Yesterday…

Yesterday, she told me she had decided to go with him. Despite the fact that we had a rosy time together. The times I walked in the dark to go get her painkillers, the lengths she walked in the dust to get me meds to relieve my back pains. The times we lazed on the bed doing nothing, talking about everything and nothing. She said I was good but still chose him. Was it because he worked at a bank while I was just a jobless boy who depended on his parents or maybe coz he lived in a one bedroom house while all I could offer was a single room and shared bathrooms?

Yesterday, she told me I was just a rebound. That I was only good enough for use as a ‘green eye catalyst’. She walked to me, I didn’t walk to her, I guess even a bouncing ball looks for the wall and not the other way round. I thought it was worth a try as much as it had never crossed my mind. But it never matters whether it crossed my mind or not, after all no one has established yet why the chicken crossed the road. Why would it matter what crosses my mind?

Yesterday, she asked me to walk out of her room and go home. She claimed that whatever I was offering is not what she had subscribed to. Yes, I walked out but not before I thought of the miles I travelled to be with her. The money I spent out of the peanuts I saved from my weekly pocket money to spend the night with her. The lies I creatively thought out and peddled to be away from home and be with her. The risks I took to make sure her needs and wants as a young girl trying to discover life were well taken care of.

Yesterday, she told me my friend was a better person. That he was a better listener, a better care taker of hearts. But who takes better care of hearts than the man who takes time to chase after a girl like social convention dictated it should be done. Who listens better than the guy who hugs her through tough moments, always carries a handkerchief to wipe off her tears, that man who goes out to seek solutions when all other men are busy running away when things are too thick for the saw to go through. The one man who cut on the time he spent with his ‘boiz’ just to be with her, coz he knew she needed someone to tell the very hard things that wouldn’t be told to every other Tom, Harry and oh, not even me would want other Dicks to hear that.

Yesterday, she told me she wants to be in other people’s company more. It doesn’t matter the wonderful times we have had, the laughs, the smiles and the fun. The mistakes a man has done cancelled all that out. The little sacrifices do not hold water anymore and the future ambitions are only a light bulb in the middle of the tunnel, not the light at the end of it.

Source: blogs.russianpod101.com

Source: blogs.russianpod101.com

Yesterday, is dead and gone, I live in today and live for tomorrow.

Advertisements

My heart tells me otherwise

I didn’t know what to think of you, I had never seen you, all I had in my head was your voice. A result of the few phone conversations we had. So I stood there and nodded, mmhh, um, eh, and yeahs as you went on and on about how good it would be. Three months, six months, a year you counted the benefits that would come. So I woke up each morning with hope and gave you the best, coz if anything, you had a way with words or maybe your words had a way of letting you have your way. Amidst all, my heart told me otherwise.
Then at some point I wanted to leave, and I told you I had enough. You crossed the floor in a hurry, ruffling papers and speaking really fast. I remember the sound of your feet as you talked to everyone around about what was happening, they spoke louder than your voice actually did, and maybe even more effectively. You told me it would be only a matter of time and all would be fine. Goodies would come, fill and overflow. Still, my heart told me otherwise.
It didn’t take long, you and I in the same room, you told me how everything was beginning to shape up. You quoted what many would have loved to hear. I am not sure I smiled, but I tried to pull a joke, just to reduce the tension that lay between us. You looked at my feet and saw how much they needed support, if they were to hold any longer and you promised you would do exactly that, offer support. You promised that now we would look at it from time to time and make it better based on how it had all been. Even then, my heart told me otherwise.
I had to run to you, to tell you that it was now becoming too hard. That everybody laughed at me, harassed me, bullied me and sought to intimidate me. You poured praise on me, you said I was handling it just fine, you told me no other could do it better than I was doing it. You promised you would look into it. So I sat and listened, I loved it that you could say so much good about me but I needed more, more than just words, more than just that assurance I got when distance reduced, an assurance I really missed when we were not together. Inside, my heart told me otherwise.
So today you told it to me on phone and you knew the only way to make it look authentic would be to use “number 2”. Number one was quite an obvious ‘no, no’ today. I gathered strength and sat opposite you at that table as you explained it to me. Each question I asked got an answer, answers I keenly listened to and recorded. I watched you laugh, I watched your body language. One of my lectures in uni, Mr. Ayodi (May the Good Lord Rest his soul in peace) once taught me in Group and Interpersonal Communication that this was important too. As you spoke, my heart told me otherwise.
I sit, hitting this dust filled keyboard hoping that one day, I will nod my mmhhs, ums, ehs and yeahs from deep within and not from the lips. That one day your voice will convince me more than the ruffling papers and your brisk steps. My prayer is that one day I will not have to throw in a joke to kill the tension but rather will bring out a joke we will share in laughter together. That may a day come when I will listen to your compliments throw a fist in the air coz they will be real. I look forward to a day when number 1, number 2 all the way to ‘n’ will be convincing enough, I won’t have to look at your body language any more. Up to this point, my heart tells me otherwise.

