MIXED FEELINGS V

Heartbreak & Nostalgia

“I need blessings and my peace” -Astrothunder, Travis Scott

You are a 21 year old. A double major with little time to yourself and less so with others. You haven’t figured out everything yet but at least you live a day at a time. You’ve learnt the art of indifference. Being indifferent to things that in your previous life you would have held in high regard, kept them close to your heart and under your mind at night. You’ve learnt to be sparing with your feelings. Scarce with your emotions. Because it’s isn’t lost to you the frightening fact that it’s a dark world out there. A cold, hard one for that fact.

Because you’ve felt the cold hard floor of loneliness. The gaping hole of rejection. The endless grey sky full of fleeting clouds, carrying fleeting hopes of fleeting pleasures and fleeting moments. You thought you had a heart that could heal just as fast from the hurt but it was after being scarred twice that you realized even scars don’t heal. And neither does the pain leave. You only bury it, or live with it? A choice you had to painfully make.

Nairobi is no longer the vibrant city full of energy and youth; as you had earlier envisioned. But every day tumbling on to the next as though time itself was impatient for itself to end. Fast life, fast food, fast feelings. Nothing solid. More of a ‘We’re here and now and let’s do what we want here and now’

And the next moment the memory of you in their minds almost as non existent as their intentions.

You’re no longer afraid of losing but afraid of gaining. You’re afraid of all the good things. The bad even seems surmountable in the face of good. You dread love, you fear commitment, you fear everything that would mean having someone you’d give unconditional love. And it’s the worst thing. Because that’s all you’ve ever wanted.

It was all a means to an inevitable end.

An end you’ve lived over and over and over again, because you are who you are, a hopeless romantic who thinks he’s in a sort of a romantic comedy and who hasn’t watched this show before? We all know who the clown is.

Maybe you thought unconditional love was perfect insurance against heartbreak but hello, when she swooped down on you and flew you to the highest cloud. A place in your mind that in reality didn’t even exist. Maybe it was so easy to lie to yourself when it was the only distraction. Static. Background noise that could drive anyone out of their mind. Scared to admit the fact that this, on her part, was the perfect means to an end. In her last words to you , she said you saw this coming long time coming, and this was why it was very important to lie to yourself.

She couldn’t have been the missing color from your pallet if she was the same person who bleached your heart of all color. She was a freak, no, unique?

But what did it cost you? Rather, was it worth it? A 50/50 question, a cost-benefit analysis. What are relationships but transactional? All valid transactions have stamps on them and you, as was your nature, paid no attention to the game being played. And you lost.

At this point in time you would cringe at the blazing red flags you blindly ignored, but ignorance is bliss, yes?

Just like the calm before the storm, you were the sleepy headed sailor below deck, and guess what? You forgot to set the sails. And now your drowning in your own sea of sad-drunk-vomit. Crashed on the rocky outcrops of the island of loneliness.

Necessary as it was, you couldn’t help but let her lead herself to her own margins.

Because you valued new things this time round, her affinity to cloud the sunniest of days now became inconsequential. If it was a cut it had to be a clean one lest you prolong the pain. A principle so simple yet very effective. Accept nothing and everything and you will never be surprised.

Maybe it was the universe telling you that if there’s true love it must not be chased.

And chasing is all of you have done your entire life.

MIXED FEELINGS IV

Heartbreak & Nostalgia

“I will die for those I love,”

-Kanye West, FML Ft. The Weeknd

 

You’re still a 20 year old.

And a thread close to losing your sanity. But in this apparent storm, you find yourself in a strange calm poise. Your perception of reality changed. You no longer see things as you had before. In full and vibrant colour. But in reality’s colours. Solid colours of definition and finality. Nothing seems to be under your control anymore. Neither are your emotions within reach.

You walk down Forest Road, to school for the regular Legal Systems class. JBL earphones stuffed down your ears. Childish Gambino’s Telegraph Ave on play, drowning your suicidal thoughts.

Grey. Yeah, that’s the word. Everything was grey. It was funny; you thought that this sort of thing only happened in romantic comedies, something off a Mills And Boon novel; funny that something had snapped inside of you like a dry branch in the middle of the Harmattan. Funny how you could walk across the road without looking. Funny at how so alive your dead feelings were. Funny at how quickly you could end your life. Funny at how she wasn’t there. Funny at how it’s your fault.

