I was brought up in a Christian family. I know you don’t believe it but I was an active member of Sunday school, knew Yona Yona alitubu kweli like I now know Timaya’s Sanko. I was a good, good girl. I did not know boys. I did not know twerking. My mind did not even think of sin. I sailed through primary, flat chest, flat posterior, zero hormones, blind eyes. I did not have a problem picking my nose or easing myself in a thicket.
We had close family friends. They were also a Christian family, after God’s own heart. The lady was my mum’s bosom friend and had 5 kids. We called her auntie. She is an amazing lady whom I consider my mother too. She would attend some school functions if my parents couldn’t make it. We would go for sleepovers when my mother went to some funerals or any unnecessary events like sindikisha jikoni. Sometimes I would wet the bed while am at auntie’s place and would wake up sobbing, traumatized and embarrassed. She would laugh at me and ask me to relax because mimi ni mtoto bado. Her kids were our friends.
As I matured into a young teenager, I started crushing on auntie’s son. I felt nervous around him. He was the most attractive thing that had crossed my 16 years life. His eyes were white with a brownish pupil and his eye lashes were curved beautifully. Sometimes he would maintain eye contact, while on other occasions, his eyes darted restlessly. When he spoke, he spoke nothing but wisdom. He was lean and had perfect height for his age, and for my age. He was a good man. Usually in the village, boys there have a reputation of lying to girls and taking them to their simbas. Auntie’s son was not that way. So as I noted, he was a good boy that would make a good boyfriend.
I dreamt of him, day and night, which drained me emotionally. I would stare at nothing and smile. Sometimes my mother found me in that silly state and bashed me for being idle instead of reading Binomial Nomenclature. When she wanted to send someone to auntie’s I seized the opportunity the way people seized NYS money. I would jump on the rusty black mamba bicycle and ride to auntie’s place. As I entered the compound, I would abandon the rusty bicycle near the gate and cat-walk my adolescent self to the house, hoping he was somewhere watching. He usually wasn’t. He would be in his room studying or watching a movie. When he emerged from the bedroom, he would greet me. And that was it. Just greetings. No winking at me, no compliments, no holding my hand a little longer. No seeing me off. He knew me as his little sister. Not a woman. That was 16 years ago.
On Friday, looks like it runs in the family. My adolescent sister, now 16, told me something. She closed school last week. I thank God she does not read this blog, neither does my mother, nor auntie. Nor any of auntie’s son. So we can gossip a little.
She said school was fine. She had improved tremendously and now finds English easier. She loves Physics and thinks Swahili is too hard for life. She is back to being daddy’s girl unopposed. I lost my spot in his heart when I started getting 20% in Chemistry many years ago. I never reclaimed the spot.
“I heard you broke up with your boyfriend,” she came to me unexpectedly.
“Who told you kwani?”
You mean life has changed this way! Such things were never mentioned in our house. You mentioned boyfriend in any sentence and mum would emerge mysteriously baying for your blood. That time maybe you are reading a pull-out. But now, mum can tell her such, just like that!
“You know relationships are complicated”
“Yes. They are so hard to maintain”
“Do you think I can maintain a relationship… like if I had a boyfriend, will he leave me?”
“You are too young!”
“Am 16! Am not young.”
“You like somebody kwani?”
“Sana. He is cute”
I was going crazy. There is no way this girl had a crush on somebody. She is less than 50kgs and really turned 16 the other day. I saw my mum expectant with her and when she was born, I held her in my hands. She would cry and was a poor feeder. You had to block her nostrils when feeding her, so she opens her mouth. She cannot be crushing on a loser out there. She is a baby na ubwabwa haujamtoka shingoni. This upcoming generation will show us wonders. They can even invite whites to colonize us again. Or decide we speak some patois too as national language. Or even legalize abortion.
“Do I know him?”
“Haha! I won’t tell you.”
“C’mon Toto. Si you just tell me”
After hours of talking, thanks to storo ibambe, I managed to fish out who was boggling her tiny head. An old boy from Alliance. You see these are what identify people in the village. Which school, which university, which career, which family…
It was auntie’s last born son, now at home, after finishing form 4 last year. He schooled in Bush and I know those corny boys. They are gentlemen. They are bright. I think they are taught about girls a lot and always know what and how to say to a girl. But they are proud and think this world needs to stop when you are around them. Some like Ian Wafula caused havoc while we were still in school and thought they were the most desirable men. I learned about 6 pack when Ian and company of those Busherians came to school. He would remove his shirt and form fours would go gaga over his abs. In form one, I learnt that is how a sexy man looks-Waf.
Back to my 16 year old sister and her Busherian crush. She said she likes his swag, his vibe and his decorum. Her words echoed in my head as I remembered my incident. Looks like auntie brings up the best boys. Maybe I should start calling her “mother-in-law”.
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