Survival by Esther Wanene

Sometimes you take a long morning jog, longer than the arm of the law, to clear your head, but then you meet a boy called Kaniaru who has been in the streets for three nights since his mother woke up and just left. Vanished into thin air like our tax money.  Kaniaru asks you if you have seen his mother, in long blue dress and a PCEA women council head band and it crushes your heart like soft toffee. You end up terminating your morning jog with a heart heavier than the sins of hell.

Other times you buy a shoe, a classy Kardashian heel that you have been salivating over since forever and you put it on two days, now it has a sagging ass like a sinking ferry in your closet. You will never put it on ever again. Sometimes, you think to yourself that you have been eating shitty food for a week, so tonight you decide to go natural, boil some Nduma, make some Ethiopian brown rice and add a good old avocado. You put the Nduma to cook and because they take time you place your head on the couch. These are the times you fall asleep like a baby and you wake up to a smoking house and brown Ndumas like Satan roasting our politicians in eternal fire. These days you sleep hungry.

At times, you get into a relationship with a tall dark and handsome young man, who charming prince in the streets and a mind stopper in the sheets, then at the culmination of the relationship it is you seated on the same couch, with eyes, red as crimson sobbing of a love that happened but left too much a scar than you would like to speak of. 

Sometimes, most times, all times, shit does not work out. Ladies, Gentlemen, Esther Wanene.



He was nothing like the rest

There was a mystery about him that I longed to unravel

A man who’s face was stone

But deep down a fragile heart surrounded by walls he had chosen to build up.

He loved me, no, not with his heart but with an iron fist.

My masochist self would always want to run, but not leave.

The frustration, the fights…our polluted love seemed to oddly satisfy me

Maybe I stayed because I couldn’t entertain the thought of being alone.

He was a hurricane made of form and habit,

a narcissistic demon in whom I searched for the angel within until the last minute.

I proved my love for him time and time again while

He just stood there claiming love, offering nothing more than his clouded mind, a pocket full of lies and a heart unable to receive love.

I tried to breakdown the walls he built up, but he continued building them up.

With all my effort I seemed to have been feeding his ego day in day out

because he spent his days “reflecting” between a pair of thirsty thighs and claiming to be the ruler of the vaginal kingdoms of many

I stood in the sidewalks carrying all the hurt praying that he’d prove love, profess his fucking adoration.

My heart grew callous from all the maltreatment and months after my departure,

I lay on my bed tonight surrounded by a whirlwind of peace,

as I realize I didn’t need him to survive after all.

© Esther Wanene

Feature photo by Mukiri Gitiri

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