I Love You This Much
Published by Dora Okeyo at Smashwords
Copyright 2012 Dora Okeyo
Love is watching two people fall in love and become one. There was something dry and dusty about January. The wind blew all the time, and the dust rose with her as if performing a dance. It was beautiful to watch while seated in a café. It was painful to witness while walking along the streets of Nairobi. But, I made my stop as usual. I visited the Lounge and ordered a cup of House Coffee and a Croissant. They say work takes you places; mine had brought me to the Lounge. It was 10:00am and the Lounge was filling up. She came in vibrant and jumpy. She had short brown braids and a friendly smile. Her eyes were jet-black and I hated her earrings. They were some blue feathers that couldn’t stay in place. They kept changing course tempting me to ask, ‘hey, you bird! Keep your feathers in place before they dip into your coffee.’ She settled in the table before me and waited. Her face was as smooth as any that make-up could magnify. She had a blue wrist watch- Swatch- that I have come to love. Ten minutes later a man walked in and settled beside her. He was jumpy and vibrant as well. The two made a composed mess. I pulled out my notebook and before you know it- I was part of their story. I met Nancy and William that dusty morning. His features are still a mystery, but I’d be wrong to deny that he was indeed handsome. She had coffee and a piece of black forest cake. He had coffee and some chicken pie. They walked out of the café two hours later. They were holding hands- and I knew a story had just begun.
People love those they can, but hate those they don’t understand. I love people because of this. No one understands that any emotion, however raw it may be has to be nurtured. And the easiest to please is love, yet it is the hardest to nurture. This was the second time that our meeting was important. I was eager to see their love grow, but I met Nancy. She was in tears. It was Valentines Day and William had stood her up. I took the seat next to her and said, ‘Valentines Day sucks!’ She looked at me confused and stricken. I smiled and introduced myself then said, “my boyfriend stood me up, bet he’s gone to watch a game or something, but I’d rather have some fun in town today and not let it get to me, besides I will run into him sometime and if he’s worth keeping, I will, if not he’s already been dumped.” She laughed. She had this uncontrolled laugh that made everyone at the restaurant look at us. I smiled at the thought of it and joined in the laughter. We ordered a plate of fries and two pieces of chicken then started eating. Nancy was an only child. She was working as a secretary at some consultant’s firm in Westlands. They pay was not perfect, but she loved her job. She’d met William there. He had come to make some inquiries following a recruitment drive his organization was keen on. She’d been taken in by his deep voice and sexy smile. She loved the way his eyes glowed when he smiled. When he asked her out three weeks later, she agreed. William was charming and caring. He loved the movies she watched, and even found it daunting to wait for her as she made her hair. I watched her face light up as she talked about him. She twirled her braids around her fingers and smiled. It was love in the spring. She said very little about herself. She had hoped to meet him at the restaurant. He said he had work and would try and make it to dinner, but she just wanted to see him. She couldn’t blame him; Valentines Day was on a Tuesday. “If you ask me Tuesday is Monday’s sister.” I listened to her mellow voice as she talked about the man who stood her up. Not once did I pull out my notebook, for it felt real listening to her. Seeing her and seeing how she had love written all over her face. We talked about food and fashion. She said she was trying to lose weight around her waist. There was this flab that she hated. She had done so many sit-ups her back ached. She wanted a quick solution and all I could think of was walking. “Why would I walk to lose weight around my waist?” I smiled and said “walking is therapeutic.” She looked through me and the walls started building around her. I am weird, I’d admit, but I couldn’t let her go. So I quickly said, “walking is the easiest and cheapest form of exercise you can engage in, I mean, why use the elevator when you can walk up the stairs- besides men love to watch a lady’s hips as she moves, or at least that’s what I’ve heard.”