DANCING TO A NEW TUNE

Elegance was what the building screamed. Piercing the sky at the 67th floor the building hosted various companies but its main host was the government that had half of the floors in order to serve citizens better. The whole building was painted white with stripes of gold, it had a rotating door at the entrance that poured into an opening that had four receptionist desks arranged in a line on the left with the last one close to the lifts. The opening was expansive enough with an allowance of fifteen feet into the air before the first floor came into play. Directly opposite the entrance was a notice board made of concrete and polished finely to leave a chalk white finishing. On the notice board, was the word, “WELCOME” in gold. Below the board was a message that was slowly losing a few words thus being incorrigible.

At the entrance of the building was an extension that prevented rain from hitting the patio directly. The extension was seven feet above the ground. Below the extension were two uniformed guards that stood sentinel over the building and inspected everybody from staff to visitors. They allowed people through a metal detector that carried their luggage on a short conveyor belt to the other side as the people walked through.

The cleaning staff were the only people allowed into the building so early before duties resumed and so their bags were roughly checked by the night shift guards before they left for their day off. They were as drowsy as they could be from spending the whole night sleepless.

Each visitor was then allowed to write down their name at the reception as they confirm where they were headed into the maze above. The guards at the entrance were as friendly as they could be and as ruthless as their job demanded.

Security in the country had been beefed up since the last terrorist attack. The army concentrated on keeping peace within the country’s borders against the wish of many international bodies. This was termed as a cowardly move but the president insisted on the safety of his people first before taking the war to the enemies. Any bomb scare within the country or rather the city was met with a severe and quick response from the expected parties.

 Amollo Mike walked into the building at six-thirty in the morning as per his usual check-in time. He dropped his bag near the guard and stood there as they shared pleasantries.

“Hii bag yako leo ni mzito, umebeba mawe?”

“Haha, zi. I am planning to go somewhere in the evening for the weekend.”

“Oh, unatoroka nyumbani. Vijana ya Nairobi mna mambo.”

“I really need to cool off for a day or two.”

“Sawa. Salimiana huko penye unaenda.”

Mike smiled as he took his bag from the guard and left for the entrance. Inside the building, he took the staff book and signed before disappearing into the back. He was one of the staff that handled cleaning and preparing breakfast for the government staff. He also doubled as a seller of simple lunch to the workers who enjoyed his delicious meals ranging from Ugali, beans, fried meat, rice, and chapati. He had made a killing from it as a side hustle. The government workers preferred his cheap delicious meals to the expensive meals in the heart of the city.

He removed his home clothes and changed into his work clothes. The green khaki pants and a t-shirt. He made his routine around the building, he began from the southeast corner near the kitchen then went to the southwest corner and the northwest corner before ending his journey at the northeast corner. Today the routine was different as he had his bag. He moved from the corners cleaning and pausing for at most ten minutes before proceeding to the next corner. He was done with dusting the ground floor. He went to the next three floors and did the same. This was his share of the government offices.

It was now thirty minutes past eight and other cleaning stuff had arrived and were almost done with their chores. The workers started streaming in, once the rotating door began rotating it was for the whole day until when the business day ended and the building was closed down for the day. Observing from inside the building one would see the ever purging door that kept coughing people each minute without rest. Some came in some left. And others stood on the opening in the building without anything in particular until a guard came to notify them that it was inadvisable to idle there.

Mike was now in the kitchen preparing breakfast as he looked forward towards lunch and serving the ever thankful workers. Most of them didn’t leave their desks until three in the afternoon for a fifteen-minute break. As he cooked he hummed a song that had stayed with him from the moment he received the phone call yesterday. His mind got solace from the song rather than worrying about any events of the day.

Yesterday, he was contacted by his five years fiancé, hearing her voice reminded him of the first day they met, of the promises they held together, of the beauty life showed them. It had been a year since he last saw her and the calls had become fewer and fewer over the past six months but he understood her predicament. He also knew that the closer they got to an assignment the fewer the calls. She had duties to fulfill and rules to adhere to. Still, her voice had a touch of awe that drove him crazy.

His heart melted as he saw the incoming call that was cutting short his stream of music from the air pods. On reaching for the phone, he saw her name plastered all over the screen as the phone glowed in a bid to beckon him to receive the call. The light from the phone felt like embers of love ready to consume him once he received the call.

He lingered for a moment trying to find the best way to break the ice. He received.

“Hello.”

Her voice echoed in his head leaving a reverberating effect that made him feel jolly.

“Hello, long time Aisha. How are you?”

“Great, I hope you know why I am calling.”

“Oh yes but just to satisfy my heart let me say you are around.”

