21In about three weeks I turn twenty-one. The big day that God Almighty saw best to bestow the human race with this awesomeness that is yours truly is strategically placed at two days after Christmas. Yeah, their arithmetic went bad a good steady-state error of forty eight-hours. You know, I’ve never really asked them if it had been a well-laid plan (no pun there) or a coincidence-me being born at that particular time of the year. I can only imagine the look of my dad’s face if I were to gather the courage to ask. He’d probably affirm the rumor-that engineering makes people go bonkers sometimes. It’d be happening right in front of his own eyes. Well, to cut my good folks some slack, not that I have to, their word-play didn’t fall too far off. On that Hallelujah day in 1995-O glory glory

-a young vibrant couple straight from campus with nothing but ambition, degree in hand and hearts brimming with love(I’d like to assume) welcomed into the world a baby girl, their first child of many(I was serious about the ambition).Well-informed sources tell me I was quite the difficult pregnancy. I was over-weight at time of birth…well, not the obese type of overweight, rather the ‘well-fed on matoke and avocados and I fear, guavas?’ kind of overweight. So what happened is the high-way couldn’t work and medics had to get creative real-quick. That is how I was Caesarian-born. The rest is history, or should we say work-in-progress? O, so much for digress-back to word-play. This young vibrant couple with not-so-much vibrant creativity called me Mary.Mary with just two syllables.Two!…Bummer!…Beats me to this date. I sit and think, or did their destined creativity hang in the system at time of their birth only to come to me combined? Haha. That sounds boastful but it could actually be true. Seriously. I could turn this into a very deep research study that will earn me a name and tonnes of money and then I won’t have to do all this blogging stupi….Errr…What!?

Twenty has been dear to me, to say the least. But since I am not one to say the least I shall expound. I am generous with information*adds that to C.V*.

It started with a heart-break. Just before you ‘psssht’ and label that normal stuff, happens all the time, I’ll be pleased to inform you that this one was a few decibels up the ‘Titanic’ one-I even shaved my hair because of it. People of planet Earth, matters of the heart can get you bald, never mind the hair wronged no one. It was just there, being hair. Apologies to all the friends I told that shaving was part of my ‘new year resolutions’. The wound was still fresh then, things were bad, I was trying to heal, I needed time….fill in all the relevant ways to put it. The day I cut my hair was not for mourning as they used to do in the past but a day to end the mourning which had spanned a few months the previous year. If I had been writing then you’d have seen so many sorrow-laced melancholic poems here this would probably be THAT SAD SAD KAWAIDA GIRL .Those were terrible days. I walked the streets with a strong face like I always do but wept in alleys. Dark torrid alleys. Beat myself to the ground wondering how I got myself there. They say every cloud has a silver lining but in my case, there was no cloud to begin with. The sky was bare and relentless, enormous in its emptiness and I sank in its hollow. I remember one time in December last year when I called my mum crying and she told me not to worry, that I was too young. It was what she was supposed to say but really, no one is too young to feel pain. Pain is no respecter of age. Does pain know PG-rated? Is there an Ezekiel Mutua for raw wrenching pain? I’ll answer that for you. No there isn’t. When it rains, it pours.

January morphed into February, like all Januaries do. The craze of Valentine’s fanned the embers that were dying slowly. When you become single after being ‘taken’ for more than a year it is not just business as usual. There is not a switch that you press and voilà! Strong independent woman who don’t need no man to make him happy. There’s memories: the walks, the conversations. There’s the moon and the laughter and a shoulder to lean on. After the break-up there’s silence. Silence so dead you can hear a pin-drop (okay, a bit impractical). Every day the sun sets and lo! Dreadful night awaits.You in your bed, alone with yourself and thoughts that refuse to leave. Celine Dion does not make sense anymore. You turn to Toni Braxton and drown in her copper voice and aloof words that you make holy writ because you totally relate. Love becomes a foreign notion, unless its Agape love which really came in handy-or hearty. Ah, I could write about this all day. First heartbreaks are the worst. Moral of the story-Don’t get in too deep next time Mariana.


But it gets better. It does.


Twenty has been dear I said, and I insist. I cut my hair and beautiful flowers grew in its place. First off was Bikozulu’s creative writing class which I got sponsored for and attended around March. It was the works for me. Being the first adult workshop I went to, it opened my eyes to something I had never seen before. What more? After that a friend I made while there (who also sums up as my shujaa this year*wink*) urged me to officially start blogging. I rose to the occasion and here we are!

Later came my first industrial attachment of which I bored you with tales on end in my previous articles. I’ll save you the reminder. During that same attachment period I went for a first movie date. By movie date I do not at any point refer to these jokes that campus guys play on us ati “kuja tuone movie” only to go and find a bad sitcom 240p quality with ailing ICU-level bed-ridden badly-written jokes and a director that needs that boost of humor more than you do. Okay, am I talking about some particular comedy here? Anyway I went the big screen 3D way for the first time and it was amazing. Nice company too. I forgot to say, May to August this year is the longest time I have ever spent in the big city consistently so please understand when small things fascinate me.

Some time later just when I thought movie popcorn was the real deal I discovered Alliance Française. It just kept getting better. This bestie of mine took me there for the first time and nothing fell short of splendid. Their jokes were not badly-written which was a big (comic) relief. Well, I visited once more  later just to ‘tilia mkazo’.There was also Club Mist where I met up that shujaa of mine I told you about earlier(mum and dad if you ever read this remember you named me Mary, I am good by default) and Central Park where I dragged a friend-poor guy- just to have a swing(banana trees at home can’t exactly support a swing set).Other firsts included the Two-Rivers Mall ,Arboretum, Dominos, PAWA 254(Boniface Mwangi’s backyard),Phoenix Players’ auditorium, Kenya National Theatre and few of Writers’ Guild meetings at I&M among others. Let me also mention the churches I went to so that it cancels out on the club part-this is for you mum-I enthusiastically out-of-will attended service at Maxwell, New-life, Hill-View and Lavington and in all these occasions did not Whatsapp the whole time or leave before end of sermon…lived true to the name you gave me mama.

The last quarter of the year finds me in Eldoret where I school. Life is good here. Apart from the short stint of getaway where I discovered new friends and new food like chicken stroganoff and chicken shawarma(I had so much chicken in a week, never felt more Luhya)-everything’s been on the low-low in a nice way. O,I also discovered Tinder for the first time late this year but that’s a story for another day.

Twenty might have marked the end of my teen years and that other thing but it sure has been a first in many ways. God has been gracious. Now unto the twenty-first we go!…O wait, that’s a first too. Let the countdown begin!

(I had to cut short this story and quickly summarize because it’s Friday and I have this thing someone invented called CAT at 5pm.Cats do not care so much about anyone’s stupi…err…super-cool blog like they do about milk(ing you dry).I pen down at 2:21…because,you know,21?)







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