The rest of the day passed me in a blur. Jeremy was all that was on my mind, all I could see or hear. The presenters that came after him might have been speaking in ancient Greek for all I cared. But Greek was the least of my worries. What worried me was the Geography that made my head spin whenever I saw him pass by; the Chemistry that sparked luminous flames within me so that my body was in constant rhetoric explosions; the Biology that made the systole and diastole of my heart suddenly erratic, almost cardiac arrest. All those conversation starters I had been taught in English class seemed inappropriate. I thought of “Hey Jeremy, I want to be your lover’’ but that sounded like hogwash …”Please marry me Jeremy”…no, too desperate, it would scare the young boy out of his skin. I resolved to go simple, let nature take its course. After all, kizuri chajiuza kibaya chajitembeza.
Evening came. After the long award ceremony that entailed a lot of tasteless speeches, evening came. Having been a hotly contested competition, the hall was abuzz with loud winners and even louder losers. I did not care much that I had won in my category. All I could think of was where to trace that pretty boy. I traced him alright. Right outside the dining hall where he was leaning against their school bus, a bottle of sprite in hand. His shirt was now well-tucked and his lips not as dry as I remembered them. He was not alone. Some light-skinned girl was talking to him, damn! She was a sight. I froze on my heels as all the rehearsed lines in my head jumbled up into nothingness.
I had never seen that girl before. Same way I had never seen a girl with hips from here to Kuala Lumpur. And Kuala Lumpur is far! She had the kind of hips I would describe as environmentally hazardous. Where was NEMA? How could they let such loud hips walk the streets, so round, curvy and appealing to the eyes?…Especially team mafisi eyes. As difficult as it is for me to admit, those hips had ambition. They knew what they wanted in life. Learned but fun. They are the kind of hips that graduated top of medical class with Honors only to discover that wasn’t their real passion and now they were enrolled in Berklee International college of Music. Those were the hips you put up in the most mundane commercial ad like that of petroleum jelly used when castrating bulls and that jelly would sell like cheap liquor. Terrific. I bet those hips took selfies. They took a million selfies and posted them on Instagram with hash tags like #wokeuplookinglikethis or #selflove then tagged Kim Kardashian’s hips.Infact,Vera Sidika’s hips followed those hips on twitter.
If hips were food, those were ugali. Hot steaming ugali baked and served with the tender care of a loving Luhya mother.
If hips were poetry those were Maya Angelou’s piece of art. If they were plays, Shakespeare on his best days.
If hips were detectives those were the very Sherlock Homes. If they were artistes, Leornado Da Vinci when he did the Mona Lisa.
If hips were cars, those were the Lamborghini Aventador SV. Sleek curves and glam as hell. The type Professor Bamba of Bamba TV would own.
If hips were football players, those were Lionel Messi. Smooth and sensual with the ball(s).
If hips were football clubs, well, Chelsea?….
On the other hand my hips were close to non-existent. Like adding salt to injury, my hideously nun-ish school skirt was way too big therefore reinventing maji-maji rebellion 2 with my body. I hated those skirts. I hated her hips more for making me the other girl. The girl in the shadows. Even before I fought, I lost. I could not take a step further. At first I tried convincing myself that she was just a friend, cousin maybe. Then she moved closer to him so that those goddamn hips pressed against his side, too close for public distance. He was too focused on her he could not see me across the field. He did not even have a clue someone like me existed and now he would never know.
The moon did not come out that night. The sky was darker and the crickets chirped louder as if to mourn with me. I slept a loner. Lonelier than I had been before I set my eyes on that one person I could not have. While some of my cube mates excitedly revised the love letters they had received that day, I lay in bed a sad girl. Why me? Why the first boy I had fallen for? Why did this hurt so badly?
At 10:00 pm the dorm prefect switched off the lights. A teardrop rolled down my face.