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Perils of dating a beautiful neighbour

 Photo: Courtesy

You invite the girl next door with the excuse of football, since she is donning the Arsenal T-shirt. You asked her so kindly, yet so confidently; she would have to be such a mean misanthrope as to turn you request down. When you think about it, it came out as a good neighbourly invite, no motive beneath. She drags herself over, takes her sandals off and comes in and sits uneasily in the seat, closer to the door.

She regards your pad, and makes a silent approval of your minimalist style, but taken aback by your irresponsibly big TV. You beckon her to feel at home. Arsenal is playing Newcastle, and it is a boring match, you cannot comment on anything on the game. There is an easy silence in the room, so palpable with possibility, but you have to establish a few things. Is she saved? It is easy to establish that...

"You whiskey, wine or juice person?" you ask. It is a loaded question and every answer to that will help check one box of approval.

"Juice," she says. You notice, while she is confident, she is trying to be careful. Ever so alert like any other woman would be in the presence of a man. You pour her juice and you sit across her. She keeps quiet, letting you take the initiative of questioning her, and her answers are monosyllabic. You want to establish where she is from, where she has been and what she is up to. Being Kenyan, you are itching to know her tribe-she has that complexion and body type that is hard to place- and if she is taken. At her age, she must have some baggage, a child or a menacing ex lurking somewhere.

You start some small talk, you notice she is opinionated, and can stand her ground.

"Why did you move to this terrible neighbourhood?"

"I was transferred to Mombasa Road. Been living and working at the Coast?"

"With family?"

"Nope, mum and dad are in Nakuru," she tells you half answering your question but not the one you wanted to have answered.

"Kwani, you are from Nakuru..." you trying to establish her tribe, and Nakuru being cosmopolitan, you can't establish that. She tells you she was born there. You sigh, you might want to see her ID. There is no ring in her finger. She is not fiddling with her phone. There is some attraction, or is your mind playing games?

You are turning 30 in a few months. She looks like she is 26-27. You are both in that phase in life that a relationship is not just a relationship. It is more. It must lead into an alter or a bank. But you want her. If you ask her if she is seeing someone at the moment, that will be a premature move. You are at your wits' end.

"So how do you like it here in Nairobi so far?" you nudge her.

"It is fine, just that it is too fast and hectic...and people are less hospitable?" she says, sipping her juice," she offers. But you still have to establish her relationship status. Do you go straight or beat around the bush?

"Do you live here alone?"

"Oh, yes..."

"I mean you don't live with your (you opt to go for the generic 'man')?

She gives you that look...


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