You lied to me…

Dear Growing Up,

growing-up-2-1024x540

I always wanted to get there, short tiny and almost always dusty, I ran to meet dad every evening as he came back from work. I greeted mum with joy as she unwrapped the 10 cents, brown, wheel like biscuits. This really got me wanting to meet you, so I could go to work like daddy did, so I could have money to buy all the biscuits like mama had. Even better I wouldn’t have to share my sweets with my brother and mama wouldn’t control how many I put in my mouth. I wanted to be tall enough to sit in the drivers seat and drive around, I loved cars and I loved driving, well, I still do. I couldn’t wait.

Growing up, you told me that all the canning I got in school would come to an end once we met. That I wouldn’t have to sit in a classroom all day listening to what the teacher had to say. That I wouldn’t have to do math calculations if I didn’t feel like. That I would play out in the field and bask as much as I wanted, just like the teachers did when they were not in class. You told me that I wouldn’t have to queue for weevil infested ‘githeri’ anymore. I would eat kebab every lunch hour. I couldn’t wait.

Growing up, as I walked towards you, I met adolescence. You asked me not to stay there long, you promised me all the girls in the world, you told me I would have all the alcohol I wanted without having worry that mama and daddy would know, without having to think of what the neighborhood would brand me as.  Mama even retorted a few times “You are now a grown up, stop acting like a child” but you told me there was more to growing up than what I had. I couldn’t wait.

Growing up, I traveled to Yala every beginning of term, first in 18 seater matatus, then thanks to Michuki, they threw out four people and there was 14 of us left in there. I never loved this ride, you promised me a car, and speeds that would get me home in record time. I wouldn’t have to sit for hours waiting to get home every end of semester. Molo would be a few hours away. I couldn’t wait. Remember when I had to wake up at 5 every morning to go for prep? You told me that would be no more. You whispered to me that there would be no teacher or prefect to creatively think of a punishment like sleeping in the hot sun at the assembly ground whenever my head became too heavy for me to hold it up.

Growing up, you held my hand into uni. You gave me a bit of money to upgrade to 10 seater shuttles, once in a while hire a cab. I moved from a dormitory to a shared hostel and I would at least sip on liquids that would get me inebriated. Still you reflected better things ahead, you still promised me a car, this time you told me within six months of employment, I remember you told me my first salary would get me a 3 bedroom apartment, then I wouldn’t have to share bathrooms like I did in ‘H’. I wouldn’t have to cook every evening like my roommate and I did, there would be enough for takeaway, then my skinny frame would have some flesh on it. I liked class here but the exams would scare me and you told me all that would pass.

Growing up, there is something you didn’t tell me. You never told me that money would be this slippery, that I would have a thousand bob notes in my wallet but not afford a sweet. Forget takeaway, that I would cringe on seeing the total cost at the payment till whenever I bought food to go cook. Coz the month has 30 days. That despite not having to sit in a classroom, I would have to sit in the office all day. That reports would replace the math I didn’t want to do back then and developing strategy would be tougher than the exam I dreaded in uni. You never told me that the teachers and prefects who sought the slightest mistake to get me punished, would be replaced by bosses and clients who wouldn’t take nothing short of perfect. Growing up, why are there bars all around me yet I can’t drink without worrying about what my wallet will look like tomorrow? This wasn’t the deal! And that car you promised, you didn’t tell me not even the salary I would earn in two years wouldn’t be enough to get me one. And what about the police who are always waiting for me at the roadblock whenever I speed every time I hustle to make some little money to hire a self-drive? They weren’t in the picture back then. Is this the apartment we talked about? Where are the sofas you pointed my way that time, the music system I heard sound cool music in my head. And what about the joy you promised to give me with the ladies during adolescence, you never said that would cost money!

Growing up, I am disappointed in you, you did not just fail to mentions that mama would be miles away but also that I wouldn’t have the courage to let her know that I am disappointed in you.

Growing up, you lied to me…

Yours,

Grown up.