“I will come once you are done with this assignment. I want to know if you are ready love.”

The way she said the word love with a thrilling emphasis had Mike trembling as she waited for more words from her.

“Always have been love. I miss you.”

“Me too. Are you sure you will carry this to completion.”

“When have I ever failed you? Have you checked my success rate? It says it all.”

 “I know about your success dear, believe me when I say I have more faith in you than you do.”

“Do you now?”

“Yes, I will see after a week. Just know no matter what everything has to go down as planned. Don’t hesitate, don’t flinch. I will be waiting on the other side to welcome you like the hero you are.”

“I will not.”

“I love you Mike.”

This was the second time she was professing her love to him but he felt the doubt in her voice, the forced nature of the words but he was too desperate in want and so he believed her. He believed that she loved him.

“I love you too Aisha.”

“Remember to take care too, Amollo Mike Maalim.”

“You too.”`

That was his Muslim name after converting four years and five months ago. He converted around that time when he and Aisha started getting serious and Aisha asked him to honor one thing that would allow him into her family. He obliged without a second thought and from then the bond between them grew strong each day. They had never really talked about the love thing in depth. They each recognized the emotion from each other’s eyes and were contented with what they saw. Pure bliss.

Life had then moved him from Nairobi to the northern parts of Kenya for months as they figured the best way to live their lives and then back in Nairobi as they traveled to the coastal side of Kenya. Through the luxury that Aisha afforded him, she would disappear for hours only to reappear later in the day. He was always left happy with toys to occupy his free time, cars, video games, pocket change for entertainment, and indulgence. A simple poor man’s tastes.

The hotels they used for their stay were luxurious thus limiting him from moving around. He spent most of his time in their room awaiting Aisha’s return.

Her returns were colored with gifts from the local markets and more goodies. Knowing that Mike was not exposed to the various cultures of the areas they visited, Aisha saw him as an empty book that demanded her words and so she wrote. She wrote tirelessly, introducing him to new experiences every day, she wrote seductively, showing him romance in a new way from what he was used to (the Nairobi genital fluid exchange). He got to know things that he only read in books. In her, he saw his future and she played him to her tune. As she strung the strings, he produced her desired tunes and they danced along together.

He was not in any hurry to make a move on her, he was contented with the mystery of knowing she is his and she will always be there no matter. He looked forward to when they would make it official, to the night they will spend together as man and wife. A night with no repercussions whatsoever.

Although, he didn’t bother her. Some nights were as long and hard as he could get. At least thrice a week he would wake up in the middle of the night, all sweaty and ready to attack but he restrained himself. He would hold his boner in his hands and look as her raised behind lustfully. The dim lights that held romance closely allowed him to visualize himself mounting her as she screamed sweet words into his ears, words that encouraged him to go on and on and on, words that may have had two meanings but he only understood a part that massaged his fragile ego. As he sank into his vision of seeing them intertwined like a boa constrictor and its prey, he saw their bodies rise and fall in beads of orgasms that kept him all hard the whole time. He had made attempts to wake her up but as they had agreed he brushed off the idea. If he was to be disciplined, he had to conquer his animalistic urges to tore her clothes off and take her right there and then. She had said the control was part of a training that she was preparing him for. He obliged.

They moved from coastal Kenya after a year and traveled back to the north. All this time, he was never bothered with the financial status of Aisha. After all, he was fed, sheltered, and clothed and all this was done in style and beauty that ensured the best in life. The trips were well planned with each via a plane for long distances and the short ones with their newly acquired cars. He was living the best life he could ever ask for and not paying for it. Sinister.

In Northern Kenya, they crossed to Somalia and went deep into the foreign country. In the time they were together, Aisha had taught him the country’s various languages that had an overlap of each other in some words. He could manage to understand and nod in agreement as he affirmed statements directed to him.

BACK AT IT AGAIN

Hello,

I don’t think we were ever meant to be, not by any shot. The circumstances we find ourselves in don’t allow that, they don’t nourish that, they don’t encourage it and will never allow it to flourish. I can’t say I am sorry nor do I regret being close to you but some relations are just that-no next level.

The first time we met, it was wonderful. All I could see was your presence. I hugged you and felt the energy in you craving to be tapped. I saw myself in the future you by my side. Probably in our forties with two or one kid. Life would be different; I would be a different person since you always had a way to change things even if it meant shuffling them. I would not recognize myself but you would be happy for having to finish your project. In your eyes I would be a masterpiece, your masterpiece. I for one would be growing desperate by day, tired by the second, eventually all would tumble down. Your dreams of a loving husband and a normal family, a perfect life would crush from the buildup of unshared hatred.

