And life began -Part 9






After spending the entire Easter homebound, am more than grateful when I hear the crunch of Dads RVR on the gravel and I rush out to meet them like a little girl. The car comes to a stop at the garage, mum sees me and turns and says something to Dad, and they both look towards me with a knowing smile. I can’t hear what he says back as the 80s classic they were listening to is still playing. Mum laughs out loud then climbs out to meet me.

“are you going to cry?” she asks in between giggles. Then I hug her and I feel like am actually going to cry.

“it was just a few days deb, what will happen when we go for a cruise?” dad asks.

‘you are going for a cruise?” I ask bewildered, that would be devastating news and I am feeling needy now, mum laughs out even louder.

“you should see the look on your face ,you are such a baby. my baby” she hugs me tighter.

Dad joins in the hug.

“She is still our baby Pam” dad says. I couldn’t feel more loved.

The orange ball of sunset looks beautiful so we decide to have an early pizza dinner at the patio. Dinner turns out to be me, listening to them reminisce about their trip and feeling like a third wheel. I really do not have a life, I should consider Alana’s suggestion to visit her down in Pretoria. Maybe that will give me time to think about what will happen if I don’t get the acceptance from Strathmore. I will also make a point of calling Sarah ,my best friend, I feel like I haven’t seen her in forever. But what about work?. A few months ago, if you had asked me to choose between working and traveling, I would do the later without even blinking. But then there is Nick to think about. Oh my God! Did I think that out loud?

My thoughts go back to Friday afternoon, he said my smile was beautiful. I remember the look of pure lust in his eyes, or at least in my head it was. I keep wondering if I had told him exactly what t I was thinking. Poor Guy would have heard a heart attack. But I wonder what would have happened then? Would he have swept me in his arms and covered my lips with his? Or he would have thought I was crazy? I was definitely crazy. Well, that remains a ‘what if?’ I didn’t realize I had been smiling foolishly till Ma snapped me out my reverie.

“Debby?” I almost jump when mum coaxes again for the umpteenth time.

“Where is your head girl, I have been calling you” she raises an eyebrow. I am hoping it’s a rhetorical question because I don’t have an answer.

“Let’s go inside its becoming chilly” we all get up. I put the pizza boxes in the kitchen and I excuse myself to my room.

By the time and done ironing my clothes for the week I am fully thinking about Nicklaus, and no, it’s nothing to do with work. I even picked out a few new outfits and I look forward to his reaction tomorrow. My 20-year-old mind is warped up in thinking the most sensual things about my boss. It’s the way he apologized for snapping at me on Friday as he drove me home. That finally did it. I have to caution myself that he is a family friend, he is much older than me. And there’s no way in hell he would ever look at me that way. Maybe he even sees me as his little sister. Eweee, no! We can’t think like that Deb. I am actually looking forward to work tomorrow. Am in so much trouble.

The next morning Mum says I can take her car since she is on leave, am over the moon because am meeting Sarah for coffee later and I don’t have to worry about how to get home. And because I am me, I change into black peep toe heels to go with my new red bod-con dress and black lapel jacket. My fresh braids are sitting on top of my head in a bun. Mums jaw is on the floor when I go to get the keys from her.

“Wow Debby” she sniffs, “look at you,We aren’t so little anymore ,Hhuh?” she looks like she is going to cry which leaves me confused.

“What do you think?” I ask.

“What you mean what do I think? You look amazing. Wait, where are you going?”

“To work, where else Mum”

“mmmmh, ok”

When I get to Langata, I meet the ever smiling Otie at the gate, who only fuels my good mood by complimenting my new look. I park the car next to his Chevrolet, I put my heels on and say a little prayer not to wobble today. Damaris is in the kitchen flipping some yummy looking pancakes. When she hears my heels clacking on the floor She whips her head around a second then does a 360 turn to look at me. Now am feeling silly, Did I overdo it? I say hi but she stays mum then a smile starts to creep on her face.

“my girl, you look lovely. Wow wow wow “she turns to her now smoking pan “keep this look, I love it “

I say thank you and proceed to the office. I am feeling nervous because I dint know the kind of reaction I will get from Nicklaus. BE CONFIDENT. My alter ego admonishes. I put my stuff on my desk and walk over to Nicklaus’ office to say good morning. I knock and I hear a gruff in place of ‘come in’

I peek with my head and say good morning.

“Good morning miss Debra” he says still looking at his laptop.  Ok we are back to Miss Debra.

