It Must Have Been Love-Part 2

A 2  part short story on Love.

A young Kenyan musician fights for the love of his life against cultural prejudice.

Part 2

On the weekend of the February 18th, four days after Valentines, to avoid being such a cliché, I decided to do something special for Benny. I was going to make the most of her afternoon window of freedom. I invited her home because the band had travelled out of town to Kitale for a wedding that I didn’t feel like being part of. I had no ulterior motives but she deserved a treat. I kept it simple. I prepared a mean chicken curry and vegetable rice, a green salad, got a decent bottle of sweet wine even though she did not drink and some Gelato ice cream.

I lived in a two bedroom apartment in Golden Elite estate. A series of apartment blocks where house maids chaperoned children following them around with bowls of food and gossiping with the watchmen in the parking lots below. My house was on the second floor and I had a small balcony that I had turned into a green space, stacked with small potted plants, mostly succulents because they did not need frequent watering. Benny had more to say about my green corner than the ice-cream.  It was a pleasant surprise. The last ‘blonde’ I brought home complained about my plants attracting mosquitoes.

It Must Have Been Love- Part 1

A 2  part short story on Love.

A young Kenyan musician fights for the love of his life against cultural prejudice.

Part 1

“Life’s just a bunch of accidents, connected by one perfect end.”
―Daniel Tomas

I turned 30 on October 10th filled with anxieties of what little I had achieved in my 20s. How uncertain the future looked. I was a musician, not particularly gifted, not exactly hardworking, hardly someone you would associate with success.  My only redeeming quality was the loyalty I had cultivated as a competent member of the So-n-So band that I formed with 3 friends while in university.

I was a freelance graphic designer and computer programmer during the day (mostly nights) and I played the drums as the fourth act in a small struggling Afro-jazz band. I walked in the shadows of my creative self, deliberately shying away from the attention I so desperately craved while I spent restless nights anticipating our big break.

One week after my uneventful birthday, I fell in love, with the wrong woman.

Of Friendships Lost And Found

“You have not changed”.

That is how long forgotten school mates start conversations. The phrase is supposed to be a compliment. It means one has retained the same appearance despite the poor eating habits, lack of exercise and an assortment of adapted poisons that became part of the staple diet with the loss of innocence. To retain the same appearance after three decades can only be a good thing. The effects of parenting and middle age can take a toll on one’s looks, I kid you not.

I had recently reconnected with a friend online, who I had not seen nor heard from in almost 30 years.

Kennedy Obiero, JaDunga is a guy I went to primary school with in Kisumu at M.M.Shah where I did my final two years of primary school. M.M.Shah was part of a small cluster of Indian founded schools that included Arya, Bhayani, Aga Khan and Xavier (which had Goan roots). My parents believed that if you wanted to pass exams, you went to an Indian manned school because they were unrivaled in mathematics.

I had lost connection with the school’s alumni, save for a small clique of about 5 friends that I remained in contact with since the late 80s.