PLATTE-LAND 020: ENTANGLEMENT

Sly and Eunetta love relationship was a secret that was highly guarded leaving little chance if any, to a chosen few. This included Sly’s ex Chris, Shiku and Njagi. It brew in High school right from Form 1 as they shared the same cubicle. They got introduced to it by a Form 3 student who took them as their godmother as it was part of the school’s culture to ensure the Form 1s had someone who would orient them and make them have a soft landing in the institution. Unknown to them, their godmother was a lesbian and as fate would have it, they got acquainted with the unholy fellowship which to date seems not to have lasted its full longevity.

It was next to rare to notice their tight-lipped affair since they toyed with harboring boyfriends from other schools just like any typical teenage girl and would pen down love letters and dispatch them occasionally to the said poor lads. They’d casually mingle with these blokes if not getting new catches during funkies and in the course of inter-school events. The school was rather rampant with lesbianism and had kept alive this infamous tradition for decades now. The school management had miserably failed to tame it, much to its thriving. In fact, at one point one of the school watchmen was found dead on an early morning in what the community around believed he had been allegedly raped by the highly charged girls the previous night, until he passed on.

Sly and Eunetta pursued divergent directions after high school but still kept in touch. The latter would study at Mt.Thondio University coincidentally where Shiku is currently based while Sly joined Matiba University. As Eunetta developed an interest in Software Engineering, Sly was contented with Computer Science though very keen on Journalism. They would later revisit their relationship whenever the dry spell bustle seemed unbearable, though life had weakened their chemistry to a large extent. This had been occasioned by new friends who had infiltrated their lives coupled with a credible turnover of boyfriends which ostensibly came with its fair share of distractions if not ripple effects. Incidentally, at one time Chris (Sly’s Ex) stumbled on the two kissing and cuddling in his house, but their strong bond saved their relationship even though the ugly memories would resurface later when Sly dumped Chris.

From the look of things, Eunetta was in a struggle of her own. She was a no ordinary bisexual. Strangely, she had no particular taste of men. Suffice is to say, she dated any man that she lusted for. Rich or broke, young to old, married or otherwise, bad boys to mama’s boys, from tall to midgets, politicians to technocrats, retirees to pastors, name them. She had an album of untold experiences and bizarre escapades. Money aside, she fantasized feeding her curiosity in bedding any man that seemed elusive. She chased men rather in a sophisticated way until at some point it occurred to her that she could perhaps be battling a medical problem. She didn’t go beyond getting a medical interpretation regarding her queer habits. It remained just a speculation buried in her witty passions far away from Sly’s scrutiny.

On the hand, she had a weighty collection of women she had slept with, too. From the well rounded to the models like. Besides, she created time for her trophy girl, Sly. Speaking of Sly, she was in her own battle zone as well. She tolerated Eunetta for being unequivocally loyal and a lesser evil so to speak but more interestingly toyed with Njagi for far too long. It was no more a secret that Njagi had a clear crush on Sly which she contended with too well while playing along though cautiously. In return, she had successfully converted him to assume the position of managing her erratic emotional struggles. Before the break up with her ex, it didn’t escape Chris’s attention as occasionally he would provoke explanations of the so called platonic friendship whose answers barely scratched the surface as Sly would wrestle to justify.

But more pertinently, Sly seemed to be in a catch 22. She was dealing with a stubborn lecturer who had aided her in the footings of her journalism breakthrough which came at a cost of him intimating for sexual favours from her. When his advances seemed to be falling on a hard surface he resulted to go cannibal.

***

After they were done with the class, Sly received a text message from Mr.Mwangi urging her to pass by the staff room briefly as she made her way home. Her instincts advised her to request Njagi to wait for her at the exit door in the lower floor. It was a few minutes shy of 9 pm. Njagi gladly waited for her as he cultivated a laid-back tet a tet with Hamisi – a security guard and one of his campus buddies. Their friendship had been hatched at the school gym where both of them were active members. They’d tussle on lifting the weights and doing the workouts.

10 minutes or so in the waiting, Njagi grew weary. He decided to take an elevator to the staff room based on 3rd floor to find out why Sly had taken a century-long holed up with a lustful mwalimu. As he made his way he met with Sly’s desperate voice pleading for help. His adrenaline jumped in, and in a split of a second, he banged the door only to meet Sly lying on the floor, her dress slit torn and way above the upper legs, sandwiched by Mr.Mwangi’s legs who in the meantime had been unfastening his belt.

To be continued…

Previously on Platte-land series: After-Party

Sadly Season 2 of Platte-Land series is done and dusted. Watch out for Season 3 sooner or later.

Photo credit: youthvillage.co.za

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

OFFICE ROMANCES

 

Image result for Office romance for blacks

Office romance is as old as love itself. Its been brewed and given breathe in the high walls of office set ups and graced by likely and unlikely characters masquerading in formal dressing codes since way back. You’ll be shocked or rather amazed depending on which side of the conversation you sit, by the statistics of office coupling. A sizeable number of the workforce have at least on one occasion or another, succumbed to close office relations courtesy of the attraction magnetic pull triggered by long working hours. All be it for quenching lust or seeking genuine love, many get trapped by the blurred web of office affairs.