“I think you should pick up where we left of with this manu……” he stops talking mid sentence when he looks up and his eyes settle on me. Now I am in that awkward place because his eyes are traveling down from my face to the rest of my body. Is he finally seeing me? Has the mud cleared from his eyes?. I feel some type of warmth traveling to my core under his gaze. When it doesn’t look he is going to say anything I make an attempt to clear my throat, but he doesn’t even blink. Oh boy you went too far girl. I walk forward towards his desk and point to the manuscript.

“this manuscript?”

“ ummmmh , aaah” his eyes settle on my face.

“my God Debby, you, ……. wow!  you look amazing” he says then lets out a loud sigh.

I chirrup an inaudible thank you, because my throat has suddenly dried up, my face feels hot and I feel a trickle of sweat building up on my back. His gaze settles on my gaze and I cannot decipher what he is thinking. I need to get out of here. I make a step forward to pick the manuscript so that I can run out of there as quickly as possible. In a quick motion, he grabs it and puts it opposite side of the desk. He then stands up and walks around the desk to where am standing. And just like that I know we will leave this room on first name basis. I am in so much trouble.



And life began part 8

credit; monoimages

I can hear her feet shuffling back and forth in the bedroom, am guessing between the bed where her suitcase is and our wardrobe, she is most definitely packing. My heart is beating so loudly I can literally hear the throb in my ears. I look at the bunch of keys in my hand and Am thinking I should hide them as well as the car key. Just when I am about to, I think to myself, who is this person? What have I become? Am I really going to keep Leah from leaving? And to think I made her happy. She is the ying to my yang. Without thinking things through I meet her at our bedroom door.
“NO! “ she howls at me when I try to stand in her way. It shakes me to my core, did I really do this to her? I don’t even recognize her anymore.
“don’t go. Lets talk about it El” I plead. She continues to walk to the main door and like a puppet am behind her. She notices her car key is not on the key rack on the wall and gives out a hiss.
“I am going whether you cry blood or not Nick, Give me my car key” she advances towards me and I suddenly realize I have made this woman a monster. She will truly leave me, she is going to divorce me.
“Am sorry El, I am a fool, am sorry, I will do better”
“give me my car key Nick” she spats , her hand is extended towards me but it’s a blurry image, I hadn’t even realized I had been crying.
She pries they key out of my hand and speeds towards the door afraid I would try and stop her, I wouldn’t have the strength El, I want to say , no words form at my mouth. She then realizes the door is locked and gives me another spiteful look, I find my legs walking towards her and I unlock the door for her. just as she is about to step out, I engulf her frame in mine just to feel her warmth. she doesn’t resist, she hugs me back albeit with reluctance, we hug for a minute and she breaks the contact and walks towards the stairs without looking back.
I sit heavily on the ottoman by the door and I realize how hard it is on my butt, I think of all those times I sat here putting on my shoes and I never paid attention to how it felt sitting on it. Just like I never paid attention to my wife. She is gone, the house looks haunted, empty and eerily quiet. I look at the bunch of papers I have to mark for the end term exams falling partly from my backpack and I feel sad. I should have offered to drive her, she shouldn’t drive in such a state.
I go to the window facing the gate and catch a view of her driving out. Her father will probably open a champagne bottle when she gets home. He won, he said he gave us a year, well we surpassed by with one but in the end he won. I remember all the times I had defended Leah against my mother when she prodded if we were ever going to make her a grandmother. I loved kids, we would make awesome babies with Leah. She was never ready for kids, come to think of it, she was never keen on the subject. There was a scare once and she literally prayed for it not to be true. I had made the mistake of saying I really didn’t mind and I wish it were true. She became defensive and said I wouldn’t be the one with the stretchmarks, the morning sickness and have my vagina stretched. She made it sound like a horror movie. After making sure it was just a scare, she made sure she went for her shot on time.
The next day, all I could do is bury my head in marking the papers. I kept checking my phone for any messages or calls, but my phone was silent. I had asked her to at least text to say if she arrived well. By the third day I had had enough and I decided to call her only to get her voicemail. I called her Dad but his was line busy. I decided to go check her house to just make sure she was ok. I had avoided telling my mother because I knew it would be a blame game, her turning Leah to be a monster because I was her son I could never do wrong in her eyes. I parked at the gate and rang the bell, Sang the gateman recognized me and let me in. I walked to the house and i saw leahs car at the garage, ok, at least she got here safe, that’s all I wanted to know, right? Why am I still walking to the front door then?
She opened the door just as I was finishing the top step, I stoppe in my tracks, wow, she looked beautiful, its like am seeing her for the first time.
“Hi”, she squeaked. She opened the door wider inviting me in.
“hi, you look, you look beautiful El,” I wanted to go in for a hug, but her demeanor was so stiff I got scared.
I took the loveseat in the huge living area and she took the arm of one sitter close to the door. She didn’t want to get closer, it felt like I was a monster and she would feel safer near the door so that when need be she would fly to the door. I wanted to close the distance so bad, but I feared I wasnt welcome in the first place. Her hands were crossed on top of her belly, the afternoon sun seeping through the sheers is gave her a beautiful yellow glow. I let that picture still in my mind. When I think of this day, that is what I will remember her by.
“can I get you anything, there’s some apple juice in the fridge” she knows me well. For many reasons i was thirsty, first because I hadnt been taking water as was supposed to and secondly because I could not sleep without a few shots of whisky.
“ I can pour you your favorite scotch from Dads collection” at this point I was so nervous and I wanted to say yes but I knew that sly bastard would make such a mountain out of this. I politely declined eager to know if we were going home together. What if she says she won’t go home with me? A heaviness sits at the pit of my stomach I fell like retching at the thought.
“well lets get to it, we need to have a serious talk” she says after what seems like an eternity. I dug my legs in the softness of the crème carpet as I waited for her to speak.
“I miss you “ I said , she looked away smoothing down her pants.
“I am caught between a rock and a hard place, I am making you aware of this because you deserve to know” to say the least I was lost. She wasn’t making any sense. I opened my mouth to speak but she stopped me with a head shake.
“just know that I have made my decision and there is nothing that you can say that will change my mind” as she spoke she sat upright and crosses her legs, it’s a confidence trick, I don’t know if she was convincing me or herself that what she was doing is good for us.
“Nick am pregnant”
“WHAT” !!

