I think am five feet nine inches tall. I’m not sure. Maybe. Last I checked I was five foot eight. At what age do heights stop growing again? Am taller than the middling girl, so you can imagine the level of confidence thy have along these streets. And the faces of my male buddies when i tease their heights…priceless! Being tall is good until you find yourself in a fourteen seater matatu that has undergone a series of remodelling. They are made in such a way that as you perch yourself, your knees have to kiss the back seat of the person at the fore without room for any adjustments whatsoever. So much so that by the time you alight you cannot even feel your legs.
Am heading to town. My extended legs are knocked off and the jam is showing no indication of ending soon. I text Ess. She’s my go-to when I need someone to not only buy time, but also when serious issues are at hand. And by serious I mean checking my bum whenever I stand during that time of the month just in case. I hope you read that sentence without selective amnesia. I tell her about the guy opposite who is making me uncomfortable. His arms don’t quite fold right, too much muscle for that I guess, but he was trying. Still, I hate when people stare at me with such sternness. Even behind the glasses I felt the weight of his gaze. Is it my dress code? Does he think my lipstick isn’t a match for my dark chocolate skin? Or is it my hair? Oh no, shit! It’s my boobs! He must be wondering; am half his girlfriends size! Okay groupies, we really never know what goes on in people’s heads for sure. He could be looking at me and thinking of porridge. C’est le vie!
You should listen to Alessia Cara more often!
She texted back and left. Just like that! I felt a little bad but I apprehend her. She despises my insecurities. On occasions, I would forge them for a piece of her pep talks! Sorry girl. Amazing would be an understated description of her. She’s one annoying phenomenal being who would shamelessly sell me off to a crush if we ran in to him. And laugh so hard later on cos she thinks it’s amusing. One would imagine our sleepovers are like watching movies as we chomp popcorns from a big bowl. Shock on you! I would be cleaning utensils, mind you I made super, and she’d be seated somewhere one leg on top of the other making stories and laughing at my bad jokes because the host is the guest… the law according to I don’t know who.
But let’s flashback to how we met and ended up being partners in crime. Exactly three years ago today, I lost my elder brother. *Sob sob* Ess and I were just mere classmates then. We’d go weeks without talking to each other. I wouldn’t call it enemnity. Our paths just hardly crossed and the possibility of us sitting next to one another one a scale of one to ten was zero. I usually sat in the middle while she was a wall person. So first day back in school after his funeral, she’s the first person I encounter and the first words out of her mouth are, Hi, you have such a tiny waist! Normally, this is the part I swoon. Shush, we acceded am now a grown up! Alternatively, I laughed, for the first time in two weeks and I loved her instantly!
It was a weird start for a friendship. But out of everyone I met, she’s the only one who didn’t tell me I cut weight, or my eyes were swollen, or that I will be okay, that it is normal. Some were silent yet pity reigned screams all over their faces. Others were so oblivious wondering why i had been avoiding classes and no matter how much it pinched, I had no right to be mad at them cos guess what, the world didn’t lose a brother…we did.
And what troubled me even more is the fact that members of my family felt it or dreamt about it. I have never been able to stomach the fact that when Tony was having his last moments I was busy feeling guilty for not wishing my boyfriend a happy birthday! My friends will tell you, I hardly forget stuff, especially not birthdays. I hadn’t overlooked. I was trying to find ample time to sit and compose a satisfactory wish because I once told him a plain ‘Happy birthday’ and he didn’t talk to me for days. It was not until later that I realized he felt it was too shallow coming from me. Life of a writer…people think you have a word store where you just go and pluck like flowers in a yard! SMH. Anyway, what if that was my cue? Maybe God kept me preoccupied so that he could have a peaceful departure.
Time heals. That’s one thing I have come to glean over the past years. You don’t forget or get over it…no! As it passes, you learn to reduce the pain to a tolerable level. That which doesn’t destroy you. Two years ago I’d be up in my mom’s throat pressuring her to tell me how it happened. How was it? What were his last words? Was his last breath an in or did he breathe out and never breathed in again? I would do anything to have that closure. But now I know I can live without it. She may or may never tell us the circumstances before his death, and that’s okay. Maybe the experience was too hard for her to relive it or one day when she’s ready we’ll all be assembled and she will cry her heart out, who knows? It doesn’t matter. Knowing will not bring him back to life the same way ‘feeling something’ didn’t prevent his death.
Sometimes she puts him on her profile, other times she wears his clothes and I think to myself she hasn’t gotten over him. But really, none of us has. Once in a while you walk by the road and see someone who looks like him, talks like him or smiles like him and you feel sentimental. Other times I see his face whenever I cook ugali because he used to say my ugali is the shape of my head. And talking of ugali…people and fictions though!! So, the day of the burial tradition has it that we had to cook, eat and spend the night in our house. Not a must but recommended. Don’t ask, I also don’t know why. So we cooked ugali and it cracked and a distant relative said it meant bad luck, like someone will die. She advised that the cure of such is to curse out. Less than two weeks later, my aunt passed. It’s okay, don’t cry. There wasn’t enough pain in the world to get rid of the anger. Losing two loved ones in one month span was a tall order! I wrapped myself in anger, with a dash of hate, and at the bottom of it all was an icy center of pure terror. I hate it even more that every once in a while I have to curse out my meals because I fear losing one more person I care about! Fay, at least now you know why I hate cooking ugali!
See how easy it is to focus on non issues? Other people’s opinions, your past, the number of books you have read, your popularity, death, jealousy, revenge, death etc all don’t matter. Like how am worried this post isn’t going to be such a hit because half of you will read and think my grammar sucks forwhy i just thought about it and wrote without revising and now am like damn, am I even making any sense? And the other half will think am just a girl in denial. But truth is I just wanted to pen down something small on this day because it means something to me and I want you to finish without being judgmental, after all it doesn’t matter.