LOVE

PART 1,

He was tall,
Not too tall, but tall enough to shield me from the scorching sun and the biting winds.

He was strong,
Not too strong, but strong enough that I always believed that if the sky fell he would hold it up for me.

He was dark,
Not too dark, but dark enough that the beauty of a thousand midnights could never compare to him.

He was burly ,
Not too burly , but burly enough that every time he held me in his arms, I knew I was warm and safe.

His eyes were deep,
Not too deep, but deep enough to draw me in and drown me forever.

It was in the way he walked,
Big strides and a confident gait,
Like nothing in the world would stop him.

It was in the way he spoke,
Secrets in plain sight,
Wisdom like an old sage,
Soft but not too soft,
Like the winds and rains would obey his every command.

There was something about his smile,
Simple yet complicated,
Like he had seen all the vicisitudes of life,
Mischief and unprecedented intensity,
It always made my heart beat faster.

It was the way he stood tall,
Unyielding in the face of disaster,
With a back that could carry the world,
That was what left a shadow in my heart.

A yearning, an unquenchable thirst that only his presence could cure,
Ah, is a warrior not the fatal poison of any flower?
I lost myself the day I found him,
He became the bane of my existence,

The yin to my yang.
He..
He was my first love.

PART 2.

He was tall,
Not too tall, but tall enough that I felt I would never reach him.


He was strong,
Not too strong, but strong enough that I always felt I was useless in his battles.

He was dark,
Not too dark, but dark enough that I never saw the scars he purposely hid.

He was burly,
Not too burly, but burly enough that I was unable to see the cold that he blocked me from.

His eyes were deep,
Not too deep, but deep enough to hide the demons that plagued his nightmares,
Tainted with sorrow that I couldn’t recognize.

It was in the way that he walked,
Like he had the weight of the world on his shoulders,
Like every step he took had to be steady lest he crumbled and fell apart.

It was in the way he spoke,
Like he had experienced countless eras of existence,
With fatigue coating every word,
Words of caution in every sentence,
Like he was scared someone else would go through what he had gone through.

It was in his smile,
A soul deep powerlessness,
Resignation mixed with indignation.

It was the way he stood tall,
Willing to sacrifice himself,
Who said saving the world was overrated?

That was what left a shadow on my heart,
A regret that ran bone deep,
I am unresigned.
He…
He was my last love.

AZUL 👑

MOON CHILD

So the other day while going home from work, I chanced upon a full moon 🌕. Well, not exactly chanced, I am a devoted moon watcher, so I always try watch the sky every night. The night sky is magical, I’d recommend star gazing any day.
So back to what I was saying,
I was entranced by the full moon so much that I wanted to exist in the same space with it, touch it and bathe in the moonlight.
But sigh, it’s so far, too far. So ethereal, celestial, proud, distant. It will never know my thoughts.
So of course I thought of a poem, to bury the helplessness in it.




You’re a heavenly fire,
Your presence is my funeral pyre,
Proud and rampant,
That doesn’t stop me from being adamant,
But I am only a dry paper crane,
Just like a moth drawn to a flame,
You draw me into your light,
I am helpless to fight,
You bathe me and drown me,
You devour me till I cease to be,
Oh I wish I could touch you just once,
Under the night sky dance,
I wish I could hear your voice,
Anything, with words of your choice,
How I wish you were aware of my existence,
And the deep awe of your existence,
Bewitch me, even as your grace gives me a wide berth,
Chill me, freeze me to death,
Vanquish me like a foe,
Dying by your hands would be a mighty way to go.


