Tag Archives: love

His & Her Perspective- Part 1

Penny sat on her armchair with her book on her lap, gazing into her phone. It had been two days since Richie had contacted her and she couldn’t put her finger around the actual reason. Had she done something? Was he okay? This had never happened before. Richie was always reaching out to her no matter the state he was in. He’d go out till 6am and still wake up at 9 to find out how she was fairing. She contemplated calling him but was not sure that would be the right move. She put her phone down, adjusted her reading glasses and went on reading. 

By the time she raised her head from her read, it was already dark. She checked her phone and there was still no notification. Her curiosity got the better of her and she called him. The phone rang a few times and she heard the voice she had become accustomed to, “Hey, what’s up, how are you?” Replied Richie. “Uuumm, I’m okay. How are you? Are you okay? You’ve been awfully quiet the last two days.” Queried Penny. There was a moment of silence before Richie spoke. “I’m good. Can’t really complain much. A little bit of work here and there to keep me occupied but other than that, I’d say I’m doing great.” Penny was taken aback but couldn’t let it out on phone so she continued to prod to find out the exact reason for his silence. 

“Are you sure? Because you’ve never been this silent before, at least not to me.” Richie took a deep breath and replied, “I know I’ve never been like this towards you and you probably think I’m pissed off at you or something but it has absolutely nothing to do with that. It has everything to do with me. And it’s not that cliche, it’s not you it’s me kind of vibe. Not at all. This is about me. My well-being. My sanity.” Peggy cut him short, “What do you mean your sanity? I make you insane? I’m I that bad?” Richie tried to explain himself in a calm way. “I haven’t said that. I haven’t mentioned anything about you making me insane. Just give me a chance to explain myself and maybe at the end of it all you’ll understand where I’m coming from. I’ve known you for what? Five years? Maybe more? And I’ve always been that friend you needed. Been that guy.

I’ve put you first so many times I can’t remember the last time I made time for myself. And I’m glad to help. On any given day but not at my expense. I’m not going on about monetary forms because we make money and lose it. And you’ve never needed any money from me. I’m referring to something that’s not tangible, my happiness. Every time I put you first, I relegate myself to become secondary. I give and give and give but in that giving I also take away from myself. Have you even once thought to ask me, how are you? Not just to find out about my day. Facebook and Twitter can tell you all about that. Find out about my mental state? See where I’m at in life. I look happy but does that really mean I’m happy? I’ve been a listening ear for so long I don’t know how to talk about myself anymore. And I’m not blaming you or saying you’re at fault here. I’m just taking the first step in making my life right again.”

Peggy cut in once more, this time in a calmer voice. “But you’ve never said anything before. Not even once have you told me, hey Peggy, I don’t think I’m in a good space. Not even once Richie! You think I’d not do anything if you did? You know how much you mean to me. Don’t you?” There was an awkward moment of silence before Richie continued, “I know. And that’s exactly what I’m talking about. Whenever you’ve gone through it, I didn’t wait for you to tell me you were going through something. Sometimes it’s not show and tell. Have you ever been in a situation where someone plays down what you’re going through despite you opening up to them? It takes your ability to open up to another person a few notches lower. We’ve known each other for over five years! Five goddamn years, and you can’t tell when I’m not okay? 

You ask me why I’m silent? I’m silent because I need to rediscover myself. I need to get to the point where I know people are important in life but not necessarily my life. I need to be able to find a way to deal with my issues without expecting someone to come and ask me, hey are you okay? Do you need to talk about it? I want to be free. Free of placing the expectation of my happiness on other people. Unburdening them while unshackling myself. So my silence is not a punishment to you or a retaliation of any sort. It’s an emancipation from myself. I’m giving myself an opportunity to live life on another scale and experience happiness. You aren’t an impediment to my bliss but how will I ever know what it feels like if I don’t put myself first?”

Peggy took a deep sigh and with a somber voice replied, “I don’t know what to say. You’ve said so much and I have a lot to say but I don’t know how to say it. I understand where you’re coming from and I wish I could’ve done more. There’s only so much I can do but I’d like to try. Not as a repayment of any sort but to demonstrate that our friendship is genuine. Built on nothing but love and trust. Your happiness is equally important to me and I have no problem taking a back seat every once in a while and checking on you. Sometimes we get too caught up in our own mess and forget there are other people that help us get out of it despite there being only one benefactor. But I have something I need to say as well.” 

