Learning To Be Gentle

via Daily Prompt: Casual

I don’t regret a lot of things, but this one eh! It haunts me to this day. I had hinted in this post that I have ever turned down a very interesting someone only for me to regret bitterly. Well, here’s the juice!

On the evening of the first day of February last year (Yes, I still remember the date. This should show you the extent of my regret) after a day out with friends, a guy on a bicycle approached me. I had just alighted from a matatu (a public service vehicle) and I was walking towards home, soaked in mirth because I had had a really good time.

So this guy cycled fast and caught up with me. He said hi and proceeded to tell me that we had been in the same matatu two days before and he had tried talking to me but it seemed I could’t hear him. I did not have any recollection of someone talking to me so I apologized to him and let him know that I did not ignore him intentionally. All this time he was cycling beside me and I was walking quite fast because I was running late (read trying to rid myself of this somewhat creepy guy). Since no meaningful conversation could be birthed in that state of affairs, he begged me to give him five minutes so that he could tell me what he really wanted to say.

“I’m really pressed for time,” I told him, “but it’s okay. Just five minutes.”

We stood at the sidewalk and he begun by asking for my name. I don’t usually give my name that easily to people but this one, for some reason, seemed genuine so I saw no reason to hold back.

“Unebelle, girls fear many things: spiders, frogs, snakes, chameleons, you name it. What do you fear?”

“Uhm,” I hesitated, visibly shaken by this strange start. “I’d say snakes.”

“That feeling that is evoked upon seeing a snake, is it the same one you get when you see someone who has been bitten for a snake?”

“No, those are two very different feelings.”

“And can you describe the feeling you get when you see a snake without using the word fear, scared, afraid or any other synonyms?”

Was this guy conducting a survey on fear? I racked my brains but I couldn’t find a word strong enough to describe fear.

“No, I can’t think of a suitable word.”

“Sorry for the many questions but this is the last. Because you fear snakes, do you make sure you have a stick with you all the time because you never know when you’ll come across one?”

“No, of course not! That’s being paranoid!”

“Well, same here. When I go out of the house every evening with this bicycle of mine, I don’t go with the intention of looking for beautiful girls, or finding a girlfriend. I simply go out for a ride. But then, I have seen you for the last three days and every time I see you I get this feeling in my heart that I cannot describe.”

I looked at him incredulously.

“Anyway,” he continued, “since you are in a hurry, could you please give me your number so that we plan on how we’ll meet some other day?”

“No, not today.” I had switched to my attitude mode.

“I know what you are thinking. Trust me, I don’t believe in having conversations over the phone. I prefer we meet in person. I just want your number so that we can organize for another meeting.”

“No, I said no. Some other time.”

“Please,” his tone had changed to that of desperation.

“NO!” I was unrelenting.

“Okay then, take my number then you’ll hit me up when you feel like it.”

“No, I am not going to. I told you I will give you my number next time we meet. Please. I am in a hurry. Now if you will excuse me.”

I made as if to walk away. You should have seen his face. He was visibly dejected and heartbroken. However, nothing stirred within me. Who was I to care? Seeing that his efforts didn’t bear any fruits, he told me that it had been a pleasure to meet me, bade me goodbye and then he rode off.

After a day or two it hit me. That was one very intelligent person. Very few people put that amount of effort in wooing a girl. He was definitely someone very intriguing and we would have clicked, not necessarily relationship-wise. I passed up that chance. I very rudely passed it up. I had dismissed him casually and here I was being stung (not casually) by the very sharp spikes of regret. Regret has no mercy.

I never saw him again. Serves me right huh? You know, it takes a lot for a guy to approach a girl, and the last thing he wants to get is a rude dismissal. We as girls need to be gentle. Take it from someone who learnt that the hard way. 🙂

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4 thoughts on “Learning To Be Gentle

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