HOME IS A CASTLE OF STORIES

TREY ALAMBA LOLO

This happened to homeboy, let's call him "Trey". Of course, ain't his real name. But stories like this rip open a man's heart. And nobody wants to be known as that guy whose heart was broken.
He says.
"If you're not on your guard. You will always find yourself in a relationship."
Homeboy,wasn't on his guard. So he found himself entangled in the knuckles of a campus union. And you all know relationships, how they start like a joke . More so a YY joke on Churchill show. You're all smiles, laughing like  the last inhabitants of planet earth.

Then it's over.

It ends like a joke. A dry joke this time, where nobody is left laughing. You feel like crying, but because you're a strong, circumcised African man. You rein in the tears, your heart is socked in hatred, bathed in fury. You try to forget ,but the spectres of that animal called love won't allow you to. It's like cupid and the entire universe are conspiring against you . It's only her in your head, only her. This is the time even football loses meaning. And when football loses meaning for a man, it's fucking serious! You find yourself in this one massive ocean of loneliness, you try meditation. It doesn't help. You fancy yourself a yogi, or some distraught love poet. You try writing, but nothing happens. Words are there ,but, they don't turn into sentences. On such days sentences are so hard headed. You try churning them to well tuned paragraphs, but they stare back at you. In a mirthless way, the blank monitor mocking you. Shouting back at you.
"Son of a bitch! It ain't our problem you fell in love. Get your shit together for Christ's sake!. You're not the first man to be heartbroken and sure as hell won't be the last. Great men have been heartbroken. Joseph was heartbroken when somehow God's son found himself in his wife's womb. He didn't commit suicide."

The mention of Christ springs you to action. You try prayer, it doesn't work. Fuck! You were in love, it's now over. Then you learn the one important lesson about love. Love is a damaging mistake, and with it's Siamese twin ,hope, they form an unholy alliance.

You meet other girls,they want you, they're all in. But you're not ,you're still reeling in the aftershocks of Patience. Oh! They are always named Patience, like those crappy nollywood actors.
This rendition is a result of what happened to Trey. Just joined campus, found love, then found hatred in that order.

Personally, I wonder why??? Why look for love? Find yourself, understand yourself first. We are teenagers still,  actually we're children. Okay,we're over 18 but technically we're still children. Your papa clothes you, feeds you, gives you that up keep mulla. Which you use to entertain your girlfriends and boyfriends. Until  you do this for yourself, you're still a crappy child. Oh! I count myself a child, I don't think, I ever want to be an adult. Childhood is epic( I love that word "epic").

NOW LET ME BEGIN THE STORY.
That day I pick up my web design cert from some seedy college in the bosom of town. The secretary smiles at me as she hands it over. Congrats, she says. "May God open all the doors in your life." I try to smile back but I'm too bored for that. I feel like shooting back. "May he barricade all the doors in your life and windows in your life. May your boyfriend cheat on you." I didn't day that of course. I'm saved and washed by the blood of the holiest of lambs (Jesus). See, I'm a half baked Web design graduate. Funny enough, I have a certificate but can't design any functional website. Heck! who cares about that anyway.

I head to the bank and open an account. Psst!  I can't wait for that HELB loan. Be sure I'll use it in a way which is not wise. Not to mean I'll waste it, I'm just not that kind of person. The lady serving me is young and new. You can tell. Ever smiling during the whole process. Or she desired me??? Who knows for sure? But given my immaculate face, golden eyes, well toned body and deep voice. Any lady worth her salt would surely fall for me. I'm the perfect embodiment of male beauty. She looks at  my ID, looks at me, then smiles even more. Holy God! Why do those people at registration of persons make such lousy ID cards. I looked like a malnourished kid. "Karibu tena." She handed over my documents. Now I'm a certified account owner. I felt happy you know. I wanted to dance and jump around the bank hallway but then I could have been thrown out. So I walk out, happiness simmering within, smiling at everything. HELB I can't wait for you. Come baby, come. Wait, do I sound like Miguna? God no!

