I need a drink

Two things ring true about Grumpy; he is grumpy in the morning and he is grumpy in the afternoon.

When he called at 9:00am, I looked around before answering my phone, because he always starts the conversation with “where are you?”

Today, he said “I need a drink, have one with me.”

“What kind of drink?”

“Something black, hot, frothy and if it comes with chocolate cake, I’m all in. What are you doing?”

“I am at work.”

“Wait, what? You work on Saturdays? Are you serious?”

“No, I am not but my employer is, so when do we have that drink that you seriously need?”

“I’ll call you in the afternoon or the evening.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes I am sure.”

“Okay, see you then.”

coffee latte art froth cappuccino drink espresso milk foam mug caffeine dark cup saucer table kitchenware
Spencer Selover took this awesome photo on stocksnap.io

 

Sensation

I stumbled upon an idea. It jolted me out of bed at three in the morning, onto the tiled floor and back into bed safe under the warm duvet. Then I remember my hand gliding across the notepad, scribbles here and there, a rush towards the feeling that denied me sleep.

Once my heart found its pace, I sat back in bed and pulled the curtains to see what nature had in store for me at four in the morning.

I heard cats meowing.

I reached for the power button on the wall and switched off the lights and lay there staring at the net right above me. I wonder, am I the only one who hears mosquitoes even where they are not present? It is too cold for those creatures to disturb my sleep here and suddenly I miss Kisumu.

I miss hearing the quarrels and chants of drunkards from Obunga. I miss hearing the sound of loud unwanted music from every corner of estate pubs- and motorcycles as they cruise through.

I wrote a story about four women each at a turning point in their life. It felt like my awakening, something that reminded me about the power of sisterhood, and what it means to confide in a fellow woman and have them help you pull through tough situations.

When I stepped out of bed at seven in the morning, I reached out for that notepad and all that was there was a line, a phrase that could not even build the sensation that I felt in those few hours…and that’s what writing is, sometimes all it takes is that one sensation, the feeling that this could lead somewhere.

Ablaze

I know how to light things up

You know…to blow things out of proportion.

How about that time when those women talked of an ungrateful son, and I thought of a prince and a kingdom?

How about when Grumpy said “okay,” and I thought we were done.

Or when he called twenty times and I did not answer, or apologize?

See, I know how to set emotions ablaze.

pink flowers bloom petals nature

Take a pinch of doubt, sprinkle some unmet expectations, let it simmer in your mind for ten minutes then serve while hot.

Take an ounce of joy, you know the feeling of sheer bliss that emanates from a hug, kiss, or assurance, it often inspires you to sing or continuously update your Facebook status. Take this ounce of joy, let it boil for five minutes by scrolling through your IG feed for #baegoals  and then have it cool…it is a dish best served with either a warm blanket or a box of tissues, you decide.

I know how to light things up, to set the world on fire with these little sets of dynamite called emotions, for once they are summoned, they rarely leave a party.

Darling, before I sat to type all this, I was ablaze, and nothing beats being in a new town- loving the people, the places, the night life but totally missing the weather you used to own as yours.

Greetings from Eldoret!

 

 

Spotlight

When your life is illuminated, you cannot say that you do not see the shadows.

Sandy could have fooled everyone, but me. Fourteen years of smiles, laughter, disappointments and fear, that was us. She was the one who beat up that Louisa girl who stole my blue fountain pen in class six. She was the one who climbed the mango tree in kibuye Estate, and threw down mangoes for me to eat, and even when we were caught, she said it was her idea. I could tell you that she was the one who knew where my dreams ended just as much as where they begun.

The spotlight was on.

theatre dark spotlight flashlight curtain

Sandy called me and when I answered she said, “I am done!”

I knew.

I knew, deep down in my coffee-filled heart that she had come to this decision because she was ready. We met outside Avenue Hospital at 2pm. She was in her “stunnerz” as she calls them, and was dragging her blue suitcase struggling to save face while steering clear of the boda boda men. I opened my arms and she walked right into them.

