‘As I read ‘Things We Never Say‘ by Ahenda and Michael, I got thinking and reflecting… You know how some chiqs try to force into a man’s heart and world even when they know it will be a futile battle. She knows he is drowning in another chiq’s love…but she won’t quit. Some are prudent and recognize it…They then concede. Thanx Mike for another opportunity..and to Ahenda, my childhood pal for helping unblock the writer’s block I was facing…’
Remember me? We met after your huge break up with your ex-girlfriend…What was her name? Ahaaa…Ahenda it is. I remember how we met: the little kahawa shop just by your office. You were starring at her picture. You looked so lost, drowning in the memory of her.
“He is so cute!” I thought to myself. That is why I sat next to you. I could see the hurt, the confusion and the sadness in how you would hold your cup of coffee; staring at it as though wishing it was beer. I knew I had a soul to rescue…a heart to save. Perhaps to save and have it for keeps. Hopefully change my ever bad luck with men.
You said hi back at me…and you did not find my obvious stares rude. I had to ask what was bugging you. And you opened up. In your voice I could feel your admiration and adoration for your lost love. A soul mate you called her. You were not certain why the two of you ended but you felt it was right. You kept trying to convince yourself that you would get over her and move on. Move on to another love with sparks as hot and cosmic as the previous.
I thought I was going to be IT-The answer to your heart ache, and the plaster to your heart break. It was an exercise in futility, but nonetheless, I had to give it a shot. You were my soldier, wounded in the cruel war…war of love. I hoped I was going to be the nurse…the nurse that puts you back together and wins you over. I wanted to be your knight and shining armour.
I wanted so bad to believe that you would like me…all the while, you were looking for the Ahenda in me. I could see it in your wishful eyes. You once asked me why I never loosened up and hang around in my undies…I was shy! I had tough shoes to fill, and I couldn’t be her. You cannot deny it Michael, you wished I were her. And now as I read your letters to her, I know I was fighting a losing battle. But I could not resist…Your charm, your smile…your finesse! I saw what Ahenda saw in you. But you could not see me for me…you were blinded. Blinded by a passion so strong and a bond so tight…sealed by destiny. Fate did not have it in store for a possible you and me…sigh!
I was surprised you had me around for so long…I knew I was fooling myself. But the desire to have you love me and want me like you constantly did her got the best of me. I was warned but I did not listen. Two years Mike!? What took you so long? What took me so long? I guess you were smutten…smitten…arrgggh! What is it about her? Now just after two months since we broke up, you are marrying her? Worst still, on the day of our ‘anniversary’? The first day I laid my eyes on you at the little kahawa shop by your office.
I should have just walked away…But then again, I concede. I raise my hat to the queen that captured your heart so…and dominated your entirety. May be I will be lucky someday to be an Ahenda to another lad…Only difference I will be an Elizabeth…Me!
My hat off to Ahenda…I concede. Love him like he loves you. Adore him like he adores you. I couldn’t steal his heart: It belonged to you in the first place! He is yours FOREVER.
I must confess I was sad when we finished the sequel for ‘Things We Never Say‘. The response from my readers was overwhelming! Almost all wanted the third issue. Well, the beautiful Liz Lenjo has saved the day. She has added an interesting angle to the whole saga. These are the things we go through in our lives. Liz Lenjo‘s words are powerful and sensual. She is a lawyer. I can’t help smiling when I try to imagine how she would present a case in court. Just don’t dare go up against her.
– Michael Ngigi
There is a small village called Aberer on the shores of Lake Langano in the Oromia region of Ethiopia. It is about 200 kilometers by road in the south of the capital Addis Ababa. In this village there lived a young couple who loved each other very much, atleast that’s what everyone knew.
The young man’s name was Kefela, a local fisherman. Orphaned at an early age, he had learned to work and depend on the sweat of his brow to survive. He had learned the ways of the world by trial and error. He grew into a man of character and virtue. He was honest, reliable and always kept his word. All the children in the village were his friends and almost all young women, his secret admirers [for it is in wrong in traditional Ethiopian culture, for a woman to publicly show interest in a man].
He had met Nazret (his lover) in the fish market five years earlier. She was this calm, composed and gracefull in her stride. She had a long neck, shapely and tall physique that amplified her confidence. Flawless skin and neatly arranged teeth behind her sunrise smile. She was very beautiful.