When you give up

“Are you a quitter? When things get tough you just give up?” Those words rang in my head for a very long time. I wasn’t a quitter, or at least that’s what I thought. I always worked hard to make things work. I had the African parent spirit in me, “We’re doing this for the kids” kind of mentality. I barely wrote people off despite numerous signs and always found that tiny reason to believe. It was all good and I didn’t feel like I needed to quit anyway. We had a few rough patches but who doesn’t go through a bumpy section in their life? 

“Hey, how are you? How’ve you been?” I asked over the phone. “Hey, I’ve been great, can’t complain. Just decided to come and catch some drinks with a few friends,” she replied with a cool breeze blowing behind her and inaudible chit chats. A voice from the background just belted out, “Who are you talking to? Hang up! You can call them later.” I was taken aback but I didn’t say a word. “I’ll call you later, okay?” I can still play that tone in my head and at that point in time, I wanted to talk but the only words that came out of my mouth were, “No worries. It’s cool.” It bothered me but I had to make it work, right? The truth is no, I did not have to even make an effort to make it work. I had the right to just get on my high horse and walk away but I chose to stay. 

I stayed because I believed there was something I was building. I could see the light but unfortunately, we were facing different sides of the same tunnel. She had her eyes on where she came from, I had my eyes on where we were going. It took me a while before I could muster enough courage to pack my bags and go. It was a very difficult decision to make but it had to be made. I was becoming toxic. I believe in doing good and expecting nothing in return. But there are situations where that doesn’t apply. Like in a relationship. It can’t be one way traffic. There’s compromise. At your place of work. You give so that you get. 

The frustration of giving something your all and not getting takes a toll even on the strongest of spirits and I know mine is barely crawling out of weakness. People have made it seem like giving up is a thing only weak people do and that is a very dangerous path to chart. The strong give up and not for lack of trying. But you have to be strong enough to know what’s working and what’s not working. Giving up gives you an opportunity to see something from a different lens. You find another way to approach the same monster. And I had chosen to give up. Not for lack of trying but because my efforts to make a castle were tearing down the brains behind the project and there was no blueprint anyone could borrow. 

I chose to live and find my own happiness. Put myself first and rediscover the joy of living. In the process of finding myself, I met a soul that was pure yet crusted in fear, hurt and pain. From the smile, you could tell she knew what happiness was, had experienced it and still had some of it left. From her eyes you could tell she was broken and found it hard to trust again. But still from the same eyes I could see she had hope, strength and a lot of empathy. As I got to know her, I started to appreciate my situation even more. I had it all. And I was happy on my own just living and nobody expecting much from me. But her? She had a world on her shoulders but still found the strength to smile, be present for others and even take a back seat when she clearly needed to be on the driver’s seat. 

She was beautiful, in and out. Her smile, eyes, beautiful fingers, her even skin tone, her hypnotic laugh, her mesmeric scent and her intelligence. She could switch from literature to pop culture in a jiffy and you couldn’t tell she had seen the best of both worlds. I couldn’t and still can’t put my finger around what made her so appealing to me. Maybe it’s the fact that she had this tough exterior but just underneath it was this gentle soul that wanted nothing more than to be happy and live in a happy place. She had gone through a lot by the time I met her and further blows hit her along the way but one thing remained constant, her will to live. She was the kind of strength we struggled to attain but couldn’t because we were too busy being afraid. Being cautious that what if this happens? Or that occurs? How will it affect my life? 

From her I slowly started to learn the joy of living life with the ability to take some risks. We lose and gain and as much as the loss in most cases outweighs the gains, we push on. We try to get the best out of our situations. Sometimes the kiss that turned the toad into a prince will turn you into a toad but the idea that your happiness may lie in the most unusual place shouldn’t stop you from going after it. I had my moments in 2018 and in giving up, I started living. I met a person who may never know the impact they had on my life, and I may never have the words to explain it but I know it. 

