Life

Day One -Part Two

He looked at me analytically, gauging whether I was serious or not. I smiled. With that, he bid me farewell and went to work.

Click if you missed it: Day One -Part One

Just then, a girl staying next door came out to put her laundry on the line. She was sweet and friendly. I introduced myself.
Her: Have you just moved in here?
Me: No, I’m just visiting.

She told me her name and how long she had stayed at the residence. Like me, she was a fresh graduate, still job hunting. I liked her.

I love doing chores undisturbed, even better when no is around. From washing up all the utensils, I wiped, swept, mopped and organized everything in the room. I then scrubbed the toilet, bathroom floor, sink, mirror and washed everything in there that needed cleaning. From inside, I cleaned the outside as well. When everything was clean to my liking, I moved back inside to fold his clothes. I had noticed the night before that his clothes were all piled up in a disorganized heap in an open suitcase. Lucky for him, I love folding.

I pulled out a chair, sat and folded for the next thirty or forty minutes. In the process, I landed a couple of times on a girl’s outfits. I had also seen a pair of feminine sandals by the bathroom door. That was none of my business, however this discovery rubbed me wrong. There was a sharp pang in my heart.

When I checked my phone, I found a text from one of my friends. He was asking for how I am. I told him I was alright. Most of them knew I was shifting and were concerned.

During breakfast, I had asked Alvin to set aside the clothes that he needed ironed. Now that I was done with organizing and folding his clothes, I went to iron. When done, I put all the ironed clothes on hangers and put them up with the rest. The closet area now looked impressive.

During the day, I got one of those ‘Hi dear’ texts from Alvin. He said he was just checking up on me and asking if I was alright. Yes, I was fine. How sweet and thoughtful of him. But dear? I was now dear?

I checked my WhatsApp and found a message from my friend. She seemed concerned. I gave her a call to reassure her.
We spoke for nearly an hour, especially about the shifting part.

One thing about me is that once I decide to do something, or choose a situation, then I will be in it 100%. I had made the decision to stay with Alvin in a sober state of mind. I was neither forced nor coaxed. I was not under any influence. So while there, I made up my mind that I was going to be happy and allowed myself to enjoy the stay. So far, it was working. The day was a good one and I was in a happy mood. I kept remembering things and laughing alone the entire time.

At 4:00pm, I started cooking. I sent Alvin a text, then laughed to myself about it.
“Hi…
Do you have another matchbox? If not, please buy one on your way back. This one is nearly done”.

These were marriage things. I was now technically married, with married people’s problems. Alvin asked me to look around and notify him of everything else that I needed. I did but it was a very short list. He had pretty much everything.

I decided to fry a glass of rice. My issue was selecting which cooking oil to use. He had Sunseed oil, Solitalia and Olive oil. I had no idea which did what. All of them were sealed except the latter. Refusing to give myself work, I just settled for the Olive oil. However, as I was figuring out how to open the fancy salt tin, I spotted a bottle of Fortune Buto. Finally something that I recognized! I gleefully grabbed it and exchanged it for the Olive oil. I thought frying rice with olive oil or Solitalia was me overreacting.

Minutes later, I laughed my ass off when I tasted the ready food. The rice! It was salty, soggy and over cooked. My first idea was to eat it all before Alvin got back so that I wouldn’t have to explain, but it was a lot, and I’m not a rice fan. So, I just left the food there for Alvin to find. Well, a girl can’t be great at everything. Cooking is not my greatest strength, but I will improve before I get married.

Alvin called on his way home asking to be reminded about the missing items. I did and also sent him the items in a text. At the gate, he called. I went and opened for him. Surprisingly, he hugged me in greeting and waited for me to finish locking the gate, then we walked together to his room. In my head I’m like, ‘He waited, why? Doesn’t he know the way to his own room?’ – but it turns out I need to get used to being loved and pampered. Alvin was kind, gentle and sweet. It almost freaked me out at how overly caring he was.

When we got inside, he was amazed. His reaction was priceless. Alvin looked everywhere and even entered the bathroom. With disbelief in his voice, he stood near the closet and remarked,
“Is this my room or someone else’s? Everything is so neat and organized!”
He looked at me with gratitude and thanked me for a job well done. I smiled. “Don’t kneel”, I replied jokingly. (It’s one of those jokes from home).

Thankfully, Alvin had come back with fries and chicken. I was so grateful for that because that meant he wouldn’t have to eat my food. He had also come back with all the things that I had asked him to buy. I thanked him for the effort.

After dinner, I showered and brushed. All along, I was wondering how we were going to have a meaningful conversation about his girlfriend; he kept dodging that topic. We also had to spell out the rules and boundaries. I didn’t want to live on assumptions. Before coming, I had made a list of Do’s and Don’ts, meant to help us respect each other. But I had not yet found an opportune moment to bring all that up. Yesterday I had been too exhausted and in the morning, I still trying to get my bearing and figure things out. Tonight seemed perfect.

In bed, Alvin asked for how my day was. I told him it was good. I asked about his and he told me in chronological order how it had been. “…my highlight was coming back to an incredibly neat place,” he concluded. I am glad he noticed, and that he appreciated. The night before, Alvin had convinced me that he sleeps straight, and that he would keep to his side. However, that didn’t happen. But somehow, I thought tonight would be different.

It wasn’t. When I saw that things were getting out of hand, I got out of bed and asked for beddings so that I sleep down. He followed me. “Come back to bed,” he begged, “nothing is going to happen,” he pleaded. I did not buy it. No way was I falling for that lie again. Each time he tried to face me, I would turn away. I didn’t allow him to touch me either. He tried to convince me but my mind was made up.

“Which of those blankets should I put down?” I asked for what would have been the fifth time.

He pointed resignedly at it. I took it and a few other things and made a bed for myself on the floor. Having cleaned the place myself that day, I wasn’t so afraid of sleeping down. But the devil is a liar! Just then, I saw a very huge coackroach. I just took a very deep breath and told myself that coackroaches were a better devil than sexual immorality, pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and infections.

“How old are you?” I asked Alvin. He dodged the question but I repeated it until he answered it.

Damnit! He was even a year younger than me. I turned off the light and went to sleep. To distract myself, I watched an interview program on YouTube.

The floor was hard, cold and uncomfortable. Nonetheless, it is a price I was willing to pay. Needless to mention, I turned and tossed all night.

The End.

Disclaimer: The names that feature in this story are fictitious. They were made up to protect the identity and privacy of those involved.

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2 Comments

  1. Winfred Maneno

    November 10, 2022 at 5:34 am

    I was in a similar state my male colleague n I were in a village and we couldn’t find lodges for accomodation & a random community member gave us are room and initially he was uncomfortable but saying the rule was the best refrainment measure

    1. Echoes Over Coffee

      November 10, 2022 at 11:22 am

      Yes, I agree. It’s never good to make assumptions. If you don’t say it out loud, the other party can keep plotting for you.

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