Ramzi and Esha's Love Story
Ramzi: It was a rather sunny day out in the plains. Being a jobless undergraduate, single and somehow desperate, I was out grazing my dad’s cows, since I had no other option unless I wanted to be reminded by ‘Mzee’ what a useless adult I was wasting away at his home. I had positioned myself at a strategic point, along the path where some lady I had my sights on (call it a ‘crush’) would pass every evening from work.
This particular lady was the ultimate fantasy for most of my peers in the village, since she was well learned (she had completed college) and was working (I didn’t know where). Besides being the village beauty & brains queen, she was the envy of a lot more women her age, since most of them had dropped out of school way before they reached either Std. 8 or Form 4.
Most of them had been married just when their thoraces had developed some visible growth (mammary glands). I thought to myself that I had an advantage over the rest of my peers since I was somehow handsome (talk of self-confidence) and was learned. I was also slightly better groomed than my peers, having picked up some habits in campus that seemed futuristic to the conservative and traditional villagers.
It was exactly 5.46 pm when she appeared from a distance and I knew the time had come to prove my mettle. I rose up from where I lay and threw away the grazing stick so that she doesn’t notice I was grazing the cows. No sooner had I started introducing myself than I heard the dreaded sound of her father’s car engine from a distance away. ‘Dreaded’ because the father was a typical Luhya dad who had spent a ‘fortune’ on her daughter’s education and would have any male being castrated if he found out that he/it was ‘spoiling’ her beloved daughter.
I had no time to think twice, I quickly jumped into the nearby sugarcane plantation and took off just in time before the vehicle appeared. By the time I was out of the plantation, I had multiple cuts and bruises. I had a pair of shorts on and had been walking barefoot for it is the norm in my village. I proceeded home and would later send my younger siblings to get the cows from where I had left them since they were back from school.
The following day I had to go to the hospital for stitching and dressing of my wounds. Guess what??! The one lady I was set to meet was the one to attend to me. “Is this fate”, I thought to myself. As she attended to the people on the line before me, I sat there trying to craft a good pick-up line in my head that would at best sweep her off her feet and at least get her to smile. When it was my turn to be attended to, I limped to her desk and as she looked up, what looked like a smile formed on her face.
I confidently sat on the chair and cleared my throat, as she acted busy jotting down stuff, medical stuff I guess. When she finally looked up, the smile was gone and her face was plain, nothing written on it. Anyway, let’s just say by the time I left her desk, I had impressed her. I couldn’t tell for sure, but it doesn’t hurt being a little confident…does it? What I didn’t know, however, was that I had the most challenging task ahead – to get her to agree to a date.
Esha: I had sworn to myself that I would never have a boyfriend till 23. Here I was, 23, done with my diploma and newly employed at Mumias Model Dispensary. So who would he be? I had a checklist, of course a Muslim man, good looking, educated and courageous. Until then I had never met someone with all these characteristics. Well I knew no one from our locality would ever be courageous enough to approach me with the kind of strict life I was raised in. My uncle (who people mistook to be my dad), was so protective. So this morning as I was carrying out my nursing duties at the dispensary, I noticed this guy with a cut just below his left knee. Then I recalled that face from the previous day, and the events that unfolded.
Of all the men I had interacted with, he was quite different. I mean neat, humble and he spoke that kind of English that High School tutors speak. However, what amazed me the most is that he greeted me in Arabic. True, he impressed me after that first, or maybe second, meeting between us. But you know I had to play hard-to-get to make him chase me, I wouldn’t have let him win me over that fast.
Ramzi: Bearing in mind that we spoke almost daily, and sometimes several times in a day, and since she did not sound like she was bored or forced into it, I did not quite understand why it took her that long to accept my invitation for a date. As I came to find out later, she’s as principled as they come. Apparently, she was giving me time to exhibit my ‘true colours’, and being a conservative Muslim, she was interested in knowing whether whatever I was seeking from her was a serious relationship or a clandestine kind of relationship.
I managed to earn her trust and she agreed to a date. We went to Kisumu Impala Park for our first date, since I thought a lunch/dinner date would be somewhat boring and cliché. We had a lovely time to bond and physically interact at a more personal level.
We have had several more dates ever since, the best yet being one we had at Villa Rosa Kempinski on the 15th of October 2015 at Eighty Eight Restaurant, then proceeded to Tambourin Restaurant for Drinks. Photos are attached. I hope this will be our dream Valentine’s where I can propose to her in the most amazing way she has never imagined.
The story above is written by the couple and it has not been edited for authenticity purposes.