Next Door

The first time you meet him, you are bent over a bucket, with your sweatpants rolled up to your lower thighs, a satin scarf tied around your head in the same way your grandmother ties hers and your fingers wrinkling. It is Saturday and you are washing two weeks’ worth of laundry—bedsheets and towels included. He is your next-door neighbor …

Waiting

I don’t like hospitals. I never have. When my family goes to see a sick relative in hospital, I produce every possible argument against my going in. I also lose that fight because, well, when someone is on a hospital bed it’s nice to go in to see them and express your confidence that they will get well soon, even …

Rest

I once read a storybook about poaching, I can’t remember what it was called. It was about these three children whose father was a warden in a national park in Kenya, I can’t remember which one. The story begins with them striking a deal with their father: if they did well the following term in school they could become local …

The Thing That Won’t Let Go

At this time last year, I had just completed my final exams. I was simultaneously basking in that glorious post-exam feeling and drowning in the anguish that comes with imminent compulsory upcountry visits. I was looking back on the semester that was and I felt something that students do not often feel when they close school for the longest holiday …

The Way We Love

Love, I always thought, was something that just happened to you. You didn’t have much of a say in it. You weren’t the boss of it. When love spoke, you listened and you didn’t ask questions. Or you could, if you were ready to receive silence in return for your curiosity. Love, it just was. And then I was met …

Lost Love: The Notebook(s)

There are things we go through that we are supposed to grow through. Things that beat us about, press us into a corner, force us to rethink everything. Things that teach us what matters and what doesn’t, things that help us become. Difficult things, like high school or losing everything you own. Then there are things that help us come …

The Dogs

I am upcountry. The air is fresh and a light breeze is always blowing, teasing the leaves on the trees that run along the fence, making them rustle, sounding like nature is whispering its secrets to you. The sunshine is gentle here, nothing like that harsh Nairobi sun that blazes without respite, determined to kill you and everything you love. …

When Your Life Means Nothing

It is past midnight. Maybe 1:00 am, maybe 2:00. I cannot sleep. I close my eyes and hear that my breathing is too heavy, noisy. My body is tight with tension, like a clenched fist. Ironic because I am not strong. I cannot fight. And it feels like I have been crying non-stop for three days straight. Outside my window, …

Working Class: The Story So Far

Adulthood here I come! Sort of. I’ve met 30-something-year-olds who claim that they are still trying to become successful adults so I don’t know. I may not get the hang of it until I’m retired. I can say ‘retired’ because I am now a part of the working class. Again, sort of.  I have only just been introduced to the …

The Fangirl Who Knew No Shame

You’re here! It’s a bit nicer here, right? Welcome to our new home. Again, no shoes on the carpet. I made a new friend last week. And I met a bunch of people. I know, I’m also surprised. Who knew that I could have more than five friends, right? Now I have six. Kind of. I don’t think my new …