Everything

6:00 o’clock.

He found his way home at 6:00 o’clock in the morning. He went straight to the bathroom, turned on the shower and stayed there until he heard the front door being shut.

It was the eighth time he’d done just that.

She was not counting, but who knew that every time he did it, her heart broke, a dimming of a light that wanted to shine bright. She would get to work, put on her smile and attend to clients all day. He would text once or call sometime towards the evening, “I’ll be working late.”

She would ask herself, “Working on who?” but would simply text back or answer “It’s okay love.”

Love. Love. Love. Love. Love. Love. Love. Love.

She said it for every time he came home late…she would say it to herself, not to him, he did not deserve to see her break.

When she asked her friends for advice, some shook their head and then continued chatting on their phones and taking selfies. Some friends pitied her while others told her to hang in there. He was going through something and if she butted in, he would not resolve it. “If your man wants space, give it to him, or else you’ll lose him.”

So, she sat on her desk, called the florist outside their office building and asked him to wrap two roses…in brown wrapping and deliver them to his office…

One last time.

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21 things about me right now

  1. I am replaying Hillsong United‘s 2016 album, Let There be Light.
  2. I had tea in the morning and now, I am drinking my first cup of black coffee.
  3. Reading: 
  4. I love taking off my shoes and walking barefoot in the office 🙂
  5. The campaign I am currently loving and following has got to be: ONE CAMPAIGN: The Fight Against Extreme Poverty
  6. I love Java 🙂 and now our office is a five minute drive away from it.
  7. I love the new layout of books at Books First in Nakumatt (Mega Plaza Kisumu), going to get 4 books this afternoon: The Fallen Angels series by J.R.Ward
  8. I can’t go a day without scrolling through the WordPress Reader.
  9. I take this album everywhere I go: Image result for divide ed sheeran because Ed Sheeran just is.
  10. I’ve lost 1.5kgs and it’s bugging me.
  11. Highlighters are my new craze
  12. I have never missed an episode or re-run of Twist of Fate which airs on ZeeWorld.
  13. I am nervous about the release of my new book-> I’d talked of it here
  14. Totally loathe writing work plans!
  15. Looking forward to the Mothering Sunday service at Church this Sunday, because moms are moms.
  16. My ringtone is Work from Home by Fifth Harmony (don’t ask, don’t tell)
  17. I’ve been to the JUMIA Pick-Up station in Kisumu seven times this month alone!
  18. So proud of my myself because a success story report I wrote was published on two sites, and it’s enhanced the visibility of the organization 🙂
  19. Writing more this week and it feels great.
  20. I have a lot more to achieve and sometimes when I think about it, I find myself saddened by the things I am yet to do.
  21. I cry when I watch movies: Have you watched Lion?  I cried so much my sister had to pause the movie and tell me to shut up or we could stop watching it…my cousins just laughed, my mom handed me the third handerkerchief and told my cousin “enda ulete tissue moja umpe Arch.”

A Rose for Every Season

When a woman gets to her breaking point, two things are certain; vengeance or surrender.

If anyone told you that Helen chose neither vengeance nor surrender, you would react the same way I did. You would shake your head, laugh and walk away.

If you embody certain Kenyan mannerisms you’d throw in the phrase Ghai! Wacha jokes! 

There is something beautiful about betrayal, a certain unveiling of character and actions that make life worth living. It is like watching two bulls lock horns and even though you are guaranteed the show of a lifetime, you know that at any moment the tables could be turned on you…and lastly there’s blood. Of all the magnificent colors in the world, why did blood have to be red and not silver?

So, there I was laughing when it hit me, that what Helen did is something that took not her courage, but her resolution…she did what I would never do, and that is why her story is worth telling.

PS: It’s just began, a process that I had to endure, the frustrations and pace in writing. I am pleased it’s being edited 🙂 

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I dream of a world…

I dream of a world, a world where…I don’t know. It just looks so crisp and clear in my mind, but when I try to write it down, then my fingers refuse to hover over this keyboard…I press “Enter” and nothing fills the screen like it does my mind.

A world…

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I dream of what I have been taught to deem impossible: honesty, humanity, empathy, understanding, love.

I wonder what it feels like to be a Member of Parliament in Kenya. Isn’t it blissful to drive around in a Range Rover, splashing dirty water on the people who appointed you to be their representative? To sit back and watch Teachers and Doctors down their tools because they demand better working conditions and resources, and to simply say your pay package should be tripled? To eat samosas and drink tea along corridors, while street kids beg and watch you over the electric fence, being held back by young men with guns?

Is it not bliss?

To stand before the very same people you drive past, and say “if you elect me this round, I will bring good roads, our children will go to school, and our mothers will not die during delivery?” To stand and spew such words, you call them truth, and when you leave, you hand over twenty thousand shillings to a group of people and watch them punch each other for it.

