I’m scared of the inevitable. I’ve been here before. At the beginning of the end. I’ve grown up a little bit. I know better than to dread the inevitable. Life has made me taste honey, but it has also made me taste ‘shubiri’. I’ve gone through lots of emotions. Mostly sad ones. I’ve been alone most of those times. But in the middle of the deserts, roses have appeared in the form of friendships.
I don’t think I was born with a strong instinct to protect and adore friendships as much as I do. It was born out of being all too familiar with black lonely holes that never end. Out of losing everyone who I cared about when I just thought we were getting permanent. I’ve built walls that not even God got inside. I know too well the feeling of being alone in a crowd. The concept of friendship to me has been borne out of hardship, struggles and pain.
But life is never that hard. Once in a while, at least everywhere I go, I find that one person or people who I can call friends. The ones I laugh so hard with till my ribs ache. The ones we complain about life to each other. The ones we go for lunch together. The ones you tease knowing they won’t take offense. There are others you don’t talk to each day but you know that they are there. There are friends that last for a season. Others stay forever. But those are very rare. Rarer than diamonds.
But just before I get comfortable in life not being that hard, it reminds me, that its never fair. Never ever. And at the end of every season, one thing always happens. The loss of friends. And up to now, that is one thing that I’m not used to despite it being a must.
And the worst part of the end, is the beginning of the end.
Its like the friendships get wind of the new wind(no pun intended) that is soon blowing over. And they do everything to prevent it. The texts increase. You are all, all of a sudden are concerned about each others life. About the future plans. The meet ups increase. In high school the sticky notes were exchanged at a higher frequency than ever before. In campus, fun activities are arranged together. Its like the end inspires a deeper connection with people.
I’m not saying they are not genuine. But they are the kicks of a dying horse. Strong kicks. And I don’t think I’m being cynical. Its just the way life is. Sincerely speaking, how many friends did you carry from primary school? And we are not talking about the Watsapp group you later formed as adults. How many did you carry from high school? How many from a higher instution of learning? See, it always happens.
I’m always happy to finish a section of the 8-4-4. Excited to be alive. Over-excited that I made it in that specific section. I know its a kawaida thing for million of Kenyans and billions of the world population to finish school. Doesn’t take away the emotions involved either way.
And so as I do away with the 8-4-4, one thing I celebrate are the friendships I gained in the process. But more importantly are the ones who existed for the season. The ones you don’t remember every day of your life. I don’t know whether to mourn them or to celebrate them. But I do know that they have played a really big part in making my academic life the way it was. I know I wouldn’t be this proud of this 16yr old journey without them.
And so this goes to the boy in class two who also used to steal big-g from their shop as I used to do. I won’t forget how those pink things were really sweet when eaten in the middle of a lesson. Or the Swahili girls in class one who used to carry brown snacks that had a strong lovely smell.
This farewell is to the first girl I met on my first day of boarding school. She doesn’t know the difference she made with the words, ” I also don’t know English as much”. I sincerely don’t know where I was being taken with new clothes, books and shopping. But I was told that wherever I was being taken, the students there spoke English. And I didn’t know English. May some little girl also comfort your little girl in the future as a blessing from me.
This goes to the first best friends I saw in class six. I had never heard that word used before on real human beings. I thought people were just friends. Until two of my friends declared that they were now best friends. And I was envious. I observed them to know what this whole best friend thingie meant. Maybe if they had known they were being observed they wouldn’t have broken up that fast. Maybe.
This toast goes to the boy I met in class seven who exposed me to the world of street kids. I don’t remember much but he really used to make me laugh. A lot.
Or to the form four girls who listened to my first pitch in life in form one. Needless to say, my ideas were never implemented, I didn’t follow up on them.
To the form three poet whose poem we recited to the provincial level. To the poet club leader who with her shrill voice led us to sing some corrupted version of a very sexy song every time we needed some steam. The two might not remember but the longest and deepest and most memorable laughter in high school was with them. And now every time I see a billboard with a man in boxers, I laugh.
To my high school classmates. We made quite a team. To the extent that I have nothing to single out of those four years. Or rather, I don’t want to disturb my memories of vians.
To the first campus guy that I gave my attention to. And my phone accidentally recorded the over one hour conversation. It was the first time I heard my voice recorded and it sounded different. I kept on listening to that record to hear myself. And wondered if my already base voice could just sound deeper and sexier when recorded.
To the first clique I’ve ever been part of. It was the first time I was exposed to real girl drama full of emotions and feelings. And fake friendships. And stable friends on unshaky ground. I don’t know whether we have a future, but for those four years, you played a big role in my growth.
I don’t know whether its for the better that we lose friends. But I know that it doesn’t feel any nice. If I had a choice, I would carry along all friends into my next step of life. By now I would be having a crowd instead of the few close friends. Regardless of the reason, this is the worst part of finishing anything.
And now I’m just dreading the loss that is about to come. The ones that will stay, stay. The others( who I’ve been talking about), fade away in different ways. Some, you talk too much after the separation, and slowly by slowly the calls and text dwindle. Others just disappear off the surface of the earth from the last day you see them. You never hear of them or see them and even on the internet they don’t seem to have passed by there in the first place.
This farewell goes to the friendships that lasted only for a season. Your names may not make it to my graduation speech, but there might not have been a graduation without your input into my life. May life be kind to you wherever you went and will go. To all people I’ve been a friend for a season, hope I made it worthwhile.
Fare thee well.