Hatred of the things you made me do, of the things I had to absorb just not to see you angry. Suddenly it will feel like I am human and I too have my flaws which you overlooked in the spark of the moment. I don’t blame you, I will not blame you. You were a beautiful fleeting moment in my life like a snug in a cruise, you hit and stay for a while before deciding to go on with your life.

I know you want to hold onto this, but it was dead before I even distanced myself. The earlier you recognize this the better. I don’t want to be your obsession nor your idol that’s too much expectation to put on a person. I cannot live up to that. It is just impossible.

I know it won’t be easy but for the same reasons I stayed, I will be leaving. Your politeness makes it hard for me to be me. I can’t laugh in a certain way, I cannot dress casually and comfortably, I cannot touch some places on your body, I cannot hold your hand in public, what of a kiss? Will you allow me to drop one on you in public?

I didn’t try my best, I saw no reason since no matter the effort, your resistance was great. What you didn’t fancy was not going to happen. We would rather sit in silence for days that you admitting to letting loose.

I am a random person, I don’t follow structures and that comes as a mess, a hot mess and for you it would have stained and stayed for all the time we would be together. My randomness was going to hurt you, hurt your ego, hurt your meekness and I am not ready to see you shed tears just because I was being myself.

After our first encounter, we stayed apart for six months which saw us growing differently but you still hung on the idea that I would one day fall for you, fall for your love, love you wholeheartedly. However, I didn’t, I haven’t. All that time, you crossed my mind severally but all I could see were the times we were together that led us to stay away from each other.

We met again for the second time. You were still single, good for you but I had jumped right into the pool and I was soaking wet, by the time we met. We talked for a while and you let loose the floodgates. Your emotions were all over. You wanted to know why we couldn’t be together, why I could not go out with you, you wanted to know why I always chose to stays indoors with you. You wanted me to be more outgoing, to let go of my habitual binge-watching of movies and TV shows and go out. You wanted to know why I was so stubborn when we held conversations about the world, religion, politics and above all parenthood.

You did not subscribe to the fact that I did not care about anything. You didn’t ask why and I never said. You hated my attitude towards life. You wanted me to stand up for something. It was not going to happen. Still for the second time, your timing was off.

Before we made out the first time. I told you I was seeing someone but you didn’t care. You wanted me just for yourself-how selfish. We shagged severally and the idea of having two ladies at the same time ate me inside out. You asked once about her after informing you of our timely breakup. I could see your face beaming up with a smile but you said, “I am sorry. It is going to be okay.”

Of course it was okay, we made love, you had new energy or so your brought game. I could not recall any other time that you gave your all. I was sold that night, but not totally sold.

The second time I also told you I am seeing somebody and you went silent for a month. You resurfaced and argued that we should be together, that that was the second time we were hitting it off. We talked for the whole night and before we could sleep early in the morning you asked confidently as if not weird enough, “What do you think about us?”

It caught me off guard, I stood up and went to the shower and went to my house. I was not ready to talk about us because there was no future. You always ruined the present with your future proposals or your past pains. You couldn’t just stay here where it shines brightly, you had to dim the light.

I am old enough to marry, I am at that particular age where thoughts of marriage creep into the mind by default but I always push them down or away. I don’t want to think about spending my entire life with someone. As beautiful as everyone makes it feel, it scares the shit out of me plus the responsibility of worrying about the wellbeing of somebody else.

I will always fail at being married. My poor attitude towards it being tolerance, being brutally honest and wanting to be free of no obligations, doing what I want when I want however I want it. Your presence will ruin or hold hostage everything I ever dream of.

I don’t know if you have noticed but I am insensitive at the most inopportune times. I tend not to stay in touch with human feelings which will probably make me a bad father and a husband too. Being able to empathize is something that I have been unable to grasp. It just slips between my fingers.

I hope this finds you happy as it may devastate you. We cannot work out not in a billion years. We are different people and I cannot tolerate your unending need to change me. You’re always looking for ways to improve me as you say it.

The look on your face when I try to harbor hair disgusts me. It reeks of disappointment which is an emotion I can’t deal with. For now, we go our separate ways. Be smooth it will work out, you will get what you’re looking for, something I cannot provide, something I have been unable to give you.

Enjoy your life while you can, whether short or long. My presence in your life was just a distraction and if it went on long enough it would turn to be a disruption to your perfect life. As you had asked, I have thought about us and all I can see is a dark cloud of sadness, pity and turmoil. Pain would be our daily portion and that’s not a way to live life. Enjoy what’s left of your promised life.