I recently received a call from a friend we have not met in years, close to 10 years now. It was unexpected. I had almost forgotten about her completely, it took me time to remember her name. 10 years without communicating means we were seasonal friends. We became friends because we met and though we liked each other, be it character, looks, what we could do together and any other thing that mattered to both of us. We sure were tight.
Her call took me to a diary I had received as a gift from some guy who had also though was in love with me. I was 13, too young to be loved? Amidst not understanding why he had bought it for me on my 13th birthday, I treasured it. I kept all the notes people who crossed my life and though loved me wrote to me in this diary. All the high school girl “love” notes have been well kept in this diary. I still treasure it. From a distance his image occasionally crosses my mind. But I remember his voice very well. it was a deep alto voice. I love singing and I always thought I could one day do a “colabo” with him. That’s how far my young mind could take me. I do sing, he sung for me on my 14th birthday, a form one, over the phone. That telephone booth with a 5 shillings coin hanged up somewhere that could lie to the poor thing.
Days have since turned to months and years. I have not seen his face nor heard his voice. I link him to this friend that called because I shared his story with her. She seemed to like him. I painted him as good. I was right from primary school, full of idioms and figurative language. Had I met him before my KCPE I could have somehow fixed him in one of the compositions I wrote. I did that in my high school and my English teacher summoned me. It made little sense why she was concerned but I always had my way out. I woke up every morning to read stories, it saved me. My defense was, “madam I read that in some novel I am currently reading.”
Going through my diary was only meant to remind me her name. At least am good enough to keep memories of people who touched my life, whether positive or negative. So when am dead and gone don’t lie to my family if you were never good to me. They will catch up with you when they get to read my diaries and daily journals that I adopted when in college. Beware. She had a good record. One thing touched me about her. She once, literally wiped my tears with her handkerchief (whether it was used or unused didn’t matter at that time). I can’t tell what its state was ten years down the line.
11th of February 2004 is a day I never want to remember. I lost someone dear. May his soul rest in peace. “I just want to die. I see no sense in life again. God be kind to me and take away my soul” reads the first line of the note attached to this date. I sure wanted to die. Life never made sense to me anymore. But I moved on. 28th December 2004. She wiped my tears in some field outside a SDA church in a village in Kisii County. I was attending my cousin’s wedding when my KCPE results were out. I had passed. I was not happy. I cried. I remembered a man that had mentored my life but was not there to celebrate with me. She was an angel. She made me feel good, talking to me kindly though with little understanding of what I was going through.
Things happened and we part ways. I never had a phone by then but I was good enough to cram my mummy’s number which I had shared with her. That’s how she managed to get me. 10 years later she still echoes the same words she told me that day. She called to know what happened to my “boyfriend”. She wanted to know if I gave up on my education and got married (I once told her I was thinking of that, lolest. I was that naïve). I felt I had done her injustice. All she had for me that day was her Postal Address. I had written to her so many times in my high school days without response. It belonged to her former primary school. That’s all she had to give me that day. She knew she could soon leave to her parents. She had been staying with her aunt I our neighborhood.
Remembering or forgetting people you have met in your life is a choice. I had chosen to forget her. Remembering her and never finding her was more hurting. Every 11th day of February I read that diary but I never want to see her page. But now that she has resurfaced it’s my favorite. Her words in there are full of innocence. They touched a life. I also remember you. That day you sang to me, screamed at me, hugged me and I felt it, laughed at me. I remember you for all the good and bad things you ever did to me. Your name is written somewhere. Not in my heart. In my diaries and journals.