Whenever people talk of love, I laugh out loud. I am sceptic about it. I don’t understand what love is or its role in society. And why any clear minded person will want to be bogged down by the bastard which is love. I mean how can you meet a person, not your mother, not your father and suddenly you want to be in their lives forever? That is witchcraft, right? Maybe I am wrong. Who knows? Those of you who’ve experienced love can tell us? What it is? How does it work? Is there a hidden secret we don’t know?

I am circling my second floor of life. That means I have not seen much or heard much. Probably, the best days of my life are ahead. A better career, more gorgeous women and quality whiskey. In the two decades, I have been alive, the only love I can attest to is that of my parents. My eyes get wet when I call my mum. There’s that feeling of separation and startling nostalgia when I talk to my father. Do you guys feel it? The more I am growing up, the more I am getting attached to my old man. I guess it has something to do with learning the ropes of manhood. While our mothers nurse us, feed us, keep us safe and pray for us, only our fathers can teach us how to be men. Iron sharpening iron.

I digressed. You see, love for me is a fable. A folktale concocted by feminists and like-minded people. I know what you’re thinking. You will say that I am young and silly. And I am yet to experience life. But still, I stand my ground. I have interacted with a few women here and there. Been in flings which wilt and die in less than a month, the most. I am yet to meet a girl who turns up my insides. A girl who will make me call her in the dead of night and declare my undying love. A chick who will grace my social media. You know, that bullshit that lovers do. Always sharing pictures of each other, calling each other cat names and such. All of that has eluded me and I feel pretty good about it. Because I find relationships to be toxic, they hold you back. You will always be giving up something, and that’s not cool. You should be living to your full potential.

Two of my best mates jumped into relationships. I have no idea what happened, I just woke up one morning and I saw them with some chicks, them declaring their undying love. ‘Not bad.’ I thought to myself. But even after seeing my wingmen sink into the sea of love or whatever you folks call it, I still have no desire. It’s cool to have a woman around. You know, the sex, the cuddling. But that packaged into the animal called love? It’s not worth it.

The rant above has no relation with what follows. I felt the urge to get that out of my head. It has been chewing me for some time.

One of my readers, let's call him Ngugi*. Because Ngugi is a cool name. Guys named such don’t cause trouble. They’re calm souls, they are in fulfilling relationships and can make for good fathers. I don’t think you can find a robber named Ngugi. Most robbers are Mwangi and Kamau.

Anyway, Ngugi has been reading this blog for some time now. He’s been here since it started, he knows where the bones are buried. He goes to a campus somewhere in Central Kenya. He’s not big on chasing chicks. While the rest of us are lying to people’s daughter’s how we like them, he minds other business. While the rest of us are plotting how to get someone’s daughter to bed, he’s never that kind of guy. Such a calm soul, always reading Carl Marx or sleeping. I wish could be like him.

A few weeks back, he sent me a message on WhatsApp. Reading it, I knew the castle was falling. Something was spectacularly amiss. I tried talking to him but the guy wouldn’t let the cat out of the bag. So, I called his best friend, who happens to read this blog too. After poking my nose here and there, like the proverbial rat, I knew a few things.

Ngugi was enmeshed in a love triangle. Is there something worse at this age? With folks slaughtering each other with no regard. I am ready to die for anything, but let it not be a love triangle. If I am stabbed because of love, even if I go to heaven, I’ll personally ask God to reconsider. I mean I can’t be singing with lambs and chilling with pigeons in the meadows of heaven, yet I died because of a love triangle. I deserve hell for that.

After I got the hang of what was happening, I hit Ngugi up. We got talking, and its one of the most ridiculous stories I have heard this year.

