Remember the story I covered sometimes back last year known as Out-of-Love? About a certain lady whom I know as *Agrippina*?
Her message came abruptly, not that I was expecting it. Not at all. She was the last thing to cross my mind. She sent it at 0230 hours. Normally I do not answer calls nor reply to texts at such an hour. The African in me associates it with death or bad news.
Her text went along these lines:
“Many times in the past six months, I tried to gather the courage to call you. But I had none, I did not know nor understand why you went silent on me. We had been reduced to a new low. The low of just viewing each other’s statuses on WhatsApp. Plenty of times I stole your statuses and memes in the hopes that you would just look at my direction and perhaps slide in the DM. That did not happen, neither did you comment on that time I posted a video of me being on a yacht with my girlfriends. I must say you have a corny behavior of hiding your view status. It always irritates me, it puts me on edge not knowing if you viewed it or not. But you, yes you, plenty of times you are calm and still. It unsettles me. Some days I would say you are a creature of habit. You keep to the places you know. Often not meddling in other people’s affairs. Other days one would say you are like an ocean. An ocean is full of unpredictabilities. Though you have a gentle side which you fiercely guard.
There was a time you called. It was not rash nor rude, but it felt like it was a favor you were doing for someone. I remember you asking for directions towards where my mother lives. You hang up after that. I know you have never been the one for small talks. The other time was when grandma passed on. You called to pass your condolences and asked for the burial arrangements. It felt nice hearing from you, part of me hoped you would attend the burial. But I would understand if you would not make it, after all, you are always a busy man. I thought you would call again, but you did not, instead, you slid back to your solitary ways.
For long I have wanted to talk to you but you always keep me at arm’s length. I know I can be difficult at times. Plenty of times you have given me advice and plenty of times I did the opposite. Perhaps you got tired of my insolent ways. But here I am at 2 a.m. writing a text to you. There are things that are not well with my soul, and it is only you whom I can talk to. You do not judge, though at times it feels like I’m onto your nerves, but yet you still view me as your little sister. You the last ship that can actually take me home. I hope my call of help reaches you.”
I only spoke to her twice this year. The first was when mother called me to ask the direction towards Agrippina’s home. The second time was when she lost her grandmother. All this happened in a period of six months. We kind of had a fallout with each other. It was a surprise that she decided to break off the stalemate between us.
“Such a queer way on how to begin a conversation at such an ungodly hour. Could she not wait till daybreak? But, oh boy let us take this head-on.” I thought to myself. I called after I read her message. I thought I found a way of side-lining the conversation, but it was persistent in some way. So I had to stay to put the matter to rest.
“To be honest, I never thought you would call. Not in this context. I would have preferred if we met, but we all far away from each other.” Agrippina said.
“Yes, probably if that is what makes you happy,” I said.
Agrippina: Don’t you think it has been long since we last talked? Like catching up just like old times, like when you featured my story back then? Why did you go silent on me though?
Me: I guess life happens. We all went quiet.
Agrippina: Not even a new year’s wish, nor checking up on me once in a while?
Me: We had a fallout the last time we talked. You said some pretty bad things over the phone when I pointed out your bullshit. Actually I had been waiting for an apology, but got tired when it emerged that the pride in you would not bend. So I kept best to the places I knew.
Agrippina: I am sorry, I never meant a word. I must have been high on whiskey.
Me: Let us cut the chase. There is no need to mull over spilled milk. So to what pleasure do, I grace your courteous time?
Agrippina: I thought I found a way to run out of this marriage. But he never seems to go away, so I guess I have to stay in a not so lovely marriage just for the sake of my child. The child loves his father very much. I hope someday I will make it out of this. Even if it would take long, a single night or a thousand years. I truly need a way out of this, a place to hide from the harsh realities. I want to feel alive so that I can fight my fear, but I do not think I have the energy for that.
Me: What is stopping you from walking out if both your soul and mind are not at peace?
Agrippina: I almost broke up with Felix last month. For once I want to feel lovely all alone. You see this heart made of glass has been broken into fine little pieces. My mind is made of stone. Ever since he rained blows on me when I asked about his cheating ways, I felt crashed. I felt crushed that he used my own money to spend on other women.
Me: So you got back together?
Agrippina: For Travis’ sake. I think Felix knows that I am cheating on him.
Me: How did he know?
Agrippina: It happened on the first weekend when he came back from Dar Es Salaam. Felix came abruptly, he never told me. I already had plans underway to spend with the director. So I left him in the house and went to Wasini Island with the director. It was in my headspace.
Me: How long have you been with the married guy?
Agrippina: We just celebrated our one year anniversary last month.
