In my walks through campus, I ran into a couple. You all know such people, always together, arm in arm. Acting like they are the founders of love and relationships. Like they know so much about companionship and they can counsel you on this elusive bitch.
I am always sceptical of them. I eye them with suspicion whenever they pass, all smiles, as if they store happiness in their rooms. Like they know the formula of staying in love.  In spite of all the negativity, they have always fascinated me on how they manage to do it. Like, how can you be with same person from morning to evening. Only separating when it's time for lectures and when classes are over, you’re together again. You have the same friends, you hang out in the same places. Don't they ever get tired? Don't they get bored of each other? Personally it can never work for me, I can never be around one person for that long. Familiarity will jump in, I will suddenly be moody and I might even die.
My roommate is in this kind of union. Whenever he wakes up in the morning, he calls his chick(Olivia)  and they pray together. Yes!! They pray, I mean aren't those the heights of love. I always watch him in his bed, folded but mumbling to God the father and I feel like a bloody sinner. His girl on the other side joins in and they say the grace together. When was the last time you called your lover and you prayed together? I watched this go on for a while and I thought, Damn! This can make a story. God please forgive me, while people are praying to you and are in meaningful relationships, here I am thinking about stories.
I sat on it for a while, then one evening I asked Kevo if I could do a story on them. He said that he has to consult the better half (Olivia). She's the queen, if she says it's happening then it will. If she says it not , its not. A dog's life that we men live, our women dictate almost everything in our lives.She will tell you what socks to wear in the morning, you dorn another pair and she will be mad at you the whole day. Like if you wear the socks you would be a better person. Or your day will be full of sunshine and abundance. To all men reading, this is a clarion call my brothers. One day we should just say that enough is enough, and we decline whatever them ladies want. Luckily, Olivia bought the story idea.
Other drama queens might have exploded.  
Huh! What kind of shit is this Kevin? What do you mean a story? Do you want to spread our relationship for the world to see? Is that it! Are you tired of me? You know what go date that blogger!!
Ho! ho! ho! ho!
And Kevin would be so sad that he wouldn't want look me in the face again. He would come to bed with a tired heart and punctured lungs. He would sleep and never want to wake up. He won't talk to me forever, I would never know what happened. Another story dead.
After weeks of postponing and  rescheduling, we finally agreed to meet in the TV room. I get in early into the TV room, it's desolate. Only for another couple in the far trenches of the room. They don't see me as I take a seat in the corner. I watch them like an assassin observing his quarry. They are in a world of their making, oblivious of  my presence. I am nosy as hell and would wish to listen in to whatever they are telling each other. Hear there plans, their aspirations. They look so happy together, like nothing bad can happen in their world.
After endless waiting, Kevin and Olivia finally show up. They are all smiles, playful. We exchange pleasantries and they sit to my  opposite. I unleash my phone and Olivia is up on the defensive. Like the lawyer she is.
"Whoa ! Whoa! You're recording."
I have to, I tell her, it's the only way I can manage to capture the full narrative.
Kevin smiles at her and she calms down. They stare at each other for a moment and then turn to me. It's a gaze which locks out the rest of the world. There is a beauty to it, a silent trust that only remains true to them. They started out as BFFs, before one thing led to another and now they are inseparable. Kevin talks of their first kiss with such calloweness that makes you believe that love still exists in this campus world of sin, debauchery and sponsors.
“We had been hanging out together for sometime now but I did not have the courage to tell her how I felt. And I didn't want to say anything which might spoil the fun. So this one evening we have gone for a walk and darkness arrested us before we could make it to campus. Somehow, our lips found each other in the solid blackness. Now we return to campus and we’re shy as hell, we don't know what to say to each other. We are asking ourselves, what did we really do? What are we?”
Ahem! There's no tough question for a man like, what are we? If you're  a chick in a campus relationship, I have this challenge for you. Today,drop the "what are we" question to your man. Don't blame me for what happens after.
What really strikes me about their union is that all this time they have been together, they have never had sex. Oh yes! There have been numerous opportunities but they're afraid of doing anything which might affect Olivia’s life. They’ve slept on the same bed but the furthest they have gone is cuddling. Hats off for Kevin, I mean he must be a strong man. Not many men can put up with just cuddling for that long. Just fiddling and not getting a shot at the real deal, not me. But this has made their love for each other grow as they reserve their bodies for the right time. They are not in a hurry to join the bandwagon and experiment, all they want is to love each other now, support each other and see themselves grow. Having sex is  not a priority.
“ I made this promise that I will preserve myself for my future husband. And what I like most about Kevin is that he respects this and he never tries to push the agenda. We made this promise to each other that we will never succumb to pressure from the society and do it. In essence what we are doing is that we keeping our bodies for each other. When we are ready, then we will have a shot at lovemaking. But for now, that’s a no go zone.”
Kevin smiles at her then turns to me.
“I respect her decision, because I don’t want it to be like I am with her for her body only. I don't want to risk anything with her, because she might get pregnant and that may interfere with her education. I want her to prosper because if she prospers, it's me who is prospering.”
That was deep.
Looking at many relationships out here, they are run by social status and I could  not shy away from asking about this. Kevin does procurement while Olivia pursues law.
“ It doesn't affect our relationship in anyway. Maybe other people in the world run by that view but not us. You know God has his plans for everybody. Maybe an opportunity can steam from somewhere and he may make more  money than me. The society has this view that ‘all hail the man!’ That the man is the provider of everything, I do not for once support that. And I have always told him that I don't want to marry him, then he has a house and I just move in. That's not right, I want us to start small, if its a house, the both of us contribute in its process.”
Kevin, our hero, is open minded to all this.
“I believe that people can start out together and grow. Providing does not mean that you're the head of the family, I learnt this new definition. Being the head of the family is about taking responsibility as a man. Mahali uwezo wangu umefika hapo ndio naweza. And if the person I am with loves me, then we can help each other. I wouldn't want to lose her because of that head of the family debate.”
They always talk about their future whenever they are together. How they want their lives to turn out. How they want their house to look like; the ceiling, the floor and how it should be painted. They have their all lives mapped out before them. And to be honest I was kind of jealous of them, as the only future I am thinking about is writing stories, stories and more stories. I never think of myself as a father,I have never imagined what my house will look like. Furthermore, the bloody floor! The only thing I want there is a MacBook to bang out stories, a cat to keep me company and bottles of Hennessey.
Here is my take on love. I don’t think love exists. It's a figment of imagination, only found in the creations of poets and musicians. Now enemies of development will bombard me with rhetoric. Saying that I should not talk unless I have experienced love, Oh please! We humans are social creatures, that's why we gravitate and get attached to people. The same way lions are always together in prides. We need to be together to survive, loners die. It's got nothing to do with love. The only thing I have heard about love which makes sense was paraded by Anne Alvira, she says that love is a choice. Case closed! But for Olivia and Kevin, love does exist, and its prominent like the midday sun.
“People have so many definitions of love. But what I can say is that what Kevin shows me, what he makes me feel is the only kind of love I know.  
Phew! She finishes saying this and I i feel like I really need to find someone to love me. Even though I am famously unsuccessful in matters involving relationships. I watch them leave and the TV room meets me with an icy embrace of  silence and loneliness. I think of how they have so much trust and hope on each other. What might happen should one of them decide to leave? Will the world cave in, can they manage to start all over again, to meet new people and set out new plans for their lives. But then should they heartbreak each other, they won't be the first.
Photo credits [@vintage_fam] find them on Instagram. Epic stuff.
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