The wet paper shook in my hand. The wind passed over it, and it coiled awkwardly before I straightened it with both hands. The writing was slanting. Purely feminine. Very crafty and beautiful to look at. She had trained her hands before she ever knew how to read, I deduced. The words were heavy, well thought and deep. If I paraphrased them I’d do injustice, the same injustice that has been condemned in her thoughts. It is here, just as it was written.
Thoughts of a woman.
I’m sad. My heart’s in turmoil. My mind nowadays just drifts! It drifts away in sadness. Oh poor soul of mine, I’m in so much pain I wish I could just sing it away. I cannot sing though I can do best what has been in me for so long, only pain has told me what my mind can think about, and what my hands can write. I am now friendless. The world has so much contracted, like a small globe for sale in a hawker’s arm. Now it is empty. It is a small, empty world when friends desert you.
Women, ah! Such spiteful creatures! I once read in a book, that women are enemies of each other! Now my experience has proven it to be firm and true. They smile at you, laugh with you and sit with you, as you gossip all day long, all week long about all sorts of things. When they leave your presence, their purpose is to sabotage you, from every corner. From every side that God has left exposed in you, so that you could get fresh air and grow. Instead, the fresh air is being spiked by slow poisonous gases that cripple and destroy from all sides.
Women will be women, ah now I have given up with them. A man came to look for my hand in marriage. AT first I thought it was a joke. Marriage? Me? Can it be possible? The rumor was confirmed by my father. He said a young man approached him. He said his name. I couldn’t recognize it from anywhere. Hadn’t heard it before. Father said I must get married to him. To him it was a big deal, a very big deal. There was excitement in his eyes, urgency in his ways. He spoke quickly and rapidly, said he was from a noble family. They ranked high up in the country, guess they dined with the first families, and mingled with them on an occasional basis. How he settled for me is a mystery I couldn’t fathom.
He had said he was very interested in me. Said my eyes were the most pleasurable things to look at. Said no woman possessed eyes like mine. He told me he had been awestruck by my body, it roused him in every turn he made in his bed at night. I blush of course at men’s trifles, can a woman help it? I however was displeased at him. Saying he is ugly is an insult to God, saying he was not the man of my dreams is a displeasure to myself, for I was more obedient to my father, rather than to me. I obeyed. Yes a man has come! Hail God, the master of relations. I was daddy’s little girl, and daddy says the boy’s noble and that I should stay in line.
His bodily inconsistencies were covered up by their wealth. Fine suits, expensive dinners, finely tailored ties and polished shoes. He is the kind of man who took me to the most fanciful hotels, just to please me. He proposed a trip to Italy, just he and I alone, where we’ll watch the world from the leaning tower of Pisa. I said no. I wasn’t his wife, for starters and secondly I had exams to think about. He said I shouldn’t worry about exams, that I should never worry about anything in life. Money is there. He never works. His father and their whole family are so rich; they couldn’t work for two generations and still be rich. I still refused. And then onwards he changed. His attitude changed, he became angry and touchy. His boyish attitude began to manifest itself and I would see him with different girls every day. He would say they were his friends. And in one of our dates where I had decided to talk to him alone and clear the air over many things, guess what who I saw sitting with him over the table? Farida. The very best friend I have trusted over the years. Maybe he brought her since we get along better, perhaps or maybe to diffuse the tension between us. I thought. I was wrong. They had their own errands to run. It was an ultimatum I met. He said to make me feel comfortable, Farida, my best friend would accompany us. I was furious. Why bring Farida in all this I asked. Are we three in the relationship?
He ranted. Shouted. It was embarrassing. He looked like a mad man. The people at the hotel were so frightened as he screamed, called me all sorts of names. I walked away. My heart in sorrow. I cried as the glass door trapped me and I had to be helped out by a guard. I went home with a heavy heart. The following morning farida was posting from the Tower of Pissa as his hands coiled her from behind her back and over her belly. They looked happy. I was disgusted.
It passed. I forgot. Two weeks later he was back in Kenya. A barrage of messages has disrupted my life. I’m sorry he said, it was just to make you jealous he said. I’m surprised you are not jealous, babe, he writes. Don’t you love me? He wrote. I never replied. I deleted his number. Next he comes over to my father and over a cup of tea announces an engagement proposition. My father, unaware of all this agrees, blindly. I tell him everything, says dear, men sometimes need a woman who’ll agree to whatever they want. You shouldn’t have refused in the first place. I cause a massive fracas, I scream. People now think I am possessed, they say the evil-eye has stricken me. God who’s the psycho here? No one believes me.
The engagement thing, I made sure it was stalled. I played sick. I didn’t want him. Never. Let him own the world, I still won’t want him. Let all the mountains be his gold banks, I still won’t want him. He is a liar, a pathological one. Very fraudulent and an opportunist, a control freak, a psycho, emotionally unstable and worse a cheater! He cheated with my best friend! She opened up her legs for him, and now he dreams of mine. Now I am sick, I have a brain trauma. Someone’s evil eye is preventing the engagement. I even told them certain things crawl under my skin, and I feel like my body is not mine anymore. A lie has been strengthened, by my initiatives. It has been a week since I applied make-up. God I feel so light, not even an eye-liner bothers me now.
At home I’m not free. I feel I have antagonized everyone against me. Mother won’t talk to me, she says am not her daughter. My appetite has deteriorated. Farida has wooed the other friend of mine on her side. I regret why I let a poisonous tree grow in our home the first day……………..
When I finished reading it, I scaled the nearby air as I thought of how to respond to everything. It wasn’t my burden by I felt as if something heavy weighed in my heart. And the first thought wasn’t, ‘we’ll deal with him’ He’ll know who we are, we’ll expose who he is, or everything will be clear with time.
I sighed and said.
“That boy is a cow.”
I am glad she laughed at this.