My best friend was beside herself with joy when I eventually gave her a surprise visit.
“When did you come?!” She demanded excitedly, offering me a seat outside her house and two ripe bananas to eat.
‘Wednesday morning.” I revealed, equally excited to see her after such a long time.
“You mean you have been here 4 days already and I didn’t know about it!” She feigned offense.
“But at least I showed up eventually!” I reminded with a laugh.
It is indeed true that Priscilla is heavily pregnant. Pregnancy has made her add a lot of weight. Her face even looks swollen and the stomach is so large now, you might think she is carrying twins.
“You went to the city and forgot all about us in the village.” She proceeded to accuse.
I knew she did not mean it. People in the village spoke like that to anyone who had been to the city. It was more of a figure of speech with a light touch.
“I did not forget all about you. I wouldn’t.” I chuckled.
Priscilla sat on a low seat directly opposite me, rubbing her stomach every once in a while.
“I tell you, pregnancy is tough. I cannot wait to have this baby.” She suddenly mentioned out of the blue. This was my cue to question her about her husband. To which Priscilla laughed and revealed that they had been dating secretly even before I left the village.
“Why didn’t you tell me?!” I interrogated.
“It was supposed to be a secret, remember?” Priscilla was amused.
“But just how did you manage to get that shy guy to date you?” I insisted.
“See what Nairobi has done to you. You now call young men guy” Priscilla quickly pointed out.
I could not help it. Being around Ken and Angie must have had some significant effect on me. But I was still curious.
“So how?” I pushed.
“Let’s just say he’s not as shy as he looks.” Priscilla replied coyly.
“And were you two doing it while dating?” Before I could hold my tongue, the question had already tumbled out. There is no doubt that being still a virgin, I am somehow curious about what exactly a man and woman do together.
“Doing?” There was a sudden look of confusion on my friend’s face and I immediately regretted asking my careless question.
“Oh, forget I asked.” I tried to quickly brush it aside.
“I know what you mean.” Much to my surprise, Priscilla said with a reassuring smile. I swear I could have died from embarrassment then. Even my armpits suddenly felt damp with sweat.
“Just so you know, we were doing it.” She added cheekily. My eyes grew large.
Who would have thought that Priscilla would have been engaging in that which married couples engaged in? We used to attend the village church most Sundays where the Pastor, a man of short stature, with a hoarse voice and a penchant for dull colored frayed suits, would constantly remind us of how fornication, would give us a direct ticket to hell.
Since none of our parents had the guts to talk to us about sexual activity, the Pastor’s sermons, most;y delivered in a fiery manner, were just about all the sex education we could get. And although we knew that his warnings often fell on deaf ears, seeing the ever increasing number of pregnant, unmarried village girls, we chose to refrain from that which would annoy God.
But judging from Priscilla’s revelation, I must have been the only one who adhered to the Pastor’s teachings.
“Yes. The first time we did it, I ceased to be a virgin. The second time we did it, this is the outcome.” Priscilla now disclosed, pointing to her stomach. I could not help being all the more curious at that moment.
“How is it?” I asked.
“Ah, it’s just a man panting over you for a couple of minutes and then he’s done.” It was Priscilla’s turn to get embarrassed.
“Didn’t you like it?” I was genuinely concerned.
“The first time I didn’t, but once I got used to it, it was okay.”
“Do you mean to tell me that you two were doing it while…” I made a motion of a large stomach with my hand, to mean pregnant.
“In the early stages of the pregnancy, yes.You don’t know these men Coretta. Sometimes they want it all the time and if you deny them, there are others who will willingly give it to them. But hey, the act is better explained when you experience it yourself.” Priscilla quickly explained.
“I’m even surprised that you haven’t bagged yourself a city boyfriend yet. I hear they give you girls money unlike here…” She added teasingly.
“It’s a bit hard to date when you have a strict employer like mine. Plus I haven’t really taken a fancy to anyone yet.” I informed.
I would then proceed to tell Priscilla about Mama Ken and her family. How she had once worked in an aeroplane and lived in a house with an upper and lower floor in a beautiful, middle class estate in Nairobi. I even told Priscilla about Ken’s escapades with the girl he used to bring to the house. And about Jesca who had quit and the one who had replaced her. All the while, my friend seemed deeply intrigued almost like she could not believe my good fortune at getting to experience all this.
Indeed, I was happy to catch up with my friend. These are some of the things I occasionally missed about my old life.
* * * * *
Just before I left for Nairobi, Priscilla delivered a healthy baby boy. He had so much black, curly hair that literally covered half of his forehead and such tiny, chubby limbs. She named him Mathias, after her father-in-law.
I know for a fact that I will miss everyone in the village terribly. But duty calls and I have to return to the city. And so now, I’m occupying my seat in the bus headed to Nairobi, waiting for it to fill up.