AZUL 👑

THOUGHTS

THOUGHTS : SONG BY SASHA ALEX SLOAN

Thoughts
Sometimes, I just can’t control my thoughts
No medication’s ever made them stop
All I think about is everything I’m not
Instead of everything I got
‘Cause I’m scared they’re all laughing, so I make the joke first
If I beat ’em to the punchline, then I can’t get hurt
Yeah, I swear to God I’m trying, but I don’t know how to be
How to be a good friend to me
‘Cause sometimes I just feel like I’m a freak
When I wake up, I just don’t like what I see
All the way from my head right down to my feet
I wish that I thought differently
But I’m scared they’re all laughing, so I make the joke first
If I beat ’em to the punchline, then I can’t get hurt
Yeah, I swear to God I’m trying, but I don’t know how to be
How to be a good friend to me
Change
Wonder if I’ll ever really change, mm
‘Cause I’m scared they’re all laughing, so I make the joke first
If I beat ’em to the punchline, then I can’t get hurt
Yeah, I swear to God I’m trying, but I don’t know how to be
How to be a good friend to
The voice inside my head that’s telling me I’m okay Entertain it for a second, then I push it away
Yeah, I swear to God I’m trying, but I don’t know how to be
How to be a good friend to me
Thoughts
Sometimes, I just can’t control my thoughts

BOOKS AND LOVE, PT 2

Surprise ! I know alot of you must be wondering why there’s a part two. There are some things I failed to mention.

Like how I laugh alone at 3am while reading. My neighbors must surely think I am mad. Or how I started reading with a flashlight under the blankets after lights out at home. Someone is going to say that’s why I have problems with my sight. Hush. Or how books make me cry sometimes with the intensity of emotions I can never hope to witness in real life.

Reading hasn’t really been a smooth, fun-filled journey, as I might have made it sound. As mentioned in the previous post, I started reading from quite an early age. The books available to me then were children’s books. As it should be. I was quite naive, and innocent. Eager and ready to learn. I wish that had lasted longer.



It didn’t. Because I was deliberately introduced to complex books with adult themes by a person I don’t feel inclined to mention. Racism, mental illness, sexual abuse, rape, familial violence, religious violence , poverty and diseases , sexuality, suicide, nudity,
sex, strong and offensive language, drug use. You name it. Like a sponge, I soaked up and absorbed everything in my young mind. I felt out of place with children my age because I knew too much, too much that I wasn’t supposed to know. It was grooming, now I know.

I blame that for the childhood I never had. I was withdrawn, anti-social with a mean and violent streak. Getting into fights. Cussing like a sailor. I guess it was all chalked up to being a child, I guess. How I wish. I was too mature for my age. And I wish somebody, anybody had taken the time to really see what was going on. Because I wasn’t trying to hide it. Until I did.



I was different. And I hated it. So I tried as best as I could to fit in. To be like everyone else. My mind became a dark place that I tried to run from every second of my existence. So I turned to books more. The same books that brought me there in the first place. I became more withdrawn. More hateful. Developed an unhealthy relationship with food because I skipped all the meals. I didn’t want to be around anyone. I’d pick my book and sit at the farthest corner of the field while the rest of the students had their meals and played. That’s how I started writing and drawing too. Trying to run away from myself.

I kept a journal full of the most hateful, violent and darkest words you’d never expect from a teen. I wrote every time I could. Trying to fill a hole. A void. Of what had been taken from me. I could go on forever, about what it took me to develop a healthy relationship with my books and writing. Some other time, though.

I remember a day in class/grade 8. I was looking for a book to read. So I went to the grade 7 classes to look for one. And I found one. The Dragon and the Phoenix by Eric Chou. I thought it was a book on mythical beasts and was very excited. So I read the synopsis. And wished I hadn’t. I asked the owner where she had gotten the book from. And she mentioned that an adult had given it to her.

I didn’t give the book back. And I told her if she was asked to return the book she should bring me to the owner. Why, in the name of Hades would anyone give a thirteen year old a very graphic book on love and sex, coupled with grotesque violence? Now I might have been a spineless coward who wasn’t able to question when the same thing was happening to me at a younger age but no way was I going to let it happen to another person. Not under my watch. I burnt the book the same day, in the evening. And willed the smoke and ashes to take away some of my bitterness.



