A breezer was a chap who could not initiate contact and conversation with the opposite sex during social events but stared as other alpha males handled two or three girls at a go. There was a riotous hormonal activity within the school compound whenever a girl school came for a symposium or a social event. The experiences would be indelible. Something dramatic happened that became the talk of the evening. I remember when one incident of mine was the talk of the day.
It was the Dettol Heart-run marathon. Lots of high schools sent their students to participate. Needless to say, the skirts were in plenty. That was a good thing. The odds were on the opposite sex. One would have to be invisible to have missed a girl to talk to in this event. I didn’t have a mind to make it on the ill list. Fate had other plans and I wasn’t too enthusiastic about it. Half the marathon was done and I was vibe-less, girl-less and hopeless. My high school was located along the main road. The marathon was taking the same route. During the marathon, scores of students were thronged on the fence to spot the activity. If I was spotted jogging without an XX Chromosome by my side, I would suffer the shame of a thousand Arsenal fans. We neared the shame-zone. I began falling behind. I couldn’t face it. I was at the brink of despair when I bumped into her. Grey sweater, blue skirt, green t-shirt and a lovely face. It didn’t bother me at first that she initiated conversation. If anything, it sorted out my current predicament.
The convenience was impeccable in timing. For some odd reason, her name escapes me. So let’s call her Sue. At that moment, did we pass the school and I could see detective eyes collecting useful information for the evening mocking. I was safe. She walked with me. She talked with me. She was such good company; I could hardly believe my luck! The marathon ended at the Carnivore Restaurant. Before the restaurant is a mega-supermarket and Sue wanted to grab a few snacks. The unwritten rule is that XY provides for XX during such social gatherings in high school. So I accompanied Sue to the supermarket as scores of the marathoners headed to the Carnivore.
“I only want to get a soda,” she said.
That was good news for my pocket. My quarterly pocket money was 500sh. I had already exhausted 100sh since the semester began. I had carried the remainder for the marathon. A soda in a plastic bottle would lower the security to 350sh. I didn’t mind it. If I was lucky, she would stick with me for the kind gesture. Off to the supermarket we went. It was here that my senses screamed “Run!” but I ignored them. The alarms went off but I paid them no heed. Sue showed the first signs of danger.
She picked a basket.
It would only make sense to ask her what it was for. But what folly! Of course it served one purpose: to hold shopping items. As far as my memory of her words could serve, I was to purchase only a soda. Money talks. Mine always says goodbye. Sue leisurely walked through the candy aisle and picked a few lollipops. She proceeded to add a packet of biscuits and a bag of crisps in the basket. She picked two sodas. I was about to stop her when I imagined the worst. What if she had planned to pay for them? What if I would embarrass myself telling her to return them yet she had it covered? After all, she only mentioned the soda. I gave her the charitable benefit of doubt. Little did I know she would give me the opposite: the fleecing loss of hope. We approached the till. The money was done talking. It was awaiting its fate. Time was nigh. I needed to know. With every beep of the barcode reader on the items passed under the red infrared light, my eyes became enlightened to the truth; I was paying for these items in the basket. The cashier finished and looked at me. I looked at Sue. She returned the look.
“Well, pay already!” Sue said.
“Heh, of course,” I sheepishly said pulling out my Reebok wallet.
I could have sworn having held onto the cash and tugging it away from the cashier. You see, I had a plan. Run! I dismissed it before it gained prominence and feasibility. I let go of the money. The drawer pulled. The coined clicked and the lady handed me back 150sh. The goods were 200sh. In a flash I foresaw endless evenings of penniless pockets surviving on ugali, soup and if lucky a piece of beef.
Sue grabbed the bag of snacks and began walking out of the supermarket. I caught up with her. She increased pace. I hurried. She ran. I ran. She dashed into the crowd saying she’d seen friends of hers she had to hang out with. I couldn’t believe it. I stopped running after her. I had been victim of a gold digger. I wasn’t going to risk looking like a stalker. I walked up to her school mates and asked if they’d seen her. They pointed me in the right direction. I saw Sue in the throng. The music was loud and the activity was heavy. She hardly noticed me approach her. When she did, I was two inches away from her. I asked why she ran off. Her facial reaction bore a scowl that if condensed into legible words could only read, “Oh, it’s you!” She chuckled, not amused.
“I’ve just seen friends of mine. I’m sorry. Gotta go.”
And off went the gold-digger for the second time. I was persistent in knowing why she was acting like she did. Rejection was clearly a new concept to me. I was having a hard time chewing it. So I pushed through the crowds in pursuit and met a few of my own school mates in the process.
“Hey Ernest! Where’s the girl?” one of them asked.
“She’s gone to look for a spot for us. I’m just catching up with her.”
So the lie was birthed. I bumped into more of Sue’s schoolmates and asked if they had seen her. The response of one of them marked the end of the pursuit for me. She either said it loud enough for me to hear and get the hint or she was not a good judge of the noise levels to the extent that I overheard what she said loud and clear.
“This is that ka-boy Sue was saying is stalking her. Hebu let’s leave.”
The blow sunk deep. I doubt I held back a tear. The rest of the afternoon was spent breezing, hanging out alone while cute girls were ubiquitous as Mpesa shops. The lie did not hold. The truth of my predicament came into full light earning me a category worse than the breezers. She broke my immature heart and she gold-dug me good. If I could take legal action on her behavior I would have. You now understand why I called her Sue.
There was a lesson in all that. It didn’t come then but it does now. From adolescence, many men place a strong identity in having a woman by their side. That identity is fueled a lot if the girl has a nice face, nice legs or nice unmentionables. Yet, more often that not it is done to show off, receive some gratification or prove some sense of superiority that really achieves nothing. I am the first in my high school year to get married. To imagine that I would play a similar game with Waturi leaves me horrified. Why would I do that? Inasmuch as the risks may be on our side once in a while (like a gold digger) many a times it is the girl’s heart that gets broken. I look back to that high school incident and I say to myself, “Hmm, maybe I deserved it.” My motives were to use her to make me look good. Then I reason again, “But I was young.” And the right response to that is “Be that as it may, you were young but you were wrong.”
You see, youth is no excuse for folly. Just as old age is no guarantee of wisdom. My motives may have been harmless then. However, all men reading this know that our motives regarding the opposite sex end up in the “unmentionables” box many a times. It involves us being exalted and the girl a mere tool to our selfish goal. Christ Jesus teaches us a better way. He asks us in Ephesians 5 to love our wives as he loves the Church by giving up our self for her. He asks us in Timothy to treat younger women as sisters with absolute purity. You see, the older you get you don’t realize it’s wrong. Why? All those music videos portraying nude women as part of the bling and the cars and the money are evident. And if we enjoy them and derive some sense of identity in having women as objects to complete our selfish look, we not only go against the creator’s design but we show something else. That we really haven’t grown up. I believe this is the male’s biggest phobia. Fear of growing up. The money may come, the cars may come, we may even grow taller yet it only makes us older not more mature. I challenge every man reading this to review their perception of a woman and to seek the Almighty’s stance on it by first perceiving what a true alpha man is. It’s not the bling. It’s not the cars. It’s not the rims and it’s definitely not the multiple women who are hanging out in your crib whom you call derogatory names. It’s the cross. It’s the citadel of life. It’s the man called Christ. But don’t take my word for it. Ask him to come into your life and experience it firsthand. It’s the manliest thing you will ever do.