Abesha Love

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Do ‘Abesha’ people ever mean what we say? Not for one minute. From the day we are born until our death bed, we are conditioned, nay, pre-disposed to tell people what we think we want them to hear. Here is a very typical example of a young abesha couple’s interaction.

The young couple are at a café in Addis. One that is not so old that the waiters remember you when you were an infant, or too new that all the glamorous members of Addis Ababa high society and their entourage are on display. You know the ones, who flutter their feathers at one another and somehow seem to have complete conversations with someone across the room without making a sound…only body language movements at the speed of light: a wink here, a crossing of leg there, a wave of hand here…and before you could say ‘neta yaleh macchiato’ we have a wedding and illegitimate pregnancy on our hands!

It is not for the socially inept.

Our couple regularly frequent the establishment, they have a favorite table (against a wall in the corner that has just enough shade so they can sneak in a kiss or two when the sun starts to set), favorite items on the menu (macchiato and black forest cake). The point is they are young and have nothing to worry about. The things they think they should worry about, are nothing to worry about. They are healthy, good looking, studying hard and respectful of God and their parents. They are popular, with many friends that know the inside and out of their lives.

“So how was your day?” Handsome young man asks pretty young lady.

What he is actually thinking is: “What new drama could your crazy friends have come up with today? And what have you done to your hair? I really don’t get why all you girls are wearing fake hair when your hair was perfectly fine before…it looks like a cat is chasing a mouse on your head.”

“Fine” She responds sharply.

What she means is: “What do you care? You don’t even love me anymore, I know you are cheating!”

“What did you get up to?” Handsome man asks sincerely. Alarm bells suddenly ring in his head when he hears the sound of her sharp tone.

What he is thinking: “Oh no…something is wrong I know it. What did I do now? Please God don’t let it be me.”

Beka, the usual, school, home, phone, hairdresser”

What she is thinking: “You have six seconds to comment about my hair otherwise it’s over. I am so sick of how you treat me. Other girls get taken out shopping, vacation, even cars sometimes. What, am I not pretty enough. It’s my feet isn’t it? The toe that is longer than it should be? Just come out and say it. If not, just buy me something for once and not cake!”

“Ok cool” says Handsome man.

What he is thinking: “When are we having sex?”

“Mother is not well” Pretty lady reports.

What she is thinking: “What? Nothing about my hair, really?”

“Oh, I am sorry to hear that, what happened?” Handsome man asks with a sincere look on his face.

What he is thinking: “The old bat and her evil eyes had it coming. God bless the gunfan fairies! Hold on…does that mean you can’t come out later?”

Gunfan” She replies.

What she is thinking: “Stop acting like you care about anything else but yourself, you hate my mother! I am never having sex with you now.”

“Oh no, I should call on her, take her some fruits” Handsome man continues with same sincerity.

What he is thinking: “How bad is it? Will she be unable to speak for a while?”

“Yes, sure, that would be nice” She responds with a hesitant smile.

What she is thinking: “I am sure she would rather get pneumonia”

“Ok, I will do that tomorrow. So how are you konjo? I like your new hairdo?” Handsome boy attempts to reach out for pretty lady’s hand.

What he is thinking: “When are we having sex?”

“Oh, thanks. Yes, tomorrow afternoon we can go home together and see her.” She adds indifferently, while continuing to look everywhere else but his face.

What she is thinking: “Oh, now you notice! You hate it, stop pretending. Who are you cheating on me with?”

“How is your friend Meron doing?” Handsome man asks, the words forcibly exiting his mouth.

What he is thinking: “That crazy b****”

“She is worried about Johnny” She replies while slicing a small piece of cake with her fork. Never looking up.

What she is thinking: “Again with Meron. Is she the tengara you are cheating on me with?”

“Oh, really, why? She is such a nice girl, I like her” Handsome man says.

What he is thinking: “Why did I just ask that? Stupid, stupid, stupid. She already thinks I like that crazy bitch”

“She thinks he is cheating on her” Pretty lady looks up for the first time, staring directly into Handsome man’s face, almost to see his reaction to what she said.

What she is thinking: “I knew it!! You are cheating on me with Meron!!”

“Abel is starting a band” Handsome boy quickly changes the subject.

What he is thinking: “God please save me now, like you saved Moses and your people!”

“Oh…cool” Pretty lady’s gaze returns to her cake.

What she is thinking: “That good for nothing, he might as well have buried his parents at the same time”

“Yea, but I’m thinking of starting a business” Handsome says excitedly.

What he is thinking: “Actually, I am going to be singing Reggae in the band and you are going to help me get dreadlocks”

“Wow, that is cool, what kind?” Pretty lady looks up, her face brightens.

What she is thinking: “Will you finally have some money and buy me a car?”

“Import/Export” Handsome man replies proudly.

What he is thinking: “Opening a reggae bar or selling tchat

“Oh that’s great, so proud of you baby” Pretty lady bats her eyelids and shines her perfect smile.

What she is thinking: “I want a Hummer”

“Yea, it’s going to be busy, I might have to travel to Dubai” Handsome man continues in pride.

What he is thinking: “Then tour the world…babyyyy”

“Oh wow, can I come?” Pretty lady asks, as excited as she ever was.

What she is thinking: “Yes, shopping finally!”

“Not with that hair!” Handsome man smirks while taking a bite of cake. Then, he quickly looks up in a panic.

What he is thinking: “Oh sh*t, did I just say that out loud?”

“What?” Pretty lady shouts shockingly.

What she is thinking: “Oh no you didn’t, you skinny, poor, spineless, agecham with no business bone in your body….”

“What?” Handsome man asks innocently.

What he is thinking: “Deny, deny, deny”

“What did you just say?” Pretty lady shouts angrily.

What she is thinking: “Ungrateful piece of sh*t. I did all this for you!”

“Nothing” Handsome man continues innocently.

What he is thinking: “Deny, deny, deny”

“I heard you eko, what, I am not good enough for…” Pretty lady’s voice is now lowered but full of spite and anger.

“Please, baby, I am not feeling well” Handsome man’s eyes roll in the back of his head.

“What’s wrong?” Pretty lady asks softly.

“I have a headache, I feel faint” Handsome boy falls to the ground.

Ende, whats wrong baby…oooooo” Pretty lady shouts. Everyone at the café is staring, some rush to help.

“Get up, get up baby, you are scaring me please, get up…open your eyes. Weyne, should we take him somewhere” Pretty lady looks around in desperation.

“No, I’m ok baby…I’m ok…oufff” Handsome boy breathes heavily and makes his way up from the floor.

“That worked!” He says to himself.

“Oh, thank God, what happened? We have to go to the hospital” Pretty lady states with urgency and sincerity.

“No Meroniye, its ok” Handsome man replies unknowingly. He sits still and closes his eyelids to prepare himself for what was coming.

“Who???” Pretty lady returns to shouting.

“I meant…no baby, no baby, its ok…it just came out, it was just a mistake” Handsome man hurriedly responds trying to grasp onto his girlfriend’s flailing arms that are reaching for her bag.

What he is thinking: “Im f**ed”

“Ok, no problem” Pretty lady smiles forcibly and squints her eyes at him.

“You are so dead, and to think I almost felt sorry enough to sleep with you” Pretty lady unknowingly adds out loud.

“What???”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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