He glances at his phone again. 20:27 hrs. He could feel his impatience getting the better of him the more he waited. He knew seeing her again was the biggest mistake of the year so far, but she wanted closure and he wanted her out of his life, so maybe doing as she wanted one last time was the price he had to pay.
Umefika wapi? Tunaeza kutana siku ingine kama umeshikana sana…
a part of him hoped she wouldn’t reply to that text because then he’d have the perfect excuse to just leave and hopefully, never attempt whatever this was again. He takes the last bite of his samosa, finishes his glass of juice then checks his phone again. No text. Nimebebwa ufala tena, he thought, disappointed that even though he knew better, he still watched himself dancing to the tune of her charm. 20:49 hrs. It was getting uncomfortably late, especially for someone that had been waiting for almost an hour now. He needed to leave and forget whatever this was supposed to be, self-respect ni muhimu.
Disheartened, he left the small café and began finding his way home. She could go get her closure from the waiters in that café for all he cared. The streets weren’t as busy as he anticipated, and the night had just settled in, as if welcoming all that thrived in its darkness. Kinuthia’s phone began to ring- it was her.
“Aki imagine simu ilikuwa silent…. Naiekanga silent nikiwa kwa ofisi and I forgot kutoa, aki I’m sorry… ndio nafika hapa na sikuoni, uko wapi nikam?”
Excuses! Again! In as much as he wasn’t surprised, he felt stupid being in the dark, not knowing what or who to believe.
“Naelekea stage ya kuishia mtaa… ama whatever you wanted us to talk about tuongelelee kwa simu tu, siwezi rudi huko, I’ve had a long day…”
“Gaai, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to kukueka hivo…si kesho ni Thursday lakini, so utawork from home?”
“How about basi, if you don’t mind…. Tuende kwako alafu mimi nitoke kesho asubuhi nikienda job…ama you have someone else kwa nyumba niache kiherehere?”
Please say no Kinuthia…
“Fare ya asubuhi haitakuwa mob from my place?”
“I think difference itakuwa 70 bob tu, that’s nothing… And I also need us to talk, I know I haven’t been the best version of myself and I want to do right by you”
Kinuthia knew where this was heading. He knew what to do but his body had other ideas.
“Niko hapa Odeon basi, harakisha…”
22:17 hrs. His neighbourhood is mellow and quiet. Bien’s ‘inauma’ is sipping out of his radio as the two lovebirds stare out into the night from Kinuthia’s balcony.
“Hii t-shirt yako hunitoshea vizuri, nilikuambia unafaa kuniachia”
“Haha, nilikuambia ukitaka kuivaa unajileta…”
“Na si ndio huyu mimi, wewe ata from how you sounded kwa simu ni kama you didn’t want me to come”
“Would you blame me?”
“Aai,kwani lazima tublame mtu?”
“If what you told me the other day ni ukweli, why did you delete chat yenyu basi?”
“Si because I didn’t want you to take things out of context, huyo Boss wetu anakuanga fala sana, the things he says as jokes zinaeza eka mtu kwa shida…”
“Lakini zi,usiekelee jokes hapa… hio text niliona alikuwa anakuambia the best part of the team building was when he found out huna gag reflex… How’s that a joke?”
She sighs, runs her fingers over his loosely buttoned shirt, and then holds his left hand in hers.
“No baby, si hivo… I swear I’ve never done anything na huyo mbaba! Kwani hunitrust? Alisema hivo because we were playing Truth or Dare….”
“Truth or Dare Team Building?? Mi si fala bana!”
“Cheki baby, relax,unajam tena na tulisema we’ll talk about it kama watu wazima…. Niliambiwa niseme something no one at work knows about me, nikasema I don’t have a gag reflex, and people went crazy juu walikuwa wamelewa…so hio text ilikuwa inarefer to that moment”
“If it was that simple, mbona basi ulidelete thread yenyu? Ungeiacha nione whatever I’ll see”
“Ebu ngoja…ni kama nyama inaungua, ulieka maji mingi?”
Kinuthia bolts back into the house only to be greeted by a billowing cloud of smoke from the already burnt meat. The kitchen looks like a mini grenade just exploded in it. He throws the charred sufuria into the sink and lets the cold water soak whatever was supposed to be their dinner.
“Weh! Ni kama leo tutakula makaa na ugali”
The two stare at each other for a second, then burst out laughing. Sandra walks over to the sink, inspects the burnt meat for a second, and then tosses everything in the trash bin.
“Si ukona mayai? Tutakula hizo… ama kama ni nyama ulikuwa unataka unaeza nikula baadae pia”
Kinuthia just stands there, confused and surprised at the same time, not sure if the woman in his house was the compulsive liar he thought she was or an innocent angel that hang around a few demons. The demons being her colleagues of course.
What she didn’t know was that Kinuthia had planned on proposing to her. Life with her before that God-forsaken text broke him was his little heaven on earth. He had this fancy getaway spot in his mind, where he’d go confuse her with luxury before popping the question. But things were different now. He felt like he didn’t know the person in front of him anymore. She had bones in her closet that she had no business having. And he had a crucial choice to make, a choice that would either make or break him.