I Almost Got Mugged

Here is how it happened. Someone was fixing my laptop. The things I have seen techies do, ai, my head is heavy with information. He asked me to download an app called Team viewer and in a few minutes my privacy was invaded, my power controlled. My mouse was moving all over the screen clicking pointing…waiting as words jumped into tabs. I sat and ogled like a two year old fascinated and at the same time curious. I strongly fought the urge to move my mouse pad and contest Al, the techie who was checking up my MacBook from the other side of town.

Despite it all Al said he needed to physically have the machine, so we met in town and I handed it over. The story begins.

thief 2

I got out of the supermarket where I intended to window shop while I waited for my laptop but ended up stuffing my bag with little silly stuff. It was evening and the rush hour was being just, the rush hour. People pouring into the streets, some changing buses, some joining queues and others waiting for people…I was one of them. Al finally came and we didn’t waste any more time. I had the laptop in my hand and knew I had to keep it well in my bag. But my bag was full and I had to remove the impulse shopping to make room for the Pc. I walked on a little further and stopped near a tiny growing tree, shielded by a metal frame. It wasn’t enough to make me obscure but I was sure of no surprises. It took a minute and I was already on my way towards my route.

I was minding my own business until a hand smacked my bag obviously hitting the edge of the MacBook tucked inside. That got my attention and instantaneously, two incredulously tall men, one of who had hit my bag briskly walked past me. I stared after them noting the ugliness of one of them. I only saw the side of his face and he was nothing short of a tough perhaps heartless bloke. He wore a nice fitting pair of jeans- not faded and a black t-shirt. The other was in grey slacks and a black shirt. Uniform? I wondered. But I also took in the possibility that if they were thieves they would either have jackets on or some form of camouflage. Nevertheless, the colours they wore would not be noticed from miles away.

thief

It gets juicier…

I maintained my pace and kept them in my front (My husband always says you are safer behind them. you can see their every move), but then things changed. The not-so-ugly-one began to text and slowed down… I wondered for a moment why his friend wouldn’t wait up. Either way, I tried to get a good glimpse of this one who I ended up walking past. He had his tongue sticking out on one side of his mouth and for a moment I thought of calling my husband and laugh that joke away. He looked like a big anecdote but I had no time to even smile about it. The ugly tall caught my attention as he too suddenly slowed down. I thought ‘Eh, he must have realized he was talking to himself’ and I found myself walking past him too. Now I felt uncomfortable. They felt too close behind me and I had no idea how they intended to pull the rug under me.

Just then I saw the last person standing on a queue, route- Eastleigh. My place? No. Still I jumped behind the last man and for a moment I locked eyes with the ugly tall. I pretended not to notice them that it was by chance we locked eyes, but the moment they walked past I was right behind them once more. I now felt better, in control, but I knew they didn’t. Ugly clicked his tongue and gasped covering his mouth with one hand as though to say ‘Damn! This chic is too alert!’ the other whispered back and suddenly they turned towards a corner and stood, I assumed to strategise. That made me feel insecure. I had no idea whether they had given up or if they would give me a final scare. (Faults of watching too many horror movies) I didn’t wait though. I took to my heels. (And they were high) but I ran like a mad woman. Ran because that was the point when fear got to me…Ran to the safety of my bus and the comfort of my seat. I tried hard not to think if what would have happened to me in an effort to steal from me, but couldn’t help thinking the worst.

Surprise that made me cry? Really?

It was getting close to my birthday. As usual, I knew Justin would unquestionably get me something. Back in college when he was no more than just a friend, he still got me something. He would call me over lunch hour to ask what time I would be out of class. He would then be sure to meet me at Gill house which was the bus stop we shared while heading home. Outside and around the building are several cake shops and depending on how much he had managed to save from his allowance, he would get me a cupcake or a large bun with some cream and cherry on top. It made the men I dated look bad, as most of them always made sure we had broken up or just had an endless quarrel dated to end exactly the following week….of course so they won’t have to do anything….story of my life, moving on

On the eve of my birthday, I left work as usual and met hubby in town. Everything was usual until we got home and he asked for our office cake supplier’s number. ‘Unless you want that cake on Friday, he won’t manage by tomorrow.’ I explained hopelessly. ‘I still would like to try. C’mon, just let me speak with him!’ Fine, I agreed and gave him the number, and I never saw him call anyone…

On Tuesday, my birthday, I went to work, happy in my heart that it was a special day. I didn’t need anyone to wish it to me to make me feel it. Well, that’s what I thought until I saw the 90 notifications on my Facebook wall at mid day. It felt amazing. However, out of all these, not one came from any of my colleagues. That hurt… a lot.

Whenever either of them had a birthday, I always made sure a cake was availed almost on time J. I would then organise a surprise which well, most of the time was never really a surprise. They somehow had a clue, something was up my sleeve. So when I sensed nothing from my colleagues, I knew it would pass by unnoticed. Hubby kept calling and asking, ‘So who wished you a happy birthday? ‘No one’, I would say and keep up my frown. A few friends tried to make me smile. At the end of the day, there is only one person who is not allowed to forget your birthday, she affirmed. She was right. That evening, I would Kill Justin if he did nothing. But secretively, I planned a revenge mission against my colleagues as well. Nothing beats the wrath of a disappointed administrator! J Ok, that really sounded rude!