It must be noted that what children know about adults’ sexual behavior and intimacy is influenced by what the children have seen and heard. Preschool children mostly know about such things as kissing and cuddling. About one in five 6-year-olds knows something about more explicit sexual behaviors.

Children’s sexual awareness starts in infancy and continues to strengthen throughout preschool and school-age years. All aspects of children’s development—including cognitive, language, motor, social, emotional, and sexual development—are linked to each other.

By age 10, many children are showing the first signs of puberty, and their interest in what this means increases. Their actions are directly influenced by exposure to information on the same either from their sorrounding, social media or books. [https://www.ncsby.org/content/childhood-sexual-development]

Alot has been done to protect minors from early exposure to explicit content from the media, social sites and television networks, due to the rapidly growing digitalized world. This includes the introduction of restricted access to content on major web sites and apps for specific ages. Also, The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) is one of a number of bills that the United States Congress proposed to limit children’s exposure to pornography and explicit content online.

However there’s a lack of clear legislation on access and provisions of similar content in the form of printed copies to children. Comics and adult fiction among other categories are unrestricted and easily available to teens and pre-teens.

Until such a measure is enacted, it is our duty to protect the younger generation from exploitation and guide them correctly until they are old enough to make such decisions on their own.



All in all, books are good. Read brethren. Read so that you stop wondering where others went to school. Cue Lil Maina ( Najua unashangaa kwani nilienda chuo gani? 😂😂) Read so that you have something to say when your friends are having intelligent conversations and arguments. Usikuwe tu unasema Weh! na I know right, when you don’t even know what is going on. Read so that you understand when The News Gang is analyzing current political trends. Read so that you have something to say when you meet someone over coffee, si story za jaba tu. Read so that the people around you don’t suffer because of your stupidity. Don’t be a liability due to your ignorance.

Read for yourself. To broaden your mind. To challenge your beliefs. Change if necessary.

“The person who deserves most pity is a lonesome one on a rainy day who doesn’t know how to read.”

Benjamin Franklin

BOOKS AND LOVE

I love books. I love music. I love writing. I love dancing. I love chocolate. I love ice cream. My doctor says I should cut down on dairy products though. Well, there goes half of my personality.
Sigh.

Today I’ll talk about books . I love books. I don’t know how to express the intensity of that statement. I LOVE BOOKS. So much. Too much, even. There has always been a book in my hand for as long as I could put words together to make a sentence. Oh, I have read, and read, and read. I still can’t get enough.

My friend says that the easiest way to kidnap me would be to lead me to a street full of books and cats. I can’t disagree without lying. I will address the relationship between me and cats some other day. But I love those furry, fuzzy, scratching and hissing bastards.

Love is a strong word, isn’t it? I agree. It’s something I purpose not to throw around casually. But there’s nothing else that can describe what books make me feel. That has inspired my love for writing too. The wish, the hope that some day I’ll be able to make another person feel the same way. That I’ll be able to give back to the writing community, if not as much as I have received, at least a portion of it.

Initially, my mother was happy that I had taken a liking to books. You know what they say about cultivating good habits from a young age. Well, it was okay until I’d sit on the couch for hours on end, engrossed in books and detach myself from the world. Detach, because the world of books was an escape. Now that I think about it, I started running away a long time ago, unfortunately.

She’d call me, a million and one times, loud enough to wake up the dead and end up thinking I went out, only to find me curled up on the couch like a cat, lost in the words of Sidney Sheldon and the likes. You should have seen her face. First mistake, feet, probably dirty from a marathon trip to the kitchen for a snack, on her precious couches. Second mistake, not answering when called. Unfinished assignments and house chores were just part of what she’d bring up later.

Now I must tell you that my mother is a very fierce and strict woman, in every sense of the words. Sometimes she’d give me a thorough beating. Which I deserved, in all honesty. Not that that stopped me from repeating the same mistakes over and over again, beatings notwithstanding. I guess she got tired at some point, and resorted to verbally beating me.

