'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!

Toothy Interview

I’ve been interviewed umpteen times. True and I’ve come to discover one thing; that I can never get used to interviews. I will have the same old insane stomach cramps probably even worse than those of a 1st timer. I realized the only thing I get better at are my answers to familiar questions. But then again I’ve never been to an interview overwhelming enough to pull out my previously decayed but silent tooth.

For eight months I’d been busy being a mom and wife since Baby Pesh’s arrival. That was enough to deform my once slim feet into an ugly flat sight, thanks to wearing flat, open shoes. Pesh had grown into a slightly independent young girl and so pulling back into the employment highway was the next best thing. Like any other flamboyant job seeker I dropped my resume’ anywhere they could land.

No call backs came through for me, at least not until late August 2010 when one finally did. An appointment!  An interview! Finally! My excitement could only be brought down by a bucketful of ice water. I obviously called my husband and we both floated in the pending success. The joy however ended rather drastically as soon as the call dropped and the reality of a possible interview panel crossed my mind. I noted I didn’t really need a bucket of ice water. I quickly found myself a spot to sit on and psychologically prepare myself for what lay ahead. I had to do it well. I browsed the net for the company’s profile details, aims and every other unnecessary detail they put across. Crap! I even made sure I was on point on which ministers were in charge of the relevant sectors! By the time I was walking through the reception of the building where I was invited for the interview I felt like my mind would burst with all the answers I had to the un-asked questions.

I carefully scanned my well over 20 competitors’ faces searching for the slightest implication of fear or uncertainty. I assumed their feeding of fear would starve mine and I would end up a winner or close. Selfishness was my sole recipe’ in character in this case and I knew the rest too, prayed the same prayer. “God, This job is mine. You brought me here for a reason so I know it’s mine.” Seriously, if all 20 interviewees prayed this prayer, then I’m awfully glad I’m not God to answer them. Their dressing was exquisite with well-fitting ironed suits. Folders that most probably carried their life stories were held neatly under their arms. .I decided I needed a workable strategy to pull this off successfully.

I marched quietly to the nearest empty seat and squirmed in it until my name was called I struggled to be firm as my remaining competitors watched my every movement.  Those who had left before me had all variety of facial expressions. Some looked as fearful as a child who just got a painful jab in the ass, others smiled amid defeated-looking faces, it confused me on what to expect so I chose to hide my horror through my killer smile. Don’t ask what that means.

I walked in well, armed with my documents and a classy handbag which I knew best to keep on the floor next to my feet, right after the seat was offered. I then crossed my shaky legs under my seat to keep them from embarrassing me and at last faced the panel. It felt like judgement day.

“Your name?” one of them asked.I blurted it out. “Please spell?” I always do that to everyone I meet. I understand Fanne is not an easy name and my mother refused to tell me from whence she dug it up. The questions got harder and harder until I was asked if I had any questions for them. I obviously did. I was eventually sent home and promised a call back before the end of the day which if it were positive I’d go to the next level. It was just the beginning.

I went home feeling exhausted from all the nervousness and now I was anxious for the results. It didn’t make it better. I slept miserably since no one called me, and began nursing the wound the disappointment caused. Early the next day I was called and told to report for the second interview. Phew! I was too tired to get excited, yet I managed a stolen one at least to remind myself of a certain stranger I call hope.

Second interview brought to me some nostalgic memories. It was a written exam and I couldn’t remember half the things I was asked. I thought to do what my fellow mates did. Yes we all cheated in all sorts of ways. We used everything from texting to whispers and peeks, even Google. Thank god for Google. We all went home again to wait impatiently for the big call. This time I slept well. I was called late at around &pm and informed of my great success, even congratulated. I had qualified for the last stage which was yes another interview with the head of the company we were to work for. I still ask myself if this was really necessary. The lady shouldn’t have mentioned the position of the last interviewer. She only made it worse. I role played the interview about 76 times playing both the interviewer and I. I thought up all the possible questions to expect. I nearly killed myself. Still I felt I wasn’t ready. That was when the bad tooth arose from hell and began complaining. I carried some painkillers to the interview which eventually turned out well. The waiting that was destroying me was apparently good for me. By the time it was my turn he had been exhausted extensively and looked like the only thing he craved was his silent, never-busy office. He asked me two or three general questions and let me go. I was relieved and rushed straight to my dentist. The painkillers I’d taken were clearly doing a shoddy job and it had to be pulled out.

