Girl meets boy in a bar. It is furahiday and most Kenyans know what this day means; time to unwind and take a breather from a stressful week of work, work and more work. All work and no play sure makes Jill a very dull girl. Jill does not like that.
The girl is almost 30, lives alone in her very well maintained flat in one of Nairobi’s up market estates. She hopes to settle down some day soon, but her all round working schedule does nothing to facilitate the meeting with the man of her dreams. She therefore makes a habit of going out every weekend, hoping to meet the ‘one’ man who will complete her world. She believes that she will recognize him when she sets eyes on him. They will date, he will fall head over heels in love with her, and they will have a stable and happy relationship. Soon after, he will go down on his knees and ask her to marry him. She will accept. In a few months, she will walk down the isle and say “I do”, making him the happiest man in the world.
The boy in her dreams looks like the guy seated across the room, in the corner of the now familiar bar. The girl comes to this bar every other week with her friends and colleagues, for some drinks and laughs, just to have a good time. They talk about work, life and nothing in particular; dance to the good music (they always play good music) and then if any of them meets someone, they tactfully let them be, as the night of fun continues. If they meet no one, well they have their drinks, the good music, and each other for good company. Anything but the lonely and quiet solitude of their apartments. No one wants to go home to that. God forbid, not on a furahiday.
The guy who seems to have come alive from her dreams. gives her the looks. You know those glances that seem to say ‘I am interested in you’. She returns his looks, and for a minute they stare at each other before she looks away, pretending to be engrossed in conversation with her friends. Then she laughs for his benefit. Did what her friend say sound funny? She doesn’t think so, but she doesn’t care, as long as the man from her dreams believes that she is having a good time.
In a while, the waiter fills their table with drinks. Her friends are surprised since they have not ordered for another round yet, but she is not. Her dream man, formerly known as the man from her dreams, has made his first move. She smiles at him in gratitude and thanks the waiter. She then goes ahead to fill her friends in. They ‘wow’ and give her man a look of evaluation. Impressive, they say. He seems ‘loaded’ and he is good looking too! Quite a catch.
By now, their interest has been piqued, and they are no longer engrossed in conversation as before. They know that they have not heard the last from her dream man.
Soon he gathers the courage to come over to their table. He asks her to join him at his table. “The colleague I was expecting from work has stood me up, and I hate to drink alone on such a lovely night”, he says. She is not sure and looks over at her friends for assurance. They don’t mind, they say and nudge her to go with the good-looking charmer. She obliges.
At his table, she is at first nervous but soon the drinks warm her up. They talk about nothing in particular, and everything in general. She gets to hear so many complements. Words of endearment flow endlessly from her dream guy, and she gets quite comfortable.
The night wears on. One of her friends comes over to check on her. The friends beg to leave if that is alright with her. She is not sure. Her dream man settles it all by promising to drop her home, not to worry. Her friends leave, happy that she is in good company. She stays behind seeing no need to end a wonderful night in the company of a great guy. According to her dreams, he is the ‘one’. Who is she to question her own dreams? The more she talks to him, the more he seems to fit into her future.
It’s almost closing time for the busy joint. It is really late, but who cares? Not her. She is not working the next day, and she will have the whole Saturday morning to sleep in. As far as she is concerned, she can stay up the whole night. They dance, drink some more, and have a wonderful time.
When they finally decide to leave, they are both drunk and can barely walk. He guides her to his car, and before he drives away into the night, kisses her and thanks her for the wonderful time he had with her. Since she is tired and drank, could she spend the night at his place then he will take her home in the morning? – Dream guy wants to know. She smiles mischievously and tries to find out what his intentions are. He assures her that he is a gentleman and is not one to take advantage of women. She agrees to spend the night at his place. He makes to kiss her again and she hesitates.
She wants to ask him many questions; “If I kiss you tonight, will you still love me in the morning? Will you respect me tomorrow? Will you tell me good morning then, while you lie there in bed or will you be gone before I wake up?” But she decides not to ask. Why spoil a perfect moment, a perfect night? So she closes her eyes and succumbs to the honey-sweet kisses.
She wakes up in a hotel room-this is definitely not anyone’s home. Not her dream man’s home for sure. It’s all coming back; last night was wild. She is naked.
She lies fully awake now but not sure what to do next and as if in continuation from last night’s thoughts before the kiss; she wonders, “Does he still love me this morning? After kissing every inch of me, under the fake lighting? Does he still want me today?”
Then she turns around slowly, to look at the other side of the bed. She is apprehensive, her heart beating fast. She touches the side of the bed where he lay last night. Her heart sinks. Her instincts had been right. He is gone.
In her search for the ‘one’, she ended up being the one night stand. Chips Funga. She feels used, and can barely look at herself.
Will you still love me in the morning?
How she longs to hear the scripted reply to that question – “Forever and ever babe.”
Oh, how she longs to hear that reply!
This article was first published on the East Africa In Focus Website