Shani: A reunion of lovers? or friends?

By Anonymous Kenyan

Saturday Aug 20th

It had been one year, seven months since we last saw each other. Shani loved breakfast dates so that was the plan for our “first” reunion date. I was a little anxious and excited and I found myself walking into Kona Café at 8:30 am.

It was a sufficiently warm morning and I was dressed in a white top, white skinny jeans (they made my ass look yummy) and my favourite pair of brown brogues. I had on gold studs, a golden neck piece and red lipstick, of course. My long blonde-black hair was held up showing off my nice African curls.

I picked a table on the outside, with a view of the city and took out my novel. Three pages in and my mobile phone beeped. It was a message from her:

Shani : I’m leaving the house now. Where are you?

Me: I’m at Kona ?

Shani : Okay. Can’t wait to see you ??

Me: Hurry up then ?

Shani : ??

By now I was smiling at my phone. This is actually happening! I quickly walked to the bathroom, had a look at myself and gave myself a pep talk.

“Act calm Amara … chill out”

I rushed back to the table and a few minutes after sitting down, I saw her walking into the café. She was looking more stunning than ever, also in white. A short white dress. It was showing off her beautiful, long well-toned legs. I always loved it when she wore something short. She had dyed her locs silver-grey and even though I’d seen photos of the hair, it looked much better in person.

The waiter led her to the table and as soon as she was close enough I stood up. We were soon locked in a tight embrace. The intensity of that embrace, after so long, made everything seem surreal. I could smell her scent. There’s nothing as beautiful as the scent of someone you love. Feeling her that close made my heart race, and my eyes swell up with tears. Many hugs and kisses later, we sat on the couch next to each other. It felt so good to have her right next to me, like a missing piece of a puzzle that was finally found.

We had a laugh about our white outfits, and reminisced on the times we experienced random coincidences like this. We liked to say that ‘we have telepathy’. We asked for the breakfast platter hoping it was as good as we remembered it to be.

We used to come to Kona a lot when we were both in the city. She especially liked the breakfast platter, and I’d generally eat half of what she would. She’d always try to get me to eat more, and I’d whine about how full I am, and in the end she’d share my half of the platter.

Once the waiter had left the table we smiled at each other and she took my hand in hers. We talked about being back home as she played with my fingers.

It was like we had never parted ways. Everything felt the same. I remembered the drives we would make, when I’d drive with one hand in hers. Only taking it back when I needed to take a corner, or do something “involving”. Walking into malls hand in hand, being at the movie theatre leaning on each other, hands held.

We talked about our hair and, as she was telling me about dying her locs, I started having flashbacks of when her locs were shorter and blonde. I loved them then. I specifically remembered how I loved grabbing on to them when she was eating me out. And how I loved it when she was on top of me as they’d fall over and cover us both, and how she’d pull them back.

The waiter brought our drinks and this quickly brought me back to reality. I shifted a little on the couch, and put my legs closer to hers. I drank almost half my glass of juice and continued listening to her story.

We really didn’t have any new stories to tell each other as we had kept in touch, so we just talked about basic things. Shani had been back for 6 months and had been running her own business from home. By then I had only been back for 6 days and was in the process of looking for a house. I had spent my nights at an aunt’s house, sharing a room with my 16-year-old cousin Tamara and living out of my two suitcases.

Getting an ideal house seemed hard and Shani offered to help me look, and even suggested that I stay with her for the time being as I searched for my own place.

Our breakfast platter came and we gobbled it up quickly, as she caught me up with the latest city gossip. The juicy type. There was a lot of laughs, and nostalgia … and sad stories. Time always flew when we were together.

I had a meeting with a former colleague at midday and before I knew it he had called to inform me that he was on his way to the venue. We swiftly settled the bill and left Kona. Shani dropped me where I was meeting my colleague and by the time I was saying my good-bye we had agreed that I would think about moving into her house as I looked for my own place.

I walked away from her car, and as I entered the building I looked back to find her eyes on me. I smiled at her since I knew what she was looking at. I blew her a kiss, entered the building, and a few seconds later I heard her drive away.

That night, in Tamara’s bright pink room full of posters, I went to bed thinking about her.

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