A ring. A girl. A smile. Flowers. Bent knee. Marry me.
This is a story of a girl I once met several years ago in a tiny classroom full of children eager to learn. She had skin as dark as the Black Panther, plump lips and a perfect set of pearly white teeth. Her bosom was full. In case you did not notice, she would make sure you do by walking with her chest up high, arching her back.
When I first met her, I did not like her. She was loud, mean and had a bellowing voice that could wake Lazarus from the tomb. She was a bully (still denies to this date) and would constantly tease me for being skinny.
We never hit it off and after the last day of Class 8, we went our separate ways. Teenhood, boys, puberty and heartbreaks later as fate would have it, we were reunited at Moi University. I remember seeing her at the registration desk on campus and my jaw almost dropped in disbelief.
Our first expression when we saw each other was “You?? What are you doing here?” As if neither of us deserved to be there. I am not sure if we hugged or shook hands but we both faked smiles. In a new environment it was comforting to meet a familiar face but why her.
As we both continued to fake excitement to see each other, I asked her which course she is enrolling for and told me proudly with an annoying grin “Community Development”! I must have rolled my eyes because I could not imagine how a bully could end up engaged (pun intended) with anyone let alone a whole community.
Out of a possible 15,000 students with over 20 halls of residence and off campus residence, we were assigned same hostel, same floor, 5 doors away from each other. I felt my life was ruined. So now I’ll be sharing a bathroom with her and she would continue making fun of me for being skinny.
Allow me to digress. Isn’t it strange how it is ‘acceptable’ to be mocked for being skinny but if the same is applied to our well-fed fellas it suddenly becomes a ‘body-shaming’ shenanigan. Society dictates ‘an African woman should be well rounded with curves’. Bish please give us a break. To each his own.
During the first semester Alphine and I were the most naive freshmen on campus. We followed all rules to the latter and believed we might get expelled if we broke any rule on the Moi University constitution. One of the rules was that cooking in the halls of residence was prohibited. Her and I being the law abiding comrades, we did not buy any cookers and opted to be eating at the school’s mess aka cafeteria. (Lakini mbona tulikuwa washamba hivi). Cc Lorrine Waithera, Aggie Mwai.
After a few weeks of adjusting to campus life, Lorrine and Aggie blossomed to an advanced level of cooking for themselves and abandoned us in this mess (again, pun intended). Alphine and I were forced to hang out and become each others company over 3 meals a day for a whole semester. This was the turning point in our lives. I started falling in love with her personality. During our meals together I noticed we shared so many values. I mean what more could you expect from two people who came to campus following every rule of the book. I realized this girl loved rice more than life itself. Had an appetite for an army and for some reason I liked her authencity. She had a wicked sense of humour and she officially became my best friend in the whole wide world. (Puppy eyes).
Fast forward several years later, she remains the K in my life. I’ll skip the clichés of we’ve been through a lot but frankly we have. Alphine is the sister I never had. We have fought twice in our relationship and it was because of food – eggs to be specific. While I like my sunny side up raw eggs, she prefers the overcooked almost burnt crispy eggs. Food brought us together and almost separated us.
Today 16th February 2019, my best friend is getting engaged. If a few years ago someone told both of us that on this day in the midst of family and friends, Alphine will meet a man who would want her for the rest of her life, we would have laughed our bellies off. By the time this post goes up, the love of her life would have put a ring on it. She does not know this is going to happen and my heart is so full right now.
A short letter to my best friend:
Love is a choice. Several years ago you chose to love and to be loved. You and your husband to be made a vow to commit to each other and today, today, he will bend on one knee and ask you to be his for eternity. From today, your life is going to change forever. You will not look at life with the same lens anymore. I have seen and felt the overflowing love in this relationship. I have seen how a woman ought to be respected and taken care of. Darling, I always told you, this is the one He kept for you. Take care of your love. Protect your relationship and marriage. Thank you for keeping your promise to live a happy life. I love you best friend and wish you the best engagement party ever! Let this be the beginning of a life full of God’s blessings.
And to my in-law, tunakupenda sana but just incase she loses even a strand of hair, know that we are coming for you. Hapa hapana cheza.
To be continued in the next blog post. Watch out for part two of how the proposal went down.
Lots of love.