Dawn comes easily this Friday morning as you have just cum too. You needed to. You’d been mad at him the previous night – or early morning – when he’d finally decided to show up. 1:30 am to be precise. You couldn’t sleep. For three weeks, this tug deep inside your heart told you something was amok. Oh and it tugged, strongly like diarrhea but flickering like a hand lamp flame. One thing though, you cannot decide whether your boyfriend of three months is already cheating or is yet to decide if to cheat.
You know that feeling? Where you look at him smiling on the phone only for him to avoid looking directly at you afterwards. You know it. So you lay on your bed facing the ceiling, left hand on your neck, right hand in your panties, strumming. You think of that last text you sent at midnight. “If you’ve not left where you are, please don’t come to my place. I’m mad and it will only make things worse.” You’ve not received a reply so you wonder if he’ll have the chutzpah to show.
Then like a mystery revealed, you watch as his ghostly shadow waltzes past your bedroom window. You watch it hesitate for a jiffy. A hand rises up to the doorbell. He doesn’t have a key. You’ve shared some reservations about him. You lay there for a few seconds longer wondering about him and then you go to the door to let him in. His face seems tense. Not in the ‘sorry-am-late’ way. Nope. In the ‘am-ready-to-argue’ kind. Arrogance slowly wafts in and he follows so quickly the two seem one. He doesn’t smell of alcohol and your heart falls. You’d rather if he’d been drinking. You don’t dare think too much, so you go to bed and remaine quiet. He joins you and you lay there, both lost in thoughts, pride and darkness. Then, as norm, he quietly says, “Please come.” It is his usual coax to make up. You turn to him and he holds you in silent apologies.
You are burning up by 5 am. It’s a chilly July morning and your loins beg to compensate. Still tangled up in his arms, you trace a finger from his neck, chest and lower to his navel where you pause a little to feel him stir. His hand goes to yours and leads it lower until you encircle him. He is awake alright. Awake like flag poles on Friday mornings. You trace small kisses along the necks, ears, chins and eyes of each other. Then in one swift motion, he lifts you to him, joining you. You don’t speak, just move up and down gyrating to the center of each other. The turbulence in your soul gathers up in one place where your finger now drums in rhythm to your fastening heartbeat. Up and up you rise to a crescendo of moans, grunts and the tightest embrace. You cum thinking of Americanah’s Obinze.
The lights do not go on when you try the switch. You are on work-leave ergo, no need to be up. But he has an early meeting and with the blackout, you need to warm some water and make breakfast. You pull away from him and he raises his eyes to meet yours. He grabs your arm and pulls you to him. “You’re amazing,” he says. You smile, pull away, grabbing a night robe that lies on the floor and saunter off to the kitchen. You’ve only owned three cooking pots since campus days, the biggest of which you now fill with water and put to boil. Your hand then goes to the back door to push. It opens to the balcony, your thoughts and the sunrise. It is chilly. You don’t see sun; only the whitish-grays of cumulonimbus that assembles not ominously, just without promise. Your balcony view is made of two unfinished apartment blocks to the right and about an acre of land spread with a few lonely maize plants out there fighting breeze and land developers.
He says something as he walks towards the bathroom. You’re not listening as you try to find the right music on your phone’s playlist. You find Imogen Heap’s Earth. Imogen’s sultry melancholic voice wafts through the kitchen, “You’re not golden and I’m getting tired…”
His morning routine involves a 10 minutes stay in the bathroom. It’s his time to clear the system before another 24 hours of Nairobi traffic, delayed deals and unmet targets. You know this is your window. You debate only for a second then walk to the bedroom and straight to his phone to punch the 8-digit pass code. You’ve never tried it before but you’ve seen the pattern so many times it is engraved on top of your brain. The phone gives way easy. Nothing is on the call log – smart guy. Nothing is on the messages – smart guy. You almost stop. But not yet. The devil lives in whatsapp. So you scroll and like dew on grass, you find her. But it was him.
