All Where He’s Been.


I get attracted to sad and unhappy endings. People who are always in a melancholic state tend to portray more. I want to know where the source of unhappiness is coming from. It’s like going on a wild good chase hunting for treasure on a lost island or whatever archaeological artifacts one would find. I’d cross the seven seas till I find that lost island. Then I’d set camp by the beach and spend the night there.

I recently got a Whats-app text from a long lost pal. He had replied to one of my articles that I had posted earlier January. I knew he was an avid reader but I never knew he was that devoted. I asked him what he thought about it. He said, he was going through more or less the same. Just like the character in that story. It reflected about him.

“No way! Humor me.” I told him.

“I never thought I’d relate to one of your character’s in the story. At-least you never killed that character.” He said.

The sadness in his whats-app text was akin to a music song whose rhythms didn’t rhyme. Stanzas were mixed with choruses, bridges mixed up with different musical notes which refused to blend and fuse in together. It was beautifully chaotic. It’s also how fast he replied to my texts. Words bled out of him like a guy fighting for his life in the O.R. His choice of words were heavy, well chosen yet they still had that impact of a person who was going through a lot. He didn’t want to acknowledge the source of the hurt feelings because he’d have given it life. He didn’t want any being brought henceforth from such an action. He ended his conversation abruptly as the way he began. No formalities nor pleasantries neither was there any source of closure.

He’s 24-years old recently graduated and runs his drop shipping company from home. From that text of his, he looks like he’s one of those organized guy who seems to figure out everything put in place, lives a quiet lifestyle slightly a tad higher than the normal mwananchi. He’s holding a lot on the inside to make sure that he’s not seen as weak. He’s tumbling down like folded clothes. He feels like he’s clutching at straws desperately trying to swim out of those murky waters.

He called me one evening when I was bored sitting in a matatu which had been stuck in a long traffic jam for over an hour. Windows were tightly shut as I firmly clutched my phone with both hands. Thieves could be lurking in any corner of this wretched city. I wouldn’t want to go through the whole ordeal of having my phone snatched in a matatu. What would I tell my people back home? The overly cautious guy finally got cornered? He wanted to arrange a meeting so that I would get to hear his story. He preferred having a one on one talk to people other than calls and conveying messages. He was one of those millenials who preferred queer orthodox methods. It had been like around two or three years since I last saw him. You know one of those guys you poteleana for long and when you link up, you pick up the conversation from where you last left it. That was how it was with Rey Mbodze.

Fast forward time to a week late and we meet at Vacani Resort, in Voi. I got there slightly twenty minutes before and chose a spot that would give me an aerial panoramic view of the place. I settled for two bottles of beer because the whiskey I normally drink is a tad too high per tot and my equations at that point wouldn’t balance in my pockets. Behind the comfort and safety of the balcony, outside the wall I could see plenty of cars and trucks zooming past each other. He texted saying that I should give him twenty minutes max before he arrived. I looked around and enjoyed the scenery as I sipped my cold beer.

Like a delayed scheduled flight. Rey walks in a few minutes before his twenty minutes request had lapsed.

“Sometimes things don’t go as one had planned,” he starts. He extends his hand towards me and I greet it and shake it firmly, proceeded by the universal fist knocking and side hug. I have no idea why people say that when things don’t go as scheduled. He looked slightly older than his age. He had a thing about Ankara shorts and loafers. He looked good in them. His cologne masked the entire place. The one that would announce his arrival before he reached the place. He’s an occasional drinker, he doesn’t smoke and he doesn’t batter women. So he’s a good man.

I told him things normally don’t go as we plan. It wouldn’t be fun if old lady karma doesn’t pull a few strings and make it a thrill. He knew it was a path where karma from time to time would decide to be in her elemental years and throw a little fits of bumps, rough roads and thunder. He eventually knew that everything would change for the better. He said he was currently rising up like a phoenix. That raised my eye brows.

“What happened to the person you were supposed to introduce me to?” I asked.
The waiter comes and takes his order. She’s sort of flirting with him. How she talked and smiled coyly gave out her body language. We couldn’t help but stare at her derriere which she swang intentionally was full of life. She knew we were staring. I mean we are visual creatures.

After the waiter had left, he said that they had gone their separate ways with the person he was supposed to introduce me to. Someone who had the aspects and projections of being his future wife. Well, this cut me like a shrapnel from an explosive device. What happened? What events played down till one of them came to such a stature? At times he wondered why bad things happened to good people.

The waiter came back with his order and two glasses. Behind the receipt she had put into one glass, she had written down her number. Free game. The game was open to him. It’s 1130 hrs. Rey is comfortable having single malt whiskey at such odd hours.

“It tastes good, especially at this time of the day. It drowns all your sorrows and worries away.”

So What led to the downfall?

