She covered her mouth slightly; worried her words would come out in stale coffee scented puffs when she spoke. He on the other hand had shed his self-consciousness over the last two dates, becoming bolder in the way he brought his face close to hers, in the way he ordered a latte assuming that’s what she wanted, in the way he possessively wrapped his arm around her waist when they walked. The audacity thrilled her. He thrilled her.
Except for the statement he had flung up in the air, like a slimy slug that had offended his sensibilities. The one that bobbed over her head momentarily, before squelching around her brain and suffocating everything else in there. Ati a high maintenance chick. Really? Her? She hadn’t refuted it. To do so would be to confirm it. She wanted to tell him that she only painted her nails that bright red, so that he would be entranced by her womanly wiles. Men are hypnotised by the things that call attention to femininity. Didn’t he know that? That’s why she was enduring those heels. So her ass would be elevated. Hadn’t she read that somewhere? Oh yes, that Biko guy’s blog.
Now as they walked to the stage, his statement looped itself in her mind. The rain had subsided, leaving the streets gushing with the remnants of appetites satiated; sweet wrappers, receipts, plastic bags, cigarette butts, safari cane bottles; they swirled in a hungry tide of brown water. There was no other way to cross the street. They would have to wade through the cess-pool of the Nairobi streets.
High maintenance? Huh! She’d prove to him she wasn’t. Dazzle him with an unpredictability that would rob him of his certainty, and in its place, plant the seed of surprise….and consequently delight. Yes. That’s what she would do.
She looked at him, gave what she hoped sounded like a carefree laugh, and put one foot in the water, scrunching her nose and squeezing her eyes in a grimace. No, this wouldn’t do. She had to be more playful. She had to frolic. He had to be enchanted by her non-high-maintenance-ness. So she made herself lighter, taller, looser and skipped through the water as gracefully as one can in tight ripped jeans and white stilettos.
When they were both stopped at the other side of the street, she searched his face for signs of delight. But he was bent down, removing his shoe to pour out the water that had collected inside. She followed his cue and slid the heel off her foot, tipping it over to drain it out.
Along with the water, something else plopped to the ground. Something slick and rubbery and long.
The both looked at it in horror.
They both thought the same thing at the same time.
God, I hope that wasn’t used.
#StoroSosa is a series of short bite-sized snippets, inspired by my nosy eavesdropping, as I weave stories through smoke rings.
This #StoroSosa comes from a drenched afternoon trawling second hand book vendors on Tom Mboya Street with Msingi Sasis, the incredible photographer. You can find more of his work here: http://nairobinoir.com/
Photo Credit: Msingi Sasis