Rachel-By Edward Maroncha

(I wrote this story in 2017. Like I am doing with these old stories, I have altered it so that I can open it up to be a novella)

She picks the list and goes through it. Tomatoes, check. Cabbages, check. Meat, check. Apples…who was to bring apples? She picks another list and goes through it:








She picks her phone and scrolls down until she gets George’s number and dials.

George, where are the apples?

“They are hard to find, but I am still looking,”

“So what time should I expect them?”

“Relax, I told you I am still looking,”

“George, we are having the event tomorrow. You volunteered to bring the apples. Nobody forced you. I need those apples today,”

“I know, I know, honey. I will bring those apples by tomorrow,”


“Relax darling. I will bring those apples by tomorrow, I swear. We agreed on two hundred pieces, isn’t?”

Rachel sighs. She knows George will not bring those apples. He forgot about them as soon as he promised to deliver them, and right now he is most likely flirting with a girl somewhere, sounding very sincere as he makes promises he has no intention of keeping.

 “It is okay, George,” she says.

She hangs up, irritated. It is her fault really. Everyone knows that George is the most unreliable person on planet earth. Yet she chose to trust him when he said he would deliver the apples. But you should have heard him promising over her protests.

“Rachel, I know I don’t always keep promises, but I cannot lie to you,” he had said smoothly.

“So you admit that you are a liar?”

“Some people deserve to be lied to. But not you, saint Rachel. You are the sweetest person that has ever walked on this planet. I just don’t understand why you don’t…”

“Shut up, George. I won’t go out with you because you are flirt,”

“Good. I almost feared it is because you don’t love me. If it is simply because someone gave you the wrong image of me…”

“The apples George. Will you bring them?”

“Of course honey. As I was saying…”

“Samuel you had said you will bring the tomatoes?”

She had cut off George and proceeded with the meeting, slightly embarrassed that he was flirting with her in front of the entire youth team. She knows that nobody takes George seriously, because first, he is a flirt. Everyone knows that. Two, she has dismissed George to her friends as being too childish for her. And they believed her because she happens to be the most mature person in their youth group. She may be only twenty four, but she behaves as though she is forty five.

Rachel is the youth secretary at Kingdom Oasis Chapel. She is respected in the church for being a mature Christian and for being very level headed. She is also the assistant leader of the hospitality ministry, which is co-led by Associate Pastor Leonard Makandi and his wife Asenath. Asenath is widely acknowledged as a difficult person to deal with, and Rachel is often praised for being able to tolerate her thus bringing much needed stability to the hospitality department.

Today, though, she is working in her capacity as the youth secretary. The youth are organizing a Valentines dinner tomorrow, and they opted to cook the meal themselves so as to be able to bring down the cost. The dinner will be held at the Jubilee Hall, the Church’s social hall.


After hanging up, Rachel goes through the list again until she is satisfied that everything that is needed is set. Except the apples, which she will have to find personally. That is when she notices her cup of tea on the table. It has gone cold. She warms it in the microwave and sips it slowly. Her mind is totally consumed with the dinner preparations. Table arrangement. Décor. Snacks. Programme. Oh program cards. She picks her phone again.

“James, were the program cards printed?”

“Yes, they were”


She gulps down her tea then goes inside Jubilee Hall. There are people decorating the place and arranging tables. She stands at the door silently and watches them work.

“I am thinking, why don’t we use the red flowers at the front and the yellow ones at the back? Red is the color of love so I think the red flowers should be more visible” she says suddenly.

“But that will mean changing the table cloths as well,” Nancy the leader of the décor team replies.

“Yea, but I think it might be worth it,”

Nancy looks around.

“You know what, you are right. As always,” she says with a smile.

Rachel watches the décor team for a few more minutes then goes to see how the food stuff is being unpacked in the kitchen. There is a group putting away the groceries that have just been delivered. Rachel watches in horror as cabbages are placed on top of bananas.

“Aki Phyllis those bananas will spoil,” she says. She shows them how to neatly arrange the groceries and then leaves.

“Rachel is so domineering. I don’t like her,” Martha says after Rachel leaves.

