It was already dark when we woke up. Joe got up and put on his boxers. He tossed me a black t-shirt,
”Can i fix you coffee?”
”I will appreciate.”
He went to the kitchen, i could see his back as i lay on his bed. He made two mugs of coffee and added tots of whisky in each. He handed me my coffee and the remote.
”Let me fix something to eat real quick.”
”I will brush my teeth real quick too.”
He raised his brow, i shrugged and took out my toothbrush and disappeared into his bathroom. When i came back, he looked at me and quickly set his mug down. He walked to me like he was seeing something unbelievable, a smudge of toothpaste was on the t-shirt, i had not even noticed.
”What the fuck Diana!”
”What did i do?”
”You just spoilt my tee.”
I looked at the smudge,
”This is just toothpaste, i will clean it.”
”This is not just any t-shirt, this is Versace, do you know how much it cost me?”
”You gave it to me, you should have considered the price.”
He grit his teeth and curled up his fists.
”It is just a t-shirt, why are you so worked up?”
”Didn’t you hear what i just said?”
He was really mad and i just didn’t understand why.
”Joe, i think you are overreacting.”
”I am overreacting?”
He picked a glass that was on the TV stand and smashed it against the wall. I was visibly shaken, i did not expect this from him. I took off the t-shirt and shoved it into my bag. I reached for my bra and dress and started dressing up.
”You know what Joe, I am sorry i ruined your expensive t-shirt, i will order a new one for you first thing in the morning.”
”What are you doing?”
”Dressing up because i am going home.”
”Babe no, I did not mean to shout at you.”
”You are upset, I think it is best if i leave.”
He took a deep breath and walked over to me. He took my hands into his and looked me in the eye,
”I had a nasty argument with my dad and i am sorry for taking it out on you.”
”I know, i feel terrible about this. Babe please forgive me.”
”Sorry i ruined your t-shirt.”
”It’s just a t-shirt. Have you forgiven me?”
”Yeah, there is really nothing to forgive.”
He bent down and kissed me,
”I am going to cook, i will be back shortly. I love you.”
That night, i should have picked out his trait. Joe had anger issues. The signs were there but i chose to ignore them. I could have walked out but i did not. Why do people stay in abusive relationships?
”So your folks, where are they staying?”
”In Syokimau with my brother.”
”Oh nice. They will have Jake for a week?”
”Yeah, a whole week.”
”You can stay here for that week.”
”I won’t be too much in your space?”
”Come on, i love having you around.”
”I will have to go see them tomorrow though.”
He was silent for a minute.
”Are you sure you are not mad at me?”
I turned to him and kissed him.
”No, i am not, i can’t be mad at you for long.”
He leaned in for another kiss, this time he did not stop. We made love on his couch. We drank more coffee with whisky and made love again and again until we blacked out.
When i woke up, it was already 7. I had a terrible hangover and a throbbing headache. I was going to be late for my meeting. I sent my boss a text and told him i was going to be late. I just really wanted to go back to sleep but i could not miss this particular meeting.
Several mugs of coffee and lemon water later, Joe drove me to the office. There was no traffic and in half an hour, i was in the office.
”Diana, you look terrible.”
”Sir, I don’t feel too good, I think i am going down with malaria.”
”You could have said so in the morning, You should go to the hospital.”
I took the day off and went to my brothers’ house and slept the day away.
In the evening Joe came to pick me. There was too much traffic on Mombasa road.
”Maybe for today we can eat out.”
”We can go to South C and have some really nice biryani, i know a place.”
He turned to look at me,
”Whats’ with the one word answers?”
”You are responding to me with one word, Diana are you upset about something?”
”No i am not. Are you trying to pick another fight?”
”Wow! So you are still mad about yesterday.”
”Joe, i am not mad about yesterday, can we move on already?”
The rest of the drive to the swahili dishes in South C was silent, almost too silent. Even his stereo was off.
I had been single for too long, i had forgotten what relationships look like. Was i really ready for one?
”I don’t like fighting with you Joe.”
”Can we make a deal that we will not fight anymore?”
”Deal, my queen.”
After dinner, he got me flowers, chocolates, a bottle of wine and an apology card. Maybe we still had a chance if i overlooked the small things.