The biggest pain was being there for someone but not being present. I’ve watched a couple of episodes on surviving R Kelly and I couldn’t help but think of the kids going through the same but the issue never gets highlighted because it’s not someone famous that did it. These kids grow to adulthood with the stigma and have to carry it around for the rest of their lives without necessarily knowing how to address it. Knowing a person who went through the same, I felt powerless because there’s only so much either I or they could do. It’s a constant cancer that can only be maintained hoping that the malignancy can be dormant. Have you ever tried throwing a feather over a distance? That’s how diffficult it is for people who have undergone childhood trauma to get over it and just move on. It takes time, patience, courage, glitches along the way, pain, hurt, reliving the memories. It takes a toll but as a society, we need to do better. Sweeping this issue under the rug because “it’s not in our culture” or “it happens” should never be an excuse. 

Children deserve to grow in a loving environment and allowed to be children. Show them love and raise them with virtue. The same will be reciprocated in adulthood. We cannot decry a toxic society when we partake and enable the development of the same. We need to do better. Better for ourselves. Better for others. Better for prosperity. Give up those toxic traits and learn new ones. It may be tough but it’s worth it. I have never had new year resolutions and this year is no different. I will continue living life with the hope that I spread a cheer, smile or give a ray of hope to someone who is going through a tough time. That is enough joy for me. Be better. 

The Pain of Love

“Trust me…..I didn’t mean to…..” sobbed Angela as she desperately tried to hold on to Matt’s hand. It had all gone in the wind. What had happened? Three years! Three years of solid building had vanished in an instant. Angela couldn’t hold back her tears as Matt sadly walked out without a word and closed the door behind him. She had suddenly lost it all. Everything she worked so hard to build had crumbled right in front of her and she couldn’t do anything about it. On the rummaged living room, a pair of shoes lay next to the seat.


Angela and Matt had met while in university. They were all from well-off families and met at a function where their parents were guests. From the outside, Angela was a reserved lady that liked the simple things in life despite her lavish lifestyle. Matt on the other hand, was wild and always looking for trouble. “Hi, are you taking Commerce at NSU? Because, damn that ass!” Remarked Matt as he picked a glass of whisky from the counter. Angela was taken aback. “Excuse me?” She retorted as she took a step back. “ Hi, I’m Matt but I can be yours. I’ve seen you at NSU before. Just thought I’d say hi to a familiar figure who’s not my dad.” Angela smiled back at him and replied, “I’m Angela but you can call me Ange. And yes I’m at NSU. Not taking Commerce though.”


The two seemed to have some chemistry. Matt always had something sly to say and Angela’s smile melted the hearts of the people she interacted with. Over time they became close. As they grew closer, Matt learned of Angela’s insecurities that arose from her mother’s relationship with her dad. He was abusive and constantly made her and her mother feel like lesser people. She had struggled to get over it but she was struggling with esteem issues. She constantly needed him to reassure her of her beauty and worth. Matt didn’t mind this given that had grown up without a dad and his mother had taught him the significance of appreciating people for who they were and treating them with respect.

A few months after knowing each other, they became intimate. They were inseparable. She was the six to his nine. They were taking different units so as they progressed in their respective courses, they spent more and more time away from each other. They, however, still found ways of staying in each others’ lives. In his final year of university, Matt’s mother was diagnosed with a chronic illness. It greatly affected him and he started becoming reclusive. The thought of living without his mother drove him crazy. Over time, it started to affect his relationship with Angela. At first, she tried her best to accommodate his mood swings but it took a toll on her as well. Things however, took a turn for the better when Matt’s mum improved and even resumed her business. He revived his relationship with Ange and they were once again the couple that everyone on campus envied.

Matt had fallen a year back in his studies which meant he had to graduate one year after Angela did. By the time he was finishing school, Angela was already working. Matt soon got a job and moved out of his mother’s house. Their relationship was steady and they moved in together. A couple of months after moving in together, Ange got a promotion which meant she had to take up more responsibilities. Matt supported her in every way he could. The dark cloud that was Matt’s mum’s condition rose its ugly head again and in a few weeks, she passed away. Matt couldn’t get over it and fell into depression. Everything seemed good on the outside but he was dead inside. He wasn’t the same person. He immersed himself in his work to fill the void left by the loss of his mum.

