Campus is known for drama. And one campus girl, Carol, never escaped any of these. After several failed attempts to find Mr.Right amongst the campus boys, she finally landed on a working class man. By this I mean, someone with money from his own sweat not one waiting for pocket money from his folks. I mean, one who has rented a house outside at least not staying in some bedbug-fested room rented to them by the school. You know what I mean.
How they met is interesting. As they stood in the queue together when she waited to pay her school fees at Barclays Bank, a conversation started about how slow the banking process was. He complained of how long the queue was yet the bank had only few tellers operating at that time. He then mentioned that he had the evening news to catch up on. Carol saw such a great potential in this one. Not some campus boy who will go waste time on Sportpesa betting.
After that whole time of complaining he paused and said, “Sorry, I should have started from here when we met, I am Raymond, but you can call me Ray.”
“I’m Carol,” she said giggling. “Let’s make it more official, nice to meet you,” she continued as she stretched out her hands to shake his.
Still they continued in their conversation and everyone who saw them concluded they knew each other. Later as they were walking out he asked for her phone number. Carol’s heart skipped a bit when he asked for her number. She had thought he would never ask her that. You know he was really good looking and tall. He had a Mohican cut and scyth-shaped eyebrows. His Roman nose and half-dome cheekbones sat nicely above oaken jaw. His wrestlers shoulders were part of his burly physique. She already pictured introducing him to her friends back in campus;they would definitely fall in love with him. He was just irresistible. She looked classy too with the dress and shoes she had worn that day. No one would have thought she was a mere campus student. So she got her new Infinix Zero phone from her slim bag and took his number so to call him back.
When Carol got back to Hall 12, she found her friends there. She asked them to come with her to her room for some seriously awesome story. You know ladies,right. They dare not miss out on such. The story that evening was all about this guy she met. “He stays at Muthaiga,” she said. That was quite something you know. Who dated rich guys on campus, none expect really few ladies.
That evening when Ray texted, Carol felt a bit of excitement. She recalled his manly, Samson physique and the Rolex wrist watch. They talked for hours. He told her about himself. ” I work with Nation Television as a cameraman. I was working before at K24 Television before I moved to Nation Television. ” Carol wished she would lie to him about herself. She dared not tell him that she is still in campus. He will only take advantage of her and damp her as campus boys always did. But the truth was chocking her already. She actually told him everything he needed to know. She told him she is a student at the University of Nairobi currently in her Fourth year. She even told him of the on going Lecturers and staff strike that was making her take too long to finish school.
Carol wished he would ask her if she was seeing someone but he never did. But just thinking of it, the type who never talked about relationships as soon as they met you are always the best. The two continued to talk about their hobbies, interests and before she knew it, Raymond was asking her out on a date the next day. ” I really admire your personality, could I see you tomorrow? ” Ray asked.
Who was Carol to resist this charming man anyway, so she responded really fast,”Yeah,sure.”
“Let’s make it in the afternoon after I am done with the Morning news, is it ok,?”Raymond asked her. And you definitely know Carols response.
That evening as she lay down to rest in her room, she remembered the many several heartbreaks she had faced and how so often she had gotten pressure from her friends to find a middle-aged or even an old-aged sponsor. Finally she landed on a youthful, working, unmarried man who was even asking her to mention whichever place she would love to meet him at tomorrow. The campus boys she had dated had only taken her to Clabu, the school’s market place and other times to their Hall 9 rooms chocked with bed-bugs. They had never given her treats to Java,even Subway just across the university where she passed so often and admired the ladies who ate in those places. Or even KFC; her friends always talked about the Family size pack of chicken and fries.
When she left her room the next day, she looked so stunningly gorgeous. Ray had called her early that morning before covering the morning news to confirm her coming. When she got to Nation Centre, she spotted Java where Ray was already at. She quickly walked in and saw this handsome guy seated at the furthest end almost close to the counter. Ray quickly rose and pulled a chair for her. This was a nice gesture from such a smartly dressed man,she thought.
On the table, Raymond was already taking Iced Lemon water and honey. He mentioned that he had grabbed something earlier. “Just order for anything,” he said handing the menu to Carol who could not believe it was her finally seated in Java today.
