“Chief, I thought I’d arrive late but I got to the diggz just on time. Three hours shy off the curfew hour. The only thing I will need right now is some Bourbon to calm my nerves. I feel sad that the ship sunk. There was no way whatsoever I would have saved it. The past two days had been rough. I did my best to try and withstand the storm. It’s a bit funny how she packaged the disappointment into a nice little box. But in the end I had to come back home. I could not stay for an extra day when I knew no single soul in that town. Man I never expected the phrase, it will end in premium tears would one day have a reflection in my life. But, yes, it ended in premium tears.” says Captain Rossi while he was on phone with me.
I asked him what led to the chronological sequence of events that led to the ultimate state of him abandoning the ship. He told me that we have to go back in time to where it all began. Back to when he was a video guy.
It was one of those Saturdays where the sun was slightly hidden behind the clouds. Not too hot nor too cold. It seemed like the sun had a hangover. Everyone from the shoot always called him Captain due to his massive frame which towered most people. He always had that signature look of a captain’s hat and two silver pieces on his neck. He met her at a shoot they had gone to do. Since most Satoos were shoot days, it was just an ordinary day to him like no other. He said Hi, and he went on around his business without a single care in the world. He says he did not see her for the next two weeks.
You know those lazy Tuesday afternoons that seem to drag after you have ordered Teriyaki and some fancy cocktail and it takes ages to arrive? That is how he felt when he was going to pick his cheque from the company he had done the shoot. When he went to the accountant he expected to find some hot tempered guy battling mid-life crisis but instead it was a different scenario. Yes. That madam he saw at the shoot. On her desk read the tag “Senior Accountant.” All the pressures pent up due to the delay of the cheque just vamoosed. She had brown topaz eyes, caramel skin color, and boohoo the dashboard screamed, “mbele iko tu sawa.”
So he put his A game, and she was in for the play. They exchanged contacts and hit it off. They had a good rapport and the communication was a two way traffic. They would check on each other, talk about almost anything over the phone. To be honest he was mesmerized by her beauty. The urge to see her again was strong. Captain invited her out for lunch or dinner, anything would have worked well. But she said she was busy during weekdays, perhaps the weekend would be good. He went with the flow, just like how a dhow sailed on a calm day over the sea.
The weekend never happened as they had initially planned. She went hum on him. It was during the great depression period when Rona happened. A week passed into two, then a whole month. Then one day when he was chilling with his best friend playing CSGO on the big screen, a call interrupted him. He ended up dying in the game. He silently cursed, took a swig of whiskey and looked at the dial screen. He saw it was her Juvenna* who had called.
He called back and Juvenna apologized for behaving like a dick towards him. She told him that they had been laid off due to the virus pandemic. She relocated back home, hence the silence. Mans decided to pour out his heart. Juvenna told him that she was not ready to get into a relationship since she was hurt before and she did not want any entanglement at the moment. He was quiet for a while, then told her to think about it. After that the conversation went a bit south. Captain was having a rough day at sea. Juvenna on the other hand diligently called him and kept things afloat.
Captain says he was not ready at that moment to be “friends with her” yet they were over that talking stage. Juvenna felt the vibe captain was putting off and one day she called him and said, “I think you deserve a chance, and I want to try it out with you and see where things go.” For a moment he had momentarily given up on chasing her, but here she was offering herself unto him. Like a fruit ripe for plucking.
One problem arose – distance. They were several hundred kilometers apart and very many towns apart. He was in the capital city while she was in one of those coastal towns. There was a cessation of movements. All they could do was just see each other through the phone. The WhatsApp video calls, zoom, and any other platform that offered better quality, they made use of it. Not a single day nor night would pass without them talking endlessly as they did other things. Months later when the thirty days lockdown became a whole school term and a holiday, he noticed a few changes from Juvenna.
She would go quiet from 7p.m and tell him that her phone acted up. It hanged a lot. He did not think that it was a red flag. So one day he decided to call with his other number she picked up. But upon hearing his voice, he could feel her mood change over the phone. She never said a single word apart from sighing and breathing heavily. Captain ignored that red flag.
A Few Days Ago,
They had planned to meet up for long and finally it was coming true. They had expectations and it was time to taste the waters. Captain felt that they were both ready to take things to the next level. He consulted his friend who had travelled a month earlier to the coastal region about flight schedules, SGR, and road transport. His guy came through for him. Captain was given an array of budget friendly prices where he’d have the time with the love of his life. His pal asked him where exactly he’d be going and he said Voi town. Captain told him that he had gotten a fine coastal lady.
Time flew past rather quickly, he ended up having to travel by bus, since the other two modes were fully booked. It was on a Thursday when he travelled down to Voi. He was in good spirits when the bus was cruising down along Mombasa road. He knew that was it. Somewhere in the afternoon he’d be cuddling with Juvenna on the balcony taking in the view of the scenery. She was jolly and all giddy when he told her that he was in his way. There was an excitement n her voice, her laughter, and everything. Man was content with how things were going.
Two hours after he began his journey, Juvenna texted him that she needed money so that she’d make the bookings. She called and explained that it would be better if he just came and relaxed without any drama and hullabaloo. She sent him pictures of the place they’d stay and the offers on per person sharing. He did not mind at all and he sent her the money. When he reached at Mtito wa Andei he called her and they spoke for a while. She confirmed that she had made the bookings. All he needed to do was that when he alighted at Voi, he would have to go to Mwatate since there was someone Juvenna wanted him to meet.
“Bro, I arrived at 1500 hours in Mwatate. It was a strange place yet intriguing in some way. I called her, but there was no response from her end. I tried to console myself saying that her phone had hanged up but it took long for it to finally dawn on me that I was beaten both home and away like a burukenge. 10 minutes passed to an hour, and an hour became three more. It was six in the evening. I knew no one in that place. For a fleeting minute I hoped that she would call but nothing. Calls unpicked, texts unanswered, and on the app the ugly grey ticks reared its head mocking me. A deep voice within me told me that I was clowning.” Captain tells me over the phone.
He said he got desperate as the night approached. He contemplated going back, but the curfew would get hold of him. Besides he was already tired. He booked a hotel and slept that night dejected and heart broken. He called his pal and explained his ordeal. Guy was empathetic but trolled him for being a clown. In the end his pal told him not to force things, and not to pay for stuff he had not seen especially when going to a new place. The following morning he went to Voi town, he was still optimistic that she would call. He expected the worst. He had a good meal at a popular lounge in that town. It was there when he decided to go back to his crib, to the familiarity of the demons he is used to.
“Bro, heri ni deal tu na hawa women’s wa ka Nairo.” Love and sex makes a man travel. But being a slave of both is ones greatest undoing. He said he would not be doing any distance soon enough. He is still yet to recover from his damaged ego and pride. Yet the captain still keeps sailing.
“Did she call you back?”
“She texted yesterday telling me that she tried all means possible to try and contact me. Juvenna claims that I had given someone who kept saying wrong number. It baffles me that I had my phone the whole time.”
“So now that you back in Nairobi will you keep conversing with her?”
“No. Like the cessation of movements came and went that’s how it is. A man keeps moving irregardless of the situation. That’s the theme I live by this year. I erred and have learned from it.”