A True Story
on May 3, 2018
UPDATE: My dear reader, I have removed this story from my blog for reasons I won't explain. Sorry for any inconveniences.
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Bidding a Friend Farewell
A True Story
on May 2, 2018
Who was your best friend when you were a child? Mine was one neighbour's kid named Stephen Kamau. He calls himself Steve Wanyee these days on Facebook, and that's his actual name which I didn't know back in the '90s when we bonded while grazing cattle on a piece of land my father bought some time in 1993. He was a true friend, in every sense of the word.
I recall most vividly and fondly two school holidays in the '90s we spent most of our daytime together on that piece of land. The first was the December of 1993.
Steve Wanyee came regularly during that holiday to join me as well as my siblings Paddy and Symo as we grazed cattle. Being the innovative kids that we were, we ventured into building dainty huts using the tall grass that sprouted and flourished on the piece of land back then, perhaps to keep us from getting bored with staring at the cattle as they feasted on their favourite meal: grass, that is.
Paddy, the eldest member of the gang, led us by instructing us on which kind of grass to cut and how to fix them into a hut. And that must be where he acquired some of the leadership skills that compelled Dr. Geoffrey Griffin, the respected founding director of Starehe Boys' Centre, to appoint him a decade later as the '04 captain of the school's Kirkley House.
By the way, it's like someone bewitched that piece of land that was the theatre of our fun back in 1993 because it is full of useless weeds these days; useless in the sense that no cow can eat them and live to see the next day. My brother Bob Njinju has been trying to galvanize us into reclaiming it to profitable purposes but it's like everybody has his own business to attend to.
The other holiday I vividly and fondly recall bonding with Steve Wanyee was the April of 1997. Those of us who were alive and kicking back then remember that to be the year the witty, charismatic and beautiful Princess Diana was killed in a road accident somewhere in Europe.
Like in December of 1993, we also spent much of the daytime of that 1997 April holiday grazing cattle on our father's piece of land. But I can't ever remember Paddy being part of the gang; maybe he had realized he was too old to keep company with such little kids as Steve Wanyee, Symo and I.
What comes to my mind when I think of that holiday were the heavy rains that pounded incessantly. Later on (and I didn't know why), I often felt that no other April holiday had as much rain as we had in 1997. Or maybe it's due to the global warming that has been the talk of the town.
I also recall one evening on that holiday when I accompanied Steve Wanyee to his parent's home which is a stone's throw away from where we grazed cattle. When we reached their home, we happened to pass by a clothes line that had underclothes hang on it. Steve Wanyee confided to me that they belonged to his elder sisters, and when he noted my eyes fixed on the underwear, he cautioned me in Kikuyu, "Don't look at them for too long!"
That was vintage us back in the '90s. We are still friends with Steve Wanyee who occasionally likes these blog's stories of mine when I share them on Facebook. But we no longer spend time together which I think is why the other day he slowed a sedan he was driving to a halt so as to greet me. He requested me to pay him a visit one of these fine days, then accelerated the car to wherever he was headed.
Yesterday evening as I was doing something productive and enjoyable in my room, which I once contemplated of christening "War Room" but now sounds silly and stupid, my mother called out my name and asked me in Kikuyu, "Thuita, do you know Muchene?"
"Yes, that's [Steve Wanyee's] dad." I replied, alarmed at what she might say next.
Then my mother blurted out what I expected, "He's dead."
"Doooodo!" I exclaimed, mindful not to use the Lord's name in vain.
And since yesterday, I have harboured a myriad of thoughts on death. All I can now say is that I have believed what I have always thought of life as a series of partings. Steve Wanyee's dad has parted us and I wonder who's next in my circle of friends.
For the time being, I will pay Steve Wanyee a visit some time this week, God-willing and weather-permitting, to give him solace as he prepares to bury his also fatherly father. Adieu!