Loud voices that seemed to emanate from everywhere aroused me from the afternoon power nap. I slowly sat up on my bed and tried to register the source of the noise. The room seemed to spin at a dizzying speed. I reflexively closed my eyes and held on to either side of the slim bed. I opened one eye at a time as my body adjusted to the surrounding. The noises seemed to get louder and louder. Curiosity got the better of me and I got out to investigate. I had not got far when I met a bunch of my hostel mates shoving a boy I had met in the corridors once or twice.
“Hey Johnny what’s up” I asked
“This guy has been stealing our stuff, we cornered him trying to sell Joseck’s laptop in the electronics shop down the street” My roommate explained amid gasps. Joseck was a friend from another room in the hostel.
The culprit was bleeding profusely from various cuts and bruises yet he was adamantly denying that he had stolen anything. After some more kicks and blows, he finally admitted to the crimes he was being accused of. More kicks and blows ensued. Swaleh dashed to our room and emerged with a broom stick. The hostel’s matron arrived in the nick of time and screamed before Swaleh could bring the stick down to the boy’s head.
“Please stop, don’t kill him.” She implored
“But matron, you said we should kill the thief if we find him, here he is, why are you stopping us?” Someone shouted angrily.
“My sons, let’s not take the law onto our hands, let’s take him to the police” She begged.
The group grudgingly agreed and we (I had now joined the group) frog-matched him to the police station a few meters from where we put up. A curious crowd gathered and followed us to the police station. The matron went into the reception and came out with a haggard looking officer.
“Young men, what is this about?” He asked, fixing his blood-shot eyes at the boy, who was now quietly groaning. We hesitated and the matron helped us out.
“Mr. Officer, these boys have been complaining to me that someone has been stealing from them for quite sometime. Today they found this boy trying to sell a laptop computer belonging to one of his roommates.” She explained
“They are lying.” The seriously injured boy tried to defend himself.
“Who is the owner of the laptop?” The officer asked
“It’s mine sir.” Joseck answered as he came forward.
“Prove it’s yours.” The officer commanded curtly. Joseck went ahead and entered a password. He proceeded to show the officer some photos and documents in his name.
“Ok, young man, can you prove the laptop is yours.” He prompted the culprit.
“He has changed the password sir, believe me it’s mine.” He responded.
“Young man, don’t try to play smart with me, what other proof do you have?” The officer prompted him.
The boy kept quiet.
“Kiprop, peleka hii kijana hapo kwa ofisi yangu,” the officer commanded one of the younger policemen in broken Swahili. He came forward grabbed the boy by the band of his trousers and dragged him into the station. The officer then turned to us.
“Who told you guys to beat him up? You know you should have called us or brought him here without beating him. What if he died? Who started the beating?” Genuinely scared, all of us remained silent.
“Are you not going to tell me? I might as well arrest all of you.” He barked. We trained our eyes to the ground before us, as if imploring it to convince the officer otherwise. He clicked his tongue and beckoned the matron to follow him into the station. Some of the junior officers were genuinely amused by the spectacle and could not help but laugh at us. One of them advised us to leave the premises before their senior came out again. We sprinted out of the compound as if our lives depended on it. We only stopped at the hostel’s gate as some girls laughed at us. I remembered I had a class to catch, so I left the animated chatter and laughter and went for my books. I ran to class and found the lecturer was already in class. The looks I received from my classmates were enough to tell me the class was almost over. The lecturer turned around in time to catch me sinking into a chair. He looked at me from above the rim of his glasses like I was some kind of disgusting specimen. Unruffled, I whipped out a notebook out of my bag, got a pen and poised it in readiness to jot down anything useful. After a brief moment of silent contemplation, he shook his head from side to side and proceeded with the lecture. The class did not last long after and guys raced out as if there was some emergency. This was usual during evening classes. Perhaps they were rushing to beat the evening Nairobi jam that would ensue. Raj scuttled over to where I sat as I packed my stuff nonchalantly.
