One day Clair woke up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom when she noticed the living room lights were still on. She remembered earlier on, Danny had kissed her goodnight and promised to join her in bed later on for he had a story to write. Can’t it wait till tomorrow? She asked before smoothly kissing him on the lips, purposely seducing him to shelve the writing idea and go to bed with her at that moment. He smiled, wrapped his left arm around her waist and pulled her closer to him, returning her kiss. But just as she was about to think she had won, he pulled away and said, “Unfortunately, words, just like time, wait for no writer. When words call, you answer.”
She understood so she left him behind.
From the bathroom she walked straight to the living room to find him seated on the couch, legs stretched on the table and his laptop balancing on his laps. When she moved closer, she saw that he was asleep. She lifted the laptop from his lap and placed it on the table, and she was just about to wake him up when the blinking cursor of the word document he was working on caught her attention. She stared at the first paragraph he had written and she could feel the excitement building up from her baby bump.
“If I suddenly stop writing . . . if the furniture in this blog gathers dust and its walls cobwebs . . . if the pages of that lovely calendar hanging on the wall remain unflipped for ages . . . if darkness crawls in and takes over because electricity bills will not have been paid, I want you, my dear reader, to know that it’s not my fault. Why? Because there is this woman who crept in my life like a thief at night and stole my heart. The blog still means a lot to me, but so does this woman who is now taking most of the time compared to the blog. She is tall—but not taller than me—and she has hips hanging on her either side like curved rocks on a cliff. She has these eyes that when she sets them on me, I feel like I should confess both my current sins and those of my future generation. I guess what I am trying to say is that I am in love and . . .”
A smile curved right through Clair’s face as she turned to look at Danny with distinct adoration. He had told her time and time again that he loved her and she believed him. But when he put it down in writing, it was like he was saying it for the first time. Like a village boy who was in love with a girl from a rich family and so he was scared to face her and tell her how much he loved her, so he wrote it down. So sincere. She could actually imagine the excitement he was going through when writing those beautiful words which, if they had legs, would walk with a slight bounce. A faint pride. The pride of ‘you are beautiful and you know it’. She leaned in and kissed him on the neck. The touch of her lips woke him up.
“I thought you went to sleep,” he whispered.
“And I thought you were to join me not long after.”
“I am sorry, I fell asleep.”
“I know,” she smiled, “So, can we go?”
“No, to heaven.”
“Or you still want to continue writing and fall asleep while at it?”
“No, I just want to lie right next to you.”
They both stood up and lazily dragged their feet to bed.
She was the first one to wake up the next day. In any case, it was practically impossible for her to sleep like a baby after reading what Danny wrote about her. She dressed up in one of his oversized T-shirts and embarked on preparing breakfast—African tea, buttered bread and fried eggs. It was the fragrance from the kitchen swiftly wafting like a well-told lie to the bedroom that woke Danny up. He wandered into the kitchen barechested, dressed only in a pair of shorts. He hugged Clair from behind and whispered in her right ear, “So which breakfast do I start with? You or the other one?”
“The other one,” she turned around in his arms to kiss him.
“Don’t I have a say in this?”
Later, as they sat at the dining table eating breakfast, he turned to her and said, “It’s about time I met your parents. I mean, they already know about me anyway, don’t they?”
“They do. Don’t worry, you will meet them soon.”
“That’s what you said three weeks ago when I asked.”
“Are you sure you are ready to meet them?”
“I wouldn’t be asking if I wasn’t.”
She held her slice of bread mid-air between her mouth and the table and then said, “Good, then we go you meet them today.”
“You are crazy.”
“I am serious.”
“Wait, you really mean it, don’t you?”
“Are you developing cold feet?”
“Me?” he shrugged, “There is nothing like cold feet in my vocabulary.”
“Then we go today.”
“But that won’t be like ambushing them? We need to plan, inform them first, inform my parents, settle on a date and then go.”
“Why all that? You just want to meet them and let them know you are the guy who got their precious daughter pregnant, yes?”
“Good, I will call and tell them that I am coming home with someone.”
“Just that? I mean, just someone?”
