We find ourselves in spaces,

unhinged or so we say, faces

unmoved or so we say, traces

unknown or so we say,  and in these spaces

We sway, one step becomes two and then a mile stands between us.

We find ourselves in spaces, unhinged, unmoved, and unknown.


Woman Looking at Her Right Side
Breston Kenya. Took this.

Take Me

I went to the market,

Not that kind of market…the one where everyone is happy and looks good enough to be carried home.

So, I looked at this shelf and saw you,

The jaw of a god, a mortal sculpted into immortality,

Skin glowing like the dark night sky, embers of those who came before you,

Grayscale Side View Portrait Photo of Man Posing with His Eyes Closed

So, I stood and took you in.

You could be my rock,

I could wander in the maze that’s your eyes…cocoa rich, vanilla true…

So, I stood and took you in,

You could be the one.

You know…the one among many who could take my heart, break it, and walk all over it.

You saw me looking,

Long after everyone else had left,

So, you stopped taking in their praise, their likes, their comments…you stopped and for that second, you knew you could take me.

See…I let you.

I was standing waiting for you to take me.

And so you did…you truly did,

Your voice, deep, still…calm on the surface, unsettled beneath it.

You took me long after I had decided that you would take me.

So, Son of Man,

Do not shout praises of your prowess to the world,

Do not scamper for likes, retweets, comments and be sliding in the DMs knowing you’re good.

Just like I gave myself to you, I can slip away.

Oh, and wouldn’t that be a treat if only you could take me.


I saw a lady at the bus stop.

Her skin as dark as the night, her lips a beacon, and her eyes…her eyes spoke of eons of lifetimes.

So in my attempt to strike a conversation, I started with “Hi,”

She smiled and moved to the left, and seeing this space, I sat…

I could have lived in that moment, and created a world unlike this one.

I saw a lady at the bus stop,

Her skin, the canvas of nature, her scent, a testament of adornment.

I saw a lady at the bus stop and I was afraid of what her soul would reveal,

So, I fiddled with the hem of my skirt, pretended to scroll through my Facebook timeline until the bus came…and when I stood to leave, she asked me, “do you ever feel like you have been waiting all your life?”

Woman Wearing Black Tube Dress


“Sometimes, your refuge becomes your cage,” you say this and look outside the window.

If I were a Sketch Artist, I could capture the planes of your jaw…

I would dab that jaw line with coal and sprinkle a pinch of ash, for the grey that’s your soul.

“What color is my soul?” I ask.

You laugh, an easy laugh…and my heart glows for you still have these glimpses of who you are when your mind is miles away from me.

“I don’t know a thing about colors, Love. My knowledge is limited to primary colors, but I know a thing or two about smoke and mist, and if you were to ask me, to genuinely ask this of me…I would say that your soul is a galaxy. Miles away, a thing of beauty, unattainable.”

“Where do you get these words from?”

“I don’t know Love. When I am around you, sometimes, the hardest thing is to accept who I am…for I never know why I am calm when I bleed my heart out or even why I do it, see, if you ask my friends, like take Martin for example, he’d tell you I am a jerk, the most clueless person on earth…but Martin’s lucky, he’s got his forever-and now he just has to work towards making it last, and look at me…look at us…”


“You’re my Kilimanjaro…I love you but I do not know how to leave who I may be when you are away from me, so no matter how hard I try, I never get to your peak…”

landscape photography of summit


It’s four o’clock and the evening’s splendor is at the mercy of the showers of rain. I’m on my fourth cup of coffee. You sit beside me on the couch, rub your hands together and ask “should I bring the whole kettle right here?”

“No, why?”

“You have drank half of it already and I know you’ll ask for a refill when you’re done with this.”

“Yes, so?”

“I am not your waiter.”

“I’ll get it myself, do not worry about it.” You let out a laugh. How easy it is for you to unleash these easy laughs you store within you. I shrug my shoulders but wink at you. You look away, and lean back into the couch…and I know it’s coming, because when you open up, it’s preceded by a void of silence.

woman wearing eyeglasses facing window
Chayene Rafaela/

“You love me like a memory.”

I put the cup of coffee back on the table and stretch out to lay my head on your lap. It is still raining outside and when your fingers brush my cheek, I inhale the residue of cigarette smoke. I take to coffee and you take to cigarettes…sometimes, whisky.

“Have you tried Chivas?”

“The Scotch-Whisky? Yes, why?”

“I saw it on a billboard today while making my way to town. I love the shape of the bottle, it is rather feminine, a bit curvy and stocky at some point, but definitely curvy.”

“You saw a bottle of whisky on a billboard and you loved the shape of it because it’s curvy?”

I look at you and smile and you laugh…this time, it’s a blissful laugh, the kind that says “What am I going to do with this girl?” So, we sit and you take in short breaths, as though inhaling and exhaling would stop your heart from asking me questions that you know I will never answer.

I know not if this is love, if the image of your smile in my head makes me smile, if the sound of your voice at any time of the day makes me anxious. I know one thing though, that I live for these moments of silence between us, where you create a void to express your feelings and how I glide over those voids by changing the subject and you let me.

“You love this, don’t try to deny it. You should move in with me.” I shake my head and sit up to drink my coffee. You get off the couch and walk to the kitchen leaving me to the sound of the rain…once peaceful, now…

And when you come back, you lean on the kitchen door, run your fingers through your hair and ask “why are you afraid of me?”

