SCENTS OF THE PAST

photocredits:www.mostphrases.blogspot.be

The first time I saw him, I knew he was trouble. His warm smile invited me to him, beckoning me closer and closer to more trouble. I knew what I was getting in to. I knew the danger and saw the red flags. My mind comprehended it, and predicted the future but my heart did not care; it wanted what it wanted.

He was a people’s person and everyone loved him. I was no exception. He loved me too, or so he said. But he was not ready for commitment. He did not know how to be in a relationship. He said he did not want to hurt me so we would be better off as friends. His words hurt like wild fire but I put on a show.

I am still too young to be in a relationship, I responded. Deep down, I cursed the day I noticed him. I think he knew how much I loved him, but protected my pride. A day would not go without him looking for me. He said he could not function without me. I guess in his own twisted way, he actually loved me.

I still remember his scent, his charming smile and warm eyes always welcoming me to him. I remember the first time he kissed me. I was asleep but still felt him. So every time he was around, I would make sure I fell asleep. And every time, he would steal a kiss. I would reminisce about his mouth on mine the whole day and would not let my mouth touch any other thing. Not even food. I did not have the courage to tell him how I actually felt. It was not my part to take the first step; my culture had taught me that.

I grew up. I fell in love. I have loved people more than I ever loved him. I have made sweeter memories that he can’t match up to. We met again some time back. He was now ready for me and was ready to commit. He knew a thing or two about girls and wanted me; nobody else. He had never forgotten about me. He had never stopped loving me. But I had. I had someone I loved more than I have ever loved anyone else. He was too late. I still remember him though. I still think about him at times; for he is the one that got away.  

BANG!

                          

I woke up sweating profusely. ‘Phew. It was only a dream,’ I sighed. I tossed my blanket to the wall and reached for my phone under the pillow. It was only 12:03 am. For some reason, I started having this feeling that someone was watching me. Fear crept in and my once sweaty body suddenly became chilled. My toes were literally emitting ice. I surreptitiously shoved my hand under the pillow to retrieve my worn out pair of socks. I usually wear socks while going to bed but remove them in the middle of the night and shove them under the pillow. I retrieved the socks but was too shaken up to put them on. I traced the blanket with my feet and slowly dragged it to my hands reach; careful not to make a sound.

The only sound that I could hear in the room was that of cockroaches munching on whatever was under my bed. I reached for the second pillow and tightly hugged it. I felt vulnerable and I could not call or shout for help because then, whoever was watching me would know for sure where I was lying. ‘You need to get married,’ my mind advised. “She just needs an actual bodyguard,” my inner person objected. I shook my head to get my sanity back. Whatever I was thinking was not of help.

Bang! The sound of gunshots ruptured the still air. The noise reverberated into my ears and echoed into the walls magnifying the feeling of my vulnerability. I quivered with stifled sobs and could feel icy sweat running down my spine. The second gunshot made it clear that that the perpetrators were in our compound. I silently cursed as my bladder started feeling fuller. ‘You need to get yourself a gun,’ my mind advised again with an immediate retaliation from my inner person. ‘What will she do with it? She needs an armed bodyguard.’ I covered my ears with both hands in an effort to stop listening to the two contradicting people in my system.

I could hear footsteps striding towards my house; each footstep louder than the previous. I reached for my rosary which I normally hang on my bed and clenched it. Guilt engulfed me as I tried to remember the last time I had recited it.  I could hear my door creaking and it dawned on me that they had come for me. I said a simple prayer promising God not to sin ever again if He saved me from this mess.

Cold hands brought me back to my senses. ‘Boobsy, what’s up?’ my fiancé inquired. I looked at him startled and went into a daze. ‘Where had he come from? Did he not hear the gun shots? Did the robbers not see him come in?’ the trace of his fingers on my skin brought me back to reality. I tightly hugged him bearing in my mind my full bladder. ‘Did you hear the gunshots?’ I asked still trembling from fear. His face crinkled in laughter reducing it into a sputter when he saw my dirty look. He tried to stop but I could clearly see his lips curving due to the pressure of holding in laughter. I gave up and sat on the bed, clearly disappointed but still confused and afraid.

‘Boobsy, those were not gunshots. They are fireworks. Its Diwali remember.’ I stared at him bewildered not knowing whether to feel stupid or relieved. I could feel a trace of hot air cascading down my cheeks. It was actually really over. Just like that. ‘Diwali. Damn.’ I pursed my lips.  

RIDING THE WIND

When Jiji’s father died, we were all upset. He was a generous man and everyone at school loved him. He was one of our favourite parent; mainly because he always came bearing gifts for the whole class, but also because he was genuinely sweet and generous. I had benefited most from his generosity because I was Jiji’s closest friend.

