Post- Valentines Tale.
By Hellen Shikanda.
It is the 14th of the second month of the year and I am at home. The last time I checked on my calendar it was marked red for some special fete I hear they call it valentines. Google tells me Saint Valentine is the father of invention of this date. We commemorate him for this day for the courage he had in the name of love. It is the Sabbath and I am preparing for church. Customarily, I go to church late, maybe to be noticed but mostly I am just that lazy chap.
I am with this sister of mine who is to join form one next week. She is full of adolescence has been hit with shyness disease. Cupid rhymes with stupid for her case. She hates love and wants me to be like her. A private number calls in as we were walking to church. The devil again wants to win my being late to church today.
“Hey sasa Tiana?” the caller on the other side poised.
Am like… “Poa, ni nani please”
“Gaaai kumbe haukusave number yangu…anyway ni Skip”
Like we always say… “ Sorry aki, I lost my contacts”
“Its okay. Anyway, uko na form gani leo.”
I knew the angels of desperation had come to my rescue. I was elated waiting for him to pop the one million question for the 14th “Will you be my valentines?” I took a deep breath smiling at the church bell.
“Uuuhm… Nope sina form”
“Oooh sawa, what of your little sister.”
Shocked. How did he even know that my sister is still around. Kumbe the saying the beautiful ones are not yet born is plain verity. This team fisi was eying on my small sister and not me. I felt disappointed. Wished to drop school and join the convent. Maybe celibacy is my thing. With a shrill voice I answered him, just not to sound dismayed.
“My liitle sister is around, just alive and kicking.”
“Does she swim?”
“Everyone in our family, save my dad is aqua phobic and we cannot dare look into the swimming pool twice…sooo, too bad she swims not.”
“What gifts drive her nuts?”
Getting to my nerves now. I asked her to call her personally. Lindsey (my sister) standing there, impatient and irate since we were late for church. Again I want to give him news that someone wants her to be his valentine. It was a hard task for me because I knew once I break the news to him she would cry like a baby. Remember we are already near the church environs. My sister hates men. It is lover’s day and unlike me, she’s got someone who has offered to take her out.
I composed myself like a big girl and yes…
“Lindsey, Skip wants to talk to you,” I told him.
“Ati? Skip…that campus boy who thinks girls are like mangoes to be bought in the market anytime”
Ooops, remember those primary quotes from the holier than thou, she just used one to shut me up.
“Yes, that one…” I sided her so that we all lose. I talked ill of Skip, and even told him of a phony child of his that is inexistent. Forgive me Father, I sinned at your doorstep. Skip is still waiting on the other side. I texted him telling him that my sister does not want his gifts and is not ready to meet him.
He called again. This time very serious. Skip is dying to meet Lindsey. Lindsey doesn’t give a damn to the number of times he would kneel for her. Skip went ahead sending photos of him kneeling with his red trouser and crying for Lindsey. The crying moved me. I convinced Lindsey to go. We had to miss the mass for Skip’s sake. Poor love… oooh sorry, infatuation. I called Skip telling him that I will be coming with Lindsey.
Here we are, Lindsey, Tiana and Skip. Like we do in campus, he tried hugging Lindsey but…not so fast. That electric slap was enough. He smiled, he is a man of course. Lindsey looked at the menu and ordered for everything expensive. When I say expensive I mean it. Her food alone cost 6gs. Skip you are in trouble sir. Thank sportpesa and pray hard. He had to bet with the 3000 he had in his sport pesa account to get 6500. I hope all goes well by the time we are to go home. I only took a glass of blue berry juice…with some cheap pizza, just a 250 bob one. Skip took alvaro, ugali and managu. Don’t ask me why.
Time is moving very fast and the game is not yet over. The waiter comes and Skip looks at us in desperation.
“Tiana, I lost my bet”
This man must be joking. Did I even ask her to start gambling business? I ask Lindsey to escort me to the private offices like we always did with my friends in those idle days of high school. We took off. Skip will settle the bills himself…mwanaume ni effort. Valentine’s well fed…Kwanza Lindsey.
We arrive at home 7.30pm…past my dad’s curfew. Lindsey trembled because she is the only whose butts are still treated with the red mamba cane. Oooh kumbe it is Valentines. A time of the year when mum and dad go to places they never tell. Whoooa, lucky Lindsey. We got into the house and smiled at the events of the day. A tale to tell. At least Lindsey will have a story to tell her fellow mono’s in that catholic school she’s been called to. Rather a plot of a composition titled, The Most Memorable Day in My Life.
No one popped the one million question to me…but it was such an epic Valentine’s day. With the love of Skip.