14th February. If there’s a day I will live to remember it has to be this. And I’m not big on dates on the real. Heck, there’s years ata birthday hupita naenda kukumbukia huko a day or two later. It’s a dreaded day for me and honestly, I wish a leap year would be pegged on the existence of 14th rather that a 29th.
I may seem salty but you will never know my pain so let me try paint a picture.
We will refer to them as bae.
Freshman year relationships are where it’s at. With the Ksh500/- budget dates and simple love, lending colleagues cash at a fee, faking school trips for some chums from the folks, endless calls to older siblings to saidia - we were happily getting to know each other and rarely had problems. It was not that deep! These days naona mkisumbua na #Happy19thDatevassary and I-… 🙄🙄
Anyway, what I’m getting at is that those were simpler times.
The only headache was what to do for bae on Valentines and New Year’s. Otherwise, the rest of year ilikuwa tu chips dates, house parties in Roysambu and a random concert because were you even living if you didn’t appear on event organizers’ Facebook pages? You’re probably wondering, “what about bae’s birthday???!” Hold up, I’m not that uncultured. Valentine’s Day was big big and it didn’t matter if I was a student. This draining day was also her birthday! Just mi luck, innit…?
On the bright side, I’d hacked 2 years so a third wasn’t gonna be where I drew the line - weakness hiyo. So as the day drew nearer, the hints began but I have the facials of a bag of cement. Bae didn’t know if I was clocking the hints or not. But I knew if I managed a Coast trip, then maybe ata the chips dates would be fewer, the Roysambu houseparties would also lessen – maybe even forget an event altogether! Best part? It would be forgiven because NILIPELEKANA coast.
I finally let up and said it was time to pack up coz we were hitting the road. Destination unclosed. But we were using public means so as soon as we hit tao my secret was almost out. Tukakimbia pale karibu Kirinyaga road. Kidogo Bonnie and Clyde were aboard a Coast bound bus. Bae said, “Ni funny! Most of my cuzos are gonna be at the coast coz a few of us share a birthday.” So I said to bae, “Nice! So si you link with them.”
Bae turned down the idea but I convinced bae to go be with family then we could Valentine on 15th. I said, I would look for some of Coast relatives to catch up and pass time on the 14th. Coast rides are the pits and no one can convince me otherwise. If you are waiting to hear of some drama wewe shinda hapo. My beef is that the rides are unnecessarily long and unfriendly.
We arrived and checked into some ‘guesthouse’. You wonder how I afforded it. Smh… let me just say, only dandaz would sell their textbooks and maybe a speaker or two to afford a trip to Coast. It is me. I am dandaz. Hakukuwa na mobi loans hizo siku so please don’t start with me.
14th came and the warm saline humid coast air woke us up. We did a small walk around the town as we looked for viazi karai na pilipili wa kukaangwa 😋😋. Bae was later picked by her cousins and off I was to meet my cousin.
It was nice until it wasn’t. Coastarians can really tell a story and never want to stop. So kidogo we were headed to meet our other cousin who stays on the other end of the ferry route he was hosting and that meant free food and drink. Bae had not yet called so I thought to kill a few hours. We got there and Bae calls. This gender 🤦🏽♀️🤦🏽♂️. “Bae, uko?” (bae sasa ni mimi, you follow, yes?)
As I was about to answer I hear, “Unaongea na huyo mtu wako wakutafunatafuna makaratasi za queencake tena! Hahah loser…”
I though I was having an out of body experience coz I heard this on phone and almost a meter or less behind me so I turned around only to lock eyes with my bae, it was a pleasant surprise and a bit of confusion. So I walked over and asked.
“Bae, you know Killian? Also si you said your were with your cousins.”
“Aii, but si Killian is my cuzo. You kwanza unajua nani hapa?”
“Killian is my cousin. Paternal.”
Safe to say nilikanyagia story and avoided bae till it was time to leave. It was decided that this 14th Feb get together would become a ritual and all new cousins waongezwe Wozzap group.
So now every 14th Feb my mind just wonders. “Was I the only one of the few new cousins who had had it awkward like me?”. “Did cousin-bae tell the other cousins offline?”. “Last year, ‘our thought-to-be-barren cow gave birth and I had to go to the village’, what excuse will I give to skip Feb 14th this year?”. “Did it really bother bae that I chew my cupcake product to package?”. And more importantly, when our cousin laughed and said ‘loser’ was it me or distant cousin bae?”
It’s tough out here.
The Witty Banker.
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