“Oh… look at you. I have a dress! How will I ride?” I asked brushing his arm. He smiled slyly when he heard ‘ride’. “Would you rather we stay home?” He asked enthusiastically. I wanted to say yes but I have watched Think Like a Man and I have to stick to the 90-day rule, in case he is that patient. Well, I am not really a rules’ person armed with mysteriousness of girls but I was determined to impress him. These bad boys have this ugly syndrome where you make it easy for him, he becomes bored to death and vanishes. Joe is smooth, manipulating and can easily have his way. “We can buy pants or a pair of shorts if you want.” To cut the long story short, we went cycling in some hilly terrain; I crushed into a bush, bruised my arm, tore my shirt, bit my tongue and almost lost my eye. Bad date.
Weeks later, he invited me for some cocktail, held in Serena. The company he works for was celebrating 50 years since inception. In the uber, I kept checking myself in the mirror. I had put on some make up and put some perfume at some strategic spots; like on the neck, my wrist and behind the ears. All women do that. I can say that without fear of prejudice. The mascara exaggerated my eyes lashes which now looked natural and long. My face looked flawless and I couldn’t identify myself anymore. The foundation had loyally concealed all the ugly black heads. I had used velvet-red lip stick. Good lipstick I borrowed from my friend. You don’t expect me to go buying those expensive lipsticks.
“You look beautiful tonight.” He said, gazing at me with obvious admiration. “You look really lovely.” He reinforced, trying to sound sincere. He held my waist and led me to the table. I smiled shyly. The sequined dress hugged me, clearly outlining all the contours of my body. I felt confident about myself. I felt sophisticated and cultured. He too looked ravishing in a black fitting suit, bow-tie and black shoes. His watch glittered in the half-lit room. He was wearing cologne too. He looked sophisticated too but I could tell he was a bit uncomfortable in his new look. His hair cut was done with all the dedication a barber can have. Half of the time, Joe stared at me, his eyes having this longing. The neon lighting and the cool music seemed to create this sexual mood. Speaker after speaker. Long and short speeches, the mc high on something. Food. The night was fading.
“Please come home with me tonight,” he said. I had a million reasons against going- my periods, no extra clothes, I miss my bed, I haven’t done laundry. He laughed at every excuse and provided a solution to each. His eyes were compelling. I felt his emptiness and his longing to belong. At some point, life makes meaning when you have someone to share your life and true feelings with. That is how I found myself in his warm house at wee hours of the night. 1. 03 a.m. precisely. This is the hour evil lurks. At this hour, evil had more power over good. He reached to remove my heels. They were too uncomfortable and I had suffered for the entire night, balancing delicately, survived tripping twice. I hate high heels. He kissed my legs, moving up. The slit was gaping, inviting and seducing. He lifted the dress. “Let’s get this off and get a change of clothes.” He whispered. His composure, above everything, made me long for what was on his mind. We talked into the night. He told me about his late mother and how he missed her, his childhood memories. He had been a bully, got suspended, his father almost killed him, how he got saved every Sunday with Pastor Pius Muiru, he told me about his flopped interviews…
I woke up to a missed call from the African man and a text inquiring if I was okay. I rolled my eyes. Does it matter if I am okay? Joe wasn’t there. Was he somewhere taking ARVs? Did he rape me? No. of course he can’t. I have wild thoughts. I could hear clattering of utensils and some music in the background. One more night… give me just one more night, I could hear him sing along, his deep voice sounding good. I froze when I saw a packet of sanitary towels on the bedside drawer. It must have been humiliating him buying them. Men his type cannot do that. That is not the Joe I imagined. Yani I lied I was in my periods and he just respected that? There is something so appealing about a man who doesn’t disturb you for the entire night with just the head, just in the thighs, you know! I joined him in the kitchen, in his oversized clothes. He smiled lovingly. For a minute I felt like we were in a relationship and not just a fling. I felt I belonged.
“I want you to be my girlfriend. Do you think you can date me?” he said as I sipped the tea. It caught me by surprise. I stared at him, tongue-tied.
“You are so beautiful, Gee when you do that.” He said smiling and reached for my hand. “Do you think you can?”
“Mmh I… I… just…it’s… ummm…”
“I like you a lot. You are an amazing woman.”
He stepped in. I finally found my tongue,
“Joe, I like you a lot too.”
“I don’t want to rush you again. I hate to make you feel pressured.” He supplied.
Many days later, my mind was busy. Joe? African man? Joe? African man? I was doing pick it pick it point it (piki piki ponkee) with 2 wonderful men. Well, not wonderful. One boring, one exciting.
My African man came to my house the next week, at around 9pm, uninvited and asked for my phone. I cared the least if he checked everything. I never leave a trail, after all.
“Who is Joe?” He asked after checking the last call I had with Joe, 2 hours ago, for 30 minutes.
“Oh him? He is nobody” I said a bit frozen, but trying to look normal.
“Who is JOE?” he repeated, this time, his voice raised, his temper flaring.
“He is the man I love,” I said, without hesitation. I had rehearsed this a million times. I was surprised at my gut and my burning bridges. He looked at me crushed. “Why do you do this to me? I have been faithful to you. I have done all I could possibly do to make you happy.”
“No. you haven’t done a thing. You haven’t… it is best we part ways.” I finally said.
He wiped his tears, sadness written all over his face, he broke into lamentations, “I may not be the best man, but I love you. I may be this way, but I care about you. I wish you took time to understand me better. Good men are not easy to come by. I hope Joe makes you happy.” He addressed me, painfully, as if pronouncing a curse. With that, he took his jacket and left. Never looking back, never hesitating, and never speaking a single word. Never returning.
I went to Joe’s house unannounced, just like my ex did a day ago. I couldn’t stay without him. I was sure of this. I would rather take the risk of dating him than live wishing I had. I will tell him yes three times and give him bonge la kissi . I will tell him he completes me. That he is the man I choose.
I knocked on the door. Immediately, a young woman opened the door. She was bigger than me and was wearing booty shorts and a vest. She had a tattoo of a dragon on the left arm and a flower on her breasts. Had piercing on her lower lip. “yes?” she asked, with no shame and manners. No greetings, nothing. Yes? Yes what bitch? I looked at her antagonistically. I wanted to pull whatever was on her lower lip that looked like some animal equipment. I wanted to slap daylight out of her ugly face, ugly tattoos, ugly skin color, ugly voice, ugly, ugly, ugly. “I want to see my boyfriend.” I was not about to back down because of some tattooed insecure woman. I know such women. Must be his clingy skinny ex. “Oh! Joe? He is sleeping. But you can come in.” My heart was thumping hard and I had goose bumps. It has been long since I beat someone. I am a fighter, literally. Joe has no idea about the monster he was chasing and now, he too, will face my wrath. How dare he? How dare he? Had this woman slept here too? And saying casually, he is sleeping, so casually, as if Joe belongs to her. I was panting already. “I am the twin sister, Joy by the way. You must be Gee. Come in.” The siting room was messy. The dark duvet laid on the carpet, the phone charging, her mavin one the table and a jumper on another seat. Some cartoon was playing on the set. After pleasantries with Joy and cheesy smiles, I went to the bedroom.
Tremulously, I asked Joe, “is your request of dating still open?”
It is many months now my people. So far, so good…
Thank you for reading!!!