Jim had just finished bathing when he grabbed his phone and sent reminder texts with engagement expectations.
“Guess what day it is”
There was no response but a delivery note to show for both messages sent. He switched to Whatsapp and continued,
“Do you know what that means? Our picnic at Impala Park and sanctuary, I hope you have not forgotten .”
“I’ll pick you up in a few.’’
He dropped the phone on the dresser to trim his overgrown beard – his final touch of preparation for the first outdoor event he’d have with his new found love. He was an adventurous person and to dress to the reflection on the mirror – bracing his huge image with a dark face, overly grown side banks, a white polo shirt, blue shorts and espadrilles was no show off. It befit his usual casual style.
He slithered a watch to his wrist and picked the phone which vibrated continuously with incoming messages.
Hey handsome, shouldn’t you be here already?
I’m sorry I was in the shower,
I didn’t hear the phone vibrate.
I can’t wait to see you again.
She sent the messages one after the other.
How fortunate was he for the lady to want to see him again? Jim thought.
This would supposedly be their second serious date after the first which saw them talk for hours unending, over coffee at a swan center restaurant, The Laughing Buddha.
She’d worn a white laced mini dress, of the Diane Kruger style, had short hair – well-trimmed into a bob to compliment her diamond face and the long hairless legs.
Jim’s sight of her had made an impression on his face which glowed with admiration as she approached in shy simple steps, with a wide flawless smile on her face.
In his head a voice said, “Damn, she is beautiful. Keep her.” His lustful eyes were however blurred by pure bliss, an invocation of manly desires and arduous thoughts that continued, on and on, “What if she is just as grumpy as the last, what if she is a whore by night and a community health worker by day… what if this, what if that… what if the other… Fuck her and leave.
In a flash she was standing in front of him, his gaze still to her beautiful eyes – with a gothic extension to both her canthus by dark eye pencil dusts.
“Hello, I’m so glad you came.” He said extending a hand to a less ceremonial greeting then pulled a chair and gave her a gesture to sit. She was late, even so, Jim was just on his first cup ignoring the menu booklet, full with long lists of sumptuous meals which the stomach yearned for every time the waiter hazed past with wafts of spicy food following.
She’d made it clear that she would afterwards head to sovereign hotel, a few meters away; for an end year dinner party by the clinic she worked for. Which meant an early meal with Jim wasn’t an option, not at all – her simple reason to settle the owing to coffee too, Malindi macchiato.
When they were done talking about their career, interests and her last relationships, which by the way, she thought wasn’t necessary to discuss on a first date but since he’d brought it up and she wanted to make it clear that any sign of a jerk of a man on him would compel her to drop him as fast as she would, a hot potato; she opened up to it.
And when she was done addressing the issue, she rubbed his cheeks slightly, with her thumb against the jointing of her index finger and said, “Surprise me this weekend darling.” then she stood and waddled away. Her curvaceous body whirling wafts of the restaurant’s sweetness with to the parking, to every single client’s digest, as he followed in haste.
“Hey, stop.” Jim ran after her, sliding between her and the car door then continued, “how about we do outdoor this weekend.” She smiled to what he took for a yes, stepped out of the way and let her jump into her small car, Toyota vits, by which side he stood and waved away the hard to impress Kenyan woman fading into oblivion, down the deserted railway residence road. Her name, Brigit Bosibori.
For days that followed she ignored Jim’s calls and for some reason he thought, maybe, just maybe, Brigit had been to the theaters and watched the movie that every other girl frenzied for, “Think Like a Man” featuring Kevin Hart and (Steve Harvey in the story inside the story) and perhaps the reason she was playing the hard to get game.
And the more she did not reply to him, the more he got interested in her case but when his impressive bids felt wasted and overdue for reply’s and he didn’t see her again – not in his dreams or at the church where they first met; his interest lessened, gradually, it withered slowly until sending texts became a fancy he couldn’t afford/tolerate. Ripples that she fast noticed and remembered the only way to getting his attention back again. An opportunity he wouldn’t let go for anything, she texted, “Is the offer on our outdoor adventure still open?’’
At the sight of Brigit’s incoming message, his heart pulped with anxiety and his mind whirled with extreme confusion.
