The house was a mess. Everything seemed to be everywhere.
A boxer, probably dirty judging by the way it was crumpled, rested leisurely on the coffee table. She wondered how he undressed because everything was in chaos. Clothes were strewn everywhere in the sitting room while a whole bunch of books found a resting place in the bedroom.
Socks, rolled into balls littered every corner. He probably shot hoops using his socks, practicing his aim on an imaginary net every evening.
Cleaning his place was a tedious affair. Then there was a certain pungent smell she was trying to locate the source to no avail.
Phew, she covered her nose, things we do for love! I need some fresh air.
Walking to the balcony, she inhaled a lungful of unadulterated, cool Mombasa air. She could see as far as Nyali Bridge from there. A lone dhow crawled across the greenish ocean’s back, a man with a back so sweaty it looked silverfish, swaying back and forth in a uniform rowing motion.
The view was as breathtaking as the stench in the apartment.
She spotted Mich, Teddy’s pal, loading some boxes from his car downstairs. He is going to come in handy, I need help locating the source of that smell, she mused.
Mich looked up after the third, shielding his eyes from the unforgiving Mombasa sunrays.
Damn I love a girl who can whistle! Mich thought.
“Hi Mich,” she greeted.
“What’s up Shiro!”
“Am good, you?”
“Super,” he said. “Teddy around?”
“No,” pulling up her sleeves. “I’m cleaning up. Mind helping me with something up here?”
“Sure,” he said. “I will be right up!”
He wondered what help she required; couldn’t be laundry coz that would be like a direct insult to his manhood. He couldn’t imagine touching Teddy’s briefs and socks and faded vests. Hell to the No!
How long has she been here anyway? He thought. Teddy hasn’t said a thing about it. But can’t be long if she is cleaning up, Teddy’s house is the epitome of chaos!
But that girl is super fine. I wonder how Teddy got her, lucky bastard. And she can whistle too. That’s super tomboyish. I bet she drinks her beer straight from the bottle too, he thought as he jogged up to the fourth floor.
But wait, he stopped. What if she found something and wants me to snitch on my boy? Something like a pack of condoms or another girl’s photo. I swear if she has found condoms I will lie that they are not Teddy’s; Teddy is a saint, how they found their way into his apartment is a remnant of a miracle gone south!
Let me call him, my boy could be in trouble. A girl who whistles at a man is not a thing to be messed with.
“Teddy skiza, am in a situation!” he called him.
“What’s up bro, talk to me,”
“Shiro. You know she is at your place, right?”
“She is my girlfriend. Yes I know she is there. Why?”
“She just called me, no, whistled and asked me to go up and help her with something, sijui she is cleaning up your place or something!”
“Yeah. Okay. What’s the situation?”
“You know am your best friend, right?”
“And I always have your back, right? Like ride or die with you, right?”
“Mich, get to the point…right?”
“Is there something I need to know?”
“Something like what, Mich?”
“A secret that she might probably use against you; you know how it is with women.”
“Manze, you are freaking me out. Kwani what’s up?”
“She asked me up. I just want to know whether there is anything you don’t want her to see man. I got your back!”
“You are crazy. What wouldn’t I want her to see?”
“I don’t know, nude pics of your ex, sex tapes, fifty shades of Gray whips and eish. Talk to me man, am almost at your door!”
“Mich, you are been a drama queen. Go and see what she needs, just don’t stare at her!”
“Ha, and how will you know if I will?”
“I will know Mich, I will. I got my eye on you!”
Mich hangs up as Shiro opens the door.
“Hey,” she smiled.
“Here I am!”
“Thanks. Come in,” Mich tried to search her eyes for signs that might mean trouble. They were just brown and as normal as a common cold. But the way she showed him in was very FBI like!
“Damn, what’s that smell?” he asked, covering his nose.
“I don’t know. I have been trying to locate it lakini bado!”
“Sorry about the mess,” he said, eyes roaming the chaos. “Teddy is normally a very tidy guy but he has been up to his neck with job issues.”
“Is that right?” she asked.
“Yes,” he answered, pushing a bunch of clothes from the couch. “He has been working his ass off on some case. He is a very hardworking chap, you know. He rarely has time to even catch a drink with us nowadays.”
“By the way I hope you were not in the middle of something before I called you?”
“No, not all. Anything for you guys!”
“Sawa,” she said. “Please help me locate and get rid of that smell!”
He sniffed in the air.
His eyes darted here and there, within and without, under the couch and behind the telly, around flower petals and cushions.
She watched him, mesmerized. She was right about him coming in handy.
“I know what the smell is!” he said finally.
“What is it?” she asked. Oh God, let it not be a dead animal, she thought.
“What kinds of socks smell like that? Kwani he has worn them for a whole decade?”
“Not exactly a decade but close to that,”
“For real,” he explained. “I can precisely distinguish it from a dozen other smells. Those are his red soccer socks.”
“They have not been washed for a very looooooong time!”
“Don’t even ask!” he made for the bedroom, knelt down and with one hand covering his nose pulled out something red that almost resembled a small baseball bat.
“There is your problem,” he shoved the extremely dirty, unbelievable smelly, surprisingly hard red socks to Shiro.
She ran back to the sitting room and straight to the balcony, gasping for air as if she had been under water.
The socks fell and Teddy was surprised they didn’t break the floor tiles.
“Why haven’t they been washed for so loooooooong?” she asked.
“It’s like a charm. Dirty socks bring luck. These are his lucky pair and every time he wears them we always win!”
“It’s a man thing, you wouldn’t understand!”
Shiro asked him to throw them in the garbage bin outside the apartments.
“Teddy won’t be happy with that,” he warned. “Just tell him you found them and threw them yourself. Say you did it for love; don’t involve me!”