Babe! Wine on me tonight, you in? She asked.
Always. I said in jest.
Haha! Did I really need to ask?
The question should have been, “Red or white”?
Noted. Shall we do this again?
Haha, Let’s pretend it’s what you asked and I’ll say red.
Ah! You too? Red wine is for fussers. Women who drink red wine whine a lot. See what I did there? Then she laughs causing me laugh. I don’t know if it’s the wine that dissolves into tears or it’s this lot of women that is just naturally vulnerable. These girls, you’ll catch them in their spaces sipping the wine while listening to Adele turning their waterworks. You do that Wanjiku? She said it exactly like that by the way.
Haha! You are buying wine today. Let’s find out how true that is.
So anyway how are you? How have you been? Who is breaking your heart? She asked.
Cate is another lass I met on Instagram. I don’t know how we ended up following each other but I know we started talking after that first story I did on Pregnancy and Parenthood. Y’all remember the Eunice story? No? find it here. She slide to my DM with her sentiments to Eunice then mentioned she was going to share hers with me one day. Looks like that day is today. I will not be able to paint a picture of how she looks because I don’t know either. She has no photos of her online except one with two other women with a caption “girls day out.” If my intuition is anything to go by, she’s the chocolate one with a black polka dot dress and yellow heels.
“The list is quite long. I don’t know where to start.” I said in response to her last question, intentionally ingoring the rest. “But again I don’t want to bore you over your wine date. Let’s drink mine another day.”
As it should… So, where do I start?
I read your DM. You were a sexual deviant, you said? Fill my glass from there.
Okay, you see, I first had coitus when I joined theatre in 2010. I was 20. I had joined Beauty School about six month before theatre. After a few weeks in school, I realised I was a senior citizen who deserved some freedom and space. So we combined efforts with a friend I’d made and we got a room at Pangani. Months into it, rent and other bills submerged our excitement and our ship was sinking. Sinking fast. We needed a job – our ship needed to produce more upthrust. She knew people. That’s how our ship docked at the theatre.
My dad was dead set against it. But you know how bull-headed young blood can get. Especially when it has thrashed its way and partaken in the prestige of freedom. We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it is forever. My mum intervened on my behalf because she saw how glued I was to this course. I overheard her tell my mzee to allow me pursue my dreams and offer his support to shun off rebellion, because I was going to join anyway. He did. My mum warned me to be careful. “Cate take care. Freedom is gold and freedom is a bullet. Many people miss the gold but the bullet, you don’t miss twice. It cuts across the chest damaging the vitals beyond repair. Be very careful.” Her words one hundred percent.
In theatre, there’s something called traveling (stress the ‘ling’) that’s how she called it. Traveling is where a particular play is sold, could be within the city or in other regions so the casts have to travel to perform.
What’s the one place where you performed?
We did setbooks for schools. Both in Nairobi and outside.
Aha! I get it. I remember we had a crew perform Kifo Kisimani back in High School. Was that you?
Haha! Which School and year?
So I told her…
It couldn’t have been me. I never got to perform there. That’s how we made our rent. It was exciting. Also that was the preface of my sexual pilgrimage. I still don’t understand how people relate sex to love. In essense, there’s sex and then there’s love. Those two are not of the same blood. There, everyone was bonking with everyone. You had a boyfriend today and tomorrow he had turned his energy to Shanice. Shanice is the girl who was sleeping with the director because she is pretty, petite with fair skin. Today, the director has moved on with Sam. Sam for Samantha, who just joined so he has dropped Shanice. It was a circle of affairs and if you caught feelings, you either fought for your man, and I mean physical fight; there was a lot of tearing skirts to embarrass one another, a lot scratching eyes out, and if you were ever fortunate to catch your opponent’s hair, that gave you a little more leverege, so you did it with both hands. We fought a good one. But eventually the man was at the disposal of whoever he wanted and how long he wanted it.
