Whenever i think of my last day (Read:The Eulogy), I picture a fancy send off with a big eulogy, an enormous legacy and luxurious empire. I assume I will have completed everything I have always wanted to do in this earth. I see myself having gone to Las Vegas at their luxurious casinos with my turn up crew (Francis you there?). I see myself having gone to Jamaica to smoke legal port, I do not foresee being sad at all, No! Sadness is not part of my future. Well, Not until this…
Ladies and gentlemen again on dennispetersblog, Evans Wambugu.
Based on a true life story. Now I shut up, Enjoy.
WHAT WOULD YOU DO ON YOUR LAST DAY?
Freshman Year.First Semester.June 2011.
It had been a month in this spacious apartment. I was staying alone at that time. But I didn’t spend most of the nights in it. I had just a bed,a few personal effects,a few utensils and a crappy stove that emitted The Vatican Smoke.
I used to crash at Vivian’s place. She knew I hated doing house chores and cooking.So every Saturday Morning at 9 am,we would leave her house in Ruringu and come to Mathari to tidy up my place. She would clean my house,the utensils and i would do my laundry. Then she would prepare breakfast using my stove.The same stove i claimed it emitted Vatican Smoke. I never understood what magic she did with it,but she cooked both breakfast and lunch with it. She was a pretty good cook.
Mbona unasema hii stove yako haipiki vizuri?
Haha!I guess ni mimi sijui kuitumia .
At one time, I wanted to dispose it. But she intervened. After the clothes were dry and the house was all neat, I would fold my clothes and we would go back to her house.
A week later, I furnished my house. Brought in a Television set, a cabinet, a couch, a table and a plastic chair. But that still didn’t make me stay at my house.
I would only stay for a night. On the days i had CATs. The rest of the days,i slept at Vivian’s.
I had met her on my way back to Nyeri from Nairobi. She was sitting next to me. And she helped me carry a squirrel cage motor i had bought in Nairobi. I was flummoxed at first because, it was a rare gesture for a lady of her calibre to help me out with carrying such a load. She was a few months older than me.She was working as a receptionist in one of the new colleges in town.
As we alighted the matatu and parted ways, she gave me her contact. We started conversing via Chats. The rest is history. Despite her family living a few blocks from where I stayed, she preferred to stay in her own place, pay her own bills. But she occasionally visited her home. Her mum was a banker in town and her dad owned a hardware in town.Her mother occasionally bought us lunch at Raybelles.
On Sundays, we would attend the first mass at Nyeri Cathedral, then we would go back to her place for lunch, then to my place. On Sunday evenings,we used to go the antiquated Italian Catholic Church grounds at Caritas, Mathari. The compound is very elegant.Beautiful flowers of various kinds,tall trees,green short grass. The place is very quiet and serene. The tranquility is suitable for meditation.
Vivian and i would go there and sit on the slabs. We would read through the names of the deceased italian clergymen(missionaries) who had started the church. The names are engraved on a plaque.
We would the find some quiet spot on the shades under the trees. We would talk, share and laugh till around 7pm when we would board a matatu back to her house.
The trend continued for weeks. I think the fact that she was my first companion made it matter the most. It didn’t matter that she did more for me than i did for her. She understood that i was a Freshman. Most times she would offer to pay my transport to Campus. In the morning, she would see me off up to Classique, before she went back to prepare to go to work.
On the days, I played truancy, I would be left at her place. Sleeping on her couch. I would do everything on those days myself. She would only come to take her meal,freshen up then have her bed rest.
One Sunday Afternoon, when we were at Caritas Grounds she asked me an unusual question. It was a rather cool afternoon. The weather was calm. Little sunshine. In the shades,it was all becalm. We had brought some yoghurt. She was a sucker for yoghurt. Most times we met in town, instead of going to a food joint, we would sneak into a milk bar and down a couple of yoghurt glasses and pass by Samrat to take home some more.I occasionally joked to her that she should open her own milk bar. Her addiction for yoghurt was unrivaled.
She asked me what I would do on my last day. I laughed it off thinking she was up to her usual mind games. I tickled her and she seemed benumbed.
