Balk, that is what I did when I heard that she was getting married. The news came from min Otis, my mother’s gossip buddy. She always knows what is going on in our little town. No, it isn’t a town. It rather is a village center. She had just picked this piece of information from Jadala the kiosk guy. Jadala, on the other hand had got it from Alwiso.  Alwiso is what Agege was in Francis Imbuga’s play Aminata. He is a master of odd jobs, and right then he had been sent to get a crate of soda for the welo.  The welo turned out to be the suitors who were threatening to take away my first love.

My name is Cleophas. I don’t like that name. So I shortened it to Cleo. It kind of sounded cool until some dumb ass kid back in primary called it sissy because it was a girl’s name. He said Cleo was short for Cleopatra, some Macedonian princess who was romantically involved with Julius Caesar. Of course my nine year old brain didn’t know this .Turns out the dumb ass kid had brains after all. My ego was bruised. I decided I wasn’t Cleo anymore.  I shortened it further to Leo; now that was super cool than Cleo, right. Plus it was short and everybody could pronounce it apart from Maina, he would call me Reo. I was mad at him for some. Then I got used to it. I got tired of correcting it every time. So that’s my name Leo. Everyone calls me that except my mum. She calls me baba. I loved it when I was a kid but when I got older I abhorred it. I tried asking her not to call me that especially in public but she would not budge. I was her kid and she would call me whatever she damned wish and I couldn’t do anything about it, she said. My dad on the other hand doesn’t even know my name.

Thing is I was born in a polygamous family. My dad has five wives and about twenty and a half children. Half because, his last born is claimed by local grapevine not to be his. Rumor has it that his youngest wife, Nyarokeyo had a fling with the local butcher and the fling resulted to a light skinned baby boy. The butcher was from Seme and Seme dudes are light skinned. My dad on the other hand is from Kendu and Kendu dudes are pitch dark. Nyarokeyo too was dark. So, if you do the math you would probably come up with the same answer as that of Min Otis. My dad heard the rumors. It’s after all a small village and word has a way of spreading fast, especially if it is some juicy story. He did nothing about it, maybe it’s because he was too engrossed in finding his next source of kong’o, or its cause he could not come to terms with the fact that a Seme  dude(he considers Seme dudes less of men) had scooped honey from his honey comb, his territory; and  had  further planted a seed in it. He never confronted Nyarokeyo. To date, he doesn’t treat the kid with resentment. In fact he treats him as he does us, without a care. I would love to tell you why he does this but today I am not doing a fatherhood story, so maybe someday, I’ll tell you all about it.

So back to my predicament, she was getting married. Who was she? Akinyi Nyar oduwa that was her name. She had long lovely legs. I fell in love with her legs long before I knew what her name was. I first saw them on some market day, I don’t remember which one in particular. I have a poor memory. I was mending shoes at my work station (I am a cobbler) in the middle of the village Centre, when suddenly my chi tickled and asked me to look up. My chi is always right. So I looked up and I saw them. You probably thinking it’s the legs, no it isn’t the legs. I saw several cows being driven to the market, perhaps they were going to be sold. I bet they would not fetch a good price. This is because they looked so thin. I usually don’t use the word thin but in this situation I don’t think any word would be better to describe how they looked. It is as if they hadn’t eaten for ages.  I was disappointed. My chi had let me down. I was about to get back to work when I saw something so out of place.

The cows were being driven by somebody with feminine legs. I know you would want to ask how I knew that. Okay, let me tell you a thing about me. I am a leg guy. You probably don’t know what this means. Let me break it down further. Most guys are either boob guys or ass guys. Others either prefer the full package or are just complicated. If you are a dude then you will definitely know where you fall. As for me my favorite body part is the legs, real turn on (I am not supposed to say this, my bad). I literally study people’s legs. Male legs are hairy and muscular. The female bone structure is quite different since women need to give birth. This is actually what makes men and women walk differently. These legs were smooth as if they had been shaved just hours ago. They were not muscular either. So they most likely were feminine legs.

In this part of the world you would hardly find a lady driving cows to the market for sale. Instead they either sold fish or omena; or they stayed home as house wives and tilled their small farms for food.  The cow business is left for the males. This explains my disbelief when I saw those legs. I even thought that there was a slim chance that the herder had feminine legs but was male. Then I saw her face. All my doubts were cleared right then. She was a lady.

Her face was not the kind that would make you take a second glance. So definitely she was not striking beautiful. I can’t really remember what she wore, I told you I had poor memory. What I can remember is her legs. They had all the ingredients of my recipe for sexy legs. They were slender, soft, smooth and perfectly toned. They were also dusty and dirty, a common thing among us. The odd thing about them is that they kind of whispered to me, asking me to follow them, and follow I did.

I dropped what I was doing and stood up. I walked towards her. I didn’t know what I was going to say to her, I just walked. She didn’t seem to see me coming till I got to her. Then she looked at me. She had a piercing look, the kind that would have made many guys apologize for just staring at her.my mathematics teacher back in primary had the same menacing look. Her only flaw was that she didn’t have the round rimmed spectacles. Otherwise the look would have definitely matched my teacher’s look. I didn’t apologize. Instead, I told her that she had nice legs. She looked at them, then looked at me, then she laughed.

