A young cultured and overly beautiful lady startled me. I almost spilled the cold 500ml Coca-Cola soda that was on the table. From my swift estimation, she had stood there for several seconds because I didn’t hear her approaching footsteps.

 Without a single word but, with lips full of heavy smiles, she placed two glasses and a bottle of liquor on the table; directly in front of me. She pushed my soda aside. It was John Walker Blue label. If you are lucky and you get it cheaply, you would have to part with just Ksh. 24,000. I could have easily told you that Ksh. 24,000 is enough to pay my rent and electricity for 3 months.

 My eyes quickly rolled from the liquor to her and back. And when my slow mind came back to senses, I immediately reasoned that she wanted to shock me to death for offering me a drink I wouldn’t afford. Or she had just mistaken me for a rich person who must have ordered the drink. The last option and one that I dared entertain for a couple of seconds was that ‘she is interested in me.’ Then, a blue tag written “Zipporah” on her left side caught my attention. Her choice of clothes blended well with the tag such that it wasn’t easily distinguishable.

 My calculations showed me clearly that she needed at least two months for her to comfortably afford this kind of liquor. Strangely also, to lavish a stranger! A simply dressed stranger who had panicked and bought two cold sodas. And by the way, I had planned to drive the sodas down slowly to coincide with the 90-minute Arsenal vs Liverpool game; one soda for 45 minutes.  

 All this time, I was smiling back sheepishly…wanting to openly say that I wouldn’t dare order such expensive liquors. She quickly understood and pointed at a corner. I followed her signal.

 And voila, there I saw this huge brown lady with a mini-dress that exposed her entire thighs out. Thighs that looked slightly browner than her hands and legs. Her hair had this fresh curl as one that had been done in a recent time.

 What shocked me were her lips. I don’t want to seem rude to humanity…but, aaai no way. They looked big. I immediately pitied those she had kissed before. She must have swallowed them.

 The waitress was a total opposite of this lady…she had sensual lips, and a young face full of innocence. I immediately deduced that she was a virgin.

 I would be wrong. We could ask the likes of Kamau, Odongo, or Muli. [No offense]

 Ooh, I wish she had been the one buying the liquor. I would have protected her with all my life. But, again she was poor. She was a waitress. A humble waitress who had been sent by a giant on a mission to destroy me. I didn’t know what the ‘giant’ wanted, but I was sure, I would pay for the liquor in one way or another if I ever touched it.

 The sweet waitress walked away and left me all alone with grins from my tormentor; who had started smacking her lips sensually as she fidgeted on her seat. She even beckoned me using a single finger…the second finger… it seems like she wanted to have me wholly. All to herself. All.

 I broke the glance and faced the other direction.

 Immediately, Pastor Simon Mbugua’s sermon rang through my mind. I remembered him quoting Proverbs 7: 6-15 ‘At the window of my house I looked down through the lattice. I saw among the simple, I noticed the young men, a youth who had no sense … Then out came a woman to meet him, dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent.  (She is unruly and defiant, her feet never stay at home; now in the street, now in the squares, at every corner she lurks.)  She took hold of him and kissed him… With persuasive words she led him astray; she seduced him with her smooth talk.  All at once, he followed her like an ox going to the slaughter, like a deer stepping into a noose till an arrow pierces his liver, like a bird darting into a snare, little knowing it will cost him his life.

 Did Pastor Mbugua oversee my situation? Had he been given ‘Ufunuo’ concerning my case!

 I was lost in my thoughts, momentarily.

 Yet again, someone scared me back to reality. This time round, it was the enormous Señora. She casually said, do you mind if I join you?

 Before I answered, she sat down and pushed her seat beside me.

 Everyone in the joint noticed. Some smiled. Some stopped watching the heated game to have a keener look and to understand this ‘brewing love spectacle’. Even when Mo Salah, ”chengaad” three Arsenal players and shot straight to the net scoring a classic goal, the investigators didn’t think it was that important. ‘My situation’ had suddenly become more important. They had to know.

 What made their curiosity shoot for the skies more is the fact that the woman looked at me straight in the eye for several minutes. She refused to look aside.

 By now, I was slightly trembling. I sneaked looks around to estimate the distance to the door. I did my calculations well. The plan was simple. I would stand up at once and shoot for the door at a terribly fast speed. Never again to be seen in that joint. Some thought even told me to leave Nairobi immediately.

 It was a stupid plan. I hadn’t paid for my soda.  

 So when she said, Hello…again; I responded with feigned courage and added some bass…”How are you”

 I had planned to die a man! If it is death she had brought with her. My mind reprimanded me… “Kwanzima, Don’t forget that some of these experiences are engineered by devil worshippers who want to drink blood. Was I overthinking?

 I’m Nelma.

 She declared as she poured the drink into the glasses, pushing aside my soda further. She carried her glass stylishly as one who had several years of experience…. she was waiting for me to raise mine for a click of cheers.

 I hesitated.

 I had to hesitate considering the tough sermons we had received about alcohol. Our Pastor had declared that drinking alcohol was one of the top evils because it “provided a clear path” for other sins.

 I finally rushed for my glass of soda and clicked it on hers.

 She raised her eyebrows. A cheeky smile was on her face.

 We sipped quietly.

 Meanwhile, Mo Salah was tormenting Arsenal. His passes were wowing the watchers who had also taken a break from us.

 Honestly speaking, I don’t know what this woman had seen in me.

 Being a Saturday, I had tried to dress smartly because of church. It is one of those days that I went for a pair of Khakis and a plain T-shirt. Being a hot day, I didn’t need a sweater. If you calculated the cost of the clothes I had put on plus my shirt and shoes, it couldn’t have gone past Kes. 700….shoes having taken the highest amount, Kes. 400.

 I had a cracked Infinix phone from 6 years ago. I’m lucky that it still worked even after falling in water twice and being rushed into unga; in an attempt to salvage it. I was among the type of people who still used “WhatsApp Mwitu.”

 So when she said, Kwanzima… don’t worry. I’m about to change your life for good, she caught my attention.

 And when she pointed at my phone having narrowly seen it, and said, between an iPhone 13 pro and a Galaxy Z Fold which one do you want…I rushed for the glass of alcohol that she had poured for me and drank it all at once.

I was ready.



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