He thought; why not ignore her for a month or two too, then there was that part of him pushing his hands to the core, to text back, to send the emoji with an arrow across the heart or the face that blows a symbol of love. And when he ignored his pressing feelings longer, her fifth text came,
“Won’t you text back Jim, I’m losing my patience, or just forget about it.” She sounded desperate for him for his intrigues and wits.
His inner voice stood firm reminding him how ladies this beautiful got suitors daily. It said, ‘’Text back and engage her; don’t and another scavenger, a Ballard, more rich and better in bed than you ever will be, will.”
He felt sense to it and wrote, “What took you 25 days to get back? Did I not impress you on the first date? I would have taken you to a place in Serengeti, where they serve anything you’d love, lobster tail and crab roulade with tomato jelly and caviar, or salmon ceviche with saffron dressing or truffle beurre blanc, Anything, I mean everything.”
On a second thought he figured out that the text was far too ambitious, whining and more aggressive than he thought of Brigit, plus, he felt it would sound like he was judging her. Like he thought of her sophistication as the simplest reason she went mute that long.
He deleted the message and to write another ate his brains, his nerves, every single cell under his skull; reducing his ego to nothingness, to a less witty man, in love, a boy, and his next text read,
“Hello beautiful, of course, what are you doing this weekend?”
“Nothing,” she replied
“Then it’s a date.” he sent it and waited
Waited for replies of texts which remained blue ticked for minutes, then hours then a day and he thought, what a strange lady! Does she know that not replying to texts repeatedly drive women away from their potential husband than going to America, leaving your spouse in Africa and not keeping in touch does?
If he didn’t know better, he’d have blocked Brigit’s number and drawn that subtle line between them in black and white and grew cacti trees and thorns along that space, to remind her of a women’s place in the society. He would have shown her the true meanings of chauvinism and chivalry and why she should respond as fast to a man’s voice as plants do to stimuli. Worse would be if they lived in the earlier century, when he would just grab and fold her to the torso of his broad shoulders, her head hanging loose behind him, eyes fixed to his dusty and dry cracking African buttocks (suffocating her by the pungent smell of his last poop) and the feet loosely divided between his loins and he would run with her to his home, along the shrub stroked muddy route. And as simple as that, if he made it, she would become his wife by rite, by communal law. And her main duty would be to give birth to a child, a boy child that if she didn’t, she would end up trying, making it up to him for the rest of her life, to the 20th girl child and more, with hopes of the 25th being her corner stone, the pride of the community.
When or if she would get it, it wouldn’t mean the community would need fewer children. She’d still be obliged to give birth and more births until the time was ripe for the husband to grab (kidnap) another woman, like a chicken, a younger one, and bring home to continue with where she will leave.
But times have changed and an utterance to such a thought would land him to prison if not get him stoned to death. He would lose her forever which isn’t what he wanted?
He wanted her, his priority was to have sex with her.
And after the long wait, he didn’t mind pretending to want a companion, a lover, a wife and a friend and however much the thought of her snubbing him every other day pushed him to the verge of letting go, he stayed put to his only mission by every female he’s known and wanted; having sex, sweet sex and leaving them thirsty. Which with Brigit and her peculiarities wasn’t forth coming and he hated to have to count her in the list of women the pleasure of their body, and the warmth of their blossom he never felt. He crushed his teeth and continued the wait.
The wait to the lapse of time and lesser activity between them on days that followed which made him think that maybe he had been handling this the wrong way.
Older women don’t take text seriously any longer, why not call her?
He’d finally seen the log in his eye.
Call her? Since they met, not once had he dialed her number. Not even thought of it, each of their communications had been on text, intense before their first date then instantly died out after.
He was sure it wasn’t because he had a bad foot, he limped or because his hair had been unkempt; for the baby locks that he’d just started twisting to that first date.
She’d known his baggage prior but still his voice trembled as he rehearsed what to say on the call.
When readiness got hold of him he pushed the green button,
“Hello” She replied
“It’s been a while, I have just finished the programming job that I told you about and I was thinking we do lunch, if you don’t mind.”
“Mh… Lunch? Nope, we are so busy today, sorry to disappoint.”
There was silence for seconds to follow then she said,
“But you can come over for dinner if you want, I’ll cook.”
Jim made a fist of his right hand and flung it high to the air to celebrate, like Antonio Conte has done on each of the goals that Chelsea has scored on his watch.
