I rushed through the revolving doors. I stopped at the reception and asked for table 47. The reception smiles queerly, “Your table is ready miss. Your beau is waiting.” He grinned. He seemed like the kind of people who never minded their business. I pulled down my black dress. I never show this much skin, but for a first date I had to murder the date.
My phone buzzed, it was those email notifications from ‘Job Rapido’. I hoped it would be something I qualified or rather my age qualified for. These were strange times. The twenties were dreadful age to be. No one took you seriously. Most jobs required twenty-six years and above. Landlords too were skeptical about the twenties with their booze, sex and house parties.
I couldn’t remember clearly how my beau looked like. I met him in one of those blur nights. A weekend out with my friends landed me a suitor. My heart beat with anticipation. I hoped whiskey had not blurred my sight all together. From the back, his long neck was clear of rings. At least he was not a plump one. I moved swiftly and soon as he saw me, he stood up and pulled a chair. My mother taught me well, I couldn’t sit without pleasantries. I hugged him. The woody scent he wore arose something in me. I sat a smile dancing on my lips. He was a thirty-year old who had hit the gold mine early in life. He was tall, dark with a smile of an angel. This was a picture-perfect moment. The kind of pic that would look great on my timeline. More followers, more marketing commission. I decided to wait and see.
My girlfriends had one of those. An older accomplished guy who took care of the bills for occasional night-aways. I was the weirdo. I couldn’t keep a relationship, leave alone have a sponsor. My best friend Lina had tried fixing me up with one of her benefactor’s friend. It took a really bad turn. I get a text from that goes like a telegram. Something like ‘meet coffee or drink?’ I roll my eyes, this one’s not gonna work. Bad grammar is a deal breaker for me. What is company without the pithos of a convo. We agreed to meet at some fancy Irish Bar. Lina had insisted to pick an expensive place to set the tone of the relationship. I show up, in jeans and a chiffon top. I wait for about thirty minutes, another telegram comes in. ‘Traffic. In 15 minutes.’
I had refused to order. I had three hundred shillings on me, my cab fare home. I was not going to throw it on a prowl then the guy fails to show up. The waiters had made kind stops at my table more than three times. Idle waitresses were gnawing at me while whispering God knows what. Unbothered, I was scrolling the news feed and throwing occasional glances at the entrance. I did not see him walk in. Something on the news feed must have caught my attention. A voice of an old man caught my attention. I looked up and there he was.
I hardly caught anything he was saying over the waitresses giggling like teenagers. He was bald-headed and as short as they come. His potbelly was quite the distraction. Man. Lina did this to me. This is the kind of friend who would take a video of you on an ugly night. I ordered a light beer. He insisted on some top shelf Bacardi or something. After the weir date, he asked if I had cab money. I was about to say I did but ey, he had to pay for the embarrassment. He hands me a thousand notes. I counted on my way out five thousand shillings! Still, this wasn’t gonna work.
Today was my lucky day. Something inside me hoped he was single. But a bigger part of me was convinced he was settled already. There was something about his eyes. Nothing about the color but the distant look. They burnt with adventure. I had him order chicken, I did not dig in much. I just sat there admiring his glowing velvet skin. My phone however, was not having the ride. It kept on buzzing, those annoying job notifications that I never qualified for, rather my age did not. Hope is not a crime. Someday, the sun will rise.
No one wants to be on a date with a socially immobile retard who keeps on checking her phone. He eventually asked if it was something urgent. I contemplated for a moment, the truth or a lie? Then I thought what is the worst that would happen. I tell him my story. A fresh graduate from campus who had unsuccessfully looked for a job all over. The society had not done a great job in welcoming us. The available jobs were for the who’s and who’s while the rest of us had to sleep our way into a pay slip or wind in the unemployment pit hole.
‘Create the opportunity for yourself. ‘
He says with a light laugh. The arrogance. But this was an opportunity I had created myself. I will savor it up.
‘You are lucky the system favored you. Don’t be inconsiderate, be thankful.’
‘What would you rather do?’
Probably get married to this velvet king on a beach in front of a handful. As long as Lina is the best maid and the nosy guy at the reception serves mojitos. Conceive during our honey moon in Venice for a fortnight, then buy a ranch in Namanga where I would spend the rest of my life making pancakes for him every morning and preparing Sunday lunch for the extended family. A girl can dream right?
For real though to create an opportunity required time and capital. He was lucky the system had favored him so he would not know where the shoes we wore pinched the most. if I walked into a bank and asked for a loan, I would not get one even if I qualified. Banks need more than just papers to be sure I will pay back their loan. So somehow for me to go solo as an entrepreneur would mean, I will need some security.
Later that night, we had plans to hit the club. I was eager to get home and tell my girlfriends I had found the one. This was my ticket out of the modelling gigs I did from time to time. I hated them. There are some gigs that got you posing half nude which was a green light for the freaks to slide into your DM. Maybe I will even move to a one-bedroom. My bedsitter was getting tinier by the day with the ever-flowing human traffic and the thin walls! The photos I would take on the vacation at the Palm Island in Dubai. My mum’s kabambe hardly worked. I would give her my phone and get an iPhone S.
I liked him because he made me feel good. Perhaps it was the cash. Or this was that soul mate thing people talk about. His face was a perfectly shaped. He had a beautiful mind and a free spirit. Being with him will definitely raise my level, as a woman. I thought of asking if he knew someone who would fix me up with a job. I did not. I was not an idiot to rain on this parade. My heart stirred with excitement, that every time I looked at him I died a thousand times. I did not care if he had a wife or wives with ten kids. It mattered that he was my way out. I could not wait to see his dark glowing velvet face beam with pleasure as we burst the pearls of desire.
My tongue was numb. It had been a long week of playing tongue games with all sorts of booze. He was classy; the drink he ordered spoke of nothing but affluence. I took a snap of the Ciroc. I would brag to my friends later in the morning after I beat the hangover awaiting on the other end. At his age, he still had the moves. It melted my heart whenever he jiggered. He was a full package. We drove around town looking for lodging. He kept on dismissing the ones we drove by for being cheap, or shady or dirty. Finally, we landed a three star. I was not sure if this would be my jackpot or just another frog I had to kiss.
I almost prayed, and then I remembered I was at the foot of sin. Divine intervention might not be on the table. But the guilt conscience that kept nibbling at my soul, Lord help me. We rushed up the spiral staircase. His heart was filled with lust, yet my mind envisioned a gold rush. I had to make it. Sometimes, I wished I would sleep and wake up on my thirtieth birthday. The twenties, huh. I know that some people are lucky, some were just born lucky but for people like us, we have to find our luck.