And life began part 7

I think am losing my shit! And its happening really fast. I shouldn’t find my employee in the least bit attractive. I think I have been out of touch for too long. What is it about her? Damnit Niklaus! Maybe because I haven’t had sex for too long. No that’s not it. Maybe because she is familiar, I used to fancy her older sister when I was younger, but no, that’s not it. Or am I that pervert old guy who just wants young blood, no, am decent, or am i? am highly doubting myself on this one with the thoughts I am harboring about everything I want to do to her. Damnit! Maybe because she is the only female I work closely with, yea that’s it. But Sheila has been working for you for years, why not her? No. Sheila is out of the office most times. What about all those assistants you have fired? Why not even one of them? I need to get Debby out of my system, and I need to find relief. I know the one person to call.
All these thoughts were on my mind when I was waiting for Debra since I had requested her to come in on Good Friday. She texted me to say she would be late because of transport issues, all logic left me at that moment and I made the decision to go and pick her up. I almost laughed out loud when I checked my speedometer, when was the last time I had surpassed 120k/ph. Who was I turning into. I had a feeling I was throwing off Miss Debra too. She had the grace and poise to cover it so well but sometimes she slipped. Like those times she forgets what she was going to say next when I stand at least 3feet from her. Or when I pass nearby, and she closes her eyes to smell my cologne. Or when I step into the room and she stops what she was doing. I accelerate once I join Limuru in anticipation, and there she is, balancing on a curb pole bent on her phone, her braids are covering her face but I know that it’s her, I take her in like a still picture, I know too well this will be etched in my mind for long. She looks up when I park near the Aga khan stage ignoring the howling and hooting of the matatus. I say Hi and she freezes, her eyes locked between my chest and chin, oh Debra what are you doing to me.
“shall we go?” I ask. It seems to bring her out of her thoughts and she climbs in quickly. The best part was when I clipped in her seat belt. I swear, it look all my self-control not to go in for her luscious lips and I could tell she was anticipating it by her body language. Now I was sure I wasn’t losing it, if I made just a little move she would crumble to my wanting, the girl was barely breathing the entire way home. The highlight of the day has to be when she placed her cold palm on my arm, I cannot even begin to describe the feeling, it was like a humongous magnet wanted me glued to her at the same time I felt a wave of electricity speed down my spine. it was like shock and this was the second time. I couldn’t handle it, I had to get away from her before I made a fool out of myself in front of the entire restaurant. I tried composing myself in the washroom a painful hundred times, I was breathing fire and the only one I felt could cool my steam was Debby. Breakfast was an awkward affair, I couldn’t even look at her. When I drove home, she looked like she was shrunken into a shell, and I hated myself for doing that to her. I knew what I had to do, sooner than later.
I was trying to make sense of the damn biography, I couldn’t go past the first chapter. I suggested we have an early lunch. She had an incredulous look that suggested I didn’t know cup from spoon. I am going to prove you wrong young lady. As I made lunch I heard Debby let out a hearty laugh, i parted the curtain to check it out and I was welcomed by the most beautiful sight. She was on the phone laughing her heart out, she looked happy, why had I never seen this side of her. It was almost too private to interlude, it was like I was outside Disney land and the gates were locked, and I really wanted to be inside. I wanted to see more of this side, I would make it my mission.
Lunch was great, am good with pasta and am not bragging I really am, Leah always handed over the kitchen if she missed pasta , same kitchen I was banned from on any other day. My neighbor is having another party, theres always something going on in that compound, I have turned down several invitations, not my type of crowd. Ha! What’s my type of crowd anyway. Angel! Yes, she is my type of crowd. Am totally side eyeing Debby, how I would want to trace my finger on her lips just now makes loins twist, a scroll is forming on her forehead, I want very much to get in to that head.
Now am feeling like a jerk, my head feels crowded, am sitting in guest bedroom because I cant face Debby after what I just did. YOU KILLED HER, YOU BASTARD! I WILL FINISH YOU, an image of Leahs Dad pops up in my head, Slow breaths Niklaus, slowly, inhala, exhala, inhala, exhala . you are doing well Nick, my shrinks voice keeps soothing me, it still works, now I am feeling like my head is clearer. Why did the conversation have to steer back to Leah, and Maya. You must stop punishing yourself, you have to live, if not for yourself, do it for them, they both would want you to, says my Mothers voice.
Once I feel like I have calmed down, I feel I should apologize to miss Debra, its not her fault, I shouldn’t be thinking about her in the way I am but I can’t help it. She cannot get warped up in my mess, I won’t let it happen.


