That Friday the 13th.

I remember the last time I saw you. Yea, I do. One month down the line and I remember it like it was yesterday. In detail. Funny how the brain chooses to remember some things and never the answers during an exam. Sigh. Anyway, what was I saying? Something in the lines of how well I remember that day, the details are actually overwhelming. I can almost smell the air in the room that morning. Early morning air. Crisp, clean filled with unspoken emotions and unanswered questions. How does air even smell? In my mind, I reach out to touch you. My mind playing games on me. Why do I remember these things at the randomest (Randomest even a word?) of times? It’s 3am for crying out loud! I grab my pen and paper, no use forgetting a memory so clear.

You were so happy that morning. I stood aside and watched you go about your normal morning routine. But boy, were you happy? Reminded me of a child. A child in a toy store. so happy you could hardly sit still? Why were you so happy anyway? Morning routines, me attempting to make your morning smoothie, you following me into the kitchen with your belt in hand. Me mixing the ingredients, you tying your belt.  You taking the cup from the nutri bullet before I could blend it and adding an extra assortment of ingredients. I never get it right do I? It never seems to bother you anyway, especially not this morning. You chat away as you go about your tasks. The blending damn!!! That thing does make a lot of noise, no? Watched you down the brown liquid, then walk to the bedroom to grab your socks.  You come back to wear your socks in the sitting room. Some kind of routine you  had unconsciously formed, you following me around, pieces of clothing in your hands as you got dressed for the day.

Your happiness was almost palpable. I debated on whether to reach out and touch it or would that ruin the magic of the morning? Seeing you so happy made me happy. Isn’t happiness like yawning? You only have to see it to be infected. I was having mixed feelings though, I knew it was the last time I was seeing you in such a long time. Why were you so happy then? You asked if  your outfit was ok, I answered that it was fine. I should have said you looked amazing. You did. You wondered if it was too casual for the office, If you should maybe change your shoes. I sat there looking at you, feeling amused. You decided to keep the shoes. They matched your outfit.

You picked your laptop bag, unplugged your phone from the charger. All the while chatting away. I responded with aahhms, ok’s and mmhh?s. I was happy to just sit there and watch. You came where I was sitting, stood right in front of me and reached out for a hug. I ignored you. I knew that hug would be sealed with a kiss, and with that, you would be out of the door. Instead, I asked you a question. Something silly. Was trying to buy me some time. You answered silly question. Cheerfully in fact. Normally you would have taken a moment, mused at the silliness of said question and then looked at me intensely to establish if I was indeed being serious or not. Not that morning though. You answered silly question.  You were that happy. I obliged you the next time you reached for that hug. Stood up to be enveloped in the warmest of embraces. To fit perfectly in your arms. A long hug. You tried to let go but yours truly held on. You must have sensed my shakiness because you  held on tighter.  As if letting go would cause me to tumble in a pile. Nothing lasts forever though, and especially not warm tight hugs.

On your way out, you told me I could open that curtains if I wanted to. Yea, that’s how you said it. “Open” the curtains. I remember because later as I “opened” the curtains, I mused at how random that was. You stopped to look at me one last time as if taking a mental picture. An intense look, so intense it made me look away. I am not one to look away.  You smiled at me and said I looked like I had something to say. I said no. Truth is, I had so much to say. You looked at me doubtfully and asked if I was sure, I nodded yes and reaffirmed it with a “Yep” that I hoped was more convincing. You smiled, bade me goodbye and just like that, shutting the door behind you were gone.

I leaned back against the door and wrestled with my emotions. Finally, I walked back, sat on my chair and felt alone. Almost empty. Why does English not have words for such deep yet sensitive feelings? I wondered if I should have spoken my mind.  Maybe I should have begged you not to leave and proceeded to tempt you not to go to work. Maybe I should have asked you to come back inside even if for just an hour just so i could busk in that happiness you had that morning. Maybe I should have asked for another hug and this time not let go so quick. Maybe I should have said nothing, pulled you back inside, shut the door and hid the key, made you sit on your seat, and watched you do the things you loved to do inside the house. I didn’t though now did I? Instead, I let you go.

