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“Inbox (1)” by Dorothy Kigen

“Inbox (1)” by Dorothy Kigen

Inbox (1)


I wish I could bring you here now. I wish you were in this room, with me, in the cool darkness of dawn. I wish I could bring you close, closer, into my mind so that you could feel what I feel. For if you were in the room, you would only see the dark shape of him, and my face eerily lit by the alien glow of the phone’s screen. And that would not be enough; you would still have no idea how fast and how far my thoughts have travelled.

When he took me—took me, took me; why do we say that, I wonder, when I am the one receiving? Shouldn’t I be taking him? Taking him in, taking him all—when he took me that first time I cried, and was glad my face was pressed into the pillow so that he would not see my tears. Because how was I to explain what they meant? He is not you, beloved; we have not shared millions of coffees dissecting my feelings for him, deciding what I want from him.

It would have been nice if it were more romantic, but I gave up any Disney-scored hopes long ago, at least as far as he was concerned. I whittled them down, disappointment after disappointment, until he was a wild-card, until he was my if-only, my just-in-case, my no-matter-what-else-is-going-on. Shaven, unshaven, single, unsingle—I didn’t care anymore. If he was even remotely into it, I was going to go for it.

You already know this. You were there when I gave up on fate, on hoping to run into him. I prowled all the networks—he annoyingly has no presence online but his friends do. One mutual friend was all it took for me to hit “accept” in those days. Another exception. It never worked, of course, all that trawling through tweets and facebook memes. In the end, it was only preparation for yesterday, when after a day of chatting he nonchalantly asked me if I was out. I casually shrugged, casually maybe’d, but there was nothing casual about how I hunted him down. I told you I was leaving and you said: Go, it’s fine, you have to, and I’ll always be here, you go. I took a cab, got a ride from a second-line acquaintance, asked a stranger where he was until where he was was where I was.

Imagine: I took myself there, I did not wait for him, because I accepted, beloved, accepted that he might not come for me, and when I left that tower, beloved, I never intended to go back. He may not be the one but, my God, I am done pining in isolation.

We have always been on slightly different wavelengths, he and I, but this was a big-amplitude signal, powerful enough for the most oblivious receiver. I kept pushing, kept creating situations to which to agree. He said he could drop me home—Really? I live near Ruiru, you know, it’s pretty far. I left out—But since they finished the highway, it’s like fifteen minutes now!  

And then I baulked. After all that!

I got into his All Blacks jersey, then into his bed, and breathed the sounds of FIFA 14 drifting in from the next room. He called out to me, quietly, like he knew I was waiting, and I sat up, considered pulling my jeans on again, told my thighs to be brave, and finally walked into the liquid, crystalline glow of his flat-screen.

And I was terrified, despite everything, beloved. I had all our conversations and the sworn emptiness of the tower in me, but I was so scared. He tucked me in next to him, under his arm, with the shuka I remember from so many Sevens tournaments over both of us, but the slow strong beating of his heart did not calm me; I just kept thinking of biology, and how athletes’ hearts beat slow because of more efficient oxygenation or something, and how I hated PE because it was the only class in which I was consistently last, and how the coolness of my skin which he loved (poor lost love) was really just because of cellulite.

But, beloved—when his tongue touched my ear, beloved. The relief that crashed over me was so strong, so strong that my whimper was only half satisfaction. It was glorious, and so ridiculous. Just my ear, which must taste horrible; ears are full of crevices for dirt to get into; ear wax, too—bitterest of all body products, right up there with bile. And just a tongue—you read factoids about how the human mouth is filthy, more bacteria than a toilet seat, but those bacteria must have been on ecstasy last night, or something amazing, because when the relief and the grin on my face faded back into the visible spectrum I twisted around and met his lips, and his bacteria and my bacteria met, and it was fireworks on the beach on New Year’s Eve. He tasted of Guinness, and I never thought I’d care for it, but the next time we’re out, beloved, I’m ordering one just to inhale it because he tasted of Guinness and bacteria high on life.

