It started when I met this guy at my friend, Maggie’s party. It was a Friday evening. I was looking all fine, if I do say so myself but I was just out of a relationship so I was not looking for anything besides having a reasonably good time and catching up with friends, maybe networking kidogo. So when Maggie introduced me to this man whose name was Dennis, it was a very casual interaction. The connection was that Dennis was a Videographer and as an aspiring filmmaker, my friend knew we would have some things to talk about.
We hit it off right away. Dennis was cool, late twenties or early thirties, put together, charming and very funny. You know when you hit it off with someone and you know they are going to be a good addition to your life as a friend? Well, that is exactly how it was with Dennis. Here was what I thought to be the perfect click. As we were talking we found out we lived really close to each other and decided we should hang out sometime.
Now it was not to be the hangout for the Netflix and Chill business that kids have these days. I was going to cook this man a good home meal and we would talk about life, the weather, and our communal love for all things film and motion picture. It would be all respectable and proper. At least that was the plan.
On Sunday morning I skipped church to stay home and cook something light. It was one thirty-ish when I heard the doorbell to my shared two-bedroom flat ring. My roommate was out today with her boyfriend and wouldn’t be coming back until late so I knew it would be fine for me to have a guest over. The bathroom door was halfway open and I checked myself out in the mirror to make sure I looked presentable as I walked towards the door.
I opened the door and Dennis stood there, half grin lazily sitting on his face. I had to admit he cleaned up nicely. He was wearing dark blue jeans, a sweatshirt, and a smart blazer. “Ehh, are you going to let me in or not?” I realized I had probably been staring for longer than is socially acceptable. I laughed at myself.
“Sure, karibu. Leave your shoes by the door.” He visibly sniffed the air and gave an even bigger smile.
“What is that? And why does it smell divine?” He followed the smell to the kitchen and I had to half jog to block the door before he could get in. “No, not today. You are going to have to go and sit your ass down until lunch is served on the table.”
“Feisty woman, ehh?” He laughed, “Sawa sawa. As you say ma’am.” I walked him over to the sitting room and he sat down grudgingly but willingly.
“Give me seven minutes and the food should be ready.” I spoke as I walked back to the Kitchen area, “Would you like anything to drink in the meantime? We don’t have the biggest option list right now but I can do something like tea for you, and there’s yoghurt and juice in the fridge. Alcohol doesn’t last in this house so we just avoid wasting money on it.”
He laughed even more. His laugh built upon itself in the most entertaining way. “Water is fine, thank you.” I brought out the glass filled nearly to the brim and then went back to finish up, praying the result would make even Chef Ramsay proud, well at least not extremely disappointed. I left the door open so we chatted through the open space for all five of five minutes while I flitted back and forth with cutlery and dishes.
“Wow! This looks incredible!” Dennis smiled when it was finally time for him to see the meal consisting of Pilau, kachumbari, and some stew.
“Tebu eat kwanza before complimenting the chef and realizing your eyes may have deceived you.” I chuckled as I served and placed a plate in front of him.
“My eyes never deceive me. When I see something I like I know I have hit the goldmine.” He wasn’t looking at the food anymore and I felt like he wasn’t talking about it anymore either. I swear if I was white I would have turned red at that moment. I laughed it off, “Stop being a flirt and eat your food.”
He had a sparkle in his eye that comes from being a guy who is too used to getting what he wants, “A feisty, beautiful woman who can cook? The food is not the only thing looking delicious right now”.
“Well, pray tell what else is edible and good for you?”
“You are probably good for me.” This man was smooth eh?! He walked closer and I swear I could pick up my heartbeat drumming a little faster.
“Since I walked in it’s been hard not to stare at the way your clothes hug you, wishing I could be your sweatshirt for a moment.” His eyes flittered down to my chest. I sat down using the table as a shield. Dear Lord, it was easy to feel some type of way with a man who had lines sliding off his tongue like water dripping from a melting icicle. But I wasn’t ready.
“Dennis you are sweet but…” he walked around the table and placed a finger across my mouth all movie-like, brushing my chin with his thumb. “Don’t say any buts,” he drew me up, placed his arms around my waist and kissed me full on the lips, drawing me into him… and before I knew what was happening my hands were around his neck and I was kissing back. It didn’t take long for reality to slap me across the face when I realized he was urging me towards the carpet.
I gently pushed him away, slightly heady and breathless. “Dennis, I’ve just come out of a long messy relationship and I don’t think I want to involve myself in anything right now. I just am not sure about…” he tried to shut me up by kissing me again. My long-winded rant obviously was not going to do the trick with this one. I stopped him again and this time removed myself from his embrace, “Umm, maybe we should go and get food? It’s getting cold.”
