MAKE A PACT WITH A STRANGER:Sketches of depression.

It is a cold but promising Wednesday morning.For some strange reasons I have grown to love Wednesdays,ask me why I can’t tell.To some untold weirdness I think they breed a sense of peace and relaxation.A promise of work halfway done,chills halfway broken and promises even halfway kept.

To some extent I feel like the optimist in me always reminds the pessimist that the glass is halfway full and not empty.Mmmmh,I rub my hands together as I rise from my bed before opening my eyes.Cold huh?this 19°c can be termed cold and welcome relief as the 30’s plus degrees have not had any relenting mercy lately.As the heat cold caresses my skin I am led to do the one thing I always avoid at all costs,open my phone before prayers;well,this day I do and I go into a whatsapp group and bang! This almost unimaginable long post hits my eyes.

Looks like those movie plots you see and hold onto the edge of your seat,with one popcorn chunk to your lips,await to shove it in after the suspense is done and you have known what hits next.Right in front of my eyes is a note so deep and intense.I read it once,then again and I make no sense in it.I mean this can’t be possible you know?Like it doesn’t even look realistic.

For a moment it now makes sense that nothing happens as a coincidence whatsoever but all things are planned by God.If I din’t believe in Him before,Today I did as I broke a code not so often broken.My prayers must always come first.But Today I have to attend to this course that only He,my Father and Master has given.Only after that can we have our conversation later.

I read through the responses in haste as I see what the note-writer says next but what ensues are encouragements and a number of scriptural verses of uplifting words;others rather misplaced in the current circumstance however.

My heart races as it is all but a scary internal exchange as I hope and earnestly pray my now new friend is doing well.

I pick out the number from the group,an act that I also feel strange about as I fret doing that often.I dial the digits and to my surprise it goes through..Quite strange you would almost think I expected it not to buzz through but buzz it does and there is a sure connection on the other end.

A beautiful and almost confident voice says halo,who is this and how can I help you?”Well,my name is PePa and I got your number from this Christian group.”I respond almost unsure if this was right or wrong.I go ahead and ask them if they are okay and the say they are well.A most common answer from most of us when we honestly know we ain’t cool but who gives a hoot if we are okay or not?Say you are well and finish off the conversation.We are busy people and we got more important things to attend to,huh?So a stranger asking whether we are fine or not never warrants any in-depth explanations of our situations.

Right here I notice a classic sketch of distorted relationships.It is my society too so maybe I,even I have played an ultimate role in this distortion.I chuckle when they say they are okay and ask,”Why do you say you are okay when from your note it indicated you aren’t?”At this point I lose all prior knowledge and rule of social interactions and developing trust in both friends and acquaintances.The rule is simple yet so hard to apply;before you get to pick out one fault in a person,try and give them a thousand reasons to trust you.A thousand reasons?This gives me a migraine as counting up to a 1000 is quite hectic,unless it was only a 1000 shilling/cash bill note,hahah.Breaking this rule costs me however as Alex on the other end tells me they can’t talk at the moment and asks if they can call me later.

Phew!! Hope I din’t just mess this golden chance.I get back to my prayers and ticked to my prayer list I have a new prayer item.Am a believer so to me every word counts and every event rarely bypasses me.I believe in science but still believe in the author of science itself.I wait for the call but nothing comes through.At around 10am however,am still disturbed and decide to text them.

The answer that comes through however is chilling and I feel like I have lost a friend that I never even had or met before.A simple thing to brush off most times but did you know it is worse losing what you never had than what you actually have ?Well,think about it.

Can’t be solved?I quizz and dig into my head.What was never possible to solve?If I ran in lower school with my flat ended feet and played football when I din’t know how to kick a piece of grass then what is impossible?If I grew from sharing half a loaf of bread in a family of 10,eating hunted game(a whole day’s work) and being raised with young uncles while mum bites away through books in High School to get an education and bring home a better future…am just thinking.If I went through that and more then nothing is impossible.

Nothing can’t be solved.We have a series of convos to and fro and it is not an easy fete but fate and grace win the day as this folds up.

