As Jake and Purity strolled down those pavements towards Hall 1, he kept stealing glances at her poking breasts amidst their mumbled introductions. He took her hand into his, shook it unwaveringly as he introduced himself with both his Christian name and surname. Even further adding his course and year of schooling, details he never revealed to any girl he slept with before…just in case any of them got pregnant and marked him for ‘Wanted’. Purity replied with just her maiden name as she struggled to free herself from Jake’s firm grip. But he wasn’t gon’ let go, not just yet. This was the only way he’d have her full attention, the only thing second to sex he was craving at that particular instance.
The next couple of minutes were probably the longest of Jake’s entire interaction with women. And the conversation? By far the worst. Okay, I can’t really tell if am exaggerating so please help me judge this:
“So, Purity, where do you stay? Am from Umoja myself. “
“And you finished high school last year or you’ve just been out exploring the world?” *Slight chuckle…he anticipated it to be a joke*
“No, last year.”
“Whoaa! I doubt I’d remember when I left high school, myself. That sh*t-hole.”
“Anyway, I schooled at Saints Yala. You heard of it?”
“You kidding me? We won the national rugby trophy last year!”
“Not a rugby fan.”
“Oh! So where’d you school?”
In as much as she thought Jake was cute and he’d been nice to her, Purity wasn’t about to play nice to any another man. She was done being nice. The last time she played second fiddle to a man, her heart got ripped right outta her and tossed straight into the gutters. She wasn’t ready to experience that one more time. So she was gon’ test his patience and see whether he’d cling on tightly or flee in the opposite direction. If he fled, the better. But then there was the prospect of him sticking around, which cold sent chills down her spine. She didn’t want a man in her life, at least not yet. But she was having trouble resisting this one already. Only time would tell, she concluded.
Jake, on the other hand, was getting ridiculously turned off by this animosity. What happened to the sweet little girl he’d met at the administration block a little over ten minutes ago? She smiled and seemed chatty back there, when did she get all cold and moody? She was playing way too hard to get, no woman has ever taken him that long to get her digits. Not even his over-rated no-nonsense Development Studies lecturer who had voluntarily handed him her digits after he’d just winked at her during a continuous assessment test. They banged that weekend and he scored a B in that test. So what was this one thinking? That she was smarter than him? Or he wasn’t good enough for her? Time would tell…only time would tell, he concluded too, just as they reached the entrance to Hall 1.
So Jake bid Purity goodbye as she walked onwards to trace her room in within mumbles of gratitude to him for escorting her to the hostel personally. She knew it was going to be hard not to want to see him again but she owed it to herself to at least try. And Jake was left reeling with so much disgust he turned back and headed for his almost half way class as he swore he wanted nothing to do with this lass anymore. What a turn off! And for the next couple of days everything was as normal in Jake’s world as they were in Purity’s world. He banged his way through each bed as usual, while she maintained her pleasant personality and even made a few friends. She was totally over Jake and him over her. Or were they?
They were to meet a week later at Jake’s favorite restaurant just a few blocks outside the school. That was where he partook of all his meals. And right there she was, sitting at his spot with a few new friends, gobbling down a warm delicacy of pilau and fries washed down with a cold glass of mango juice. He was totally blown away, he’d never seen a creature look so graceful before. And right there and then, as he occupied the doorway, he imagined what it would be like having her all to himself. This was the first woman to ever shove him off, but he wasn’t going down without a fight. All he knew was that she was beautiful, and he was horny as hell whenever he saw her. Purity lifted up her face and their eyes met. He smiled warmly and she smiled back, though coldly. But it didn’t bother him one bit, he was going to conquer this by hook or by crook. Mostly by crook.
So Jake walked to the counter, ordered his usual meal of Ugali and pork accompanied by a cold soda and took the seat right next to Purity’s. He was totally making it hard for her to resist him. And as he sat beside her, she felt a numbness engulf her declaring her whole being totally helpless to his charm. “Ah, what the hell! Come what may.” She decided. Jake said hello to her new friends and turned to her. Now that he was close to her she looked even prettier than she had a few seconds ago. And as he yanked open his mouth to address her, he only hoped for two things. One; That he hadn’t forgotten to brush his teeth in the morning. And two; That her coldness was gone…far away with the wind. Indeed it had. She was nicer this time. Way nicer.
