Her name was Betty Kingara, and she was my saint and torment in campus. In a good-natured way. She was like a mirage, so near but yet again so far out of reach, it’s a girls secret brand of magic.
She was a Mumbi lass, blessed in tidbits and harmless places elusive to her kinsfolk (matters of curves and the flesh), she was like a chosen one of her generation. Lithe in frame, thin lips with a slight pucker, a forehead perhaps showcasing her mental prowess and with curves in all the right areas like a pricey electronic gadget you would sell a kidney and a neck to afford but couldn’t afford. She had a gap that had sneaked in between her front teeth and when she smiled, it stood stoic like a relic landmark, beautiful and antique. She had looks that would kill, and kill me she did, she killed my whole vibe and sprung up a man out of a weeny village lad. She was a demure creature walking on hot coals without the merest of a flinch. And she was so madly drowned in her faith it was a miracle how she managed to take a breath in the real world without suffocating from its sinful ways.
She was assertive too, in the manner of birds from Nyeri, she fired her shots straight like stinging salvos. There was no taking back her words, they were a train which had left the station, reverse was a fallacy. If you made a first impression of being a dick, you would stay a dick until the man upstairs said you would do good as a pinkie. She was a capricious soul, liberal on one hand and on the other hand as wildly conservative as a lady who was on a pet name basis with Jesus. Her words were like those from the scripture, they would only return upon meeting their fulfillment. She was one of those ladies who had hid themselves so much inside the forsaken Hebrew that you had to take a pilgrimage to Sinai, walk barefeet in the desert and probably take selfies at Calvary to even fancy a wild chance with her. There was no scoring on this arena. This was a team managed by Mourinho and Diego Simeone a defensive masterclass, nothing short of a parked train, bus and a clean-sheet. If anything happened to get past the defensive genius of these two mortals, they would probably find Floyd Mayweather lying in wait and if they managed to nick a punch beyond him, Jesus would be calmly lurking, rope in hand robes furled up ready for another temple chase. She was unbreakable.
Niggas couldn’t even get a hug. Niggas is me. All we would get were handshakes delivered with the efficient flourishment of a union between Kenyatta and Odinga, smiles on the front, Maasai swords in the rear, direct heirs to Judas we were.
She wasn’t hard assed as a human, she was a lamb led to the slaughter-gentle, fine on the frays, caramel sweet on the core but with a hardened exterior. She had life by the nuts if you asked me and for the rest of us who thought of plunging ourselves into her world, she swung us by the dingus like a frisbee on a mutts fangs. We were playthings. A child’s toy.
She had her shit figured out long before I even knew of how a boy is supposed to act in front of a damsel. Look, I liked girls but if you had left me with one in a room, I would probably have asked them whether their dad liked wrestling. I was as tactically inept as a eunuch in a harem, covertly misplaced as a condom in a nunnery but I didn’t know this. I thought I had it all mapped out because I was fresh from high school and I had schooled in the devils anus, nothing could faze me. I had walked through a shitstorm in a ringer and so largely, I could take lifes hits without flinching, life was a maidens touch, I thought. Wrong. What I hadn’t realized was that even the devil himself feared girls because girls were a sharpened scimitar, gilt edged judgement if I may add and the rest of us were frumpy willies playing Russian Roulette right within the sharpened blades. We were suicide missions on a suicide roll, cunt Kamikaze bomber pilots.
She was fair as she was hardened. For the entirety of her life, it seemed her ass had been soaked in a borehole in Kitui, plenty of hardwater, little of lather, she had a hard ass, a hard head and hard words delivered with a subtlety which would be the work of class more than any other something because give or take, she was a classy village girl in a backward town, yes Eldoret is darned backward!
She treated me good at a time when I couldn’t extend myself the same courtesy. One look at me and she was like shite, this village fucker needs help and for that she had the soft spots of my heart.
Normally first years in campus were aiming to impress, especially the cats. It was a fools errand because we were broke, we had no class and we were overtly cavorting in naivety, poverty among other things but we didn’t know. We thought we were the shite but we were shit.
Hirumbi village had taught me to give little fucks about anything which largely means that I would show up for legal drafting classes in slippers, tacky shirts and wacky track suits. My nonchalance was at an all high unfeigned gangster level. No one would tell me shit. My mates thought I was an educated crackpot, Betty thought I was an irresponsible twat and she squared me about it.
We met in class would you believe it? In our first class she stood up and schooled us on gender equality and she struck me as feisty. Me and my village standards thought of a womans place as silence and here a lass I had fallen in a quicksand for was giving the class a lecture on gender equality and all that razzmatazz, oh fuck me.
She taught me innocuous things. That I could not go to class with track suits not unless I was a Kalenjin athlete which I wasn’t. She reminded me that shoes especially cheapskate Converses would do well with a good cleaning. A toothbrush and Jik would do miracles on the whites of a shoe as would the ideology that inasmuch as I was poor, the whole campus didn’t bloody need to know. There was something about keeping up appearances and if I was a broke law student, I would do well If I learnt not to advertise it with my appearance. I didn’t and so I wallowed in misery for the entirety of campus life.
At one point we wallowed in the scrum down of the same faith but it was a tad too conservative for her tastes, my people can be uppity and uptight at times. Being SDA is a mindset thing, like an acquired taste that has a tangy sour feel to it. She was more or less like a sugar and sweet tooth person and so in utmost good faith I had to let go, like a mongoose in a snake farm, reluctantly.
I however lived long enough to see niggas seeking to score, cats worse than I had been- all trying, all hopeful and desperate and all I can say is that it helps to look at things with clear lenses. There is a feel about looking at a man being a hamster on a wheel to a lass. It was a comic sitcom.
So how does this story end? It ends up on a good note. I got hugs in fourth year (hugs mate!!!), good ones I should add. I went for someone elses daughter because no one ever needs to be stuck in a quagmire of his own infirmities, you live, you learn and then you love, life goes on. Betty eventually gave her heart out to some lucky bastard who ended up being a colossal dickhead (don’t you just love men? they take one mans meat, poison it and then call it poison- crooked sages this lot!)
So some days are warm. Some like an itchy nipple in the arctic, some sore like a tit squeezed a tad too zealously. We live and we lie. It doesn’t amount to much and so we live in the route of tales left untold. And so here is to a suicide run on a basketball court and here is to life on an open garden and a botanical garden front.
Call it life on a silver platter.
Last part, makes no sense right?