He racked his brains, from the moment they met, where they had been to, people they met. Any clue that he thought would be able to solve this puzzle. His brain lit up like a light bulb when he remembered the one place she had whimsically mentioned a couple of times. He had a good feeling about this one. He imaginarily high fived himself for his eidetic memory.
Quickly he picked his jacket, cell phone, wallet and left the house. He didn’t want to drive because he was not in the right state of mind. Ran to the nearest stage, got into a matatu and left for town. The lively matatu culture around him felt surreal. People boarding the matatu, others alighting, the makanga shouting, the driver blasting latest obscene Kenyan songs, all to him felt illusory. The makanga had to tap him twice when he was asked for fare and thrice to let him know he had reached CBD.
He was in his own world. As he boarded a shuttle heading to Thika, he realized that chances of her being there are subjacent. But a gnawing feeling that he might see her there was too immense. The closer and closer he got to the town, the more he catechized himself on her disappearance, him seeking her out and whether he should let her go. Then he recalled how she made him feel, her sarcasm, laughter, terrible jokes…her entire quirks and quiddities made him realize to breathe and live. She brought him a peripheral range of understanding of the world, her and himself that he hadn’t unearthed despite having a brain power than most. Yet in a transitory second he knew whatever the reason she had for abandoning the ship, was valid and him seeking her out would not make much difference. But his ache to see her, even it was one last time, won this battle.
He didn’t know the place, so he got into a cab and asked the driver if he knew the area. Luckily for him, he did. He was torn whether to go empty handed or not. Heck, he didn’t know how to act when he sees her. “It is what it is” he mumbled as the driver sped on.
The the weather was cloudy, cold and grey as if prepping him for bad news. When they got there, the gate-man didn’t allow the cab to go in. He paid, got out and asked the gate-man if he knew where Layla lives.
“Layla mgani? Hapa kwa hii estate watu ni wengi my friend”
Blank stare from the gate-man.
“Ummm….babake alikua mkubwa pale Delmonte?”
“Ah! Si ungesema tu Amin wa Delo! Nyinyi vijana mnakuanga na maneno mingi hehehe. Hata ameingia tu saa hii kutoka sokoni. Nipe ID yako na uandike majina na numba ya simu kwa hii kitabu”
Relief with a tinge of anxiety kicked in as he wrote on. He was given instructions where Layla’s house was located. Like a man on a mission, he stepped forward and fast. He was in a high pitch fervor to see her. As he opened the gate to Layla’s house, he realized he was sweating. A quick wipe of his brows and a pat on his shirt and pants, he wished he had adorned an antiperspirant.
“She likes my smell anyway, hope that hasn’t changed.” he chuckled as he knocked on her door.
He knocked twice. No footsteps, no sound coming from inside the house. Hit harder, no answer. He twisted the door handle, and the door nudged open. He hesitated to wonder whether he should go in or not. As he stepped in, she appeared at the end of the hallway. His feet froze as her hands thawed and she let go of the cup in her hand, breaking into smithereens on her feet.
Via Nay Nay