If you could sit on this bench on a Sunday afternoon and chat for one hour with someone from your past or present, who would it be? What would you be talking about?
I found this intriguing, the thought that I should have also included “from the future” would have made it sound even more interesting but then I figured, if there was an option for a future, the conversation would merely be centered on dreams and dreams can be very boring at times. Not that I don’t have dreams but because they change every day; in elementary school if you did not attend a group of schools like me you wanted to be a driver or a policeman, a doctor if you had a colored television at home. In middle school, the dream changed to a doctor not necessarily because your dad replaced the Sanyo TV with a colored Panasonic but because you could now discern owning a car from being a driver and being a policeman seemed like roaming at night like that character that we were told was evil and God cursed him to roam all night, policemen were thus cursed people. A few years into senior school and high school, titles like neuro-surgeon and astronomer (rarely astronaut) earned you a reply for a letter you sent to a girl in a school in dry Ukambani who wanted to be “an air hostess”. Campus got you gambling between marine biology and some fantasized engineering course. Dreams tsk tsk tsk! So no future just your past and present.
Every time I think about who I would want to sit with on that bench; it’s very hard for me to stick to a real person. All I think about is my eight year old self, and sometimes my guardian angel. The latter always sounds more interesting partially because I think he drinks and partially because he is an ass guy and am a boob guy. I’d bring a bottle of whisky and he’d most likely bring one too compared to an eight year idiot who’d want us to catch grasshoppers all afternoon. But sitting here with your guardian angel, it’s very hard resting the urge to talk about the future and the girls in it, if at some point I’ll get rich and buy all the things I liked on Pinterest, wear couture and have someone to maintain my toe nails for a living, if he can make it faster so that I don’t have to sit for exams anymore. Forget about my guardian angel; he is probably on his third beer somewhere waiting for Monday to check after what he probably considers a spoilt brat. Am sure in a day, he rolls his eyes more than I wink and he would gladly swap jobs with Bill Gates’.
So I gave a few people the same bench, same Sunday afternoon and the same question, I promised an avocado for the best story. Ladies and gentlemen, lads and lasses who at some point in life wanted to be a driver or policeman when they “grow up”, here are some of the responses, their stories:
I just undid my luggage but I have no macaroons. I didn’t even buy dates –this journey was one of a kind I must admit. I left for Kabul, Afghanistan three weeks ago, I had been offered a lab grant by the European Union but the unexpected happened I lived under the shadows of Khaled Hosseini. This time I took no selfies, groundies or whatever people have nowadays. I had no time to feed my ego, to know more about my journey, let me run your kite.
I am fond of staying in bed every Sunday and catching up on scandal, pretty little liars, how to get away with murder and a little bit more of shameless, but today I feel like there is a new breed of fresh air outside, like nature just peed- if that’s even a thing. I put on my leather jacket that momma got me last Christmas and leave for the park; on my way I grab a double espresso and a croissant at Mark’s coffee shop. Oh! 411 I had a thing for Mark- he has this long face accompanied by a bald head, a long beard and a fine ass! I look at those too- and he knew it so I got free coffee but I guess he wasn’t into the jungle fever kind of thing or maybe his parents didn’t approve of it or maybe he thought I was born on the other side of the mattress because everyone is ‘bro’ and ‘sis’ to me whatever, I moved on, after all there is more to life than free coffee, twerking, karaoke and of course Mark.
It is a fine sunny afternoon, not so many children are playing at the pack so I saunter and sit at a bench in the furthest corner of the park. I just chill out and find myself reminiscing. I must confess, I was broken when I lost people who meant the world to me simply because I couldn’t set my priorities right. I mean how do you prioritise between work and love or love and work? I don’t know how to juggle, it’s either of the two, so above all, I chose work, love always finds its way home; it always does. The best conversation I have ever had was on this particular day; with me. I finally had the chance to think things through and see where I went wrong; like why I said no to college or why I said no to a 14karat diamond ring or why I didn’t cry when life hit me below the belt- or maybe it’s because there is nothing really important there anymore. It’s on this day that I vowed to go back home, rekindle my relationship with my family; most importantly my son. I left him with my grandma when he was three months old, my grandma couldn’t take it no more. I was a delinquent, had been to Radley Sanatorium a couple of times but I couldn’t get the drugs off my system because I always had a little bit more under my mattress and when grandma found out, she sold me off to a bartender who later on traded me for fine wine glasses from ‘turkey’; men had China too back then. I danced with the devil and I liked it.
