It’s Monday morning and I’m busy on my phone chatting with strangers on Tinder. Since my first date, was not as interesting as I had anticipated, I am ready to move on. Dude never even called to make sure I arrived home safely. So here I am.
Me: Where are you from?
Him: What a way to start a conversation
Me: It’s still a conversation, isn’t it?
Him: As you wish. I am from Kenya-Nairobi
Me: I’m also from Nairobi
Him: Tell me about you
This is boring, I immediately un-match him and start swiping again for more profiles. I see a cute guy, no profile but his photos are beautiful. He might be interesting. I hit like and surpriiise! It’s a match. Now I’m debating if I should be the one to strike a conversation or not, but before I can continue debating, a text message appears on my screen. It’s him
Him: Hi Maselinah, how are you leo?
Me: Hi Kariuki I’m doing fine
Him: I’m awesome, apart from the rains of course.
Who asked him if he was awesome? And the rains? Really? Now we are going to talk about the weather? Come on!!
Me: I see you are a fan of Liverpool
Trying so hard to change weather topic
Him: hehe… yesss… You
Him: Arsenal is a good team. They don’t like competing nowadays though.
“Hey, a client is here to see you,” The receptionist’s face appears on my office door.
“What is the name?”
“Noel Hassan Noor”
“Is the boss in yet?”
“No, not yet.”
“Okay, I think her file is in the boss’s office. Please check it up for me then you can tell her to come in after you get me the file.”
When she goes away, I get the chance to compose myself and channel in my working mood.
For the next 5 hours, I work with several clients and I’m so busy I do not feel the time flying.
During lunch, when most of my colleagues are busy out looking for lunch, I take my phone out and go straight to Tinder. There are several messages waiting for me but only one gets my attention.
Him: Hey beautiful
Him: How is your day?
Him: I’m in Nairobi City and would love to have lunch with you, if you are available.
Not wasting more time I text back.
Me: Hey handsome, I’m in Nairobi too and would love to have lunch with you too.
Me: Where are you?
I fidget as I wait eagerly for the reply. I mean who doesn’t want free lunch in the middle of the month?
10 minutes later I’m at The Clarion Hotel Moi Avenue, sitting across a middle aged black man. He is wearing a sharp navy blue suit and a sky blue shirt. His head is bald but he has a short salt n pepper beard that is making him look like an old man trying to look young. Fortunately it does look good on him. But I really don’t mind as long as I get to fill my stomach and get back to work.
“You look more beautiful than your profile photo,” he tells me and I’m thinking, such a cliché phrase to start our conversation, but I play along.
“Thank you. You don’t look bad yourself”
“So what do you do?” here comes another cliché question, but I cannot avoid it. I narrate my perfected speech that I have unconsciously memorized after narrating it to every Tom Dick and Harry (If we going to do cliché, I might as well go all the way… right?)
Before I’m done with my narration, the waiter appears and saves my date from yawning (that’s how his face looks like, like he is about to yawn from my boring story) and I decide I won’t ask him about his profession.
The waiter asks what drinks we are going to take before the meal arrives.
Well, I cannot have a drink in the middle of the day when I’m supposed to return to the office, so I ask for a glass of fresh passion juice.
He then goes ahead and talks about his work.
“I am an architect.”
He talks about all the major projects he has worked on. At first am enjoying myself, I mean it’s really interesting what he’s telling me. But then I start to realize he is gloating. I hate men who gloat. It’s a turn off.
He actually gets his phone out of his pocket to show me all the famous people in the country, whose houses or sky crapper he has designed. I keep looking behind me wondering when the food is going to arrive. I came here hungry but now am literally famished, from all the energy am using to feign interest. My cheeks are hurting from all the fake smile I keep giving him and now I can feel a sign of migraine approaching from afar. All I want is to eat, so maybe just maybe I will survive this date.
My prayer is answered, when I see the waiter approaching our table with a tray full of food. I am so happy that I want to stand and help him carry it safely (I feel like he might drop the tray when he’s about to set it down on the table and I can’t have that)
My mouth is literally watering so that when he asks me if we can have a moment together in one of the rooms, I choke on my own saliva.
“Can we just eat first then we can think of that later?” I ask as I blush feigning innocence which turns out to work for me.
“Sorry beautiful, let’s eat”
My appetite has disappeared all of a sudden because of that one statement, but then I remember he’s the one paying the bill. I look at the food before me. A bowl of tomato soup, grilled chicken with a dash of dry rosemary, baked Irish potatoes, and salad. I look at the food for some time without even looking at what he’s having.
“Are you okay my dear?” he asks with concern
“Yes I’m okay” I answer him
“You don’t like the food?”
“Yes I do, it looks delicious”
I decide I cannot leave all this food to go to waste. I might regret for the rest of the month. “I’m going to start with my favorite soup” I tell myself. I have always loved soup.
He is one of those guys who don’t talk while eating which helps me to relax therefore opening up my stomach and before long am dipping into my food like I haven’t eaten in a week. Even though I don’t want to think about it, I cannot sleep with this man, who looks old enough to be my first uncle, so I have to do everything to put him off. I eat without a care in the world.
“I like your appetite beautiful” he says
Cough! Cough! I choke on the chicken and he gets me water immediately. Choking twice in a span of less than 10 minutes, this guy is definitely not right for my health.
After drinking the cool sweet water from The Clarion Hotel, I feel much better. I take my phone and immediately text my colleague.
Me: Hey Brenda, I need you to call me in the next 10 Minutes. If I don’t pick up, call again and again until I pick the call.
Brenda: Where are you?
Me: I will tell you the whole story when I’m back. Just don’t forget to call me in the next 10 minutes, please.
I’m back to my food and I try to eat as fast as I can, I don’t want to leave anything on the plate then regret later.
“Do you like your job dear?” he asks out of the blue.
“Yes I do” I lie “Why?”
“You know I can connect you to something better it if you are interested” He says then gives me a crooked smile, that’s makes me want to run away.
“I will let you know when I’m ready to move” I tell him
“I love you, you are so beautiful. I just want you all to myself” he says and I choke on my food the third time. Hell, I have to go. I check my phone as I reach for my glass of water.
“Sorry about that dear” he tells me.
10 minutes later when my phone rings, I want to jump and dance. I can’t even explain the relief that goes through my body. I look at my phone then ignore the call.
“Aren’t you going to take that?”
“It’s just the office.”
“Oh, I thought we still have time for the next adventure” he winks at me and all I can do is look at my phone, anticipating the next call but I have to play this game the best way I can.
“I also thought we still had time. I hope they don’t call again.” I do my best to feign longing in my voice.
My phone rings the second time. I want to receive the call and shout “I love you Brenda!!!” but I compose myself, look at the screen and ignore it.
“Is it the office again?” he asks, his face does a good job of hiding his disappointment.
“Yeah it is” I answer mirroring his disappointed face.
“If they call the third time I will have to let you go, then we can plan for another day.” He tells me
“Are you sure?” I ask him
“I don’t want to destroy your career dear. Where did you say your offices are situated?” he asks me and before I can answer, my phone rings the third time. This time I receive it. Brenda tells me I’m needed in the office.
“I am sorry Brenda, I will be there in a few minutes,” I give my best apologetic voice.
Using the same voice I turn to my date and apologize to him too. I also explain to him how my office is a bit far and I’m already late.
He tells me to call Uber, then goes ahead and gets his wallet out. He gives me enough cash to last me the remaining days of the month before my thin pay slip arrives.