Dennis… his name was Dennis. He had a friend, they called him Mbusho. Every day after school they would wait for me at some junction that was close to our house, and they would always try to pick a conversation with me. They would even ask me if I knew “so and so” from my school, though I knew very well that they were just mentioning names of girls from their school. Those boys stalked me for about four years and they made my early teen years hell on earth. They were so faithful at it, it was like their part time job after school…it got worse during holiday season. Those boys were devoted! They had even recruited a younger boy who used to stalk my cousin, Cate…she would burst into tears every time she was sent to the shops.
I would even try to wake up super early so that I would be done with my chores before they came out but no! They would even sense when I woke up! I used to end up locking myself in the house all day because even when I would go to the shops they would follow me. There are days when they would put up a fashion show for me; showing me all their new and stylish clothes…those unbelievably ugly jeans that had a number “8” sign on the back pocket, durags and big timberland boots. It was so funny watching them work so hard for a girl who had never even uttered a single word to them.
So one day Dennis gathered up all his courage and decided to actually come to our house to talk to me. From the kitchen window I could see him approaching our door, which was unlocked. I was so afraid that he could fling it open and….I don’t even know what next! So I reached for the handle and locked the door gently and quietly. He knocked the door about seven times to no avail, and since he knew I was home alone, he started declaring his love for me right then and there. He was so elaborate and loud too at describing how he liked me and how he thought I was very pretty. What the heck was he trying to do? Why, after a couple of years hadn’t he ever taken a hint that I was never that interested in him? But somehow through hearing him reveal his feelings for me out loud, he had my heart stirring.
“That was really courageous, brave…so sweet…nobody has ever done that sort of thing for me before…Wait, what? Well, maybe he’s not so bad after all…Stop! Shut up! I don’t like him. I do. No, I don’t …”
He had been talking for a while, and for a moment there I was tempted to open the door. I could not comprehend how fast that shift had occurred. I laughed to myself and decided to assume that I was just caught up in the moment there. During the days that followed, wind reached Mbusho that Dennis had made his move already, and this sparked a tag of war of sorts between the friends. Now every guy fought tooth and nail to get my attention, so I decided to have a little fun of my own. I would dress up really well and sit at a very strategic place, pretending to be basking in the sun, I would even go to the shop more often and walk the paths where I knew they would be with every intent to see what tricks they would pull for me that day.
I enjoyed even more fashion shows, and late night ‘Romeo-and-Juliet-like’ love over the balcony declarations of love. Life got very interesting at this point in time. I gained so much confidence in how I looked and in how I carried myself. I smiled more and I even started talking to them. I’m pretty sure both of them knew that nothing other than the existing ‘love triangle’ could come out of it all but they thrived in this foolishness they called love.
Funny how that same name, but on a different guy followed me when I got to high school. This boy was the first ever guy to write me mail in high school…something so rare such that that letter was read by the whole class; you would think we’d be examined from it. Everybody ogled at the poetry and the sweet nothings that were written in there and I had never before felt that special. It was all, “If the sky was my paper and the ocean my ink, that wouldn’t be space big enough to describe how I feel…your smile thaws the ice in my heart…” I even remember the ‘deds’ (dedications) –Every time by Britney Spears and Excuse me miss by Chris Brown…aaaaawwww!
We had met on New Year’s Day and had really hit it off. We both sang in the choir at our respective schools and so we would meet during the music festivals. To add onto that, we were neighbors at home. One day, he invited me to a friend’s house party and we ended up staying out late. My mother and brother were worried sick and so they decided to start looking for me. When they finally found me, my mother made so much noise, grabbed my hand from his grip and vowed to burn the jacket that I was wearing (which had been given to me by yet another Dennis) , and since I was on mid-term, I would be grounded for the remaining period. I was so petrified
Ironically, none of the Dennisses ever made the boyfriend list (not that there was one anyways), but with the way they used to find a way into my life I got to wondering whether the guy I would eventually marry would be called Dennis. I always wonder what happened to those boys and whether we will ever meet again. Anyways, I have them to thank for working so hard at making me realize that I am beautiful.
P.S: The ‘curse’ was broken, I’m not marrying a Dennis.