Swahilific : Diary of Campus girl ~ pt 73

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Her heart was racing fast.
“Mr. Short? No!” she shook her head.
“My dear, that your dream, heh! Sounded, I don’t know, raunchy? Too raunchy for a good Muslim girl like you, Peaches!” Mimih said, smiling.
Zuhura hid her embarrassment behind a determined yawn as she swung lazily from the bed. “What time is it?” she asked.
“It’s almost mid-day,” Mimih said.
“Ya Rabbi! Why didn’t you wake me up earlier?”
“What for?” Mimih shrugged. “It’s Sunday. Take it easy, darling.”
“The milk?”
“Oh, your favorite cows noticed your apparent lateness and decided to bring the milk to you,”
“Kwenda huko,”
“For real, your friend sent her garden boy to bring the milk,” Mimih said. “There’s tea in the flask. He was concerned about you. I think he has a huge crush on you!”
“Wacha hizo. Mutiso is married with I don’t know four kids. Maajabu! Since when did you cook tea?”
“Since you agreed to come with me to the party,” she winked.
While Mimih went to pick up her phone which had just vibrated, Zuhura yawned and stretched as she headed for the bathroom. Memories of a lanky Salim at the party and a naked one in her dreams earlier filled her with an unexplainable yearning for something she couldn’t really point at or even give a fair description to.
“Surprise, surprise!” Mimih said as she looked at her phone.
“Who is it?” Zuhura asked, half hoping it wasn’t Salim.
“Jimmy,” Mimih said, throwing the phone on the couch. “He wants to come for lunch.”
“Here?” she asked, breathing a sigh of relief at the knowledge that it wasn’t Salim.
“Imagine! Now who’s going to cook for him?”
“Ebu don’t look at me,” Zuhura said, waving her hand. “Your man, your problems.”
“I think I should call and reschedule, or even convince him it would be better if we ate out,”
“You do that,” Zuhura said, closing the bathroom door behind her.
The water was ice-cold and the building care-taker had not repaired the heater yet. Still, she felt it was what she needed to wash away the remnants of her dream which a part of her wished had gone on and one to whatever end, justifiable or otherwise. Zuhura thought of a whole lot of things that she had hit her to never given much thought to. The dream had opened her mind to the chance of these probabilities.
She wondered why she had dreamt so intensely with Salim, a man she hardly knew. Why hadn’t she ever had the same with Swaleh? What made Salim so distinctively special that he even had the audacity to sneak into her dreams?
Then there was the subject of sex which she rarely gave thought to. A subject that her girlfriends talked about and engaged in with such casualness one would have thought it was an obligation to be fulfilled. The intensity of her dream was such that she woke up with a moistness she had never before witnessed on such an unprecedented scale. All her friends in campus talked about sex so freely that she almost felt that she was missing out on the biggest event of a campus girl’s life.
She had this unexplainable shyness to even look at her own nakedness. She felt it wasn’t hers to look at and admire. No, it wasn’t her duty. It belonged to someone else, she just couldn’t tell who, and Salim had invaded her dreams and owned her body.
Owned. She repeated the word several times. It felt good to be owned. Good and bad at the same time. The dream had, however aroused in her a sudden desire to really look at her body and wonder what it was that made Salim want her so badly. Judging by the way he was moaning and doing things to her, he had really appreciated it.
“Shit, this dream really is getting to me!” she said to herself.
Appreciation. It was every woman’s desire to feel appreciated by the person they loved. It was a special kind of feeling, regardless of whether the said woman felt insecure about her body or not. At times she wished she was like Mimih. Mimih was unapologetically secure about everything in her life- her body, her hair, clothes, even choices. She always said she was her own woman who appreciated herself before letting the men in her life to appreciate her.
Zuhura wondered whether Swaleh would appreciate her, if at all he was the one. As it was, he hadn’t even popped a proposal and to be honest she didn’t feel like he appreciated her at all. Heck, she even figured she had the courage to say no without even batting an eye-lid if he so happened to propose. Maybe Mimih was right about playing a game on him.
“Get out of the bathroom already!” Mimih shouted.
“Okay! She shouted back. The dream however kept popping in her mind every time she closed her eyes. She tried to imagine Salim doing the same things to Mimih and the tightness that gripped her throat got so intense that she leant on the wall, panting as if she had been underwater. She felt ever the more jealous of Mimih because she had experienced Salim in real life, while she had to confine the same in the boundaries of her dream.
Sighing, she wiped her body gently with a towel and walked out of the bathroom.
Salim was still on her mind!

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Abu Amirah

Abu-Amirah is a Mombasa-based writer whose story “The swahilification of Mutembei” was shortlisted for the Writivism 2016 short story prize. He is currently working on getting his first short-story anthology published.