So I lost a tooth at the height of tension. Yeah, I too couldn’t believe it; but it would have been worse had all this not been worth it.

Juggling with life

I’ve got myriad of ideas on what to change in my life and not a single way to start. Maybe it’s because I’ve been reading a lot, or watching too many drama movies. Maybe because I’m changing careers or because I’m still establishing a map layout and I got several options before I place my bets. In my mind I’m in a casino.

 I juggle my ideas in my hands, the way I would with chips, carefully watching the croupier’s every move. This croupier is none other than fate. The very fate I look up to when I wish, the same fate I curse in despair and hopelessness when nothing seems to works. This damn fate still rises in my mind when I can only hope. Fate won’t aid, not ever.  He only plays with what I lay on the table. He lets me float in the armor of making the decisions then gladly aims to hungrily gobble up all my sowed seeds and bluntly stares on, waiting for me to take the disappointment in, hope in him and once again, bet.

He spins the ball and shouts, “Place your bets!” then waits for me to place my chips on my preferred numbers. I do. He never warns, nor advises, he simply watches, expressionless, perhaps with a precipice heart. Who knows, he probably wishes for me to lose so he can innocently blame the aftermath on the spinning ball. He probably smirks in his heart when I make a wrong move and lose. Because then I’ll have to buy more chips and go yet another round.  If I win, He takes his time to reward me. Counting and recounting the chips, just so to be sure it’s not more. Suddenly his math skills flew out the window. He may pay less, but that’s for the inspector to discover. The inspector here acts as the government. It’s even worse since I’m in Kenya as I know the corrupt minded inspector will ally with the croupier to tighten my blindfold, and unless  the floor manager is on my side I’m dabbed the ignorant fool who lives a great life and dies without future plans (whether I’m off to heaven or hell), so I go straight to hell. The floor manager here depicts God.

The spinning ball slows down and jumps carelessly on the numbers, unable to control its motion. This ball is the damned judge who rules whether I made a great choice or if I’m damned.  I’m watching its every move as my very life balances on this tiny thing’s final stop. The moment it stops, I get on my feet eager to receive my judgment.  I see the wrong paths I took and watch as my lost chips land mercilessly in the deck. My fist tightens in anger, despite knowing it’s a choice I’d made myself. I stare on jabbering curse words to myself and obviously at fate. I still have few chips on the winning number; a few on 35, several on 17 and an 8. Not too bad I can always make up for the lost chips with the winning ones.

On the next round, I get even better. I move on to poker. I have learnt enough already from roulette so poker should be better, I hope. See? Hope is still in my head because I vowed in the name of a stranger called  fate that I would eventually conquer; I play a different game on the same ground. The inspector cares even less while the floor manager keeps pacing the floor to ensure balance. This time I have to be wiser. I wait for the croupier to lay the first three cards. He does and I watch him, cat-eyed. It’s as though I can see right through his fingers, straight to the face of the cards.

“Place your bets!” he goes again. This time I study my set of cards and weigh out all my options. I plan ahead. My mind is a crystal this time around. I carefully place my bet. I take a risk and my heart tells me to hope, even more. The croupier’s eyes are roaming the layout.  When his gaze lands on my bet, he stops and a smile cracks the corner of his face. He too knows he’s cornered. His gaze moves to me. He doesn’t have to open his mouth. I can read his face already. “You little lucky witch!” he says.

He displays his hidden cards out for all to see. Bingo! It’s unfathomable but hey, it’s just my lucky day! I grin broadly and soon I’m laughing out loudly; taking in all the amusement and pleasure of success and fame; a true feeling of ecstasy. I know some of my mates are jealous and rumors will probably start their round that I cheated.  Others will hate me for succeeding and plan my execution.  Who knows, some will out of nowhere be my new-found friends!

In my young life I have made many right and wrong choices; monetary, love and relationships, school, friends and have repaid dearly. For my dark actions, I have been cheated, robbed, Heartbroken, insulted, beaten (only by my father and teachers), defeated, the list is endless. On the other hand for the right, I have been loved immensely, cared for, taught, advised and encouraged, all which have made up for all the mischances. I have learnt to be tenacious, with all the push and pull life remits, annoying as it can be. I realized that I grow stronger from these occurrences.

