blueband and silver shoes

​There are those times you wake up and try to hum the morning away. Regardless of how joyous the tunes are you cannot avoid the cloud of sadness in your heart. It disturbs you, reminding you that something is not okay. When you feel it tickle you cannot help but think, “why am I sad though?” then you remember. He is not talking to you and he hasn’t returned your calls from yesterday. Is he that angry at you, or is someone consuming the time you two should be having? You know things will get back to normal, but the sooner, the better. You feel it’s good to make the first move, after all, are you not the one that annoyed him by nagging him too much about the amount of time he gives you? The value for the relationship is bigger than your ego. He comes first. Always. 

 Edward does academic writing for a living since his dad dropped him as his responsibility. You of all the people should understand that he is busy and has been having a hard time paying all his bills plus university fees. Sometimes his mood snaps, but your brain asks you to understand and you listen to it. “He has daddy issues,” you tell yourself. The father is not even biological. He is one of those that ‘came with their mum.’ I hate to use the word bastard.

You did not know love until you met him. They say you will know you are in love when you want to do everything with one person. Edward is that person for you. Anyone thinks love is blind? They need to wear your shoes and experience what you share with Edward. You have a clear vision of your eternity together. Those evenings you normally sip away with light laughter filtering into the air at a favorite café, are memories you hold dear. That is why each time he goes silent on you it pricks you. It stabs every part of you that is vulnerable. It bruises you.

Your friend Brenda – your best friend, your partner in crime, your emotional healer – thinks you should give him a little time to figure something is wrong and he’d get back on track. “He is probably having a hard time with his life and he needs space to figure it out,” she advices. For the very first time you go against her advice. You choose to make it right. He lives a few blocks away, so when the evening comes you’ll just prepare dinner and invite him over. Didn’t they say that a lady who cooks is a gem? You choose to be that gem.    

I’ll pull this back just a little bit. To the part where you are seated with Brenda at a fast food joint somewhere in the heart of Ruiru Ndani. She’s wearing one of those wavy weaves that cost a fortune. She’s a big fan. Time elapses with chat, gossip and catch up. Every female does that sometime. It is around 8 p.m., its dark outside and the first floor of the joint allows you to have a clear view of the Thika Superhighway. The endless street lights make it appear like an enormous magic path winding into space. We all love Nairobi at night, or rather you do. Something about the lighting and music of this place makes you not want to go home. Time is not a worry, thanks to lectures’ strike. At least neither of you has a morning class to worry about. As much as you hate to accept this, you are idle.  

A little bit about Brenda. She hates cooking and loves to party. She wears a royal blue band regardless of her hairstyle and silver shoes regardless of her dressing. Unlike you, she wears twenty-two layers of make-up accompanied by a thick layer of sleek lipstick. She is secretive about her relationships (though they are always wavy) and you don’t know how she gets you to tell her everything. Your friendship is from way back in high school and even your mum knows her. She is one of those friends she asks about how they are doing while she’s trying to wind up her airtime.

“so how’s bae?” she asks.

“Not talking.”

“I wonder how you manage to keep one guy for so long”

“The same way you manage to wear your blue hairband every day.”

As you are saying this you are trying to avoid the topic. It sucks to think that your boyfriend is not talking to you and there has been fighting for no reason in particular. In the quest to keep your circle small and your relationship life private you choose not to talk about some things. However, you listen to her advice and concur with her. Only that you decide against it later.

Evening comes and on the menu is what you cook best. The peas stew is ready and your pilau is cooking. You figure it’s the best time to call Edward and invite him over. No man says no to food. At least not one that is luhya. You try calling twice and it asks you to leave a message. You gather he’s probably busy with a long paper, thus doesn’t want to be disturbed. You’ll go get him. You pick your keys, which also contain the key to his door. You’ve always had it. As much as you don’t drop by often, it always gives you some assurance of trust between the two of you. 

About ten minutes later you are at his door. Your first knock is not answered and there are no shoes on his door. You figure he hasn’t gone far and you decide to make this one of the few times you use the key you’ve always had. The moment you open the door it hits you that you were wrong. There’s actually someone inside. There’s music too. Soft soothing rock. However, not soothing enough for you not to see that someone just jumped into the bathroom.

Your brain takes a while to process what is happening. Your nose can smell a sweet strawberry flavor that you are familiar with. Whoever came up with the idea of flavoring protection must have been a genius though. In front of you is Edward leaning slightly forward, popping out his eyes of guilt. He sighs and breathes heavily. A breath of betrayal. He is speechless. Shirtless too. There are clothes allover. A bra on the chair, pants on the stand, a shirt on the TV… There’s a lady in the bathroom.

Once your system has fully processed what is happening you freeze. Your heart is not only broken, its damaged. You can feel the stench of the sin he has committed and it gives you a painful lump on your throat. You swallow it. Nothing prepared you for this. Before you walk out of Edward’s house, out of love and out of the person you have been for three years you want to see the lady. Through the translucent door of the bathroom you see wavy hair. You look at the carpet and there’s a royal blue hair band and Silver shoes. That’s what truly breaks you. 
all due credit for this article :

© Phanice Obwaya.

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