On several occasions, I have been accused of being snobbish, indifferent and unenthusiastic especially when it comes to pursuing romantic relations with ladies who seems perfect. Is this true? Maybe. Now before you berate me for my shortcomings it is only fair I tell you how it all began, right? This is my story.
In my sophomore year, I met this pretty 4th-year student in her final semester. A petite yellow-yellow lass with round lovely eyes, a dazzling smile and melodious voice. A church girl. Let’s call her Kendi. Now Kendi had perfect grades all through varsity. She was a principled lady. However, with her campus period running out she craved for a different kind of experience. To prove how serious she was, Kendi dumped her nice boyfriend. The poor dude cried for days.
“I’m tired of being a good girl and dating good guys I want to date a bad boy.” Is what she said to me the first time we met.
Back then, I was an egocentric lad, emblazoned with a don’t care attitude, whose life motto was, ‘Screw Anything That Moves.’ Thanks to my old man’s generous monthly allowance I could afford a lifestyle that embodies this bad boy persona, thus attracting impressionable campus ladies like Kendi. She was perfect in every sense of the word. Miss right. She was looking for an exhilarating guy, and I a nice lady so we hit it off.
One evening at around 6:30 pm I receive a text from Kendi. We Need to Talk. I quickly rush to her hostel room only to find her preparing supper. I perch myself on her bed as she prepares this sumptuous meal. Rice, spicy beef, and vegetables I had never seen before. I have never liked cooking so I play music on her laptop as she does her thing.
Kamau, my roommate calls my phone thrice. He wants us to go for dinner at our favorite off-campus café. On realizing he won’t stop calling, I text to let him know I’m sorted.
After what seemed like a decade Kendi is done cooking. She serves the food on one plate. In my mind I’m thinking, whoa, this chile is romantic that she wants us to share a plate, feed each other and all. Meanwhile, I’m salivating, eager to have a taste of her cooking.
After serving her plate, she pours a glass of mango juice then sits on the other end of the bed. Believe you me, Kendi gobbles down the entire plate, without offering me a single bite, while entertaining me with baseless tales. I watch in disbelief as she goes for a second serving. Midway through her second plate she stops and asks.
“BTW ulikuwa umekula?”
I am speechless. After a few moments, I manage to force a Yes. This was all new to me. Hunger pains reign in my belly.
“You said we need to talk, what was it about?” I ask a tad bit annoyed.
“You fell for that? I just wanted to see you…I knew you would come fast if I texted you that. “
She begins to cachinnate until her eyes are wet. Annoyed, I get up and leave in a huff only to I find all off-campus cafes out of food.
I ignored her for a couple of weeks but then again the devil is a liar.
Kendi calls me one Friday night and requests that I accompany her as a date to their class farewell party. Since I didn’t have any plans scheduled for the night I agree. This time I ate well before meeting her. We proceed to one of her classmate’s apartment in Roy Sambu for a house party.
By 11 pm all the booze is finished. We decide to go to Pints Makuti. That was before Uber. We take some rickety taxis, to the nightclub in Kahawa Sukari.
She turns out to be such a sport. Her classmates are also cool people. We dance & party the entire night.
A few minutes to 5am, Kendi and I decide to call it a night. One of the older ladies advises us to get a boda boda or taxi to campus but then I had other plans.
The campus gate is slightly more than a Kilometre from Shuge. Thika Superhighway had been recently completed. It was well-lit and beautiful. I ask her to walk with me.
She had warmed up to me the entire night. I wanted to seduce her well enough so that by the time we get to campus she would jump my bones. See, this is something my boys and I had done successfully a couple of times. Long walks on this beautiful highway, kissing and whispering sweet nothings under the halogen street lights always got through to even the most principled campus chicks.
Kendi and I walk to the underpass, make a right turn on the pedestrian walk and start strolling back to campus holding hands. It is picturesque. She looks happy, laughing at all my jokes and even squeezes her petite frame against me.
After walking for about 50 meters I see two gents closing in on us. I stop then pull Kendi closer. I wrap my hands around her tiny waist. Her perky breasts pressing against my then bony chest. She looks into my eyes in anticipation. Her desire palpable. I lean forward going for her full lips. I can feel a tingling sensation at the tips of my fingers. Just before our lips make contact I am suddenly lifted off the ground.
This huge muscular man has his left arm hooked to my neck. Ngeta style. He is taller so my feet are a few inches off the ground. I instinctively throw away my phone hoping he would go for it and let me go. Big mistake!
He dips his hands into my trouser pockets and retrieves all my cash. He gets agitated when he doesn’t get the phone.
“Wapi simu?” He asks in a deep baritone voice.
Before I answer he swings his right hand and hits my head with rock. This idiot had a freaking rock in his right hand.
“Jinga wapi simu?”
“Boss chukua ile pale down.”
He must have thought I was playing tricks on him because he hits me two more times with the rock. Suddenly my vision turns red. My face is covered in blood. I’m kicking and fighting in an effort to untangle myself from his vice-like grip. I can barely breathe with my windpipe constricted. He lands the fourth blow squarely on my right temple.
While struggling I see Kendi on the tarmac with the other thug on top, pinning both her hands to the side. Her dress pulled all the way to her mid-thigh. This sight must have pushed me to temporary insanity.
