Yaani, some people are so evil and heartless. So cruel.
By Silas Gisiora Nyanchwani
You broke up with your girlfriend in July and she moved on, without crying or complaining. She never called back or texted to even know how you holding on. She just left and she is now a closed book. You have been stalking her Facebook every day, but the last time she posted was in early October where she complained about the fashion taste of Citizen TV’s weekend fashion show, with Carol Odero, Ian Mbugua and that other guy that for no reason whatsoever even sensible women fawn over.
Since that post, she has been tagged several photos, cat videos and what have you, but it looks like she has never opened the page for two months. No comment or like on what seems like funny pictures and videos.
In her WhatsApp, she has a custom notification and the time stamp is off. No suggestive message to tell her emotional state as some women often do. It is the â€œurgent calls onlyâ€ notification that was updated in May last year.
So on a end month Saturday, three months later, you decide to get over her and hit the bar solo. Your mission is very clear: get a chips funga to help you deal with the emotional turmoil the woman left you in.
In the club, at around 1.57 a.m you spot a good candidate. She is in the company of three other girls, and another guy who seems happily harmless. She has the hips, the ASSets, and curves in the right places. Her breasts are on point, and you are sure it is not the beer that is fooling your eyes. Her weave is slightly off-putting, but she canâ€™t have it all. And on a day like today, you can take her. You can take anything. You are not a selective beggar. You have no choice. They look old, at closer look; certainly they have been out of college for at least two to three years. If you would guess their age, it will be anything between 26-28. They don’t have the virginal and nubile excitement of girls in their 20s.
Guys are sweaty, from dancing to Jamaican ragga. Now some Nigerian nonsense is piping through the speakers. And you hit the dance floor, angling her and hoping to ensnare her. You are solo, well dressed in a designer jacket, you have worn the best cologne in the whole club, and you are drinking Heineken. You also on a designer watch. You looking the part. You feeling charming.
You dance your way to her backside and you click so well. You dance to three more songs and you offer to buy her a drink. So that her girls donâ€™t mess up the night, you also buy them a bottle of Amarula. Since they are mature, or can afford the bottle, they are not excited. They act as if it is chewing gum you passed to them, really disgusting, ungrateful human beings. Who is their mother?
You dance and you talk talk with the subject of your affection.
She is acting like she is not feeling your vibe, but she is enjoying the dancing. She rubs her back on your crotch suggestively and you take the cue. You dance some more, doing all the dirty and sinful things that drunk people do in clubs after 2.a.m. Time is running out, and you risk ballooning EABL’s profits so you try to ask her out for the night. She tells you they are still partying until tomorrow,and about to go to another club with the girls.
But you can sure have a drink the following day or next weekend. She offers to give you her number. She types it into your phone: 07247825â€¦ Cate-1824â€¦she does the rest of the job for you, cleverly assuming that you must have 13 other Cates about her age in your phone-book, the better to distinguish herself on the basis of where you met. Clever girl. Or she has been doing this since she turned 23, it is her second nature. You happy and you think, you can wait. She is actually worth waiting for. After al, it was a do or die. Who knows, she may be your new girlfriend.
You take a cab at 4.03 a.m and go home. Once home, you try to call her telling her that you arrived safely, only to discover, she gave a number that is one digit less. You cry how your Sh 3450 has gone down the urinal drainâ€¦but you comfort yourself that you will live to see another day. You sleep in the cold bed, it is colder especially tonight. You wonder when you are going to start dating again. Getting over your ex, has proved problematic. Contrary to the common assumption, you can be a handsome man with money, live in nice, well-furnished apartment and still lack a good woman worth sharing your life with.
On Saturday 10.07 a.m, you wake up, so pressed and you step into the loo for your ones and twos. You come back to bed but you have this annoying headache, a slight hangover. You decide it is sissy to take a panadol. Real men quash the headache with cold water. What you need is food therapy. You have not had a proper food the whole week, you have survived on junk. So today, you decide to treat yourself.
With your shorts on, you wear a sports jacket and step out to go and look for proper food. In your way to your Mama Mboga (or as Ruaraka females call her-groceriesâ€™ lady), you will see stupid bachelors wiping clean the rims of their car, as if that is where the missing Eurobond money is hidden. You will meet young women in hot-pants, red-eyed, wild-haired coming from the chemist with pain killers (and that other pill they take in most weekend mornings), but you are not judging. You just hate how they don the football jerseys of their boyfriends. And it is Man U fans who have this vexing habits of forcing their girlfriends to wear the silly Man U t-sho. Those insecure pricks. Nkt.
