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LENNY

The afternoon was particularly chilly but droplets of sweat were beginning to form on Lenny’s forehead. The coffee in his mug was still at the brim and he constantly rubbed his palms against his knees. Mixed feelings of anxiety and ambivalence occupied his mind. No Lenny was not in the midst of some suspicious al-shabaab looking folks; he was just about to have lunch with a lady. But this was no ordinary lady. In fact the last time he had been nervous because of a girl was during puberty when his class teacher made him sit next to Miss Class six. At 28 years old, it was not his first date and for you to understand why he would be so nervous, I will have to take you back a couple of weeks.

Patrick and Lenny had been close friends since childhood and this particular day was the former’s farewell party. Patrick had always been quite the scholar since preparatory, and it did not come as a surprise when he announced that he would be going abroad to pursue his Masters. His party had brought friends together and Old school music played in the background as they chugged, chatted and giggled. Lenny clung to his friend. He was still trying to come into terms with the fact that it would be a whole year before he saw his former classmate and current drinkmate again. He would tell him how he never thought he would ever say the words “I will miss you” and end the sentence with “man”.

You see Lenny was the kind of guy that would not fail to notice a fine pair of legs passing by. He was the kind of guy that would spot a shapely behind from a mile away. He adored the female genus. But the night had been all about his departing friend. Patrick and Lenny shared many priceless memories, which they recollected with nostalgia that evening.

Well, that was until a few minutes past midnight when two ladies walked in. The one in front had applied her make-up too generously and walked like her stilettos were borrowed. She is irrelevant here. Lenny’s eyes were fixed on the one that followed. She was tall, about 5 feet 9 inches, her dark shoulder-length hair glistened under the dim lighting, her skin was chocolate and was without blemish. She donned a purple dress that rested freely on her curvy body. She had a confident, self-assured look on her that sent chills down Lenny’s spine.

He was distracted. His attention had suddenly shifted. His eyes were fixed on her like a lion stalking its prey. As she searched the room for empty seats, Lenny wore his most prized look hoping she would notice him. But she gave him the same oblivious look he gave girls who wore safari boots. He bit his lip and watched her as she gracefully walked to the far end of the room towards some empty seats.

He would let her settle in and then walk up to her. He had a way with the ladies and Patrick secretly envied his prowess. He watched him as he strode across the room, wishing he would trip and fall flat on his face. Lenny took a sit on the arm chair right next to the lady and struck a conversation. With a smirk on his face, he told her that was quite an entrance she had made, and that she had caught his eye. But to his surprise, she did not smile shyly or blush like he had expected. She simply gave him a look that seemed to say “enough with the charade”.

This is when Lenny had a good look at her.

She was divine. Her features fell perfectly in place. She had the most stunning eyes; brown, alluring and penetrative. Her lips were full and luscious. For a minute there Lenny was lost for words. He just sat there and gazed. She was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.

She would finally speak, but not the words Lenny had hoped to hear. In a low and soft tone, she told him that she had not seen her friend (the one soaked in make-up) in a while and they would appreciate some space to catch up. She was not rude. But the finality in her words made Lenny feel like a little boy.

Lenny felt like he’d been run over by one of those Rwaken buses. He looked up hoping to see his boys were engaged in a heated soccer argument. They were not. In fact Patrick was watching him with this grin on his face that seemed to spell out ‘Loser’. Lenny had no choice but to take the walk of shame across the room. He was tempted to take for the door and disappear into the darkness, but a part of him wanted to be around this exquisiteness just to see if it was real. He walked over and took a bashing from the boys without uttering a word. His mind was occupied and their scolding was merely background noise. He held is glass in his hand and pondered on what he had seen. He did not say much for the rest of the night. But later he would use the host to get the beauty’s phone number. “If it’s the last thing you will do for me Patrick…” he would plead. Her name was Valentine.

He would call her the day after. But before pressing the dial button he held the phone in his palm for a good fifteen minutes. He knew he had made a pathetic impression and he half-hoped she would not remember him. When she asked him how he had gotten her number, he said he’d prayed for a miracle and a little bird had dropped it on his verandah. He thought he heard a chuckle.

