Our Love Lives

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Some of us will be lucky to fall in love with rich men who will pluck us from the vagaries of life in dingy parts of town. They will make us see the beauty of life and realize that indeed when money speaks, everyone listens (this right here is my favorite quote). That indeed flowers are beautiful and smelling them by the roadside is not ridiculous. In this discovery, we will travel more, give back to the society whole heartedly because we have surplus, for how can you give when you don’t have? We will have handy people on speed dial and things around us getting done because money has spoken. Even passport generation will take one day and KRA clearance on second. Some of us will be lucky that the rich men will equally fall in love with us and allow us to carry their hearts with us; and we affect their moods. Some of us will be unlucky in this undertaking and be treated like trash and our love unrequited.

Some of us will fall in love with poor men with rich hearts. They will make us angry because there is nothing sexy about poverty, and we are angered because there is something special about them. We will hang on to them, these poor men, in a hope that they will overcome their situations. We will understand that no situation is permanent. Sometimes we will want to quit, sometimes we will think it is the right decision to stay; sometimes they will not turn us on in bed; sometimes they will manage to make us shower. We will feel guilty leaving them because we need more solid reasons to leave and we will fear the wrath of karma. We will choose to remain with them. Out of guilt, out of love, out of no choice. Then one day, when we hit the ceiling, we will leave because our happiness seems to sit just outside this pathetic relationship; we can see it, we can feel it. And we will leave because we don’t eat love: we eat food that needs money.

Some of us will fall in love with romantic men who will buy us flowers – and their friends will disapprove of this – who will praise us from head to toe in private and in public and will make bold declarations of their love for us, you have the most beautiful eyes, your body is gold, you are super intelligent. We will fall in love with men whose love language is time and they will be all over our spaces and we will hate it sometimes. Because our love language is gifts. Some of us will fall in love with men who will post us on Facebook. Some of us will be hidden stories. And some of us will fall in love with men who cannot speak a compliment. Nails, nothing. Hairdo, nothing. Ass, nothing. And when we do an erotic dance for them, they will say, sit down. What are you doing Nanjekho?

Some of us will fall in love with crude creatures who will run to cross Tom Mboya and abandon us in the middle of the road because the matatus are too rough, too fast for them to pull us. They are not gentlemen to open doors, hold hands and pull doors. But they are reliable and we will always count on them (except when crossing the road of course. Except PDA). We will love the unromantic men because they are good in other areas and we realize that romance is not everything. But we will wish they were like their friends Sam and James who are not only reliable, but also romantic.

We will fall in love with men twice our age, younger than us, our age mates and slightly older than us. The men twice our age will treat us like babies because they feel it is their responsibility as our fathers. Our fathers will have arthritic knees, persistent cough and when we amuse them, they will cough and cough and we are afraid they might spit their life. They will not ask silly questions of have you eaten, as if planning to send us money for lunch. No. With them, we will feel young again and again. The men younger than us will be hurricanes; energies higher than bombs; fumbling with discovering themselves but they will accord us the respect we crave and one day, they will leave us for younger girls. Some of our age mates will be messengers sent by the devil to drag us behind; some of our age mates will mature faster, a rare occurrence like a Kenyan politician resigning because something went wrong in his docket. The slightly older men, that the society approves, will be flat as an opened soda, but mature. Some will behave like children and we will realize that age is just a number.

Some of us will fall in love with fellow women: smart women; women with dreadlocks; women with mellow voices; short hair; women who drive BMWs; women in authority; psychotic women; women with nose rings; needy women; tomboys; women who hug us longer; women who slip their hands in ours; and women who hit the gym. Some of us will move in with them; some of us will vacation together and say we are sisters; some of us will cry because our women love us dangerously.

Some of our men will have sculptured bodies; some will be frail electric poles, some lanky; short men with a buffalo’s temper; lean men; fat men; black men; white men; mixed race; nilotic; bantu; cushitic . We will love outspoken men; soft spoken men; shy men who blush with every compliment we throw their way.

Some of our men will propose on one knee, two knees, while standing, while lying, while sexing. Some will ask us to bring our clothes and one day when they are angry, they will send us away at night and call us useless ticks; some will send us text messages, si ukue bibi yangu and we will not know if it is a command, a request or a question. But we will marry them. Some will propose marriage by saying, we are going to see my parents this Saturday.

We will marry our childhood sweethearts; our colleagues, our bosses; our crushes; men we met on tinder; our college boyfriends; men we met in the club or in church; our next door neighbors; men we had friend-zoned, men who were friends of our exes. We will be married at nineteen, twenty one, twenty eight, thirty three, forty one, fifty.

Some of our husbands will pay our bride price before marrying us; some will make us pregnant first before paying dowry just to be sure they are not marrying a barren woman; some will ignore the topic of dowry the way we ignore security guards who like tips and we will not know if we are married or not, if we should keep looking for husbands or not – we will be married by word of mouth and evidence of children. But one day, we will leave the marriage and say, did you see me sign anywhere that I am married to you? And our ex-husbands will get stroke.

Some of our husbands will wait for us when we are shopping without asking stupid questions like kwani hujui kitu unataka, as if shopping is a one hour affair; our husbands will drink the whole night and come home half-dead; some will cook breakfast for themselves and not wake us up to prepare a cup of tea; some will be hitting on our friends and younger sisters; some of our husbands will hate it when our relatives and friends visit; some of us will be married as second wives; and some of us will not find husbands.

Our husbands will drive cars; ride bicycles; motorbikes and some will use their feet to move around and others will use matatus. Some of our husbands will take loans to buy cars; use cash; will be gifted with cars by us; will use the company car.

Some of our husbands will never take their dirty cups to the kitchen because their penises will automatically change into vaginas, a structural compromise that would surely kill them. Some of our husbands will take their dirty dishes to the sink and realize nothing in their anatomy changes. Some will wash their underpants, some of us will wash for them. Some will pray every night and attend church service every Sunday; some will attend rugby matches and football matches in clubs every other weekend. Some will tell us about their whereabouts; some will disappear and reappear.

Some of our husbands will beat us when we have a disagreement; some will cuddle us when we are yelling; some will ignore us and focus on their phones and television and stare hard at Ann Kiguta with reverence, longing even, because she does not raise her voice at them. Some will simply tell us to grow up and stop brooding. We will not tell them that we might be pregnant again with the sixth child, or that we were frustrated at work that day, or that we were fired, because we fear them. Some of our husbands will become our pillars and we will call them when we have issues and they will give us directions. Others will disconnect our calls and send message, please text, in a meeting. We will text them, your son has swallowed a razor blade and they will respond, surely such a small issue must you involve me?

We will birth children to our husbands; we will fall pregnant for our lovers who aren’t our husbands. Our children will resemble our husbands’ heads; our children will have special needs and our husbands will leave us for better women who birth normal children. Some of us will miscarry many times, we will abort; we will birth dead children, we will realize we are barren, and some of us will choose not to have children. Some of our husbands will be annoyed with our infants’ cries at night, will cluck their tongues and move to sleep on the sofa. Some of our husbands will sit up, clueless just like us and sympathize; others will cradle the baby, speaking to it and ask us to sleep.

THE END

This entry was posted in Fiction.

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