“Hey dude, what happened?” He asked looking concerned.
“Happened where?” I shot back, unfairly.
“C’mon, you were late, very late. This is not usual of you”
“Well, I overslept, and when I woke up I was caught up in some cleaning up exercise.” I replied.
“I thought you did your laundry not long ago…” He added inquisitively.
“Haha! Not that kind of cleaning up. Guys in the hostel caught some thief who’s been giving us sleepless nights. I joined them in beating him up and escorting him to the police.” I explained.
“He probably deserved it but you know it’s a crime to mete out mob justice.”
“You sound like the police chief. He let us off the hook though.” I quipped back.
“Ok, enough about thieves and justice. So tell me, what are your plans this coming weekend?” He asked, beaming.
“Well, haven’t thought about that…may be do some general cleaning, watch movies, do some reading and watch the weekend’s football matches.”
“Too bad, sounds like you got a full schedule. I’ll have to fish for some other beneficiary.” He responded cheekily.
“Ummmh…what are yours?” I asked, anxious to know why he was behaving like he was.
“I got complementary tickets to IMAX. They decided to make this weekend memorable for their regular moviegoers. So I spared two for you.” He gushed. I had never been to a movie theatre before, blame piracy and the Internet, so there was no way I was going to turn this down.
“Thanks man, that’s really cool.” I beamed as I reached for the tickets as soon as he had fished them out of his bag.
“Hold up, there’s a catch though.” He interrupted
“What now?” I inquired impatiently.
“You have to come with your date.” He dropped the bombshell and started snickering.
“That’s going to be hard, am not seeing anyone at the moment.” I replied dejectedly.
“Well, find anyone and come with them. Must be a lady, it’s a romantic movie remember.” He said winking.
“Okay, we’ll see about that.” I acquiesced a s I took the tickets from his outstretched hand.
I gave him the novel, saw him to his car, then slowly trudged to the hostels wondering who I would ask to accompany me to for the movie. This was going to be hard. I knew Raj was seeing some lady called Cynthia but I had never met her in person. Just heard him talk of her or to her (on his phone) occasionally.
Once in the room, I threw my bag onto my bunk and swung up after it. I immediately laid facedown and tried to think who I would ask to do me the honor. It actually was not as difficult as I tried to make myself believe. You see, I rarely interacted with members of the fair gender past the usual fraternal extent. Meaning I was left with only two choices; Sonia and Christine. More realistically though, Christine was the only option I had. While my feelings for Sonia were stronger, I was not sure how she would react if I invited her. Moreover, she may have as well had her own tickets and had invited somebody else. Without wasting much time, I whipped out my phone and sent Christine a text, asking her to accompany me for an evening walk. Almost immediately, she replied, asking me to give her half an hour to finish up something important she was doing.
After what seemed like an eternity, she showed up at the entrance and found me chatting with the gatekeeper.
“Soldier, I have to leave you now, catch up later.” I excused myself.
“Sawa Kijana, jienjoy.” He replied cunningly.
Impulsively, I hugged Christine and we made our way down the street.
“You smell freshly sweet, you from the shower or something?” I tried some small talk.
“Yea, actually I was headed to the bathroom when you texted me.” She replied.
“So you’ve been in the bathroom that long? I wonder why females take an eternity to get cleaned up.”
“Well, our bodies are different from yours you know. Then unlike you men, we don’t just shower and run out like someone’s chasing us. That’s the best time to do some introspection.” She explained.
“Okay then, the least I know about it the better.” I replied
“So what’s up with this evening walk? You look so anxious.” She asked. This caught be by surprise because I was trying to act as casual as possible. So that in case she declines to accompany me, it would not appear as a big deal.
“Well, it’s long since I had a walk with someone special like you.” I tried to set the mood right.
“Special? In what sense?” She asked after a moment of silence.
