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There is a slow music from Jidena, filtering calmly from the background as he sings of Bambi, the love of his life. It is a beautiful song, and for anyone who appreciates music and its magnificence will stay still and drench themselves in the music because it is a song you have to feel. After that then you’ll have to think of your own Bambi, and if you ever fought for them and told them no one will take them from you.

You’ll be drawn to the dark chambers of no return, for a moment at least, because love is a beautiful thing. We all want to be loved… even when loving back is our main problem that we refuse to wean from, some of us are just selfish people who want to withdraw from other people’s emotional banks without making any deposits.

But after that music you imagine of this girl, the one Jidena runs after on her wedding day- perhaps after making a discovery that he’s lost a jewel while he was doing sidekicks and having some booty calls. You visualize her, or even significantly remember them. There was a time that they meant the world to you and you would do anything to fight to have them back. You badly wanted them back… back to you. They completed your puzzle and without them you were incomplete, unloved and the world without them was soooo abysmal live in.

These people were your bedrocks. They were your eyes because they helped you have a better vision. They participated actively in pumping blood in your system because they were your heart. They had seen your nakedness and unveiled the vulnerability that is in all of us. They could do anything to you as you had given them all your trust and hoped that they’ll not betray you in any way. How could they if they were your whole world?

Every moment you saw them your restlessness became comfort, your pain healed, your fears turned into humongous pockets of courage, you could do anything in the world with them around you. You felt they were there for you, they could cover for you, could be depended on at any particular point in time of need. It was love.
Love is the feeling of wanting to be desired. The ambition of being pursued, or even the state of being considered important. And wherever there is a possibility to be liked we have to use that chance. Love is like a craving of getting noticed. Love and attention are all the same. We fight for them.

Without love we’re empty souls, ugly and out of place. We do not belong without love. We do not feel human if others don’t love us. Our self-esteem is boosted by the love we receive all around us, without which looking down upon yourself is a possibility.

What could we be without love?

So as Jidena tries to fight for the girl he loved, you also remember of the people you loved. And there was this girl you loved heels over toes because she made you feel like you had a purpose in life. She was the one lighting your world when darkness loomed all over your heart.

At the start things were mushy… soft and lovely. You enjoyed her company, she made you laugh, what do you expect? Things were smooth, you enjoyed firing spontaneous moments, made love lots of times and the sex felt refreshing and good. You stayed in bed lazily wishing life would be all cozy and easy. You stayed up all night cuddling, chasing each other around the house and staring into each other’s eyes saying things that have no meaning in reality.

Then time started increasing the pace at which it walked. It was moving quite fast and it was crossing streets. You got to know each other, the dislikes became more pronounced with time. She was snoring in bed, loved missionary all through, preferred cuddling to sex, stopped spreading bed or even washing the utensils.

There came a time she came home late. It all started one day, moved to weeks and then later it was like forever. She no longer made her perfect ponytail or wore those seducing clothes. She was moving away from you. The distance between you was growing. Silence was becoming the only way of communication.

Then one morning you woke up with this feeling of suffocation, you wanted some space. That one morning changes the whole of your life. It offers you space and freedom from this person you once loved but now turned boring.

You pick your stuff and move into a new, smaller apartment. You can actually smell freedom in this new territory. You can arrange your stuff and no one will rearrange them. You can whistle, sing and shout in the bathroom. You can have a better sleep because there is no one snoring to disturb your peace. There is no more shouting, no more trouble of suffocation. The air is fresh, rich of things you had been missing for the last three years while with her. The serenity is alluring. You love your own cool. You can watch all the games you want.

Actually, you now own the remote control. Again you can watch all the matches. There is time for you to watch all your favourite movies. No more soap operas.

One day you bump into a long-time friend in town. He’s standing in this yoga pants face pointed west like they’re talking to Buddha or something, or just admiring the sun sink in the west, unbothered by the throngs of people moving around him. He’s changed and looks ten years younger.

He is Denno. You and Denno were in the same primary school years back. Time and circumstances robbed you the opportunities to meet. In fact since then you’ve only met once and this is like the golden second chance.

You come to realize that Denno has not been in town for a while. Landing in town a few days ago, he decided to tour the city and smell it. He wants to stand at different spots he stood years ago and close his eyes and ears, smelling the many scents and odours colouring the town. This would really inform him what he has missed. As a lover of Kenyan things, he loves catching up with things- he’s from the roots he alludes.

Now turned a monk, he is full of wisdom. As you sit down for a chat in some joint in town, he tells you he became a vegetarian. You’ve to enjoy your burger alone while he sits pensively on a chair still facing west. His eyes, face and decorum speak for him.

He is slow in a cautious way. He takes time to reflect on things before he opens his mouth. He’s quite calm and there is this temptation tapping on your tongue repeatedly to ask him ‘why are you calm? What is this you’re calm about?’ But then again you have to try and calm your balls, try to get into his space- he is so collected. You admire and envy him at the same time. How can he be so calm? What makes him so calm? Does anything make him afraid? Why is he not fretting or even showing any sign of real feelings like I do?

He tells you his life experienced a makeover. He has learnt to embrace more of his spirituality, mindfulness and discipline. He controls his own life and brain. Then he hints that he’s no longer afraid of things. Nothing worries him. Somehow, he tries to demonstrate how all these is possible but you can’t see it.

When he asks you about your own life you don’t know what to tell him. ‘Hanging on. Things are great I guess.’ You say with this resigned kind of face. For the first time you start feeling that maybe your life is a shithole after all.

‘You married?’ He asks.

‘Not really. Left her a year ago. It wasn’t working out well.’ You say while the thought of a not-so good life starts to eat you. It is really digging into you.

‘What happened?’ He probes so calmly that you want to pour everything to him now that you’d never had anyone to tell how you truly feel.

‘I just woke up one day and I felt like she was suffocating me?’ You complain to him. He gazes a little bit. He gives it a thought and then doesn’t say anything. He doesn’t have to because he realized that he doesn’t have to talk to anyone if he feels not to. Wielding such power is really good. He can control everything around him, not conforming to the desires of the society.

Your phone buzzes… you can feel it vibrate twice in your pocket. You don’t bother to check it out, the moment is too sweet and you’re savouring Denno’s peace. It is so sweet and tempting. You wanna be in his world as there are no worries.

You part two hours later. Denno disappears like wind and you trudge to Kencom to take a bus home. In the bus you get an opportunity to check out your phone. There is a text message that you take long to open. Your mind feels like it went away for a walk, and you’re just there- your physical self. The message says you’re invited to Bambi’s wedding. The number is from someone, a friend who used to be Bambi’s. A friend you couldn’t meet without Bambi because how do you start interacting with someone’s friend without them being present? It is illegal.

You’re happy that Bambi has found someone who wants to make a family. But it is not the only feeling that is uprising in you. You are starting to feel that shit is not together anymore. Bambi was yours and you still love her no matter how far she is.

Shit is confusing. Your heart doesn’t know what it feels. The truth is that the news shake you. There is a turbulent feeling that tries to constrict your blood vessels, forcing your heart to pump blood quite hastily.
A month and half later you sit in church. Once again you see her going down the aisle. She still has a wide smile on her. A smile that reminds you of the first time you met. Her face is radiant. And there is so much that implies she’s doing much better.

Maybe I was the one making her unhappy, you tell yourself. You throw your coat over your shoulder and walk out.

Signed with love,
Where shall we go, we who wander in this wasteland in search of better selves?

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About Mzangila

Mentor, media consultant, photographer, editor, poet, writer, and counselor.

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