Alexandra sat in the waiting room with five other people. It was her second visit.

Alexandra: (whispering to the dude beside her in an avenged tee) Hey

Dude: Hey

Alexandra: Alex (pointing to herself)

Dude: Mike

Alexandra: So… which doctor?

Micheal: Dr. Ng’ang’a.

Alexandra: Same. Your condition?

Micheal: Am an alcoholic

Alexandra: Depression. Bipolar.

Micheal: Oh. Francis over there (pointing to a tall dark dude sitiing across from them) is unipolar

Alexandra: Really?!

Just then, Miceal got called in. Alexandra moved nearer to the girl on her left. She was quiet, seemed to be fearing something. ‘Hey’

Girl: Hey

Alexandra: Alex

Girl: Katrina

Alexandra nodded and faced forward.

Katrina: Where you from?

Alexandra: From as in where i stay? I stay in south B.

Katrina: And home shagz?

Alexandra: Baringo. you?

Katrina: Nyanza

Alexandra: So.. which doctor are you seeing?

Katrina: Dr. Ng’ang’a.

Alexandra: Oh. me too. Bipolar depression. You?

Katrina: (shrugs, mouth pouted) He said something like schi.. shi…

Alexandra: schizophrenia

Katrina: (shrugging then nodding) So … depression … You’re too young to have it. What happened? Is it a boy? Your boyfriend?

Alexandra: Not really. Family issues.

Just then, micheal got out and the nurse called for Alexandra to follow in.

Dr. Ng’ang’a: Hello Alex (holding up her file and reviewing it)

Alexandra: ( sitting herself on the couch across from him) Hello

Dr.: How are you today?

Alexandra: Tired

Dr.: Why?

Alexandra: Just from dance practice.

Dr.: How was it?

Alexandra: Okay. The usual.

Dr.: Hows mum, Melvin and Simone?

Alexandra: Melvin (tearing up)

Dr.: What?

Alexandra: Remember I texted telling you he was in hospital from an accident. He didnt make it.

Dr.: Condolences. How do you feel?

Alexandra sat there for a moment, quiet, staring at the painting behind the doctor. Her hands clenched together. She could feel a hot tear run down her left cheek. The doctor pushed a box of tissues on the table towards her. Instead, Alexandra went for the squishy stress ball.

Dr.: What do you think of the painting?

Alexandra: Funeral was a month and a half ago.

Dr.: Did you attend?

Alexandra: No.

Tightly squeezing the stress ball. She felt a tear down. and another. She grabbed a tissue and quickly wiped them off.

Alexandra: Why?

Dr.: Well, we dont know why things like this happen. It’s part of the balance of nature.

Alexandra: Well I hate the cycle. (moment of silence) Why? Why my own brother? It’s just not fair.

Dr.: Has life ever been fair?

At this point, Alexandra’s tears were pouring out like a waterfall.

Dr.: How are your parents?

Alexandra: (gathering herself for a moment. mumbling in between sobs) My mother, quiet. Simone keeps getting crying outbursts. Broken a few glasses.

Dr.: Who? who has broken the glasses?

Alexandra: Me.

Dr.: And how is dad?

Alexandra: I dont know. quiet.

Dr.: and stepmum?

Alexandra: Still hate her.

Dr.: and how is she dealing?

Alexandra: who cares. for all i know, she was the one who probably caused the accident.

Dr.: how about Gini and Mark?

Alexandra: Both are in school. Gini sent me a condolence email. Mark, I wouldnt care.

Dr.: How is your sleep and diet?

Alexandra: Intense dreams. When i wake up, I feel empty. Diet, got it back. Been eating a lot.

Five minutes later, they were done. Dr. Ng’ang’a prescribed some medication to help with her sleeping problem and depressive condition.

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Barbecue part 2

Maxine and Jerry started joyriding to kill time before they met up with Alexandra and Darlton. After dropping Tina and Irene, Darlton left the car at Tina’s and took a matatu to Bill’s which was fifteen minutes away. There he found Alexandra and they set off with the BMW. Maxine, Jerry and the rest were at Lunar park, Westlands.

Ray: (getting highon weed from a bong they had just rented) Where those guys at?

Maxine: Lexxie phoned and said she was twenty minutes away with Darlton.

Dennis: (drowsily, still wasted from the weed he had earlier smoked) When are we going to raev?

Sandra: Soon as they get here.

Dennis: How far are they? and slumped on the bench they were sitting on outside for a nap.

Jennifer: Wah. Si Denno is mega high. (Daniel who was also high was getting all touchy on her)

Raymond: Am hungry. who wants ice cream?

Jerry, Sandra, Daniel and Jennifer all raised their hands. Raymond went and bought two 1 kg ice creams and got small plastic spoons.

Alexandra and Darlton were halfway when Dana phoned Alex.

Dana: Hey am bored.

Alexandra: Then why dont you come out and join us.

Dana: Us who?

Alexandra: Me and the kawa crew, Kina Jerry, Sandra …

Dana: Is Bill there?

Alexandra: Bill? No. Why?

Dana: Nothing. Just asking. so can you pick me up? Am at my aunt’s here in kileleshwa.

Alexandra: Umm (turning to look at Darlton who was focussed on the stereo music) Sure. Be there in ten.

