Amanda Nechesa is sucker for the fictional world, she always has been. She finds joy in creating little worlds with her fictional charact
“There she is, sitting, smiling, admiring me,” he starts his poem.
It’s not a poem Vera has heard before, but she is sitting, smiling and admiring him. Her heart flutters, her breathes shorten.
He looks good up there, with his black rugged skinny jeans and a blue polo shirt. No one could pull that look off. No one but him.
The mic in his right hand is brown and shaking, and she imagines he has the jitters. It’s after all his first time on stage, first time sharing his soul poured out in black ink. She smiles wider, hoping to make him less tense.
“Her blue dress is blue, and her red lips red,” he speaks to the room.
A room that contains about twenty pair of eyes, looking at him, staring, feeding from his soul. A room that is not quiet.
There is a couple standing at the bar arguing in hushed voices. The girl is the very definition of black beauty.
Her black trousers that she has accompanied with an African-print off-shoulder blouse reveal her chubby yet perfect form. The white teeth hiding behind her deep maroon lips are gritting, showing obvious irritation with the guy standing before her.
The guy is chewing on something in the midst of this heated conversation. From the laid back posture, and his wandering eyes on the light-skinned waitress serving drinks at a nearby table; it’s obvious this beautiful black goddess must have overestimated her power of beauty.
Near the luminous “washroom” sign, a guy stands, smoking a cigar and talking on the phone. He is speaking loudly, a little too loudly. She can hear his heavily Luo accented voice from where she is seated and wants to go over and tell him to shut up.
She wants to tell all of them to shut up. To listen; listen to this amazing poet letting his heart out.
“Her white teeth are white, and her black hair black”
The smile on Vera’s face is still there but the crease on her eyebrow is new. Her hair is not black. Hers is brown, and she remembers the playful conversations they had had about it several times, about how their children will inherit it, how he loves washing it, feeling the brownness, as he would put it, in his hands.
Her hair is not black, and neither are her teeth white. But she sits there; with her blue dress which is blue and her red lips which are red and continues to listens. To smile. To admire him.
The black goddess is going to the washroom, hurriedly and with a hand rubbing her left eye. Her guy remains at the bar, sipping the beer the light-skinned waitress has just brought him, chatting the waitress up.
The Luo-man has met up with his fellow. He is sitting in one of the chairs, far behind Vera but she can still hear them. Their loud voices irritate her and she thinks she will go there and slap them right to their dark big-nosed faces.
She doesn’t. Once when in college she had had an altercation with a man twice her size. An altercation that did not end well. She knows better now than to let her volatile nature ruin a beautiful moment for her man who is performing a poem about a woman who has white teeth and black hair.
“There she is, but then, she is not.”
What in the world does that even mean? That there she is but then she is not. Why did she always have to fall for the “deep” ones?
A girl is entering the bar. She is in a very huge grey hoodie that has the words “DEAD INSIDE” written on the back in white bold letters. Black tights cover her legs, and underneath they reveal a pair of crocks. A fellow millennial, Vera thinks as she watches her head straight to the washrooms.
She is smiling, but then she is not
She admires me, but then she is not.
She is lost. She wants to continue smiling, but then she remembers the black hair and white teeth, and the smile fades. The corner of eyes catch on a movement, and she turns to find black goddess being held by “DEAD INSIDE” millennial, being led out of the POET HUB bar.
The “DEAD INSIDE” girl is throwing looks at the guy her black goddess friend was with. Looks that could burn ships down. The guy doesn’t care, it seems, because he just ignores the looks and walks out of the bar, beer still in hand.
Is he also a poet this guy? Does he write poems about a girl with white teeth and black hair? Vera wonders.
There she is, I see her, I love her. Her own poet continues .
There is a commotion outside. DEAD INSIDE girl is fighting with waitress-checking guy. She is small, and she surprises Vera when she hits the man without fear. She must really love her black goddess friend.
The commotion causes the twenty crowd of listeners to crane their necks, have a view of that moment where two humans release their tensions via blows.
The poet, her poet stops; and for a moment forgets about the girl who’s sitting smiling, admiring him. The girl whose blue dress is blue, whose red lips are red, whose white teeth are white and whose black hair is black.
He looks at Vera, frantically because he has never been one to do well with fights, and her smile is back. Her smile is back, and her eyes devoid of worry. He is hers. She is after all his pillar of strength.
The bouncers hurry outside, and they try remove the DEAD INSIDE girl’s arms from the neck of the guy. How they got there, how this small girl is winning this fight; Vera doesn’t know. But she is all for Women empowerment, so silently, she cheers this fearless croc-wearing millennial.
The black goddess is shouting, yelling, begging them to stop.
The two Luo guys are dying with laughter.
Few bouncers and few more minutes is what it takes to break up the fight.
The DEAD INSIDE girl has gone home, and so has her black goddess friend.
The guy saunters back to the bar, and Vera must admire his lack of shame.
He whistles when he finds the twenty pair of eyes on him and proceeds, very slowly, to a seat at the very far end.
He must be a poet; Vera thinks.
Her own poet is sitting beside her, wary and quiet. Maybe it’s because his performance has just been cut off, thinks Vera. He is rarely quiet this one. Or maybe, perhaps, it’s because of the girl with the white teeth which are white and black hair which is black.
Vera scolds herself, reminds herself that this is Harun, her poet, her lover.
The one that she shows her naked body to every night, the one who shows her his naked body every night.
There is no girl with white teeth which are white and black hair which is black.
Having reached this monumental conclusion, Vera smiles, takes his hand in hers, and urges him to go back up.
She wants to listen to his poem about the gir with a blue dress which is blue, whose red lips are red, whose white teeth are white and whose black hair is black.
She wants to sit, smile and admire him up there.