If I was ever to write a book about my life as a 1st Year Campus student, then it would be titled ‘Confusion’ because my freshman year was a huge mess. My current read is Trevor Noah’s Born A Crime (I know I am late to the party). The chapter on his introduction to matters of the heart reminded me of the first guy to hit on me in campus. In his book, Trevor writes how his introduction to love was such a thankless affair. He asked a certain girl to be his valentines date and she ended up turning him down last minute in favour of one of the bad boys in his class. Iliuma but ilibidi azoee.
Come first year campus, when yours truly was a few weeks old in Moi University Main Campus, she really struggled to adjust to the new environment. The dull weather of Kesses. A new system of education which didn’t involve dawn preps (damn I loathed dawn preps). A life of bouncing classes and a looooot of free time. Going to a class of over 800 students in one sitting. Pressure to change my fashion sense. The struggle to shake off the tidbits of teenage and join the world of young adults. I constantly felt targeted and terribly lost. My mum had filled my head with tons of horror stories of how guys in 3rd and 4th year were hunting down first year ladies. Their sole mission being to give them unplanned pregnancies, diseases and heart breaks.
By this time I had a few friends in my circle despite my extreme social awkwardness. Among them, was a guy who we shall call Cha for the purpose of this post. I really can’t remember how I met Cha but I highly suspect that we met at one of the dining halls popularly called the mess. We must have been partaking of the insipid ndengu stew drowned in gallons and gallons of water and served with equally bland rice or something like that when we first met.
Come to think of it, no one in my circles knew him so it must have been the mess. We used to tolerate the mess food before we knew how to cook using the electric coil. Unless you were rich, courtesy of the electric coil, every Moi University Main Campus student graduated with a Certificate in Electrical Engineering on top of whatever course they were studying. We all learnt the art of illegal electrical wiring in order to survive.
The coil was a metal thingamajig that had a coil at its center to hold the sufuria while cooking and nodes to connect the wires. It was normally placed on top of stone or wood to avoid burning the floor. Coils that were ahead of their time had a metallic stand to make life easier for their owners. I have always been so confident about my knowledge on electrical wiring, never mind that it saw me blow up two laptop chargers in my current job, like they were on fire guys! I also nearly give a certain HR officer a heart attack when I decided to fix the power extension cable situation at my desk.
Back to Cha, he was by all standards an attractive young man. Slightly taller than me with head that hosted a thick and healthy mane. I did notice that his facial features oozed some form of tribal ambiguity. This son of Adam had a pretty decent sense of fashion. Generally he was cool brother man. After becoming friends we would occasionally hang out and talk about a lot of stuff ranging from high school life, childhood and just life in general. He was really proud of the high school he studied in and so was I. Little did we know that mashida za Kanairo didn’t care about our good schooling. Huku tax tunalipa sote! Shida tunakula sote! Sai Corona inatuumiza sote!
After being friends for several weeks, one Friday evening, Cha visited me in my hostel room. My then roommate Lulu, was away on that day so it was just Cha and I. We were having an animated conversation about a childhood incident that I had just told him about over black coffee. He was at the far end of the lower bunk bed while I was on the seat beside the other end of the bed. On that day, I noticed that Cha really laughed at my jokes. I was terrible at socializing but at least I was funny right?
On this very day, I also realized that I did most of the talking every time and Cha would either chime in once in a while or giggle endlessly to my stories. He was an excellent listener and would complement my ushamba outfits once in a while. After silly banter and jokes, he confessed that he had feelings for me and would like us to date. I was shook. Never expected it at all. God knows that I really wanted to respond and say something but there was little or no coordination between my brain and mouth.
Realizing that his love interest had suddenly gone numb, Cha got up, walked towards me, and gave me an awkward hug before dashing out. Our interactions from then on were super awkward. He even started avoiding me like a leper. Sometimes it felt like he hated me or even worse. Being in the same school and year, and also sharing some common courses didn’t help as we bumped into each other a lot. Cha took my silence to his proposal for a no and that was that. Case closed!
By 2nd year, I noticed that he had a new friend or rather girlfriend, a certain chic from my class. To be frank, it stang a bit to be replaced, but I was happy for him. Maybe my one regret was that I never expressed myself on that day. I should have just told Cha that I was not ready. I should have just said that I was struggling to understand myself and would make a shitty girlfriend then. At least I was self aware enough, to know that my confusion could not accommodate understanding and loving someone else. It was a classic tale of it’s me not you. He probably felt rejected and didn’t know how to process it.
In hindsight, I am happy that I wasn’t quick to accept the offer. We would have probably been exes who can’t stand each other right now. Probably we would have saved each other’s phone contacts as Regrets or Jesus Take the Wheel at some point in the relationship. We were good friends! Amazing friends actually and this relationship feelings things would have ruined what we had. Have you ever heard of Wyclef Jean and Lauryn Hill’s unending feud? That is how it began feelings between the wrong people. Damn I miss The Fugees.
One Sunday when in 3rd year, Cha made a spoken word performance in church. The piece was about his search for a wife and yes you guessed it right my silly friends Lynn, Ciiku, Lulu and Caro made fun of me for the rest of the day. Those rascals!!
Before ending this post, I want to sent a special shout out to my main memes supplier Davis. You’re loyal! You’re smart! I appreciate you.
Have a week free of entanglements.