She was not really upset when her mother came to tell her the news of his death. Her reaction was not odd at all, at least not to me. He had been sick close to three years now and Jiji always prayed that he would rest in peace. She was heartbroken by the immense pain he was undergoing in his sick bed. The doctors had advised that they do euthanasiain order to ease his pain and also to help someone else who needed the vital organs, but his parents had refused. They in fact claimed that Wairimu, Jiji’s mother, had plans to kill their son.

Her father having the nerve to marry a kikuyu woman did not augur well with his people and when they continually fought her cause wrangles, he moved his family from Siaya to Nairobi. This created more problems but at least it was not on a daily basis. Another thing they detested was that Wairimu had decided to have only one child, who unfortunately turned out to be a girl, which meant that there was no male child to carry on their name and also inherit the massive wealth their son had acquired. He had apartments all over the Nairobi suburbs, car hire services, plots of land and an audit firm. Wairimu on the other hand owned a chain of salons and an advertising agency which was doing very well.

Nyandenga, Jiji’s grandmother always felt that Wairimu had gotten married to her son because of his wealth but the main reason she really hated her was because he had refused to marry the woman she had presented to him. When his illness struck and the doctors could not treat him, she claimed that his wife was responsible for his ailment. Suggesting to euthanasiajust made matters worse. Wairimu was a strong woman. She dedicated her strength to her sick husband and held her neck high even when everyone else spoke ill of her. Jiji’s father also helped. As much as he was bed ridden, he was still able to talk and his hands were also able to work normally. His legs and spinal cord were the main problem.

Jiji did not go home immediately which kept me wondering whether she was not going to attend the funeral or not. She was more worried about her mother because her In-laws hated her. She was sure that her grandmother and her uncles were going to take everything from her mother and leave her penniless. There was also the issue of their customary wife inheritance. Jiji was sure that her mother would be remarried to one of her uncles, not because they wanted her in the family but because it would give them an opportunity to make her life a living. Jiji had no problem with them. In fact her grandmother adored her very much like she was her very own.

When Wairimu finally came to take Jiji to attend the funeral, she had already handled her in laws. I call it a gift from God; some may say survival for the fittest. Wairimu had sold all the apartments they owned. She also sold the audit firm shares to one of her husband’s bosom friend and sold off some of the cars in the car hiring business. The rest of the cars she transferred ownership to her husband’s only sister. She was always nice to her. She also sold of the house they were living in and bought another one where she relocated to. To the plots of land, her in laws did not know of their existence and so she planned to build up more houses from the money she acquired from selling the apartments. She then informed her mother in law that her husband had passed away.

Jiji’s uncles went to Nairobi in full swing after hearing the about their brother’s death but they found another person at their brother’s house. They were dumbfounded. No one could tell how Wairimu had managed to sell their brother’s property so quickly. They reported the matter to the police but Wairimu was exonerated by her husband’s will. He had left her everything that they owned. He had left his mother two million shillings and the rest of his money; he had left it to Jiji for her education up to the level she would desire and the rest for her to inherit after she turned 25 years old. His brothers were left dumbfounded. They tried to prevent Wairimu from attending her husband’s funeral but the village elders intervened. Karma hit them hard and left them to ride the wind.

BUCKLE UP!

Do you know how you wake up one day and you are in high spirit and you just know that that day was going to be perfect? That nothing could go wrong on that day? Well, I woke up today in a very good mood. I was all smiles to the extent that I had to question my sanity; everyone has those days I guess. I was sure that it was going to be a perfect day and to top it up all, it is a Friday or should we say FURAHI Day?

So I did what I had to do and was on my way to work. I love to keep busy in the bus; mostly to distract myself from thinking too much. So I removed the book am currently reading; courting in marriage, and buried myself in it .On reaching khoja round about, a police man boarded our bus and strolled through, to the end and back. This whole time, my mind was focused on the book and nothing else. I had noticed the man in blue but I didn’t think about him or anything else; so much for women can multitask. I was brought back to reality when he spoke up. Nani safety belt yake haifanyi?

Everyone tried quickly, helter-skelter tying their seat belts but it was too late for he had already seen us all. Only three people had tied their belts, the rest of us were culprits, more of criminals. The bus was turned around and we were headed for the police station. You have to understand I have never been in a police station let alone being arrested. So whatever was going through my head is unimaginable. I started coming up with ideas that will help save me from this mess. By the way the penalty is 5000 shillings. I will say I am a student so I can’t have that amount, part of me suggested. You don’t have a school ID dummy, the other part interjected. Well, I will say am sick and I am on my way to hospital. Just stop it, you don’t look sick. Think of something better. Why don’t you think of something yourself now that that you are a know it all. I was at war with myself but one thing I knew was that cowering would not help; I had to find a way to get out of trouble.

