The other Me

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
What would you do when you see the girl of your dreams at your doorstep? I will go down to my kneels and say, " Thank you for answering."

Submitted: September 30, 2018

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Submitted: September 30, 2018




I was watching the sunset. It was something pretty special in the line of Nairobi sunsets and it made me feel swell. The pitch was in the flatland between The E block and the Administration block, and I could smell the exhausted unleaded petrol from vehicles in the busy Haile Selassie Avenue. It’s something I’m going to miss since some show off middle class people are selling everything just to buy electrical vehicles.

 I was standing alone, off to one side of D block in the Campus. The usual noises of students from the lectures were being made behind me, and the promo sell gang was pinning the last of the tents down tight. But I wasn’t thinking about Miriam’s beauty; the Beauty of Miriam the Heart Breaker.

I was remembering Mimah Mohammed contesting for Miss Campus in the main Hall two weeks ago to the promiscuous judges and students. I was wondering where Miriam had gone, taking my dreams with her, because now I could hardly remember what they were.

Somebody said sensitively from behind me, “Bwire?”

I quit thinking about Miriam. It was that kind of a voice-sweet, silky, guaranteed to make you forget your own name. I turned around.

She marched her voice, all right. She stood about five-three on her bronze heels, and her eyes were more purple than the Ngong’ Hills. She had a little button of a nose and a pink mouth, smiling just enough just to show her even white teeth. The beautiful dress she wore hugged a chassis with no flaws in it anywhere. I tried to find some.

She dropped her head, so I could see the way the last of the sunlight tangled with her black hair.

“They say you help other students with assignments. If I’ve made a mistake….”

She had an accent, just enough to be fascinating.

I said, “I’m that person. Something I can do for you?” Still I couldn’t find anything wrong with her, but I kept looking just the same. My blood pressure had gone to about three hundred.

It’s hard to describe a girl like that. You can say she’s five-three beautiful, but you can’t pass on the odd little tilt of her eyes and the way her mouth looks, or the something that just comes out of her like light out of a lamp, and hooks into you so you know you’ll never get rid of it, not if you live to be a hundred

She said, “Can you help me with my Economics assignment? I really need help.”

I shook my head. “Sorry, I have like three other assignments to do.”

Her face had a look of steel under the soft kittenish roundness. “I’m not just talking,” she said. “And if by tomorrow morning I will not be through with my assignments, I will be forced to retake the same unit. I would have done it myself if wasn’t for the Modeling Contest in the Main hall tonight. Look me over.”

That’s all I’d been doing. I guess I was staring by then. You don’t expect fleecy dolls like that to have too much iron in them. She wasn’t bragging. She was just telling me.

“Still I got the other assignments,” I told her, “The green-eyed Engineering student who is also in need with his assignment, would tear my head off and yours too, if I decide to help you.

“Oh,” she said. “Sorry. I thought you bossed what you do.” She let me think about that, and then grinned. “Let me show you the assignment.”

She was close enough so I could smell the faint, spicy colognes she wore. But she stopped me from being just the dude chinning with a pretty girl. Right then I wasn’t John Bwire, the carny nerdy-guy, with scars on my knuckles, and assignments to write. I was something else; something that was free from nerdish and heartbreaks.

The girl was watching my face. She didn’t say anything more, or even move. I scowled at her

“You’d have to pay more if I agree to do your work.”

“I don’t care. Anything to avoid re-doing that Unit. Anything to…”

She stopped right there and bent her head again, and suddenly I could see tears on her thick brown lashes.

I said. “Okay. Come over to the library and we’ll have a look.”

Me, I was tempted to sign her for what was wrapped up in that beautiful dress—but business is business. And also I couldn’t take any more disappointments

She said shakily, “You don’t soften up very easily, do you?” We started across the D block towards the school library. The night was coming down cool and fresh. Off to the left, the slim white spires of KICC, Anniversary Tower and Times Tower were beginning to show a rainbow splash of colors under their floodlights.

Everything was clean, new and grateful. Only the unpleasant noises and the smell of the unleaded petrol were old.

We were close to the library door, stumbling a little in the dusk of the afterglow. Suddenly a shadow came tearing out from between the promo sell tents.

It went erratically in lithe, noiseless bounds, and it was somehow not friendly though it seemed to know the girl. The girl caught her breath and shrank in a little against me. The shadow went around us three times a like a crazy thing, and then stopped.

There was something eerie about the sudden stillness. The hair crawled on the back of my neck. She opened her mouth angrily.

The shadow stretched itself towards the darkening sky and let go a cry like Lucifer falling from Silver City.

She cursed.

“Ricky, leave me alone!” She yelled.