Keep them coming then. What can’t kill me, will mould me…well unless, I start seeing my doppelganger. Crap! My parents saw mine and called me at 6:30am in the morning to ask why I was ignoring them as they passed me on Outer Ring road. I was taking a shower then. If  it gets to that point, then God help, because I’m going to need lots of hugs!

 

Bundle of joy

Baby pesh with daddy

That morning I woke up feeling unusually tired. I had been packing my hospital bag little by little the last one week and it had only been two days since I’d had the horrific false labor and I wanted to be prepared just in case it was time. That day, my mum-in law (a very special woman in my life) offered to take me to hospital when I woke up.  She had heard my wails despite the distance between the main house and my husband’s SQ…(My husband is the lastborn in the family and still lived in the family house). Being the first son to bring a grandchild into the family, my baby’s arrival was impatiently awaited.

Rompers, check, shawl, Check, Diapers, Check….changing clothes for me, check. Crap! I realized I hadn’t bought tooth paste, a brush and some soap. Tired as I felt I had lost confidence in leaving the house, but I loved walking so I called my brother and he agreed to walk me to the nearest convenient store. I bought the stuff and quickly returned to the house. Evening came and I still didn’t feel settled. Agitated I kept checking my bags, cleaned my lesos and walked around the house looking for something to occupy myself with. 

Suddenly, my plug flushed out and I rushed straight to the bathroom. I knew it! This uneasiness wasn’t uncalled for. What mom told me to look out for was here and I knew Baby’s arrival would be soon. I was due in 6 days but alas, not even doctors can be exact with dates!

Labor pains were progressively increasing and pacing up and down the house wasn’t doing me any good. I thought to call my sister in-law for last advise. She works in a hospital and has 3 kids. Clearly, she must know something! I thought to myself. “Start counting the minutes between the contractions.” She advised. “They usually start from 30minutes, count them down to 7minutes, and then go to hospital. I began counting…crap! They were spacing the 7 ‘f’ing minutes already! I got very anxious and poured myself a second cup of tea (I love my tea. Still do) then I called my mom. I continued pacing the house. Justin, my husband was in class. He was doing his final semester and we had agreed that I’d call him in case Baby decided to check in so we would meet at the hospital.

We rushed to hospital, though I wasn’t in a hurry myself. My mom and mom-in law were. I kept wondering how this whole experience would change my life and wasn’t sure I was ready to be a mother. I wished, for a moment, that I’d go back home and continue being pregnant till, well till I was ready. But baby didn’t care if I was ready or not. It was ready to meet me. My moms checked on me frequently as I sat uncomfortable in the back seat. I would cringe in pain and get lost in it while they listened in silence, till the pain subsided. Mom-in law was driving.

Soon I was walking into the labor ward where I was warmly welcomed by the painful cries of other to-be mothers, most of which were screams of actual delivery. This would be confirmed as the screams would die immediately a new born would begin to wail. Other pregnant women walked around aimlessly as their labor pains would mysteriously disappear after their arrival at the hospital. One asked me for a Nokia charger, which I didn’t have, and she marched out and into the next room. My two moms strangely reacted differently to my now very painful contractions. Mom-in law looked like she was in worse pain than I was. I could see her face fold till her eyes closed and she would then beg me to hang in there..I wondered how she managed four rounds of merciless torture. My other mom also went the four rounds and she looked the part. She didn’t look the least pitiful and to some point, I thought I saw a proud smile at the corner of her mouth. “How is it?” she kept probing to which I’d answer not too bad to. I told them how I’d bravely bear the pains to the end without a scream, and they both shared a knowing look. How I wish they had told me to my face what a dreamer I was. I was glad though that they were not there, hours later when I screamed my lungs so loud the doctor rushed in, thinking I was ready to push.

My husband never left my side though. He rubbed by back to my orders and was almost as exhausted as I was. I could see him struggle to hide his pain whenever I cried and he did everything to make me comfortable. He even bought me fries and chicken which I happily munched away amidst my moments in hell. He was later asked to leave so I could get yet another check up.

