What happens is you assemble all your machinery and go after this girl all guns blazing. You load enough airtime and stand on the balcony to call her, measuring your words and laughing with swagger as a proper, potential boyfriend should. She laughs too. The sound of her cackling laughter filling you with hope. Your conversations are usually smooth, an indication that the feeling is mutual, but somehow she’s always playing hardball. You close your eyes, think for a minute and say, “Just be honest with me. Do you think I stand a chance with you?”
“Martin, I thought I told you that you are not the problem. I am simply not ready for a relationship.”
“So, is that a no?”
“I didn’t say that.”
“What did you say?”
“That I am not ready.”
“When will you be ready?”
“That’s the thing. I don’t know when I will be ready.”
You sigh. You have been on this earth long enough to know when a woman isn’t interested in you. You’ve known this for a long time but somehow nothing about her makes you want to give up. She awakens something in you with her eyes and with her upright posture that makes her breasts and ass bounce in rhythm whenever she walks. Until you met her, you never thought a woman would pass the sexy exam with her mid-length hair always held up in a pony with an elastic band. Or when a hoodie is her fashion trademark. Then you met her and that night you went home and edited your definition of sexy.
“Martin, are you still there?”
“Yes. Yes. Sorry I got distracted.”
“Memory of the first day I met you in that literature shindig. Remember?”
“I do. You couldn’t even pretend you weren’t staring at me.”
“Pretence is not my thing. Exactly why I can’t pretend I ain’t in love with you.”
“Aaaw! You sweet thing.”
“Look. You know how I feel about you and to me, that’s the most important thing. Whatever you choose to do with this knowledge is up to you.”
“Let’s not rush things, Martin. How about we take things slow and see what happens?”
Nothing happens. You go for dates and speak for hours on the phone but nothing happens. Sure, one day you go for drinks and end up in your place. On the way to your house, inside an uber, you keep looking at her just to make sure that this is real, and she confirms that this is real by rubbing your upper arm. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. You were only to meet for dinner and that’s it. But after dinner, you suggested you guys go for a drink and she agreed. You took whiskey shots because you needed to be high and mesmerize her with words, which usually flow like a river when you are half-drunk, half-sober. She took Tusker Cider and she barely finished a bottle.
The music was good though and so you guys spent most of the time on the dance floor. A few minutes shy of 11 O’Clock, you joked, “Si I order an Uber we go home?” and expected her to ask, “Which home?” but she didn’t. Your great, great grandfather, the one who fought in World War II had finally looked down from wherever he was and seen your suffering. He had convened a meeting with other ancestors, and in attendance was your grandmother who died not long ago. When they had all gathered beside a small flickering fire, he took off his godfather hat, rubbed his wrinkled eyes with the back of his frail, old hand and said.
“Our grandson, Martin, has tried. Si we do something to help him?”
“We should,” your grandmother, who always said you were her favourite, said.
“I know how we can help him,” another one of your ancestors said.
They all turned to look at him. Knowing that he had the full attention of the other ancestors, he took his time to fetch his snuff from his pocket. He tapped some onto his left palm and before sniffing, he said, “We all know what our men are known for. I know. You all know. And to repeat it will be to waste both your time and mine.”
“You are already wasting our time. If you are going to give us a solution please go ahead and say it. We don’t have the whole day,” your uncle who died from excessive consumption of alcohol mocked. He was always impatient, especially during family gatherings. He considered it a waste of time to sit at one place and misuse the mouth in talking when you could use that same mouth to do better things, like smoking and drinking chang’aa. It had been three years since he died but his eyes were still red and he staggered anytime he tried to walk. He was found dead in a ditch but at first, no one believed he had actually died. This is due to the fact that he had been found in this situation before and after everyone assumed he was dead and started making burial arrangements, he stirred from his alcohol-induced comma and led to breaking of legs as everyone scampered for life. Rumour had it that people wailed more after his ‘resurrection’ than they did after his ‘death’.
“Why? You have a date to go to?” your grandmother joked.
Your uncle sneered.
“Anyway, as I was saying. We all know that our men are known to be strong and beasts in areas that matter. Perhaps, if Martin gets a chance with her and shows her what he is made of, she will not look back,” he smiled and leaned closer to the fire such that his face shone. “I remember my wife played hard to get when I was chasing her. But after our first night together, I had to hire Samweli, that short and moody wheelbarrow pusher, to push her around in his wheelbarrow because her knees were too weak to support her. Since then, she knew I was her medicine and she never looked at another man intimately.”
Your drunk uncle scoffed. “Is that why only two of her 6 children were fathered by you?”
“If you dare speak that nonsense again I will smack that your foul mouth!”
Everyone agreed that were he to smack his mouth, it would be for a good reason.
“I hear you,” your great-great ancestor said. “We should all pray for the girl’s heart to soften.”
And it did soften. At your house, before you could offer to take the couch, she stripped naked and asked for your T-shirt. Your penis shot up, veins running all over it like it was on coke. You felt weak as you pulled out a grey T-shirt from the wardrobe to give it to her. She dismissed your suggestion to take the couch but your happiness was shortlived. She kissed you goodnight and slept facing the wall.
In the morning though, she was all over you. You silently thanked the ancestors and unleashed the beast, flipping her like a pancake and loving the way she moaned your name. By the time you came, she was completely under your mercy. She smiled with her eyes and kissed you each time you smiled back. The hard work was done. The girl was now yours. You two would fool around the house for the better part of the day, making love at any given chance.
But things would soon slide back to normal. Despite the mind-blowing sex, at least from your own perspective, she still didn’t seem ready to commit. It baffled you. It baffled even your ancestors. And then one day the communication stopped. You started paying attention to Cynthia who had her eyes on you all that time your eyes were on Tracy. You noticed Cynthia’s hips more and wondered if they had been there all along. You took her out. Make love to her. Got her pregnant.
You’ll gather your friends and go for Ruracio somewhere in Kirinyaga where the Ruracio will turn into extortion. You’ll marry her in Church, eventually. And soon there will be kids screaming all over the house.
Then one day you’ll hang out with your boys in a club and Tracy will walk in, dressed in a black hoodie, blue jeans and black heels. She’ll spot you and stride over to say hello, pressing her boobs on your chest while hugging you. She’ll step away to examine you, almost as if someone had told her you were dead and she couldn’t believe you were the one standing before her.
“You don’t age, do you?” you’ll say.
“Haha,” she’ll laugh and stare at you some more.
“Meeting someone?” you’ll ask.
“No. here to grab a drink and head home.”
“Curfew to beat?”
“No. Curfew is for married people.”
“God, don’t I feel sorry for married people?” you’ll say while grabbing your bottle and guiding her to another table.