“Rachel is okay. She was just trying to help,” Phyllis replies.

“She is too bossy for my taste. Then the way she pretends to know everything,”

“Martha you just have issues. I think Rachel is okay,”

“What issues? What issues do I have?” Martha demands.

Phyllis knows that a storm is brewing, so she keeps quiet. Martha is a ticking bomb. She rants for several minutes then starts sulking.


Rachel in the meanwhile is talking to Martha’s boyfriend, Silas. Silas is the youth chairman. Silas is getting agitated because two guest artistes have called to cancel. Rachel is worried too, but she doesn’t show it. She remains calm on the exterior, reminding Silas that they still have four more artistes they can count on. Besides, the two who have cancelled are not even star artistes.

She watches Silas for a while before leaving. She loves this man. She loves how agitated he can get, yet remain in control. While she is a melancholic-choleric, Silas is a sanguine-choleric. He is jumpy and excitable most of the time, but he can be calm and authoritative when it counts. That is what makes him such an excellent leader. The youth in the church find him to be approachable, but they still respect him because he is a firm decision maker. He had seemed romantically interested in Rachel a few years ago, and even asked her out for coffee several times, but Rachel declined every single time. Not because she didn’t want to go, but because she is frightened of romance. Unlike George, Silas is a perfect gentleman. When she brushed off his initial advances, he backed away. Rachel was however hurt when he stopped asking, but she was too proud to claim him back. So she friend-zoned him permanently.

She was secretly horrified when she learnt that he was dating someone else. That someone else turned out to be the volatile Martha. Silas has been in a rocky relationship with Martha for a year now. He has since accepted his place in Rachel’s friend-zone, and now calls her “bestie”. Even the very jealous Martha has come to the conclusion that Rachel is harmless to her relationship. Silas opens up to Rachel every time he and Martha fight, which happens to be every week. Rachel hopes every day that they will break up, but they make up after every fight. Recently, Silas unwittingly broke Rachel’s heart even more when he told her that he wants to settle down with Martha. He even asked for her advice on how best to propose.


When Rachel walks back to the boardroom she had been in earlier, she is still thinking about Silas. The boardroom, which is just outside the front door of Jubilee Hall, has chairs around a long oval table. In one corner of the room there is a smaller table with cups, a bowl of sugar, coffee and tea leaves, two flasks and a microwave. This room is empty today, so Rachel prefers to come here when she wants to be alone.

To most of her age mates, Rachel is a solid rock. An anchor. She has it all figured out. People whose relationships are on the ropes come to her. She listens calmly like a mother, and gives advice that is loaded with wisdom. It is easy to forget that she is a twenty four year old.

But while on the outside she portrays the calm image of a woman in control, on the inside she is still a vulnerable young woman in her mid-twenties. She has her insecurities, the greatest of all centering on her love life. She lost Silas because she was afraid. Afraid of being vulnerable then getting hurt. Her friend’s tales of relationships gone wrong have only worsened that fear.

What many people would never believe is that she actually likes George. She would rather die than admit it, and she knows George is not good for her, but she likes him. Perhaps because he is the only one who has dared to breach the wall she has placed around her heart. He is the only man who has ever told her that he loves her. Even Silas did not get that far. She knows that George probably doesn’t mean it because he calls every girl “darling” and “sweetheart”, but it still feels good to be pampered.

George is a very liberal Christian, and Rachel is surprised that he still calls the very conservative Kingdom Oasis Chapel his home church. She knows he consumes alcohol, something that can get him excommunicated if Pastor Calistus, the lead pastor, found out. And he is also very touchy with girls as he flirts, another serious offence in Pastor Calistus’ rule book. Rachel feels that George would easily engage in premarital sex if he got a chance. Assuming he is not already doing it. She knows that almost half of the girls in the youth group would be honored to go to bed with him. Rachel is perhaps the only girl who doesn’t let him touch her. Not even on the shoulders.

She likes him a lot, but she knows she doesn’t love him. He is not the kind of man she would want as a husband. Silas is the man she loves.

Rachel has built a wall around her emotions. She pushed away the one man she was in love with because of that wall. Only God knows how many good men, potential life partners, are loving her from a distance because they are unable to get past the emotional barricade she has erected around her heart.