Kefela had known many beautiful women but Nazret beat them all. A ‘bird’ had told him that she (Nazret) had been from a violent relationship. The culprit, a man from the neighbouring village of Geret. Kefela worked hard to win her heart and they became lovers. Their love was like no other. They basked in each other’s company. Kefela made her laugh and she cared for him like a child. Everyone in the village acknowledged that this love had been made in heaven. They used to go everywhere and do everything together. When they had be spend time apart, each would suffer a serious heartache and often become physically weak. They felt like they would die without each other. Atleast this was the situation according to Kefela.
You see the Langano happens to be the only fresh water lake in Ethiopia that is free of Bilharzia or Schistosomiasis. This makes it a very popular destination for tourists. People come from all over the world to see it’s magnificence and wallow in its splendour.
One day as Nazret was going to the market she was greeted by this white man who introduced himself as Rob. From her limited command of english she understood that he was asking her out on a date at the expensive italian restaurant by the lake. Rob told her he found her beautiful and that he wanted to marry and take her with him to his country in Europe. A simple request, yet it troubled Nazret for many days. Not because she was interested in what Rob had to offer but the fact that he came off as different and curiously interesting.
In the days that followed Nazret met him several times. She was intrigued by the tales of his visits to distant lands [She had wanted to travel and see the world at some point in her life]. The way he treated her was also different. It was delicate and caring. He opened doors for her. He would serve her and ask her every now and then how she was doing. It was something she had never experienced before.
Back at home, Kefela had noticed a change in her behavior. He missed spending time with her and couldn’t understand why everything had changed suddenly. He wanted to raise the issue but was afraid that he would look insecure. They used to talk and laugh late into the night but of late Nazret was always ‘tired’. He started blaming this twist of events on himself. Could it be that he was working too hard that Nazret had started feeling neglected? Or had she grown tired of his promises that one day he would take them out of poverty? He had been saving up for a year to take her to Addis for a picnic. Had she grown tired of waiting? Then it hit him hard. Maybe Nazret was seeing another man! His stomach twisted into painful knots.
He was almost sure his fears were about to be confirmed. The way she was behaving lately was abnormal. They used to make love every night but now it had gone down to once a week. She was ever ‘tired’. He decided to wait it out a while for Nazret to reel back from her trance. After a week he decided to confront her.
Meanwhile, Rob and his newfound ‘friend’ were enjoying each other’s company. They had too much to talk about on almost every subject. Every now and then, Nazret couldn’t resist feeling guilty for not being there for Kefela, but she couldn’t help it. One day in the middle of a joke, Rob leaned and kissed her. She tried resisting but gave in a few seconds later. It was the most sensual thing she had ever experienced. Not that she didn’t like how Kefela kissed but this was a kiss from a person who was experienced. One would welcome a change of diet every once in a while.
That night when she got home, she found Kefela waiting in the dark. On asked where she had been all day, she replied rather rudely that she wasn’t a child and that she was safe where ever she was. Kefela was deeply hurt and decided not to pursue the matter further. A week later, he got home and found her gone.
Kefela still wakes up early to fish.He has his own boat now and business is looking great. He bought a piece of land along the lake shore and is planning to put up a lodge when he saves up enough money. Life is great. He also has a new bride whom he married from the hill country of Selah Dingay. The love they share is magical. Last month he took her for a picnic in Addis, this December he is planning to take her to the Maasai Mara in Kenya.
How about Nazret? Well, Rob didn’t take her to europe as he had promised. He left her stranded in Addis Ababa after he excused himself to make a ‘phone call’. She was pregnant with his child at the time. She has not seen him (Rob) since. Yesterday she got her first pay of 10 birr. The man she serviced made her do things which made her sick to her stomach. Times are hard. With a young child at home, who can blame her?
The grass will forever be green on the other side of the fence. A bird in hand will always be worth much more than the beckoning commotion in the bush. Are we content with what we have? Did you at some point wish you were born in your rich neighbor’s family? Do you wish you were lighter in complexion than you really are? What brats of a generation we are! But again, life is meant to be lived right?
So today as you call your man, ask yourself if you’re with him in the meantime as you wait for the perfect stranger. Ask yourself why you keep stringing this innocent girl along with the plan to hit on her best friend.
Have you met the perfect stranger yet?
I thank Mr. Yonas whom I met in the airport as we waited to board the flight to Ethiopia last December. A complete stranger, he told me that the most romantic place in the world that I could take my woman happens to be Lake Langano. I appreciate how you were patient enough to explain to me in detail the culture of the beautiful people of Ethiopia.
In the same breath I would like to dedicate this article to my dear fellow writer Carol. You wanted to hear my thoughts on this issue so there you have it.
stranger |ˈstrānjər| |ˈstreɪndʒər| |ˈstreɪn(d)ʒə|noun a person whom one does not know or with whom one is not familiar.