This time…I recline.


You asked me at dawn, “Why is it that you smile more when you are miles away from me?”


I started, “um…I…”

You laughed, the easy laugh that we both know comes from trying to mask a pain.

I paused and so did you, for me it was to think of a lie, but for you, it was because you were on your third cigarette this morning. I could envision the smoke, smell it, miles away.

It was one of those mornings.

You missed me too much to contain your pain.

“Marry me,” you said and then laughed…another easy laugh.

“It’s good to hear from you,” I said and the beating of my heart rivaled the numbness of my fingers.

I was reaching for my cup of coffee when you said “stellar, is what you are…” and suddenly we both knew what that meant.




You + I=


and around…it’s how we go.

You + I=….


‘I was told,’

‘My boys saw you.’

Round and around we go…

You and I.

‘Would you like to go out with me?’

‘Would you work on this with me?’

You and I.

‘Where were you at noon today?’

‘I was told you were with some guy,

laughing, blushing…where were you?’

Round and around we go…

You + I = …

It started with a bump…at the bus stop.

What do you get when you are at a bus stop, there’s no bus and a long queue of people are waiting to get onto one? Disillusioned. Yes, you walk all the way to the back of the line. You count your steps because, one there’s no bus, two the chances of getting into the first one is nil and three you are just eager to get home so whether you are first or last it does not matter, all of you will wait.

But, that is a dull way to start a story, so let’s start over.

What do you get at a bus stop at 6pm when a handsome guy bumps into a lady from behind? A story.
No, first you get a scream! “Ouch! Watch it!”
Then you get a moment, call it Chemistry or a spark- but as long as you are looking for a name for it- we shall call it L.A.F.S better known as “Love at first sight.” The guy found his arms wrapped around the lady’s waist to prevent her from toppling over as he apologized, “Sorry, please forgive me, I am very sorry.”
The girl took a deep breath and said “Let me go, its okay.” The guy let go. He tucked his hands so deep in his pockets you could see fists. What about the girl? Well, from where I was, I could see her trying her best not to turn around and look at the guy. She ran her hands into her pockets and sighed in relief. Her phone, fare and makeup were still in place. I looked at them once more as the bus slowly made its way to the bus stop and as I was giving up on them, I saw the girl turn.
It was a swift swoosh as her braids added to the dramatic flare that was her curiosity.
So, I know that’s also not a good way to start a story, but since we are almost there, let me continue. She said, “Why did you bump into me?”
The guy said, “Someone pushed me. I think he was being chased or something. Look, I did not mean to do so. I am sorry.”
“It’s okay. My name is Helen.”
“Mark. It is nice to meet you, so where are you headed to?”
“What’s your stop?”
“Greenstead. What about you?”
“So, we are practically neighbors, just don’t bump into me again.”
“I’ll try my best not to.”

Okay, now what would you do if you were me? No, I would not push the guy again and cause another bump. I’d stick around and that’s what I did. The girl was in those tight things girls in Nairobi can’t stop wearing and boots. She had a black trench coat and a brown bag which I thought was supposed to match the color of her boots, but something about the shades threw me off. Her braids were neat and long. They had the “pull me” effect on me and so I focused my attention on the guy. He was walking beside her now with his hands out of his pockets. He was wearing a gentleman’s bracelet and a wrist watch with a black leather strap. His hair was short, well trimmed by a barber but not well maintained by the owner. His jacket was as black as my thoughts. His eyes were brown. I know most people have brown eyes in this city, but have you ever seen a shade of cocoa in someone’s eyes? Well, me too…but there was something about his eyes that made me stop and wonder, where all this was going.

If he asked her out on her date, would she say yes?
That’s too fast, right? I thought so too. But what if he asked to sit beside her in the bus and then asked for her number before she alighted? Makes sense, right? But, love has never made sense to the single people…it’s as insensible as the lovers themselves.

Wait, who said this was a love story?
I am getting ahead of myself, back to the story. They walked beside each other until they got to the bus and the guy let the girl go in first. She took the seat next to the window and tapped the seat beside her. He settled in as she wanted and waited for the other passengers to fill the bus. She looked at him while he looked at the people walking past him and smiled. It was a slight tremor of her lips and the way her eyes said things that only her mind could confide to her heart that had me staring. She looked at him until he turned and locked eyes with her. She smiled and turned to look outside the window. She had seen the Bata shop. She had seen the ‘jobless corner.’ She had seen the street lights and people and curio shops before. She had been boarding the bus here for four years.
I stared at her.
He stared at her wondering what she was seeing and why it was more interesting than getting to know him. She had a chance. She had this great shot at what might be. Why wasn’t she talking to him or looking at him like she did a while back? The bus started moving, but the girl still had her eyes outside.
I turned to her and shouted, “Hey, would you please talk to him! The suspense is killing me!”
I heard people laugh…and turned to look at the woman seated beside me. She was laughing while pointing at me. The guy and girl looked at me. Everyone in the bus was staring at us. I’d just been caught staring and nosing around in someone else’s business. So I pulled out my earphones and listened to SautiSol aware that I was pining for an ending that wasn’t mine, and writing a story that was not mine to chart.

Other blogs in the Friday Feature:

Flashes of Vice

Love in Nairobi

Coincidence is Cancelled 🙂