I dreamt about this particular Ex of mine the other night. I have no idea why, because I hadn’t spent my day thinking about her, or her down to earth shortness, which made me tower above her each time I stood or walked next to her. I hadn’t sat in a corner either, fantasizing about her shy smile, which she mostly unleashed when I said something upsetting. And I always said things that upset her because God did not create me to be nice. I am not a nice person. I do not know how to lie that your wig makes you look like the bearer of Angels’ secrets. If your wig makes you look like you were thrown out of the salon prematurely, I will tell you so with a smile.
But she wasn’t a fun of my openness.
“Be gentle in your criticism, BM. It won’t hurt you, you know.”
She used to call me BM and I loved it. The only other person who used to call me BM disappeared from my life. And you will know she loves you when she addresses you by your initials. If she calls you Jacob, start looking for love somewhere else. Speaking of which, we used to have a cock called Jackob. It was the oldest in our village. Kitu 10 years hivi. Jacob used to walk with a walking stick curved at the top into a shape of a lion’s head, and hens bowed in his presence. When he started spending most of his time under a tree, ogling at young hen’s asses with wasted desire, my grandfather, the owner, decided Jacob should have a conversation with boiling water in a pot. Out of respect, grandfather decided Jacob should bow out with honour, and so Jacob met his creator on Christmas day. Accompanying him in the pot were two hens whose asses he had always admired.
See you in after life, Jacob.
“But if your weave looks like a burning bush, sweetheart, should I not tell you? Why would I allow you to walk around town and give people the headache of finding out why there’s no smoke wounding up from your head?”
“What are you saying?”
“In other words?”
She held her waist. “Are you implying that my hair is like a burning bush?”
“It’s not really your hair, is it?”
“Be careful, BM.”
“All I am saying is do not expect me to tag along if you are going to keep that weave.
She smiled. That her usual smile that I was now accustomed to and which I knew spelled trouble. I walked over to her and held her waist. “Don’t you care for beautiful dreams anymore? Ama which Angel do you think will send a beautiful dream to you with this weave on your head, sweetheart? And I know dreams are powerful, but, come on, do you have to make life difficult for them?”
“Do not touch me.”
I backed off.
“Your trousers look like they were tailored by someone who was on the brink of being fired for being lousy at their job, but have you ever seen me saying anything against them? Have you?” she said, running her fingers through her hair.
“My trousers are awesome!”
“They are dreadful. kwanza that your grey jeans that you like, and which makes you look like you are wearing a curtain with no ending, acha tu.”
Haha. But you know what, she locked her hair eventually, and I gave that jeans to my younger brother.
So I dreamt about her.
In that dream, we were having breakfast, me in my vest and shorts and her in one of my Black T-shirts and her beloved ragged pair of blue shorts. A plate of buttered bread and fried eggs rested on her laps, which were clasped together like they were about to say a word of prayer. On TV, Banshee was on. Job was mocking Sugar Bates at the same time asking him to pour him a drink. I sipped my tea loudly and she turned to me with a disapproving look. She never liked people who sipped their tea loudly. If it’s hot, wait for it to cool down, she would say. I chuckled and withheld my sardonic comments. For a man who thrived in criticising others, I hadn’t mastered the art of taking the criticism myself. I took my cup to the kitchen and when I came back, her head was thrown back against the couch, eyes lazily following my every movement like she was waiting for me to trip and fall.
“You are never going to marry me, are you?” she asked.
“When the time comes and we are still together, why not?”
I grabbed the remote and increased the TV volume. The new Banshee Sherrif, the fake Lucas Hood, was clobbering some criminal senseless to the amazement of his colleagues who couldn’t understand why a whole sheriff, trusted to be the custodian of the law, went about his business as if he wasn’t aware of the very law he was supposed to uphold.
“Why did you do that?”
“Increase the volume when I am talking to you.”
I reduced the volume. “I am sorry, I wasn’t thinking.”
`You weren’t thinking,’ she mumbled.
“What was that?” I asked, turning my whole body to face her.
“So when do you ever think?” She placed both her cup and plate on the table. “You know what? Never mind.” She stood up.
“No, I am minding. What was that all about?”
“I said never mind. Will you come with me to church tomorrow?”
“I hate it when you change subjects like that.”
“It will be nice if you came,” she said with a smile. This time, her genuine smile. “Plus it will be your first time in a Catholic church, right?”
“The last time I tagged along doesn’t count?”
“Oh, I had forgotten. Maybe it’s because you barely sat through the whole service,” she said, disappearing into the kitchen.
She was always like that. Switching moods and conversations like you would your bedroom’s light when in the mood to play games with mosquitoes. But, no, I wasn’t going to Catholic church with her. The last time, I had feared I wouldn’t be able to feel my knees anymore. We spent so much time on our knees than we did on our asses and you know what’s the worst part? That they didn’t allow me to eat the sacrament, yet it was part of the reason I had come. The other reason was that I loved her, and didn’t want to disappoint her with a No when she asked me to come. There are things you would do for your woman that you wouldn’t do for your mother, no matter how much you love your mother. A man who tells you otherwise is lying and should be hanged. Okay, maybe not hanged, that will be too dramatic.
“Why can’t I eat the Sacrament?” I whispered in her ear. “Is it God’s command that I don’t?”
“You will go mad,” she whispered back.
“Mad? Why should I go mad from eating the body of Christ?”
“You are not a Catholic, BM, you won’t understand.”
“Can I petition this to the father?”
“He won’t let you.”
“How do you know?”
“I just know.”
“I doubt God approves of this. Or even Jesus is aware that I am the only one in this church not being allowed to eat His body.” I sulked. “And it’s unfair.”
“Please, Jesus is aware of everything,” she said and went ahead to eat her sacrament.
I sulked for months.
“So are you coming?” she asked from the kitchen over the sound of running water.
“I will think about it,” I said.
That night I tried asking her what she was mad about but she said nothing. She pressed her body to mine and kissed me to stop me from talking. So I kept trying to talk. Haha. When we made love, she was more in control than she usually was. With her on top, she held my gaze with her eyes filled with questions and I kept trying to decipher what the questions were. I tressed her back with my fingers and then gently held her waist to slow her down. But she did not. Her thrusting quickened, taking the whole of me, and even when my thighs tightened, she did not yank herself off of me like she always did so that I don’t cum in her. And just as I was at the edge, ready to shoot and cast my baby makers into an adrenaline wrecking life and death race that’s best known as survival of the fittest, she stopped. Like a television set when the power goes off. She then leaned to my right ear and whispered, “I know you are never going to marry me because you still love her. I am sorry, but I read your WhatsApp messages.”
With my neck dripping with sweat, I woke up.