I was in a matt from Nai. She was quiet from Tea Room to Uhuru highway, university way roundabout, probably because she was eating French fries. And then she suddenly started. By the time we got to Safaricom house, I knew that she was afraid we’d be late. You see, she’d lost her phone on her way home from a college two weeks ago. I knew that she was in a college (She told me the name) in Nakuru. I knew that she’d left home early but lost track of time in town as it was hard to hook up with friends without the phone and once they met, she had to explain to them exactly how she lost the phone and they said that they now understood why it had been impossible to reach her. I knew in details where and how she lost it, and how she felt when it really sank in that the phone was gone which was when she replaced her line…
By the time we were at Uthiru, I knew that this friend of hers had plaited a very cute weave. She also knew a chiq who had bought another weave that was so beautiful she suspected it must have cost her 12,000 Kenyan Shillings. I knew she has a friend who’s married to an Engineer. She once caught him cheating but there’s nothing she could do as she already has a kid. She got married immediately after high school when she realized that she was pregnant and the guy accepted responsibility. The married girl would be late to college for they’d gone to Thika with the husband. She didn’t want to say no, fearing that he’d cheat again.
By the time we got to Limuru, I knew that her family was a conservative bunch who never let the kids go out. Yes they’d been promised that they could do whatever they liked once they were done with high school, but that turned out to be one big lie. They could not go out even now that they were in college. I also knew her auntie is one bitch who always goes through the nieces bags when they visit her. She also complains when they get angry and decide to not visit asking them whether her house has stated smelling like shit. I knew that she’d finally obtained her ID card but her cousin was not as lucky.
By the time we got to Kinale forest, she’d told me how she’d seen her friend with earrings like mine, only better looking and longer. She also planned to buy herself similar looking earrings. Not similar to mine, but to her friend’s. 🙁 I also knew about her ex who she dumped as he kept asking her where she was. That time she was doing badly financially and she took a Safaricom promotion job. The dude wanted her to tell him where she was every second and she got tired. The job was stressful as they’d get sun burns and the manager was really mean; always comparing them with the guys in Nairobi.
As we passed through Fly Over she told me how she had self esteem issues as a kid. She was explaining why she was talking so much even after I assured her that she was not saying anything I wouldn’t. Her mum advised that to have self esteem, she had to learn to relate with people.
She told me about a classmate of hers who Mscheewed her often and still had the audacity to ask her for class notes. She said that the said Mscheewer was a dumb girl who rarely came for classes in time. In fact, the classmates reasoned that she must be living with the boyfriend as no parent would allow their daughter to leave late for a nine o’clock class. She also told me that they had ruled out the possibility of the girl being married as no man would allow his money to be wasted the way this girl did by getting endless refers.
I was barely paying attention to her as she told me about her sister’s boyfriend… ‘He’s so rich. He bought a Land Rover just the other day. They’re about to get married by the way. But the guy is so proud. He’s a Kikuyu yes, but he acts like a Luo. If for example we’re driving and he sees a driver trying to overtake, he does not give way. And then he says that he’s not afraid of being involved in an accident as long as the other driver learns to follow the rules next time. He is very hard working and he says he bought his first car when he was 21 years old.’
I was about to switch off for the ninetieth time when she said a name that rang a bell. Let’s say Alex.
‘Where does this Alex live?’ I asked.
‘Where does he work?’
‘Near the hospital,’ she answered, and then quickly asked, ‘Why? Do you know him?’
‘I think I do,’ I answered describing the guy, the car he drives, the building his office is in and where I thought he lived.
My girl did not even wait for me to finish. She looked scared.
‘No he’s not the same guy. The Alex I’m talking about lives in Milimani.’
‘Ok. I could be wrong,’ I assured her and looked out the window.
You see, I know the dude only too well. I met him through a friend. Well, not really. Let me try to explain…
He was a friend to my girl, and told her that he wanted a girl; sort of a side dish as he’s married. He wanted someone who’d be giving him ‘some’ in return for house rent and other basic needs; I don’t know how it works.
