I will not keep this to myself anymore. So let me get it out of my chest. A psychologist once told me that after you hear something, you can’t “unhear” it. So brace yourself. Be warned that this might be explosive. You may want to stop reading at this point. You have exactly two seconds before you make up your mind.
Ok. If you are still reading, it means you are ready for my confession. Phew!
Here we go.
This goes way back to my childhood. Sister Liz was the first white person I encountered in my young life. She was a member of the American Peace Corps, sent to my village, deep in Nyandarua, to work as a nurse in the village dispensary. She also doubled up as a part time music teacher in my primary school and the local AIC Church.
Boy, oh Boy! Did my classmates and yours truly swim in teenage testosterone when she was around? Baby Jesus and His Holy Mother! Anytime Sister Liz, came to our school, the last hair in our armpits would sing a collective kumbaya. Some of the village boys would intentionally get bruised for the sole purpose of going to the dispensary to be treated by Sister Liz. The crotchet-sized needles of them days did not bother the boys. So long as it was Sister Liz doing the kudunga sindano thing.
I remember in my teenage wet dreams I would always be seating by the muhuti tree in our school compound and Sister Liz would be right next to me. Both of us would be seating on a lesso spread, on lazy Sunday afternoons, listening to “Yours for the Asking” on VOK English Service by John Karani on a Sanyo transistor radio (many of the internet generation may not know what I just said). Sister Liz and I would be eating mandazi and teremsharing with Fanta orange soda. The thing I did not like with eating mandazi with Fanta soda was that after a few sips, some whitish stuff would be seen floating on the soda. Must have been pieces of mandazi.
Later in life when I had my own kids, my son would drink half of his Fanta soda and then offer the rest for me to finish it off; the only problem being the whitish stuff floating on top of the soda. Must have been his cupcake pieces floating there. Yuck, I don’t like Fanta soda.
Anyway, I was saying that in my dreams, Sister Liz would allow me to move my sweaty hands up her skirt. I would go all the way up to her thigh gap. I would almost be touching the Bermuda Triangle. But at that exact moment, Ngunu, our lactating cow, would “Moooo!” so loudly the same time my Netherlands were releasing their contents. I would be shaken away from my dear Sister Liz’s arms only to discover that it was another dream; wasted sticky seeds wetting my underpants.
The thought of one day, one time actualizing my dream of getting a real Sister Liz and finishing off what I started in my dream followed me to high school, then to the university, then to adulthood. All the girlfriends I had were, in the deepest covens of my soul, representatives of Sister Liz. Most of them did not do a good job of representing her. Some of them made the list. One took over my heart and became my wife.
Lakini wapi! Where do I get the real Sister Liz? The hums drum of life dragged on. At this point I need to say that there are things as a human being one must do. Call them the bucket list. There is no way one has to be sent to the world of the moles without doing some crazy things. And I am not talking about hiking Mt. Everest, or going to see the Taj Mahal, or getting married in Vegas. I am talking about those hidden cravings that only God knows where they emanate from.
Your life would be dull if you did not harbor some inner secrets. Say for example visiting the ladies bathroom just to see if they have urinals. Or something crazy like that. For me, getting hold of a Sister Liz was at the top of my bucket list.
Two children later, just like that, I got me a green card. Since I had not included my wife and our two kids in the application, I ended up leaving them behind, to join me later. I boarded a KLM flight 360, one warm Nairobi evening and landed in Washington Dulles International the following day.
Six months later, I was riding on the train heading to work.
Her: Hi. Do you mind if I sit next to you?
Me: Please do.
There was an awkward moment, where you don’t know if to continue with the conversation or continue watching those silent Facebook videos that have captions and people watch in the toilet and giggle like little babies. Everyone in the train is hunched over the tiny screens. Many years to come, all humans will evolve and get bean pole physiques, the way we are mostly hunched over the small screen introduced to the world by the late Steve Jobs. I hope he carried one of his products to give St. Peter a gift.
But thank the god of Kirinyaga. The girl was braver than yours truly, because a few moments later.
Her: My name is Kathy, with a K.
Me: Nice to meet you Kathy with a K.
She smiled. She took me back to my Sister Liz days. Is she THE ONE?
Her: I like your accent. Where are you from?
Me: Kenya, Africa.
Her: Cool! I wanna go to Kenya on Safari.
Me: That would be awesome. Kenya is beautiful.
Her: I know! I am an anthropology student and Kenya is important in my field.
Me: You should definitely visit.
Her: I am getting out the next station. Lemme text you my number and we can catch up.
I told you that there is a saint somewhere. That patron saint that makes sure that the desires of your heart are met before the grim reaper calls you out. My moment had come. I finally met my Sister Liz. My bucket list is now minus one check!
By Mzee Moja | firstname.lastname@example.org