At this point I felt almost as if my breath was leaving my body. I was beyond words. I could muster none at all. I exhaled deeply. Everything else became still for a moment. My senses heightened.
Agrippina: Are you still there?
Me: Yes. Though a bit perplexed. I think I should pour myself something neat.
Agrippina: You never stopped having your whiskey at odd hours?
Me: Nope I did not. Though I beg to wonder, if Felix is away for many months, is it the director who warms your bed?
Agrippina: He brings warmth to my house.
Me: What about Travis?
Agrippina: I take him to his grandma’s place.
Me: Does it not ring a bell to you that you someone’s wife?
Agrippina: I know I’m no good for Felix. He is a good guy, he is trying his best to salvage whatever we have left. I learned to lose him. I cannot tear my heart anymore for him. I cannot bleed for a course that is not there, because it will not stop me from wandering around. I am quiet when he sleeps next to me. When my head lies on his chest I think of the other three men I recently slept with. I know I should not be telling you these at such odd hours of the night.
Me: It is at such times where people are honest with their innermost deep feelings.
Agrippina: I could lie if I said I am a saint. But I do not want my child to grow up without a father. I could lie if I said I like it like that. Twice I almost became a mother.
Me: What happened?
Agrippina: I went back to school. I enrolled in an MBA program. It would have messed up with my career.
Me: Was it Felix’s?
Agrippina: Nope, both pregnancies were from the director. The first one happened in September last year. The recent one happened two months ago.
Me: And what if your husband found out that you were heavy for another man? Would you heap it on him?
Agrippina: That would end our marriage. I would not do such an inhumane act to him by making him raise another man’s child. Plus he would know that I cheated.
Me: Do you ever care about your health at some point? Have you ever thought about using contraceptives? What about protecting yourself from STIs? Does your conscious gnaw you at night? How do you find comfort in your sleep when both of you have allowed yourselves to hurt each other?
Agrippina: Don’t you think life has let you in on too much already on other people’s thoughts? I cannot use contraceptives because Felix would know I am cheating. My other boyfriend is a doctor, we test before the bed of thrones happens. The other guy at times we use at times we do not. I know I have not been the best wife but this would not have happened if he never cheated and beat me up. At times I feel like a harlot. No matter how hard I wash and scrub, the feeling never goes away.
Me: Why stay in something that is harmful? Why not walk out and do your thing in peace?
Agrippina: I’m afraid to have nothing, once I have said my goodbyes with him. I know I will never be loved the way I want by another man as Felix does. He is a great father to Travis. At times I think nothing is better at times.
Me: What about your cousin?
Agrippina: It has been a while, he gave up on me. Just like you, he keeps to places he knows best. He is devoid of any emotions. He only calls to ask about Travis’ well-being. You should see how Travis beams up when he speaks to his uncle over the phone. They have a tight bond. They are best buddies. It has been long since he last came home to visit us. I do miss him. I hope he comes home someday. I hope he calls and speaks to me just like the old days.
Me: The answer lies with you. It is only you who truly knows what you really want.
Agrippina: Did you find love?
Me: I miss the ocean, the sounds of waves crashing along the coral reefs, the sound of seagulls, and the salinity of the coastal air. I prefer seeing it once in a while and missing it for the rest of my days. I miss the feeling of sand beneath my naked feet. I miss the sound of breaking waves. Shadows fading into black and lovers losing track. The bashful banter and couples walking along the beach hiding their cracks and feeling youthful because they never turned their backs on something beautiful.
Agrippina: At times I do not realize how mean I can be, but I will try to make things work for Travis’s sake. I run away when things are good and I have not yet understood why. I have broken Felix’s heart a lot of times, yet I’m caught up in a swelling storm. It takes control and it comes and goes in waves. It always does. My heart has faded into the floods. A feeling I thought was in stone, it slips through my fingers, through the wind, and when it all began with him when we were kids. I miss the memories of the stolen space I had. I do not want to be caught in silence. I do not want to become an echo in space.
Me: I hope you find the happiness you deserve. I’m still reeling from all of what you told me. I hope you do not fall apart and succumb to the raging turmoil within you.
Agrippina: I’m sure after this call we would fall back to our quiet queer ways. It is always quiet when I am going home, and I am on my own.
Me: You only call when the party is over. I wish you find the sanity you truly deserve. I have to go now, it is nearly 5 in the morning.
P.S: The book Boonies is available on sale on Amazon, purchase one copy today, and enjoy an awesome read. Whisper to another birdy about this wonderful space. Sharing is caring. Stay safe and sanitize yourself. Social distancing is of importance.