A few steps from the bank, I encounter a smokie vendor. I salivate, buy two and swallow them in quick succession. I don't recall if I even chewed them. Then my phone rang, which is rare. I'm not the talking kind of Negro. I prefer texting really. The few times I'm on a call it's hell. I always start shivering, then sweating, I feel like crying, even death is a welcome option. I wanted to ignore the damn call, but look whose calling. My boy, the epic "Trey". You know Trey?  Of course you don't. Let me introduce the sucker formally. Trey, meet the gang. Gang, meet Trey. Even though he doesn't resemble that baby faced American singer. It beats me why girls are always drooling over that Trey Songz character. So full of shit.

So Trey is calling, I answer.
"Osoch, where you at bro?  You in town?"
"Easy my nigga... I'm in town. Wadup?"I shoot back.
"Si you come we play FIFA. I'm paying.

The mention of FIFA and he's paying fastens my stride. Like any normal Kenyan, I adore free things. Fluu! I take flight to our PlayStation joint. He's there, we hug as brothermen do, and grab the silly pads. PS4 pads actually, not the ones in your dark imagination. Something ain't right, we're in our third game and I have hammered him flat. I'm leading 6-0. It's peculiar, see Trey is one motherfucker who grew up with PlayStation as a basic need. He's never lost to me, this is new.
"You okay , you should be in campus, mate." I tell him.
He stares blankly at the screen, bites his lower chin and says.
"Why don't we go have coffee. I've heard of this new joint, si we check it out."
"Wou! So coffee it is. You could have spent this on that Chicka of yours"
He stays silent for a long moment before,ghostly saying.
"Bros before hoes."

And that's how we find our young and dumb asses in this restaurant. It's early evening, the place is filling up gradually. It's a cesspit of life, a waitress in short skirts floating here and there. A customer teasing with one, just beautiful. Our coffees arrive and before I can even take a gulp (I don't do sips). Trey breaks down.
"Osoch bro, I don't know what to do, my life is in a mess."
I look at him. What the fuck! All our lives are in a mess too.
"Did you impregnate the house help ?"
Finally he laughs, a long laugh, a new laugh. It's pure, unviolated ,deep from the lungs, he'd not laughed in a long time.
"Go to hell! I have no interest in that woman, she's like family."
"That's what they all say, but she has such a nice ass."
He laughs even more, a warm laughter. I feel good, making my buddy happy. This is my little service to humanity. In the end of days, when God is calling out names. With a booming voice, he'll say.
"Osoch, what did you do with the life I gave you? "
At that moment, I'm cocksure I'll trembling like a rabbit in the headlights of an speeding lorry. I will be sobbing, but no shitting on myself. With a slight stammer, I'll tell God.

"Holy father,... I never sinned... I made my friends laugh."
"Bastard! You used to gawk at passing ladies. Angel Gabriel, please throw this fella in the eternal fire. He rants to much."

Jesus will come to my rescue. He will give Gabriel something small, then I'll be sneaked to heaven. I go sing with 72 virgins while you guys burn in hell. How does that sound? Do I appear as heaven material??

Our boy Trey says, "She just doesn't capture my imagination. Maybe you should try her out."
This is my turn to laugh, "No thank you brother. I'm just fine, she's all yours."
Kenyans have this bad habit of laughing, or smiling when saying no. People should stop that. It never softens the blow.

