I was born in February. If I were Marjorie Oludhe, I would have called February the month of coming to birth. But Kibaki and Uhuru’s kids would not see the essence of what I want to share. Aren’t they still marveling at Ngugi Wa Thiong’o’s The River Between as they capture fun moments in selfie snaps between the two rivers at Two Rivers? Sadly, I am neither Marjorie Oludhe nor Ngugi Wa Thiong’o. I am not even anything close to Bikozulu or Magunga or whoever your favorite African author is. So please, for my sake, order a glass of sweet red wine or a cold beer, for the ice in this story cannot be felt by a dry stomach.
My girlfriend and I once broke up because she suspected that I as cheating. Well, she went through my phone while I was having a shower and by the time I finished cleaning up, the relationship was as good as done. But women are funny! You know how they get all emotional after they confirm you are cheating! how they at times even cry and call it quits! How they can turn you from their only cake to a piece of shit! How they blame you because they were so wrong to have loved you in the first place even after all their friends advised them not to trust you! A simple apology however coupled with a treat at Big Square is believed to be enough to calm them down! Is it really true that make up sex is the best style today? (Some of you don’t believe it’s a style). Anyhu!
For some stupid reason, I have cheated quite a number of times. Sometimes because I felt broken and needed to sleep with someone at least to get the frustration off my chest. Other times because the sixth beer always has this weakening effect on a man’s legs and a strengthening effect on his manhood. At times, I have simply cheated because as an African man, plenty is found within our borders.
Leakey did not cheat once though. Being in campus, staying faithful and remaining committed to a girl from a different campus is not easy. Not when she is beautiful, a model, and certainly not when she has more male friends than she has girlfriends. We will not even talk of being committed if she belongs to the class that gets nasty after the first drink. Shiru, Leakey’s girlfriend, a light weight model, with more male friends than he has female friends, had visited us twice. The first time, Leakey and I had just moved into this large two bedroom apartment after having agreed to cost share the rent. So Shiru attends the house warming party. Everything about her looks perfect. Her beauty, her figure, her smile, eyes, dimples, nails, name it.
“She’s beautiful bro!” I tell Leakey
“I have good taste, huh!” he responds jokingly
“She is those ones you keep and marry!” I say
“Ehe! Wewe humjui! Wait until she gets high!” he says and toasts for a shot.
The house warming party was on fire. Those who drunk got high! Those who got really high became kids! Those of us who were asked to wait and see, saw drama as people got sky high. Romantic episodes filled the house as one party made out with another. Someone summoned jealousy. Rather than tuning up alone, jealous brought along emotions. Blows took turns to land of faces (both the pretty ones and the not so pretty ones). Screams and cheating allegations replaced the stereo.
“Malaya wewe! It’s you who started!”
“Nitusi kabisa, mjinga wewe! Mimi na wewe nani Malaya hapa? If you can’t trust me usiniletee shida zako mimi! I come all the way for your house warming party but kazi yako ni kwarm haga za madem wengine huh?”
“It was just a dance!”
“You are busy dancing with other girls but you can’t dance with me! Ama ni nini wako nayo enye sina?”
“But you are busy twerking for guys like a hoe!”
That morning, everyone left except Leakey and I. it was our house anyway. You don’t leave your home after a party is over, right? We did not speak about what had happed at night except when he mentioned that “si nilikushow huyo hoes ni kichwa mbaya!” I didn’t comment.
Two weeks later, Shiru calls me and says that she wants us to talk. I don’t bother to ask where she got my number from. But I ask her what she wants us to talk about. She explains how things have gone from bad to worse between her and Leakey. She explains how their relationship that was once as sweet as cake is now covered with cold ice.
“So why do you want to talk to me? You can just meet up with Leakey and sort out your relationship!”
“Because I want your advice. You look older and mature and I think you are in a position to help us reconcile.” Shiru responds.
I don’t like it when am referred to as ‘old’ considering the effort I am putting towards maintaining this young body. But Shiru mentioned mature. I don’t know about you but from where I come from, you don’t deny a lady something after she calls you mature. We agree to meet after one week, on a Friday. I would be done with classes and Leakey would not be around (she had insisted on talking to me alone at first). She agrees to come to the house that Friday after her class (sips beer). Monday came and Tuesday left. Wednesday reminded me to throw back all the dirt in the house ahead of feel good Friday for the date was on. My housemate’s girlfriend was coming to have a chat with me. A chat in our house, and in his absence! Hehe!
Shiru turned up at 7pm wearing some black tights and a nice trench coat. Her cleavage showed nicely between her twins. She looked ready to go out rather than coming in. She had a nice pink handbag which had carried the 750ml black label that we had agreed on, a pack of cigarettes (I didn’t know she smokes) and other things that women carry in their handbags. Shiru is a lively woman. The kind of women you meet conversation sparks up. She starts to smoke and suggests that we take shots because it would make it easier for her to tell me whatever she wanted help with. First shot. Second shot quickly after the first. Take some water. Take the third shot. Light weight takes a break and starts talking freely. Like a remote had been turned on.
By 11pm, Shiru had told me how she met leakey, how they had fallen for each other while in driving school. She shares how she had played hard to get but finally said yes after Leakey’s determination to win her heart. “That guy knew when to turn the wheel to the left, to the right and when to switch the gear.” She says. Shiru continues to tell me how Leakey mastered her every gear before they could even sit for the driving test. “He was a perfect driver.” She says. By 11.30pm, black label is three quarter done (shots); light weight starts feeling the heat. She needs a t-shirt because the trench coat is now too warm and besides her bra, she has nothing else beneath the trench. The ‘team mafisi reject’ in me makes way to the bedroom and returns with a nice clean t-shirt (the one you give to a girl on a first date) and then boom! There she was. Same way she was born, only a bit bigger, and not her mother’s child anymore, but a child of the world. A woman, ready to be explored!
I stood there confused. I could feel my hands starting to sweat. My man was rising from below. She noticed him and smiled. My body was ice cold and there she was looking like my favorite cake. I rolled my tongue, allowed saliva to fill my mouth then I swallowed. I should have ripped her off and taught her a lesson! That I am Mbai! Not some pastor or her brother! But Mbai! Even pastors don’t always hold back. But I couldn’t strike. At least until we find solutions to her Leakey situation. I did not want to unleash my claws before she tells me who cheat on the other and why they do it. I had many questions I wanted to ask her, and I needed answers. Many questions! Like does someone just wake up one morning and decides that today am going to cheat? Is cheating inspired by alcohol? Or is it a rite of passage in relationships?
So I stretch my hand to pass over the t-shirt to her. Perhaps if she puts it on, my concentration levels will be back to normal. Otherwise, I would be forced put my ice on her cake. She doesn’t take the t-shirt. Instead, she walks straight to my arms and hugs me. Then she starts to cry. Not knowing what to do, I hug her back and slowly whisper to her ears “…what’s up Shiru?” She doesn’t respond. I want to push her away and tell her how I am not one of guys who bang a friend’s x but it’s too late. She hugs me tighter, holds my man and starts to kiss me. I should have stopped her there and then but you don’t remove ice from the cake. Do you?