At about 4pm, I lost all hope and quit sitting at the edge of my desk. It was almost time to leave for the day so I pulled out my make-up kit and started freshening up. One of my colleagues, Shiks, walked past me, all anxious. ‘It’s almost home time…’ she mumbled while fumbling with her phone to which I chose to ignore in anger. I pulled my mouth and pouted. I could not wait for the next day to watch their guilty faces when I would tell them how hurt I am. My office extension rang, It was Ed. ‘Please come, I need your assistance.’ I was supposed to go see my boss to briefly reconcile accounts, but since I could still hear him on his phone, I rushed to Ed. He asked me something I cannot even remember. Something digital about social media…something that made me think so hard, I forgot the question.

Shiks walked right in and requested us all to go for a briefing on a pitch presentation we were supposed to prepare. I was officially broken. Of all days, the meeting just had to be called now? That’s probably why boss was on phone for so long, I presumed. I walked into the boardroom last, saw my boss and his partner, then the rest of our staff. There, as the centre piece, instead of a laptop facing the screen, stood a cake. A beautiful cake with a birthday message for me! I cried!

Yes, I cried and ran off towards the bathroom. I could not believe they all caught me off guard! I managed to fight off the tears and finally, walked into the arena. There, in the crowd, of all people in the city, was Justin. I cried some more.

I was so happy; I killed my vengeance plan and simply enjoyed the rest of my birthday.

I later found out that everyone was in the plan. No one was to speak of my birthday, be it by text, a call or online…not even an E- card! Shiks only had the email contact for our cake guy so she tasked Justin to steal it. He couldn’t so he instead asked for it, claiming to try his luck, and sent it to her via text. He also made sure I believed no one would remember my birthday, anyway…and I hang on to every word he spoke.

At work, the lady who chatted with me online, heartening me that all what mattered was Justin, was currently hiding the cake at her stall just next door! Ed called me to his desk to allow Justin and the cake to sneak in and finally, surprise!!

Damn these tears. I need a tissue.

Updates :)

Wow, it’s been ages!! Life has been fair-haired to me, no worries 🙂 . I have added weight…well they say in Africa, you are as healthy as you look! All the trousers I bought in June 2011 now make me look like I just pulled a Michael Jackson stunt. I’m not sure what to d with these now… I am so glad I get to do a free style piece today. Writing for the dailies is no joke, especially when you are required to submit four articles each week, in British English. On the other hand, boss here wants all the invoices and statements for all clients reconciled. Talk of working for more than one company…

Pesh said hi.

Well, she says hi to everyone, and has this habit of imitating me on phone. I’m really good at sound expressions and she mirrors me to perfection! ‘Heeeeeey!’ I go, ‘Oh hi! How are you? Reeaaaaly? Noooo waaay!!!! That’s incredible! Get outta here, like seriously? Go awaay!!!’

Yeah so you probably have a clue how Pesh sounds when she  makes her phoney phone calls, now.

We went to our wedding tailor one Saturday to get her dress fitted and my, wasn’t she a handful! She started by biting the tailor’s chalk. Yes, she did that; then danced away while we struggled to take her measurements. She then went on to study all the magazines and pointed out all her aunties and uncles who posed as models in the fashion magazine. She soon got bored and began pulling me away. She wanted to go see the big buses again; for the seventh time. Dejected, she thought mopping the floor would be a good idea.

It was lunch time and we went over to a restaurant to furnish our tummies. The seats were high enough and as she sat right opposite me, I realised just how much she has grown. ‘What will you have, Love?’

wrong question.

I forgot she wouldn’t look at the menu or just say something from her heart. ‘Natakaaaa?’ her eyes toured around. ‘ile juice, na ile nyama (fried chicken), I thought she was done. ‘Naaaaaa?’ this one sounded more like an enquiry. ‘Mommy, natakaaa? Hii…’ and she pointed directly at a plate of fries, that a waiter passed by, on its way to a customer at the far end.

I’m not as big as I look here, by the way.The photogragher…did something 🙂

The wedding plans? They are coming along well. Starting up is the hardest part of our preparations, but I keep pushing for the best. This is where ready of not, I will gain friends and lose others.

We invited some friends over for our committee meeting. I was shocked to death at the response from one. ‘I wasn’t there when you two met, not there when you decided to have a baby and certainly will not attend. Call me when the ladies come in though. I love meeting new women…’ and closed that up with a wink. Ok this didn’t really kill me as I had earlier mentioned. This particular guy is one good looking player, who happened to be drunk that day. He obviously was trying to make it sound funny, but did slurry, job at it instead. What was funnier, though was more of how he swayed from side to side, in search for his misplaced balance. It was hilarious to watch him!

It however sort of prepared me for our next challenges I was to face. Did I say it’s easy to have a wedding? Well, its not. There are those tiny bits of things that you just might leave out and end up flopping!

The meeting was very informative for me. I learnt to prioritise and not to leave out any detail. I also learned to hide my cocktail under the bed next time…people went to work on Monday morning with crazy hang over and a loss on the Euro Cup. All in all, they were such great company.

How has it been for you?

