For all his prowess and conquests with girls, Aminata Karim, daughter of our member of parliament, the ever-joyous Honourable Amin Karim, was one he failed to win over.
Honourable Amin, a proud man with four wives, each living in her own bungalow in his large homestead the size of the sky your eyes could not see the end of it had a farm, which employed all the young men and women who were unemployable by the white-collar peeps.
This man, revered and loved by many, loathed by a few for his strict policy on decency. He got an overwhelming majority vote from his constituents in the last general elections; 97.3% to be precise. He got so good that he worked his way into the hearts of the 2.7% who didn’t vote for him. He didn’t have to do much. He simply created jobs for the children of those who were not on his side. This guy knew how to win the hearts of the electorate. An honest politician, almost too good to be believed. He was real, a man of his word, an example to all young men who wanted to make a career out of politics.
He was more than a lifesaver, a Godsend, a helper of the poor, a family man and a Muslim who did not forget Allah. Man prayed five times a day, had a mosque on his compound.
Odoch had a head on crush on his daughter his brain went on pause. He swore she was evidence enough to prove God’s mastery in the art of creation.
She was his Kibo, the peak he wanted to reach. His Mecca, his moon and his ultimate destination. His ideal woman. He spent months daydreaming about the moment she would finally say yes to him. He would pick her heart, coat it with gold and place it on a podium.
For now, he hadn’t yet found a breakthrough.
Aminata, a leggy belle with a lean body so glossy, tied her hair with a knot above her head and left a fluffy ponytail running down the back of her neck. Her hair, the best of breed, smooth like the feel of sheepskin it was the envy of all girls in school. The way she flipped it kicked all theirs combined in the butt. She was the definition of gorgeousness, the star of any pack. She walked with her head high and her back straight, taking strides only a runway model could pull off. She knew her worth. She understood her beauty. She just was…She.
Her ears had three piercings each, wore hoops that someone could do a hula-hoop dance with, a pin to her nose. Another pin to her navel. A ring on her fourth right toe and a silver anklet with a heart on her left leg. She had a pot for hips, an ass so refined and all of us adolescent kids couldn’t take our eyes off it.
She was seventeen, studying in a private school which allowed them to dress down on Fridays.
Chic was her school’s beauty queen. How she made him beg! . He didn’t use those words he pulled out on other girls. With Aminata, he was different. He was honest.
I feel jittery whenever I see you.
That was his pick-up line on her. Laughable, I tell you. That a girl had reduced our boy to such a level of edginess was a shock Tin and I could not fathom.
He wrote her poems, thrice every week (on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays) and asked one of her classmates, his neighbour Adonyo, to slip them in any of her books. He drew portraits of her on paper (on Tuesdays and Thursdays), the best he could produce from his gift of art. These, he also asked him to find a way of delivering to her.
And what did Adonyo get in return for his help? Free copies of Playboy.
She did not pay him any ear, did not acknowledge receipt of any of his poems neither did she say a thing about the portraits. For the whole of term three, ninety full days, homeboy was diligent in sending notes to Aminata. He would walk to her when returning home – not in public though, in private – to say hi but she would turn to the other side. She would just walk away. She did not care for his feelings. It was none of her business.
Homegirl was cold to him like the arctic, froze him out of her life leaving him in suspense. Not a day did she ever give him any sign of progress. Dude pushed on; walked to her under the umbrella tree on his way home, waited for her along the path to her home, sneaked into her school during recess. None of it worked. Boy, had he become a dork. A stalker.
She laughed at him.
That was her only reaction to his chase.
He started praying hard, went for Mass four Sunday’s straight and his mum praised the Lord for this transformation. He didn’t give up on his magazines though, always held onto them like they were diamond.
“Man, what in this big world happened to you,” I asked him.
“Nothing man. Nothing. I’m in love,” he said, holding back a shy look.
Then we grew up and left high school and life scattered us all over.
If there is any one who would be proud of how we turned out, it would have to be Teacher Mark.
Tin is an ENT specialist, doing things on people’s Ears, Noses and Throats. When he joined medical school, we all thought he would get into gynaecology. He shocked us with his ENT choice. He got a scholarship to Aussie and moved, fell in love with a chica from Espana whom he says has a treasure for a pair of boobs. They are the best he has ever run his hands around, he says. Works there now, at a big hospital. Runs a couple of business with a group Aussies. The entrepreneur in him never died. He still smokes his cigars.
What about me? Well, what can I say? I still play music but something else showed up in my life. It was a gift. I am a linguist now. I speak ten languages including Sign Language, Hebrew, Gujarati and Mandarin. Travel the world as a language expert, a fancy word for interpreters. I have not been too lucky in love. It seems to have eluded me after my teenage years. But if you are interested in knowing, I met a girl. Things have not yet built up to the top but fingers crossed, it will work out excellent. Her name is Tiffany.
Our guy Odoch runs his own Art Gallery in Kampala. Most of what he does is abstract. If you look closely though, you will see women. He always painted women and he still does. Not overly sexualized like he used to do back then. He also runs a monthly poetry lab, inspiring the next generation of poets this country will produce. He is married too, to the love of his life, Aminata. Whoa! Who saw that coming? They have a son; Odoch Amin Jr.