I am sure

My Sunshine
I have heard that many couples get jittery on the eve of their wedding. I have heard that many have second thoughts.  They doubt the choices they have made. I have even heard that this is normal and with time the doubts pass. What I have not heard is that many are certain of the one they want to marry. Some have claimed that there is no such thing-that peculiar certainty is only fodder for the movies. If this is so, then my life is a movie.
I knew that she was the one I would marry. I had not popped the question. I had not begun courting her. Heck, I had not even met her! Yet, I knew without a doubt that our paths would cross someday. And so they did in Uganda, where we were studying for our A-levels. She was the Christian, and I the wretched sinner. She was the sober one, I the brewery. She was the epitome of all that is good. I on the other hand, was the very dregs of all that is rotten. I envied her. Her life was simple. She did not concern herself with all the drama around her. She seemed unruffled by them; they were below her you might reckon. Not I. My life was full of drama, from dusk till dawn I was immersed neck-deep in them. Rumours flew over my head as bees over pollen. Glances and whispers were exchanged every time I stepped into a room. Diabolically, there was a part of me that relished it all and even fuelled it. Piously, there was a part of me that wanted out, that wanted to live like her, my future wife. The latter won. Hence, in my senior six (read form six), I started seeing life from her point of view. It was much clearer and liberating. I loved every bit of it. It was in these changing circumstances that our discourses progressed from hallo to how are you doing? I could have made my move then, but something (or someone) held me back. “No rush,” it (or he) seemed to say, “She will be all yours at the right time”. I held my horses. I completed my A-levels and we had to part ways. She was one class behind me. The parting was not painful. Once again, that stubborn assurance lingered. I would see her again. It would be several years before I did.
We met again in Campus. I nearly broke her nose-call it a prank gone bad. This was followed by a most intimate of hugs, the first in a series of more to come. We saw each other regularly after that but often in the company of other Christians. Nonetheless, we grew closer by the day till eventually we became inseparable. Our friends noticed and giggles could be heard here and there. Nothing malicious, they wished us the best of happiness. 
It has been a while now since we have been together. I am not sure of the exact figure-she is the one who is good with dates. However, one thing I am sure of is that she is the one, always been and always will be. Lately, we have been dwelling on the subject of marriage quite a bit, and rightly so. I have not popped the question. Perhaps I have not seen or felt the need to. When we started out, it was quite clear to both of us that this one was for the long haul, no trial and error, no dating (guess we kissed that good bye), no what if, if only,..but till death do us part.  When the time comes, and we find ourselves before the altar, we will be saying those vows for the umpteenth time. We will make known to the world what has been known to us since the moment we said, “Good to go…” We truly love each other so. I will look into her eyes and hear…  
  
            “My beloved is mine and I am his”.
She will look into mine and hear…
            “How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful!”

Bullies of my life

I had a dream the other day-the kind that transports one back in time- visiting day in Form one to be precise. There were plenty of goodies to savour later in the evening. The only problem was that most of the savouring was done by the senior students. The role of Form ones was to pay libations to their ancestors-the senior students. Failure of payment led to dire consequences for the defaulter. Well, on this particular day, I wasn’t ready to pay. I stood my ground to the astonishment of my colleagues. I saw them beg me through clenched teeth to relent-for all our sakes. I resisted-for all our sakes.  A tussle ensued between a senior student and I. Word of it reached the headmaster, an Irish man of short stature with the flaring temper of a Russian. The senior student purported that I had insulted him. I retorted that I had not but if I had, he would not have understood the insult anyway. He was slow in grasping the Queen’s language. The headmaster let a quirky smirk slip through his stern demeanour.
“A Form one standing up to a Form four, right under my nose…there’s a first!” he must have mused.
Nonetheless, we both got a good thrashing. I suppose, it was the Irish way of settling disputes. If it is one’s word against another due to lack of witnesses, let both parties suffer. However, something good came out of the whole saga. The headmaster asked me to set up a task force to investigate cases of bullying and report to him personally. I embarked on the task zealously. Notorious bullies were brought to account and reprimanded in ingenious and humiliating ways. Soon stories of our success spread across, the district, the province, and even the country too. Our strategy was emulated in boy schools all over Kenya. The end of bullying was in sight. We envisaged that in a few years, never would one have to go through the horrifying experience that is “monolisation”. Indeed I was on a good run; appearing in school magazines, turning girls’ heads in symposiums, featuring in TV and radio…then I woke up.
It is such a sinking feeling when dreams take you to the loftiest clouds but reality brings you back to earth with a loud thud. I sat on the edge of my bed thinking long and hard. I was a puny fellow back then. I still am. I was tossed here and about. My food, my time, the uniform on my body…weren’t mine. I should have stood for what is mine but no, timidity always got the better of me. When I needed it most, courage failed me miserably. I still remember the faces of my bullies; some dark with bloodshot eyes, some light with dark scars that scared the living daylights out of me. I still remember them.
I am older now, wiser and braver too. I still meet bullies of all kinds; those who want to swindle me off my hard earned sweat, those who want to hold me back from chasing my dreams, those who want to force their opinion on me, heck, even those who want to entice me for a rendezvous in between the sheets! Sometime I think to myself, “If only I knew then what I know now, life would be so different”. However, life does not play out like that. We learn from our past, do right in the present to avoid regrets in the future. I have learnt from my past-my high school days to be precise. I have learnt that bullies would always be there in my life. It is how I respond to them that determine whether they linger or not.
I rose from my bed, read my Bible, freshened up and stepped out-ready to tussle with bullies that the world would bring my way.