8 Years of Life

8 Years of Life

For A,

Sometimes, in the middle of the night, when I am battling high fevers, massive headaches, and sleep has refused to rid me of all these troubles, my mind wanders to you. I see your face, next to mine in the dark, silent and expressionless. We do not say a word to each other, but in the silence, our hearts beat in sync and I know, I just know, both of us are carrying burdens too heavy to bear, and we are our only solace.

It comes with ease, your face, because all those six years in a foreign land, you were always the constant figure. It comes with ease because even though phone calls drive me to the edges of anxiety, you are the only person whose call does not threaten to burst my heart.

I see your face and suddenly, I am back to eight years ago, when I know nothing of who I am, or who I want to be. When I am wallowing in newness and all the rush around me is driving me insane. I am back to eight years ago, struggling to keep up with the pace, failing terribly, and spending the rest of the hours in my bed, wishing I would just disappear.

It is your face, eight years ago, that appeared and washed away all the agony. You gave me a home even when you were also a stranger. You gave me a space, even when everyone’s room seemed so crowded. You held my hand, and guided me to towards my first smile. My first laugh. My first life with freedom.

I remember the dark starless nights when we sat, alone, in the middle of the field, our fingers intertwined, talking about the mess that life is.

“You are smart. No one should ever convince you otherwise,” you would say, and I would bury my head in your chest, because right then, I was struggling with my identity.

And when I got my first ever heartbreak, you squeezed my palm and whispered into my ears:

“It is the way life is. I cannot explain it, but soon enough, the pain will go away. You will look yourself in the mirror and wonder why you even felt the pain in the first place. Thereafter, you will love again, maybe even harder, and maybe, just maybe, your heart will break again.”

I have lived. I have laughed. I have loved. I have known pain from the deepest part of my heart. My bones have been broken and I have been forced to my knees, but the only thing that helped me up to my feet is the hope that I would see you the next day, and you would hold my hand, wipe my tears, massage my feet, and pamper me back to my normal self.

Sometimes, when I bump into one of those people we shared spaces with, and they say “You look so different. I wonder why you used to snub us back then,” I want to break their teeth and scream out my lungs. That they were too blind to see. That they were too superficial to understand what I was made of. That they were too busy chasing the outer me, without caring to see that there were layers carefully hidden beneath the skin, and the only way they can get me, is peeling back all the layers.

Sometimes, when the demons in my head won’t let me do anything, I scroll through my phone and when I come across the only picture of us together, something in my stomach turns. Because I know, even without the picture, I am glad our paths met. That even though our memories are not stashed in piles of photographs, I know my mind is super because of you. I know I handle conversations well because of you. I know how to pick my words because of you. I have learnt to say NO because of your words; what is the worst that can happen if you say no? You heart will be at peace. That is the worst.

And two years ago, when we were parting ways with no idea of when we would see each other, I cried throughout the night. My tears soaked about seven pieces of paper on which I was writing to you. I tried pulling myself together to pen my maybe last letter to you, but the tears couldn’t stop. At 2 a.m., however, instead of packing my belongings, I rushed with the letter, and even though it came stained with three teardrops, it was the best I could do.

I remember your cloudy eyes when I said “Do not read it here. Do it when I am gone, please.” I remember your struggling smile. I remember your trembling hands when you said:

“I am not taking pictures with the rest of those guys. It does not make sense to me. If for all these years, we have never taken a picture with them, why today?”

We walked, hand in hand, and parted ways in the simplest ways: my head in your chest and your arms on my head.

One year ago, when I finally got to see you again, the only thing that dried my tears is the fact that the people around us did not know how close we were, and it would be a rough ride trying to explain why I am crying at seeing you.

“You locked your hair? It looks incredible. Would you want them thinner or thicker?”

Ah, I remember the warmth I felt on that day. Like a child cuddled by its mother. Like a lover coming to birth. Like flowers beginning to bloom.

And today, as I write this, I can feel you in my heart. I know that somehow, in case everything comes tumbling down, even if we haven’t talked in years, I know I will always have a home in you. A home full of love and compassion. A home full of laughter and life. A home full of happiness and contentment.

And if you, by any chance, feels beaten by life, I hope you remember to come home; to me.



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Eunniah, you're amazing! And this piece clearly depicts that
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Thank you.

This is simply beautiful Mbabazi💖
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S. N. Ouma
...I am not taking pictures with the rest of those guys. It does not make sense to me. If for all these years, we have never taken a picture with them, why today?” This hit different...
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Clarah maloba
Memories that can never fate.thanks for this piece
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lewis manono
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Samuel Nicholas Mwangi
What an incredible piece Engineer
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How do I put all that am feeling into words.It's been a while since I read such a nice work,now let me breath again!phew!
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Nyque Ambetsa
Moments in lines! Perfect
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Mariana Prudence
❤❤❤aint good with words ...but this is so beautiful
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Ry' Wanjiku
... And if this is the last we're seeing each other, I have given you another piece of memory. When you lust for my ink, just read this, you will find me in between the lines. With love, ✉
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Samuel Dzombo
You've mastered your voice madam.
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Brendah Raj
I'm feeling sad and I just want to soak in a mixture of sad and happy. This is the only place I know where I can find that. And I haven't been disappointed.
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Wanjala Caleb
My dear, simply put, you are gifted. Your mode of construction trigger emotions in me that I never knew existed
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Meet Eunniah Mbabazi
Eunniah Mbabazi is an Electrical and Electronic Engineer with a deep passion for books and literature. She has authored Breaking Down (a collection of short stories), If My Bones Could Speak (a poetry collection), The Unbirthed Souls (a collection of short stories), and My Heart Sings, Sometimes (a poetry collection). She has also co-authored Kas Kazi (a novel) and When a Stranger Called (an anthology of short stories).

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