We all have been heartbroken, it was my first time, the ache was too much, my heart was in ruins, it did not help that it was raining and I was getting late for an interview, Murphy’s Law was in total force. That is when I saw him, in black trousers, a red cap and a red t-shirt written, “Dig This?” He had a baby face, not too light, not too dark, curly hair and a swagger in his step. I dug him already.
He smiled as he walked toward me and in a moment I glanced behind, to make sure it was my smile. I did not return it though. He came to me, took my hand, I did not object, asked me where I was going, I did not answer, so he asked again, “tao msupa” (going to town beautiful?) I just nodded, there was something creeping from my hand to my heart. At the matatu, he opened the door for me and sat me in.
I was charmed, we all have our presumptions of how matatu conductors are complete jerks and unlearned, and this one was quite something. I immediately trashed those thoughts, I was after all in university and he was well just doing his job, he had to get people into the matatu.
As I watched him shout and call passengers, I started to see how handsome he was, not too tall, not huge, just my type. He came to talk to the driver and in the process asked if I was okay, I nodded.
I got the internship I had gone to interview for and on my way back, I hoped I would get the matatu in the stage. It was not there. A little disappointed I got into another. Just like the norm of matatus to behave badly, it abandoned me about three kilometers to my destination (I was the only left passenger). As I waited for another matatu in the dark, scared, I saw him again; he looked more handsome in the soft moonlight. Coincidence? No. more like a knight in shining armor, he had rescued me the damsel in distress. I quickly got in he sat next to me, tried some small talk and I just nodded politely.
When I alighted, he walked me to the gate and said goodnight. I think he was smitten too, as I was. Again I pushed him out of my mind,” he is a matatu conductor, am in university, my heart has just been broken, I am not thinking straight,” I told myself. However, we all know how the mind has a mind of its own, it refused to let him go.
From that day on, I waited for him in the evenings since I took the train in the morning and he always had a seat ready for me.
Something started happening, I gave him my number, and he said it was for in case I needed a ride home or whatever help, I call him. He did not suggest anything, there was no dirty talk, on occasions when he walked me from the matatu to the gate and a little inside we talked politics, studies, people’s dressing… He did not ask to be my boyfriend, as I said he was not suggestive.
I liked him even more, he was different, most guys just come onto someone immediately, I could not tell if he was bidding his time or he did not want to mess things up, I was sure though that he wanted me. Our differences did not come into play. Every other weekend and some evenings, after he had dropped the driver he would borrow the matatu and we would drive around town just talking. That is when he told me that he had gone to college, to do something in fine arts, did not get a job and that is how he became a conductor, so much for the fallacy that conductors barely make it past high school if they do make it to high school at all.
We connected on a level that I just cannot explain, a girl fell in love, how could I not, the conductor told me that he loved me in a roundabout, long way. He sucked me in and reeled me in with his words, charm and kind heart. He always had something nice to tell me. He never failed to give me his boyish smile, when he saw me. He was so cute.
Sometimes he took me to his place; it was pretty neat and nice. While there, he would buy soda and we would tell each other about ourselves. When he saw me off and hugged me at the gate, I hoped no one who knew me saw me.
At the end of my internship, school closed and I told the conductor how I did not want to go home upcountry and he suggested I go to his place, I did not agree. However, I had an interview scheduled two days after school and not wanting to stay at a relative’s, I took the offer, but just until the interview, I told myself. I moved in temporarily.
The first night he was so nice, he got someone to fill for him in the evening, cooked me supper, warmed my bath, had even got me a new pair of sheets, a bottle of wine and a movie. I was surprised a conductor had bought wine. I had expected very hard liquor. We sat in the sofa and covered ourselves with a duvet to watch the movie, later we went to bed together, nothing happened, just held each other and slept. He woke me with a kiss at an ungodly hour this morning as he went to work, and gave me that smile that warmed my heart. He is the first person I have never been mad at for waking me up.
Now that is my story, I do not know how it will be after today, am not ready to tell my friends, not my parents even and I especially do not want my ex to hear am dating a matatu conductor.
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Biting more than she can chew, musings and chronicles. Read more at Wakarima's blog wakarima.blog.com