Pull down the Iron Curtain. If you are not standing, get up on your feet! Whistle. Call off the Cold War. Monique is back in style.
In what was certainly one of
I think the thing that triggered these mending of fences by Monique was when she dropped at my house with three of her model friends the previous evening and found that my house had no water. I had missed the announcement of the new water rationing programme and not managed to store any milliliters before the taps ran dry.
Cilla, the friend, offered that she had stored enough water and that if we all needed to shower, we could go over to her house. “But to save water, we will all have to shower together,” she added.
Amongst Monique’s model friends, I think Cilla is the least inhibited. She sleeps in the semi-nude. I know this because sometimes she comes downstairs to get some drink from the fridge and am working late on my laptop and she appears wearing only her white frilly panties.
“Hmmm. Nice nipples,” I would carelessly find myself saying.
“It’s a line I hear often from photographers,” she said and chuckled. “And from you!”
Sometimes she lays a delicious breakfast still wearing nothing but her panties. I am always worried that she may get scalded by the oil when she is in the kitchen.
After her shower, you see the same panties washed then left to dry by being hung on the shower curtain rail and she insists that I use the same wet panties to scrub my body when am taking my shower.
So anyways the offer to have showers together at her apartment got a bit sticky when Cilla mentioned she also pees in the shower. Monique -who calls her Silly- threw her a look of discontent, said they had to run, kissed me on the cheek and off the foursome of them trotted out in their high heels.
So when my phone vibrated, I managed to wriggle it out of my jeans and it turned out I had one new message.
My place or your place?
It was Monique.
Our place was the joint we usually did lunch. We hadn’t been to this place since the French teacher incident and I had realized that my lunch company was not very broad.
I wasn’t talking about lunch ;-)
Are you kidding me?
Turns out she was just teasing me.
Hehe. See you at 1300 <3
Well, you know what they say. Lunch is always worth a munch when the company is worth looking across the table. So it was that in mind that I whet my appetite and strode into the eatery with an expectant tongue.
As I walked in, she was already seated. I was the late one, clearly. And this did not seem to be a very good sign. Monique was the kind you had to drag out of a dressing table before you went out on a date. Several times I had to go shave my beard a second time after waiting for her.
“Oh!” she shrieked as if she hadn’t seen me just some hours the other side of midnight.
This was another bad sign.
“Wow. You’re looking like you stormed straight off a magazine cover!”
She smiled. Her straight out of the photo-shoot smile.
“As long as you are not talking about the National Geographic!”
Her outfit looked very familiar. Yes, it had the same colours as those that Hillary Clinton had won on her Nairobi trip.
“If I was Bill, I would have a perfect excuse. I can’t tell if you are Monica or Hillary!”
She laughs. Rich and delicious. She is certainly in a great mood. She informs me that she has already ordered for me.
“Oh Gawd no!” I moan. Monique has been trying to convert me into vegetarianism but I am not one to take apostasy of faith lightly. I quickly call over the waitress and change my order to something edible.
“I knew you would change your order..” the waitress chimes in as my date frowns. “By the way,” she tries to placate her “Did I mention your outfit looks like Hillary’s”
Monique wants time alone with me.
“Did you sleep with him last night?” she asks the waitress who almost fainted as everybody turned around to look at our table. I quickly explained to her why the question was asked.
So anyways, to cut a long story short. Monique says that she thinks it would be great if she visited my parents.
I almost choked on my steak.
My parents passed away almost ten years ago.
“It is something I really want to do!” Monique says. “I have always wanted a man to take me home to meet his parents”.
She sure puts the ‘mental’ in sentimental.
I am too stumped to say a thing but I nod along. After all, she really looks like she is making the effort albeit in an unconventional way. She even asks me what my mother would love.
“Roses would be fine,” I tell her.
So that is how I found myself taking her home over the weekend. Monique was composed as she laid the roses at the graveside. She also said a few words, but I wasn’t too close to hear exactly what it is she was saying as I had stepped back.
The boma was deserted save for some workers and my grandmother Rosa who was excited that finally I seem to be bothering to show her some of my lady friends. This is one of those moments I wish Cilla had come along with her weird dress sense.
As my grandma approaches, I start singing a song I gathered from the legendary Charlie Waffles and which Monique says I should really stop teaching kids.
Grandma may be smelly but hug her anyway
Accept her stinky kisses then be on your way
She’s got all the money so you might just wanna stay,
Grandma may be smelly but hug her anyway!
“Stop it Our Kid!” she says sniggering.
My grandmother hugs her anyway and starts exceeding her word limit for the month. She touches Monique’s cheeks and pinches them in a playful kind of way. I was rally hoping that Grandma Rosa would probably spit on her as a sign of a blessing or some crazy tradition like that but she really let me down.
“Have you been stressing this poor girl Our Kid?” she asks. “I will have to get a fattened goat just for her!”
Fattened goat? Oh, deep down am really roaring. Now, this is going to be an interesting visit after all.
“Grandma, she doesn’t do that Carnivore thing anymore. She’s a model.”
Rosa looks confused.
“A model what?”
Hmmm. I remember that I have her catalogue in the car having some of her recent work. There is the Victoria’s Secret shoot for a South African magazine; the Coca Cola advert; the Samantha’s Bridal Magazine shoot.
I show Grandma.
“This is called modeling,” I tell Rosa whose mouth is still wide open with a puzzled look on her wrinkly face.
“But she is naked!” she exclaims.
“She’s not!” I tell Grandma. “This is expensive underwear! If you are lucky, Monique could get you a few complimentaries!”
Monique is more embarrassed than amused whilst Grandma Rosa is more puzzled than embarrassed.
“Hodiiiii!” the unmistakable voice of Grandma’s Salvation Army Major or Colonel or General or Lieutenant or something raps at the door.
Grandma is nearing a heart attack.
I put away the catalogue as we go through the motions of greeting the good uniformed gentleman.
“Is this the one who cooks for you?” the man of Gawd asks.
I have been around the village long enough to know that the euphemism for ‘to marry’ is ‘to cook for someone.’ But truthfully, Monique does cook for me some dare I say salubrious dishes. That is why I have been missing her since our estrangement.
“Would you love some Cocoa,” Grandma Rosa asks.
We all agree until she serves us Coke.
“Thanks Grandma,” Monique says, “but do you have Diet?”
I have to do the explanation to the poor old lady.
“But in the photo she was taking Coke!”
This is tougher than I thought.
“That is acting Grandma!” I say. “She was acting!”
The rest of the visit really went downhill after that. Grandma filled it with snippets about her life in the other generation. Previously, when a boy took a girl home, they would hand her a jembe and see how much of the land she could till.
She told us about how my Grandpa wooed her. The Reverend (I later learnt he was only a Brigadier) also contributed immensely and was too pleased to have to drink Monique’s coke.
As we left later that evening, Grandma hugged us both, gave me a bunch of bananas and pulled me aside.
“What if she is acting she loves you?” she asked me.
Now that is one woman that Monique after reading this will be calling Silly.