At 39, Pastor Calistus is still a very young man. He is the lead pastor at Kingdom Oasis Chapel. He is a very conservative Christian, especially when it comes to sexual purity. He frowns upon any physical contact between members of the opposite sex, unless they are married to each other.

He is particularly disturbed by the fact that hugging has become a common form of greeting, even in his own church. He has been praying about it, and has been trusting God to give him the wisdom to put an end to it.

The pastor is a widower. His wife Samantha died four years ago, leaving him to bring up their two children single handedly. He was given one year to mourn before single women in his church started circling him like vultures. But he wasn’t interested. Or rather, he hadn’t found a single woman who interested him enough.

But now he has. A woman has finally caught his eye. He has wrestled with his feelings for a while because she is so young. She is only twenty four years old, fifteen years younger than he is. But she is also very mature. More mature than some of the older women who have been making passes at him. He has prayed about it, and the peace he is feeling in his heart has convinced him that God supports his union to Rachel.

Suddenly he feels the urge to see her pretty face. He rises from the desk and goes towards Jubilee Hall. He knows she is out there somewhere. He gave the youth leaders his blessing to invite Pastor Jesse Otieno, the celebrity relationship coach and his wife, as tomorrow’s main speakers. So he doesn’t have to preach tomorrow.

Maybe he can ask Rachel, privately of course, to be his valentine date tomorrow. They can sit together and listen to Pastor Jesse, then eat at the same table. His congregation should start getting used to the idea of Rachel as mama kanisa.

He increases his pace as the urgency to see her mounts. Since Samantha died he never imagined that he could be this in love.


Rachel is leaning on the boardroom table when the door swings open and George enters with a box of apples.

“I told you to trust me darling,” he says placing the apples on the table. He goes back and slams the door shut.

“I cannot believe it,” she says standing up to examine the apples.

“I think I deserve a hug because of my efforts today,”

“You wish,”

“Come on Rachel,”

When she turns to admonish him, he quickly wraps his hands around her and hugs her. Before she can recover from the surprise, he holds the back of her head and kisses her on the lips. Rachel has never been kissed before, and her whole body explodes into a thousand sensations.

As she yields to him, she knows she is doomed. All the emotional defenses she had built around her heart are crumbling around the charms of the wrong man. She is fortunate that she is in a boardroom in church: if this was his house, she knows she would have willingly surrendered her body to him. She knows she should pull away and slap him. This room is not locked, and she will be disgraced if anybody walks in. She will lose her position in church, and she doesn’t know how she would even face any of the congregants again. Especially Silas.

But she cannot help it. She wraps her hands around George’s neck and kisses him back. She suspects that after this encounter she will now find it very difficult to resist his physical advances. So the likelihood of being his heartbroken baby mama is very high.

The passion is suddenly broken when the door opens and someone gasps loudly.

(Continued here)

(image courtesy of                                                         


To purchase a copy of this month’s first novella, The Rider, you can follow either one of two ways:

  1. Digital Method. Log in to the bookstore- register if you are new-( Select the book (The Rider). Add to cart, check out then pay. You will be able to download instantly from the bookstore. A copy will also be automatically sent to your email.
  2. Manual Method. Pay Kshs. 100 to Buy Goods Till Number 297264. Send us an email at info@sanctuaryside.comtelling us your M-PESA name and the book you wish to purchase (The Rider). It might take us some time to process your order, but we will email your copy once we have verified your payment. If you are using the manual system and wish to buy my previous books, just log in to the bookstore ( and you will see all the previous titles. You can then pay for any of them.

Remember you can always inbox Sanctuaryside on Facebook or email us at if you have a query or feedback.

 See you all on Friday.

4 thoughts on “Rachel-By Edward Maroncha”

  1. Jacob Gathuita says:

    I have read through it all. Amazing how it caught my attention because of a lady I know who has such a character.

    1. Maroncha Edward says:

      Thank you Jacob. Tag her and celebrate her

  2. Chikira says:

    I am identifying with the story…

    1. Maroncha Edward says:

      I’m glad you do

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *