By Tap Mak
Believe you me I don’t even know what was wrong with me. Either her presence had such an effect that I completely lost my faculties or something was actually wrong with my system. Such feelings are unholy.
But I didn’t know. What she had just said needed explanation. Why before I could ask she already changes the story back to music again. At least that’s what I heard.
Yes I heard her saying…
“…take me home… something.” So I aptly replied. “Yes, come take me home by Hannah. I like it.” Her facial expressions made me realize I had missed something. So I retorted.
“Pardon me, you said what. I-I-I’m kinda under your spell.” I tried but without helping my cause. It is only then that I realized. As I later got to know that, the emotional rollercoaster wasn’t affecting me but her also.
At least she actually had… well she later told me her side of the story…
Thoughts raced through my mind like turbo on the arcade as I paced through the closet trying to find a dress for my kind of blind date. With church restrictions and saint convictions I had not met my “date”. Apart from his WhatsApp profile Picture I just had a mental picture of him.
I imagined how tall he was. What made it more difficult was the fact he was not from local. You know, he attended services elsewhere and the elsewhere wasn’t directly linked to our group.
At times I even wondered how my father had actually agreed to that seeing he always emphasised the importance of marrying from the same assembly, or if to “compromise” someone who somewhat was under the bishopric of our Pastor.
He always and I believe I once had the pulpit saying “even in Israel, Levi married Levi so did Judah married Judah as well as each tribe.” It didn’t border well with me since, well, as long as it was Israel I was good with it. But believe you me that thought still lingered. What would my friends end up saying? Even the thought of changing my home church! ARGH!!!
Regardless, I wasn’t going to miss my chance. I had to choose; I had to make it quick what was I to wear to make first impression stick.
For days I had planned, dreamed & even rehearsed for this day. But here I was standing there in my walk in closet. I paced a few more times in my closet in collection of my nerves and reached out for a biscuit chiffon dinner dress, nude jacket and nude shoe. All was just precisely fitting but not too tight and not overdressed like Mother Teresa and Sister Act in their nunnery dress. But just right; to make a good first impression.
My hair was on point as I had my Peruvian all on point, but I had subtly made it appear natural as I had gathered that he liked natural. Plus at home, dad was particular, but this style I knew it would escape Dads eyes but moms hawk eye never, but I could win her over as once off. I mean what was the fuss about, come on, it not like I don’t have mine which due to the info I’m getting on the Sisters WhatsApp group is almost reaching the shoulders.
I had the Peruvian curled and styled at the back with my hair tonged upfront. Such that it all looked like my natural and could have deceived e very elect if possible.
The plan was that he picks me after work but I couldn’t trust myself, so I called in sick so that I could have adequate time to prepare. I was actually sick, or ill, whatever you would want to call it, my emotions weren’t feeling well duh! I had high butterflies and rising blushing with an infectious smile that I didn’t trust myself around anybody at work. However I had to be near the offices in time, just in case.
Five thirty was the time and I was only left with under an hour to get the rest of my game together. On this day I choose go wear a scent blissed with the fusion of rich Mohéli-ylang, precocious Indian jasmine and seductive Madagascan vanilla all fused into the famous rare gold, I felt it was e most appropriate as I felt like a rare species that very min and greatly treasured like gold.
For the grand outlook finalé. I picked up a gold clutch bag added a golden classic of Tasha’s wrist watches straight from Paris, a derby gold bracelet to complement my clutch and watch (even thou I knew jewellery was a taboo at home) & a dash of Labello lip-balm just in case.
I packed a few necessities in my clutch, a lil bit of money incase I had to pay for something. “You may never know with the brothers of these days,” I said to my Mum.
“I might have to pay for even the shuttle his going come with, since most of them boasts of Honda Feet’s,” I added.
“Becky mota is not a necessity in life chero wazvi wanira bro vakanaka, plus he doesn’t have to have everything but real love for you,” she counselled wisely. But I wasn’t really paying too much attention to it. I didn’t want her to notice the worry in my eyes, and how insecure I was feeling at that moment. But I made sure to pack my dignity and pride as renown singer at our church and daughter of a one of the business man. I had to have it all #sigh# what do I think I’m doing
I gave my car keys to my little sister just in case I want to run away if the date was boring. You know I wasn’t sure of what to expect, even though chatting with him was…well Okayish, since he didn’t wasn’t flirty much.