Meeting Mrs.Gichoga

The rain drains me. It looks morose and revolting. It steals away my sunny smile. And now I’m worried I’ll start looking like a chipmunk, what with all the pulling my face into a frown. I am one of those Nairobians who are allergic to water drops that fly aimlessly in the air. For most ladies like me, our first reaction is always covering our already weaved hair with anything within our reach. From newspapers to phones…Chinese phones, the boss’s long awaited report…anything! Some of my fellow mates carry around shower caps…that, you will never catch me walking in. That’s besides today’s story.

I went to my husband’s working place just the other day. 6:30pm, it was and knowing the traffic we preferred to get stuck in it together. I found him at the gate and we strolled to his office together, gauging the skies for the next rain drops. Going by shank’s pony through the reception of the children’s hospital, I noticed it was almost empty and I smiled at the thought of few children affected by this season’s cold.

Suddenly a tall medium sized lady appeared from around the corner. She looked all too familiar even with her head bowed down, fumbling with something on the side of her coat. She resembled a figure I looked at daily, for four years in Kaaga Girls’ Meru. She looked up and I almost yelped in excitement.

I was right.

Mrs. Gichoga!’ I called her and she smiled immediately. She obviously didn’t recognise me but she knew it must be one of her girls from Kaaga. She must be used to this already. I went on to introduce myself. ‘You look ngood. That tells me you are ndoing well for yourself.’ Oh, it had been 8 years since I heard her voice…and accent.

She looked spectacular and I could swear she was in her late forties, were it not that I knew she was retired. He skin still glows like it used to with not a single crease ‘cept for the area around her eyes. She walked the same way and stood in the same stance. I felt teeny again.

She was a chief principal and our high school principal at Kaaga girls’ High school. She is one lady whole words I heed to date. She went on to explain that she was finishing her term as a commissioner at TSC. She owns Ebony Gardens located in Meru where they host events especially weddings and corporate functions. She even shared with me some photos saved in her phone.

Impressive. Someone should have captured that on camera… ‘Do you have a website?’ I shouldn’t have asked that. But hell, I did, and her answer was a tired no. she must have heard this question too many times. ‘You, on face book?’ I quipped, without giving up. She stopped and looked at me. ‘Remind me who was older? Was it your sister, Moraa or yourself?’ I smiled and stopped asking more questions. ‘I will ask my son to help out with that’, she promised. I too promised to recommend Ebony Gardens to all my friends within the area.

The pictures looked awe-inspiring and the place divine, with neatly trimmed grass and trees that complement it well. The pathways are carefully demarcated and look special…just like our famous Gichoga Highway, back in high school.

Gichoga Highway

She told my husband he owed her a goat!

Peering over her glasses (like she always did) she stared right through him and pointed her phone at him, then away… ‘You, njust like my son in-law over there shound mbuy me a ngoat.’ Her daughter stood at the other end of the hospital reception with her husband. ‘And you,’ she turned to me. ‘I hope to host you at my grounds some nday.’ She then gave us a warm smile and walked off, briskly, with the same quick, but short steps she taught us to walk in. I watched her walk away, and for a moment there got drowned in flashbacks of back in the days.

During assemblies, she got easily annoyed whenever a she heard nail clipping sounds from a nail-cutter. She made us drop our half sweaters during sunny weather and checked for holes in our socks on randomly picked days. She allowed us entertainment days and outings every fortnight. She taught us the dangers of the salmonella bacteria and why we should not hide home cooked foods in the dormitories too long.

This woman taught me a lot and meeting her only reminded me of the good she did for me. I meet many former schoolmates and classmates and it always feels great! Once my sister and I bumped into our school deputy principal…Kabox was her nick name and it felt weird that I finally found out what her smile looked like. She even introduced her grandchildren to us!! But meeting this particular woman is not something I take for granted. It was an honour and I take all pleasure in it. Damn! I feel really big and all blown out, right now. 🙂

My husband called my name, and I snapped out of my memory memento. We walked on. ‘That was awesome!’ he said as we stepped into his office. He couldn’t believe I just had an adult conversation with our ever-feared high school principal. He drifted of for a second then stared straight at me. ‘I’m not sure I want to meet MY high school principal!’ We both laughed and the thought to share this awesome encounter with you today almost blew my mind off. I just couldn’t wait…

The Night Out

We decided to go out for a night out.  It was undeniably a great idea especially since it had been long since we (my husband I) brushed off the already aged cobwebs. We work so hard; barely in our mid-twenties and are already investing in a home…Oh, wait.  Someone once wrote that a home is not an investment. Well for us it is. It is the one place that soothes our sore behinds. We may not get any returns from spending our money on a warm coloured paint, or crafted wall hangings, but the feeling it fabricates from within; the relief of finally being home; the constant reminder that life is not just about work, work and more work, is always satiable.

It was an impromptu decision. We didn’t plan it. We never plan for night outs. They always somehow turn into something else whenever we planned way ahead of time; like a purchase of more hanging pegs for instance. We tagged my sister along, paid a friend who doesn’t drink to drop and pick us up and off we set.  It’s always wise to have a designated driver whenever you go out to drink. If the driver is a friend, make sure he never drinks or at least doesn’t drink on this particular outing…that’s if you can beat the temptation!

9am at Click. We had initially intended to go to the Legendary club; a joint that always took me back to my treasured high school days when music was hard to access and hence worshipped whenever it leaked off to us. It had been close to a year since we last cobweb-freed ourselves and the shock of closed doors didn’t land so gently on us. Luckily, another joint, The Click was upstairs in the same building and we didn’t stop to think.