Ricky made a fist.

I put my arm around her. “It’s alright,” I said, and then, “you heard her, hit the road.”

There were many things I wanted to say, but the girl cramped my style. Ricky slunk in towards us with a fist. I didn’t blame him for his actions. Mimah Mohammed was very beautiful to let go.

Ever try to take a bone from a dog? Or Jesus from a bishop of Rome? Well, this was worse. Ricky expressed his objection forcibly.

Tyson or no Tyson, Karate or modern taekwondo, one thing that doesn’t change much is a brawl, and this was a good one. I don’t know how he delivered the right that met my chin, and I don’t know who it was meant for— maybe I did, but it was just what I needed. Not straight enough to do more than daze for a minute, but just hard enough to rouse my fighting spirit to the point of the hell with anything but finding targets for my knuckles. I avenged my sister when her crazy ex-boyfriend dumped her, I avenged for unknown street boy in the ghetto of Mathare, I avenged my dog (Rex) when some stupid village boy tried to kill her and when I was ten years old, and I avenged the plague of illiteracy in my primitive village. And now I was going to avenge my honor.

Grinning tightly, I stepped back a pace, clenching my fist. Mimah caught my other arm

“Hold it.”

I swung around, glaring. “Let me show this guy…”

Presuming, Ricky seeing his opponent’s attention distracted, acquired more courage and came in swinging. Mimah reached past myself, planted her open hand in his face, and pushed hard. Ricky almost fell backward.

As he rebounded, he saw a little crowd of curious people gathering near the library door, but, one of the school guards, kept them out of the library door as the other school guard reached to us.

Ricky licked his lips, hesitantly, he decided to leave when he saw the security guard.

“What was that?” The school guard asked.

“Nothing,” I said softly, “She was just saying hey to her older brother.”

She laughed.

I couldn’t hear the conversation of the little dispersing crowd above the hubbub of the promo sell gang, but its importance was evident. Presently, the security guard shrugged, his mouth forming a disgust, and departed.

As we stood there. Nobody said anything to each other. I didn’t know what to say. I remembered my first year in the college how I prayed hard to God’s miracle. A miracle that would lead to my existence in her eyes. I also remembered the promise I made to myself two days ago. No woman for me, not now. But, was that fair? Was I going to judge Mimah because of my experience with Miriam? Was I also going to allow my promise to come between me and my almost forgotten prayer? What should I do?

Finally, I decided to fuck-up my promise. Blindly, I went for it.

I stepped close to her and I took her in my arms.

As beautiful she was; she fitted in my embrace as if she belong there; and, she returned the kiss. Its warmth had an effect beyond my imagination.

I had intended to free myself in the middle of the kiss.

I didn’t.

When I finally released her, it was only a physical release. My mind was still completely under her domination.

I felt shaken. The flames of desires that leapt through me was telling a tribute to the bout I had undergone with Ricky. But it was entirely beyond my analysis of the intensity of my own feelings.

I love this girl with such a violence that the mere touch of her was enough to disconnect my will of living immediately following.

My heart grew quieter; I studied her with a semblance of detachment.

As I said before, she was lovely in a gorgeous fashion; though almost all women from the Coast are better-looking. Her lips, while medium full, were somehow trifle cruel; and there was a quality in her eyes that accentuated the cruelty (it was evident considering how she dealt with Ricky).

She looked at me. Her stormy gaze quieted. She said finally, in a stony voice: “If you try that again I shall feel justified to chop your balls.”

Damn! That was the cruel thing to say.

I stared at her calmly; then I laughed. Finally I said, a trace of mockery in my tone: “If I remember rightly, the lady who just spoke is the same one who I thought was so naïve thirty minutes ago.”

There was no answer. Mimah brushed past me and took her ringing phone.

After some few minutes from her phone.

Her expression was more serene; I noted she was constantly looking at her watch. She looked at me steadily, said, “I don’t think I will be able to be with you in the library. All the contesters are needed in the E block after twenty minutes.”

“I thought the contest was supposed to start at 2300 hours,” I said.

The girl shrugged; there was an arrogant note in her voice as she replied, “I will see you in the contest,” she said, “Before I forget I will send a friend of mine to pick you at 2200 hours.”

I didn’t speak. I went in the library quickly. Somehow it did not matter so much that she left in hurry, now, in some way, I was closer to her life than before; the one thing of real importance at the moment.

Thank you for the answering, I thought, not knowing that I was praying. Thank you for the answering!

And now in the library would be silence, researching and waiting. That, at least, had not changed. My eyes turned to the library clock.

One hour and thirty minutes to complete her assignment.






























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