10 Reasons Why: Layers

We took an Uber to Kereita forest and true to his word, Javans had two tickets. We opted for zip-lining, archery and walking around the forest because there was no way I could see myself biking around the place. Javans knows that I suck at mountain-biking.

I pretty much suck at working anything with wheels. My attempts to get him to explain what he meant by my words were met with either a stern look or a goofy grin. I checked my bag when I got home after he’d hinted at what I had written and my diary was there, each page, each feeling, everything I had written was there-so I was certain that he did not have it. 

After three hours of activity we sat down to lunch, looking around I could see other people, a team-building probably, and also some who got word of the #funwithnature call and showed up. I could see that Javans had this competitive streak while we were out there-but even then, it was cold in Kimende and I had enough just walking around and my arms were starting to hurt after taking many shots and missing all of them in the archery tryout.

cooked dish

“This was kinda fun, how did you know about this place?” I asked.

“Facebook.”

“Oh, so you get to know about stuff like amazing outdoor adventures on Facebook, while some of us are busy watching YouTube cat videos.”

“Yes, to each their own, you know. So, tell me about these feelings that you have.”

“Eh?”

“You heard me Joyce and don’t start folding serviettes or saying you want to use the bathroom or fidgeting with the table cloth, just come clean, I promise I won’t judge.”

“Look, Jav, wait…Jav, listen…”

“I am looking and listening and you aren’t talking Joyce.”

“Si you wait! Sorry…okay, here’s the deal, who told you, how did they tell you and why did they tell you?”

“No one told me. I heard Maggie threaten you that she’d call me and tell me about this epic crush you have on me that day at the restaurant.”

“You had left!”

“No, I left but I forgot to tell you that I paid for the drinks so I was coming back to tell you when I heard the crazy one threaten you and trust me, you looked like you could fall or bury yourself and never come back for air. It also helps that you were writing something the other day at lunch, something about ten reasons why you can’t resist me, I read two of those, I want to know about the other eight.”

“Wait, what? How did you read all that stuff?”

“I underwent the 8-4-4 system of education here in Kenya and nothing trains you on surveillance more than sitting an exam unprepared like this system- so, stop going round in circles and let’s get this over with.”

“Are you with Pat?”

“Depends…”

“It’s a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question Jav, hakuna depends hapo. Are you with Pat?”

“If I say ‘no’ you will be comfortable opening up to me. If I say ‘yes’ you will close up like you are starting to do, weighing what to reveal and what to keep to yourself and if I say ‘depends’ then at least that gives you the option to choose what to share and what to leave out. So, depends it is.”

“Jav, you are making this difficult.”

“Hey, it’s not everyday that I get to have a hot chic say she digs me and this case, it’s my best friend, so I’m enjoying myself right here.”

“Shut up! Vanity is thy name.”

“No, please let’s stop unleashing our grammar skills and say what’s on your mind, well, in this case heart. I’ll make it easy for you- I know you have a crush on me, you think I am Mr. Awesome and Mr. Handsome, now I am curious about those reasons you were writing.”

“Okay, would you stop staring at me like that, look I will just say it, well, who knows, you might laugh or hate me but it does not matter, like who cares, you already know and it’s not like the world is coming to an end, so if I tell you and you think…”

“Joyce…”

“There are so many reasons why I like you Jav, but what stands out can be summed up, and the ten reasons why I like you are; one-you always flip your chair backwards and it’s cool. Two- you pick up on the little things I do not say, sometimes it scares me that you can do that. Three- you have the thermometer smile, it starts slow and spreads up until your eyes light up. Four- when you are angry you ask questions, remember the time you asked me why there were men and women? I did not know where that came from, but I knew something had gone wrong between Pat and you. Five- you kissed me at a party, four years ago. I don’t know if you remember, but we were ushering in the new year and you said ‘I want something good in my life,’ and you kissed me and I ran away after that. Six- you go an extra mile for your friends, like how you drove to Kitengela to get Davy because he was drunk and you were afraid he’d crash if he drove. Or the time you took compassionate leave at work to take care of Jonah at the hospital-when his girlfriend could not even do that. Seven- you look at me, you really look at me. Eight- you are my best friend and saying all this scares me because you might stop being my friend. Nine-you’re not that bad, and I could look at you for a while. Ten- I like you because you are Jav, you aren’t afraid to try new things or act stupid in public, you are uniquely you.”

“Wow! So, can you repeat all that, because I think I missed a major part of what you said after reason number five.”

“What? The kiss?”

“Yes, I remember that kiss Joyce. I wasn’t drunk you know, and I put my heart out there and you just ran away. I tried talking about it and you said ‘let’s forget about it’ and I thought ‘that kiss must have sucked’ so yes-let’s talk about that, shall we?”

“No, it’s in the past, we are out in public, and you know, it’s weird.”

“Eh! You are special Joyce, do you know that?”

“When someone says ‘you are special’ it is code for ‘you are crazy’ or ‘you are losing the plot,’ so just say what it is Jav, look I am being honest, and you should too.”

“What would you do if I reached out now and kissed you?”

“Eh? What about Pat?”

“See…there’s your answer Joyce. You’re afraid and you keep thinking of someone who does not exist.”

“Wait, what?”

“Pat and I broke up last month. I called you to tell you but it was the week you were having an audit and you said you didn’t want to hear anything that would stress you- so hey, dude’s been getting over his broken heart, but that’s not just it. I have always wondered why you ran away after I kissed you and for the record, you kissed me back.”

“You broke up with Pat? Why?”

“See, I talk about moving on and you only hear that I broke up with Pat. Yes, I broke up with her, somewhere between seeing her with Davy and having to tell my friend to stay away from me, so yes, I did.”

“I’m sorry.”

“What are you sorry for?”

“For running away, I just thought it was a new year and you wanted to turn me into a resolution or something, like finally getting it with your friend or something.”

“Yes, well, maybe…but you did not give me a chance Joyce, so I’ll put an end to this conversation. Dinner, tonight at seven o’clock. You and I. I’ll kiss you so get that into your head, it might be on the way out of here, here, during dinner, or after dinner but here’s the deal, you are to kiss me back.”


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