Her nature

She can be really loud while talking, singing or even walking around, boisterous in every way, even in the most inappropriate places, and situations

She’s the type of woman to talk loudly about how awesome you are in the middle of a restaurant or asking you if you switched off the iron box in the middle of a church service, not caring about what the people staring at her think.

She pays no attention to the people who tell her to be quiet, the ones who tell her to be modest act more like a lady. She doesn’t even give them a second thought and I love it.

I love her boisterous personality, I love it when she makes fun of me, playfully punches me, says something that makes me facepalm. When she dances in the middle of the street just because she feels like it, when she let’s me see the softer side to her. I love it when she hikes up her skirt and jumps over the gate because we locked ourselves out of it. I love her tomboyishness, I don’t care what others say. When they tell me to tame you I ask
You wouldn’t try tame a waterfall would you? Just because it doesn’t fit your view of what a waterfall should look like?

She is a force of nature, wild, exciting, untamed and that’s just how I love her. She’s unpredictable and boring is an adjective you’d never use with her. She’s amazing in every way and I wouldn’t change one bit about her… Except how hard she punches, I bruise like a peach you see 😁

He looked across at her, opening up his heart, telling her how sad he was, how things had been so great before but now after 2 years of being together he felt unwanted and undesired by her.

“It’s like ever since she got pregnant my presence disgusts her, she gets moody when I’m around and nothing I do can make her feel better. I’ve tried everything, buying her presents, wooing her just like when we first met, taking her out for dates but nothing seems to work. I don’t know what else to do and how to do it.”

He didn’t know why he was sharing this with her, but she was his oldest friend though, she had been the one that he’d opened up to so many times before on things that even he didn’t like admitting to himself. He had never seen her in a sexual way, except for that one time that they were in uni together and he tried to make a move on her but she rejected his advances, telling him that she didn’t feel the same way he did.

I’m so sorry she told him, as she reached out and held his hand in hers. I really wish things were better for you. You’re such an awesome guy and you deserve the very best in every way. Sometimes people don’t know what good they have and just take things for granted. She said as she moved closer to him looking deep into his eyes.

He looked back and realized that he had never noticed that she has amazing eyes, big and brown with a smoky quality to them. His eyes wandered down to her lips and for some reason he really desired to feel her lips on his. He licked his lips subconsciously wondering how the kiss would be like.

It seemed that in that moment she must have been thinking of the exact same thing because she leaned in and kissed him deeply. He was shocked for a minute but recovered rather quickly and kissed her back, passionately, one of his hands was entangled in her hair and he used the other to pull her closer to him. He hadn’t felt this way in a while, felt wanted, felt the passion, not since… Not since she moved in with him… Alice, her face swam into his mind, he thought of her and the baby, he couldn’t do this, what was he doing! He couldn’t betray her like this. He loved her, only her and noone else could take her place in his heart, he knew that, so what was he doing!

He pulled back from her and stood up quickly, I can’t do this, he said, I can’t, I love Alice, I love her even if we’re having issues I love her, I can’t betray her like this. This is wrong, you can’t betray your husband too. No, we can’t do this.

He picked up his jacked and walked out the door, half running out. He didn’t want her to say anything to try convince him to stay. He had already made a commitment to Alice, through the good and the bad, they had a future planned out together, he couldn’t see his life without her. He was not going to compromise, he was not going to throw away what they had just because things were hard.

He drove home quickly, walked I to the house and saw Alice lying on the couch reading a book.
So, you’re back, where is the pizza and ice cream I asked you to come with?
He smiled, walked up to her and kissed her, she looked at him auspiciously.

What was that for?

No reason apart from I love you and I’m sorry I haven’t been more supportive lately.

Now’s when you’ve realized that? She asked, and you stink of onion rings, go wash up first before you come close to me. She said as she pushed him away.

I will but first I have to tell you something. I was with Joyce today. We were talking and, well, uhhmm, she kissed me.

What! How dare she

I’m not so innocent too, because I kissed her back. But I broke the kiss off as soon as it started, he added quickly while jumping back to avoid the book that had been aimed at his face.