My head shot up as soon as his words left his mouth. He had the same smug look and his lips were widening revealing a smile. He leant on the table and cocked up one of his eyebrows. oh shoot! He wasn’t letting this go, he was waiting for an answer. God, he was perfect! I felt the urge of trailing my finger along his stubble “it’s because my hands are freezing “I managed. This was partly true my hands and feet are almost always cold in whatever weather. I brought my hands up and put my palm on his naked arm, bad bad bad idea! I only realized it was a mistake after contact, too late. A bolt of electricity traveled between us, his eyes narrowed, his brow creased, his breath halted noisily, the smug look vanished immediately. I withdrew my palms quickly and shifted my eyes to my lap whilst inhaling sharply. What’s with this zap. I kicked myself on the shin to punish myself for the stupidity. “excuse me” he rose quickly and went to what I assumed was the washroom.
What was I thinking? you weren’t thinking smartass! That’s what. At least now I know I wasn’t the only one affected, or was I? but I was making assumptions. What if he had a bad stomach and he really had to go. I was broken out of my reverie by the waitress clucking plates and cutlery on the table. I wasn’t very hungry now but there was no way to change my order, plus I didn’t want to trigger Nick with my childish behavior. I am a grown woman, I should stick to my decisions and take responsibility even them being stupid most times. Sigh! Adulting wasn’t fun.
The food was on the table and was getting cold, I was weighing between starting or waiting for Nick to come back. Grown women don’t wait for no man, Aye! I started by squeezing a generous amount of Marple syrup on my pancakes and sipping my hot Masala slowly. It was good, almost as good as my Mums. I took out my phone in between bites to scroll through my Facebook timeline. I was watching Aunt Jemimah’s funny videos when Nick came back. He settled down and started on his breakfast giving it undivided attention. I was a little envious of that plate, he did not look at me once. Part of me wanted to genuinely apologize but I was sure if I brought it up it wouldn’t be a pretty scene, so I ate my breakfast quietly instead.
He payed for breakfast and we left for the house, traffic had cleared up nicely, we drove in silence, there was tangible tension in the car and I couldn’t wait to get out when we got home. I almost jumped out of the car even before it was fully parked when we got home. I was headed to the guest house when he called out to tell me we would be working from the main house. There were several manuscripts and folders, two laptops and a small printer on the dining table. There was an unfinished grape juice glass on the table, that should be in the kitchen, this meant Damaris wasn’t was only me and him? Oh boy! this was going to be a long day.
When he came in he gave me The Potters Daughter, it was a new novel by Saffia Kaniaru, she was a well-known novelist and her star was rising fast. I had already done half of the book before, so I was optimistic I would finish in good time. On the other Hand, Nick had only started on Obiero Odungas Biography. He was a committed activist in the fight against corruption in Kenya. Am not a big Fan of Biographies so I was a little grateful he was doing the proofing himself. We worked in silence till one o’clock only having water and bathroom breaks. He preferred to work on the couch leaving me to have the table to myself presumably avoiding me. I was grateful not to have him there as a distraction, the sooner I finish the earlier I leave.
“you want some lunch?” he asked. And who is going to make it? You? I almost asked.