The primary school I went to initially did not have a library system. Did that stop me? No. I would go to class after class, including grades higher than mine, borrowing novels from anybody and everybody. My advantage was my fast reading speed and a sweet tongue. Convincing owners and stuff, you know . For every book that I found, there was a ‘line’ behind the person currently reading the book. Which basically meant that you had to wait for a number of people before getting your turn with the book.

Many tactics, beseeching and timely puppy eyes later, I’d have convinced someone who wasn’t even done reading a book to lend it to me for a couple of hours. True to my word, I would be done by the agreed time. How? Reading at every second. Whether the teacher was in class or not, whether it was break time or not, whether it was meal time or not. Sometimes I attribute my poor eating habits and less than satisfactory performance to these actions. I was caught severally and punished for reading during classes, as if that stopped me. But do I regret it? No. In the same situation I’d do exactly the same, or worse.

Fortunately, in the last few years of my primary school education, the school started a library system to encourage reading among the students and even set aside specific hours strictly for reading. I kid you not, I went through each and every book available, both languages, and was done by the time I did my certificate of primary education exams. I always look back and laugh at how crazy I was, (still am) . Well, my creative writing exams were always the best, if I say so myself.

At some point, my father availed books from his old collection. I learnt how to take care of books from him, because I could see the effort put in making sure every book was diligently preserved. The most notable one was his original copy of The Government Inspector by Nikolai Gogol, which happened to be the setbook he had done during his high-school days. After reading the book, I went through it with him, as we made fun of the characters, most especially the mayor, Anton Antonovich, his wife Anna, their daughter Mary, the fake inspector Ivan Ivanovich and the mischievous Dobchinsky and Bobchinsky. This has to be the most wholesome moment I have shared with my father. This also formed my earliest impression of Russia. Haha, I’ll leave politics for another day, don’t worry.

Looking back also, my father did alot, though unknowingly, to support and grow my love for reading. Every time he came home from work, which was only a few days every three months or so, he’d make sure to bring a huge stack of every newspaper issue he had obtained within the time he had been gone. I don’t think I can even explain how I used to look forward to this! It’d be the first thing I looked for when he came. Of course after greetings and helping bring the rest of the shopping into the house. I am a proper daughter after all. Well, as proper as one can be.

Then the next round of disagreements with my mother would begin. Because I’d hog and hoard all the newspapers. How dare anyone try to take away this precious reading material away from me for whatever reason? Haha, it didn’t end up well, as you can imagine. I didn’t have the courage to act willfully while my father was around. And in any case the newspapers were meant for everyone, for whatever use. Including my grandfather who loved using the black and white pages to make his usual rolls of tobacco. I’d get mad every time I found an issue I hadn’t read missing. I’d get so frustrated and even cry sometimes. It was that serious.

Possessive as I was, I didn’t hesitate to share the newspapers with my fellow students, if not for the educational value, at least for a bit of a break from the monotony of course work. Of course under the conditions that no page would be missing, or colored or dirtied. And trust me when I say I used to check all of them afterwards, page by page, newspaper by newspaper. It’s these newspapers that introduced me to columnists like Tony Mochama, Silas Nyanchwani, Beryl Wanga Itindi, Sunny Bindra, Mutahi Ngunyi(political analyst) , Mwalimu Andrew, Josh Nanjero among others. Talking of Tony Mochama, is it me or does he resemble Mr. Oyaro (AGHS)? Busherians riddle me this.

