Thanks for stopping by DO (delightfully Unorthodox). Happy to have you.
A while back, I shared my first article for this segment, ‘Get to know me‘ titled ‘Single and Not searching but rather finding’ which answered the question I get asked from time to time, “why are you single?” The reason for starting this platform was not to talk about myself and sound like a self obsessed individual, I already do that on other social media platforms. The reason for the existence of ‘DO’ is to share the discoveries made as I seek out on my journey of self-awareness. But to connect better with my readers, I feel that sharing on my past is a good place to start. Maybe then, I will rid myself of the accusation that I am a private person… Okay that I am. I just prefer it to be termed as mysterious.
[‘Do’ Combines educate and entertain to make up my two favorite past times. Learning doesn’t always have to be a serious setting, we can have a laugh while adding to our wisdom. That is what do is all about]
From time to time, I will publish details of my life which very few are aware of. By sharing with the world my world, each piece I release on this segment will bring you closer to the depth that is me. Some may be shocking, the first of them this thrilling dive into the best worst first date of my life.
~ I laughed nervously before sipping on my chilled lemonade drink. As if holding a private conversation in my head, I was debating on whether to lie in the beginning of what could be the rest of our lives together… or not. Might not be, after I shared details of my worst first date. I slowly broke away from my thoughts, to meet his gaze. An encouraging smile curved Boris’ lips. As if to encourage me to speak out my thoughts. Gosh his eyes were gorgeous! I blushed, now embarrassed at the fact that I was staring.
My date was in his late thirties, a foreigner in my motherland. He worked in a special agency that was contracted by the government to safeguard it’s citizen’s bio data. Had he looked me up before coming on this date? Again, the thought was fought to the back of my head where it belonged.
“You will achieve a better connection with your date by offering information about your life, especially after they do the same.” The tip from the audio I’d listened to while doing my makeup earlier that day, now replayed in my mind.
I always research on relevant topics before my meetings. First dates too. Preparation is key in my world. It gives me an edge as I’m confident and happy to be there. Also, means a higher chance of a successful first meet. My lips curved into a smile again. Happy at the resolve that I would answer his question truthfully. Even if it meant scaring him away. Or worse, him perceiving me as weak. I was also the worst liar I know.
Let’s call my date Boris. Boris because it suits his foreign decent. He had a kind face, soft lines evident on his forehead and the corners of his mouth. A clear indication of laughter, and face muscles that hadn’t been stripped of their function. But mostly laughter… I would think. “Last chance at escaping my long and boring stories Boris.” I teased. He laughed in response before answering, “I think you’re worth taking the chance.” He was flirting. And I loved it!
I sighed deeply before starting …
~ I met this guy when I was visiting my cousin’s shop in town. My phone’s internal memory was full (I take too many photos) so I needed a SD card to clear up some storage space. To later fill with more photos, obviously. The guy, let’s call him Joe. His real name fails my memory. I needed to block him out if I was to move on. “Wait it was that bad?” Boris chimed in, sounding slightly amused. I responded with a faint but sad smile. He got the message.
Joe had a store where he stocked phone accessories. My cousin introduced him as the go to guy for great deals on authentic gadgets. Joe smiled sweetly as my cousin introduced us. His looks were average, neatly dressed in casual smart wear. Average height, with a light complexion. I guess we can label him ‘team light skin’. I had to come back in two days to get the SD card that had the space allowance I needed. Which I did, only this time he offered to buy me lunch. I declined the invite since I had a busy day. Joe could tell I wasn’t keen on his advances, so he changed his approach. Drinks with my cousin and I the following Friday seemed fair enough. Knowing my cousin would be there to break the ice put me at ease.
Joe wasn’t ugly or rude, but we didn’t have chemistry between us. He wasn’t my usual type. “So what is your usual type?” Boris asked, now leaning forward to wait on my answer. ‘”I can’t resist a charming and mysterious guy. Confident but not arrogant. Smiles easily and has a silly side because I enjoy a good laugh. Joe seemed…stiff and boring” Boris smiled again and responded with a simple “fair enough.”
