His good-natured face was screwed up in almost real pain – bafflement – trying to come to terms with the terrible fold in his universe. So much has been said, I can’t even — because really, I think my tongue has grown too inches thicker. He’d crouch behind his desk in the corner, voice dropping (half) an octave to beg us, implore us to be discrete.
Two days before it was Nairobi’s golden hour, with sun setting over the car park, temperature drop too rapid to feel comfortable, and excited chatter rising above the raging traffic that finally, the weekend has arrived. We’d ordered an appetizer and red wine – it wasn’t supposed to be a long outing – just a casual drink among colleagues, wrapping up the end of a strenuous work week, and the long-anticipated submission of the first report. We talked work, expat life, the upcoming election – all those pleasant non-committal topics that make the time pass by quickly and the wine empty on its own. The glass tipped and left no treacherous stain – tipping the conversation along with it – boldly venturing into personal realm. We stood up, and even though I wasn’t hungry – decided to go have dinner at the ‘best seafood place in town’.
It was a truly delicious meal – my very first lobster – you were endeared and surprised – and oh, the glory! – the fact that you used to like Dune too (but probably outgrew it). Our evening ended in a completely empty bar across – a bar that couldn’t quite decide if it’s a bar, a restaurant or a nightclub – the espresso martini was but a sweetened echo of what I’d had in Singapore – but you liked it. We probably overindulged and overshared, but it didn’t matter – because I really enjoyed myself.