Each sentence is internalized with each swipe up. “Who’s giving you love nowadays baby, you’re so quiet.” “Oh, that day love? Never mind, it was my cousin who picked up the phone call that night” Oh no, he didn’t! This braggart had even gone to her house but didn’t find her. Infact, you know this house. Your colleague had lived in the same flats and you’d visited severally for work edits. Furthermore, you quickly note on the dates they’d talked, a fight had started or a gooey text had been sent.
So, what would you do?
What would the pope do?
No, what would Jesus do?
You put the phone away and go back to the kitchen. The water has already boiled so you turn the gas off and go to the balcony. When he leaves the bathroom, chipper than a mockingbird, he walks to the kitchen and starts to make some cereal. You turn to watch him. You giggle in your head maybe to let off a little steam before shit hits the fan. He is talking about breakfast. You walk to him and calmly say you are giving a free pass – a chance to confess that will not be met with consequence. He stops stirring milk into his cereal and looks straight at you. Come on, what sort of a man falls for that trap? He doesn’t need a free pass. Infact, he says he’s as white as Rachel Dolezal.
When you bring forth the gadget of misery and ask him to put in the password, he refuses. Sternly. He then walks to the bathroom, takes a quick cold shower and in 3 minutes flat, is walking out of the door, only there are no shoes. He comes to you, face like thunder and demands for his shoes. “I don’t keep your shoes but I might help if you show me your phone.” You are now leaning on the back door which has since been closed, blood pressure rising to a million.
Everything is quiet. No hum of the fridge, no birds outside, nothing. Even Imogen has stopped singing. That’s when his hand comes to your throat. He squeezes and swears at things including his ancestors. He pulls you from the door by your neck, banging your left hip on the kitchen counter as pushes you against the sink.
“I will beat you up so bad,” he whispers menacingly staring with slits of what is left of dagger eyes. You are still so calm. You think of the past Sunday when he’d dragged you to church to serve breakfast. You’d thought it pretentious but done it anyway in support, even making a new dress for that mass. You look at his squinted eyes as they promised wrath. You feel the tight grip on your neck and attempt to speak, “Wait, weren’t we in church last Sunday?”
Oh humans, what can’t they do?
He lets go only for a second and you push back to lean on the door. You know the shoes are behind that door. He catches on and grabs you. Shoving you from the door, you feel as if in slow motion as the left hip makes contact with the kitchen counter, again. The pain that shoots through your leg is unbelievable. He is still half pulling, half dragging you through your kitchen and you feel your gown tearing. Now he is starting to piss you off. In that haze, you grab at anything. Your hand makes contact with a bowl of water that was meant for squeezing in some lemons. You were to start a body cleanse. Throwing it at him and still wondering whether you are acting a movie scene, the water goes straight to his face and chest. He half lets go and shouts something filthy about the shirt getting wet. You refill it and throw more water at him. Only this time, it is the hot water meant for his shower. You hear a deep guttural grunt and he lets go.
He raises his head and hisses at you. A hot hiss. But not as hot as the water. He walks to his shoes, picks them and walks to the door. A fervent tremble starts deep within you when you see that indeed his chest is scalded. You’d refilled the bowl and your hand is halfway immersed in the hot water. You didn’t even realize. You hurry to the tap and run cold water over it for several minutes as you listen for the bang at the door that will signify closure. It delays. Is he waiting for you to take him to hospital? Did he cook to death? Is he changing clothes? Then, bang!
The few minutes before the door closes, you think. You think if you should take him to hospital. If to get his stuff and throw it at him so he knows not to return. Have you scalded your hand? Are you going to jail? How much money will you need to get out? Will Larry Madowo talk about you on the trend. You and your three pots? Will he manage the drive to the hospital? Do you care at all that he does? Will you survive the day? Could you have done something to prevent the situation? Had he shown any signs of violence before? Did you deserve what you got? Were all the stories that pointed blame at his baby mama all true? Surely not. Had you been too naïve? Should you have stopped relations right after you noticed that his bum was way too flat? Surely that’s a sign. Then finally and most importantly, when would you have sex next?