Joining high school opened up a whole new world of.. You guessed it, books and more books ! Endless books! Everywhere! Oh my goodness. Micere Githae Mugo, Tony Mochama, Koigi wa Wamwere, Josiah Mwangi Kariuki, Rebecca Nandwa, Meja Mwangi, Grace Ogot, Margaret Ogola, Francis D. Imbuga, Marjorie Oludhe Macgoye, Ngũgì wa Thiong’o, Maya Angelou , Stephen King, Nora Robert’s, Danielle Steel, Virginia Woolf, J.K. Rowling, James Patterson, Homer, Ernest Hemingway, Jane Austen, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Louis Stevenson, Dr. Seuss, Roald Dahl, Mark Twain, C.S. Lewis, Harper Lee,
Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare, George Orwell, Leo Tolstoy, William Faulkner, Henrik Ibsen, John Steinbeck, Edgar Allan Poe. Oh, how I wish it was possible to list all of them.

So of course, read I did. And oh boy, did I read! Ask around, they’ll tell you. And I read, and read, and read, and read. I am still reading to date. This endless reading has kept me out of more trouble than it has gotten me into. It kept me occupied when I could have been in and with the wrong company. It kept me sane when everything was too much. Books have taught me alot of what I know. They have admonished me, chastised me, guided me, provoked me to think and broadened my mind. It’s a gift I will never be able to repay. That’s why I write. It’s part of my efforts to give back.

Reading has also contributed to my poor social skills too, unfortunately. When people were busy socializing and making friends, I was lost in James Patterson thrillers, trying to solve crimes with detective Alex Cross, pitying the Baudelaire orphans and villifying Count Olaf in A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, crying in John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars, catching up with the sensation that was Chasing Red, Nancy Drew, among others.

I have loved, and still love books to the extent that sometimes it physically pains me to share a good book. I am a jealous lover. Sue me. I still end up sharing though, because I want another person to experience the magic that books possess. I share my love for books with every new person I meet, because I wish for more people to be readers. Thinkers. Broad-minded people. Liberated people. It is common knowledge that most stifling of all shackles are mental shackles . Ignorance is the greatest enemy to prosperity.

To be realistic, I don’t approve of some things I did, despite everything I have said earlier. Hobbies are good, but one should be able to balance between chores, responsibilities and free time. Reading during classes is also wrong. There is a time and place for everything, I believe . It easy for all that to blur especially with the advent of e-books easily available on our mobile gadgets, but discipline is an important virtue to cultivate.

My dream is to one day own a private collection of leather bound books, a library if you may. And the only thing standing between me and that, is only time. Now because the way some of you handle books makes me feel like carrying out assault against you , let me leave you with a few tips on how to handle and care for books.

Hold the books in your clean hands, dirty hands stain the pages.

Do not fold the pages of the book for reading again, use bookmarks or paper clips.

Keep your favourite books away from children and pets to avoid torn, missing and drawn-on pages.

Do not read books while eating or drinking, because there is still the fear of food and drink stains on the books.

Also, did you know about the human library?
The Human Library is an international organization and movement that first started in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2000. It aims to address people’s prejudices by helping them to talk to those they would not normally meet. The organisation uses a library analogy of lending people rather than books. (Wikipedia)

BLUE 👑

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one.”
George R.R. Martin

WHISPERS

Was it just yesterday,
That we promised each other forever?
Oh, but words are brittle than clay,
Was it just yesterday,
That I knew every inch of your soul?
Well I guess it’s time to pay,
I believed your words,
And you pierced me with swords.

BLUE 👑

You’re playing with fire,
Don’t you fear getting burnt?
Am an assassin for hire,
What if you die by my hand?
You play with the thin line between life and death,
So unaware that this could be your last breath,
Ignorant of the fact that I’ve crossed to the other side,
Little one, run, hide,
Don’t be fooled by this façade,
Love is a lie, man – made,
And I am a monster ,
Go, I hear my demons calling.
Go.

BLUE 👑

Hi, are you there?
Did you ever really care?
Can we go on an evening walk,
Hold hands and maybe talk?
Do I even exist in your world?
You view everything with the eyes of a child,
Believing in the goodness of everyone,
Trusting that the good always won,
How about me,
Who is as terrible as they could all be,
Who has shown you the depths of depravity and the highs of need,
Who only to your dark desires feed,
It’s 3am,
Hi, are you there?
Can we talk?