The interesting bit is, many employees find it annoying, naive and selfish to engage in office relations in as much as they’ve been in them too at some point in their careers. And, did you know women receive more shade than men when they fall prey to office romances. In fact, when women are perceived to be having a thing going on with their senior colleagues or immediate bosses its interpreted to as, a game of coercion for promotion in exchange of sexual favours in as much as, perhaps the woman didn’t make the first move.

But what makes staff vulnerable to these kind of relationships? You know, the more time people spend together, the more they become familiar with one another. The more familiarity grows the more comfortable they become with each other. The more comfortable two people are with one another, the higher the chances of them sharing about personal stuff. The more they share the more subconsciously they view themselves as a couple. While this unfolds the higher the chances colleagues will notice the chemistry in their friendship and start teasing them about it. Do you know so many relationships are cemented by the outside world in this context being office colleagues who start perceiving an office friendship as not just a platonic one!

Interestingly, 90% of office relationships are merely short term in nature. Very few pass the litmus test of leading to something tangible and worth writing home about. Short term meaning they span for less than a year but seemingly one year shelf life out ways many relationships in the outside world. Anyway, where were we; some office relationships die before they start or prior to making the first baby steps. Some vanish in the air before they get noticed by anybody. This is because they are built on sand and in haste. They are moulded by environmental factors and are circumstantial in nature. Meaning, the bigger chunk of the conversations around you two are basically about workplace stuff. Be it about your damn boss, office gossip and so forth. Such a relationship is not sustainable. Few have common values and shared interests outside of the office hence why they are chocked by nature. They say nature has humour.

Office relationships are annoying in the sense that, the consequences of the affair failing are dire. This is because colleagues get attracted by such pep talks doing round in the office corridors. And it’s never funny. They will dig in, gossips will crop up and allegations will be retold over and over again. If you are not careful, the information may even reach to your boss’s desk in very bad state and this may have a negative effect on your career. More harrowing, it might be against your company policy to engage in office relationships. Pleading that you were unaware will not save you but land you at the HR’s office only to be met with a gross misconduct warning letter if lucky not to be issued with a summary dismissal.

The most annoying thing with office relationships is that one tends to be chocked off by the partner. You see, you literally spend 40-45 hours in a week with him/her without even counting hours after you leave office. By the time you reach home there is nothing much to talk about since you’ve been bumping on each other on office corridors and worse still if you work in the same department, you might as well be summoned with the rest of your teammates by your immediate bosses for missing company targets or for poor performance. Moreover, you never can’t have your personal life and space since your spouse is always around you any day and time. And if he or she spots you being hugged ‘intimately’ by a colleague from the opposite gender, your guess is as good as mine how your evening will turn out to be like.

Office relations get over scrutinized by colleagues. Essentially, the pressure becomes too much and there tends to be a lot of public relations to be played especially when things aren’t working out well for both of you. Be it as it may, whether it’s a fling affair or a serious office relationship, a break up from this nature can be the worst of all nightmares you’ve ever grappled with. First of all, there is nothing like amicable breakups in office set ups. You recall my article on Amicable Breakups or Not. Well, it gets uglier by the day, nastier and leaves you dreadful. Office breakups leave you with a permanent punch on your face. They have the potential of making you lose your job or have a serious career take a beating and worst of all, get you paraded in court for allegations of sexual harassment. Before you hop in office affairs, appreciate that office romances and sexual harassment are intertwined and either of it can be used against you in a matter of time.

Plus, who is ready to work with his or her ex in the same office? On my previous post on Amicable Breaksups we delved deeply on the importance of cutting off exes from our lives. Now imagine, your ex being your colleague? Think of the emotional baggage that comes with breakups and ponder dropping at your ex’s desk to work on a particular task together that has a biting deadline. How awkward can that be! What’s more humiliating is helplessly watching your ex warm up to another relationship with another office colleague. Moreover, nature compels your office colleagues to take sides between you two depending on how loyal they are to each one of you. Eventually, such a workplace becomes a stress zone to work from. The thing is, we’ve got to be strategic and think straight with the right ‘head’ before jumping in to every relationship that presents itself right at our noses. We’ve got to think of the repercussions of the potential end even before we toy with the start.

Nevertheless, we all know of couples who’ve dated, gotten married and raised children still working in the same organizations. The thing is, its not a crime to harbor feelings for an office colleague as long as you do it with the right intent and having trusted your intuition. Life should be approached with an open mind and so should it also apply in an office set up. It’s highly important and healthy to make friends, network with colleagues and fuse into the array of office characters. However, boundaries must be set as the odds are clearly overwhelming.

