Unsure Souls

Unsure Souls

October 12, 2021 0 By Ian Elroy Ogonji

I could see her staring at me awkwardly from the corner of my eyes. I battled with the urge of not looking at her, but in vain. I turned to look at her with the interest of asking why she was gawking at me. Before I could even utter a word, she whispered, “I will miss you when I go back to Naivasha.” Then she rested her head on my right shoulder.


“I will miss you too,” I whispered back, and bent my head to meet hers.


It was the last day of a one week youth mentorship workshop. The week had been amazing, but I hadn’t figured it ending with me being so close to someone’s daughter.


It all began on that Monday morning. I was late for the pilot session. Well, blame Mombasa road traffic. So, I grabbed a seat and sat to the closest spot I could find. That spot happened to be directly opposite to her. I kept on staring at her. In my head, I was just wondering what an entrancing girl like her was doing in such a setting – she should have been on the runway sashaying that glam or somewhere pausing for some magazine photos.


Once in a while, our eyes met and we both fidgeted awkwardly on our seats.


As time went by, we got comfortable around each other. We started spending time together at lunch breaks. After the sessions, we’d sit at a peaceful spot near the gate and talk amidst the evening breeze. She later introduced herself as Grace.


She had a sweet voice that laced a coast accent. For some reason, I just wanted to hear her talk and talk and… You know, talk some more. Her dreadlocks made her flash a personality that bore both boujee and gangster. And her physique? A perfect 8.


The week slid well. A bonfire night was organized to end the workshop in style. And this is when I wished we could reverse time and start all over again. All through the week, we had been talking as friends. And it so happened that feelings were beginning to knock on the door.


“Yes, I will miss you when I go back to Naivasha.”

“But we will still be talking on phone, right?”

“Yeah but…” she turned to look at me with lazy eyes, “… I want to see you.”

“I am here.” I said, avoiding eye contact.

“No, I mean, I prefer being this close to you than talking on phone.”


Then silence struck. I rushed into my thoughts to forage for the right words to counter that line. I knew very well where this was heading to. I, personally, felt we were rushing things. I know she felt the same way too. But also, I felt like we had known each other deeply enough to even get married, already. Furthermore, it’s the 21st century where people meet on tinder and end up arranging for weddings even before they meet. What can’t happen?


“I’d love that too.” I said.


“I have a question, Ian.” She sat upright then turned to my direction. I knew the time had come. I wasn’t sure what my reply would be, but I could guess what her question would be. I turned to look at her. She looked cute, I could see the reflection of the fire in her eyes. This whole set-up felt like an excerpt of a scene from a Mexican soap opera.


She cleared her throat, then asked, “would you date me?”

“Of course, I would,” came my reply without hesitation.

“Why?” She asked. And that’s when she lost me.


The reasons I had in head wouldn’t sound mature if I decided to tell her. You know, like the one I mentioned up there – yeah, the accent turned me on. So, I didn’t tell her that. Instead I kept quiet and pretended to be thinking While scratching my chin. For almost 2 minutes.


“Okay, you know what, let’s go and sleep.” She flipped her dreadlocks behind then stood up.


“No, no, no, wait… I honestly don’t know how to answer the ‘why’ part of that question. What about you? Would you want us to date?”


“Maybe.” Came her reply, brief like a miniskirt.

“What time is it?” I asked, diverting the topic.

“1A.M, let’s go and sleep. This convo is getting worse by the minute.”


We stood up and swaggered to our rooms.


I could feel her frustration. We were just two souls who weren’t sure what we really wanted. Or perhaps, we knew what we wanted but didn’t want to take the risk. I still can’t figure out which.