I wonder, is it not blissful, to produce newspapers that only few can afford, a feeding of the mind, of information that is discussed and printed based on whose cheque has more zeroes and comas?

I dream of a world, a world that would be quite bland without a twinge of greed, lust, murder, deceit.

I wonder, is it really democracy when the decision of forty million people is left in the hands of around two hundred people? Is it democracy when we have to beg for donations, for other countries to feed our own children, while we drink tea and samosa at 10,000 shillings?

  • Sometimes, I dream of a world where in writing new worlds would be created that would do away with the grief of the current world.
  • A world where one who is accused of crimes against humanity and mass murders is not given the chance to vie for top leadership, until they are proven innocent.
  • A world where we are not told of what is wrong, but we see it and speak of of it and correct it.
  • A world where your name is just that, your name and not the root cause of all the prejudice and hate one has bee taught to feel.
  • A world where a child learns under a well built classroom, with a well motivated teacher, healthy classmates and most of all, the confidence of taking exams- not as a judgment, but as a refresher of what s/he has learned.

I dream and sometimes, I look at myself and wonder, what am I doing towards creating this world? Is it not in writing? Is it not through words, in my expression? Is it not through the initiatives I am engaged in?

The only question that remains is: is it enough?

Back to square one; reflecting on writing

Have you ever found yourself going back to the beginning?

I am talking about a situation that makes you stop, go back in time, and then come to the present to figure out where you went wrong or why you did not see it coming?

This week has been my reflection week (hence few posts, if I may admit) and the key issue that has been bugging me is my writing.

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Image courtesy of: Stocksnap

There are three things I wish everyone knew about writing and Writers:

  1. Writers are not gods. We create worlds but we do not magically make them appear.
  2. Writing takes time and energy. There are good days and bad days, but the bottom line is that there are days!
  3. The first draft is just that…the first draft, and it takes more work to get it into that book that a reader holds.

So, I woke today at 2A.M.and sat on the floor beside my bed, pulled out my notebook and started updating the story I have been writing and halfway through, I found myself irritated by what I had written and frustrated that it was not flowing like I needed it to.

I closed the notebook and went back to sleep.

When I woke up at 6:30A.M, I opened that notebook and there it was again, three pages of babbling that did not appeal to the story I was writing and as I looked at it, I went back in time and asked myself, “why am I writing this story in the first place? Why have I been writing every day? What’s so unique about this story?”

As am I typing this, the answer still remains, “It’s you who is impatient.” This story wants to be told, and I started out so well, when I was optimistic about it but now because of other projects and work, I have set it aside and only come to it when I am frustrated.

Have you ever found yourself going back to the beginning? If you have, don’t be afraid of what you might find as your weak spot. It will freak you out, make you sad, angry or disappointed in people and yourself, but…if it’s to do with something you are passionate about, it is definitely worth the trip!

I am working on letting go of my frustrations because…this book deserves better, my writing deserves the best.

 

You won’t believe what happened to me

Have you ever been stuck in traffic while you were pressed? You know, there you are in a matatu that sped off the stage only to get caught up in traffic, sandwiched between an SBI truck and a HASHI Petroleum tanker and you’ve got to pee?

So, there I was adjusting my feet you’d think the distance between the seat in front of me and my seat was a killer option, when this beautiful lady spotting short hair settles in the seat beside me. She smiled at me. I smiled back (it’s always good to smile at people while you enjoy public transport, who knows, they might think you’re crazy but when you get into trouble, they might save you as you wait for an ambulance).

I kept settling in my seat. Shifting the weight of my bladder from one side to the other, as I kept my focus on the traffic that was shamelessly building up.

The lane cleared up and we started moving. I thanked the heavens because I wanted to get to United Mall, hop on a motorbike and dash home.

Then, we stopped…like seriously stopped and the tout stepped out of the vehicle and walked over to the driver’s side. At this point, I could definitely feel it slipping through, making it’s way out of my bladder and then…this girl, the one with short hair, decides to open a bottle of Coke! I heard that ‘pssss’ sound and I said, “excuse me” and gave the tout twenty shillings and ran through to the other side and walked into the nearest filling station and asked to use their washroom!

See, I learned something:

  1. Do not open a bottle of Coke next to someone who is fidgeting in their seat.

 

 

 

 

Glass

It comes to me in pieces; that day after the party, at your place, outside Naivas Supermarket, the Family Kitchen Restaurant, the church and sometimes…sometimes when I try to shake it off, it comes at 2 A.M.

They say it takes time.

They say, “You are still young, you’ll move on and find somebody else.”

It’s easy. You know, you are like a Mr. Berry bubblegum wrapper, disposed just as easy and fast after you’ve got the gum. You chew for a minute and dispose of the gum and unwrap the next one. It is true, you can never just have one Mr. Berry gum…five is a start.