She quickly drove the detour, getting Dana out of the house was another story. Her uncle and aunt were both home so she told Alexandra to park outside the neighbors. Looking all dolled up in a mini-dress and thigh-length stilletto-heeled brown leather boots, Dana had to pass through the back door, round the house and over the fence.

Alexandra: Chiq. Si you would have worn jeans and a top with converse.

Dana looked at Alexandra as though she were crazy. As soon as she was in the car Dana lifted her hands ‘Lets go part’ey. Alexandra drove the rest of the way, G-mixxes to black and yellow on the stereo, Darlton and Dana all crazy with cans of booze and crisps packets that had been earlier stocked in the car.

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Life: Barbecue part 1

Jennifer: We should do something random during the mid-semester break (concentrating on the nfs: hot pursuit game. She was playing against Jerry. They had just skipped class and gone to Jerry’s.

Jerry: And do what?

Maxine: Let’s go out in the wild. Camping. (she had cut her class too)

Jerry: Camping. really?!?

Maxine: Yeah. why not?

Jerry: Well then where?

Maxine: I dont know. Google a camping site around. There was this place we used to go back in high school when i was in President’s Award Club.

Jerry: not really helped.

Jennifer: Barbecue.

Maxine: Now that’s a plan.

Jerry: Where?

Maxine: Dude! 21 questions ni za nini?! ebu chuck some ideas.

Jerry: Fine. How about we have that barbecue in Kenya National Park. Dont they have some sites set up for this kind of thing.

Maxine: Now you’re talking! We could invite like fifteen guys, chuck some cash for stuff like food. I would prefer it if we had our own rides as well. It would make commuting easier.

Jerry: Plus its more convenient if other plot pops up after or it’s too late and dark.

Jennifer: So we need cash for fuel too. I could work on a budget.

Jerry: Then work on it fast so we get guys to chuck cash early. It’s only a month and a half away. Plus, exam week, guys will be so stressed and you know some who lean on retail therapy (looking pointedly at Maxine) not naming any names.

Maxine: What!? I do not spend that much!

Jennifer: (agreeing sarcastically) No…you do not.

Maxine: Really! Then fine. Work that budget out asap guys chuck cash early.

Maxine, Jennifer, Alexandra, Sandra in Maxine’s Rav 4 singing along loudly ‘L-O-V-E is just another word i never learnt to pronounce. Tight jeans, Double D’s . Maxine at the steering. They then heard a loud booming sound from a distance. Turning back, they saw Jerry on Range Rover wheels. Inside were Daniel, Dennis and Raymond. Their system was blaring Red Cafe’s ‘Hottest in the Hood’. Close behind was Bill driving a navy blue BMW 318 with Jack, Fred and Chris inside. Darlton was to come with his girlfriend Tina and her friend Irene. Jerry overtook and was now leading the pack. They then all stopped and parked outside the gate, standing beside the cars to wait for Darlton.

Bill: (turning to his brother, Jerry) Dude. Where is your boy? We are gonna get late.

Jerry: He said he is like fifteen minutes away. It’s the traffic.

Jack: And those mamas he is coming with?

Jerry: There are just two, one of whom is his chiq.

Maxine: Si we just go. They will find us in.

Jerry: Its a specific camping site and Darlton cant kumbuka where it is on his own.

They waited for half an hour before Darlton and the girls had arrived.

Maxine: African tymers.

Tina: There was mad traffic.

Irene: Yeah. Damn that traffic.

Maxine: Uko sure si juu mlikuwa mbele ya mirror kitu four hours (in a lower voice) and you still look like that.

Irene: (picking her nails, in a high-pitched voice) What?

Maxine: So blonde (to herself)

Alex nudged Maxine to stop being mean. Maxine returned a ‘what’ shrug.

Bill: Okay. let’s check in Everyone with national I.D or passport.

The rest scruffing through their bags, purses and wallets and handed the identifications to Bill. ‘Cash?!

Jennifer: Si it sh. 300.

Bill: Yeah.

After collecting the cash he went to the front desk reception to pay. Ten minutes later, he was done.

‘Lets part’ey! In the cars!’ Everyone got into their respective cars and they drove in. After fifteen minutes of driving, they were deep inside staring at the dry grasslands. Couple of giraffes close by.

Darlton: (on the phone with Bill who was leading the pack) So where is this site?

Bill: Five minutes away.

They continued driving in a line following Bill till they finally reached a beautiful site located on higher ground allowing it to overlook most of the National park with its wildlife. Unfortunately, the grill was broken and they had to set out and look for another. They got back into their cars. This time, Jerry was leading. They drove back to the junction near the reception and changed routes. Driving into the grassland, speeding. People were peeking out of their cars through the windows feeling the breeze. Even Bill was driving, holding the steering wheel by one arm, his window down, got himself sitting on the door and started controlling the steering with his leg, his arms in the air.

Alexandra: (out the window, sitting on the door, arms in the air) Woohoo!!

Then came the song ‘bumpy ride’ on Maxine’s stereo and she put it on full blast. The girls were busy mumbling the lyrics and shouting through the chorus. After another fifteen minutes of joyriding, THey finally reached an area with three sites, about 100m apart. Two were already taken up, one by a seemingly american family of six and the other, by a group of men. They then agreed to take the third one positioned central from the other two.

