CHURCH ETHOS

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Church ethics have evolved over the years and so have our guts. Religious leaders have been met flat-footed by the world advancements in technology and other fronts. The leadership has found itself in the wobbly and ugly underbelly of the synthetic headways. It’s not a secret that many men and women of the cloth have been caught pants down with their flock’s spouses. Many more have fashioned themselves as the high priests of impunity and daylight soft robbery. Legions of them have cases in court for grave reasons such as murder. These days you can’t board a matatu in peace without some so-called pastors sneaking in to sell and extort money for just making a prayer to the passengers. How unfortunate that many of them have thrived through taking advantage of the gullible and naive people in the society.

Many church ethics and etiquettes have been cannibalized, defiled and left for the dead from the high and mighty preachers to the low lying congregants.

Dress Code

When we were growing up, we used to have Sunday best attires. You wouldn’t wear such outfits anywhere else not unless it was a special occasion. Of course, times have changed and so has our view of what Sunday-best was. As we speak, that’s an old-fashioned mentality that has grass grown over it. We are in a different dispensation altogether. Our lifestyles have sort of ‘improved.’ At least many households can afford the luxury of not hanging on the illusion of Sunday-bests. Additionally, we have a generation that is cool enough and spontaneous in the sense like – it doesn’t attach too much glorification to the formal looks.

Consequently, the high regard to church has so much degraded. The spontaneous looks have come with their fair share of challenges and dicey moments. I saw a guy in my church dressed in solely a vest and was like; Okay, what to say! Perhaps I’m too reserved. But come to think about it, many of us dress extremely badly to church than in the workplace. That old pair of jeans that you’ve not worn in ages and the faded polo shirt bestowed by a former employer in a workshop in Mombasa somehow finds itself in church.

The contemporary church has gone so liberal and complacent to uphold and adhere on decency, especially on matters dressing. We are dressing far worse than several decades ago for reasons best known to us. It’s an open secret that women are doing far worse than men as a far as church dressing code is concerned. If it’s not dressing in attires that are too seductive and revealing for church environment then it is showcasing their flesh for-god-knows-who and for what purpose. Makes me wonder – if one is not breastfeeding what justification is there to have your cleavage sunbathing or better put; distracting a poor fellow who has no control or rather struggles on some aspects? Okay, put it differently, which male adult wants to breastfeed in church? Fact – there is a massive decline in dressing standards in the church, today.

If just maybe it’s a question of flaunting, who wants to be carried away in church, surely? Now, why would you wear a miniskirt that you’ll keep pulling down or sitting awkwardly just to discourage the prying eyes dashing up and down? Why parade your thighs to the rest of us and seat with your bare bum and expect the man seated next to you will concentrate on the sermon? Interestingly, some women will still dress erotically and sit indecently. We are only human and men are tamed beasts for crying out loud. And by the way, there is a reason some body parts are referred to as ‘private parts.’  You see, you can’t have your cake and eat it. And if you’ve got to eat it, at least don’t do it in the House of God.

In a nutshell, self-respect and value to oneself should help you decipher as to whether what you wear to church is decent or not. The overriding point is – what powers your intention to dress in a certain way to church! Is it to jump-start your self-esteem or draw attention or just to feel good when congregants eye bath your upper legs and boobs? And to you who sag in church giving us unwarranted glance at your inner wears and if unlucky, your bare bum please cut the slack – For heaven’s sake, it’s 2018 man!

Phone Chatting

I once sat next to a couple who seemed like they were in a situationship or some sort of speed dating never mind they were in church. Why am I saying so? See, for the entire sermon, they spent it on phone chatting and in social media and clinging on one another like one of them would just evaporate before the sermon got concluded. It’s sad that we can’t shut off social media even for 2 damn hours just to listen to a sermon. But who chats on Sunday at 9:01 am surely? And can we stop side-shows in church? Is it much to ask?