Angela was struggling between balancing her job and trying to get Matt to open up. He had, however, confided in his best friend about the impact the death of his mother had on his social life. Brian, Matt’s best friend was a close friend of the couple. He always tried to explain to Ange that all Matt needed was time to mourn and he would be back to his old self. In between trying to cheer up Matt and being the link between the couple, he developed an affection for Ange. It wasn’t weird that they would spend time together give that they had become friends and worked in the same field. They would meet up after work and link up with Matt. As time moved though, they would sometimes meet up without Matt. “Hey. Where are you? I thought we had movie night today?” Matt asked after Ange hadn’t shown up despite them agreeing on meeting. “Sorry, got caught up with work I forgot to tell you.” Matt had noticed that Ange was not as close to him but he assumed it was because of his depression.

Their sex life also wasn’t the same. Ange was barely ever in the mood and when she was Matt had a difficult time rising to the occasion. Matt got a big project that required him to travel. He was going to be away for one month. When on the trip, he tried as much as possible to keep in touch with Ange. He would call and text whenever he got the opportunity. At times, she would not answer his calls only to text back a while later stating that she was busy. One of the projects Matt is was working on got delayed and he had to go back home earlier than scheduled.

He called to inform Ange of the change in arrangements but she was not available. This didn’t bother him as he considered this an opportunity to surprise her and try to rekindle the burning love they once had. When he got to the country, he purchased some flowers and chocolate which he knew Ange liked. He took a cab home and to his surprise the door wasn’t locked. He thought she might have just got home so he removed his shoes and walked up the flight of stairs that led to their bedroom. He opened the door and was met with the rudest shock of his life. Brian’s sweaty body was cuddled up next to Ange’s in his bed. The two were asleep and didn’t notice Matt’s distraught figure standing over the bed. He walked over to his bedside drawer, took out a gun, dragged a seat next to Brian and gently tapped him on the shoulder.

“It’s…..it’s, it’s not what you thi……” stammered Brian as he tried to grab whatever he could find to cover himself. Ange could barely utter a single word. “I knew you had my back bro, but my wife’s as well?” Asked Matt as he brought the gun’s butt closer to Brian’s face. The two friends had seen each other in all scenarios, but this was the first time, one’s face presented death. “Can you make it out in seven seconds? Because that’s all you have before I end this fairy tale!” Said Matt as he calmly rose from his seat. Brian bolted from the bed but as he was trying to collect his clothes, he heard the gun cock. He scampered for safety rushing down the stairs. On his way out, fumbled over furniture.

Brian walked back up to his room. Ange was still cowered up in bed. Without a word, he pulled out a suit case, packed a few clothes, his gun and walked out. “Wait! Please, let’s talk about this! I’m sorry! Matt!” Shouted Ange as she pulled a gown from the floor and chased after Matt. She grabbed on to him but her pleas fell on deaf ears. He was broken and no amount of sorries would suffice. He gave her one last glance as she held on to his hand, shook his head, released himself and walked out. It was all gone.

A new start; a happy start

I make a point to find something I want to achieve every year. Unfortunately, my year starts in five months so until then, I will procrastinate last year’s goal to then. However, 2017 was a very significant year for me and I had to jot something down to appreciate the good, bad and ugly.

It was a year that taught me hope isn’t just a beautiful girl sleeping with the choir master after practice. It’s the difference between reaching and falling short. I barely talk about my emotions but one lady I’ve been very close with was my grandma. Losing her was probably the lowest point for me.

One thing I learned from her is hope. Never lose that little glimmer that you have in life. Things may be going south faster than draws on a pressed crotch but there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. She always had something smart to say even at 100. Just like any soap opera, I’d have liked to say a few words to her before she passed on but I didn’t get the chance.

Did she know how much I loved her? Would it have made any difference if I was at her side when she took her last breath? I’ll never know but I hope I will never have to ask myself these questions again. I choose to speak my mind and say how I feel. Sometimes we don’t get reciprocated emotions but it kills you more to keep your feelings bottled up.

I know this first hand. I don’t regret a day in my life when I say something I mean. It hasn’t always gone well for me, but it’s lifted a burden off my back. Take risks. Live like today was your birthday and tomorrow is a holiday. Risk isn’t necessarily careless. It’s taking that leap of faith to find the little happiness you can achieve when you’re alive.

Fall in love. Walk out of toxic relationships. Make friends. Lose some. It’s all a part of growing up. Very often you’re caught up in historical cycles that have no impact on your present life. Every once in a while, be your greatest critic but give yourself a break as well. Don’t just make mistakes. Do them well. In everything you do, do the utmost best. There’s no rehearsal. Even if you believe in the afterlife, you won’t live it on earth.

