Holiday Chronicles #2

Don Benzo
Just got home from the longest semester in campus. You know, after the lecturers decided that the almighty shilling was more important than nourishing the minds of the future generation and went on that long ass strike that saw us having two more months added to our already lengthy semester. Getting home for the holiday came as a relief. It also presented that particular opportunity to eat something else other than ‘chapati ndengu’ or rice and beans. Since I was home and being the pretender that I am, I had to quit some bad habits. So I figured, since I was kicking the likes of weekend partying, idleness and he once in a while dogogio bender to the curb, there was room for a new habit. I chose the iron mill. If you ever wanted to hit the gym, tone your muscles, burn the extra fat, finally get the New Year resolution 6pack there is no better time like the holidays. Why you ask. The work out comes with no baggage attached. That extra baggage like one; the extra money for food. Two, the money for extra food and three; the money for the campus extra judicial activities. At home all this extra expenses are transferred to the peroz (long live mum).
So the next day I hit the tracks looking for a well-equipped gym to start. I found this cool gym at our casual business district (CBD). Here at “the city of champions” we don’t have a central business district.
Not with all this people walking around town rocking suits and trainers. The weather at Eldoret is so moody, you never know what it has in store for you. One second the sun is roasting you so hard till your toes sweat the next second it’s raining dogs. The people here have given up predicting it. Nobody gets surprised anymore when he sees some chap walking around in 88 degrees of sunlight dressed like an Eskimo complete with gumboots.
I stray.
The gym cost an arm and a leg but it was worth it. I wanted the taste of the good life too. Who knows with all this important people dying I might be the one pushing daisies next. So I registered for membership. The gym was an ample hall with organized, clean and well-polished facilities. The instructors well groomed and courteous. And the air, oooh!! The air purged of mild strawberry, lavender and opulence. Unlike the gyms I was used to that reeked of sweat, vanity and hustle. The members are mostly married couples and mid-twenties ladies in for yoga and pilates, considering how sore the body gets during work out routines, I was glad there was a sight for the eyes. They men had their gym tracks and trainers, the ladies with their training bras and yoga pants (told it was a sight). Now that I was going to Rome, I had to drop all my crass behavior. I got myself the necessary gym apparel’s, the next day I hit I joined the gym.
It was like a five star hotel that place. You sign in at the reception, you’re given a colored tag with a color that signifies the trainer you get. I get red. Despite the bad reputation of the color red, the trainer was quite remarkable. As it was my first day he suggest we just do a full body to kick start he muscle. He suggests we take it slow. No straining. I almost yell him. Does he know I used almost all my savings on this darn gym? But I restrain myself. He was a chit chat and the 2hours passes by seamlessly. He says you can leave now, or wait for the yogis to finish in half an hour and join them for stretches. I choose to
wait. I pick a bench at a covert corner and start watching the yogis do their thing. These people can bend over backwards. Literally. I marveled at how far the body parts can stretch when well-motivated. The women have the art down. The men on the other hand, apart from a few seem forced to be here. They kept falling and groaning during the whole thing. It was a sad sad sight to watch. I decide to pay no mind at the men. I’m telling you, very few things can match the joy of watching ladies do yoga. Completely
consumed in my new creepy hobby, I hear a voice from my back. A woman’s voice
“Enjoying yourself?” she asks.
I turn back to meet this poised woman. Garbed in white sneakers, black yoga pants and a zipped up jacket. She had an unusually appealing round face, harsh hazel eyes, slim and of medium height. It was impossible to tell her age. She was as beautiful as any other woman in the room but she had something about her that captures your attention. Something I couldn’t quite put my finger on. She was casual, casual almost in a way that screamed “I’m hiding from attention” except the screaming instead drew attention to her. I struggle to maintain my composure.
“Not really, it is court mandated” I reply cheekily. She chortles.
“I’m Beryl” she states.
“Hi, Beryl, wanna join me in this voyeurism, it is a great pastime” I say.
She sits at the bench directly in line of view. I want to whine but I decide against it. We start talking and laughing. She can repartee like no one I know. We become so consumed in our chit chat I forget about the stretches the next thing I hear is voices of relieved men and self-congratulating women leaving the hall.
“I’m on this shift” she gabbles.
“I was on this shift” I say pointing at the group leaving.
“Why are you here really?” she asks taking my phone from my hand, handed it back a few seconds later and said “text me” I shrugged.
“Aren’t you going to tell me?” she asks.
“God’s honest?” I ask trying to come up with something clever to say.
“Is there any other kind” she quips.
“Okay since you insisted. I am the in house EMT in case someone pulls a muscle” I reply.
“You’re impossible” she resigns. Laughing heading for the group of yogis readying themselves. I text her a day later.
“Nothing is impossible” I text. Two or three hours later my phone beeps.
“Sorry!! Who is this?” she asked.
“The court mandated/EMT guy from the gym” I send.
“oh! You. Have you tried licking your elbow? That should adjust your perspective about impossibilities” she sends back.
“Such a defeatist attitude” I reply.

Casual chats turned into late night schmoozes and early morning phone calls. Our arcane frivolous talks turn to coquetry. One night we arrange to rendezvous the next day. She pulls over an hour and half late, rolls down the window and asked.
“Have you waited for long” as she motions that I go around and hop in.
Of course I had waited long. Can’t she tell from my shining forehead? I make a personal decision not


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