Life’s got a Fast Forward button…>>

Source: en.wikipedia.org

Source: en.wikipedia.org

Not all mornings start with a WordPress notification. Normalcy dictates that the first notification is either on Twitter, Facebook or Whatsapp. Mail would make more sense, but this was no normal day. First there was 9124 but the ninth made more sense than all the others. It all happened like Déjà vu, took him back to that cold January night. The night he carried all the cheap drinks a university student considered affordable. With the few friends he called ‘crew’, he looked forward to the night with little, if any expectation.

It happened fast, or maybe not, he had just come back from a groin surgery and maybe the hours spent on the operation table needed to be compensated. Within no time one of the many that were gave him audience, good enough it was the one he had sought audience from. Save for a slight overdose that saw his wound start bleeding, all was well and if there had been none that had ended right before, this was the beginning of great endings. Numbers were exchanged and Facebook friend requests sent. It was time to watch what went up as a ‘status update’, impression is key lest you miss it all like ‘mataka yote’ did.

It was way before they invented Whatsapp, or maybe Africa hadn’t gotten the gist of it yet, so Facebook messaging was the cool way of doing this. And they stayed hooked for hours on end, class wouldn’t be without a chat strand. They talked about anything, everything and nothing, but it was fun and interesting. He knew her schedule you’d think they were tied to each other, she knew each step he took you’d be tempted to believe telepathy happens. Then came the phrase that killed him inside, but one sentence killed him more, “we have been together for 2 years!”

Fast forward, wounds have healed, Jesus came back and the inside that had died was resurrected. To say the inside was having the best of times would be an understatement, just because words fit to describe what it was haven’t been put in the dictionary yet. Again, it started with a Facebook message, one that looked lost at first and his first instinct was to help it find its way home but ended up adopting it. Interesting how fast it turned into a juicy chat, so juicy that instead of using a napkin for the overflow to drip on, you’d use a bowl instead so you get to drink it up.

This time it may not have been as detailed as it was years back, maybe a product of maturity, that’s story for another day, but it was clear where this was headed. He watched it slowly find its way through the maze, then came the witty conventional way of asking for phone contacts “Are you on Whatsapp?”. He knew this was where he’d use his asset best, the voice that comes out of his throat, it’s God given. Just like “Sauti nzuri gets nyoka out of the pango” it did not take long before his voice brought out the very words that sought shelter in her. He had an answer for it, “I have been seeing her for two years….”

So near, yet so far

near_yet_so_farHe hurts inside but wears a bright smile outside. He holds his farewell speech in his hands, he had it all worked out. He knew what he would tell his whatsapp group, the people who made his days. They who made this place actually feel like it was home, them who gave him a curve on his face even when his lips didn’t want to. He had the words to the group speech well chosen. The speech that would go out to all, those he talked with and those he didn’t. He had the last words to the caretaker well figured out, and well arranged. It had been a journey that was finally coming to an end.

It hadn’t been an easy one, finding his way ‘home’ must have been the toughest bit he ever came across. It first started with an email, the one he wrote to find out if the place he had just seen in the papers was actually home. It was followed by a call that made him bubbly, the voice behind the earpiece was one he would listen to for the rest of his life. What’s even bigger was the invite ‘home’.

The first visit was somewhat disappointing, he never got to meet anyone important, or so he thought. He was hosted by a cold lady. Her eyes told him “you are not needed here”. He regretted why he had gone out of his busy schedule to come see them. He couldn’t understand why he had gone through the pain of borrowing a tie, only to be treated like the unwanted stranger. He couldn’t wait to finish off his meal and go back to his life. It did not matter to him at this point that his life was one without a home.

Then there was the period that felt like forever, before the call came in again. This time, quite unexpected. Sited silently thinking of what next, his phone rang, the one call that got him doing “what next”. They wanted him to go home again. The thought of home made him forget the mistreatment he had gotten last time, and he went out to borrow another tie just to make sure he looked the part, or even better this time. The days prior to his visit, he made sure he did research on what ‘his people’ liked, what put them off and what irked them.

