I had been acquainted with him for two years, Mike. He had prepossessing attributes this man, maybe still has, angels have wings? He was relatively tall, had eyebrows that fell above his eyes gracefully, dewy eyes, dark skin, broad shoulders and a small scar that cut across his nose bridge. Heaven must’ve been on its element when his existent was incepted. He must’ve been conceived to Marvin Gaye’s Sexual Healing or some smooth bedroom playlist. He could smile or wear a deadpan face and still sustain a visual appeal. Beyond his physicality, he had more to him – it exceeded his sex appeal. From the traits aforementioned you’d be compelled to think he was a handsome man, he wasn’t. Handsome sounds so macho. It alludes he could saw logs and come up with something crafty. Or he had dexterity with common tools. Or he could down crates of beer without a lurch – and other things complementary to masculinity. That wasn’t the man I knew. He wasn’t handsome he was beautiful; somehow he found the perfect parity – had machismo yet subtly effeminate. He did things his kind shun – soaked his feet in tepid water after a long day. Had wipes in his pockets. Carried your purse. Had moisturizer for his lips. Visited massage parlors and spas. Heck, he even listened to Adelle and Beyonce. This man was a paradox.
His allure swayed droves of lasses to him, the sveltes plebeians only dreamt of, snobs. The ones from uptown that flashed keys to their parents’ Range Rover or a pass down Land Cruiser. Those who soaked their hands in sanitizers after shaking leathery palms. The ones you would marvel at and wonder what kind of mess your forefathers got into for you to lack such elegance, or the inadequacy thereof. The ones who held a conviction; fashion runways were their prerogative. The earth worshipped them beneath their heels and layers of attitude. They were hot on him. Thirsty to some extent. The fact that he played basketball was an add on – it was like an after sale service; like here’s your hunk and a chocolate to go with him. Bleachers were thronged by fans, admirers and people who came for the sole purpose of quenching their fetishes. Brouhahas erupted every single time he got hold of the ball, his muscles moving under his skin. He never had a bad game. He was the real deal, he beckoned and we obliged
I mulled on what his angle was when he asked me out. Me, a rustic country girl that wallowed in noviceness. I had nothing going on, my life was mundane; library – class – house, a cat has it more adventurous. What did he see? I turned him down, i had nothing to offer. But that was short-lived. I caved, he was relentless, which to think of it was quite remarkable for someone who had the world coming to him, never had to chase. We saw each other for months, met friends, some family and whatnot.
I had never been on a road trip, not once. On that day he called on a morning telling me to get ready in an hour for a long ride. Unlike the other lasses, I’m invisible to the world but I do need more than an hour to get ready, at the heart of it, I’m a girl. I panicked. What do people wear for long drives, fishnets? He picked me up from my residence in a mate black Jeep! Whose doors slid up. I was delirious, this was it for me. I rode shotgun as the car wheezed through the highway – the word ‘car’ doesn’t do it any justice. It was a home – you could move into its interior and live better than most folk. It had everything a car didn’t. Did you know some cars have cup holders? What, they all do? I didn’t know any better. Buses don’t afford you anything more than a window seat. Never had fun on the road, that day I did, comfort does make a huge disparity when you’re used to rickety matatus that seem to have a respiratory ailment. I felt safe in its metallic body, I trusted it, and him behind the wheel. I submitted fully.
I woke up woozy musing why my bedroom didn’t have a desk. Who effing repainted my room. Why did my bed feel smaller. I learnt that I had woken up two weeks after a grisly road accident. The scrub wearing nurses said the jeep rammed into the back of a cargo trailer at 150km/hr. It was by sheer luck I had survived. I asked about him – Mike. It was a lot to take. I made it out of ICU into ITU, he made it into ICU but that was just about it.