This is meant to be a sequel to ‘Honeymoon Without Marriage’.
My weekend with Daisy was superb.
It had its highs and the lows.
The D-Day, my birthday is today!
But we agreed to hold the party yesterday-not exactly my party,but a party we were invited to by one of Daisy’s friends across the border into Arusha.
She is a successful businesswoman there. She deals mainly with African Fashion Wear.
Tanzanian police don’t like cars with Kenyan registered number plates wandering into their vast territory,so i had to leave my car at the border.
Daisy’s friend came for us at Namanga Border Post with hers.
It’s quite some drive from Namanga to Arusha but we left early and made it by three in the afternoon.
Tanzanians are laid back sort of fellows. Kenyans cannot help but wonder how they manage to carry out their life in this kind of time-lapse pace.
But they are very polite,whether by intent or it’s in their nature,it’s hard to tell.
The main thing to tell here is about that party.
We had a lot of time in our hands before the party started,at eight in the evening.
Angie,that’s the name of Daisy’s friend was hosting the party at her house on the fringes of Arusha town.
Meanwhile,we took a stroll around this beautiful town. We saw the EAC Parliament building,public park and a number of other landmarks.
The weather was hot.
Daisy decided to visit the hair salon after we got tired of walking.
I decided to have a drink at the pub.
I’m not a great fan of wine. But i decided to try some South African Wines. I didn’t want to be over the top before the party started.
Funny thing about wine: it doesn’t clap you on the back the way whiskey sometimes will;it kind of climbes up in your neck and gives you a warm hug that makes your head feel warmth and a glow in your face.
I enjoyed a few glasses before Daisy came in at around seven fifteen to say she was through with the hair salon.
She came to where i was seated.
I could almost feel my chin hit my Adam’s apple. She saw my face and whirled round to brace my neck and a peck on my ear.
“You don’t like it!” She cried.
I couldn’t speak. I just stared.
She kept patting her hair down,or what was left of it. It was short with a few long wisps on her forehead; she just didn’t look like Daisy anymore! I’m used to Daisy with long hair.
“It is the latest thing”,she said,in a sort of little voice. “It is what they call African Crew Cut. Angie said it will change my whole personality.”
I gurgled some words.
“It’ll grow out. My hair grows fast,Ben.” She slumped into a chair.
“You don’t like it.”
“Sure,i do”,i lied. “It’s… cute. Its a crew cut,that’s what it is. If it’s what you want,Daisy–”
“i do think it’s attractive. And different. I honestly do.”
I said it was different, alright, and she said there was nothing that made her angrier than having me agree with her when i did not mean it,i said it looked very African and she was a knock-out and a cutie,and then she really did blow her top.
She said i must be seething with disgust to say those things.
Well, it went on like that until we arrived at the party in a taxi.
I don’t know why that damned haircut affected me the way it did.
I reckon i’m a conservative and i don’t like to see things change so suddenly.
Also, i didn’t care for the way those Tanzanian men began to eye Daisy in the street.
As Daisy and i walked up the drive,she said, “Now,Ben,try to relax and get over the idea people are staring at you,or waiting for you to trip over the carpet,or spill your drink. You know how charming you can be if you’ll just unbend a little from your shyness.”
We went into the front hall,and Daisy tripped on the first step of the verandah and i caught her arm. “You’d better relax a little too.” I said.
When we knocked,a man in shirt sleeves opened the door, another adjacent door opened and Angie stuck her head and one bare shoulder out and said welcome and sit down,she’d be right out,ask Phillip for a drink. Then she pulled back her head in and closed the door.
“We are early,”Daisy said,as if the world was coming to an end.
“Don’t fret,dears,”Angie called out.
“I did say eight,so people would start arriving by eight thirty. There won’t be much of a crowd,because hardly anyone i know is in Arusha right now. All the lucky ones are holidaying in Dar.
Well,everybody who was not holidaying in Dar,which is the coastline capital city of Tanzania,was in Angie’s house in less than an hour.
The place was packed to the rafters,with everybody talking at once and in different languages.
The whole place was jumping.
Daisy wandered over to where i was looking out of the window and yelled,”why don’t you mingle,Ben? They are just people!”
“They don’t look like people to me!” i yelled back at her.
The party was quite a collection. Several men had beards,one had a great long one that had a streak of henna yellow right in the middle of it,as if it’d been painted on-which it probably had-and at least two had long goatees,brilliant orange.
Most of the women had on skin-tight dresses with their shoulders bare,but there were some mannish-looking women and some womanish-looking men.
The place reeked of perfume.
All i could do was to wait for sneezes to begin.
I drank a double shot of whiskey and felt a little better,but not much.
“Is there anything i can get you,Ben?” Angie was moving through the crush with that dignified look of a caring host. I said i didn’t think so unless she could give me Gilbey’s Gin and soda water instead of these whiskeys everyone was drinking,and she said, “But naturally,Ben. Daisy tells me that is what you like.”
She took my arm and led me into her superbly clean and cute kitchenette.
“Do you approve of me,Ben?”
“Approve? Sure i approve.” I poured myself a very stiff drink.
“And what does it matter what i think anyway?”
“Because,i’m the one who came up with this idea of holding your birthday party here. Daisy was worried that you would snap at her if she suggested it to you herself. She tells me you hate parties.” She went on.
Just then two dogs came romping into the kitchen and Angie bent down and hugged them and cooed at them. “I love them dearly,” but i’ll exchange them for a kid any day. I’m very lonely without a kid of my own.” She was almost coming to tears.
I looked at the dogs. They were all trimmed up as if they’d just come from a beauty parlour.
“That’s what i want to talk to you about,kids i mean.” She continued.
I realised i was moving at the edge of my seat. This kind of talk was making me uncomfortable.
“What about kids,Angie? I mean,what have i got to do with you wanting some kids of your own? I’ve got my kids from my failed marriage,but no deal,Angie. They are nice enough dogs, but kids are not easy to come by. I can’t deal my kids for these lovely dogs!” I said,a bit agitated.
“You are missing the whole point,Ben. Let me explain a bit. I talked to Daisy. You and Daisy are lucky to have kids from your previous marriages. I have never been married. I can’t have kids. That’s why i’m not married.” She was crying now.
“Now,Angie,i’m not very gifted in mind-reading-tell me in plain terms,what are you trying to say?”
“Simple,if you go along with me,Ben-if you approve of my plan that is. You and Daisy are going to try for a kid. I’m ready to pay for all the expenses. When the kid is born,you will handover the kid to me.” She said without blinking an eye.
“Phew.” I blew my mouth in disbelief.
“When you say you have talked with Daisy,do you mean to say you have gone through all these and she has okeyed it.? I posed to her.
“Sure. In fact as we speak,and if i’m lucky, the kid is already on the way. It is me who arranged your ‘Honeymoon Without Marriage’ weekend cum your birthday party with Daisy. Daisy had timed her days so as to be fertile at around this time. I paid for this excursion so that everything goes right according to plan.” She finally said.
“Angie,did it ever occur to you and Daisy that i should have been informed about this before any of it happened?” I said in a deflated voice.
“Yes. We did argue about how you’d take it-and we decided to let you into it at this stage,i mean, today. Please tell me you will go along with it,Ben,even if it means trying for the second,third,or fourth time till i have a kid of my own,Ben. Please!”
What i do i say? It was a great weekend for me,Daisy and Angie.
I have often heard of the word ‘Anarchy’. This whole episode has given it a true meaning in my mind.
Happy Birthday to me!
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