• Sometimes you never know you are the one that got away until someone says so
Back in my village, where I gallivanted shirtless as a boy, the most beautiful girl was Jennifer, but she walked with her nose in the air until she was impregnated by Macho Ine, the richest man in the village. After that, she disappeared without a trace.
This piece, however, is about a girl called Wangui. Growing up, no one considered Wangui a cover model candidate. Although she had a most beautiful smile, she was terribly skinny and she walked as if she could topple over any minute. Wangui would come home and do the dishes for my mum. Only recently did I learn that she did so just to come see me.
And even more recently, she invited me to her wedding. To say I was flabbergasted is an understatement. Wangui has grown into a beautiful woman and I have to admit I felt a twinge of jealousy to see her getting married to one of the boys I hated the most.
Just before the ceremony started, Wangui spotted me and took me aside.
“Congratulations,” I said.
She slapped me on the arm. “How can you say that? You know I’m only doing this because you won’t marry me.”
“You mean you don’t love your husband-to-be?”
“Love him? I can barely stand him. He’s as romantic as that viral tortoise that was humping a rock. Just say the word, and I’ll call the whole thing off.”
“Please don’t. I’m sure he’ll make a good husband. Me? Not so much.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes. I wish you two all the best.”
Without warning, she hugged me tightly and kissed me passionately on the lips.
I pushed her away. “What was that for?”
“For old time’s sake.” She walked off with a smile.
The ceremony proceeded well until the minister said, “If anyone can show reason why these two shouldn’t be married, do so now, or forever hold your peace.”
The silence in the church was nerve-racking until a young man stood up in the back, holding up a cell phone. “I have a reason.”
“Speak, young man,” said the minister.
“The bride was kissing another guy behind the church only a few minutes ago. I took a picture with my phone if anyone wants proof.”
I’ve never driven that fast back to Nairobi.