I was a ‘go between’ between my girl and the prospective mistress. That is how I got his number.
One day I’m bored in the house and I decide to play this game. I call him and pretend to know him…
Turns out, the guy has an ego the size of a pregnant elephant. As much as I try to tell him later that it was a joke, he just refuses to believe that a girl can just call him to play a stupid game. There had to be another reason. (Especially given the fact that I knew he was looking for a mistress.) I tell him to believe what he likes; I really don’t give an eff.
The following day, he’s outside our office; he just has to see me. It’s five anyway. I go and see him. Yes, he drives a Land Rover. Which one? Don’t ask, I’m not good with cars.
I’m a little disappointed as my friend had talked very highly of him. He looks just ok; as ok as a 40 yr old guy can look. He smokes, thus his lips are very dark. I bet he has the smoker’s breathe too. (Not sure, just assuming). In other words, he’s just another guy, nothing to write home about. But I was wrong. Over the months, I’d learn that he’s either a much messed up guy, or just outright special.
He has to attend to some business. He therefore drops me in town and makes a promise to see me later. Minutes later, he calls me. Where I’m I? I tell him that I’m already in a matt home. Where’s home? He’s on his way? I find this insane! You’re driving after a Matatu to come see me 19 km away?
Believe it or not, he arrived before me and went straight to the point.
‘I’ve been looking for a girl, and I’m looking no more.’
Did I say that he’s married?
Being me, I said, ‘I have a boyfriend (a lie), there’s no way in hell I could see you exclusively!’
After attempting to meet me about 20 times to no avail, the guy decides that we’re great friends which gives him the right to criticize everything I do, as punctuations to telling me just how rich, skilled, rich, experienced, smart , and rich he is…
• I’m just from an auction where I bought this heavy machine of a car for 300,000. I’m the only one who paid in cash.
• She’s among the 15 IDPs I took for secretarial courses. I paid for everything.
• You know Cess, you can push the wall the whole day and you’ve done nothing at the end of the day.
• Why do u play hard to get while it’s very clear that we both feel each other?
• No one lives better than mistresses.
• You look bad in braids, you should just keep your natural hair.
• Do you know that the car I’m driving is my nineteenth?
• I like your boobs, but you’d look good if you increased your ass.
• I’m just telling you as a friend
• The plot I bought the other day was my fifteenth
• What in your house can you point out and say that you got from your boyfriend?
• What do you mean nothing? What value is he adding to your life then?
• You know nothing. You should learn to let men talk.
• You’re not polished!
• Why do you always argue with men? You should just sit there and be beautiful
I swear I’m not making this up! I could go on and on but this is turning out to be the longest post ever! The last time I saw him in town, he made the same comment that he makes every time. Not asking… no, he’s too big for that, but telling.
‘If I knew you were around I’d have called to tell you that I’m coming to your place to take you to bed.’
And as always, I wanted to puke! I told him for the seventy eighth time that he’s not my type.
His reply, ‘What’s your type then? Boys?’
And it suddenly hit me. This guy is not even my friend. I don’t have to take this crap from him. And I walked away…
I found no need in telling him the truth. That me and him, never! That I don’t care about his money; I don’t push a wall all day, I have a job I love. That I got my own. That we’re not in the seventeenth century anymore. That I hate being told what to do. That we ain’ friends, and most importantly, I don’t care for his opinions.
But saying all that was not necessary.
Let’s go back to the friend I met yesterday…
After learning that I’m not his sister’s boyfriend’s girlfriend (she actually asked and I said no), the girl relaxed and started talking so fondly about this amazing guy who’s about to marry the sister.
‘Is he married?’ she suddenly asked.
‘No. He’s a friend, I’d know if he were married.’ I lied.
I don’t know why I lied. I really don’t.
She said, ‘I have to tell him that I met his friend…. I don’t even know what your name is….’
‘Cess,’ I told her, ‘My name is Cess.’