Singlehood nowadays is becoming a rather difficult state to be in, don’t get me wrong, I am in love being single but sometimes I ask myself, can no one notice all this awesomeness?
Such was my story until I met him.
I don’t know what it is that lured me into his gaze first. Was it his eyes that seemed to glimmer through his thick-rimmed glasses? Or his silky dark African skin? The man was as fine as a mahogany table and all I could feel was my insides burn with lust.
This fine guy was sitting at one of the side seats near the door to the dining area of the Villa Rosa Kempinski hotel. He seemed to be waiting for somebody. Did I say he was fine? He was more than fine! *exhales slowly*
I was busy working ushering my guests from the conference room to the dining area. We had enough eye contact to establish non-verbal conversations. I knew I saw him from somewhere else, or so I thought. Even then I thought of him as a fine gentleman, husband material even! I would strut across the door back and forth, and each time I would feel his eyes go up and down my body and there was this immense tension between us, it was if we both had something to say each other but were not sure where to start.
Gathering my courage I walked up to him.
“You should keep in touch more often, why have you been so quiet?” were my first words to him.
“I think you are mistaking me for someone else,” he replied calmly, looking at me quizzically, with a corner smile.
I recoiled with embarrassment, fervently apologized and got my flirt game on.
“I’m Carl,” he said smiling, reaching his long fingers out to shake mine.
Whoo! Is this guy real? Not Hollywood? No? Shake his hand, Ann! Stop staring.
“Ann, I’m so sorry, I could have sworn, you look so much like a friend of mine,” I shook back, firmly and long enough to ‘feel’ something. I let go and eased onto the leather couch like a lady. (the cross leg, straight back one, arms on my laps open, yes I have been trained). My posture exposed enough to say sexy woman.
I can’t remember much of what we said to each other, I was too busy undressing him in my mind, grabbing his tie and sinking my tongue deep down his throat. A girl can fantasize,e can’t she?
Gaddam, he was the cool calm collected types that lure you with their effortless charm. I think my mouth was dry that whole time. Yes, call it thirst. I caught myself giggling and smiling but much as I could, retained eye contact, hoping that I would end up with a phone number somehow. He told me about where he worked and what he did. I told him what I do and we made some small talk. His friend finally arrived, and Carl proceeded to introduce us.
I shook hands with Zedou, his friend, and I excused myself so the two could continue with the agenda that brought them there. I guess the gods had smiled on me that night because before I even walked away; Carl had torn off a piece of paper out of his diary and proceeded to write for me his contacts. I folded and kept it in my notebook, uncertain that he called my bluff with a fake number. Inside I was dancing my victory dance of having flirted with a feverishly hot guy at a fancy restaurant in a fancy suit-wearing fancy cologne. I smiled and walked away before I could make a fool of myself. (Hadn’t I already?)
So here I was, in my short black dress, strutting in and out and having coitus in my head with a total stranger. My head was now swimming with all the possibilities of all that would ensue from all this and that was the beginning of my downfall. My first red sign.
6 months passed, and I had never established phone contact with Carl. Life was moving fast for me. I was moving to other exciting career ventures and the thought of meeting him that night had been erased from my mind until I came across the paper on which Carl had written his number as I was clearing my desk. There it was, as neatly folded as it was that night and I started smiling. The memory of our meeting flashed through my mind and I found myself laughing.
“Ann wassup? Why are you laughing alone?” asked my colleague Sheila.
“Hmm? I laughed. “Nothing, just a fond memory,” I replied, pressing the paper between my fingers, seconds after which it was snatched from my fingers.
I struggled with her to give it back, as she laughed deliriously. I told her the story of how I met Carl.
“Call him,” said Sheila, still laughing as I blushed. She was still waiting in anticipation, waiting to watch a short movie unfold.
I was a bit embarrassed as she watched me topple over my words when I called him. She stifled laughter till she was tearing.
When I finally hang up, she looked at me with excitement, waiting for the next gossip topic.
“We’re meeting for drinks on Saturday,” I said under my breath, biting my lip. My heart’s rhythm accelerated. Sheila had a victory dance of her own.
That night my heart raced. What do I wear? Is he still the same? What am I going to say?
The day dragged on ahead as my whole being anticipated to see Carl again. I got to the bar an hour and a half later than expected, but the wait was worth it. I at least got to calm my nerves and allow myself to breathe before Carl would come up to me again and take my breath away.
From the entrance, I called him to see where he was. He waved among the crowd of revellers. The first shot was a whisky- double, neat and thus the night began.
I got lost in his eyes. His charm weakened my guard, plus the whisky coursing through my veins also impaired my judgement.
I may have been high, but there is a spark I felt that night. My mind had had the perception of wanting him just for the night but that night it all changed. I wanted him in my life. I was willing to bear his good and dark side. I was willing to go for it all. Or maybe that was just the whiskey talking.
When the time came for us to eventually leave, we were faced with that all too familiar question: “Your place or mine?”
“We can go back to my place with my car and you can leave yours here, my friend owns this place,” he said calmly, with a slight slur.
Inside the car, I welled up with emotion. I shed a tear or two in prayer. I prayed for all kinds of things to happen in my life with him by my side. I took a futuristic journey through his eyes, into his mind, and I saw IT. Or did I really? I had an eerie gut feeling as we drove to his place.
I should have gone home. My second red sign.
His house was neat and cosy. A luxurious apartment with a gorgeous view. A bicycle leaned against the wall leading to the open plan kitchen. A golf bag rested next to it. Books and files were piled neatly in the book cabinet. One corner of the counter had cereal, sugar and other breakfast stuff. The opposite end had bottles of fine single malt whisky.
