You are seated next to this beautiful girl, vivacious in looks but you are total strangers and therefore you are not talking to each other. You are in a Daladala from Egerton (Njoro) headed to Nakuru town. On this day, you have an assignment at Elgeyo Marakwet County and so it explains why at 5:45AM you are in a matatu hurrying to catch the first shuttle to Eldoret Town for you to connect to Iten. Your heart keeps talking to you—’talk to her, just tell her something’. It starts reminding you of how you don’t have a girlfriend at 23, what the last person you had (whom you thought was the one)- did to you. You frown upon remembering but your heart continues talking to you, trying to show you how you want to prove that you are a failure for not talking to her: “That was just an exam- and you passed. Forget about her-it happened: forget the past, make things right here now.”
“But I don’t want a girlfriend,” you try to console yourself.
“Are you sure? But you need one,” your inner self keeps digging further.
“No, I have something else to think about: my job and my education. I need to make things straight in my life first before I think of that.”
“Come on, listen to yourself. You are being unfair to yourself if you don’t know. This will be a chance lost in a lifetime, ‘luck does not come twice.’”
“Ai! I didn’t know this was so serious.” Your seat gets hot. One window is open but you realize that’s not enough to cool you down. The girl is seated next to the nearest closed window and for you to open it, your bodies must come into contact one way or the other. She is busy with her smartphone, Samsung J7. At that point you behave like you forgot your smartphone at the house, because, who wants to see your bandaged Lumia 520? She seems to be WhatsApping someone special. But it’s too early; you wonder who that may be. Her boyfriend? Does he have a birthday that she wants to be the first one to wish him a Happy Birthday? Of course a girl as beautiful as her must have a boyfriend. You pray that he is the one she is chatting with because that shows it’s not something serious- they are just playing mad for one another. The ‘I’m always thinking of you dear’ thing.
Still, you have not mustered enough courage to ask her to open the window for you because you don’t know what to say when she asks you why. Telling her it’s too hot at this very hour, in this part of Kenya, and more so at this month of the year, wouldn’t make sense. You don’t want to say that you are suffocating; you might accidentally say you are fornicating nor do you want to say you feel like spewing. This will be detrimental- you will appear weak. And so you just go ahead and try to open it yourself. In the process, accidentally (that seems deliberately) you knock her phone off her hands. You try to show her how sorry you are, that you didn’t mean to do that by forgetting about the window and starting to grovel for her phone of which she too does without saying a word. Your hands meet down there. Your fingers interlock, you look at one another directly into the eyes as if asking each other, “What’s that?” But immediately you let go of each other. You continue looking for the phone. After a while you find it.
“Here.” She receives it and without a word, goes ahead and opens the window for you. A lot of air gushes in only to realize that it is making you sweat. And you gesture her to close. She obeys and closes it still without a word.
Enyewe roho inataka. So finally you opt to break the silence. “Hallo!” but on the contrary as an answer you meet a frowned face, and you go like, “I’m sorry, I didn’t know that will hurt you,” while deep inside you are asking yourself, “How could my heart lie to me?”
She is still looking at you. “What, I just said hello,” you say, pretending you just meant that, nothing else.
“Hahaha, I was just kidding. You are Mulwa, right?” she says.
“Yes, Mulwa John, how do you know me?”
“I read your stories, I am in love with your blog.”
“Wow, thanks for that,” you say still shocked. You continue thoughtfully, “Is this really what I was thinking? She knows me; she is in love with my blog, what does that mean? So my heart could be right.” You stop conversing with your inner self and turn to her. “Kwani how many are you in one?”
“How many what?” she asks.
She has a beautiful smile. Your mind gets formatted and immediately installation of a new software starts.” Mbele iko sawa. “Ooh, no forget about my question,” it’s all you can say.
“What is your name?”
“I am Sandra Bisari.”
“Yes, and in my third year.”
“Sandra mmm … Good name.”
“Thank you.”
“So you are going to …”
“I am going home in fact. I heard my grandma was promoted to glory yesterday- she has been sick but I will be coming back on Sunday.”
“Oh, I’m sorry for that.”
“It’s okay. Thanks.”
At that point you hear the conductor say, “Mwisho wa gari.”
“I am a bit in a hurry, excuse me please,” she tells you.
“Ok, safe journey,” you tell her.
“You too, safe journey.”
She shakes your hand and you hold hers as if you don’t want to let go. She smiles lovingly and sloooowly extricates herself and starts walking away.
“Goodbye,” she tells you. At that point you can only wave. You are left seated watching her maneuver her way through the crowd. You are left with only her name. Perhaps you know how she looks. You neither have her phone number, nor do you know where she stays in campus.
“The whole of Sunday I will be here waiting for her,” you say ‘thoughtfully’ as you alight.
“Wait for who, John?” your friend Peter asks. You are jerked out of your sleep. Shit! So it was a dream? “Don’t you have classes today?” Peter asks.
“Kwani ni saa gapi?” You ask.
“It’s already 7:30AM.”


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    Charles January 8, 2018

    unatesa aki …

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