He brushed my neck, “I told you, I want to taste you first!”.
I laughed hesitantly, “Well you have, haven’t you? Now don’t be rude and refuse the food I spent so much time preparing for you.”
He looked a little agitated as I walked back to the table, forcing him to follow. We sat down and the conversation was a bit strained after that. At some point during the meal he spoke, “I have a girlfriend.”
I nearly choked on the pilau in my mouth and had to take a sip of water to avoid coughing myself to death. “Excuse me?”
“If it makes it any easier, I have a girlfriend. But I am choosing to be here with you because you fascinate me.”
How in on God’s green earth had I ever thought I could be friends with this guy? He had a girlfriend and he was hitting on me hoping to get lucky. I was already tired and getting anxious. I couldn’t pretend to do this anymore. It could go down as my worst date in history but I was done. “Please leave.”
It was his turn to look at me in amazement, “What?”
“Please get out of my house now. I don’t think this was the best idea and I do not have the energy.”
“What was that?” I asked. He hadn’t seen my crazy yet but he was about to. He lifted up his hands and backed off… “Hey, hey. I am leaving but I really did think you were better than this Abby, I thought we may have had something special. I guess I was wrong…” I couldn’t believe the trash spewing out of this man’s mouth who, barely an hour ago I had found attractive. I shut the door behind him and slid down onto the floor, groaning with my head in my hands. How do I even get myself in these situations?
I decided I was just going to cut this man out of my life completely. Thankfully I didn’t know him well enough that my life would change in any way if he did not exist. Or so I thought.
On Monday morning after spending the precious evening with my roommate binge-watching Game of Thrones and questioning my love life decisions, I woke up not even worried about anything. Dennis who? I was getting ready to head to work when my phone rang and I realized it was Maggie calling me. “Hey honey, what’s up?” I asked as I put the last of my things together.
“Abbie, are you crazy? Are you absolutely insane? Please tell me what is wrong with you. Are you having an early life crisis or something?”
“Whoa whoa whoa, calm down. What’s going on? Can you tell me what I did?”
Maggie snorted. “You bloody smashed the freelance videographer! How could you do that? Do you know how awkward this will be for me?”
“Wait? What?! Maggie, I didn’t smash anyone! What are you talking about?”
“You know you don’t have to lie to me, Abby. I might be super pissed but I will get over it.” She paused, “his girlfriend probably won’t though.”
“Maggie, please explain to me what you have heard and from where.”
“Well, you know how men are always bragging to their boys about stuff. Well, I overheard Dennis tell Ken, my colleague how yesterday he smashed the super-hot filmmaker chick from the party last weekend. And I wasn’t the only one who overheard. By the time you come to the office to pick up the film for editing, I am sure half the building will have heard rumours. Being such an artsy start-up, every wall has ears and gossip runs like it is being paid.”
“Oh shit.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. “Maggie, you have to believe me. That never happened. He has fabricated the story because I turned him down. Oh my God, why would he even do this? Are we in high school? Does his fragile ego need that much validation? Ohh crap. Maggie, please make people believe it didn’t go down like that.”
“For real? Nothing happened?”
“Well we kissed, but then he told me he had a girlfriend and I told him to leave. I didn’t know before that, I swear.”
“Okay, girl just get here. I will try and calm the storm a bit.”
Fifteen minutes later as I was driving up to the location Maggie’s startup used as an office, my stomach clenched itself. As I walked in I realized why. The secretary who was usually so friendly looked at me with cold eyes. Everyone I passed in the hallway seemed to say ‘homewrecker with their facial expressions.’ They didn’t really know me. I had only been called in as a video consultant once or twice before by Maggie. I walked into her office and sank into the chair in front of her desk.
“Screw my life” I muttered under my breath.
Maggie spoke, “And this is the dilemma of the male ego honey. I am sorry it had to affect you so personally, but you have to pick up the pieces and move on.” I looked at her incredulously, “Move on? I didn’t even know my pieces had fallen to the ground until now. How am I supposed to move on?”
“Well, you can do either one of two things, confront the situation, or ignore it and act like it never happened in the first place. The decision is yours.” I thought about what she said. I was tired of these guys who messed up girl’s reputations so that they could look good. Guys who said they had slept with girls even when they hadn’t so that they could brag about their body count. It had happened to women I knew but not to me. I was so so pissed.
“Do you have his girlfriend’s number?” I asked. I decided Dennis needed to pay for this behaviour he had probably gotten away with most of his life, and the only way to do that was to get the truth into the light… This time he had messed with the wrong woman.
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Featured image via happenings.com.