“I don’t mind” Grown women aren’t indecisive I admonished myself. “yes, I would like some, thank you” he gave me a confused look “let me see what’s there” then strolled into the kitchen. I needed to stretch and the sun outside looked I stepped out to soak some plus I hadn’t had form my parents, so I called them. Mom answered on the third ring. “hi baby girl, how are you?” she answered,
“am great mum, you dint text to tell me you got there alright” I complained. “we did, sorry we forgot, we are having such a good time, Dad says Hi, he is fishing and huffing” she broke into a laugh. I heard a grunt at the other end of the line and I joined my mum in laughing, my Dad has this thing for getting fixated on one too many hobbies, then discovers another and completely abandons the first, Alana is pretty much like him, she changed her mind twice when she joined uni. Dad came to the phone “how is my favorite girl? Getting bored at home?” dad asked with a chuckle.” its good Dad, but am at work, I had to come in for something Nick needed done urgently”
“I hope he isn’t working you too hard”
“Oh God no, if anything he does most of the work” I corrected him. “well okay trying to impress your mother with my fishing skills but she is laughing at me” I started laughing at him. “well, you have a good one dear girl and take care of yourself, see you when we get back” Dad finished and clicked off.
The sun felt good on my face that I closed my eyes, so I was a little surprised it seemed to disappear suddenly. I opened my eyes to find Nick standing over me with a hard look on his face. I jumped up and straightened my shirt. “I thought we could eat outside, its beautiful” he said. “I hope you like pasta” he disappeared into the house, I slumped back on the steps, Otie the gateman was looking up at me I waved at him. Nick came back with two plates of delicious looking spaghetti Bolognese and a lettuce salad.he couldnt have made all that in such short time, i looked up at him questioningly.
“ok i made the salad” he said with an almost smile,he set the plates down and joined me on the steps.
“do you have any more left?” I asked Nick. “yes, you are planning to have some more?”
“no, I wanted to serve some to Otie”
“good thinking let me serve him some”
When Nick came back with the plate, I offered to bring it to Otie, poor thing was so grateful. I went back to join Nick on the steps. We ate in awkward but companionable silence, all the while listening to soul music coming from his neighbor’s compound, there must be a party later. And because my head is a wanderer, I was thinking of how the entire cabro compound would have looked better if it had a bit of life, it was without character, it looked like a desolate, sad but clean child with parents who were too busy to care. It could do with a few flowers, maybe tulips by the wall and potted daisies near the veranda, a tea table for soaking in the sun. I hadn’t realized how quiet it had grown till Nick spoke.
“You have an exquisite smile Miss Debra” he had stopped eating and was now looking at me. And I blushed!
“thank you” I murmured before looking away, I felt his eyes boring into my naked neck and arm.
“I would like to see it more often” he said this in a low husky voice that melted my insides. “what were you thinking just now?” I was thinking how ultimately satisfying it would be to kiss you. I thought almost immediately admonishing my very dirty mind. Get a grip Deb, this is your boss, and your Fathers FRIEND. This only horrified me further.
“I was thinking how this cabro would look beautiful if it were an expansive greenery”
“oh, it was, it used to be, that was before….” He paused , then he looked away and the scroll he had been wearing the entire day replaced it, my heart broke a little.

