You step into the apartment. The music stops. Two dozen heads turn to face you. The ladies instinctively check you out from head to toe. You’ve never understood how ladies who are not exactly fashionistas still judge a man by how he dresses, especially his shoes. Woe unto you if you have cheap shoes. Good thing, looking good is your second nature.
The ratio of ladies to men is tipped to your favor. You are crashing a birthday party. Where else most people plan for their birthdays several months in advance, you only realize it is yours when you wake up to birthday wishes streaming in on your Facebook timeline. Damn, I didn’t carry a gift!
You are asked to introduce yourself. You hate introductions. It’s annoying how most people use such opportunities to brag about what they do and the fancy companies they work for.
“Hello, I’m Mark Maish, a lifestyle blogger. I’m looking forward to having an amazing time.“
Suddenly faces light up with multiple people in the room confessing their love for your art. It happens every time people realize who you are and start treating you like some sort of royalty. The host demands that seating space is created for their high-profile guest.
You sink back into a couch between two ladies with this hairstyle every twenty-something Nairobian woman is currently sporting. The lady on the right leans to your ear. Her alcohol-laden breath blows over your face. Damn, you hate the stench of beer especially when you are sober.
“You are so cute!”
She offers you her hand.
“Mark, nice to meet you, Stella.”
She blathers on about what she does for a living. You stare at her face taken by her eyebrows. Is she undergoing chemotherapy? Why else would her eyebrows be clean shaved and in their place black arcs drawn? She has cakes of makeup on her face. It’s disturbing how her face is of a different skin tone compared to her hands and neck. Unable to hold your breath and assault on your eyes any longer you turn away.
Your eyes settle on one lady seated on the other end of the coffee table. She is in a simple yet elegant black dress that fully covers her cleavage, the lush locks of her long black hair resting on her shoulders. She pushes the hair behind the left ear revealing gold studs and a matching necklace. There is this powerful aura around her. She looks like the modern version of Cleopatra.
You are so taken by her ravishing beauty that saliva drips from the corner of your mouth. You quickly wipe it off before anyone notices. She must have seen it as she throws her head back and laughs. Dude, get a grip on yourself.
Stella digs her elbow into your ribs perhaps jealous that you are checking out another woman. You turn to her with a plastic smile on your face trying to mask the pain in your ribs.
Biting her lower lip, she wraps her arm around your waist while placing the other on your chest with her index finger hooked to your shirt right on the second button.
“What would you do to me if we were all alone in this house?” she asks smiling lasciviously.
This startles you. Well, what you would really like is to throw her head into the toilet basin, swirl it around to wash off the excess makeup, nonetheless, you choose to play along.
“What would you like me to do to you?”
“I would like for you to rip off my dress, tie my hands with a necktie, throw me on the couch and…”
“Sorry we need to stand up.”
Thankfully the MC asks everyone to stand up and sing as the birthday girl cuts the cake just in time before Stella spoils your appetite.
Not one to give up easily, she doesn’t let go of your waist; in fact, she pulls you tighter as if to show everyone that you are taken. She reminds you of Chips Funga Turns Tragic. I need to shake her off.
You throw a glance at the mysterious lady in a little black dress. She winks at you with a trace of a smile on her lips. She must have been watching the whole drama unfold. You shrug your shoulders and make a face to show discontent. She throws back head and laughs revealing beautiful molars. The chemistry between you is palpable. I have to talk to her.
After having a bite of the cake and drinks, you slip out of Stella’s vice-like grip and move to the balcony to strategize on how to approach the lady in black.
It’s a beautiful night complete with moon and stars. The cold breeze blows over your face. You lean on the balcony rail, close your eyes and take in a deep breath. Pure bliss. It feels good to escape the noisy party and Stella. She definitely needs to take flirting lessons.
Someone pushes you from behind. Luckily you were tightly holding onto the rail. You turn around to find out why Stella wants to push you off the balcony five floors up. To your surprise, it’s not her. Standing in her place is your crush, smiling. Oh boy, she looks intimidatingly beautiful up close. She has high cheekbones and piercing blue eyes. The kind you can’t stop looking into.
“Hey, I wasn’t expecting you”
“Who were you expecting?” She pretends to be hurt.
She leans on the balcony rail next to you and lights up a cigarette. She offers you one. You politely decline.
“Do you know how to make smoke rings?”
You shake your head. She takes a long drag then exhales slowly making smoke rings. A part of you wants to smoke too in order to appear cool but then it reminds you of the time you tried a blunt at a party back in campus only to cough so hard that you had to be rushed to a hospital.
“I love that song!” she says out aloud.
Kizomba music is playing in the background. She puts out the cigarette and embraces you. You don’t know how to dance Kizomba but being an innovative guy, you rock to the beat like you are an expert conveniently placing your hand on her round derriere in a bid to make sure it’s genuine.
You gather that her name is Alexandra or Alex as her friends call her. She is a PR practitioner with a startup in the city. She got the eyes from her father who is Swedish. You make out, talk about yourselves then make out even more. Strangely she is the female version of you. You both like and dislike the same things. She is rebellious, which makes her even more fascinating. A bad girl. It all feels too good to be true.
It’s been exactly two weeks since you first met Alexandra, ten days after she stopped talking to you. Your phone rings for the 6th time in the last hour. You know who is calling even without checking. You let it ring. What excuse can I possibly give him to explain the delay?
You exchanged numbers with Alex after the party. For the next three days, you texted to way past midnight and called each other in the middle of the day. You even gave her a pet name. It felt like your union was ordained from above.
On Thursday night she called you sniffling. Amid sobs, she tells you that her little sister had fallen sick and was in need of urgent medical attention. However, their parents were out of the country and she had left her handbag with ATM cards back in the office.
“I hate to ask you this. It is completely against my principles but I don’t know what else to do. Would you please M-pesa me ten thousand shillings so that I can rush her to the hospital? I will send the cash back first thing tomorrow.”
The truth is you were church mouse broke. Actually you house rent was and still is overdue but what kind of man would disappoint such a beautiful woman during her time of need? Your mother taught you better than that.
“Give me five minutes.”
Immediately after she hanged up you called your friend Jaymo. He is the guy who is never broke all year around. You lied to him that you had an emergency and true to his word, he sent you the cash. You immediately sent Alex the money plus an extra 2K to cater for any other costs that may arise and asked her to keep you in the loop.
Soon after you sent the money, she stopped picking your calls and replying your texts. The dinner date you had planned for that weekend never came to fruition.
Earlier today, you sent her a long text asking for your money. Her response was brutal.
“What kind of man are you to go around demanding for a meager 12K? Your fellow men are buying their women cars and houses and here you are giving me no peace over a few thousand. Go to Hell bush rat!”
You can’t tell what hurt you the most, being called a bush rat by a lady you have a crush on or losing the money.
Your phone rings again. It is still Jaymo, he wants back his money, which you promised to send back more than a week ago. He is so persistent. You have to pick his call otherwise he will show up on your door unannounced. You need to come up with a compelling lie to get him off your back thanks to the thug in a black dress.
“Niaje Jaymo! Sorry, I haven’t been able to pick your calls. Man, last night thugs bearing guns raided my house…”
Written By Mark Maish