Chingching.

ORI

31st March 2166,

Ananas Mall,

Thika.

1700 hrs.

“Do you know how it feels like to have three daughters?” I asked Chris.

“I have no idea.” He said.

“It feels like being a class teacher or a cash register. Every time they call the phone, video call or walk through the door to my room, I have got to prepare myself. Daddy; my jeans are faded. Chingching. Daddy; Letishia got a new iPhone. Chingching. Daddy; can we talk? Chingching. Daddy; my dresses ain’t cool, they don’t fit me.” Chingching. I always shudder when I hear the “we need to talk” vibe, it never augured well with me.

“Maybe if you ceased being such a pushover and a haranguer Pete it wouldn’t be an issue,” Chris told me.

“So, you think you’d be any different?” I asked him.

Pete: Wait till you have a little girl and see how you’ll do against those pretty doll eyes staring back at you Mr Tough guy. You would tumble like a house of cards.

Chris: It would be a worthy argument had you made it without grumbling about anything.

Pete: How about you Yasmin? Fancy going the family way?

Yasmin: If I can be ready, I won’t get them anything to be like mine.

Chris: You see, I’m not alone.

Pete: Alone is what your sorry asses would be.

Hello, I’m Pete. A single father to three gorgeous daughters. Sitting by my right is my long term buddy Chris. Chris is the type of guy who has got well-toned muscles, goes to the gym and women seem to adore him for all manner of reasons. I’m jealous about the last part of course. I haven’t had any woman lately to make me feel loved in that type of way. He’s well mannered, speaks eloquently and dresses finely. Sitting on my left is Yasmin. Well, it’s my first time seeing her. She is pretty, she has dimples on both cheeks, she has a frontal gap between her teeth. Her teeth are milky white and when she smiles you can feel the world radiating with warmth and love. Her turquoise blue eyes would let us stare deep into her soul. After all, eyes are windows to the soul. Judging from the color of her eyes, her soul had a pretty glamorous aura.

We are sitting in some fancy restaurant in a mall drinking coffee. Black coffee that tasted quite horrible without sugar. Chris had reached me earlier requesting my help and thoughts in the movie role he had been assigned and if I was keen on writing a script for a sideshow which would be aired for three weeks for characters playing minor roles in the main show. I didn’t totally agree but the damned guy had a way of convincing people and that was how I found myself in a meeting with them. Yasmin had also been offered a small role in the movie.

Yasmin: You’re not much of a talker?

Chris: He’s not that much of a social person. He’s used to talking to his daughters mostly.

Pete: Work first, after all, I’m done talking with them over the phone. Everything is good on their part.

Chris: You sure you are not interested in doing the script play-writing thing?

Pete: Being a father can be tough at times. Fostering kids at such an early young age doesn’t come with a manual. So what do we have on the table?

Yasmin: Chris is playing the role of a guy who’s going through a divorce and is currently fighting for the custody of his children, while I’m currently playing the role of a young lady who is head over heels for a young chap and we’re about to get married but he wants me to take his second name and sign a prenuptial.

Chris: Rings a bell? Sounds familiar, though the circumstances are different in this scenario.

Pete: And my work is to check if the script is well written for your role and do some editing on it? What of the sideshow script? What does it entail?

Yasmin: Chris said you’d be of help and personally it would be a great opportunity to work with you. You’re a great renown writer whose writing style is unique from the rest. But you just went under for six years.

Chris: Pete it’s time you came out of your bubble. Just like old times, let’s work on this one piece and I won’t bother you ever if this gig doesn’t pull through. Look up in the sky and see the sun illuminating her smile upon Lady Earth.

Pete: I’ll think about it. Give me a few I think it over before I decide to jump ship.

A woman of Caucasian descent walked towards our table. She held a three-year-old child while her husband carried the other toddler.

“Hello, my names are Noelle Vanessa. You must be Chris, the guy who starred in the movie Sunday Sinner. Oh my gosh! I can’t believe it’s actually you. Can I hug you? Do you mind if I took a selfie with you? ” The missus asked as her husband stood there feeling odd. Yasmin and I looked at each other trying to hide our amusement knowing that trouble was lurking and would soon mull into a storm. Her husband looked bored.

“Sure no problem, you can take gazillions of selfies with me. So long as it doesn’t bring problems with your better half.” Chris said with a toothy grin. We all knew that Chris had been the reason why many marriages and relationships had failed or they were on their death beds. Women seemed to be all over him most of the time.

“Hunny can you take my phone and take some snaps of us?” The dame asked. The husband snapped pictures of them, it began with two photos, then it progressed to more and more. With every click and shutter of every picture the more her husband became infuriated. In the end, he stormed off and headed towards the parking lot. The woman apologized to Yasmin and me, and keyed in her numbers on Chris’ phone, hugged him and pecked him on both cheeks followed by a light kiss. Someone was going to have a pretty long row when she joins her husband in the car. Yasmin and I had already envisioned the precarious scenario in our heads. Noelle would probably find her husband waiting in the car. He would be visibly angry and he would ask who Chris was. And she would say that Chris was a major movie star and it was a such a surprise to have seen him there. She would say that she only wanted an autograph and a couple of pictures. She would then hold his hand reassuringly as she looks deep into his eyes and then gives him a slight kiss. And the argument would have been over.