The music was engaging. We started dancing right from the moment we heard the speakers tremble with the beat. It was loud and exciting. I felt younger and less serious, and I immediately threw off the stress blanket had been tugging on since the year began.

I’m not the kind of person who waits to get high to start dancing. Good music gets me high. In about six minutes, my cardigan was down and my glass of sweet red wine barely touched. I was already swaying my hands in the air while vigorously shaking my waist and hips, in tune with a piece from Shakira. The deejay must have been high on something, we all presumed. He never let us rest; what with one electrifying music to another.

We had shots… This is how we and our click of friends do shots;-

  • A dance floor is important though not completely necessary.
  • No matter the number that we are, we all get a share of the drink
  • We raise our shots and toast to something…anything.
  • We drink up all content at the same time and react as expected…it usually always burns.
  • We all race for the dance floor before the content lands in our bellies and dance crazy till we sweat and all alcohol is done.

Initially, the dance floor was interestingly taken over by two pot bellied men who hungrily eyed my sister and I. One insisted on dancing between us. It was irritating to watch him count mugithi steps to an R&B tune. It didn’t ruin our night though. We ignored him and boogied on.

At about 3AM, I felt I couldn’t go on anymore. My feet really hurt and my hair, full of sweat was all over my head and face. I struggled with sleep on the other the hand. My sister was down; head on the table and watching some couple with one eye. The man in question had his hands squeezing his overly drunk companion’s bum. she never made any effort to control him, and we all prayed she was merely a call girl. It made her look weak and easily used…unless her drink had been spiked! We called our driver for the night. The Homeboys deejay was not holding back. He puffed out clouds of smoke from a cigarette he held with one hand, seemingly lost in the music himself. His other hand spun the plates on the system.

He got mean, the deejay. He decided to play techno. All the pain in my legs was suddenly gone and I jumped up again. I danced, jumped, swung my head, and threw my hands all over. Techno music doesn’t have many fans. They say it makes one look fanatical and wild. That’s what I did. I danced like a mad woman, throwing my hair all over. When my little girl grows up, I pray she never reads this part of the post ever…may she be blinded to it…

I only stopped when reggae took over. That I don’t do. It was finally time to go back home. Outside, as we waited for our friend Kharees, some drunken idiots bypassed us staring at us in an unsparingly lustful manner. One of them was brave. ‘Come with us,’ he said, struggling between watching his toxoc levels to trying to look cool. ‘I won’t lie and say I love you. I promise’ He let out a sheepish smile before his drunk friend dragged him of towards a waiting cab. He reminded me of one Jack Sparrow in The Pirates f the Carebean. Irritating as it was, I thanked God, alcohol makes one let go and get all honest.  I thanked God that my sister and I are both married and can have fun without trying to impress anyone.

We slept at 4:30 and were up by 8am. The wine had done its part. I felt dehydrated and drained. My shoulder and neck hurt from all the spinning and dancing and I have typed this since morning. Banging a paragraph per hour and fighting Pesh’s little fingers off the keypad.

So now you know the party side of me. Despite being a hardworking colleague and mom, I too believe I shaking off stress and rejuvenating my energy levels.

This Easter, let go of the stiffness, responsibly of course and let’s not forget to thank God for wisdom. We always need it to stay safe and not do things we regret later. HAPPY EASTER, friends!

For Keepsake

This night was particularly different. It was cold, dark and sullen. Even in the darkness, the sky looked murky. She felt even worse inside. Her heart thumped inhumanly and threatened to rip itself off her chest. She stood at the balcony and stared into the emptiness of the streets. Her heart was lost. She couldn’t help but think, “I’m only 19. Why me?” Blinking her eyes to stop the tears from falling… she gave up and let them run down her cheek, onto her blouse whey they soaked.

She slowly unfolded the small crumpled paper she’d held tightly in her hands. She hated the piece of paper. it  told the bare truth. She wished she could mark it off or burn it, but it wouldn’t change a thing.  Her fate was sealed. It was done. It read positive. She read the contents for the umpteenth time. This time she wished it would read differently. It didn’t. The message screamed loudly at her. She had tested positive to the pregnancy test.

“This baby is now in your hands” the words banged in her head. She could still see the nurseshamelessly waving the result slip to her face. She had left the decision to her. The fate of the baby was hers. She wished she didn’t have to decide. She wished they could take away the pregnancy and fix it in someone else. Someone older. Someone ready. Someone who would want a baby; someone who needed a baby. Someone who was not her.

She crumpled the paper again. This time she threw it into the darkness, silently hoping that the baby would fly with it. The wind blew hard, making the soaked blouse sting with the cold. She sniffed. “It’s my entire fault”, she thought. “I am totally to blame for this so I have to be strong. I can do this. Yes I can!! yes I can”But she was lying. It wasn’t working. She clearly needed to talk to someone. She needed someone to tell her it would be fine or even better that it was only a horrible dream, that if she let them they would pinch her awake.

She called a friend who quickly came over and gave an ear. It’s all she wanted anyway. But the friend was no real friend. She had come over for gossip update…

Days later, she got numerous texts from her friends…well now enemies. They ridiculed her and called her all the names in the book. It hurt. Yes it did. And she flinched. She felt her heart tear.

