It was a warm evening, the club was just filling up, and I sipped my Martini Bianco as I toyed with the olives in my mouth.
Joe was back in country after a 2 year stint in Sudan as a pilot with the UN, we did not say goodbye when he left.
A couple of weeks ago, I bumped into him at the Kenchic on Ngong road , on a Sunday Afternoon when the girls and I had nothing to do, after lots of gossip in a neighbourhood café, we decided for that nicely done chicken on our way to check out dudes at the Jamhuri car bazaar, and right there on the queue, I see him, Joe Kweku, tall dark, and as handsome as always. My heart skips a beat; I couldn’t believe it was him; we exchange pleasantries and contact details, again.
The first time I saw Joe was outside the Phoenix Players’ theatre. I was there to watch the British farce, A private life, I got there too early and waited outside as the others arrived, I always enjoyed standing there,looking at people chatting, hugging, kissing, eyeing each other…It was always a funny sweet indulgence for me, after having broken up with my college sweetheart, Phil a couple of Months earlier. I perhaps wanted to see myself in that bubble someday.
So when this guy on a red Kawasaki motorbike rode into the parking lot, we all turned to look. Men and women alike, he parked his bike, and walked in as if none of us existed. In my mind a track was playing to his stride, strong and purposeful with every step, he had two tickets in his hand, I stared, unashamedly, after all, in his world, I did not exist. But In my fantasy, the other ticket was mine. He walked towards me, held my face, looked into my eyes, and kissed my dream goodbye.
The stage manager soon rang the bell, but I waited outside, I still wanted to savor this blend of beauty and mystery who rode a motorbike, and walked as if he owned the land he walked on…If he was a thriller, he would be a deep, dark and mysterious one, if he was on my plate for breakfast, he would be the sweetest maple syrup playing tricks on my tongue.
As everyone else went into the theatre, Allan, who acted in a couple of plays at the phoenix, walked up from the parking lot, we always thought he was gay, and today he was very excited, he just got admitted to the bar, and was up for a celebration,
“Hey girl, will you join us tonight at the courtyard?”
and before I responded, a deep voice was on the other side saying
“hey, Al, what time is it man, the play will begin in a minute?
it was the Kawasaki eye candy.
Hmm..so that’s who the other ticket belonged to! Al the advocate watching “a private life” with with my dream man?
He walks over to say hello.
Girl meets boy, boy meets girl, and girl thinks boy has gorgeous eyes,…. and gay?
Later that evening,Al, Joe , me and a couple of others go to the Courtyard, and it becomes the place I call heaven for a while.
I had my first shot of tequila amid cheers from the boys, despite my screaming, “no, no tequila, I am a virgin”…and Joe’s eyes could leave mine all the while i screamed about my tequilla virginity, his eyes were like a kindling fire, one that had burned several times, there was no virginity vibe in those diamonds his eyes were.
It was a wild night and we ended up taking a ride at midnight on the red kawasaki around the courtayard as the boys cracked football and your momma jokes over whisky and several shots of tequilla.
Joe was not gay after all.
Barely a month after that, Joe was posted to Sudan, and now, today, two years later, I am siting at the bar, martini in hand, sucking on the olives, which are neither sweet nor sour, waiting to see him.
I glance at my watch, its 8.33pm; he was to be here at 8.30.
Just then the man who rode a red Kawasaki walks in, with his usual charm he walks over, calls the barman and orders for tequila even before he says hello
And I say, in a firm voice, looking into his deep dark eyes,
“No tequila please, I am a virgin.”