I’m sorry my love, I’m really sorry and I promise that it’s never happened before and it will never happen again.

You think you can cheat on me and get away with it? She was standing now, reaching for the table side lamp to throw at him and he had to think fast. He went up to her and held her close. She was shaking in anger, sobbing and hitting his chest repeatedly. He felt terrible, he knew he deserved this, he knew that he never should have let things go to that level, that he shouldn’t have even shared with Joyce intimate things about his relationship with Alice.

It was his fault, he was a cheat and he had to make it up to Alice one way or another. He had to do better.

Family

I met up with my aunt yesterday. Last time we had seen each other was about 6 years ago at my grandmas funeral.
We hadn’t talked much then and we haven’t really kept in touch which sucks.
When she saw me her face beamed, she ran towards me with arms wide open and gave me a big hug with tears streaming down her face. She didn’t even take a look at the sack of groceries that I had brought for her but just hung on to me for about 3 minutes kissing my cheeks and asking me why I had taken that long to come and see her.
She led me to her house stopping to tell guys we met along the road who I was and how I was her favourite nephew. By the time I got to her house I had been hugged by a couple of people and told stories of how my dad was a great man.
I got to her house and before I could even sit down I was offered a drink and some cakes. She asked me why I hadn’t given her notice I was coming that she could have prepared a good meal for me. I made up a story about how I wanted to surprise her and all that while in reality I hadn’t known if I would get time to pass by her place.

Her questions about why it had taken me so long to go visit had me feeling ashamed of myself. I could have said that it was because of work being intense or money not being enough but at the end of the day those are just silly excuses. We can and should always make time for those who care about us and the people who matter.

I left her house after a long prayer with a promise to myself, that I will make time to visit family more and if I can’t visit at least call. At the end of the day, no matter how messed up, dysfunctional your family is, they will still be there when everyone else goes away.

(3) The Jump

He asked around about her, discretely of course and found out that she was the daughter of one of the big clients in the office. She had just completed a degree in business management and had been given a 6 month internship in the company as a favour to her father.

He was being silly, there was no way that he could get with her, but he could get to know her more. He found himself looking for excuses to pass by her desk and just saying hi.

“I have never seen you come down to the first floor as much as you have in the past month” his friend Olive commented as they were having lunch in the cafeteria. “When are you going to pluck up the courage and ask her out?”
“Ask who out?” he feigned innocence, surprised that she knew
“The new girl, Janet something,” she replied. “I see the way you look at her and for some reason she seems to smile even brighter when you pass by”
“Really?” He replied, his voice betraying his excitement. He hated that.
“Absolutely, I believe she likes you” she replied

Maybe I should actually take the leap, he thought. What’s the worst that can happen. “she could say no” he thought and that for him was scary. He was afraid of rejection. He had never known how to handle rejection.

He decided that he would take the plunge, just walk up to her and ask her out. He decided that he will do it that day, after lunch.

He walked Olive back to her office chatting but not really concentrating on the conversation. He was trying to think of how he was going to ask her. He was coming up with a whole conversation in his head.

When he saw her all he had planned to say seemed to evaporate from his head. All he could think of was how amazing she looked. She had a dark grey skirt suit and a silver blouse on. Her pearl earrings was the perfect compliment to her outfit.
He walked up to her desk with a smile on his face “you look extremely beautiful today” he blurted out, slightly embarrassed that this was his opener. He made things worse by following this with a “would you like to join me for dinner this Friday?” She seemed to blush at this. “Are you asking me out on a date?” She responded. “Well, you could call it that I guess” he replied suddenly thinking of how awkward his arms must be looking at his sides. He didn’t know what to do with them so he ran his hand through his hair and thought that’s dumb so he let his arms fall back to his side again thinking he must look like such a tool.
“I’m sorry, I can’t” she replied, he felt his heart fall into his stomach and a lump formed in his throat. “It’s okay, no problem, hope work is okay though” he mumbled in response resisting the urge to turn around and run.
“Yes it’s okay. So much to do and so much to learn”
“Lovely, you will be able to handle it I’m sure”
“Yes, I believe so. Could we have that dinner on Saturday”
“Wait, what?” He stammered, hardly able to believe his ears, was she saying yes?
“Dinner on Saturday, I would be glad to have dinner with you on Saturday”
“Good stuff, Saturday is great with me” he responded. Be cool man, be cool. He told himself
“Alright, this is my number, call me with a place and time” she responded, writing down her number on a post it.
“I will, alright then. I will see you then”

The walk back to his office was a haze, he was on cloud nine. She had said yes. If he could he would have whooped for joy and done a dance, he was in the office though and he had two left feet.

