The loneliness of a sunny Sunday afternoon finds you roaming at the intersection of downtown Nairobi and that place where the big folks dine. It is not that you don’t have anything to do, but the thought of walking among people who seem to have no destination like you do is thrilling enough to beat the cobwebs from a week of depressing books. You walk dreamily, your future wedding theme song playing in your head. He walks against you. He seems to be in no hurry. You make space for him on the pathway. These streets are shared, you know. But he doesn’t mind his business.
“How are you?” He quips. I am okay. You think he is just passing a casual glance. But he wants more conversation. He is Indian. With beautiful graying hair. His skin is red-tanned, from the effects of the afternoon sun. He is wearing a white shirt. You even estimate that you are the same height, or maybe you are two inches taller than him.
Him: “Where are you going?”
At this instant, you have to introduce a destination in your lack of planning of things. And then you remember that you have some stuff in your friends’ place at Githurai, that you have been meaning to pick up for a long time but you don’t have the energy to go to Githurai. But suddenly, you want to go to Githurai. All you want is to walk in between the filth and sewerage systems of that place. You want to be amidst the shouting touts and mama mbogas. Anything to get away from this man, who is your father’s age, who is sparking an unwanted conversation.
You: “I am going to a friend’s place to pick some stuff.” You say.
This time you are quickening your pace, edging away from him.
But he is relentless. He asks your name. You tell him. He tells you his name is Ricky or Vicky. You don’t really get it. “It’s okay”, you tell yourself, and it doesn’t really matter because you won’t even have to pronounce his name. And if you have to, you will just call him VRicky.
All throughout this conversation you are walking alongside each other. To nowhere. You have on an above the knee balloon sleeveless dress. You can see him looking at your legs. They want to run away. He suggests that you get some coffee at some restaurant, or some juice. You are thirsty but you say no. You tell him that the stuff you are getting from your friends’ place are really important and you have to get them today. Never mind that you haven’t called your friend to know if she at home. He then offers to drive you there. You say no, you will take a matatu. Miraculously, you are at the stage. You just need to hop onto the bus and in no time you will be in Githurai, away from VRicky.
But he insists, and being the kind that doesn’t shy from adventure, you tell him it’s okay. You have small talk, as you walk towards his car that is packed in some space behind Nation Centre. You tell him that the destination is Githurai. He is not sure where that is. You tell him to get onto Thika Road and you will direct him. His car is small. You bet it is a Chevrolet. But you don’t really care. It is navy blue, and muddy, which is explained by him telling you that he is an architect. He just came from inspecting a construction site.
He drives on fast towards Thika. All this time, your mind is playing warning signals, “Girl, this is how people get kidnapped. You could even be raped. Where do you think you are going with a total stranger? “. You shove these thoughts aside. Life is never that serious, and even though you can’t trust everyone, you can trust some situations. You are quiet, you don’t initiate conversation. The air in the vehicle is pregnant with tension. As he drives, he tries putting his left hand on your lap. You push it away, and give him an angry and dirty look. He is embarrassed and he tries to laugh it off with, “Relax. It was just a joke.” And he is saying this in Indian English accent. By this time, the first red flag has come up.
But you relax, because you know the dirty nasty look has put him in his place. In no time, you are in Githurai. You pack in front of your friend’s gate. You tell him to wait. You run up the stairs, hoping against all hope that your friend will be home. Utter disappointment. The door is locked. You exasperate. You call her a thousand times but she doesn’t pick up. You stand there, knowing that you don’t want to go back downstairs and get a ride back to town with that predator. But you can’t stay holed up here for long because you don’t know when your friend is coming back soon or not. Damn! She is not even picking your calls. She will definitely have to explain this. You mutter to yourself. She will.
Disclaimer: This series of posts is purely for entertainment purposes. As much as the information in it is true(with bits of exaggeration), names and locations have been changed to protect the privacy of the characters. It is also important to note that this series in no way encourages sponsor and benefactor romantic relationships, nor is it a manual on how to get yourself a sponsor.