That is how we hit off. She had never heard a guy use her legs as a pick up line before. I was the first. She warmed up to me because of this .We talked, as I walked her to the market. I told her about me, How I got expelled from school and ended up not trusting the system ,partly because my dad was done schooling a truant and partly because I did not see the need of going to school yet I could  join Onyango’s crew and go fishing. At that time fishing was the in thing, it was booming. Fish was selling like hot cakes and a new market had been discovered, Narobi. Fishermen were the big shots. They had lots of money, and the money attracted chiqs. I told her how I wanted the fast life that the fishermen had. I joined them. Tragedy stroke after a month. Water hyacinth invaded the lake. We could not fish. My fishing career had ended before it had even started. I was left with nothing to do. Then the old cobbler passed away. I saw an opportunity. He was the sole cobbler in that area and since he was gone I could take his place. I told her all this. I am not a talker but with her I found it easy to talk. She did not mind hearing all this yet I was a complete stranger to her. I did not know how to shoot my shot. So I just talked. The odd thing is that she never told me a thing about her. She did not even tell me why she was going to sell cows yet that was a man’s job, women had not gone to Beijing then so there were few feminist at that time.

We got to the market. Then it hit me that I had left my work all unattended. I had some two shoes to mend before the day ended. One being Ojuka’s.  Every village has that bully that always tries to make your miserable lives more miserable. 0juka was our bully.  I asked if I could see her again. She said yes. I bade her farewell and walked back to my work station. Come to think of it I ran all the way, Ojuka had promised to beat me up if I did not finish mending his shoes by the end of the day.  

I had a date. Problem is I did not know where I would take her. I did not have enough money to pay for two sodas and cakes at Jadala’s. I could pay for one though. This would mean that we would have to share or I would have to make up an excuse.  Maybe I could say that I did not take sodas, something awful about its taste (back then we still had not known the effect of taking sodas so I didn’t have a smart excuse).she would definitely not buy this and I would ruin my chances of impressing her. So Jadala’s was definitely out of the plan. I had an option of taking her to the river but this date is usually for couples who are completely into each other. The things that happened by the river bed stayed by the river bed. Whenever you heard that some guy had taken your girl to the river then definitely a third party had entered your relationship and one of you will have to make room for the other by leaving. The river was also a no. I was left with one option, the dance. We have this weird culture of dancing during wakes. This is where most relationships were either built or destroyed, they were worse than the river dates. It was a huge risk and who am I not to take a risk when it came by my way? So the dance it was.

I picked her at her place. She did not tell me where it was but I found it all the same. I would love to say that my knowledge of legs helped me find her place, but that would be a big lie. Actually I just asked min Otis about her and the rest as you can figure out is history. Min Otis made her own conclusions. She told me that I had gotten a perfect match. She could not wait to go tell everybody that I had a girlfriend. I beamed at the thought of this. I would not be a loser in their eyes anymore. I did not correct her. Plus it would give me leverage at the dance, guys are less willing to approach a girl if it is widely known that he has a boyfriend.

 The dance is always held at night. It usually starts at around eleven when the mourners have cried their eyes out. We got there way after eleven. I wanted everyone to see my date, to see her legs. Unfortunately nobody noticed her. They were all on the dance floor, not an actual dance floor, dancing as if it they had finally found a way to get rid of the water hyacinth. I do not know how to dance. I actually have two left feet. I was confident she would not notice this in the dark. She noticed. She laughed at my moves. She asked me to watch her dance. She was great. I wished I could move like her. I could not stand watching her dance alone. She was after all my date. I joined her. It was crazy, but crazy is fun. We had the time of our lives. She made me forget all my worries, my bad dance moves, and my futile efforts to go back to school. Yes I wanted to go back to school, I had lost purpose in life and school seemed the best way to regain it back. She was just amazing. That night I realized that I had fallen in love for the first time. I just did not know if she felt the same way about me. I did not ask her about it lest she said no. I did not want to ruin the moment. At that point in time she could ask me to do anything and I would do it. I was blind and she was my eyes. I’d say I was enchanted.

I had seen her only twice in my life and was already planning on where we would build our new home and leave happily forever. We would not fit in my simba, it was too small. I thought of a nice one bed roomed mabati home, like the fishermen’s home during the boom period. Our roof would be the brightest in the village. I bet if given the chance, it would reflect the sun rays back to space. That was me day dreaming about my future.

The news about Akinyi’s suitors woke me from my daydream. It brought me back to reality. She was going to get married. Who was marrying her? I did not know, I went to her place. She was not there. She had been taken to Narobi. I did not know where Narobi was, but I knew I had to go there. I had to get my eyes back. I could not leave without them .Plus her legs were still whispering in my ear asking me to follow them. Follow I did.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: hey guys , am sorry if you find any typos in this post , i have got exam pressure 😥😪. some words may also be in luo, i tried all the best to limit them. thank you for reading😊

16 thoughts on “BLIND.”

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