It was the most painful feeling she had ever felt. All her friends were leaving her. Not one by one. Not even two by two. It was all at a go. They ran off with hands over their mouths. Holding themselves from bursting out with laughter. Laughter that she must not hear. It hurt even more when she called her Dad and he wouldn’t understand. How would he understand? Why even? He was beyond words. She was the last born child and the first to bring home a grand child. That was not funny.

Her only comfort was her boyfriend. He was the only one who knew what went on in her heart. He knew the battle she fought and the risk she was taking. Only he could comfort her but he wasn’t enough. Not enough for a 19 year old beautiful girl who was going places. Not a girl with so much potential. Not one who still valued friends more than any thing. She valued friends like any normal 19 year old would, and  they wouldn’t value her back.

She called me…actually, she sent me a message. I was not in her circle…Well, not her close friend. She needed someone to tell her what she already knew. What we all forget when we get distressed. She needed to hear someone laugh at her story and make it look light. Someone to tell her she was not the first to go through it. And she did. She got that someone…in me.

I did not see trouble in losing friends she never needed. I saw new doors opening and turned her from the closed ones she cried for. I showed her what she had and she forgot what she lost. I never did much; I just used what she had. I showed her the positive side she had not noticed. But it worked and I’m happy for her. Like many other young women would have, she was terrified, probably to the core of her spirit, but she did it. Her old friends never came back but I promised to be one of the new ones. She was worried her parents would kick her out but she had forgotten that the love they had for her shown over the years could not be cast out in a day.

Today I write for her. I wish for her not to forget from whence she came from. It takes a strong woman to make a good mom. She has a daughter born this month and she is stronger than a rock. She will definitely make a good mom and friend. She has been through it to know this. She has learnt a hard way but she is stronger. She was forced to step up her growing rate. The world spun round her like a whirl wind, carrying everything in it. The only thing it left was her will. It was all she needed to get it back together. She did and now God added her yet another blessing.

I grieve

I’ve been sitting here the last couple of hours with a blank document on my tab. I still a peek at it, hoping that a myriad of impeccably intelligent ideas will suddenly ambush my head. I hope that I will finally settle to one trail and a ‘Now you know’ bulb will pop at the side of my head while I let out a geeky smile. I hope that the numerous threads I hold will eventually slow down and that I’ll pick one. I hope that the one I pick will quench my thirst for a good story.

I shake my head profusely in attempt to think harder. It doesn’t work. I check my face book wall for ideas. Nothing ‘cept from some really sad news of my former high school classmate not waking up after a surgery. She is alive but won’t wake up. So I feel even worse. I whisper a prayer at my desk and go through her profile more. She just graduated from Catholic university and the last time I met her, we chatted about hooking her up with a job if I heard something. We should hook up again, this time for a mug of hot chocolate so we can chat of how we have managed to permeate this tough life and how it’s crazy to take ‘Ndubia’ tea. Not because we can’t afford sugar, but because some selfish moron is sieving it. ( I still believe that)

I go through Bing and Google searching for curtains designs and rods. I do this daily but I haven’t seen anything that catches my eye. I call up my husband for help. “I can’t think of something concrete to write on this week” I say to him. “What’s on your mind?”

“Worry”

“What about? Pesh is fine. You are totally enjoying your new job. What is there to worry about?”

“Dunno. Maybe my friend Doris.” I explain to him my sick friend’s condition. “Would you like to talk about it?”

“Not sure I can”. I was avoiding thinking the worst. These thoughts may eventually hunt me down or bite me in the ass.

As I scan through her account I can’t help but wonder if she is subconsciously aware of what we are busy pasting on her wall. Is she taking a tour around wondering why everyone she loves looks murky? Is she trying to reach out to tell us not to cry for her or is she lost in a lone world, clueless and trying to figure out what indeed is going on. Can she hear voices of the people surrounding her? Perhaps she is trapped in a vacuum where she utters words that get choked before she can even let them out.  Does she beg God to give her extra time or is she contented with where she is.

My thoughts trail off to my own space. What would it be if God took me too? What legend would I leave behind? Would people look up my Google accounts to see what I always talked about? Would I have left a permanent mark on my readers? Would there be more readership on my website than all these months combined? Would my friends regret not supporting me? Would my enemies regret not forgiving me? Or would they be glad I’m out of their way?

I shake my head again, this time to get out of this thought before it actually kills me. This is a mere scent of what goes through my mind each time I lose someone I know. No matter how close we are, I still suffer their ordeal. Death is very susceptible. Funny we all head there one way or another. There are those who ask to die and spend years of their lives waiting. There are those who get tired of waiting and throw themselves at it. There are those are scared stiff of it. They don’t think about it.

Cant evade the feeling

Whichever way we respond to it, one thing I know for sure is that no one is used to it. The blow is always the same. Damn the feeling of emptiness. It’s like losing a tooth that never had decay and without anaesthesia.

