The world was big and the days were slow. Days slowly unfolded and matured into weeks then into months and eventually a long incomprehensible year. We were in a hurry but the world we lived in was not and it was like trying to walk hurriedly on a narrow pavement behind a group of a strolling bunch of idiots who do not seem to notice your haste.
We read books with curious tiny eyes. We had questions, lots of question therefore we quenched out thirst with knowledge. When the teacher said look right, then left and then right before crossing the road, we did exactly that. We never questioned the world because we knew the conventions of this world were made of steel. Our duty was to follow the law without questions and it never bothered us. The teacher knew and we did not. Google was yet to be invented and Facebook was a distance future. Life was easy without questions and we had it all planned out.
We wanted to be doctors, and if it came to be that we were not doctors, then we would be pilots and soar to the skies. We only had to options in our tiny little minds and we did not see the chance of failing to hit either of the two. There for we studied our language classes hard, doctors must know how to speak to their patients and pilots to their passengers alike. We did math like our lives depended on how well we did it and the alphabets in algebra and calculus never bothered us. We were on a mission to be the best we could be. Those that loved us celebrated when we beat the others like us in the final exams. They rewarded us with toys, tri-cycles and cakes. They also insisted that we needed to better next time, particularly in subjects we had abandoned like Social Studies and C.R.E.
When we slept, we wet our beds and created floods beneath our beds. We slept hard dreamed of our bright futures or our secret fears. When it was too bad, those that loved us welcomed us to their beds for the remaining part of the night. On good nights, we still made other floods in the new bed and fresh sheets. It never bothered us because we only knew that the moment it was dark, it was time to sleep and sleep hard. Sleeping was medicinal and no matter the condition we slept in, we woke up refreshed ready to stand tall, fight off our fears and overcome our challenges. And when we made our prayers, they were sincere and candid. We spoke to our able, mighty God with conviction and total dependence. We asked him to bless our food, our parents, out teachers and asked him to help us forgive our enemies.
When we thought of love or crushed on a cute classmate, it was honest love. We did not want anything in return but to be loved back with the same intensity. We made frank poetry and clung to other humans with faith and optimism. It was an honest world and there was no need to hold back what we had so we gave it on full amounts and expected nothing in return. It was a wonderful feeling of serenity. We wanted to meet people who we would make devout families with. Make babies pretty as their mothers and strong as their fathers. We longed for a ‘happily ever after’ scene and we celebrated moral values of those we considered our friends.
But look at us now, the days are fast and unfulfilling. We hardly notice the hours turn to days and the days to weeks then months, 2016 is over. We are still in a hurry but it appears as if we chasing after time and there is never enough time for anything.
We still read books but because we have no alternative. A degree is paramount in today’s world therefore we study. The difference is that we study a few weeks before a test because the curiosity is gone and it is replaced by unending desires and covetousness. We are unsettled because our friends are always doing better than us. We question the world and stress about our future. The law bothers us and we think we know better because we not only have Google but also Facebook too. Our lives are complicated and we cannot seem to get anything right.
We still want to be doctors and pilots but we are worn out and the yearning to get to the destination has the journey feeling like a yoke tied on our necks. We have doubts if we will ever fly because we cannot even drive. We are not sure if we will still be doctors or pilots because nothing is certain anymore. We hate the studying because it is all we have been doing since we became aware of our existence. Algebra is difficult and we constantly wonder why there are alphabets in math. We also deride what we learn because we are sure that the world does not lay a smile upon those who can solve algebra or calculus. We have new aspirations, to be happy and settled but most of all to have peace of mind.
Then when we sleep, it is at odd hours or fail to sleep all together. It seems our fears creep upon out existence whenever we close our eyes therefore we strive to keep them open. We are alone most nights and there is no one to speak to whenever we cannot sleep. So we keep whisky bottles in our cabinets and bed side tables to seep whenever we get too worried. We pray often but we doubt these prayers because we have learnt that the guy above is no always over-anxious to grant our requests. The night comes with absolute blackness, not only outside the window but also on our souls and it covers our entire existence and there is nothing we can do about it.
We still hope to love, but we have loved so many times and got an equivalent number of disappointments. We cry alone at night and hide a piece of cloth beneath our pillows to wipe of the anguish when the pain becomes too much and the melancholy starts to spill. We have learnt love is not easy and neither are people. We long to be loved the right way, we long to trust and more than anything, we pray that we do not have to go through the tough days alone. We are no longer certain we will have families and if we do, we are scared if we can live up to our parents standards. Besides everything, lies the naked fear of our children to be caught up in our strife and disappointments. Be it as it may, we applaud sexiness and disregard morals. Our love is sexually oriented and when it does not work we become wrecked likes pieces of cheap used crap.
Look at us now.
Feature Image by Mukiri Gitiri