Ringing Phones

Many church sermons have been rudely interrupted by horrible and loud phone ring tones many a time. Followers are alive to the fact that, it’s unethical not to have their phones on silent mode, airplane mode or off but they will still defy. Some even pretend that it’s not their phones buzzing and only happen to react when the congregation appears disturbed and starts wagging necks.

Sitting Arrangement

Is it just my church where congregates jostle for the few available seats. It’s not like they are really few, no. The number of fellow-shippers is exceedingly high. Taking that into account, some parents will defy taking their children to Sunday school or catechism classes and have them occupy places meant for grown-ups. It’s even worse when one tries to find a space when toddlers occupy the same seats fidgeting with their parents’ phones, while the parents seem unperturbed.

Rich Kirkpatrick a writer who specializes in spiritual content best summarizes this topic: “There is no one single answer to church ethics. This takes humility and heart to make it about values and principles, rather than rules and laws. We should hold ourselves to be righteous Christ-followers, not legalistic rule followers.”

Photo credit – catholicsun.org

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PLATTE-LAND 012: MATERNITY WARD

Image result for maternity wardThe first EDD had slipped away with nothing much to write home about. There were no unusual feelings or mild pains to trigger any heedful reaction. They called Dr. Angela and she reassured them nothing was amiss. She however, emphasized that they should report to the hospital if the second EDD came by, with no labor symptoms being witnessed. The gap between the two EDDs was one week.

On the eve of the second EDD, Anastasia started experiencing irregular contractions, after midday. Being her first time pregnancy she had vague clues about labor. When the orange-ball was setting on the other side of the city, sinking beyond the horizon and consequently inviting the night as it compelled the bogged city dwellers to retire to their rented apartments, the contractions became a bit regular. Mongoose suggested they time their interval span. They ranged between 30-40 minutes and as the day wore the pains cycle narrowed to 20 minutes. Soon after, it became unbearable.

It was dreadful pain. Pain that came with its extended family and girlfriends. Pain that was a dozen times worse than a toothache. Pain that could make you pee on yourself. Simply put – An agony that makes you wonder, why you became pregnant in the first place. A poor Anastasia wrenched in a biting misery, helplessly. Mongoose couldn’t wait for 8-10 minutes as advised by Dr. Angela, not even 12 minutes would do. He had never watched Anastasia in such kind of twinge. It was inordinate. She had not left her seat for an hour or so. When the wave of contractions would commence, she’d put her arms in between her legs, droop her head and sigh off out of bruising anguish. The pains would crumble her down, and squeeze out any energy left behind.

Mongoose called his main man – Euty, cut from another mother. In no minute, he would pull off at Mongoose’s place. They put the basin and the packed bag right into the car, assisted Anastasia hop inside and sped off to Zion City Nursing Home. Meanwhile, he called Aunty Bobo, who naturally had a heads up of her niece’s fate. She promised to board the first matatu from Kaibaga to the city the next morning. Waithiegeni was on her way to the hospital, never mind it was past 11 pm.

***

She is put in a waiting room next to the maternity block awaiting to be booked for admission. At such an hour, the hospital is busy receiving droves of other expectant women overwhelmed by labor pains. Some are accompanied by their husbands but majority are chaperoned by women – be it their mums, mother in laws, or female friends. Euty whispers to Mongoose that out of strange reasons many deliveries occur at night since that’s when labor contractions worsen. Is it a coincidence or pure fallacy? Euty spoke authoritatively, having been in Mongoose’s situation twice. He is a dad to two high spirited boys – 3 and 1 year respectively.

In my community, they say an ailment worsens in the night.

Two nurses pop up, one be like: “Ehe msaidiwe aje?”

Mongoose jumps in.

“She is in labor.”

“How did you tell?”

“The contractions.”

“What about them?”

“They are a bit regular and quite strong and we’ve timed them for the last 4 hours.”

“And?”

“The span is about 15 minutes.”

“So?”

“Dr.Angela told me to bring her if it nears 10 minutes, but the pain was too much.”

“Any blood spots?”

“No.”

“Is she a first time?”

“Yes.”

“Okay. Excuse us.”