Alexandra: Whoa. Check out that men’s group.

Maxine: (reversing to park the car) Oh come on. Everyone to you (looking at the group of guys while switching off the ignition) Whoa! That dude just totally kissed the fat guy in a red tee. Gross!!! Neat suit by the way.

Alex: The purple one. I know right!! And check out the skinny dude.

Mad psyke. Jumping around the barbecue. Those are like what, twenty dudes.

Jerry: Yo guys (through Alexandra’s window) out of the car. Remember we have a fire to light. And you guys are making the kachumbari (noticing the girls focussed on the group of guys) What the ..! Did that skinny dude in a navy blue t-shirt just grab the white dude holding that fork by the fire? And hey … is that a dude’s only convention. (turning to Bill and the rest and whispering) . Guys. Sausage fest!

Fred: Warr?!!

Maxine: I know! And the way that dude with a ghostbusters’ tee is hawt! What a waste.

Alexandra: Not for their partners they arent.

Jerry: (girlishly, punning) Ewww!!

They all got out of their cars and rounded the barbecue site. Realizing it was also partially broken, they decided to take the meshed wire and make a three-stone fire on the ground. They started looking for pieces of wood and newspapers. Fred got the gasoline from the car. They then lit the newspaper which just burnt up. Before they realized they were doing zero-work, three-quarters the jerrican of gasoline was already used up. They started lighting the wood again blowing the smaller pieces using a sufuria cover to catch fire. Jack poured some of his liquor on the fire igniting it. Soon they had a stable flame. They then placed the wire mesh on the fire held by the large stones around it.

Jerry: Sa hiyo ndiyo mlikuwa mnashindwa?

Dennis: Fala. Ulitusaidia?

Dan: Now where the meat at?

Jerry: Madem.

Maxine: Kwenda unaona mboch wako hapa?

Sandra got the vegetables for the kachumbari from the car. Jack, Fred and their other friend Chris went to the car to get weed blunts. They opened their car doors and blasted music on their stereo. Tina and Irene got the cooler from the boot and started mixing drinks for the rest. At around three p.m, their fire was lit and they were around it singing and dancing and chatting while their meat roasted. The ‘white’ family were clearing the site preparing to leave. As for the gay community, they seemed to have been through with their eating. Now all they were doing was chatting while chilling listening to dance music off one of the car stereos. Tina and Irene were caught staring and asked to go over. They were then given some left-over well-marinated meat. They said the dudes were so polite, some seemed bitchy. One was grinding against a tree to the music. Talk about sheer gayness. At around six p.m, the whole gay community had left, leaving Jerry and group as the only ones at the site. Fred, Jack and Chris were totally wasted and fooling around.

Jack: (to Fred) why didnt you leave with your friends?

Chris: Faggots

Fred: (uttering slowly) Fuck you.

Fred then stared in mid-air and seemingly counting something.

Alexandra, Maxine and Raymond had ganged up against Jerry, Sandra and Jennifer to hate on their university.

Alexandra: Nyi mkipewa suspension mnaweza panda giraffe mvuke border ya Tz ka short holiday.

Raymond: Jerry ile siku nilicome kuwavisit, nishow tu ukweli. Hiyo ni nyama ya nini ulinipikia?

Maxine: Ya donkey

Alexandra: Ai no. Donkeys are sacred to them. Labda antelopes.

Jennifer: Sawa tu. Endeleni kuhate na sisi ndiyo tunatoa graduates wanoma.

Alexandra: In what fields exactly? labda theology. with that sun, unahallucinate hadi unabelieve ni visions.

Sandra: We got lotsa journalists.

Alexandra: And you know what they say on journalist’s credibilty.

Raymond: Na si Jerry umenyamaza. Ama ni network umepoteza? Do you need to stand on a tree like you do in school.

Alexandra: Enyewe. Mazoea.

Jerry: Raymond unaongea na unajua rep ya madem wa chuo yenu where the left leg never meets the right.

Raymond: Hao ni madem

Jerry: Alex, nyinyi ndiyo mmejaza K-street.

Alexandra: Low blow.

Maxine: (nudging Jerry) check out Denno.

Dennis was stoned beyond words, pun intended. He was sitting on a stone, gazing, in mid-air, quiet and alone. It was clear he was in his own little heaven. Maxine took photos with her digital camera. Darlton, who had taken a nap in the car, woke up and joined Jerry and the rest. He now seemed quite hyper, beer bottle in his hand. Tina and Irene followed him to the rest.

Jerry: Nice. Tina and Irene mmecome. ebu support.

These guys be hatin on our school.

At around seven, darkness was setting in and they decided it best to leave. It took them another whole hour to clear up and agree on what next. Bill, Jack, Fred and Chris were going back to Bill’s for drinks. Alexandra, who was still sober was to drive them. Tina and Irene were going home, Darlton awake and partially sobered up was their designated driver home. All the rest were going out, pulling an all-nighter. Maxine and Jerry were driving the other two cars as earlier before. They all then left the park.

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Life: Raymond

Raymond at the hospital. Room 201. Ray opened the door and slowly walked in. He opened the door and slowly walked in, standing there quiet for a minute before stepping out again and closing the door behind him. He gazed around. He could hear a lady scream in the next room. An elderly man on a wheelchair was being pushed by a nurse. Alongside him was a middle-aged lady whom Ray assumed was his daughter, holding his hand. They entered the room across.

