By Okaka Felix
2009 was a year of firsts.
It was the first ever Valentine’s Day that caught me with a Tortoise si Toto. Let it be well noted that by then I was on girlfriend number 3. Maybe, just maybe, I was a serial dater. 2009 was also the year I broke my tradition of courting a desktop girlfriend. You see, research by Synovate, Infotrak et al has shown that I have always had an affinity for laptops. I swear it was true love.
I met her at the dawn of 2008 at a wedding. She was dressed in bright yellow. Her radiant smile that exposed her diastema made me almost quail on myself. She was what I can readily call The African Woman with direct reference to her bum.
Back to my Valentine story.
Since it was the blooming stage of our relationship, coupled by the fact that she was to travel to the US for her degree, all the variables were ripe for me to outdo myself. The third first, (refer above) for the first time, my entire close group of minions were hitched. Several commissions were held to brainstorm on how we were going to impress our then significant others.
Sunday, February 7th 2009.
3 grown men executed a top secret plan to do Valentine’s Day shopping. Imagine 3 men window shopping for teddy bears and chocolates across town. NB – Albo (my roommate) and I really argued over a raccoon doll that was complete with a hood. The argument went something like this: I saw it first! No, I saw it first! I’m the one who picked that first! Blah blah blah.
This was followed by a reconnaissance of Valentine’s destinations. This took us all the way to Soy. To bring you up to speed, we were literally on the border of Rift Valley and Western province. We even passed a signboard welcoming us to Lugari district. Now this is called ‘From Kesses with Love’.
After a hard day of work we had all bought new clad for Valentines (for ourselves). We had paper bags full of Valentine paraphernalia. Chocolates, teddy bears, flowers bonoko jewellery etc.
February 14th 2009.
I was up early and performed my daily routine of choosing a music playlist and prepping up. Into my borrowed shoes I went. Mark you, I had to crumple papers and insert them into the shoes to ‘fit’ in them. I was in Eldoret town early to pick up my damsel. Into a matatu I went and in no time my Valentine and I were Soy bound.
Others catch grenades but I chose to cross provinces for her. The date went on well up to the point where I gave the ‘one’ her gifts. It is then that I noticed that I had switched gifts with my pal.
Panic attack!!! Gladly she did not notice my blunder so I let it slide. The kisses that were cultivated and planted on my lips were totally worth it. Worthy to the point where I forgot to take 800/- change from the conductor on my way back to Eldoret.
I was on Cloud nine at the end of the day. Heaven hath no joy like a woman who has been Valentined. I went back to School with a dent in my pocket the size of a grand canyon. But my damsel was happy. And so was I.
19th February 2009. Around 2357 hours.
She told me it was not working out between us. She used some cliché like her history cannot allow us to be together.
20th February 2009.
It finally dawned on me that I had a 6500/- debt to clear. Just to be clear, my accommodation fee for that semester was 6500/- excluding tax.
I rest my case.
Okaka Felix may have been a serial dater back then but he is now a serial photographer. You can check out his beautiful work here: http://fullieokaka.tumblr.com/. He even got nominated for Kenya Photography Awards! And he is, of course, a versatile writer and poet too. And many other things…