I was close, and doc asked me to save my energy for the pushing part, which I obviously never heeded. I screamed through the next hour I had to myself and then suddenly, I got an urge to push. I thought it was poop so I began pushing it out. Then I remembered doc saying to call out if I felt an urge to poop. So that was it? My baby was to come out like poop? I mean seriously?

I called out and he didn’t take long. He hastily prepared the tools on the bed then urged me to push. I did. “I said push!” he shouted and I did again and again and again. I was worn out and baby wasn’t out yet. “I’m afraid your baby is tearing you, so I will have to slice you just a little bit to make way.” He warned. I didn’t give a damn. I told him I wanted this thing out of me. I didn’t have any more energy left in me.

 ‘Push!’ Doc urged on. I did and felt the knife make its way through my flesh. Before I could yelp, I felt a huge release from my insides, followed by a sharp screech and it wasn’t me. The doc raised my wailing baby upside down and smiled. “It’s a girl!” He announced “Welcome to the world young lady. You are in Kenya.” He said, then quickly wrapped her and handed her to me and continued cleaning up.  It was time to spread the great news.

Triggered Explosive

I didn’t have the slightest idea what parenting was all about even when I found out I was pregnant. I used to baby sit my nephew, severally, but even this did not teach me much aside from tying a diaper the right side up and feeding an over-playful toddler. If it went too far, and I couldn’t take any more, I’d throw in the towel; take the messy child to his mother and slump him on her lap. ‘Chukua mtoto wako!’ I’d angrily say in exasperation, and be glad I didn’t have to care if he ate or not. ‘He isn’t my responsibility and after all, his mom can give him nyonyo and get this feeding thingy over with already’. I would think to myself.

I was with my husband, (who was then my boy friend) at a clinic in Buruburu, where we went to have the pregnancy test done. We had convinced each other that home test kits could be wrong, despite the fact that these very same kits were our solace when we wanted to test negative. Now that we really wanted a child we could not afford to use the ‘wrong’ test kit.

The clinic attendant handed me the results shortly and proudly announced that I had tested positive. “It’s now your duty to take care of this child” she said. At that moment, I felt the weight of impending doom fall squarely on me. My duty? My responsibility? Hell no! It was unthinkable and I did not want to think anymore.  Mixed feelings were rushing disrespectfully though me, and for a moment there, I lost control of myself. Me? No longer a young girl? Now in charge of another human being? Whoa! Whoa! Just wait right there. That was a little too much weight for me at a go. I needed some air. Outside the clinic, my husband and I kept stealing knowing glances at each other. We knew we were ready for a baby but its presence suddenly seemed unwelcome and it took me quite some time to accept my fate.

Every morning before going to work and every evening before retiring, I would pull out the result slip from my drawer in my bedroom (I still lived with mum then), read the three-sentence contents, then fold it and carefully return it to its hiding place. This went on for a month, when I finally accepted I was indeed carrying a growing human being inside me. Time dragged too slowly and I decided to occupy myself. My extracurricular activities increased since aside from long walks, I measured the size of my belly every day, wondering when it would start to show. I went from buying bigger jeans, to painfully letting go of my size 8 tops and my skirt suits began looking like they belonged to a small sister I never had.

Finally I ballooned months later. I struggled to adjust to my new walking style and spent millenniums practicing in front of the mirror before leaving the house. Kids around the estate just had to confirm my size whenever I walked past them. They would scout around me whispering into each other’s ears. They probably were betting at my time of explosion. They would gaze at me as though they were counting down seconds on my triggered atomic bomb and their playing only resumed as soon as I was completely out of sight.

At this point I ate like a pig. I craved everything edible on sight; from paw paws to pumpkins; even the groundnuts that Rasta ate to cool off his marijuana and bhang mix intake looked scrumptious to my eyes. His green stained teeth did not nauseate me even once. My favorite though was pawpaw which Pesh is now allergic to.