I paced about in my room and took one last of long looks to the mirror to keep myslef in check as if something would go amiss each time I left e mirror. I bowed my face to whisper a prayer, but I don’t remember saying anything meaningful as I can’t even control my head.
As I made my way past the lounge, dad walked in and stopped me for the one last time chat up. He inquisitively looked at me from head to toe, and by the look on his face, I must have passed, especially the hair.
Just then he called Mum, and they both prayed for me. He wished me luck and says “God be with you and may the blessings of Rebecca be with you.” That’s all I needed to know. As I got to outside, I sighed and took a deep breath.
“Girl, if my Dad is making me that nervous, I mean he is my Dad, what more of Tapiwa! I just hope I won’t explode,” I thought. Now I have to rush so that I be near my workplace just in time.
“He better not be late, though I am at risk of being late too.”
Luckily, transport is no problem and I arrived just a couple minutes after logging off time.
“Should I call him, to know if he’s still coming? Won’t that be passed as desperate?”
“Should I just wait hoping he will call? But I don’t know which way he’s gonna come, and he doesn’t know where I’m really waiting”
“What should I do, somebody tell me? Hallo, it’s a damsel in distress, I need help.”
“Come on this is the 21st Century, nobody is going to judge you for starting a conversation. I mean aint communication supposed to be 2 way, with both end being receivers and senders?”
“Let me check, who last send who a message. If it’s me, then I’m not gonna send another. He should learn to reply.”
“Well guess what? He is the one who last sent a message. Yah! Plus it’s saying ‘noon, tell me when you off will pass through your workplace’.”
So I send him a message: “Hey, I’m now done.”Don’t ask me why I didn’t say I am waiting? Cause he thinks I was all day at work.
He doesn’t take long and I am surprised at this White BMW parking near where I’m standing. Initially I thought it was one of those Harare guys who can’t pass by a skirt.
“Oh, my! It’s him. Ouch, my stomach. I didn’t eat anything. Come one, what could I do with all that handsomeness coming towards me. Girl, something is wrong with me.”
“Shalom sister,” he said. It sounds like a crackle has been stifled.
“At least I’m not the one nervous here. That evens the playground, at least,” I think to myself.
“Shalom, munhu waMwari”, I said, and then I noticed his tie is not at the centre. “Either he was nervous that he tried to loosed up, or he just missed it.”
“At least I will have somewhere to start when I am finally dressing him up? But whoever dressed him today, did a good job,” I mused as he ask something about Pharaoh. I don’t really get it, but I just laugh it off and replied something of Pharaoh being Okay.
“Hope it wasn’t supposed to be the opposite answer.” With the look on his face, I must have answered right. He turns and then opens the door for me.
“Girl, I’m a Queen!…and He knows it. So far so good, I’m ticking the boxes. Let me see how he closes and walks in front.” Not a bang, just a click. “I just hope I’m the first he opened this door for.”
“Ouch, he’s clever, he uses the back.”
BMW, with that in mind and his clean ironed suit and Rolex watch + opening the car door for me my negative pre dispositions began to fade slowly away.
We drove off in silence as I tried to make up a conversation in my head. Seated beside me was a handsome young man who seemingly have a good life, and he wants me to be part of it.
“Well; let them think whatever they want, if, only if, this comes right.” I’m in no position to say I’ve already made my mind, but with what I am seeing, and believing, this could be him. There is this feeling. I can’t say it’s supernatural neither mystic. But, I don’t know.
“This just seems right!” He must have done his homework as he starts on music conversation.
“Thank God” I think to myself. It’s a field I’m familiar with.” He doesn’t like some of the genres I prefer, but at least on Hannah.”
Just the mention of that, a song starts ringing in my head. It helps lighten and easy the tension within.
“Come take me home, where I belong. Come take me home, where I belong!” He has come finally. Twas a long 23year wait!
We arrive at the place we are supposed to eat. We are welcomed by well groomed ‘serveurs’.
I made sure I ordered something light. He likes fish! Argh, it’s smelly. But I shouldn’t start complaining now. “Some of those things, we will deal with them in the future”.
On the table he compliments on how elegant I looked and what an aromatic scent I had. At this gesture I’m like, “Ooh-kay bro you trying too hard to impress. I’m even better at this game.” Good for me I kept these thoughts to myself and commented on how handsome n smartly dressed he looked.