After Noelle left, Yasmin and I burst out laughing.

Yasmin: Do you always do this everywhere you go?

Chris: Blame it on my good looks, they can’t resist it. It’s not my fault.

Pete: Yasmin, be glad that he hasn’t yet flirted with you or tried to get into your pants with his smart words.

Chris: Pete, you missing out on life. Get out of your cocoon.

Pete: Let’s get to business. I’m in for the script thing.

Three hours passed rather quickly as we got into the main agenda. We went through the script and did a few changes and editing. We all agreed that both Chris and Yasmin were suited for their roles. I bid them goodbyes as I had to rush home and take care of my daughters. Yasmin: Would I see you again?

Pete: Depends on the occasion.

Yasmin: You not taking my contacts?

Pete: I’m sure we’ll link up if the need arises.

02nd April 2166

0930 hrs

It has been a hectic three days after my last meeting with Chris and Yasmin. I was done prepping up my daughters for the journey they were about to begin. The school holidays had begun and I had promised them that I’d give them permission to go visit their grandmother. They were all excited and happy. I, on the other hand, was a bit happy cause I’d have to finish my work in due to time without having them around. But it’d be lonely simply because I had become accustomed to their noise. I’d pretty miss them for sure.

I bid them goodbye at the bus stop and watched them board the bus. I was wondering what I’d do without them for the whole month. I’d have some alone me time perhaps. While I was roaming in my thoughts my phone rudely brought me back to reality. There was a strange number calling on my screen.

“Hello?” I asked.

Her: Hi Pete, how have you been since the last time we linked up?

Pete: Ummmmh, I don’t know, been good. May I know who it is?

Her: It’s Yasmin. I didn’t quite know how to start the conversation. I got your number from Chris.

Pete: I figured that out.

Her: Can we meet today? I need some help on the script. I’d highly appreciate.

Pete: Sure we can meet half an hour past noon. I’ll ping you the direction.

Her: Sure, thanks.

Swahili Dishes,

Downtown, Nairobi.

1230 hrs.

The heat was unbearable, the overhead bunkers weren’t helping. I had arrived a few minutes earlier. I was still standing while my eyes busily scanned the area to see if I’d get some open seats when I was suddenly blindfolded by gorgeous feminine hands.

“Hey, Pete”, Yasmin said. I turned around and I saw an irresistible lady in an enchanting primrose yellow summer dress. She was absolutely stunning. Her scent was pleasingly nice. She was a sight to behold. She flashed her pretty smile which unveiled that lovely gap between her frontal teeth. I was totally dazed by the figure standing just next to me.

Pete: Right on time.

Yasmin: I’m not an African timer.

Pete: Let’s look for a place where we can settle down.

Yasmin: Sure.

We managed to find seats that faced each other. She was flattered when I pulled her chair. I ordered chicken biryani then she ordered the same. We sipped some drinks as we waited for our food. Pete: So what’s the urgency about.

Yasmin: I’m sorry I haven’t been candid about this impromptu meeting but I wanted to see you first, and also have an insight on your views about the script and see how far you’ve reached on your part. I want to know more about you.

Pete: You could’ve just said that. Well, what is it that you want to know about me?

Yasmin: Chris mentioned that you’re a single father. Then I heard you whining on how you’ve got to be prepared each time your daughters speak to you. How did you become a father at such a young age? What’s the story behind it?

Pete: I’ve been in a grieving period for six years now. I married my late wife when I was 22 years old. We were blessed with triplets two years later. My wife died one early morning in a road accident. She had just alighted from a bus when another vehicle came out of nowhere and run over her. My daughters were three years old at the time their mother left us.

Yasmin: That’s sad. It’s the same period you stopped writing and publishing your works?

Pete: The grief was just too much. I didn’t know what to do with three kids back then. I contemplated on remarrying but I couldn’t. It felt like I would have been betraying her. We were one body. I couldn’t figure out stuff and things took a huge toll on me.

Yasmin: We were shocked when you agreed to work with us regarding that you had turned down numerous offers over the years.

Pete: I wanted to experience the sunshine again and reconnect with people. At this point, I can comfortably say that I can at least take steps and move on from all the hurt and the pain. I’ve been to see the world through my daughters’ eyes. Their dreams and visions made me realize that it was time for me to get out of my never-ending self-torture.

Yasmin: I’ll help you walk through this part, Pete. In this world, you will never walk alone.

The waiter brought out our food and the nice aroma coming from it brought an ecstatic, joyful feeling.

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