“Twende tukule chipo kwa Frank!” She whispered in my ear.

I flagged down a tuk tuk. We got her suitcase in and then we were off to Frank’s place, a small coca-cola kiosk directly opposite our house. Once there, we ordered chips and a litre of Fanta Orange. I waited for her to tell me everything, because I am impatient when it comes to confessions. I thrive on pain and can hold onto pain like someone holding onto dear life, it is why I did not pursue Counseling as a profession.

I hurt easily but do not forgive as easily as it should be.

I also bear the burden of everyone who opens up to me and that is destructive as I learned that depression is the silent partner who accompanies you everywhere, unlike your shadow, she becomes one with you over time and you know and feel something is wrong but getting out is like sinking deeper into it.

Sandy just kept stuffing the chips into her mouth and commenting about the vehicles that drove past us. I looked at her hands, long slender fingers, and smiled. We had been through this three years ago. She came fed off my support and went back to the hell hole she called love.

I looked at her again and then said, “are you going to take off those glasses?”

“Why, do they bother you?”

“No, not at all, I want to see your eyes.”

“Why? Kuna shida nikivaa stunnerz zangu?”

“No, there’s no problem unless you want to continue creating one.”

“Eish! I have had quite a long night, so spare me the lectures, because frankly speaking I do not need them. By the way, this place has not changed much.”

“No, it hasn’t.”

“So, how’s work? How do you like the whole eight to five thing?”

“I’m doing what I can with what I have.”

“Don’t you miss being on the road? And how are things with you Odhiambo, did he ever make a move? I know that guy’s had it for you since like forever, and you, you are so stubborn to see it! Have you talked to Tru? We have to meet! It’s been ages!”

“Welcome back to earth and we are not talking about my love-life or the lack of it. We can talk about a road trip, and this time I have my eyes set on Kakamega…that place has been calling out to me for ages!”

“Kakamega? Pssh! You should aim higher, let’s go to Zanzibar!”

“I have to save for that to happen, so let’s pay for this and go to the house.”

“Is your Mom around?”

“Yes, it’s the holidays and she’s there. I already told her that you would be staying with us for a while.”

“Look, I don’t want any problems but here’s the thing, Jared proposed. I cannot pretend that everything is okay, because the guy had the nerve to ask me to marry him in front of everyone at the office.”

“And…”

“His baby mama was standing right there, they both thought that I had no idea, Arch, they just…take my advice, never let anyone take your love for a ride…you know my Dad was never there, but to choose me over his kid, Jared ni mjinga sana…I just couldn’t stay there, and when are you coming back to Nai?”

“Let’s go home and we can have some tea then I’ll tell you.” We walked to the house my thoughts still going to Sandy and her resolution.

Getting back on track

April’s not going down as I envisioned it. I know that challenges are part of life but in terms of writing, it’s not been an epic month for me. I managed to write 30,000 words of a story. Things were getting better until I sent it out for review and it was shredded to pieces!

Literally, it came back all red with one bold comment, “I thought we’d graduated from this kind of writing.” So, I set the manuscript aside, walked to Moha’s shop, bought a 500ml Fanta Orange, and had it while watching Spongebob Square Pants.

Ever since, I have not been able to write or better yet work on something else, until this past weekend where I decided to go with my gut feeling. It hurts when you write up something and it is met with such negativity, sometimes the criticism helps, but sometimes it wears you down.

I understand that not everyone would swoon over what I write. It’s just as well because as a reader I also find some genres not to my liking. As a Consumer, I stick to some products because of the value I feel they add to my life- hence my love for a sugar high with Fanta. I am not a Coca Cola person. It just isn’t my kind of beverage. So, in writing I use the same perspective to appreciate criticism.

The Crown of the Sea is out now!