(2) Faults and Flaws

He had always been a romantic, looking for that deep connection, his soul mate. He had searched for his soul mate for so long and so far, even if he had met some truly awesome people, he had not found her yet.

He had long ago resigned to the fact that maybe he would never find her, that maybe there really was nothing like having a soul mate, that maybe he was going to end up alone. It was a scary thought but somehow he had come to embrace it as his reality. He was learning to be happy alone, to enjoy life even if there was noone to share that life with him.

He still had that deep longing for her though, not just anyone, the one person that really understood and embraced him faults, flaws and all. Someone that saw deep inside the façade he had created around his life and see the truth about him. That he wasn’t always confident, that he was desperate for love, that he wanted to be needed, the side of him that constantly struggled with rejection. The raw side of him.

He looked at her, standing at his door and he immediately got nervous. Nervous because he was drawn at her, he felt like she was the one he had been waiting for his whole life.

He was getting over himself though, he didn’t know anything about her. He didn’t even know her name. He was just staring and just then he realized that he she was saying something. “Sorry, I didn’t get that” he replied to her, she clearly had asked him a question from the quizzical look on her face. She was probably wondering why I wasn’t responding, he thought to himself.

“You are Mr Jones?” She asked again.
“Yes, how can I help you?”
“I have just started working here in sales and I was informed to come to you to get approval to be setup on the intranet”
“Oh, okay, I think you were misdirected. I believe you need to speak to James, not Jones. One floor down, first door to the left after the stairs.”
“Oh, I apologize for disturbing you then.”
“Not at all, welcome to the company, miss…” He asked, hoping that it is miss not Mrs.
“Miss. Mwangi”
“Good to meet you, Miss Mwangi, I hope your career grows well while you are here”

His heart flipped as she walked out, she’s not married…

(1) The First Encounter

He lay there thinking about everything that had gone wrong. How could things get so messed up so quickly? Everything was great a year ago but it seemed life had conspired against him.

He thought back to when things were better. When all he focused on was his management role in a blue chip company, living a great life, as far as he thought, fancy car, big house, going to the right places and rubbing shoulders with the right people. He was on track to attaining his goals and he was happy.

Then he met her, whenever he thought of where things went wrong, her face always swims into view from the deep crevices of his brain. However much he wanted to ignore and refute it, he knew she was the lynchpin to his crumbling life.

He remembered when he first saw her, seated at the reception at his office, he was blown away. He actually felt self conscious, thinking of that stain on his tie where had tried unsuccessfully to wipe off the ketchup and given up thinking of the tie he had in his desk that he could just change to. He remembered more vividly her hair, wild and unruly. It made her look amazing, exciting. She was in a short black dress and a blue low cut top that seemed like it was ready to burst at the seams because of her voluptuous bosom. He caught himself staring at her, thinking of how she would feel with her body next to his, he stopped that train of thought immediately he started. He had been celibate for close to over 3 years, was okay with that lifestyle and couldn’t afford to let his mind wander lest he slipped back.

He walked by her quickly and got to his desk, trying hard not to think about her but failing miserably. He was somewhat glad he didn’t say anything to her because he was not really sure if anything intelligent would have slipped out of his mouth. He was thinking of her when he heard a knock at his door. Come in, he mumbled and he knew he was in trouble because it was her.

Atticus and Me

Emily C. Heath

I read “To Kill a Mockingbird” the summer between 8th and 9th grade. It was a hot, Southern summer and my mom and I went into a bookstore to look for some indoor reading. She bought me the book, and I took it home and devoured it.

