I don’t attend adult birthday parties for two reasons; one it’s because they are extortion rings and two it’s because the person throwing the party is in more times than not allover, expecting everyone to drool and eat from their feet.
Girls are excellent masters of the second reason. So I choose to send a quick HBD and move on with my struggles. They are many; the struggles. Someone’s birthday party shouldn’t be one of them. No?
But this one time I choose to attend one. Actually, I am somewhat consulted on what should or shouldn’t happen. Having never thrown a party myself, the only thing I do is create a WhatsApp group. I am good at nothing else. I talk a lot too. That’s beside the point.
The day is here and I get my bottle of whiskey and wait for everyone else to show up. I arrive first; no … I arrive second, after the birthday host. A guy I have seen several times, but never talked to arrives shortly after with a half drank bottle of Viceroy and turns up the event. He is somewhat popular and as such, he keeps the crowd chatting as they continue streaming in.
I am on my fourth (or fifth) shot of whiskey when I think about my phone. It is charging somewhere in the house and I am surprised at how comfortable I have been for the past hour or so without it. Must have been the conversation between Willy and me on the Revenue Sharing Bill…
I walk to where it’s charging and without unplugging it, I place my thumb on the touchpad, unlock it and that’s when I see her missed call. The number is saved in my phonebook but I know it is new. She had not called previously so I find it odd that she is calling me. I unplug the 6 series and redial her number.
She is a few minutes away. She called me because the host wasn’t picking up her phone. We chat for some few seconds through which she informs me that she will be there in a while.
“If you call her and she doesn’t pick up, just call me and I will tell you where to find us,” I say into the mouthpiece.
“Okay”… She responds calmly.
That voice has a certain calming effect. I don’t know whether it’s the whiskey, but I am sure that I will confirm that in the next fifteen or so minutes. For an unexplained reason, I get excited. I smile at myself. It’s more like grinning inwardly.
I plug the phone back and head back to my seat to continue my conversation.
She doesn’t call back but instead, after 20 or so minutes, she shows up at the door with a friend. I know it’s her because I have seen her previously.
I don’t forget faces. More precisely, I don’t forget smiles. I couldn’t forget hers. When she and I had been introduced to each other by the host, some days earlier, the first thing I had noticed was her lips, then her smile. Don’t the two come as a package?
Her lips had not been made up. They were moisturized in a balmy kind of way. They looked taunt and sure at the same time. They had a natural arch and when she smiled, they parted revealing a perfect set of teeth. The smile was the icing. I noticed all that in a split second because I was rushing somewhere. I can’t remember where.
The smile stayed with me.
So when she walks in, I don’t need to be told it is her. I remember her voice from the introduction some days before and the smile completes her presence and identity. This is going to be a great night. She is lively as she keeps chatting with Z. I remember pouring them some juice…
“Do you need some whiskey?” I recall asking.
Someone responds in the affirmative and I hand her the bottle. She is the kind of person who walks into a dark room and brings along her sunshine. I won’t talk about her beauty because that’s a lengthy topic and I don’t want to be here drooling over her incredible personality.
The night drags on, and as much as I am in a conversation with some other people, I can hear her laughter or her soft voice as she chats the night away with her friends. At one time I pull a stool next to her and I can’t recall what I say or what we talk about, but I can recall the sweet scent of her perfume. It lingers on my nostrils for the better part of the evening.
She is lovely company through and through.
At one am, someone decides that people should go to the club. She, I, Z and Willy share a vehicle. She is seating at the co-driver’s seat and I am in the back right. She doesn’t stare ahead. All through she is looking back at us, keeping the conversation going.
I love that.
When we arrive at the club, we are together at one point then she disappears. We bump into each other once in a while and after a split second (at least in my head) she tells me that she is working later that morning and for this reason, she should head home.
I understand her reasons but I don’t want her to leave. I don’t show it though. She has someone to take her home in mind so I bid her goodbye with the request for a call once she gets home.
I see her two days after. Before that, I keep staring at this picture she has on her WhatsApp dp. She is in a red, woolen top and her eyes have this piercing clarity. They are beautiful. Her son has taken so much from her.
She does fashion designing, she is a BA for different products among so many other things.
“Why do men love cars and football?” she asks me as she sips her juice.
“For the same reason women love shoes and clothes” I respond. She smiles. That killer smile. We talk about a range of topics and cars come up. Again.
“What’s your favorite car?” I ask as she puts a piece of cake in her mouth.
“A range rover. I love all my things big. I am not small myself.” She responds coyly.
I love the answer and all its implications. She expounds using her hands.
As she seats on the red and black chair, I notice her dressing for the umpteenth time. She looks lovely in her creamish (not good with colors) kimono and fashionable dress. She is stylish to a fault.
On the screen is “Addicted”. She has been looking for the movie for a while. But she doesn’t enjoy the movie for long. Apparently, she is heading to a meeting and she needs to leave. I am heartbroken but she gotta leave.
After she is gone, I notice something about the way she makes me feel. It has been a while since anyone else made me feel the same way.
It’s a confusing feeling; a feeling that makes me scared and excited in equal measure. Through her pretty eyes, I see so much promise, so much strength and resilience, a little bit of hurt but I also see a determination to forge ahead.