Find a vent. Let things out. Bottled emotions are noxious. Don’t deny yourself happiness because of fear. Fear of the unknown. Your mind is a strong organ. Talk, sing, write, draw, take a walk. Just do something other than suffering in silence. Talk to your friends. Find out how they are doing every once in a while. It’ll take a minute but it can save a life. Everyone suffers. You may know how to deal with your demons but the next person doesn’t.

I never make outright resolutions because I learn and adopt as I live. I have goals just like you do but I believe living is also important. Discover. Travel. Open your horizons and have a holistic approach to life. The world has different kinds of people and each one brings something unique to the table. You don’t have to fit in. Be yourself but also be mindful of other people.

At times, take a break and hang out with yourself. You can live and be the life of the party but you’re not alive. Take a breather and evaluate yourself. Appreciate yourself a bit. Reward yourself and take your path. There’s no right path. You just need a reason to believe in the path you choose to follow.

Be nice. You don’t need to change the world to make a difference. Make a difference to one person. That can be your world. And if you can be the world to one person, take it with both hands. Make your year positive. Don’t focus too much on the negative and forget the only place you don’t want to test positive is in a lab.

At times you’ll feel like giving back the energy you get. And you’re warranted to feel that way on any given day. But you’ll need to have more negative energy to match negative vibes. The better option is to bounce off bad vibes with good vibes. It’s much more relaxing to spread joy and happiness. That is what your year should be like. Be happy and spread the happiness. The world needs it.

Dreams

A dream is a defined as a series of thoughts, images and sensations occurring in a person’s mind during sleep. But what happens when you experience your dream? It gives you a sense of satisfaction in most cases not achievable. You dwell in your own world knowing you’re pulling the strings and calling the shots. You can cut when you please and roll one scene multiple times.

Sometimes, however, our dreams turn into nightmares. The source of so much joy and pleasure threatens to be the same thing that shatters your world into the ugly face of reality. I feel like I’m waking up from a dream I never thought would end. Not one of those majestic swan-like mornings you see in music videos. This is the ‘I’m drowning and don’t know how to swim’ waking up.

The kind of dream where you wake up gasping for air. It’s not a pretty sight. There are very many things you can rationalize but one thing I have struggled to put logic behind is emotion. Why do people love? Why do people hate? What brings about sadness? Some scientist somewhere may provide some chemical equations with hormones but I would rather stick to a basic approach.

Love is a beautiful thing. It shakes the very core of your existence. It’s a feeling that has no uniform description. It’s a pure feeling. One that comes free of selfish interests. It takes away power and gives you freedom. You get to feel and see life in another person’s eyes. The beautiful thing about love is that it doesn’t necessarily have to be mirrored. Love is about how you feel, not how you respond to the way another person feels about you. It’s not Newton’s Third Law.

It’s a beautiful feeling, but sometimes a draining one. Love may take away from you more than it gives. It may be the reason you suffer. Love may be the primary reason for your pain but that doesn’t make it any less of a beautiful feeling. Sometimes love becomes toxic and the only option to let go.

Letting go is not a sign of weakness. At times you fight for something that will kill you. It’s not in your best interest. Live knowing that the world is vast and experiences are all that await. You can lose today and find another reason to fight tomorrow. The aim is not to win. It’s to live happily. Enjoy the years you spend on this planet and make the most of it.

Losing someone you love is like waking up from a bad dream. You struggle to get things together at first but in time gather the courage to fall asleep again. It’s okay to break down and gather your pieces slowly. We’ve been conditioned to believe loss is a good thing. It’s not a good thing. There’s no better place to be than with those that love you.

Just like waking up from a bad dream, find the inner peace and courage to close your eyes and rediscover a reason to live. The will to live after loss is greater than any other feeling. Make your life your best dream. Share love and don’t expect much in return. Don’t kill yourself trying to spread love but don’t live miserably denying yourself the feeling either. Live to experience and learn.

We only have one lifetime to do what we can. Don’t live miserably because no one makes it out alive.

When they come in between you

“I’m not sure this is working out,” said Turner as Shirley sat on the sofa with her face buried in her hands. He walked out of the door with tears in his eyes knowing it was either him or her. Turner and Shirley had been dating for two years but their relationship had hit a rocky patch and despite everything they tried, things always seemed to get worse.