Meeting point was at a popular spot in town. My call went answered after dialling the second time. “That’s strange,” I thought to myself. We had spoken just a couple hours earlier. But my cousin now seemed to be out of reach. Deciding not to think much of it, I assumed his phone must have died. He would call back first chance he got. The entrance now visible, as my cab parked at the available parking space a few meters away. “Will you be fine here?” The cab driver inquired. “Yes this is perfect. Thanks!” I confirmed before tipping him. A few seconds after, I was walking down the street headed to the entrance.
The evening breeze lightly touched my flushed cheeks. I shut my eyes to take in a deep breath, filling my lungs with air. In this moment, all my senses worked in harmony. The light conversation from people sat outside the restaurant. The notes of barbecue from a grill being displayed on the street. Goosebumps slowly forming on my skin from the evening breeze. I was taking in the feeling of being alive. Relishing in it. Loving it.
“Madam ID!” The lady bouncer manning the entrance demanded. Why do they always have to make it a loud announcement! I brought my gaze to meet her face. Her unforgiving look confirmed the instruction was directed at me. So I fumbled carelessly rearranging my purse contents, pretending to search for the document. I knew I’d purposely left it home for safety. Losing it meant a long process of reapplying for a replacement. Not something I was keen on. “Basi songa hapo kando usizuie wateja wamefikisha miaka ya kuingia” again, she was being loud. Telling me to move a side to make way for mature customers was uncalled for!
Deciding I had no chance at convincing her to let me in, I shifted my efforts to the male bouncer. He looked amused at the comment made. Putting on a fake smile, I started “Boss nikama nimesahau id home. Siipati kwa bag aki!” His face expression was blank. “Basi siwezi kusaidia” He replied, turning away to start a conversation with the young guy selling the barbecue spread. At least he did not shout. I thought to myself now feeling defeated. I had no choice, I would have to call Joe. He was the only chance I had at getting in.
As embarrassed as I was about needing his help to get in, seeing him at the exit was delightful. Turns out the bouncers only needed material persuasion to let me in. Who would have ever known! I walked in shortly after. “Sorry about that, they are only strict because the club is fairly new. So there is a fuss created around it. Are you okay?” Joe asked in a concerned tone. “Yes I am” I answered. Then “Just a bit embarrassed about the experience.” The nerve they had! I added to myself. Best not voice that out. Nothing a glass of white dry wine can’t fix.
(My wine preference is white, dry and light bodied. Next option would be a semi dry wine. I am not a sweet tooth so sweet flavors are not my fancy. I’ll only have a cold fanta to cure a hangover or boost my energy levels)
An hour had passed and still my cousin was a no show. His phone, still off. Now on my second glass of wine, I was enjoying the light conversation with my date. He told me about his business, I told him about school. We shared a taste in music and food. Everything was going great, but the space around us was quickly disappearing as the club got fuller and the music got louder. Joe suggested we move to another place that had more space. Galileo was the other new spot in town, located on Waiyaki Way. The evening was still young, my wrist watch read 22:15H. It was clear now that my cousin was a no show so I agreed to the move. Half an hour later and we were hailing a cab from Kimathi Street in the central business district to take us to the next hang. He opened my door when the taxi arrived. “Such a gentleman!” I thought as I slid in before he shut the door. He took the passenger seat beside the driver.
Galileo was half full so we found a good spot at the VIP section. Old school hip hop was blasting in the speakers. My kind of music. It wasn’t long before the waitress assigned to our area was pouring into my first glass of wine, before replacing the bottle we had gotten in the ice bucket. “Cheers!” I instructed, raising my wine glass to toast to the evening. “What are we toasting to?” Joe asked grinning, now holding his glass of whiskey in his right hand. “To new friendship and a great night ahead” I responded back before clinking our glasses and sipping into the chilled liquid. It’s taste on my palette left evidence of light notes of spice and vanilla.
