He is glad he doesn’t get there late. He is just from another strategy meeting for another venture he wants to get into and all along he thought that it would run into the scheduled time for their first date. 5:31 is the scheduled time and she calls him 6 minutes after.
She is somewhere along Moi Avenue and he directs her to Sarova, which is easier to locate and nearer the place he wants to spend the next three hours or so looking into her eyes. He is not nervous because they have talked so many times before and as such he walks to the restaurant they are to meet in, locates a table and sits down.
Then she calls. She requests him to go for her which he does promptly because time is already running out and the weather is eating into their meet up timelines.
He notices her even before he crosses Standard Street.
She is calm and her face has a radiance of a smile even though she isn’t smiling at the moment.
He then crosses over to the other side to say hi…
Him: Are you the one I am looking for?
Her: I think so… He can’t remember the exact phrase she responds to her with but it is something nearer that.
He leans in for a hug and they walk to the restaurant located some few meters way talking about their day and basic pleasantries.
Her voice is as collected as he recalls on phone. She has a way with words and she doesn’t have a problem with explaining her point of view. It’s something she does so effortlessly. He looks at her as she walks beside him and smiles.
After sitting down, he gets a chance to really look at her and the first thing he notices is her gold-ish nose ring. It doesn’t stand out in a screaming kind of way but it makes a statement of its own. It’s hidden by her light complexion but it doesn’t escape his inquisitive eyes. He doesn’t ask her about it but instead, he states his liking for it.
She blushes. Then smiles… then laughs.
It’s a loud laugh… in her own words… but to him, it’s a straightforward laugh. A laugh that’s so full of life he finds himself asking himself how a single person can have so much life wrapped up in her vocal chords. He finds himself smiling as a result of how lively she is. She is not afraid to smile every so often. He knows it is because she just can’t help herself.
Him: What will you have?
She decides on a smoothie. She isn’t sure about it first, but he urges her to try it and tell him what she thinks. She doesn’t like it very much. She talks of a joint behind City Market that has the best of everything… smoothies and guess what? Fries… haha
She likes fries.
Her: When I was on campus, I used to have fries every day. I was biiiiig…
Him: I can go for a whole year without eating fries.
She then orders a white forest which is not as white as she prefers. It’s shitty… it’s a normal cake with some cream. She is the one who is good with cakes and he believes her. Upon requesting him to taste, he respectfully declines because he has had so much cake in the past week or two.
Mumbi: Tell me exactly what it is you do.
He goes on and explains it to her in so many words that for a moment he thinks he is boring her. He can talk a lot especially when he is explaining something he is passionate about.
Him: Do I talk too much?
Nesie: Hehe you talk a lot…
Someone inside his head says “ouch”…
Then that smiles comes out again… There is something about the way she smiles; the way her lips curve beautifully outward, the way the sound of her laughter seems to escape from the pit of her stomach… it’s like the yellowish glowing bulbs have somehow made a home right there in her heart. She has the kind of smile that makes him feel happy to be alive and just a little bit more human.
He wouldn’t want to be in any other place.
Amidst her laughter, he says…
Him: Can I tell you something?
Her: Go ahead
Him: I love your smile.
He notices the tattoo on the outer side of her left bicep but he doesn’t ask about it… He is itching to ask the chronology leading to its inscription but he only remembers about it when they have already parted ways.
Mumbi, what’s the tattoo about?
After two or so hours of pure bliss, the cold bites too hard that they have to leave. He takes her to the bus stop and after replacing the awful cake with something more professionally baked, he hugs her goodbye and leaves.
He tries not to look back because he is sure that if he does, he won’t be in a position to leave her behind. As such, he walks away, definitely looking forward to the next time he sees her. Inwardly, he hopes he has made an impression good enough to attract her for a second meetup.
He calls her as soon as he is sitting on a bus headed home and she is still waiting for one to arrive.
Him: Call me when you get one.
Her: I will.
When that call doesn’t come an hour or so after, he assumes he messed something up. He possibly didn’t make a good impression. He tries to call her but she is busy… He tries again…
At 9:20 she texts him she is home.
He is relieved. One because she is finally within the safety of her house and two because she texted.
Him: I am too. Thank you for everything.
Her: Had a nice time 😃
Him: It was amazing for me… you were an exceptional company.
She really was. She made him comfortable and he laughed the night away while learning about her plans, dreams, fears, and goals.
Him: I hope the cake was better
Her: Yeah… it was actually much better. Thank you
He hopes he sees her again.