We had a good run to be honest.Closing my eyes that Sunday afternoon I went back to the first time they whistled at me from some vendor’s shop on Tom Mboya Street.With utter wonder I took a walk to that morning after my fight with my then husband.We had had a long night.That is a cliche considering that we had many fights since the inception of the night after our wedding an year prior.
We fought over everything.The cawing crows,the mooing cows,the buzzing mosquitoes and sometimes my breathing.Or his.How could anyone breathe so loudly? How had we missed how heavily either of us breathed during courtship? We also fought over nothing.And fought too when nothing was not enough to make us fight.
That night, however was special.I got home from school as always.I was undertaking a Nephrology nursing specialty course.It was a few hours after the golden African sun was done casting her iridescent rays on both man and beast.She too,like me, needed some sleep. My darling spouse never called to tell me whether he was to come or otherwise.Before you raise brows, no matter how hard one dislikes their abusive partner, it is natural to want them around.It reaches a point where the chaos become normal.
Take our Matatu culture for instance,when are the conductors having a normal day? is it when the roads are quiet and orderly or is it when they engage in swinging battles with the traffic cops? Isn’t it normal when they are hurling words at passengers and each other? Isn’t it normal when the music from their stereos is at deafening decibels and vulgar at the same time?
That was my normal.Our normal.Our chaotic normal.But still normal.
I needed my hubby dear home and after incessant phonecalls to his cell which went unanswerd,a woman finally had mercy on poor little me and picked the phone.She however did not talk.She giggled.Then she laughed.Then did not hung up such that I could hear the sweet crooning of my hubby dear in the backgroud.
I should have hung up immediately and minded my business.Perhaps that was a cue call for me to fall down on my knees and just like Elizabeth Jordan in War Room,pray.Pray and order the devil of marital misery out of my life.Perhaps decree and declare that my hubby dear wasn’t a cheating mogul.Probably hold the Bible and go into my prayer closet to have a real talk with the Big Man upstairs.But I did not.
See,God and I had called it quits several moons before then.We had come to a point where we just couldn’t deal.God was a good idea to me.But that is as far as He went–an idea.I flirted with the thought of calling unto him as loudly as I did during the daily devotional sessions at school but I knew He couldn’t listen.He was mad at me as much as I was mad at him.I had told him to save me severally in my life and he hadn’t.
What temerity did I have to make me think he would save me now? Praying was a striking performance and I had left it to class lest they called me a pagan.Praying for me was how bitterness tasted like when you ferment it.
There was also another reason why I could’t hung up.I was jealous.I was jealous of the romantic drunken slurs my hubby dear told that deserving damsel.I was jealous because I had never heard him talk that deeply to me! I wanted to hear this side of my hubby dear that I first heard at Grace Villa pub in 2013 where we first met.Lord,I wanted to believe that there was still some erotic sweetness left in his cold demeanor.
Turns out there was.Just not for me.I cried some more.
I cried so much that by the time he stumbled into the house at 4.27 a.m. I had no more tears left.By the time he came to bed and wrapped his sufficiently warmed legs around mine,I was cold.
Not from the chilly night weather.From the ice inside my soul.I shivered.I knew I had to either leave or withstand it all.I was so afraid.Afraid that a beautiful African-themed wedding was ending up in flames.Afraid that if I walked out and he ever wanted me back I would never let him in.
Afraid because I had tried even counseling which he was naturally averse to.Scared that the demons of an unhappy childhood had made me stumble into an even unhappier adulthood.David King of the choirs of heaven,I needed a drink!
At 5 a.m. in the morning,I needed a drink.A double of hard brandy or scotch or whisky or whatever else alcohol they sold.I needed that drink.I had to have it.Therefore as my hubby dear snored the beautiful night he had had away,I surrreptitiously bathed,dressed and left.
My school demanded that by 5.30 a.m. I be in a Matatu thanks to the impossible Nairobi traffic jam in the morning.See,save for its eminently salubrious climate,Nairobi doesn’t encourage effective movement.
There I was,heading to school with a drink in mind. 6 a.m found me in a pub.Thank God that some pubs in Ruaka didn’t close too early(I want a laugh emoji here).I nursed my bottle of dry wine while doing a final round of crying.The attendants just let me.They never talked to me or bothered me.I think I scared them.I mean,which fine looking girl in a backpack comes to the club at six in the morning?(I badly need a laugh emoji).
After a busy one hour,I was bloody-eyed and could hardly keep still.But I had to go to class! I needed the distraction.So when this pair of nice looking shades winked at me,I was smitten.My classmates bought the story of a ‘light problem’ as did my lecturers.
Yesterday however,after that much time of intimacy,they gave up on me.If I have had a faithful partner who has seen me through some of the darkest days,it will be that pair of fake spectacles.
Perhaps they can also tell that their days of covering the gates to my soul are over.I bet they got tired of hiding the beautiful mosaic I made out of the broken heart I was handed.Maybe they too want to see what a work of art I have become.My broken spectacles want to see.