“What are you having?” I asked.
“I’m having beer. What about you?’’ Cliff asked me.
I responded saying I wanted whisky. That made him change his mind and ditch the Tusker. He went on to order for both of us. He ordered two doubles of Sothern Comfort. It was served in short glasses and some ice. Funny thing is, that wasn’t whisky, it’s liqueur. That says a thing or two about how much a rookie I am in this whisky business. Oh well, it seems I’m still searching for my taste. It’s a tipsy learning curve, haha!
Cliff had offered to buy drinks that night. We’d come from a site visit at an event venue, three of us. But first we had to shake off the third guy. We figured he’d make less of a spot at the bar plus we had some catching up stuff to do. The joint was a small comfortable bar; the music was decent, the lights nicely dimmed, less noise from the fellas in there and though all the counter stools were taken, we got a lounge seat not too far from the bartender and indulged as we talked.
‘’Oh, man! I like this stuff, has a nice scent too. It’s smooth.” I said to Cliff as I took my second sip of the ‘whisky’ (see how much of a rookie I am?). Sad, isn’t it? Anyway, we were both having a good time. I can’t quite remember what prompted this particular topic and I remember us talking about the ladies in our lives and how they are faring on.
I told Cliff that Reina and I were doing fine. (Remember Reina? I wrote about her here, yep! That was me.) And mentioned the few challenges we’d been going through lately and all was well regardless. I have nothing but more love for her. He listened as I talked. Then I asked, “how are you and Shiru doing?”
There was a pause after the question. Cliff was counting his money after he’d signalled the bartender to refill our glasses. Once he was done, he answered, “we are doing fine. But it’s like I’m losing touch with her. I don’t feel her like I used to anymore.”
“Why is that?” I enquired.
Cliff went on to tell me how he felt Shiru was sort of limiting his growth. That she’s from a well off family and has been raised like a spoilt brat and somehow doesn’t understand the value of working hard to get the prize. She’s blinded and naïve. She was slowing him down in his hustle, ambition and quest for more. Most of their fights were springing from her constant complaints about him working too much and giving her less attention and affection.
All along I was listening to him keenly, trying to understand his point of view. It’s interesting how alcohol can spur men to talk and open up. Most men are known to be lone soldiers. You have lunch with a buddy of yours one day, the next day you hear the overwhelming news that he hung himself. Yet you knew jack about him and what was really going on in his life. Even worse, you shared a long laugh with him on call that day. Such are the mysteries of manhood. None of us was taught how to be vulnerable, to show emotions; to even cry, and be real with thyself and others.
We fight and die in secret battles.
Thankfully Cliff and I were talking. Or rather I was listening to him telling me what was not working out between him and Shiru. Then he started talking about this other girl, Stacy, the one he once dated and things didn’t quite work out. And so they decided to part ways and when they were done discovering themselves, chasing their dreams, and had made it; if fate allowed, they would get back together. Now she was back. Whether too soon or not, Cliff didn’t care much and his attention and affection was partly being ushered to Stacy. Maybe that’s why things weren’t working out between him and Shiru. I suspect it was this Stacy chic.
He went on to tell me how he felt more comfortable with Stacy and believed he’d be better if he had her instead. On my request; he pulled out his Samsung phone to show me a picture of her. She’s one pretty being I must say, prettier than Shiru. If I was asked to give my two cents on the matter, she’d get my vote. But I was scared for him. I was scared for Cliff, I knew Shiru and how they’d been together for three years now and though I’m no genius or Dr. Love, I sensed he was driven by something else. Lust. His dilemma was self-imposed. It would take away the bird in his hand trying to get two birds in the bush. I couldn’t watch him tread that path, so I jumped in with my opinion.
“I think us men get it twisted sometimes. We easily forfeit what we need for what we want,” I said to him as I sipped on my drink. “The way I see it, you have to make a choice between what you need and what you want.” Here’s the thing I like most about my response. I’m not trying to blow my own trumpet here but I’m sharing this because the moment these words left my lips, they spoke to me. They reminded me to stay on cause and do the best thing as far as my relationship with Reina is concerned. These were the words, “Ask yourself Cliff, who gives you more peace? Who would you rather have and be with if sex was nullified between the both of you for a whole year? Who would be there in your life more as a friend and companion? Who do you picture spending the rest of your life with, happily enjoying their company?’’
Those same words seemed to, for lack of a better word, they seemed to minister to me. I was a preacher in my own Church, preaching to myself and an audience of one. Thing is, in my past relationship, my ex was what I wanted and it took me pain and hurt to see that she wasn’t what I needed. I had to cut her loose. I have no regrets whatsoever.
Reina is the one I needed. I’m glad I have her in my life. I love her, to the moon and back (whatever that means).
We finished our drinks and made our way out. That talk may or may not have had an impact in Cliff’s life. As I was contemplating on writing this story, I gave him a buzz earlier this week to check up on him and I asked him, “are you going to cut her (Shiru) loose?’’ His answer was no. He’s probably discovered what he needs.
Ultimately, to have a fulfilling relationship, you must know the difference between a person you want and one you need. The way I see it, the person you need in your life will keep you going more than the one you want. There lies the deepest and most deserving love.