“Good morning baby. Have a good day at work today. Will talk to you later.”
I have become accustomed to waking up to these texts, on days when I wake up cursing at the alarm clock.
Ours is a relationship based on humour, sarcasm, embarrassing moments, laughter, truth, honesty, trust and love. We do not have a love or life manual. We do not know which step to take and which to avoid. We do not know the appropriate time to call or text or write a letter or read or work out. In fact, most of the times, we do that which just comes to mind.
So, we are living each day as it comes. Crossing each bridge only when we get there. We are taking chances instead of control. Taking control is at times boring. We do not plan. Our activities are spontaneous because we love the thrill that comes along with the last-minute rash.
We gossip. A lot. Ha-ha. We laugh at my messages in messenger. We laugh at our mutual friends who are trying to hit on me. Sometimes, he takes the wheel and replies to their messages, just to see how far they are willing to go with me. We laugh at his drunk texting. We laugh at our past selves. We laugh at his boring texts when he was still trying to win me over. We laugh at what he thought was the most intelligent line he used on me.
I am ticklish. Very much so. So, on lazy Sunday afternoons, we watch a whole season of the Grand Tour, and after a series of arguments about who is better between Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond, he rolls over to my side and tickles me till I beg him stop. But he doesn’t stop anyway, so I have to blackmail him before he finally stops.
He is not much of a reader, unless it is a book about science. But on the few days he is in the mood for a good day, I sneak a book into his bag before he leaves for work. Later in the day:
Him: Did you intentionally put a book in my bag?
Me: A book? No. I thought it was a saucepan I put in there. Are you sure it was a book?
Him: This is not funny. Anyway, something tragic happened?
Me: To the book? Oh no.
Him: I just spilt a whole litre of water on it. Accidentally though.
Me: I do not even know you.
And that is how I have lost some of my beloved books. Trying to get my beloved to read them…ha-ha.
Do we fight? No. I don’t think that is us. Arguments? No. We do not have the emotional strength for all that. Disagreements? Yes. Sometimes. We disagree about what to cook for supper, because he is always thinking of Ugali and Skuma, and I am there dreaming of how delicious mashed potatoes are. We disagree about who watches the TV at what time, which mostly ends with him burying himself in his science books, ignoring any attempts to make him talk.
Yes, we disagree about who sleeps on which side of the bed, because we both think we are claustrophobic. But again, I lose most of these ones because I fall asleep earlier and I am easily pushed to the wall side.
My 48kgs aren’t doing me so much good!
Sometimes, he tries to act romantic and accompanies me to the kitchen, and sits there watching youtube videos as I cook. But moments later, he leaves silently.
Me: Sasa mbona umeenda? (Why have you left?
Him: Hizo vitunguu zinanipigia kelele siskii kile huyu mse kwa video anasema. (The frying onions are noisy, I am having a hard time listening to my videos)
Ahem! I think he just doesn’t have the romance gene!
Sometimes, we disagree about going out to family parties, because well, I am kind of shy when it comes to mingling with strangers. I would just get a quiet corner, connect to the Wi-Fi and get busy with my phone until someone comes asking whether I was hungry. So, most times, I prefer just staying back at the house and enjoying some alone time. But again, most times he somehow manages to convince me that he will be right by my side throughout the session, even though I know that is quite a lie. So, I end up in conversations such as:
Aunt 1: (This one is pretty young and talks to me as if she is just my elder sister) Usijali. Tutakaa na wewe kitchen. (Don’t worry. We will be with you in the kitchen)
Aunt 2: Haiya. Kumbe kijana wetu anajua kuchagua hivi? Huyu tutaweza kulipia mahari kweli? (So, our son knows how to make a choice? Will we be able to pay the bride price?)
I rarely smile at these comments because the last time I checked, aunts are the most sarcastic creatures on earth.
Aunt 2: Mko aje? Hua anakusumbua nimchape? (How are you? Does he disturb you?)
Me. No. We are alright. He is a super guy.
And I am almost always tempted to chip in the fact that his only misgiving is dragging me into these gatherings that leave me with an empty soul.
But that is beside the point. I love the fact that the relationship has given me the chance to love myself in ways I didn’t think I would. It has given me a chance to take up on challenges knowing that in case I stumbled and fell, there would always be someone to help me pick myself up. It has shown me the expanse of love; where you are not tied to someone clingy, but you are given the freedom to fly to wherever you want to. You are given the right to make your own choices, to follow your own dreams, no matter how scary they may seem.
But most importantly, I love it because I do not have to pretend to be somebody else. I don’t have to struggle with perfection, or to explain why I failed at something, or split my happiness into two. I have learnt that it is fulfilling to love without having to give up the tiny bits of yourself that you hold so dear; like an immense love for books, or a never-ending crave for chocolate.
We are not perfect. We make mistakes every now and then. We try a little bit too much. We make wrong decisions. We cross our fingers more often than not, hoping for a positive outcome. Sometimes, we celebrate our small wins in the comfort of our bedroom. And those other times, he looks me in the eyes and says he loves the fact that I love reading. And that I write in such a beautiful way.
Sometimes, this is my kind of happiness. And I am not giving it up.
See you tomorrow.