There’s this chick in his class. She is hot, as hot as Cleopatra, that is if Cleopatra was truly hot. You can’t trust historians. She’s the kind of chick who men are always chasing and should you bore her or worse, break her heart, you will be replaced in a snap. She’s witty and beauty is her crowning jewel. Many of the boys in her class get intimidated at her sight. Words stick to their lips, never flying out. Thus, she dates only fourth-year guys, folk with the infrastructure to handle her. But honestly, you can’t expect a first-year boy, fresh out of the village, be able to handle a chick who pronounces ‘water’ as ‘worra’ and poses with cocktails in upmarket lounges every weekend.  Ngugi is an intellectual though, he could handle her pretty well. They got talking and hanging out. At some point, they became friends, the first mistake I tell him. You can’t be friends with a girl. That’s a scam.

One evening, the chick calls him. She says that she has broken up with her boyfriend and she needs someone to talk to. Ngugi, the intellectual he is, says its good, they can go for a walk and just talk. Or walk in silence and listen to the beating of their hearts, a pretty romantic scene. Basically, he was providing a shoulder, second mistake. If a chick wants to mourn her relationship, let her go cry with her girls.

They went for the walk. The sun was going down, birds flapping back to their nests. It seems picturesque from how he describes it. A slight wind blowing across. Them clinging on to their trench coats, like lovers in an English winter.  They walked, she breaks down and he is the shoulder she so wanted to lean on. With darkness falling, they sauntered back to school.

No sooner had they stepped back in school that two male students stopped them. They wanted to talk to the girl, our hero, the shoulder to lean on kind of guy, walked ahead. He moved aside to let them have their talk, he wasn’t the kind of guy who eavesdropped on people’s conversations. Kumbe, the guys talking to the chick, one of them was the boyfriend who had been jilted. To spice matters, he was drunk. Suddenly, like in those Chinese martial arts movies, the drunk fella turned to Ngugi. Ngugi wasn’t prepared, quick blows landed on his face and torso. You will be happy to learn that Ngugi managed to escape the assault. But it left him a changed man like he’d stared at the sun straight in the eyes.

Talking to him, the fight scarred him. It left him a mangled wreck of a man. These are the messages we exchanged. 

“Hello brother, word has reached me of your misfortune. That must have been hell, how do you feel?

“It bruised my ego more than my face. Mind you, my face was really bruised. I am over it though.  We did not end our friendship because of it.”

“If you meet the guy in a dark corner, can you beat him up? Or hire goons to beat him up?”

“I definitely can’t, even if I wanted to. Furthermore, the chick dumped him. That was the best revenge she could serve him.”

“Is that saying that the chick is yours now?”

“Not really, I can’t have her.

“What do you mean you can’t have her? Do you want her? Or there’s something which stops you from dating her?”

He typed back.

"With beauty comes responsibility, something she certainly doesn’t have. She is complicated, not a person you could trust.”

“What do you look for in a woman? Beauty or responsibility? And is that saying that beautiful women ain’t responsible?”

“I am trying to say when a woman is beautiful, she should be responsible. It is not a secret that many men fall for the pretty one easily. She should stand her ground with the man she has chosen. She should not let a whole group date her simultaneously. Trustworthiness is the only thing that I look for in a woman. There’s no problem with a man hitting on her because I know she will stand her ground.  I have no interest in fighting men for my woman.”

That is deep. Accept it.

“By the way, I don’t understand this. Is the chick just a friend to you or you’re into something serious?”

“She is better being a friend. Friends don’t break up. She has dated three different people since that time of the fight, and even going back to the guy who beat me up.”
“Whoa. That is gross.”

“I know the password to her phone. I snooped around, I found text messages on how they were referring to each other as ‘babe’.  I scrolled up the phone and what I saw made me sick. I asked her about it and she said that she was protecting me.”

“Protecting you? How is that?”

“Ati by getting back with the guy who beat me up, he wouldn’t fight me again. That’s her definition of protection. That is love for her, sacrificing for me. That’s a load of crap, I stomached that nonsense.”

“That is manipulation on another level. Let’s say tomorrow she says that you’re the only guy she wants in her life. Do you date her?”

“Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame me.”

“Fool you thrice???”

“Then I’ll be a shameless fool.”

“Don’t fall for that,” I told him.

Our editor, Kantai is celebrating his birthday today. Help me wish him a happy birthday as he turns a new leaf and pray for him to get a girlfriend.

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