BLUE 👑

CAN YOU ESCAPE FATE?

If only you would realize some day, how much have you hurt me,
If only your heart ever, craves for me or my presence…
If only you feel that love again someday for me,
If only you are affected someday by my absence…
Only you can end all my suffering and this unbearable pain,
If only you would know what you could never procure…
If only you go through the memories of past once again,
Since the day you left my heart has bled, no one has its cure…
If only you would bring that love, those showers and that rain…
If only you would come back and see what damage you create,
I’ve been waiting for your return since forever more…
If only you would see the woman that you have made,
You said we cannot sail through, how were you so sure?
If only you can feel the old things that can never fade,
You may have moved on, but a piece of my heart is still with you…
I know how I’ve come so far alone; I know how I’m able to wade,
People say that I’m insane and you won’t ever come back again…
Maybe you would have never made your separate way,
Maybe you would have stayed with me and proved everyone wrong…
If only you would know the pain of dying every day,
If only you would feel the burden of smiling and being strong…


Mehek Bassi, Chained: Can you escape fate?

UNDER THE SAME SKY

With a bunch of chocolate and fast melting ice cream I walk under the glow of the moonlight. It’s a beautiful night tonight. The sky is breathtaking, stars, the moon, a cloud and another. The air is cool, a gentle comforting breeze. My headsets are playing music on shuffle, trying to surprise me. As if.

I walk past the mostly deserted shopping center and throw away my now empty cup. I see a lady seated alone on the cold green benches that litter the space. She looks so, alone. It’s quiet. There’s nobody around. It strikes a chord in me. I thought I’d be sitting here alone tonight. She isn’t even playing with her phone. She is just staring into space. Seemingly lost. I feel bad. I have chocolate in my pocket, maybe it will make her evening better.


I really want to approach her. But it’s a fight between me and my anxiety. What if I stutter? What if I she thinks am being annoying? My legs pull me further from the lonely silhouette as I wage battle with the anxiety. Don’t be a wimp! I chide myself. You can do this. I make a u-turn, swallowing the regret already forming at the back of my head.

“Hello? Are you waiting for someone?” I immediately regret it. I sound timid, stupid even.
Wow! Way to go ma’am. Normal people ask how one is doing. What is wrong with you? What if she was stood up? Have you looked at the time? A million reasons my opening statement is wrong suddenly make themselves known to me and I try not to face-palm.

She smiles. It’s a small tired smile. I know those ones.
“Hello, yes I am waiting for someone, it’s taking them a while”.
I know the feeling. I hate being kept waiting. I find it very rude. I hate keeping people waiting too. Before I blurt out something stupid I ask how her day was. Can’t complain much. That’s what she says. She’s a brave one this one, heartbreakingly brave. She asks how I am, how my day was.

Suddenly I don’t know what to say. This wasn’t about me, I want to complain. I never know how to answer those questions. How are you? How was your day? I find that most people don’t ask because they care, they ask as a formality. Social discipline and order. Why. What are you going to do if I tell you that I am not okay? So what if I had a bad day? Do you even have the patience to understand why or do you just want to say sorry and get over and done with it? It’s a bit uncomfortable bringing feelings into a conversation, I know. Everybody is convinced that being cold and detached is the way to go. So why do you even ask if you don’t care?

As I think, I make some wierd hand signals. I hope that means something, because I genuinely don’t have an answer. Lucky for me, she understands. Before I chicken out, I ask her if she likes chocolate. She replies in affirmative and I am glad. I don’t know what I would have done if she didn’t. Probably swallowed my tongue trying to come up with a comprehensible statement and die. What a way to go down.

I fish out some dark chocolate from my pockets and offer it. She smiles and the cloud in my soul lifts a little. Just a little. I smile too. Then she goes ahead and asks, “what about you?” The smile gets stuck on my face and suddenly my expression is uglier than a crying alien. I thank the heavens for the less than spectacular lighting. I probably look like a constipated monkey.