Mongoose is ordered out.

Seated at the ice-cold bench along the busy corridor, they stare at helpless would-be husbands moving up and down clinging on their phones if not keeping up with the buzzing phone calls, while some peep at maternity doors to lift their hopes regarding their wives’ fate. They grapple with ridiculous anxiety. The weather is horrible. It’s approaching midnight and the temperatures are below 10 degrees. Aunty Bobo calls as Waithiegeni arrives.

The nurses examine Anastasia. They establish the contractions are genuine labor pains but sadly the cervix dilation is not adequate. They need 10 cm and she is at 3. She is however admitted at the prenatal ward, only to meet other women in different stages of labor. Some lie on the floor while others bite the metallic beds just to trick the grueling pains. Meanwhile, Waithiegeni and the boys remain outside watching over any news from the nurses walking up and down. Most of the them are below 28 years. A sizable number seem passionate on their job. Some pull warm faces and appear receptive while others feel like their work is demeaned and consequently appear very intimidating.

Two hours pass by with no word from the hospital and Mongoose walks to the Admission room demanding to know the fate of his woman. No one is in the mood of listening to his pleas. He calls Dr. Angela but the calls go unanswered. He stops anybody he spots at the corridor be it the cleaners, interns, students on attachment and patients in their oversize gowns. The information he gets is too economical and doesn’t add up. He however learns that Dr. Angela is on off duty. As he ponders for the next move, they get rudely interrupted by women yelling in the labor ward. Could Anastasia be one of them? They wonder, helplessly.

Mongoose is called in after ages of waiting. He meets Dr. Muchemi and he is like;

“Hi, we’ve established the cervix dilation is quite sluggish. She has only managed 3cm more after injecting her with Synthetic Oxycontin to fasten the dilation bringing the total to 6cm. We need 10cm for her to undergo normal child delivery process.”

Moongose sighs off.

“How is the baby?” He asks.

“The baby appears to be in good spirits but he/she might tire soon since the labor is over 10 hours which is not recommended. We were buying time since the infant’s head was at the tip of the pelvic bones, but the progress of the dilation is not very good.”

“What are the dangers?”

“If we prolong the labor pains, Anastasia could be vulnerable to fistula complications in future. But more pertinently, chances of amniotic fluid bursting are high which could end up harming the infant’s skin and the digestive organs. The baby and the mother may also tire out and run out of oxygen.”

So, what are you suggesting Doc?

“You need to make a decision Mr. Ezekiel. The thing is, in as much as Anastasia was set to deliver the baby via the natural method, I’m afraid we’ll have to book her for an Emergency C-section operation. This is the most prudent action at stake if we are to guarantee the safety of both the baby and the mother.”

“Can I see her before I make the decision?”

“Unfortunately, we can’t grant your request at this point in time. But I can assure you she is alright. You are her next of kin. You’ve got to authorize us by filling and signing this form or else you could consider getting a second opinion from a different hospital.”

“Just give me minute.”

Mongoose walks out to brief Waithiegeni and Euty. He also calls Aunt Bobo.

The C-section operation is given a nod by Mongoose. The theater room is prepared and in a short while, Anastasia is wheeled inside. She may or may not come back alive – that was the spirit of the form Mongoose signed.

It’s past 1am with no word from the hospital regarding Anastasia. It’s extremely cold and the winds are blowing rudely. Mongoose and his company are impatiently resting at the waiting room. They’ve been served lukewarm black tea which does little to bail out their freezing bodies. Meanwhile, more patients battling labor continue to arrive at such ungodly hour while in the labor ward, distressful yells and wails seem to curse the heavens. Clearly, nature has a sense of humor.

Mongoose recalls a story told by Anastasia regarding how her biological mum passed on while delivering her. The same complications seem to haunt her. Could it be genetic? A cold sweat runs down his underarms.

2am…

The C-section is successful. Anastasia gains conscious half an hour after. It’s a baby girl. The tag reads Female – Kendy Karimi. She is cleaned by the nurses as she makes her first reaction to the world by crying faintly. She weighs 3.2 kilograms.

