“Jeez, Michelle, you look so good. Tired but good,” I tell Michelle the moment she opens her door.
“And you look skinny as always,” she replies in greetings.
We hug before she ushers me to her place. It looks better than the last time I saw it. She has added two love seats, all in lighter shades of grey with several colorful cushions.
The floor is covered in a very heavy grey carpet.
“I love your house, it looks so cozy”
“Thank you babes,”
“Hey, where do you keep your forks?!!” a shout comes from the kitchen.
“In the upper drawer on the left side of the counter!” Michelle shouts back.
Two minutes later, this lady comes from the kitchen eating noodles from a cream bowl. The first thing I notice about her is the voluminous purple yarn twists on her head, making her head look very big for her petite body. I am so tempted to ask her if she ever gets tired of carrying her head. Michelle outdoes my train of thought by introducing us.
“Maselinah this is Pauline, Pauline, Maselinah,”
“Pleasure,” she nods her head towards my direction.
“I love your hair,” I blurt out before I can think about it.
“So, what have you been up to? You sounded low on the phone,” Michelle asks me.
“You won’t believe what just happened to me,” I go ahead and give them the nitty gritty details of my pathetic lunch date without leaving anything out. By the time I am finished, they are all on the floor laughing their asses off.
“It’s really not funny guys,” I tell them exasperated.
“It is funny,” Pauline says, “I can never go on a date with a person if I have no idea where he is taking me, that is first,”
“What is second?” I ask sarcastically. I am starting to feel like I came here to be laughed at and it does not sit well with me, even though it is better to be laughed at by my close friends than my colleagues.
“I have to approve where he is taking me before we go, if I don’t approve the place, then there is no where we are going,”
“Point taken,” my voice is so cryptic I don’t recognize it myself.
“Look here babes, we are not judging you,” Michelle quips in after realizing I am becoming offended, “the story is just funny, plus that Tangaza guy sounds like a kid. How old is he by the way?”
“I don’t know, but he is not that young,” I have to change the subject or else I will walk away, “Where is Malik?” I ask Michelle.
“He is spending the weekend with his father,” the bubbly happy Michelle’s voice turns somber.
“Oh, so you guys are sharing custody now? Since when?”
“Well Malik started asking about his dad, and I didn’t want to be one those women who block their children from ever knowing their father with lies like he died a long time ago. I decided to call Michael and we worked a schedule around it. It is actually going better than I had anticipated and Malik is happy.”
“What about you?” I ask doing my best to hide my mischievous face.
“What about me?”
“Are you happy?”
“Of course I am happy, I have got my job that keeps me busy enough,”
“Your job doesn’t take care of your physical and heart needs,”
“That is exactly what I told her,” Pauline says.
“I am very fine, thank you ladies,”
“How do you feel every time you see Michael?”
She had been folding her clothes when I entered but then she stopped when my story became too interesting and too funny to concentrate on her clothes, but now all of a sudden she is back to her clothes in full concentration. Pauline and I look at each other.
“Oh my God, something is definitely going on!” Pauline shouts, “Come on! Talk now”
“I have nothing to say,”
“Are you guys dating?”
“I wouldn’t call it dating per se,”
“Then what are you guys doing? Having sex?”
“Oh My God!!” Pauline is going nuts, “I can’t believe you’ve been holding out on me,”
“There was nothing to tell really,”
“You know everything thing that has been happening to me for the past one year. Even the one night stands and you are telling me there was nothing to tell, wow! Just wow! I need a drink,” She walks back to the kitchen.
“Honestly Michelle, what is going on? Are you still in love with him?” I ask cautiously
“I am not sure, but since he started picking Malik, he has been really nice to both of us, so I don’t mind giving him a chance,”
“And you feel it is going to be okay?”
“What about his violent tendencies?”
“Honestly I don’t know, but I feel like I am in a good place. I don’t think I will allow it to go far this time.”
“Okay, just be careful sweetheart,”
The silence stretches before us for a few minutes until Pauline appears and informs us she is heading to the Wine and Spirits’ shop to get drinks then she leaves.
“Is she mad?”
“Not really, she is just melodramatic, she has always been like that,”
“How comes I have never met her?”
“Is someone jealous?”
“Please,” I roll my eyes even though deep down I know she has hit a bull’s eye.
“Oh, we have known each other for a year now. We used to work in the same clinic but I left her when I got transferred, though we kept in touch. She is full of drama, she entertains me. Like right now she is dating this nice guy who adores her but there is another guy who is an MCA. Pauline just never cease to amaze me. Plus she has the sweetest heart.”
Later on Pauline comes back with two mzingas and we have ourselves a party. My tasteless lunch date with Tangaza is long forgotten.