus terminal, Kakamega CBD. I get into an Ebenezer M SACCO passenger mini bus. The bus quickly fills up and in a few minutes we drive off. My head is light. Almost floating away upon thinking about the hours before. This girl damn! I quickly shift my attention to a text message from my long term girlfriend. I read it then call her straight away. There and then!
My loyalty will be greatly tested but I’m hundred percent I’ll win. A sexpot can not come from nowhere then mess my relationship. Even you darling readers can’t accept that I’m so sure.
However, one great African singer in the late nineties once said, walking is tiresome if and when you have the ability to fly.