“Ummmh…I don’t know how to put this but I like your company. You’re kinda mature and understanding”
“It’s nice of you to think of me that way but am sure there are plenty of girls with the same attributes.” She challenged, trying hard to avoid my eyes. We arrived at a T-junction and had to wait for the traffic lights to turn green. They eventually did and we turned left to a greener and lesser populated area of the suburb.
“Well, not in the same way as you. You are also easy going and comfortable to be around.” I tried to defend my assertions.
“Okay, you are also nice to be around.” She said as she clandestinely bit her lower lip.
“Am glad to hear that.” I jumped at the opportunity. We walked for a few more minutes in silence.
“So what are your plans for this weekend?” I asked trying to suppress my anxiety.
“Laundry, assignments, movies, church…I guess that’s all.” She answered. “How about you?”
“Pretty much similar to yours, though on Saturday evening am supposed to head to IMAX to watch some movie.”
“That’s awesome!” She beamed.
“Well, am not sure if I’ll go though…” I responded.
“Why, I thought you liked movies?” She wondered.
“Er…you see it’s romantically themed. So other than the ticket, guys are supposed to go with their lovers to get admittance”
“Oh, I see. So your girlfriend doesn’t want to accompany you or what?” She pressed.
“Well, I don’t have a girlfriend…So I was wondering if you would accompany me.”
“I would love to but…” She trailed off.
“Let me think about it, I will give you my response.”
It was getting late so we turned back. I offered to buy us some supper but she turned down the offer saying her roommate had birthday party and she had snacked a lot. The walk back was interspersed with small talk and long moments of silence. Once at the gate, I bade her goodnight and took the stairs to our section. My roommates were preparing to go out for supper so I grabbed a jacket, slipped into shoes, and accompanied them out. As usual, there was a sizable crowd at Mama Karis’ food kiosk but we managed to find a spot all of us could fit into. She greeted us in her usual jovial manner and took our orders. Shortly after, we had steaming platefuls of mukimu; a delicious mixture of Irish potatoes, vegetables and what-not. We gobbled the delicious meal amid humorous exchanges with some other familiar guys from school. Before long we were done with the meal, each of us paid Mama Karis, and left for the hostels.
There was not much to do that evening so I took a quick shower and headed to the common room to watch some movies and catch the day’s news later on. The place was quite filled up but I managed to find an uncomfortable spot among some female students. Am always uncomfortable when I have to share spaces with unfamiliar ladies.
“Hi, is this seat reserved for anyone?” I asked nervously.
“No.” Two or three of them answered in unison.
I sank into the seat and trained my eyes on the TV screen. Although I pretended to focus on the TV, my thoughts were far away from the room. I was wondering whether Christine would agree to my invitation or not. Nothing interesting was going on in the TV so I left and went back to our room. Jimmy, Rashid, Swaleh, and Johnny were huddled around a laptop watching some movie. I got to my bunk and tried to watch from there.
“Hey, which movie is that?” I asked no one in particular.
“Twisted, a series.” Rashid answered.
I had watched the series for a couple of hours when I decided to check the time on my phone. A noticed the icon for a new Whatsapp message. I expected it to be Christine’s reply.
“Thanks for the book, have a lovely night. Sonia.” It read. She must have got my number from Raj. I hastily replied
“you’re welcome. G’night.”
In a way, I was disappointed because I so much wanted the message to be from Christine. Perhaps she does not want to accompany me, perhaps I made a complete fool of myself during the walk, perhaps…these thoughts rang in my head until I thought I should text her and ask about her decision. I almost did it but overcome the urge. I tried to get my attention back to the movie but I could not. So I just lied back on my bed and started fantasizing on what would happen the following day. After a while, my roommates got up and stretched while clicking their tongues, obviously the movie had left them in suspense. It was quite late and they were sleepy. I was glad for this because in other circumstances they would have realized I was not in my normal element and would have teased me on it.
My phone sounded a notification for a new message and this time it was from Christine.
“At what time is the movie showing?”
“1900hrs” I instantly replied.