All in all I blame it on the hour glass. Time has been still for quite some time in my life and at times it elapses. I wish I could feel some moments twice, like how it feels to be a mother with a first born son and rekindle the family love between my siblings and my grandma. Heaven on earth! On this day, I learnt to forgive even when no apology was offered, to love even when no love was offered in return and to smile even when they don’t smile back. I am brought back to mind when Mark sits next to me at the park. I slowly smirk at him take out my phone; book a plane ticket to Westcovina, California. I am going home eventually. I then scoot over to Mark-Mr. Macho and lean on his shoulder. He breaks the silence…….Zendagi Migzara!
I am hit by a wave of nostalgia as I slowly sit on the chilly concrete bench. I still love it here; years after grandma died. I would come here to talk to her. I had a great deal to say now. I feel tears rush into my eyes. I wanted to tell her about my Ethan. Our wedding was only yesterday. I recall the exhilaration I felt. I was literally crazy about him. Ethan is contemplation and enthusiasm. Ambition and strong coffee. I could have stayed in his embrace forever. Except, I left him at the altar.
It took me a reflection of myself in a wedding gown to awaken. I looked at the silly seventeen-year old girl with eyes lit in anticipation. Then it hit me. Our relationship was heroine, I was addicted. It was a flame that burned too bright and I was a hopeless moth, drawn and blinded by the intensity. He was a drug yet I needed him to be the sun, the air.
I wanted to tell grandma all about my broken heart and friends I could not face. Everyone loved Ethan and I had broken his heart and wounded his ego.
If we lived in a perfect world, he’d be mine. If we lived in a fair world he’d have everybody he loves celebrate Christmas with him this year. The thing is he’s in love with someone else and a few people close to his heart have left to be with the lord. If ever I’d be lucky enough to visit such a place sit on a bench that looks like it holds most of life’s answers, or the sky and the water that seem to be of wise council, if I could ever get to be in such peace and serenity a Mr. Njuguna Macharia, the most stormy person I know is the one I would take.
Peace isn’t peace if you don’t know how a storm feels like; he’s a storm on his own. I’d tell him how much I loved him, something I would never say out loud in the world we live in,(thank God he doesn’t read while on school break) . I’d reassure him that my words have no ill intent, for my love for him is the never- mean -to–be-I-only-want–you-happy kind. And I respect his relationship as I am meant to.
I’d remind this bundle of perfection that God loves him no matter what he does. No matter the mask he tries to put on or how many farms of marijuana he smokes. That God loves him for his heart which is the purest and the kindest one I know, that growing out his hair to fit into the bad boys club does not make him bad or hide his intelligence, nothing could fit less even if he tried to wear skirt.
Everything happens for a reason, all so we may find good in our lives, the loss, the blessings, the joy, the sadness, the achievements, the failures. I’d have to remind him to take it all in, the blue skies, the beauty of everything that his eyes could identify at this place, the freshness of every breath and the purity of a mind so deep in nature that nothing counts more than him at this place and time.
That there was a world beyond the one we live in, one that was perfect in all senses, but only accessible if we live the current one for the love of Christ, being right with God. That in that life he’d get to meet all the people he had lost and be happy. Live the life he couldn’t live here there. That all it took was a decision to live in faith and in a manner that would make everybody who trusted and invested in him proud.
And for heaven’s sake to finally get that damn tattoo he’s been barking about for two years now, life waits for no man, no matter handsome and perfect.
That day I’d sit with my past boyfriend Kelvin Mundia, happy and excited to see him but completely torn out wishing he would understand, wishing to ask him where the great memories we had for two years end to, if he’s happy in his new life ,and make him understand that am different from all the girls, because the love that ended was something I had to mourn for months, and for the respect and care I had to sacrifice my happiness for his new love hope he will always be happy singing the butterfly song we had, wishing the 7 promises we had ,and not forgetting to kiss his precious child in future goodnight (beautiful) just the same way he wished me, love comes and never leaves, but if there is something that am happy in life is I met him, as I say goodbye to your love story I wish that he will not cry, she will love him, sing butterfly song with him, say the 7 kisses, and give him a goodnight handsome something am destined to give another, and hug him goodbye.
Who do you think deserves the very much coveted avocado? There are no males; apparently, they don’t like avocados, should I have promised some cleavage too?
Peace and Love