A few days ago I met my class 2 girlfriend….Yes at class 2 I had already fallen in love or thought that I had. C’mon, we are all culprits here don’t pretend to be a saint. I mean, there was that girl or boy you thought was the coolest in class and wanted to be close to. The said girl was a daughter of a teacher and for those who come from the village like me, know that in the village teaching is a very respected profession.
The nice houses belong to teachers, they were the first people to buy vehicles, they belong to most village committees, are church elders and deacons and above all, they are the first to receive those invitation letters that everybody does every now and then asking for support. I don’t hate these letter but some people will find the smallest excuse of calling for a gathering like even his goat having twins. That’a story for another day. So where were we? Ah! So those days you couldn’t just approach a teacher or their family. In fact, whenever a teacher passed close and you were seated you had to stand up even if it was in the market.
So this girl was something and when I say something I know you don’t need any explanation. The cleanest, the smartest, the ‘richest’ and of course she had to be the most beautiful. I mean, there is a way that money makes something beautiful. Well, so she was admitted to our school at the beginning of class two, coming from a private school. Her mother had just been transferred to our school and she brought her along.
This was the beginning of all my primary school troubles. I was not the best in class that I could brag about and I was also not the most handsome. What I knew was I had to find a way of her noticing me. I mean, who wouldn’t? The easiest way was usually to raise my hand up even when I didn’t know the answer. One time I remember, the teacher asked the opposite of the Kiswahili word ‘Nje’ and seeing that this was a perfect chance, the devil crept into me, I raised my hand and when the teacher chose me, I answered loudly ‘Jeshi’. Where that came from I still wonder up to today.
Since I used to stay just behind her, a friend of mine in class 4 advised me to start throwing my pen at her, not directly though. I was to do it such that it hits her softly and falls just in front of her. She would pick and while she was giving me, be clammy and the pen falls. This I was to do just once a day and by the end of the week, our heads had bumped into each other and we were laughing. By the time we were in class seven, it was almost an accepted rule to throw a pen to the girl you ‘loved’ and they would immediately knew from whom it came from and smiled while picking it.
Since when they went home you couldn’t throw a pen, the acceptable rule was to throw two small stones following each other at the roofs or if you thought the father was at home, the most feared being, you had to whistle but in a way that only the two of you knew the meaning. Catching up at the river was common so was meeting at the coffee factory.
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