“That’s quite late.” She posed.
“Well, not very late, the movie runs for only 123 minutes.”
“Ok, I will go if you promise to get me back by 2100hrs.”
“No sweat, we’ll be back by that time.”
“Ok, thanks for the invite. Have a goodnight.” She signed off.
“You’re welcome. Am glad you agreed to come. Goodnight :-)” I replied.
I was excited and this only made my insomnia worse. I tossed and turned for the better part of that night, wondering how the day will turn out and what this meant for the near future. I logged into my social media accounts, engaged with friends until I dozed off well into the night.
The following morning I got up quite late, about 8am, feeling groggy and confused. All of my roommates were awake but still in bed, squinting at their phones and tapping. It was my turn to buy breakfast so I laboriously peeled the covers away, changed from my PJs, put a thermos flask in a paper bag, and went out. Mama Karis’ kiosk was already a hive of activity as hawkers and morning birds swarmed in and out. I put the thermos on her makeshift counter and waited to be served.
“Good morning my son, the usual?” she greeted me smiling, as usual.
“Morning to you mathe, yes the usual” I replied.
She took the thermos, filled it with tea, wrapped some mandazi, and packed the package back into the paper bag. I thanked her, handed over cash, and left leisurely. No sooner had I set the package on the reading table than everyone scrambled out of their beds and made for the cupboard, for cups. Swaleh was first with his long gingerly feet. The cups were of different sizes, so the faster you were, the luckier you got in picking a bigger cup (we served tea according to the size of cup one had).
“Hey, where’s the green cup?” Johnny complained holding the thermos’ small inner cup. I smiled cunningly and extracted it deep from a pile of papers.
“You didn’t expect me bring breakfast and get the least share” I mumbled as the rest laughed at him.
“Wait and see, am going to buy an XL mug and I will be chaining it by the bed post.” He joked. More laughter.
“You should know straws are not that difficult to obtain…I will just right the chained cup and drink from it comfortably.” Jimmy had the rest of us laughing so hard we had to set our cups down. He was the funniest in the group. By the time we got to our senses, he had claimed his second share of tea. This meant only one more person could get a second share, Sounds unfair but we were used to it, otherwise we would have got a bigger thermos flask.
“You guys should leave the remaining tea to me. I got the smallest cup” Johnny lamented.
“Not our fault bro.” Rashid quipped as he took the thermos and set it between his legs, sending us reeling with more laughter. Johnny looked like he was about to cry so we implored Rashid to give him the tea. I loved the group’s camaraderie and wondered if I would ever get to meet such people again after school. Once through with breakfast, everyone took to their own affairs. I would have followed Johnny and Swaleh to do some laundry but most of my clothes were not even in the second phase of ‘recycling’ so I opted to go to the reading room and complete some assignments. As it is with most weekends, the reading room was almost empty, which I liked because I am easily distracted in large groups.
At half past noon I felt I could not go on so I closed my books and went back to the room. Jimmy and Rashid were about to go out. So I joined them.
“Where have Johnny and Swaleh disappeared to?” I asked as I fastened my shoelaces.
“Swaleh said he was going to check on a relative in Eastleigh and Johnny left with Helen to God knows where.” Rashid replied.
“I heard there are some fine eateries in Grogan, mind if we check them out?” Jimmy offered.
“Fine by me.” Rashid replied.
“Same here, we’ve become too regular at Mama Karis.” I joined.
We walked down the street quietly. It was hard to maintain a conversation while trying not to bump into oncoming human traffic on the narrow pavements. We branched into an alley, across a school field, and went over a sagging barbed wire fence to reach our destination. It was a small market, crammed with stalls selling anything, from third-hand shoes to designer jeans. Jimmy led the way as we weaved our way though the crowd jumping over muddy water puddles and ducking below second-hand clothes on display over the narrow passageways.
After an eternity, Jimmy ducked into a stall with a table and four benches around it. We followed suit and settled beside him. There was no sight of a food preparation area and the guy seated across from us seriously pored over his miraa, chewing away like a famished goat.
