September 4th, 2011
“His examination revealed that he had no fever, no pain anywhere, and that his only concrete feeling was an urgent desire to die. All that was needed was shrewd questioning…to conclude once again that the symptoms of love were the same as those of cholera.”
—Gabriel García Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera
The love of my eternity.
Today, you begin a new chapter of your life. I know you did what I asked of you and that you are reading this within the confines of your new room. I know you like it, I’d asked Jimmy to get you space in the most decent hostel in town. It may not be much, but it is all I can afford for now. I know not what the future holds. I can only dare to hope that things will get better.
I hope you do know that I am proud of you. You never gave up on your dream to go back to school and complete your schooling and with time you made it my dream also. You are smart, extremely intelligent and committed. You know not how to give up. I’ve watched you hustle two jobs to save up for your tuition fee. I’ve watched you deal pleasantly with Mrs. Karani who is nowhere near pleasant. I’ve watched you wake up with eye bugs and sore limbs but still put on a smile and push on the day. Watched you laugh and cry. And I realize now that I love you. You with your mood swings on those ugly days, sun burns from working under the scorching sun, short unruly hair, obsession with roasted potatoes and chili. And just when I think I can’t love you more… You surprise my heart.
You may be far away on the other side of the country. I know Nairobi is far from Mombasa but I will try as often as I can to visit you, my better half. However, thank you for the lovely memories you’ve left me with. I remember how you squint your eyes and unconsciously smack your lips when deep in thought…
How you ran around Uhuru gardens chasing butterflies like a little girl…
How you smile at Mrs. Mokaya from the old people’s home and do her hair for our weekly photo session…
You remember the first time we tried baking a cake and it turned out as hard as stone. He he
And when I read you a Danielle Steel over our first date in the park… You were so overwhelmed with happiness that I’d give anything to relive that moment.
I simply can’t forget the time when my dad was ailing with cancer. Your support, your concern. You stood by me when I didn’t even understand myself and you helped me cope when finally cancer took his life away. In his painful sunset days, you were the sole thing that gave me a reason to go on, to keep
I don’t have the sufficient vocabulary of a learned man to tell you how much I appreciate you and thank God for you.
It is not that I don’t trust you, I merely fear for my heart that is made of paper, looks tough but is easily crumpled and once crumpled has permanent creases. Take care of my heart for you have gone with it. I may not have the charming vocabulary of a lawyer, like Vincent or the intellect of a doctor like Dickens, or even the creativity and charm of a politician. I am just me. Plain and simple Felix Katana. The son of a primary school teacher and a primary school dropout. With no fancy cars, mansions, wealth, class and outward allure. But Cathy, please don’t forget about me when tomorrow comes.
I know how much you value your education and hence cannot tell you to stay back and simply be with me. We will need both our incomes to support a family in future if you say yes to my marriage proposal. Not just that, I want to see you happy, a happy nurse. And I can bet my life on this, that you’ll be the best nurse Mombasa has seen and a ‘beast’ to put it in Dan’s words.
Please don’t turn your back on me when tomorrow dawns on you with more luck and success.
When tomorrow you earn more money than I do from my tuktuk business..
When you learn how to eat with a fork and knife…
When you taste better food than the chapatis I cook…
When you tour other countries on an exchange program…
Because when tomorrow comes, I’ll still be waiting for you.
Waiting just as you left me.
In those khaki shorts you love that I wear every weekend.
Sitting under the mnazi tree behind your parents’ house helping your mum grind flour.
Don’t forget to write me a letter. My phone is still not repaired and I don’t know for how long it will be in this state. You also know how bad network is here.. Though unajua that for you I can brace the risk of falling off a tree for network’s sake.
“Whatever our souls are made out of, his and mine are the same…If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger.”
—Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights
Such Is the state of my heart.
Forever and always will be yours,
Katana Felix Mwadime.
Probably one of the most humorous people you’ll ever come across, 18yr old Gloria owns the blog www.bwarita.wordpress.com
Writing is the one activity she derives utmost pleasure from.