Moving out was exciting and terrifying at the same time for me. Having lived with my parents for the longest time it felt like a whole shift. I was so used to hearing stories, constant banter and laughter almost every day. Even when my siblings moved out nothing much changed because it felt like I was the only child. All this changed when I got the opportunity to enrol at a university in Nairobi.
My parents lived in Mombasa so the only option was to move and stay alone. I didn’t like the idea of staying in a hostel, so I ended up finding a one-bedroom that was not that far from school. I always envisioned that by the time I moved out, I would end up staying in a classy apartment where I could decorate the way I wanted. However, since I was on a budget this was not an option.
On the day I was set to move, my parents offered to pay for me a flight so I could get to Nairobi early and start sorting out the house. By the end of the day, I was so tired that cooking didn’t seem like an option. So, I went out to the nearest Quickmart to buy some food. I have always been an organized person so you can imagine the shock I felt when I got to the counter and realized I didn’t have enough money. To make matters worse, I forgot to carry my phone.
“This can’t be happening!” I thought to myself as I tried so hard not to panic.
By this time, there was a long queue of people glaring at me. The cashier was just about to ask me to step aside so he could attend to other customers when my knight in shining armour appeared.
“How much is it?” He asked as he approached the counter.
“300 Kshs,” The cashier responded.
“Sorted,” He said while flashing me a smile.
“Thank you so much,” I replied as I packed my food and quickly left.
Given that there were so many apartment buildings around that Quickmart I was sure I would never see him again. That thought made it easier for me to avoid carrying the shame of what had happened. But my moment of peace ended up being short-lived the following day. I was in a hurry to leave and head to school for my first day. The minute I left the house, there he was also closing his door to leave.
“Hey,” He said with a smile.
“Hi,” I replied shyly.
“Did you enjoy your food?” He asked.
“Yes, thank you again for helping me out yesterday,” I replied.
“No worries,” He said.
I was about to ask him where he was heading off to until his phone rang so instead, I waved and left.
Later that evening, we bumped into each other at the main gate and ended up having a small conversation as we walked up to the third floor. Being so close to him I couldn’t help but admire him. Judging from his physique he didn’t seem like someone in my age bracket, which was a good sign for me. He checked my boxes in terms of cleanliness, attractive level and scent. He had this cologne that you could smell from a mile away.
We parted ways when we got to our floor, and I spent the evening thinking about how things would be if we ended up dating. The next couple of days we didn’t see each other, which was disappointing. However, I tried not to dwell on it since he was still a stranger to me. The week ended and on Saturday I decided to stay in and watch a series. The moment I switched on my laptop; I heard loud music coming from outside. Now normally I would ignore and wear headphones, but it was like a club had been opened in the building, so I decided to check it out.
I opened my door and realized that the music was coming from next door, which is where my attractive stranger lived.
“You need to remain calm,” I thought to myself as I walked up to his door and rang the bell.
A few seconds later, he opened the door and smiled at me. His smile was so mesmerizing that for a moment I forgot why I had walked up to his place.
“Babe, who is it?” I heard a woman say from inside his house and the sound of her voice was enough to snap me out of my trance.
“It’s my new neighbour,” He replied.
“Hey, I’m trying to watch a movie please could you reduce your volume?” I asked, trying to mask my disappointment with a fake smile.
“Sure, no worries,” He said.
“Great, thank you,” I said and quickly walked back to my door.
For the rest of the evening, I spent time thinking about this woman who was inside his house. Imagining how she looked and whether she only stayed during weekends or even weekdays. I hated rejection so much and even though this wasn’t exactly a rejection it felt like it. For the next couple of days, I kept replaying that moment in my head and wishing that she didn’t exist in his life. To avoid feeling worse I tried my best to avoid bumping into him or seeing him. Although I knew that it would not make it easier for me to let go of that crush, I felt for him.
If only I knew then that a random incident would not only change my perspective of him but ruin his relationship as well. Two weeks later, on a casual Saturday, I spent my day in the house cleaning and doing my laundry. By 4 pm I was done with everything and decided to settle in bed and watch a series. Just then I heard people yelling and arguing outside so I rushed to find out what was happening.
“Now what am I supposed to wear tomorrow!” One woman said.
“What’s going on here?” I asked as I approached the crowd of people who were surrounding a woman who was standing outside my crush’s door.
“This woman went up to the fourth floor and hanged her duvet on a weak line. The duvet fell and now the rest of us who live on the third to second floor our clothes are wet,” One of the guys replied.
“Why didn’t you just go to the rooftop and hang it there?” One woman asked.
“Do this, wait for the owner of the house then you can ask him those questions. You people won’t stress me!” She yelled.
“I don’t even know why you bothered to wash that duvet and Lydia had it cleaned a week ago,” Someone from the crowd replied.
“Excuse me?” She asked.
“If you knew what goes on in this house when you are not here, you wouldn’t be giving us unnecessary attitude,” One man said as he walked away.
“What is that supposed to mean?” She asked again.
Nobody responded, instead they all dispatched and walked away.
“I don’t know why Andrew keeps picking these kinds of women. A guy like that playing womanizer with blondes is so unfortunate,” I heard one of them say in a low tone before laughing.
Walking back to my house I was so disappointed one would think I was one of his many women. Later that night, I heard them arguing and even though it was annoying, going over there was not an option. After that day I never saw her again and given his reputation at the building, Andrew also ended up moving.
Never did I imagine that a few weeks of living alone would be filled with so much drama. Anyway, you live, and you learn.
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