My friend passes on and I don’t need more to keep me disoriented the whole day. I literary feel a sharp pain in my heart when I log in and see her image on everyone’s profile. I know she’s gone and my heart bleeds. Her family must be devastated having been the only daughter to her parents and the only sister to her brothers. If life is this short, then I don’t need to stress myself looking for curtains or rods. I’d rather spend that time loving my enemies and encouraging my friends. I’d rather show my family love and make them smile daily. I’d rather be the best I can so that I can leave a legacy, a mark (a good one) on people’s lives. I have no idea how I just punched 825 words with my brain in auto pilot. I will definitely read this again and again to reassure myself that I’m only human. I wish I’d be in denial, maybe then I’d live in my soft bubble, I’d put her in a coma, and she would be dreaming she would relive her life and capture more glorious moments. She would hear us talk to her and smile in her mind. She would shed a tear at a feel of emotion or move a finger to affirm that she is still with us. I’d feel better knowing that she will not be imprisoned in a wooden box and tucked away six feet under. Problem is that I’d be taking the long way out. I’d have to come back to earth and start the mourning all over again.  So I’d rather mourn now and hope to wake up in the morning feeling better. I can only hope now. Feel free to give me a hug if you meet me this week. This has left me drained but am glad I talked about it.

My Small Circle

I have a small circle of girl friends. These I have had the longest time, they have seen me in my best and nastiest looks and they have stood by me through thick and thin. Today I celebrate all you friends who walked into my life and made a bang in it, all you friends who I fought with but never held grudges against: All you girls who told me off whenever I slipped and partied with me in my success. You marched in when everyone else sneaked out. All you friends who I promise never to forget.

I got only one sister….um and three sisters in-law. Moraa is what she goes by. I used to call her Missy(It’s a synonym of Edith which is her first name.) when I was ‘young, innovative and intelligent. Yeah, I was on top of the world, (nostalgic) trust me I was a genius teenager, capable of outdoing everyone. Life was exciting and my discoveries were my inventions, or so I thought until, well, until I grew up and travelled south en route for earth.

So Moraa and I were not the best of friends at first. We dragged each other by the hair a little too many times, and she was so authoritative. I felt like I had two mums. Umpf! She’d force me to eat up all my greens and actually bestow me with beatings. This gladly stopped when I was able to count years and discovered she was only about a year and a half older than me.

We went to the same schools and made more war till we matured up. We got closer and eventually became best of friends, not just sisters. I learnt to hold my cool and actually ask for help when I feel I can’t do it alone. I put down my pride and the words ‘I’m sorry’ became my ally. I follow her steps as grand example in motherhood and we furnish each other with tips on marriage.

At only fourteen and in form one; I met my first partner in crime. We clicked instantly and faced our drama-filled teenage battles together. She would definitely jump in front of a truck for me and loved me like a sister to an extent that our parents became friends. I had my first sleep over at her place and we promised to be our children’s’ godmothers. (Millie I owe you my next baby!) We definitely had our crazy episodes but it only made us closer.

Growing up, I made my circle larger. I met Freciah, a polite woman who is extremely conservative yet a great critic. I made her pick my clothes and shoes when shopping and vetted my articles for school presentations. I love her taste. She later hooked me up with two more girls with whom we later formed ‘The three musketeers’. We had great times and captured memories together (nostalgic again). These particularly stood for me when I was gullible for a man who made me weigh 47.5 kilos. Damn that dude.

Moving on, I met two other girls and again, the click! We fitted perfectly. We then made history as living in the same court; we all had babies the same year. And we did not plan, I promise. I never felt alone as I had enough advice from all my girls. Lucky I am, you think? Sure thing!

Then I got Pesh. I lose words to extend my appreciation to all those who visited Pesh and spoilt her with loads of stuff. To all those who attended Pesh’s 1st birthday and ate all the cake, I appreciate your presence; it was fun. We had no cake left by 10pm and no one present missed a taste of it. So far that is the best party I have ever hosted.

Then I went into the call centre. Here I met more sisters. I felt true girl love and by no means have we fought…um seriously fought. They are so many of them I’d lose count. These girls make my days, sending me hilarious and heartening emails even after I changed careers. Back then we couldn’t wait to go home just so we could seat collectively and have enough of each other. They always checked up on me and I enjoyed making them laugh with what I frequently call Udaku.com (just checked, crap! the site really does exist). Hope no one gets to sue me. In a nutshell, this was our healthy gossip and trust me, healthy it was!

I love the way we call to check up on each other and pay visits. In this day and era, visiting someone is old school. Talk of emails, teleconferencing and uploading of photos on social sites. It’s enough to notice you added weight and you look healthy so we don’t have to come all the way and make you do all the cooking. Soon we’ll start sending local post cards so help us God.

I love the way my girls and I talk of great things ahead and even build chamas to establish ourselves. We are open and share a lot of love. Girls, God bless you for being so selfless, for criticizing me, encouraging me and most of all, standing by me despite my faults.  I guess this is the part where I list down names of my cast? How I wish I could name you all just so I spoil you with honour today, but I’m afraid there’s too many of you already and I know some of you will hunt me down and slay me for excluding you. So, before I make it any worse, please excuse me, got to sneak out!

'The Boys'

Boys will always be boys. I don’t intend to read unsportsmanlike, but in the short but elicit life I’ve lived, I have interacted with boys long enough to fathom so. I got two young brothers, an elder brother in-law, a husband and several of their friends, enough for my “Boys will always be boys recipé”.