I have given, offered, but hardly has anyone ever asked that question. To say it takes me off balance is an understatement. My brain is mocking me. You should have walked away while you still had the chance. Somehow, I manage to explain that I have more. At least that’s what I think. I unconsciously add some self-deprecating humor in the process and by the time I realize it I want to bury myself in a hole somewhere and disappear off the face of the earth.

I look away. The stars look so beautiful. She sighs. I sigh too. In that moment, in the silence, we’re two souls, two tired souls, under the same sky.

“Its been five years since I was last here. Everything looks so unfamiliar.” she starts, and we both sigh again. Five years is a long time. Enough time for the world to be fucked over twice. Enough time for alot of things to change. Enough time for people to change. For friends to turn into strangers. I give her the same small tired smile and urge her to continue. It’s best if I don’t talk. The more I talk the more the chances she’ll end up thinking that I am mental. I am happy to listen.

She doesn’t hold back, and I am glad I stopped by. She tells me about love, and life, and pain, and success, and failure. I marvel at the strength and sheer will power of this amazing woman infront of me. A wave of dizziness hits me and I move to sit on the cold bench. Yes, I have been standing all this while. I am wierd like that.

“I am here to apologize, that’s the only reason I am willing to put my pride aside and wait ” she adds out of the blues and I nod in understanding. She laughs, it’s a short laugh, like the last beat of a sad song. Chilling. Haunting. “I am the last born in my family. I rarely apologize, am never in the wrong. But this time round am truly aware that I am the offender. I am abit nervous” I admire her more. Alot of people I have met have problems with admiting their mistakes and apologizing. Ego games. I find myself apologizing for everything, alot, even for things that aren’t my fault. Sigh.


She continues, and I listen.
I tell her she reminds me of someone, and surprisingly enough, it’s a mutual friend. Well, acquaintance. We make a few jokes and I feel like I’ve known her for years.



She has a five year old daughter, she says. Called Betty, short for Beatriz. I tell her it’s a beautiful surprise, because that’s my name too, she laughs and exclaims at the coincidence. It sounds genuine. The laughter. I ask about her daughter and her eyes glow as she talks about her. She is a completely different person. I like this version of her more.

It’s 10:20pm. I might probably get locked out of my hostel. But it’s worth it. I want to hear more about the day Beatriz caught a butterfly and didn’t want to let it go. I don’t want to leave Cecily alone in the now empty shopping center. It’s cold. And I know how fast the cold can seep into the cracks of the heart. I’ll stay until this man with no sense of time shows up. Well, in his defense he is in for an emergency meeting. But still, men, don’t keep your women out there waiting for you. They might catch a cold. I might catch a cold myself.

A black range rover pulls over. It’s 10:45pm. I am definitely getting locked out tonight. A man walks out and I am ready to bolt. “Come over and say hello to my friend”, Ceci, as she says I should call her, calls out. I really want to run right now but apart from biting my lips so hard till I can taste blood, I stay put. Mr. Man greets her with a hug and I fist bump him. Bringing up the matter of time, I give Ceci a goodbye hug and whisper a few words. Just a reminder to be accommodating and communicate properly.

I now bolt. Literally. I can’t help it. She probably thinks I am mental now. Oh well, I tried. I look back one last time to see them holding hands walking towards the car, and wish them well. I remember her words, fight for love. Sigh. If it was as easy as fighting the whole lot of us would have burnt down the world by now. You can’t fight if there’s nothing to fight for. Or if you’re the only one fighting. The most important thing is to learn when to hold on and when to let go.

I can’t stop running, so I race all the way to the hostel. It’s unlocked. Mercury must be in a good mood or something. You know, all that zodiac shit. I read my horoscope today morning, I know. Strange person. That’s me. Looking for direction and answers in The Indian Times. Anyway. I let the matron know that I’ll be outside and stand for a while to stare at the moon. She is so beautiful.