They stroke a modest conversation. Jake cracked a few jokes and at least she giggled this time. He told her about himself and she told him about herself. All was going well. Until she rose to leave for class and instead of leaving Jake her contacts as he’d expected, she just patted him on the back and whispered, “See you around.” Dammit! What has a brother got to do to lay this woman? She was totally wringing his last batch of patience out of him. But he had decided he wasn’t gon’ go down easily and he was hell-bent on sticking to his guns. So he feigned satisfaction too and rose after her.
When Purity glanced over her shoulders and saw him nearing, she was surprised. And impressed too. He was persistent. As if nothing had happened, Jake picked up the conversation from where they had left and noticed a slight smile form over Purity’s mouth at the corner of his eye. Perhaps he wasn’t doing so badly after all. And it took just that one more conversation as he escorted her to class to get her to see him again. They agreed to meet that evening after classes at the students’ center. She still wouldn’t give him her contacts so she just told him to be there by 4 p.m. on the dot. Else he’d find her gone.
Jake was at the students’ center by 3.30 p.m. There was absolutely no way he was going to blow this up. And before he left his room, he’d made sure the bed was neatly spread, the room was tidy and the condoms tucked neatly under his pillow. Anything could happen. This was one of those ‘Prepare for the worst but still pray for the best’ moments. Deep down, he had a feeling she wouldn’t let him touch her today. But ain’t no harm in ‘just’ spreading one’s bed every once in a while, is there?
Just as the hour hand on his watch clicked 4 p.m., he saw Purity walk through the entrance to the students’ center and he waved towards her excitedly. To be honest, she wasn’t expecting him to be there when she walked in. She expected him to arrive late, at least by a minute or so. Men are always late, who the hell was this guy? And once again, he had pulled a fast one on her. She was impressed. She walked over, said the second “Hi” to the guy that day and grabbed a seat opposite him. Just like that, her journey into Jake’s world began.
They became close friends after that. Best friends even. Whenever they were free, they were always together. Breakfast, lunch or supper, they were right there next to each other. Sometimes holding hands. Jake’s multiple banging habit reduced drastically. His friends were amazed, but so was he. He couldn’t explain why he no longer felt the strong craving for sex as he had before. All he knew was that with Purity, he was always at peace and free from his usual crap. His whole world stood still whenever he took her hand into his and he lived for the moment. They were both having the best moments of their livelihoods, and there was no braking now.
Just friends had grown to best friends within a short span of time and before Purity could snap from her day dreams, they were dating. He treated her with utmost care, respect, and the one word neither of them had ever dreamt of uttering again anytime soon; LOVE. Jake and Purity fell for each other and it was the most amazing feeling he had felt his entire being. Three months, four months, five, six, seven…a year. They were still dating and not once had Jake felt the warmness beneath Purity’s skirt. Just a little cuddling and kissing here and there and that was as far as it went. An inch further and she’d excuse herself to visit the loos. He longed for the day she’d let her in, but he wasn’t about to rush her into it. He was loving her more and more every passing day. And for once in his miserable life, Jake gave sex the cold shoulder. They say love makes you do crazy things, Jake understood that now quite well. He was head over heels in love with this girl.
Death A Virgin
That night as he was awoken from his sleep by the shrill ringing of his phone and the caller I.D read ‘Wifey’, he wondered what it was that Purity couldn’t wait till morning to tell him. And why was she even awake at this hour in the first place? But he picked up the phone nevertheless and answered as sweetly as he always did:
“Hello, who am I speaking to, please?”
Jake jerked as if he’d just been struck to full reality by a thunderbolt. He was totally awake now. And something was certainly wrong. The voice at the other end of the line was female but it definitely wasn’t Purity’s, he’d recognize it even on auto-tune. It wasn’t her. But then who was this? And why was she calling from her phone? If it was her occasional early morning pranks he had to tell her it wasn’t funny anymore. He would give her a piece of his mind. But then, it was obvious she wasn’t the caller and he wasn’t about to run rogue on a stranger so he kept his cool. He desperately needed answers here and keeping this conversation going was the only way he’d get some. So he picked himself up and continued:
“This is Jake speaking, and you are?”
