Behind the sheets

Have you ever been in a campus hostel? He-he, it’s just an honest question. Have you been into those rooms where one bed has sheets wrapped around it? As in, have you ever walked into a room and found one of the lower beds not accessible for public viewing? It could be shielded with green, blue, grey sheets or even by a damn blanket. Baring you the sight of what’s in that bed, you may be tempted to think grenades and all other heavy weaponry are manufactured beneath those sheets (after all, what could they be hiding, the key to success?). Asking John why that bed has sheets wrapped around it, he will just look at you and giggle. Only to hear a feminine cough emanating from behind those sheets two minutes later. Then you’ll turn to John again, only this time round you’ll be the one giggling. (What else do people hide in those covered beds?)

Last week, my left foot led me into some room in block D (a male’s hostel).

It’s Saturday, circa 6 PM. The weather looks so romantic – stepping out, you’d think the sun kissed death decades ago. Darkness is sneaking in. You’d hardly spot folks along the corridors, the few spotted outside are dressed like they’re visiting the moon, walking in pairs and clinging onto each other as if the other person owes them seven kidneys.

So it happens that there’s this guy I was to see three weeks ago. He is a block D resident. (Do you have those friends that constantly insist on you seeing them when in real sense, anytime you meet you never get to share anything meaningful other than asking how you’ve been since you got circumcised and stuff? Yeah. That type.) Everytime we meet, guy keeps reminding me that I’ve to drop by his room and check on him baadaye. And because no one likes being a liability, when I had just finished watching a World Cup match, he skipped into my mind and I was like Oh yeah. I hit him up and enquire his room number. My guy picks it and sounds so thrilled that I’m finally getting to see him. “Sasawa, will be there in two minutes,” I ascertain and swiftly take off. Anybody still here with me? Well.

15 minutes later, I’m at his door knocking. Guy knows very well that it’s fuckin’ freezing outside but still responds and takes thirty minutes to open the door. Guy gives no fuck whether my arse gets spanked by the cold out here or not. I want to shout and let him continue doing what he is doing and let me go. Finally, I give up. When I’ve just started walking away, I hear the door nob turn, then the door opening. I stop moving and turn. He gets out his head (you know that style when you hold your door with both hands for support and stretch out your head to check who’s knocking? He does that), he’s in a white vest, he calls me back and apologizes profusely. Now this is it. If you know I’m scheduled to see you then keep your door open, I am not an IDP to stand at your door in this cold knocking and knocking. Come on! In fact have a mug of coffee ready.

Anyway, when I finally wobble into his room, there’s this particular smell that punches my nose. It’s one of those scents or smells that act as a welcome note to visitors, it will hit your nose the moment you walk into the room but two minutes later, you’ll get used to it and won’t feel it anymore. His is a four-sharing. All the other three guys are in. All are lying on their beds – two busy fiddling and smiling with their phones while the other is watching some comedy movie that features Kevin Hart on a laptop.
Of all the beds, guy has black sheets wrapped around his bed. He is a third year and si you know, being in your third year of study in campus warrants you a few privileges – walking into the University gate unchecked, not queueing at the mess, sleeping on the lower bed, etc. So he sleeps on the lower bed and so, has black sheets around his magnificent bed. Before I even grab a seat, I ask why the curtains around his bedding. He just smiles and says, “Napenda tu privacy yangu.” I was tempted to ask which privacy does he have that none of his roommates have, but then si you see that would be rude?

So after a few minutes, his roommates joined the conversation and the room kicked into life. Jokes flying left, right and centre. Then of course, where two or more men are gathered, there will always be that Ted talk. So everybody is declaring their relationship status and stating how hard /soft dryspel has hit them. One guy says he’s still a virgo (virgin) and we all jump in with our heads amazed. Some other guy walks in to borrow a heater but before he knows, he’s already stuck in the conversation that he soon forgets what brought him in.

Just before my guy (the one with black sheets around his bed) declares his status, I butt in and start narrating his experience with girls for the time I’ve known him. They all try to change the topic but who I’m I to be changed that easily. In fact, the more they deny my observations saying, “Ziiii, wewe hujui Tony vizuri! Mimi sijawaiona Tony akiplay dem…!” the more I get fueled to disclose more of my guy’s other side. I finally face my guy and ask, “Ghai, kwani these people have lived with you here for a whole semester but bado hawakujui?” Now looking at me, he closes one eye. “Aii! We are all men here bana, hebu tell them, kuna dame umewahikaa naye for more than two weeks?…” Halfway through my sentence, I notice a hand creating space between my guy’s black sheets that now act as a curtains to his bed. A leg emerges from his bed, the second leg follows, in a grey bra, the girl then sits up, steps on the floor and draws the black sheets behind her.

Next time you hide a chic behind those sheets tell us in advance bana. Meanwhile, bora uhai!

Achman is a Co founder - Creatives Kenya. Studied journalism and does a gazillion things. In descent places people know him as George Achoka. Email Get him on Twitte here:

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