For a bit,my heart rests peaceful and we set a time to meet and talk,4pm to be precise.Gets to around 4 pm and they change their mind.They are busy and reschedule to the next day.Am okay but I have an appointment the day next and they pick the day after.I ask them to make a promise not to do anything till we meet and they sure make a good promise.Good at least in my books.Good enough to make me sleep at night.

I have a dinner appointment with a friend Tonight and nothing goes down the throat better than a hearty meal of stories,catching up on the past and a plate full of hot wet beef and fried rice.Give me this any day and we are eternal friends.Hahahahha glutton you can call me but nothing tastes better than good friendships and amazing food.

The appointed day comes and my friend is sure feisty and almost goes away without meeting me.Am kind of running late and plead with them to wait just a lil bit longer.They give in and we are home and dry.

Across the road stands this African stature of true flowing ebony beauty.Why do bad things happen to good people I ask myself as they walk towards me.You can see no flows on their face or gaze as they walk,a typical case of don’t judge a book by it’ s cover.

We shake hands,I finish on a few calls and am all their’s.We find a nearby less crowded restaurant and share a cup of tea for me and a glass juice for them.A meaty kebab rents the air with its delicious aroma.Mmmh almost makes my full stomach hungry.Fresh and steaky it is.

A third person joins the table and on request he agrees to find another.This is a private meet in a public place I guess.I smile and look them square in the eyes and am like am all your’s.They smile back and ask where to start from.”Give it all to me,don’t hold back,I will only speak if you want me to but for Today all my ears are for you.”I respond with a full smile.

A beautiful young girl rejected by the father and with a mother who has no say in it,I envy my mother at this point as I listen on and feel that painful lump in my throat grow.She is beaten up by the dad unlike other siblings and even questions if this is her real dad,a question most mums dread.

A rejection with the first boyfriend doesn’t help and an abortion gone awry brings in more pain.I would literally hate all men if I was in Alex’s shoes but this woman has a will of steel and meets yet another handsome guy,falls in love and gets pregnant.If I were in her shoe I wouldn’t but honestly who controls when and how to fall in love so kick off your judgemental self PePa.Even I have not been with any little success at love so listen on.The second try at love and with a baby to show jilts her and wants an abortion which my dear Alex can’t go through with again.

She is thus rejected another time but this time round has a baby to take care of.A little girl,father refuses to pay her school fees anymore and after giving birth has to fend for her school fees and her baby’s well being! What do you do at 23?

Rejected,heart-broken,lonely and broke and with a little baby to feed?No amount of bible scriptures can help change this situation,no amount of preaching is needed.All she needs is to feel loved and wanted,for someone to hear her out and share their real experiences.You think she hasn’t prayed?You think she doesn’t believe in God?Nope,she has prayed more than you and fasting to her is not like you think..she fasts even when she doesn’t want to,she knows how to be without feels like.She is without and only needs someone to show her that she has more than she could ever imagine.

She has been called ghetto and ugly.At this point I wonder what beauty is for right before me,I see a little girl who loves her son beyond measure.A girl who glows with warmth and will do any possible right thing to see her son grow strong and healthy.If that is not true beauty then I think I missed a beauty class 101.

For a moment I now understand why I had to go through my perils before she did.Why my life has never been a bed of roses,I thank God for shining His grace upon me and enabling me to share my story of cactus and thistles and as the tears well in her eyes she now sees more clearly and realises that life is not easy but worth living.

The shoulder of a stranger proves softer to lean on than the hard floor of familiar pain.We share a smile and she realises she is beautiful and needs no validation from any man,father,friend or person.That her validation comes from the fact that God made her wonderfully and beautifully and that He gave her this day to accomplish something.That from one scarred hand to the other,He loves her more than her pains and sorrows can tell.

My friend Alex hence heads back home with a smile and hope that Today is a gift and she has to enjoy the little pockets of joy that come with it.

She now sees that her life is worth something when she still has it and not when she takes it away.

Ps.When someone is depressed,just give them an ear to listen and a shoulder to lean on.It makes a whole difference.Don’t judge or even offer solutions,just listen.PEPA.

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