The rest of my day passed in a daze, thank heavens I didn’t have to teach. I had exams to invigilate before we went for summer break. My first thought was to go home and confront Leah, but then I did not have anyone to stand in for my class and my gut told that wasn’t a good idea. Maybe I should have called her but something at the back of my mind was telling me not to. Her father wouldn’t lie, he was a sly bastard but lying was not his forte. The fact that he knew meant it was something she had planned and executed. My input hadn’t been needed.
How long? Oh Leah! Why? Where was she spending the entire day if not at work. These are the questions that bumped in my head all day long urging me to call and confront her, but I knew I would be tongue tied when she answered. I did not know my wife. I started thinking back to when I would find out stuff that she liked doing and I would be surprised. She would then accuse me of being oblivious. Maybe I needed to pay more attention of what was happening around me. When the end of the day rolled in I still hadn’t decided how I was going to face Leah.
Most of the fights we normally had would blow out of proportion. It would be a little thing but then we would veer off to the topic of money then everything would be chaos. I would complain she was spending unnecessarily and in return she would accuse me of being a miser. Money was always the elephant in the room. Initially I thought it was our different upbringing but then more ugly showed its head and I couldn’t be passive anymore. I had to make my stand. Some part of me did not want to go home I felt disrespected.
The smell of baked rosemary beef chops hit my nose when I opened the door. I felt the urge to laugh, she knew me well. It was an apology meal, she was making my favorite to simmer my anger. Her dad must have warned her. She came to the door to greet me which surprised me as it wasn’t a habit of hers.
“hi Hun” she said as she pecked me. we were about the same height and she was avoiding my eyes as she busied picking my backpack.
“hi” I replied in a clipped tone. I wanted to flare up there and then, but I held myself back.
Something was changing, my heart clenched as the reality hit me, I couldn’t trust my wife anymore.
“come, come, dinner will be ready in a second” she seeped back to the kitchen. For a second, I considered sneaking out and drinking myself silly. I was an occasional drinker back then. I knew that is a coward’s way, but the thought still tempted me. when we sat down to dinner, she wasn’t making small talk like she normally does when she was avoiding the inevitable. We ate quietly with me not even tasting the damned food. I put my fork down, i couldn’t take the pretense anymore.
“aren’t you going to ask how my ride with your dad was in the morning?” she continued eating without even flinching. “that is because I know how it was” she answered quickly then picked a large piece of lettuce that she crunched noisily which irritated me the more.. My anger flared up tenfold.
“so?” I asked angrily trying to control my tone. “so, I quit my job, big deal” she stopped eating, put her elbows on the table and looked directly at me. I couldn’t believe it, in the two years I had been married to Leah I had never seen her act so bold. She always ended up crying after an argument and giving me silent treatment after. Her eyes were daring me to continue talking and I would have it, so I changed my stance. I relaxed my shoulders and slumped on my seat.
“I did not know you didn’t like your job” she scoffed. She fucking scoffed, looked away from me and folded her arms. “I didn’t expect you to “she whispered back.
“what is that supposed to mean?” now I was hurt. “Jesus Nick!!! Look around you, what have you ever noticed? What color were your shoes today? “I didn’t know what that had to do with the argument, but I knew it was a trap. I tried creating a mental picture of the shoes, but I couldn’t remember. She was glaring at me. When I failed to answer she continued in a measured tone.
“they were brown, I bought you those shoes a week ago, you didn’t even notice they were new when you first wore them. It was my anniversary gift to you, which by the way, you forgot again, we have only been married two years! Do you even see that I bought a console or that the bedroom is purple, or that I have breakouts on my face? Do you?” she was standing now and flailing her arms as she shouted. Ok, I admit I forgot a lot of things, I couldn’t even remember my birthday most times. I softened, but then,
Wait! Why I she is turning this around on me, this was about her quitting her job. I had to veer this conversation fast.
“my shoes have nothing to do with you quitting your job without giving me a heads up, I have my faults, I know, but that doesn’t excuse your behavior, how am I supposed to trust you when you do stuff under my nose” she walked back to her seat huffing. “I hated it! This country sucks, no plans, complete disorganization and there is no single organization with my field of expertise, and none can afford me anyway” Wow! I couldn’t hide the shock on my face, who was this person. It most definitely wasn’t my Leah. Maybe I should have gone to take that beer after all.
I was expecting her to start heaving and cry like she always does. Her forehead was creased and that is when I noticed he multiple whiteheads. What’s with that? “am going to stay with my Dad for some time. I need to think about my life and what I want out of it” hey wait a minute. I was too stunned to speak, I felt like my heart had stopped. I suddenly realized this was no escalation of our issue, it was something that had been planned, I was just let in.
She continued talking “I already talked with him, am going there in a few” with that she wheeled out of the dining room and started toward our bedroom. She was going to pack, and I was still glued to my seat. I had to think fast. I di what any irrational man would do. I locked our front door, took her car keys and settled in my seat. I would have my say in this, I had to be heard whether she liked it or not.