I was transformed, both in a moral and literary sense. I would never forget the idea that standing up for the right thing, even when you know you are going to lose, is noble.  And, in no small part due to that book, I became an English major. (I had entered college as a pre-law student, but once I realized that I couldn’t be Atticus Finch, I gave that up.) Even today, when I’m asked to list my favorite novels, Harper Lee’s book is on the shortlist.

We even have a cat named “Atticus”.

So when I heard about “Go Set a Watchman”…

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Hopelessness

We all know them, they sit at a certain corner (we used to call it juu ya mawe) don’t know what it’s called these days. They spend their days chatting, wolf whistling at passing women, sometimes going to chat then up and they are always taking something. Smoking cigarettes and sometimes something stronger, drinking from a plastic cup or a coke bottle and you are sure that it’s not coke they are drinking. So many times you find them chewing on miraa or mogoka with their eyes wide open like they are trying to see the future and they talk big things. They talk of owning big cars, houses and having big businesses. Pipe dreams because they are doing nothing to try achieve those dreams.

You see them, with pained expressions, tired of living that way, not knowing where their kids are, where they slept that night and what they have been upto. You see them, older than their years, looking helpless wondering what they can do to change their kids lives. What they did wrong when bringing up these kids. They reminisce about when their kids were younger and so full of promise. When the the worst the kids would do is break some things in the house or get into small fights in school.

These are families left in despair, in a state of hopelessness wondering if they will make it, wondering if they will survive. Parents who have given up, waiting for that call telling them that their child is in jail or worse dead. Parents who are terrified of their own kids who come home, beat them up, take things from the house and go sell so that they can get the next high. Kids who consider what their parents tell them to be the mumblings of old fools who are out of touch with the way the world works, how things are in the world they live in. Forgetting that their parents too were once young and that they probably passed through the same things. Kids who think that they are smarter than all other guys who tell them that they are headed for destruction or death.

These kids forget that this world is full of bad people, people who are more than willing to take advantage of them to get them hooked on drugs for their monetary gain. They use these kids to commit crimes, distancing themselves from the kids should anything go wrong but taking all the profits should everything go well.

Children are born innocent, not one is born destined to be criminals or to lead their lives down the wrong route. Their surroundings mould them into the people they grow up to be, their surroundings and their inner will. We have kids born of alcoholic and abusive parents but still grow up to be great men and women. Others just flow with that and become worse than their parents. They are kids who have grown up having all they could need and having great parents but still end up messed up.

I keep calling them kids but they are actually grown men and women. Some 30 years old taken to good schools, some graduates some who have been given so many opportunities but they waste them.

The ones I want to talk to are the ones who feel like they are hopeless that they have nothing to live for and the ones who have messed up in the past and can’t forgive themselves. It’s said that the hardest thing to do is to forgive yourself, we always hold ourselves in such high standards that when we let ourselves down we don’t know how we are going to get back to the person we used to be. We get involved in some activities and make many wrong choices, wake up one day and don’t know the person in the mirror. Before we are able to take any step we need to be able to call ourselves to a conference, in quotes, and to be honest with ourselves about the things we have done, the decisions we regret and forgive ourselves about all those things, we will probably need to ask for forgiveness from other people but the person that matters now is us. There is a need to forgive ourselves and honestly believe that we deserve that forgiveness. After that decisions aave to be made, there has to be a change in our lives, put away the anger, the pain, the alcohol, the drugs and get our lives back on track. Ask for help on things that you know you are not able to do yourself like dealing with addictions but the reality is that we control the course our lives take.

People have made something of themselves from nothing and the thing that is common to them is determination. Holding to a hope that things are going to get better and above that taking steps to make sure that it happens.

Cut off friends who are leading you ddown the wrong road, people who see you mess up and tell you nothing are not your friends, a real friend sees the promise in you and desires you to achieve that promise, they will challenge you to be better, to not slacken off. They will tell you the truth no matter how upset you will be at them after that. We know the truth hurts mostly because we don’t want to see it.

