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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The Stupid Zone 5

The Stupid Zone
Episode 5
Naomi Narrates
I remember the first day I met Richard. He looked shabby and homeless owing to his clothes but I could tell he was more than his ulterior showed. The way he risked his life to save me from the boys who had been harassing me, nearly raping me made him gain my trust.
As time went on, I saw Rich go out of his way to do things for me and I eventually fell in love with him. I didn't know how he felt about me and being a girl that had been raised the way I was, telling a guy how I felt first was and still is a no no.
So I waited while throwing signs his way but he either didn't feel the same way or was to cowardly to make a move towards me. I waited for years and years until I convinced myself it would never happen.
"Get your head out of your rear Naomi, if a man loves you, he will do anything to get you," my elder sister used to say.
"But maybe he is just shy." I defended him.
"Or maybe you have misread his signs and he only likes you as a friend." she said.
My sister Justina may have been wrong on lot of things but I believed her on this one because everything she said seemed to make sense.
I had tried to hold hands with Rich in the hope of having him notice I had feelings for him but he didn’t. Sometimes, he would look at me in a way that made me think he would kiss me but then all of a sudden he would start talking about Math or something school related and the moment would be totally ruined.
Even the times we studied together, we would have moments were the world would stop and it would just be us gazing into each other's eyes but then he would break the contact and he never even talked about it afterwards even if I tried to bring up the topic.
I eventually got tired of making myself available and so I jumped on the next guy who showed interest in me. At first, I was just using the other guy to get Rich's attention but he literally ran away instead of talking to me or asking me about the guy.
I was so disappointed my little plan had failed but that day I told myself I was done making excuses for him. I was not going to make a fool out of myself for a man who did not see me.
I was planning on saying yes to the guy who was currently chasing me but I decided to give it one last try or maybe two or three tries. I was undecided OK, because I was actually in love with Rich. I look back today and I know it was more than a crush. I may have been young but Rich was my first love and what I felt for him was real. What I felt went beyond his conditions at home or the fact that he was seemingly below my standard as my sister kept reminding me.
I knew Richard had my best interests at heart but sometimes his timidity irritated me. I wanted him to man up and take me but awe sure.
The day I found out I had done extremely well in my end of term tests and that I was not going to boarding school anymore, I jumped on Rich and hugged him. I had hoped he would get my body language and maybe kiss me or something but he did not. Sometimes I even wondered if his body functioned normally.
Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t want to sleep with him, in fact that was the last thing on my mind. But I wanted him to do something that would at least make me know if he was interested in or attracted to me. I couldn't get why he wasn't seemingly interested, all the other boys were but the one I was interested in didn’t see me at all, how ironic.
That day I thought he would tell me he liked me but I saw his face knot in an expression I could not understand and he bent down as if he was in pain. I thought he was faking being sick so he could avoid the inevitable conversation we were supposed to have but he turned out to be actually sick.
I panicked as I asked him if he wanted to use a toilet. There was only one person I knew in that area and it was Lazalo, the guy who had been asking me out. I knew it would be embarrassing for Rich but that was our only option.
I could tell he was embarrassed developing diarrhoea in my presence but that did not change how I felt about him. It was normal, I mean when you gotta go you just gotta go. When nature calls, you just have to answer no matter who you are.
I quickly ran to find Lazalo and explained briefly to him what was going on. He laughed but I told him I would not go out with him if he kept that up and he stopped. I rushed out and he remained behind saying he had to empty a bucket or something, I did not get what he meant so I rushed out.
Lazalo caught up with me just as I was reaching Rich and the three of us rushed to Lazalo's house so Rich could use the toilet. I was standing in the passageway with Lazalo and so I could hear Rich as he did his business and so I asked Lazalo if we could go into the living room because he kept on chuckling.
After a while I heard Rich call out and I rushed to the toilet door. He told me he didn’t have tissue and I got him some. The smell from the toilet was not romantic at all but I remember how my sister had told me about the time she had accidentally farted in front of her boyfriend. She had been embarrassed to death but they had laughed it off and it had strengthened their relationship.
'Maybe if I stand by him and show him I am not judgemental he will like me,' I thought.
“You gotta be kidding me,” I heard him say.
“Is everything ok in there?” I asked him but he did not respond.
“Rich,” I called out.
“There is no water,” he responded in a low tone.
That stupid Lazalo. So he had poured out the water so Rich could be stuck in the toilet with no water. So he had done it on purpose. I went to him and found him sitting on the couch with his legs on the coffee table.
“There is no water in the toilet.” I said to him.
“So?” he asked without even looking at me.
I had been wondering if Lazalo lived alone because there was no one in the house apart from him and I didn’t know if it was ok to walk around but at that point I was beyond caring so I walked to the room I thought would be the kitchen.
“Where are you going?” he shouted after me but I didn’t respond.
I went to the kitchen and found a water bucket that I carried to the toilet and knocked softly.
“I have brought you some water,” I said and I Rich him sigh in relief which made me chuckle lightly.
He opened the door and avoided my gaze. He poured water into the toilet and gave me back the bucket. We then thanked Lazalo who was not pleased and walked out. Rich avoided me like a plague after that and I rarely saw him. I missed him so much and my sister kept telling me to get over him but you can’t just switch off your feelings.
When I couldn’t take it anymore, I went to look for Rich at his home. I did not know which one was his so I went around asking.
“Simuzibako pali bamake Richard?” I asked this man and he said no.
*Do you know where Richard’s mother lives?*
I asked a number of people and they said they didn’t know any Richard. I was beginning to think he had lied about where he lived when I remembered he told me his mother called him Lijat so I asked a woman who was selling vegetables nearby.
“Mwachoma bwanji amai,” I greeted her.
*Good evening ma’am*
“Nachoma” she responded without greeting me back.
“Nifunsako pabo Lijat,” I said. I was almost laughing because the name sounded so absurd.
“Do you know Richard’s house?*
“Eh what’s your relationship with him?” she asked me.
“He is my friend, we go to school together,” I bended the truth a little.
“Iye don’t go there, you will have him beaten. His mother takes no nonsense and she doesn’t even allow any male friends visit him, what more a girl? If he is really your friend just go,” she said.
I stood and stared at the house she had shown me Rich lived in in shock. Was his situation that bad? I wished I could do something about it, but I was just a school girl. What could I do?
“Thank you. If you see him tell him Naomi came,” I told the woman.
“Ok my child I will.” She responded.
I bought vegetables from her because she refused to take the money I offered her for her help. I didn’t need the vegies because we had gardens at home but that was the least I could do. I never saw Rich for the next 6 months until my exam. After the results came out, I made sure my parents enrolled me at the school where Richard was.
It had been almost a year but I was still not over him. I had no idea what he had done to me but I was stupidly in love with him and now I was even shameless enough to follow him to his new school. I had a plan of making him notice me and moving to his school was phase one.
To be continued

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