Well our dinner went quiet well and by quiet I mean quiet he was silent and nervously fiddling with his hands. Well I don’t blame him if I were in his position I think I could have done the same, proposing to a girl wasn’t easy I guess. I bet he was trying to figure the right way to put it across to me, but time was slipping away. The conversation, when it happened, revolved around music till, to his credit he took me by surprise.
I was sipping on the last of my “Chamdor” when “the bomb was dropped”. Frankly I didn’t see that one coming. However, it sounded natural. Unlike some of the pickup lines that he had been regurgitating, this one hit me well, to the core of my heart,
Softly spoken and gentle, you could probably pass it as a joke, but the lit-intense face he had. The glowing eyes, I could read that he meant those words. All along when he was narrating on how he learnt a song by listening to a tape, I was acting curiosity. But when those lines slipped from his tongue. When those words, escaped from his lips. He wasn’t in a hurry to hold them back, neither did he look dismayed. Rather his countenance was such that as one who has struck a revelation. I mean like a kid who finally got the math right after a long struggle.
As I observed that, it took time to sink, as I heard them replay in my mind. I mean. You might not understand, but everything at that momemt stopped, and I could see my life completely from childhood to that point. Then, and only then did I realise that I should have an answer. Luckily I didn’t choke.
I don’t know what made him to remain silent. Looking straight in my eyes, he seemed so distant. He probably was envisioning a world of his own. I just wondered if I was included. Surprisingly, I retained the look. He wasn’t threatening me. He wasn’t demanding. It was a request which after he made it he must have left his body. I think, cause I could see that I was alone.
Just then I had a sound under the table, and when I checked. He had dropped his phone.
“Girl, I’ve never seen such an awestruck person like that.” You know I wanted to laugh. I saw an opportunity to be mean, on how dumb he looked. Not knowing what really to say. I heard myself saying
“Weeeeeeeell.” That took away the spell. I couldn’t help but chuckle when I saw him looking for his phone. The whole dazzle leaves his face when he saw the cracked screen. My heart yearns for both the phone and the owner after I realised that fate had placed me as a comforter here.
“I am sorry,” I said. I was really sorry. But that kinda helped the situation as his reply was still composed.
I was still to reply his requesting proposal. Kkkkkkkkkkkk. Yeah! That was a requesting-proposal. So I gather up my loose nerves, and tried as much to be composed. In my mind I am fighting. Somewhere it says, “You can’t accept a proposal on first date.”
That is reasonable, but truth is I’m already swept away. I’m just grateful that I’m not falling in love, but the events of the day looked like baby steps. Something says, “If you don’t make up your mind you might lose him.”
“That can’t be. He doesn’t look like he is in a hurry.”
So I resolve my mind.
“I really appreciate your proposition…”Suddenly his face lit up, that is weird, and that puts pressure on me. His smile is as infectious as mine. At least his smile covers for that big nose. But I have to continue, before he makes preconceived conclusion.
My mind signals, “Your lips are dry so is your throat now. Lip-balm is far. Emergency!”
Luckily there is two ‘bonus’ glasses of a new drink at the restaurant which we had been offered as special honor. I grab one, and draw a good amount from the straw, then I continued. I had resolved not agree, on the first date.
“However, I believe it is not to the best…,” his face changes. He obviously doesn’t want me to notice, but, girl, he is like a book written in large fonts. Believe you me, he probably isn’t reread for what I’m going to say.
I try looking back to him. He looks down, then looks up. I really want to tell him “how much I am liking him, how much I am enjoying his company even with the little conversation. I really want to tell him how we should take time, and at least get to know each other before
moving too fast.
“He might be prayed up and sure, but I feel I still like to get my confirmation. I want him to know that I am ready, but can we just take it step by step.
Then something somewhere says, “You see, that is the problem when guys who probably haven’t dated before, fail to handle themselves to answers. They start acting awkward. He probably is judging me already. Probably he is thinking I a spoilt and have come here just to eat out and shred his heart.”
I can’t take this anymore. Just then a sporadic Econet SMS lights up my phone, and I saw the time…
My mind goes haywire. “Oh my, we are late. We should be going! I can’t think straight, but in all these moments I am looking at him.”
“Are you taking me home…?” I said.
“Yes, come take me home by Hannah. I like it,” he replied. To me that was the seal to the deal. His efforts of being clever wouldn’t work.
Whether he is under a spell whatsoever, I do not care no-more. I just want to be home.