My watch shows 10:45PM, the lights are dim, the players are on the pitch and the refree whistles. It’s kickoff time. We are cheering, clapping for our team, hoping to win but at the back of our minds knowing that it might not be the case. The champion’s league isn’t easy, that explains why we each had three beers on the table, no need for glasses, beer tastes better from the bottle.
It was a Saturday and our usual weekend joint Swatch Lounge was packed with good looking women, bald men , young adults….clearly it was a night for everyone. The music was deafening but who wants slow-soft music when taking down a pint or two?
There was this barmaid or rather waitress who i really liked, her name was Nyambu. She always knew how to talk, walk, what to dress and… She couldn’t resist smiling when she saw me, she was taking orders from some teenz and by the look of things they were nagging her, I mean who goes to a lounge and orders a beer, one beer and a quarter bottle of vodka? Keep in mind they were six of them, four guys with untidy short locks on their heads and two cute girls with coloured braids… I signaled her to come say hi and she winked winked and spin her wrist with her index finger rotating clockwise, I winked at her fast and she smiled back.
Kim my best friend, and the acquaintances on my table looked at me with raised eyebrows. “Mkona ufala…” I had to break the silence, they all laughed sarcastically as if they were holding back words but my brain and eyes were shifted to Nyambu who was walking towards me. “Mambo, leo umenihepa…” I said to her smiling face. She had those smiles that could brighten up your day. She was those girls that you couldn’t get angry at. She asked how i was doing, how i was, my answers seemed to crack her up. I had turned to some kind of comic and my mind couldn’t resist thinking about…was she really into me?
Any guy can relate how hard it is to get a smile from the girls leave alone a good laugh. She pulled her soft hand away from my palm smiling and she said she had work to get to, I reached out holding her wrist with both of my hands, she spotted the golden ring on my left hand and the smile on her face faded away fast. I didn’t want things to get weird so I had to let her go.
Kim gave me an eye as he sip on his beer, he gave me a look that I wasn’t too familiar with. I had to act fast and I told him “bro, si unaelewa hii life, lazima you let loose once in a while, it’s never that serious man, lakini… huyo dame unamwonaje?” I knew my best friend so well, I knew his reset button. He went on explaining to me how good the lady looked, how she was a natural, how balanced she was… he was the one doing the all the talking now!! And just like that I escaped a guilt trip from my closest ally. I mean, he also liked her.
Ninety minutes done and we were disappointed, obviously, our team had lost. Our rivals were up celebrating, cheering, laughing, taunting, mocking… I waved at Nyambu and she walked to where I was. The music, noise from the celebrations hindered communication. I pointed at the bottles on our table and shouted: “ongeza zingine” she leaned to pick up the empty bottles from the table and at that moment there was this little voice inside my head. A voice I never listened to when I was sober. The small voice that leads to broken families, sore divorces, bloody relationships…
But that wasn’t me, I had worked for everything I had, no sleep since the school days; ensuring that my grades were up. Toiled for a good career and earned my place in the ranks of being the best bankers in the country. My career was not mainstream, no media attention, working in the shadows. We had the power but not the fame, and if that is not what everyone yearns for.
So I listened to that voice and held Nyambu by her waist as if that wasn’t enough I proceeded and whispered to her ear. My eyes were on her face, she was uneasy, she couldn’t speak out her words well, stammering literally. My sharp ears were on the speakers that were booming with that Nameless classic: nasinzia. That song reminded me of those bachelor days when I used to take cheap liquor and nurse hangovers in lecture halls… I stood up on my wobbly legs, I tried to dance with Nyambu as I was serenading her. She was hesitant barley making a move but she couldn’t resist smiling when I sang out loud, “commit a crime and I’ll be your defender…” she was now dancing along to the banger.
I sat down to have a talk with Kim… We were whispering in each other’s ears laughing and I glanced at Nyambu who was now seated across our table, she was singing the words to the song on the speakers and beaming with joy. We were so deep into discussions with Kim (men don’t gossip), that I didn’t notice that my phone was buzzing, I stretched my eyes to the table only to see the words ‘Wifey’ on the screen. I gave my best friend a look, looked at the phone and he raised his eyebrows and I reached for it but someone snatched it. I quickly looked around and my eyes and Nyambu locked, what was she doing with my phone? What was wrong with her? What was she doing? Did she know who?
I had to shout “bring it back! Leta hiyo …” she was two, three steps away and as I struggled to rise on my tipsy feet, she received the call!! I was now cussing out loud at her as I walked to her direction, everyone’s attention was on me, and some even taking videos with their phones. I grabbed the phone from her hand and pushed her to the ground. The call had ended by the time I started talking.
Two heavily muscled gentlemen escorted me outside the lounge.
I was standing next to my car, I could see Kim and my acquaintances talking with the managers. I had called four times but still went unanswered. My head was steaming. My hands were shaking as I struggled to slot in another sim card in my phone.
I redialed using the new number and finally, I could hear our two-year-old crying louder than my wife who was six weeks away from… I tried to calm her “Sweetie… Hun… Babe… I can explain, it’s not like…”
Now two weeks passed and I cannot reach her over mobile, I have no idea where to find them. I’ve gone everywhere; to her friends, workplace, sent spies to her home but nope. Shame can’t allow me to ask her parents.
Guilt is crushing me, alcohol doesn’t taste the same, I can’t sleep, and I can’t stop regretting. Where is she? How is she? How is my child…? Our children?
How can I get to her? Explain to her she’s the only one I have, I’ve got. That I’m honestly crying even at work. That I am sorry, that I am a mess, it was a stupid act but it wasn’t as it seemed, that I never cheated, or did I? Well…. Okay, But… No…
Come back, I am sorry.