She asked, “How did I give it away?” one time over lunch, forgetting that while tipsy she sings better than Nikita Kering. I had to remind her that night she went on about how she’s not particularly fond of marriages. “Mojito,” she said to Mike that night (I assume that’s his name cause the till paid out to a Mike), and parted with two hundred shillings for the night. Make it four hundred, factoring in the pork dinner that preceded that. We later joined the rest who were engrossed in gaming. “How long till they’re done?” She asked before she got distracted by one of the games going on. She then rambled about Man United being the best team in the premier league. Then about how cute Rashford is and it led to her asking why she can’t keep a guy.
“Is it because I don’t want to get married? But I want a wedding. One that doesn’t end with me being married. And I want kids, one of each. Preferably a set of twins. Is that too much to ask for?” She spoke so casually.
I smile remembering that. That was sometime before we were together. She spoke of weddings with the same enthusiasm she would about tattoos.
“I want a tattoo but my mother…my mother! It’s my life, but I have to ask for permission before dying my hair a different colour.” She says, but that, that is a story for another day.
It is always a good time with her around. Times neither of us have had the pleasure of enjoying because of the good old silent treatment. We are not talking. Okay, we are talking but not to each other. She’s not talking to me. I’m not talking to her. Steve speculates it to be because of Sheila-related reasons, but what does he know. “He is a simpleton,” Wakili once said, “I saw him add cocoa to coffee cause it ‘tasted bitter’.”
“Oh really, you can just ask for her opinion, V is it?” She said, about a week and a half ago, in that all-serious tone that makes me pity whoever will have the misfortune of crossing any of her clients in future. That was the last time we spoke.
Despite the silence, I still got a sad happy birthday text the other day and a gift from some mutual friends that could have only been from her. Their ‘we all chipped in’ chorus is just like most of your sneakers, fake. But it got me thinking that things couldn’t be as bad if she texted.
“Coffee on Monday?” I texted her later that day, and here I am, drowning in my first cup of the day. I look around the little shop and can’t help but smile. There are writings in black all over the white and brown painted walls. There is light giggling from a lady in red on the table by the door. She seems to be absorbed in a phone call. There are whispers from these two in white lab coats on the table next to that. Colourful blue and pink painted fingernails are typing furiously on a laptop keyboard on the table next to mine. Then there’s the lady with a brown apron over her all-black attire standing before me saying “one more minute”. I woke up wishing for more colour in the world today and well, those do come true. L Were she here, Wakili would argue “there has always been colour around, you just never took the time to appreciate it.”
As I wait for my second cup, which is a minute away according to the waitress, let me briefly mention why we aren’t speaking. The alphabet is how she chooses to refer to it, or them, and I’ll just go with it:
G was a joke. I look back and laugh.
V just made a technical appearance in my life at first.
J was a necessary passing interest(not my choice of words). Nothing really came of it, but we both found out stuff about ourselves from that.
C was the right person wrong time kind of situation. Had she come around J or G it would have been something, but the angel in charge of my love life saw it best to make me notice her friend instead. Wakili is said, friend.
V is just the same V, and V is also T. I called her my September song. She had been a steady point in my life, but things change. It’s just not the same. Hasn’t been for a while now, and that I what I’ve been trying to get Wakili to understand. The how to do it has proved to be the tricky part, just thinking about it makes the idea of banging my head against this table start to sound appealing. And I would have, but my coffee is here. I look up to thank the waitress but she seems to be distracted by something or someone behind me. I sip my coffee and hear footsteps approaching. She’s here.
That leaves a sudden burning sensation in my chest. Or maybe- just maybe- it’s the coffee. You never know.
“Hi.” comes Wakili’s voice as she takes the seat directly opposite.
And there it is, that all familiar smile I haven’t seen in a while.