“Are you sure we are the right place.” Rashid echoed my sentiments as we looked around.
“Relax, I didn’t lead you here to just sit.” Jimmy quipped.
As if she was waiting for this question, a slender woman with an apron materialized from nowhere.
“I see you’ve brought me visitors, what can I get you?” She addressed Jimmy while surveying Rashid and me.
“Yes Amina, I promised I would. The usual, several chapatis and a plate of stew for each of us.” Jimmy responded as we joined the woman in laughing.
“Several could be a hundred you know.” She noted.
“Okay, bring six.” Jimmy told her.
A young man helped her bring our order from an adjacent stall. The stew smelled delicious, so we did not waste any time in setting upon it. Rashid and I could not help but grunt in appreciation of the tasteful food. Two chapatis are usually enough but Amina’s were so tasteful that we could not help but ask for one more each. We thought the meal would cost us an arm and a leg but we got quite surprised with how cheap it was. We left vowing to take our lunch at Amina’s place ever again. Johnny was already in the room when we got back.
“Where are you guys from. I’ve been to Mama Karis and all over but could not find you.” He demanded
“We’re just from the Hilton, you left with your sugar mummy without much notice. We were not sure if you would be back this early.” Rashid responded tongue-in-cheek.
“C’mon guys, she is not a sugar mummy. I was just showing her where to get her phone fixed.” John defended himself.
“As if there are no phone repair shops around…” I joined in teasing him.
“I would have said something but let me reserve it for another day.” Jimmy added.
“Think of it whichever way you choose.” Johnny responded, obviously agitated.
“So guys, what are you plans for the afternoon?” Rashid asked, gladly changing the topic.
“Thanks for asking, I almost forgot am supposed to see someone for some deal.” Jimmy said as he rose to leave.
“Okay, am headed to the football pitch for a training session, anyone care to join me?” Rashid offered.
“Am in, it’s long since I burned some fat.” Johnny said.
“I wish I could you join you guys but I have a movie date.” I said
“Where, girls are not allowed in here?” Rashid inquired.
“Of course not in here, a proper movie date, IMAX.” I replied with a tinge of pride.
“That’s super cool man! Who is this lady driving you to this?” Johnny beamed.
“Well, you’ll know in due course.” I answered
“Take some pictures, I wanna see how you two look together.” Rashid said as he picked his kit bag.
“I sure will.”
It was still early so I got down to the common room to see if there was anything interesting on the telly.
I was lucky to find an early kickoff English Premier League match was about to get underway. My favorite team, Manchester United was not playing but it was fun watching other teams playing too. After about close to two hours the referee blew the final whistle. I left immediately lest another match makes me late for the date.
It was approaching 1700hrs so I called Christine and informed her to get ready, Raj would pass by any moment to pick us. I took a shower, not that I was dirty or something, just to ward off some anxiety and boost my confidence. I picked dark blue denim jeans, a blue and white checkered short-sleeved shirt and brown black suede boots. I knew it was going to going to get cold so I took my black hooded jumper. A few minutes later, she called and said she was ready. I told her to wait for my call as Raj had not showed up yet. I was getting a little anxious so I took out my phone and tried to play some games. A few moments later Raj called to say he was at the gate. I called Christine and told her to meet us there. I then closed the door and flew down the stairs, three or four at a time, to join him.
“Dude! You look sharp!” Raj beamed.
“Thanks, you look nice too, actually way better.” I complimented him.
He was dressed in a black jacket, matching pants, and a white shirt. His gold watch rounded everything in style. Christine appeared a while later. I was not surprised with how gorgeous she looked. I had become used to her fine dressing habits. She was in a pink blouse with a flattering cleavage, not too much though, a navy blue blazer and dark blue dress jeans. Purple strappy sandals adorned her feet and on her hand, she held a clutch bag of a similar color. A fluffy, lavender scarf daintily covered her neck.
