My friend and I had been invited to a birthday party when we were in campus. The host of the party was a popular figure around campus so we knew it was going to be a huge event. It was an invite-only party so no gate crashers were being allowed inside. Among the instructions that the guests had to follow was a dress code. We were told to wear white shirts and blue jeans. It had been stated in bold letters that those who did not honour the dress code would not be allowed into the premises.
Another instruction was that all gifts were to be brought in a pink gift bag, there were further instructions about where we were going to buy these gift bags. The invites had been balanced in a way that the ratio of boys to girls was equal so we were warned not to bring any plus ones because they would spoil the perfectly planned ratio.
My buddy Brian and I were naive first years and rule followers so we honoured the dress code, bought gifts and got the pink gift bag. Looking back I guess it might have been a little weird to see two light-skinned young men walking around town with matching outfits carrying pink gift bags but we were too excited to even notice how we were presenting ourselves. The instructions on the invitation card clearly explained the directions to the venue of the party. Oh, and we were supposed to change into swimming costumes at some point because it would turn into a pool party. Again, the instructions were for guys to shave overgrown armpit hair. I kid you not.
We boarded the matatu to the venue and took the backseats. We were first in the mat but soon, it was almost full and only one seat remained empty; the one just in front of where we sat. A slender girl with many bangles on her arms and overdone makeup took the seat. In no time we were leaving town and headed toward the long-awaited party.
Around twenty minutes into the trip, my buddy Brian poked me with his shoulder, he signalled me with his eyes towards the slender girl seated in front of us. I wasn’t sure what I was meant to see so I shrugged my shoulders upwards to silently ask “What has she done?” Understanding my non-verbal cue, he signalled towards her once again, this time using his eyes and lips. I watched him for a second longer to try and understand what new information he was trying to pass. The longer I took to decode his message the more vigorous his facial movements became.
I finally looked over at the girl again and noticed that she was on her phone. I saw nothing out of the ordinary. I glanced back at Brayo and noticed that I hadn’t got it yet, he added a head movement which I understood as him telling me to look closely at what she was doing. I looked. She was texting, about us.
I looked at Brayo, I was a little confused. He slowly nodded, like he was saying, “I know bro, am just as confused”. Before I could come up with a non-verbal cue to ask what she was saying about us, he signalled me to go back to snooping. A new message had arrived. It read, “ebu take a picture I see them”. Fearing that she might decide to finesse a selfie and catch us snooping, we nervously assumed natural positions and waited to see if she was going to try and take a picture.
From her body language, the thought briefly crossed her mind but she chose not to take it. Instead, she texted something back, I looked over at Brayo looking for confirmation if he’d seen the content of the message. A frown and slow shaking of the head. He hadn’t seen either.
It took a minute or two before the next message came. When it did, we were well prepared and well-positioned to snoop some more. Over the next few minutes, the girl described to her friend how she thought we were handsome and how she could feel the smell of nice cologne wafting from behind her. I was like my Axe body spray was starting to pay off.
I leaned back in my seat, confident and a little proud of myself that this stranger was talking about how hot and handsome I was. Brayo however, kept following the conversation. I looked outside the window, marvelling at the beauty of the world, “I am beautiful like you!!”, I silently told nature.
My moment of self-love and appreciation was brought to a halting stop by Brayo. This time his face seemed to be trying hard to hold in laughter. I shrugged my shoulders again, he pointed to the girl with his lips. I looked over and it took me a second to catch up with the conversation. When I finally made sense of it, she was telling her friend how we dressed alike and had pink gift bags. The friend then said, “maybe they are a couple, you never know”. The girl seated in front of us then said that she had thought the same too when she first got into the mat. Oh how fast the tide had changed.
It got even worse when she started describing us and how she thought the one in the corner (me) was bigger than the one in the middle (Brayo) and so I was most probably the man in the relationship. The friend on the other side said that maybe we were going on a date and I had just bought Brayo some gifts, hence the pink gift bags. The girl in front of us agreed with her friend saying that she wishes us all the best in our relationship.
I was unsure whether to be mad or shocked. This entire conversation was just downright hilarious. The fact that they had discussed us, presumed to know us and even put us in an openly gay relationship was just amazing. We watched her get off the matatu and just burst into laughter because it had been a strange feeling to see her discuss us like that.
We figured this story was going to be a hit at the exclusive party. Once we alighted at the stage it was going to be a short walk to the venue. We could see a group of people gathered outside the gate of what we thought was the venue. Just like us, they were dressed in white t-shirts and blue jeans. There seemed to be some commotion so we walked faster to see what was going on. Just as we got to where the crowd was, everyone dispersed to different directions. The party had been cancelled!
Apparently, one of the guests had got too drunk and pooped in the swimming pool. There was an altercation as they tried to kick him out of the party, some guests joined in because they felt like the guy was being treated unfairly. The host was not pleased by their behaviour and kicked most of them out. We tried to plead our case, saying we had just arrived, but the watchman rudely dismissed us and told us we looked like the guy who had pooped in the pool. I guess our story wasn’t going to be a huge hit after all.
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