Another man food, is another man poison ~Tekno~
You put down the Betadine on the bathroom sink after a second gurgle and switch on the mirror light to look at your face.
You notice that you have a few frown lines on your forehead and cheeks creeping up on what used to be a smooth, blemish free face. You notice that you have eye bags as well, evidence of spending sleepless nights next to the stranger you call a husband and the father of your children.
You take a long hard look at yourself in the mirror and feel sorry for yourself, sadness tugging at your heartstrings. You really stare at the woman in the mirror with the dull ashy skin and you do not know who she is.
You have no idea when she became a miniature version of the woman she used to be.
She is now a new metamorphosed woman.
A less confident, a more insecure and nagging woman. A woman who questions each action, each ‘honey I’m working late text’, each unanswered phone call, or answered call in the bathroom, a woman who smiles less, shouts more and snoops even more. A woman who cracks down phone and email passwords and phone lock patterns faster than a CIA agent, two step verification not withstanding.
When did you become her?
The toxicity of the past year contributed to this you tell yourself.
Its when the snag hit.
Its when the curse of the seventh year itch in your marriage struck.
Its when James started investing more and more in his outward appearance.
Its when he came home reeking of scotch with a hint of Paco Rabanne’s Lady Million on his baby pink striped shirt, the one you bought him last May in Zanzibar when you went for the work thing. Its when you questioned the scent that you knew all too well because Mesh had gifted to you that same perfume the previous Christmas but you hated the scent and ended up re-gifting it.
You hated yourself for coming across as jealous and insecure when he casually explained that he had hugged his boss’s wife during her birthday lunch and that’s where the scent clung on to his clothes.
Its when you started seeing him in skinny jeans and the classy Hermes watch with dark navy blue straps that he could not seem to put down. Perhaps a gift from one of his boys or his boss? But the way he was livid the one time he found the face broken after the girls dropped it accidentally from his bedside drawer suggested that it was a memento from a special someone.
Its when in the past year you questioned why you could not reach him on his cell phone for five hours straight one evening when Monique was rushed to hospital, a result of a broken tooth during P.E class in school when a flying hockey ball burst her lower lip and broke her upper incisor.
Its when you found a seductive photo of a very light skinned woman with a cropped out face in a hotel room, towel wrapped loosely around her body while working on the home PC. Its when he explained meticulously that the pic was a random one from the internet, he was researching on bathroom tiles, some architectural work assignment.
Even that explanation sounded ridiculously crafted but you duly brushed it aside.
Its when you mentioned to your mom last Christmas that you were suspecting that James was cheating and had been for a while, only for her to admonish you about it.
There were worse things in life than a philandering husband she said.
Marriage was not easy and it was the work of the woman to constantly keep her husband happy since he eventually came back to her.
Each woman was expected to deal with her husband’s vices, to pick him up when he was low. That’s what marriage was all about.
Male vices came in all manner of shape and form from alcoholism, overworking, sports betting and gambling, emotional neglect, domestic abuse and mismanagement of funds.
She presented her harsh cold reality of marriage to you like it was a proud badge of honor or a brooch every woman was meant to don each time she helped her man ‘overcome’ and you wondered why and when the woman who birthed you and gave you life had grown accustomed to such patriarchal and obstinate views, even quoting Michelle Obama to drive her point home.
Daisy’s whimpering outside brings you back to your present state of mental affairs.
You walk back towards your bed and sit on the edge, you have no desire to sleep since the bed will feel too big. You grab your phone and unplug the charger, throw it on the floor, the charger cable, not the phone, then send a desperate whatsapp text to your girlfriend’s group
Who feels like Kiza tonight?
Sally is typing…..
Dandi is typing…..
Dont these women ever sleep?
Beth are you ok? Sally asks. She is too insightful for her own good this one.
Am easy…kids asleep, le husband is out and am sleepless, you type.
Pick you up in ten, am in an uber from Westy, Dandi fires back.
Westy? Does anything good happen in Westy anymore? You type.
Forty 40 is the new Changez doll Dandi replies.
You send the emoji with the geek glasses and drop the phone on your bed.
You open the closet doors looking for something sexy but decent to wear.
What do people wear to the rave nowadays?
You quickly put on your best undies and matching bra.
You try on a black body hugging dress. You look good but you hate that your body is not as lithe as it once was.
You struggle to decide whether to put on flats or heels.
Flats win.. Comfort trounces everything in your book.
No need to gully creep on heels after several vodka shots you decide. You have enough struggles already.
You pick black ballerina like shoes and decide to keep the dress simply because you love the feel of the dress on you not because its a sexy number and afterall, you are not trying to impress any man out there.
Your phone buzzes and rings at the same time, the default Apple incoming call tone.
