My first words after our first encounter were, “Dear God, I hope this is an answered prayer. “By the third day, as I bade you goodbye – with a hug that deep down I wished it lingered more – I still said, “Dear God, I hope this is an answered prayer.” Even as I tried to beat the traffic to Miritini SGR terminus in Mombasa, I still uttered the same words. This time round, with a conviction, with a plea to the heavens, hoping that for once, my spirit was in the same line of thought with my Maker.
See, before I met you, before I embarked on my vacation in the coast, I wrote many letters in my heart to my future husband. I don’t like using the name husband, because titles make me cringe. I cringe at the thought of words like boss, director, madam and head teacher. So if I were to use my own words, I would say I wrote epistles to my significant other. Sometimes, I wrote them in bed alone or maybe with company. Sometimes my ink was tears, sometimes blue, red or green ink; green when I felt fruitful. But I wrote letters, songs, and poems to that man I didn’t know.
Sometimes as I wrote those letters, my heart was bleeding. Crushed by men in trousers and some in suits and ties. But I kept writing telling you that if you crossed my path, I will know you. Not by the suits nor ties nor khakis but because your smile will cut through my heart, your humor will mend my broken smile. I know for a fact that, that smile will not always be served on a silver, golden or sparkled platter. I am well aware that our first handshake may not make butterflies scamper away in my stomach. I know that smile may be served with cracked lips, with a broken self yet renewed and revamped by Christ’s self.
I love smiles. I used to smile and plan life, and imagine myself as Cinderella, but as I grew up, I take my rocking chair and tell life, “Bring it on” so you see, when I met you I had no plans. In fact, my mission in Mombasa was a book, a beach and a friend.
You knew my first weakness the moment we spoke on phone as I gave you directions to our house. You even joked about me getting stolen for my lack of sense of direction. See, my friends know that I get lost a lot in the city and that is why I love the tranquil life of a small town. However, when we hosted you, or rather you hosted us, your love for Christ was eminent, that meant an eminent threat to my heart.
You held my hand as we walked on the beach, playing with water. You held my arm as you embolden me to swim. When we were done swimming, you insisted you have to wrap your waist with a towel. Little did you know that we conceal to reveal. With one arm holding my ‘madafu’ and the other holding my hand as we boarded the ferry, you tried to teach me to love water, despite my fear for large water bodies. The memoirs go on and on and on and on…
“Shah, it is time to board the train,” Sally jolts me back from my trail of thoughts.
As I take one final look at the horizon we have left behind, I know I will write another epistle. This time round, it will be about a beach, a man and a writer. Like a lobster and its tentacles, the same words stuck in my mind on my sojourn back to the bustling city life in Nairobi.
We board the train and as it whimpers away, I make a little prayer, “Dear Lord, let him be an answered prayer.”