Okay. I would just communicate to all my loved ones and tell them that i appreciated what they do for me.
Then the conversation diverted to our usual chit-chats. Her work, my studies. Our family lives. The politics. Our social lives. That evening, for the first time, she insisted that she will go back alone. So I stayed back at my house. So after she prepared tea for me, I saw her off to the stage.
By the way,i have never seen this transformer.
I chuckled. I never fathomed that those were to be her last words to me. And that would be the last time i would see her alive.
Some minutes past midnight, i saw her text message.
I appreciate everything you have done for me.Thank you.
And everything now started to make sense.The following day, I had a Physics 1 practical which I consequently missed. Of course I would later fail Physics 1 because missing a practical in Engineering Units automatically earned you an incomplete course. My course instructor, despite me having aced my CATs and Final Paper confirmed that my missing mark in the practical had made fail the whole unit.
So, very early in the morning, I rushed off to her place. It was locked up. But I had her spare key. I got in and there was no one. Her belongings weren’t there either. I asked some of her neighbors whether any of them knew of her whereabouts. One of them, a young lady confirmed that an ambulance was there a few minutes past 5 am.
I began to panic. I called her parents. They were not picking. I went to her workplace. None of her colleagues seemed to be aware of her whereabouts. I went to their home, only for the worst to be confirmed. We had lost her. She had succumbed to a heart attack while being rushed to hospital.
I later gathered from some of her relatives that she had the complications from an early age. What seemed to surprise me was that she never mentioned it to me all the while we were together.
The weeks following, i missed classes. I stopped attending lectures. I never showed up for group discussions. Things spiraled downwards for me. I rarely made appearances in Campus.
I skipped her funeral. By then, i was 19. She was short. Had chocolate-brown complexion. She was very brilliant. She had just been admitted to Kenyatta University to pursue a B.Sc. Computer Science Degree. She had also started taking Accounting Classes. She was a phenomenal lady. Down-to-earth. Very charming. Very friendly. She used to laugh a lot. She was quite exceptional. She was uniquely adorable. She was one of those few people everyone likes. She had a sweet voice. She loved to braid her hair. She loved casual wear. Jeans. Skirts and dresses weren’t her thing. Light make up complimented her looks. She was very talkative and jovial. Very principled and precise and loyal. She hated arguments. Whenever she got irked, she would just sleep and she would cool off. She was bold and daring and beautiful. She belonged to the realm of angels. She was everyone’s favorite. At some point I used to be highly insecure about being with her. The attention she attracted was a lot. Almost every guy wanted her, which is one of the reasons why i moved to her place.
She used to write poems. She was quite good in languages. If anything she introduced me to poetry. Back then, I was majorly fascinated by Swahili. So I would write shairis for her. And I picked up in poetry well. She was very fluent. Her mother tongue was horrible though. So we majorly conversed in English, Swahili or Shen’g.
And it occurred to me, that in all the after years, I have pursued ladies, I have always tried to replace her. Always looking for someone with similar qualities to hers. Always trying to bring her back to life, through someone like her.
And a few weeks ago, as I watched Suits Season 5, Harvey Specter said:
As far as i am concerned,two adults who care about each other,never move on.
We cared about each other, which could best explain why i have never moved on after her demise. The grief overwhelmed me. It swept me over.
When i look back, I realize that even with the 5 stages of grief, there is no moving on from some things. The fact that i have never moved to a different place. I needed to keep seeing the transformer to remember her final words. The fact that i pursue ladies of a similar standing. The fact that my favorite colors, blue and green are the color of the top and the pants she was wearing the last time I saw her that evening. The fact that i changed from a gregarious chap in my former years to a laid-back one. The fact that I only got to put on glasses much much later. She had reading glasses that she used at work. I only put mine when my eye condition worsened somewhere in my third year in Campus.
It is always with nostalgia, that a feeling of deja-vu keeps creeping up. And i keep asking;
What would you do on your last day?
Well, I would still tell the people I care about that I appreciate what they do in life.
What would you do on your last day?
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Photo by Trica Ciku (View on Instagram)