The second time she let him touch her breast he had just given her sixty thousand shillings to buy a new phone. This happened two days after she first let him touch her and now she marveled at the power of those two round globes sitting high on her chest.
“This is incredible!” she thought as she tried to fold 60 crisp one-thousand shilling notes into the front pockets of her jeans. They were tight jeans so she opted instead to put the thick wad of cash in the brown handbag resting at the foot of the bed they were sitting o n. The yellow low cut blouse she was wearing revealed the shiny brown skin of her cleavage. His eyes were glued there now. After two months, of drinks, food and pocket money, she could see he now felt he deserved the real prize. This was the moment of truth.
“Can I now touch the other one?” he asked licking his lips. She found it revolting how his pink tongue slid over his black lips when he stared at her but at the same time it excited her that a man could be so easily parted with his money. After all, she’d only let him touch her right breast twice and for less than a minute each time. And now here he was sixty thousand shillings poorer and begging to touch the left one. What a fool! She decided then and there he was now her personal ATM. Wasn’t she after all a 20-year old college girl with a need for money but no job? Yes! She would make him her cash cow no doubt. It would be a walk in the park.
So she let him fondle both her breasts and the look on his face was priceless!
Later that day, in the privacy of her bedroom, hours after she’d attended all her classes and gone home to mum, she’d unbuttoned her blouse and stared at her chest. She’d never really looked at them before. But now she looked. Her friend’s father had copped a sixty-thousand shilling feel for them so she figured they were worthy of some scrutiny.
At 13-years old, two years after they’d first begun to bud, she’d cursed, sometimes loudly at the swelling flesh on her chest. She lost count of the times she felt sharp pains shoot up from her chest to the very center of her brain whenever she accidentally bumped against something. She’d wondered why old ladies had felt it necessary to rummage constantly through their bags while sitting next to her in the matatu. The way they had elbowed her in the chest while looking for coins to pay their bus fair had brought instant tears to her eyes. The pain was excruciating!
They weren’t painful now. Just a tad sensitive during that time of the month.
Remembering the look in his eyes, she stared at her breast some more and hoped her friend wouldn’t find out. That would be the end of their friendship for sure. But then again, her friend had a rich father, didn’t she? Thanks to him she could afford to buy nice clothes and pay for food at Java while meeting with her equally rich buddies with more or less equally rich fathers. There they would laugh and eat crispy, golden-coloured fries dipped in sweet and sour ketchup and washed down with creamy vanilla milkshakes. Those of us who didn’t have rich dads felt lucky to be in such gatherings. But sometimes we couldn’t help feeling out of place sitting in such 'rich' company. Our laughter wasn’t as carefree because we were aware that for every 100 shillings note we had, they had 1000. C’est la vie!
She met him again a week later. She showed him her brand new phone (China make of course! He was old enough not to know the difference and rich enough not to care). He asked to see her breasts again. She told him she needed money for text books. He reached into his wallet and gave her 10,000 shillings. She unbuttoned her blouse.
“Can I have a little more today,” he asked while eagerly rubbing her chest. “How much more?” she countered. “Hiyo kitu utanionjesha kidogo leo, please”. (Let me taste it a little bit today, please).
His choice of language was typical of men of his generation. It was a statement and a question rolled up in one sentence. Typical! And why did he have to call my lady bird ‘Hiyo kitu? (That thing?) It was all a big conspiracy to trivialize the beauty and power of womanhood! Men like him knew the real power of our femininity. Why else would they pay good money for it? But still they were intimidated.
She would have laughed out loud at the irony of it all but that would scare him – make him think she didn’t value him. So she played along instead, smiled inwardly and said; “Of course. You can have it”, she said looking into his widening eyes. “But just a little bit”.
He froze. But only for a few second before shrugging off the ubiquitous looking black leather jacket he was wearing (again typical of men his age!). He quickly unbuckled his belt and wriggled out of his pants. He was in the process of unbuttoning his shirt when she pulled off her purple blouse. The delicate silver sequins at the neckline grazed her check as she yanked it over her head and tossed it on a chair next to the bed. The hotel manager, a discreet looking man in his fifties had earlier smiled knowingly when she ushered them into their room. He had looked about five years younger than her friend’s father and was better looking to boot! Unlike her friend’s father, the manager’s hair was not obviously dyed black to hide sprinkles of curly white strands.
She unzipped her jeans and slid them slowly down her wide hips. He stared at her lacy white underwear. She stared at his ashy feet. Young or old, Kenyan men and lotion are like oil and water – they never mix! As they lay down on the bed, she noted that like his feet, his elbows had that the same distinct white-grey colour.
It was over in less than five minutes. She’d almost laughed out loud when he started shouting “Do It! Do It!” in her ear right before he “Did It”. He’d tried to kiss her but she kept her mouth firmly shut when his tongue pushed eagerly against her lips. The thought of his thick pink tongue inside her mouth was a hundred times more revolting. It’s difficult to mentally detach when someone’s tongue is in your mouth. It’s personal and too invasive to ignore. Much easier to spread your legs, stare fixedly at the ceiling and hope to God they finish quickly.
Only the whites of his eyes were visible when he suddenly arched his back and groaned loudly signaling the end of business. He got up to dispose the condom in the bathroom. She cleaned herself as best as she could with the “aloe vera treated” wet tissues she kept inside her book bag.
“Can I call you on Sunday?”, he asked when they were both dressed and finishing up the cold malts, roast potatoes and dry-fry chicken a waiter usually brought up to their room. This was her favourite part of their meetings. Nasty sex business aside, their conversations were usually quite pleasant afterwards. He talked of his career in the Navy, she talked about her desire to become a Montessori teacher. “Sunday sounds good,” she answered while chewing on a juicy chicken wing. She would be probably be too hangover to get out of bed but he didn’t need to know that now. It was a Friday night after all, and he’d just given her Sh10,000 - she would most definitely party throughout the weekend.
It became their ritual to clink their glasses together at the end of each rendezvous. They often toasted to good health and good living. Then he went home to his wife. She went home to her mum. But sometimes she went to her boyfriend’s place before going home.
Today, her friend’s father dropped her off at the bus-stop nearest to her house (to better avoid the stares of curious neighbours). She walked the short distance home, showered and got into bed.
Tomorrow, she would call up her friend Mildred and spend some of that lovely money on some new clothes. Maybe splurge on a new wonder bra to keep him hooked. Yes, a mani-pedi and a massage were in also in order, she thought while drifting into a contented sleep. She’d earned it.
©Pauline Odhiambo 2010