There’s an unspoken desire to be the best mum to her son. Her greatest fear, in her own words, is “not to be the best mum I can be.”
That takes me aback. It is such a genuine declaration of affection that upon hearing those words, I feel like holding her and telling her she is the best. This, of course, isn’t evidenced by the many balls and cars that her son possesses. It goes beyond that.
I think it is evidenced by her drive to commute to work every day so as to be in a position to offer him the best. Her motherly instincts come first. At one time she is talking about all she cares about in life and he comes first, then her mum and then work.
When it comes to things she cares about, she is a lioness.
Being ‘old enough’, having gone through some rough patches of disappointment by someone she had given her all to, she is self-aware, meaning that she has to continuously evaluate her efforts towards bringing him up in the best way she can.
What I like about the statement is that she acknowledges that it’s not automatic to be the best mum. Though unspoken, she knows that it takes time, devotion, presence and unconditional love to bring up a young man with a strong support system.
“Having all these things, what else do I need? If someone has to come into my life, they have to show me what else they are bringing to the table that I currently have no access to. They have to prove that I need them.” she says.
“That statement made my mind drift to the gutter” I respond.
She laughs. That laughter that makes me smile…
We are watching “Fate of the Furious” and she is so thrilled by Dwayne. She loved Statham until Dwayne and Vin Diesel happened. She claps every time Dwayne is punching someone.
At one point, she is really looking forward to a fight between The Rock and Jason Statham but of course, they become partners so it doesn’t happen. The disappointment is written all over her.
“My lips are rugged,” she says after I say am thinking about her and her lips. I add so much more to that declaration of thoughtfulness hehe. She just looks at me as she wets them. I guess she is feeling their ruggedness.
“Hehe, are you sure?” I respond.
In another life, I would have given a cheeky response like “let me feel their ruggedness for myself” but I don’t. She has a way of keeping my cheeky self in check. With her, I got to be laid back. Something in my head keeps demanding.
This is followed by silence because there’s an intense action scene in the movie. The look of elation in her eyes and her facial expressions is unparalleled. She is enjoying every aspect of this movie. As she lies on the pillow, her legs crossed, and her arms over her bosom, she is comfortable.
She is in a faded green t-shirt and black pants. Her sandals have a mixture of decorations along their edges, Jamaican flag colors I think. Her nails are polished blue. She looks so natural that at times I find myself staring. It’s a habit that I have to break. But she doesn’t make it easy.
She is naturally alluring and that alone draws me to her. Her presence is at least. Did I say that before she came here she was asleep? She was. If that’s how she looks immediately she gets off her bed, then her bedroom walls are lucky.
When it comes to me, there’s a tendency of being too edgy when it comes to someone I am drawn to. So it doesn’t surprise me when she makes me edgy almost all the time. To put it more correctly, I am edgily excited.
Nervous is the correct word. She isn’t someone to be handled by kid gloves but there’s an aspect of me that doesn’t want to disappoint her. Disappointing her would be tremendously inappropriate if there’s such a word.
Without sounding self-judgy, I have no illusion whatsoever about my infallibility and my ability to come out as aggressive or self-assured. I know I am imperfect in a myriad of ways but in this particular set up, I am trying to blur (more like improve on) my self-defeatist traits so that I can be someone she can look at through those eyes, days with no end.
No one is perfect. That I know and acknowledge ever too often. But we are all in a continuous state of self-improvement if at all we are interested in becoming better humans for our sakes, and for the sake of those people, we can’t spend an hour without thinking of.
“We should go to IMAX,” I say in between the movie.
“Yaas. We should. But I think nitafukuzwa before the movie is over. I scream too much if its something I am enjoying. I think I am enjoying this more than you are.” She responds
“I will keep you in check (at IMAX)” I respond but she doesn’t hear me.
The movie is done and I am walking her out…
“I hope you enjoyed the movie,” I say.
“This is the best one. I thought Fast 7 was remarkable but this is the greatest. It has too many surprises. I enjoyed kabisaa. More than enjoying” She responds
“What word do you have for that?” I quip.
“I am wordless. Speechless hata. It was amazing. Thank you for everything” She says
“You are welcome. For everything” I respond.
She smiles then breaks out into laughter.
We were supposed to have lunch today. Work got in the way. I understand that. I was looking forward to it, specifically being surrounded by such awesomeness and perfect, positive energy but unfortunately bills have to be paid.
There’s so much in my head about the direction this is taking, and I am afraid that I might wreck the ship before we even reach the shore. This, being a reality, I hope she sees that I am human. I hope she sees that I make mistakes but I am willing to be better at every passing breath.
It’s my desire that she sees me through eyes of understanding when I ask and or say something really stupid. When I forget something she wants, or react inappropriately, or come out as too needy, I pray that she sees me as just a man willing to go through dark nights, seething through cold just to get a glimpse of her the next day.
If it ever happens that I happen to be so caught up in the vision I have of myself as being too good, wise and useful person, I hope that she holds my hand gently and pulls me back to the right path. My presence I will offer. I hope she sees and accepts that even when the waves become too violent.
I remember something…
“I don’t want to be committed to someone right now,” She says…
“That I understand….” I respond earnestly.