“They are parents, they know what it means for their daughter to bring ‘someone’ home.”
He thought about it and then said, “This is crazy but let’s do it!”
She picked up her phone and called her mum as Danny watched, still not believing that they were actually doing this. “Goodmorning, mum . . . well, I am sorry about that, I promise I will be letting you know before leaving the house, especially when I know I won’t be coming back . . . yes, anyway, I am calling to let you know that I am bringing someone home today,” she then listened in, laughed and turned to look at Danny as she said, “Well, that’s what I told him, that we need to plan first but would he listen? He is stubborn like that, mum, . . . yes, we will be there in two or three hours time, kindly pass the message to dad. Okay, thank you, bye.”
Danny was just smiling to himself.
“I can’t believe you just lied to your mum.”
“I did not lie to her, we are going to see them.”
“No, I mean about me being the owner of this crazy idea.”
“We are about to get married and have a baby so my lies are yours and your lies are also yours.”
He simply shook his head.
The next thing is they took their shower and quickly got dressed up. For the first time, Danny kept dressing and undressing as he looked for the perfect shirt to wear. At some point, Clair, all dressed up in a black dress and heels, started touching his chest as if she was looking for something and when he asked, what? She told him she was just checking to see if he had grown boobs because only women are allowed to change their minds after every two seconds regarding the outfit they want to step out with and conquer the world. But finally, he settled for this short-sleeved black shirt that fitted him just as perfectly as the other ones he had discarded. And then they left, drove through town to do some shopping for her parents before finally driving to her home.
Even though Clair had only called her mum that morning to inform her of the guest she was bringing home, she could tell her mother had already passed the message to her two closest friends who were seen standing outside the kitchen, one of them holding a sufuria in hand and the other one simply holding her waist, staring at the car as if it looked familiar. As if she once owned such a car and then someone stole it from her. Both of the women, however, had lesos wrapped around their waist—an indication that they were there for serious cooking business.
Danny parked the car and when he looked out the window, he saw mzee Daniel whom he recognised immediately. No one from Sahara village could ever fail to recognise him, the toughest school head who ever graced Sahara’s soil. He was dressed in a white shirt, dutifully tucked in his black pants. He had a small potbelly; just enough to show that he was living a good life. Mzee Daniel held a newspaper in his right hand while the left one was thrust in his pocket. His short hair had traces of white hair, and from the way he stood—his right leg slightly thrust forward—you could tell he was a man who did not suffer fools. He looked like a man who did not say yes often and so when he did, it was special.
“Looks like my father can’t wait to meet you,” Clair teased Danny.
“I can’t wait to meet him, too.”
He opened the door and stepped outside. He had on Angelo Macrolli shoes. Dark brown, leather shoes. Those shoes, he believed, boosted his confidence. He stared at mzee Daniel and their eyes met, flashed him a smile before he went round to open the door for his woman. Then holding hands, they walked to where mzee Daniel was and Clair was the first one to speak.
“Hi, Dad, meet Dan, the father of my unborn child.”
Dan smiled cautiously and stretched his hand to greet him. Mzee Daniel unpocketed, shifted the hold of his Newspaper to his left arm before stretching his right hand to shake Danny’s. But when they were done with the greetings, he still did not let go of Dan’s hand, he held on to it. He stared him in the eye and Danny, knowing just how important eye contact was, gazed back, still trying as much as he could, to maintain his smile and show friendliness as he said, “It’s truly a pleasure to finally meet you, sir.” A sense of relief swept across his blood system as he watched mzee Daniel’s face ease up, break into a smile and say, “It’s a pleasure to meet you, too, son. I have heard a lot about you.” Danny hoped that the smile on his face was an indication that he had only heard nice things about him. It was a good start, he thought. And was looking forward to sitting down with him, this time for man talk.
Now we should just make Tuesday our new Monday, no? Thank you guys for submitting my blog for nomination in the blog awards under Best Creative Writing Blog category. If you did it once, once is enough. If you haven’t done it yet and you don’t mind doing it, here is my URL (http://www.brianmbanacho.co.ke) and here is the BAKE link