 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

OF AMICABLE BREAK UPS OR NOT

Related image When you part from your friend, you grieve not; for that which you love most may be clearer in their absence. — Kahlil Gibran. So, is there anything like amicable breakup? Like can you call your significant other and start an awkward conversation with words like’ “Hey babe, I’ve reached a point where I want us to part ways”. And she smiles about it and be like, “sawa tu!” Subsequently, can you then sustain a no strings attached relationship with your ex? Someone said – If you’re still friends with an ex, you’re either still in love or never were.

The longer the relationship, the greater the codependency and the worse a breakup would be. That’s why people who engage in hit and run never get hurt since no emotions are invested in the first place. On the other hand, the would-be ‘victim’ is also likely to heal in no time since the time span is too short to warrant much pain. But of course, there is always the element of being robbed some innocence or being taken for a ride. This mostly happens to women.

But how many people can welcome rejection with a broad smile? Breakups are more or less, versions of rejection especially to partners found flat-footed and bombarded with breakup news. And it can tremendously destabilise one’s life. This is because rejections provoke thoughts of us questioning our true selves and identities. You see, somebody who clearly loved you for quite some time – say several years (not these 6 – 9 months relationships. In fact they don’t suit to be called relationships but hookups.) waking up one day with such hard news or developing signs of breaking up with you can only be tormenting, to say the least. Actually, for some, they jump to friends they friendzoned earlier on just to hide from realities of rejection. Some switch to new-found infatuations where they succumb to unwarranted pregnancies all in denial of a rejection. Some drown to depression or alcoholism.

It sounds very civilized to break up amicably, but I tell you what, the more cordial a breakup is, the higher the chances of a relapse or intrusion into your future. And your future includes you moving on to a serious and long-term relationship or actually marriage. The impact can be dire. Stories have been told of exes showing up at people’s door uninvited for emergency sleepovers. In retrospect, if the break up was relatively hostile or draining the said ex wouldn’t ever show up regardless of the excuse. There is a fallacy that your ex can be a good friend but the reality of it all is that either or both parties will feel vulnerable and temptations are bound to happen.

It’s been proven that any habitual friendship with an ex has every likely element of flirting. And this is mainly aided by the mere fact that the breakup was cordial. I mean with an ex, you can bank on boundaries being blurred and feelings being messy. Haley Nahman a Digital Editor puts it this way; “true motives are often buried in our subconscious, only to be revealed in hindsight, and that’s why this remains a tricky territory.” In other words, you just may never know that it’s not actually advisable to awaken sleeping dogs.

The golden rule is to close that chapter and give the keys to your current significant other to dispose them off. Otherwise, an ex entertained is like having your cake and still intending to eat it. Eventually, you’ll have your fingers burnt off in the cross-hairs. By the way, why an ex’s chapter is tough to close for some is the emotional limbo that comes with a breakup. It’s agonising to reconcile the fate of you being single hence why a majority of the afflicted wouldn’t mind tolerating a friendship with an ex just to find a way of fixing the mess.

On the flipside do you know there could be advantages of breaking up with your ex amicably? To start with, a good term breakup doesn’t mean no one got hurt! It only alludes that there is dignity in letting the other party leave without melodrama. It’s about respecting the mutual reality that things aren’t working for both of you. Of course its emotionally draining, but I tell you what, the lesser the drama, the better the coping mechanism and bouncing back to your old self. Drama attracts people, and people can make you get hurt more. It also robs you respect from would be friends and colleagues or neighbours. However, the main disadvantage with such a breakup is that feelings don’t just disappear even with the time factor. There is a lot of vulnerability at play for the mere reason of a dignified separation.

Toying with an idea that you can be friends with your ex after the breakup, is a catch 22 for many. They find themselves inhibiting their feelings and acting up to a just-friends kind of hook up. There’s the inevitable magnetic pull to each other, which includes still wondering how their family is doing, and still being concerned about their overall well-being. You see, what keeps two former lovebirds apart are the cruel words pronounced during a breakup, revelations that came in too late for instance cheating, and the catastrophic nature of the breakup. You know, there is nothing that tears up and wrenches an individual like cold words coming from somebody you were once adored and occupied your personal space. Moreover, realising your better half was cheating on you behind your back, triggers overwhelming emotions leading to brutal breakups and such chapters getting closed almost immediately.

But the moment you entertain an ex cum friend scenario, the heartbreak progresses from worse to worst.  Appreciate that in such a situation, feelings will just be restrained and the idea of seeing them with somebody else not only makes you envious but tends to hurt you even more. Pundits have it, it’s extremely difficult to watch the same person you once terribly loved with the same lenses of a platonic friend post the breakup. Feelings rebel and become stubborn. Its only easier said than done that an ex can just be a friend. It’s unnatural to reverse your view of somebody who meant everything to you, to just a harmless friend. One or both of you must be lying to each other.

According to relationship experts, be it with relationships, a job or a stage in life, getting closure for any significant moment in one’s life is important for one to heal and move on. A closure means finality; letting go of what once was. And this is regardless of whether a breakup was amicable or not.

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