Sh!t Dandi’s here already! You decide to answer the phone as you talk to her with your phone on your shoulder, your head angled.
I need to put on makeup and i’ll be right outside
Carry your makeup bag in the uber i will give you a flawless smoky eye from the uber’
Harrison the uber driver drives up the ramp on Galana Plaza then ends the trip with Dandi telling him boss, two minutes tumalizie hapa kiasi as she powders your face, lines your eyes and combs up your eyebrows, applies some golden eye shadow then hastily finishes with some cherry red matte nouba lipstick and powders the lips so they do not bleed the red color while drinking.
She looks at your facial appearance and smirks in appreciation at her makeup skills.
You insist to pay Harrrison, its the least you can do and you even tip him handsomely for his patience. He has probably seen all manner of crazy in his cab and you have just added on to his weird cab ride experience stories. You grab your clutch that’s doubling as both a purse and a makeup bag and place it under your left arm, and entangle your right arm with Dandi’s left who is towering above you with some gold strappy Giuseppe’s and she does look banging with a golden shimmery dress.
You make your way towards the building but first you make Dandi pause outside next to the green lambo to have a quick glance at your appearance.
A small voice in your head tells you that you are dressed like an old maid going for a picnic as you glance at your reflection in the heavily tinted car windows. Your face falls and Dandi picks on it without you meaning to.
Babe, you know you are hot right?
I just don’t feel it anymore.
No, you are, and don’t ever forget it, and f**k James for not telling you that enough.
Would you want to fuck me if you saw me in a club?
Hell yes, twice after the rave and all day kesho. Those brown hazel eyes would win me over.
Dandi’s raunchy way of complimenting you makes you smile and warms you up and readies you for the night.
The building’s windows on the ground floor ratter from the heavy club music and you cannot wait to get in and lose yourself to the debauchery.
You both walk towards the elevator, Dandi presses the going up button and stand there with the rest of the waiting crowd.
After 5 seconds the elevator pings and the doors open to a cacophony of noise from a bunch of kids in meshed vests, faux jordans and jeans torn at the knees and in dark makeup – black lipstick and too much eye shadow, box braids and small tiny waists showed off in crop tops and jeggings so small that can only fit one of your thighs.
One of the male kids is gawking at your ass as you enter the lift and even whistles in appreciation while grabbing his crotch.
You do not know how to take this attention and just look at him awkwardly in disapproval.
As the lift doors shut, Dandi manages to shout that its his bedtime and past his curfew and he looks at you both, embarrassed, his ego bruised from his female companions shrieking with laughter. You look at Dandi wondering whether that was really necessary, after all, boys will always be boys.
Whether they are 19 or 36 like James.
They will never pass the opportunity to gawk at a passing piece of ass.
The elevator pings open and you walk out to be met with another crowd of female club revellers exiting, these ones in stripper heels so high the KICC has nothing on them and dresses so short they could pass for hankies.
Dandi guides you way through the security check and up the flight of stairs on your left and ensures you are well settled at the VIP section courtesy of a guys she knows.
She always knows a guy.
Drinks are now flowing – Jagerbombs included and they are all going straight to your head.
Your head begins to feel heavy and your soul empty.
You cannot help but think of your marriage to James.
You long for what your marriage was in the earlier years. A perfection of sheer bliss and mutual understanding. A marriage full of love and amazing memories, a love that bore you two kids.
A very good looking dark skinned man waving his hand near your face to catch your gaze interrupts your thoughts.
He asks whether he can have a dance. What song is this even?
You look at the TV screen and hear a gruff voice blasting on the speakers. Sounds like Chameleon. Wait is that Sauti Sol holding a goat wearing a crown?
Don’t overthink it.. Please indulge me to a dance, this one reminds me of Champala my hometown which also happens to be Bebe Cool’s town. Its called mbozi za malwa ..
His thick Luganda accent accentuating the ‘L’.
You are not one to stand between a man and his homesickness and so you accept his offer to dance with him.
He is a good dancer, a respectful one at that. He does not forcefully gyrate on you. Instead he lets you lead and he follows to the rhythm you set.
The Dj is really good, and plays hit after hit.. Throwing in a couple of Naija hits as well. You daren’t sit down, you are having a hell of a good time.
You hear a familiar beat. This is your jam!
You hear the Dj speak, this one goes to Dandi’s friend in the sexy black dress with the phat ass you squeal and sing along to Tekno’s pidgin as you shake your waist.
‘We going in baby.. I say my baby dey giving me ginger… Samantha oh Samantha’
Champala whispers in your ear complimenting your dancing and asks for your name and number if you may.
Call me Samantha, you tell him.
Can i take you home tonight Samantha?