Elle and the Giraffe
Fairy tales aren’t real. I know this, you know this, but that’s because life showed us prince charming is non-existent. Life showed us that glass slippers break and no matter what naturally occurring products we use, our scalps cannot produce as much as Rapunzel’s golden locks. We have accepted this for the truth in the lines. We have understood that we will not live in towers as prisoners or castles as princes. That the best a boy can do to protect the realm is join KDF and fight in Somalia.
Once upon a time, there was a boy. He was seen. He was heard. Everyone in his and most in neighbouring schools had heard of the wonder that was him. A high school celeb. He was in every funkie, every function. If there was a party and he did not make at least an appearance then you were sure that that was not a party worth its weight. He was IT [Not the movie]. He defined things. Defined status. If you were a guy you wanted to be his friend and if you were a girl you wanted more and he knew this. But the thing with all these high school celebrities is they feed on naivety. They survive because their peers don’t know any better. They choose to love these celebs because they haven’t realized love for themselves. Because he was seen from far and wide, we will name him Giraffe. And you’re right. Like all high school celebrities, his fame across the lands cleared when he finished school.
There is no tale that can be fairy without a fair maiden and ours is Elle. She of fair-ish skin and big brown eyes did know of Giraffe’s existence but he had no clue of hers. She went about her business unimpressed, since status did not rock her boat. She was of noble descent and had her wits about her. She knew what she deserved and being in the spotlight was never IT for her [see what I did there?]
After they all finished school, each went their separate way to conquer dragons and discover Chapo-smokies among other wonders of the realm. Then one night, a friend of Elle invited her to a birthday hang out. A harmless gathering among friends and since a royal birthday invite is not something to toss under the ball gown, she decided to honor it.
Elle arrived at the venue on time, dressed in the finest silks [okay, this is too much]. She got there on time and found other people who her friend had invited, among them Giraffe, standing tall and proud as if his previous status followed him out of school.
“There was no zing [cue Transylvania]. We just met and it was normal. Just friends hanging out on their friend’s birthday.” They did speak, she says, but it was all harmless talk. There was nothing to suggest they might have liked each other. Nothing special to tell their grandkids about. After the party, they became casual acquaintances. The kind that would send laughing emoticons at memes shared and nothing else. But the universe was waiting 3 years to set things in motion.
In this time, there were enough emojis to create 3 more movies. They became friends. Don’t ask me how because I don’t remember how I became friends with my 2 closest ones so what do I know in this topic? “There was no fishy business,” she emphasizes. “We were friends and that was it.”
Back to the marvellous works of the universe, Elle went to Eldoret during her long holidays from university. It was some NGO and as usual, when you have That-Word active youngings, there is high probabilities in coupling up, which totally happened. People were coupling left right and centre. Coupling with foreigners and locals, with blacks and whites. “There was this mzungu guy who seemed interested in me, so when he made his intentions kinda clear, I remembered I had this friend back home,” she says. See, by this time, Giraffe had claimed that he did not like being in the friend zone [cue Sauti Sol’s Friendzone]. She started thinking about it. “I didn’t want it to be a case of ‘what if’ with him, so I texted and asked what his deal was. What he wanted with me. With us.” They decided to give it a shot, Elle and the Giraffe, not the mzungu guy.
Everything was cool. They had fun, they could hold a conversation, make each other laugh. All the makings of a good relationship. They dated for 11 months. A good run if you ask me.
Elle is a strong soul. She knows what she wants, who she wants and has a precise plan on how to get these things. She doesn’t fuss, doesn’t nag, doesn’t call you when you don’t reply to her texts in 20 minutes. She was not clingy, but his friends seemed to have a problem with this. With her. “They would say ati I called the shots in the relationship. That I didn’t need him.” [as if needing a man is the prerequisite for being in a relationship] They claimed she was too independent. Too much of her own woman and that he needed to be with someone who would let him be “the man”. They poisoned poor sweet Giraffe till he became a vile insecure little goblin on the inside.
The semester was coming to a close. Elle had exams and Giraffe was somewhere not relevant to this story. Communication died. Not a natural death, this one. It was abrupt and sudden. The kind that let’s you know something is off and Elle, being the caring girlfriend that she was, called after 2 days.
Elle: Hey boo, wasgud?
Giraffe: um..Hello Elle
Elle: Was up witchu?
Giraffe: Oh, you know, the usual
Elle: Cool cool. So..exams are coming up and I was thinking that maybe we could…
Giraffe: I got a girl pregnant
Giraffe: She says it’s mine
Elle: Okay G, I’ll talk to you after exams. Stay fresh. I’ll give you feedback when I’m done
She didn’t know what to do, or say, or be. She only knew there were exams to do and they needed to be done with a clear head. They texted as usual in this time. Good morning. What are you having for lunch? Goodnight. Repeat. They broke up.
“It was a scheme that girl had,” she tells me. “I think she liked him and when he told her he had a girlfriend, she said she was pregnant after they slept together.”
“Would you have stayed if there was no pregnancy?” I ask her.
“I have asked myself this question, and people think I am crazy in saying this, especially because I am a feminist and all for #GirlPower, but yeah. I probably would have gotten back together with him. Right now, with all I know and all I have seen, I wouldn’t. But at that time, I probably would have.”
The girl was not pregnant. Elle found out a while after she and her Giraffe had long been broken up. He texted her after some time had passed to apologise for everything concerning his friends and the girl and his handling of the situation then blocked her.
“Why would he block you?”
“I didn’t know at the time, but he had started seeing my high school daughter. I have no problem with that relationship except for one thing.” I ask what that is. “I used to sometimes text him in the form of letters. It was cute, and soon enough it became our thing. Then, after he blocked me, I was scrolling down Instagram then I saw the same shit on my high school daughter’s account, claiming how sweet he was. That was MY THING!”
“Do you regret dating him?”
“No,” she says. “I chose my path. I just wish we could be able to know what would happen to the paths we leave for others.”
“Like the mzungu guy?” I ask.
“Well, yeah. But also, there have been contenders[yes, she said contenders] that I left behind and I am just so curious. Could they have turned out better than the ones I chose or worse? I’ll never know,” she pauses. “But I honestly don’t know what happened with me. I mean, have you ever looked at someone and asked yourself ‘is this the person watu walikuwa wanakufia’?”
“Hah! All the time sister.”
PS. If you have a Young Love story, hit your girl up on Instagram and Twitter (@mir_awu) and on email at (firstname.lastname@example.org) or via the Facebook page (mirawuofficial)