I have been there, hopeless and thinking that my life is worth nothing and that I don’t deserve anything good. I have spent my days juu ya mawe, waiting for the day to end and the next day, and the other too because I had nothing to do and no way to get something to do. Things would have been the same today or probably worse but I decided that this would not be my life, I purposed to get my life back on track and looked for help once I started doing that. I am not where I am meant to be right now and I regret the years wasted which makes me pain when I see people going down the same route I took years to get back from.

What we need in this county is more responsible adults. People who are engaged in productive ventures, no matter how lowly it is. Being a cleaner is a legitimate job better than being juu ya mawe. That shilling that you get doing that is much better than ten gotten through unscrupulous means. Do something with your life, selling vegetables or movies. There are so many opportunities in this country and in this world. Never give up, keep trying, never give up, keep fighting. This world will be a very cruel place if you give up. You might think that things are great, you are having fun but one day the fun will end and you will have no one to blame but yourself. Don’t let it get that far.

A Mother’s love

She carried me for more than 9 months, both inside her and even after I was born I was heavily dependent on her, she really didn’t have to care for me, I could have been like one of the unlucky billions that were considered unwanted and gotten rid of. She didn’t get rid of me, instead she took care of me, was patient with me as I used her insides for soccer practice, but her breasts when i was meant to be suckling, was my only source of nutrition for years, taught me how to speak (there is a reason it’s called mother tongue) watched as I took my first steps, my first bite of real food and with almost that encouraged me and cheered me on.

She took pride in my development, knowing that this mouth will cause her pain through the words that it will speak one day, she didn’t stop me from speaking though. Knowing these arms will one day push her away, she still celebrated as they got stronger. That these legs will one day walk away from her, still, she celebrated that I could walk and later on run.

She has always been happy when I succeed and saddened when I fail, sometimes she feels it even more than me. She is the reason that I’m alive. Had it not been for her I wouldn’t be here in the first place leave alone been able to walk, run, talk, succeed. She was the one who would protect me when I really messed up, knowing that my father wouldn’t be too happy about it. She had been my advocate to my father, speaking in my defence and pleading for leniency.

She is wiser than me even though most times I don’t like admitting it, seeing things that I hadn’t even considered to look out for. I have learnt to listen to when she says I don’t like your friend even if I didn’t see why she didn’t like that particular friend, her instincts are always proven to be right and the best thing is, there’s no I told you so. It’s a comfort when I’m down, a picking me up when I fall, an encouraging and challenging me to do more.

There’s always the prayers, her prayers I know have kept me from so many dangers and pitfalls. Her prayers have moved mountains in my paths and filled up valleys. Her prayers have scattered hoades of enemies out to attack me her prayers have given me strength when I have been weak given me wings to fly. Her prayers make things happen. I often hear her praying for us actually, I rarely hear her praying for herself, it’s always us.

Thank you mom, for not getting rid of me before and after I was born, thank you for carrying me and never complaining about the hurt I caused you when you gave life to me, and so many many other times after then, for never telling me that i was useless or a waste of space. Thank you, for raising me for never giving up on me. Thank you for your love, that has carried me through it all. Today I appreciate you mom, I celebrate you. I don’t say it enough, but you are the best mother I could have ever had and I wouldn’t change you for any other.

God knew that you are just the mother I needed. I love you.

For Those Of Us Missing A Dad On Father’s Day

I am terrified of forgetting your voice dad, terrified of forgetting all the things that made you, you, that made you the awesome man that I still look upto.

I miss you everyday

Thought Catalog

Ari's InstagramAri’s Instagram

Hi.

I’m giving you a virtual hug or pizza or whatever is a comfort to you, even if it’s just a temporary one.

I know, just as you do, there is no quick fix to this feeling. I can’t string together the perfect collection of words to make it better or easier. If I could, I’d be doing it always. I’d be traveling the world helping grieving children feel a little less hollow. But I don’t. Frankly, I’m not sure such a thing even exists.

All I know to say is you aren’t alone, as isolated as you may feel. Someone else out there is missing a father. Someone else out there is hating this holiday because of what it does to you.

It reminds you.

These days have a way of sneaking up. The milestones. The holidays. The aching hole that, most days, you can convince yourself…

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