“I will take this one here,” Carol said to the waitress as she pointed at Grilled Chicken breast served with Broccoli and Feta Pasta Salad.”You will get me a bottle of Cold Whisky,” Ray said almost yelling at the waitress who was already walking away.
He kept staring at her everytime and Carol couldn’t help but blush at her full plate of chicken and the rest of the food which she knew not. The food was a lot; she even thougt she should ask the waitress to package what will remain of it. You know her friends had told her, “Bring us some chicken, usisahau.”
The two continued to converse before he pulled out from his pocket some brown envelope. “There is a friend who is soon joining us here to bring me some documents, “Ray said then continued,”he is my guarantor for some loan I want to take.”
“Loan?” Carol asked suspiciously.
“Yes, I want to buy a car. The details are in this envelope here…,” Ray added.
And before he finished talking his phone rang and he quickly picked it,”Hello…I can’t hear you clearly,hello…I’m here at…” Then the call ended. Ray looking so angry then said, “He seem not to be getting me clearly and neither am I. Worst is that my phone is almost going off”
Then the phone rang again, “Hello… Where are you, hello… Am here at…” Then again the call ended.
“Ooops…now my phone is off,could I use yours to give him directions to this place?” Ray asked Carol who was already handing him her Infinix Zero.
Ray walked out to call his friend whom he said could not trace that specific Java. He mentioned he was already around Nation Centre though.
Carol continued to enjoy her chicken to every bone. Raymond was taking too long outside but it’s fine though. She just wondered what sought of man was that who could not trace Java, seriously.
15 minutes…25 minutes… 40 minutes and Ray is not back yet. What could have taken him so long.
Then the waitress came to their table then said to her, “Hey miss, could you settle your bills. My shift is over and I need to leave.” Carol quickly told her,”No, my guy is just outside, he will settle it once he comes back.”
“Are you sure he is coming back? He’s taken pretty long outside.”said the waitress.
“Sure he is.” Carol cutting her short.
“Madam, you know we have experienced such cases where a man brings a lady out on a date here and leave making the lady to settle the bills herself,” the annoyed waitress now said almost yelling at her as she walked away.
Now Carol began to think,could it be true Raymond has done that to her too, I mean,could he have made his way with her new Infinix Zero? No, that couldn’t be. What if it was in deed true? What if the waitress was right? That the bills are to be paid by her now. No,that can’t be. She has no money at all with her. In fact she had squeezed her pocket money to but her Infinix Phone now that all the girls on campus have smart phones.
Then she thought, maybe she should run away too. Maybe she should stealthily walk out of that place without being seeing in order to avoid paying the bills. She had feasted on grilled chicken breasts and now the bills were going to be on her. And the whisky and lemon water. Oh heavens! Life is really unfair. So unfair. And she settled for that, to run away.
Slowly she walked through the door unseen then a thought stopped her by her heels, “how about I go back and get the brown envelope Ray left behind on the table so I could track him with it.” And as soon as she turned back to go get it, guess who she met, the waitress. “Lady, you are leaving yet you have not cleared your bills,” the angry waitress shouted now causing a scene. All eyes were now on the poor Carol’s table. “I’m sorry, I was only checking if in deed he’s left,” she explained as tears began to cascade down her visage.
So Carol borrowed the waitress phone and thought of who to call to ask for some money. She had never mastered any of her friends number. The only numbers she had mastered were her mother’s, she dared not call her. Never. Her siblings, no. They would only ask her too many questions. Her ex’s. Yes. He would understand, in fact he always wants her back still. So she rang him and asked him to send her 1500 Kenyan Shillings through that number. Ex’s sometimes serve as a great deal. He sent it without hesitation then promised to explain to him what ensued later.
Carol quickly grabbed the brown envelope and stealthily walked out of that place. That was the only thing that was left of her. As she walked to Hall 12, she hoped not to meet any of her friends. They will be asking whether she brought them chicken. They will only be inquiring how her date was. She wasn’t ready to explain the ordeal. And when she got to the hostel, her friends were there.
“My phone’s been stolen.” Carol said busting into tears.
Part 2 Coming up soon.