The Crown of the Sea by [Dora Okeyo]

It’s so short that you’ll wonder what I’m talking about in just 12 pages! Wonder what ideas will come into your head as you read this, and whether you’ll feel for the Narrator like I did, but all in all, it’s got me out of my funk and I am relaxed.

It’s free on Amazon, so how about you check it out here–> The Crown of the Sea

Last night’s star

I saw you.

Yes, you.

I saw you walking down the road, hands tucked in your pockets, earphones plugged into your ears. You had somewhere to go.

I saw you.

Yes, you.

I saw you at Nakumatt, wondering which deodorant to buy- pacing back and forth, Axe, Nivea, Fa. You had something you needed to buy.

I saw you.

Yes, you.

I saw you at the bus stop, you were eating roasted maize. You were talking to another guy, the story he was telling you made you choke on the maize you were eating. You had something to laugh about.

I saw you.

Yes, you.

I saw you talking to her. She wore a turquoise sweater, black skinny jeans that revealed that firm behind. You were talking, she was shouting. You were pacing back and forth. She was folding her hands across her chest. She left, and you turned to punch the wall…and then you saw me.

You saw me.

Yes, you.

You saw me and walked away.

It’s a small world

Happy Easter holidays! How’s your holiday break coming along?

Well, mine was just fine until I ran into the one person I never thought I would. No, it was not in an elevator, but in a supermarket. I should really stop shopping at the Naivas Supermarket here in Kisumu, but I can’t help it…they do sell braids at quite a fair price, so when a Darling Dealer shop is closed, I simply get my braids from Naivas.

Enough about that, so there I was, distracted by the books when someone tapped my shoulder. I mean it, like they did tap my shoulder a good one. So, I turn and there’s this lady giving me the complete run down, assessing how far below her status I am, and I am thinking, in terms of dressing-way below her status. I walk around town in flip flops, fancy jammies and a t-shirt. However, I am standing next to books, so I still win.

She sneers and says, “Yaani you don’t know me?”

“I am sorry, but I don’t.”

“Well, anyways, you wouldn’t, but that’s okay. I still had his baby and I heard that you ended things with him, well, a little too late, but it seems life has it’s way of making things even. Our son is six years old now.”

“Okay, congratulations,” I said.

She smirks and goes on, “So, what are you up to these days?”

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“Nothing much, but I am glad you are doing well,” I say and smile, trying not to roll my eyes for real and say “bitch please.” She does not seem to be in a hurry, in fact she shrugs and then blurts ” Yaani, you seriously never married him? The way he would go on about you like you were the only girl in the world? Nilichoka kusikia jina yako yaani, and I was quite angry and jealous plus you were at some fancy school…haiya, na gari yako iko wapi mtoto wa sonko? Wait, did you pick an accent from uni? No offense but Mungu ni mwema! If you see him, say hello, I am so over that.”

I turned to see if anyone was witnessing this because it felt like a vivid hallucination. I said “thank you,” and side-stepped her to make my way to the aisle where I could buy those braids that brought me to the supermarket in the first place.

I have seen baby mamas but please tell me when you come across a sane and silent one! I mean one who is not angry at all women and ready to pick a fight if you dare smile at “her man.” She held a grudge for six years! 6 years just hoping and wishing that she would come across me and talk ill to my face, and I gave her three minutes of which she could not see through her bitterness. Maybe I could have pulled an accent…that’d be a disaster! A great one! I was tempted to defend myself and say, “hey, I was the one who left him…because I was young, dumb, in-love and pissed off when I found out he had gotten some chic pregnant.”

I reckon sometimes we remember what we ought to forget and forget what we ought to remember. I couldn’t fault her for her bitterness, but she reminded me of an experience I buried in 2011, and thank the Writing Fairies for Smashwords because I went back and 1033 downloads are something to brag about letting things off your chest uh?

And the next time you see me in boy jeans, a t-shirt and flip flops…be nice! I happen to love the look!