She was probably the only person who made you feel alive. And you had sought after her with a hunger akin to madness. And as is with life; you never found her. Your hunger unsatiated. Maybe it was the universe telling you that if there’s true love it must not be chased. And chasing is all of you done your entire life. Maybe you’ll both meet again. When you’re both slightly older and your minds less hectic.

You always trusted in the grand scheme of things. In the mysterious and marvellous workings of fate. In the small gods of love. The gods that dared to give you the love of your life only to take her away. The gods that whispered in your ear to tell you that you were not deserving of her worth. Of her love.

The gods that mused on killing you.

But, would you trust fate over gut? Would you make the fatal mistake of letting the love of your life waste herself with someone she didn’t truly love? Someone she dated because it was only socially convenient? Someone she was with because she was lonely? Someone she dated because you were distant? Would you let the subtleties of social behaviour stop you from chasing after her just because she was in a dysfunctional relationship? Just as you were in before?

Such thoughts weren’t new to you. You avoided them. As they only lent so much hurt. So much pain. That you could not have her. To never feel the warmth rise up your chest every time she kissed you, tenderly. With love. Every time your hand shook when she held it.

The first love of your youth.

That you never got over.

 And it’s killing you

And in your mind,

If its darkness that would be your end, let it be extravagant.

MIXED FEELINGS III

Heartbreak & Nostalgia

“If I told you that a flower bloomed in a dark room, would you trust it?”

-Kendrick Lamar, Poetic Justice Ft. Drake

You are a 20-year old. A blogger to be precise. And a YUOEN fellow for that matter. Your life is an intriguing mix of bargaining with irate lecturers on assignment deadlines and trying to find the perfect canvas upon which you will paint the story of your life.

You have been to a few parties here and there with your particular breed of friends after attending Baraza’s goddamned SFL Friday class. A class which she would at times; to the evident disdain of students; extend the lecture by half an hour.

Most of you were actually more pressed to grab a hold of the guy who had promised a truckload of beer to those who voted for him at the student council elections; for such characters had a devil-like tendency of being as slippery as Rongai politicians after being elected. Thus, after receiving manna (liquor money) from heaven as promised, you would all get on that Friday Groovin’.

And so, the same gods who gave and took teenage loves are the very gods that had decreed that at the appointed hour; when your stomach was full of liquor and your vision hazy; you would proposition an attractive member of the fairer sex. And as was with all girls before, trying to make conversation with her was not as grand, especially without making her think you were just another guy who was driven more by his nuts than his brains.

You, probably, at the time of your drunkenness couldn’t quite point out what really struck her apart as gorgeous. But you weren’t the kind of guy just to hit on a girl by her looks. You remember telling her that she had a beautiful mind. And that nothing turned you on as much as a mind as hers.

You had heard her voice from what she wrote on her blog. A voice trying to exert her indifference to the expectations of the world. A voice yearning to be understood. A voice you could now see in her soft, brown eyes. A voice that echoed to the very depths of your heart.There was something by how she looked at you. How she subliminally communicated that she needed someone to talk to. Someone to rest her shoulder on. Someone to ease her pain away.

But even though you could feel the familiar feeling of affection creep into your emotional being. It wasn’t as before. Your perception of love had changed over time. But little did you know that the feeling was mutual. That her own will was against the entire idea. The idea that she could love again. The idea that she could even love after so much hurt. The idea that she could feel again. She had already resigned to the fact she’d be emotionally numb. Both of you hesitant to feel again. But as is with all human connections, both of you had no control.

And as DJ Snake’s ‘A Different Way’ gently played in the background, and all you could see was her subdued figure against the dim lighting, you realized that she had broken through the wall you had built around yourself, and with a fairly less amount of effort. And even in your drunkenness, you all of a sudden wanted to breathe the same air as she did. To run your hands through her strawberry smelling hair. To feel her hand against yours. To hold her tight against yourself and tell her not to think. But feel.

And as fate willed it.

She was the missing color from your palette.

The missing tinge of vibrance you needed to paint into the story of your life.

 

 

MIXED FEELINGS II

Heartbreak & Nostalgia

I met her today. Surprisingly so. I knew she was around but I absolutely had no plans on meeting her; even though I had asked her out to meet up; eat cake and catch up. But really? Was I even going to do that? However, no matter how much I prayed to my ancestral spirits not to bump into her or anyone as remotely similar to her in town, was just for naught. Apparently, the grand scheme of things had its plan different. It was as if the universe had this planned out so surgically that I just found myself walking towards her; and her walking towards me, on that empty sidewalk.