We ended up talking about our kids. He has adorable daughters while I have a son whose age difference wasn’t too far off. We talked about respective childhood and other topics, laughing as we continued drinking the night away.
He placed a double shot of whisky with ice cubes in front of me, and looked at me with intent. This is definitely taking place. We could feel the tension between each other. Before I knew it, I could feel him open every door I had closed shut with a touch, a kiss or a caress. He took my hand and led me to the bedroom. Magic was created that night and he made me feel like I had never felt before. We didn’t just have sex, we made love.
I ended up eventually opening myself up to him. Telling him more about myself, my struggles, hopes and dreams. To me, he was the one that I would somehow overcome the world with. I had started to feel safe with him.
Then he told me to stay away. At that moment I was ready to die. I opened myself up to someone else and the reaction I got was him leaving? Not even the unconditional love my son offered me was enough to rescue me from my suicidal attempt.
He eventually came back and fervently apologized and I was foolish enough to let him back in. My third red sign.
The time taken to respond to my texts extended to days even. Perhaps he is busy, maybe I should call later. I developed all manner of excuses as to why he kept avoiding me.
The WhatsApp message finally popped up on Friday.
“Come over now.”
“Its 11 am Carl, I’m in a meeting,” I responded, all the while I wanted to go, but not just yet. I wanted him to wait. I wanted him to feel the same way I did.
“Yeah, come for a quickie,” he persisted.
“I honestly can’t get myself out of this meeting. How about this evening?”
“I have a meeting till like 8, might be tricky,”
“Make the time. I can come to cook for you.”
“I want you now. This is too much. I miss you,” popped the message that got my stomach churning.
That evening he texted the directions to where he was. Traffic never felt slower that night, even though it was moving casually. By the time I got to him, my insides were screaming for his touch.
At home, as routine, we started with drinks and let the magical evening flow. But I felt something was off. My fourth red sign.
On Saturday, we sat quietly watching a movie. The silence was cold. Eerie.”
‘You should go.” He said quietly.
I turned to him startled.
“You shouldn’t fall in love with me. I am not a good man. I am dangerous. I have done evil things,” he growled.
“It’s 11 pm, Carl; I am too high to see the road. Look I too have skeletons of my own…,” I appealed.
I saw a demon in his eyes that terrified me. He looked threatening.
“I have done really bad things to people,” he hissed. This scene reminded me of Andre from Empire after not taking his medication.
He had madness in his eyes and I was scared. But it was 11 pm and I was too drunk to drive and so I slept on his couch as my whole world came crashing down; I resolved to leave at the first sight of daylight.
That Sunday morning all I could do was wonder why I so hooked to this man. What kept me coming back to him? I barely knew the guy, but I wanted to know him. I wanted a life with him. But all I was to him was a sex machine who could cook and clean his house and satisfy his needs whenever he saw fit. I would even ignore going to see my mother just so that I could see him. I had literally thrown myself at Carl and it killed me.
I looked around the airy apartment. I sipped on wine as I tried to kill the hangover I had. I barely knew Carl, but I wanted to know him. I wanted him to wife me. He had potential. He showed interest.
“Wow! You have clearly ticked a box on this one,” he exclaimed, as his semi-awake head walked into the living room. Smacked my bum, as I offered breakfast of toast and sausages. At least he noticed the cleaning I had done.
The emotional abuse was long and persistent. Like I said, before this, he would go for days without keeping in touch and I vowed every day that I would speak my mind.
I sent him sexy messages to arouse him. Nothing. I flattered and wished him a good day. Silence. Waiting for him to respond was getting more painful. Worse. The next time we met and had incredibly mind-blowing sex, he kicked me out with my food poisoned stomach. Not offering a hand to help, and then later he would say that he knew I would be okay.
We would talk and agree on terms of engagement, where I wouldn’t make him date me, and instead offer up my vajay-jay for casual sex. Even then I still went back. I was a fool on a leash. The sex was all I was good for. I would snub seeing my mother to see him, make excuses to go to his house, but just so we are clear I never stalked him. It’s not my style. I had literally thrown myself at Carl.
After this incident in which he confessed that he was a bad guy, I was done. It pained me. He never again made contact. I stopped making any. I had seen enough red in the shortest time. Crying myself to sleep, obsession eating my guts into an ulcer. A lot of things reminded me of him. This was the bus crash type that killed a part of my soul. I was empty and heartless. Cold even. Indifferent.
My heart bled. I wept. At work, I was a shadow. I tried to read on how to revive my soul, all I did was stab into the wound by staring at his incredibly luring photo. That was the last shade of red I would see.
I got to learn that I was running towards a poisonous arrow, whose venom ate me up. He was a broken man. He was a demon I was kept away from but kept chasing. I guess my prayers were answered, even though I was too clouded to see the story.
Carl was two people. One extremely evil person. One very caring person. Sadly, all I saw was the evil. Carl betrayed my trust. Lied to my face and manipulated me with dreams I built.
Even then, I was a foolish girl. He tried to make it clear that he wasn’t ready for what I was offering. I was foolish to persist. Text book case of madly in love.
This is one long chapter I am happy to close. I shan’t be an ice queen, but I know better.
Shall I ever fall in love again? Of course! This was one life-threatening slippery slope I am grateful I somehow crawled out of.
What if he calls back, you ask? I will have all kinds of things to say, but these venomous emotions will turn to courage to tell him I am done.
This story first appeared on the blog in Single Lady in Nairobi.