I was slowly gaining consciousness. My body seemed to be lying down. I felt something tightening around my neck. My eyes now wide open, I looked up to meet my captivator’s eyes. They were dark as if no life had been there. For a mini second, I froze in shock and confusion. The material around my neck now tightened further, jostling me back to my reality. My left hand came up to hold on to the front side of what felt like leather material. My hand was the only thing keeping the leather from strangling me. My captivator was not giving up. He was still hard at work tightening the strap. I pulled hard at it to keep me from suffocating. I was chocking while trying to gasp for the little air I could squeeze into to my lungs. The strap finally gave in to the pressure as I felt it tear. Thank God for fake leather!
As if changing his mind on strangling me, the man walked past me and exited the room. I gathered all the energy I had left and flung towards the door. Tough luck, it was locked. I turned around my eyes quickly scanning the room for keys. The door was made of metal, I didn’t have much time to break it. I saw what looked like keys on the floor near the carpet edge. Grabbing them off the floor, I brought them to the key hole.. wrong key. I thought I heard voices in what I assumed was the bedroom. “Wait are there more people in this house? Maybe they can help!” I started to call for help but changed my mind when I thought, “maybe they are just like him. Like my date turned serial killer.” At that resolve, I turned back to try the rest of the keys. I felt eyes watching my back. Paralyzed with fear, I held my position to avoid turning around. But a voice told me I couldn’t defend myself if I could not see what coming at me. So I turned, meeting Joe’s gaze. His eyes narrowed as if scolding me. Angry that I was fighting hard for my life. At that very moment, all caution was thrown to the wind. I was not scared. The fear was replaced by a new strength to fight him. He was now advancing towards me. I couldn’t make out what he had in his right hand. My mind jumped into the conclusion that he had devised an alternative way to kill me. So I yelled for help. Remembering there were more people in the house.
~Back at my date with Boris~
His face was pale with horror. I had been reliving the events in my mind, I’d forgotten he was sat opposite me. First time we had met and I was bearing my soul to him. I smiled nervously and waited for him to talk. Nothing. I waited. Finally “It all sounds straight out of a movie! If I hadn’t been watching you narrate it, I wouldn’t have believed it! How do you remember it all so clearly?” In answer, I said “I need to. So that I never put myself in such danger again.” He could see that my bubbly mood was now replaced by a dark cloud. “You don’t have to tell me the rest of it. I hate that I made you even start in the first place. Before seeing you like this, I would have never believed anything could wipe off that gorgeous smile of yours.” The compliment made me smile. “You had no way of knowing the answer when you asked. It’s not your fault. Besides, I’m much better now. He doesn’t affect me as much as before.” I replied. Boris placed his glass of cola to his lips to sip the liquid and replaced it on the table. He smiled encouragingly. “I can imagine how badly that affected you. You’re a tough cookie to come out on a date with me!” I laughed. “I would have coward away into a parish and become a nun or something. Really!” He exclaimed. I was laughing harder now. The idea of him in nun robes with a rosary in his hand seemed too funny. My mind has a way of animating everything in my imagination.
“You’re so silly. And I am much better now than I was during court hearings back then.” I offered. “I was about ask whether the bastard got arrested.” He cut in. “Yes I had to make sure that sicko never harmed anyone else.” I replied. “I wish I knew you back then. We’d have done a number on him.” Boris said as a matter of fact. “How do you mean?” “My company works with governments to maintain records of its citizens. I work closely with detectives because they come to us to retrieve bio data when investigating suspects. So people like Joe would have been dealt with.” Boris finished. I felt regret creep in after realizing more could be done. So to reassure myself, I added. “Well I did all I could in my power within the resources at my disposal, to get justice.” As if sensing my thought, Boris reassured me he did not doubt that I did. “So how did you get away? Clearly you did, you’re sat opposite me alive and kicking!” He smiled to encourage me to continue narrating my ordeal.
