Once upon a time in Mtwapa – The Faint Pen Ke
The streets of Mtwapa carry all sorts of stories. Perhaps, tonight I will have a story to tell the world before morning.
As we moved from one street to another, I needed to take some time and learn what it meant to live and love in Mtwapa. Hadijah moved swiftly to welcome our presence, ready to serve us. She was cheerful, full of love, and perhaps enjoying her job. She was dressed in white shorts, and her petite body was well curved, which left men smiling wickedly. Being a Friday, the place was packed to capacity. I secured a table at the far end, which gave us a clear view of the entire club. Together with my boys, we took time to see how things were being done from this other end of the country. A lot had been said concerning Mtwapa; tonight was the night I had to filter rumors and reality.
One thing about the people from the Coast region, they are the type with a larger than life attitude. Hadijah was more of a free spirit. A lover of life, to her, you only live one life, and that once is enough. “Are you visiting Mtwapa for the first time?” Yeah sure. Kim tried faking the Coast accent, which left everyone laughing.
Hadijah was a waitress at Kendas, and she offered to buy us drinks only if we were willing to participate in a dance battle. With or without the drinks, we made it right before we left for Mtwapa, that we wanted to loosen up and have some little fun. Being the shy one, I had to bring the trophy home for my people. Books, poetry, music, and dance have been some of my best companions behind closed doors. I had to go back and bring the moves to win the battle. As such, there is this one hit song that had been receiving massive airplay in all entertainment joints. Boasty, need I say what happened after that? The night was still young, and I took time to watch and let it sink, that at some point in life if you keep grinding hard on principles and being hard on life, it never gets better. We already had made a new friend, when she brought the topic of love on the table. Men tend not to talk about love or heartbreak, but deep down, they long for someone to confine in and cough the heartaches they try to drink away.
Hadijah had this angelic voice that could calm demons. Even Marto, known for his toxic masculinity, was reserved and ready to listen from our storyteller Hadijah. One thing about our new friend, her presence was so raw and destructive. “Love is a beautiful thing, and if you are yet to find love, the day it will hit you, you will remember me.” If I had to define love from my end, we had two different experiences. Her voice had this beautiful pattern that sparks moments of bliss, and her words were witty.
“It all started the night we were out for my birthday when the proposal came, which was a big surprise to me. I cried. I screamed. I never imagined this will ever happen in my life. All I ever wanted was to spend the rest of my life with the one I loved. It was a night that changed the rest of my life. For the time we dated, we had plenty of fun, fought for love, took some big dares. Whatever is done in love, is always perfectly done. We left for Dubai after my birthday.
For the entire week, it was like a dream to me. No phones, no friends, we were in a new world, everyone was a stranger to us. We had the best time of our lives. We had less to lose. And nothing was ready to stop us from turning the next chapter of our lives.” You ever listen to someone’s love story, and you look yourself in the mirror and ask what happened to some of us—suckers of pain. Perhaps love is more resonant than the “I love you” vibe. So fake!
“On our last day in Dubai, we had some crazy moments, we did the shopping and even; the plans for our wedding were already underway. It happened so fast, and I thought it was one of the fairytales we read and watched in movies. But here I was living the moment. From the airport, we took an Uber to our place. We had moved in together a few months ago after I had landed a new job in Mombasa as a sales manager. Although we were exhausted, the happiness tickling in me got me in my feelings. With the long nights that we stayed awake in the night, I was afraid of sleeping too much.
We took different rooms for this particular night. I wish that never had happened.” Hadijah took a deep breath. We all turned to sip our drinks. Her eyes were soaking with tears, I took her by her hands, and she composed herself.
“She was gone when morning came!” “She??” Exclaimed Marto, we were all surprised! Hadijah went ahead, “she died in her sleep. That’s what the doctors said. She was the one I was to spend the rest of my life with. I LOVED HER.” It dawned on me that…Yeah. The glass that was in my hands slipped and fell so hard on the ground. I had never seen my boys so emotional. I couldn’t tell if it was disappointment. But the facial expression was of all kinds.
Men cry too. Men get carried away. We didn’t know what to do or say, we all hugged Hadijah. And what are you doing in Mtwapa? I asked, “Starting Over,” her voice was getting weak. Hadijah was beautiful; perhaps the word beautiful was an insult to her. She was a breed of something made of black melanin, the true daughter of Mama Africa. “I hope you all find love.”
Once upon a time in Mtwapa – The Faint Pen Ke