You know there is story when two people’s eyes meet across a table, in a matatu, a church and one person smiles. You know one of them is crazy when they give that death stare. You also know that you are probably imagining things when they wave and shout ‘hi!’
But, you are officially mental if you think that there is a story where there’s none. However, if you write, then you are the lucky one percent that gets away with it and it happened to me.
I was in Naivas supermarket here in Kisumu going through a selection of braids. They have this simple aisle that is packed with nothing but braids; blue, brown, red, maroon, grey, white, green, black, gold, short, long. You can have your pick of braids in less than ten minutes plus the prices are two shillings less than other supermarkets. I braid often. Guess that helps me save ten shillings for every five packs.
So, there I am with this wild afro going through braids when I hear someone say, “niaje, madam!”
I’ve had a long battle with this phrase “Madam” for though it is better than ‘tsk! tsk!’ or ‘wewe!’ or ‘tsss!’ it always reminds me of primary school teachers. There is always this spitfire in me that is tempted to retort, “do I look like a primary school teacher?” But, it has never come through, mainly because I prefer to confront people in a counseling session rather than in public, crowds can disappoint you.
I turn to my left and see this supermarket attendant checking out the girl right beside me. She has her earphones on and I look up at him and smile. He shrugs smiles and asks me to tap the girl, you know, to join his team in getting her attention, but the girl is busy picking braids- purple braids.
I settled for black braids and make my way to the cashier to check out. I take one look at the aisle and the guy is still checking out the girl watching her hands travel across the packs of braids, fingers caressing, gripping and then letting go of each pack. I pay for my goods and descend the stairs, wondering just how great I’d look in purple braids!