You get to your Mama Mboga and she has just arrived from Marigiti. Everything she is unpacking looks so green, so succulent, it is like it was picked in the Garden of Eden. She has a soft spot for you and she offers that genuine, motherly smile to you. She is just about the only sunshine in your life now. Must have been a pretty little thing.
â€œMathe leo kuna nini hapa nzuri? you ask her.
â€œIko ndizi, ukipata supu yake, ni mzuri sana,â€ she tells you in a humble, Kikuyu accent.
Such a sweet soul. Such dedication. Does she know what the Eurobond is, you wonder.
In deed the bananas are super. They are the real deal. Most certainly picked from Kisii, because good bananas are only in Kisii and Uganda. Zimekomaa (I donâ€™t know the English word for ‘kukomaa’.) Or should I say, they are mature. So you settle for the bananas, which she offers to peel for you. 6 of them for Sh 40. In the meantime, you grab a cold Fanta, to ease the headache.
Once she is done, you head to your local butcher, Maina, a man who looks like he was born to be a butcher. He has a certain dexterity when shredding the meat that only he can pull off. You order for a ka-quarter, taunting him,
â€œHey, na sina paka, na mbwa alikufa, tafadhali mifupa leo sitaki.â€ He laughs. But he puts some good bone with marrow in the quarter that is almost half the weight. Stupid butcher.
As you exit, you bump into these guy you know in the estate, you donâ€™t even know his name, but he is a Man U fan that you normally watch the matches together in the kalocal. He is annoying as all Man U fans are. So you engage in some stupid banter, and so shamelessly, like all Man U fans, he does not mind, Mourinho taking over after LvG. But you donâ€™t care about Man U or football. You just want your banana and beef soup. You finish with him and walk to your apartment along the way you will meet more bachelors outside their flats’ gate reading Saturday Nation, probably David Ndii and feeling bright. Or Njoki Chege and feeling like you don’t know what.
You get to your house and you have to make the important decision of picking the sound track to your cooking. You want to pick on your favourite benga tune, but there is a beautiful neighbour girl, you donâ€™t want her to get the wrong impression of who you are. So since this day means freedom, you opt for reggae, good old-school reggae. Freedom songs. Bob Marley. Lucky Dube. Burning Spear. Dennis Brown. Mighty Culture. And while at it, some deep, I-Jah-Man-Levi.
Then you settle to the kitchen and you want to prepare the matoke using a recipe that has been used in your family in the last three generations; boil the peeled banana until it is almost ready, fry the tomatoes and onions until they are well cooked (cue: you an’t spot a tomato peel), pour water mixed with spices and allow to boil and mix with the bananas, let them cook until they are well mixed. Taste to feel the magic of Knorr beef cubes. You do the same for the beef.
You are wearing your vest, shorts and you are feeling like all Kenyans felt on the morning of December 13, 1963: Free and liberated. The cooking has been cathartic, even spiritual. As the beef is in the last 10 minutes of absorbing the spices, you are whistling all the freedom songs that used to be played during national holidays when Moi was in power. This is the best day of your life. You are going to eat matoke and beef stew prepared painstakingly by you and for you. At this moment, even as the darkest cloud of your ex-girlfriend hover around, it is you and your meal of the year.
You jump around the house, exorcising any culinary host that might kill your appetite.
Three minutes before you take the beef off the gas cooker, your phone rings. It is your boy Dennis.
â€œAah, naje fala. Niko hizi mitaa zako, nasaka nyumba, napitia kwako saa hii,â€ and he hangs up without even giving you a second to say anything. And sure, 4 and half minutes later he shows up in the house and Dennis is the type of friend who has access to everything in your houseâ€¦
â€œNini hii umepika, inanukia vipoa?â€ he asks, already plunging his dirty fingers in the sufuria with matoke. He cuts one half of one of the only six bananas you bought and he is helping himself with it as he is looking for a serving spoon with which he scoops 3 pieces of beef.
You want to cry at his cruelty. And he is like,
â€œNa nyii wakisii enyewe ndizi mnajua kuundaâ€¦kali sanaâ€¦â€ now he is back to the sitting room, he is talking nonstop. Bunny Wailer is appropriately singing in the background,
â€œWhat a boderationâ€¦â€
The he proceeds to interrupt the music and tunes your TV to Supersport as he violates your private space and you canâ€™t punch him on the face. When the food is ready, you have to divide it into two, and give him a larger share since he is a visitor. And since you are Kisii, he assumes that you eat and sleep bananas, so really, the banana stew should be for him.
He proceeds to eat like he has done nothing wrong. Finishes and then asks you to join him hunting for a house.
You contemplate suicide. You contemplate killing him. You really hate him. But you join him nonetheless. You promise yourself, next time you prepare such a meal, it has to be around 1.27 a.m.
No more heartbreaks. No more drama.