Photo credit: Sheknows.com

Previously on Platte-Land Series

Next on Platte-Land series: Lechery

By the way, do you have a kid of up to 15 years, these folks have something for you Nanyuki Toy World

PLATTE-LAND 011: BABY SHOWER

Image result for A BEAUTIFUL AFRICAN LADY PREGNANTShe had 3 papers to sit for to conclude her end of semester exams. Actuarial Science was a course she had revered since her childhood, to emulate one of her uncles who was in a similar profession. Since she was a bright kid, she got enrolled having qualified with much ease. While in class, the baby would kick every now and then depending on her moods and she’d often feel weary and overwhelmed, being a first time pregnancy.

On the other hand, every day was a struggle. Her body was fighting the hormonal evolution taking place as it prepared to usher in a new being. She’d however, mitigate the awful nausea and bristling heartburn with all manner of homemade remedies. Her feet would terribly ache as the stretch marks in her bottom belly stretched farther, giving way to more pains.

“Did you make up your mind?” She queried her husband.

“About what?” Mongoose responded, holding a surprised face with him.

“On staying indoors today to receive the guests later in the afternoon.”

“But……………………” He tried fetching for the politest words around to phrase the statement, knowing too well that Anastasia was super sensitive and nagging at this, third trimester.

“But what?”

“Si Aunt Bobo and Mukami (House-Assistant) are around.”

“Yea, but it’s important for my friends to meet my hubby.”

“But I thought baby showers are a women thing?”

“Which century do you live in?” She slammed the door behind her and walked off to the dining room.

Mongoose joined her trying to calm her down.

“Listen hun, they’ll still have time to meet me when the baby is born. Look, how will I sit up with a dozen women in the same room and be it ease?”

Walking to his face. “It will be my honour if you stayed behind.”

“I promise to make up for this hun. Just understand I need to join my boys for a High school reunion considering that I’m the Treasurer of the Association.” He pleaded.

“If you say so.” Shrugging her arms.

***

Anastasia had sent invites for the baby shower to her close friends six weeks before. It was a day she was literally waiting for. To have her friends some of whom she hadn’t met throughout her pregnancy journey, get the privilege of relishing the moment. It was also an occasion to help her prepare for motherhood in the safe company of her buddies who had apparently, formed a tight bond round her life.

Waithiegeni, was not only her cube-mate for close to 3 years before she moved from the campus hostel, but such a close friend. She walked her through one of her lowest and humiliating moments in life, during the court case. Her self-esteem gravely leaked from all openings there could possibly be, as the community around her didn’t amount to much. She became her foot soldier, ‘right-man’ and defender. She also tirelessly skipped classes to accompany her for the prenatal clinics.

So, when the baby shower thought came to Anastasia’s mind, no one rivaled Waithiegeni in being entrusted to play the role of a chief planner for the occasion. They came up with a friend list and invites were sent well on time.

***

Most of her friends had checked in. The ladies had come along with their A-game fashion sense starting off with Shiku, who stood out with a dark blue high waist jeans that perfectly worked for her hippy body, matched with a white crop top which exposed her lean tummy, that also engrossed a crocodile tattoo and in red high heels. Nizzy had a striped body-con dress and a trendy long coat to cover her exposed thighs. Evelyn was in the mood of white monochrome – she was in a white top tank donned with an elegant wide legged pants. Grace was in a rugged denim pants dressed with a camo jacket and faded brown high boots.

They waited impatiently in the table room as Anastasia got prepared. She took longer than usual in the leisure bathtub since it was more effective than standing over a shower head. She couldn’t stand for long due to her aching feet perhaps owing to her increasing weight. Her makeup and hair styling took even longer. Waithiegeni wore her make up with every zeal that could probably be and with no urgency at all, while Evelyn – her childhood friend set up her tiny and glamorous braids that had been freshly knitted.

