The cafeteria was opened right on time, 8 am, and i dashed in for breakfast. That’s been my routine for 4 years. A loyal 4 years i must say. The waitress knows me, in fact, here though it’s self service, it’s different for me. She comes to where i’m seated, ‘Boss, your breakfast bill has been due for exactly one year?!’ Whoa?! I didn’t expect that. Not that i didn’t know, but the way time flies?!
*Roby: man we are broke!*
*Jack: it’s exactly one year?!*
*Joe: One year?! Let’s sing Happy Birthday.*
*Cate: Happy Birthday to you….!*
For a long time i thought love is more important than money, not until Roby suggested i pay my bills with a hug to the waitress because she’d have loved me if i’ve been loyal for a year. That looked stupid of course, as Jack commented, ‘It’s like expecting that bees comb their hair with a honeycomb.’ Joe said, ‘Don’t you try that. Girls! You never know. You’ll receive a Nancy Barasa (a pinch on the nose to remind one that they should know people).’
Then Onyiso arrives. I like this guy because he either always has some problem, some solution or situation that’ll form a story for my blog. He’s poorly wired, head wise. At times I feel like asking him whether he is these baboons i’ve previously told my fans about. Recently, he told me he’d hired some cute 18 year old Taita girl to babysit his kids, but he was now wondering where the kids would come from. That’s why he’s my perfect pal, either equally uncouth or normal to himself. I’m yet to meet the voices in his head either way. We exchanged the normal pleasantries and sank into a momentous silence as if paying last respects to the morning showers that had just died outside to pave way to warm sun rays that were peeping expertly through clouds in the sky as if this rising-and-setting business was a secret bedroom issue. The cafeteria was booming with this Nigerian music (my! these i hate with a passion) that you don’t get the words, and too fast as if the singers were using stolen instruments.
If there’s a drama queen somewhere in this planet, then Onyiso is the drama king. Hey drama queen, come for your match; because with Onyiso you’ll finish each others sentences, you’ll like the same foods and mirror each others gestures. Onyiso fills me in on how his past week has been (Goodness gracious! It’s been a week already?) and how he dropped a line to the girl next door: “You don’t want to be jailed for failing nyumba-kumi so we better get to know each other better.” Oh yeah, the girl got along fine and yes, Onyiso apparently is now hitched. Looks like some great news for a pal. He took care of the breakfast bill while i sweet talked the ‘managing cateress’ into waiting for my HELB loan disbursement. Then, i asked Onyiso if he’s got something cooked up for the day; because hey, it was Saturday for all’s sake. Oh, so the plan is; his girlie’s HELB loan had ‘refused to come out’ and must be ‘stuck up somewhere’ at the HELB Headquarters at Anniversary Towers. She’d asked Onyiso, her hero, to help her out. A nice way to start a day, i presume, doing it for a pal’s girlie anyway, i convince myself.
In 15 minutes we’re waiting outside the elevators at Anniversary Towers, the electric doors slide open and we’re in. Then i get this nudging feeling that i always get when i’m in an elevator full of strangers; i feel like saying, “I bet you’re all wondering why i’ve gathered you all in here today.” Jack convinces me to leave Roby and his dirty tricks alone as i might get locked up. We were heading to 18th florr, but on 9th floor, the elevator stopped, a vibrating sound was heard, lights went off, then dead silence. I expected the doors to slide open and some hooded nerd with a sharp fork and artificial claws on his hands to pounce on us like they do in horror movies; but phew! The elevator suddenly continues upwards leaving us astounded and checking whether we’d peed on ourselves. I’d really shuddered in fear. But this is nature’s way of telling me to prepare for some worse luck later on during the day.
Sooner, we’re at the HELB offices, the place is crowded with desperate student loanees and i decided to stand at some corner as Onyiso tried to trace his girlie; who should have already arrived. He wanders around the place, like a dog searching a spot to pee, and then i spot him tapping on the shoulder of some lady who is fixedly-gazed at her Instagram, what with the new-found photos craze! It’s like all females i know are on Instagram, if Instagram ever broke down, we’d have ladies shoving pictures at our faces asking, ‘do you like this, do you?’ Then they turn to face me as Onyiso calls out to me.
Oh no! It’s her? This we’ll never-talk-to-each-other ex-girlfriend i’d told you peeps about. I suddenly wished that those elevator doors had slid open, and the clawed, dark hooded skeleton guy from a horror movie taken me hostage.