Just like that.

It was so intense for me. Damn intense.

All the 6.5 pints of my blood rushed into my head and emptied out of it just as fast. Leaving myself utterly flustered.

Here she was. The only first girl that I had fallen in love with since I was even able to feel anything for the female kind. Right in front of me. And just as all the other times when I was with her; my hands were shaking like a leaf in a goddamned storm. Oh My God, my hands were so shaky. And I didn’t even know what to say. I was this incoherent mess. Making a total fool of myself.

And just to think that everything was getting out of hand; everything just came flooding back. And not flooding back in a good-sort-of-way but in a me-drowning-sort-of-way. The memories, the moments, the tree, the Trident.

“Why are your hands shaking?” she asks and I feel like snapping that she probably knows the answer to her question. But I can’t even talk.

It was her. It was always her. Even though I always lied.

I felt entirely fucked up; both inside my head and in my heart; or whatever was left of it, and even that which remained of it, was wild aflame.

Questions that were ought to be buried deep down the reserves of my mind surfaced with such force that I couldn’t even see clearly. Everything just faded into a blurry mess.

Had I fallen in love with her? Did I feel the same the moment our eyes locked on that empty sidewalk? Have I ever pictured the two of us for eternity?

The answer is singular.

But I can’t. I just can’t. I reckon that the relationships that the both of us are in are just distractions. To distract ourselves from the stark truth. The truth that the both of us had fallen so deeply and irrevocably in love that even when we broke up; the cords, ropes, strings or whatever that had held us together were not severed when we parted ways. They were firm in place. Seemingly, the scissors of heartbreak were as blunt as the back of a knife.

I felt like telling her how stupid and nervous I felt around her. Honestly, around other girls I was ever smooth, suave, cool. Around her I was this pile of mush. My tongue turned into a pillar of salt-the Lot’s wife kind of thing. My insides into molten heaving lava.

But. There is always a but in the story. But the but in this part of the story is laced with optimism. Hope for the future. Or nay? Who knows?

But. I will bid my time and wait. And wait.

Wait.

I do know not know what I am waiting for but I will hold on and wait. For the ordained time. The ordained moment. Ordained by fate. As her last words to me when we broke up.

“We’ll find each other again if fate wills it.”

If fate wills it.

Yet fate does not will it that we find each other today. Maybe not tomorrow. Maybe not ever. Who knows? Who knows but fate?

Wherefore I am left with a singular option.

Wait.

DOUBLE INFINITY

Heartbreak & Nostalgia

I​t’s a peaceful night & I’m sitting in my room alone listening to sad music, reading sad poetry and thinking about other sad things. Why am I so sad?I wish I wasn’t. I was trying to get myself drunk on hope, so I wouldn’t wake hung-over on pain. Hope. I was drowning myself in it. I couldn’t let it go.

Although I’m a typical loner in daily life, my consciousness of belonging to the invisible community of those who strive for truth, beauty and justice has preserved me from feeling isolated.Let me tell you a story. A tale that has surpassed ages and outgrown time but still a fresh and solid narration. There is something maddeningly attractive about the untranslatable, a word that goes silent in transit. Love.

When I was still in highschool, during the holidays, the neighbour’s kid and I, we used to sneak out of our houses every Sunday night, after the world fell asleep, to try & find what it dreams of. She was a gift. She had a soft voice and strong hands. When she sang, she would seem too large for the room and she would play the guitar and sing, which would make my chest feel huge. Sometimes I would touch her knee and smile. Sometimes touch her face and my eyelids just battered. I remember those hot afternoons, we would take a walk uphill, relish the heat and basically talk about the generality of life. And the first time our lips touched, they tangled in swirls and swings of desire and lust. I assured myself that I was safe and within the walls no enemy could pull a threat. And I thought it was just for fun, but deeper, we knew our story had just begun.

On this night, we went outside and lay on the cold grass and shivered and stared at the stars and first we talked about school then we talked about the coming elections. In the darkness, I saw the change. A non existent space of our salvaged love. All lies, I love one and it cannot be any more true. Her name remains a secret and I’ll keep it that way.

