There is a girl who used to visit our offices not so long ago. She was working on a project with my partner.
She would come in and spend the whole afternoon or sometimes the whole day hunched over her laptop. She looked to be in her mid-twenties.
We never spoke because, well, I try to mind my own business. One day, she came over to my desk and said, “How come you never speak to people?” I told her I’m a bit of an introvert.
She pressed on: “Introverts don’t speak to people?” I said, they speak to people, but only the people in their heads. She laughed. That’s how we started talking.
She was always talking about God and about living and doing good by Him. She wasn’t dating, she told me, because ‘all men wanted was sex’, and she wasn’t ready to have sex before marriage. Most men would give up and lose interest when they realised she wasn’t going down that road.
“So you are a virgin?” I asked shamelessly. She said, “Yeah.” I said, wow! She asked, “Why wow?” I told her because I’d never really met a virgin before. She said, “How would you know? It’s not like we wear a uniform and a halo over our heads.” I laughed and said, “You have a point.”
I found her principled and very smart, and I admired that she believed in something, that she dared to be different, to swim upstream. She was also easy on the eye — very easy on the eye.
They finished the project and she stopped coming over and I never heard from her because we never exchanged numbers.
Last weekend I was at a posh resort in Nanyuki having breakfast on the terrace overlooking Mt Kenya when I see a couple coming into the restaurant for breakfast.
Actually, I see the man first. He’s tall and he looks to be in his 50s. Very regal. Very straight.
Those men who age gracefully. As he moves closer I realise that I know him. I had done some work for his company some years back; wealthy and decent chap, calm, fair, always paid me on time.
A good negotiator, though. I look at him as he stands there with his lady, looking around for a table. He doesn’t see or recognise me, which surprises me because I’m unforgettable; you might not remember me but you will always remember my forehead — I have a bigger forehead than most human beings. “I know that guy,” I tell the person I’m having breakfast with. “Oh, who is he?” they ask. I say, “Someone worth knowing.”
I planned to let them settle at their table before I go over and say hello to him.
I was focusing on them so much that I didn’t notice that the lady who she was with had made her way and was standing right by my chair.
I look up with a start, she smiles and I run her familiar face through my data bank as I grab my napkin from my lap and quickly rise from my chair.
As I peck her on the cheek, I quickly figure out who she is with damning realisation! She is the same girl my partner did a project with.
The man, perhaps wondering who the hell his woman is saying hello to, recognises me and comes over to greet me.
He smells of fresh cologne, the type wealthy people wear. We make small talk before he joins his woman.
I’m dumbfounded. (And I don’t use that word lightly, last time I used it was in English composition in 1994. That and “flabbergasted.” They were the vocabularies of our times. You didn’t know how to write English until you used those words.)
Later, I wondered why I was surprised. I wondered why they can’t be in love. What if he is divorced or separated?
What if she was tired with the childishness of men her age and she found a solid man in this older man?
What if they both found love? Who are we to say who should be with you? I mean, look at Mr and Mrs Macron (French President).
Maybe this is the man who deserved to have her virginity. Or maybe she was still a virgin and they came all the way to cuddle.
Maybe I was the perverted one, imagining that two adults can’t just cuddle in a posh resort at the foot of Mt Kenya.
That evening I told myself that I needed to mind my own business more and not jump to conclusions because as Obama says, love is love.