Raymond: (in a low voice) fuckin hospitals

Just then, a nurse holding a tray steps next to her.

Nurse: Habari yako?

Raymond: (quiet for a moment as he gathered himself) mzuri.

Nurse: wee ndiye Raymond?

Raymond: mm

The nurse enters the room Raymond follows behind. The room had two beds at either far-end corner, table and chair in the middle, a sink and a television. On the table were flowers and get-well gifts. His sister, Renee, lay on one of the beds. Her body from the neck down paralyzed. Their mother was beside holding her arm . The nurse placed her equipment on the bed near the legs and took out a needle and a bottle of medicine.

Nurse: Renee …

Renee lay there quiet, her head slightly moving in response but uttering nothing. Renee was balancing tears. It broke his heart seeing his only sister in that state. Looking at their mother, Raymond wanted to cry even more. Their mother had to be the strongest being ever. Raymond had two siblings, ten year old Renee and fifteen year old Rodney who was in boarding school at the moment. Renee had been sick on and off with her epileptic convulsions and autism. It took her a while before she could learn to walk, let alone utter words in the name of talking. This had been her second-most serious attack. First, Raymond was on holiday, class seven . Renee had gone into comatose for two days. Felt like the two worst days of the family’s life. This time, the doctors diagnosed her with viral menengitis, above the convulsions. Raymond could not help cursing and wishing it was he instead because either way, he felt the pain like his heart was bleeding from inside. He couldnt take it. He turned to their mother and their eyes met. Raymond then walked out. He stood outside the door for a couple of minutes before going to sit down on the bench in the central garden quad. His phone rang. He let it go to voicemail as he had been doing for the other calls. For around half an hour, he sat there, mind blank. It was always easier not to think. Visiting hours came and so did part of his extended family: three of his aunts, his cousin Jerry, then-girlfriend Alexandra and his friend,Maxine.

Alexandra: Hey

Raymond: mm ..

Alexandra: So .. I can see some improvement.

Raymond: mm. So, how was movie night?

Alexandra and a group of their friends would usually have movie/ game night on thursdays.

Alexandra: It was pretty much same old. This time round, it was at Jennifer’s.

Raymond: Who is Jennifer?

Maxine: Dan’s new catch.

Alexandra: Jerry’s classmate. The chiq who joined us for the Naivasha roadtrip.

Maxine: She looks okay. couple of acne residues, skimpish clad but i guess that’s because she was home and her bf was around. Her folks are divorced so she stays with her mother who happens to travel a lot. Have you noticed Dan’s new watch?!

Jerry: Yeah. I was so sure it was a knock off but yeah ..

Maxine: I know. That watch. wait till you see the digz. Mann. its cwaezy. Its just her and the maid. One of the rooms in their four-bedroomed apartment has been transformed to an entertainment room. And damn that home theatre system. Plus it’s darkened, double layered curtains, walls painted royal purple so you can play PS using the projector against the wall. Trust me, getting out of that heaven, is not easy.

Raymond: Glad you guys had fun.

Maxine: (rummaging through her huge handbag) Here (It was a large get-well soon card)

Raymond: Thanks (taking the card and opening it.  His friends had scribbled on the inside)

Alexandra: Wah! how big is your bag the card fit in without a fold. kwani umebeba cabinet.

They all chuckled. Just then, one of the aunts, Mildred, walked out of the room.

Aunt Mildred: I have to rush back to the office but your family is still in my prayers.

Raymond: Thanks.

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Life: Alexandra’s 18th Part 5

Later that morning at around half past ten, there were schemes being plotted. Alexandra felt something nudge her by the shoulder.

Alexandra: Hm.

Maxine: (whispering) Lexxie

Alexandra: hmm … mm ..

The rest were giggling.

Alexandra: Shh…

Bill: Alex…

Alex: (mumbling) what? (turning slowly to wake up)

SPLASH!!  as a jug full of water was poured on her face and Jerry blew his vuvuzela near her.

Alexandra: MOTHER..!! FUCK! she noticed everyone laughing and started smiling. ‘fuck.’

All: Happy bathday!

Dan: Way to turn eighteen huh..

Alexandra: Bitches! (turning to Jerry) and nigga! imma blow that thing up yours! what! talk about a wake-up call. Mann, I thought it was the end of the world. I could have sworn I saw the light.

Jack: Sa breakfast… (he was holding a whole Jack Daniels)

Maxine: Really?! (pointing at the booze and everyone laughed)

Jack: Ai. Si the day is already halfway. Bado time ya mututho. Plus there is a reason I was named Jack, pun intended.

Darlton: Mann, mututho ni eleven ya usiku si ya mchana.

Jerry: Haiya. birthday breakfast. Birthday girl, in the kitchen!

Alexandra: ati! Dude, I can just walk home and get food. ebu na watu wajipange. Are there sausages kwanza?

Jack: e-eh…but tulizimada jana usiku.

Everyone laughed.

Alexandra: Basi kuna nini? (walking into the kitchen, followed behind by Jerry, Dana and Sandra)

Dana: Bread.

Sandra: Hakuna blueband (opening the margaring container) na maziwa.

