“Wait, all this was a long distance relationship?”

“Yeah. From beginning to end. Almost all my relationships have been long distance ones. Especially in the beginning of me finding myself. I had never met that guy. Okay. Let me tell you how it all came to be.”

She sat straight, facing me directly, pulled her legs up the chair and folded them in a yoga posture. The eating posture of an Arab/swahili culture. I was so scared she might fall down because her behind seemed bigger than the back of the seat but looks like  she’s used to it.

“Between September and December, I was seeing a guy, Sherrif who was dating my friend, then my friend dumped him then he came to me. I told my friend about it and she was like “yoh! Move with the wind” so I took the challenge. I didn’t really like him. I’m not sure what I was doing in that relationship. Maybe it was the post paid airtime he used to buy me. As a freshman, airtime was the biggest thing that kept me alive in town. Especially during that period when I was on industrial attachment. This guy had a very nice job but no time at all. He wanted to marry me (as a rebound I’m sure) but I wasn’t ready. It was my first year in University and I forced him to wait. As he waited, he built our house which he involved me in design thinking. I designed our bedroom which is now being used by someone else (as expected) 😂.

Sometime later, someone added me to a whatsApp group. Where Sherrif and other people were in. It was exciting because I was then a new poet in town. I used to post my pieces on facebook and I eventually became famous. I was being acknowledged and respected for that. In that group, I met Sherrif’s cousin, Hajj who slid into my Dm so fast. As fast as two days later. I had posted a poem in that group then he sent a voicenote reciting it. I LOVED his voice immediately so I appreciated God’s creation in the group. That’s why he came to my DM to keep on blessing me. At that point, Sherrif had started fading off the picture. Busier than ever. Even the airtime was nolonger there. I complained once to him, “you nolonger call me. Nolonger answer my calls immediately. Where are you?”

“uhm, I’m sorry,  too much work I don’t even have time for the phone” Anhaaa. You know me right ‘I only complain once’ she smiled as she sipped the hot cappuccino.

“Oh yes I do”. At this point I wasn’t sure what I was saying. I wasn’t sure if I knew her too much but I had to agree to this one in order to get the whole story.

She went on saying how much this new guy Hajj seduced her with his heavy voice. She would wake up in the morning to voice notes of “beautiful, get up and pray your fajr prayer”. This voice sounds like that of a kidnapper. The gangs who steal someone’s daughter then call their parents to demand for money. The voice was deep and commanding. That is what she wanted. She was always subjected to the ‘yes sir’ phrase because mahn! Who wouldn’t take orders from Hulk Hogan? She fell in love with Hajj but couldn’t shoot her shot.

A week later Hajj did it. He told her he likes her and immediately she went on saying. “I am dating your cousin. Hasn’t he told you? Or rather, I was… Well… Not really, we’ve never like gone out on a proper date but we’ve been saying I love you for the last two months over the phone, he’s picked me once from job, we’ve gone to a night film festival at Alliance Francaise once and at some point it looked like we’re going somewhere. Even though I know I’m a rebound, I was okay. But I’m not feeling him anymore now”

“leave my cousin alone. He’s just using you to heal. He broke up with the other girl but he still likes her. If you like it that way then okay, you can have both of us”.

Mimi ni nani? Fastaaa, ndani ya box.

“He would be calling me now to ask if I’ve prayed dhuhr. The only time he asked if I ever ate was at night. He never slept before asking me that but during the day, he didn’t care much. He only reminded me about swalah and he’d made sure I’m offline, for prayers, and that I should text him immediately I’m done so that he could video call. He video called all the time just to find out where I am or what I am doing. I was very honest those days. I had not known much of akina Hassans and Suleimans.”

I had to ask her where Hajj was, to get her to narrate another whole story again. This is how I usually get her speaking. Asking one major question for a story. She hates interrogative questions. She tends to speak too much so when you ask too much she feels like you are getting into her personal life and she stops talking. You either ask one major question that leads to a story or find a similar occurance, narrate it to her for her to open up. So she opened up.

“He was in Sudan. He studied there and worked. Part time. He hated it there and wished to come back but coming back was a more loss than what it was then. His peers, one of which was Sherrif,’my ex’, was in the same class as him back in Kenya, but Hajj’s father was a know it all to stop his Kenyan studies and transfer him to a foreign country to start all over again. His peers were now working. He was still studying. He felt like he was wasting time and getting old.”

She went on saying how her daily life was with this anonymous New boyfriend. She then introduced the boyfriend to her two close girlfriends who really liked him. Or maybe he just entertained them. One of her friends also loved the mighty voice. Man would recite Quran for her on Maghrebs and send recordings for her to listen as he goes for studies. Or do a Viber voice call, where the guy would be studying in the background while reciting Quran till she fell asleep. She felt in heaven. She felt like she had fallen for a swahaba. This went on for a month. By the end of December, it was Hajj’s birthday. On New Year. 1st of 1st. This is where she started seeing red flags.

“I went on to facebook and the normal facebook reminders of peoples birthdays took me to his page. This is where I got my first heartbreak. There was a photo of a lady holding a cupcake, captioned, [It is that time of the year, you are special and I celebrate you. Happy Birthday to us] and the guy was tagged. He commented. [Thank you my princess]. This was the most shocking statement I had seen that entire year. I forgot the meaning of a princess for a moment. I wasn’t even mad at the lady but at him. He called her princess on facebook. Who is she?…





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