The Fruit Vendor, Arthur Baganzi

The Fruit Vendor

The car raved and screeched to a halt. Taking care to dodge the paddle of water, Jamwa stepped out into the busy Kimathi Street, first revealing his green snakeskin boots, then his light blue suit and silky red tie. The villain in the translated Chuck Norris movie he’d watched at the video hall shack last night couldn’t have looked better. He reached into his breast pocket and pulled out his pitch-black sunglasses to complete his movie star look.

Before he could walk off, he leaned back to have his red Mercedes Benz wish him luck. Or rather seek approval from the majesty of the conspicuous reflection looking back at him from the windscreen, smiling satisfactorily. Yes, this is how Mirembe liked them. Tall, rich, suave.

Mirembe stood across the street, in the doorway of her boutique. The magnificence of the neon sign above her paled in her wake. The breeze from the chilly February afternoon was blowing her endless black hair across her bare shoulders only inhabited by the thin straps of the seamless red dress hugging her, flowing flawlessly down her wide hips to her brown thighs, where it stopped to reveal her immense legs. The most beautiful woman in the world was waiting on him.

He felt he was taking forever to reach her. His eyes were glued to her. He barely noticed the traffic. He willed himself to ignore the scruffy boda-boda cyclists sneering at female passers-by and the stinking fruit vendors rubbishing the street. He had learned that indifference is the only currency to pay such wretched scum of the earth.

It’s only Mirembe that mattered. And there she was standing right in front of him. Her scent was intoxicating; almost edible. She smelled like ice cream. He searched the expanse of her smooth unblemished face, looking for some kind of acknowledgment that she was his and only his. Then in a flash, her radiant eyes widened and her red lips moved to reveal dimple in her right cheek and a smile. A chill run down his spine like a current. That’s my answer. Almost immediately, he felt his face move toward hers like a magnet. Her succulent lips were drawing closer. He could almost count the pores on her brown skin. He closed his eyes. I’m going in.

The subsequent sensation was one he’d never felt before. It was alien to him. It struck sharply across his back like lightning and sprayed all over his body like a wildfire. It was excruciating. Was this what love felt like? The second wave of pain snapped him out of his daydream. He opened his eyes only to see a tall, fierce-looking man clad in a yellow and green uniform standing over him and holding a big fat cane. He didn’t have to spell out the letters ‘KCCA’, imprinted on the man’s chest pocket to realize that he was a city sanitary official. He took to his heels.

He’d kicked off his threadbare sandals as he scampered through the traffic, trying to lose the monstrous man breathing down his neck, raining pain across his thin frame with a cane. In haste, he’d abandoned the fruits he’d hoped would fetch him a hot meal at the end of the day. However, his livelihood was the furthest thing from his mind. From the corner of his eye, he had caught a glimpse of Mirembe standing in the doorway of her boutique across the street, cheering in unison with the boda-boda cyclists, beautiful as ever.

*END*

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