“I’m so tired,”she said

“Then fall asleep.”

“I’m not that kind of tired.” She said,” Sleep won’t cure this type of tiredness.”
“What do you mean?” I sat up to look at her. Now trembling.

“I’m tired of acting like am OK. Tired of these people of our town, and tired of saying sorry. I’m sick of running from my life and I’m tired of being stuck. I’m tired of being tired.”

“You have made so many enemies?” I asked with gentle irony.

“Strangers,” she replied,”I seem to make strangers of all the people I meet.”

Then there was the silence for close to a minute. I didn’t notice I was staring directly into her eyes, my thoughts had wondered far into oblivion. When she asked, “How do you spell love?”

“L…o…v…e…” I said absent-mindedly

“No Owidi, You don’t spell love, you feel it.”

Instinctively, that premonition I had felt before. And I knew where this conversation was headed ultimately.

She cuffed my hands in hers, a tear rolled from her left eye and another from her right almost immediately. “I have overlooked how I survived through tornados and storms and heartbreaks & tremendous pain, and I want to take a moment to be gentle to these bruises. For once to not berate these scars for marring the body that saved me. I have seemed to overlook how I learned how to love in this body and was loved in return. How it endured, how it thrived. How it served as a vessel to travel and help others and hold love in these hands. A temple for my hopes and ambitions.”

Her tears were flowing two way uncontrollably but there’s not much I could do as I tried to conquer my own.
Oh, I knew she would leave me by the way her eyes spoke to me telling me to run away. But I loved her anyway.
And in a coherent whisper I murmured, “Maybe we’ll meet again, when we’re slightly older and our minds less hectic and I’ll be right for you and you’ll be right for me.

But right now, I am chaos to your thoughts and you are poison to my heart.

Her departure leaves a scar on my heart never to be forgotten but her slipping right from my hands leaves a scar that will forever be carried into my future. A dark soul that yearns for her touch but gets locked up in a quiet world in a beautiful, pretentious smile and the incorigibility of the words ‘I understand’.

I became blind the day we parted ways and my eyes disagreeing silently fell from my orbits. And so she drank my tears as an elixir for her low self esteem. Then suddenly I was all alone with a body that can’t love me and a will that couldn’t save me.
To You: Prisoner of Pain

May your tempest hit still, May your soul find rest. In peace may you push through, love may you find. May your walls of pain shatter into a billion fragments. Within may you once more be whole.
Yours Truly

Owidi DERRICK

MIXED FEELINGS I

Heartbreak & Nostalgia

So it came to be that the benevolent gods that gave and took teenage loves had willed that M. and I would be destined for each other. I had most certainly chased her for almost four years now, and this moment where our lips locked in intimate passion seemed like a scene off a Mills And Boon novel.

Through the four years that we communicated vague ‘I-miss-yous’ and ‘I-can’t-wait-to-see-yous’ she went through two relationships and myself none. Both of her past boyfriends, current and newly ex, were close friends of mine. I remember the first time we met. And tried to know each other. The fact that I could not read her nor get past the veiled look in her eyes startled me; so to me, she was terribly intriguing, and painfully so.

At the end of every year, we would text each other often. Flirt heavily. But during those tiny stretches of time, I figured; ours was a relationship that was safe. Bound. In which both of you carefully avert from discussing anything of considerable depth. Shallow. We were both bat-blind to the things that happened in each of our lives. I did not give a damn. I was entirely convinced that ours was a match made in Heaven, less so in Hell.

The first time I took her out on a date was the beginning of an inevitable end. Yes, we went and ate KFC chicken, played Injustice on PlayStation and made out in a  tattoo parlour. Her pouring liquor on my Harvard sweatshirt so she could have it.

I guess she was the kind of girl not to bear herself fully to others but bear herself fully to the world. She’s a good kisser, that I’d have to give it to her.

But(There’s always a but in the story) there was something that had changed. The first time we kissed was an ethereal experience, my stomach twisted in undoable knots and my hands trembling badly. But the second time.

No magic.
No tongue.
Same girl.

It was time to go and I offered to take her home. We got into the Matatu; waiting for it to fill up. I asked her whether she wanted another Trident gum, yes, she said. She took the Trident packet and split it in half and said that never should I lose the other half.

A symbol of our love she said.

I went home feeling empty inside.
I did not know why.