“Yes,” he said and the line went down. She had hanged up without notice. No good byes, then in the evening she’d driven to his office and called to tell him where she was packed.
Jim waddled through the heavy stairs only to slow down at the last case of the mezzanine floor; he shed frustrations off his face and braced himself to sheer gentleness and forced a smile. It was easy to identify Brigit’s car among thousand others. He hopped in to a casual greeting which he expected anyway,
He smiled and hied back extending a hand which she ignored, driving off. He hated how casual she did things, but didn’t think that he could be the problem; he was too reserved for a man. And he deserved every of her actions which dwarf his ego. Even so, he continued to smile with his eyes on the price.
The pepper hot lips and the fat curvy hips which made his resilience glow and grow to higher heights shinning above her deliberate defiance.
Her house was well embellished to formidable decor, furnished to taste with the zigzag linings on her rags complimenting the natural habitat of trees and animals and mountains and rivers and lakes alike. Everything he touched and saw was flecked by the inspiration of dry fields, the woods, deserts, the clouds, the open air, smelling of hide and art and age.
He sank into a seat in front of the TV and kept gazing to the wonder of this beautiful home, an abode of serenity and calmness.
He wondered if Brigit had been married before or if she was married now, because how could a woman her age have so fast developed, invested. How could she possibly be the owner of this beautiful mansion or afford its rent? Who worked her garden? Who paid her mortgage? Questions lingered through his mind as he admired the breathtaking house, with a silvery chandelier swinging on top of the roof, dazzling steady lights below, more lights to the already bright room.
“Jim, do you need anything,” She asked standing at the kitchen doorway.
He did not reply, still mesmerized by the ambience of the home. It was clear that she didn’t need a man to pay her bills if she didn’t have one already and if she didn’t and needed one, she wouldn’t need to dance to his tunes to live large.
She had her pretty self and that was enough, enough to put frames of her photos on every attractive corner of the room.
She raised her voice a little higher and he turned to face her – refreshed, and now dressed in an ivory do or die dress, short to the helm of her knees and just as fitting as the others which he’d seen. If tonight she was sending a statement then it was that she didn’t need no corset to reveal her derriere. She had it all, the face, the boobs and the perfect body to it.
She giggled at the awe on his face and asked again, “do you need any drink?”
“Sure,” he said, “a bottle of beer”
“No I don’t stock beer, soft drinks maybe.”
“OK, soda will do.”
She served cold coke then walked back into the kitchen and when she next came out dinner was ready and served. He went over to the dining table and they sat facing each other and prayed over the grilled cumin-rubbed hanger steak (if you like, minji mashed na mkate grilled na stake kadhaa za nyama) together.
“You have a beautiful home Ms. Bosibori.”
“Yea thanks, I get that lot,” she said
“So tomorrow, I’m free, the whole day and open to anything. Maybe you can come over. I can use some company.” She continued
It’s possible that she’d noticed that Jim wasn’t so good with direct words. He wasn’t going to say please pass me the seasoning, or to compliment her beautiful eyes or ask why she’d been snubbing him and why the sudden change of mind. He wouldn’t ask the card she played by calling him over to dinner – what she wanted out of it, if it meant they could start over on a fresh page; at least not face to face but on texts.
And those are the kind of men she liked.
The kind she teased with her laxity and lust and plunge to laze and used and let go.
She didn’t have time for relationships, for a man to scoff her, to anger her when she was not in the mood, to push her around, to carry babies for – which would mean putting a break to her career. She didn’t need someone to cheat on her with other skinny bitches. In fact girls who don’t know that it takes struggle to make it in life but by virtue of their steady titis and flappy clits they get everything they want, they open their legs to strangers; preferably white or of the west African decent and her Kenyan husband wouldn’t be a guaranteed saint, at least not for a Mnyaruanda.
She hated loosing authority to another being, so she hanged on to it and rolled her world.
She gulped a glass of water at the finish of her last scoop of food and walked around the table to Jim.
Pulled a chair next to him and clamped her fingers onto his. She looked at his eyes with the thirst of lust and lent forward.
“Brigit, isn’t that too fast?” he yapped his body getting jittery with goose bumps and his whiskers bristling with heat.
