He just didn’t have a chance. Everyone could tell, except him. Well everyone was wrong too, except him. It wasn’t just because his mother as well as all the women in her family thought she was a witch. It wasn’t either because his father was a successful businessman and owned a couple of alimentary product stores while her father was a talented mechanic who barely made ends meet. It was much more simple that. Kimia Matumboli Jr was plain while Malaika was beautiful. Kimia was very much aware of his physical limitations while Malaika was very much aware of her social limitations, but Kimia had only eyes for Malaika. Kimia first saw her when he was in 9th grade at Tanga Malamu high school. she was sitting right in front of him and anytime the wind blew, he could smell her. Instructor’s reports to his parents always said: “Very smart but daydreams in class, needs to apply himself at school”. Despite the fact that he was in the top 5 of his class, his father Matumboli the First, tried to interrogate him the way he always did. He would be calm at first and then gradually inflame himself into a rage until he had to go grab a belt to release his anger by giving the person a good beating. Luckily his wife intervened most of the time to diffuse him by pulling his attention to other priorities: his health, his cigarettes, his beer, his food, etc.
All his friends knew that it was Malaika in the morning, Malaika at noon and Malaika in the evening and they kept making fun of him for not talking to her. His best friend Cedric had a sitdown with him at the end of the school year.
“Look, I know you are shy and all, but I promise you she doesn’t bite.Look I even ask her if she likes you?”
“You did what? I told you not to say anything?”
“It’s ok. Don’t you want to hear what she said?”
“What did she say?’
“She said you are nice guy.”
“A nice guy? That’s all?”
“hey, look here, the sad truth is you are not exactly the best looking guy in school, ok? And I have to say, I don’t understand what you see in this girl, yes she is cute but so is Francesca, you know her friend? Francesca’s parents are good friends to your parents, she dresses nice and she seems to like you.”
“I told you to stop talking to me about Francesca, why don’t you talk her yourself? And thanks for the reminder that I am not the best looking guy.”
He got up and left. Cedric didn’t say it, but he knew that he meant that they moved in different worlds, but he felt and knew that his world was nothing without his angel, Malaika.
One year went by and Kimia finally wrote her note to officially state what everyone knew:
“Malaika, I needed an angel to save me and I am sure that you are the answer to my prayers. Would you be my angel and save this lonely soul?” Kimia was no writer at all, so it took him the whole summer vacation to come up with that. When school started in September, he waited for the second week of class just as she was about to go home, he called her up and said:
“Hey, Malaika. I have got something for you.”
He handed her an envelope.
“What is it?”
“Oh it’s just few poems I found here and there, but there’s this one poem I wrote. I know how you are the best in school hands down when it comes to literature and poetry so don’t expect me to be Moliere or Corneille, but I want to hear from you what you think.”
Malaika blushed, but even her light, chocolate skin that sends Kimia into convulsions every time they brushed by each other, wouldn’t let him see that she blushed.
“thank you, I will read it and let you know.” And she left.
Kimia might have not been poet, but he had to come to appreciate the rhythm of her hips, the fullness of her lips and the music in her speech so when she said: “I will read and let you know” that was the only thing that his mind put on replay for him for the rest of the day….
PART II Coming soon, but please feel free to comment and tell me where you think this is going….