Meanwhile, Mukami and Aunt Bobo ran helter-skelter in the kitchen preparing the dishes. They served the guests, starter foods which included; tiny sandwiches, savories, crackers, muffins and nuts, ladled out with typical Kenyanese tea.

Anastasia wore a stretchy fabric free-flowing dress that embellished her bulging belly, beautifully. It was laced round the neck with two inter-closing flaps that kept her bust comfortable and in shape. She wore a pair of classic ballet flat shoes, maroon in colour made of pure leather that honourably complemented her beige outfit. She sported a handmade African bead multi-layered necklace, which performed emphatically in camouflaging her darkened neck, out of the hormonal changes.

The moment she popped at the table room, everyone rose up; some ran to hold her belly and feel the baby, some got dazzled by her dress and got outlived by the moment, while some were awed by her body size. Particularly for Emma who was a childhood friend and hadn’t met in ages, having traveled all the way from Mombasa to grace the occasion, found herself speechless. The last time she met Anasatasia, the latter was just a tiny girl fresh out of high school. Anastasia was overwhelmed by the joy in the room and momentarily, tears started trickling down her cheeks.

When everybody recovered from Anastasia’s disruption, lunch was served. The cuisine was made of kienyeji chicken that her aunt had brought along, all the way from Kaibaga, served with plenty of salad buffet, white rice, minji and sliced chapati. With tummy dignities having been taken care of, introductions took place and a couple of games to make the friends bond.

Later on, a surprise cake that had been prepared by the friends was presented to her but before then, Shiku read out the sentimental speech on behalf of the visitors.

Dear Anastasia, 

We are privileged to be in your small world.

It’s our delight and honour to have been chosen by you, to grace your childhood and early adult life.

Very soon, you’ll be walking to a whole new world full of excitement, fulfillment, warmth and accomplishment. 

It will not be without challenges, nonetheless, let them not bog you down.

Motherhood is not a mean achievement, especially for a girl we’ve seen grow in our lives. 

It’s a mantle you are capable of running away with.

Count us, as your springboard and point of reference.

We will stand by you and look after you.

Moreover, there’ll be much for us to learn.

May you grow to see your grandkids intermarry.

May you steer a family that beholds the Lord and prays together

Congrats baby doll,

From your affectionate buddies.

By the time, the short script was over, Anastasia eye lids were giving way to heavy loads of joyful tears. Soon after, the beautiful cake prepared by Emma on behalf of her friends was presented to Anastasia and it read on the top surface – Welcome to Motherhood Anastasia. Subsequently, gifts would follow ranging from well wrapped nappies, baby shawls, sacks of newborn diapers, wide variety of baby’s clothes, baby carrier, house shopping and some cash too.

By the end of it all Anastasia was dumbstruck, leaving none other than Aunty Bobo to seize the moment and conduct a Vote of Thanks on behalf of the family.

Previously on Platte-Land Series

Next on Platte-Land series: Maternity Ward

Gear up for the final chapter of Platte-Land Season 1, next Monday…

PLATTE-LAND 010: BIRTHDAY

 

Preparations had been concluded well on time. The house had been tidied up and was spotless. Mwau was standing by the door, his clothes all soaked with dripping water. The skies had opened, and it was raining heavily. He had just rolled in from a nearby mall. He had brought along shopping which included; booze, snacks, steak, disposable plates and cups, juices and a couple of other stuff. His girlfriend Mso, had come in handy, in coming up with the; guest list, shopping list and ensuring everything was top notch. She’d easily multi task while Mwau remained seated and clueless most of the time, if not indirectly being made to be the errand boy.

At one hand she oversaw a gigantic dry fry mutton meal steam up while ensuring the deep fried potatoes were coming up nicely at the other end of the multi-burner gas cooker. At the middle burner, a portion of steak was being grilled on a pan. She occasionally brushed the outer layers of the steak and applied some olive oil and a bit of cooking butter. She liberally seasoned it with salt and pepper to give it flavour. Once charred and having turned golden brown in colour, she transferred it to a cutting board where she firmly wrapped it with an aluminium foil to retain the heat and stack it in a safe place, in one of the kitchen cabinets.