Black couple dancing on their wedding day

Debby learns quickly, she even compiled a report before I asked for it. She also sent a few suggestions on adjustments I could make on my book which were brilliant. Smart and sexy, oh so sexy. What am I thinking? I find mind drifting with thoughts about her so often nowadays. careful Nick. Ever since that incidence with Debra three weeks ago I was looking forward to the days I work from home. I felt this urge when in the same room with her, but I was also careful not to get too close because I knew I wouldn’t be able to stop this time. I was thinking about her all the damn time and having these teenage like fantasies. My gut told me to keep off because I would mess up. Don’t go there Nick! It must be because she is the only female I work with most of the time. Keep telling yourself that! Besides I am much older, I mean she must be at least 7 or 8years younger not to mention her parents would kill me. There I go with my overthinking tendencies. I felt ashamed looking at Leah’s portrait as I headed for breakfast. Who was I kidding? I didn’t even deserve to live let alone be with an angel like Debra. Angel!

I deserve to suffer, it’s my fault they are no more. I would do anything to trade places with them. My nightmares are far and in between nowadays but that did not make me feel any more deserving. That’s why Leah’s painting was in the living room to remind me I didn’t deserve any happiness. I couldn’t help but remember our happy younger mind drifts back to the past that wont let me go. I was given a scholarship to attend Cambridge university for my English Lit MA. My initial plan had been to teach at High school then maybe a lecturer later after my PHD. Looking back, I wasn’t very ambitious. My sister was the dreamer in the family and she made it big. She was an associate lawyer with a New York firm and she was doing pretty good. I met Leah at a book reading, she wasn’t easy to miss, Leah was beautiful, she was slim and tall had the most beautiful brown skin and the warmest smile i have ever seen. She was a few seats from me listening intently to the author. I hadn’t made many friends and I knew I wouldn’t see her again if I didn’t make a move. She smiled when I approached her. We made small talk, later I offered to buy her dinner. She said yes. I was ecstatic. she was taking botany in the plant sciences department at Cambridge. We were inseparable from then. She was beautiful, over the years several modelling agencies had asked her to sign up, but she was in love with botany.
Her family was initially from Kenya but relocated to the UK, her Dad split his time between his family in the UK and his businesses in Kenya. Later I found out he was a pretty big deal, a transport tycoon in east and central Africa.. He didn’t like me from the word Go, he said I buried my head in too much book. I think he was worried I wouldn’t take care of his daughter the way she was used too. I admit it scared me sometimes, but she didn’t seem bothered. There were a few jabs from her family, her dad especially on my financial situation but I was in love so I let it go. I proposed. We had a court wedding in the UK then had a Garden reception in Kenya. We settled in Nairobi, her mother had passed away and she saw no point of going back to the UK plus she loved the weather in Kenya. my mother adored her, sometimes it made me jealous. I went in to teaching immediately I got back, it was an international school and the pay was good as per my standards. There weren’t made opportunities for botany in Kenya, so my wife settled for a research Centre for African indigenous plants. Our life was pure bliss. Well that was until her sister’s wedding. The ceremony was to be held in Paris and We were of course expected to attend. My lovely life was awwwwing and uhhhhhing the cards, flower arrangements and chandeliers her sister was sending her for opinion. My worry was we couldn’t afford that in a million years. Not on our salaries.
I kept thinking of ways i could raise ticket money, new outfits, gifts and hotel room expenses but I always came up empty. I thought of asking her dad, but I already knew it would be a no. he had once said that he didn’t want to feed grownups. What worried me more was that my wife was completely oblivious of our situation she had even applied for her leave and was pushing me to do the same. When she found out I hadn’t she called her sister to complain. And things went downhill from there. The next morning my father in laws range rover was outside our tiny apartment very early in the morning. he asked to drop me to work because he wanted to talk to me. That was the worst and longest car rid of my entire life.

“you are a fool” he started, I almost rolled my eyes. This wasn’t the first time I was getting the lectures.
“I am even a bigger fool for letting you marry her, she will never know happiness, she will continue pretending and then she will end up hating you. And what’s worse you are oblivious of what’s happening in your own house” he continued.
The truth is I was bored, I hoped we would get to my office fast enough so that we could cut this short.
“I know you don’t have the capability to take her to Paris and you are not even trying. I have a proposition for you” at this my interest was piqued.
“yea, “I answered.
“come work for me” not his again, I thought. Initially I was expected to join his courier transport business, but I wasn’t interested and had stood my ground. We approached my stop and I was more than glad I started to prepare myself to get off.
“I will give you a week to think about it, Paris is only 2 months away” he sat back and looked ahead.
“well, thank you for the ride, I will get back to you” I wanted to get as far away as possible from him. I couldn’t wait to get home and tell Leah about her Dads ludicrous idea, I pictured us laughing about it over dinner.
“And Gatu?” he called, I looked back to find him on the now rolled down window.
“when you get home, ask your wife why she quit her job weeks ago” he smiled then the car sped off.
“wait, WHAT!!!!

And life began (part 4)


