Written by Okumu Kenneth
Nostalgia is like good music; when it hits you, you feel no pain. However, there are those moments that play back in the head that weren’t as good. Those that were painful. Then there are those moments that when you recall, you savor. Those that you wish would reoccur. But hey! That’s life. The clock keeps on ticking.
We were freshmen, straight into college. I talk so much about my first year in college because it was a fascinating experience. No, a crazy one. Well, a combination of both. We were a bit confused at first, but later outgrew it. Only mad people don’t outgrow confusion. It’s safe to say that if I hadn’t outgrown it, then I wouldn’t be writing this. Honestly.
So, I happened to have been allocated a room with Ted and Francis. Ted-those who’ve met him-will tell you that he’s a cool guy. Francis, another cool guy. I can’t really complain. Wait, I’m being too modest here; I was lucky. We would chat late into the night about how high school life used to be. We unanimously agreed that it was the best life. Ironically, we agreed also that it was prison. I’m still trying to figure out how prison can be the best life. Help me out!
Overtime, we found it boring and decided to venture out. We wanted to listen to the stories of other people as well. Ted and myself. Francis was, is still, a low-key guy so most of the times he locked himself up inside the room. Only God knows what he used to do there alone. Oh, and himself. Ted and I would go and join the other guys seated somewhere outside D2. We would talk about high school and what we’d wanted to pursue. I remember someone saying that he’d wanted to become a medical doctor. We all looked at him and laughed. God must have had a hand because frankly, he’d be killing people.
It got boring after a while also. I asked Ted if we could try out going to D6 to talk to girls and he said yes. That yes was accompanied by emotions. I’m not sure I can patch-up the right words to describe it. Ted used to love girls. I don’t know if he still does. Let’s be honest, we all know the answer to that, don’t we? Never underestimate the power of feminine energy. Oh, before I forget, this was roughly two weeks after we had joined. We had plenty of time at our disposal. I mean, when the units you have are things like HIV, Introduction to Accounting, Introduction to something else…
The idea of going to D6 had been created by myself, so I was to provide the solution. Okay, D6. D6 is quite big, where exactly? I had no answer to that. Even with my pair of khaki trousers, a designer shirt, a leather belt and some nice loafer shoes, I hadn’t gathered enough courage yet to approach a girl. Hold on, I’ll say it; I never thought I was as handsome. I only got my confidence boosted immensely recently when a girl told me that I was actually very handsome. That girl, is now my girlfriend. I’m that fast.
Luckily, Ted offered to help out. He already had a few numbers. Among those he had, he chose, I’d like to think, the one who had impressed him most. So daily, we used to go to D6. Yeah, you read that right; daily. And guess what? We were better off. There were those who used to visit d6 on an hourly basis. It wasn’t an awkward thing to meet a girl walking out of the shower rooms in say, D2. What was awkward was meeting a guy coming out of a loo in d6. It was normal for boys to visit girls and vice versa.
We would go to d6 with Ted and break only for our meals and classes and then we’d be back again. At the time, there was no fear that the girls would get used to us and in the long-run get bored. We would get back to our room late into the night only to meet Francis listening to music. Lad didn’t even ask questions. Not that we wanted any queries anyway. Fine by us.
They used to be four in their room. Three were stunning but one, one was just pretty and not stunning. But close. Interestingly, she was the one who had caught my eye. I didn’t know who had caught Ted’s until I asked. I asked the question when we were inside our room two weeks after we’d been going to d6. And it was as direct as you’d get, “Buda, unadai mgani apo?” He never disappointed, “Jane (not really name) ndio amenikill.” I wanted the answer that way. Straightforward. I also wanted Jane but I lied,” Mimi ni Becky (not real name) aki ya walai.”
Soon, I got Jane’s number. I also got to know that Ted had done the same. We stopped making trips to d6 and started making trips to the…phone messages. That was where the game was getting played. And eventually, one team had to win. Ted didn’t know however, that he was my rival. I did.
You see, he used to show me the text messages between him and Jane. How sometimes he’d be rebuffed. At the same time, I was also chatting with the same girl. Awkward, right? Okay…this is how he found out…
I remember it was drizzling outside. It was around midnight when I received a text message from Jane. It read, “Can I come over?” I couldn’t believe it so my reply was, “What?” She wrote back, “What you just read.” I almost froze. Francis was dead asleep. Ted wasn’t in the room. Sometimes he never used to come so I thought maybe it was one of those days that he chose not to sleep in the room. Perfect.
I assumed because she’d not asked about Ted, she was well aware that he wasn’t around. Intelligent girl, I thought. Thirty minutes later and my thoughts had completely changed. Stupid girl. I mulled over that text quickly and then wrote back,” As fast as you can.” Three minutes later, she was right at the door step. I was impressed. Looks like she was in dire need of a breathing blanket. Or even more. I’d find out. Condoms were within my reach. Oops! I said it. I mean, was there any chance that she was looking for…eerr…notes?
I yanked the door open slowly so that Francis could not hear. Very stupid idea considering we weren’t going to be speaking in gestures. Or maybe she was there for business and that business alone? I’d find out. I welcomed her with an embrace. I found it absurd that she held on tightly. The hairs at the back of my neck stood. It wasn’t a good sign. We were just getting started. Christ!
We sat on the bed after I’d told her that it was enough. I had to because she wasn’t looking like she’d let go anytime soon. There was silence between us. What could be heard was the pounding of our heartbeats. And, the movement of Francis on his bed. I wasn’t thinking about Ted. The door hadn’t even been closed. I was that confident he wasn’t going to show up. I moved closer and held her hand. It was electrifying. I was crazy, really crazy. She sat there silently, her eyes popped out. Suggestively, she stretched the other hand. Playing to the tune, I took it and brought her closer…
Now that she was close, I lifted my left hand and placed my palm on her cheeks, then started moving my head slowly towards hers so that our lips could meet, only for Ted to walk in on us. Busted! He’d found us. Jane stood immediately and left. Ted apologized for interrupting. When I asked later on if it was okay with him, he said yes.
Three years later and we’ve never talked about Jane again. I don’t like to bring it up. I’m not even sure if he’s okay with what happened. I’m tempted to think that he lied. That’s why I wrote this. I hope he responds because I want to know the truth. I deserve to know the truth.
What about Jane? Well, it’s always awkward when meet. None of us ended up with her for obvious reasons.
Images are courtesy of Incsix photography, captured during #CUCKEnvironmentalDay