Meanwhile, she had delegated Mwau the task of wiping bowls that would serve the crackers, nuts and all manner of bitings. He was also in charge of the music and had the best of the playlist, mostly popular Hip Hop and all the usual club bangers collection. His stereo was a high definition one, that clearly costed him an arm and a leg. His wagithomo dad would be dumbfounded to learn that his son owns a luxurious stereo purchased via funds diverted from paying school fees and worse still, pricier than his battered motorbike.

In no time, the guests would start trooping in. From the outside, the rains had dwindled and invited a biting cold instead. On the flip side, nature had given birth to all manner of insects to welcome the wet night. The crickets were chirping in celebration, as playing mantis dived from one place to another. The beetles were droning in the air as the wasps buzzed around. At a swampy area adjacent to Mwau’s rented apartment, frogs would croak to usher in the night, as a handful of bats screeched from an adjacent tree.

Njagi, Saimo DJ, Mapanya, Shiku, Ka-Penguin, Nizzy, Milly 1st Lady, Kevoo and a couple of other bunch of close friends to Mwau had already checked in. The lads would grab some pop-corns as they played cards and chess games as the ladies retreated at a corner to chit chat and catch up as they gulped a variety of juices. While this happened Shiku would try to make advances towards Njagi who was deeply involved in a chess match with Mapanya, a veteran in the game. In the meantime, Mso was taking a shower while Mwau received more guests.

At round 9pm, meals were served and everybody guzzled for the delicious buffet that included meat balls and fried potatoes, grilled steak and ugali, and fried – chopped mutton that was seasoned with ginger and turmeric powder. The music played louder as the booze was brought in by Mwau from its hideout. Their faces lightened up as they quaffed free booze served in plastic cups. Shiku was the first to be carried away by the exuberant ambiance singing and dancing along to lyrics like;  – as the rest cheered her.

I think you fell in love too fast
African night and a cool rush
And I remember you refused to kiss me
And now you using my toothbrush
You say you think I talk too much
That I’m not your type and you don’t like the hype
‘Cause your daddy is a preacher
Now you wearing my t-shirt
And I don’t want this night to end
Before you know I love you

Short and sweet
DJ play this song on repeat
Odi odi dance to the beat
Hapo ulipo kamata na-feel so sweet
Hapo ulipo kamata na-feel so sweet
Short and sweet

At 12 am Mso quietly tiptoed to the kitchen and over to the top cabinet where she had hid her surprise present to Mwau. She came back fetching a big smile and holding a beautiful cake placed on a tray with a set of cutlery on the side. It was iced artistically – I Love You Babe. HBD. On everybody noticing, the music came to a halt and they all started singing; Happy birthday dear Mwau….. In no minute, everyone was wrestling for Mwau’s face and in tandem, painted him with all colours of the cake’s top creme. His T-shirt was similarly defaced with graffiti from the cake’s content, as he scampered to the kitchen for safety.

Later on, Njagi and Shiku would find a moment to catch up;

Shiku placed her hands on his chest disguising to be trying to zip up his cotton padded half jacket that was yellow in colour. Njagi stood statue giving her all the room to explore. She made a sarcastic cough, as she raised her seductive eyes to meet his face and was like;

Where is your girlfriend?

Which one?

How many do you have?

Can’t trace the number.

Okay, I mean Sly.

You sound jealous.

Because I love you. She said without blinking an eye, maintaining her contact on him and edging closer.

And you think Sly is coming in your way?

Not like it. I know she has Chris and has you as well in her wings to pamper her.

Tell me more…

You see she can’t stand you having a girlfriend. Taking a sip of her reddish concoction. 

But we are just platonic

Platonic is just a word that has lost meaning and credence.

Njagi sighed off trying to suppress his impatience. Tired of leaning on the wall, they were now having the conversation at a far corner next to the fridge. Njagi was seated on one arm of the creme leather sofa while Shiku made herself comfortable on one of his thighs. She was feeling his heartbeat and while inclined on his chest, she felt the best form of emotional healing.

