Lovers — I can’t seem to get the idea out of my mind. I want to be a lover, I want to have a lover.
But lovers aren’t necessarily singular. Take Zimbabwia, we’ve been to six countries now and she’s had a lover in five (go girl). So if I’m going to learn to be a lover, I need to learn how to love, and how to let go.
And yet, just writing that fills me with hesitation. I haven’t managed to find myself a lover on this trip, how can I possibly let him go when I find him?
I wake with that unfriendly yet familiar feeling — a hangover. I’m getting too old for hangovers. I roll over to check my phone and there blissfully waits a message from Honey! My nauseated feeling is instantly replaced with delicious flashbacks of last night’s Afrobeat base, of my booty (non-suggestively) grinding up against Honey, and the kiss… my tummy swoons with butterflies as I relive our tongues intangling.
Some replies back and forth and we arrange to meet up that evening when he and Lips have the keys to their new house.
Telling Zimbabwia the plan, we instantly realise our dilemma.
‘Shit. We can’t possibly be our usual free selves when we have a CouchSurfer Mum to go home to.’
For those of you who have couch surfed before, you will understand that sometimes — depending on the country, the culture, and the vibe of your host — you are obligated to show a certain amount of courtesy. Going out for a one-night-stand isn’t always considered courteous.
After much debate, and a little bit of embarrassment, Zimbabwia and I determine that our best option, for total freedom, is to leave Mimmy’s and ask Honey and Lips if we can stay at theirs.
‘Hey Honey, so about tonight. I know you’re just moving into your place and you don’t even have your own furniture yet. But we’re in a bit of an awkward spot and well… Could we kind of move in too… Like bring our entire lives in the form of backpacks with us? This doesn’t mean we have to have sex…’ I awkwardly stutter through the phone.
‘Yeah sure, that’s sweet,’ replies an unfalteringly sweet Honey.
And so, that is how Zimbabwia and I move in on our first date. HAHAHA.
No seriously. This story still makes me cackle while writing it. But this is just the typical ‘living in the moment’, outrageous shit that happens when you travel — I bloody love it.
With our packs on our backs we jump onto a pikipiki (motorbike taxi), wave goodbye to the lovely Mimmy, and cruise down to our new home. Little do we know that we are about to have two entirely different experiences.
Honey is already home and welcomes us by showing us around the completely naked house. Without even a cup for the wine we’ve brought we sit together on the balmy porch sipping from the bottle of red, waiting for Lips to arrive.
Lips, we learn, is a tailor at the Kimironko Market and often stays out late fulfilling orders for his many wazungu* clients.
The bottle of wine is long finished when he finally arrives. We sit together for a while and then wish each other goodnight — Zimbabawia and I’s eyes meet and we barely contain our laughter as we head into our ‘boyfriend’s’ bedrooms.
Finally! With the door closed, Honey and I alone for the first time. As we sit down on his bed I feel utterly nervous, I really like this guy! But just like his dancing, he starts off tender and slowww.
He leans in to kiss me and I feel sparks of electricity shoot from my lips. We makeout for so long that waves of pleasure pulsate from my mouth through every fibre of my being.
Our possessed hands begin to roam freely, exploring each other’s bodies. Delicately he removes my top and brushes his hands over my underarm foliage — my skin erupts in goosebumps. I raise my hands to caress his beautiful natural dreads. He removes his top and I respond by pressing my chest against his gorgeous caramel skin, our bodies feel like they fit together perfectly.
He is a tender, gentle lover — looking me in the eyes, putting a condom on without me needing to ask, entering me slowly, with gratitude. My vagina senses Honey’s purity and fully opens to welcome his penis. I don’t need to angle my cervix or position him — we just glide.
A sensuously long time later, utterly spent, we collapse into each other’s arms and drift off into a lovers’ coma.
When I awaken Honey has already gotten up and bought us breakfast ingredients — and utensils to cook them. I’m seriously swooning so hard over him while he makes breakfast that when Zimbabwia appears, I laugh.