He called her a few times a week. He kept the dialogue casual but exciting. When she asked him about his day, he would give an exaggerated story just to keep her enthralled. But Valentine was a cautious lady. And the conversations always lacked in depth. They were merely superficial chatter.

Lenny was patient this time around. He felt there was something different about Valentine. He liked her in a weird way. He would think about her at night. Her soft voice and soft chuckles would fill his mind when he closed his eyes. He wanted to see her again. He wanted to see her badly. One Tuesday afternoon, a month after Patrick’s farewell, he called her and told her he would be running errands near her workplace the following day and asked if she could join him for lunch. She agreed.

When Valentine stepped into the restaurant, Lenny’s eyes opened wide. He gaped at her exhilarating beauty. He waved and she elegantly walked towards him. He rose to his feet and hugged her. He pulled her a seat, and she sat with her arms folded.

That is when he saw it!

Right there, on the middle finger of her left hand, he saw the sparkling of a diamond studded engagement ring. His heart shot to his throat. He felt like he had taken a stab right through the chest. Distress was written all over his face and he wished it was all a bad dream. Valentine noticed and asked if he was ok, but he would not find his words. A part of him wanted to yell at her and curse her. But he knew too well that she had done nothing wrong. She had only joined an acquaintance for lunch.

He looked at her with bloodshot eyes. The fact that he had nothing to gain and nothing to lose made him open up to her. He told her he had not been aware she was engaged. With a strained voice he told her that her fiancé was a lucky man. He disclosed that when he saw her at the party he thought she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. That he had longed for the day when he would see her again, and confessed that the engagement ring on her finger had broken his heart. He told her that that day at the party she had done something no other woman had ever done: She had taken away a piece of his heart. For once Lenny let his guard down and let a woman peek into his fragile heart. There was such sincerity in his eyes and conviction in his tone. And Valentine listened earnestly as he poured his heart out to her. When the waiter walked up to them and asked what they would have, Valentine asked for espresso. Lenny merely waved him away.

When he had finally emptied his heart there was an uncomfortable silence. Valentine cleared her throat and Lenny was eager to hear what she had to say. But all she said was that she had a presentation that afternoon and she needed to go do some final touches. Again, not what Lenny had expected to hear. He shrugged and continued staring into his mug. She stood up, reached into her handbag, dished out a note and placed it on the table. She then stood there for a few seconds looking at him. And she turned and left. A lump formed in his throat as he watched her walk away. He knew it was the last time he would see her again.

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Categories: Fiction
  1. Webber.
    November 7, 2011 at 8:11 am

    very interesting buda,im waiting 4 tha nxt part hpng lenny wil win ha ova bt tht engagement ring ouch!!nyce 1.

  2. Anonymous
    November 7, 2011 at 10:26 am

    am heartbroken..

  3. No.1 fan
    November 7, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    I may need to go Nyali to heal from this one….ouch!!! sob sob

  4. Anonymous
    November 7, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    woooowww…….this i def love,ur grammar excellent,flow of story iz just the ish..how abt we do this everday.poor lenny!

  5. Mercy
    November 8, 2011 at 8:24 am

    Very touching and beautiful…waiting for scene 2!!

  6. November 8, 2011 at 10:40 am

    pure niceness!!!keep em coming!

  7. November 8, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    A fan just pointed out that there has to be part 2 since Valentine left a note. By note I actually meant currency! Sorry guys for the mix-up but the story actually ends here.

  8. fibz
    November 9, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    very interesting! grammar perfect like those ones i read in my novels! naona nika ulikopi mahali, mbona uniongeleshangi hivyo??? good job here. keep up!

  9. #214
    November 9, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    dedicating ‘Kanye West-Heartless’ to valentine for crushing a brothers balls!
    If i were him tho,i’d be a man about it,not freak out like a little girl..nice piece!

  10. BloodMoon
    April 21, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    love your comment! by note i meant currency! #dead!
    i thought it was a note as in a short message!

  11. Newest fan
    June 18, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    Niice

  12. Liberty
    August 21, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    She left just like that???? Poor Lenny:( Ain’t life a b@*$# Excellent writing & narration Joey:)

  1. March 5, 2012 at 9:19 am
  2. April 23, 2012 at 7:56 am

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