How would they know? I saw you walking into Mega Plaza today. You were wearing that blue shirt that gives you the Corporate look and you were carrying that awful laptop bag that needs a wash more than a truck ferrying sand. You were talking to someone, ‘her’ I suppose, but there you were…two steps ahead of me and I could hear you, see you and if I tried hard enough, I could have taken in your scent.

It’s never the same.

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It is never about who was wrong or who felt betrayed, but more about what happens. I wish it was more about us back then. You never listened…passion trumps rationale, and you would never know it, but I lost our child. Baby Emmanuela, a gem, the one you longed for…and what hurts even more is that you never gave me a chance to share the news with you.

They told you I was with your best friend. They said,‘you can’t trust these chics, they can definitely bring you down, kwani is she the only one?’ What’s worse is that you listened to people who were surrounded by liquor they never brewed or produced. You took in the word of people who never invested in our relationship and you refused to listen. You threw away a friendship because of your inability to deal with your fear…the fear that you could lose me to James. He is an awesome guy, a great listener…but he will never be you, but you never cared to listen.

I walked behind you until you stepped onto the escalator and descended to the floor below. The lady was now holding your hand, leaning into your embrace and you were smiling at her.

They say I will get over it…and things will be okay, have you ever broken glass? Have you ever looked at the shattered pieces and seen how the light strikes each piece?

I need the light to illuminate my heart. I need it just one more time, because a part of me would like to face you and tell you that on the day you saw me with James, he was calming my nerves because I had just found out that we would be having a child. You were down on finances and the thought of telling you about the baby freaked me out…so much so that I was talking to myself right outside Alpha House…and James was passing by…

Would it matter? I don’t know.

You are happy. You are glowing, a smile upon us mere mortals who betrayed you, and sometimes I reckon losing both you and Emmanuela was a gift, a reminder that life was still bright and crystal clear like glass even after your heart’s been shattered.

For Helen…hope this shines a light on you. 

xoxo

 

 

My week so far

I am officially a year older! Well, March is my birthday month and I was looking forward to having a nice laid back fun day spent at Java, sipping coffee and eating chocolate fudge cake. Well, that’s what I thought I would do, when I posted this.

The truth is, my birthday landed on a working day and I stayed up till 1:00am getting things done.

I woke up on Thursday feeling out of sorts because the first song I came across my playlist was Stay With Me by Sam Smith and I wasn’t in the mood for feeling blue.

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So, I walk into the office all blue and moody and grouchy and “I don’t want to talk to anybody” mood written all over my face when my Supervisor says, “Listen, you and I are going to Java today to get coffee and cake! Alright?”

Now, Heaven is in my face and I say “Alright,” and that was the beginning of a fun day…well, at least for a couple of hours because work had to be done, reports and emails had to be read, proofed, edited and sent.

The highlights of my week had to be:

  1. Learning that I am aging quite gracefully and my baby cheeks are still on point.
  2. Understanding that life goes on because it should never stop, and whenever I want the world to stop for me, it will sprint instead!
  3. Love is…
  4. Getting an awesome Thermos Flask from my Mom because she knows I could use some coffee while at work, and besides she is worried sick that I am starting to lose weight again.
  5. Getting a copy of Americanah by Chimamanda Adichie from my sister 🙂
  6. Getting 4 awesome books to read.
  7. Celebrating International Women’s Day and appreciating the fact that the world is working towards gender equality because women’s rights are human rights, and this journey will take a lot of effort and time.
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Books I’m looking forward to reading!

Sugar

It came as a thought, a flicker,

It gave me quite a kicker, these words, these colors in my head that swirl every time I close my eyes. Blue, red, yellow and brown, brown always comes last. Brown settles the score, reminding me who’s boss.

Would you…

I wonder, would you spare a moment, during halftime, to look my way?

Would you spend a moment, a fleeting second to push back your stool, tell your boys, “I’m done,” and never drown your joys in a brown bottle? Whisky, Scotch, Red Label…

To see the King I see, would you let go of the slave you embrace, in the name of status?

To see the Eagle I see, would you push aside the thorns, you call friends and embrace the path without light?

My guy, you guy…

Would you…

I wonder, sugar, as sweet and soluble as you are, you bruise and move on, “mwanaume ni kujichocha,” you laugh, but your smile does not light up in your eyes.

Go and get that car, like the one Jaymo has,

Go and get that 40 inch Samsung TV, like the one, Chris has,

While you’re at it, go and get more stuff, to drown who you are, “babe, kwani why are you talking like that?” 

I wonder, sugar, you dissolve in stuff, sweetening tastes for others, losing yourself with every stir.

I got my sugar, but it’s not my taste.