Njagi 21 years of age, is a third-year student at a local university. He has never seen nor come across a trace of his father’s silhouette. Now a young adult, his childhood was made up of his single mum Kui, his younger sister Wangare and a kindred of close relatives made up of Shush Damaris, his uncles and aunts. Njagi is slender and way tall at his age and has an alluring passion for drawing stuff. He’s an amiable introvert and quite spotty. He has been brought up in church all his life and wore a pair of jeans trouser for the first time, after High School thanks to his Mum’s strong belief in Christianity religion.
While growing up, he was unsure of which career path to pursue but one thing stood out, it had to be in Sciences. He effortlessly makes stuff with his youthful hands as far as he can remember. In his formative years, he toyed with being a Pilot but he wasn’t very good in Mathematics. Every time he gaped at an aircraft taxing through the clouds, his heart skipped and he’d be overwhelmed by the sheer excitement of watching such a gizmo, at least as it appeared way up the skies.
Njagi was brought up in a typical village life, in Kwa Nguku, living off with Shush Damaris and his mum as well as Wangare. He watched his uncles go through High school while he was a young boy of about 5 years. He saw them struggle with adolescence but was too young to comprehend what they were going through. He spotted them bring girls to their rooms, play chase together and more often than not experiment with alcohol at different times of their lives.
He has such a shrewd and sacrosanct mother as far as religion is concerned. She owns a salon and also sells second-hand clothes. Shush Damaris is a peasant farmer and a window as far as he can go back. He wasn’t lucky to meet his grandfather. In fact, he has no idea about his father’s relatives either. He has neither met them nor knows where they hail. The closest he has ever come across news of his dad was sometimes back when he eavesdropped his uncles speaking in hush voices about how he resembles his dad’s athlete-legs. It’s then that he gathered that his father passed on after a short illness when he (Njagi) was six months in his mum’s womb. Some say he didn’t die a natural death but however unnatural or natural it was, he just wishes his dad had the opportunity to hold him in his masculine arms and wish him well. But Njagi is certain that his dad means well for him in his extra-mundane state and in fact, carries along his blessings and unfulfilled dreams.
On this day, he is meeting his closest friend by the name Sly, in one of the deserted lecture rooms to revise for the upcoming exams and also catch up. They’ve not met since the lecturers’ strike commenced much to their anguish which was delaying their take off to the career world. The strike having been concluded a few days ago, Sly called Njagi and planned for this rendezvous. Besides, she is hooked up to a toxic relationship with Chris her boyfriend. She is unaware how badly Chris is manipulating her. In fact, she fights single-handedly for the mere survival of their relationship. They’ve dated for 2 years now.
Chris has tried dumping her in vain as he no longer relates to her vibe since he is seeing another girl on the side besides having slept with Sly numerously which in hindsight has diluted their chemistry. Sly, on the other hand, is one of those rare ladies who love with all their heart, soul, emotions, physiques, energy, character, fuse in their dreams with the man they are dating and literally all they’ve got. In every two sentences she makes, she will mention about meeting Chris for coffee somewhere along Aga Khan Walk or for a movie date at Nairobi Cinema. If you happen to be her close friend, you’ll have to let in Chris to your life as well. For what goes between them overflows to you, good or nasty.
Not to mention Sly is slender, with tiny breasts, long hair, small face, Colgate teeth, pink lips and such an intellect. She is not a book warmer like Njagi but a gifted intellectual. She has been raised in Nairobi all her life but studied high school in up country. Her parents are strict Catholic faithfuls.
After exchanging warm pleasantries they settle down at a far corner in an empty class adjacent to the long tinted window panes. Through the glass window, one can spot a stack of self-contained residential houses occupied by Asians. You’ll be thrilled to observe domestic workers mostly young women in their late twenties cleaning the occupants’ undergarments and meticulously hanging them on the clothing lines in all their sizes. Further, you’ll espy the sachems as they stroll from the bathrooms swathed in their towels coming along to fetch the briefs that have dried up.
Njagi and Sly go through the notes amid chit chats giving in to small laughters serving as commercial breaks. Momentarily, Sly teases off Njagi;
“Why don’t you ever tell me about your girlfriend?”
“Oooooh, wasn’t aware you’d be interested!”
Making a face… “Surely, Njagi.”
“Seems like it.”
“No, tell me.”
“I know you’ll be shocked….well, I don’t have one.”
“How on earth?”
“But you don’t live in a cave.”
“Kwani, is it mandatory for one to have a girlfriend?”
“No, but how do you survive?”
“You never develop feelings for girls?”
“I do, but have never approached any.”
“Aaaawwh.” After a long awkward pause. “I think you should man up and fight for what your heart deserves.”
At that point, Njagi feels subdued and opts to let go off that conversation. What Sly is unaware of, is that Njagi is love-struck by her but what to do when the girl that makes your heart melt down, is intimate with somebody else and treats you like a small bro! It hurts to be family-zoned without your approval, right?
So, they’ve maintained a platonic relationship for close to two years now, starting off as just group-mates during class assignments and have seen their friendship metamorphose, curl through thick and thin and eventually tightening their bond, over the period.
Photo Credit: Rosebank College website
Next on Platte-Land series: Bash
Dear Andreaders, its been a long time coming. I’ve always told myself I can’t do fiction until I came across thrilling writings on fiction and an inner voice was like – You can do it Dru. Here I am, taking a day at a time with no intention whatsoever, of displacing the very talented creatives in this blog-sphere doing such an amazing work. Well, I’m here to prove to myself that I can do it too. I will be glad if I inspire at least one soul along the way, to dash out of the comfort zone and dare to break the glass ceiling. That said, I’ll try to publish an article weekly, purely on fiction and we’ll see how far it goes. My new serialized writing will be referred as Platte-Land. Isn’t it not about time?