Here I am hiding by the wall, at that corner where I can see my schoolmates passing by at slow paces. It’s home time and today I was the first to run out of class. I’m almost home, but before I can creep to our crooked boma that is surrounded by a kei apple fence, through our rusted mabati gate, the other children already catch up and hell no, I cannot let them see me getting into a shameful homestead such as this, so I hide.
It’s 5:00 pm already, I’m still hiding. When will I get home? I’ll obviously get that kawaida beating I always receive from my mum.
“Hey you!” I hear a loud and mischievous voice that scares my nerves calling. It’s Brayo, my crush. My eyes are popping, but I immediately gaze at my torn shoes, with my feet drawing the famous African map. Oh my! One of my socks is saggy.
“Tebu kiangalie,” he says and the rest of the children burst out laughing. Ouch! That hurts. Even Julia, Brayo’s girlfriend is here, throwing tantrums. I can’t help but notice how beautiful she she is, she has a stunning figure. Unlike me, my schoolmates and neighbors call me, macho kubwa, sura mbaya, kijiti, because I’m so thin and pale.
I’m so ugly, I think to myself. I hate me, look, I’m so poor. As they walk away with mockery in their words, I remain rooted to the ground, to ensure that everyone is out of sight so I can finally creep to our boma. I can’t afford to let them see how poor we are. Today I happened to hear my class teacher complaining of how poor my performance has gotten. What could be the problem? Is it a generic malfunction? I really hate myself.
My mind wanders off to Brayo. Whenever I look at him, Julia wades me off, compe ni stiff, God! If only my eyes were smaller, my face prettier, my body a little more built. I’m doomed.
I’m astounded to see its already dark, and all the children are out of sight. I run home quickly, and push the rusty mabati that almost cuts my finger. Today mum is going to dislocate my jaws. Either way, I’ll still have to chew that hard githeri that comes along for supper daily.
Luckily for me when I peep through the curtain, it’s only my dad who’s at home, drunk and snoring. My mum must have left for the women’s chama that she participates in. It’s Friday, Phew! My dad snorts, interrupting my thoughts and I find myself complaining, “seriously dad?? At this time?aaaarrrggggh.!” I stroll over to the only stool that’s seated at the corner of the dark room that we call our living room. Kina Julia’s sofas cloud my mind. So classy, so posh.
Again I start questioning, “why are we so poor?, why am I so ugly, why am I so wierd?”
I’m not so sure if there are any answers to my questions, and who am I asking anyway?
In this dark room,
With only dark thoughts,
With my dark self,
And my dark personality,
Thinking of a dark future.
I’m affected, my self esteem is affected.
Ten years later, I’m holding a pen, writing my story. You might be wondering what happened within the years, did we get richer? Did we renovate our crooked boma? Did my eyes get smaller? Did I become voluptuous? Did I own my own? Thing is, Nilijikubali. My situations and my appearances might not have changed, but nilijikubali.
All along its been #kujikubali.