The mornings were continually too frosty for my predilection. With Mt Kenya just but a stone throw away, I didn’t expect to be greeted by gasps of warmth every morning but the life then was cold in every aspect of the expression. Waking up was characterized by cluttering teeth, hard, stone cold skin, 899 sweaters but hey still couldn’t keep the warmth inside. There seemed to be a bargain between the various weather actors that school going children had to be tortured every way possible through making them frisson and tremble as the extreme weather events had their way with them.
Putting on school uniform then was a process on its own. Getting out of bed was a struggle so you didn’t expect that the latter would be quicker. Many were the times I faked headaches in the morning to escape the ordeal and melee but my grandmother always saw through my bs. I would take my breakfast, which mostly consisted of very sweet porridge with nduma or ngwaci sulking but she in most times didn’t give any credence to my whining.
I would then bolt out of the kitchen my emotions at bay, ready or a new day at the local primary school
Back then nothing much happened in the village. My cousins and I oscillated between school, home, school again and being cheeky. Back then, I remember having a crush on this girl called Milly. She was in class 8 when I was in class four. She was mature and funny. I had met her through my cousin Purie. They were bosom buddies.
I had drooled over her eloquence (she was the only one who could speak fluent English by then) and how smart she generally was, both in outlook and argument-wise. I was in class four but I knew she was a gem.
The first time we had met, I had carried chapos for lunch. Back then, school meals had not been introduced in day schools, meaning that we all had to carry food from home for lunch. I had a green lunchbox. It had two compartments. One had the chapos well folded at the top and chicken stew at the bottom.
As we sat on the field to take our lunch, she had looked at me innocently and asked to see what I had brought for lunch. I was a shy guy back then. I still am but I was like 9 years old… As such you can imagine how cute I was back then… She must have been 14….
I handed her the dish and upon opening it… Whoaaaaaaaaaaaa… The smell of chapo. They were still hot.
“Can we change dishes?” she asked.
That was the beginning of a heartbreak.
The following year I went to boarding school and it was the last time I heard of and from her. Until like some months ago.
She is engaged to marry an uncle of mine.