Alice is getting married today. She is the last of my girlfriends to get married. All the other three girls in my gang are married and have children. Delightful toddlers that I like playing with. I am some sort of super aunt to my friends’ children. My friends say I am motherly.
Yet, ironically, I am the only one in the group who is single now.
I may be 32 and single, but I have dispensed wisdom to these girls many times when they were having relationship drama. They still come to this fountain of knowledge when their marriages are floundering. I give them a shoulder to cry on. A pillar to lean on. A sanctuary where their fragile hearts are tended as they recuperate from the wounds the Sons of Adam inflict.
We do not talk about my love life. We only talk about theirs. So they have no idea how much pain their weddings cause me. Do not get me wrong. I am so happy for all of them. The smiles I flash at these weddings are sincere. But seeing them get married reminds me about him. I cannot help but wonder how different life would have been for me if he had been sincere.
This is what happened.
I was brought up in Kaharati, in Murang’a. My parents were strict Christians so I was basically brought up in the ways of the Lord. We are Akorino. I wore my headscarf and pleated skirts proudly. In fact, my father had a run-in with my school head teachers because he wanted me to have pleated school skirts. I schooled in Murang’a throughout both Primary School and High School, and the head teachers of both schools refused to allow my father to get me pleated uniform. Such obstinate heathens! It did not help matters that I always had huge fee balances. But they did allow me to wear my headscarf. It turns out that the descendants of the Pharaoh have human hearts after all.
Anyway, I breezed through High School and scored an A-. Oh, the celebrations! I am sure our drums could be heard as far as Kabati and Kangema. I went to study law. My parents worried that a career in law would take me away from our faith. They need not have bothered. The greatest threat to my faith was not law, but a Son of Adam.
He was, still is, a Mukorino. We met by chance when I was in first year. I had attended a fellowship somewhere in the CBD, invited by a Mukorino friend. It was a gathering of Akorino students and young professionals.
We sang and danced to joyful Kikuyu gospel songs. Oh, the joy! But amidst the frenzy of singing and dancing, he stood out. He was impressive to look at, but even more impressive was his melodiously booming voice. He sang beautifully in a deep bass, with an earnest (and handsome) face to complete the picture.
His name was, still is, Ibrahim.
All the girls were stealing glances at him. Not that any of us would acknowledge it, because we Christian girls are (supposed to be) quite beyond carnal desires. After the singing, I was introduced, being a new member and all.
I later learned that he was a practicing Advocate.
He offered to drop me at the campus after the fellowship in his brand new Toyota Premio. Since there was only me from Parklands, we were alone in that car all the way. We talked about the law. We talked about God. And many other things in between. His brilliant mind captivated me. He was also very sure of himself. In fact, his self-confidence was skirting around the fringes of cockiness. Which girl doesn’t like a man like that?
And he was a believer!
Over time we became friends. He took me out to dinners. We went for long walks. We went to fellowship together. People started whispering, but we insisted we were just friends. Okay, he insisted, and I played along. You don’t have to tell people everything because people are spoilers. Those were his words, but they made sense.
Then one day he invited me to his house. He lived in Langata, in an expensively furnished apartment. Would this be my home? Me, the daughter of a peasant farmer from Kaharati? That thought startled me. Because it made me realize that I had subconsciously started seeing myself as his wife.
Also, this blessed Son of Adam could cook! I marveled because all the men in my village will never be seen anywhere near a kitchen. It is sacrilegious.
“A princess like you needs to be treated like royalty,” he said, laughing.
I was smitten.
We ate then sat on the sofa to watch a movie. At first, it was his hand brushing my knee. My body automatically stiffened, and he stopped. Then the hand went exploring again, this time more deliberately. My body came alive with sensations I had no idea existed.
Before I could say anything, he planted his lips on mine. I surrendered my body to him that day, losing myself in carnal delights that I had never experienced before. I did feel guilty afterward, but he assured me that I was now his and that God would understand. I believed him. He said we would get married immediately I completed my studies. I believed him.
I now spent all my weekends at his house. He would pick me from campus on Friday. We would go to the fellowship, then later we would go to his house. On Sunday we would go to church, his church, then we would go out for lunch before he dropped me back in school.
One Friday, when I was in third year, he did not come to pick me. I called him but he was not picking up. I imagined he was running late in a meeting, although that was strange because he would have told me about it. So I waited. When he did not call, I decided to go to the fellowship alone and meet him there.
I was late for the fellowship so I sat at the back. During the fellowship, the convener, Brother Elijah, announced that Brother Ibrahim had an announcement. The Son of Adam stood up, dashing as ever. He announced that he was getting married. My heart skipped a beat. Is this how Men of God propose? I nearly fainted with excitement.
At some point I cannot remember seeing, a woman joined him at the front. A beautiful woman, admittedly. I did not understand at first, but when it dawned on me that that was the woman he was marrying, I willed the earth to swallow me. How could he?
I was humiliated. I was grateful that I was sitting at the back because I simply slithered out into the darkness, tears dripping down my cheeks. I refused to get out of my campus hostel room for days. I told my roommate that I was unwell. I was unwell.
Eventually, I got over it. But I vowed never to place myself in such a situation again. But there are moments of weakness. My friend’s weddings are the most difficult. Like this one. As I watch Alice and Stan dancing I wonder if I will ever feel alive with love again.
As we speak, there is another Son of Adam that is on my case. His name is Mordecai. He is thoughtful and spiritual. He keeps on inviting me out to dinner even though I have told him that he is wasting his time.
I am aware that I am 32, and that the last of my close friends is getting married today. I do not want to grow old alone. Plus, I want children of my own. When I think about this, I think about giving Mordecai a chance. He looks like a decent man.
But then I am gripped by paralyzing fear. How can he be different from Ibrahim? Ibrahim was perfection, and I gave him the entire of me. Yet he turned out to be a fraud, shattering my fragile heart in the most humiliating way.
By the way, Ibrahim says he wants me back. Yes, he is still married. Happily, if you believe his wife’s Instagram photos. It’s not like I stalk her. Okay, here is the thing: I just need to know what he saw in her that I lacked. You understand, right?
Apparently, she also lacks something because he is back to hitting on me. In fact, I think he started sliding onto my DM while still on honeymoon. Yes, he still proudly wears his turban. He still sings with a booming voice and a sincere-looking face. The videos of his wife’s Instagram page prove it.
So why should I trust any Son of Adam with my heart again? Why should I risk my heart again? Why are the sons of Adam so deceitful?
It is cake time. Alice and Stan are now feeding each other, looking at each other adoringly.
Why am I even thinking about that fool?
Image by Mylene2401 from Pixabay (https://pixabay.com/photos/%C3%A4ffchen-small-cute-funny-monkey-4199050/)
My IT guy is working on getting my little novella (e-book), Transfusional Relatives, on a site that I will control. You will, therefore, be able to access it for a token amount, and pay via MPESA. I will update you when the systems are in place.
See you all next Friday, and thank you for coming here week after week.