There are many types of men in relationships but they all have something in common; the desire for their peers’ approval of their partners. They want to hear things like, “Have you seen Kevo’s new woman my guy?” or “Dude, you’ve outdone yourself this time.” Even when their women are not that attractive physically, they still look for something to show her off. I was no different when I started dating Eva.
Eva was different from all the girls I had paraded to my friends as girlfriends. She was exotic in every sense of the word. Eva was a rare mix of a high-maintenance girl but still had that ‘girl-next-door’ feel to her. She spoke five languages; English, French, Spanish, Arabic and Russian. The Russians blow me off. I mean, what are the chances that you find a girl who speaks Russian? Of all the things that I found interesting about her, she ranked quite high. Eva worked for a tour agency, or so she claimed.
I had just started working in a managerial position so the salary wasn’t too bad but I had a lot of financial obligations. Nevertheless, I was able to take her to exotic places every once in a while. You know what they say about caviar; you never forget the first time you taste it and the first day you can comfortably afford it. Well, my first time was with Eva.
It was our second date and she offered to plan it.
“I hope you have a tux,” she texted.
Instinctively I wanted to say no because I didn’t have one. I was just getting used to wearing a suit because of my job. If it were all up to me men would alternate between jeans and sweatpants but no one’s asking. So I thought to myself, “Challenge accepted.” For the next three days, my search history was filled with tuxedos. I couldn’t really ask my friends because they would make this a bigger deal than it was at the moment so Google was my whole rescue team.
I couldn’t wait for the date. All the romantic movie scenes that I disregarded were going to be my thing for the night. I bought a bouquet of roses to give her as I picked her up. I tried to come up with a funny line as I walked up the stairs to her apartment but as soon as I saw her I was dumbfounded. Eva was fine! As she smiled at me when I gave her the flowers the only thing on my mind was the red dress she wore. There’s just something about a lady in red. I said hello to her roommate and off we went.
“Directions, my lady,” I said aping a British accent because this was going to be one of those nights. Oh did I mention how good I looked in the tux? We were turning heads as we entered the restaurant. The waiter brought us the menu. Eva was ever so graceful and she ordered with the confidence of someone who is used to a certain lifestyle. When I looked at the menu I felt a grip in my chest.
At that moment I looked at all my options from the right to the left of the menu. The prices were ridiculous. I knew it was going to be an expensive night the moment she mentioned the tux but I didn’t know just how expensive it would be. In between my salary and savings, I was sure I could sort the bill but I had already started lining up my loan options. I would have to ask for soft loans the following day before the brokenness that hits employed people after a certain date caught up.
My thoughts were interrupted by my lovely date’s voice.
“Have you had caviar?” She asked.
“No, I haven’t.”
“Then allow me to order for you.”
Part of me was relieved because I could hardly read the names on the menu but the other part was afraid for my wallet. Anyway, we only live once and I had every intention of enjoying the night. We ate, drank and laughed a lot. We were very different but for some strange reason complemented each other. By the time the bill came, we couldn’t believe it had already been four hours. When the waiter left the bill, Eva pulled it to her side so gracefully.
“My treat,” she said softly.
A man was in a dilemma here. I couldn’t decide whether allowing her was good for my image although it was definitely good for my pocket or whether to insist on paying. After a short discussion, she paid. At that moment I knew I wanted her in my life.
Soon we were dating. She said she worked for a tour agency and so she travelled a lot. She particularly went to the coast a lot and every so often she would travel outside the country. Her roommate was her older cousin who was strict so we had to work around that a lot of the time. Four months down the line she had met most of my friends. They envied me a lot. She was the perfect woman. She was loving when she was around but she wasn’t clingy and had a sense of independence. It was probably the job.
Whenever she came over to my place we had a rule against using our phones after 9 p.m. So we would either put them on aeroplane mode or switch them off for a certain number of hours. Since she worked for a tour agency I started thinking we could use it to plan something for Valentine’s since it was a month away. Little did I know that this would be the beginning of problems.
It was now eight months into the relationship and we hardly had any fights.
“Babe, does your agency have good discounts for the Mara?” I asked.
“Hmmh, you want to go to the Mara?” Eva asked.
“I want us to go to the Mara.”
I didn’t even have enough time to explain the plan because of how fast the conversation went south. Soon I was accused of disrespecting her work boundaries. Apparently, she didn’t want our private travels to involve her work life. I did not quite understand why using their agency was uncomfortable for her but I needed her to get over the tantrum so I backed off the idea.
I was now a man without Valentine’s plan because we couldn’t travel after the fiasco. There were bad vibes associated with that idea. Two weeks before Valentine’s she told me that we would have to change any plans that I was making for the day because she would be travelling for work over that weekend. In fact, she would be happy if I just got her a certain perfume that she really wanted. I was thrilled because this was much more convenient and we were now back on good terms.
A day before Valentine’s I invited her over to give her the perfume. It was 9 pm so it was time for our ritual. It was time to go off the grid. She was in the washroom so I decided to turn off her phone for her. As I looked for the airplane mode button a message popped up.
“Eva, kuna walami wawili, mmoja anataka kupelekwa Malindi na huyo mwingine Samburu. They’re both your type, pick one.” (Eva, there are two white guys; one wants the company to Malindi and the other one to Samburu.)
My knees felt weak yet I was seated. I needed answers so I opened the message and saw a thread from the same number. The number belonged to a lady who got her escort gigs. In some of the messages, Eva would complain about the men wanting more than they paid for. In others, they would talk about sharing extra tips that a client gave her. The thread was long and Eva found me reading it.
“Why are you going through my phone?“ she said trembling.
“There are two white guys for you to pick from for Valentine’s.”
“What?” Eva feigned innocence.
“Your work thing. Judy says that they are just your type!”
She shifted from arrogance to tears and back to arrogance then tears once I confronted her. Eventually, she came clean and confessed to being an escort. All the work trips that she had travelled on were escort gigs. The tour agency did not exist hence her reaction. Her house was a central point for her crew of fellow escorts and her ‘strict cousin’ was the girl with the connections.
I didn’t quite hear everything else she said because I cut her short and kicked her out of my house. At this point, the only thing I could think of was the betrayal. Then I thought of my health and the idea of going for a test made my legs feel so heavy. For some strange reason, I thought of my mother and her prayers. I hoped they would be enough to help me deal with this. My exotic, perfect woman turned out to be an escort.
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