Of Foolish Things We Do in Name of Love

It was an evening like any other. I sat sipping tea, while watching a sports channel, where a thrilling but  recorded Formula One race was showing. 

  And then…

  …the phone’s screen lit up. Then that tone sounded. It was a text message from a strange number.

  Receiving messages from strange numbers has become a norm, and most are from inmates doing time at our correctional facilities. How they manage to get one’s contact number escapes me, unless someone at one of telecom services provider is in hand and glove with the fraudsters.

  The message was unusual. It originated from a financial lending institution. But, wait. It had nothing to do with me owing the said institution anything in terms of unpaid loans. By the lengthy message, I stood as a guarantor to someone who took a loan a few years back! and the said someone had defaulted on repaying the same and could I kindly inform the defaulter to repay or clear it myself?

   I’m sure I was hardly breathing, as angry veins surfaced on my forehead, where an equally angry scowl had knitted. I had to reread the message twice. At first I would have taken it as wrongly sent, or works of a prankster. But a name, a family name to the first name of the person I alleged guaranteed, stood out.

  I had never even met the person I guaranteed. But how did I found myself in that mess?

  That men will do everything to please a skirt wearer is not in contention. I recall a time a couple of years back when I met with this stunning school teacher. It did not take long before our friendship developed into a kind of a relationship, and we were considered as an item. But being a reserved and an aloof kind of a person that I was, she would have dumped me with the ease of changing her pants, but stuck to me on false premises I was a moneybags – and she was fooled to believe that by a fellow friend of mine, coupled by my gossamer of lies.

  As our relationship began blossoming, and being envied by others, especially fellow male teachers who would drop unannounced at her rental place, and look at me suspiciously, and inquire who I was through gesturing when I pretended not to be looking, I realized I was somehow being manipulated by her.

  I recall how she pleaded with me to help fill an online Higher Education and Loans Board application form for a sister who at that time was joining a Nairobi university during our short-lived relationship. She listed herself and her father as the guarantors. She had no third person to add, to which she begged me with, “aren’t we an item? Aren’t we getting married soon? Please add your name and contacts as well.”

  I would have stood up and walked out of that cyber cafĂ© and never looked back. She charmingly stared at me warming my heart. Her eyes looked pleading, yearning and imploring me at the same time. I tried to shake my head but her arresting gaze simply froze me. It was time I proved I was not that soft to do any of her bidding but I couldn’t. I was helpless, bewitched by the beauty of cunning woman who was to smile benignly and heave a deep sigh the moment I keyed all the details and hit the submit button. As I recall, that was a treacherous smile from a lady who believed she must get whatever she wanted from a man and took no for an answer!

  Then I made a startling discovery. She was dating three other men at the same time. Not actually dating them but keeping them at arm’s length for her expediency. If one equally foolish fellow was there to provide for her salon needs, the next was there to cater for her shopping, the third one for her upkeep and, lastly, I was there to pay her rent. I’m sure none of us four fools knew the existence of the other three, and I may have as well met my three ‘competitors’ separately in her house.

  Being the ‘wise fool’, I showed her my back and walked out of her life. But not before she agreed to tell her sister to replace my name with someone else.

  Well, that text message brought memories of a closed chapter. It took long tracing her, and reading her a riot act, to which she pleaded they, as a family, will have to expedite in repaying whatever the loan, and clear my name.

  Then I noticed a thing. Her time of jumping from one ‘fool’ to another and live off his sweat may have been over, unless some lovelorn men out are easily fooled. Her once charming far face spotted an ugly scar from a cut. Maybe one ‘fool’, realizing to have been fooled, was hell-bent in slaying her, and she escaped with the scar to tell the story.

Credit photo 


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