I found my first love after I was done with high school. It was surreal, realizing that all the flings I had before meant nothing. My life and drama are synonyms so you definitely know this was a rollercoaster.
I was randomly swiping through my Instagram feed, lying cosily on my mom’s sofa instead of doing the gazillion chores she’d shouted to me while I was half asleep. I knew by the time mom came home, she would receive complaints from our nosy neighbours. “Your daughter plays extremely loud music!” I also knew my mum would brush it off because I learnt that skill from her. She gave me a run for my money when it came to things music and partying.
I would say a beautiful girl caught my eye whilst on my social media escapades. Except, beautiful is not a word that would do justice to the exquisite face that stared right back at me. The gorgeous smile with exceptionally white teeth. Those perfect eyes that instantly put me into a trance. Her body was a creation of art. No extra fat, everything snatched proportionally. Before I could collect my flummoxed brain cells, I was already in her DMs, thanking the hydrated, stress-free goddess that had curved this masterpiece.
Of course, I knew I wasn’t going to get a reply but stalking her feed gave me enough energy to actually scrub the floors and do our laundry. I knew mom would definitely ask what favour I wanted from her. I had never done laundry in the 18 years of my existence.
She was half Kenyan half South African which put her beauty into perspective. Not only did she reply to my dm but she also gave me her number and asked me to text her. I was flabbergasted. Being the queen of overthinking, I had sleepless nights trying to figure out why she had chosen a basic girl like me who knew nothing about life. Moreover, she was a successful business lady who owned an international fashion company. She was extremely busy as she travelled a lot and thus we could call our relationship a long distance one.
“You’ve been dating her for seven good months without meeting up? Are you dumb?” My best friend mentioned, worry and a hint of surprise glaring at me. “Kwani you don’t know how catfishing is a booming business on social media currently?… For a smart girl, your decisions often surprise me.”
Within a short while, my best friend’s words would echo in my mind.
I was getting frustrated. She never video called and every time she was supposed to come to Kenya, something popped up. We constantly argued about this. I actually broke up with her a few times before eventually going back to her. I was downright head over heels for her.
The last straw kicked in when I was still on my Instagram escapades. I literally found a similar account as hers. Same photos, same everything, different names. I was livid! My calls were going to voicemail, she was not active on WhatsApp or any other social media account. I sent her countless messages but no reply came through. Had I fallen for a ghost? Was someone soliciting love from a naive teenager by using someone else’s photos? Imagine being conned into falling in love. I was thinking about the stories I had read about The Making Of A Conman Catfish
I cried myself to sleep on a daily for about two weeks straight. I confessed to my mom and she held me as I balled my eyes off. We, later on, ordered pizza and ice cream as we binge watched the bold type. Then my phone rang. “Baby” the caller ID read. I hadn’t gotten myself to delete her number yet. Mom told me to pick it up and listen to what however was at the end of the line had to say.
“Hey babe, I know you are extremely mad at me. I can explain it all. Kindly meet me up tomorrow at the Tribe Hotel. I promise it will all make sense then.”
I hang up, without saying a word. She sounded genuine. My mind refused to work. She was on the loudspeaker and therefore my mom heard everything.
“I’ll drive you,” Mum said with utter finality.
I spotted her first, in all her glory. She looked exactly, if not better than her photos online. “There she is,” I heard myself whisper.
“She’s not a hoax after all” mom smiled as she walked away leaving me to walk towards my date. My palms were sweaty. My steps were shaky. Nevertheless, I realized they were still working quite well when I found myself standing next to her.
“Hi!” My high pitched squeak dared not to conceal my anxiety mixed with excitement. My tummy got those butterflies when she smiled before looking up.
Did she actually know my voice? Okay, I could barely hold myself together as she came up, giving me a cosy hug.
“You look lovely,” She said to me whilst pushing me a sear to settle down with her. I am naturally awkward and thus was scared that I would ruin this. I was also super aware of the fact that I was sited next to my girlfriend of seven months, yet I was meeting her for the first time! It was staggering!
She casually took over the conversation, allowing me time to settle in. Something I appreciate up to date. We ordered and soon enough, I was laughing at everything she said, quickly deciphering another talent of hers, she was undoubtedly hilarious. God must have created her on an outstandingly good day.
“I was robbed” The subject matter came from nowhere.
“And by robbed I mean actual gunmen walking into my house while I was asleep, ransacking my apartment as a gun was held to my head.”
Her voice cracked. I stared at her wide-eyed. I was busy writing pdfs, catching enormous feelings while my girlfriend was literally being hijacked at gunpoint. I was guilt-ridden. My mouth could barely make a word.
She continued, despite it being obvious that she didn’t want to talk about this. She explained how she had lost close to ten thousand dollars within a span of one night.
“I should have probably flown in the night before to my girlfriend and used that money on her instead,” she joked.
I was dumbfounded, but soon enough, she had me talking about everything and anything, unleashing my ugly laugh from time to time.
My single days were over or so I thought. But that is a story for another day.
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