Walking along Nairobis Haile selassie Avenue, i almost collided with a pregnant woman whose skin was glowing with youthful fragance.
In this country where teachers and nurses strike at a drop of a hat and a mooing cow could lose its innocence at a ‘private clinic’ in a flash, she allowed a tadpile to whiplash across her Atlantic and zap one of her prized eggs into life brave girl.
Her face was bereft of that unhappy strain in women who regret walking down the aisle, so I guessed she was newly and still happily married. The stains and strains come later. Or maybe she was single and the father of her unborn child vanished, like the man who urinates on a lamppost and walks, without backward glance.
Hopping over an open drain, I wondered whether she met him at a wedding. Maybe church or Facebook. Maybe they were workmates. Or perhaps she shoved his thigh crudely against hers i a matatu and strucj up a conversation, as if that would ignite a defunct volcano. It always starts with the weather by the way, even in this digital age.
“The cold in this town can kill someone… ”
She rolled eyes and smiled scornfully. Deep down, she knew he was thinking of a different kind of heater so she glared at him, shifted from annoying thigh and stared out at the window. But the ‘fisi’ kept talking.
He asked for her phone number. She ignored him.(this is where all the problems start). Finally in exasperation, she gave in to shut him up because he kept pleeding and pestering, oblivious of the disapproving looks from akorino couple in the adjoining seat. When she alighted, he said bye, excluding a fondness so fake she was tempted to smack hom across the face.
“He will probably send me a lewed text message an hour from now and I will call and rudely tell him off, “she swore. But a day passed. Then two, a week, two, a month.. He never called.
Evey time her phone buzzed she hoped it was that annoying gum-chewing matatu man so she could scream,” Never, ever call this number again! “then hang up and block his number. She was dying to tell someone all the nasty things she wanted to tell her ex. But, like Pablo, he never called.
Then one boring Friday in the middle of the month when everyone is broke, thw heat is stifling and her former best friend had just post 13 pictures in Facebook – holding pablo, riding on Pablo’s back, gazing adoringly at pablo, feeding pablo-her phone rung.
Clearing through nervously :”Hi.. Its me. ”
Angry hiss:” what do you want? “smooth like a snake :” could we please like to have a coffee? Today? Please?
Four hours and three bottles of smirnoff later, she realized how lonely and vulnerable she was, how much – any man. “do you have it?” she whispered when they kissed in the taxi outside her flat.
The condom burst that night. And like a man who oees on a lamppost, spits and walks away zipping jid pants without backward glance, he malted into the dusty morning air and never returned.
Seven months on, there she was, walking bravely down the street on a Saturday afternoon, wondering, like vher folks and friends :Where is the baby daddy?.