Jerry: (chucks cash from his pocket and hands it to Sandra) Utaenda kubuy?

Sandra: Sawa.

Sandra leaves as Maxine and Daniel walk in. Alexandra sits herself on the kitchen counter. Dana puts out some water for tea to boil.

Dan: Si jana was epic!

Alexandra: Totally! Kwanza that second club. Damn! si those three ‘white-extremely light-skinned’ chiqs, the ones grinding by the dj’s bar and on the stage.

Jerry: ‘Triplets’

Daniel: Those chiqs were cwaezy!!!

Alexandra: and plastics

Dan: meaning…

Alex: not real. Those chiqs, so fake ama you were just too busy on their asses to notice that lady gaga’s glam squad did some serious work on them.

Dana: Stop hating.

Alexandra: What! Its true! (acting defensively). And that light-skinned …the one in the first club who was literally begging you to stay.

Dana: That, …was not the worst part. Did you see how he was dancing around me??

Alexandra: like some kind of bushman doing the rain dance or something.

(they were all dying with laughter).

Jerry: Si you guys are haters. That dude was getting his game on.

Alexandra: Game on with what, the Thunder God because dayuumm, that was some ritual.

Daniel: Wah. Hater. I sometimes wonder how Ray even got you.

Alexandra: Ray never had me (her face went dead) .

Raymond was Alexandra’s ex who no one really knew what had happened as they had been together five months. It was between Alex and Ray. Ray had been begging her to take him back but Alexandra had totally shutdown on him. It had been three monthssince and Alex seemed happy that way, single.

Bill: (shouting) Nyi mnapika ama mna gossip mwende mjoin wale wamama wa soko.

Dana: Kwenda. unaona ka sisi ni maids.

Bill walked in and grabbed Dana by the waist.

Bill: (to Dana) you would look awesome in the black and white uniform (he pecks her).

Dana: (pushing him away and turning to pour the boiling water in a sufuria) Haiya!

Just then, Sandra walks in with a paper bag. Raymond following close behind. Slight awkward silence.

Dan: (shoulder bumping him) Vipi!

Jerry: Sema. ni church umetoka?

Raymond: Yeah.

Bill chucks a weed joint from his trouser back pocket, takes a matchstick and lights it.

Dana: (dragging Bill out of the kitchen and directing Sandra) pour the milk and tea leaves. Lemme sort out the sitting room.

Jerry: Dude .. you been lost.

Dan: Yeah. kwanza today is Lexxie’s birthday.

Raymond: (to Alexandra) Happy Birthday

Alexandra lightly smiles as she takes the tea leaves to measure. Half an hour later, Sandra is placing the bread on the sitting room table and sits on the carpet. Jerry and Dan were busy playing race car,nfs most wanted on the PS while Darlton, Jack, Raymond and Alexandra were busy shouting rooting for one or the other. Bill, Jerry’s older brother by two years was sitted on the couch beside Dana and they were busy arguing on moral issues, Fred pitching in here and there.

Fred: (randomly) Happy birthday Alex.

Alex: Thanks.

Jack: Shots!!

Alexandra: What! (slowly moving away from them) Noooo! No, no, no, no, no, no!!! Am good thank you.

Dan: Shots!

And suddenly everyone else was chanting the word.

Alex: No! This time Jerry and Darlton each held a hand. ‘Come on! … Jerry .. I am gonna kill you’ She started kicking and Dan and Fred grabbed her legs. The rest laughing. ‘mmm’ She shook her head her eyes and mouth tightly shut.

Jack: Hata ukifunga macho! (he grips her jaws forcing her mouth open) . Where’s that vodka?

Bill grabs a bottle which was by the t.v and gets an empty glass. The guys place her in an upright position. ‘Open wide!’ pushing the glass to her mouth and Alex is forced to take two quick gulps.

Alexandra: Fuck!

Jerry: (laughing) It would have been easier if you just agreed at the start.

Jack: Another one.

Alexandra: (laughing then acting up a serios face) I am gonna kill you peeps!

Ray: (laughing) lets let her go at least apumzike kiasi. They all let her go and she landed hard on the couch. Settling round the table, they all grabbed mugs and slices of bread.

Bill: Ray, siku mob. Umetoka kutuombea church?

Jack: Na bado Tash huenda huko?

Dana scoffs.

Jack: Ai Dana. Juu ye ni lezzie ndiyo unahate.

Raymond: Church ilikuwa poa. Kwanza youth bible study. Mnafa kucome. Tash yuko poa, still attending faithfully, na dem wake.

All the dudes faces turned to him.

Jerry: Warrr!!!??

Raymond: Some fly mama Tash comes to church with called Sly, ati bff.

Alexandra: Sly, as in Dj Sly. Short, slim chicka, flaming red-hot colored braids.

Raymond: Yeah.

Bill: Maze Alex kumbe unajua hawa watu.

Alexandra: unaongea ni ka lesbians ni species ingine (chuckling). Haujawahi come dance practice yetu.

Jack: Kumbe hiyo ndiyo mnaita inamake sense juu nilikuwa na shuku Denno. lezbo meeting.

Alexandra: kwenda. ni serious practice. Dennis is so straight, ni kupenda tu dance. na vile tu Tash ni lezzie so def ana friends lez huwa wana visit, support. And what makes you think they would have any interest in you guys.