It was there I met Jose. Not his real name. He was my first fancy man. It was him that took my virtuousness. Looking back, that was a door I should never have walked into. I must have missed that what my mum meant when she said ‘take care’ was that he who sups with the devil, must have a long spoon. I had none of that. Jose taught me all the heres and theres of pleasure. It was the only thing we did and all we talked about. So for me that was love. We could do it anywhere; In the bus while traveling to and from shows, in nightclub bathrooms, at the back seat of his friend’s car when driving on road trips, along the corridors, on the stairs of the flat he lived in… I perfected my skill around the point north of his compass and I became a robber always ready to be cuffed. We were jumping on each other like hungry wolves every damn second. I got attached. More like an obssession. I knew he was sleeping with other girls from theatre and even outside, but it didn’t bother me enough to leave him. Only enough to pull girl’s hairs and tear their costumes when I caught them pants down. It’s not once I went to his house unannounced only to end up in a cat fight with a girl. Then I would be blamed for sneaking into people’s privacy without consent. I became some type of animal. Nothing troubled me as long as I was getting some John Thomas sticking in my thigh gap .
Late 2012, Jose quit theatre. He changed his number and moved from the flat. We lost contact. Having gotten used to having regular union – it’s like a drug. I was not okay for a month. I was actively looking for him in all the spaces I imagined he would be at. Looking up social media. He had blocked me and my friends. I was calling and sneaking up on his friends with the hopes of finding him with one of them. None of my attempts found a place in the sun. Bit by bit, I started getting used to the actuality of the matter. I started seeking satisfaction elsewhere. I was sleeping with ken. Also from theatre. It was not enough. It was not like Jose. I got Chris, I got Mark… within the same month I had been laid by nearly all of them. You can imagine the shame and the guilt. But still, I wasn’t getting enough. I wanted more. Soon none of them wanted me. I started having random one night stands with random guys from nightclubs on weekends. I would wake up in strange beds. Sometimes I could not tell how I got there and with a man whose name I hadn’t gotten.
All these encounters, were they protected?
Huh! there was no time for consciousness. I would launch into sensible thinking long after the damage was done. I would sulk in my room for days, my air saturated with remorse. So often I vowed to put a leash on myself. I started journaling. I put in black and white each and every guy I had been with, where and how it felt. I made it my religion to read them to myself in an attempt accord myself a sense of accountability. But I kept falling from the cracks. Within that year, 2012, I had lost count of the men I had slept with. My self esteem had been slain. You know how humiliating that is for a woman. I couldn’t look myself in the mirror anymore. I felt like trash. I felt like everyone could smell the filth a mile away. I lost friends. Both male and female. I was lonely. Now I was drinking more. Everyday. I lost weight, I lost glory. I couldn’t stay sober a minute. My thoughts tortured me. I felt unwanted, undesirable, worthless and wreckless. I quit theatre out of shame. I went back home. My mum, oh God bless that woman. She was praying everyday over my life. I would hear her talking to her God about me every morning. Through her friend, I got a job at a posh parlour in town along Kimathi Street towards the end of 2013. I was that massage girl. That, somehow helped me pick up bits of my esteem.
I’m tempted to ask eh, did you ever offer after service to your clients?
After service was my job description what do you mean…Haha. Anyway I get it. Well not offer per se. It’s more of I did fall into temptation a couple of times. Until I met Caleb. He was not a client. He had a thrift shop along Moi Avenue and he used to pass by our parlor often. He was friends with one of the barbers. He liked me and I knew it. I liked him too. So we started talking till we ended up in his bedsitter in Kangemi one evening. He was Jose in all feasting mannerisms. I started going to his place every day after work and eventually started living in sin. It was perfect until a string of affairs crept into our connubial bed months into the situationship. There were strange girls stuff in the house sometimes. He would say he collected them from Gikomba when shopping for stock. There were girls bringing him lunch at the shop. Girls helping him close down in the evening and eventually, he was sleeping out very often. He’d come home days later. We would fight like cats and dogs. Then he would ooze his spermatozoa inside me in quest for reconciliation. It became a routine. And that was love for me. As long as I was the one in his house, then I must have mattered. Gradually, I started drinking again and smoking this time.
Everything smokable. I was hooked on dunhill. It relieved all the tension threatening to build up in my nerves. Eventually it started affecting my work – started missing work a lot in a week. I was served a warning letter. That was enough to sort of bring me to my sense. It reminded me how much the job meant to me and my mum. I couldn’t afford to lose it. Also, that was the only space I felt appreciated for something other than sex. It was the only place I gave something other than my body. My clients loved me. They tipped me well enough to keep me fired up with enthusiasm.