So to central police we went. I will not tell you what kind of lie I made up because it makes me feel like a horrible person. It was a white lie alright but it makes me question the difference between white and black. It’s only but a thin line between the two. To think that I have always convinced myself that white lies are the good kind of lies. All in all, I made up something that I never ever want to repeat again but got out of trouble. Truth be told, I think only the men got in trouble because their names were written down and they were moved to a separate room; probably kununua chai and then be forgiven. I now have a new resolution; always buckle up.

CAREER-HOOD

Growing up, I used to see myself as a very ambitious person. I literally wanted to do everything. Well, apart from teaching. My father was a head teacher but he would always tell me that teachers were not useful; apart from him of course. Now that I have grown up, I know that he didn’t really mean that, he just wanted a different career path for me.

I wanted to be Cassie Blake. Which kid watched secret circle and never wanted to be Cassie Blake anyway. I dreamt of getting in to the film industry and do marvelous so as to be noticed by the Hollywood industry and be taken in. I was going to be more famous than Lupita Nyong’o, okay, I didn’t know her by then but you get what I am saying.

While everyone else was talking of Catherine Kasavuli or Esther Arunga, my head was wrapped around Janet Mbugua. I loved her. I always thought KTN had underrated her by giving her lunch time news only. I wanted her voice and her beauty. So I wanted to be her. I didn’t even know what they were called back then, I just knew I wanted to be on TV and be as beautiful as she was. She is the reason I became addicted to watching KTN TV.

Patrick Loch Otieno Lumumba. Of course I know his full name. My father always quoted him for me. “He is the best lawyer, and you can learn more English from him”, he would say. My father wanted me to be a lawyer, but mum wanted me to be judge. “This one can argue with the wind and win”, my mum would say. “All the more reason for her to become a lawyer”, dad would jump in. so I decided to be both. I would be as prominent as PLO Lumumba then later become a judge. I would be as fair and just as that judge from “guilty or not guilty”. You should read that book.

I wanted to be Ngugi Wa Thiong’o. He is a legend. My legend. Everyone who knows me knows that I am a perfect story teller; it’s the writing part that is challenging. That did not hinder me from desiring to be Ngugi’s competitor. I wrote good compositions with him in mind, and I even started writing books, for my eyes only. I mostly wrote short stories because writing takes time and needs patience; not my strongest suit. Also because, I would still be on the first paragraph and yet my mind would already have concluded the story, it’s tricky I tell you.

I wanted to be Bonnie Bennett. Now I know Bonnie and Cassie have the same role but I wanted to be them for different reasons. Bonnie was the strongest witch I knew. And so I wanted her powers so as to punish evil doers. I used to play it in my head on how I would make their lives miserable until they apologize and change their ways. You would think I was a saint.

This might come across as weird but I truly wanted to be Wyre. Kevin Wyre. I loved his music. I still do and I think he is the most underrated Kenyan musician. I wanted to have his voice, but I would only sing gospel music. I would sing in the shower and pretend I was doing a duet with him. But I also think I inherited the love of singing from my mum. We sing all the time. Everywhere, anywhere. Not that am any good at it.

So I grew up knowing that I was ambitious, and my ambitions were valid. I mean I wanted to be an actress, a news anchor, a lawyer, an author, a musician and a witch; am not sure how being a witch is a career but I really thought that was very ambitious, until someone told me that I was just a very undecided person.

GRANDPA TOLD ME SO

i have no rights to this story. I uploaded it from Facebook because it got me thinking and was hilarious. well, let me not be in awe alone

Robbers enter a house, ask for all the money and valuables.
After they collect what they can, they give the man of the house a gun with instructions to shoot his wife or else he be shot himself.The man gets the gun, points it at his wife and hesitates.
He is thinking of what he has gone through in life with his wife and how she has suffered and sacrificed for him.
He hands back the gun and says, “I am sorry I can’t do this…
“The boss of the robbers silently grabs the gun from him and passes it on to the wife with the same instruction.
The wife gets the gun and without any single hesitation points to her husband’s head and pulls the trigger.
But alas, the gun had no bullets in it. The robbers get their gun
and walk out of the house laughing.

I can’t imagine what happened next in that house

SHE OF THE ROCK

She that has the strength of a lion and the heart of stark. The heroin of my past and my future. She is my worst enemy and yet my best friend.

She is the terror of our village.No one dares cross her and no one messes with her offspring. She is crazy and perfect at the same time

I fight with her and get mad at her. I make her angry and yet she still forgives me and soothes me. People say God created her from rocks and not mad as the rest of us.

