MISSIVE TO MY 18-22 YEAR OLD SELF



(Hi, I am a sage in your subconscious. Don’t be petrified, I am not here to hurt you, I am here to unfogg the next 4 years of your life. Well, mostly your love life. You won’t be able to tweak it, it’s written and sealed. Soon you’ll be able to validate it for now read and fear not.)

You’ll graduate highschool with a descent grade. Definitely not an A – that’s a pipe dream. You could disregard this and continue nurturing your wishful thinking but that would be prepping to self-hurt. You are not wired that way, you have the attention span of a goat, that’s not a dig, it stems from reality. See, it will be an acceptable grade for your family, albeit the lowest ever scored (family wise).

Three months in, your house will burn down. No, really, it will burn down; tragedy will knock home one evening as you watch TV, your brother beside you. A pungent smell will pervade the air. It won’t raise eyebrows, neither will it turn heads since there’s always someone burning litter. Ferocious viscous smoke will flood into the living room, dark like the devil’s soul. Appalled, reality will unfurl. Infernos are things you think are supposed to hit others and not you. Things that stay away far from home. But then tragedy doesn’t care, it is random, it has no course. Adrenaline will fill your veins and almost instinctively you’ll carry your brother out, he will be 2, wandering in oblivion. Your mom will come from the shop, drop her shopping bag and shriek. Belting out high pitched notes, cries of despair, the nuances of her scream filling with helplessness. Smoke will emanate through spaces between the wall and the rustling roof, choking the depths beneath it with soot. A few items will be salvaged, most will be lost. Thankfully, no one will be hurt. Okay, maybe rats. The family will move elsewhere.

You’ll get into Uni, at 18. Your dad will be elated, satisfaction glistening in his eyes, he will express it in a flash, just enough to catch a glimpse of and revert to his stern face; a smokescreen. He is an easy person to deal with, to coax around but still simultaneously authoritarian. He will give you the talk, not really, it will be a half baked truncated talk, but enough for you to perceive what he’s trying to put across. You know, where you are told to keep off girls and sex, to be cautious if you ever find yourself in a sexual situation in an oblique form. He will do it the best way an African dad can. This will be him letting you go. Don’t fret, it won’t be uncomfortable.

Not long after, you’ll wrap your dad’s advice in a doggy bag and stash it in a light devoid corner. Where trivias and disjointed memories are kept.

Subsequently, you’ll get into a relationship with some bird, someone you met whilst in highschool and kept in touch with, the first damsel you ever hit on directly. Let’s call her – Ella. What was that? Mercy? Ah, no, we could have called her Mercy, only, most ‘Mercies’ are pesky and whimsical – she wasn’t. I digress. Ella is light skinned, round huge beautiful eyes, enthralling smile, curvy – ample flesh on her bum and hips is her salient feature. Akin to most guys you are an ass guy, that alone could have you potentially shackled. Ella’s aura exudes calmness and it ripples on folk in her midst. She goes to uni at Riara, you go at Multimedia. Every Friday evening she will come to your school from Mbagathi road to get you so you both can go home; her to her mom’s and you to your dad’s. You could have met in town but she instead settled to coming for you. Not pragmatic but that wasn’t the look you were going for, love knows not logic.

On Sundays, you will hang out together at one of your friends place, she lives nearby hence the viability. You two hopeless romantics will wontedly lie in bed schmoozing. Matching names to unborn babies. Building an imaginary dream house. Watching movies. It is inside the bowels of this house that you’ll relinquish your virginity, somewhat. Tossing your innocence in a vast sea on a wintry afternoon. She will instigate it. Bringing your hands under her knit sweater to cusp her braless breasts. Loins searing in desire whilst your stomach churns with angst; uncertain if you’re doing it right, if you’re hurting her, if you are good at it, if she feels the same way. Ears of walls eaves dropping on the gasps and moans therein. It will be a tad weird but that will wane off.

The relationship will last 11 months give or take. Not being able to requit her love later on, you’ll break her heart in a vile act and you’re a fool for that. She’ll call after the break up, her voice interspersed with sobs, sniffles, lamentations and pleas that’ll you disregard like the government does to its vulnerables. The fat lady will sing, curtains will fall.

You fall in love as easy as the sun shines. Another chick will come into the picture. Okay, for the people at the back we’ll call her Mercy. Mercy is interesting, a paradox. That won’t last, she attends a uni out of town. Schedules collide, spats stick out over trivialities. You both resign to seeing each other when you can. A laissez-faire attitude. Overtime, the woods under the relationship burn tenuously, ember, smoulder and die.

Cupid won’t be done with you yet. The quiver on his naked back is an abundance of arrows your name engraved in some. Suffice to say, you’ll endear to another girl, she will too to you. Harder than you ever have, you’ll fall. Colossal impact. She’ll be dark, petite, butter smooth skin, guttural laugh, rabbit teeth, chubby cheeks, ravishing and pretty. It will flourish for the better part. In your mind, she’s your perfect match. What could possibly go wrong? You two will fit like a jig-saw puzzle. The subtleties of one filling voids in the other. Your heart will goey when you sight her. Butterflies will be infused into your stomach. Smiles, a constant fixture on your faces. She’ll dwell in your thoughts. Tug on your mind. Summon you in your sleep and be the perennial protagonist face in your mindless reveries.

Suddenly to you but gradual to her, the roses of her fondness will wilt and dry off. From a distance, you’ll watch – crestfallen from the weight of hurt, of what should have never went wrong but did. An immense part of you sucked into a vortex. Not even the heavens will be able to save you. You’ll scour for answers where there are none. Antidotes where there never was. Respite where naught is offered. Your heart will shred and bleed, reprieve eluding you for what would seem like eternity but just couple of days. You’ll think of karma, how she caught up with you for hurting Ella, her face reeking vengeance. The hurt will abate, eventually lying inert, but in the murkiness of the heart it will linger, yearning to be provoked.

You’ll turn 21. Then 22. The spaces between dotted with latent relations that wouldn’t get to blossom. You’ll meet more people. You’ll continuously find yourself. Things will look up. Bleakness will wear off. You’ll find a shtick. Something you relish doing. Activities that tickle your fancy. Inside, the relentless urge of pursuit will grow. Worry not.

Before i forget, you’ll always love RnB but you won’t be that much of an ass guy.





PC: The Magunga

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