For the first time, we sip our coffee. Two tables from us is a sponsor with some girl. They can pass for father and daughter but body language gives them away. You can always tell the type.
Kenyan old men are not good people, they steal our girls. I want to go over and make scene, but no. You never know people. Maybe the geezer has a revolver, he sees me coming and shoots me. The bastard will say it was self defence, with my shaggy hair and rugged looks, the case will be done and dusted. Few people will sob at my funeral and bleep! Am forgotten. When you die people just cease caring about you, you're just a speck, more like a fading star. Dear reader, I wasn't ready to die. So I turned to homeboy.
"Yoh, how did it go with that chicka of yours, Tabitha Patience?"
Phew! Kenyan parents are pure savage. Like who names their kids "Tabitha"... in this age? I'm not saying it's a bad name, it's just weird.
Trey speaking, "we ain't together!"
I'm not shocked, but feign surprise. Haiyaa! See, when you encounter a good story, you grab it by the ass and pull it closer. Let it escape and God judges you.
"Things were going well. Walks, hikes, late night chats, nudes and such shit. We were yet to happen."
"What do you mean not happened?"
"Like, I was yet to hit the jackpot."
I never understand why people like talking about sex in coded language. So I toy with him even farther.
"I ain't getting you, what jackpot bro?"
He laughs. "Don't play dumb, I was yet to eat the forbidden fruit bwana."
I grin widely, sponsor girl has a shufti my way. She sneers at me. As if silently saying.
"Bastard, you have nothing I can chew!"
I ignore her, turn to this guy who was yet to eat a forbidden fruit.
"So what happened?."
"One evening I'm lazing around my the house. Building scenarios on how I'll shag her. She calls. She frickin called me!"
Sasa babe.
Poa? Where you at?
Niko hapa mall, come we need to talk.
"Man, my blood pressure is on upswing. This might just be my day. Anything can happen, I slip a packet of condoms on my jacket and rush out. On my way, I buy her chocolate. I hear it gets people in the mood. I arrive at the mall, smiling like that Arab who saw clouds in the desert. And there's my girl, the lovely Patience. We hug, then kiss, people gawk at us but we don't give a damn! We're millenials after all. As long as we ain't stealing public money, people can go to hell with what they think. We move to a secluded spot, all smiles and giggles, I don't think I'll ever forget that moment. Love had never been manifested to me so guilelessly, so openly. I thought, damn! She's the one, she's the one!"
"What happens then? " I prod him.
He sips his coffee.
"Tales about love are pure hogwash. Tabitha suddenly says that I should find someone else. I'm  too gobsmacked to say anything. She kisses me on the forehead. Like they do in those Mexican telenovelas, do you watch soaps?"
"Just one." Soy tu duena. Boy! That was one colossus of a flick! I watched it for this one character, Rosando. This Rosando guy was just amazing. Cowboy hats, moustache, more so the  moustache. Then his croaky voice, sounding like he had sandpaper for a throat. He was the villain and also protagonist's dad. To make matters worse, chasing the same chikita as his son.

"So she kisses you on the forehead..."
"She does. There's a frostiness to her lips. A distant coldness, I ask her if she's okay. She says yeah, smiles and says with a compassionate tone. "I ain't good enough for you."  She then takes the chocolate from my arm. Chocolate I had bought with my money, my own fuckin money! And walked away. Just like that, it was over, like a dream. Man! I can't believe I'm still alive, I should have died."

I place a brotherly arm on his shoulder, tell him that he's lucky the girl was honest and didn't waste his time. But I also told him to track her down and get his chocolate back. "A girl can't shatter your heart and still disappear with your chocolate." He laughs at that.

Trey gets up to go clear the bill.

As it turns out, I should link up with a certain girl. She never shows. Women can be disappointing creatures. We part ways with homeboy, I board a mathree and Blup! I'm home.

That evening I form a WhatsApp group "TREY ALAMBA LOLO." Participants are guys we've grown up together. I add Trey and the mboys roast him savagely.
"Budaa! Lunch yako imeibwa."
"Yaani, you never nailed it! You're half a man!"
"You're a disappointment to the male gender."
"Bro tafuta kamothe."

We make fun of Trey, chide him and it's all good. This is how a man heals,suffused with fire. You see ladies, in your WhatsApp cliques, you talk of weaves, trends, and all that shit. Us men, our groups are man caves, like mountain deep stuff. Here broken men, shattered men are assembled back to life.

Trey. We love you brother. Your mum loves you and importantly, Jesus loves you, don't ever forget that.
©Osoch2018.
Yours truly, Osoch Ogun.
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