They met in their final year of college and instantly took to liking each other. Tim was mango; soft on the outside but rough on the inside. He was always calm on normal occasions but he would occasionally let the rough side come out.

Shirley on the other hand was a free spirit. A very decent lady who was easy to get along with. She did her best to make everyone happy and was everyone’s favourite. Their friendship was based on the fact that both of them came from low points in their lives and found comfort in putting a smile on each other’s faces.

Their friendship grew over the course of time and so did their trust in each other. At first, it was nothing more than mutual concern for each other’s wellbeing. Shirley was concerned that Turner had was too aloof with his emotions and barely let anyone get past the basics of knowing him. She was concerned that he was suffering in silence and it was affecting his social life.

Turner on the other hand was interested in Shirley because he felt she was not fulfilling her full potential. She was always doing her best not to offend anyone and in the end she would end up getting hurt. He had seen this before and had been on the opposite end of the spectrum. He knew what it felt like to hurt someone and see their life spiral out of control.

In Shirley, he saw a lady that would take him to heights he had not experienced before. She was calm, focused, beautiful and made him appreciate the little things in life. She had been through a lot in her life but you couldn’t tell from the smile she always showed the world. Turner saw the smile and all the possibilities that were behind that smile.

Shirley liked Turner for who he was. He was a bit younger than her but they found comfort in each other. Over time, they grew closer and all those hugs and laughter turned to a kiss goodbye and sharing of great moments together. Things were taking their course and you could tell these two were meant to be together.

Both valued their privacy and kept their exploits under wraps. They didn’t want anyone to know what they were up to and kept their secret between them. Things were going well for the two and there was nothing but love between them. For a while, nothing could go wrong because it was always what they meant to each other that mattered.

After graduating college, they both found themselves in different industries. Turner found himself in the media industry and Shirley was in the marketing field. These were environments they had not been exposed to in their lives. They were both on field assignment and this meant they had to spend time apart.

The distance didn’t make much difference in the beginning because they would always yearn for each other. Their romance grew as they would be happy to see each other and would tear the place apart. Time was beginning to bring some distance between them though. Turner was always working late and would not find adequate time to spend with Shirley.

Shirley didn’t find any problem in him not being around and always did her best to make herself available. At work, Turner was having a hard time at all the staff parties keeping to himself to avoid putting himself in a precarious situation. He would stay up late, barely drink and head home. He kept this up for a while but he finally caved in.

He would go out with his colleagues on a regular basis and found comfort in his assignment partner, Mish. She was in a relationship with a business man who was barely around. She would confide in Turner and tell him about her love life. Turner would listen to her and they found themselves spending more time together.

Whenever they worked late, they would have a glass or two of scotch before heading home. One night, Mish was very uneasy. She kept on checking her phone and was absent minded. “What’s up today?” asked Turner as he handed her a glass of scotch. “It’s nothing.” She replied still looking at her phone. “Come on. It’s me. You know you can tell me anything.” He said as she put her phone aside.

“Well, it’s my wedding anniversary and my husband hasn’t even sent me a message,” she replied as tears rolled down her cheeks. Turner sat on her desk facing and placed his glass on her desk. “Just give me a few minutes and I’ll be back,” he said with a smile. He ran out of the office and came back with a gift in his hand.

“Happy anniversary!” She took the unexpected gift and her eyes were filled with tears. “When did you get this?” she asked amid sobs. “I listen,” he replied as he embraced her. They spent the night drinking and headed home at almost dawn.

Turner walked into the house and Shirley was waiting for him. “Where have you been? I’ve been worried sick? Couldn’t you even have called?” Turner couldn’t explain the fact that he had spent the night out with someone’s wife on her anniversary while his girlfriend spent the night worrying about him.

That was the beginning of their problems. Mish would call Turner anytime she felt lonely and he would heed her call. His actions made him and Shirley drift apart. Suddenly, the fun filled sex escapades were replaced by arguments and mistrust.

Shirley started drifting from Turner and their affection was slowly being washed down the drain. She couldn’t understand how Turner could forget where they came from because of a stranger. Turner on the other hand couldn’t understand how the person he’d opened up to didn’t trust him enough to be on his own.

