“I love you” he said and looked at me like he expected something, after all, the three word sentence is like a greeting. One always expects a reply. I was there thinking about how much freedom I would give up if I said these three words and if I really did or also if he really meant it. Was it because he enjoyed the conversation and felt so good that he got deceived that it’s love? Or was it the infatuation from him watching my hips swing inside the long burgundy dress? Either way, unlike a greeting, you must be careful when you say the three word sentence. All along I was stammering, if I said it, I was sure the words would come out funny. I wished it was a movie because in movies one can get away with not saying anything as long as the scene changed. I wished my phone could ring right that instant. All that time, I was stammering. Maybe he thought that I was too surprised to talk and it was a good thing, besides, I was naive. If he only knew what I was thinking.
One interesting thing about the Swahili language is that it makes everything so easy to say, the pronunciations of some words may be difficult but there is not much emotions attached to the Swahili language, its actually up to you to determine the amount of emotions to put to the situation but when it comes to English, dropping an “I love you” in a joke to the person you are in limbo with would change a funny situation into a rocket science class or an episode of Romeo and Juliet. So I said, “Nakupenda” and he smiled. You see, the world is a cruel place, and I did not want to be part of the cruelty and misfortune that faced this man every day and so I chose to lie and maybe later the lie may come true when I learn to love him. Like I said, I was not part of this earth’s cruelty, it’s just that love was in the air and I was getting carried by the wind but you see, my shoes were made of diamonds, very heavy so I stayed on the ground despite the pressure. I wanted to take of my shoes but I felt empty inside for so long that I got used to it. What we had was not the only thing that was in Limbo, my life was in Limbo too. I was not part of the cruel world, I was a victim of that world. My thoughts were interrupted by a kiss, “Is everything okay?” I said yes and smiled.
We were walking on the streets of Nairobi at 11pm, thinking that we would light up the sky. He then stopped and knelt on one knee. I was screaming like a banshee in my head, the horror. Already?!! He laughed at the way I jumped back and pulled out a wine bottle from his bag. “Wine gets better with age, so we will keep this wine bottle, the longer we will stay together, the better it will taste. I want you to be mine”
We loved and we cried until we could not take it anymore. A year later we are here looking at each other with the wine on the table, it does not taste any different from the wine I buy from the liquor store, still that cheap wine. I do not know if it is the wine that tastes bad of the bad taste I feel in my taste buds just by looking at him. It is not him whose hurt, I happened to love without warning, I learned to love too much and worshipped him until it got the best of him and I lost myself. I want to run away but the wine has to end, it was the agreement. This is the longest drink I have ever had in my unexperienced life as he stares at me in disbelief barely touching his. I give him a cold look, “Drink up Boy!!”