I forgot you were here!
One look at her and I register that her night wasn’t as luxurious as mine. We head out for the day leaving Honey to organise the house. Once we’re out the gate I turn to Zimbabawia and the gossip begins.
‘I’m a lover not a fucker!’ Groans Zimbabwia, who’s now slouched on the couch of the very impressive Inzora Cafe we’ve found. I sip on my smoothie through a bamboo straw (yes Inzora!) and listen to the tale of Zimbabwia’s evening.
It turns out Lips was the opposite of Honey. He wanted to FUCK all night and when Zimbabawia finally got to sleep he woke her up at 5am so she would let him out of the front gate. This resulted in her having approximately 45 minutes of sleep.
In the days that follow, Zimbabwia and I entertain ourselves throughout the day and in the evenings head back to our home and our housemates for dinner. I practically count the hours until I can see Honey again. I’m becoming addicted to his nectar.
Each day I find myself unveiling another affectionate flower, which has never before been watered. I’m not ashamed to show my heart in the form of kisses, hugs, making the bed, and bringing home treats.
Honey doesn’t push me back or make me feel over the top, or too obsessed. We’re just living in the now — because soon I will be gone.
Every night we make love, and every night my body yearns more deeply for his touch, his breath, our mingled sweat in the humid nights. I love touching my fingers on his scars and asking questions about his life.
With every day that passes I begin reflecting on my past romances. I have never acted this way before because I was never able — I was shamed for my openheartednes and made to swallow my affection.
Ten days later our Rwandan journey was coming to an end, and I started to feel confused. Is it possible to have this much loving with someone, this much of a connection and just leave it at that? Isn’t that a waste.
The mind began to take over and was plotting stories of how to make this work.
I could move to Rwanda!
Our last night comes around all too quickly and to comisterate / celebrate our departure Bitches, Bangles (our Israeli friend who we met in Malawi), Zimbabawia, Honey, Lips, and I all head back to Cocobean. Zimbabwia and I are rocking some seriously cool new threads* that Lips has been busy sewing all week and I am ready to shake my ass.
Honey and I melt together on the dance floor and Bitches boy is making us all wet ourselves with laughter sassing his booty around in our dance circle.
The lights and the music are pounding and I realise that my head is spinning. I ask honey to come outside with me for a bit and he escorts me next to the pool. We’re mid kiss when he pulls away and looks at me slyly.
‘Do you remember what you said the last time you were here?’
‘Oh shit. Yep. Hold on. Take this’.
Handing Honey my camera and shoes I stand up onto a chair and launch myself into the swimming pool. As my head resurfaces I hear a roar of applause, laughter, and some angry security men screaming at me to;
Soaping wet, I climb out and wave my arm in victory to the disbelieving crowd. A security guard takes my arm and escorts me towards the exit. Behind me Zimbabwia, Bangles, and Bitches mouths are all agape.
‘I guess we’ll see you later!’ They cackle.
Honey walks up next to me, holding my possessions. He smirks and says nothing.
From Honey I learnt how to African dance. How to love. How to be loved. And most importantly, I learnt how to let a lover go. I can tell you, it wasn’t easy, I asked Zimbabwia numerous times why moving to Rwanda wasn’t a good idea, until finally I had my own realisation. To ‘live in the moment’ also means that you sometimes have to leave that moment, where you found it.
So to you Honey. Thank you for tasting so sweet, and getting me addicted to the nectar of a lover.
*Wazungu: people who wander or in the case of Africa it is the common name for foreigners
Lips is an amazing Rwandan fashion designer who works his ass off to create unique colourfully explosive clothes, which combine western fashion with the beautiful African fabric — Kitenge.
If you need an injection of colour and culture in your wardrobe then this legend at Kimironko Market Kigali OR head to his website.
What are your experiences with Lovers? Are you a Zimbabawia, you have multiple? Or are you learning to leave the moment where you found it like me? Comment below!