After a lot of impatience, time was finally up and I was almost due.  I became an ant at the last minute, scrubbing floors and almost cleaning clean dishes. I had no clue I had episodes of false labor with all with all the busy bee duties till one night at 4 am when a sharp pain sliced right through me. I was startled awake  and the first thing I checked was if I was bleeding. I wasn’t. I had slept over at my boyfriend’s place so I turned to see him sleeping peacefully to my untimely labor pains. The pains were on and off and when they were on, hell was on the bed. I writhed in pain as I turned from side to side, trying to bear them. At one point they were too much I decided to awaken the sleeping log, who mumbled something about going to hospital, then turned and continued snoring. As the pains increased, I opted to wail instead of keeping it all inside me. It reached a point where I began hitting the log, not to wake him up but to keep the pain from making me go insane; he never woke up anyway.

Suddenly at 6am the pain was no more. I was completely worked up and the only thing was sure of was that I wasn’t sure I would go through the real labor the following week, leave alone parenting. I turned to my side I fell into deep sleep.

Robbed kindly

It’s amazing how criminal minds work. Slowly I’m getting convinced that to be a criminal, you have to be very smart. Not that I’m considering changing professions, but if I were a thief I certainly would borrow many of these tricks, and faithfully watch those high intelligent movies like ‘Thief’.  An example is where someone will rob a bank of 20million shillings, transfer 19million to private accounts under different names, gets caught with a few hundreds of thousands, after spending some. He then insists when asked that the rest of his gang took the rest of the money. He gets jailed for a few years and finally goes free, a millionaire. That’s one plan, carefully laid out (suffer for a few years and die a rich man).Others will spend millions in order to make billions. And trust me, it’s not in investments. Let’s not speak of those who feign insanity to avoid going to jail.

I don’t know if my house help is also getting this intelligent or if it’s merely illiteracy, or misunderstanding. Call it what you want. All I know is she robbed me of my 600shillings to my face. 600bob may be peanuts to you but that is my one week’s transport expense, three packets of milk for Pesh for the week plus I save 60bob as change!

My house help wanted to buy a cheap phone. One which costs 1,000 bob, and as a good employer, I decided to buy the phone for her, then deduct 200 shillings from her salary, monthly. I deducted twice very comfortably, explaining to her how much she still owed me after every deduction, just in case she lost count, and to make sure we were in agreement. The third month, I did the same and she suddenly turned on me and furiously said I had already deducted the previous month. Shocked, I tried to count the months with her, trying to make her understand how I only deducted twice. For a while she sat, silently listening and I knew she had understood well. She then turned to me and bluntly said, “I don’t even understand what you were deducting for.”

I couldn’t believe it. How do I even start arguing with her? It would be like pumping air into a sack! I wondered if she thought I bought the phone for her, I even asked her why she never asked why I was deducting. She continued to act dumb as I tried to drill some sense into her thick head. Eventually I felt despaired, wasted and angry. I gave her her full salary and told her not to ever expect any favors from me. It didn’t make me feel better though, because if it had, I would have forgotten all about it. I would not even be writing about it now. So I’m hoping that I’ll feel better after I finish writing this.

Whenever I get a chance, I steal too, only the difference is I steal time and bus fare.  At work, I steal time to update the blog, read the paper and surf the net. The only other thing I would steal is my fare, if a matatu tout doesn’t ask for fare; I will not offer to pay. I am a good Christian, but I will never offer to pay my fare because these matatu rascals will charge me a whooping 70 or 80shillings for an annoying 30minutes trip to town, if it dares to drizzle. Don’t even ask how much I’ll pay when it rains. They will then drop me off two or three stages to my destination for fear of heavy traffic and police inspection.

In the morning these matatu rascals despise me when they get their matatu full with passengers. Instead of informing me politely that it’s full, they will stare when I inquire, as if they have no clue what I am blabbing about, then pressure the driver to speed on. When it’s off peak the same rascals will stampede over each other to persuade me to board their vehicle. I do not pity them during these off-peak times. Dare any touch me in the name of persuading me to board and I go to the next Matatu.

If the fare is high during these off-peak times, I will wait or bargain ignorantly to my preference before I board, and I will not offer to pay my fare if they don’t ask.

I’d rather have my house help con me. I have learnt the hard way. Sometimes you end up looking foolish when you’re too kind. I feel better already.

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.

Patience(Pesh)

She’s a gorgeous, sweet little girl when you first meet her. At only 1 ½ years, she’s very shy to strangers. Greet her and the closest she’ll get to you is a quick but firm handshake. Impressive, but don’t even consider picking her up as that would certainly ruin the already auspicious moment.

