Celebrating East African Writing!

Love by Beatrice Wainaina

Photo by Jerry Riley. Click on image or visit to see more pictures of Kenya

Love; such a demanding name! She walks in the bar and a different scent hits the air. The smells of maintenance and arguments; that is what love smells like to me.  She is dressed in a pink dress. She sits at the bar alone, waiting on someone to come up to her and show interest. She is peering all around as through looking for someone, but she is scouting for her future husband; poor bastard. I think she could use my company. I know I am a nuisance, but she needs it.

Her handbag is on the next free stool. I pick it and put it in front of her as I sit. She stares down at me, and I sneer back. It is a free country; what? I order a Guinness. She is sipping reds. A white scarf is steadfastly wrapped around her neck; no cleavage is showing. She must be a virgin! Her dignity still matters to her, even in a bar. I try to make small talk and at least save her the hustle.

“Listen Love, you are not going to find what you are looking for here.”

“Mind your business bitch!”

“Let me guess, you are looking to find a rebound like your other friend who found this really nice guy from a bar. Yes?”


“Well, your friend was no virgin like you. That is why you will not find what you are looking for here.”

She turns to look for another seat. I know I am a nuisance. She finds no luck, so she plays along.

“Let me guess, bitch. You are here hunting for a man to pay your rent. Yes?”

“Actually, no; that job belongs to the hooker seated on the right corner with two men. Look at her shoes. They scream hoochie mama.

She laughs. “Right. But she looks decent enough. Why are you so judgmental?”

“She would not be seated with them unless they have a deal. Give her two hours, and a few drinks. Her bosom will be all over.”

“Why are you here?”

“Same reason we are all here; with the hopes of getting laid.”

She chokes on her drink.

“Relax love.” I try to break things down for her. “You are here because you want a husband which translates to getting laid, even if it means after the vows. I’m here to get a one night stand, or maybe more, but that’s it. No strings attached. Ms. Tramp over there wants her rent paid.”

“You benefit from breaking people up?”

“Not to burst your bubble love, but I’m here because people like you do not fulfill their end of the bargain.”

“. . . and why is it a woman’s problem?”

“It’s not. But the ratio of men to women makes it a woman’s problem.”

A male hand lands on my shoulder. It is too big and strong to be feminine. I turn, and he asks to buy me a drink. I accept.

©Beatrice Wainaina

If you would like this piece to be the Story of the Week, please vote below on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being weak, and 10 being excellent. The numbers will be tallied on Friday and the story with the highest figure shall be Crowned Story of the Week. Be sure to fill in your name and verifiable email. You can include your critique/comment after the vote.


5 comments on “Love by Beatrice Wainaina

  1. Alexander
    August 2, 2010

    Precise, clear and very original. A thumbs up from me.


  2. Ater Sawa
    August 4, 2010

    Reflecting reality in very simple terms. I rate this 8.


  3. Chrispus
    August 4, 2010

    I concur,stuff that makes everyday street corner talk, well brought out,8 for me


  4. kyt
    August 4, 2010

    eish noma sana this should be the story of the week, or is it the conversation of the week, the ratio is the problem not the male, not the women THE RATIO. 10


  5. sammy
    August 7, 2010

    I accept a 7 for me! Love love love!


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