Jack: a-ah.. si hivyo. Tunataka tu umarifiki. na ona vile umeweka, ati ‘support’, hata umefanya wasound ni kama cult. Dennis unajuaje ako straight (winking mischieviously) ulimjaribu?

Alexandra: Hii kitu ni professional and we act just that but unaweza visit umtest mwenyewe juu unasema ni lezbo meeting.

Jack: (smiling) Fala.

Everyone laughed.



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Life : Alexandra’s 18th Part 4

Dana nudged Alexandra to Maxine’s direction. Alexandra returned with a sceptical raised-brow look. Maxine and Darlton, no one quite knew what the hell was going on with them. They had been friends for about a year now. Always close .and just when Maxine thought to get serious, Darlton would go quit. Sucker for commitments and a waste of precious time and thoughts is what Alex would advice Maxine.

Maxine: so.. hey..

Darlton: Hey … (gazing in mid-air not bothering to turn and face her).

Maxine: Been a while huh.

Darlton: Yup

Maxine: How you been?

Darlton: (turning to face her) missed you.

Maxine: (sheepish smile) … you too. You went quiet.

Darlton: school.

Maxine: Oh (looking down)

Darlton: but i missed you. (turns back to stare in the air feeling the breeze,and  smoke). Beautiful.

Maxine: What?

Darlton: The outdoors.

Maxine: Yeah.

Momentary silence.

Maxine: (abruptly) so yeah. Aren’t your classes in the evening You couldn’t even reply one text and let me know you’re okay.

Darlton: (shrugs)

Maxine: hmph. (striding back into the club and disappearing into the dancing crowd).

Some random girl comes along and slowly starts grinding against Darlton who responds positively. Dana, Alexandra and Sandra were sweating themselves on the dance floor. A random guy closes in on Dana dancing. Dana gives Alexandra and Sandra this look of ‘shoot me’ but dances off with the guy leaving the other two giggling at her.

Alexandra: Noticed today you been happy.

Sandra: (smiling) yeah.

Alexandra: So your good with Dan being around?

Sandra: yup.

Alexandra: and you know he wants you back right..

Sandra: He’s just being a good friend.

Alexandra: Oh come on. Fine. Cheat yourself.  but you gotta stand your ground.

Sandra: (shrugging) yeah

Alexandra: (quietly sighs)

At six a.m, they were getting ready to leave.

Sandra: where is Max?

Jerry: I last saw her at that corner.

Alex: Go get her. Everyone in the car in five. Keys?

Jerry: (giving Alex the keys) cool.

Darlton was slightly staggering behind his arm across Dan’s shoulder. In the car, Alexandra played a rnb dvd on low.

Jerry: Last night was…

Alexandra: LEGENDARY!!! raising her hands then slumping them down on her laps due to fatigue.

Sandra: Happy birthday cuz.

Alexandra: Oh yeah. Its ma burfday!

Daniel: (chuckling) Yeah!!

They all shouted ‘happy birthday’ and started hoarsely croaking 50 cent’s ‘in da club’.

Jerry: With these awesome voices, we could totally rock our own Hannah Montana music video.

Alexandra: Word!!!

They sang the rest of the way home. Grumbling and groaning as they got in the house.

Alexandra: fuckin’ a.m

Darlton: Tell me about it (falling on the couch like a sack of potatoes)

Jerry: Everyone, grab a couch. Am going up to my bed upstairs. Ladies, you can take the guest room if you want. GOODNIGHT!

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Life: Alexandra’s 18th Part 3

Maxine: (Inhaling from the bong and slowly exhaling) ni eleven. kunaendaje?

Alexandra: I am so gonna kick your ass!

Darlton: Am waiting. Alexandra and Darlton were furiously pressing on the buttons of the joypad. Sandra and Dana cheering Alexandra on. Alexandra was Tanya and Darlton was Superman. After a whole two minutes, Alex’s game character, Tanya, bitchslapped superman to the air and falling down like wood.

Alex: Take that bitch! (high-fiving Sandra).

Dejected, Darlton dropped his joypad.

Jerry: Dude…you just got beat by a little girl.

Alex: Hey (shoving) hey!!! who you calling girl. (they all laughed) And Superman,really!!?? You picked Superman to rep you. Red underwear over blue pants dude. Gay much!!

Maxine: (still able to stand straight what with all the liquor and weed in her system. though now smiling and getting all touchy like a crazy person) Haya. Sasa tunaenda.

Alexandra handed Bill the joypad. Jack had already passed out. Fred was on the couch gazing at the ceiling doodling in the air and Sandra grabbed her purses and started heading out. Darlton, Dan and Alex followed behind while Jerry dashed upstairs to grab the car keys.

Dana: So we going with your ride (looking pointedly at Jerry)

Alexandra: Duh. Ama una dough za kufuel gari mbili.

Dana: (mumbling) just asking.

They all got in Jerry’s shiny black Noah and were off. Jerry and Alex were at the front. The system was on and blaring to Mike Posner’s Bow chicka wow wow. Then came on ‘higher’ by the Saturdays and the girls were all hyper. Dan was busy holding a beer bottle and shouting for Jerry to change to whom Alex turned to stare at threateningly.

Jerry: Heh you come and change it yourself!