My life begins flashing before my eyes. I visualize next day’s newspaper headline. “20-year-old Varsity Student Found Murdered and Girlfriend Raped.” Then my mother crying uncontrollably. She went to bed thinking her son was safe on campus only to wake up and find out he had killed in a bid to score a devious campus lass.
When my assailant lifts his hand to hit me for the 5th time, I manage to slip out of his grip and start running. My vision is blurred by the blood. He chases after me. I ran even faster but the dude is like two feet behind.
Confused I sprint straight into the overpass wall and hit it with my forehead. The impact sends me to the tarmac. I roll to the side of the road just in time as a car speeding on the service lane misses my torso by inches.
My head on collision with the wall proves to be a blessing in disguise because since the thug is moved by inertia like five steps away before he comes back charging towards me. I stand up and start running towards the bus stop thirty meters away.
I have a deep voice but for the first time in my life, I shout. I shout for help. I’m running towards the people shouting for help until the thug gives up chasing me. I beg the men waiting for a bus to come help me rescue Kendi. None of them lifts a finger to help. I implore half-dozen different men to help me but each one of them shoves me away whenever I got closer.
“Achana na huyo mlevi!”
Finally, a guy in red spectacles comes to my aid after sniffing my breath to ascertain I was arguably sober. The two of us go after the thugs only to meet Kendi walking back barefooted. She is crying, more like a hybrid of screaming & crying. We decide to go back to Makuti for the rest of the crew. I’m also without shoes and bleeding heavily. The bouncers wouldn’t let us in but they go fetch our pals.
The entire crew comes out. On seeing us in that state, one of them fishes out a roll of marijuana from his jacket. He lights it up, takes a puff then passes it around. Every gent and lady in the group takes a long drag. In a matter of seconds, we all begin jumping up and down with menacing looks on our faces.
The leader of the crew, a burly man who looks like he crushes skulls for fun, decrees we all arm ourselves in readiness for World War III. We descend upon nearby stalls breaking off planks of wood and metal bars.
We walk back to the crime scene making battle cries, swearing to kill the bastards while brandishing our crude weapons. Bloodthirsty hounds.
Safe to say we found the thugs long gone. I find my phone right on the tarmac with the screen broken. We also find our shoes strewn all over the place. Kendi is still crying.
The leader suggests we go back to the club until 6 am. We walk up back to Makuti. On reaching the entrance two Police Land Cruisers appear out of nowhere. The police officers disembark with wooden clubs in one hand and guns in the other.
I approach one of them to explain my predicament only to be met with rungu aimed at my already battered head. I shield the blow with my arms. The other officers start canning my crew and everyone in the vicinity. Kendi shuts up. We throw away our weapons and all run across the road to a fuel station, Engen, with the officers in hot pursuit.
The overzealous police officers clobber every single person they catch. There are about ten sand trucks parked at the fuel station. Cornered we all dive under the trucks and hang on the chassis so that the batons won’t reach us.
The cops get a hold of two members of our crew, rain blows, and hot slaps before frog marching them to their van. Kendi is hanging right beside me sniffling.
She blames me for everything never mind she is the one who asked me out. Seeing a woman you like in pain gets to even to the toughest of men. I try my best to console her.
After hanging under the trucks for several tense minutes, we crawl out and regroup. We then proceed to crash at her friend’s house nearby. I take some painkillers to contain a massive headache and catch a few winks.
The next morning I discover I only have ksh195 bob left in my pocket. On waking up, Kendi continues blaming me for everything that happened last night. Apparently, it was all my fault that she lost her treasured smartphone.
I stifle laughter when she demands to know why I went calling for help instead of fighting the two career criminals who were clearly twice my size and hell-bent on decapitating me with a rock.
She unashamedly demands that I pay for her sim card replacement, buy airtime and fare back to campus. I’m royally pissed. I paid for everything the entire night from food, drinks to transport. In addition to being beaten up, the thugs took away my remaining monthly allowance leaving me without a clue on how to survive to end the month. All she lost was her stupid phone. She wasn’t physically harmed. Not a single scratch on her skin and all her cash was intact.
Nonetheless, I pay for the things she asked. By the time I get back to campus, the only cash between me & starvation is a five bob coin.
I head to the health unit for treatment. This nurse who has a permanent scowl on her face shaves my hair around the cut with a surgical blade. The gash is too wide to stitch so she dresses it with a bandage and gives me a Tetanus injection. She tells me of how that month alone, she had dealt with more than ten such cases of mugging. Three of the patients sustained substantial injuries to the brain resulting in epileptic-like seizures.
I’m lucky to only end up with a minor concussion and never-ending headaches for days. What pained me the most is how I was forced to shave off all my hair which left me looking like an overripe pumpkin.
For the next couple of days Kendi relentlessly demands that I buy her a new phone. Not once did she bother to find out how I was recuperating. I give her Ksh 2,000 bob to go towards purchasing a new phone and cut off all communication with her.
Ever since I avoid people who seem perfect. See, you and I are human. Imperfect. We have our shiny parts and an equally dark side. We make mistakes. Silly mistakes. Sometimes grave ones. Our past is often littered with silly choices. Regrets. Even though nobody is complete everyone out here is posing. Leading a make-believe life. Pretending to be perfect. It is absolutely tiring.
There is no shame in being true & real. If anything it is less tasking. So yes, embrace both your strengths and weaknesses. Wear them like a badge. Show the middle finger to whoever says otherwise.
Written By Mark Maish