On the fateful day, Turner was working late and it had skipped his mind that he and Shirley were supposed to have dinner. She called his phone and Mish answered. Shirley felt that Turner had crossed the line and betrayed her. She called a friend over because she needed someone to talk to.

As they sat at the dining table, she started crying. Her friend went over to her and hugged her. As he leaned in looking into her eyes, Turner walked in. He froze and dropped his laptop bag. He picked up his bag, walked past them and went to the bedroom. Shirley’s friend left and she went into the bedroom.

“How could you?” She asked with tears in her eyes. Turner didn’t utter a word as he packed a pair of boxers, socks and a t-shirt in his bag. He was burning with rage but he loved Shirley to much too let it show. “Aren’t you going to say anything?” she shouted following him into the living room. “I’m not sure this is working out,” said Turner as Shirley sat on the sofa with her face buried in her hands. He walked out of the door with tears in his eyes knowing it was either him or her.

 

 

Everyone Falls

It started with sight,

Saw her beautiful eyes,

Her lips glistened in the sun,

Her white teeth caught my attention,

Everyone falls at one point.


I said hi,

She was shy,

Not too willing to let it out at first,

She held back,

But everyone falls.


A hi turned to a handshake,

A handshake to a shared laugh,

The shared laugh to texts,

The texts to an occasional hug,

But we all fall at times.


Went from talking a few times a day,

To spending time together,

Everything was fine,

Time was taking its course,

Was this the time to fall?


Shared an interest in each other,

Wanted the best for each other,

But probably weren’t best for each other,

Only time would tell,

We were on our knees.


Cracks started to emerge,

Faults on a smooth surface,

Rough on the outside,

Breaking down inside,

Is this what happens when you fall?


But everyone falls sometime,

It’s not a crime,

We let emotion take its course,

Made the best of what we had,

But you can fall out as easily as you fell in.

 

In pursuit of love

Go after what you love,

It’s all worth it in the end,

Face your fears,

The greatest fear is your fear,

So they said.


I went after what I loved,

Pursued it to the world ends,

Sacrificed my life,

Gave it to my love,

Pursue your love they said.


Almost caught up,

But she wasn’t in the mood,

I had to procrastinate my love,

Shelve it for another day,

All in pursuit of love.


I finally caught up,

She in the right frame of mind,

Ready to kick things off,

Make us a thing,

Pronounce our love to the world.


I loved her,

So I let her go,

Because love isn’t a science,

There’s no perfect time,

Love waits for no man.

 

When love hurts

Sometimes I’m indecisive,

I like you then forget you,

It’s never about me,

Sometimes it’s you,

We still have time.


You ignite a flame inside me,

At times it’s warm,

At other times it burns me,

I got used to it,

I have nothing but time.


Will you ever leave me?

Is this love or something like it?

Your confidence turned to arrogance,

I can’t tell if you don’t know or are ignorant,

It’s time we sat down.


You talk about love,

Like it a commodity at the store,

Put in your shopping cart,

And return it if you can’t afford it,

Did you forget about our time together?


Is the art bigger than the artist?

What if the trade stifles the trader?

What happens when love kills the lover?

Takes the very essence of its existence,

And time is all you have.


They said I’d be free in love,

But I lost more than I gained,

But love is about sacrifices, right?

You give and expect nothing in return,

But what about my time?

 

Convenience is all about perspective

“I take you, to be my lawfully wedded wife. In sickness and in health, in riches and in poverty, till death do us part.” I’m not sure that’s how the vows go but it’s along that line. I’ve not been to many weddings in my life. Partly because the people I know barely get married and the ones that do, share their wedding invitations when I have other commitments, like learning how to swim or have a dance-off with my god daughter.

I’m not big on Western weddings for a number of reasons, the major one being the cost implication against posterity. However, that’s not an issue I want to discuss because I may end up ruining my chances of being invited for future weddings. My issue is with the vows and understanding your roles. Do you understand the implication of the words you utter or is it just a phase to you?

The divorce rate in Kenya isn’t as high as Western countries because of the mere fact that court processes drag on for years and most people don’t have the finances to see their cases through; so they end up separating amicably. The number of separated homes in Kenya is soaring by the day from generations born in the 60s and earlier to those born in the 80s. The sad thing is that most of these people recited those vows.