It was in that line of duty that I met my husband, Samuel. That was November 2014 when we started talking. This man is the real jewel in my crown. When I met him, I was still dating Caleb. He was a biweekly client. To be honest, I had a crush on him. But it was an out of sight out of mind kind of thing. I never quite imagined anything between us. He’s a introvert. A thing with these people, you can never tell their interests. They are snobbish and self-absorbed. Over the span I served him before dating, he never once looked at me. Even when I spoke to him. He was cold and unwelcoming. It’s like I never existed to him. He came in and left. This one time after he had left, I went on ranting and raving over his annoying poker-face and self conceit. Imagine I wished him a good evening on his way out, but no! This boy would not even turn to me a bit or say the word back. He served me a thumbs up his gaze still fixed on his phone. What tha! Mike, one of the barbers, playfully mentioned that I was acting like a girl in love. We both laughed. It was a joke and it was funny.
The next time Samuel came for his appointment. Mike was unsettled. He kept throwing suspicious glances at me then at him. Sam eventually noticed the tension. There’s a way men look at each other and they understand other’s none verbal cues. Haka kaschana kanakuanga kamekufa na wewe boss yangu na ni kama huonangi. Mike said looking at me. I had an egg on my face. It was after that day that Samuel started looking at me, smiling with me and eventually started talking to me. He would look at me through the mirror when I massaged his scalp and neck then he would shut his eyes and smile. This went on a couple of times until one time he asked me out for coffee. I took it literally to mean coffee. Like coffee. He took me to Kilimanjaro, by then it was along Kimathi Street. Just close by. I was used to hooking up with my men in clubs or at their houses. That for me, was a transition. I had butterflies in my stomach. I couldn’t have gone home to Caleb after that. I called my sister. A month later, I tested positive for pregnancy. Wait! before you ask, No, It wasn’t his. I hadn’t been with him like that. I felt my heart break inside my chest. I didn’t know how to tell him. So I started avoiding him. I ignored his calls and messages. One evening I went to Caleb’s to tell him about it. That was like the last straw. He didn’t take that news so well especially because things had changed between us after Sam got into the picture. He was resentful and insultive. We were yelling at each other’s face. He got physical. He stroke my belly with his foot so hard I dropped to the floor. He followed me, pressing his knee against my neck hard, harder… vibrating in fury like a hungry hornet. I nearly lost my breath. He must have come to his senses when he realized he was taking my breath away literally. He got off me. I was struggling to breathe. I was bleeding. He didn’t care. He asked me out of his house. I called my sister. She’s a life saver that one.
I took a few days off to medicate and stuff. The day I returned to work was the same day Samuel had his appointment… I couldn’t avoid him anymore. I couldn’t talk to him either. I offered him my diary. I never saw or heard from him for weeks. Some days I would type a whole text out of concern only to end up deleting everything before I could press send. I wanted to call him but l was a scaredy-cat. I was anxious. I was afraid I caused a black mark on his image of me. This is a man I allowed to go through my deplorable past.
He showed up one evening with my diary clutched to his chest smiling like a Cheshire cat . He stood so close I could hear his heart beat. He kissed my forehead. We did his shave, did dinner then dropped me off at my sister’s.
My pregnancy was a bumpy one. I had severe backaches and abdominal pains every so often that eventually had me quit work. I went back home. Samuel, by all means I believe was preordained specially for me. He was in my corner through it all.
When I gave birth, my mum proposed to tell Caleb about it. You know, to avoid instances where he would claim he was shut out. She called him. He said without frills that he wasn’t interested. My mum hung up. She’s too lenient that woman. If it were up to me, that would have been the limit. But my mum, No! She insisted we allow him some time to reach an acceptance. She called him again after about 5 months. His reaction was the very same. He said the baby wasn’t his and he could care less even if it was. “That’s really the best of both worlds” She said after she hung up.
We got married in November 2016 and had our daughter in 2018. It’s now five years of love. A love predestined. Everytime he kisses my forhead, only I know what he means. It tells me that thing Daphne from Bridgerton told the Duke. “Just because something is not perfect, does not make it any less worthy of love.”
Wow! That wine has got me tipsy.
One question though, will you ever tell your son of his biological identity?
Well, I haven’t found the reason to tell him for now. In due time may be.
Okay! It’s life yeah?
Have a good one Cate. Catch you later.
Till next week coms.
Also note we have done this post on Wednesday due to unavoidable circumstances. We resume our normal programming #MondayBluez next week.