“You look ravishing my dear.” I complimented as I hugged her gently, muffling her ‘thank you’ along the way.
“This is my friend Raj, Raj this is Christine.” I introduced them as Raj stretched his arm forward rather quickly.
“Pleased to meet you Christine. I now understand why Edwin talks so fondly of you.” Raj said as he shook her hand smiling.
“Pleasure is mine Raj.” She responded genially.
Raj opened the right back door for her as I went round to get in through the left.
“So where is Cynthia?” I inquired about his girl.
“We’ll pick her in town, she left earlier for some family errands.” He replied.
We chatted casually as Raj maneuvered us around the uncharacteristically light Nairobi traffic. He stopped at Archives and a beautiful lady with a chocolate complexion strutted over to the car.
“Hello sweetheart, I was worried we might miss you.” Raj greeted her as he opened the passenger’s door.
“Hello dear, you didn’t have to. I would have come to IMAX anyway.” She said as she leaned to peck him.
Raj introduced us to Cynthia and we proceeded to IMAX. The venue was already teaming with humanity although it was about an hour early. We alighted and Raj drove on to find a parking spot. He joined us a while later and we proceeded to tour the theatre. I was impressed with the facilities there. I had never seen a screen so large, it was about 20 meters wide and 5 meters high. Additionally, it was curved to give the audience the best watching experience. We went out a short while later because admission was about to begin. Raj and I got some popcorns and soft drinks and joined the ladies in having our tickets checked. We proceeded to take our seats way into the middle of the theatre. Some trailers for upcoming movies were playing on the big screen. The clarity of the giant screen, coupled with the dynamic surround sound system was amazing. The whole experience made one feel like they were part of a movie and not just spectators. After what seemed like an eternal looping of about 5 trailers, the screen went dark and the lights in the theatre dimmed. The movies was about to begin. Patrons quickly settled into their seats and the theatre grew silent. The titles for “The Notebook” started appearing on the screen. I was glad to see Rachel McAdams in the cast. I had watched some of her later movies like “The Vow” and loved her charisma and energy. Ryan Gosling also played his part quite well. The movie’s storyline was quite riveting and during some of its edgy plot twists Christine would weave her hand to mine and squeeze gently. I applied light pressure back, not sure how much was too much. From the corner of my eye, I could see Cynthia had got to a point she laid her head on Raj’s shoulder and he kept stroking her black silky and long hair. I tried feeding Christine some popcorns but it clearly did not work as she was too engaged in the movie. In one scene, where the main characters had to be forcefully separated, I could see tears well in Christine’s eyes. I took out a handkerchief and offered it to her. She took it, smiled sweetly, mouthed a “thank you,” and proceeded to dab her eyes gently. Toward the end of the movie, Christine’s head was on my shoulder. We stayed in that position until the end of the movie. I stepped out, took her hand, and led her out to the aisle. Raj followed suit and we made our way out of the theatre slowly, everyone had his or her date arm-in-arm. Some bold ones were still in their seats making out.
“Boy! Wasn’t that moving?” Exclaimed Raj as we took in the cold Nairobi air.
“It was captivating, really captivating. What do you think of it Christine?“ I posed.
“Well, I have no words to describe its awesomeness.” She replied calmly.
“Like Christine, no words.” Cynthia said in response to our questioning stares.
“We better get going before Cynthia’s curfew expires.” Raj said as he took her arm and made for the car. We went after them, Christine’s arm still in mine. Raj opened the passenger door for Cynthia and went round to settle in the driver’s seat. I opened the door for Christine and went in after her. Raj reversed from the parking spot and slowly joined the slowly growing traffic. There were few cars on the street so Raj sped like he loved. Since they lived in the same neighborhood with Cynthia, he dropped us first at the hostel’s gate. I expressed my gratitude to Raj and we bade them goodnight. We slowly made for the entrance.
