Boy meets girl. Boy winks. Girl smiles. Boy walks girl home. Boy returns later and hoots like an owl. Girl sneaks out of the hut she shares with her siblings. Together, they slink into the quiet embrace of the banana plantation. Boy gets lucky. Boy is lucky, girl is not me.
I’m sorry, banana what?
Let me try to wrap my head around this. Have you ever seen a strong banana tree? Me neither! They all look like they’re ready to keel over! So I guess boy and girl have fog in their thoughts.
“We’ll be careful, I promise.”
They’re careful at first. Then flint catches stone. Someone leans on a leaning trunk. Next thing they know, all three of them go crashing down. Girl lets out a startled shriek. How she didn’t see that coming, is beyond me. The landing is uncomfortable. But that’s not even a concern;
“Did anyone hear us?” She asks, in that helpless tone that only a woman can pull off.
“What do you mean ‘us’?” He asks, in that incredulous tone that only a man can pull off.
“Are you implying this is my fault?”
“I’m not the one who opened my big mouth!”
“Oh, so now it’s a big mouth?”
“No, if you have something to say, say it!”
“I’ve already said everything I needed to say.”
“That my mouth is big?”
“Oh! So now my voice is a problem too?”
“Shit. What do we do?” She is such a stickler for ‘us’ and ‘we’ labels.
“I have to go.” He is sticking to the only label that works for him.
“Wait! Tonight was -”
“Tomorrow, same time, same place.” He interrupts. He does not wait for an answer.
“- beautiful.” She whispers to the darkness.
That Bukumune is something else. On her mat, she goes to sleep. Thoughts of Bukumune abound.
Boy is lucky.
Enter a different scene.
Boy is all grown up. He goes by Steve now. He’s surrounded by a different plantation. The concrete kind. He dons a pair of swimming trunks and sandals. He heads for the pool. At the poolside, he finds girl in a green swimsuit. Her legs are dipped in the water.
“Why aren’t you swimming?” Steve asks.
“I don’t know how to swim.”
You wouldn’t know it, to look at him, but Steve can hear Angels singing Hallelujah.
“I can teach you.” He offers.
Steve nods and gets into the water.
“Lesson 1; how to float.”
I don’t know how, but Steve convinces her that the quickest way to master the floating technique is by lying on his back! I swear this guy can sell miraa to a miraa farmer!
So she gets on Steve’s back. The water holds for all of three seconds. Then Steve starts to sink. He panics. The fear in his eyes is visible from miles away. She becomes a hot splash.
The shallow water is his saving grace. He soon puts a thumb on the situation and ‘saves’ her from drowning. She remains clueless that Steve is clueless about swimming.
Like I said, boy is lucky!