So he sits with balancing tears, the day was finally here. The day he would deliver this speech, the day he would type out his whatsapp message, the day he’d pour out his heart to the caretaker. And he sits and smiles as he waits for the letter that would finally stamp his passport out of the centre, maybe today, the children at the centre would tell him how much they would miss him, how much of a blessing he had been to them. Then the letter was placed in his palms and he opened it with enthusiasm, the first word read, REGRET… 

The Valentine Story

It all starts in a 14 seater ‘matatu’, well back then they were 18 seaters. Daddy doesn’t know what Valentine’s is all about and he is at pain to explain. Largely because he has been brought up to believe that anything to do with love is evil and not to be talked about, well, unless it is about “For God so loved the world…”

Source: Shutterstock.com

Source: Shutterstock.com

Flash forward and he is in a campus room, in one dirty hostel, name withheld for fear of libel, or is it defamation? The alcohol cannot allow for engagement of the brain to pick out what the hypothalamus saved when the lecturer spoke about this. Speaking of the hypothalamus why the hell did they come up with the phrase Medulla Oblongata? It’s one of those broke campus months and all he can think of is how empty the campus is after all stroll to town for “Lover’s day”. The poor man can only afford a plastic flower, oh! God, plastic? He finds solace in the fact that the missus thinks the day is overrated, maybe only coz there was nothing she could do about it. By this time HELB loan had gotten to where it belonged – The barman’s pockets, and the wallet was the loneliest thing on a day people should be coupling.

Quick! Quick! And comes the moment, 24 hours of nothing but twitter, solace in Afterhours984. Everybody had left, it was that week when the lectures created some “Masters Students Thesis Defense” activity. Who knows, they may have just deliberately decided on this week to get away from the nagging wives, fiancées, girlfriends and maybe “Mpango wa Kandos”, for the men of course. And an opportunity for the ladies to spend time with their sidekicks without raising suspicion. This was a perfect moment for the Nairobians to tell how much they hated the “bundus” and all flocked out…or is it away, like termites after a thunderstorm. All he had to look at was the two extra metal feet, maybe Carnegie would want them called steel, which had been acting as his company in the past few months.

All wasn’t lost though coz even when the light at the end of the tunnel refuses to show up, there’s always a light bulb to light the dark alleys. And this presented itself in the form of a homemade card, should I call it ‘hostel made’? And, oh, there was the week or maybe plus of brainstorms. Note, it was brain and not brains. But it wasn’t a waste because it bore fruit in the form of a close to milk like liquor, from one of the best stores around, specially delivered on a motorbike, famously known as ‘bodaboda’

The aftermath, a walk across town, with yet another a bit whiter substance in a slimmer bottle and an all so common chocolate, inspired or maybe not, by those Cadbury – Mobile Money sales. The succession was a first time visit to a middle class coffee shop and a taxi ride. All in oblivion of the opposite direction runs a few months later.

But it doesn’t end there coz there is yet another phase, one that starts at exactly midnight, and it all starts in a bar’s bathroom….

Happy Valentine’s Day people!

I lost all in 2013

I could feel it, I saw it every time I looked at the mirror. I am not lucky, the door to my closet has a big mirror attached, my bathroom was of no help either I could see it every time I faced the sink to brush my teeth or wash my hands. I faced it each morning and had to look at it every evening. It isn’t easy dealing with loss, it gets you confused and you can’t help but hold back tears every time the memories can’t stay off your mind.

I could see it in my friend’s eyes, I guess they didn’t know how to say it, maybe not knowing what to expect as a reaction, maybe not sure they should consider it a loss. After all I tried hard not to make it look like it bothered me at all, or maybe make it look like it never happened at all. They looked at me pitiful. Only contributed when I brought up the topic with; “Aki, I have been wondering what’s wrong’ all will be well, just stay positive”

The bold ones said it upfront, most of them were those I had not met in a while. They would tell me of how sorry they were about my loss. I didn’t want to stand for long with such, they would want to probe more, probes I wouldn’t have answers to, or maybe I had answers but wouldn’t know how to phrase them. I did not want to let anybody to realize it was such a big bother to me.

I would make comparisons, I would look at them, they we were with a few years, a few months ago. Most appeared to be progressing, while I seemed to either be stagnating or retrogressing. The loss must have dealt me a big blow and putting it in past tense was only in attempts to hold on to optimism, the right phrase should have been “the loss must be dealing me a big blow.” I am glad the blow in this case is virtual coz if it were a real blow I doubt I would have been able to take it and still be alive. Maybe this is the much this loss had been. I guess often I might have wished the blow was for real, maybe then I would not have to live with the aftermath of my loss.

I read and tried to get things back to normal, this didn’t help much save for the emotional liberation. Some of the articles I read told me this was okay, that it was just a phase and a lot of other people around me were going through the same, but the “generation Y” being in me couldn’t see this. It got to a point when my answer to “How’ve you been?” turned into, “I am living life, just look at how much I have lost of late”

I guess every life process has a cycle, and I believe for the painful ones it starts with denial, but it always gets to acceptance. Here I am accepting that I have lost, not only enough but A LOT of WEIGHT. You now know what my greatest 2014 resolution is…

Happy and successful 2014 friends, keep reading!