A Silly Game

Definitely straight

Maybe bi

All those piercings? Definitely lesbian

I was on a window seat in the matatu waiting for it to fill up so we could leave. Depending on the hour of the day, the wait could either be brief or it could drag on for minutes on end. Today was the latter. It was around noon and there weren’t many people headed to Rongai at that time. So far, there were only four heads that I could see in the matatu. To pass time, I looked outside the window, at the girls walking by and tried to determine if they were straight, bi or lesbian. Luckily for me, the Railways stage was always busy with all kinds of people hurriedly walking somewhere. I couldn’t tell if they were coming or going. All I knew is that I was lucky I had something to distract me from the thunderous music booming from various matatus, the incessant hooting and the raucous touts hurling insults at each other when they weren’t trying to call customers.

I spotted a girl with long braids sashaying past. I wished I had caught her face because her behind was definitely worth looking at. She had a confident gait, as if she knew exactly where she was going. She was wearing one of those dresses Nairobi girls like, the really tight ones that cling everywhere. Maybe I am a little jealous that I can’t wear them. Anyway, from what I could see, she wore it well. She was about to cross the road so I moved my gaze from her and fixed it on a girl who looked like she was heading to the stage. From first glance, I thought lesbian. It was the faux dreadlocs. To me, they were synonymous with lesbianism. It was a faulty theory, but I liked it. At a closer look, I noticed she was walking with a guy. Bummer, she was pretty.

Moving along, I saw two girls crossing the road, headed towards the matatu. They were holding hands and so my curiosity was instantly piqued. I studied them keenly, trying to make out their body language. After successfully crossing the road, they were reluctant to let go of their hands. In fact, the boyish looking one caressed the other girl’s hand before dropping it. They had the ebullience of a couple in love emanating from them. Lesbians. I thought. My face broke into a smile. Seeing a lesbian couple was a rare treasure for me. It made me want to get off the matatu as quickly as I could, run to the girls and ask them to be my friends. Lesbians. I thought again, still smiling.


I jumped. I hadn’t noticed that someone had come to sit next to me. It was the pretty girl from before. I wondered where she had left the guy she was walking with. The seats across us were empty. Looking back at her, she had an amused look on her face. Jesus. She is pretty. I thought it was a pity that she is straight. Then immediately, the voices in my head countered that even if she wasn’t, it wasn’t like I would have hit on her. On account of my being a wuss.


“Oh.” I turned to the window and pointed at the couple.

“How do you know?”

“Just observe.”

I replied. Just then, the boyish girl run her hand on the other girl’s elbow. They stood there, staring at each other’s eyes, smiling and not speaking.

“Come on. You can practically hear their hearts from here.” I said. She just smiled.

“Do you do this often?”


“Stare at lesbian couples from a matatu window?”

“It’s a silly game.”

“How is it played?”

“I just look at girls and decide if they are straight, lesbian or bisexual.”

“That’s a lot of power you have. Do the girls know you have decided their sexuality for them?”

I laughed. Fuck me. She’s funny too.

“Did you look at me?”

I couldn’t reply. I just stared out of the window, trying to decide whether I should lie. She must have taken my silence for acquiescence.

“Well, what did you decide?”

What harm could honesty possibly do? Biting the bullet, I looked her straight in the eye and said,

“Straight. I decided you are straight.”

She chuckled and looked away. I was hoping she would confirm or deny my suspicion. When she hadn’t said anything a few heartbeats later, I prompted her.


“Well, what?”

“Don’t well what me. You know what I mean.”

“Does it matter? You have already decided I am straight.”

I grunted.

“It matters.”

Laughing, she looked at me and said,

“By the time we get to Rongai, you’ll know.”

Just then, the matatu pulled off the stage. Settling in to my seat, all I thought was, this should be an interesting ride.


One Comment Add yours

  1. Emziee says:

    I absolutely hate that you ended this story here. I was so enthralled though.
    So I guess it’s up to me to imagine a suitable end. I’m very pessimistic but ocassionally i can be optimistic. I’m going to give it tragic end.


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