When she pushed him away, he’d fantasized about her, about how it would feel like to press his lips on hers, about how a suck of her boob’s and a stiff press of his manhood on her belly would feel satisfying, about how a light grit of teeth on her neck would be sexily painful and appreciated and he would hold her tight and close to his breath and feel her wriggle in his arms but now that the moment had come, he had setbacks.
It felt awfully off for a woman to ask him so bad for sex. He preferred not to be on the submitting end.
Who was she, why did she ignore him one minute and craved for his saliva the next.
She dominantly continued to move closer and rub his hand and body and slither on him until there was a knot of hardness untying in his pants. She felt motion of it as it pushed and pulled and pushed and pooled her hands with semen.
She passed her other leg over his laps so that her back touched the table and her tits tenderly rubbed his nose.
“Brigit.” he brawl attempting to stop her.
Trying to push her away and ask if she was OK but she kept doing her thing and curved her arms around him with the strength of a woman, on heat, and bent a little low to push her lips to his talking mouth and soothed him until he eased and ceased to talk and his hands moved around her body too. Her butts, her groin, her pant less under, the hair on it, the smoothness of her thighs and the wetness inside her and the smooth walls of her womanhood. He felt it all. He lifted her heavy body up and cleared the table with one arm breaking glasses to the floor and scattering food remains all over.
He lay her on the table and unzipped his fly to her unending groans and moans of a rhythmic flow, and he rocked between her thighs over and again till rivulets of sweats formed on their jointing and faces and they breathed heavily with sighs of relief, both at the same time with fluids exuding from both their private parts at slow disconnection.
Brigit giggle as Jim’s body dropped on her body, denied of every little ounce of strength.
She said, “That was amazing and wrapped her arms around him as if protecting something precious, a gentle paragon, an heirloom made of fragile glass or a 90 year old whisky, cognac.
They had both got the satisfaction of sex, of intimacy, of love making.
Jim raised his head to see her face drape with a smug, his chin digging on the rift between her breasts and she said, “Hey, get up, let me show you something,” and she giggled dragging him up to her bedroom which looked as perfect as the other rooms.
They sat on the bed and she asked Jim how old he was. It was a relevant question towards a shy and conservative fellow.
He said 29 staring at her shoulders, the lust of his loins beginning to burn again.
So fast that he moved closer and stroke her back and hopped that she needed more sex.
“Jim, wait,” she said, her voice submissive but her hand stiff on his. I know you’ve silently asked questions about me for long. Very genuine question, questions whose answers I have never shared with anyone. Questions that relate to why I’m not married; if I’ve ever had kids (answer, no); why I pushed you away and many others.
His eyebrows rose.
Well here goes. She opened a bedside drawer and pulled an old album with lots of old photos. She flipped over each page showing him who each person was. Her two brothers by the step Father, her mother, her uncles, aunts… everybody… everybody whose photo the family kept. She’d taken all of them with her from her family’s new home, Bungoma (Western Kenya). She continued to flip through until she got to a photo of a young lady, barely 7 from a rough guess, smiling with a flower on the hand. Her red silky dress shining in the sun.
Tears dropped rapidly through her face, uncontrollably as she continued to stare at that picture, Jim grabbing her by the waist so she would lean her head on his shoulder and pat her gently in the checks with confusion.
He lost his erection trying to calm her down and she continued, her voice cracking with emotions in between the stammers, “Jim that’s me.”
A pure girl, an innocent girl, I loved trees and birds and flowers. I’d go deep into the woods to see birds hop from a tree to the other, singing nice melodies of truth and wisdom, and whisper of ghosts and beasts, and I felt inspired and nourished, by their sounds and the refreshing earth.
Other times I’d go to shrubs and catch grasshoppers and pluck flowers and cut grass and get clay from the banks of the river and mould nests for my pets.
I was happy, happy to see streams flow with fish making loops and men from my tribe wade their oars, rowing down the river to farms far away by the streams and I felt eager and curious to see where all that water went. Where these men ended up then; one day I did and I heard leaves rustle and the dry ones on the ground crunch.
I looked back to a man whose face I can’t make today.
She sobbed and blew her nose and continued with a shaky voice, of fear and anxiety.
He grabbed me and threw my little body to the ground ripping off my clothes and I blacked out.
All I remember is unconsciousness, my cloth wet with thick blood and blur of my old fathers face and fading voice in the village.