Knowing me, and with this being all in my imagination, a factitious writing like  this would have had a sad ending. You would befall a somewhat gruesome conclusion. And what with it being Friday the thirteenth? Fiction or not though, I will not allow anything to happen to you. I will not let my imagination harm you. No, my fingers on this keyboard will not be how  you meet your untimely end. Instead, I will sit back in my chair, and remember in detail the last time I saw you. Happily leaving for work. On a Friday morning, dressed ever so casually, laptop bag in one hand and you randomly asking me to “open” the curtains on your way out.

See you again soon my love. Carry that happiness wherever you may go despite the curves life might throw at you. We will meet again I solemnly swear. Even if it only be in dreams such as these.







The War Within


Choices; They have consequences. You know this, I know this. Everybody knows this. Yet we still make some messed up ones.

Pick up the phone, put it down. Pick it up again, dial, chicken out, and hang up after the first ring. Kick yourself in the butt. Put phone down. Pick up your tablet, go to YouTube. Listen to sad love songs. Have a hard time falling asleep. Maybe cry a little. Pick up the phone again. That phone next to you is like a pimple, as much as you want to avoid it, you can’t. You know it’s there, it won’t leave you alone, and the itch just won’t go away. You scratch the itch. First mistake.

Rule number one: Never scratch the itch.

You go to Whatsapp, damn you Whatsapp! Kidum-Mpenzi is playing on the background. You go through your past chats. The ones that made you smile like a fool alone on the bus, the ones that made you cry alone late at night in your bed. The ones that left you feeling vulnerable, exposed and alone. Stop it Kidum, what do you know about “Kutekwa ndani ya mtando wa mapenzi” anyway? Who needs lessons on “mapenzi ya fujo”? That itch, you keep scratching it. You know you shouldn’t, but you do it anyway.

Rule number two: Don’t keep scratching the damn itch!!!

But rules were not made for the likes of you. No, away with the rules. You scratch some more it feels good at first. You scroll down to the last message, yours. He hasn’t said a thing, but why should he? You asked him not to.

YouTube should just leave you alone. Now you are listening to songs you didn’t even know existed. Juliana & Bushoke “Usiende mbali” is now playing. Messing with your head. Taking you to a good place but not quite. You know the consequences of scratching an itch at this point, you are beyond caring. Why oh why do you still have those past chats five months down the line? Is it a sign of denial? It’s 1:58am. You have no business being awake but an itch is an itch.

You scroll back to the day it was all taken away from you. When your heart was ripped out of your chest and crushed to pieces which you are still trying to piece together to date. You curse under your breath. That scratching doesn’t feel good any more but the damage is done. That pimple is a mess. It hurts like a mother.  So much so, it doesn’t feel like it’s even been five months. The memories have made themselves at home in your brain. They have bought a comfortable couch and have even subscribed to Netflix. When they are not chilling, they are busy haunting you like little stubborn ghosts.  The pimple is bleeding. What the hell, you might as well. So you open your gallery and look at the photos.(You still have those photos?Seriously?) By now you are oblivious to whatever YouTube is trying to forcefully shove into your ears.

You look at that face. That face your arms know well, so well you can trace it with your eyes closed. Lips that kissed the pain away, lips that hold secrets only two lovers can know.Lips that whispered sweet nothings to you during moments of unbridled passion.Yet the same lips that spewed hateful hurtful words without a second thought. A smile so mischievous that years down the line still sends shivers down your spine. Eyes that looked deep into your soul and from which conspiratorial winks were once delivered leaving you red to your toes. A neck that bruised so easily and as a result constantly but proudly bore tattoo evidence of your love. Shoulders so strong and inviting they had you lean on them even when you were not crying. Hands, hands that know everything there is to know about you. Hands that explored and took you places. Hands that know you so intimately, you look away slightly embarrassed.

Love is stupid, and so are pimples by the way. You wish picking up the phone and calling was as easy as it used to be. You almost, just almost beat yourself up for not taking a chance to get back together last month when it presented itself. You feel your resolve weakening.  Your girlfriends will have your hide for this. (I don’t mean you Renee). You know why you did not take that chance. Stupid it may be, but love should not hurt, love should make you cry only happy tears, love stands by you when things get tough. It is about trust, and compromise for all involved. Love is patient, love is kind so on and so forth. You get the point.

You put the phone down. Turn off your electronics, turn off the lights and oh crap, it is 2:28am. Better go to sleep. You may have scratched that pimple today to the point of bleeding, but you left it at that, before it got worse.  Today you have won the war. A little bit at least.

Rule number three: Never ever forget that even scratched bleeding pimples (though they may leave a scar) heal.