A long, long time ago, I can still remember (did you just think of the song “American Pie”? Well, I did – beautiful song) going out on a date with this guy who was in campus. (That song; God, I am old school!) He suggested a not-too-shabby coffee house in town, one that was of course friendly to his allowance-financed pocket. Or so I thought.
I took coffee, he took tea. Those were the days when coffee, very strong coffee was my everyday fix.
We then got to talking. Getting to know each other and stuff.
This date was interesting. It was a blind date. He had called my place of work and I had picked the call only for him to tell me that he had called the wrong number. Then instead of hanging up, he asked for my name.
“Interesting name”, he said.
“I get that a lot” I chuckled.
We talked about something (don’t remember what – it’s a long time ago remember?) for hours and from then on, he made it a habit to call the supposed wrong number every single day.
We eventually agreed to meet. What could be the harm anyway? Right?
I am all spruced up. Wearing my very nice pair of jeans and a hugging top that showed just enough cleavage. You know, not too much but still some. I was tiny at the time. My tummy and the pot belly had never met. They’d heard of each other, but never made each other’s acquaintance. Yet.
I was young and kinda shy. All giggly and smiley (sigh!)
I found him waiting. Not that I was late. No, he was early. We did not have mobile phones then. And I only had a description of his dressing to spot him by. Even though I had never seen him before, I knew it was him when I laid eyes on him. There is a way you recognize someone you are supposed to meet for the first time. They are always just as antsy as you are. Looking around trying to figure out who in the crowd is waiting just like them. Then there are people who just look like their voices. He was such a guy. His voice and his face fit perfectly together. There are also people whose voices and faces are a great mismatch but let’s not get started on those ones. Like tiny body frame, big booming voice…what!
He was in campus – University of Nairobi, he said. Don’t remember what he studied in campus (bad memory). We had a lot in common I think, otherwise we would not have carried out those endless conversations. Yes, we must have had a lot in common. I don’t remember any awkward moments or blunders on my part as well as his; therefore I will go right ahead and say that the blind date went well.
We then walked out of the coffee house, and had to cross the road. He would walk me to the bus stage, he offered. How nice, I thought. It was a busy evening – must have been a Friday. You know Nairobi traffic and Fridays, don’t you? We waited for the traffic to ease.
That is when he stretched out his hand and touched me on the shoulder.
I never picked his calls again.
Go on, ask.
Well, he touched me! It did not feel right. It was moving too fast. I wasn’t ready for that kind of commitment. He…he touched me! It had to end.
I know what you are thinking; it hadn’t even started fool!
First, I take offense at the insult. Second, there was something about his touch that just didn’t feel right. So call me crazy because that is my middle name. But don’t call me fool.
I recently thought about the blind date and wondered what could have happened with this ‘touchy’ guy had things moved forward. I have been trying to analyze why I felt so repulsed by his touch. Could he have been a serial killer passing off as a campus student? Was he a rapist? Maybe he was married perhaps? To a very pretty very committed wife who bragged to her friends how faithful and loving her husband is?
Or was he really a student and I, a young girl overreacting to an innocent touch?
Nah! He was a serial killer. Most definitely a serial killer.
Damn! I don’t even remember his name?
This post was first published on the Storymoja Festival Blog