~Back to the date that tops my list of worst first dates~
“Help! Help me! Someone please help me, he’s trying to kill me!” I yelled repeatedly. My mouth was covered by Joe’s hand just as I was about to yell again at the top of my lungs. I was sure the people heard me shrieking, so why were they not rushing to my help? I was confused and felt defeated. Joe was reaching to take away the keys, so I shifted my focus back to him. I felt a strong rush of anger now realizing the next few moments would determine my survival. My whole life ahead of me was being threatened on ever unraveling. At that very moment, I had a flash back to when I was walking on the street earlier that evening, when all my senses worked in harmony. The light conversation in the background from people sat outside the restaurant. The notes of barbecue from a grill being displayed on the street. Goosebumps slowly forming on my skin from the evening breeze, I was taking in the feeling of being alive. Relishing in it. Loving it. All that seemed to be slipping away, now fighting for my life.
Guys, it comes to a moment when you’re on the verge of defeat. And you are staring into the dark face of death. You have a choice… either to give in or fight for all you suddenly realize you have to live another day for. Because if you realized what was important and worthwhile earlier and focused on it, you would not be caught in life threatening situations. When that moment comes, if that moment comes. And I pray that it never does for you, you need to fight with all you got. Never ever give up. Only let go when you decide that you are ready for the next life.
I hit back at Joe but he didn’t burge. He was mumbling something when the voice in the other room started to call out his name. It sounded like he was coming to the room we were in. Joe hesitated, making no movement to see why he was being called. As if finally deciding to go see why he was being called, he turned away and walked out the room. He probably assumed I was not going anywhere. I was trying the keys in the key hole soon as he disappeared into the other room. The third attempt finally opened the door! I ran out and up the stars, now realizing I was barefoot. But that was the least of my worries. So I rushed up the flight of stairs. It wasn’t long before Joe was following me up the stairs. To create a distraction, I rang on every doorbell I passed on my way up the while yelling for help. It was late so none of the neighbors responded immediately when I rang their door bell. I was two floors up to getting to the rooftop, Joe trailing closely behind me.
Now finally at the rooftop, I ran to hide in a dark corner. To make sure I was out of of sight range, I crouched next to the black reservoir. I had a good view of the stair case from where I hid. A few seconds later, Joe emerged from the stair entrance. He came to a halt trying to decide what direction I had taken. I held my breath, afraid he may hear me from where he stood a few feet away. My whole body froze partially because I was still in shock but also from the low morning temperatures. He was focusing on the far right end where there seemed to be another exit. But I couldn’t make it out clearly from my current position. Suddenly, his focus shifted to the direction I was in. My heart dropped as I was sure he had seen me.. my hiding place had been compromised! I closed my eyes for a brief moment in a silent prayer. My eyes now open, Joe still stood at the same spot. He slowly started to back up to the rooftop’s exit and finally turned to head back down. I was still crouched where I hid, unable to believe he had given up the search. Afraid he might come back. Skeptical he might have been pretending to have gone to trick me into coming out of where I hid.
My eyes were steadily watching where he had disappeared into waiting for any sign of movement. Three minutes after, deciding I had to get away, I stood up and started walking towards where I had seen Joe staring at. And as expected, there was another exit leading down a second stair case. ‘Thank God!’ I praised under my breath. The two twin apartment blocks shared a rooftop. So the other exit led to the adjustcent apartments that directly faced where Joe lived. I rang the doorbells on every door I ran past, hoping someone would help. Until finally, a woman answered her door. She was middle aged, average height and dark complexion. The first words that came from my mouth were “Please help me, he’s trying to kill me” She looked confused, I did not make much sense to her. “Who is trying to kill you?” the lady asked, looking around as if to see who I was referring to. “Joe!” I responded hysterically. I remember mumbling mixed stories about how he was strangling me, how I got away and he came after me but I hid behind a reservoir. I was not making much sense but the lady stood by her door listening, her face slowly turning into a worried look. When I stopped talking, she finally asked, “You want to come in?” I was relieved. It felt like I was finally going to be safe. Like it was all over.
She took a step back into her living room to allow me to go in. Just as I was taking a step, I turned to my right and saw him. Joe now had my bag and shoes, he was throwing them over the railing down to the parking. I think I momentarily lost it because I screamed pointing towards Joe’s direction saying that he was the one that wanted to kill me. I then turned back towards the stairs to flee. In my mind, I had to get as far away from him as possible. Leaving the lady behind where she stood. Now at the parking, I had no idea what way led to the gate. The space was not familiar, I could not remember coming in. So I walked around the stair case past the parked cars. I spotted the gate and started towards it.