As soon as I get to my room, I start writing. Under the same sky.

HURTS SO GOOD

It’s a see – saw,
back and forth with a shaky balance,
Here there are no laws, everyone is fighting for dominance,
Stop! Let me go,
Go! No wait, you can’t go!
Please?
Cease!
Okay, where do I stay?
Anywhere but near me,
That’s what you always say,
Then why won’t you let me be?
Because you can’t leave,
That’s a lie you weave?!
Lie or not you’re not going anywhere,
Now get out of my sight!
A broken voice cries out into the night,
Why do you have to be so unfair?
Chaining me to the shackles of despair,
Why won’t you let me go away,
Hide my shame from the light of day,
Why won’t you let me go,
When the very sight of me makes you hate me more…?

Part 2.

Do you hate me that much,
That my wounds you willingly patch,
Only and just to rip them apart,
As soon as you’re done soothing the hurt?
What is it that makes you build me up,
For the sick pleasure of bringing me down and my energy sap?
You kick me around like a stray dog,
Yet you won’t let me out into the streets,
You avoid me as if I am a rabid animal,
Yet you won’t allow the vets to put me down,
Am I a puppet, only for you to string me along,
Is it my fault, that I’ll truly never belong,
Reminds me of a song,
Maybe you’ll like this one


You’re fighting me off like a firefighter
So tell me why you still get burned
You say you’re not, but you’re still a liar
‘Cause I’m the one that you run to first
Every time, yeah
Why do you try to deny it
When you show up every night
And tell me that you want me but it’s complicated
So complicated
When it hurts but it hurts so good
Do you take it?
Do you break it off?
When it hurts but it hurts so good
Can you say it?
Can you say it? Astrid S.

This story never ends, This road only ends at death,

WHAT IS LOVE?

Am not the best at expressing myself,
I prefer using actions instead,
But what I feel for you, my queen, scares me,
So much that confessing my emotions is not such a daunting task anymore,
Don’t mind this jumbled mess of emotional words,
For it is said that a fool in love,
Knows not what to say or how to say it,
But please believe me when I say,
I know what I want, and it’s you,
I want you in all the ways you could possibly imagine,
In body, mind, soul, spirit, everything,
I want more than a fairy tale love story with you,
I want to be your knight in shining armour,
Cliche, I know,
But that’s what falling in love feels like,
Like a dream,
I feel in too deep without realizing,
I was scared, but now I don’t want out anymore,
Am ready to embrace this strange feeling,
The butterflies in my stomach when I see you,
The lump in my throat when you smile,
I want, oh, there’s so much that I want,
I want to sleep next to you,
Holding that little body so close and tight next to me,
Breathing in the fragrance of your hair,
I want your beautiful eyes to be the first thing I see when I wake up,
I want to hear your reassuring voice when am plagued with nightmares,
I want to fight for you when your demons show up unexpectedly,
I want to surprise you with breakfast in bed,
Feed you your favorite fruits as the birds celebrate the start of the day with us,
Comb and braid your hair,
Kiss you till your lips are swollen,
Make love to you slowly till you beg me to stop,
I want to worship every inch of your body,
Love all your scars,
Adore all your imperfections and insecurities,
I want pillow fights and food fights,
I want to go out with you downtown and flex on my boys,
I want to get wine drunk with you and make love by the fireplace,
Sing off-key to blink-182 loudly and annoy the neighbors,
I want cold winter nights cuddling watching your favorite animation,
I want everything with you,
I want to be better for you,
I want to have kids with you.. if you want,
I want to travel the world with you,
Conquer the universe with you by my side,
I love you,
Please allow me to love you,
Allow me to give my heart to you,
And and cherish yours in turn,
Give me a chance,
Let me love you.

Well, all I have to say is that. Allow yourself to love, and more importantly, to be loved. But remember that the price of an open heart and soul is pain.

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