Distance, change of towns from time to time, long travels and the aspect of time factor all played part in shaping how he became a bachelor. He chuckles and says that it’s all good now.

“So what happened?”

He says things were good up to some point. Then they began having many many pointless and senseless arguments. She thought he was too perfect and she felt that she was imperfect for him. She couldn’t fit into his whimsical nature. Things escalated to a point that they’d have to play pretend when they were in public. Everyone thought that they were the couple that would last and withstand the taste of time and mother nature.

What broke the last straw of the camel’s back?

I have wanted to use this phrase for a while now. “We were at Hemmingsway Watamu having a little getaway, when she received a package from her cousin’s boyfriend. Dude had sent gifts from abroad to all family members of the cousin. He was betrothed to her. The word betrothed sounds so archaic. So she called him and appreciated him for a gift. Rey was the type of guy that made life fun in a very peculiar manner. He was a bit sarcastic and had reasonable answers for reasonable questions.
So he made a witty remark saying, “aiii babes, si ume appreciate huyo jamaa sana. Ata mimi pia siku moja tu unifanyie kama ivi.” That blew everything up.

“That statement brought an issue and led to the downfall. She said I was overly jealous, a control freak, and a nerd who was too perfect.” He laughed out loud.

“Did you catch or have a glimpse at the waiter’s name tag?”

“You do realize that you look like a nerd apart from your humorous dress code.” I answered him ignoring the earlier question.

That night when she slept. She didn’t face him. She let her back face him. He stared at her back for so long and he proceeded to turning and tossing before eventually turning his back on her. He stared at the well decorated painted walls for long before he woke up slipped into his shorts and flip-flops before he walked down to the bar. He knew that she had heard him tiptoeing out in the middle of the night. At the bar he wondered how such a single remark would change everything. So he drunk himself silly. Got into a drunken stupor and headed back to the hotel room a couple of hours later higher than a kite.
Things turned to be different when he found out that she had called her friend who had come to pick her up. He got into a temper and abused them both. The lady friend to his missus called him a desperate old fool. He felt that the other friend was meddling in their affairs. And at that moment he knew he had lost. He had lost because she decided to have a person who peekaboo’d into their lives.

The After morning,….

He woke up to an empty bed. Her fragrance that usually made sure that he’d bask and swim in wasn’t there anymore. He woke up slowly with a throbbing headache. Scanned around and found out that all his belongings were intact. He took his phone and dialed her number. It went unpicked for at least two hours. He rang again and again and again till when she’d pick up. When she finally did, Rey made an apology to both her and her friend. He told her to move on without him because he was entirely stupid.

Did you guys talk again after that?

He said he tried reaching out to her. See if he could make things work. He had been in a relationship for so long that he forgot how it felt like to be in the dating scene. He got the chance to meet her at a fancy restaurant one evening after he’d had a long day in town. He took her to those fancy places in a nice posh area. He says things went well this time. None raised their voices at each other. She said that the only reason why she couldn’t get back with him was that she felt belittled after every argument they had with Rey. According to her; Rey was the “I don’t like this, I don’t like that type.” She wanted to be a free birdie. He asked her if she was seeing someone else and she said she didn’t.

She unfriended him on all social media platforms after the verbal outburst they had back then in Watamu. I held a minute of silence for the poor soul.

What next?

Rey decided to level up, and thought that it was not the end of the world. He began working on how he could control his temperamental outbursts and his drinking levels.

I asked him at one point if he felt like he was controlling. He said maybe. He wanted both of them to fit into that perfect picture he had painted. All he knows was that he loved her and never meant for things to be the way they ended up. He always wanted the best of everything. He thinks perhaps that’s what pushed her to the edge. He says he learnt his lessons. He’d do more to work on his shortcomings to enable him become a better person in future. He thinks he’s not perfect. He’s not God. He wouldn’t hold on to something that didn’t mean to work out. 


The petty arguments in a short span of time caused their spiral downward collapse with the lady feeling that she was the main problem. He felt that most times she’d mask her feelings or never say there was a problem. Instead she was full of praises for him. She never said on matters of how perhaps he was lacking in one sector or the other. He feels like that she turned a blind eye to his shenanigans. She felt that he blamed her for everything.

So one day after she unfriended him almost everywhere, he took his phone and deleted her number.

What should he do?

I told him it’s better if he focused on building and investing on himself. Happiness, peace and love comes from deep within. No other person would bring this into him if he doesn’t learn to appreciate himself.

“Expand your drop shipping business. Travel, go to places, focus on building your inner self.” I told him to take time off things and let the matter relax.

When she’d feel like talking to him again. Then the universe would allow it. If it didn’t work out and she’s not coming back, there’s no need to hurry and rush into the arms of another person. 

“I read her name on her name tag.”

“Who’s name?”

“The waiter’s. The one that wrote down her number behind the receipt bill so that you’d contact her.”

“What’s her name?”


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