This year alone I’ve seen videos of domestic abuse on Facebook more than enough times. One time is enough and I’ve seen those videos more than once. I’ve learnt something from interacting with people older than me and that is called, separation of issues. I’m not a Psychology major and having done one or two units in the said field doesn’t make me an expert in analyzing behaviours and all that Dexter stuff.

I however, know plenty about human interaction from experience. Have you ever wondered what goes through a persons mind when they take up a knife or rod and attack someone they vowed to love through thick and thin? Does it happen overnight? Is there any form of justification? Isn’t there an easier way out of the situation than violence? What led love to this?

I rarely involve myself in marital or intimate relationship discussion. This is because my uncle once told me, “Two people that sleep together know how to sort their issues out. If you get involved, you’ll be the only loser in the end.” At first, I never took his words seriously but as years go by, I can clearly see his words coming to pass. I’m not a violent person and always believe there’s always a multitude of options before violence.

Why are domestic cases a common scenario? What are communities, societies and relevant authorities doing about it? Is it time for stern action to be considered? I’ve seen a number of videos and there’s one thing I cannot fail to mention; double standards. A video of a man being beaten by a group of women using wooden rods was doing rounds on the internet. Going through the comment section made me question humanity.

For decades now, people have been fighting for affirmative action. Different groups have been clamouring for equality among both sexes in various aspects. That is until you see how issues among both sexes are treated. When the video of the man was doing rounds, most of the comments were, “He deserves it for cheating on the girl.” “What kind of man is this?” “These are the type of men we have today!” Nobody stopped for a minute to think these are the type of men society has brought up and continues to bring up.

If the same video was of a group of men hitting a woman for cheating on the husband, the reaction would have been totally different. “Why can’t he just leave?” “What kind of men gang up on a woman?” “Men are animals?” Why the double standards? Are we not fighting for equality? Or does equality only come into play when it’s about education and money? I don’t support violence of any kind unless it’s your profession.

This is the kind of frustration that makes its way into marriage. You look at yourself as the provider and want to run your family like an absolute monarch. You presume you have dominion over whoever has the lower pay. When did it get to this? Is respect all about who brings more to the table? Shouldn’t equity be what is being preached? Equity is giving your daughter who is 3 years older than your son more pocket money because her needs tend to be more demanding. Equality is giving them the same amount because they are both your children.

You see where I’m going with this? Marriage as an institution is losing its value because it’s no longer about equity but equality. My wife is close with her male boss so I’ll cheat on her with her friend. What gives? It’s not always about give and take. Sometimes you give expecting nothing in return. When you say till death do us part, does it mean you go through suffering, abuse and torment to your death? Or are you just saying it because it’s a norm?

How many times will you take a cheating partner back for the sake of your kids? How many times will you wear make-up to conceal the black eye you always have on Monday mornings? How many times will you avoid going for swimming with your friends because your back looks like a skid mark? These are the type of questions marriage vows never tackle. A donkey breaks its back at one point and what good is a donkey if it can’t work?

The sad truth is that conformity has blinded us to what is really true in our lives. We want to do because that’s the way it’s always been done. That doesn’t necessarily make it right. I cannot say today’s men are weak compared to their fathers because that is what society has taught them. I can also not say today’s women are not humble like their mothers because they’ve been exposed to different standards and world views. When you say you’re independent, do you understand the gravity of the word you’re using?

I have no children yet and do not foresee any in the near future. However, if and when I have my own, I will teach them about equity. I want them to know they are not and will never be equal. I want to teach them about justice and make them understand that they should not conform for the sake of fitting in. I want to teach them about diversity and make them understand we all have different roles to play and none should be looked down upon.

You’re not any less of a woman because you are able to balance your career and family. You’re not any less of a man either because your wife earns more than you do or you pull your weight behind her in the household. Society has fought so hard to get rid of stereotypes only to impute others. Just like every relationship is different, so is marriage. Find a partner that improves you and make vows you know you can keep. Marriage is a partnership that only works when both parties put in collective effort.

You may find yourself floating against the tide when you stand up for what you believe in but if you’re the same person that says, “I’m not doing this for anyone,” you won’t mind being different but comfortable in your truth. People will ask you to be unique but expect you to do what has always been done. Approach your relationships and marriage like an essay. No two essays can be the same even if they have the same ending or beginning. Be the difference in your life. Say no to discrimination and gender based violence. Pain knows no sex.