Well, like charity does indeed begin at home, so does today’s piece. My younger brother, who just turned 18, was very busy in his childhood. He stole notes from mom’s purse, hung onto vehicles in transit, severally threw items at me and endlessly fought my elder sister. A whip of boarding school slowed him down a bit. Competition struck a busy bee right through him and I thank God he’s currently hiding his head in books. My youngest brother was a little cooler. Well, he didn’t hang on to moving trucks and all. He enjoyed shoving our cat into bags and hiding it in the fridge. I still don’t believe he once convinced me to wash up the poor thing and rinse it in the toilet bowl, you know, by flashing the toilet with the cover on so it doesn’t jump out? He enjoyed messing around with our minds and I won’t brag the boy’s a genius. He asks weird questions and enjoys himself as he watches us wriggle our way out of them. My brother in-law…well that’s a story for a never coming day.

My husband has several friends. I like to call them ‘The boys’. I stopped waving the red flag at my young brothers when I encountered ‘The boys’ since I realised they are very similar regardless of their ages. The all love to keep their rooms messy, eat a lot, hate washing socks, and are allergic to cold bath water. When I was expecting Pesh, ‘The boys’ scared the hell out of me with the astonishing ideas they had, now that they would all be uncles.

They all wanted to test the theory that babies have a very strong grip. This they would action by hanging poor baby on the line by her hands and see if she’d fall. I became very alert. No one knew how to tie a diaper the right side up but they all bragged about how they were qualified and I’d have nothing to worry about. Crap, my hubby also promised to make tea with my breast milk! How they think!

When I was due and was rushed to hospital, I was not shocked to discover that ‘The boys’ camped at the hospital’s packing lot in a tour Nissan generously offered by one of them. They were armed with lots of liquor, food and party moods. They celebrated my labour pains, celebrated my giving birth and totally knocked themselves out when they heard it was a baby girl. By morning they drove home all in a drunken stupor. My husband included.  Like you I had no words to describe that ‘Auspicious occasion’.

I like ‘The boys’ a lot though despite all their apprehensible insanity. I have watched them stand up for each other and share their problems. They are much organised in their brainsick escapades and are firm pillars of each other. It’s impressive that ‘The boys’ organised a welcoming party for Pesh when she was barely two weeks old.  The girls’ duty was simply to attend and have fun. It was such a success that left me wide-mouthed at their ability to plan and execute in time.

‘The boys’ respect each other’s privacy and hardly get offended when criticized by another. They will definitely step in front of the truck for each other and laugh together when busted.  They will not cry with you. No. ‘The boys’ never cry even when alone, but they will make you let the pain go. The will talk through the hard-nut issues and eventually turn them into hilarious jokes. I am not exaggerating. I am just a girl who happens to be lucky enough to experience true friendship from the other side of my world.

The Boys

Through ‘The boys’ I have learnt true friendship. I borrow many of their virtues and use them on my friends; I know ‘The boys’ will not call you just to say hi…unless they had a nightmare about you, but they will call to invite you for a gig and they will foot the bill. For them your presence is important. They know you would do the same. I have learnt to give to Caesar what I his. So I give credit where it deems fit and I’m not selfish. I say this because like I said, I’m just a girl. I don’t have many girl friends but I know we girls can hate on each other to an extent of having, not just frienemies but enemies. We can hate to the core of our souls and swear by the dead never to make up. We can hate to an extent of stealing each other’s boyfriends and husbands. It’s painful I know, but true. We can play foul games on each other, be pretentious friends and help each other shoot ourselves in the foot. It pains too much… I think I just dropped a tear. Sh*t!

I’m not saying boys are perfect or that we girls are horrible. No. We are good. We know how to stand for each other and can encourage each other. We know when one needs a hug and ladies! Don’t we make perfect mothers! Kudos for that. We are superwomen. We manage homes, work and in-laws. Long live women!

But I feel we need to borrow a few ingredients from the gents’ recipe to help us hate with a limit or not hate at all and we’ll hit the sky. I have already and it works. Though I constantly call to check up on quiet pals unlike our brothers, I also celebrate with my sisters especially when they have weddings or babies. I visit those who are detained in hospitals and make as many people as I can smile. I don’t do so much as I’d wish but I try. So my appreciation today goes to ‘The Boys’. Your good deeds cover up for your untidy surroundings. As for the sisters, just before you strangle me (I know many of you don’t get along with boy-groups of your dudes) watch this space as next time, the men will get something to ponder on. Let’s be good this month especially since my birthday lies within!

Frenemy

I’ve realized there’re several things even your best of friends can’t do for you. Like when you get in trouble, they’d rather save you while standing at the fence rather than jump into the hell hole with you. I can be your best friend but I know I won’t stand in front of the truck for you. I will try to pull you away though. Let’s just be realistic here. Only your mum and maybe your dad will jump into a burning flame to save you. I have not heard of such heroic friendship stories here on planet earth.

Once in high school, I had a friend who joined our school in form three. This friend FYI is now a business news reporter in a local TV station. She was my frienemy. When we were best friends we would write articles then exchange and criticize each other. Eventually we both wrote two short novels by the time we left after form four. We had formed a trio and wrote songs which we would sing in school events. We also did a lot of artwork together; and I motivated her a lot since I used to present my work in ASK shows. We were also always there for each other.

 Now when we were enemies, we truly hated each other. We would gang up with other friends, form two colonies and turn against each other with criticism. If someone lost something, she would convince them I stole it, and trust me, things went conveniently missing. Class discussions became a small version of The Battle of the Titans and this would last for weeks, until we sat together and talked. It was pure drama, and it was personal. I know, it was bad and we were not real friends. We were, like I said, we were frenemies.

