The Other Woman

‘He walked out on me. He walked out on me!….. Or he might as well have.’

She stares blankly at the wall.

Her eyes, dulled with pain.

The air, so stiff and heavy with emotion, it catches in my throat.

I run the comb through my sister’s inky black hair.

Heavy tresses, glimmering in the dim light of the moon.

The scent of the sea carries through the open balcony doors.

I feel her pain. This woman, this blood of mine.

And as my hand rises and falls, entwined in her hair, my heart bleeds.

Blind rage, overwhelming sadness, grief.

So much grief.

I wish I could hold her heart in my hands, and gingerly nurse it back to health.

Kiss it, and hug it, and whisper sweet nothings to it.

How dare he break it?!


Silent tears fall onto her lap.

‘Habibty, you are better off without him.’

‘I know Lulu. But it doesn’t make it hurt any less.’




The Silk Scarf

With a purposeful stride, I looped round the neighbourhood. Past scruffy cats, stinking storm drains, and many, many, kiosks. Little shanty houses. Made of corrugated mabati and pieces of left over wood. I scanned the area looking for one specific kiosk; ‘Ma vitu mob’ kiosk.

As I walked in, my eyes adjusted to the dim lighting. A single naked bulb hung from the ceiling. The whirring of machines, and the soft glow from several computer screens lit the place  with an other worldy glow. My eyes swung to the swarthy man at the counter. I had to squint to see him clearly through the smoky, dark room.

‘Ah, ni Kamau!’ I thought.
Its kamau.  I’m sorted. After some coin had exchanged hands, I settled down to wait.

A shimmer of bright orange caught my eye. A triangle of silky fabric. Luminescent in the darkeness of the room.
A ducked head.
A giggle.
And a glance.
Sweeping dark eyelashes, thick and slick, like weary candle wicks. Was she looking at me out of the corner of her eye?
Yes she was! I saw that. With a grin, I settled more comfortably on my stool. Waiting would be entertaining after all.

Her smooth, dark skin glowed.Her teeth, a startling white against her lips. Was that a smile? I smiled back…. inwardly. Kamau could be back at any moment.

With a heavy heart, I forced myself to look away. I have no time for beautiful girls in silk, orange scarves. I don’t have time for anything really. Anything other than feeding this heavy hunger in my heart. I faced the counter and hunched my shoulders to wait.

A few empty seconds ticked past. My heart as still as a crocodile sunning itself. Every inch of me painfully aware of her innocent glances my way.

‘Umm, would you help me please? Computer ime freeze’

Now I was staring at pools of liquid brown honey. I felt like I was standing at the edge of my sanity. Diving into those swirling, molten twin pools would undoubtedly be my undoing. Helpless to resist, I fell into her gaze. A rare smile cracked its way painfully across my face. I shouldn’t, but like a lamb to its slaughter, I allowed myself to be led to the offending machine.
Control. Alt. Delete.
The machine whirred back to life. Magic. With another rare toothy smile (what was wrong with me?) I turned to face her.  What did I expect, a pat on the head? Disgusted with myself, I forced my face into a disapproving glare. She shrank back visibly. Oops.

I adjusted the volume of the glare. I’d forgotten how menacing I could look. In my world, a valuable asset. With a grunt, I indicated the fixed computer and waited expectantly. A stammered thank you floated from her lovely lips. The tip of her tongue darted out to wet the dryness that had suddenly afflicted them. I felt the same way. Parched. And she looked like a long, cold drink right now. Shaking my head at my cheesy thoughts with a wry smile, I turned to leave.
I could wait outside.

Dancing with fate, is not a game I like to entertain.


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