She’s bit chubby, with a round face and long hair. God knows, I’ve only trimmed (no cut) her hair once in her little lifetime. She’s slightly taller than most kids her age and Jesus! This baby’s got bootie!

I remember it’s the first thing my sister noticed when baby was barely days old. She was changing her on one of her visits, when suddenly she froze. “What, kwani her poop is purple?” I asked a bit alarmed. “No,” was her reply, “I’ve never seen such a tiny baby with such an ass!” We may now change the topic. 

Now, this baby is never moved by cartoons. Whenever I leave the channel on these or even animations she will either walk out on me, go search for her favorite Cedamont DVDs and shove them in my face or worse still throw me the look that plainly says ‘ Mom, can we please watch something else? Can’t you see these things are not real?’

What kind of baby hates cartoons? All kids love cartoons. Her father loves cartoons! But not her. She’d rather listen to music. This baby loves music so much she’ll dance to any tune of it, be it Citizen News, Scotts advert, Kigeugeu or worst of all bend over. The moment I caught her boogying her small self to that kind of music, I banned it from my house and Cedamont DVDs checked in.Perfect, great music sang by real kids. Not cartoons. God would never forgive me for having his child dance to Bend over for Christ sake! What will she do when she’s 20?

This little girl loves her Daddy so much. His name was the first she learnt to call. His name is the first she calls every morning when her eyes open and sadly, his voice is the only one she heeds to. I’ve gotten used to screaming my head off to no avail. It’s as if she synchronizes or overwrites my words and encodes them into bla bla blas. The only time she remembers me is when she is sick, sleepy, hungry, and wants nyonyo.  This nyonyo is what I’m banning next and soon. She obviously knows I got a soft spot for her when it comes to that, and she surely does know how to maximize on it. But there will be an end to it. I too want someone to sing my name and dance when I walk in and, well since it’s clear she is Daddy’s girl, I plan to fast, pray and sow for Project Baby Boy.

We always hide in our bedroom whenever it’s feeding time for this girl. I try to feed her myself sometimes but she will struggle to get a sip of milk from my breast and I end up smeared with her food. It’s just the other day when she realized that this nyonyo actually produces the same milk she runs away from. She will stare bluntly as it leaks in the middle of a breastfeed and informingly let me know its producing milk. So we hide. We just better hide lest this girl will get ‘sick’, and screech as though it’s war. Given a chance she will take off full speed and hide in any crack, enough to fit her. The only good thing that comes out of this ‘hide and seek’ feeding is that my husband and I get time to ourselves and ,you know, do what married couples do. We do this every other day; it’s become a part of us. This young creature has literary taken over and now rules our house! She makes it lively, dirty and cluttered with toys all over; from the entrance to the kitchen. Whenever she sleeps we take a breather, though even then we have to keep the volume down lest we awaken the little monster. In her young mind she can’t wait to wake up and get all messy all over again!

She makes our days and reigns over our hearts. She makes us experience practically all emotions; anger, laughter, sadness and happiness. She makes us children as well as adults and she permanently bonds her Daddy and me. Her name is Patience, but she will only answer to Pesh. Please meet my daughter.

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.

How I met The man in my life

I first met my husband in my computer class…yes, and stop looking at me like that. I mean, it’s not like I knew we would end up together! Good, I see your face is calming down. So I walked in, 5min late for my first class, I definitely had to learn time keeping, now that I was no longer in high school where we blindly and faithfully followed bells. Damn! Those bells were just killjoys! Well, except when they meant class was over.
So, shy as I obviously was, I walked over to the empty desk. Crap! I could feel all those eyes, weighing down on me. Little did I know what this Man, now my husband first thought of me? As he now tells me, He thought I was a pretty girl, shy, naive and my dressing told him I had landed in straight from the village!!!
Ok, that’s enough, and you’ll wonder why did I take that in? Ha-ha! Here goes, I thought of him as one shabby, roughed up man. His shirt looked like he just pulled it right out of a bottle, free style. That made us even.
If you told me, then that I would end up with this man 4years later, I’d laugh my ass off. Smack it!