This was the third time Amanda had reinstalled the popular dating app. She knew most of the guys she found there were just looking for a quick smash but having used it before she also knew that it was possible to find meaningful connections on it. Given her work schedule, it was difficult to meet new people often, so the app filled the gap.
Jacob caught her eye because he didn’t seem to have put too much effort into his profile. He didn’t have a thirst trap picture like most of the other guys, and his profile was realistic. Swiping right didn’t need much convincing. She had used the app before and had some experience profiling people from their bios.
Jacob texted her about an hour later, and they hit it off. At first, they would check on each other every two days, but as the days went by, the frequency of the conversations increased. They graduated to exchanging phone numbers. Jacob also noticed that Amanda was mostly available from nine o’clock in the evening, so he asked her what she did.
“So what do you do for a living because I’ve noticed your schedule seems to free up after nine?”
“Quite observant, I see,” Amanda responded.
“Occupational hazard I guess.”
“And what might the occupation be?” Amanda asked.
“I’m in the IT field,” said Jacob.
“I’m a freelance writer hence my schedule,” said Amanda.
“A writer interesting, what kind of writing?” Jacob asked.
“I mainly do copywriting but I also provide ghostwriting services to clients for other forms of writing,” Amanda responded.
“Do you have any links where I can check out your work?”
Amanda sent him a link to a blog in the U.S. After a while, he texted her back.
“So you work for clients in the U.S.?” Jacob asked.
“Yes, although I occasionally get work from the U.K. too,” Amanda responded.
“Don’t you feel like a sell-out?” Jacob asked.
“I’m lost. Why would I feel like a sell-out?” Amanda asked.
“Exporting your skills to another country? I haven’t heard you mention Kenyan clients so I’m assuming you don’t deal with any,” said Jacob.
“That’s because I tried getting a gig locally and wasn’t successful, should I have starved to prove my patriotism?” Amanda asked defensively.
“I think that’s the problem with Kenyans, they don’t want to get creative and use their skills to grow their country. Take me for example; I just came back from the United States for a Master’s degree from one of the top IT universities. I could have stayed there because I had a job offer but I decided I wanted to use the knowledge and skills I’ve gained in my country,” Jacob responded.
“So do you have a job here already?” Amanda asked.
“I have a couple of job offers to consider. I’m still weighing out my options,” Jacob replied.
“You speak from privilege. You have the upper hand by virtue of having attended a school in the U.S. You’re also in IT, an industry that’s quite marketable currently. Thirdly, for you to turn down a job in the U.S. in favour of one here only means you were sure about your job prospects or you had a safety net in case things didn’t pan out, many people don’t have that,” Amanda argued.
“I did it out of principle but let’s even say there were no jobs here, what have you done to improve the situation here after getting greener pastures out there?” Jacob asked.
“We can’t all be entrepreneurs, I feel like that’s arguing that individual citizens have the mandate to fix system failures,” Amanda said.
“But you do, what’s the saying about asking what you can do for your country instead of what it can do for you?”
“I spend the money I earn in my country and I pay taxes,” said Amanda.
“Anyway, you’d not get it unless you study in some schools. By the way, have you gotten your master’s degree?” Jacob asked.
“No, I haven’t,” Amanda responded, ignoring the first part of his statement.
“I hope you consider pursuing it outside the country,” Jacob told her.
“I don’t intend to further my studies in that regard unless something changed my mind in future,” Amanda responded.
“Why wouldn’t you get one? I don’t know how you’d fit in my circle of friends and family because everyone has a master’s or a PhD and those without are either pursuing one or intending to,” said Jacob.
The heated discussion continued for another hour and opened the floodgate. In every conversation or argument they had after that, Jacob would find a way to mention his academic credentials. He would also constantly compare his life abroad with his life in Nairobi. While at first Amanda could understand his frustration, she often felt like telling him he should probably go back if he felt the people here didn’t act accordingly. But she didn’t say it; some of her also wondered whether she was judgmental, so she put up with him.
By now, they had gone on a couple of dates. He seemed smitten with her, making her stick around, but the differences were greater than their common points. He also kept imposing ideals and a lifestyle on her. “Babe, you know you have to get used to these things when I become a big person in this country,” he’d often tell her. They had heated debates quite often. The straw that broke the camel was when Amanda did work outside her comfort zone, and the client was pleased with it. Naturally, when something good happens, you want to share the information with someone you care about. So Amanda shared it with Jacob.
“I had such a good today,” said Amanda.
“Why? What happened?” Jacob asked.
“I wrote a technical article today and the client gave very positive feedback,” Amanda said excitedly.
“Oh, send me the paper,” said Jacob.
Amanda sent it.
“This is something a first-year undergraduate from my university would easily do. You missed out on a few points,” Jacob responded after reading it.
“Could be, but it’s not an academic paper. I’m writing for a different target audience that requires the information packaged in a certain way,” Amanda defended herself.
As expected, Jacob tried to convince her that his perspective was right. Amanda was tired. Initially, the discussions were exciting, but with time it was clear that Jacob thought his academic credentials made him smarter than others on every matter, even when he didn’t know much about a topic. She ended things with him the following day after that incident.
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