She that cries when I cry, she that developed a heart of a rock for me to anchor on. The woman who is always far away from me yet so near in my heart.

photo credits to peetah photography

Whose beautiful heart I yearn to have, whose anger can demolish the mountains. A woman who protects me with all she’s got, my Cersei Lannister. She might not have fire, but she burns real bad

This is the woman I look up to. My heroin.The only one who loves me for who I am. My strength and my power. She calls me daughter, and I call her mummy.

THE DEAL WITH MY DAD

I don’t own this piece of art. I borrowed from a friend of mine; Oliver Aligura who is a promising poet.

He is a real father figure, I see his silhouette in me
I grew up knowing he is the toughest guy on the planet
That he could save a burning moon all by himself
If only it were possible
Luckily, now I know it’s mission impossible
But still, he’s been the best
Despite the fact that he talks more with my guys than he talks with me
But it’s well, story for another day

Today is about respect, honour and celebrating him
Because he’s proved he’s the toughest down here
The waters he’s been through could have turned others out here into fish
But he chose to belong to the main land
And as he struggled to get out of the waters
I stuck to his leg, and now we are here
Watch us; it’s new times here

So you see, he’s the mastermind
And I’m the Jr. Master girl executing the operation
The operation of not getting stuck in the waters
And with the heart of a Stark and a mind of a Spartan, I expertly control my land and my waters
So now you know, I don’t just exist like atoms
I have a Principal in my school with no existing dorms
My principle, is to run the school
So if you ever feel your class is getting too high, I expel you like high school

That’s it, that’s the deal,
On my journey, I won’t hide from the deal
I’ll protect my own family like my own life
And I’ll inject them with wisdom that I would’ve gathered over time, from rolling my snow ball
They are lucky they got such a big and rich mind
But the glory belongs to 1st, The Almighty then to my big man, the mastermind
For being kind,
And nice and harsh when it was necessary
To this point, when I’m curved wood of a woman, from a girl,
And so far, my existence has been legendary

May he live long to receive daily special updates
Because from where we are, victory is coming up next
And then he’ll be appreciated appropriately,
We love him,
And I know he knows, that probably it’s going to take me a long time before I say that in person accordingly.

He’s the Dad I owe
And I’m the daughter in awe.

TO DAD

My father never bought me a present. Not when I attained position one in my class, not on Christmas day and not even on my birthday. All presents came from my mother.

Growing up, I had this ill feeling about him for I felt he never loved me or either of my siblings. He always put on a serious face with little or no conversation with his family. We all feared him; well except my mother of course. He was the head teacher to our primary school and he transferred that strictness to our home.

As a toddler, he was always my best friend and every one knew that I was a daddy’s girl. I would always sit beside him and emulate whatever he was doing. According to my mum, I used to bully him. Well, all this came to an end as I grew up. I don’t really remember having any conversation with him hence we never bonded as father and daughter should. To me, there was no difference between him and and the absentee fathers.

Am grown up now and it dawned on me of how wrong I was. My father was and still is a quite man. He is one of those people who you will sit with for hours and not attempt to make any conversation. He is literally unsocial, if I can call it so. I have realized of how wrong I was because its not that he did not love us, he just doesn’t know how to pass it across. He is the kind of person who waits for someone else to start a conversation, then he expounds on it.

I have since thought about all the things he did for me without my knowledge. All the support he offered ranging from monetary to emotional. Not forgetting bringing me to this world. I am still a daddy’s girl to this day; even though i converse with my mum more often, I run to my dad first when am in real trouble. So today, I celebrate you daddy. Thank you for being my dad and for being my best friend. “My besto” as you call it. Your daughter loves you.

SCARS

Don’t get me wrong, I love my foster mother with all my heart. She is the best thing that has ever happened to me, but together with her love, she gave me something else I would never wish on any one. Not even on my worst of enemies.

I carry around scars that I never asked for. They are part of me as much as I wish they were not. For some time I was glad to have them. I smiled when anyone noticed them because for me, they made me resemble her in some way.

Now, I carry them as nightmares that I desperately need to wake up from. I am scared of turning out like her. She has changed a lot and I know that its old age but I am scared that that’s exactly where am heading. She has taken good care of me ever since she adopted me but I wish I could only have the good sides of her in my system.

I listen to her speak to people, discuss ideas or even defend her ideas and my heart tells me that it is very wrong. The way she puts things across is wrong. Then it hits me that I do the same thing. I never notice when doing it because am not on the receiving end.

I listen to her and its like am looking in a mirror. i don’t ever want to make people feel like their opinions don’t matter, and I know she doesn’t either. she just hasn’t realized she does that.

I wish that the scars I carry would be of the good old days and not the undesirable future am perceiving ahead of me. I hunger for change; for a change in me. So I sleep everyday pleading with God to change my heart. To change my relation with people and most importantly, to grant me my foster mother’s patient and loving heart.

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