You know they say you have to kiss a couple of frogs before you find your prince. God only knows how true it is in this Nairobi city of ours. In June 2013, I was with my frog. This man had cheated on me twice but I stayed because I thought I loved him. I was tired though. We were fighting again and I was pissed.
My girls and I decided we were going to have a girls’ weekend so we headed up to Naivasha. I don’t drink so I ended up being the designated driver by default. We were so excited to spend some extremely needed catch-up time together. The girls away from their husbands and kids, me away from the jerk who had passed the boyfriend’s expiry date. I swear if there was a punk of the year award he would have won it hands down.
It wasn’t long before we were at Hell’s gate, the girls super excited for the party going down that evening. If I was being honest, I wasn’t really in a party mood. My girls though were ready to go wild!! So of course, I couldn’t be the party pooper, reluctantly I resigned myself to being the only sober one at this party. Now, the frog (boyfriend) back in Nairobi had been blasting my phone, giving me all levels of grief, and I was so done! We finally talked on the phone at around 11 PM. After a shouting match, and several colourful words we broke up.
So, there I was at this party at Hell’s Gate, having broken up with my boyfriend, not knowing how I was feeling, and fully sober! I had two options:
- Have a pity party.
- Say screw it all.
I put my grown face on and went with the second option. Sauti Sol was performing fire music on the stage. I went up and danced like no one was watching. Moving my body as if the only audience I had was the Naivasha nighttime stars and the ground beneath my feet. When I let myself experience it the magic began.
After all that dancing I was thirsty and I needed to get some water. When I went looking for some water to cool me down, he walked up to me with what may have been the corniest line ever. “I think I know you”.
It took me a second to debate in my head whether he spoke the truth or this was just some ruse that would lead to my eventual kidnap and murder. So, with all the dignified grace my mind could master I answered, “err, from where?”
“You work at the bank, right?” He responded. So obviously I started getting self-conscious because what if this was some big client who now had the potential to ruin my career? I could imagine him casually mentioning to my CEO how he saw this employee who’s supposed to be so responsible for turning up hard over the weekend. I internally groaned at the cards the world had thrown my way.
I cautiously allowed myself to be drawn into a conversation. He was such an interesting guy and it wasn’t long before we were talking about everything! I even forgot I was supposed to be getting some water. It didn’t pass me that this gentleman was also fine as fine wine. I was inherently smitten with this honey that was dripped in my direction. For three whole hours, we talked and laughed.
Finally, at around 4 AM, my girls came for me, I was so wrapped up in this conversation with this guy I had forgotten about anybody else. The girls were tired and ready to leave. But Lord knows I was not ready. I may have been sober but the infatuation left me feeling heady. “Let’s go!” The girls nagged incessantly.
He smiled, “It’s okay, I also need to pack up,” he explained about his portable bar.
“Okay, bye” I mumbled awkwardly and walked in the other direction with the girls.
It wasn’t a minute before one of my friends looked at me as if I were crazy, stupid or both. “That’s it? No exchange of numbers??? Can you go kiss the man!!”
The weird thing is, I was so hyped up by our beautiful conversation that it didn’t sound like such a crazy idea. So, I downed my drink, hoping to find all my ancestors’ bravery at the bottom and I went to go find him. He was packing boxes with his team. And as I stood there watching all that sexy, I thought, “what do I have to lose, right?”
So, I tapped him on the shoulder and when he turned I kissed him. I have never been an overly romantic person. So, when we kissed my mind could not comprehend what felt like angels singing and the ground melting. I swear the earth gave way and everything else faded into nothingness as our lips mingled. It was magic.
All too soon real life kicked into my fairytale kiss and it was over. I in all my gracious wisdom mumbled a quick bye and half ran back to the car. Only then in the comfort of my half-drunk girlfriends did I gush breathlessly “Guys that man! That kiss! Duuudeee that kiss… What even was that kiss?! I think my heart is still palpitating! I swear it was the most perfect kiss in the history of the planet.”
At least that’s what my logical brain had convinced me. But it wasn’t the end. As I was about to gush some more I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned and there he was, smiling goofily as he leaned in to kiss me. The kind of kiss that grown folks have that’s all proper and respectful without the needless groping and finding yet still sweet as candy in your mouth.
All too soon it was over. He smiled, whispered “bye” and walked away. This man left me standing there dazed and confused and he still didn’t get my number! But somehow, I got into the car, sat for a moment to gather my thoughts and drove off, literally singing! The girls couldn’t stop laughing and teasing me, but I didn’t care. I sang anyway.
They say when you know you know. “I have just met the man I’m going to marry,” I told my girls half-jokingly as we were about to reach the hotel….
It had been three days since the unforgettable weekend. My phone started ringing and I couldn’t recognize the number. I picked it up, “Hello?”
“Hi”, my stomach did that butterflies thing it does when caught by surprise. It was him!
He got my number from a mutual and so we talked… and talked… and talked. We decided to meet up. We both worked in town and I was doing my Masters at UON. He walked me to school every single day.
It had been ten days since we had met. We were sitting on a bench outside the school, he looked coy. We were talking about something or nothing or everything. Then our gazes caught. “Will you go out with me?” I heard the words without comprehending them for a minute. Words that would unknowingly change the course of my life. I had told my friends on the night we met that I was going to marry him. Ten days after that night he asked me out.
It has been four years to this day, four years of real-life ups and downs. Four years of love and laughter and tears and joy and sadness and all the emotions we as humans project onto this thing we call a relationship. Four years brought us to this place where I am getting married to the man I want to spend the rest of my life in less than a week. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Finding Love On A Girls’ Trip
The Unexpected Love Of My Life
Love Happens When You Least Expect It – The Unlikely Prince Charming
A Lunch Date Brought Me Back To Life After A Messy Divorce
A Kenyan Love Story: Love Song Part 1 – A Dream Turns Into A Nightmare
Sweet Cakes Will Not Get You Love Or Keep You Warm At Night (Part 1)
Rescue Me!! When Your Past Comes Back To Haunt You At The Workplace & Other Scary Ex Stories
The One Where A Fling Helped Her Heal
This story first appeared as Single Lady In Nairobi: How I Found Love In An Unexpected Place