Alex: kwanza wacha niweke replay! (turning to middle finger Darlton who returned with jokingly with a crude sign indicating licking.

Alexandra: (in response to Darlton’s sign) Shit. (laughing and facing the front)

Darlton: 10 to nil aye. (everyone laughed)

Alexandra: Just this once, darl-face.


Four a.m and they were getting into their third club of the night. All except Jerry,who happened to be a teetotaller and Alex, were tipsy and talking crazy all over the place. They found  their way through to a corner couch. It was house time and Richard vision was on the dj’s wheels.

Sandra: Woohoo! (Dana, Alex and she went onto the dancefloor)

The rest first decided to chill out on the couch and order drinks. Few minutes later, Darlton got up and to the verandah for a smoke. Max followed behind him. Alexandra watched them walk out and gave Jerry a sceptical look. Jerry then shook his head in a resigned manner

Dan: Those two are sad (referring to Maxine and Darlton).

Jerry: Yeah (gulping down his soda) He turned to face Dan and noticed him watching Sandra dancing with some random dude on the dancefloor. ‘you and her?’

Dan: who?

Jerry: Her. Sandra.

Dan: (shrugging) I want her back.

Jerry: you think it will happen, after what you did?

Dan: (his eyes fixed on Sandra) I am going to get her back.

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Life: Alexandra’s 18th. Part 2

Maxine: Waddup fellas!!

Jerry: And in  came the pussy wagon! (Everyone but Dana laughed, girls each punching him)

Bill grabs her arm to pull her closer and hugs her. Alcohol breath.

Max: Hey! by the way, are you guys tagging along (referring to Bill and his two friend, Jack and Fred who were sitting on a couch smoking from a bong.

Bill: (holding up a beer bottle, then shaking his head).

Darlton hugged Sandra. Dan was about to say hi to Dana but she shot him a dont-you-dare look and he in turn turned to hug Alex. Alexandra who didnt like hugging, reciprocated rather stiffly with a ‘wassup’. She then turned to fist bump the other guys.

Maxine: So … where the booze at? (she then grabbed a glass with a drink on the table). What’s this?

Jack: Try it.

Maxine: ( sipping it and making a funny almost disgusted face) Ai. You guys. ni chang’aa mnabrew.

Sandra: Si we go out.

Dan: yeah

Sandra turned to look at Dan.

Dana: (scoffing) And meet new people.

Alexandra: So what are we waiting for?

Maxine: Looks like someone is getting psyked up. Birthday girl.

Alexandra: not really. but we cant just stand here and stare at each other..

Darlton: (moving closer and holding Alexandra by the waist) :Birthday girl. Woohoo!!

Alexandra: Its not even today. (loosening his grip on her, disturbed by his cigarette smoke breath ) Its tomorrow.

Jerry: (pointing) to the house clock) si ni quarter to ten. midnight in minutes.

Alexandra: so tukae tukiangalia house clock na kucountdown.

Dan: Tunaweza chill kiasi (eyeing Sandra who was doing her best to avoid his gaze). They had broken up two months ago. Sandra had been going through a rough time in her life: school stressing, verbally abusive father, divorcing parents. She was the quiet type and hardly talked of her troubles. At home, she was the only child so no one to cry with. She trusted a handful, Alex and Dan being most of them. Alex still was, actually felt like the only one there for her. Her then-boyfriend, Dan was a handful himself. When she withdrew due to the stress, he complained and also withdrew. They argued three quarters the time til he finally decided to call it quits. Heartbroken with family issues, Sandra had gone emotionally numb. If it wasnt for her crazy friends Alex, Max and Dana always forcing her to get out of the house, she would have fallen off into the deep end. And now with her emotions back in check, Dan had been trying to weasel his way back into her life as her boyfriend. Of course her best friends did their best to ensure it never happened. Dana outrightly hated on him. Maxine called him a dog just like the rest. Maxine’s sexuality had always been questionable but Alex best labelled her bicurious. Dana, the saint, obviously condemned thought of lesbianism. Alexandra’s take on Dan, the dude had issues and Sandra shouldnt go back. If he couldnt handle the problem then, what could have possibly changed for it to be otherwise in the future. Its not like Dan was a staunch Christian and became born-again. It was same ol’ dude with few extra hair strands for his moustache.

Alexandra: Fine.

She then walked to the television and switched to play station. Getting hold of one of the joypads. ‘Let’s make ourselves comfortable’ Darlton, Jack, Jerry, Sandra joined her. Dan, Maxine and Dana sat on the couch beside Bill and Fred who were busy getting high.

Bill: (speaking to Dana) you look familiar

Dana: Same school. You’re a year ahead of me in business school.

Dan: (turning to ask Sandra) so how you been?

Across the room the other were arguing on what game to play on the  PS.

Alexandra: Hell no. ati fifa. nendeni mkacheze huko nje.

Sandra: DC comics vs Mortal Kombat.

Jerry: sawa

Darlton: Tunacheza how much?

Alexandra: Ai wewe. gambler damu. Its my birthday. You guys are the ones to give me money.

Jerry: ati sa unaleta story ya birthday.

Alexandra: (laughing) mmhm. Sandra laughing too.

Jack: Round ni mimi (he was so high and tightly gripping the joypad)

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Life : Alexandra’s 18th

Alexandra: I am not going out!

