AFTER YOU GRADUATE…….

Image by B.W. Kyalo

He tells me “you’ll barely see them again. The rigidness in his voice is saved for special occasions, occasions that leave you different. “If you meet it will be uncomfortable stares and weird silence after saying passive hellos”.

“You will forge conversations because you have talked about everything and anything already. You won’t have common ground because you have morphed into different people. You think more and you believe in your ideologies too firmly.

They will not be welcoming to anything you present as before. They will claim that you have maringo and are now acting like you are better than them. They will remind you of that night at F2 and you would laugh and ask them if they can help you right your biography”.

“I don’t remember all my classmates, I barely recognize them. However, one or two drop by throughout the year to ask if I could employ their cousin or their niece”. I wouldn’t want to be that classmate, I thought as I looked away.

I drifted and started thinking about the chicken I left in the fridge and the guacamole I made. They were tantalizing. I could still smell the aroma as I sat on this bench. The bench that has seen our behinds more than passers-by.

“You will struggle to remember their names, you will mark their faces. The familiarity will soon fade and you will pass them on the streets, the way I do. It’s not arrogance, it’s just that life has become too diverse and the content has occupied all the mental space”.

“Not all of you shall become successful. It’s the painful fact. You might have 1000 graduates but only quarter of that number will be wealthy or rich”. I got worried when his tone dropped, I felt as if the pressure had begun too early just when I thought I was done with suffering.

You must make the smartest decision right after graduation. What you do in the first 6 months will determine whether you be rich or stay reach”. I understood but he had stretched it with the analogy.

The cold bench was making my thighs a zebra crossing. I could wait to stand and rub them afterwards- the Kenyan way with a little spit. Karimi will eat my chicken; I will pour my wrath, so help me God. Please protect my chicken, please. He noticed I was not as attentive as I should be. I pretended to write notes so he thinks that I’m listening keenly.

“Kuku chips kuku chips guacamole’ I wrote in my worst handwriting so he couldn’t make out the words.

“I want to see your 5 year goals”. I flipped through the pages and showed him. He was impressed that I actually had goals; I knew it was a test. He wanted another avenue to scare me into progress but I don’t scare easily and my listening is off but I do hear subconsciously.

I wanted to tell him that when I’m alone, Maryjane gives me all these ideas. Ideas that could make the world a better place. That would make Kenya great again. I wanted to tell him that I would become the president. Mary Jane though……

He said that once I graduate, I will only be talking to 5 of my classmates and I will miss the environs of Moi University. I would miss falls and F2. I wondered if those are the Fs I would miss but I nodded in agreement.

He told me to leave behind the bad memories because I was too young to understand. I hated that line. It’s used as a derogative to my mental capacity, I felt that my intelligence was questioned abrasively and the one questioning it is nothing taller than a nail. I would rant but not today. I learnt restraint or rather I practiced it.

“The bad memories will imprison you; you must accept and move on. The good memories will put a smile on your face and will rid of regret.

I‘m glad that you are wild and free; that you had the most fun in university. You would make a great wife and an even better mother”. He was trying to make up for the ‘too young’ comment but he made it worse.

I didn’t live my life without dictation so I can be a great wife or mother. It upset me that yet again a woman’s worth is only seen through marriage and child rearing. It’s quite appalling that when a child misbehaves, their mother is the first to be blamed. Such archaic ideologies stir the acid in my pit.

“You mean I would make a fine individual, right”?

Right!

He didn’t understand my inference and I didn’t insist.

He reminded me of a guy I had a discussion with in my bedsitter back at school. The type of guy who had dreadlocks at his temple and shaved the sides; dyed his beard to blonde and walked around saying – ya know warrr i mean. I was sitting on the bed and him on the floor looking up to me (I’m saying this very loosely).

He claimed that he will marry a corporate woman. A woman who doesn’t smoke pot unless he instructs, a woman who works and pays her own bills and she is to be very submissive to all his needs. The audacity this young man had was absolutely riveting.

His ideologies were straight from the butt. Worse off is that he is graduating this year. I couldn’t believe in 2018 that there are men who still believe that a woman who can provide for herself in every way possible is still not treated as a partner but as a child. What are you ninjas smoking? Jameni I digress.

“You will make a fine woman Daisy. I have no doubt about that. But if you choose the wrong partner it will break you”. I wondered if he had talked to my mother. A successful woman’s greatest demise lies with whom she shares her bed with.

“You must be attracting a whole lot of different men (this guy doesn’t know my phone is bone dry or are the men he is referring to virtual?) but remember none of them are worth your time if they are not built like you”.

“I’m so happy you are graduating young civilian!”

I stood up rubbing off the zebra lines……

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