Did I ever tell you I schooled with her! Making a face

No way, Sly?

Yea 4 years in high school, in the same stream.

Wow! Were you ever friends?

Of course not. We were both extroverts that repelled against each other.

Hahaha still are.

And she was alleged to be a lesbian.

C’mon Shiku. Of all the ladies I know of, not Sly. 

They were rudely interrupted by Saimo DJ who staggered towards them, robbing them the steaming conversation.

Meanwhile, Kevoo walked out to have a cigar only to meet Nizzy at the balcony, one hand akimbo while the other reaching for support at the wall, leaning forward, struggling to puke. Apparently, she had mixed Smirnoff red vodka with a soft drink and the concoction had decided to humiliate her body. Every spew left her feeling weaker, with tears dripping on her face involuntarily. Kevoo forgot about his cigarette break, dashed to the kitchen and got her some warm water. By the time he came back, she was catching a breathe from the soft wind, clasping her hands on the balcony grills, while gazing at the magnificent dotted lights on the horizon from suburbs far a way seen from Mwau’s apartment. He went back and prepared mint tea to prevent any nausea she could have been experiencing.

At another corner, Ka-Penguin was sandwiched by Mapanya’s strong biceps as they savored their amorous moment. She’d rub his attractive arms as she laughed sheepishly to his comical tales. In the meantime, the music had slowed down, the energy had frozen and World Cup pep talk was commanding the audience leaving non-football enthusiasts with no piece of the meat to bite, hence choosing to lay their bodies on any available surface for some slumber.

Previously on Plate-Land Series

Next on Platte-Land series: Baby Shower

 

PLATTE-LAND 009: APOLOGY

Related imageShe met him in a pre-wedding ceremony of a close friend. It was love at first sight. He was considerably tall, looking sharply groomed and had a taste of fashion. He had this well taken care of strip of side burns that stretched all the way, meeting his chin beards halfway. He was in a fitting khaki pants, dark brown shoes and navy blue designer blazer. His short hair was neatly combed and she fell for his trimmed nails. Not many men have the diligence of cutting their nails after every 5 days, she thought. All throughout the occasion, Sly kept cunningly stealing glances at him hoping their eyes would ever meet, to no avail.

When she was made to understand they were both to be brides during the wedding, and would ostensibly form a pair, her heart melted down. A brewing friendship would crop up thereafter and before they made sense of it, a love story was being crafted and taking root. This would be followed by numerous coffee dates in high end uptown coffee houses, night walks in the estate, road trips to Nanyuki’s acclaimed conservancies – Ol Pajeta and Ol Jogi, day outs in the Arboretum, cycling along the tea farms of Kiambu and not to mention many night outs and sleep overs.

For close to two years now, their relationship has been nothing short of bliss and romance. But just like any other, challenges have been inevitable. Though they have a number of commonalities like being outgoing, art enthusiasts, movie people, and generally moderate extroverts – Sly has been consistently loyal while Chris has some ladies distracting him. For lack of a better phrasing; he has cheated on Sly a number of times behind her back.

You see in relationships, when the rubber meets the road, the fuel pedal must be depressed to keep the car moving. And if one party fondly depends on the other to supply gas and oomph to the relationship, dark days definitely lay ahead. In a nutshell, this is the situation Chris and Sly find themselves in currently. The curtains have been rolled up, honeymoon is over, infatuation has evaporated and cheating baggage portends to sink this ship if people don’t smell the coffee sooner.

It has been cold weeks for their relationship with Sly choosing to watch things as they unravel, from a safe distance. She has made up her mind not to lose herself anymore in pulling the first trigger as far as mending fences is concerned. So who’ll blink first, between the two?