I climbed him like a tree, clambered into his lap, and it was I who pulled off our shirts—his shirts—so that we could be skin-to-skin, at forever-last, beloved. He got me a bottle of water from his fridge when I asked for it, and when he walked back in with the glow of the television on his skin I nearly lost my breath again because my God, beloved, he was so beautiful I wanted to ask him if I could take a picture for the Whatsapp group. Tall and strong and perfect, as if back when we were dreamily writing lists in high school someone was actually listening. He picked me up without difficulty and, clinging to his shoulders, my legs tight around his (tapering, smooth, hard) waist, I was terrified of being less than desirable, even as he lowered me onto his bed, still rumpled from my waiting.

And it was mad, beloved. Words like good and hot and amazing lose meaning here, when I sincerely thought my mind would break from sheer intensity. Separate from and above everything else was the sheer pleasure of watching him. The contrast of our skins—the border where his chocolate met my caramel—was an unexpected gift, and to lay back and watch his tongue trace circles around my nipples was more than I ever thought I could have. I had wanted to object when he switched on his bedroom lights but, watching the muscles of his shoulders work beneath his skin, I thanked a benevolent God that I hadn’t.

There was so much to feel, when he was divinely heavy and breathing my name into my ear, and fucking growling, beloved, growling, with his hands in my hair as I did like we read—breathe in and out, through your nose, don’t think about puking, lots of saliva—and he kissed me after I swallowed, kissed me hard.

I was relieved that he was cut because I wasn’t sure what I would have done with the foreskin I expected. The length of him tasted of salty skin, and when my tongue ran over and lingered on the opening at his very tip I could feel the immense strength of him subdued to me; that epicentre of saltiness was like a trigger for him. He liked having his balls sucked, first one, then the other, with my hand still wrapped around his shaft, and the other lightly trailing along the muscles of his thigh. I have always had an odd fondness for balls and, cupping his, I found I could lightly graze his taint with a fingernail and it was amazing, almost amusing, to see him—who has always been in charge and alpha—at my mercy and conceding defeat because of a fingernail on a taint. By such small things, beloved, is the world destroyed. When I took him in my mouth once more, I swear I could hear desperation in his voice, he was almost begging, and I looked up at him, and God save me that look on his face will warm me when I am old and beyond caring. I almost gagged when he exploded in my mouth but a few deep breaths and the deep desire to finish as planned and I was fine.

He drew me up and kissed me then laughingly swore revenge which he got, beloved. Even though I was on top, my hands gripping the muscles of his torso, he still managed to take control, pulling me down so that I was bent almost double and held nearly immobile by his hands on my ass. But such is the magic of chemistry. I don’t know how he found it, but he did: that magic rhythm, that sweet spot that isn’t sweetness as much as a buildup of pressure and when he suddenly slipped a finger up my asshole I was too far gone to do anything but let my eyes fly open in shock. And he merely grinned cheekily at my stunned cries, and reached up to bite my lower lip, to suck on it, and tug on it, while I was temporarily freed of this world.

He was not what I expected, not the fantasy I created, but his own self, and it thrilled me to be in this give and take with him, that my sounds triggered his, that his smile reflected mine, that when it’s tomorrow, when it maybe turns out that this was the last time, that it was true, that this will always have happened.

He is stirring now, so I must tap lighter, or stop, soon. His breathing next to me is unexpectedly gentle and soothing, and in the early morning light seeping through his curtains I can see teeth marks denting his shoulder and the beautiful suppleness of his neck and chest, and I can feel the beginnings of a deeply satisfying ache in me, beloved. His fingers are heavy with the smell of me, now, and if I were to kiss him again, just a taste—

—yes, I linger in his mouth as well.

I shall see you later, beloved. We shall giggle, but I know nothing I say will tell you everything, which is why I wish you were here, behind my eyes, within me. Because this was so much; I fear you’ll never really know, and what is left of mine that isn’t yours? But I shall do my best.


Dorothy Kigen (@nukta_) has always enjoyed the power of words and only recently begun experimenting with writing for a public. She blogs intermittently at and hopes to complete an anthology of stories based on the Nairobi night.

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