Hold on…hold on, what just happened? No…no-no this can’t be happening. Shhh..Shit..Shit. Is this for real? Wow! Woooow! That was faaast! Fuck, it feels different. Of course it has to feel different. I am not human… anymore. Do I want to say this? I’m I ready? Breathe. Breathe. Brea… You are so out of this world- very ironic and very true! How can I ask myself to breathe and I’m dead. Yes…yes…dead..dead. No breathing, cold blood. Nothing. This is my spirit, talking…I guess?
When I was young I wanted something safe—no fires, no drowning, no sickness, no accidents. Dying in my sleep was the safest death. Old and grey. But…I fell. I was walking towards my house after a great workout, so I thought, when I fell like Mugabe, Pu! And that was it. I was gone. Heart attack? I don’t know. Witchcraft? No comment. I don’t want to see a speck in my witch’s eye and I don’t even know my fate—heaven or hell. I tell you this is no joke, my life is at stake! Which life and you are dead. Lanes! Lanes! Speaking of lanes, my lifeless body lies on the gravel. It’s seven minutes to 7 a.m. —boy, that wrist is cold. I let go of it. I see a group of people walking towards us, my body and spirit. I step away to give them space—it doesn’t matter. They can’t see me.
–Ni nini mbaya?… Ako sawa?
-Nikaa alikuwa ametoka tizi, unaona amevaa jezi.
-Mpatieni space apumue.
-Angalia mishipa yake?
-Mrembo nikaa ameenda.
The crowd is getting bigger, some are my neighbours grown into friends. Shock. Sighs. Tears. Wails. Screams.
I lie in the back seat of a white Toyota Probox—but why in a Probox? I’m literally preparing myself to the feeling of being in a box, though the actual one won’t be a pro. Xity mortuary here we come.
I don’t get to Xity mortuary. I’m at Zee Funeral Home. I ate life with good manners, I lived a good life but now it doesn’t matter anymore. But this does not feel like home. A place with no life, is not a home. My husband, babies are my home. God, it hurts. My soul aches for my husband, my baby girls, twins. What will happen to them? Does T know I’m here? Has he been told?
I lie on a metallic table, stark naked. Two male attendants are cleansing me and it doesn’t get more weird than this.
Attendant A: Manze maisha ni mafupi. Yaani madam ameanguka kama gunia ya viazi na stori yake ikadie hivo.
Did this son of a mother (no bitching, heaven twasija) just compare me to a sack of potatoes?
Attendant B: Cheki venye hizi jugs zimesimama…na ujue alikuwa na watoi, toto alijichunga kweli!
What a pervert! Jugs? Jugs? 1l or 5l?
Attendant A: Wewe uko sawa kweli? Maiti brathe, maiti?
Ouch! That hurt. I thought you were on my side.
Attendant B. Tufanye chap chap. Bwanake anataka kumuona.
T….My T. I don’t want to see this. I will die a second time.
“Every time I touched your skin you were so warm. But now, fuck, you are so cold. I ca..I can’t be..believe this. Why?…Why..Why have you left me? God wh..wh..y? Our girls babe…they will not understand this, they are so young. How will I bring them up? You know I suck at it, yo…you were great at it. I’m not letting you go, I can’t…I just can’t. I know I should not be mad but hell I am, at God, the world and you…Babe, why? Please tell me I’m dreaming, p..please. What will I do without you? What?! How will I move on? Answer me?! Fuck!”
T…My T. He is crying. He is broken. I have broken him. I have torn him into pieces. God stop this. Stop. I can’t, it hurts.
He was my answered prayer. The one He kept for me. When he found me, he stitched my broken heart. He was love. This man, my T was a poet. He drew me to his arms, ‘box’, with his stream of words. My body was his masterpiece. Notebook. He wrote poems on every inch of my skin. His lips were the pen. He was that good. Great.
But now I’m like a sandpaper. Hard, rough and cold. Will he find another masterpiece? I know it’s early, but hey he is still mine! Dead or alive! Can’t a woman be jealous? Ai! I don’t care! I need time and space. I need to breathe. Oh! Again I’m deeead. But I’m serious, remember I’m a spirit haiyaaye!
My babies. My girls. They are so young, toddlers. Only three months old. They have no idea of what death is. T…My T. I’m sorry, if only. They will grow without knowing the love of a mother. Will they remember me? Or will I be like a wisp of smoke? Will they be safe? Will people hurt them? Will their beautiful smiles fade away? Will people love them for who they are? It hurts. God they are yours, they have always been. Shield my babies. Protect My T.
°Fast forward to the day of Burial°
I don’t like the smell of my skin. Hell, I stink! A pig sty smells nice. People have turned up. A mass of people are here to bid me goodbye. Never in my life did I think I could pull such a crowd! Most of these people are strangers, I’ve never seen them. They don’t know who I am. Who were they told I was? On whose behalf are they here? Are they just here because they did not have another place to be? My burial imekuwa form, eh? Wamekuja kuhappen—watajua ni mazishi. Or probably they heard of who I was and they are here to pay their respects—too late? The rest I’ve seen them. They have been part of my life. My family, relatives and friends. They are singing praises unending.
–She was a great woman
-How I loved her
-She had a good heart. Very generous.
-Watu wazuri ndio hufa.
And so on and so forth. Do they really mean what they are saying? Or it’s just the blue mood a funeral brings.
Burials are a piece of shin! — we need to enter through the narrow door, no shiting.
The mass is great—I can feel heaven knocking. The priest wholeheartedly prays and blesses my soul, I can feel it. The Eulogy is read—it is a good one, well written. A true definition of who I practically was, that must be T that wrote it. Tributes are given- this is the sad part. Again, tears, sighs, shaking heads. My T is breaking down. He can’t hold back his tears. It is painful, I know. My babies, very innocent, seated in their carriers, are giggling and making baby sounds. Maybe they think it’s a wedding.
It’s going down for real. My body is slowly entering it’s new home—6 feet of darkness. Tears. Wails. Screams. Sniffs. Truly, this world is not my home. I was not put here on Earth to be remembered, I was here to prepare for eternity.
The choir is singing very well. So heavenly. Wait, I’m I in heaven? I’m I?
‘Du! Du!’ The soil is thrown. It’s over…almost. Is this where I say I’ve fought a good fight, I’ve finished the race and I’ve kept the faith? Well I was not a fighter, never hurt anyone physically. I loathed wrestling and action movies, that gives. No, I’m not from Rift Vallē, so races are not my cup of tea. I mean, I literally could not run to save my life. The faith, I kept the faith.
And that is why my spirit is living this world, I’m off to answer to my Maker. With my narrow frame, I think I could pass for the narrow door. But seriously, I lived a good life. I repented a day to my death. Did I see this coming? I think I did.
Who do you want I send salams to? Angel Gabriel? Angel Mike? Judas Iscariot?—maybe he loves carrots and riding chariots. Mary mother of Jesus? Jesus himself?
Let me stop counting my chicks before they are hatched. It could get lit, some choma here and there, you never know.
It is well. I’m out. Peace.
Oh! I forgot to say this, ‘They will not even cross the street to support your hustle but they will drive miles to come bury you.’
He believes in me, I know. He believed in me even before I believed in myself. Muchura. That is his name. He asked me to raid his mind and steal away his present. I hope I have.