21 Days

Day One

I found him on the first day. He was walking towards my table at the restaurant. The place was full except for the seat beside me. I cringed at the thought of sharing my table with someone, worse off a guy. What if I chewed too loudly? I wanted to sit in my corner and eat my food in peace, was that too much to ask for? I resigned myself to the fact that I did not own the restaurant and watched him settle in his seat. His knees knocked mine under the table and he mumbled ‘sorry.’ Typical Kenyan guy!

I found solace in my vegetable curry and rice five minutes later.

He ordered ugali and beef stew. He cleared his throat when he caught me staring at his food. “Hi, you want some of my food?”

No, thanks.”

Well, nothing beats heavy lunch, I’m Jack by the way.”



Yes, Zora.”

That’s a unique name, what does it mean? Coz, I swear, it’s the first time I have heard of it.”

It means dawn.”

Okay, do you come here a lot?”

Not really, once or twice a week.”

It’s a great place. I work around and this is where I get most of my meals.”

That’s great, I am looking forward to their coffee specials- they have one every Wednesday. You get two servings of whichever coffee special you order.”

Wednesday, that’s tomorrow, right?”

Yes, it is.” We ate our food in silence. I wondered how he could work having eaten such a heavy lunch, but never dared to ask him. I paid my bill and left the restaurant. I left Jack eating. Have you ever met someone and felt as though you were made just for them? I was there by chance, and so was he. I had found him, but he didn’t seem found. 

An excerpt from 21 Days: Published on Smashwords, Feb 26, 2014. Download the free short story here.

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