I felt him coming even before I saw the car, the hair at the back of my head stood on end, I looked up to find his black SUV coming towards me before it stopped completely a few feet from where I was standing. I started making my way to the car when he came round from the driver’s side, he took my breath away when he came to my full view. He was wearing a tight fitting jungle green sweatshirt and cargo pants and he wore the most dazzling smile. He got me rooted to the ground I think he said something but I wasn’t listening as I was staring shamelessly.
“Miss Debra…”he quizzed. He had one eyebrow up and the front passenger door opened.
I murmured my thanks and got in, I tried taking few quick deep breaths before he got around to the driver’s seat but my face still felt hot, I could hear the PSV guys behind us already cussing at him since we were parked at the stage. Trust me to embarrass myself every chance I get. arghhhhh
“Are you comfortable?” he asked when he got in.
“Yes I am thanks “I answered looking ahead.
“mmhmm. Ok” he said looking at me
What happened next would have turned out better, he leaned over real close I turned to find his face was inches from mine, I had goose bumps all over and he was looking into my eyes. I could see a few prickly hairs on his chin just before his well tendered beard. I felt the urge to run my hand along his jaw. I was fully expecting a kiss but as it turned out he was reaching over for my seatbelt. He clipped me in place but did not lean out. His warm breath was hitting right above my nose and his lips were slightly parted and his beautiful eyes were imploring my very soul. I had goosebumps all over my skin despite it being a sunny morning. After what seemed like forever he went back to his seat, secure his own seatbelt and put the car in drive. I let out the deep breath I was holding and looked ahead. If I was any lighter I would have turned crimson. Then he turned to look at me with the smuggest look I have ever seen,
“I think we are good now” he was smiling, smugly eyeing my secured seatbelt.
I was caught in between anger, embarrassment and disappointment. I was disappointed because nothing had happened when he leaned in. I was totally embarrassed because I had expected something else but I was mostly angry because he was a total tool and now he knew he had an effect on me. I knew I needed to do something about it but I couldn’t think straight and he kept throwing me glances as we weaved through the minimal traffic. There was an accident just after Yaya center which was making a traffic snarl-up. He was humming along to Nina Simone’ -feeling good which was playing. I was tapping my feet because it was my jam too but also to hide my nerves.
“You know the artist? “He asked
“I do, its Nina Simone but this must be a cover” I answered.
“Am surprised, how did you know it’s a cover? “he asked briefly looking my way.
“it’s faster than the original, why surprised? “I asked.
“I don’t know any other millennial who knows what soul music is “he said smirking.
“maybe they don’t know enough about it to appreciate it” I answered feeling smart.
“Well answered Miss Debra” he said smiling.
“Debra, just Debra” shit! my big mouth again.
“ok, did you have any breakfast, Debra?” he asked pausing to say my name. I smiled.
“No.” I answered.
“Well good, am quite hungry myself. We should get some before this traffic clears” he said as he turned onto an estate road.
We went to a quiet hidden cafe in Kilimani. I wasn’t sure how I was going to sit through breakfast especially since we took seats opposite each other. I needed to use the bathroom but also needed composure so I excused myself. Once I got to the cubicle, I cussed loudly. I needed to calm down, and who knew how to do that other than my sister. So I called Alana, she was 4 years older and was taking relation studies at UCT South Africa. It was around 9am here so it must be around 8am there. She picked on 5th ring.
“Sis, why are you calling so early wena?” she asked groggily. She had adopted a few South African phrases that she casually inserted in conversation. I had no idea what they meant but they sounded cool.
“Good morning to you too, its 8am there, what early are you on about?” I asked.
“I was at a braai and I think I had too much to drink, there’s an echo, where are you calling from? Are you in jail? “She started laughing. Trust my sister to say weirdest stuff.
“No, am not, why would I be in jail?”
“That’s disappointing, you need to live a little sis. Mom told me you were alone this weekend, you should have a partyyyyyy” and now she was screaming.
“How do you even survive there without supervision?” I asked.
“The good lord wena, it’s the good lord, why were you calling anyway?”
I wasn’t sure I wanted to tell her about Nick yet and not in her current state plus she had made me feel better already. If I mentioned anything she would be overexcited and misread everything. What was I going to tell her anyway? I couldn’t even understand what was going on in the first place. I had taken too much time in the bathroom and I didn’t want him to think I had gone out through the bathroom windows, movie style, not that I hadn’t thought about it.
“Nothing, I miss you usisi , when are you coming back?” I quoted what she sometimes called me. That took her away from interrogating me.
“I miss you too, you should visit, mom says you are having a hard time choosing schools, maybe a little of me and viola, you will find yourself” she laughed.
“I will think about it I promise, sorry for waking you, I love you” she clicked off after and am sure she went right back to sleep.
I went back to my seat, nick was on his phone. When the waiter came I ordered for masala tea and pancakes, I was hungry but I was feeling queasy. Nick ordered a full English breakfast after he finished his call.
“There you are, I was wondering where you had disappeared?”
Oh boy you have no idea! I thought to myself.
He put his phone on the table, he leaned with his elbows on the table and positioned himself such that he was directly facing me. I smiled to ease the tension, I put my hands under the table out of nervousness. I was uncomfortable to say the least and the fact that he was gazing at me made things even worse. I really couldn’t wait for this damned breakfast to end.
“why are you twiddling your thumbs under the table, Debra?”
My head shot up.
Wait, what?