Once I remember, we were going in for the evening preps when I saw her coming hitherto. Another girl held her as though she needed an extra leg. I waited for her to catch up so I could ask if she needed any help. Sure enough she did. She broke down in tears in front of me and my heart tore in pieces. I had seen her tears only once before when she was still new and was being harassed. (This happened a lot especially if you were from the city and worse if you were arrogant and proud). “What is it?” I asked, obviously worried. “I’m pregnant.” The world shook. Or atleast I thought it did. “So, what will you do?” I asked oblivious of her arrogance. Still, I cared and she knew I cared for her. “I’ll get rid of it.” She went on, “I just need a glass of concentrated juice. That should do. Do you have some? Mine is finished already.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. She wanted me to help her terminate her baby? How in the world would I want to be a part of that? That’s totally out of the question! She read my mind and quickly added. “Don’t worry it won’t be your fault. Let’s assume you gave me some juice as a friend. What I do with it will be my problem.” I was a bit hesitant but finally agreed to provide the tool of destruction that she needed.

The bell had rang so we went in for preps. About an hour and a half through the grave-silent preps, a note was passed progressively to my desk. It read, ‘Friend I can see you are very reliable and caring. Sorry I had to go the long way but the guilt is now haunting me. Truth is I’m not pregnant. Thelma (not her real name) and I are broke and wanted some juice to have after preps. You are indeed a very good friend’ .That called for another week of war. If you ask me I think I was a really good friend to her, and even others who followed. I’m always a good friend. Ask Milly, my high school best friend. She is still my friend. She will tell you I’m a good friend to all. Ok. I’m not saying this so you can all be my friends (Not that I would mind having you as my friends), but a good friend deserves another. Not akina Thelma and the likes. These are the kind who taught me the hard way.

 I have had many other friends, though nowadays I’m very careful not to stick my hand in the fire. I decided I’d rather have a handful of them who will be true than a whole bunch, unless I’m having a party .I also realized no friend, no matter how close will stand in front of the truck for me . No worries. The feeling is mutual.

Ask now or forever hold your peace

Is it true, what they say, (whoever they are) that when you get heartbroken, no man dares look your way? Yet when you are in a relationship, happy, glowing and all bubbly, they all run hitherwards, those X’s included? Well I say it’s so true. I have dated several, (Am obviously not proud of the number) and I noticed this one thing in common.

As we speak I have two men misusing my phone battery with infinite calls insisting we meet. I know. I too ask, “The hell, why?”I am now a married woman, with a lovely daughter, a very supportive husband who by the way is also my best friend…and these men know this. Now the sad part is, these men are also married, and are expecting children of their own. Ok, now it sounds like I’m a home-wrecker, the kind of woman who all men would gladly replace their wives with, throwing care to the dogs, but no. I too, like you pity these women. I understand that their men, if not forced, tricked, or trapped into marrying them,  realized only too late that they are not over their past, though some  plan to marry more than once from the word go and know that regardless, will have the whole share of the cake and eat it. What such men fail to understand is that the women, who know they are married yet they date them as ‘mpango wa kando’ know only too well they can never settle with them since they will still cheat on them with yet other women. Or at least they ought to know!

So I discovered that the reason these men are running back to my already occupied arms is because they treated me like a side plate…ok let me stop sugar-coating it. Like a clande,or that mpango wa kando( Damn! I don’t believe I’m actually using this term to refer to myself) believing I would never wish to settle and have children. I know. You are already picturing the kind of woman I was then, right? I’m almost certain of that. Let me guess. Your thoughts must be of a skimpily dressed snob, always taking a cab to walk-able distances and is very picky with men; you know the ones who first check out your shoes then your face before deciding if you are worth their time? Yes, those ones. These men, they (crap! Whoever the hell they are) say, are of a higher social status and are not embarrassing to be seen walking around with. Ahem, that’s right. But, you are wrong. I was, and still am, a simple, woman. Though I’m quite shy at times, I know what I stand for and I’m principled. I am very choosy with what I wear and I try to be stylish in my own way, and I can say it works…At least my husband thinks it does!  I’m the kind of woman who never gets late for meetings and am very impatient. Needless to say, I love attention, a lot.

So now, the one thing that caused these men to play God and rudely judge me was my looks. Not on my face but rather my size. Thing is that I always had a slim body, and a very flat tummy (I hope you never see it now). That’s the kind that does advertising in fashion magazines and lifestyles. Not that I never tried Fashion, only, the farthest I ever went was the cover of the Saturday Magazines in the Dailies. How I wish I had an extra foot to my height, the Nokia face of Africa would not have turned me down.

 So you see?  An aspiring model would do just about anything to have and maintain that job. Getting married and having babies would clearly smash this dream.

Nevertheless, this dream never hatched and I ended up as Customer service executive in a well known telecommunication organization, and I got married.

 Now, just so you know, I didn’t get married because I was kicked out of The Nokia Face of Africa auditions, Emirates Airlines, and that Fashion magazines didn’t take me anywhere. God knows I’ve been turned down enough times.

 I got married because I wanted to get married, settle and raise babies. And even if I became a high fashion model in Paris, or got the six figure salary of Emirates, or crowned the bill boards with my photos, I would still settle and be a wife and mother.

Assumption is one thing these and many other men do. This is mistake number one.