“Let’s get some supper before the café closes for the night.” I offered. She tried to turn the offer down but I insisted and she agreed on condition it would be takeaway. I would have loved to eat with her but I did not want to ruin the superb evening with unnecessary quibbling. We proceeded to the café. Luckily, it was not crowded. She ordered some fries and chicken. I had no appetite so I just asked for some yoghurt and cakes. The attendant wrapped our orders separately. I was about to pay but she insisted on settling the bill and I gave in eventually. We slowly made our way back as she animatedly gave me her insights into the movie. Once at the gate, we stood in silence for a while not knowing how to part, I opened my arms and Christine gladly advanced. I enveloped her tightly, gently caressing her back. After a while, she gently pushed me back then stared into my eyes sleepily. I slowly brought my face near hers. Her lips had started to part when the gate clanked. We slowly let go of each other. Some female students got out, eyed us cunningly, and made for the café.
“Thank for everything.” She found her voice before I could find mine.
“You’re welcome, it’s no big deal.” I responded.
“If you say so. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.” She added
“I am glad you did.”
“Ok then, I guess I should go now.” She leaned forward and gave me a quick clumsy peck and before I could respond in any way she had disappeared into the girls section.
I smiled gleefully and made my way to our section. The boys were huddled around the laptop, watching “Twisted.”
“Mr. Lover boy is back.” Rashid commented without turning his head.
“Yes I am.” I replied
“How was every…”
“Shut the f*** up, or go and converse outside.” Retorted Jimmy, visibly agitated.
“All right, don’t eat me.” complied Rashid.
I shared some cake with them and proceeded to consume my supper quietly. Once done, I threw the wrappers into the dustbin and went to brush my teeth. I then changed into PJs and jumped to bed. It was still early but I did not feel like doing anything that would erase the effects of the evening. There was no question that I was now madly in love with Christine. It had happened gradually, yet so powerfully that I felt like a different person. Though I had expressed my gratitude earlier, I felt obliged to text Raj and tell him how happy I was about everything he had done. This I did and he replied in his usual way, dismissing it as a minor thing. Shortly after, Sonia’s text came in.
“Hi, I hope you had fun today”
“We did, it was awesome.” I replied feeling a little guilty.
“I would have joined you guys but I did not have a date.” Another text from her said.
“Am sorry about that, there’s always next time.” I replied not knowing what else to say.
“It’ ok. Wanted to call you up but Raj said you already had someone, lol!” she texted. I knew the ‘lol’ was meant to trivialize the message. I suspected there was more to it. I was a little mad at Raj for lying. I did not remember telling him I had a date at any moment. He intentionally lied to his sister to keep her from me. Nonetheless, I was happy that it led to led to my hooking up with Christine.
“Well, I found someone just in time.” I replied to Sonia’s text
“Just in time? You were not seeing her before?” She challenged. I did not like the direction this chat was taking.
“Ok, thanks for the book by the way. I like it.” She changed the subject.
“Am glad you do.”
“Ok, I should be thro’ with it 2moro. Will drop it as I head to our school for some function.” She texted.
“It’s ok. I’ll be around at that time.”
“See you then, swt dreams.” she signed off.
“Sleep well.” I replied.
I wanted to text Christine but could not come up with the words to start a conversation. So I just decided to wish her a good night.
“Sleep like a baby, luv u.”
“Excuse me?” a reply came instantaneously. The reply did not sound right. On closer observation, I was shocked to realize it was from Sonia. I had accidentally sent her the message. Before I could send an apology, another text followed.
“You’re probably drunk, go to sleep.” It was from Sonia again. I tried to dial her number to explain everything and offer my apologies but the operator said her phone was off. I tried 3 times more to no avail. The matter seemed trivial but I don’t know if Sonia would understand the message was not meant for her, especially given that we had some subtle attraction to one another…which made the situation more awkward. Sleep was overwhelming me, so I drifted off before coming up with a sensible explanation that would make her understand the message was not meant for her without hurting her feelings.