“My name is Kelly and am calling you from the St. John’s Hospital. The owner of this phone was involved in a terrible accident earlier tonight and this phone, believed to be hers, was found on the scene of the carnage and is protocol, we checked the last number dialed and it happened to be yours so that’s why am calling you now. The school I.D found on her reads Lavender Purity Waiganjo and I was just wondering if you recognize that name?”
Jake was already on his feet wailing when the nurse finished that sentence. He struggled to keep his tears in their place but they flowed freely as if they were life inmates released from jail by Presidential pardon. He had not cried in a long time, and his tears were bent on taking advantage of this opportunity.
“Ye-ee-ss”, he found himself replying. “Yes, I know her. Is she awake? Will she be fine?”
“Calm down, Mr. Jake. If you could just rush down to the hospital and her state will be…”
Jake wasn’t going to wait for her to finish another sentence. He dropped the phone to the floor, jumped into any cloth in sight and bolted out of the room, banging the door behind him. He waved down a taxi on the road and was at St. John’s hospital in little over 20 minutes. He dashed inside and began asking everyone for the nurse who had called her. He couldn’t even remember her name anymore. He was in a state of panic and denial, only hoping Purity was still alive. He found the nurse after wandering around the hospital for ten minutes, which lasted eternity, but from the expression on her face, something wasn’t right. But he knew Purity, she was strong. She could survive this. She had to survive this. So he clung on. The nurse wouldn’t reveal to him any details so he was forced to wait for the doctor, who left the room 20 minutes later and addressed him.
“Am sorry, Mr. Jake. We tried our best but…we lost her!”
At that instance, Jake felt like punching the doctor right in the jaws. But a strong surge swept him off his feet and the next thing he recalled was waking up hours later at the same hospital, this time in a hospital bed too. He still couldn’t believe she was gone. How could she do this to him? He had told her not to go home that night but she had insisted. Why couldn’t she just have listened to him? Jake was depressed. And for the three days he spent at the hospital, he neither touched food nor left his bed. He didn’t even talk to anyone. He just kept to himself the whole time, staring up at the ceiling seeking answers from The Man Above. But even He had none for him at this time.
Purity’s parents and close family came for her body on the third day, same day as his discharge, and he felt their pain. No one should ever have to go through such pain in their lifetime. Purity was amazing, everyone loved her. But now she was gone and she had left behind a void nobody else would ever fill. He observed her family from afar, for a moment there he felt like approaching and hugging every single one of them. Too bad none of them knew him. And now none of them would. He found his way out of the hospital and headed straight for the beach. He always went to the beach whenever he felt like clearing up his mind. He’d brought Purity here once too. It felt like yesterday, but now all he had were memories.
So as he lay there on the sand thinking about how amazing the last year of his life had been, he realized he was on his own from now henceforth. It only dawned on him now that Purity had died a virgin. As ridiculous as that felt to him, he was amazed at the life she had led. He wished he’d met her earlier in his life, perhaps he wouldn’t have been such a wreck. Right there and then, he vowed to uphold her memory. No more random sex with every girl he met. She had taught him the value of respecting one’s body. And in that instance, as Jake got up to go home, he knew that from then henceforth, nothing would ever be the same again. His whole world would take a different turn. Whether for better or for worse, he didn’t really care at this time. Time would tell.
(Meanwhile, Center Stage at Lavish Lounge on Thursday was amazing. Hats off to Story Teller and Edu for pulling off such an event and Shout Out to the beautiful people who showed up and made it memorable. That includes you, bestie…and my crazily wonderful classmates: Ken, Johnny, Brian, ‘Chinku’ <what’s your real name bana?>, Paula, MaryAnn, Ninah, Jennifer, Claudia, Dennoh and the ever jovial Gloria. You guys are real. Salute!)