In retrospect, she was having the best of her time with Njagi. He had stepped up, and just recently took her out to a night of reveling. They were hanging out more often, in and off school, in as much as she would insist to her close friends Njagi was nothing beyond a BFF. Their platonic friendship seemed to have gained a lot from Chris’s lukewarm tendencies to her. That said, she didn’t seem desperate anymore to reconcile with Chris, plus Njagi was working harder to soften her predicaments. On the flip side, Sly’s heart still loved Chris and missed his charming and coy nature.

You see, her attraction to Chris was in the onset influenced by physical magnetism while for Njagi was more of emotional chemistry and had nothing to do with looks. In fact, Sly found herself getting flattered with Njagi’s looks recently, halfway deep in a well invested relationship with Chris. Speaking of which, Chris is irresistible, romantic, adventurous and comical while Njagi is loyal and very dependable. Unlike Chris, Sly’s view of Njagi is of a special friend who has loyal and dependable attributes. He is authentic and available to her. However, she had never perceived him in any intimate way until Chris decided to play mind games and blink on and off to their relationship. As a result, she allowed herself to become vulnerable to Njagi out of frustrations, to a point of hinting at him to take her out which he gladly did, just to forget her woes.

When reality sunk to Chris that it wasn’t business as usual and that the relationship was caving in, he swallowed his bitter pride and called Sly. The communication was fluid and not promising. She didn’t sound the same anymore. He had to slow down, sound mellow and committed. Eventually they agreed to meet for a reconciliatory date.

They met at a city restaurant and spotting them you’d be forgiven to imagine it was just another couple out to pass time and confess sweet-nothings to each other. This was at a joint where middle class urbanites hole up; some to catch up, while others would be here to strike deals or meet social media acquaintances. Chris ordered for cappuccino served with banana walnut pancakes while Sly went for hot chocolate drink accompanied with bacon cheese burger.

“So, what have you been up to?” Chris paused. “School and stuff.” She answered. “I bumped with Mitch and he made me understand you were the brains behind your campus mag! You didn’t even inform me.” He lamented. “But you stopped calling and you’ve been ‘busy’ as you always put it.” She quipped, munching her delicious burger. “The workplace has been crazy but I’m sorry for going mute” He said. “Okay, I’m fine though. I’m at a place where I’ve let go the baggage, the nagging and being attached to people who don’t appreciate.” Chris interjected as Sly breathed tough. “You see Babe, don’t get me wrong, It’s not like I don’t appreciate nor love you. That’s not the case. I just felt, so much was happening in my life and I needed a break to make sense of it and reinvent.” He pleaded his case.

“I understand but that shouldn’t be the case. I also have issues but have never woken up and said, ooh I’m going mute on him. That’s a flimsy excuse, Chris.” She pointed out. “Yea I know, that was not appropriate. I’m regrettably sorry, Sly.” He implored. “So what’s bothering you?” Sly queried. “Nothing in particular apart from pressure at the workplace. I feel drained and overwhelmed. I have no joy of being alive. I feel morbid all the time and detached from life.” He said, sounding melancholic. “Isn’t that depression?” She quizzed. “I don’t know what’s depression.” He said. “Agonizing over death and generally feeling sad and lost are symptoms of depression.” She explained.

“Why don’t you visit a psychiatrist or rather talk to your family about it?” She added. “It will get better. I’m contemplating resigning and going back to production of music which is my passion.” He consoled himself. “By the way, I’m starting my internship at Syokimau FM next month.” She said excitedly. “Wow, good to hear. Journalism has always been your calling.” He stated. “Thank you! Similarly, you shouldn’t neglect your passions since that’s the whole essence of living. To make true your dreams.” Sly emphasized.

Meanwhile, she took the responsibility of reaching to Chris’s elder brother Jeremy to make him aware of his predicament. It was getting dark outside and so, Chris cleared the bill and escorted her to the bus terminus.

Strange girl: Hey Chris?

Chris: Hey

Strange girl: Who is she?

Chris: My friend.

Strange girl: That’s how you hold your female friends?

Sly: I’m just your friend Chris!

Before Chris responded, Sly hopped to a matatu plying route 111.

Previously on Platte-Land Series

Next on Platte-land series: Birthday

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