Someone had picked me up from the bush and took me home, to him. He sulked and shouted in our dialect… Taboo, taboo.
Jim was silent shaking his head in disapproval and disappointment where he deemed hurting and irresponsible.
I was rapped and to the community that signified crossing to adulthood before initiation. As he shouted taboo in a loud terrified voice, people flooded our home, my thin body laid to the ground. They surrounded me and waited and whispered words that I can’t make out. I think they said I would die if I wasn’t initiated immediately. And the crowd dispersed as a woman of the knife hazed through, a witch. She carried me into my mother’s kitchen and lay me on the floor, the cow dung plastered floor. And she spread my legs as if examining the damage but then I felt a sharp pain under me, rapt with blood, molten blood like larvae gushing under me, then chants and wails of happiness from outside.
“And where was you mother then?” Jim asks politely not to sound offending/judging of a story whose roots he’d not known how deep went.
“She had been to the market to sell fruits; it was her business, everyday. She didn’t approve of female genital mutilation though. She’d told that beast that when the time came and their people insisted she’d elope with me. I don’t know what took her to long to… to… ”
Anyway, word spread faster in the plains of a young initiate and soon she was home wailing and cursing at my dad and their community.
She hurl insults and stones and anything she could find on her way, to their hiding.
I lost a lot of blood. She shroud my body with an old blanket and hurried me to the hospital. She said I would have died if she hadn’t arrived in the nick of time. My body was pale and my eyes white. It took months to get my jovial back and when I was discharged she took me with her back to her father’s home in Kakamega. The Bungoma guy was her new found love after years and they sired Geoffrey and Shem these two young men. She showed him their pictures. They looked just as lovely she, with her eyes, the eyes of their mother.
She flipped to another picture of hers and said; here I was 12 years old. Her breasts had started pointing through the pink dress she wore; her chin taking an angular shape, a woman’s face, with the trademark short hair.
She had not looked up at him for a while and when she did she said, I’ve hated men all my life. No one needed to tell me that they were beasts. They hurt me when I was young, laughed at me, when I spot my dress, in school without noticing.
Puberty had caught up with me and they found that funny. It had been my humiliation for while but in my mind it has lasted an eternity.
I vowed to hurt as many as I could and I did. I’ve had 10 and all have had it rough with me. I’ve ruffed them up when I could and hurt them when I was done. I hoped in and out of their lives as you would on a bus. I know they felt the impact of my coming and leaving as Kansas has felt tornado.
There was a deep silence as she tried to find a reaction on his face when then he was probably thinking to tell her they discretion is the greater part of valor.
He didn’t speak and she continued, if you want to brand me a whore and leave it will be OK but just so you know, of them all you’ve been the only one that I have truly loved however much I’ve tried to fight my feelings and pretend.
Jim felt a knot of fear coil in his stomach. If he could open up too he would tell her let her know that if he pursued her so hard, it was for the pleasure of her body which he already drunk up and he doubted he wanted anything else.
But, her body had not given him the satisfaction he craved, the one that kept his d**k lying low for hours to follow after intimacies of the past. He doubted that was satisfaction enough.
Brigit had been different, her body pushed him for more and more and she gladly gave herself for love. Could it be that her authoritative half made things more interesting?
He squeezed her into his chest and whispered into her ears, “I love you, never leave me like you left the ten lepers,” they laughed at the joke and she walked him out at 11:30 PM.
He kissed her one last time on the lips not knowing if she’d be open to such great adventures again.
Then there was that text on the morning of their picnic saying, “I can’t wait to see you again.” and he wondered, kwani I’m that good in bed. He couldn’t believe it himself.
When he called to say he was in the compound, Brigit had come running to open the door with the thirst of kisses to which he reciprocated with hugs wrapping his hands around her back and lifting her body a few inches off the ground as he swung her in a limping circle, crazily happy about the awaiting site seeing adventures of the sanctuary.
Impalas and different other species of birds singing from 115 recorded dialects, the heavenly monkeys, lions and cheaters in cages and above all her life coming to shape, for love.
He’d promised to give her back what childhood had robbed her of. Happiness. And she thought; why not tell him how I acquired the house too? Most probably if we will have crossed the valley to the other side. The less chaotic side; if it exists.