- Our friendship, like many other relationships, was imperfect.
- Julliet wanted everything to be perfect and she disliked it when her train of thought was criticised.
- I defied all these and it was always trouble. One minute we were hugging, the next we weren’t even speaking.
I was busy in front of my office computer on the third floor of Nation Centre one day when a slender, light-skinned lady came and stood behind me.
Slightly miffed that she was intruding into my personal space, I ignored her and went on to open YouTube to look for my favourite music, which would soothe me as I edited online stories at the news desk.
"Heeeey, you listen to the Gaithers?" were the first words she uttered.
“Oh, sure,” I responded, not really sure where the conversation was headed. She was not done with me yet. She pulled a chair and sat beside me.
That’s when the interrogation started. She wanted to know why a bearded young man like me would be listening to such old-school music when we have the likes of Bahati, Willy Paul and their cronies.
Let’s just say my answer pleased her and a bond was struck right there.
Of course, we had spoken earlier, in passing, but this was the first time we were engaged in serious talk.
She complained she was having problems getting round the software that publishes stories on the web and was not getting much assistance from other online sub-editors.
As she was telling me all this, there was a serious committee going on in my head with members engaged in a heated debate on whether to tell her or not. Unanimously, the committee agreed to tell her ‘the truth'.
"You know what, you may be the reason most guys do not want to help you," I told her.
A moment of silence.
Next was a series of questions, a grilling that lasted over an hour. So we decided to go for lunch before we could start our night shift. I told her to change how she approached people.
She did not know of a good place to eat in town so I took her to Kipepeo, opposite The Stanley. I ordered millet porridge. Another surprise for her. She could not believe it.
COULD NOT TRUST THE PORRIDGE
She said that she couldn’t trust it and ordered tea and mandazi. I rejected the mandazi on her behalf. Told the waitress to bring her nduma. Well, for the next many months, that was our joint and she learned to love uji.
Our friendship, like many other relationships, was imperfect. Julliet wanted everything to be perfect and she disliked it when her train of thought was criticised.
I defied all these and it was always trouble. One minute we were hugging, the next we weren’t even speaking.
One day, during my shift, she was running late and requested me to help her with some work. I did. Unfortunately, my work did not meet her standards and she let me have it. That was my friend for you.
We didn’t talk for a very long time. No phone calls. No texts. No greetings in the office. But I knew the trick. I offered her an uji date, and she accepted on condition that I would allow her to pick the venue.
She picked Kaldis which was close by and as Ng’ang’a Mbugua said in a recent tribute, she was a tea and cake girl.
Julliet preferred texting to calling and we would text back and forth for hours on end. However, she was anything but open in showing affection, especially for fellow colleagues.
As we grew closer, she opened up about herself and her life, as did I. She learnt of my asthma and I of her health issues and struggles to get healthy and add weight. We made deals everywhere and every day. I encouraged her to eat ugali and tone down on the sugar she put in her tea.