It was still dark outside, my surrounding looked like a farm. Maize plantation by the rough road. I could hear the sound of cars at a close distance. Something hard I stepped on hurt my right foot so I stopped to look down and realized, I was still barefoot! I didn’t have my phone, so I couldn’t call for help. Now remembering Joe had thrown my stuff at the parking, I decided to take a chance and go back to get it.
I was lucky. I found my stuff at an empty parking spot still where they had been abandoned. My mobile was still in my purse. So he hadn’t robbed me, just more interested in killing me. Back out the gate, my feet now dressed in the shoes from the previous evening. I called my sister waking her up. “I need you to come and get me… I am in trouble.” I could tell she was wide awake now. “Where are you?” she asked impatiently, her voice shaken. I told her I had no idea. But I could tell there was a road not too far. That I was walking towards it. “What happened?” My sister then asked. I took a deep breath before plainly stating, “Joe tried to kill me.” The line on her side went silent. Probably not the answer she expected. “Get far away from that place. See if you can get to town. I will come meet you. Okay?” I agreed before hanging up. The sky was already starting to clear up. It was morning as I arrived at a bus station. I could now recognize my surrounding… I had been here before to visit my friend. I was in Ruaka town, in Kiambu county. It wasn’t long before a bus stopped to pick up passengers. I got in and quietly sat at an empty seat next to the conductor. For the rest of the trip, my mind was blank as I stared out at the window. Tears rolled down my cheeks. I felt numb.
My eyes were wet as I alighted at the drop off in town. My phone rang again. My sister was calling the second time, to say she was in town waiting for me not too far from my drop off location. She had called earlier while I was in the bus to confirm I was able to get a ride. I spotted her standing next to a white salon car. Now walking towards her, I broke down forgetting I was still in public. It was a relief to finally release all I had bottled up inside me. I could tell she was sad to see me in such a state. She pulled me into a hug and let me cry on her shoulder. It was clear this was going to take a while, so she opened the passenger door and asked me to get in. Her friend sat in the driver’s seat, turned to the back watching me. I hesitated, looking back at my sister. She read my fear and assured me that he was her friend “This is Mark, my friend. It’s okay, you can trust him. Get in at the back…” Only then, I allowed myself into the back seat. My sister shut the door after and went to seat at the passenger seat next to Mark.
I narrated the whole ordeal while they both quietly listened. It all sounded unreal now hearing myself talk about it. They sat listening closely. When I was done Mark asked, “What do you have in your hand?” pointing out the red belt strap in my left hand. I had not realized it until now, but I still had the red belt Joe was using to strangle me while I lay on his couch. I had held on to the piece that ripped away after I had held on to it, to inhibit him from strangling me. The red belt strap had been in my hand the whole time! “This is the belt he used to strangle me“. I whispered back. “You can submit that as evidence when we go to report this to the police. But first, let’s take you to hospital to have you checked out.” Mark said before starting the car engine and reversing into the street. I sat back and closed my eyes. My fatigue was finally kicking in. I sighed deeply, when I realized how close I had come to death.
~~~~~~~~~~~Back to my date with Boris~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Boris: “Was Joe arrested?”
Me: “Yes. After having tests done at hospital, Mark and my sister took me to the police station. Soon after recording a statement, I guided three cops back to Joe’s apartment. He was home. He was cuffed immediately after confirming his name.”
Boris: “Is he in jail now?”
Me: “He bribed the cops and fabricated my report to make me seem like a prostitute that was lying to get money from Joe.”
Boris: “What an jerk! What about the lady that opened the door when you rang the neighbors’ doorbells? She must have provided strong evidence to match your statement.”
Me: “She refused to appear in court as a witness. She was okay at first when we asked her, but changed her mind. Was probably threatened.”
After settling our bill, Boris insisted on dropping me off at home. We had a light conversation in the car about the party he had been invited to that evening.