Sigh. It’s mid Jan. How did that happen? You struggle to get out of bed today, as always. You remember sleeping without answering all the texts on your phone. One was about an engagement on Facebook. Facebook will never leave you alone, will it? Despite you not logging in for two months. The other was a good night from another friend. You wanted to reply but couldn’t. Not that you had something else to do except read that book that has you glued to its pages and lying in bed in all sorts of awkward positions.

Speaking of books, you have discovered that they are the best distraction from your singlehood. From Girl With no Past to Before I Go to Sleep, books have become the way you forget everything else. Everything that is not a serious matter, that is. A few weeks ago you could not sleep and all that could comfort you was a thriller at 3:30 AM. You love that the characters in the books are mostly single women or those who don’t understand love. What love is, what it feels like. You and me both, you want to tell her.

You walk to the sitting room and squint at the wall clock, just to make sure your alarm is not making up time and you do not have one more hour to sleep. You pour yourself some tea. You look out for a hint of the weather. You never know these days. Google has its act together too, seems to tell when it will rain correctly. You get that water heated. The plan to get that hot shower almost fell into place until it didn’t. Vision February 2016. You finally wake up once you’re done with the bath. You’re still sipping your tea even after this, you just can’t sit down for breakfast. You throw on some clothes. Provided they are decent and fit right. Everything is growing too tight nowadays. Everyone is mentioning it. You almost forget to throw that bra on. Seriously. When else have you ever forgotten? Age is calling, my friend. Anyway, your grandmother didn’t wear one anyway. No big deal.

You feed your cats. You find the nearest comfortable shoes and hit the road. You scan the bus stop for familiar faces or strange male faces who look like they would make for an interesting story in your imagination. Nada. As always. Your bus stop is so boring. In that matatu, it’s time to reply to everything.

Engagement? What was it? A post or a pic? How comes he didn’t tell me? Wow. Wonder where my engagement is going to come from. Heaven perhaps. When are you getting married, bearer of engagement news? What’s your excuse?

Sorry I left you hanging, I just didn’t find the strength to reply.

You ignore the random text from someone who texted you first but wants to know who you are. What in the world? You texted me first! The nerve.

A mix or perfumes, colognes and air fresheners interact in the matatu. You stop at every stage. You now have the ability to notice when the driver shifts gear or when another driver is not following the rules. Progress. When will you start driving yourself to work? Vision 2017. You get to work and completely switch off and drown in work. By the time it is lunchtime, you are wondering how time flew that fast. You glance at your phone. Missed calls. An insurance company. A friend who was freaking out for no reason. You make a mental note to call them later. Then immediately forget until it is 6 PM. By now, your phone has no charge for no reason. Argh. How and why is this happening? It’s not even a year old yet. But that can wait, not urgent.

You have been ignoring calls too. Your phone will ring and you will stare at it, mostly because you get bored of small talk. Also because you are afraid the person on the other end is trying to push a certain agenda and you’re not sure you’re interested. You are never sure of those things nowadays. You know, those things. You said yes once for many reasons. You don’t want to say yes now for any reason. Because it just makes no sense. Maybe if he was asking a few years ago, maybe then you would have said yes, but not now. Now is all about the here and what can be quantified with facts and figures. Not things that are being done because everyone says it’s time. You look for excuses to avoid the inevitable. You even look for excuses to avoid gatherings of any kind, but your friends know you better. They leave out details of group events until they know you have committed and can’t back out. And there will always be a very fly dude in these gatherings, so fly you will rethink your indifference to these things. But then the picnic is over and you’re back to your books and cats. In fact, when someone who promised a date forgets about it, even though it was his idea, you move on so fast, it is scary.

Back in the office, you will have arguments with colleagues over love and marriage and whatnot. Everyone has their opinion. It gets creepier when you all agree that love is a decision then the first line you see when you open your new read is that exact one. Jeez. I get the point, universe, you think. The day is done and you’re back home, cooking for the clan. You will not eat yourself. No. That weight is beginning to scare you. Enyewe peace is all you need to gain weight. You remember when it was a struggle to get to 50 Kg, back when you were wasting too many calories on boys, long chats and how your hair looked like when you took a selfie. Speaking of hair, you might very well join your best friend and her sister in their natural hair crusade. It is down to how you feel, not how you will look in picture. Also, that’s just the tomboy talking.

You sat with your grandmother at the beginning of the year, because she wanted to talk to you. You sat for hours into the night, listening to her talk to you about men and how you should not allow yourself to be cheated. Preach, cucu! You glean so much history. How she ended up with grandfather. What they did during their periods. What the wazungus did as they worked in their farms. How one suitor wrote her letters all the time but she did not end up with him. How her friends got married. How she would not want you to end up like them. You think to yourself that maybe cucu does not know what she is saying and times have changed. But she does know. She tells you a story of a frog and three suitors who came to visit a girl. And how only one suitor was the right one, the one who was kind to the frog and did not chase it away from where he sat. Typical cucu.

Another weekend, another chance to hang out with friends or just walk around by yourself, doing what you could be doing with him. But he not being there does not stop you, whoever he is. Keep walking.

Death_to_stock_photography_Vibrant (2 of 10)

Written by Shiku Ngigi

Mum and dad’s daughter. Shouting big sister. Learning to listen. Jesus freak. Recovering tomboy. Mouse potato. Bass addict. Waking up the writer in her.

    11 Comments

  1. hannah otieno January 20, 2016 at 12:43 am Reply

    Too tired to type – January is too long!

  2. Nyambura January 20, 2016 at 7:40 am Reply

    Tell ’em, Shiku! Tell ’em.
    Yaani I’ve had it up to here (does that thing we do to indicate fed up) with small talk. Then there’s those agenda pushers. I’m like, maybe in a couple of years when I have time. Or maybe never coz now it’s too late.

    As always, brilliant writing.

    • asingwa January 20, 2016 at 8:24 am Reply

      Oh yeah, brilliant writing 🙂

  3. asingwa January 20, 2016 at 8:22 am Reply

    Oh Shiku, you might as well have stolen my thoughts from my head. I was so in the zone with you there, the end felt too abrupt.

  4. Lilian Bonareri January 20, 2016 at 8:34 am Reply

    Nice piece. That’s all I can say. At least for now.

  5. judithmariel1 January 20, 2016 at 9:07 am Reply

    That’s all me, except am already in the natural hair crusade . . .

    • Lydia February 1, 2016 at 8:08 pm Reply

      Can’t wait for the next one.

  6. Mercy January 24, 2016 at 12:29 am Reply

    So me this yr …expect the cucu part…such a ncy piece 👌👌👌👌💯💯💯💯

  7. Shiku Ngigi January 24, 2016 at 1:06 pm Reply

    Thank you, girls!

  8. Patrick February 18, 2016 at 2:29 pm Reply

    Am an ardent reader of bikozulu. N am starting to become one for you. I love your style ?

    • Shiku Ngigi February 18, 2016 at 9:13 pm Reply

      🙂

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