Maxine: Yes, you are.

Alexandra, Maxine, Sandra and Dana were at Alexandra’s studio apartment trying to get her to go out that night.

Sandra: Why not?

Alexandra: Why should I?

Maxine: because…its your 18th!!

Alexandra: not for another 7 days.

Maxine: Birthday month Lexxie, birthday month. Plus, you’re becoming legal!!

Alexandra: Back me up here Dana…

Dana: (shrugs)

Alexandra: Oh come on! you could have at least given me a heads up. Its 9 p.m … and i dont have the clad to go out.

Maxine: its all about the randomness. and have you checked your wardrobe lately??

Alexandra: Sandra?!

Sandra: What!? it is the weekend … and your birthday.

Maxine: Thank you Sandra! Now Lexxie lets go dress you up.

Alexandra: Fine. but dont blame me if we miss clad to wear.

Maxine: trust me, we wont.

After a whole hour of wardrobe rummaging, the girls were good to go. They got in Maxine’s dark red Rav 4 and were on their way. 10 minutes later, Maxine was swerving around a corner.

Dana: Thought we were going to Westlands.

Maxine: Yeah, we are, but small detour.

Dana: This is to Jerry’s

Maxine: Yup. Was thinking we have couple of drinks then all go together.

Dana: Not all of us drink.

Maxine: Kuna Play Station.

Alexandra: Right.

Maxine: What?

Alexandra: Right. Jerry’s turn right, not left.

Maxine: (taking a 180) Oh yeah.

Sandra: Hope they upgraded their games because damn that fifa game they are all obsessed with. Suck much!

Alexandra: I know.

Dana: and wont Darlton and Dan also be there?

Maxine: I wouldnt know.

Dana: Sandra are you okay with this?

Sandra: Yeah. why not? dan and i were ages ago.

Dana: three months.

Sandra: Am good.

Dana: You sure??

Maxine: Ai wee. Stop insisting. Cant you hear, she said she is okay.

Alexandra: (cutting in before a heated argument started) . Damn! you can already hear them and we are what, five houses away. One day Jerry will be evicted from that house by the neighbourhood association for noise.

Finally they were outside Jerry’s gate. Maxine hooted once while phoning Jerry to come and open the gate. The guys were quite loud from the drunkenness.

Jerry : Open the gate!

Dan: Oh come on, pussy- whipped nigga.

Darlton: And you’re the one to talk. Remember last year.

Jerry: Open the gate.

Bill: Si you’re the one with the keys.

Jerry: where?! (searching his clothes from his t-shirt to trousers and heard something clanging) Oh.

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Life : dance practice

Alexandra’s studio apartment. new boyz ‘Cricket’ playing on the stereo.

Natasha: (heaving a sigh and throwing her racksack over her back) Long day.

Natasha, Joscie and Alexandra had just come off dance practice.

Alexandra: (agrees while receiving a phone call) yeah

Joscie: Sad Dennis couldnt make it but what is up with Marilyn? She hasnt attended twice and she has just gone quiet. If she wants to pull out… (Natasha shrugs) Oh no. (Joscie violently shaking her head) No you didnt. Did you? (Natasha shakes her head quietly). Tash!!!

Natasha: What?! I didnt. Just because i am a lesbian doesnt mean I dont have any self control. Besides, that chiq is so straight.

Joscie: and bi-curious!

Natasha: confused more like it.

Joscie: oh come on. You could have just given in, kumbamba tu hiyo story i-die.

Natasha: (disapproving) And i dont have emotions. Jo this is my sexuality. i am not gonna satisfy someone’s whim just because today they felt ,am hot for girls now.

Joscie: why? (Natasha looks at Joscie as if she had gone mad,wordless)

Alexandra: now who has become a lesbian again?

Natasha: (frustrated) This is not something you just wake up one morning and decide. it’s someone’s sexuality and have strong feelings for.

Joscie: sawa na mafeelings. i have to drop sides of town first. need more music.

Alexandra: then could you check for me whether fastlane has continued.

Joscie: cool.

Alexandra: by the way, wont be around for tomorrow’s practice. Got wind that one of my grandmothers passed away and my aunt was checking if i am going with them to the funeral.

Natasha: Oh sorry.

Joscie: condolences mann.

Alexandra: thanks, i guess.

Truth was, Alexandra was so used to blocking her feelings, and her antidepressant medication only accelerated this to the point she did not know how to mourn a life, let alone feel sad, anymore and she did not really care much to. it was better this way. Joscie and Natasha helped Alexandra arrange back the table and couch then left her to pack up some clothes to go to her aunt’s. An hour and a half later, Alexandra was on her way there. At her aunt’s, she found  the whole family at home: her uncle, aunt, their two children and the maid. Later that evening, her aunt informed her that as the funeral was the next day at their rural home which was a three-hour drive, they would leave early at around quarter to seven. And the following day they did so. On reaching, most of the rest of the immediate family of four aunts and four uncles was also arriving, as well as other extended and people from the village. It was as any other funeral, lifeless, pun intended. Not much wailing either. Alex supposed this was taken as a celebration of the life her grandmother lived. Her grandmother happened to be one of the faithful churchgoers and contributed to the community. The speeches were gladly short as well as moving. She was a saint worth remembering.

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